Greetings, Obama: we come in peaceTHE CNN tape shows it clearly. During the inauguration of President Barack Obama last month, a panoramic camera shot of the Washington monument recorded a small, dark object racing across the sky. Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Or was it an emissary from an alien planet?
By Tony Allen-Mills
By Tony Allen-Mills
Internet opinion has been predictably divided – “What kind of birds can fly at 500mph?” asked one of several million viewers who have seen the video clip – but for a small group of dedicated researchers, the incident could scarcely have been better timed.
High on the agenda at the 2009 International UFO Congress opening in Laughlin, Nevada, today will be the prospects for a breakthrough in a long and mostly frustrated quest to persuade the US government to come clean about the CIA’s supposed contacts with extraterrestrial life over the past 50 years.
Hundreds of delegates are converging on the Nevada desert to listen to speakers from 30 countries recount their extraterrestrial experiences. The ufologists are used to being mocked or ignored by the American media, yet in two key respects their meetings this year are not entirely out of this world.
Far from being disheartened by their failure to produce conclusive evidence of aliens, ufologists were electrified last year by the appearance over Stephenville, Texas, of a series of fast-moving, flashing orbs seen by hundreds of people. Ufologists flocked there in the hope of witnessing a phenomenon that some linked to a near-by military airbase.
Behind the UFO debate lies a CIA statement that more than half the reported UFO sightings of the 1950s and 1960s were caused by cold-war spy planes whose saucer-like designs were at the time kept secret.
In a declassified report entitled CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90, Gerald Haines,a government historian, blamed cold war hysteria for the deception. Other researchers have since suggested that the CIA may have been happy for its most secret spy planes to be mistaken for visiting space-craft.
Larry Bryant, a former Pentagon official who claims to have been sacked for trying to expose military UFO cover-ups, has been fighting for years for access to alien-related CIA material. Yet the agency insists there has been “no organised CIA effort [to study UFOs] since the 1950s”.
Part of the problem for serious UFO researchers is that their efforts continue to attract an eccentric fringe of earnest folks who claim to have been abducted by sex-crazed aliens or wear tinfoil hats to deflect government radio waves.
At the congress, Barbara Lamb, a therapist, will discuss her experiences of “hypnotically regressing” more than 600 people to help them describe their encounters with aliens. Marisa Ryan, a psychic medium, will help the delegates to commune with extraterrestrials.