By Billy CoxIt’s tempting to say the UFO “disclosure movement” is at a crossroads when one of its most credible witnesses publicly rebukes a forum that once elevated him onto a national stage. But the truth is, belief systems only change — and very slowly at that — when confronted with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. Standards of evidence being what they are in this loopy field, that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
Still, when Robert Salas posted his “Idiocy of the Disclosure Movement” essay last week, , followed by a stinging riposte to a critic on Sunday , the retired Air Force captain was clearly hoping to burn more bridges than the ones he walked.
In 1967, Salas witnessed an extraordinary, UFO-triggered shutdown of nuclear-armed missiles inside a Minuteman silo over Montana . His courage in speaking up — and his efforts to get the feds to come clean — made him the kind of guy you’d love to get in front of a congressional committee. Or, failing that, to book as a speaker to lend gravitas to whatever sort of UFO agenda you happen to be peddling.
Last week, Salas broke in a big way from a loose affiliation of disclosure advocates known as Exopolitics. You won’t find that word in the dictionary, but at least part of it has something to do with circumventing the high-level information blackout and disabusing Earthlings of their militaristic nationalism through individual citizen diplomacy initiatives, which can be accomplished at seminars led by experienced Exopoliticians, often for modest fees. The conceit, it almost goes without saying, is that Exopoliticians have unique insights into what UFOs are all about.
These “pointless exercises have been so ineffective in gaining serious public attention,” Salas wrote, “that one might conclude they were intentionally designed to keep disclosure from happening.” He added that “whenever claims are made or ‘witness’ reports without credible substantiation are presented, damage is done to the credibility of the phenomenon as a whole.”
To wit: In September 2007, Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank attended the Paradigm Research Group’s UFO conference at the National Press Club, where he might well have reported on Salas’ amazing story, or interviewed former British Ministry of Defence agent Nick Pope, who monitored UFO reports for the UK in the Nineties. Instead, Milbank went for the laff trax by focusing on Exopolitician Alfred Webre, who insisted “The truth amnesty disclosure project is reportedly recommended by the participating extraterrestrials themselves.” He presented no convincing evidence for any of that.
Two months later, same venue, a group called the Coalition for Freedom of Information hosted an impressive gathering of pilots, civilian and military, along with a multinational cast of former government officials. All united behind a petition to get the U.S. to renew a public investigation into the phenomenon.
According to at least two people in attendance, Milbank was there, too. He didn’t reply to De Void’s e-mail for confirmation, but this much is definitely true: the guy didn’t file a story. Probably because there wasn’t an Exopolitician in the bunch.
When Salas first went public with his accounting a decade ago, he thought the details of the incident had been declassified. They hadn’t. His queries prompted the USAF to release a few previously concealed and watered down versions of the incident. But it never specificly freed him from the security oath Salas says he was ordered to sign on the spot in 1967.
“The best thing that could happen is if I get arrested for violating national security,” Salas says from his home in Ojai, Calif. “I want them to come after me, because they would have to acknowledge the phenomenon is real. Then guys like you would have a story.”
Or maybe not. If Salas were getting cuffed in the same room where someone was holding a press conference about how their love-child alien hybrid got snatched by sperm donors from Zeta Reticuli, we’ve got a pretty good idea about which lead Dana Milbank would follow.
The irony, of course, is that Salas and the Exopoliticians share a fundamental bond: The notion that the feds aren’t being straight up with what they know about UFOs. “Excessive government secrecy really bugs me,” Salas says. “If, for instance, they know we’re being visited by whatever they are, with certain technological capabilities, I don’t want a few people making decisions about what the rest of us should and shouldn’t know.”