UFOs On the Record: debunkers bewareIn a different culture, maybe, and were this any other issue, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record would be a game-changer. And it still could be. The long-anticipated results of Leslie Kean’s 10-year investigation reach retailers today with the sort of pedigree that makes it the most important book on UFOs in a generation.
By Billy Cox
By Billy Cox
From the foreword by former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta — who reiterates his longstanding contention that any UFO investigation should be transparent — to endorsements by grounded luminaries such as physicist Michio Kaku, UFOs On the Record avoids New Age hokum and will expose debunkers as willfully uninformed, dishonest and/or 100 percent irrelevant.
Readers who’ve followed Kean’s work will know she draws most heavily from the watershed 2007 press conference she staged with documentary filmmaker James Fox. That’s when an international cast of characters — the impeccably credentialed subjects of the book’s subtitle — convened in Washington to urge the U.S. to reopen its scientific investigation of UFOs.
No reason to revisit those details here; you can check it out at the Coalition for Freedom of Information or at UFOs On the Record. Ten of those panelists, including two pilots who attacked UFOs in jet fighters, contributed to the the book. As well as the former head of the French equivalent of NASA and Brazil’s chief of Air Force operations.
Given the potential windfall of knowledge embodied by the phenomena, the broader, more dispiriting portrait that emerges is of a nation in an intellectual stupor, conditioned to dismiss the persistent mystery with derision and punchlines. Unable to muster little more than a 40-year-old press release in defense of its inability to secure its own air space, the United States finds itself increasingly isolated amid a bewildered and increasingly vocal global community.
With France leading the way, 13 countries from Uruguay to the United Kingdom have transferred government UFO records into the public domain. But information-sharing overtures by foreign representatives are greeted with silence by Uncle Sam. The temptation is to argue the U.S. has no incentive to participate due to its likely hoarding of UFO stash inside deep-black Special Access Programs, but Kean wisely chooses not to linger at the conspiracy trough.
Kean contends “the fundamental problem afflicting true understanding of UFOs is ignorance, not secrecy, and that this ignorance is accepted because it serves a political purpose.” That purpose, she continues, is “to maintain the imperative that we must avoid facing the possibility that any UFOs could be extraterrestrial. For if they were, that would mean that these miraculous craft, vehicles, objects of unknown original — whatever they are — are generated by a more powerful ‘other’ from somewhere else.”
Her reasoning is sharpened by two political science professors, Dr. Alexander Wendt of Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Raymond Duvall, who contribute an essay, “Militant Agnosticism and the UFO Taboo.” They make a strong case that “the problem of UFO ignorance is fundamentally political before it is scientific.”
UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record is a tightly-constructed call to arms — a plea, actually, against overwhelming cultural odds — for the renewal of honest scientific inquiry into the most profound challenge of our age. The book belongs on the Science, Current Events, or Political Science sections of the chain-store shelves.
But America is hard-wired for cliches. If precedent holds and it winds up in the Occult or Astrology ghetto next to the tarot cards and the healing crystals, Kean’s research will have strikes against it before it can even step up to the plate. As always, perception, not reality, is the heavy hitter at the front gate.