Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger
In the years, I’ve spent commenting here at Professor Turley’s blog, I have presented myself as an honest person, sensible and with humane beliefs. Many regulars think of me as sort of a blog “elder statesman” and one who has a rational view of the world. There are of course others, fewer in number I assert, who think me a fool and a knave, which shows you can’t please everyone. Professor Turley himself has expressed fondness related to my tendency to be honest and open about myself personally.
Yet through all of these years here, I have harbored a secret belief that I’ve avoided mentioning for fear that the esteem in which I’m held, will disappear in an avalanche of ridicule and disappointment. I have to admit that to a retired old guy on the wrong side of sixty years, my place here has provided comfort to my self-esteem and certainly the feeling that I can still find things in life to accomplish. To those who haven’t realized the obvious yet from my writings, I have my vanities and indeed my insecurities, so being a guest blogger has stroked those needy aspects of my ego. Since I’ve received much gratification from this, I have been loath to be completely honest about one of my more deeply held beliefs. I came across an article that impels me to break my silence and reveal this belief here and now. While in the eyes of some reading this blog, it might lower their opinion of me and expose me to ridicule, I must finally admit to you my dirty little secret.
Ever since the first nationwide “Flying Saucer” sensation began with the first “official” UFO sighting on June 24, 1947 by pilot Kenneth Arnold http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Arnold_UFO_sighting#Skeptical_explanations Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) have been a phenomenon lasting for the past 64 years, with most governments ridiculing the people making the reports and dismissing the entire idea. This is despite the fact that many pilots have made sightings and indeed many people in large communities, such as WashingtonD.C., have seen UFO’s in their skies over a period of nights. I personally believe that UFO’s are indeed alien spacecraft and that the possibility of this being the case is narrowed by the unfathomable size of the Universe, its age and the trillions of stars that exist. I further believe that the governments have covered this up to prevent what in their minds is public panic and to deny the truth that if UFO’s do indeed exist; our technological capacity could not deal with them if necessary.
This article in Huffpost on 6/17/11confirms my belief in governments covering up the details of these sightings and ridiculing anyone claiming to have made a sighting: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/uk-releases-ufo-files_n_927351.html “The former Ministry of Defense (MoD) UFO Project chief [Nick Pope] is openly admitting to being part of what he claims was a U.K. policy of ridiculing UFO reports and the people who reported them.
“What’s abundantly clear from these files is that, while in public we were desperately pushing the line that this was of no defense interest,” Pope told The Huffington Post. “We couldn’t say ‘There’s something in our air space; pilots see them; they’re tracked on radar; sometimes we scramble jets to chase these things, but we can’t catch them.’ This would be an admission that we’d lost control of our own air space, and such a position would be untenable.”
My interest began in 1953, reading a book by Major Donald Keyhoe, USMC Pilot, Retired. In it he described the various documented incidents and the explanations given for them by the Department Of Defenses “Project Blue Book”, that was established seemingly to investigate the phenomenon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keyhoe . Among others, Keyhoe had interviewed Air Force Captain Edward Ruppelt, who had been head of the Project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_J._Ruppelt
What I found so compelling was that perhaps 20% of the incidents could not be adequately explained and that distinguished observers, such as veteran pilots, were supposed to have mistaken everyday phenomenon, like weather balloons and Venus, for UFO’s. As my interest grew, it became obvious that our government would respond to any new sighting by first ridicule of the person(s) making the report of the sighting and then responding with explanations that were not credible. In the D.C., sightings in 1953 a mass of objects were not only detected by eye, but by airport radar and yet dismissed without adequate explanation.
What added to the government’s ability to ridicule were the so-called direct contact cases, first made famous by George Adamski: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Adamski and later by Betty and Barney Hill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Hill . Since the “contactees” in these cases seemed mainly to be self-serving individuals, they muddied the waters by being conflated with people who were seriously looking for explanations, or who had made direct sightings. Considering what the Huffpost article cited as details about the British Government’s policies, ridicule replaced research as a tool of institutional government investigation.
In further revealing my dirty little secret, I was for a time, in my teens, a dues paying member of The “National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (or NICAP). It was a civilian unidentified flying object research group active in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s:
While I never lost interest in UFO’s, my interest waned as my puberty began to assert itself and other things in life became more important. However, I have read enough about the topic to be certain in my own mind that there is much more to it than merely misidentification of known objects, moneymaking schemes, and public hysteria. In fact, an article in yesterdays Huffpost shows that the amount of UFO sightings has increased in recent years: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/26/ufos-pilots-history-channel_n_935847.html
As someone interested in ancient history some of the writings of Sitchin, Velikovsy and Von Danniken
also, attract my interest and tie in with my feeling about UFO’s. I am keen on the possibility of Alien visits throughout human history and the possibility that they have affected our history and progress.
So there you have it. I’ve exposed one of the final embarrassing secrets about myself and opened up to your possible ridicule and/or opprobrium. Since we have so many people here who are qualified to comment, given their knowledge of science and other erudition, I would enjoy your comments. In any event, I feel much better having gotten this off my chest and while I’ve exposed myself further as someone with quirky sensibilities, I feel a certain lightness and freedom in making my confession.
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger