[It's often said that the main reason for UFO secrecy is the government's fear of public panic if the reality of UFOs and alien visitation were made known. But is this claim true? According to author Colman Jones, it probably is -- but there are other concerns as well. For example: who will get the huge military advantage of being the first to figure out how UFOs work? Some experts say that no project in history would be treated with greater secrecy. The following article, which appeared in the May 16, 1996 edition of NOW Magazine, is copyrighted 1996 by NOW Communications Inc. and is reprinted here with the permission of the author. Thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for bringing this article to our attention. Colman Jones maintains a web site at: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/2587/feature2.html]
by Colman Jones
On January 1, 2000, Bill Clinton enters a Rose Garden press conference, accompanied by other world leaders.
Staring straight into the news cameras, the U.S. president solemnly declares, "I have an important announcement to make: we now have reason to believe that this planet has been visited by extraterrestrial beings who are studying our race. Their ultimate intentions are unknown."
What if this unearthly scenario were actually to transpire? How would the world's peoples react?
It's a question that some of the world's best minds have long been contemplating, and their conclusions may shed light on why governments have not been more forthcoming on the subject of UFOs and aliens -- namely, the fear of the public reaction that such a blatant declaration would provoke.
For example, according to a 1960 report prepared for NASA by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank, discovery of life on other worlds could cause the earth's civilization to collapse.
Citing anthropological studies, it noted, "societies sure of their own place have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society, and others have survived even though changed."
"Clearly, the better we can come to understanding the factors involved in responding to such crisis the better prepared we may be."
But at a special 1972 symposium on extraterrestrial intelligence held at Boston University, Nobel Prize winner George Wald took a more pessimistic view. "I can conceive of no nightmare so terrifying as establishing such communication with a so-called superior technology in outer space," he testified.
A 1975 report produced by the Library of Congress for the House Committee on Science and Technology also warned against automatically assuming that open contact with other life forms, if discovered, would benefit humanity. "Since we have no knowledge of their nature, we may be aiding in our own doom," it said, and went on to speculate about a foreign civilization's possible negative views on a lower technological society, seeing it as a threat.
"It's a huge unknown," agrees Michael Michaud, a former U.S. State Department career diplomat for 32 years, serving at U.S. embassies all over the world, specializing in environment, science and technology. He has written extensively on the implications of extraterrestrial contact. In an article published in the journal of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Michaud noted that discovery of extraterrestrial life by military authorities might not necessarily be made available to the public.
Reached at his home in Geneva, Switzerland, the now retired diplomat cites a late 1970s incident, in which he was personally involved, in which a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite was discovered by the U.S. to be losing its orbit, descending towards the earth with a nuclear reactor on board.
Michaud recalls: "This was discussed intensively between ourselves and the Soviets, and later with certain other governments, long before any public release of the information was made. That affair was classified until it was announced publicly after the satellite came down, so it's entirely conceivable that a government might handle the [discovery of extraterrestrial life] the same way, if it were done only through governmental means."
Michaud has frequently argued that one of the most profound effects would be the feeling of common identity that might be generated by contact. Bringing his 32 years in diplomacy to bear on this, Michaud says the outside identity contrasting with our own might be potentially very useful. "I'm not sure it will solve all our squabbles, but it will make them seen a lot less important, and there will be larger context in which they will be placed."
Stanton Friedman, considered by many the grand-daddy of ufologists, says there are plenty of reasons for a UFO coverup. Interviewed at his home in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the 61-year-old nuclear physicist points out that military considerations would override all others, especially as concerns the technology underlying alien spacecraft: "You want to figure how the damn things work. Say you've got wreckage, you set up your secret project. The basic rule for security is that you can't tell your friends without telling your enemies."
For this reason, Friedman says, military authorities would have a vested interest in keeping recovery of alien vehicles under wraps. "What if the other guy figures out how they work before you do?"
Obviously, such a revelation would also pull the rug from under many of our most cherished institutions, be they religious, economic, or political. As Friedman notes, "The biggest implication here is loss of power to people who have it. What would happen is that the younger generation would immediately push for a new view of ourselves, instead as Canadians, American, Russians, Chinese, etc., but as earthlings.
"That would be splendid, until you realize that there's no government on this planet that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet instead of that individual government. Nationalism is the only game in town."
Original file name: .CNI - What would happen 5.27
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