The highly critical report describes often bitter debates between
investigators who believed "the truth is out there" and their sceptical
It records tales of bumbling undercover agents whose activities fuelled a
widespread belief that the United States Government was covering up what
the agency described as "extra-terrestrial visitations by intelligent beings".
The problem was eventually passed to the agency's physics and electronics
division where, in true X-Files style, just one analyst investigated UFO
But the fifties equivalent of Fox Mulder was constantly undermined by his
boss, described by the CIA history as "a non-believer in UFOs", who tried
but failed to declare the project "inactive".
While the CIA investigations concluded that all sightings could be
explained, the report says "misguided" attempts to keep them secret led to
widespread belief of a government cover-up.
The report, written by Gerald Haines, the official CIA historian, was
commissioned by the then CIA director, James Woolsey, in 1993 in the wake
of renewed claims of a CIA-led cover-up.
For the first time it calls on documents that the agency hid from UFO
enthusiasts who obtained thousands of more mundane files under the Freedom
of Information Act. The report, completed in 1997, has been released at the
request of the British academic journal Intelligence and National Security
and is published in its latest issue. US intelligence began investigating
UFO sightings in 1947 following a report by a pilot. - The Telegraph, London
UFO Activists Now Lobbyists for Government Change
By NEIL IRWIN
(August 17, 1999 3:21 p.m. EDT (http://www.nandotimes.com) - Who's going to expose the massive government conspiracy to hide the truth about extraterrestrials visiting our planet? Instead of "The X-Files' " Mulder and Scully, it might have to be the House and Senate.
At least that's the hope of some UFO activists, who are taking a decidedly
new tack toward bringing out the truth about past sightings and contact
with alien spacecraft.
Some of the more vigilant flying-saucer enthusiasts have formed the
Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC), the
nation's first official UFO lobby.
Giving up on the men in black, UFO activists are taking their case to the
men and women in charcoal gray.
Stephen Bassett, executive director of X-PPAC, is now a registered
lobbyist, roaming the halls of Congress to alert members to the supposed
cover-up of UFO sightings.
"I can assure you there are plenty of people in this town who take this
very seriously," says Bassett of his meetings with public officials.
That is, those willing to brave what Bassett calls the "ridicule curtain,"
the tendency to dismiss his group as kooky.
Bassett believes that alien life has existed on Earth since at least 1947,
and that a group of elites in the nation's military-industrial complex are
keeping it secret.
But with the end of the Cold War, word of the cover-up has started to leak
out, he says. Former officials, aware of what was going on, have started
approaching UFO activists to tell the secrets they have seen - off the
record, of course.
So the truth, as it were, is out there. But how to get it out?
That's where X-PPAC comes in. It wants Congress to hold hearings on the
subject. Bassett is certain that in such a venue, former government
officials would talk.
There may be a problem with this strategy, however. Many congressmen may be
reluctant to hold public hearings on the issue since, according to the
shocking 1994 headlines of the Weekly World News, a supermarket tabloid, 12
senators are space aliens.
Of course, if this is true, these influential lawmakers would probably
prefer their true identities not be exposed. The list includes Phil Gramm
of Texas, former astronaut John Glenn of Ohio (now retired from the Senate)
and Orrin Hatch of Utah. Indeed, Hatch, who is running for the White House,
would thus be the first alien president of the United States.
"We were assured he could become president of Mars, but the senator's wife
does not want to travel," deadpans his spokesman, Paul Smith. "So we're
putting our hopes on people voting him in as president of the United States."
Others in Washington take the conspiracy allegations with a bit less
levity. "The belief that the CIA has or continues to participate in a
government-wide conspiracy to cover up or withhold evidence of UFOs is
patently absurd," says agency spokesman Tom Crispell.
Could Crispell himself be part of the conspiracy? "I can assure you that I
have never seen a UFO or alien body anywhere in the world," he adds. A
Defense Department spokeswoman refused to comment on the allegations of a
conspiracy at all.
Bassett himself discounts the hypothesis that members of Congress are in on
the conspiracy, though. "Deep within the bowels of this intelligence
complex are career people who view senators and presidents as mere
transients. They keep them out of the loop if they can."
There may be a reason this sounds so much like "The X-Files." Bassett says
the television show presents an accurate, if overdramatized, picture of the
conspiracy. "I think Chris Carter (the show's producer) has sources on the
Copyright ©1999 Nando Media
Copyright ©1999 Christian Science Monitor Service