Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Air Force closes the book on UFO reports

11 years ago, today, the following story appeared in Air Force Times. For years, people had wondered if U.S. government, and specifically, the Air Force had hidden secrets of a UFO crash in New Mexico.

Bunk, they said.

And they made it official.

The Air Force's explanation might be official, but that doesn't make it correct. I'm rather confident it isn't. That doesn't, of course, automatically imply that extraterrestrials crashed; the Roswell Incident could just as easily have been the result of a terrestrial mishap.

I know certain readers won't believe this, but I don't especially care what happened. To me, Roswell has never been a matter of "wanting to believe" that aliens are visiting us in fallible metal ships -- because when you really stop to consider it, the idea that we're presumably at the mercy of secretive creatures in fantastical craft comes burdened with its share of existential disquiet.

Certainly it would be nice to know we're not alone in the interstellar dark. But if Roswell was an extraterrestrial event, it leaves the ET motive murky at best. Perhaps, as argued by Stan Friedman, the aliens were busily monitoring our military installations at the dawn of the Cold War in order to assess any threat we might pose. Friedman's scenario is fundamentally peaceable; his alien visitors -- as opposed to the meddling Grays of Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs -- are likable enough, even if they're content to remain encapsulated in their iconic saucers instead of approaching us as openly.

But Friedman's isn't the only interpretation in keeping with the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. And the ETH is hardly the only tool in our arsenal, even if we're forced to dispense with the prospect of human experimentation and downed prototype aircraft.

It's just possible that the Roswell Incident -- and, by extension, the booming enigma we've come to call the "UFO phenomenon" -- represents something sinister . . . or, worse still, a process so thoroughly implacable we lack the perceptual syntax to ever understand it.


Anonymous said...

As Roswell ages, the story seems to me more and more like a "Strange Tales" comic book offering. That's not to say it doesn't continue to fascinate on a variety of levels, just that the plausibility of many of the claims seem rather silly. For sure the government was and in some ways I think still responsible for the confusion and misinformation that has grown up around the incident, whatever really happened.

I'm intrigued by your use of the word sinister however and wonder if you are going to clarify that part of your post any time soon. I'm always ready to imagine sinister things!


Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Redfern, I think it's entirely possible that today's Air Force leadership has no idea what actually happened at Roswell.

Mac said...


As for my use of the word "sinister": why must hypothetical ETs always have our best interests at heart? I'm not a xenophobe, but it's possible the UFO phenomenon -- ET or something else -- isn't as benign as it might seem. The evidence simply isn't in one way or the other.


I seriously suspect "the government" is largely clueless re. UFOs, which is just one of the reasons the "disclosure" movement is such a joke.

Anonymous said...


Try trolling actual Freedom of Information retrieved documents before standing on that mountain my friend.
The "government largely clueless", you better think that one over again.


Mac said...


I don't dispute that the US has tons of revealing files on record and a wealth of hidden scientific data. But I doubt that it knows what's happening -- other than a seemingly intelligent airspace intrusion.

Of course, if Roswell was an ET event, then I'm probably wrong!