“Probably no one seriously involved in investigating UFO reports has escaped the hydra-headed debunking machine and its many busy attendants.”
“In Washington they say, if two people know, it can’t be a secret.”
John B. Alexander
Though I only have a casual interest in the UFO phenomena I was intrigued with a recent broadcast (2/20/11) on Coast to Coast AM, hosted by George Knapp with retired Colonel John B. Alexander and his new book, UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities. A lot of his comments reminded me of the Warren Commission’s defenders and their arguments against conspiracy. Col. Alexander, a career military officer, was involved with intelligence and many esoteric endeavors such as the “men staring at goats” experiment and other government program weirdness. Along the way, he got an interest in UFOs and was allowed to launch a study group. Yes, the Army version of the X-Files! He interviewed everybody within the National Security index and those in the military-industrial side as well. Alexander comes across as affable, very knowledgable and sincere, open minded with an air of authority on which he speaks.
However, his conclusions are forgone; while Alexander admits there are solid cases such as the Phoenix Lights and Rendlesham Forest incident he says there is no formal government policy to cover-up the UFOs. (I wonder if he would assume the same about conspiracy with JFK’s death?) When it comes to the realities, the main stories of the lore are the myths. There is no perceived threat to National Security so no need to get involved. In other words, I’ve looked into it and there is nothing to it–trust me–don’t worry your little head over it.
A closer examination of his statements reveals him to be another servant of the National Security State with the same old flat arguments. In many ways he maneuvers like any Kennedy conspiracy debunker, though a more gentlemanly version of one. He doesn’t resort to Bugliosi-style sarcasm and verbal abuse. Gosh, it would be nice to see a JFK anti-conspiracy debunker with this much class and seemingly fair mindedness. He portrays the man of the Open Mind though all the while, we know he’s not going to go along with any major assertions. The Phoenix Lights event he’ll acknowledge is a real phenomena but ultimately a mystery requiring more investigation. The major cannons of UFOlogy, such as the MJ-12 docs and the Roswell crash, are dismissed as hoaxes. Come what may, virtually no Warren Commission supporter will walk this fine a line. It’s all or nothing with that gang.
Everything In Washington Leaks
“Everything in Washington leaks,” says Alexander. Here is ground that has been plowed too many times. The good Colonel resembles a Warren Commission acolyte. How many times has this slogan been trotted out? Okay, how does the CIA, NSA, DIA, ONI and many other agencies stay in business? They should be gone by now if they had this many leakers. This old, tired, “nobody can keep a secret” nonsense is the classic argument against these controversies and has long been used against the JFK conspiracy researchers. Ironic that it comes from Colonel Alexander, himself being an intelligence officer with access to classified information. Has he blabbed anything? How insulting a question! That is wrong in so many different ways I could write a whole blog posting on that issue alone.
In the National Security State secrecy is the foundation of the security. In Colonel L. Flecher Prouty’s books, The Secret Team and JFK, compartmentalization is the key to containing and maintaining secret operations. Prouty would be in the loop since he was the liaison officer between the CIA and the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon. He’s one of the insiders that let us know how the National Security State functions. One can see quite a difference between the two Colonels and how they view this issue. Prouty on one hand illustrates the need for concealment of information and operations and the processes and procedures that make it work; Alexander acts like there are no methods or procedures in place at all or if there are, they are useless. Because of this, I sense a great deal more truthfulness with Prouty. Alexander acts like these things are boring and ho-hum, striped of mystery and intrigue. He knows better.
The Blabber Mouth Theory
Another issue Col. Alexander breaches is that there isn’t any secrets that are “Above Top Secret” that the President as Commander in Chief isn’t privy to. There is if you simply don’t tell him! Kennedy ordered the CIA to stand down on assassination attempts on Castro but they didn’t–nor did they tell Kennedy anything about their ongoing operations against Cuba or for that matter what they were doing in running all military operations in Vietnam until the Marines took over in 1965. And most telling is when Jimmy Carter asked for the CIA’s UFO information and the director, at the time George Bush, told him to go to Congress. In brief, he was dead-ended. So was Bill Clinton’s early AG, Webster Hubble which Mr. Clinton asked him to look into the Kennedy assassination. He ran into the wall too. Alexander makes no mention of Carter’s run-in with the Secret Team as he wants everything to be normal to the point of dullness. Of course it’s not.
I once worked with a guy once that worked in the inner halls of government. He knew everybody from Ronald Reagan to Linda Tripp. And he admitted there were levels of classification so high the President wasn’t privy to them. He thought it was a good thing. I of course, did not. To witness Alexander deny this is quite telling and lends plausibility to his critics that he is a disinformation agent.
Col. Alexander was so adamant about people not keeping secrets George Knapp asked him, “So you’re of the belief that nobody can keep a secret...even by the military?” That’s when Alexander responds with the quote above about two people knowing something then it’s no longer a secret, which is ridiculous. One of the main jobs of intelligence operatives, both military and civilian, is the collecting and keeping of secrets. He knows it and backpedals a bit by saying that a secret can be kept for a “short period of time.” Perhaps he thought better of impugning the integrity of those people working in intelligence that work hard at keeping information under wraps and in some cases put their lives on the line to do so.
Besides, there is a certain prestige associated with keep information concealed. I’ve signed three nondisclosure agreements in the course of my professional life. I’ve never spilled the beans on any of them, even now with two of those projects no longer operational. In the military there is little prestige as violating a signed oath is rewarded with prison time, as the Navy enlisted men found out after the John Kennedy’s autopsy. They all had to sign nondisclosure agreements and were all read the riot act if they ever breathed a word of what they saw and experienced that night. (Fortunately, those former Navy personnel that were interviewed for the ARRB in the late 1990s were given a waiver. That’s how we know about the ordering of the signed secrecy agreements.)
Be that as it may, the Blabber Mouth Theory holds no value and is a weak argument that is constantly used against conspiracy advocates. People do conspire, that is why it’s criminalized.
The Debunking Way
UFO investigator Bud Hopkins in his article, Deconstructing the Debunkers: A Response, made the following point:
“It’s long been understood that debunking and skepticism are two very different things, the former, an artifact of rigid ideology and the latter an objective, scientifically-inclined position.”
That is what it appears. Though over time it seems that both debunking and skepticism has involved into the same thing. A rigid mindset whose purpose is to scoff, downplay and discredit controversial claims and beliefs. In this case, controversial since it doesn’t go along with the flow. Such as when people don’t believe what government investigators tell them about a plane crash (flight 800), an assassination (JFK, RFK, MLK, MX), a bombing (Murrah Building) and a terrorist attack (9-11). The Ruling Class does not like us exposing their deceit. So on the offensive they go, either from volunteers or paid shills. People like skeptic Michael Shermer publish a magazine to support the status quo and make a career out of it. Whatever the government says is the gospel for these people. Only the critics get scanned for their claims or errors. And of course to the Shermer crowd, the critics are always wrong.
So debunking and skepticism is really a means to an end. The way the Ruling Class defends its turf. Just say the words, you don’t have to mean them. They will sound good. In the mix, real history and what actually happened gets lost in a maze of trails. It’s lensed through the words of the winners and the losers have to fight for shelf space. With the rise of the Internet everybody has the ability to self-publish and self-broadcast. Now both sides can square off and do battle for what represents the truth. One good thing is they will no longer be able to edit the tape so Orville Nix is heard saying that he heard shots coming from the building and not the grassy knoll–and it was the knoll he heard shots from–and he is left with no platform to refute the deception.
It’s so nice to be truly free. While it lasts.
Prouty, L, Fletcher, The Secret Team and JFK; Marvin, Daniel, Expendable Elite
Coast To Coast AM Radio Show
Bud Hopkins, Deconstructing the Debunkers: A Response