One important area of Ufology concerns the conspiracy theories the field has produced. The most obvious is Roswell, but I won’t bother with the immediate incident in this essay. I write about it here.
Yet it produced a tradition that is still going strong six decades later. Of course, this had to happen, what with a space-age extraterrestrial ‘them’ to replace the demonic, all topped off with inevitable sinister government practices.
In December 1984 a package was sent to movie producer and Ufologist Jaime Shandera containing a black and white film of an eight page document dated 18 November 1952.
A briefing paper concerning ‘Operation Majestic-12,’ the paper concerned the setting up of a twelve man committee encompassing intelligence, the military and science following the Roswell crash. Attached to the paper was a memorandum signed by President Truman authorising the committee.
The validity of this document has obviously been called into question, especially as Truman’s signature is identical to another. This is suspicious. No two signatures can ever be the same, suggesting the signature is a copy.
Since that initial package, a trickle of documents have been received by Ufologists, claiming Majestic-12 is a reality. However, as such documents are always photographed, no analysis can be done on ink, etc, to prove validity.
Hence, retrospective history has been called for, with researchers looking into the known lives of supposed committee members such as James Forrestal and General Nathan Twining to see if their lives fitted the facts.
A further area of ‘proof’ of Majestic-12 came from what became known as the Aviary, a number of informants in the inner circle given codenames such as ‘Condor’ and ‘Falcon’ by Ufologist Bill Moore.
Such informants first began contacting Moore in 1979. Researchers Paul Bennewitz and Shandera also became involved in the Aviary.
Again, whether the informants are really within the inner circle, whether their information is real or disinformation, or whether the researchers are being subjected to a hoax is difficult to tell.
DULCE, NEW MEXICO
One of the most incredible claims within Ufology began to circulate in the early 1980s with the revelations of ex- security officer Thomas Castello. Under the supervision of Majestic-12, he claimed to have worked in a secret underground facility near the small town of Dulce, New Mexico.
A joint government-alien biogenetic laboratory, it was staffed by humans and some 20,000 aliens, mostly greys, but also a reptilian species who had been on Earth for millenia.
Castello brought out of the facility a videotape and series of black and white photos. One task of the lab was to separate the human soul from its body and replace it with an alien ‘life force.’
Hundreds of thousands of people had been ‘taken over’ in this way. Experiments were also carried out at the facility on dozens of creatures as well as humans. In the mid-70s the area became a centre for cattle mutilation.
The treatment of humans was particularly horrific. Many became totally insane and were kept in cages. Nightmarish experiments had been carried out and the detritus of this was apparent with specimens of multi-armed and legged humans as well as humanoid, bat-like creatures.
From the mid-1980s onwards, the centre of American speculative Ufology has been another secret base in Area 51 of Nellis Air Force Base, 80 miles north west of Las Vegas.
Built in the 1950s and popularly known as Dreamland, at the centre of some 36,000 hectares of desolate desert is a vast air force complex with large runways crossing the now dry bed of Groom Lake. The perimeter is heavily defended, and those who have been brave enough to attempt an over-flight of the area have been repeatedly buzzed by jet fighters.
An air of absolute secrecy surrounds Area 51, to the point that its existence is denied. However, in reality it is known that this is the test area for the latest in US military aircraft.
In the 1960s the SR71 Blackbird was developed here, and recently so was the Stealth fighter. As for America’s mania about keeping people out of the area, it is also known that nuclear tests were carried out close by, so the mania could be due to danger of radioactivity as well as a need to keep the latest technology secret.
But this has not stopped a veritable mania for speculation growing about the area.
Such mania reached fever pitch in 1989 when scientist Robert Lazar claimed he had worked in section S4 of Area 51.
Whilst there, he claims he was ordered to work on a captured alien spacecraft. Too small for human occupation, the spaceship was saucer shaped and is believed to have a gravity propulsion system. As such the main purpose of Area 51 is to back-engineer the technology and apply it to US defence systems.
Lazar’s story was originally highlighted by KLAS TV reporter George Knapp from Las Vegas. Discovering that Lazar had worked previously at Los Alamos, this institution denied Lazar’s existence, even though he had previously got hold of a telephone book of the centre with Lazar’s name on it.
Since the story, it has been corroborated by over a dozen people, and strange lights have been repeatedly filmed above Area 51 during secret filming.
Area 51’s myth is given partial credence amongst some Ufologists by a previous suspicion of back-engineering in Germany.
It is known that, towards the end of World War Two, the Nazis had a whole range of spectacular equipment about to come on line, including jets, helicopters and super tanks, as well as long range rocketry.
But one of the wilder claims is that they also developed a flying saucer with spectacular capabilities. Dr Rudolf Schriever designed a prototype disc called the Flying Top. The device was later declassified, but researchers claim its image was doctored, taking away radar, lasers and an electromagnetic power system.
After the war, the US and Canada attempted disc designs based on Nazi ideas, but none came to fruition – we think. As for the Nazis themselves, they are said to have advanced their design to fantastic proportions.
According to some Ufologists, the Thule Society, an occult organization closely allied to the Nazis, claimed contact with a race of aliens who had mastered a form of energy known as Vril.
With this gravity defying energy, they are said to have produced levitating Vril Discs, thirty feet in diameter and capable of reaching phenomenal speeds. Armed with death rays, such technology was spirited away before the end of the war to a secret base in the Antarctic to await the resurgence of Nazism.
Rumour suggests a large US Navy exercise near Antarctica in 1947 was aimed at rooting out these Nazis. But once the Vril discs went into operation, the Americans were forced to withdraw.
So what are we to make of such stories. It is, of course, best to hold a large degree of skepticism concerning them. One reason this is so is because, when involving such large organizations, it is unlikely that secrets could be kept as well as they would have.
Unless, that is, we allow a strange, extraterrestrial power that can smooth such experiences from our mind. That, or going with the school of thought that says the US authorities purposely assist such stories as they act as perfect dis-information to stop us knowing what is really going on.
To me, there could be a lot of sense in the latter. Life can be boring, and we need such sensationalism to add that touch of spice to the banal. And as a storyteller I can confirm that, if they didn’t exist, I’d just have to invent them.
A further problem with the stories concerns technological advancement. When a new design appears we must ask, is it a natural consequence of what has gone before? If not, then the leap that would have happened with the introduction of alien technology would be obvious to all.
Sadly, that leap just is not there in military technology – suggesting that the alien conspiracy theories are a leap of the imagination rather than reality. But then again, it would be a boring world without them.
© Anthony North, November 2007
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