Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the man who killed Pluto, has entered a new arena but it is one with which he is unfamiliar...
Okay, he didn’t kill Pluto and I’m not sure this nonsense about planets and dwarf planets is worth much debate. In the 19th century we had Ceres as a planet and then the king of the asteroids and now a dwarf planet with Pluto, and with three other objects that are so far from the sun in it was only recently that they were found.
My problem was his suggestion that there is nothing to UFOs because the government is lousy at keeping secrets. The thinking, I guess, is that if UFOs are extraterrestrial and the government knows it for whatever reason, why that information would have leaked long ago. I’m not sure why he, and so many others, believe this nonsense, but clearly he does.
Has the government kept secrets?
Here is the conundrum. If it can keep secrets, then we wouldn’t know because the secrets would be, well, secret. How do we know if it has successfully kept secrets?
I suppose we could look at the track record. We know about the Tuskegee Syphilis study only after it had been going on for forty years. A whistle blower provided two newspapers with the information which led to the end of the study. I’m not going to comment on the ethics of something like this, other to say I am horrified by it.
Yes, you say, they kept the secret for forty years, but it did come out. Only shows that some secrets are kept for a long time.
Then I could mention Operation Solo, which I have addressed before. This was an FBI operation that put a spy into the top reaches of the Soviet government. Morris Childs was a leader of the American communist party in the 1930s until he became disillusioned with it. Cooperating with the FBI, Childs maintained his association with the communists in the Soviet Union, becoming a trusted communist. He was so highly respected that they shared many of their secrets with him... and sometimes shared secrets they didn’t know they were sharing because they didn’t know he spoke Russian.
This operation was so secret that others working in the FBI office in New York which oversaw Childs didn’t know about it unless they were directly involved. It was so secret that presidents were not briefed on it. The only exception was right after Gerald Ford became president and he was to meet with Soviet officials. The FBI told him the source of their information to boost his confidence in his dealings with the Soviets.
This operation ran from the 1930s to the 1990s when Childs retired and the Soviet Union collapsed. Only then was he recognized for his contribution to the United States, after there was no longer a need for the secrecy and there was no longer a danger to him.
This proves that secrets can be kept. So, to Dr. Tyson, I say, one of your reasons for rejecting the notion of UFOs is invalid.
As for Roswell, I would say, the secret hasn’t been kept. We are talking about it. People have come forward, credible people, to tell us what they saw. It’s just that those editors of newspapers, which would jump at the chance to expose another government secret do not believe that there has been alien visitation and since they don’t believe, they are not going to listen to anyone who suggests otherwise.
Oh, I know that we have let this get away from us. We had to put up with the contactees who told of visits to the other planets of the solar system, talking of environments that we know now do not exist.
We have been the victims of hoaxes. Nearly every photograph ever taken of a UFO has turned out to be a hoax.
And we have had Roswell witnesses who were once respected but who are no longer considered credible.
And we have had the Air Force providing explanations that are preposterous but people believe them because it is easier to accept these answers than suggest something alien has visited. I would throw out the Mogul explanation right here because anyone who looks at it rationally realizes that it doesn’t fit the facts. But there are many people who believe it anyway.
Alien visitation is, you might say, a self–keeping secret. It is such an astonishing secret that people just refuse to believe it. I tell you about a UFO crash and you just cannot accept that such a thing has happened so you don’t bother to look into it... or invent reasons to reject it.
In the end, all I can say to Dr. Tyson is one of your expressed reasons for rejecting alien visitation is invalid. With that eliminated, maybe we should move the discussion to the evidence that does exist and not the speculation that interstellar travel is impossible. Maybe we should all look at the evidence.