Got a telephone call the other morning from a guy who had seen a UFO, or rather multiple UFOs, but had not reported them because he feared for his job. He was sure that if he reported them, his superiors would deem him unworthy of his position, or more to the point, think that he was crazy because, as we all know, only crazy people, or drunks, see UFOs.
I suggested that very few people had ever lost a job because they had reported UFOs. True, I know the stories of Air Force pilots who reported UFOs and had been taken off flight status. I knew of one case where an Air Force Reserve officer had not only reported a landed UFO but also having seen a member of the flight crew, that is an alien, and while he didn’t lose his reserve position because of it, the Air Force worked very hard to smear him. The Air Force theory was that all this was a plot for him to get noticed by Hollywood and a job as a writer of either movies or television shows. I don’t know of anyone who reported a UFO and was then offered a job as a writer… Keyhoe doesn’t count because he wasn’t reporting UFOs, he was reporting on them (and I don’t think he ever wrote a Hollywood screenplay).
Anyway, as I thought about that and my own experience, I wondered about this losing a job. When I first entered the Air Force, I held a secret clearance as do all officers and most NCOs. But when I moved to an intelligence job, that required a top secret clearance. Although the Air Force was aware of my UFO writings, and my criticism of the Air Force for hiding information and covering up the facts, I was granted the clearance. It was renewed each time it was required, though I had continued writing about UFOs and had been less than enthusiastic about the Air Force investigations and the Condon Committee conclusions.
I left the active reserve in 1985 but after 9/11 joined the National Guard. I was again appointed as an intelligence officer which required a new background investigation. By that time, I had not only written dozens of magazine articles, often critical of the Air Force, not to mention many books with the same idea. I suggested the investigation of UFOs had been less than competent, often bungled by those who lacked training or just didn’t care and frequently smacked of cover up. For evidence there are hundreds of examples, and while it can be suggested that most of the trouble is a systemic belief that there is no alien visitation and therefore anything showing otherwise must be flawed, it can also be argued that these problems are the result of poor attitude. Evidence to the contrary of the idea of alien visitation was overlooked, denied, buried or just lost.
But that’s not the point here. It is that my writings, appearances on national television and radio saying the same things, seemed to make no difference in granting of my security clearances. In other words, my belief that we might have been visited by alien creatures didn’t affect the granting of the security clearances. I have always thought that my relatively high profile in the UFO community would make me a target for some sort of repercussions but it didn’t. The only adverse thing said to me was that while serving with the National Guard and especially on active duty that maybe I shouldn’t include my rank on those books and articles… which applied to writings outside the military arena. I could use my rank on stories submitted about our experiences in Iraq which was allowed by regulation. If I was writing about UFOs, while it wasn’t strictly prohibited, I did avoid using my military rank. Once I retired, well, that was a different story.
The point of all this is that while the fellow I talked to believed that he would risk his job by telling his UFO experiences, I doubt that. Most of the time these things aren’t noticed. Sure there are other examples in which people have lost jobs, but is usually an outgrowth of publicity or their fellows harassing then about their experiences rather than some sort of suppression of UFO information. The names of several police officers spring to mind here but it doesn’t seem to be a conspiracy against them so much as just a harassment of them by their friends who don’t believe the story.
Those are unusual circumstances. Most people tell their UFO experiences without serious repercussions, and I experienced none, even when vetted for a top secret clearance. But then, I suppose, I could say that was my experience and isn’t necessarily yours. Still, there isn’t any real evidence that some sort of systematic suppression of those who claim to have seen UFOs… in today’s world, I just don’t think anyone really cares about who has seen or not seen a UFO.