The history of a purported ET presence has generated numerous books, films, articles, web sites and conspiracy theories on the various activities and intentions of ETs, and clandestine efforts by different government agencies to respond to the ET presence. Many of these popular conspiracy theories are often inconsistent in terms of the intentions, activities and impact of the ETs and of the clandestine government organizations created to respond to the ET presence.
These conspiracy theories span the spectrum from a belligerent
desire by ETs to deprive humanity of its sovereign control of the planet,
to a benevolent desire to help humanity solve its myriad social, economic,
and environmental problems; and evolve as a species. As far as the
involvement of clandestine government agencies are concerned, conspiracy
theories range from non-elected government officials intent on arrogating
political power through a 'shadow government', to an enlightened effort to
gradually prepare the general public for the startling truth concerning
the ET presence.
The Study reviews
Dr. Michael E. Salla has held academic appointments in the School of International Service, American University, Washington DC (1996-2001), and the Department of Political Science, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (1994-96). He taught as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, Washington DC., in 2002.
He is currently researching methods of Transformational Peace as a Researcher in Residence in the Center for Global Peace (2001-2003) and directing the Center's Peace Ambassador Program which uses transformational peace techniques for individual self-empowerment. He has a PhD in Government from the University of Queensland, Australia, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
He is the author of The Hero's Journey Toward a Second American Century (Greenwood Press, 2002) and author/co-editor of three other books: Essays on Peace (Central Queensland University Press, 1995); Why the Cold War Ended (Greenwood Press, 1995); and Islamic Radicalism, Muslim Nations and the West (1993). He has authored more than seventy articles, chapters, and book reviews on peace, ethnic conflict and conflict resolution.
has conducted research and fieldwork in the ethnic conflicts in East
Timor, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Sri Lanka. He has organized a number of
international workshops involving mid to high level participants from
The Need for Exopolitics:
Extraterrestrial Conspiracy Theories for Policy Makers and Global Peace (1)
According to a September 2002 Roper poll, two thirds of US citizens don't believe their government is disclosing the truth about an Extra-Terrestrial (ET) presence over the last fifty years in the USA, and 60% supported the Federal government releasing this information. (2)
In a May 2001 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC., twenty 'whistle blowers' from a pool of more than one hundred former US military, government and aviation officials gave verbal testimony and provided physical evidence on their participation in clandestine government projects involving reverse engineering of ET technology, collaborative projects with ETs or suppression of information involving UFO's. (3)
television mini-series produced by Steven Spielberg, Taken, was seen at
least in part by 31 million US viewers in the sixteen day period from its
first episode on December 2, 2002, and has stimulated speculation that the
public is being prepared for official government disclosure on the ET
presence in the near future. (4)
Many of the popular conspiracy theories emerging out of the burgeoning literature on the ET presence are often inconsistent in terms of the intentions, activities and impact of the ETs and of the clandestine government organizations created to respond to the ET presence. These conspiracy theories span the spectrum from a belligerent desire by ETs to deprive humanity of its sovereign control of the planet, to a benevolent desire to help humanity solve its myriad social, economic, and environmental problems; and evolve as a species.
far as the involvement of clandestine government organizations are
concerned, conspiracy theories range from non-elected government officials
intent on arrogating political power through a 'shadow government' (for
more information "click" HERE), to an enlightened effort to prepare the general public for the
startling truth concerning the ET presence.
becomes especially important with the increasing likelihood that official
government disclosure of an ET presence will instantly catapult the topic
from the shadowy world of conspiracy theories, alternative science, and
New Age philosophy, to mainstream public policy. Such disclosure will lead
to the birth of a new field of public policy, 'exopolitics', which can be
defined as the policy debate over the choices governments and populations
need to make in formulating and implementing legislative and policy
responses to the presence of ETs in human affairs.
There is a need to outline the main concepts, theories and
information sources used in exopolitics as an emerging field of public
I will conclude with a number of policy recommendations that support the need for exopolitics and which advance global peace
Sources of Information
The literature on the ET presence comes from a diverse array of sources that differ greatly in terms of their reliability, accuracy, and scholarly standards. Virtually all of these sources operate within the political context of an official government policy that denies any ET presence or a systematic cover up of such a presence by clandestine government organizations.
This adds to the difficulty of studying the purported ET presence and accuracy of sources supporting the various perspectives on such a presence since official non-disclosure suggests either wholesale misrepresentation or deception by those supporting such perspectives, or a covert government program designed to keep this information from elected public officials and from the general public.
If the latter is indeed the case, which the evidence to be presented indicates, then it seems clear that the study of exopolitics will be compounded by officially sponsored acts of disinformation, official denial, and even intimidation by clandestine government organizations.
contextualizes the question of accuracy of sources supporting the ET
presence since it cannot be simply assumed that these are honest reports
by independent witnesses or former government employees, and not part of
an officially sanctioned program of disinformation designed to distract
public opinion in whole or in part from the truth about the ET
These sources will be grouped together in terms of five categories, and these categories will be presented in the order that would appear most persuasive for the critical reader in a pre-disclosure political environment. These sources will be assigned a ranking in terms of evidentiary strength somewhere in the range: Strong-Moderate-Weak. These rankings are not used to dismiss the relevance of the evidence of an ET presence provided by different sources, but solely to determine what evidence provides the strongest support for an ET presence.
These rankings will subsequently be used in analyzing the political relevance of the different perspectives on the ET presence to be examined later.
Category A - Whistle Blowers
The first category of sources of information on an ET presence are reports and testimonies of former government or military officials, and/or civilian aviation personnel who have had first hand experience of UFOs and/or evidence of the ET presence. The most famous UFO incident in the US is the reported crash of an ET occupied saucer shaped craft in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. The initial finding of the Army Intelligence officer sent to the site, Major Jesse Marcel, was that debris from the crash was that of a 'flying disk'.
A press release was then authorized by the information officer at the Roswell Army Airbase on the morning of July 8. (5)
This immediately caused world wide headlines and after Major Marcel was ordered to Washington, DC., Brigadier-General Roger Ramey announced to the world press that Major Marcel was mistaken and the 'flying disc' was an experimental weather balloon. In a subsequent interview years after the incident that boosted claims of a government conspiracy to cover up what happened at Roswell, Major Marcel asserted that he was silenced by superiors, and said,
"It was not anything from this Earth. That I'm quite sure of
... Being in intelligence, I was familiar with all materials used in
aircraft and in air travel. This was nothing like this. It could not have
Over the last five decades since the Roswell crash, there has been a slow but steady stream of former government or military officials willing to come forth and reveal information about the ET presence.
It should be pointed out that these former officials have usually taken secrecy oaths not to reveal information about their former duties and run the risk of considerable financial or criminal penalties for violating their oaths, as well as risking reputations and friendships developed over the years of their official service.
A prominent whistle blower recently revealing his official activities involving the ET presence is a former senior Pentagon official, Colonel Philip Corso (ret), who served in the Eisenhower administration and later headed the Foreign Technology Desk in the Army's Research and Development department.
After more than thirty years of silence, Colonel Corso publically revealed in his 1997 book, The Day After Roswell, that he led a top secret clandestine project to reverse engineer ET technology recovered from the Roswell crash. (7) He wrote that his project successfully released a number of these reverse engineered ET technologies for both the military and civilian sectors.
Companies that benefited from this clandestine project included
IBM, Hughes Aircraft, Bell Labs, and Dow Corning. Corso claims that the
rapid technological advances over the last 50 years, in fiber optics,
integrated circuit chips, night-vision equipment, and super tenacity
fibers such as Kevlar body armor, were a direct result of these
Steven Greer, director of the Disclosure
Project, a non-profit
organization dedicated to ending the official secrecy of the ET presence,
introduced a select number of these witnesses to the press and general
public at a May 2001 Press Conference at the National Press Club in
Washington DC. Dr Greer has altogether gathered the testimonies of more
than 100 witnesses on tape and video format and made these available for
the general public and for a congressional inquiry. (8)
To conclude, this category of information can be ranked as 'strong' due to the verifiable credentials of those claiming to have first hand experience of an ET presence, the coherence of their testimonies, and their overall number.
Category B - Witness Reports
The second category of information sources on an ET presence are the testimonies of those who have witnessed ETs/UFOs. and/or been contacted by ETs. These form the bulk of the available literature on the ET presence.
These sources are often accompanied by physical evidence in terms of photographs, videos, medical x-rays, or even ET artifacts, and have been so overwhelming in their frequency and scope that the US Airforce launched three consecutive inquiries of these that were designated Operation Sign (1947-48); Operation Grudge (1948-52); and Operation Blue Book (1952-69). (9)
Project Blue Book dismissed the overwhelming mass of the evidence given in 12,618 sightings as misidentified aircraft or explainable by natural causes, and left a relatively small proportion of cases, 701, as "unidentified". An independent assessment by the University of Colorado, the Condon Report, recommended terminating Project Blue Book. (10)
Rather than ending the matter of UFO visitation this only generated
more controversy over what many argued to be the Chairman's bias in
ignoring important evidence and recommending termination of the Project.
For many, the Condon report was yet another instance of a cleverly
orchestrated secret government conspiracy to hide the truth from the
Prominent among those dissatisfied with the termination of Project Blue Book and desiring a more thorough and transparent inquiry was Dr Allen Hynek. (11) Dr Hynek, a prominent astronomer, served as the Astronomical consultant on projects Grudge and Blue Book between 1949-69; and began as a prominent debunker of what he disparaged as the,
subsequently became a powerful advocate of the credibility of the evidence
supporting an ET presence; and gave interviews, wrote extensively, and
organized scholarly research of the UFO phenomenon as Director of the
Center for UFO studies. (13)
Nevertheless, the degree of subjectivity of their role as collators of the experiences of, and evidence from, individuals who in most instances can report only on an isolated aspect of the ET presence, requires placing this Category slightly below Category A sources in terms of evidentiary strength.
This source category will hence be ranked, strong-moderate.
Category C - Remote Viewing
The third category of sources comes from participants in Remote Viewing projects. Remote Viewing is an intelligence gathering technique that was the subject of several government funded projects organized at the Stanford Research Institute from the early 1970's to 1989. (15)
Pioneered by researchers Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, Remote Viewing projects trained participants to spatially dislocate a part of their consciousness to designated locations, unknown to the remote viewers, in order to gain intelligence information. (16)
Remote viewers were simply given a set of coordinates consisting of randomly generated numerical codes, and instructed to report on what they observed. The apparent success of these projects as an intelligence gathering tool on an ET presence and other topics of interest to various intelligence agencies, led to numerous individuals being trained in the rigorous standards and protocols of this process.
number of these remote viewers subsequently wrote of their experiences in
observing the ET presence, and began training others in this process.
Among the more prominent of these has been Dr Courtney Brown who has
written two books on Remote Viewing that focus on the ET presence, and is attempting to
further develop Remote Viewing as a scientifically credible intelligence
gathering tool. (17)
This category therefore can be assigned a ranking of moderate.
Category D - Independent Archeology
A fourth category of sources is the work of archeologists who specialize in translating or interpreting archeological evidence of an historic ET presence. Often led by 'independent archeologists' who operate outside of mainstream archeology based in public institutions and universities, the theories and translations of the extensive public archives and monuments from the ancient world offered by these independent archeologists, continue to attract world wide audiences.
Among the more prominent is Graham Hancock, whose Fingerprints of the Gods, proved to be an enormous best seller, with its speculative theories based on forgotten ancient civilizations and astronomical pointers to the homes of distant ET ancestors. (18)
Another prominent example is the Sumerian scholar Zecharia Sitchin who translated thousands of ancient Sumerian cuneiform texts that described an ancient ET presence on the planet. (19)
While formerly independent, such authors typically produce high quality works that continue to generate controversy among mainstream archeologists. The controversy and subjectivity surrounding these debates of the archeological evidence of an ancient ET presence, requires a low ranking to this category of information.
Therefore, evidence in this category will be assigned a ranking of weak-moderate.
The fifth and most controversial source of information on an ET presence are the works of those claiming to be in telepathic communication with different ET races.
A majority of these 'channels' have few academic or professional credentials, yet this has not impeded them from gaining international prominence as leaders or spokespersons in the Alternative/New Age movement. In something akin to a burgeoning social movement with global reach and accompany religious devotion, many hundreds of thousands if not millions of supporters attest to the transformative effect of these messages from ETs, and emancipatory value of these messages for all humanity.
of these channels support the idea that an ET presence has existed on the
planet for millennia, and that there exists an officially sanctioned
government conspiracy that is global in its reach to keep this presence
secret from the general public. In terms of the evidentiary standards for
information sources, due to the highly subjective nature of channeled
material, this category can be assigned the low ranking of weak.
of these perspectives will be analyzed in terms of its main themes,
principal supporters, evidentiary strength, and moral orientation ascribed
to the ET presence.
In the 'Intruder perspective', ETs are depicted as off-world beings who have traveled great interstellar distances and, without announcing themselves or gaining permission, have repeatedly violated US air space and abducted citizens for genetic experiments for purposes yet to be fully determined. In a popular 1987 book by Budd Hopkins titled simply, Intruders, he supports the idea of ETs being intrusive in their manner of collecting and experimenting with genetic material taken from abductees. (20)
A rather bellicose presentation of the Intruder perspective is made by Col Philip Corso who describes the ETs as repeatedly violating US airspace, abducting US citizen's for the extraction and manipulation of genetic material and having purposes that pose a direct threat to US national interests.
Col Corso advocates that the US needs to use the recovered ET technology for building a new generation of weapons capable of shooting down ETs anywhere around the planet. Indeed, he claims that over the years the US has been very successful in using this reverse engineered technology to shoot down some of these ET craft, but more effort and resources need to be committed for a comprehensive global defensive shield.
Testimony provided by witnesses in the Disclosure Project support
Corso's view that such a clandestine operation targeting ET flights has
been underway for some time, however they depict the ETs as not
retaliating to these hostile actions by US military forces. (21)
The 'Grays' home star system is reported as Zeta Reticulum, in the constellation of Orion. Some former officials and/or employees involved in these clandestine projects report to have seen live ETs at various bases thereby giving credence to the reports that a treaty was signed as early as 1954, during the Eisenhower administration, granting rights to ETs to establish joint bases for technological sharing on US soil, and placing strict limits on the biological experimentation the Grays were conducting with US citizens.
source for such a treaty having been signed is former Naval Intelligence
officer Bill Cooper who was part of a briefing team for the Commander of
the US Pacific Fleet, and is widely cited by conspiracy theorists
advocating the Intruder perspective. (23)
The idea that telepathy is the standard communication means of ETs gives plausibility to the claims of numerous civilian sources that they have been contacted by ETs and conducted telepathic communication with them. Dr John Mack, in his evaluation of hundreds of patients exhibiting symptoms of ET abduction, claims that many of these communicated through telepathy with the Grays. (25)
reports on the content of the telepathic communication with the Grays,
abductees/contactees have reported that the Grays' survival as a species
is threatened due to genetic degradation as a result of the repeated use
of cloning for reproductive purposes. The Grays say they need to create a
hybrid race that integrates the human and Gray genes in order for the
continuation of their species. It is claimed that with the creation of
this hybrid race, the Grays will somehow be able to transfer their
'essence' or 'consciousness' as individuals into the hybrid thereby
perpetuating the continuation of their race.
The moral categories used to describe the Gray intruders are primarily neutral since while their activities are clearly described as intrusive, there appears to be few, if any, hostile actions taken against US government forces or the civilian population taken aboard and later released from Gray ETVs (Extraterrestrial Vehicles).
The main focus for conspiracy theorists in this perspective are clandestine government agencies desiring to withhold the truth of the ET presence from the general public. The sources of information for this perspective are drawn from all categories, with an emphasis on the Whistleblower and Witness Reports categories.
Given the strong evidentiary rankings ascribed to these two source categories, conspiracy theories surrounding the Intruder perspective can be judged to have strong evidentiary support.