On the Roswell-Alien Conspiracy Theory



There exists an old phrase in Earth’s scientific community: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” When it comes to alien visits to Earth, we only have one of these.

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The Disclosure Project

In April 1997, 15 witnesses testified in Washington, D.C. of extraterrestrial visits to Earth. Your mind’s eye may construct an unshaven, flannel-garbed man preaching of his abduction or presenting his home-video footage of alien craft.

Nothing so dismissible. The witnesses, speaking at a Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence event, included

representatives of more than two dozen US Congressional offices, VIPs from the Executive branch of government and the Pentagon, representatives of the Dutch Embassy, the National Academy of Sciences, and two state Governors’ offices…

All the US government witnesses who were present signed a statement declaring willingness to testify under oath before an open hearing in the US Congress concerning UFO/ET cases and events they personally witnessed.

Dr. Steven Greer, a former physician and founder of CSETI, pointed out, “We had witnesses with top-secret clearances and very sensitive positions, from the Air Force, Navy and Army” who participated in “daylight chases of UFOs” and “attempts to shoot down the objects.” He added he had nearly 100 additional government witnesses.

Greer believes that such witnesses are cracks in a military and government cover-up of alien visits. He offers his evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, video and photographs, and government documents at The Disclosure Project website. He also produced the 2013 documentary “Sirius.” Citizen Hearings on Disclosure now occur annually, presenting testimony old and new.

In May 2001, Greer organized a press conference at the National Press Club, also in D.C. By then, he had 400 government witnesses, with 120 hours of recorded testimony, including that of “Brigadier General Stephen Lovekin of the Army National Guard Reserves and astronaut Gordon Cooper.” 20 witnesses were featured at the event, former military and government personnel.

Witnesses spoke of seeing alien craft, watching NASA technicians airbrush UFOs out of photographs, and helping translate alien languages found on the side of UFO debris.

Greer’s critics point out he has a history of exaggeration, and wonder, since he claims to actually be able to summon aliens to Earth, why he doesn’t do so in a public manner, to put the question to rest for good. It goes without saying any justification he might offer, i.e. preventing mass panic or that aliens will only appear to certain people, is highly convenient. It would also be strange coming from someone desperate to show the world the truth.

For now, less dramatic but nevertheless fascinating events are upheld to support the theory that aliens have visited Earth.

For example, a bizarre 6-inch skeleton (“Ata”) discovered in Chile in 2003, which had 10 ribs (rather than the standard human 12) and a warped skull, was touted by Greer in “Sirius” to be an alien.

However, after Stanford researchers tested its genome, it was determined to be completely human, and only a few decades old. Ata’s B2 haplotype indicates its mother was, predictably, Chilean. It was either a deformed fetus with progeria (rapid aging) that died in the womb or after a premature birth or a child with a severe form of dwarfism. Conspiracy theorists may cry government tampering and cover-up, but the testing was conducted with the approval of the “Sirius” filmmakers. One of the researchers is even featured in the film, before DNA testing was completed.

The Disclosure Project has yet to update its report on the skeleton, which still says “DNA testing continues and is not complete” (its report is dated late April 2013, before the DNA results were announced that May).


Roswell, the Majestic 12, and Pop Culture Coincidences

In the 1980s, conspiracy theorists presented documents they claimed to be classified, leaked from government circles. They were called the “Majestic 12” papers, concerning a secret group of politicians, military leaders, and scientists commissioned by President Harry Truman to recover downed alien spacecraft.

This was allegedly in 1947, the year a rancher living outside Roswell, New Mexico found debris of what local press speculated was a UFO; the Roswell Army Air Field said in a press release that a “flying disk” had been found; a government press conference later that day said it was a weather balloon. (The military later said it was a device used to detect sound waves in the upper atmosphere from Soviet nuclear tests, a top-secret project the RAAF didn’t know about.) The press issued a correction, the rancher said he was sorry for causing confusion.

The story recirculated in the 1980s, which brought it into popularity, but suspicion persisted in New Mexico all the while, fueled by dummy drops and experiments with new technologies and war machines. 

In the 1980s, witnesses spoke of seeing UFOs the day of the Roswell crash, spoke of stumbling upon doctors at Roswell Army Air Field studying alien bodies, and even (in 1995) presented footage of an alien autopsy. The person who presented it later admitted it was a fraud.

Interestingly, the National Enquirer, which re-published the Roswell story claiming a UFO had been spotted (without the later correction), did so a year after the release of the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977).

After the movie came out in the UK, the Ministry of Defence received a record number of reports concerning UFO sightings (750 in 1978). Further,

In the year that “Independence Day” and “Mars Attacks” were released there were 609 UFO sightings across the UK, significantly more than the years just before or after.

The year before had 117; this was nearly a 600% increase. The Guardian published in 2009 the number of UFO sightings reported to the Ministry from 1959-2008. It suggests that science fiction television programs and films cause a spike in UFO sightings in either the year of their release and/or the year after. 1967, the year after “Star Trek” debuted, saw a nearly fourfold increase in sightings.

Still, UFO sightings are on the decline. As one senior astronomer at SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (which has yet to find evidence of alien life), the vast majority of recent UFO sightings occurred in the first half of the last 80 years, despite the fact that billions of humans now have phones with cameras exponentially more advanced than cameras of the past. He suggests advancing technology helps people see more clearly what they are observing, preventing confusion.

Steven Spielberg, the director of “E.T.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” said:

There are millions of video cameras out there and they’re picking up less videos of UFOs, alleged UFOs, than we picked up in the 1970s and 1980s. There’s 150 per cent more cameras, so why are we getting less from up there?

Perhaps it is also more difficult to create a convincing fake without expensive software. Perhaps the aliens have withdrawn, knowing humans can finally snap a decent photo of their ships. Either way, Adobe’s sales of Photoshop seem secure.

When the Majestic 12 papers surfaced in 1980s, the FBI, predictably, declared them bogus (you can view them here). Critics ridiculed them because

the date format did not conform to governmental style, the papers carried no top secret registration number, military titles were improperly noted, and signatures appeared grafted onto the document. Anachronistic usages like “media” and “impacted” further betrayed the find.   

In other words, a document supposedly from the late 1940s had terms not used until later. Additionally, the 12 supposed members of the secret organization, mentioned in the papers, were dead by 1984, the year the papers surfaced. While conspiracy theorists may call this coincidence (or perhaps a purposeful tactic, see below), others may call it convenient.

Interestingly, Richard Doty, ex-special agent from the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, claims the Majestic papers were disinformation he spread to UFO researchers to make them think objects in the atmosphere they saw were alien craft, rather than the top secret Air Force projects they were. According to one journalist, the available declassified documents do not point to the Air Force ordering him to do this, as he claims.

One can’t help but think it more likely Doty launched a disinformation campaign (or a campaign to validate the conspiracy theory!) on his own. It would be strange indeed if the military consciously helped fuel a false story that implicated it in a cover up.

A filmmaker and conspiracy theorist named Linda Howe claimed Doty personally confirmed to her the existence of the Majestic 12, that the military was actually leaking the truth, that Doty had promised to release thousands of feet of secret footage of crashed alien ships and even an interview with a surviving extraterrestrial. Doty and the Air Force denied everything Howe said.  

Greer is not only a believer in the Majestic 12, he claims to know its size and sentiments:

There are probably 200 or 300 who really know what’s going on, but only a couple of dozen who are key to the operation, and I know who a few of those people are… there are a number of them who feel that the time has come for disclosure on this. About one-third of the elements within MJ-12 feel that way.  

Based on one of Greer’s sources (actually, the friend of a source; see “Eisenhower Briefing by MAJI”), the Majestic 12 released the Majestic 12 papers as a way to “test the public’s reaction” to the truth. This seems a bit at odds with the Majestic 12’s purpose, but not unimaginable if it was leaked.

According to Greer, this organization operates independently of intelligence agencies like the CIA, of military heads like the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and of course political bodies like Congress. “The US Government, as you and I think of it, and other governments, don’t know about this subject 99 per cent of the time.”

He also claims the Majestic 12 spreads disinformation by setting up hoaxes that the media can expose easily, all to convince the populace that extraterrestrial visits are mythological. Nor does he rule out overactive imaginations. “I’ve gone to hundreds of gatherings and UFO meetings and I would say 90 to 99 per cent of everything I hear and see is utter and complete rubbish,” Greer says.

Greer believes the Majestic 12 is an “international” body, with players in major media outlets. This has allegedly allowed them to cover up the truth around the world, “them” being those “who want to keep this quiet” within the organization, particularly “the older members.” The members that Greer apparently knows, who are giving him information, are sabotaging those efforts.

One might question the ability of such a group to prevent all media, governments, space programs, and astronomical observatories around the globe from either receiving or publicizing hard evidence of alien visits. Surely given the sheer numbers of UFO sightings to investigate, the organization would either have to be everywhere at once, or far more massive than Greer believes. An extraordinary claim, indeed.


Extraordinary Evidence?

More bothersome questions lurk in the back of any rational mind.

Greer and others have testimony from military and government personnel, but why not astronomers, cosmologists, astrophysicists? That is, those with the most advanced technology and greatest experience observing space? Does the Majestic 12 control the hundreds of astronomical observatories around the world (and in space), from Centennial in Idaho to Sankt Andreasberg in Germany?

Are SETI and other well-equipped scientific bodies whose mission is to find evidence of alien life, but haven’t, simply fronts of those wishing to hide the truth? Or are aliens clever enough to avoid their gaze?

If Majestic 12 members are in contact with Greer and trying to expose the truth, why does his “Best Available Evidence” not include more close-up, high-quality photographs of alien beings or craft? (I only write “more” because they do have pictures of Ata). Surely such photos must exist, and whistleblowers in the Majestic 12 would be able to get their hands on them. The fact that many would dismiss such photos as fraudulent is irrelevant. A truth teller would make them public regardless.

Similarly, why does his evidence include so few government documents that discuss investigations of what the authors conclude to be extraterrestrial life or technology? Greer’s documents mention “flying saucers” and “UFOs,” but nearly always within a context of a government agency describing what’s been sighted or unsure as to what’s been observed (i.e., “unidentified”). The descriptions are strange and intriguing, but missing the all-important conclusion. 

Where are the internal memos of the Majestic 12 that discuss observations and investigations that actually assign extraterrestrial origins to specific events? True, Greer has one NSA document that speaks of “extraterrestrial messages” (radio signals from space from an unknown origin) and of course he features the original Majestic 12 papers, but why is there not more? Again, it’s true that “even if he had them, they would just be called fakes,” but that is beside the point. Why are there so few papers a skeptic can call fraudulent, if whistleblowers within the mysterious organization are leaking the truth? Shouldn’t we have better evidence, more evidence?

And shouldn’t we have more physical evidence, rather than just papers or photographs? That is, parts of alien ships, clothing, or flesh that can be examined by any researcher that wants to prove or disprove its extraterrestrial nature?    

Further, if aliens are willing to let Greer take a photograph, why not let it be a decent one? Observe his photograph:

True, it’s allegedly a trans-dimensional being, but surely a decent photo is within their power. They must have the ability to fully enter our dimension, or we would have no bodies (like Ata?) and no craft debris for the Majestic 12 to intercept and spirit away. If aliens will reveal themselves to Greer and colleagues, why not to the rest of the world? What response can possibly hold up to criticism? That humanity isn’t ready?

If the aliens do not believe humanity is ready, why are their ships constantly invading our skies, crashing into our deserts? From 1959-2008, UK citizens reported 11,141 UFOs (221 were given no official explanation from the UK government, due to insufficient information). Even if only 1% wasn’t “rubbish,” that’s 111 actual extraterrestrial sightings in about 50 years over a single nation, which speaks to utterly laughable extraterrestrial incompetence and clumsiness. Even 0.1% would equal 11 embarrassing accidents.

According to the Syracuse New Times, between 2000 and 2013, there were nearly 70,000 UFO sightings in North America; the National UFO Reporting Center had 93,000 reports by late 2014, recorded over a twenty-year period. Were only 0.1% of these sightings otherworldly, that would be 70 legitimate sightings in 13 years, and 93 over 20 years. 0.01% would be 7 and 9 sightings, respectively.

If aliens are seeking to observe Earth and its creatures without detection, they are inept.

If they occasionally allow themselves to be seen or allow a blurry picture to test the world’s reaction, surely advanced beings would understand hysteria is bred best by boogeymen lurking in the dark, not by facts made plain in the light. Their observations would have to conclude that humans fear most what they don’t understand, not what they do…or perhaps conspiracy theorists are right, and aliens think revealing themselves in a more convincing way would mean chaos, the collapse of traditional power structures, religions, etc. Sadly, there is no way to prove the motives of unproven beings.   

If Greer does not think the world is ready to see aliens as he has, then his mission to expose the truth is a fraud, and he is no better than the Majestic 12 or any other force aiming to conceal alien visits.

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Astronomer Carl Sagan, echoing others, popularized this phrase. David Hume in the 1740s said a wise man “proportions his belief to the evidence.”

Surely aliens visiting Earth is an extraordinary claim. What constitutes “extraordinary evidence” will differ for each person.

Some will find the testimony of highly-qualified military, intelligence, and government personnel enough to believe, despite our scientific understanding of how terribly unreliable eyewitness testimony really is; for others, stories of abduction and how people grow very ill afterwardsfor others, the massive number of photographs and videos of crop circles (even radioactive ones), saucers, or lights in the sky, despite the possibility of forgery or simpler explanations like satellites, drones, meteors, flares, aircraft, weather balloons, toys, birds; for others, government documents specifically discussing the Majestic 12 and extraterrestrials, despite the same possibility of forgery; for still others, physical evidence that can be scientifically examined by any researcher interested, including the staunchest skeptics.

There is surely only one thing constituting extraordinary evidence for each Earthling: A public landing of an alien craft and the emergence of alien life, for all to see, not just the few. Until that happens, we have no extraordinary evidence, and thus no proof of an extraordinary claim.

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