UFOs: Don’t Expect The Truth From Government

Supposed UFO, Passaic, New Jersey (cropped)

On March 8, the US Department of Defense’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office released the first volume of a two-volume “Report on the Historical Record of U.S. Government Involvementwith Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena.”

Like all previous government statements on the subject of UAPs — what we used to call, and will likely continue calling, UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) — this oneĀ  recycles perennial public dismissal (“most sightings were ordinary objects and phenomena and the result of misidentification”) and denies that anything significant is being covered up (“AARO found no empirical evidence for claims that the USG and private companies have been reverse-engineering extraterrestrial technology”).

I’m no UFO expert, and while I’ve seen flying objects I couldn’t identify, I’ve never seen one that I assumed couldn’t BE identified — one which acted strangely or inexplicably and struck me as possibly “alien” (I’ve heard accounts of such things from honest, reliable friends, and I don’t discount them; those accounts didn’t come with claims, or even strong conjectures, about the nature and origin of the objects).

I can, however, confidently make one claim about UFOs, a claim backed by the entirety of history and evidence:

Whatever the truth about UFOs in general, or any UFO in particular, might be, we’ll only get that truth from government under oneĀ  of three circumstances.

Circumstance Number One: Convenience. That UFO really WAS a weather balloon, it’s easy to prove that it really was a weather balloon, and pointing out that it really was a weather balloon lets an institution known for lying boost its credibility a bit.

Circumstance Number Two: The need to get ahead of something unstoppable. There’s credible evidence of e.g. an extraterrestrial craft or previously unknown military technology, that credible evidence will get public exposure whether the government likes it or not, and lying about it would result in embarrassment in the immediate future. If the disclosure can be put off for, say, 20 years, officials will lie anyway because the embarrassment will be someone else’s problem.

Circumstance Number Three: Collapse. All governments and systems of government fall apart sooner or later, and sometimes their successor regimes, or the revolutionaries who initially overthrow them, find and expose their secrets.

The US government isn’t telling us everything it knows about UFOs. And we can be certain that at least some of what it IS telling us is untrue. The truth is out there, and I hope I live to learn it.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.