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Looking beyond little green men and SETI's cult


Author: Billy Cox    (all articles by this author)
Published on: November 5, 1999

A copy of the newspaper column below and its web location is being sent out to the PRG/X-PPAC contact list as well as the national media list of several thousand. It is a masterpiece.

It is written by Billy Cox, a great media friend of the UFO/Dislcoure movement for "Florida Today," which serves Central Florida - home of the Kennedy Space Center.

All receiving this are requested to do everything possible to spread the content of this column and its web location. Post on your website, send to your email list, send to your local media, and send to your political representatives.

The UFO/ET cover-up is ending. The media will drive the process, open Congressional hearings will define the process, and disclosure will culminate the process.

It is time for American journalists to step forward and take on the biggest news story in history. Colleagues like Billy Cox are showing them the way.

Stephen Bassett

Paradigm Research Group (http://www.paradigmclock.com)

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Spread the word about X-PPAC

http://www.x-ppac.org

and the politics of disclosure

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Source: Florida Today

http://www.flatoday.com/space/explore/stories/1999b/102399a.htm

Space Online

Oct. 23, 1999

Looking beyond little green men and SETI's cult

By Billy Cox

A FLORIDA TODAY column

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - As cults go, members of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence community are a benign crowd. What's not to love? They're cool. They want to contact ET - using radiotelescopes.

They are dreamers with doctorates. They command the vocabularies of science with eloquence and self-effacing humor. They are the underdogs; they fight bland congressional tightwads for funding and lose. They bounce back, resilient. They reside, with the greatest of ease, simultaneously, in opposing worlds of rationalism and faith. And it is that faith - pursued without evidence to support the sanctified medium of radio, dogmatic and selective in its beliefs, closed to alternative possibilities - which makes their science look so insecure.

A full house turned out Tuesday night in Cocoa to catch the SETI show at Brevard Community College's Fine Arts Auditorium. Leading the sermon was Dr. Seth Shostak, a brilliant wit at the privately funded SETI Institute of Mountain View, Calif. Given a) the billions of stars orbiting billions of galaxies, b) the ongoing discovery of new planets, and c) amino acids-laden cosmic debris seeding the universe like sperm cells, painting space as a yawning pond wriggling with life forms was easy enough. Audience members were told how they, too, could assist the radio hunt by downloading and crunching signals with the so-called SETI@Home program.

The doors slammed when several listeners advanced the UFO heresies, wondering if maybe those alien life forms hadn't already arrived. One woman rattled off a list of related Web sites, prompting Shostak to charge, "None of those sources you've mentioned are credible."

Too bad. Because one of the sites Shostak dismissed - http://www.blackvault.com - has nothing to do with alien implants, ancient astronauts, or any other subjective aspect of the phenomenon. It's jammed solely with scanned-in photocopies of government documents - 7,000 or so, from acronyms such as the CIA, DIA, FBI and USAF - acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. The patterns of high-level interest are clear; what they're onto is not. We get glimpses of what we already know - military and commercial pilot reports of wild UFO evasive maneuvers, associated power failures, radar signatures, etc. - but the best stuff presumably has been blacked out by censors.

Pressed further by another listener who asked why UFO researchers and SETI guys couldn't reason through this thing, Shostak replied, "Scientists don't object to a dialogue; it just doesn't go anywhere."

Speaking for all scientists, naturally. But not a nine-member Stanford University panel led by physicist Peter Sturrock who, after examining the available evidence in 1998, advocated a rigorous public investigation. Good luck.

The data Sturrock's colleagues studied was assembled by billionaire philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller, who circulated a lengthy briefing paper on UFOs to top government officials, reportedly including President Clinton. But the lid remains sealed. In his memoirs, Friends In High Places, now-disgraced former associate attorney general Webb Hubbell states one of his greatest regrets was being unable to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery, which Clinton ordered him to do.

Our chief executives often lack the proper security clearances to know what's going on. Witness Ronald Reagan's Iran-contra debacle. Or consider the Venona intercepts of the 1940s. That's when Signals Intelligence monitored the chatter of Soviet espionage rings in the United States and knew everything about the real - but extremely limited - activities of domestic agents. Disclosure could've preempted Joe McCarthy's persecutions of the innocent, since the names of the guilty were known, but protecting the information was evidently more important than protecting American citizens. We didn't learn until Senate hearings in 1996 that then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Omar Bradley withheld access to the truth from President Truman.

Among the ironies of Shostak's remarks was that the not-credible Black Vault - constructed by 18-year-old John Greenewald Jr., of Mission Hills, Calif. - also offers instructions on how to participate in SETI@Home. Thus, by appropriating "scientists" for the SETI elite and shooing everyone else into the barnyard of cheap laughs over "little green men," Shostak and colleagues create artificial schizoid divides that fail to further the public interest.

The Cold War is over, but the pathology of secrecy oozes forward. Consequently, SETI glows in the dark.

**

Billy Cox can be reached at (407) 242-3774, or

FLORIDA TODAY, P.O. Box 419000, Melbourne, FL 32941-9000.

Originally published in Project X Newsletter #25

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