Commentary

Janet Bratter: Is anybody out there?

July 30, 2013 

Janet Bratter

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s ...”

No – it was not Superman.

It was the 2013 Official and Scientific Investigations of UAP (UFOs) symposium held at the Greensboro Coliseum.

From the crash at Roswell, N.M., in the late ’40s to a spate of science-fiction films out of Hollywood and Tokyo, “aliens” have been attacking in one form or another.

With the demise of the various “-isms,” the world’s population has been learning to adapt to a different global enemy. But while the governments of other nations like Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, France and others have all continued to support ongoing legitimate investigations of these phenomena, the United States officially terminated its research into UFOs almost 40 years ago. Why?

Well, as one of the conference speakers pointed out, the U.S. has the world’s largest arsenal of weapons. So as nation states go, the U.S. has the most to lose. And the acknowledgement of the existence of superior civilizations and technologies would undermine earth-bound, anthropomorphic supremacy. Religions could also no longer claim total all-knowingness, and science, too, would have to admit to an equally-inferior status in the universal sweepstakes of truth pursuit.

After the Allies bombed Germany into submission, they snatched Germany’s aerospace scientists, headed by Wernher von Braun, in Operation Paperclip. It was then that the creators of America’s collective headache remedy – known as movies and the newer technology of television – went to work to manipulate public opinion and behavior.

Largely based on the research done by Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, government and corporations used public relations and propaganda to manipulate and control the public’s “dangerous herd instincts”.

Television shows like “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits” brought the idea of aliens – some benign and some malevolent – into the public consciousness. And of course there is the “Star Trek” TV series and the “Star Wars” movies.

Much of what was presented by the speakers at the two-day event stressed the importance of reopening a federally funded investigation into what has long been described as the UFO phenomena.

It didn’t help the event’s cause of ongoing scientific investigation when the local Greensboro paper printed a picture of a tiny plastic green alien floating in a jar. It would seem that there is still a semi-official position out there that at best fosters skepticism and at worst, mockery and total disbelief.

As one of the speakers pointed out, there is a kind of “militant agnosticism and a UFO taboo” at work. The powers that be, including both government and church, have a vested interest in the perpetuation of the status quo. The belief in the current paradigm where humans are perceived as the dominant life form on a planet that is the center of an anthropomorphic universe is one that is well defended.

Chipping away of this delusion was arguably the primary purpose of the 2013 UFO/UAP Symposium.

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