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C’mon Down. Take Our Leader.

Terry H. Schwadron

Dec. 31, 2017

It turns out that there actually was an X Files-type program at the Pentagon, The New York Times let us know this week, a $22 million a year program that came to an unfortunate end in 2012.

The story was a pretty straight investigative effort, but the echoing remarks since are mostly making a yuk-yuk joke about it. Hey, just last week, people in Los Angeles went nuts over a nighttime UFO sighting that turned out to be a space shuttle launch by Elon Musk’s organization.

For my purposes, I’m just sad that the government is giving up the search.

More than ever, we should be trying to make contact with Them Out There. If they can make it to Earth across light years of space, they probably know how to provide health care for their beings and to acknowledge ways to deal gracefully with issues of aging, immigration (of the interplanetary sort) and energy conservation (it must be a long trip from Planet X).

The Times found that among records of $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, three Times reporters confirmed that there had been a $22 million spent on the catchy “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” budget line. Between 2007 and 2012, at the best of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the program looked into reports of unidentified flying objects. It was run by Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official, in the Pentagon’s C Ring.

Much of the money actually ended up not with Scully and Mulder but with billionaire Reid friend Robert Bigelow, builder of expandable spacecraft and a believer in alien visits to Earth. Staff studied reports of unknown aircraft zipping across the horizon or hovering without apparent means of power — you know, alien spacecraft stuff.

Actually, Elizondo said he continued working in the Pentagon without funds until last October, when he left in protest over excessive secrecy and too much Pentagon opposition.

Since the story came out last week, Elizondo has told television interviewers that “My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”

He and others talked about specific cases in which pilots had futilely chased after what they swore was alien craft plummeting through the sky at speeds beyond explanation and other incidents.

Of course, UFO’s have been probed for decades, with Air Force investigations starting in 1947. By 1969. the investigations, code-named Project Blue Book, looked at 12,000 reports and concluded most sightings involved stars, clouds, conventional aircraft or spy planes, although 701 remained unexplained. The Times found a memo from Robert C. Seamans Jr., the secretary of the Air Force at the time, who said further effort “no longer can be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science.”

Harry Reid told the Times reporters he was proud of, um, launching the probe but understood that military officers feared being ridiculed to say they were charged with finding aliens. But two overseeing senators, both dead now, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hi) were enthusiastic.

Twitter comments have ranged from wonder to sarcastic. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange said archly, “There has long been a battle for the ‘UFO vote’,” in explaining Reid’s involvement.

I am disappointed that the government, which wastes so much money on weapons programs that don’t work, on private aircraft rides for Cabinet members and other pomp and circumstances, can’t continue funding the X Files work. For those of us who thought movies like “Men in Black” explained so much about the curiosities of our current world, we fear waking up one random day to find out that aliens have landed in New Jersey without having undergone extreme vetting interrogations and maybe not speaking English.

Why, it would be enough to Make Planet X Great Again by taking Donald Trump home with them.

Happy New Year

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terryschwadron.wordpress.com

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Journalist, musician, community volunteer

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