A new book by Leslie Kean proposes a militant solution to the UFO phenomenon. UFO’s are real and elements within the U.S. government is covering them up, but we need to avoid the danger of assuming that they’re extraterrestrial visitors.
UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials (Harmony Books, 2010) is an impressive book that conclusively shows the reality of the UFO phenomenon by focusing on the testimonies of senior military officers, aviation officials and former government figures.
Yes, UFOs are real, and skeptics have it wrong when trying to debunk the voluminous evidence showing how serious UFOs are for the aviation industry and the national security apparatus.
And, yes, elements of the US government is covering up the data, or at least the lack of knowledge among the vast majority of government officials about the UFO phenomenon. But the real danger is assuming that UFOs are extraterrestrial visitors, and concluding this is why a cover up is underway by some elements of the U.S. and other governments.
Kean’s book advocates a middle path of ‘militant agnosticism’ where ‘debunkers’ (those claiming all UFOs have natural explanations), and ‘true believers’ (those claiming some UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin) are simultaneously challenged for their respective approaches to the UFO phenomenon. In the new militant agnosticism advocated by Kean, UFOs are real, but should NOT be assumed to be extraterrestrial visitors.
Militant agnosticism is best articulated by two academic contributors to her book, Drs Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall who claim: “given our current knowledge, neither denial nor belief in the extraterrestrial hypothesis is justified” (p. 280). Consequently, a semantic purity should be restored to the UFO term to do away with its extraterrestrial connotation. Kean claims that a serious investigation of UFOs can then be launched by a newly created government agency that should not repeat the failures of earlier official investigations such as the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book.
Leslie Kean’s book has its high water marks. Her analysis of an independent French investigation of UFOs by a group of former senior military and aviation officials, is very helpful and insightful. The COMETA Report is examined in great detail in terms of the seriousness it attaches to UFOs as a national security issue, and the preponderance of evidence showing that UFOs are not a product of any known human technology. She outlines the extraterrestrial hypothesis – that UFOs have an extraterrestrial origin – proposed by the report.
But this is emphasized as a POSSIBLE explanation that should not be excluded. That is the position Kean takes throughout her book. UFOs, no matter how unearthly they appear in flight performance, behavior and technology, should NOT be assumed to be extraterrestrial spacecraft. It’s simply a hypothesis to be investigated by an adequately funded and experienced team of researchers, with all the evidence and possible explanations before them of the thousands of international UFO reports available for closer study.
Kean’s analyses of the testimonies of a number of senior military officers from Belgium, Iran, Britain, Peru and France is both very competent and compelling. She goes into great detail into the evidence available in the various cases and the reliability of the expert witnesses who in some cases have contributed chapters to her book detailing what occurred. The conclusion to be drawn from the testimonies she examines reveal that UFOs are very real unidentified objects whose flight capacities are unearthly, and they do pose great national security significance.
The extraterrestrial hypothesis is again raised as a possible explanation with the emphasis on ‘possible’. But it is pointed out that more investigation is needed. Kean’s approach here will win her many friends from the scientific community who stress the virtues of strict empirical solutions to problems, and eliminate troubling political and sociological elements that cloud the issue.
It’s when we get to the topic of an official cover-up of UFOs, however, that Kean’s logic takes a very strange turn. Yes, we are told that a cover-up of UFOs is underway, and that the U.S. Air Force and other key government bureaucracies are duplicitous in what they know and are doing about UFOs (p. 146). Kean explains that even the most senior U.S. military officers, as are most government officials, are simply out of the “need-to-know” loop (p. 233). Kean informs us that an “informal” group of unidentified individuals are likely orchestrating the cover-up. She writes: “a small yet powerful core group is actively hiding explosive knowledge, such as the extraterrestrial origin of at least some UFOs…. As far-fetched as it sounds, this radical supposition cannot be dismissed out of hand.” (p. 230). She goes on to inform us that these ‘officials’ are so deeply hidden within the government national security apparatus, that’s it’s actually better to think of them as outside of government. She writes: “The fact is, even if we eventually learn that a secret research group has been operating, the state (meaning the government, military and scientific structures creating our society) is undoubtedly not privy to this intimate information about UFOs” (p. 232).
In probably the most bizarre argument in her book, Kean goes on to claim that the cover-up is a side issue and we shouldn’t become too interested in it because it’s so deeply buried in the national security apparatus: “the question of a cover-up is really a side issue, and will continue to be as long as such a program – if it exists at all – remains deeply buried…” (p. 232). Consequently, we shouldn’t dwell too much about a possible cover-up of UFOs by deeply hidden elements of government, but instead appeal to more visible government officials for a new ‘serious’ investigation. That’s where logic goes out the window and Kean’s militant agnosticism reveals itself to be rather superficial. Why reveal the possible existence of a deep government cover-up of UFOs, and suggest its pervasiveness throughout the national security system, but conclude that it’s a side issue? The real work, according to Kean, lies in redefining the UFO term so it sheds its extraterrestrial connotation, so that an objective serious investigation of UFOs can be launched by a newly authorized U.S. government agency that cooperates with its international peers.
While this writer finds Kean’s militant agnosticism to be a strange solution to the UFO phenomenon and associated deep cover-up, she has her supporters. Prominent theoretical physicist, Dr Michio Kaku, gave a ringing endorsement of her approach in a recent televised interview. Kaku now endorses the UFO phenomenon as a very credible problem for scientists to seriously investigate. One also finds in the opening sections of her book an endorsement by John Podesta, as well as a series of endorsements by prominent scientists, and former public officials in a promotional flyer accompanying her book. So militant agnosticism on the UFO issue has its supporters among the scientific community, military and government who want to investigate the UFO phenomenon as a virgin set of possibilities where answers to key questions such as the extraterrestrial hypothesis are not known with any degree of certainty.
If one concludes with any degree of certainty that some UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft and elements of governments are covering this up from their populations, then one is deemed to be a ‘true believer.’ True believers, according to Kean, are obstacles to solving the UFO issue since they articulate firm conclusions from the available evidence, when only hypotheticals and possibilities should be used. Consequently, she concludes that a government agency needs to be created in the U.S. that can cooperate with similar agencies in other countries to independently investigate UFOs as a world wide problem. Ultimately, Ms Kean reveals a deep antipathy to advocating any clear solution to the extraterrestrial hypothesis associated with the UFO problem. Both debunkers dismissing the seriousness of the UFO phenomenon and ‘true believers’ claiming some UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin are impediments to serious UFO investigations. New investigations are the answer for bringing clarity to a nebulous field with far too many unhelpful connotations and historical baggage. A cliché often used in the alternative medical community is that modern conventional medicine is not interested in curing diseases, but in merely treating them. It appears Kean is advocating a similar methodological approach to UFOs. More investigations, not clear solutions to the extraterrestrial hypothesis, are what are needed to move forward on the UFO phenomenon.
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