I think most Americans, regardless of their political and social background, can agree that the last few years have sometimes seemed extra tumultuous and perhaps even borderline ridiculous.
But, unfortunately, you can’t escape it either. The world seems to have gone to hell in a handbasket, and the news, social media, your friends, and even your family are eager to tell you all about it.
Crippling inflation, mind-blowing supply chain issues, Drag Queen Story Hours, an escalating war in eastern Europe, and the ever-present threat of the ‘next’ pandemic are enough for any of us to want someone to beam us up to a better place.
Many die-hard believers in UFOs and alien visitation believed 2022 would be their year. While overshadowed by a fair amount of other issues, I think the argument could easily be made that UFOs and little green men are certainly having a moment.
Americans’ fascination with UFOs really took off in 1947. Of course, we all know of the Roswell incident, but the particular incident I’m referring to happened just a little over a week prior.
Kenneth Arnold was flying his plane around Mount Rainier in Washington state when he claims he saw nine bizarrely shaped aircraft flying in formation. When he landed, he reported the incident. It didn’t take long for journalists and reports to latch onto such an incredible story.
When asked to describe what he saw, Mr. Arnold told a reporter:
“They flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across water.”
And thus was born the flying saucer.
From there, we had Roswell and the ensuing investigations, none as famous as Project BLUE BOOK. An Air Force investigation that started in 1952 terminated in 1969 with no conclusion other than that from 1947 to 1969, there were 12,618 sightings.
To this day, 701 of those sightings remain ‘unidentified.’
Still, the 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of mainstream UFO interest, although perhaps not tied to Martian space invaders. Instead, the more widely accepted theory was that the UFOs allegedly seen were secret weapons or aircraft developed by our own military or, worse yet, the Soviet Union.
When the Cold War ended, the surge in UFO interest waned. However, thanks to the breaking news in 2017 of a secret Pentagon UFO project, renewed interest has not only gained momentum but has made the subject no longer fringe.
I was still in the military when the news of a secret Pentagon office known as AATIP (Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program) came to light. I remember not paying too much attention to the news surrounding the program. The idea that my government and, in particular, the Pentagon keeps programs from the American people isn’t something that colors me surprised.
However, the first time I saw video of the now-called UAPs (because that’s way more acceptable than UFOs for some reason), I thought, “well, this changes everything.” But it really didn’t.
Even after numerous reports have been released by the Pentagon and the recent UAP Congressional hearings, we still don’t have real confirmation on what these things are and no real assurance that the Pentagon is telling us all they know.
But that is what I think adds to the flavor of the subject and the real reason many of us remain intrigued. The clandestine attitude the U.S. government has always taken regarding this subject just begs you to want more.
When watching X-Files as a kid, I never really wanted Mulder to find the truth. What fun would that be?! It’s akin to when lovable characters with a sexual tension finally get together in the show; it always ruins the show (looking at you, Mulder and Scully).
The sense of community that is formed around this subject of UFOs and alien visitation is really quite remarkable. I first got introduced to this world when I wrote my first article on the topic The Truth May Very Well Be ‘Out There.’
I had been sitting in my office working on an article related to something completely different when I caught a sound clip from Fox Business’ Kennedy speaking to Pentagon Bad Boy Luis Elizondo. Mr. Elizondo had been the head of AATIP and was talking about new reports of the physical effects pilots and others have had when encountering UAPs.
Honestly, not something that would typically pique my interest. The allegation that there have been “unaccounted for pregnancies” made me stop my work and say, “What the…?!”
From then on, I found myself diving deep into the #ufotwitter world, Ancient Alien fanaticism and skepticism clubs, and of course, my favorite government cover-up believers.
Former President Barack Obama dropped the below grenade years ago:
“What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know what they are.”
And here we are today, watching said footage with members of Congress.
Most would argue that this issue of UFOs and alien encounters will be put to rest when honest disclosure happens or when definitive proof is discovered. But, I’m not so sure that would be what makes ‘us’ happy.
Of course, I’m not advocating for the government to hide things from its citizens, but the reality is they always will. But I am saying that sometimes it’s a bit nice to have something to search for that isn’t as tangibly painful as rising gas prices, school shootings, and rising crime.
I’m not sure it would make me happier anyway to no longer escape the regular news cycle. To wonder what is at Area 51, get lost in an episode of Ancient Aliens, and wonder what else we may learn that the government is keeping from us.
I recently asked Elizondo why he thinks there is a renewed and enduring fascination with what is ‘out there’ in the universe.
“Inquiry is part of the human DNA and an integral part of our journey as a species. Let’s never forget that life is a journey, and we need to be prepared to meet other travelers along the way.”
The truth is out there, and part of me hopes a bit of it stays out there because I want to keep believing.
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