I can assure everyone here that John's "retirement" was completely John's choice. There is no way any "outside forces" or "third parties" are
going influence this site, PERIOD. Anyone who has paid attention knows I have been one of the most vocal supporters of John's ability to post his
ideas, theories, etc... here on ATS and that hasn't changed a bit.
That being said, when we found out he wasn't coming back we were left with a decision to make about his forum.
Decommissioning his dedicated "Conspiracy Master" forum and moving his threads to the Skunk Works forum is the best way, as this opens up the
possibility of a new speculative UFO/Aliens-centric Conspiracy Master to join our ranks. I have been in communications with one of the best in the
field and he has agreed to join us after he completes his new book. Stay Tuned...
While we're fully aware that John's tenure on ATS has had its share of controversy from time to time,
for the most part I and our staff feel
that having John as an ATS Conspiracy Master for the past year was a positive experience. There are many of us that don't agree with his theories,
but if you disagree with the idea of supporting highly-speculative ideas as a means to test the upper boundaries of our imagination, then quite
frankly, ATS is not for you. John's theories and postings embrace this ideal with gusto, and they will always be welcomed and needed within the
context of ATS topics.
And we've seen some oddly disparaging comments about the Skunk Works forum as a result of this... no one described the intent of that forum better
than SkepticOverlord, in this post: "We started the SkunkWorks forum
as a place where extremely speculative ideas and topics could be embraced and enthusiastically supported."
In fact, I believe some of John's
theories were the original inspiration for the forum, prior to his elevation to Conspiracy Master.
I'd also like to add that the name "SkunkWorks" is in reference to the Top Secret departments of engineering/design firms that create the
A couple members have expressed some concern that perhaps we may have lost an index of his threads. This is something we didn't consider before
making this move, so if members would like to collaborate on assembling a list of their favorite or most-important John Lear threads, we'll put up a
new thread or page that contains an indexed listing.