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Government secrecy

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posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 03:34 PM
Some UFO researchers accuse various governments of covering up the truth about UFOs.

While UFO skeptics deny that there is any evidence of alien visitors, quite a few of them do accept that governments have been less than entirely open with documentation about reports of UFOs.

Indeed, several prominent skeptics have accused governments of fuelling UFO conspiracy theories by keeping some documentation secret or denying its existence.

For example, prominent skeptic Carl Sagan has commented that he is "perfectly prepared to believe that at least some UFO reports and analyses, and perhaps voluminous files, have been made inaccessible to the public which pays the bills".

Carl Sagan went on to say that

"It's time for the files to be declassified and made generally available."

Robert Park (the author of the book "Voodoo Science") has suggested that the real cost of the Roswell incident "must be measured in terms of the loss of public trust". He suggested that

"In the name of national security, every government in this troubled world feels compelled to grant itself the authority to hold official secrets. Those in power quickly learn to love secrecy. It enables the government to control what the public hears: bad news is squelched, good news is leaked. In the long run, however, episodes like Roswell leave the government almost powerless to reassure its citizens in the face of far-fetched conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific hogwash."

[Any doubt about Robert Park's credentials as a sceptic is resolved by a comment he makes in the preceding paragraph of his book, that "UFOs and aliens are a way to add a touch of excitement and mystery to uneventful lives"]

Similarly, Steuart Campbell (the author of a book optimistically entitled "The UFO Mystery Solved") has suggested that government secrecy is due (at least in part) to an unwillingness to admit that they do not have all the answers: "In general, governmental agencies do not have the skill or knowledge to explain UFO reports. But rather than admit this, they either offer ridiculous explanations or conceal information that would enable others to explain them. However, the secrecy involved gives the impression that something important is being concealed, fuelling the UFO myth. If references to UFOs in government documents are censored, that can only be out of a misplaced zeal and attempts to protect witnesses. Governments are victims of their own preoccupation with secrecy."

It is not just skeptical authors of UFO books that think that government are partly responsible for the spread of UFO myths. That view has also been expressed in several reports prepared by, or at the expense of, governments of the USA and Britain.

For example, the Condon Report (funded by the US Air Force in the late 1960s) concluded that:

"It would have been wise ... to have declassified all or nearly all of the previous reports of investigations of flying saucer incidents .... But secrecy was maintained. This opened the way for intensification of the 'aura of mystery' which was already impairing public confidence in the Department of Defense. Official secretiveness also fostered systematic sensationalized exploitation of the idea that a government conspiracy existed to conceal the truth."

A more recent report on UFOs for the British Ministry of Defence (the "Condign Report") refers to a covert study group in the USA during the 1950s, commenting that

"the covertness of this investigation subsequently contributed greatly to charges of a government ‘cover-up'" .

It is ironic that (notwithstanding its comments on the adverse effects of secrecy) the Condign Report was itself kept secret for 6 years. Its delayed release prompted accusations of a cover-up...

[edit on 20-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]


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