Originally posted by Nicorette
It's a good article, fair to the subject matter and definitely worth reading, despite the dense, boring and unfriendly writing style typical of such academic prose.
The idea that even serious, scientifically minded people can't take UFOs seriously because it is upsetting to their anthropocentric world view is very persuasive.
'History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television'
A major new article on the subject on government manipulation of UFO-themed media products is accessible from today as an advance publication for the Spring 2011 issue of 49th Parallel - a journal of North American Studies jointly run through the UK universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.
This is one of only a small handful of articles dealing with UFOs and entertainment-media-control ever to have been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, and is all the more unusual in that it treats UFOs not as a mere cultural abstraction, but as a real, physical phenomenon of considerable concern to officialdom..
“Important PolySci Paper On Government ‘UFO Taboo’
They conclude that the "UFO taboo", as they call it, is due to fears by governments that the UFO, as a 'possible' not necessarily proven manifestation of ET visitation, is a threat to their sovereignty, to their power and control. Even though the authors say one would think that governments would be interested in at least investigating UFOs, as a possible national security threat, they do not. They say the modern state does not want to even investigate UFOs since even the admission of the possibility of UFO reality can diminish their power and control over their people.
They say that science follows along in the footsteps of the modern state in perpetuating the UFO taboo because the UFO threatens our anthropocentrism, our uniqueness in the universe. Thus scientific anthropocentrism undergirds the political controls that initiated and continue to enforce the UFO taboo.
A down to earth way to put their thesis is that governments are run by small-minded, rigid bureaucrats who cannot tolerate new ideas, and are too limited in their imagination to allow for "other realities.."
This is a serious intellectual effort and a very worthy contribution to political science and UFO studies both. It is a welcome relief from the usual vitriolic debunker treatments. It is written in a collegial academic style without rancor. They make very well nuanced arguments.
After all the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) ordeals and even lawsuits to pry loose government UFO documents, and uncover the facts about USAF, CIA and British MoD investigations of UFOs, how can one seriously contend there is no "securitization" of the UFO subject by governments?
Many documents are now being disclosed for the first time only after a half century of unwarranted secrecy. There are approximately 225,000 pages of USAF UFO documents languishing in the National Archives and never yet fully studied by researchers since their public release in 1976.
I have reviewed 100,000's of pages of AF and CIA documents on UFOs and other subjects, and interviewed about 100 CIA Directors, Deputy Directors, and officials in AFIN, NSA, DIA, and other agencies, down to intelligence analyst level. Both the AF and the CIA have "actually looked for UFOs", contrary to Wendt and Duvall, and they "found" them.
A Crack In The Wall
Hate to keep working a plowed field, but today we need to revisit the seminal “Sovereignty and the UFO” essay in the journal of Political Theory. That's because of what's happening tomorrow in Washington, D.C.
The "Sovereignty" piece, penned by political scientists Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall in 2008, laid out a theory for why America’s higher-learning institutions were incapable of entertaining serious debates on The Great Taboo. The disconnect was more political than scientific, and the result, they argued, was intellectual poverty on a broad scale.
“If academics’ first responsibility is to tell the truth,” they declared, “then the truth is that after sixty years of modern UFOs, human beings still have no idea what they are, and are not even trying to find out. That should surprise and disturb us all, and cast doubt on the structure of rule that requires and sustains it.”
At American University, international relations professor Patrick Jackson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education at the School of International Service, is not only familiar with the Wendt/Duvall piece, he sympathizes with major portions of it. “Science is the excitement of not knowing. I’d like to think we want our students to think more broadly than to simply reproduce in some form or fashion the same old idea they’ve heard all their lives,” says Jackson. “I mean, what is tenure if not to explore what Nietzche called untimely thoughts?”
Accordingly, on Wednesday, Jackson has volunteered to sub for PBS science reporter Miles O’Brien (scheduling conflict) and moderate AU’s three-hour panel discussion “UFOs: Encounters by Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials.” This is a free public event extending from an honors colloquium taught by cinema professor John Weiskopf. The lineup includes USAF veteran Charles Halt (the Bentwaters incident), retired NASA scientist Richard Haines (National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena founder), Roswell investigator Thomas Carey, and New York Times bestselling author Leslie Kean (UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record)..