Our Classified World
Since the time of Pericles, defenders of human freedom have promoted the virtues of open debate within society, and for the full freedom of citizens to investigate their government and world. Whether in a household, a classroom, or a nation, a free flow of critically examined and openly discussed ideas gives us our best chance for intellectual growth and personal achievement.
The legendary physicist, Robert J. Oppenheimer, put the matter succinctly. “There must be no barriers for freedom of inquiry,” wrote the man who led the Manhattan Project. “There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.”
Oppenheimer, a man of conscience and intellect who straddled the worlds of free inquiry and national security, was in a good position to understand the deep meaning of his words.
And yet, despite the wonders of the Web, our world is not one in which free inquiry is the rule. It is a world in which our reality is polished and tinted on a daily basis by global power interests, and in which much of what really goes on is classified.
Consider. The Library of Congress adds roughly 60 million pages to its holdings each year, a huge cache of information for the public. However, also each year, the U.S. Government classifies nearly ten times that amount – an estimated 560 million pages of documents. For scholars engaged in political, historical, scientific, or any other archival work, the grim reality is that most of their government’s activities are secret.
What’s especially galling is that the nature of modern scientific and academic work enable such secrecy to thrive. This belies what they are supposed to do, at least according to the proponents of an open society.
One reason for this unhappy situation is simply how science operates. All scientific and academic inquiry is predicated upon being able to work from open and fully accessible sources. As Oppenheimer understood, scientific research must be available for examination by outsiders. The word for this is falsifiability. It’s an important concept in science. If you lack the chance to “falsify” a proposition – that is, to prove it wrong – then it’s not valid. It may in fact be true, but philosophically speaking, it’s not valid.
The enormous volume of classified material means that most of the activities of the U.S. government (and we can assume most other governments and major entities) are impossible to verify one way or another. Because nearly all scientists and academicians are confined to public sources for their research, we end up with a version of reality that excludes the world of secrecy.
Certainly, the track record of scientists and university scholars in the last century bears out the claim that they are ill-suited to exposing runaway secrecy. For they have done so little of it.
To be sure, journalists have fared better. But, really, not much better. These days, most journalists fit the same mold as their colleagues in the laboratories and ivory towers. They work for large organizations with a definite hierarchy, they are given narrowly defined guidelines within which to work, and they usually follow someone else’s agenda.
Those few who try to expose the world of secrecy face the problem of using sources that are not always open, not always falsifiable. That is, by using leaks, by corroborating multiple sources that may hint of something -- but do not always confirm. To say nothing of the professional pressures and even censure they often face for doing their work.
And that, my friends, is one reason why secrecy has always been, and will always continue to be, a prerogative of the powerful.
The Trail of Secrecy
The world of secrecy has run away from us, beyond the ability of free citizens to examine and critique. When we trace the evolution of this secrecy, we find it hard to pinpoint just when things turned south. This has been going on for a long time. Modern secrecy is a not-so-surprising outgrowth of our bureaucratic world, a development in all likelihood discussed a century ago by the great Max Weber (although I admit that my once-honed skills as a Weberian are a bit dulled nowadays, I suspect the Great One had a few things to say on this).
Still, there are certain moments that accelerated the process. When in doubt, always look to the wars. In the 20th century, the two world wars were obviously important in creating the massive state secrecy machines that envelop our world today. Enormous intelligence communities were created during those engagements, and once created, such things have a nasty habit of sticking around.
But students of secrecy frequently overlook one of the most important creators of our black-budget world. That is the UFO phenomenon.
Spend any amount of time on this issue, and the UFO-connection becomes self-evident. Imagine yourself as the American President following the Second World War. Your nation has just emerged victorious from the most titanic struggle in human history. Although you now lead the greatest military and economic power on the planet, the war has exhausted a world that desperately needs to repair itself and get on with the process of living.
In this context, you learn that there are “others” who are here. Others with capabilities vastly beyond anything your scientists can fathom. This is because, starting in the 1940s and continuing to our present day, U.S. and other military agencies have been tracking and attempting to intercept aerial objects of extraordinary capabilities and unknown origin. Moreover, in all likelihood, you learn something else: not only are “they” are here, but your military has recovered some of their technology. [Those wanting more information can review my two volumes of history, which document this story. For a short review of some key UFO documents, see here].
Forget Orson Wells and the panic of 1938 – panic might well be happening among the intelligentsia that manage the country and the world.
What would you do?
Well, one thing you would not do is tell the world. You would need information first. Who are these beings? Do we have anything to worry about? What can we learn from their technology and science? How do we keep this from our enemies (e.g. the Soviet Union)? How bad might public panic be? All the logical questions.
You would organize your best people and have them create the groups and protocols to study and control this information. You might have them conduct a preliminary study to decide what the best course of action should be.
You also could not tell Congress, no matter how unconstitutional that might be. Plain and simple, Congress would not keep the secret. For the time being at any rate Congress must not know, so you would reason.
Still, if you want scientists to study the technology, if you want the loyal cooperation of key insiders to maintain the secret, if you want a permanent infrastructure to deal with the ongoing challenge posed by these other beings -- if you want all of these things and countless others associated with managing this problem -- then you would need money, ultimately a great deal of it. This would not be cheap, not at all. And the appropriations would have to remain secret.
Thus, the UFO phenomenon, which fell into the lap of the U.S. national security establishment right after the Second World War, was one of the key instigators of what we now call the black budget.
The black budget, however, turned out to be only the beginning of the secrecy problem.
What makes a civilization?
At heart and by training, I am a historian. Every so often, a particular question arises in my mind. While admittedly of limited practical value, and certainly not something that most professional historians write about, I find it intriguing to ponder.
What constitutes a distinct civilization?
Definitely one of the broader and more difficult questions. Still, I think that we basically have a feel for the matter. We know that colonial America was part of a different civilization from, say, that of 6th century Byzantium during the reign of Justinian. Or that we today, despite living in a world that owes much to the legacy of the western Europeans of the last few centuries, nevertheless live in a world that Voltaire could scarcely have dreamed of.
To answer the question, we need to consider several factors. Of obvious importance would be the level of science and types of technology it uses, how its members organize among themselves, the coherency and independence of its infrastructure. Then there is the life of the mind: how do the people tend to view themselves and their place in the cosmos? It seems to me that these questions give us a good start toward shedding light on the matter.
One of humanity’s great themes of the past five centuries is our ever-greater connectedness -- the slow but steady merging of civilizations. Globalization did not start with the Rockefellers, Rothschildes, Bilderberg Group, or Illuminati. It has been, first and foremost, an inexorable, unrelenting process of technology and economics; the politics are secondary. Since at least the voyages of Columbus and Magellan, it has been binding all of humanity together. Now, in an age of borderless electronic transactions, cellphones, Google, Skype, Facebook, and Youtube, this process – although not quite complete – has shifted into the highest gear.
I would never presume, a la Toynbee, to list every distinct civilization that has appeared on Earth in the course of human history. For my purposes, I only ask this question:
Given that our world appears to be moving toward (an admittedly incomplete) merging of civilizations, is it possible that something might yet buck that trend? Moreover, that such a thing might happen secretly?
Before dismissing such speculation out of hand, consider that even within the past century, our world has seen examples of large infrastructures that were, if not wholly secret, at least fairly isolated from each other and highly secretive. Consider the example of the Cold War. While the U.S. and Soviet Union were not truly distinct civilizations, many people at the time did see it that way. The two societies had a high degree of autonomy from each other. The economic infrastructures were separate to a remarkable degree. Within the life of the mind, they inhabited separate worlds with incompatible ideologies. Secrecy from each other was the basic fact of life. Not only did U.S. and Soviet scientists hide their research from each other, but they sometimes followed entirely different paths, occasionally reaching absurd levels (as when Soviet biologists were forced to regurgitate the fraudulent science of Trofim Lysenko).
But forget the Cold War with its secret and divergent infrastructures. Today, the U.S. maintains a massive secrecy infrastructure, with untold billions (or trillions?) having been siphoned off into it, year after year. In other words, we know that the classified world has an astonishing amount of money and deep secrecy. There is no question of this. What we want to ask is: how advanced is their technology? What key breakthroughs might they have learned?
By way of illustration, I will relate something told to me by a scientist formerly with the National Security Agency. During a private conversation, he told me that at least some computers within the NSA were running at a clock speed of 650 MHz during the mid-1960s. Today, of course, that’s well below the speed of an entry-level PC desktop computer. Keep in mind, however, that this speed was not matched by the consumer market until around the year 2000, a difference of 35 years. Indeed, there were no consumer-market computers in 1965!
Also recall that in 1965, the NSA was only just barely being discussed by the public. Its very existence had been classified at its creation in 1952, and its name was mentioned for the first time, vaguely and in passing, in a 1957 government manual. Only in 1964 was it subject to (a very partial) discussion in a published book. In other words, the NSA had the most advanced computing capabilities in the world, and almost nobody in the world even knew it existed.
Now ask yourself, given (a) great secrecy, (b) great amounts of money, (c) several decades, (d) enough genius-level scientists working for you, and (e) extraterrestrial or alien technology to study, is it possible for key breakthroughs to be made without the rest of the world ever learning of them? Breakthroughs so substantial that they create new areas of scientific study, new technologies, new capabilities, new interactions with these “others,” and as a result a radically new understanding of humanity itself and the cosmos within which we live?
Would such changes result in a clandestine world so different that it might qualify as a separate civilization? One that has broken away from our own?
I think the answer to that is yes.
How the classified world broke away
Let’s now return to UFOs, and build the most likely scenario based on what we know.
One thing is for certain: some agency or group has been operating aerial vehicles that are well beyond the capabilities of any known aircraft. Military jets of the U.S. and other nations have chased them. They do not resemble known types of vehicles. They have sometimes invaded sensitive airspace.
Whether these UFOs are “ours” or “theirs,” it means that an advanced and secret infrastructure must exist in order to account for them, and advanced concepts in physics are being applied by someone.
In addition, there is a strong likelihood that several UFOs have been recovered by military units. This is based on several specific accounts (most famously Roswell but many others), as well as on unconfirmed (but plentiful) statements by military personnel who have quietly relayed their knowledge to researchers. These include descriptions of extraterrestrial bodies being examined, flying saucers being studied and replicated, and a wide range of space-based activity that points to a secret space program.
If, as I believe, some claims of recovered UFOs are true, it would mean there has been a program to study and replicate them. How could it be otherwise? No agency with a crashed or otherwise downed UFO would simply sit on its hands for sixty years, looking at it.
No, it would do everything possible to understand it, no matter how far beyond current science it might be. The group that controlled it would keep it secret at all cost, beneath many layers of deception and deniability. That much is clear. But what would happen next?
At some point, we must assume, breakthroughs of understanding would occur, even if the alien artifacts could not be duplicated. Buried within the protection of a largely privatized national security structure, who can really trace definitively the stories behind some of the key patents of the Cold War? I think a number of developments relating to solid-state electronics, fiber optics, and other useful technologies could well have been inspired by studying exotic freebees.
Such breakthroughs mean attractive ground floor investments, handsome profits, and less-than-zero motivation for revealing the “goose that lays golden eggs.” But let us take the scenario even further. What if even greater breakthroughs of understanding were achieved? A better source of energy, a functioning electro-gravitic propulsion system, or a biotechnology that eliminates certain diseases?
I have no doubt that breakthroughs of that sort would be blocked from reaching the outside world. A new source of energy, especially if it were “free” or nearly so, would demolish the petroleum industry, while certain biotech developments would threaten Big Pharma. These are two of the largest industries in the world.
Major breakthroughs would also threaten to destabilize society and challenge the structure of power. Cheap and portable energy, as implied by flying saucers, would revolutionize our world so completely that no one can truly fathom what the world would look like once it became available. The same can be said for technologies that might enable people to live for 150 years or longer.
But just because certain discoveries and inventions would be kept secret, study on them would not cease. We have seen that by the mid-1960s, the highly secretive NSA had amazingly advanced computing technology for its time; is it possible that breakthroughs in field propulsion were made by the 1960s if not earlier? Such have been the claims of several leaks and rumors over the years. If so, then we would conceivably have had a small flying saucer fleet at some point thereafter.
With a secret fleet of vehicles utilizing field propulsion and able to explore beyond Earth’s orbit, it is easy to see how the cadre of people involved in such a program would develop new vistas of experience and imagination.
Such a group would continue to be funded secretly and covertly by a combination of public and private funds. In effect, it would constitute an invisible empire, with technology superior to the rest of the world, able to explore areas of our world unavailable to the rest of us. It would probably have a significant built infrastructure, possibly underground and “off the grid” in important ways. It might even have interactions or encounters with non-human intelligences behind the UFO phenomenon. Most certainly it would be concerned somehow with managing the problem of “others” here on Planet Earth. All of the above would indicate that the group members would have deeper scientific and cosmological insights.
Yes, this might qualify them as a separate, “breakaway,” civilization.
Such a group would have great independence from the established system of power and control, although I would doubt its members would live in a completely separate environment all the time, like some Alternative 3 scenario. Most likely they would need to work in “our” world, if for no other reason than that Earth is where the action is. They would probably move back and forth between the realities of their deeply classified world and the official reality that the rest of us inhabit. Undoubtedly not an easy life.
What are they doing? What is the end game?
Americans of my generation and earlier were taught that they lived in a free country. We elected our leaders, and if they didn’t please us, we could vote them out and elect someone else. Government was responsible to the people. Secrets and crimes occurred, of course, but as long as the system worked, the wrongdoers could be exposed and brought to justice.
Most people now recognize this belief for the idealized fantasy that it is. One of the key components of a free society is freedom of information, and to a large extent that system within the U.S. has broken down. In my own research and meanderings down the road of secrecy, I have come across a few names that inhabit this deeply clandestine world. One of them, in my opinion at least, ought to be famous by virtue of his career, which was at the highest levels of NORAD. By rights, several other names I have encountered should also be famous. Who knows, perhaps one day they will be. But today, none of them yield a single hit on any web search. As far as anyone would know, they simply don’t exist.
Of course, that’s an old story for those who work in the cloak and dagger world of intelligence, but I think it is especially true for members of the breakaway civilization. Learning about them and their world, therefore, is likely never going to happen until the truth about UFO reality is itself exposed – which it will be one day – and relevant information is forced out by public action. Meanwhile, I speculate about the lives lived by members of this world.
Ask yourself, if it were learned that multiple groups of “others” were here who possessed extraordinary capabilities, had a deep understanding of our world, and were driven by as-yet unknown or unconfirmed agendas, how would the classified world respond?
What follows derives from a combination of logic and confidential conversations I have had in the course of my journeys into this field, as well as discussions with a few other researchers who are also uncovering the same general scenario. Quietly, we are doing what we can to help each other and learn more about all this.
I believe that members of the breakaway civilization are recruited from the militaries of several nations. It appears that the U.S. Navy is a key provider of personnel. But wherever they come from, they work under deep cover, below many layers of deniability. Those of them who have families give no hint to their spouses and children what they really do, which is to monitor and somehow deal with the presence of these other beings. Obviously, these people are lifers. Even after they retire, they are never truly out.
Their interests include not simply advanced propulsion and weaponry, although these are important. My best guess is that other areas include several that are off-limits to respectable science: psi enhancement, memory management, and space-time management. It seems to me that at least some people who are said to be “military abductees” have been taken and used in this manner – but clearly not by the standard military branches. No, this is an operation courtesy of our “breakaway” group, which works with military cover. Such actions are necessary from their point of view, as they know that these “others” operate in a way that can affect space-time reality. They might therefore decide that they need their own cadre to “see” and affect things across space and time.
The breakaway civilization is probably not unified. Certainly, rivalries and competition abound within the U.S. and global intelligence scene. It is probably no different here, and there is no reason to suppose that the original incarnation of “MJ-12” is the only game in town. Within the sprawling U.S. intelligence structure are many opportunities for rogue, or at least divergent, groups. I believe this applies to the breakaway civilization, and the logic is certainly there. The prize, after all, is substantial: knowledge of the most advanced technologies and scientific concepts imaginable. The same diversity, incidentally, seems to apply to the “others.” These beings may not all cooperate with each other, but whether or not there are active hostilities among them I have no idea.
My supposition is based on a combination of the known facts and the additional scraps that have reached me. If I am right, then a web of attitudes and alliances exists behind the scenes. In such a situation, having an accurate scorecard would be quite valuable. Still, I must emphasize I cannot prove this scenario at the present time. I consider it a working theory.
I should think that members of the breakaway civilization might despair of ever educating the rest of humanity on what is going on. Their own reality is probably so far beyond our own, they may rightfully ask, how can they bring us up to speed without causing a worldwide psychological meltdown?
But as I have felt for some time, neither they nor the “others” are the only game in town. The great variable in the secrecy equation is ourselves. That is, the mainstream human civilization that is currently undergoing the most radical transformation in its history. In a mere century we have gone from a society of horses pulling carts to one of advanced computing and space travel. As I have stated in a number of lectures, most experts in the field of artificial intelligence believe we are a mere generation away from the day when your computer will be talking to you, claiming to be a conscious entity. You may well accept that claim. Then there is the future of nanotech, biotech, and quantum computing. Just as Voltaire would not recognize our world today, we can scarcely imagine the world that will exist a mere half-century from now.
Unless it falls off the rails, this train has an inevitable destination: one in which we prove openly and for certain that the UFO phenomenon is real and that there are other intelligences involved in it.
Nothing worth achieving is ever easy. Yet, one day, humanity will pry open its prison door. That will be a joyous day, but also bittersweet -- for we will realize that the struggle for truth has not ended. New truths will need to be fought for and won. It is the price we must inevitably pay for having lived so long beneath the heavy burden of such pervasive falsehoods.
Only then will we begin the long process of reintegrating all of humanity into the light of day. And only then -- finally then -- can we fully rise to the challenges posed, for better or for worse, by these other beings.