This article was provided by the authors and first appeared at www.AfterDisclosure.com. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of OpenMinds.tv. It is presented here in order to spark discussion on the issue put forward by the authors, two prominent UFO researchers.
The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is generating an avalanche of analysis and debate. While the world’s leaders and media pundits have their say, the UFO community must also take stock of the way many of its leading voices are talking about what happened on September 11, 2001.
We are deeply concerned.
At a time when there is reason to believe that the world is more ready than ever before to hear the evidence and arguments about the UFO phenomenon, the 9/11 issue threatens to undermine legitimate progress.
The examples of linkages being made by the UFO community with the 9/11 “truth” movement are no longer isolated. It is now a pattern of thinking that shows signs of being the dominant mind-set inside ufology. While we both have colleagues who hold these beliefs passionately, we think it is ill-advised and unhelpful to merge these two issues in an on-going public way.
It is a classic case of a flawed tactic being employed to pursue a worthy strategy.
The purpose of a growing social movement is to win over the undecided, until they reach a critical mass of belief and change can happen. This worked for both the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and gay rights most recently.
This means that ufology must appeal to people who have not previously given the subject much thought and must be sufficiently persuasive to make them consider the issue with an open mind. It will not help to saddle the acceptance of an already challenging paradigm shift with the even less mainstream and massively more controversial belief in 9/11 conspiracy. If you are trying to promote serious media and public interest in one subject that is perceived by some as being a fringe issue (regardless of what the fact trail leads to), the very worst thing you can do is tie this to other issues that are also perceived as fringe. This is not an attempt to debate the 9/11 issue here. It is a statement about perception and politics only.
In August, we both attended the Leeds Exopolitics Conference, as speakers. 9/11 was raised on numerous occasions, both in Q&A sessions and in a number of the actual presentations. Ideas being presented included one speaker’s strongly held and well-presented theory that the authorities would stage a false flag alien invasion at the 2012 Olympics, as a prelude to a New World Order takeover. While many speakers and audience members clearly believe that the world is run by a powerful group of secret-keepers, what effect is being achieved by extending this into a public discourse based that casts them as wanton mass murderers?
Imagine reaching out to a genuine agnostic on the subject of UFOs by showing them a link to an official report submitted by a commercial airline pilot, which was correlated by radar, and seeing their mind open to this new paradigm shift. Then imagine what would happen if you tried to persuade them that the towers of the World Trade Center had been brought down in a controlled demolition and that what people saw and filmed hitting the buildings weren’t aircraft at all, but were anti-gravity remote control weapons, surrounded by holograms of aircraft, with all the passengers from the real aircraft languishing in FEMA camps. That result seems obvious, but even a lesser argument that it was an “inside job” will probably still feel like a bridge too far to that genuine agnostic or skeptic we’re trying to convert to an open mind.
The idea that 9/11 was undertaken by the United States government (or rogue elements therein), or was “allowed to happen”, while the authorities looked the other way, may be widespread in certain quarters, but it enjoys little or no mainstream support. The idea that the US government would murder nearly 3000 of its own citizens is regarded by most people as crazy at best, but more often as deeply offensive, not just to those serving or having served in the military, but particularly to the families of the victims. Again, we are not talking about what actually happened as it is likely there is more to the story that will emerge over the years. We are talking about how people feel about the issue today.
The argument we heard made passionately at Leeds by more than a few speakers was that proving the 9/11 conspiracy would be “easier” than proving the UFO conspiracy and that once that was accomplished, the extraterrestrial issue would be a natural next victory.
To this line of reasoning, we can only say, “dream on”.
Besides the alienation such talk brings to those citizens we need to embrace the cause of UFO knowledge, the 9/11 issue has an even more disturbing and darker side.
Discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories may start with technical debates about the temperature at which aviation fuel burns and steel melts, but it can quickly evolve into something more sinister, including accusations that Mossad was involved and that 4000 Jews left the World Trade Center shortly before the attacks, having received advance warning. Most in the 9/11 “truth” movement rightly condemn such anti-Semitic spin, but not all do.
As an example, one audience member’s question at the Leeds conference was, as often is the case, more of a statement. Hers was that Zionists orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and, for good measure, she threw in her view that Hollywood and the media are “run by the Jews” so we shouldn’t look to them for help in revealing the truth. Rather than being booed out of the room, as should have been the case, many people nodded their agreement, while others simply listened in silence, as if it was just another idea worthy of consideration. We wonder why this should be a part of a conference dedicated to the politics of contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence.
How in the world will this kind of talk — from wildly speculative theories to actual anti-Semitism — help ufology? The UFO community needs to be very careful here, because even if such views aren’t widespread, the mere perception that they are would be extremely damaging.
We have to pick which battle to fight. This is the wrong battle if the UFO community wants to be taken seriously. It is not our fight.
We respect people’s right to believe what they like about 9/11. It is, perhaps, a healthy indication of a democratic society when people can publicly accuse their own government of mass-murder, with no adverse consequences. However, the UFO community has made great strides recently in terms of making the subject more broadly acceptable. Witness, for example, the scholarly work of historian Richard Dolan; the impact of investigative journalists such as Leslie Kean and filmmakers like James Fox; and the mainstream — and increasingly positive — media coverage generated by the declassification and release of the UK government’s UFO files.
Given that the primary strategic goal of ufology is to reveal facts about UFOs, the most successful tactic is for those researchers who are interested in 9/11 conspiracy theories to pursue their interest separately. The UFO community has little to gain with the larger public and much to lose by linking these two issues.
There is an incredible irony embedded here. If there is a secret cabal of decision makers who are actively working to maintain a global UFO cover-up, one of the best tactics they could employ to keep the truth from coming out would be to tie ufology up in knots with another conspiracy theory that has even less public currency — i.e. 9/11 as an “inside job”. Yet this is exactly what the UFO community seems intent on doing to itself. When we embrace 9/11 conspiracy, we are, de facto, discrediting ourselves in the eyes of the very people we need to convince.
The job of advocating public openness on the issue of UFOs is challenging enough as it is. Why do the job of those who would slow down full and honest discussion?
As we contemplate the tragedy of 9/11 on this tenth anniversary, surely the UFO community can accept that making this controversy our fight does not further the cause, but risks setting it back decades.
Let’s get back to basics. UFOs exist. The truth about what they are and who’s behind them has not yet been definitively revealed. That’s a big enough challenge for now.