Month: May 2010

By Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

Cover to Major Donald Keyhoe's 1955 book

The study of UFOs is commonly assumed to have began on June 23, 1947 with a sighting in Washington State by a respected local pilot Kenneth Arnold. After an interview describing what he saw, the crescent shaped objects were quickly dubbed by the media ‘flying saucers.’ Subsequent books by Major Donald Keyhoe (ret. USMC) and other popular authors of the time increasingly came to the conclusion that flying saucers were extraterrestrial in origin. The term ‘flying saucer’ more and more became associated with the extraterrestrial hypothesis. If one spoke of flying saucers, it was accepted that one was talking about technologies that had an other-worldly origin, and this had important public policy implications. Keyhoe eventually realized that the highest echelon of the military leadership in the U.S. were very anxious to cover up the extraterrestrial explanation, and ignore the conclusions of investigations conducted by even their own senior technical specialists.

Covering up the extraterrestrial element was described by Keyhoe as “The Flying Saucer Conspiracy” which was the title of his popular 1955 book. Keyhoe rightly understood that the flying saucer phenomenon had become deeply political and imbedded within the national security system with respective advocates and opponents of releasing all the evidence to the public. The scientific question about flying saucers had already been conclusively answered – they were not of terrestrial origin, at least not of any terrestrial science known at the time. The most plausible explanation was the flying saucers were extraterrestrial in origin, and the USAF was trying to steer the public from this obvious conclusion. Keyhoe’s analyses of the politics surrounding flying saucers as extraterrestrial vehicles, forms the original source for what today is better described as exopolitics – the study of extraterrestrial life and its public policy implications.

During Keyhoe’s time, the US Air Force took the brunt of accusations of a systematic cover up. The best minds of the USAF, secretly supported by the CIA and select U.S. government agencies, tried to come up with satisfactory answers to Keyhoe’s probing questions and voluminous evidence he had gathered. Some of the evidence in fact was classified data that the Air Force itself had given Keyhoe access to during a time of greater openness, but now wanted to deny in what was clearly a change of policy. The final solution adopted by the USAF in response to Keyhoe and others was to obfuscate. The key to this new policy was to introduce a term that would help steer the public away from discussion of the extraterrestrial hypothesis. In 1952, the USAF through its Project Blue Book, introduced the term Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) claiming it to be a more objective term that did not have the same extraterrestrial connotation as flying saucer. The USAF left a big question mark over the origin of UFOs.

The new term at first did not take off with the public, but over time the scientific study of UFOs has come to represent research of any unidentified flying object whether of a terrestrial or non-terrestrial origin. The flying saucer term eventually disappeared from media and public accounts of what was being witnessed in the skies and the world’s oceans. Thus the UFO term has become associated with many mundane explanations that account for many public sightings. Up to 95% of UFO sightings are routinely dismissed as having mundane explanations which is consistent with the final report of Project Blue Book in 1970 that only 6 % of UFO reports are genuinely unexplained. Proponents of the scientific study of UFOs typically respond by saying 5% or so of thousands of UFO sightings still constitutes a lot of cases that might have an extraterrestrial origin.

More recently, retired civilian contractors and/or military personal personnel have emerged to claim that many UFOs are in fact highly classified aircraft built in the US. For example, retired contractors/servicemen who worked at Area 51 claim that UFOs were mistaken sightings of the OXCART spy plane and other highly classified aircraft from the 1950s and 1960s. This explanation supports a claim by CIA historian, Gerald K. Haines, that the CIA actually encouraged UFO reports as a cover for the secret spy aircraft being built for it at Area 51. If up to 95% of UFO reports have a conventional explanation, and among the remaining 5% many in fact are highly classified aircraft, what does that mean for the extraterrestrial hypothesis? One is looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack as more historical data comes out about classified military aviation projects being misidentified as UFOs. It increasingly appears that the scientific study of UFOs is a dead end if one wants to learn the truth about whether or not extraterrestrials are visiting the earth.

Exopolitics is a relatively new discipline that focuses on evidence of extraterrestrial life, and its public policy implications. Exopolitics has two main tracks of study. These are: A., the study of scientific evidence pointing to the possibility of extraterrestrial life in the universe; and B., whistleblower and witness claims that extraterrestrials are currently visiting earth and interacting with private citizens and/or military authorities. Professor Stephen Hawking, along with astrobiology conferences held in Rome (November 2009) and London (January 2010) have recently given a major boost to the first exopolitics track. It is now “perfectly rational,” according to Hawking, for scientists to discuss the policy implications for extraterrestrial life.

For Hawking, intelligent extraterrestrials are more than likely to be marauders in search of resources and should be avoided. In contrast, the Vatican’s chief astronomer, Gabriel Funes, believes extraterrestrials are more than likely to be ethically advanced “space brothers”. No matter where one stands on this wide ranging debate, it’s important to understand that major scientists are giving serious thought to it; and that this is clearly an exopolitics debate, and not a debate over UFOs. Indeed, the same scientists who are encouraging an exopolitics debate ignore the UFO phenomenon altogether.

When it comes to the second track of exopolitics, the testimony of whistleblowers and witnesses pointing to the visitation of extraterrestrial life in advanced space vehicles, it’s important to accept that UFOs are NOT unidentified. They in fact are Identified Flying Objects whose origins are extraterrestrial in nature. According to these whistleblowers and/or witnesses, this is a well known among responsible government, military and corporate authorities. Thus the term UFO merely serves to obfuscate what these many whistleblowers/witnesses claim they have direct knowledge of, i.e., advanced extraterrestrial vehicles (ETVs) visiting our planet.

In conclusion, the rise of exopolitics in scientific debates over extraterrestrial life is to be welcomed, and is likely to quickly expand in future as more evidence is found of life supporting conditions in the universe. It is therefore important that exopolitics as a new field is not undermined by those wishing to subsume it with the scientific study of UFOs. Such a study is a dead end given the way in which the UFO term lumps together anomalous phenomena that have conventional explanations (up to 95% of sightings cases), highly classified military aircraft (remaining 5%), and objects that may be genuinely extraterrestrial in origin (again, part of the remaining 5%). Instead, something similar to the original ‘flying saucer’ term is necessary in order to be explicit that what is being discussed or investigated is a possible extraterrestrial vehicle (ETV) belonging to one or more visiting civilizations with profound (exo)political implications for our planet.

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[May 18, 2010 – Kona, Hawaii] The Exopolitics Institute is proud to announce that classes begin on May 23 for a number of educational programs designed for those interested in developing professional qualifications in exopolitics; and/or acquiring analytical tools, research methods and investigative techniques for evidence concerning the extraterrestrial hypothesis. Our experienced faculty of educators and trainers collectively offer decades of experience in the teaching profession and in researching extraterrestrial life; and offer you the opportunity to apply exopolitics in a number of unique areas.

Classes offered for the Summer 2010 Semester are:

For 2010 schedule visit:

Some comments from students completing earlier courses with Summer 2010 instructors.

I very much appreciated the overall idea that the EXO-102 left me with, that Contact & Diplomacy with Extraterrestrial Civilizations is something we should start integrating into our worldviews as issues that are not only reserved for sci-fi novels and blockbuster movies.
Frank. Belgium – Exo-102-Summer-2009

That the course is graduate level in its approach and the instructor very informed, responsive and thorough. It has been a pleasure working with him and my fellow classmates!
Dr Bernice Hill, Exo-102 – Summer, 2009

I would tell them to definitely take this course. It is well written with a very thorough presentation of the subject of citizen diplomacy.
Dr Mary Conley – Exo-102 – Summer, 2009

Times do change, however in today’s world, the whole paradigm is changing. The fact that Dr Mitchell has broken out of the mold, confirms this. The tools for experiencing, understanding and activating ones passionate instincts in the new paradigm are to be found in this course.
Neil Gould, Hong Kong, Exo-102 – Summer, 2008

If you would like in depth, first hand, best evidence information from Witness Testimonies about the ET Presence, Paola Harris’s class is the one to take..
Michele Magnum, Michigan, USA – Summer 2009

Fasten your seat belts, put on your crash helmets and prepare for an amazing journey into the past, the present and the future.
Douglas McClure, South Africa – Exo-108 – Fall, 2008

For student comments on these and other courses – click here

Whether you plan to be or are a journalist, a diplomat, educator, artist, scientist, historian, researcher, lawyer, policy maker, or health, government, religious, or business professional, you will find a suitable way of incorporating evidence concerning extraterrestrial life into your chosen profession.

The certification program offers a three-tiered system of courses and seminars that each culminate in an Exopolitics certificate or diploma.

  • a. Exopolitics Certificate – Entry level certification provides the core conceptual understanding so you have basic competency in writing about, researching or investigating exopolitical issues.
  • b.. Galactic Diplomacy Certificate – Second level of certification provides both the conceptual skills and diplomatic training so you can practice citizen diplomacy in extraterrestrial affairs.
  • c.. Exopolitics Diploma – Third level certification designed for those intending to teach or train others in exopolitics.

These three certification programs are competitively priced and provide you the opportunity to learn and practice exopolitics in a way that is suited to your interests and career. With a minimal investment of time and energy, you could soon be on the way to acquiring the skills and training to set you off to a path that will establish you as an exopolitical pioneer in your respective fields.

Explore our certification program then register for the certificate program that will open your path to exopolitical knowledge and training.


Phone: +1 808 323 3400

The Exopolitics Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization based in Kona, Hawaii. Website:

Disclosure 101 Video Features a number of course instructors & students for the Exopolitics Certification Program

Press Conference – National Press Club – X-Conference 2010 – Washington DC – Part 1 of 2 (HD) from Exopolitics Denmark on Vimeo

Press Conference – National Press Club – X-Conference 2010 – Washington DC – Part 2 of 2 (HD) from Exopolitics Denmark on Vimeo.

The press conference marked the end of the 6th X-Conference held in the Washington DC area. The entire 2010 event took place in the National Press Club.

The speakers at the press conference were:

– UFO researcher A.J. Gevaerd (Brazil).

– Investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe with former sergeant John Burroughs (USA) (Rendlesham Forest incident – 1980)

– Rochester historian Richard Dolan (USA).

– Film producer Terje Toftenes (Norway).

– Police officer Gary Heseltine (UK).

The press conference was hosted and moderated by former CNN news anchor Cheryll Jones and the executive director of Paradigm Research Group Stephen Bassett.

The Obama administration was once again encouraged to disclose the extraterrestrial presence on earth.

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