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by Eric Benson           March 21, 2018            (nymag.com)

• In a follow-up to the New York Magazine’s March 20th article “Reasons to Believe”, this is the extended version of an interview of the former US Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (pictured above), about the US government’s research into the topic of UFOs and extraterrestrial life.
• When Reid began to practice law in Las Vegas in the 1960’s, one of his first cases involved the local owner of Bigelow Carpet Company who died in a plane crash at LA Int’l Airport. His son and heir, Robert Bigelow, was told by his grandparents about an incident when they themselves saw a UFO near Las Vegas. As Bigelow increased his own wealth in hotels and real estate, he would financially sponsor UFO seminars and conferences, bringing in scientists and academics.
• Reid’s friend, popular Nevada TV journalist George Knapp, introduced Reid to Robert Bigelow. Bigelow began sending Reid material on UFOs and extraterrestrials which Reid found interesting. Bigelow’s approach to the study of UFOs was more scientific than fanciful, and as he began accumulating information, he built a warehouse in which to store all of this information. In time, Reid would also speak with people such as John Glenn, Bill Clinton, and John Podesta on the subject.
• When Reid had become the leader of the Senate, he reached out to two close friends – Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii – about this UFO phenomenon. Stevens revealed that as a pilot during WWII, he had flown next to a UFO. As Stevens and Inouye controlled the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, they decided to create the Pentagon UFO research program, and awarded the $11M contract to Robert Bigelow ‘because he had spent his own money first’. But it remained a secret program, says Reid, “because I wanted to get something done. I didn’t want a debate that no one knew what the hell they were talking about on the Senate floor.” Reid was never even briefed on the program afterward.
• Reid says that this Pentagon research program has generated hundreds upon hundreds of pages of information, 80% of which has been available to the public. “You know something?” says Reid, “the press has never even looked at it. Not once. That’s where we are. I wanted it public, it was made public, and you guys have not even looked at it.” “So, in short, it’s my belief you guys kind of want to be spoon-fed. You don’t want to do any work on your own.”
• “I’m glad somebody is interested, because it’s a subject that is being terribly neglected,” says Reid. “I’m happy to talk to you.”

 

Yesterday, we outlined thirteen reasons to take recent reports of UFOs and extraterrestrial life seriously, including a chat with former Senate majority leader Harry Reid about the government’s research into the topic. Here, an extended version of that conversation.

Hi, this is Eric Benson from New York Magazine.

Hi, Eric. Why do you want to talk to me?

Well, because of the New York Times article and the program that you helped bring about.

Well, I’m happy to talk to you. Just let me preface this by saying this, if we’re here to talk about little green men or stuff that you want to look at that was found in New Mexico or something, I’m not interested. If you’re here to talk about science, I’m happy to do that. I’m really glad to do that. I’m glad somebody is interested, because it’s a subject that is being terribly neglected, so I’m happy to talk to you.

Great. Well, I don’t want to talk to you about little green men.

Okay.

One thing I am curious about, though, is just where your interest in this subject comes from.
That’s pretty easy. When I first got out of law school many, many years ago, in the mid-’60s, I worked with three other lawyers. A big case we had was a case involving a bunch of rich Las Vegas businessmen. They went into L.A. International Airport, tried to take off, and the plane crashed and killed them all. It was a very interesting case. It went to Supreme Court, a mistrial declared, hung jury, went on for years.

One of the people who was killed in that plane crash was a guy by the name of Bigelow. He was not as wealthy, but he was a wealthy man in Las Vegas who ran a carpet company, Bigelow Carpet. His son was 18 years old when that crash occurred. He’s a central figure in all this. I didn’t know him, but when he was a young man, he heard a story from his grandparents about driving down from Mt. Charleston — that’s a 12,000-foot mountain just ten miles out of Las Vegas — where they saw something in the air. This so-called flying saucer, for lack of a better description. It piqued his curiosity.

He became a very wealthy man. I mean extremely wealthy. During the time that he had some money, he said, “I would like to know more about this.” He would have, several times a year, at his big office here in Las Vegas — knew how to make money buying and selling real estate. He would pay for these seminars, these conferences, and he would bring in scientists, academics, and a few nut cases. That’s a bad way of talking about some people, but, you know — people who were really, in my opinion, kind of on the fringes.

Probably the No. 1 TV journalist in Nevada was a guy by the name of George Knapp. He and I were friends. He had known me for years. He said to me one day, “Hey, I know this guy Bigelow, he’s interested in a subject, I don’t know if you have any interest in it all, but you should get to know him. He’s got a lot of money. He’s kind of an interesting guy. I’ll introduce you. You’ll go to one of those little deals and spend a few hours with him.”

I did that. It was really fascinating quite frankly because there were people trying to figure out what all this aerial phenomenon was. Bigelow knew I was interested.

I’ve always been a voracious reader. I blinded myself in one eye — I used to read really, really fast, and I can still read fairly fast with only one eye; not nearly as fast as I used to. Just a little side note: I took the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics course here in Las Vegas, and I was told I was the fastest reader they ever had in Nevada. I can read so fast.

How fast are you? Is there a number that represents —

I don’t know. I don’t know. But anyway, to make a long story short, he started sending me tons of stuff. I mean tons of stuff. I read it. A lot of it was nothing that interested me. It was, they reexamined and examined and reexamined the crash in New Mexico that happened down there that everybody knows about that knows anything about this subject. It was repetitive, and I didn’t care. But there was some stuff that interested me. Mainly what interested me is so many people had seen these strange things in the air. That was interesting to me.

I’m in the Senate now and one day was joined by John Glenn, who I thought was just such a wonderful human being. I said to John, “Hey John, I’ve been reading all this stuff, do you have any interest in it?” He said, “I’ve always had an interest in it.” You get the picture so far, right?

Yeah.

I’m in Washington in the Senate and Bob Bigelow called me — I kept in touch with him over the years. He called me and he said, “I got the strangest letter here. Could I have a courier bring it to you?” I said, “Sure.” He didn’t want to send it to me over the lines for obvious reasons.

I read the letter. The letter was from a federal national-security agency. Okay? The letter said, “I am a senior, longtime member of this security agency, and I have a Ph.D.” — I can’t remember in what, in physics for sure, maybe math also. “And,” the letter said, “I’m interested. I’m interested in talking to you, Mr. Bigelow. I have an interest in what you’ve been working on. I want to go to your ranch in Utah.”

Bigelow had bought a great big ranch, a 70-, 100-acre ranch in Utah that was in a basin for more than a century.

Was that the Skinwalker Ranch?

Yeah, that’s it. I called Bigelow back and said, “Hey, I’ll meet with the guy.” I called the guy. He said, “I don’t want to meet at my office, I don’t want to meet at your office. Where can we meet?” I said, “Come to my home.” The two of us met and I was terribly impressed with him. Very low-key scientist. He told me of his interest. I called Bigelow and I said, “This guy, I’ve checked him out and he seems like a pretty nice guy and his credentials are as he says.”

He went, met Bigelow, and after I don’t know how much time went by, he came to me and said, “Something should be done about this.

Somebody should study it.” I was convinced he was right. I said, “Well, if you were me, what would you say to people in power in the United States Senate who have huge control over the spending of defense money?” And here’s what he said: “What I will do is prepare something for you that anyone can look at it that wants to, it’s strictly science.” He put it in scientific language — what the study should consist of.

I, at the time, was the leader of the Senate, and I called two of my friends who for many, many years were like brothers. One a Democrat, one a Republican. They controlled for quite a number of years the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. It was Stevens and Inouye.

As I said in the New York Times article, it was the easiest meeting I ever had. I walked in and I knew so much and Ted Stevens interrupted me and said, “I’ve heard enough.” He said, “Since I was a pilot in World War II, I’ve been tremendously curious, concerned about stuff that we don’t know anything about.” He said, “I was in my airplane alone and off to my left was an object. I could see it. It was so close to me. I would veer up, down, sideways. Wherever I went, it was there. I was starting to get low on fuel, went and landed, and went to the air-traffic controller. I said, ‘Was there anybody up in the air with me?’ The guy said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

That’s why it was an easy sell for him. He, Ted Stevens, when he was in the military, didn’t go to his superior and say, “I saw the damnedest thing in the air.” Why? Because the work we did, pilots would almost refuse to report this stuff. Why? Because it would hurt them in their promotions and make them look like goofballs.

What we decided to do — it would be black money, we wouldn’t have a big debate on the Senate floor over it. They would put in their defense appropriation bill, 11 million bucks. The purpose of it was to study aerial phenomena. The money was given, a directive was given to the Pentagon, to put this out to bid, which they did.

People may be inquisitive: “How did Bigelow win that bid? Why?” Because he had spent his own money first. For two years, the federal government helped him. Thousands of pages were gathered, just like I told you, of things that had happened. There was no central location where all this stuff was gathered — that’s what he did. He built his building for it. For two years, when we got financial help — but there was a change in leadership and it didn’t work. So the federal government dropped out of the project.

As you’ve heard from a few people since this story came out, Luis Elizondo, for example, he quit, because they wouldn’t do anything seriously. He was terribly interested in this. They’re all mad because the federal government has done nothing. The guy that came to me, his job was in jeopardy because he tried to do something he felt was appropriate. He said to me first time we met, “I don’t know why we’re not doing anything.” He said, “I’ll bet the Chinese are.” He said, “I’ll bet the Russians are. I’ll bet the Japanese are. Why aren’t we doing anything?”

That’s the story. You’ve got in a nutshell, that’s how I got involved in this.

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by Chris Reed               March 21, 2018                 (sandiegouniontribune.com)

• In 1985, Ronald Reagan was so stirred by the notion that an extraterrestrial invasion would overshadow national differences that he brought it up in a meeting with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. In a 1987 speech to the United Nations, Reagan said, “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.” To his detractors, this was evidence of how out of touch Reagan was with reality.
• In December 2017, the New York Times detailed the experiences of U.S. military pilots who encountered a fleet of rotating aircraft traveling at high speed off the coast of San Diego in 2004. But according to former Senator Harry Reid, UFO sightings were not often reported up the military’s chain of command because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized.
• In March 2018, the military released additional videos capturing advanced UFO technology. In a Washington Post op-ed, former defense intelligence analyst Christoper Mellon expressed bafflement that these stories did not trigger national security concerns. He called on authorities to “set aside taboos regarding ‘UFOs’ and instead listen to our pilots and radar operators.”
• So far, the mainstream media had avoided any rational discussion of the UFO topic. Perhaps it’s unsurprising given how conditioned reporters are to disbelieve. Still, they are ignoring the the biggest scoop of the 21st century.
• Why are these UFOs keeping their distance from us, or remaining hidden altogether? Maybe it’s because they treat Earth like a giant zoo. Maybe they are actually extraterrestrial tourists and anthropologists who are fascinated with the exotic life, unique social systems, and the stunning natural beauty found on Earth. Perhaps untold numbers of aliens watch our planet’s adventures unfold on an intergalactic reality show. We don’t know.
• The fact is that the presence of advanced UFO craft in our skies has become our reality. It is time that we moved past the giggle factor and the institutionalized ridicule, take the existence of UFOs seriously, and begin to investigate their reasons for being here.

 

In 1987, in a unifying speech to the United Nations, President Ronald Reagan delivered an address without any precedent before or since. “Perhaps we need some outside universal threat to make us recognize the common bond,” Reagan told diplomats from all over the planet. “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”

This was far from the first time Reagan made such a reference. As chronicled in The New York Times, Lou Cannon — perhaps Reagan’s most acclaimed biographer — had learned that the 40th president …
… was so stirred by the notion that extraterrestrial invasion would trump national differences that he floated the scenario upon meeting Mikhail Gorbachev at Geneva in 1985. This departure from script flummoxed Reagan’s staff — not to mention the Soviet general secretary. Mr. Cannon writes that, well acquainted with what he called the president’s interest in “little green men,” Colin L. Powell, at the time the national security adviser, was convinced that the proposal had been inspired by “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

Whether inspired by the 1951 science-fiction film or not, this triggered ridicule of Reagan that has endured for decades. In a 1991 review of one of Cannon’s Reagan biographies, Sidney Blumenthal — then still a journalist, not yet a cut-throat Clinton operative — cited this and other stories showing Reagan finding inspiration in movies as evidence of his ignorance and lack of intelligence. In 2013, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow called Reagan’s U.N. comments “one of the truly weirdest things” he had ever said.

In December, Harvard’s Nathan J. Robinson — editor of Current Events magazine — offered a different take: Reagan’s U.N. speech is exactly correct. It’s a refreshing departure from the usual nationalist rhetoric to hear a president talking about the common bonds that unite humanity, and the cosmic insignificance of all our intraspecies conflicts.

One week after Robinson’s essay appeared, a staggering scoop appeared in The New York Times that indirectly offered another theory of how individuals might react to evidence of the existence of aliens — not with alacrity or with terror but with fear they’d be mocked if they shared the news with a skeptical world.

The scoop, citing hard evidence that had been declassified by the Pentagon — not the Weekly World News, InfoWars or one of the many other sources that traffic in wild conspiracy theories — detailed the experiences of U.S. military pilots who encountered what the Times reported as a fleet of rotating aircraft “surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed” off the coast of San Diego in 2004. Instead of treating this experience as an epochal close encounter, the pilots and their superiors didn’t much want to talk about it. Here’s why, according to the Times:
The sightings were not often reported up the military’s chain of command, [Nevada Sen. Harry] Reid said, because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized.

A March 9 commentary in the Washington Post by Christopher Mellon, deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, added to this hard-to-fathom big picture: The [San Diego] videos, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies. Defense Department officials who analyze the relevant intelligence confirm more than a dozen such incidents off the East Coast alone since 2015. In another recent case, the Air Force launched F-15 fighters last October in a failed attempt to intercept an unidentified high-speed aircraft looping over the Pacific Northwest.

A third declassified video … reveals a previously undisclosed Navy encounter that occurred off the East Coast in 2015.

Mellon, who works for a research company that wants these reports thoroughly investigated, expressed bafflement that these stories could circulate in the upper reaches of the U.S. government without triggering national security concerns that such advanced technology might be a threat to the U.S. He called on authorities to “set aside taboos regarding ‘UFOs’ and instead listen to our pilots and radar operators.”

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Converging lines of evidence show the media, factions within the US Pentagon and mainstream science are taking UFOs seriously – while the White House remains silent.

A ZlandCommunications Editorial
 
 

In a report by NBC News, a Penn State astrophysicist contends that if spacefaring extraterrestrials ever did enter our solar system, perhaps these species might have produced artefacts or other technosignatures that have survived to the present day on any planet in our solar system.

As this dialogue expands, US and Canadian mainstream media have also taken the initiative to create headlines about the Pentagon’s high level of interest in UFOs.

Science, the media and government have traditionally shown disinterest, silence and even hostility towards the UFO/ET issue. This now appears to have changed dramatically.

These three terrestrial edifices of conventional wisdom, whether they realize it or not, have inadvertently and independently produced three converging lines of evidence that point in one direction: The imminent possibility of an extraterrestrial footprint in our star system. After decades of silence and resistance these three entities seem to be talking the same language.

THE CONVERGING LINES OF EVIDENCE

One line of inquiry points to an admission by the Pentagon that it authorized the release of now, three gun-camera videos, each obtained by Navy F/A-18 jets of multiple intercepts of UFOs. Each video has been authorized for release by Pentagon officials.

The second line of inquiry reveals the Pentagon admitted the existence of a $22 million program to investigate UFOs from 2007 to 2012. The retired head of that program Luis Elizondo is on record – stating he feels the program still operates.

A third line of inquiry is an academic statement by a tenured astronomer at Penn State University about the possible existence of intelligent off-world civilizations.

Upon analysis of these converging lines of evidence it becomes clear these evidentiary facts have much more in common than one might suspect.

THE MEDIA and GOVERNMENT
Thus far in Canada and the United States alone – six prominent mainstream media outlets in North America have assigned distinguished journalists and high-powered investigative news programs to cover the UFO/ET issue.

Each of these six prominent 21st century news organizations have decided to cover UFO/ET news in a fair and open manner – devoid of the ridicule and giggle factors that characterized their predecessors’ treatment of this matter:

  • CTV NEWS – Canada’s largest independent news outlet. CTV coverage,
  • America’s number one rated 60 Minutes – a CBS flagship of news and analysis interviewed billionaire entrepreneur Robert Bigelow on the UFO/ET matter,
  • MSNBC discussed the Pentagon’s UFO program,
  • ABC News coverage also engaged the UFO/ET matter.

This unexpected and revolutionary form of discourse among the mainstream media is gathering momentum – making more and more doubters feel that if conventional mainstream media is chatting up the ET factor in this way, perhaps it is time to take these matters more seriously.

Now science – the ever constant and established arbiter of conventional wisdom – is stepping forward to suggest – we may not be alone and may never have been. 
 
Early astronomers Ptolemy, Galileo and Copernicus shattered the mold of the long-held belief that the Earth was the centre of the solar system – might Dr. Wright, his colleagues and perhaps all of science be on the verge of a new paradigm of belief?
 

THE SCIENCE

In an abstract, a Penn State academic states: “The origins and possible locations for technosignatures of such a prior indigenous technological species, which might have arisen on ancient Earth or another body, such as a pre-greenhouse Venus or a wet Mars.”

Penn State astrophysicist Dr. Jason Wright told John Wenz of NBC News MACH“We need experts in a variety of fields across astrobiology, geology, and anthropology to look at all the data to make concrete statements about whether there’s a chance that advanced space aliens once lived or visited here.”

This unprecedented statement by a leading astrophysicist indicating that an ET presence in our solar system is entirely plausible should, on its own merits, be explored. The contention by Wright is significant for two ardently existential reasons.

First – the UFO/ET issue has long-suffered the criticism that mainstream science and more specifically astronomers have always been reluctant to render any public and substantive statements on an ET presence. Traditional science has long held that it is not even remotely interested in discussing the proposition that intelligent off-world civilizations may have made their presence felt in our star system. Our Earth-bound modes of reasoning have never included this hypothesis.

Although slowly, these reservations seem to be evaporating. This new kind of proclamation out of Penn State is not only extremely unusual and a departure from the status quo – it certainly implies mainstream science is now preparing itself for a much more comprehensive conversation about the much maligned UFO/ET issue.

Why so? Quite simple actually… Any discussion about the existence of extraterrestrials – by default – leads journalists and scientists into the voluminous evidentiary documentation that the UFO phenomenon has been discussed, analyzed and sequestered at the highest levels of governance on the planet for decades. This mode of investigation has never been fully explored by media entities normally bent on celebrity adulation, the stock market or exposing the simplistic notion of government impropriety, waste or a president who appears unable to grasp the meaning and significance of the American Constitution. 

The human family is faced with much larger and more intuitive matters of existentialism – matters that recognize the individual as capable of understanding the significance of his or her own rights – not those donative rights given to them by the state which can be so arbitrarily taken away at any time – but those rights of natural law – the human right to freedom and control over his or her own destiny and development. This is where the UFO/ET issue resides in the human consciousness. It loiters but still operates within a dichotomous cosmos of spiritual simplicity but one of immensely incomprehensible complexity.

Given this unique and often unarticulated context – clear lines of converging evidence dramatically demonstrate that multiple levels of orchestrated government secrecy and lies are now in question. It is now obvious government has – in fact – remained audibly silent on and lied to its citizens about the UFO/ET matter for over 70 years. Does this mendacity conjure suggestions of a cover-up or dare we say – a conspiracy?

THE ULTIMATE TAKE AWAY
This tincture of science and news reporting may represent an emulsion and not an oil and water dichotomy. Considering the connectivity of ideas – add to this mix the governmental and geo-political implications of an ET presence and one is looking at a ready-made literary cocktail – capable of re-writing history. 

These seemingly mutually exclusive lines of inquiry now appear to have some common ground – a galactic intersection with Earthly and alien pedestrians crossing every which way to get to the other side.

If a renowned Penn State astrophysicist like Dr. Jason Wright is making these kinds of statements – might we not want to pay a little closer attention. Much in the same way we would if he had proclaimed, “We have found a cure for cancer…” Both are stunning propositions – maybe we can believe both if ET technologies are as advanced as the experts say they may appear to be. 

If the UFOs being seen by pilots are indeed of non-Earth origin as many believe, then we can only assume that these off-world civilizations possess the capacity to conquer the vast interstellar distances of space using unimaginable energy sources, technologies and exotic propulsion systems that make possible light speed travel – might they also have eliminated disease as well as their own extinction behaviours? Advancing these kinds of discussions can only enlighten and allow for possibilities – rejecting them is done at our peril.

The second reason why this matter is significant is that NBC and CBS News are credited with being two of, if not the highest rated US mainstream news media outlets. This departure from traditional mainstream news ridicule of the ET issue creates what appears to be a contemporaneous and reformative rise in the level of interest in the possible existence of off-world intelligences that may have made their presence felt in our star system. Might then other mainstream news outlets, government officials and other segments of society want to pay closer attention?

These growing and concurrent shifts in consciousness and ideology from both the academic/scientific community and American mainstream journalism illustrates a revised attitude toward a conversation about ET life and the truth that has been sequestered behind walls of secrecy for so very long. 

Dr. Wright’s statement and one by Harvard professor Dr. Avi Loeb has upset the traditional apple-cart among astronomers who hold tight to the view that there is no evidence of an ET presence anywhere in the known cosmos – a world-view that espouses there is no logical sense in pursuing this matter. 

Loeb stated in the same NBC article, “There could have been a visit by another alien civilization…” from another solar system. The aliens might have visited us in person, he said, or via some form of space probe. [Should We Be Looking for Space Aliens a Bit Closer to Home? – NBC MACH Aug.29.2017]

MORE QUESTIONS ARISE
Now that Dr. Wright and some of his colleagues are asking these kinds of questions – is it not now time to talk more seriously about extraterrestrials, UFOs and a cosmos that may be teeming with life? 

Does the next stage in evolution of this matter foresee the media and science sustain their lines of inquiry to pressure and openly challenge the White House and other indolent levels of governance to come clean? Why is this level of discourse so important?

First, this quality of mainstream coverage would have been unheard of even 5 years ago. Second, this level of coverage by the media reaches far beyond the ‘UFO choir-of-the-converted’ and into the living rooms, kitchens, libraries, government offices, news rooms and professional institutions where those who inhabit these places go about their business – blissfully unaware of and oblivious to the facts rooted in this matter. It is in these places where the cosmically impaired reside. It is here where what the late Dr. John Mack called – the ‘battle over world views’ – will be won.

Given that Ptolemy, Galileo and Copernicus began putting major cracks in the outmoded scientific and religious slate of beliefs of the day by imprinting a new paradigm onto reality, it turns out Dr. Wright and his colleagues in addition to the media and the Pentagon might all be on the verge of cracking a few more tablets themselves.
 
At the vanishing point of these converging lines of evidence we are left with two conclusions:
  • Science – government and media are now – for the first time in history – on the same page. It’s taken 70 years – but the wait has been worth it, and, 
  • We are not alone and never have been.
It’s finally time to talk seriously about UFOs and Extraterrestrial life.
 
Review the NBC article: HERE
[ZNN invites your comments.]

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