On Jan. 10, just one day after my article on UFO secrecy appeared in this newspaper and on this Web site (“Intelligent Extraterrestrial life: The Other Inconvenient truth?” Jan. 9), I was unceremoniously dropped as a Cato Institute adjunct scholar, a position I’d held for more than 20 years.
First some background. I’m a Ph.D. economist with a national reputation in the antitrust area. I’ve written books, journal articles, and many dozens of op-ed articles over the years on a variety of public-policy issues. My association with the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D. C. goes back many decades. Yet they cut me away in a heartbeat because I dared call for more government disclosure on the UFO phenomenon.
I really didn’t believe that calling for more disclosure was all that controversial. After all, John Podesta, former chief of staff under Bill Clinton, has called for more government disclosure on the UFO subject. Former astronaut Ed Mitchell has repeatedly called for more disclosure, as has Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M. Former Canadian Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer has stated that our government knows that UFOs are interplanetary machines and that the secrecy should end. Given these bold assertions by “insiders,” I thought that I was in safe company; apparently I was wrong.
Actually the most classic call for disclosure came 48 years ago from former CIA Director Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkotter. As reported in The New York Times of Feb. 28, 1960, Hillenkotter (in a letter to Congress) argued that “it is time that the truth (about UFOs) be brought out in open Congressional Hearings.” He went on to say that “through official SECRECY and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense ...” and, further, that the Air Force “has silenced its personnel” in order “to hide the facts.”
If a former CIA director could say that, why couldn’t I?
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