Saturday, September 22, 2007

What Do the Candidates Know About ETs?

A group called the Paradigm Research Group has announced that it is demanding that presidential candidates support, what they call, a "truth amnesty" in order to free people who wish to speak from the "government-imposed truth embargo on the facts confirming an extraterrestrial presence." Dana Milbank has more. The group says that the government has its hands on energy technology that would revolutionize our way of life and make great strides in protecting the biosphere. They believe that there are people in government who would like to speak out about what they know of the existence of extraterrestrials, but are prevented from doing so under threat of imprisonment.

Opponents of this measure, who don't immediately criticize it as being just plain out-and-out silly, may believe that this represents an attempt to pander to the illegal alien vote, and that it should be denounced. Extraterrestrials have no constitutional rights, on that I think everyone can agree. But the constitution does not grant the government the authority to keep the existence of extraterrestrial life a secret from the public, regardless of their interpretation. If they exist, and if they are hostile, and the government wishes to keep the details of its military movements against them a secret, then that would apply just as it does in any other conflict. But at least in every other conflict, we have acknowledged the existence of the enemy.

Regardless of the exact number, there are millions of people who do believe that intelligent life exists on other planets, and a good number of them believe that we have been visited by some of them. One of my favorite TV shows is "Stargate SG-1". It's intelligent, at times very funny (once you get to know the characters), and its plotline derives from a very imaginative interpretation of agent Egyptian and Norse Mythology. SG-1 is the designation of the US Air Force team that conducts off-world expeditions and missions. Like just about every other vet, I can tell when a show or movie was done with the cooperation of the USAF. One clue is the uniforms. There are specific differences that one who has lived among them can easily spot (so we know when we're confronting the real thing). If the USAF (or any DoD entity) does not like the way it is portrayed, it will not allow them to use authentic-looking uniforms and military equipment, including air and naval craft. But if it supports them entirely, they have anything they want (except actually classified equipent). Hell, they even had the Air Force Chief of Staff appear in an episode as himself! And one hilarious episode, called "Wormhole X-treme!", was about a ficticious TV show whose plot clearly matched that of the supposedly highly top secret Stargate Command. The question was raised as to why the Air Force would let them take it that far, given that what it portrays is real. The answer was "plausible deniability". If rumors ever leaked about the program, they could point to that television show and say people got it from that.

So I asked myself, "Is that why they have cooperated as fully as they have with the making of "Stargate SG-1" and its spinoff, "Stargate Atlantis"? Because they really are real?" Although the USAF is always portrayed in generally the most positive of lights, why would they dedicate themselves so much to such accurate detail of even the most minor of things? Why go to such great lengths for a show about something that doesn't exist? What is to be gained from it? Sure it could theoretically be serving as a recruitment tool, but for who? Nerds like me who like sci-fi? Other TV shows have garnered DoD "support" because they dealt with real subjects or organizations (such as the JAG, or commando units). But it makes sense to try to appeal to youngsters interested in those things. They could actually get to do them in the military. But off-world missions to engage extraterrestrial enemies? Would it make sense that the United States Air Force would spend the time and money it has to give such authenticity to a TV program from which it could otherwise gain nothing? Just saying is all.

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