Public Disclosure: To Know or Not to Know ...
by Michael J. Hallowell

A few months ago, many of my colleagues got very excited when a couple of chaps Stateside claimed to have in their possession a genuine Bigfoot corpse. This, we were assured, was the real deal. As far as I can tell it wasn't, and the entire affair looks like it's being added to a long line of damp-squib claims of a similar nature.

The study of UFOs suffers from a similar affliction; on numerous occasions we've been told that the "big announcement" is just around the corner - August of this year, according to latest predictions - but for one reason or another it never seems to happen. Over the years I've vacillated between two positions; wanting to hear "the big announcement" and positively not wanting to hear it. To be honest, I just can't make my mind up. Let me explain.

On the one hand, there are good arguments supporting a public disclosure. We have a right to know, and if planet earth really is being visited by creatures from other parts of the galaxy then surely the governments have a duty to tell us. On the other hand, however, I have a deep suspicion that if such a disclosure was to be made that we might live to regret it. The visitors have not, as yet, made that stereotypical landing upon the White House lawn - or, in my case, in front of the Houses of Parliament. We must assume by this that they have reasons for keeping their presence - well, not exactly secret, but let us say officially hidden. If the governments of this world were to announce that we have indeed been visited by aliens from the planet whatever, their cleverly-maintained secrecy would evaporate like the morning dew and, in some way we cannot yet figure out, their hand might be forced. In other words, they might end up recalibrating their long-term plans into short-term ones, and, if they truly have a dark agenda, we might find out a lot quicker about it than we otherwise would have done. This would have a knock-on effect, and also shorten the time in which we can formulate a counter strategy to deal with their unwelcome designs. For the present, then, it might be wise to do nothing.

There's another way of looking at things. Our governments do not have a good track record when it comes to preempting problems. On both sides of the Atlantic, the powers that be are usually happy to sit back and wait for the worst-case scenario to arise before doing anything about anything. The economy, the war on terror, health-care strategies... how many times have our governments come up with well thought-out plans for dealing with problems looming on the horizon? Never, that's when. They inevitably wait for the worst to occur, and then start scratching their heads whilst a) looking for a solution, and b) looking for someone else to blame. So, if the US and UK governments really do know what (or who) is behind the UFO enigma, then we really can't have any confidence in them to sort the matter out before it spirals out of control. If the public were told the truth, however, and some sort of formal disclosure was made, then they just might be forced to act.

Maybe I'm being a little overly pessimistic. Its just possible that, behind the scenes, our leaders have the situation well in hand and have come up with a number of well thought-out mechanisms for dealing with the "alien threat", if such it is. In the final analysis, it's a balancing act, then. Making a disclosure would alter our lives forever, and may force our other-worldly visitors into changing the way they interact with us. Daft though the idea might sound to some, their covert visits could actually become a full-blown invasion. The other possibility is that a public disclosure would galvanize all nations into making a united effort to deal with the UFO problem, and there are many scientists, academics and military strategists out there who, currently "outside of the loop", could be drafted in to help.

There, in a nutshell, you can see why it is so hard for me to make my mind up about the whole issue of public disclosure. Of course, at the end of the day the decision may be taken right out of our hands. If a UFO was to explode over, say, Chicago or London instead of a remote region like Tunguska, no disclosure would be necessary as the evidence would be there for all to see.

If I was forced to make a decision one way or the other, which way would I jump? Its a tough one. Currently, for all its ills, humanity is still in charge of planet earth - or at least, as far as we can see. On the other hand, we're screwing the earth up so badly at present it has to be acknowledged that alien intervention might actually prove to be a blessing. Maybe, then, we should just get it over with. If there is an official disclosure waiting in the wings, then let's just push Mr. Obama and Mr. Brown center stage, get it over with and let the chips fall where they may. Its a risk - but if we truly are being visited by creatures from afar then we are going to have to face up to it some time, and it may as well be sooner or later. Unless, of course, that would precipitate a nasty reaction from our other-worldly relatives. But there, I'm vacillating again.

I'd like to know what readers think. So, as they used to say on the TV game shows, "Answers on a post-card please..." or, if you like, an e-mail. Whilst I'm waiting for your epistles to drop into my in-box, I'm going to do what all good Englishmen do in times of crisis; have a cup of tea and a toasted muffin before reading a good book...

Mike Hallowell, 2009

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