UFOs and the
The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991
Review & Commentary
by Alfred Lehmberg
I can make no apologies for the huge admiration and respect I have for Richard Dolan. Dolan, you see, is one leg of a stalwart "quadrature of earnest consideration" I've nurtured regarding the UFO and its ancillaries. This "quadrature," providing for a complete and rational understanding of the ufological, is entirely bulletproof. That's right. The other three supports of that understanding, not in any particular order, are Stanton Friedman, Frank Feschino, and Robert Hastings. Each of these prosecutes a recent work pointing wholly to that same invulnerable supposition: UFOs and the ineffable "other," —howsoever that "other" manifests— quite simply, are.
That's right, too. Study these entirely acceptable gentlemen, reader, and it becomes altogether, even patently, obvious that it is time for an elected —and unelected— leadership, corrupted culture, and irrelevant society to "utilize a progressive's faculties..." or get off the freaking pot regarding UFOs. I digress, but not far.
See, all the way back in 2002, when I reviewed Dolan's first volume, it was plain that he was to be an incisive, cogent, and literate agent of historical scholarship for the post modern age. Seven years later I can report —with a tad too much pride I suppose— that he's disappointed me in no shape, way, manner, or form.
To wit: unceasingly in the ufological public eye for all the aforementioned time he's maintained a solid integrity, has disgraced neither the field nor himself, and has scaled back the lid to one of the most locked down, uptight, and jealous secrets there can be, friends, in a manner acceptable in every way. Indeed, what are UFOs, who has information in their regard, how long have they had this information, and what can it mean to us — to you and me. That future approaches looming large.
Yes yes yes... I hear the internal dialogue of some. Shut up. You're wrong. You're wrong where you are not altogether conflicted, fatuous where you are not imaginably facile, and neo-political where you are not intellectually constipated.
Bring on your "fine tooth comb," Mr. Ecker. Bring a couple of them. Bring them just to see who the real patriot is! See, these persons of discursive internal —and flatulently external— dialogue don't, won't, or can't realize that one must approach the UFO, and the history of same, with a presupposing ego in decided check... or come off writing tedious reductionist irrelevancies as tendentious as they are forgettable!
Back to Volume II, having set the initial standard bar so high himself with Volume I, Dolan would be his own hard act to follow. Indeed, as I reappraised both the first volume and my review of it, I was filled with a certain dread that Dolan must fail to re-achieve the scholarly success of his first volume, tediously repeat himself in the second, or otherwise just fall short of the anticipation we've all felt for same over the past seven years and change. Well, no, no, and triumphantly no.
Dolan has succeeded. Consecutively, this writer reports, he's once again his own hard act to follow. Consider:
"Across the Earth's skies and deep within the minds of humankind, UFOs are everywhere and nowhere."
Thus Dolan begins this literary true adventure, capturing succinctly in one sentence an underlying truth about the UFO, perhaps. What, indeed, can be "everywhere" and nowhere," extant yet inexact, at once existential and by turns ineffable? What!?
As Dolan will very engagingly proceed to express the essence of that ineffable, page after page, Linda Moulton Howe foreshadows in the preface that even as the imponderable is bravely pondered, Dolan still manages to keep erudite feet on the ground of an academic tradition — to sustain reasonable conjectures and extrapolations supported from what even Donald Rumsfeld would have called the "known, known." She writes:
[Richard Dolan] unfolds how fear of E.T. disclosure in a republican system of government posed such a serious problem that clever minds "found a way to keep the original system alive while creating another, increasingly separate system that would be empowered to deal with the extraordinary intrusion of 'others' into our world." That clever but unconstitutional answer is a "breakaway civilization."
Linda Moulton Howe? More internal dialogue! Stifle.
Verily, a segment of the ufological community would errantly propound a "problematic" LMH to dismiss Dolan, and may even be justified to some discussible degree concerning method and process employed, perhaps. Though, it could be that a lot of the aforementioned "angst precipitated" results, reader, as she will rush in, even ill winds blown so to speak, where her detractors fear —or errantly sneer— to tread. The woman has stone say what you will. The debate's how much makes cold. Though, that's not remotely the issue, really, eh?
Respectfully, Dolan returns gravitas to Ms. Howe, perhaps, gravitas unjustly lost as she pointedly does what any of us attempt to do regarding the pursuit of the outré: try to make sense of that which contrives to be nonsensical, "obstacles in the way" be damned, along with their fatuous torpedoes! This is no campaign for faint-hearts, reader, and even the grossly underrepresented women must wear a cup. Ms. Howe, true to herself, does, and it may be that causing the greatest pique in her fulsome detractors.
At any rate and rather bravely for that, Dolan suspects that the jury is —or should be— way out on Ms. Howe, and that time will show her to be one of the major players of the ufological milieu.
That "hurdle" easily cleared, we return to the book. What does Dolan attempt to do with same, and how well does he succeed? In answer, the book aspires to three points of, balanced, sincere, and cited, so therefore serious contact with the ufological.
In no particular order as the points of contact have equal reach and grasp, Volume II is a cogent entry point into the major and minor headlines in ufology, firstly, of the more factual lore as it occurred chronologically between the years 1973 and 1991. If happenstance UFOs occurred in the aforementioned time frame the interested can read about them —plus see how they relate and each other— here. This writer reports that Dolan's treatment of same sets the new higher standard for historic reportage as it pertains to UFO accounts, with all the details and considerations of these accounts clearly laid out in the most reasonable and understandable fashion. If you can believe, reader, after reading Dolan's second volume you likely will believe.
Second, Dolan chronicles the scurrilous affect obviously prosecuted by agency, bureau, institution, government, society, and culture in its regard of UFOs and how that "corrosive affect" likely manifests itself on the sensibilities, motivations, and values of the individuals manipulated by the, essentially closed, "leadership" entities just iterated. It's not good news remembering the one consequence highlighted by LMH above regarding "breakaway civilizations. Though, the reader is much better for the knowing, this writer suspects.
The third leg of ufological contact involves discussion on how the ufological reportage, itself, has changed over those years. What is reported by the media, how it is reported, and perhaps why it is reported... changes demonstrably over time, the reader discovers. Forgetting the web, curious that.
This is one of the numerous informing aspects of the volume. One wonders if the mere detection of this "evolution of reportage" does not speak directly to Dolan's as yet underappreciated genius in ferreting it out.
Changing course on our "Mr. Toad's" tour:
UFO research, in a word, was reinventing itself at the same time that it sought to establish itself on a firm intellectual footing. This was difficult enough, but researchers could not have foreseen just how intellectually active their field would become, nor how much more arduous the task of finding a common philosophical outlook and the scientific principles upon which to base their work.
UFOs, a deepening mystery, become only more embroiled in the overall enigma as a result of a widening consideration of same because traditional science only ever founders on its shoals! The preceding quote may have been said before, but if it had, this writer hadn't heard it. If it had, this writer's bet would be that it was not said as succinctly, as reasonably, or with as much intellectual penetration.
Penetration? How about this next gem: UFOs, somehow, as a function of their altogether cloying actuality, perhaps, provide only for the deepening of disclosure interest in these conflicted individuals, who, to varying degrees, had participated in the official cover-up of UFOs in the first place! In parallel and going to the heart of the matter:
Responsible thinkers must ask why this was so, and [sincere ufological science] has continually been countered by official silence and dismissal. When powerful groups dismiss something publicly, but take it seriously in private, we can assume something important is being withheld.
Critics are irritated by Dolan articulating the "uncomfortable obvious" above, this writer suspects, because Dolan is really one of them, actually. He is one of them, a serious academic, but one out of the expected box and off their "prescribed reservation." See, he is every bit as scholarly, believes this summa cum laude college graduate, as the aforementioned critics; every bit the subject matter expert, and then every bit —his personal library is truly gigantic— as well read.
The difference is perhaps that he is not first bound over to rigid anthropomorphism, avoids psychopathic politics secondly, and thirdly eschews the usual errant "reflex" reductionism. He does this to perhaps behold that it just may be that humanity does not necessarily represent the best and the brightest in the galaxy, perhaps, eh?
Ouch! Sad but true remembering a sign of intelligence is realizing when you're not the sharpest knife in the drawer! No, he'll attempt an "alien's view" of us, as does Stanton Friedman, et sig al, and not the one —more forgiving and complimentary— we might have for ourselves. Additionally, as a further example of his always concise incision:
Why would major newspapers and media players ignore something that, presumably, would be a major story and therefore bring in more money?
Why indeed in a print economy bemoaned as dieing on the societal vine? Where is the profit in pursuit of the less profitable, unless... accurate history and self-honesty were never the issues at hand and the control and manipulation of the ever duped and dumbed-down social masses... are? This does seem a reasonable conclusion!
On another tack, one is given pause by this disingenuous mainstream to consider that the powers being are only "pragmatic" and "careful" given a ufological glasnost or perestroika, so as to appear sensitive to the sensibilities of their "flock" of the "necessary" uninformed! They are, these would suggest, mere stewards and protectorates in the benignly benevolent "status quo of ignorance" and "uninformed consent" our
self-reveals. Dolan informs us
The world will never be ready for disclosure of this truth, just as most couples are not ready for their first child. It will come just the same, however. Like any new parent, we will have to learn and adjust on the fly.
Excuse me? Does anyone else hear the entirely diplomatic reproach Dolan offers for human beings to... just grow up with regard to UFOs? I do not exaggerate when I say that these thoughtfully inspired and instructional bon mots are liberally leavened in throughout the almost 700 pages. Another?
Control over key components of the UFO secret have drifted further and further away from (theoretically responsible) government and military officials, and increasingly toward private entities.
The preceding begins a discussion moving the reader deftly into some pretty unsettling territory, eh? See, UFOs, their predicted technology, and a responsible regard of them at all by an "accountable authority," is lost —entirely— when their administration is surrendered to private corporate interests as irresponsible as they are reptilian — as unethical as they are unaccountable! Given that the corporate entities described are transnational abominations of toxic self-interest —unrestricted brigands of psychopathic wealth and power accumulation— and that they abuse and betray, gleefully, the needs of trustingly hapless individuals for profit and pleasure, the reader may have some cause for alarm. Sincerely, I sugar-coat!
If powerful private groups can so easily dominate national governments, how implausible is it that they could assume control over the UFO secret? Subsequent events indicate this almost certainly happened.
The hair on the back of the reader's neck should be driven up to a degree, or will be.
No, everyone is at the whim of the aforementioned reptile or "lizard king" that is the soulless transnational corporation, and that is a fear that penetrates —considering just the American health industry and its overweeningly huge pharmaceutical aggregate— deeply into the citizen psyche like the brutal rape of the summative public mind. It's a continuing and ongoing rape shocking all sensibility and perhaps provoking some pathetic form of "Stockholm Syndrome" in we the abused and betrayed, or why would the following be remotely true?
Setting aside the truth value of the UFO phenomenon, it is an interesting sociological reality that so many people are unwilling to discuss the most incredible - and at times traumatic - experience of their lives. What does it say about our society that this is so?
A study of Dolan may provoke some kind of hoped for reconciliation to the rank and file from the psychopath preying on them! This might be an attitude well encouraged as the time for such approaches inexorably with deliberate speed. When has bad news, reader, ever improved with age? Dolan writes:
[...] In other words, humanity is in the process of reinventing itself. Any observing intelligence must be well aware that we are poised, knowingly or not, to leap into their world. We have probably been there all along, only asleep. Now we are about to wake up.
Wake up to what this reader wonders. Too, how much better served might we be as individuals if we challenge present control structures based, as they are, on our own zero-grade-and-flatulence-lighting civilization's reptilian mechanisms of wealth-extraction, reader, to share technologies suggested by UFOs... all too obviously here? These are the questions for which Dolan provides more illuminating and informative questions. Yes, better questions! Questions have always been more important than answers.
See, the inevitability of the preceding becomes more evident where more and more quality people —from pauper to president— experience bona fide UFOs. Sightings are, decidedly then, not generally restricted to conjectured mouth-breathing trailer-parkers and their visiting alcoholic and meth-cooking friends. Actually, the inverse is true, Dolan shows.
Additionally, persons very highly placed in institution, government, and society —persons with some knowledge of which they speak— ponder the imponderable, consider the unspeakable, and begin to utter the utterly unutterable... to Richard Dolan.
Major General Albert Stubblebine [once a key player in the architecture of American military intelligence], who for years managed the Star Gate program, said "I will tell you for the record that there are structures underneath the surface of Mars .... I will also tell you that there are machines under the surface of Mars that you can look at."
What strange dark forces swim around us like coercive sharks, reader, malignly manipulative and performing no service for the individual paying the bill... but ice cold mendacity. What smoke filled room or collection of same provides for:
[...]Watergate was in all likelihood allowed to occur, and quite possibly made to occur.
See, the recently televised You-Tube admission to Sarah McClendon by former President Bill Clinton gives further pause. His answer to a question pertaining to UFOs posited a "government" within a government of the
. This is a "government" within a
government that the Supreme Commander and Topmost leader of the most powerful
nation in the world, does not oversee... by
A question is begged. Who or what does oversee the greatest story of this or any other century so loath to be told? Dolan is a definite aid in forming better questions to ask about that singular question and satisfies the reader in a manner seeing forest for trees on these disturbing issues. Forewarned is forearmed. Consider the following, again.
If powerful private groups can so easily dominate national governments, how implausible is it that they could assume control over the UFO secret? Subsequent events indicate this almost certainly happened.
As to how the paucity of "official" regard for UFOs has provided for the demonstration of that officiality's irrelevance, only, and may have even facilitated at least one failed Presidency, Carter's, Dolan provides for the notion that official disclosure is ever a "bait and switch" affair complicated by broken promises, unending misdirection, outright obfuscation, and that effortless mendaciousness forever denied by that same officialdom at the behest of unaccountable private interests! Nothing else could be true, it would seem.
Carter wanted to know about [UFOs] “as President.” According to what Smith told Sheehan, [
Director G.H.W] Bush rejected this request, and said “this was information that
existed on a need to know basis only. Simple curiosity on the part of the
President wasn’t adequate.”
Too, even Presidents aspiring to honesty can be hamstrung by shadowy private interests:
[Subsequent events provided for] a lost [presidential disclosure] opportunity, for in January 1977 came the release of a study on UFO sightings and beliefs of professional American astronomers by Peter Sturrock of
Sturrock mailed out 2,611 questionnaires, with half (1,356) being completed and
returned. Sixty-two respondents – nearly
5% – said they had witnessed or obtained an instrumental record of an event
that they could not identify and which they thought might be related to UFOs.
Moreover, 80% favored additional scientific study of UFOs. In other words, a
pretext was there for Carter to have used, had he tried to press the matter. Stanford University
So much for Astronomers never seeing UFOs, right Doctor Plait? More proof of contrived and facilitated official impotence:
[...meanwhile, Jodie Powell, Carter's press secretary], was the source of a surprising statement carried in the April U.S. News and World Report:
"Before the year is out, the Government - perhaps the President - is expected to make what are described as ‘unsettling disclosures’ about UFOs unidentified flying objects. Such revelations, based on information from the
would be a reversal of official policy that in the past has downgraded UFO
Reader? What or who provides for the unjust destructions of good men and women? ...More internal dialogue? Push a sock in it.
Yes, Dolan has been falsely maligned regarding his preceding volume, to wit: that he wrote without regard to "fact" and "fiction" in as much as he did not clearly identify which was which in the narrative. That's bat-squeeze.
This, reader, is the bogus charge setting the tone for all subsequent bogus charges, this writer can show —apart from blatant politically motivated ones facilitated by belligerent right-wing whack jobs— and it is a charge resented bitterly by Dolan, and this writer, as without foundation, ultimately a result of hurt feelings of the instigator and so subjectively canted, but, at the wire, completely unacceptable.
See, especially with regard to UFOs and their ancillaries, one can take confirmed facts and lay out a frame of what seems to have happened convincingly enough, even with obligatory gaps. Unconfirmed reportage, balanced conjecture, and even second and third hand accounts continue to have enormous value; however, where they are blind to one another, internally consistent, and serve to bear out the factually based initial frame. Remaining to be seen, of course, but still an indictor of where the truth might more likely lie. A best place to look!
Dolan shows "which," as which, clearly. He takes pains to accomplish same:
The reader is reminded that these are not confirmed accounts [about a UFO case under discussion], and the last [account] involves some information which is third-hand. They are offered here as provisional stories which are consistent with the confirmed events related previously.
Given the slippery-when-wet-taboo subject matter, how much better would one want it?
Closing, I remind the reader that a history regarding UFOs is not all you get with Dolan in Volume I or II. The reader is served a richly cited panoply of powerful players outside, but surrounding, the UFO question. These are individuals clearly manipulating information while practicing the mendaciousness alluded to above. This is to say that associations and activities of these A-list characters outline the effects they have on known events, events a mere step away from that which we are precluded from knowing regarding UFOs. This lack of forthcomingness is, traditionally, not in our best interest.
Verily, Vol II proves to be one-stop-shopping on a seemingly endless succession of revisitable ufological nine course meals and superior in every regard! A new gold standard has been set, sincerely, as Dolan has once again credited the ufological standard as no others yet have. He's eclipsed even himself, actually, as I said before. Others will be short of the bar Dolan has set for years, I'm betting.
Suffice to say, the expectation of II has not exceeded the event of II forgetting "opinions" will vary, I'm sure, eh? ...Even if I can't see how. It remains; I am most gratified by the book... and another one coming, reader! Yow!