Have you noticed how “open” our government has suddenly become about its secret program for researching UFOs or our Navy’s encounters with them tracking our fleet? Are we being prepared for something?

End of summer, it’s time for something more light hearted. In the movie “Paul” an alien crash-lands in Moorcroft, Wyoming in 1947. He has been kept imprisoned by the government while it spoon-fed his image and the idea of aliens and flying saucers to the public through popular media, in case we ever run into them.  “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “The X-files” among other popular movies and TV have all had Paul as a “special consultant” to their productions according to the movie.

The film is a fun homage to all sorts of sci-fi productions. And the concept that the media is being manipulated by the deep state is a well-worn theme of conspiracy theorists.  Sure, it’s thought provoking but in the real world the U.S. Air Force and other government agencies debunked reports of UFO encounters for decades. Pilots were especially reluctant to report their observations for fear of ridicule, loss of flight status or other career consequences.

But starting two years ago, 70 years after the “non-crash” at Roswell, New Mexico there seems to be a change in the wind. On December 16, 2017 splashed across the front page of the Sunday New York Times was an article on a real secret Pentagon program investigating UFOs since 2007. Even better, at the same time the U.S. Navy released videos of an encounter in 2004 between F/A-18F jets and a whitish oval object about the size of a commercial plane off the coast of San Diego.

Bureaucracies move slowly but by April of 2019 the Navy announced it was issuing new guidelines for reporting UFOs. As Politico reported: “To be clear, the Navy isn’t endorsing the idea that its sailors have encountered alien spacecraft. But it is acknowledging there have been enough strange aerial sightings by credible and highly trained military personnel that they need to be recorded in the official record and studied — rather than dismissed as some kooky phenomena from the realm of science-fiction.”

Not to be out done, just before that – in January 2019 – the media was working up a full head of steam. The History Channel released its “Project Blue Book” series. A dramatization purporting to reveal the real truth behind what many argue was an Air Force cover up of UFOs. Six months later the History Channel again followed up with “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation” – a pseudo documentary of the Advance Aerial Threat Identification Program (ATTIP). This was the program reported by the NY Times back in 2017. Makes you wonder if they had any “special consultants” on either series.

The activity level is certainly rising. The military seems to be moving. The press and media are pumping out the articles and programs. What else could be going on with aliens recently? Well buckle up for SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. SETI has always had a bad rap in the academic world. Most “serious” scholars consider it loopy to say the least. Congress forbids NASA from funding research into it since 1993. (Although they have managed to fund ATTIP since 2007 – hmm!)

Well, those winds of change are at work in academia, too. In February this year, Penn State announced it had raised millions for the new Penn State Extraterrestrial Intelligence (PSETI) Center with endowed professorships and a degree-granting graduate program. Looking for an exciting new career? Hurry, hurry, hurry – step right up and get your Ph.D. in little green men.

Ooops! Time for another real world check-in: UFO sightings have actually declined since their most recent peak in 2014. Of course, we may be in for another wave as this past June’s sightings are 50% higher than at the same time last year. Maybe they are coming? Maybe they are here! Are we being readied?

Enjoy what’s left of your summer; maybe even look up from time to time – after all the summer months have the most sightings.

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