This week, Discovery launched a new series called Curse of Akakor, in which a team traveled to South America in search of a supposed underground lost city and the explorers who died in the 1980s in quest of it. I was surprised to learn that this “new” show was in fact originally produced in 2019 for Facebook Watch and is now being recycled for Discovery. I have not seen the original 2019 broadcast to know what, if any, changes were made, but the titles, cast list, and episode storylines are the same. The “lost city” of Akakor is quite patently a fake, and it’s rather annoying that the show plans an entire series to get to a point that can be made in a couple of paragraphs.
A few days ago, Jacques Vallée and Paola Harris released their much-hyped new book, Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret, the one that Chris Mellon and Brandon Fugal and a squad of UFO celebrities promised would bring the goods and change ufology forever. That didn’t happen. The thinly sourced book offered meandering anecdotes from two old men who claimed to have seen a crashed avocado-shaped spaceship as children in 1945 and their nearly as ancient cousin who claimed to have played with the wreckage that the pair kept around the house. The much-hyped tests of supposed wreckage provided no real results, and Vallée speculated, ludicrously, that UFOs aren’t extraterrestrial but instead are “gifts” or “warnings” from a non-human intelligence that manifests as a universal consciousness, purposely sent and crashed on backwater farms to help us level up in some bizarre cosmic game.
And that was only the second stupidest thing a member of the UFO club did this week. Lue Elizondo, fresh off his appearances on ABC’s This Week and CNN’s The Lead warning of the dire national security implications of the UFO threat, decamped to Josh Gates’s paranormal monster-hunting show Expedition X on the Discovery Channel to try to track underwater space aliens. Because he’s super-serious about national security. This is the guy Congress is listening to.
This article continues in my Substack newsletter with a discussion of a new Harper’s article about TikTok teens.
How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers
Jason Colavito / The New Republic / May 21, 2021
On April 30, the online UFO community lit up with excitement. The New Yorker, the most luxe of news magazines, published a major UFO article by Gideon Lewis-Kraus alleging there was good reason for the U.S. government to get back into the business of hunting flying saucers. On May 16, CBS’s Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes broadcast stories about UFOs, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio sternly intoning about the importance of treating them as a potential national security concern. All month, major media have jumped on the bandwagon. Magazines published think pieces. Ezra Klein gushed about the “spaciousness of mystery” in The New York Times. Morning Joe invited Lewis-Kraus on to chat about UFOs, and Gadi Schwartz did multiple spots across NBC’s broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms breathlessly hyping new videos from the Navy showing fuzzy shapes in the sky.
For UFO believers, this was the moment they had been waiting for. ...
Read the full article here.
Undoubtedly, you saw the news this week, from the ongoing national media stories about UFOs, to Sen. Martin Heinrich’s declaration that he believes recently leaked Navy UFO videos depict craft not of this world, to the launch of UFOPAC, the first-ever UFO political action committee, run by Gavin Newsom’s spokesman and a Republican consultant to push for UFO transparency.
I am pleased to announce that I will have an article on the current UFO flap in The New Republic in the coming days. I will post a link as soon as the article is available.
This story ran on Substack earlier this week.
As you may have noticed, it’s been a busy week in the world of UFOs. NBC’s Peacock streaming service announced that Ancient Aliens fangirl and Steven Greer stan Demi Lovato would have her own UFO reality show. Former Sen. Harry Reid walked back his recent New Yorker comments in the Las Vegas Sun, stating point-blank that he is not aware of any UFO debris in the possession of Lockheed or any government agency and asserting that he never thought there was any. Current Sen. Marco Rubio made a bunch of noises about demanding UFO transparency and arranging to appear in a 60 Minutes story this Sunday piggybacking on the April 30 New Yorker article. As I predicted, the eruption of UFOs into elite media has justified still more media coverage, all without any new facts.
UFO researcher Jacques Vallée pulled his new self-published book The Best-Kept Secret on the day of its May 4 release. A new press release explains why: Jacques Vallée and coauthor and “exopolitics” researcher Paola Harris are self-publishing a revised edition on June 1 under the title Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret. The book will attempt to provide corroborating evidence for a story first told in the early 2000s about an “avocado-shaped” UFO crashing in San Antonio, New Mexico in August 1945, near to the Trinity nuclear test site. According to the book description and press release, Vallée analyzed a piece of debris that one of the witnesses claims to possess and will suggest that it is of extraterrestrial origin.
Note: This post also appears in my Substack newsletter.
The last few days have seen a flurry of UFO news, sparked by recent articles in the New Yorker, the New York Post, and Politico surrounding the upcoming Pentagon report on UFOs this June required by Congress. The articles, collectively, sought to legitimize the question of flying saucers as a serious issue of national security, relying on the same small group of sources, and they appear to have achieved that goal. Yesterday, the Department of Defense’s Inspector General opened an investigation into “the extent to which the DoD has taken actions” regarding UFOs. They did so, according to an article in The Debrief, because senators on the Armed Services Committee requested the investigation. The wording suggests that senators read recent media reports and want to know if the Pentagon is doing anything about flying saucers—a strange request since Congress itself required the Pentagon to investigate UFOs back in the 2000s. Apparently, senators are outraged by the Politico article claiming the Air Force has not fully cooperated in Congress’s required UFO report.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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