UFO: The Inside Story of the U.S. Government’s Search for Alien Life Here—and Out There
Garrett M. Groff | Nov. 2023 | Avid Reader Press | 544 pages | ISBN: 9781982196776 | $32.50
When Martha MacCallum of Fox News asked Gov. Chris Christie about UFOs at the August 23 Republican presidential debate, the roaring laughter from the audience cut off her question. “C’mon, man” Christie responded, making a crack about “Martians.” A few weeks earlier, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand brought up UFOs at an outdoor constituent event, only to have the audience laugh and giggle until she responded in kind. Among the public, outside of the very online world of UFO-themed social media, flying saucers just aren’t a serious subject. However, interest in UFOs among media and legislative elites has convinced American publishers that UFOs are due for a prestige-media makeover.
Last year, researchers associated with the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis claimed that an exploding comet destroyed the Hopewell culture of ancient Ohio. At the time, I pointed out many of the reasons their claim did not pass the sniff test, notably because Hopewell culture persisted more than two centuries after the supposed impact. Now, a new paper in Nature confirms that the original claim is almost absurdly flawed:
Tankersley et al. claim a cosmic airburst over modern-day Cincinnati, Ohio in the 3rd or fourth century CE catalyzed the decline of Hopewell culture. This claim is extraordinary in the face of hundreds of archaeological investigations in the Middle Ohio River Valley (MORV) that have heretofore provided no evidence of a widespread cataclysm or “social decline” in need of explanation. Tankersley et al. misrepresent primary sources, conflate discrete archaeological contexts, improperly use chronological analyses, insufficiently describe methods, and inaccurately characterize the source of supposed extraterrestrial materials to support an incorrect conclusion. While charcoal and burned soils are found on virtually all excavated Middle Woodland archaeological sites in the region, these have prosaic explanations. Many of the burned “habitation surfaces” mentioned are actually prepared surfaces for ceremonial fires, not the result of a synchronous regional catastrophe. Radiocarbon dated samples from one context are mistakenly attributed to distinct and unrelated contexts. The chronological analysis does not support the notion of a single event spanning 15,000 km2. The composition of their supposed extraterrestrial materials is inconsistent with an origin in comet or asteroid events. In sum, there is no evidence to support the conclusion that a comet exploded over modern-day Cincinnati in the third or fourth century CE.
The whole paper is a great read and a decisive rebuke to the expansive but fantastical types of claims Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis researchers have proposed.
The U.S. House of Representatives has published the CV that David Grusch submitted prior to his testimony before a House subcommittee last week. It reveals a startling and undisclosed potential conflict of interest between Grusch’s public statements and his private business interests. In the CV, we learn that in May of this year, Grusch started a new job as the chief operating officer for the Sol Foundation, an organization founded by Garry Nolan, the UFO-investigating Stanford professor who is afraid of open windows because of a childhood alien abduction attempt. The Sol Foundation is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, the aerospace industry hub where Space Command was supposed to move until Pres. Biden canceled the plans this week, alongside Radiance Technologies, the defense contractor Secret of Skinwalker Ranch star Travis Taylor (who thinks he’s infected with a disembodied alien parasite) and former UAPTF head Jay Stratton (the werewolf-haunted Skinwalker portal believer) quietly work for. It supposedly produces advisory and public work for the U.S. government. Chris Mellon is listed as one of the company’s directors. This certainly isn’t suspicious at all.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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