On the same day that butt-probed alien abductee Whitley Strieber waded into the right-wing anti-trans campaign by opining that a woman is only “a person with 2 X chromosomes” and that “what people are and what we feel like are two different things,” Politico magazine gave fellow UFO advocate Chris Mellon prime real estate in Politico Magazine to insinuate, without evidence, that the United States has retrieved crashed alien spaceships, in an apparent effort to encourage additional funding for the many defense contractors vying for UFO investigation money—and his fellow ufologists who now work for them. That this piece ran only days after NASA reconfirmed that there is no known evidence of space aliens visiting earth or operating flying saucers is surely no coincidence. NASA’s briefing also declared Mellon’s analysis of the so-called “Go Fast” UFO video, which Mellon provided to the New York Times after Lue Elizondo took the video from the Pentagon without official permission, wrong. It was not traveling anomalously fast but was moving at the speed of the wind, like a balloon in the breeze.
Politico now describes Mellon as “a private equity investor,” which is probably all we really need to know about what is going on behind the scenes.
In his Politico piece, Mellon takes credit for lobbying Congress to begin a UFO investigation and create a Pentagon UFO office, AARO—something he denied for years. “We managed to convince them the phenomena were real and America needed to take action to determine the capabilities of these craft and the identity and intentions of their operators.” But the most important part of his article is his assertion about crashed UFOs. “There are persistent rumors that the U.S. government recovered ‘crash materials’ from UAP, and even that the government has been working secretly to reverse engineer the technology.”
Those rumors stem from hoaxes.
The claim of U.S. government retrieval of crashed saucers goes back to 1947, when two military officials were dispatched to Maury Island, Washington to retrieve alleged wreckage from a crashed flying disc. The wreckage was actually industrial slag from a nearby factory and the whole incident was an intention hoax, as the FBI later determined during an investigation. The current conspiracy about secret crash retrieval programs derives from a 1949 Variety article and a 1950 book published by Frank Scully, in which he alleged that the government had retrieved a flying saucer and alien bodies in March 1948. The claim was a hoax perpetrated on Scully by Silas Newton, as the FBI later determined (True magazine also exposed the hoax in 1953), but the pattern was already established and repeated many times over the decades, most famously with the 1970s-era invention of the Roswell UFO crash myth.
Mellon claims that he sent four witnesses with alleged information about crash retrieval programs involving alien spaceships to AARO and alleges that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told him directly that she would support revealing the presence of space aliens should she find one. It is perhaps fascinating that all of those people, plus Mellon and his colleagues, are more deeply afraid of violating government NDAs or leaking classified information than they are of space aliens. No Daniel Ellsberg among them, no profile in courage daring to be humanity’s hero and confirm we are not alone by standing up to the U.S. government. Why? Because even in Mellon’s own telling, there is no evidence, only hearsay.
Mellon concludes with some disturbing ideas about UFOs. He asserts—without evidence—that “disclosure” is imminent thanks to people like the Galileo Project. This assumes that aliens are real and are here, a faith-based claim from someone who by definition admits to knowing of no proof, or else he would have—should have, must—disclose it himself. He asserts that the United States government owns any alien technology recovered (good luck with that I.P. case) and that the super-weapons he believes we made from it could cow the world into submission before American authority. “To the degree the U.S. has these materials and our rivals do not, this could provide new and unprecedented leverage for the U.S.” How fortunate that aliens only crash their ships in America! He finishes by taking on the role of Ozymandias from Watchmen and arguing that the threat of alien invasion will create world peace, regardless of whether it’s real. In his mind, the hunt for UFOs will end war, heal the environment, and safeguard us from artificial intelligence. We need the threat to galvanize change, he argues.
Mellon’s piece is de facto evidence that he doesn’t have, and never did have, any evidence that space aliens are real or visiting earth. We don’t need an investigation for something that has already been proved true, after all. Instead, Mellon’s flexing in Politico is merely talking out of his ass, and he is using appeals to mystery and the aura of officialdom to will flatulence into fact.
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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