I am rather amazed at the cognitive dissonance that dominates the discussion of the Pentagon’s UFO kickback scheme that saw $22 million in federal dollars mostly given to Robert Bigelow, a wealthy friend of former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, who funded the program at Bigelow’s behest. Many ufologists are ecstatic over the revelation that the government shoveled money into private hands, declaring it evidence that “disclosure” is upon us, but these are the same ufologists who have spent decades concocting elaborate conspiracies casting the government as an evil agent suppressing the truth and actively working to assassinate anyone who dared to reveal too much.
I fail to understand why the people who feel that the Pentagon masterminded a 70-year coverup now fully trust Reid to reveal the “truth.”
Even more bizarre is the reaction of Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli, who compared the disclosure of the Pentagon office to gay marriage. Yes, really. It all started when Tucker Carlson interviewed former Navy pilot David Fravor, who claimed that he saw a craft “not of this world.” Marzulli appears to have a bit of a government fetish, for he mistakes a Navy pilot for a certified declaration of an alien presence.
This is disclosure of the so-called extraterrestrial presence. As I stated a few days ago in my blog, you would think this would wake up the church! Not a chance. The snooze button has been hit and it’s business as usual. Just like when Gay Marriage became the law of the land under the Obummer administration. Not a peep was heard from the church… not a peep. […] We have to ask ourselves, why Fravor was trotted out now to “spill the beans” as it were? His testimony is true and I wonder about the timing of it. In other words, what’s next?
I am rather taken by the idea that there is something sacred or special about the government declaring something true. Consider all the things that the government says are true that large portions of the public refuse to accept or demand that the government retract: that vaccines are not linked to autism, that climate change is real, etc.; and all the things that the government says are true that turn out to be lies: that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, basically everything Donald Trump says, etc. And yet in this case, when former or current government officials claim aliens are real, Marzulli greets it like a pronouncement from on high. Is there some sort of residual belief that government is not made up of fallible people with their petty agendas but rather embodies some divine spirit of the General Will or the Mandate of Heaven? What, precisely, makes a government official’s belief in aliens worth more than that of an astronomer or a farmer?
Despite this, I am also interested in learning more about these alleged alien alloys that have been making the rounds in response to the New York Times report that Bigelow had modified buildings in Las Vegas to house them. The other day, I noted that it seems beyond coincidence that Tom DeLonge and Jacques Vallée both claimed to have access to similar lumps of metal and that both men had connections to Bigelow. Robert Shaeffer of Bad UFOs added the further detail, which I did not remember, that Bigelow’s onetime employee George Knapp, who is also a UFO journalist, provided the Nevada museum that Harry Reid helped designate a part of the Smithsonian with just such a lump of “alien” metal for their credulous Roswell crash exhibition. Again, likely no coincidence.
The Times journalist who broke the Pentagon UFO story appeared on MSNBC to discuss the alloys, and Ralph Blumenthal’s credulous explanation offers a sad commentary on the lack of critical thinking among the media:
They have, as we reported in the paper, some material from these objects that is being studied so that scientists can find what accounts for their amazing properties, this technology of these objects, whatever they are. […] They don’t know [what they are]. They're studying it, but it’s some kind of compound that they don't recognize.
Blumenthal has no evidence that this is true beyond the testimony of Luis Elizondo, the former Pentagon official who revealed the existence of the UFO program and is now a paid executive of Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science. In fact, Blumenthal told Live Science that he “can’t go beyond” what he could “verify” for the paper, though he happily speculated for MSNBC about “amazing” properties that he has no evidence for. Frankly, I wouldn’t take a claim like that at face value without at least a scientific paper or a lab report to support it. But then I’m not a New York Times journalist, so perhaps I don’t have as keen a sense for identifying truth sight unseen.
Live Science picked up on the story and asked leading experts what they think of the claims we’ve seen coming from Elizondo, DeLonge, Knapp, and Vallée—basically the Bigelow-adjacent ufologists—that there is some metal alloy beyond the power of science to understand.
“I don’t think it’s plausible that there’s any alloys that we can’t identify,” Richard Sachleben, a retired chemist and member of the American Chemical Society’s panel of experts, told Live Science. “My opinion? That’s quite impossible.”
Sachleben and chemist May Nyman went on to describe all of the reasons that it is all but impossible for an alloy to be unidentifiable. Basically it comes down to the fact that we know the elements and can use relatively simple scientific techniques to identify the elements in any alloy. “There are no alloys that are sitting in some warehouse that we cannot figure out what they are. In fact, it’s pretty simple, and any reasonably good metallurgical grad student can do it for you,” Sachleben told Live Science.
Vallée said in September that not only could he find no one to analyze the metals, but the non-chemists that he hired to do so were completely baffled by the metal’s atomic structure. According to Vallée, the metal’s unusual properties revolve around its composition in isotopic ratios not typically found in Earth or space, implying, he said, artificial composition. DeLonge, similarly, claims that the metal was 3-D printed, loses mass and floats when exposed to an electron beam, and can distort time and space. Naturally, no one involved has demonstrated any of these amazing properties, despite the Times reporter seeming to endorse the claims on MSNBC before backtracking to Live Science.
The two chemists noted that unusual alloys fall to Earth all the time, but through purely natural means such as those arriving in nickel-iron meteorites. I would be interested to hear what real chemists have to say about the claims of artificial alloys with magical powers.
The more important point was a far simpler one: Nobody involved in this bizarre story was asking the kinds of simple, basic questions that anyone making these claims would need to answer—or consulting the types of actual experts who could tell you how we would actually go about evaluating a strange metal.
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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