Last week, Avi Loeb appointed Lue Elizondo and Chris Mellon, formerly of To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and the History Channel, to the advisory board of his Galileo Project, the Harvard-backed organization hunting UFOs. Events this week made it a little clearer why Loeb took the extraordinary step to open his “scientific” search for UFOs to men who have variously claimed to have psychic powers, speculated that UFOs emerge from undersea portals to other dimensions, and endorsed fantasies about the U.S. government recovering dwarf aliens from a 1945 UFO crash site.
On Thursday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced an amendment, SA 4281, that would establish an Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office with an advisory panel to guide its work. While the provisions of the proposed amendment are largely beyond my scope—I am not terribly interested in the bureaucracy of collecting and disseminating UFO reports within the federal government—it was fairly clear, as Adam Kehoe pointed out on Twitter today, that Gillibrand’s amendment echoed quite closely a proposal Mellon recently made on his blog. The Office’s name, for example, is very close to Mellon’s proposed “Office of Strategic Anomaly Resolution,” and his proposal for members of the advisory panel found fruition in Gillibrand’s amendment. Mellon suggested bringing Avi Loeb in, and Gillibrand concurred, seeking to give him the personal power to appoint several members of the advisory committee—despite his Galileo Project having existed only a few months and having produced exactly zero science as of today.
But what Loeb did do is hire Mellon, who had also gotten him a sweet spot ensconced in the very UFO program Mellon advocated for. And now Mellon is advising Loeb, who will be picking the advisors to the Pentagon. I give it better than even odds that Loeb appoints either Mellon or Elizondo if the legislation is approved. It’s all very cozy, but seems antithetical to Loeb’s claims when the Galileo Project launched that he wouldn’t be involved with any government UFO research in order to keep his data open and transparent, and free from classification. Now he will be bound by the same government rules and secrecy as all of the other spooks and kooks hunting UFOs for Uncle Sam.
Gillibrand also wants to bring into the advisory panel the Scientific Coalition for Unexplained Aerial Phenomena Studies, a group of UFO researchers with some rather dubious ideas about UFOs, particularly the Navy’s UFO videos.
All in all, it looks like a grand effort to legitimize ufology rather than to identify and explain the causes of perceived UFO sightings.
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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