The biggest problem is the underlying assumption that Elizondo makes but immediately says there is no evidence to support, namely that the “phenomenon” is actually “technology”: “I worked with a team to assess whether a particular chess piece — in this case in the form of an unfamiliar aerial technology — was a threat to our side of the chess board.” But he went on to decry “how little UAPs are understood” and that basically everything about them is “a complete mystery.” So, if that is the case, how does he know that they are “technology” and not something else? After all, his own partners at To the Stars, including Hal Puthoff, have suggested that these aerial phenomena could be related to poltergeists and have a psychical rather than a physical presence.
The answer is fairly obvious: He doesn’t know. If he did have proof, then his own blog post must be an intentional lie, since he would be speculating about the many possibilities that could explain information whose truth he knows. He also hides behind the mystery of classification, claiming that UAP information is classified, even though the program he worked for was not classified and then-senator Harry Reid appealed to the undersecretary of defense to increase its security standing.
That’s why the following passage makes so little sense:
From a national security perspective, exploitation is the holy grail of endeavors. It’s critical to determine whether UAP technology could be reverse-engineered and used to our benefit, but we can’t exploit such technology unless we first understand it.
If the material is classified, then Elizondo is claiming to tease information about classified programs and research whose existence has never been confirmed, all while refusing to provide the confirmation needed to make the tease into something actionable. If it is not classified, then he is purposely hiding the truth, perhaps to make the story sound better. After all, “less than it should” could mean anything—or nothing. Conveniently, there is a big “INVEST” button on the screen to let readers know that they might find out more if they only pony up more cash.
Of deeper concern is Elizondo’s adoption of some of the most cynical ufology arguments to claim that there are nefarious reasons that UFO disclosure isn’t happening:
If you ask a military leader, for example, they would say government secrecy about advanced aerospace phenomena is crucial because you want to avoid broadcasting your capabilities and intentions to your potential enemy.
He then states in boldface that the Catholic Church “nearly killed” Galileo for advocating heliocentrism, a common touchstone in fringe arguments despite the fact that the Church has not exercised temporal power in a century and a half. He also repeats the canard that ancient people believed that sailing around the world was impossible because they would fall off the edge, a claim that hasn’t been true in the Western world at least since Greek times.
These strawmen positions are stereotypes, and quite cynical. But they serve a purpose, for Elizondo then contrasts these fake arguments—would even the hacks in Congress consider the discovery of extraterrestrial life to be a voter turnout problem?—with his own false claim to have no religious or political agenda.
Near the end of his blog post, Elizondo seems to accidentally give the game away. While he maintained in the first half of his posting that UFOs were “technology” that required a revised form of quantum physics to begin to comprehend, at the end he seemed to reverse himself:
What our ancestors thought were sea monsters are great white sharks, blue whales, and giant squid. It turns out that they’re just another part of our natural environment. Once people committed to discovering the truth for themselves, it was no longer mystical, it was just nature.
He even refers to the UFO myth as the “monsters of [our] imaginations”!
If we apply his analogy to UFOs, as he asks us to do, then what is he actually saying? I suppose he is trying to say that the amazing powers attributed to UFOs are the product of physics, and therefore natural. But technology isn’t nature, and analogizing it that way is deceptive. His analogy, however, gives us a better answer: We are looking a natural phenomenon of a sort, one in which human imagination imparts a technological narrative onto a random and scattered set of various sensory inputs of multiple potential origins.
The sad part, of course, is that Elizondo might be right that agents of the U.S. government actually believe in non-human technology based on cognitive biases, ideology, and four decades of work by Hal Puthoff and others to infect the government with paranormal beliefs, creating a feedback loop where facts are interpreted through a lens of belief.
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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