Steven Greer Claims UFO Disclosure Will Solve Climate Change and Create World Peace; Plus: Peter Levenda Is at It Again
Over the past year, Dr. Steven Greer has raised almost $700,000 to produce a documentary and companion book called Unacknowledged that claims to investigate questions surrounding UFO “disclosure.” I was surprised to see that Greer has hired Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul costar Giancarlo Esposito to narrate the film, according to Movie Web. We have been down this path before, of course. Greer produced Sirius a few years ago, promising disclosure then, too, and the results were underwhelming—a bunch of hearsay and a fetal skeleton.
The trailer for the new documentary offers nothing interesting enough to suggest that Greer has anything important to say, or any real revelations. However, there is an intriguing suggestion that even for Greer, UFOs are no longer strictly speaking alien spacecraft but some sort of darker, deeper secret, owing, we might imagine, to the total lack of evidence for space aliens visiting the Earth. See if you can catch the switch:
One talking head says, “These deeper black programs, they have the technology to hoax an alien invasion. They could do it, and they could do it in a way that is 100% believable.” Greer himself says that “it’s very easy to set up a ‘false flag’ operation,” likening UFOs to the famously nonexistent weapons of mass destruction that provided the casus belli for the Iraq War. A third talking head breathlessly claims that America fabricated the Cold War, the War on Terror, and “Third World country crazies” to create fake enemies, and the upcoming alien space menace is also fictitious: “All of it is a lie!” For American ufologists, America is the only country important or powerful enough to dominate the world’s understanding of UFOs, and apparently all of history, too.
Greer adds that members of the media are paid to hide the truth on pain of assassination (“this bullet has your name on it, and it will find you!”), though surprisingly Greer remains unharmed despite his decades-long tease that someday he might actually disclose something the government doesn’t want you to know.
But what really interests me is the grandiose claim that Greer makes in his press release, one that points toward the actual underlying motives behind the entire fictitious UFO “disclosure” enterprise:
Unacknowledged will vividly paint a picture of the profound existential crisis and choice now facing humanity and the Earth: Continue with the status quo and face a near-extinction event, or embrace a new world free of poverty and pollution while we look forward to embrace an interstellar future. The one path leads to endless war, global climate and environmental catastrophe and upheaval; the other a world of peace, abundance and a sustainable interstellar civilization for thousands of years yet to come.
And there you have it. The question really isn’t about whether alien contact occurred. Indeed, if it had, you’d think people like Greer and the other talking heads would be filled with rapt wonderment at coming so close to experiencing the fantasy of a thousand generations, to make contact with an unearthly intelligence. Instead, the real issue is buried under a layer of mythology, a discontent with the current political, economic, and social “status quo” and the fantasy that a supernatural force can overturn the old heaven and the old earth and replace it with a new heaven and a new earth. It’s interesting that Greer speaks almost too closely in the terms of the Christian Millennium, but it is also fascinating to see what he takes for the Beast: “Oil, the PetroDollar, coal, public utilities, surface roads, jets and all current means of energy generation and transportation,” all the works of the “Military-Industrial-Financial complex.” It’s good that he got “financial” in there, since we wouldn’t want the conspiracy to get too far away from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, whose claims of a global conspiracy to manipulate minds, control the media, and dominate governments and finance have uncanny echoes with the invisible conspiracy Greer teases. When you run out of “evidence,” somehow a conspiracy of international bankers and their media allies always becomes the go-to stopgap.
But Greer’s feints toward a form of “disclosure” that negates the need to find evidence of alien spacecraft echoes similar trends across ufology, where physical evidence is more often than not a quaint remnant of a time when UFOs were still thought to be physical craft from another world rather than psychic projections, interdimensional holograms, or whatever other incorporeal phantasm fits the bill.
As you will recall, former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge is one of those who has been somewhat stop and go in terms of navigating the divide between nuts-and-bolts flying saucers and ethereal projections. In his recent book with Peter Levenda, for example, he argued both that these ships were the real-life inspiration for world religions, but also that they were psychic projections inserted into our minds by a cabal of secret controllers. It’s probably worth mentioning that his co-author, Levenda, is none too happy that I have criticized the quasi-religious approach to ufology. In a Facebook posting, Levenda singled me out by name and declared that he would delete any future references to me (and another critic as well) made by visitors to his Facebook page.
Levenda has become quite defensive about what he perceives to be efforts to dismiss his and DeLonge’s work based on their biographies. While their personal stories can speak toward their ethos (credibility), one of the three pillars of Aristotelian argument, that ultimately speaks only to whether we trust that the speaker is telling the truth without the need to verify the evidence independently. I don’t trust them, but that’s not due to their biographies as much as it is due to their professed desire to hide the “truth” beneath a blizzard of fiction, propaganda, and teases for upcoming products. Thus, the heart of Levenda’s argument is problematic:
And if Tom knows something about the UFO Phenomenon, should he keep it all to himself because, you know, celebrity? If he had contacts and meetings with people up the military-industrial food chain, should he keep all that secret because, you know, Blink-182?
No, he should ACTUALLY SAY SOMETHING. Sekret Machines: Gods contains no evidence of any of this. DeLonge and Levenda specifically write that they do not feel the need to defend the reality of the UFO phenomenon because they believe it has already been proved. The claims about the “phenomenon” and secret “meetings” are, so far, nothing but hot air used to promote DeLonge’s projects, with not a single substantive fact or verifiable claim emerging to support it. (The Defense Department told the Washington Post last week that they have no record of meetings with DeLonge, though they noted that some retired personnel may have met with him if news reports were to be believed.) At some point, self-pitying and propagandizing can’t replace a very simple truth: Put up or shut up. Actually provide some evidence, or stop complaining that everyone has noticed you forgot to include the proof in your pretty package of UFO fantasies.
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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