Gillibrand’s comments echo those of the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, who told the Washington Times over the weekend that he had seen no evidence of space aliens and had also seen no evidence that would support Grusch’s claims about a hidden flying saucer recovery and reverse-engineering program.
Perhaps Gillibrand is looking to distance herself from the alien claims because those claims are becoming a fever dream of the political right thanks to Republicans in the House and their media cheerleaders.
Believers in an otherworldly presence are already starting to lay the groundwork to prepare their audience for the failure of the promised “disclosure” to happen. Ross Coulthart, the Australian journalist who interviewed Grusch on NewsNation, ranted that Gillibrand may be defecting from the UFO cause and questioned whether the Deep State conspiracy had gotten to her. (He also offered, bizarrely, to have an anonymous source testify to Congress about the source’s great uncle claiming to have seen a photograph of an egg-shaped UFO at defense contractor EG&G more than forty years ago.) Lue Elizondo went still further, taking to a podcast to claim that “disclosure” might have to be canceled because “the phenomenon” would become upset at being exposed and retaliate against humanity. Funny how they didn’t retaliate against The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, despite that show having higher ratings than C-SPAN’s Congressional UFO hearing coverage.
Last week, though, the so-called QAnon Shaman, Jake Angeli-Chansley, who stormed the Capitol during the insurrection in a buffalo headdress, telegraphed where the UFO argument is destined to go on the political right when he appeared on conservative commentator Michael Knowles’s show to claim that UFOs and space aliens are also angels and demons and ufology is really a spiritual war by other means.
This is a very old claim, one that Kenneth Arnold encountered in the summer of 1947 when a crazed pastor phoned him right after his infamous flying saucer sighting to spread the gospel of Biblical ufology. But it’s also a claim that is seeping into the mainstream right in increasingly brazen ways. Fox News contributor Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis published an “explainer” for the network’s rightwing audience about how the Bible can be used to understand UFOs, making explicit reference to “demons” and “Satan’s army.” Maginnis wrote that “Some readers will dismiss the possibility of spiritual beings – angels and demons struggling for control. However, many of us accept that there is much we don’t understand.” He implied that UFOs are Satan’s machines and that demons are causing climate change, pandemics, and “out of control crime.” The consequences of this are of course obvious: The only effective solution isn’t “woke” policies or science but strict moralizing and Christian nationalism.
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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