11-30-2011, 11:31 PM
A fascinating new initiative from Leslie keane, author of UFOs:
Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record -
http://www.amazon.com/UFOs-Generals-Pilots-Government-Officials/dp/0307716848 (http://www.amazon.com/UFOs-Generals-Pilots-Government-Officials/dp/0307716848)


By Leslie Kean, Weird News, Huffington Post, November 30, 2011

In UFO circles, much fuss has been made about a recent response by the
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to two
petitions on extraterrestrial/human communications, posted on a
government website.

Phil Larson, who was tasked to respond, has been accused of everything
from lying, to cover-ups, to gross incompetence. But the real problem
lies with the inappropriate and fundamentally flawed content of the
petitions themselves -- not with the government reply to them.

The critics seem to have lost sight of what the petitions actually said
and did not say, while insulting and lashing out at Larson.

One petition asks the Obama administration to "immediately disclose the
government's knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial
beings" and the other to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial
presence engaging the human race."

The former asks for congressional hearings about "this subject"
(communications with ET) while the latter requests the release of
documents about "this phenomenon" (an extraterrestrial presence).

Thousands of people signed on to the assumptions that extraterrestrial
beings have been secretly talking to our government or somehow are
involved with the whole human race. Try thinking about these bizarre and
murky statements from the perspective of a scientifically-oriented
government official.

How is he to make sense of such absurd requests?

Neither petition had anything to do with the subject of UFOs, as
properly defined; no request for data on UFOs was included. And, chances
are, Larson knows very little, if anything, about the evidence for UFOs.
Like most government scientists, he likely dismissed the subject long
ago as baseless and therefore irrelevant to space policy, and has never
looked into it.

Consequently, it's entirely logical that Larson would not make the leap
from the question of extraterrestrial communications to the issue of
physical unidentified flying objects. Did the petitioners not expect
that their requests would be taken at face value?

Without asking for acknowledgment of evidence for UFOs, you can't slam
Larson for not providing it. He addressed the petitioners' concerns with
an update on the current status of the scientific search for
extraterrestrial life: "The U.S. government has no evidence that any
life exists outside our planet or that an extraterrestrial presence has
contacted or engaged any member of the human race.

In addition there is no credible information to suggest that any
evidence is being hidden from the public's eye." The "any evidence" here
refers specifically to evidence of ET interacting with humans, not to
evidence for UFOs. Within the realm of science and logic, his statement
happens to be true. Unfortunately, the badly worded petitions asked for
the wrong thing -- something obviously impossible for the White House to

And, sadly for all of us, the subsequent attacks on Larson's statement
(called "a travesty against the public" by one leading UFO researcher)
will not serve to motivate officials to help our cause.
It's important to realize that these two petitions received attention
only because they acquired the requisite 5,000 signatures (now the
minimum is 25,000) along with hundreds of others.

Larson's response does not represent some kind of formal government
statement on the UFO issue -- far from it. Larson simply provided an
obligatory scientific response to citizens seeking an announcement of
contact with extraterrestrials. The significance of his statement should
not be blown out of proportion or spun as something that it is not.

I would like to share some comments from government insiders whom I
asked to read the petition about an "extraterrestrial presence," since
this one garnered the most signatures.

Ed Rothschild, principal with the Podesta Group, a leading government
relations and public relations firm in Washington, is "a seasoned
veteran at strategic communications" with "dynamic experience in both
Congress and the public interest community," according to the firm's Web

Ed has provided assistance to my group, the "Coalition for Freedom of
Information," in the past, and is an expert at positioning the UFO issue
in Washington. His response to the petition is as follows:

Those who claim that extraterrestrials are here are simply
propagating nonsense -- a non-scientific belief that defies credibility.
This is counter-productive and undermines efforts to get serious
government attention for the issue of the existence of life beyond our
solar system. I can't imagine this silly statement would go anywhere
except into government office waste baskets.

The only way to approach the issue of unexplained aerial phenomena
in Washington and expect results is to present the facts and seek a
legitimate inquiry into the small percentage of well-documented cases
worthy of serious investigation. The approach represented by this
petition has been shown many times before to be a failure.

Further, those propagating this nonsense choose to make outrageous
claims simply to get media attention, rather than focusing on the hard
work that science requires.

Nick Pope, who worked for the UK's Ministry of Defense for 21 years and
was in charge of the government UFO project in the 1990s, also has
serious concerns:

Any statement that implies the government is lying is going to be
counter-productive. When someone accuses you of being part of a
cover-up, you can't and don't engage with them. I got this sort of thing
all the time at the Ministry of Defense, and no meaningful dialogue was
possible with such people. I simply gave them a polite brush-off, and I
understand exactly why this is necessary within government. To get
results, a constructive request should stress the reasons why the
phenomenon is worthy of official investigation.

And what about members of Congress? ...."

Read more - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/ufos-and-government_b_1094028.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/ufos-and-government_b_1094028.html)