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Tue Jul 13, 2021, 08:33 PM

The UFO Rogues Gallery Takes Over America [View all]

Skeptoid Media

In December of 2017, the New York Times ran a story that shocked America: it was the disclosure of a $22 million program at the Pentagon called AATIP (the Advanced Aerial Threat Identification Program), accompanied by three short black & white video clips from an F-18 fighter screen. To most people, this was a seismic revelation; but to those who have studied UFO culture for a long time, it was yet another groan-inducing chapter in a long, long history involving the same cast of characters over many decades, a chapter in the book of how a small number of believers in the paranormal and alien visitation have used every tool at their disposal to persuade the American public of their viewpoint. It's a story involving many threads, many individuals, and many groups; and today we're going to do our best to use the skeptical eye to unpack and organize it as best we can. When the public is being successfully fooled, it's always worthwhile to pull back the curtain and reveal the tricksters.

This is going to be a rare 2-part episode, which I'm really bummed about because the whole point of it is to lay bare the through-line that goes from the 1960s all the way to the present day — the same people, making the same claims about UFOs, and only now in the past few years getting the huge amount of public attention. That's what's really critical to understand: You've seen these videos from the US Navy allegedly showing UFOs and any reasonable person would assume that something new and exciting has been observed. But it hasn't. This isn't new news, it's literally 50-year-old news. However, once I got the episode written out, it was simply too long to squeeze into a Skeptoid episode. So I'm going to ask you bear with me and sit on the edge of your seat for the full one-week span between episode releases. Today we're going to pick up the story way back in the 1960s when it truly began, and next week we'll bring it all the way to the present day.

The spiritual leaders of this rogues gallery, as it were, are former astronomers and UFOlogists Jacques Vallée and the late J. Allen Hynek. They became friends in the 1960s over their shared interest in the metaphysical, specifically an idea they both shared based on their observation that poltergeists and UFOs both had a habit of appearing and disappearing. Their belief was poltergeists and UFOs — explicitly referring to alien spacecraft in this case — were the same manifestation of inter-dimensional beings. Together with their young protegé, the devout Scientologist Hal Puthoff, Vallée jokingly referred to the little group as the Invisible College, a reference to their special knowledge unseen by others.

Part 1: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ufo-rogues-gallery-takes-over-america-part-1/id203844864?i=1000527995064

Part 2: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ufo-rogues-gallery-takes-over-america-part-2/id203844864?i=1000528740316

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brooklynite Jul 2021 OP
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