It’s been a cluttered news cycle the last few years, so it would be understandable if you missed some under-the-radar news that doesn’t get the same kind of attention. Unfortunately, it’s hard to hear much else through the noise of increased tensions with China, the war in Ukraine, and the various cultural conflicts raging across our country in seemingly every industry imaginable.
However, if you were listening very hard, you might’ve caught some sprinkling of news that the United States government has openly acknowledged that unidentified objects are flying in our airspace and that Congress has mandated that they report on it.
That’s right, baby, UFOs are real, albeit with an updated moniker – UAPs.
I had the pleasure of sitting with former Ministry of Defense official and Ancient Aliens contributor Nick Pope to discuss the implications of this news, why we should care about it, and the rise of the citizen scientist. So dust off those telescopes, queue up old X-File seasons, and get ready to have your mind blown by the United Kingdom’s real-life ‘Spooky Mulder’.
The long-awaited ODNI report on UFOs has finally dropped. Here’s what I think is the key quote: “Some of these uncharacterized UAP appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities, and require further analysis”.https://t.co/Oe19irNWV4 pic.twitter.com/dhObbXhO67
— Nick Pope (@nickpopemod) January 13, 2023
It’s Not a Bird, it’s Not a Plane, and it Sure isn’t Superman
The last few years have seen the unprecedented release and acknowledgment by the Pentagon of videos taken by military aircraft of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). In 2022, Congress held the first open Congressional hearings on UFOs since Project Blue Book in the 1950s.
“There is simply no denying the fact that the United States government is now treating this as a national defense security issue,” said Pope.
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The significance of Congress’ interest in UAPs is profound. Pope points this out because “it’s one of the few bipartisan issues in our divided times.” He’s certainly not wrong when it comes to that.
Just about everyone from Republican Senator Marco Rubio to Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants answers, as well as they should. To put what has been happening into perspective: these crafts have been going in and out of our military airspace without permission or impunity.
Are they Chinese? North Korean? Little green men from Mars? We don’t know, and that should bother every American.
This is of broad concern primarily because we lack the capability to identify them, let alone give permission or punishment. The fact that this is happening affects all of us, whether you believe in extraterrestrials or not.
So what are these things zooming in and out of the sky and, mind you, also the seas? The first report given by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was more than likely accurate in their initial assessment, according to Mr. Pope.
There is wide speculation that these objects could be our own ‘kit,’ technology that we are experimenting with that is unknown to the American public and possibly other aspects of the government. Or they are new tech from our adversaries we have yet to understand technologically.
Many argue that there is no way it could be Russian drones, given their lackluster attempt to invade Ukraine.
“Never underestimate Russia,” Pope chillingly and accurately warns to those that think Russian capability should be ruled out.
Just for the sake of contemplation, let’s say that these UAPs are more other-worldly. What does that mean not just to the United States, but humanity as a whole?
Is ‘UFOs and nukes’ a thing, or is it a consequence of nuclear facilities being more heavily surveilled? Here’s a brief primer on the issue and an explanation of why – whatever the answer to that question, and whatever the true nature of UAP – it’s important we find out. https://t.co/Is02NmW2nX
— Nick Pope (@nickpopemod) January 8, 2023
‘I Want to Believe’
Congress’ inclusion in the recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of reporting procedures and essentially cover for military members to come forward with reports of UAPs has led to a surge in sightings. The Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) recently disclosed in their updated report that of the 366 UAP reported sightings, 171 are unexplained.
Mr. Pope argues that if even one of those ends up being of extra-terrestrial origin, it would fundamentally change how we understand almost everything in our society.
“It is the ultimate low probability high impact scenario,” as he put it.
It would be, as Mr. Pope says, “the day before and the day after.” It would change the way we view our individual and international conflicts permanently.
Whether they are here to hurt or observe us, their existence and disclosure would shake the foundation of everything from religion to technology, from what it means to be human to our understanding of our place in existence itself. However, the government may already know of their existence.
Pope shed light on a letter sent from the Defense Intelligence Agency to the office of Senators John McCain and Harry Reid in 2018 regarding studies done by the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program (AATIP). The list of studies had some exciting and eyebrow-raising titles, such as:
- Advanced Nuclear Propulsion for Manned Deep Space Missions
- Invisibility Cloaking
- Traversable Wormholes, Stargates, and Negative Energy
- Warp Drive, Dark Energy, and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions
The above isn’t all-inclusive but the list has many more jaw-dropping nuggets, including perhaps my favorite titled “An Introduction to the Statistical Drake Equation.” For those of you non-nerds out there, the Drake Equation attempts to discern how many alien civilizations are in the universe and are detectable.
Our US government has been studying these concepts with your taxpayer money. Why did this happen? What have they discovered? Why don’t they talk about it more publicly?
Irony: archaeologists say the @Graham__Hancock series “Ancient Apocalypse” is unscientific, yet much of archaeology has moved *away* from science, and embraced woke concepts like “let’s not sex skeletal remains, because we don’t know how those people would have identified”!
— Nick Pope (@nickpopemod) November 26, 2022
Tug of War
If you are anything like me, you’ve got to be sitting there right now asking yourself how this wasn’t and still isn’t more important news. Part of it could be a hesitation by the mainstream media and scientific community to accept that UFOs and alien life are no longer fringe topics, but actual newsworthy and essential subjects to touch on.
Pope explained to me that there is also what he believes as a clear “dogfight within the US government on this issue.”
“There is disagreement on two things – the true nature of the phenomenon and how to respond to it – both the phenomenon itself and to the public and media,” he added.
I think this is an important insight by Richard Dolan. Why should our very Government not be held to standards of common decency? If indeed we’ve been lied to about UAP. https://t.co/VY4U1cYa34
— Post Disclosure World (@PostDisclosure) January 26, 2023
It is quite the veritable tug of war between the government skeptics and believers. We witnessed this in journalism, with mainstream outlets such as the New York Times publishing articles attempting to debunk the UFO theory before the second UAP report.
This conflict is also felt within the scientific community. The idea that the “science is settled” isn’t unique to just medicine; many mainstream scientists scoff at the thought of UFOs or alien visitors completely.
While Pope isn’t a scientist, he does understand the basic tenets of science, which is, unfortunately, more than I can say for some mainstream scientists running around these days.
“Science is all about coming up with a hypothesis,” Pope stated, “then designing an experiment to test it, gather your data, analyze it, recheck and validate.”
Pope emphasized how “Scientists and academics are now coming on board” with the concept that we might not be alone in the universe.
From Avi Loeb at Harvard University and his Galileo Project to Michio Kaku, who actively studies string theory as one of the creators of string field theory, the question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe is becoming more mainstream each and every day
Of course, we can’t talk about this subject without bringing up fellow Ancient Aliens contributor aerospace engineer Dr. Travis Taylor who not only stars on the popular Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch series- but also has been the Chief Scientist on the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force.
Thanks to shows like Ancient Aliens, Skinwalker Ranch, and the recent admission by the US government that there is indeed something out there, interest in these topics has perhaps never been higher. Mr. Pope called them ‘citizen scientists,’ which I love as I consider myself a ‘citizen journalist.’
“Anyone with a bit of curiosity and passion can make new discoveries,” said Pope.
“I wouldn’t trust these people if they told me the sun was coming up tomorrow. This is classic Washington arrogance.”
— Rep. Tim Burchett (@RepTimBurchett) January 21, 2023
Could it be?
You may be asking yourself, is my favorite spicy political commentator a believer or a skeptic? I would answer I’m a bit of both, which is healthy.
In a world where we are increasingly asked, dare I say, required to define ourselves by one polarizing label or another, we could stand to all define ourselves as a little bit of both from time to time. There are some things in this world that are beyond explanation, for now – and it’s high time the scientific community follows suit with our government and admits as much.
So disappointing that someone as well-respected and intelligent as Michio Kaku would go on live TV and absolutely butcher this story to a massive audience
This “Earth core stopped spinning” thing has become the biggest SciComm failure in recent memory pic.twitter.com/A1EpGAoxGg
— Chris Combs (iterative design enjoyer) (@DrChrisCombs) January 27, 2023
“I would never be so arrogant just to say we found everything,” said Pope as our conversation concluded.
Yet, too often, the collective ‘we’ tend to be just that arrogant. There is no way aliens could’ve helped build the pyramids of Giza or visit us now to see our military capabilities – we know everything about history. Besides…the distance is too vast.
To think that just because we can’t do something, we assume that others can’t as well, what an arrogant species we’ve become. However, thanks to better technology, radar, satellite tech, and now artificial intelligence, as Pope pointed out how we’re “finding new stuff all the time.”
Who am I or any of us to say that aliens don’t exist, aren’t actively visiting us now, and perhaps could have visited us in the past? Could it be, could it just possibly be, that we aren’t alone, that there is more to our history, present, and future than we may think?
“Why wouldn’t we want to ask those questions? They’re interesting, and they’re fun,” Pope had stated to me earlier.
I couldn’t agree more, and when it comes to the government, the fact that they are asking those questions means whether you are a believer, a skeptic, or like me…a bit of both, you should be asking yourself…Could it be?
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