In an earlier post of mine I expressed a desire to hear people's "big-picture" views of what they think is going on with whistleblowers like David Grusch and other current and formerly high ranking officials coming forward and making the kinds of claims we've been hearing in the news lately. In this tweet, Eric Weinstein expresses a similar confusion and desire to figure out what the best explanation might be for this whole thing. The explanations he mentions are:
I came across an article that I think provides a pretty compelling hypothesis that I haven't seen elsewhere and wanted to share it here in the hopes of discussing it. The thesis is the following:
I stand by my statement: Something is wildly off. Either: A) Our pilots are crazy and/or liars.
B) There is a psy-op gaslighting our own people.
C) We are too incompetent to call our own people.
D) There is secret long-standing involvement of top scientists.
E) There are some crazy seagull and Mylar balloon effects.
F) A cult of UFOs has infected the pentagon.
G) China and others are taking over our airspace and we are using UFOs as an excuse rather than dealing with the problem.
I think there's something to this and am curious if folks here find it plausible, and if so, are there features of this account that don't quite fit, or things they'd *add* to this explanation to account for some other features of the phenomenon we're observing? In the philosophy of science there are generally certain features that good explanations/theories should possess. Good explanations tend to be judged on the basis of empirical adequacy, logical consistency, conceptual clarity, comprehensiveness, parsimony, falsifiability, generativity, openness to revision, practical utility, and causal explanations. Where would you rank this explanation if judged by those set of criteria?
I don't personally get the impression that Grusch or involved in any shady business (after all, he "seems sincere", to paraphrase Shellenberger). That, of course, doesn't mean that we need credit any of the stories he's conveying. We should also question why, if the stories are not true, they're being funneled to Grusch in the first place. Is this part of a psychological operation? A counter-intelligence effort using UFOs as a cover? A grift? Or a bizarre mix of these? Is this really a giant cosplay? A straight up hoax? A prank for the hell of it? Who's to say? In one sense it doesn't matter, given that there are no aliens littering the Earth with their technology, but of course the reasons why these stories are being amplified and why they find traction among intrigued audiences is most surely of social and political significance.
I'd like to offer another possibility to the above litany. Could the people feeding Grusch their stories have heard enough UFO yarns to cause them to get the impression that something they'd genuinely caught sight of or worked on could be related to such stories? I'll call it the "periphery hypothesis": when people with technical or intelligence credentials hear just enough while being denied key details, leading them to think that something must be going on whose nature defies everyday explanation. These people, working in an environment of secrecy and censorship, hear rumors of what might be, assimilate these with tropes from ufology that are already doing the rounds, and then these same individuals themselves start feeding ideas and embellishments into the circuit - ideas and embellishments that eventually come full circle and reach back to the self-same people as "confirmation", told to them now by "independent parties".
It's easy to see that the wildest speculations can seem to take on a sort of objective reality of their own when they are being conveyed by people drinking from the same fountain and the fountain is obscured. I would argue that most of ufology, at least if we understand that term to mean the subculture around UFO belief and alien visitation/abduction/tech recovery tropes, works along these lines, with circuits of feedback amplifying narratives and stories, but it is perhaps especially the case that such stories might find especial resonance in the intelligence community. If so, this may speak to the need for reform in the American intelligence apparatus, as Jason Colavito and Jack Brewer, among others, have intimated. An affirmative answer to the question, "Does the IC environment produce people who become receptive to the UFO message?" is not mutually exclusive to affirmative answer to the reciprocal "Do people who are receptive to the UFO message find the IC environment appealing?" I would suspect that some of these people reach for the UFO out of frustration, though, and if they are attracted to the "IC environment" it is not in this regard, which they naturally find stymieing and suffocating.
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