As told to Boxoffice:
I'd say that 80 percent of Men in Black III is true and 20 percent is just embellishment. The core idea that there's extraterrestrials living on this planet that can fit in to look like us, there's a lot of evidence that that is what's really been going on. But if I told people that there's a secret agency where they dress up in black suits and they go around silencing people using these kind of mind-altering technologies, they'd go, "Oh! You watched Men in Black! What a joke." It's brilliant, it's really brilliant.
Movies like Men in Black III are a really good way of hiding the truth in plain sight. The best way to hide something is to make it look ridiculous and announce it to the whole world. "Oh look! Someone says they saw something!" You exaggerate it, sensationalize it and present that idea in a way that's easily discredited, and then the original idea is discredited. The truth is out there, but no one will believe it.
A comedy is a great way to present people ideas in a very safe, non-threatening way. If Men in Black is true, that's a pretty scary thought: that these advanced extra-terrestrials could be living amongst us and there's a government agency set up to monitor them. But when you present it as a comedy, you can laugh at it. Then you have Will Smith—someone you know well, someone who is a likable guy—as the government agent. And if, for example, six months down the tracks, President Obama says, "Actually, Men in Black III is based on fact," then people will be more comfortable with it because they were able to laugh at it first.
UFO researchers have found that some of the best UFO cases were originally released in the National Enquirer. Immediately, the ideas in the story were discredited. In the 1960s, there were stories that UFOs were seen hovering over nuclear weapons facilities which would then be deactivated. Those stories first appeared in the National Enquirer, and of course any serious reporter at the Washington Post or New York Times then saw them as being ridiculous. As it turns out later on, these stories were accurate—indeed, flying saucers were hovering over nuclear weapons facilities that were then deactivated—but breaking the story in the National Enquirer was a very clever way to discredit it. In fact, the person who originally set up the National Enquirer was originally a CIA asset. This is one way in which tabloids play a very important role in this kind of psychological warfare.
In the 1950s, flying saucers—that's what they called them then—were a really serious subject. The major newspapers, the media, were all covering the phenomenon because was was so widespread. People in senior positions in the military were saying that this is very real and asking what the president was going to do about it. In 1952, President Truman actually went on the air—I think it was CBS—and gave a telecast about the fleets of flying saucers seen over Washington, DC. He said, "We get these reports all the time, don't worry about it." It was a watershed moment in American history—it was pretty serious stuff.
Immediately after, there was a panel commissioned by the CIA called the Robinson Panel, and in 1953, it released the Durant Report, which was when an official program of debunking flying saucer reports began. It told public officials not to give this issue any serious attention. Air Force pilots in the military were silenced. Anyone of official standing who began to seriously look at this issue was ridiculed. That policy has stuck. Even today, if you contact any government employee or academic of any standing and ask them about UFOs and extraterrestrials living amongst us, they won't give it much attention because there's such a powerful ridicule factor—it's threatening because they could lose their jobs if they talk about it.
Why does the government deny the truth? There are a number of reasons. One, the National Security Aspect. Governments don't want their populations knowing that there's something more powerful out there. If they announce extraterrestrial life, one of the first questions is going to be, "What if they attack us? Can you stop them?" What I think has been happening for the last six decades is they started a program to secretly equip themselves so that when they day came that they announced these visitors' presence, they'd have the military technology to overpower them if it ever came down to a fight.
Then there's the economic factor. People would look at the extraterrestrials and say, "Well, these guys didn't travel here using oil." So you would have these advanced propulsion systems and energy systems being revealed, and that would mean that our oil-dependent economy would collapse overnight. You'd need time to develop an alternative, but of course over the last five or six decades, we haven't had an alternative develop. To me, that reveals that there are powerful oil interests who haven't let this secret develop.
Third is the pharmaceutical and health aspect. You look at our health industry and doctors are trained to use medical techniques that are from the 19th century, like surgery and synthetic drugs. What if all of a sudden, you have these health modalities that are based on something like, say, electrotherapy as they have in the Star Trek movie that could treat people using electromagnetic techniques? Immediately, you'd have the pharmaceutical industry collapsing overnight, and if you look at the modern economic system, it's the pharmaceutical industry which supports much of the training of doctors, the big studies that tells the doctors of the best medical practices—it's another big industry that would be threatened by this information.
And the final reason is religion. What happens if you reveal that these extraterrestrials have been visiting us for thousands of years and oh, by the way, they've participated in genetically altering homo sapiens or neanderthals to create modern man. The religious texts say that man was created in Eden by god—now people would learn that god means extraterrestrials. You'd have a cultural crisis.
I used to be a professor of International Politics and I taught at a number of universities in the U.S. and Australia. When I got interested in this issue, I learned pretty quickly that universities aren't at all interested it. So in 2005, I created the Exopolitics Institute to take a more academic approach to these issues of do extraterrestrials exist and the political impact to the institutions here on the planet. In Exopolitics, "exo" comes from the Ancient Greek and it means "out of." It's used in the context of things that are out of this world. For example, you have biologists who are interested in life on other planets, and they call themselves Exobiologists. It's the same principle: we have conventional politics on this world, but politics of distant life on other planets, we call that Exopolitics.
I created an Exopolitics journal that would have scholarly articles on the issue of extraterrestrials and their political implications. We created conferences here in Hawaii—we've had five so far—that deal with the issue from various perspectives. We have an Exopolitics alternative news site and we have a think tank where a number of scholars share their ideas and strategies and collaborate on research on the topic. Finally, we have a set of courses where people can get a diploma in Exopolitics. We're created a foundation. One day, universities will embrace this issue and all of the material that we've collated over the years will be able to be used as they develop their own programs and set up their own journals and think tanks. A hundred years ago, you couldn't do International Politics at a university. You had to do History because historians at the time said, "International Politics doesn't exist. If you want to understand the world, you study history." The same thing will happen with Exopolitics. In ten, 20 years time, every university will have a program in Exopolitics.
The Men in Black movies aren't just based in the United States. The agency has connections with the whole planet. The real-life agency that does that is the CIA. The CIA has offices in basically every country where the United States has an embassy or a military base. They establish good relationships with their sister agencies in different countries and they collaborate. My research has shown that when it comes to this extraterrestrial issue, the CIA has always played an important role. The panel that convened and produced the Durant Report was organized by the CIA. From the very beginning, the CIA has been involved in the public perception of the flying saucer phenomenon. I think there's a subset of the CIA lead by counter-intelligence, the most secretive unit of the CIA whose job is to basically see if the CIA has been compromised. They have great autonomy within the CIA to do whatever they want within the CIA. The head of the counter-intelligence division has traditionally been a very powerful person and from the beginning of the creation of the CIA, the office of counter-intelligence has always played a strong role in managing the whole extraterrestrial issue.
Are there as many aliens on earth as there are in the movie? Well, you might have heard that there were secret teams who would go to a crash site and retrieve everything that was there and sanitize the area and so forth. One of the people that was involved in these retrieval teams, he was a military sergeant for 20 years. His name was Clifford Stone—he just wrote a book, actually—and he says that in 1979, he was given a first aid manual for injured extraterrestrial visitors. It had 57 different extraterrestrial types of biological make-ups of the visitors and each one of them had different first aid requirements. So in 1979, there was official knowledge of 57 different species—and that was 30 years ago. There could well be in the hundreds today.
I love the parts in Men in Black where the agent pulls out the neuralyzer, makes some sort of a crack, flashes it, and people don't remember a thing. I think that's hysterical. And it's true: people see things that are life-altering, and then they just continue on as if they didn't see anything. It's hilarious that people do that.
And I get that you've got to have a bad guy in a movie to keep it interesting, but you just don't have extraterrestrial villains like Boris the Animal trying to destroy humanity. Based on the evidence, the extraterrestrials that are visiting us are much more indifferent to the human species. It's the good, the bad and the ugly—but they're mainly indifferent. Really, if they wanted to invade and take us over, they could have done it when we were still running around with stagecoaches and horses. They reason they haven't taken us over is they want to see how we evolve as a species. So the idea that extraterrestrials want to conquer us is kind of ridiculous.
The actual name of the movie can be traced to an official phenomenon. From 1952 up until 1969, there was an official Air Force investigation called Project Bluebook. The Air Force actually had teams who would go around and interview people who had seen flying saucers. And often, they would interview people and the people would say, "These guys dressed in black suits came around and talked to me, as well. They took the photos, they took everything I had of what I saw—I thought they were working for you?" The Air Force investigators would say, "We don't know who they are? Did you see any ID?" and the witnesses would say they saw an official ID, but they didn't know who they were with. This happened enough times that this legend grew that there was this agency that was conducting its own separate investigations in parallel with the official Bluebook investigation. And, of course, Bluebook ended in 1969, but there continue to be these kind of official-looking people in black suits.
It could be that these stories were just circulating out there and the scriptwriter thought they would make a great script for a movie. Alternatively, the other scenario is that the scriptwriter was encouraged by someone with connections to the CIA who said, "This would make a great story, and if you do it, we'll make sure it gets to Steven Spielberg and it will come out as a hit movie." Any scriptwriter would say, "I'll do it!" To my mind, Steven Spielberg has been involved with this for a long time: writing and producing movies that present issues in a way that the powers behind this secrecy would like them pitched.
Interestingly, the Durant Report explicitly mentions the movie industry as one of the key places where the public would be educated about the flying saucer phenomenon. In the '50s, you had a lot of movies coming out about extraterrestrials. In 1951, you had the Robert Wise movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is a very accurate and positive take on extraterrestrial life. But then '53 and onwards, you had this whole genre of flying saucer attacks, Mars invasions—it was all Earth being attacked. Those movies all began after the Durant Report, and that's when you had the official CIA involvement of giving funding to these movies that continues to this day.
I look at movies about extraterrestrials from the perspective of: how are they psychologically conditioning people? It's interesting to see how it's evolved over the years. For example, in the 1970s and early 1980s, you had the warm, fuzzy E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, both produced by Steven Spielberg. You had a positive, upbeat presentation of extraterrestrials, and I think at the time, they were toying with announcing the truth. Now, the last 10 years of movies have presented a more hostile, aggressive version of extraterrestrials—Battleship, Battle: LA, Prometheus. I'm looking at that and seeing how they're spinning the issue so that if they disclose the truth, they can pitch it in a way that will further their national security goal. It would immediately make it easier for them to justify the secrecy. They could say, "We have this new enemy now, more powerful than the Soviet Union. But don't worry, you can trust in us." The U.S. Congress will basically say to the military: whatever you need to combat this enemy, just tell us and we'll give it to you.
There's nothing left to reveal. Everything that I've been researching is publicly known, it's just come out in the National Enquirer and popularized in Star Trek, Men in Black, Stargate and Deep Space Nine. Now, anything that I say, a person will say, "You must have seen that in the Stargate movie. You're an idiot if you think that's real." The truth will only ever be accepted when the government comes out and says, "Okay, this is true."
Dr. Michael E. Salla is an internationally recognized scholar in international politics, conflict resolution and US foreign policy, and is the author/editor of four books dealing with international peace and conflict resolution. He has a Ph.D in Government from the University of Queensland, Australia, and a M.A in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne, Australia. His interest in Exopolitics—the study of the main actors, institutions and processes associated with extraterrestrial life—began in May 2001. He subsequently authored the groundbreaking Exopolitics: Political Implications of the Extraterrestrial Presence that presents the first scholarly framework for understanding the political implications of extraterrestrial life, and more recently wrote his sixth book, Exposing US Government Policies on Extraterrestrial Life: The Challenge of Exopolitics. His main website is: www.exopolitics.org
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