The US Taking Up UFO Study? Fuh-getta-bout It!

When it comes to UFO Disclosure, people leave their brains at the door.

For decades folks have waited with baited breath, hoping for each new Presidential administration will take up the Disclosure Banner, and give the word that aliens have been on Earth for years and admission into the Galactic Federation is at hand.

Well, according to former White House science advisor Dr. Neal Lane, it’s going to take more than the whining from the so-called “UFO Community” for the US government to release anything, let alone study it:

‘It takes a major catastrophe to get the political will to make something happen’ — former White House science advisor Dr. Neal Lane/CREDIT: pathways.fsu.edu

In 1965-66, Neal Lane had just earned his doctorate and was studying atomic physics at the University of Colorado when he met Dr. Edward Condon. Naturally, Lane was in awe. Pioneer in radar and nuclear weapon technology, survivor of loyalty inquisitions by the House Un-American Activities Committee, former director of the National Bureau of Standards, Condon was a legend by time their paths crossed.

“Why he took on that UFO project, I’ll never know,” Lane recalls. “But of course, that’s something we never discussed.”

Condon’s name is now forever embroidered into the controversial University of Colorado Report on UFOs, widely dismissed by critics as window dressing to discourage public interest in the phenomenon. After reading an advance copy of Leslie Kean’s UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, Lane says “I thought it was maybe a little too hard on Condon, although I know a lot of people did not like that report.”

Yet, the former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy decided to endorse the book, and for one reason: John Podesta. The two had worked together during the Clinton administration, and Podesta written the foreword.

“I know he’s a serious person and that’s what made me pay attention to the book,” says Lane of the former White House chief of staff. “I share John’s belief in open government, particularly the federal government.”

Now a  Senior Fellow of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, Lane has no real interest in UFOs, doesn’t read up on the stuff, and considers himself “very skeptical about the issue itself.” He found the witnesses in Kean’s book credible and wouldn’t mind a serious debate. But he doesn’t think reviving official interest in UFOs — on the scale of a  small transparent government operation, as Kean advocates — stands a snowball’s chance.

“Not unless you’ve got some institutional support for it, like the National Academies (of Science), which operate under the National Research Council. Those reports have high-level credibility, and when they come out,” he says, “Congress does pay attention, the White House does pay attention.

“This is a very mysterious subject, no question about it. But the problem, I think, is that there are a lot of things we should be spending money on that are more obviously important. Washington is a very competitive arena; this (UFOs) doesn’t have a constituency, or not a very large and vocal one. Unless there’s some urgency, or it can somehow produce support in the way of campaign contributions, it’s unlikely to happen.”

In the book, former NASA scientist Richard Haines cites air traffic safety — with instances of near-misses between UFOs and passenger liners — as ample incentive for proactive measures. Lane doesn’t disagree.

“Anything that threatens the welfare of the American people, certainly the government should be concerned about,” he says. “But the fact is, there are not a large number of these incidents. These days, unfortunately, it takes a major catastrophe to get the political will to make something happen. It’s frightening, actually.”

Unfortunately this is how government works anyway. It’s not just UFO disclosure or study, it’s anything the government undertakes.

If it doesn’t suffuse their congressional districts with pork, a dire emergency or helps them get  re-elected, politicians could really give a crap about it!

Science Policy Wonk: US UFO Study DOA

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