Suddenly everyone’s talking about UFOs again. After President Biden ordered the military to shoot down a supposed Chinese spy balloon, several more unidentified flying objects were also tracked and destroyed over North America, with senior military officer General Glen VanHerck saying they were not ruling out the possibility of extra-terrestrial involvement.[i]
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that anyone in the USA’s political and military elite really believes these flying objects were piloted by aliens from another world. Indeed, in a statement that made Trump look eloquent, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated that there was ‘no indication of aliens or extra-terrestrial activity ’ in the skies over the USA and ‘Canadia’.[ii]
The Chinese balloon was clearly of this earth, whether it was a surveillance craft or a weather balloon blown off course. The other objects over North America were only discovered because radar sensitivity was purposely turned up, though there was not much detail about these at the time of writing. A recent New York Times piece reported that official sources said the objects were unlikely to be surveillance devices.[iii]
But why all this talk of UFOs?
Well one possibility is that it generates headlines and serves as a distraction – it’s a way to bury bad news. And what kind of news is being buried by the UFO hysteria?
One obvious candidate is the report by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh which alleges what many long suspected – the USA was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, constructed to supply Germany with Russian gas. Hersh details how, with the collusion of Norway (whose energy exports stand to gain considerably by this attack) and undercover of a NATO military exercise, divers planted mines on the pipes that were later remotely detonated.[iv] If true – and it certainly seems credible – it was an audacious attack on Germany, its energy security and the standard of living of its population. It’s arguably an act of war.
With friends like these, who needs enemies?
It’s also likely that the balloon and other flying objects will be used as justification for increased military spending and more overseas intervention.[v] We must be protected against the Russians. Or is it the Chinese now? Oh yes, it’s the aliens.
If you look at the history of UFO sightings over the last century or so, you find they tend to come in waves – often called flaps.
There were phantom airship scares in Britain in 1909, where strange zeppelin-like flying objects were seen in various parts of the country. In 1947, US pilot Kenneth Arnold described seeing some flying objects moving like a saucer skipping over water kickstarting the flying saucer era that followed. The tense period of the cold war featured several UFO flaps. Ominously, it seems many UFO flaps occur at times of great tension such as just after – or shortly before – military conflicts.
Perhaps, as psychologist Robert Bartholomew has predicted, the balloon and other objects being shot out of American skies will lead to a new UFO flap.[vi] Anxious times mean many people are hyper vigilant to threat, and fallible human perception and psychology mean that as more and more people scan the skies looking for anomalous objects, they are bound to see things they wouldn’t normally notice – whether they’re there or not.
But with our eyes on the skies, what are we missing under our noses?
[v] See here for some examples: https://consortiumnews.com/2023/02/15/caitlin-johnstone-ufos-mean-more-us-militarism/