Tuesday, September 2, 2008

John McCain: Missing Words in Dayton

A few months ago, we posted a letter received several years back from Sen. John McCain, and I'm sure that little spark of publicity helped him ascend to the top of the Republican presidential candidate pile. Hmm, yes, yes, I also posted an older letter from Democratic candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and his campaign fell flat on its face. Well, don't blame me. Anyway. . .

So, I watched TV Friday while John McCain presented Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin to the nation as potential VP. Okay, blah, blah, blah. But, hey, wait! Where did all of this take place? Why, in Dayton, Ohio, home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and once the very location of Project Bluebook headquarters. How perfect, I thought, how perfect for McCain to add a little postscript in his speech. Given the opportunity, here's the little addendum I would have included:

"My friends, you know where I stand on a variety of issues, and we'll explore them further at the national convention next week. But today, on my 72nd birthday, and on Governor Palin's 20th wedding anniversary, in addition to my nomination of her as my vice-presidential candidate, I want to extend the many definitions of this day in one more direction.

"We meet proudly here today in Dayton, Ohio, the home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, once noted as the location of Project Bluebook, an official government inquiry into reports of so-called UFOs -- unidentified flying objects, also known as 'flying saucers.'

"The subject of UFOs has long been the subject of controversy, speculation and ridicule and, in fact, the University of Colorado was given a government contract in the sixties to look into this matter. Their conclusions didn't really tell us much, but the study seemed to indicate absolutely no reason for concern. However, there were allegations of dishonesty at the project's highest levels, and even today, as people in this country and around the world continue to report observations of unusual things in the sky, the UFO issue remains unsettled among the public.

"When you elect me President, I will make you this promise: Just as other nations have been releasing their files on this subject recently, the United States, too, will strive to make sure that the American people know everything our government knows about this subject. I will issue an executive order to release all UFO-related information that doesn't involve national security, and if there are questions in this regard we will make double and triple-sure that national security really enters into this release of information.

"Let's finish the work that Project Bluebook and its predecessors began. Let's clear up, once and for all, the rumors, the absolute fiction and the truth about this issue. If we determine that the evidence warrants a new scientific study sponsored by the government, and if we determine there is important scientific knowledge to be gained from a new project, I will ask Congress for funding and initiation of a comprehensive project to be conducted fairly and strictly in compliance with the American people's right to know.

"The truth is, Project Bluebook's original chief, Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, felt there was considerable importance attached to the phenomenon of UFOs in the early fifties, as did other high-ranking personnel who monitored the project. Over the years, a number of military personnel and an impressive base of other witnesses have claimed encounters with UFOs. The ongoing controversy and alleged evidence associated with this issue requires a measured and honest response from our government.

"Even in the House and Senate, I've known colleagues who expressed concern about this subject. The late President Gerald Ford became very energized about an investigation in the sixties when his home state of Michigan experienced UFO sightings. The late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, a military member and pilot himself, believed there was far more to the UFO topic than even he could access. And, of course, President Carter revealed his own sighting publicly.

"Since the 1940s, the question of UFOs has troubled many factions of society, and will continue to do so unless and until we get some firm answers. At a time in our history when we demand new sources of energy and an intricate understanding of our planet and the universe itself, even the tiniest possibility that the UFO phenomenon might hide a grain of knowledge essential to our lives is reason enough to explore this subject.

"As your President, I promise to do everything possible to get the facts out there, if there's anything whatsoever to reveal, because the American people have the right to know the truth and to deal with that truth openly and logically. Thank you."

An unlikely scenario? Of course. Republicans, Democrats, The Elite? Change, change, change-a-roo, clippity-cloppity, chippity-choppity change. Yes, we can? No, we can't. The Freedom of Information Act. The Freedom of Misinformation Act. The Freedom of Disinformation Act. How murky the waters. We, out here, shall dream this newest little uninspired dream of conducting science yet unconducted and of releasing information still unreleased, anticipating nothing, simply because the Temple of Nevermind remains open for business 24/7, conveniently and intently serving up the American public's right to know little of importance since the forties and fifties.