Friday, May 13, 2016

Hillary Clinton on UFOs

Since becoming First Lady in 1993, Hillary Clinton has been subject to constant scrutiny by her political opponents. Despite this, it is still not widely known that the former Secretary of State is quite interested in UFO phenomena. She does not necessarily believe that UFOs are alien spacecraft, but at the same time she advocates releasing as much information as possible about sightings in order to provide possible explanations for them.

Mrs. Clinton has vowed that barring any threats to national security, she would open up government files on the subject, a shift from President Obama, who typically dismisses the topic as a joke. Her position has elated U.F.O. enthusiasts, who have declared Mrs. Clinton the first “E.T. candidate.”

“Hillary has embraced this issue with an absolutely unprecedented level of interest in American politics,” said Joseph G. Buchman, who has spent decades calling for government transparency about extraterrestrials.

Mrs. Clinton, a cautious candidate who often bemoans being the subject of Republican conspiracy theories, has shown surprising ease plunging into the discussion of the possibility of extraterrestrial beings.

She has said in recent interviews that as president she would release information about Area 51, the remote Air Force base in Nevada believed by some to be a secret hub where the government stores classified information about aliens and U.F.O.s.

In a radio interview last month, she said, “I want to open the files as much as we can.” Asked if she believed in U.F.O.s, Mrs. Clinton said: “I don’t know. I want to see what the information shows.” But she added, “There’s enough stories out there that I don’t think everybody is just sitting in their kitchen making them up.”

While I disagree with Clinton on a number of issues, I do think her comments here show a healthy attitude towards phenomena that can't be complete nonsense. While I think that normal explanations exist for the vast majority of UFO sightings, I disagree strongly with the capital-S Skeptic position that asserts people are just lying about anything that can't be easily explained away.

As I've mentioned before, "mass hysteria" is a completely bogus explanation for basically anything. Nobody understands how it works any better than they understand alleged paranormal processes like ESP, and there aren't any serious experiments supporting it as a legitimate mechanism by which a bunch of people can, say, share a hallucination.

It may very well be that opening the UFO files will provide more normal explanations, such as military test flights that happened long enough ago that public knowledge of them will not compromise national security. I personally think that's going to turn out to be the explanation for most of the sightings that happened during the cold war.

But you never know - maybe the government really does have a secret hangar somewhere filled with alien spacecraft, and if it does I would like to know all about that as well.

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1 comment:

Keith Strickland said...

Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, is also a big proponent of declassifying government records on the UFO phenomenon.