Chapter   4 

The Manipulators of Fear


            At large in the circus-like arena of UFOlogy are certain ringmasters, who are not above embellishing the facts to thrill their audiences. They seem to feel that a few "white lies" are justified as long as they can put on a good show and sell tickets. Manipulating the emotion of fear in the crowd is the ringmasters' specialty. They know that people like to be led to the edge of the pit, and then pulled back.

            The UFO-manipulators are currently employing three spiels in particular: (1) that the earth will soon tilt on its axis (2) that man will bring disaster on himself through the reckless use of A and H-bombs (3) that dark, mysterious terrorists are on the rampage, silencing anyone who discovers "the truth" about UFOs. Although these themes are not at all crucial to the objective case for UFOs, they do recur throughout the writings of UFOlogy.

            Man has always seemed to enjoy misreading the facts until they do, without a doubt, appear horrifying. Then, to make certain that a pleasant "truth" ultimately saves the day; he has proceeded to put a protective coating of myth over the distorted facts. It is no different with UFOs. The UFO-manipulators are all too willing (for reasons of personal gain) to provide both the desired "facts" and the saving "truth" for those who are either unable or unwilling to face reality.

            One of the most common spiels in UFOlogy, which illustrates this sort of manipulation at work, is that some cataclysmic natural disaster is imminent. It is nothing new for mystics to be predicting the end of the world. In spite of a long history of disconfirmations, it continues to be one of their favorite pastimes. The manipulators seize on the mystical speculations and distort current scientific findings so they will appear to verify the speculations. It works something like this: 


            The recent worldwide scientific investigations of our environment for the International Geophysical Year revealed that the polar ice-caps apparently are melting and that there is a crack in the earth's crust on the ocean floor. These discoveries, blown up by journalistic enthusiasm (actual headline: "Earth Is Cracked"), are then attached to the old mystical theme of impending doom.

            It does not matter that the crack in the ocean floor, on the planetary scale, is but a superficial scratch, and that its only immediate significance is its apparent relation to the world's earthquake belts. Rather than show science at work attempting to learn more about the causes of natural disasters, the manipulators draw attention to themselves by blaming science for the ills of the world. They find it profitable to do so.

            Neither are the melting polar caps pictured in the perspective of geological history. Evidence from the past indicates that glaciers have advanced and receded, and that climates have changed. This has occurred slowly, over very long periods of time. In their efforts to portray science as the mystics prefer to see it, the manipulators forget to mention that it is the business of science to predict what effects such geophysical changes will have, and to find ways of controlling them.

            In the past, fiery comets were urged as objects of fear and omens of impending disaster. Tomorrow it will be something else used by the manipulators to frighten people into refusing rational inquiry. Today they use the geophysical "facts," among other things.

            Once they have stirred up enough people who begin to fear that some cataclysm is about to occur, the manipulators promptly drag in UFOs, portraying them as vehicles bearing saviors from space. A variation on the theme is that atomic explosions are responsible for the coming disaster, and the "space men" are here to warn us of self-annihilation unless we adopt interplanetary brotherhood forthwith. Clearly the "space men" are being created in the desired image, and are (at the appropriate time) made to say nice things.

            The dangers of the nuclear age are very real. It is this obvious fact which contributes to the human desire for a simple,  


iron-clad solution such as the manipulators are happy to provide. Instead of space men, however, it has been such great human beings as Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell who have warned us about nuclear warfare, and pointed up the choices we must make. Their exhortations, based on science and logic, are worthy of careful thought and deliberate action. Since mystical (anti-scientific) thought could not credit scientifically oriented earth-men with humanitarian concern, "space men" are made to voice it.

            There is a danger, however, that a "leave-it-to-the-space-men" attitude will lull a good share of the populace into a false sense of security. "Don't think," the manipulators urge in effect, "these advanced beings from other planets will prevent us from self-destruction, so concentrate on berating science for causing all the trouble."

            It can not be determined by wishful thinking whether the possibility of nuclear destruction on earth concerns beings on other worlds. At present, this is a question impossible to answer. If we grant that UFOs are space ships, it remains highly speculative what the motives and purposes of their pilots might be. The possibilities are infinite. They include colonization, neutral exploration, and even "peaceful intervention" as the contact stories picture. The actual truth of the matter must await better evidence, at least some of which is probably now in military hands.

            At any rate, this kind of speculation should not compete with the UFO mystery per se, for the main reason that it obscures the fact that UFOs are a well-grounded scientific mystery. As Confucius said, "To be certain of what we know, and of what we do not know, that is true knowledge." Obviously the story of what we do know for certain about UFOs is in a very confused state. Confused, quite often, with what we do not know, such as why UFOs are here.

            Another oft-told story is the doings of the alleged silencers who are said to terrorize UFO investigators into inactivity. The moral sounds familiar: "Don't think. Don't investigate." And also, "Don't worry, boys, somebody higher up knows what it's all about."

            It is sometimes implied that evil international or supranational interests (or even non-earthly agents) are responsible for these visitations.  


As usual there is only vague evidence hinting at something to be feared. If there are any such men, it's a safe bet that they are either self-appointed manipulators or agents or government performing routine duties. Many citizens, unfortunately, do not know their rights and might be frightened by a badge.

            All of these fears, it seems to me, are symptoms of a much more general underlying fear in the world. The fear of following wherever the facts might lead us and facing up to reality. The fear of what we might find out. In short a fear of the unknown. Those who fear enlightenment (the "pleasant truth" seekers) and those who profit by darkness (the manipulators) will always be in opposition to scientific investigations.

            The irony of the situation in UFOlogy is that distortions of fact are introducing false fears which lead many to accept the savior interpretation of UFOs. This interpretation, in turn, blinds its adherents to the definite possibility that UFOs themselves might be harmful. There is no overwhelming evidence that such is the case, but it is a possibility. Plato said long ago that courage was the knowledge of what to fear, and of what not to fear. By this definition, we could use more "courage" in the world today.

            No matter what the truth might be, mankind would almost certainly benefit from the rational, scientific study of UFOs which is impeded by the actions of the manipulators. At the very least, false fears would be eliminated and manipulators exposed.

            In over ten years of UFO history, there has been more harm done verbally by human beings than physical harm from UFOs. The only real thing to fear so far is the damage which has been done by the manipulators in frustrating our attempts to increase human knowledge.


                                                                                                                  R. H.