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Of Vice and Theremin
By Tish Eastman
This past December, before Congress broke for Christmas, a bill was presented that would form a rapid response team, to presumably respond rapidly to potential unknown threats in our skies.
This team would need to have access to something more rapid than the fighter jets that are currently rapidly responding, so I think it’s more a matter of oversight than technology.
It is hard to judge the effect that last year’s unequivocal confirmation of real UFO footage— captured by real navy pilots—has had on the common man or woman. But this new bill surely proves that the topic of UFOs has moved beyond the eye-rolling phase of the alien debate. Or does it?
The immediate media response to the Pentagon’s confirming announcement was confusing. My favorite is the Motherboard report, that aired on Vice News Tonight last summer. The segment began with a brief on the Pentagon’s disclosure to Congress, regarding the newly declassified findings of UFO programs: the secretly-funded, post-Roswell era Project Bluebook and the recent Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The Pentagon didn’t disclose the acronym they’re using for the current, even more secret program that we don’t know about yet, but I’m sure it will eventually be a show on Discovery+ or perhaps, by then, Discovery+VR.
The Motherboard report opened with a promising social commentary about how, in this country, for generations, there has been a conscientiously-applied policy of publicly ridiculing anyone and everyone who believes in UFOs. The government started the UFO-shaming policy after the 1947 Roswell crash. The media amplified it, over WWII loudspeakers, and society fell right into lock-step for decades afterwards.
You can easily see the residue of shaming in the persistent cultural use of the word “believe” in connection with UFOs. Not, “Have you seen UFOs?” or “Do you think there are UFOs?” But “Do you believe in UFOs?” This word puts UFOs into the same category as the much less documented Santa Claus.
I’m fairness, the Motherboard report didn’t use the word “believe.” But they did say that a congressional hearing about a Pentagon report meant UFO observers were “starting to look a lot less kooky.” Kooky is refreshing.
I was still feeling optimistic about this social stigma getting a mention: maybe it’ll be the dawn of a new, more accepting day, I thought—until I noticed there was a change in music at 41 seconds in. Playing in the background: a Theremin.
For those of you who don’t know what a Theremin is, it’s an electronic instrument that created the eerie, sing-song, musical saw-like, “woo woo” music that underscored 1950s-era Creature Feature movies. Changes in pitch are accomplished by a lot of hand waving around a metal rod. A lot of hand waving is an appropriate metaphor here. The melodies the Theremin creates sound as weird as playing a Theremin looks. Because of its association with the lowest stratum of cinematic excellence, placement of its iconic quavers under what is supposed to be real UFO news, pretty much implies that anyone who “believes” in UFOs, probably also believes in Blobs, Things, and (who doesn’t?) Body Snatchers. And is of course still crazy, after all these years.
The report went on to summarize the Navy’s declassification and disclosure of the now famous fighter jet pilot reactions, to on-board video footage, capturing a tic-tac shaped UFO. All the while this distinctively whiny, snide, condescending, musical commentary was playing in the background. It’s almost as if the music was apologizing for the serious tone of the report: “We’ve gotta talk about this because it’s news, but it doesn’t mean we like it.”
Ignoring the Theremin for a moment — which is hard for me—let’s get back to the central question: will this official report be a gateway to public disclosure on a broader scale? How likely is that to happen?
Many Ufologists in the public eye (and about half the cast of Ancient Aliens) think it’s not likely at all. I agree. The only reason we’ve progressed to having televised conversations in Congress—twice in recent years—is that a darn good camera was put into our tiny constant companions: cell phones. It has become harder to hide anything—from human-on-human brutality, to regime-toppling protests, to strange orbs in the sky. Anything occurring on a global scale is likely to go viral on YouTube, or get set to catchy music on TikTok. The Pentagon, like Motherboard, is talking about it now because it’s in the news, but they’re not liking it.
In the face of thousands of civilian videos capturing of the same type of UAFs as the Navy, we can no longer say, with authority, that they are fireworks, flares, Chinese lanterns, or the old classic “weather balloons”. They also sent the new go-to explanations: satellites or drones. The Pentagon is familiar with all these things, even if your Facebook friends are not. We can’t keep blaming everything on the Russians either, no matter how smug Putin looks when asked. And to make matters more challenging, from the Pentagon’s perspective, controlling the media is no longer a simple matter of covert misdirection, where someone jury-rigs a front page, paper newspaper, headline, with a grainy photo showing a shredded weather balloon and a wincing Air Force officer, enlisted to be the Face of the Lie—and expect it to be accepted as truth.
We just don’t believe in what we’re not supposed to believe anymore. It may be the one good thing to come out of the right-wing “fake news” psyop. This is actually a truly bi-partisan issue. The Q-anon fringe “believes” in UFOs (and “lizard people”, and so very much more). The Democrats have been pressing for disclosure for decades. Hilary Clinton, in her first run for President, made a campaign promise to fully disclose all documents pertaining to aliens. Maybe that’s why she will never be President.
Ironically, once sworn in and “read-in”, every president, Republican and Democrat alike, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, got all cutesy and coy when the press asked about UFOs, regardless of their campaign promises.
So the Pentagon probably won’t be holding a press conference any time soon—with four-star generals in full dress uniform standing shoulder to shoulder with black-eyed Grey Zetas in formal dress tunics. And it won’t be because Zetas don’t have formal dress tunics. They do.
A better question to ask might be whether the Pentagon, or Congress, or the President, or any human agency on earth is fully in charge of deciding when and what to disclose. I don’t think they are. I don’t think we are.
If you stop to consider that these unidentifiable craft, whose maneuverability and acceleration would turn a human body to mush, are the technology of a Grey, Green, or any kind of alien you prefer, then THEY, literally and figuratively, fly circles around us. This has been true for as long as we’ve had camera phones. This has been true for as long as we’ve had video or TV, film cameras or newspapers. This has been true for as long as we’ve had cave walls to paint on.
And if THEY are the ones in charge of disclosing themselves, it might well be that there’s absolutely nothing in it for them. No upside. THEY don’t care about a PR spin to avoid mass panic. THEY don’t need to influence public opinion, or convince us of peaceful intentions. THEY are too busy joy-riding around Earth, snatching up millions of people on a whim, according to an agenda about which we can only speculate. Also they occasionally perversely slice out the private parts of a cow. I’m sure they don’t want to pay for the cows first, or be expected to leave a note: “Sorry, I mutilated your cow. Here’s my insurance info.”
The bottom line is they likely don’t care whether, or what, we “believe” or what we know. If they did, they’d just take the whole cow, no one the wiser.
It’s also not implausible that they invented, along with our military, the deep state shadow programs, in order to thwart disclosure, rather than to provide it. Which is why half a century of investigation by the Pentagon has only resulted in that anticlimactic, almost completely redacted, report that amounts to a shoulder shrug of “I dunno, and if I did I wouldn’t tell you.”
I think THEY invented the Theremin, too. It pretty much screams THEM. It’s just the kind of music a hive-minded species would think is groovy. I can imagine them laughing hysterically, albeit telepathically, watching us put the Theremin in our flying saucer flicks.
The Motherboard report concludes by saying:
“Intelligence officials who read the classified report told media outlets it didn’t include any proof that these phenomenon weren’t alien made, but they also said there wasn’t any evidence they weren’t aliens. So the Pentagon report, in all likelihood, will leave us with even more questions.”
And Motherboard was right, it did.
While we continue to dance around this issue, my advice to the portion of humanity that still doesn’t “believe” in UFOs: revel in your blissful ignorance that keeps humanity in the center of the universe. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Cue the theremin.
Tish Eastman reports about the paranormal and writes sci-fi novels. She will soon be the co-editor of an anthology of Experiencer poetry. Find, Like, and Follow her on on Facebook at @AlienManifest, @ThatAintNoGhost, and @HotelReptilia. You can also follow her on Twitter at @TishEastman, on TikTok at @TishEastman, on Instagram at @TishEastman, on YouTube and on SoundCloud. And check out DragonTears Media if you're interested in her upcoming poetry anthology, CE 1-7: Poetry of Contact.