Subject: Exopolitics and "Serious UFO Research"


Aloha all, below is an extract of recent post of mine from the UFO 
Updates forum where I respond to a description of exopolitics by 
Paul Kimball as a fringe element of UFO research. It gives a brief 
overview of expolitics and its relationship with mainstream UFO 
research. To read the original post by Paul Kimball which prompted my response, please click the URL given for source. 

In peace

Michael E. Salla, PhD 


 >>>>>> source <<<<<< 

I thank Paul Kimball for taking the exopolitical perspective 
seriously. I do however take exception to his attempt to locate 
exopolitics at the fringes of what he describes as "the serious 
study of the UFO phenomenon". 

Exopolitics is neither at the fringes, nor is it something 
relatively new to UFO studies that I, Steven Greer, Alfred Webre 
or others have introduced. I am presently writing a short 
history of exopolitics for the forthcoming inaugural edition of 
the Exopolitics Journal which will explain the evolution of 

Exopolitics Journal

First let me give a couple of definitions of exopolitcs. One is 
my favored definition and the second is based on an earlier post 
to the List.

My favored definition is "Exopolitics is the study of the key 
actors, institutions and processes associated with the 
extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH)."

Another definition was raised in an earlier post and is based on 
the exobiology model:

Exopolitics is "a branch of politics concerned with the 
possibility that life forms are visiting the Earth, and with the 
problems of adapting Earth politics to deal with visiting 

Defined in either way, exopolitics is neither very new nor at 
the fringes of Ufology. Using either of the above definitions, 
it is very clear that the father of exopolitical thought, though 
not the term, is none other than Maj Donald Keyhoe. Keyhoe's 
seminal books, the "Flying Saucer Conspiracy" and later "Aliens 
from Space" firmly examine the political or national security 
aspects of the UFO phenomenon.

Keyhoe was the first to seriously explore the idea of a 
political cover-up of the phenomenon that was orchestrated at 
the most senior levels of the national security system and 
imposed upon mid level ranks of the U.S. military who were eager 
to have the truth emerge. Keyhoe was the first to bring 
attention to the General Voyt Vandenberg's suppression of the 
First Estimate of the Situation offered by the Project Sign Team 
in October 1948 after this was revealed by Capt Ruppelt. 
Vandenberg's order to have the first Estimate declassified and 
burned (so no record would be kept) clearly demonstrates that 
national security dimension to the ETH, and thereby was a policy 
that directly gave birth to exopolitics as a credible 
examination of events.

In the Flying Saucer Conspiracy, Keyhoe described the political 
cover up of huge 'flying saucers' or 'motherships' several miles 
in width that began circulating the Earth and had the USAF 
desperate to cover up evidence supporting the ETH, and keep it 
off the front pages. Keyhoe's work was read and accepted by 
millions of Americans as having credibility due to his ability 
to ferret out information from a very leaky national security 
system. In "Aliens from Space" Keyhoe describes the political 
machinations by the CIA, USAF and other agencies in preventing 
Congressional inquiries of the UFO phenomenon and the ETH. 
Keyhoe also cited information how the first SETI experiments 
under Dr Frank Drake did pick up radio signals from Epsilon 
Eridani and how this was covered up. I could go on but it can be 
clearly demonstrated that serious investigations of the 
political aspects of the UFO phenomenon is neither new nor a 
fringe element unless some want to argue that Donald Keyhoe and 
NICAP were at the fringe of the UFO phenomenon.

What did happen was the very successful marginalization of 
Keyhoe and others who pursued an 'exopolitical perspective. 
Keyhoe was removed from Directorship from NICAP in 1970 
ostensibly for financial mismanagement but moreso because of his 
dedicated exopolitical approach to the UFO phenomenon and the 
conspiracy to cover up evidence of the ETH. There is much 
evidence to show that Keyhoe's ouster and later implosion of 
NICAP was orchestrated by the CIA. I want to emphasize that much 
of the information Keyhoe got for his views was from 
whistleblowers or those within the national security system 
'leaking' information. Keyhoe accepted whistleblower testimony 
because he understood the national security far better than most 
UFO researchers.

Since Keyhoe's demise the great tragedy for UFO research was 
that researchers from the 'physical sciences such as Dr Allen 
Hynek, Dr James MacDonald and Stanton Friedman became the 
'exclusive' standard bearers of UFOlogy with their rigorous 
'scientific' pursuit of the UFO phenomenon. Hynek, MacDonald and 
Friedman and other astronomers, physicists, meteorologists, 
etc., eschewed 'conspiracy theories' of a national security 
cover up and believed that more concerted scientific research 
would yield the truth. Keyhoe's exopolitical perspective quickly 
moved from the center stage of UFO research and his extensive 
citation and use of whistleblower testimonies was forgotten. 
Now, the exopolitical perspective is considered part of the 
fringe of serious UFO research.

UFO studies as it is presently concentrated is a shadow of what 
it once was under Keyhoe's leadership and suffers from an acute 
shortage of resources and organization. I have noted the demise 
of organizations such as NICAP, CUFOS and FUFOR, and the current 
difficulties of MUFON and can only conclude that this is brought 
about by UFO researchers being out of touch with the many 
millions or 'mainstream public' who accept the ETH and/or that a 
national security cover up at the highest level is underway. The 
2002 Roper conclusively demonstrates that as much as 70% of 
Americans believe the government is covering up the truth about 
the ETH.

The 'mainstream public' interested in the UFO phenomenon are not 
debating the reality of UFO sightings or trying to put together 
another definitive compendium of the best available evidence, 
but are trying to make sense of the extensive evidence 
supporting the ETH which grows by the day. Keyhoe's exopolitical 
perspective never disappeared, it was just pushed into the 
margins by what was essentially an intellectual coup d'etat 
where those using a strictly scientific methodology defined the 
field of Ufology once Keyhoe's influence was removed.

What I and others such as Steven Greer have done is to bring in 
evidence from whistleblowers and others that confirm the 
political aspect of the UFO phenomenon and the political cover 
up of the ETH. The exopolitical perspective enjoys support from 
the 'mainstream public' as evidenced by the many millions 
inspired by Greer's Disclosure Project and the 2001 National 
Press Club Conference. Greer, myself and others are promoting an 
exopolitical perspective that Keyhoe first championed where the 
testimonies of whistleblowers was center stage in understanding 
the UFO phenomenon and the parameters of the national security 
cover-up underway.

Paul Kimball cites researchers such as Brad Sparks, Kevin 
Randall, Stanton Friedman, Josh Goldstein, Richard Hall and 
himself as exemplary models for systematically defining the 
parameters of the "Serious Study of the UFO phenomenon" in terms 
of a 'scientific method' for studying UFO sightings, the 
abduction phenomenon, FOIA documents, etc. It's worth pointing 
out that aside from Stanton Friedman, none of these gentlemen 
are scientists that enable them to authoritatively establish the 
scientific method as championed as the exemplary model for UFO 
research. In Stanton's case while he worked as nuclear 
physicist, he doesn't have a PhD nor does he have a record of 
peer reviewed publications in scientific journals. While Kevin 
Randall does have a PhD, it's in psychology, not any of the 
physical sciences cited as the model for the serious study of 
the UFO phenomenon. Also, I am not aware of Dr Randall having 
published psychology papers in peer reviewed psychology journals 
or practiced clinical psychology.

In each case the above are very competent UFO researchers who 
have strong biases towards a scientific method championed by 
Hynek, MacDonald and Friedman. I respect Richard Hall's long 
experience and fidelity to the 'scientific study of the UFO 
phenomenon. However, in adopting Hynek's and MacDonald's 
methodology, he has eschewed the exopolitical approach taken by 
his mentor Major Keyhoe who did very seriously consider the 
testimony of whistleblowers or those leaking classified 
information to him from the national security system. Perhaps 
Richard Hall would like to explain to the list how Maj Keyhoe 
chose the sources of his information so we may get an idea of 
how whistleblower testimonies can be authoritatively cited?

As far as Brad Sparks is concerned, he has a sharp mind and 
access to much historical information that he creatively spins 
to support his 'revisionist theories' but his systematic 
debunking of whistleblower testimonies and eschewal of the ETH 
doesn't make him in my mind a good model for what UFO research 
is about. As for his background, I have no information on that 
other than he co-founded CAUS. Perhaps he might enlighten me and 
others about what it is in his background that might entitle him 
to be recognized as laying down the scientific parameters of UFO 

Paul Kimball has a law degree and is an independent filmmaker. 
Josh Goldstein is a detective. I don't say this in any way to 
demean their investigative abilities or research competence, 
it's just that none are scientists with competence in developing 
appropriate methodologies for investigating hypotheses such as 
the ETH. In general, the above researchers cited as the models 
for UFOlogy eschew systematic analysis of the political cover up 
of the ETH on the basis of biases that EXCLUSIVELY favor 
scientific study of 'hard evidence' in the form of UFO 
sightings, and FOIA documents.

The cover up of evidence, the testimony of 
whistleblowers/'leakers', the manipulation of documents, 
intimidation of witnesses supporting the ETH is not at the 
fringe of UFO studies. It was at the center stage of UFO studies 
at its formation and under Maj Keyhoe who blended together an 
exopolitical perspective together with the more rigorous 
scientific analysis of UFO data.

I am reminding this List that a movement that forgets its 
origins and seminal thinkers loses part of its own identity and 
consequently gets out of touch of the mainstream population. 
There is no doubt that UFO research as currently defined by 
researchers cited by Paul Kimball is in crisis. They are out of 
touch with the many millions who do accept the ETH and know that 
a political cover up exists. Exopolitics may be on the fringe of 
this list given the biases that are systematically promoted by 
the leading protagonists here, but exopolitics is certainly not 
at the fringes of UFO research, but belongs at center stage 
along with the scientific method advocated by MacDonald, Hynek, 

Finally, either of the two definitions of exopolitics cited 
above herald an emerging trend of researchers, experiencers, 
whistleblowers who do systematically explore the political 
processes associated with the cover up of the ETH. The various 
methodologies to be used for exopolitics will naturally be 
strongly contested, but this should be done in a way that 
recognizes the complexities in exopolitical research, and 
without excluding data that fits outside the artificially 
constructed paradigm of "Serious Study of the UFO phenomenon".


Michael Salla