Friday, September 18, 2009

The Russians Are Coming!

In the 1950s Soviet espionage was rampant as the Russians had infiltrated every aspect of American society from the White House to the State Department to the military and even the old OSS .

The Russian intelligence agencies battled it out with their western counterparts as the red scare of the 1950s set in to the American mindset. One very intriguing aspect of this spy war is that even though the FBI knew who many of these Soviet agents were, they could not be prosecuted because of how they were unmasked. You see, the Army Security Agency (predecessor to the NSA) was actively breaking the Soviet code under a top secret program knows as the Venona Project. The project decryptions helped the FBI track down and break up a number of Soviet espionage rings, but some of these spies avoided prosecution because the incriminating evidence collected was too classified to reveal in a court of law. It was better to let these spies walk away free then to risk compromising the existence of the Venona Project.

How does this apply to Ufology? Well let's consider the following hypothetical scenario: A foreign intelligence agency approaches a prominent UFO researcher and promises to finance their research in exchange for any information found, knowing that some of the data provided may actually relate to new exotic American military aircraft. Now let's say that American Counter-Intelligence is not very happy and would really like to put this prominent UFO researcher in the same jail cell as Gary McKinnon for compromising national security. How could they possibly prosecute in a court of law without revealing their interest in the UFO researcher and Ufology in general? Such is the dilemna of the intelligence agencies who use the UFO phenomenon for their own purposes. Depending on which end of the information game your side plays on, you either reap the reward or get bit in the ass. Realizing that prosecution is not a possibility, the losing player will probably opt for using the researcher as a conduit for disinformation instead, effectively making the researcher an unwitting pawn on a chess board of rival intelligence agencies.

Silly really, but the game has been played too long and the intelligence agencies are in too deep to stop now. So the game continues with each successive move of a game piece more elaborate than the previous. However there is no check mate in this game, because it has been played for more than 60 years with no winner, although it was put on hold when cold war tensions eased. With the resurgence of tense relations between Russia and the United States, the game is back in play, and Ufologists are once again faced with being manipulated as pawns in a game that is not of their choosing. While terrestrial hands exchange game pieces, the phenomenon itself flies overhead untouched and out of reach.