'No matter what rock is in the way, no matter what storm is on the way, the water's ultimately going to go down the river.' -Maria Sharapova

Unacknowledged - Debunked

by Ethan Glover, Sun, Jun 18, 2017 - (Edited) Sat, Mar 03, 2018

The Fermi Paradox, named after Enrico Fermi, describes the lack of evidence of life on other planets and the high probability of that life existing. With billions of stars in the galaxy, some of which have planets capable of sustaining life, intelligent life must have formed somewhere.

There are many theories to explain this paradox. On earth, why is it that there is only one intelligent species? In the book Denial, Danny Brower theorizes that human intelligence formed from a very unlikely coincidence. Humans developed the ability to deny reality at the same time they achieved full theory of mind. I explained this further in 'Online Civility' under the 'Denial' section.

In regards to whether I believe interstellar travelers have visited Earth, I've said that it's infinitely probable that intelligent life exists somewhere in the universe but infinitely improbable that we have been or will ever be visited.

That theory is primarily grounded in the idea that intelligent life forms exist too far apart in space and time to have developed communication between one another.

Then there are those who believe that aliens have visited earth, and that world governments are covering it up in a massive global conspiracy. Dubious claims of sightings, and press members reporting confirmation of aliens before the studying scientists even have results conglomerate into a pile of non-evidence that some love to obsess over.


It's been a long time since I've given any thought to extraterrestrial life. It's not something I see as important. My interests are more in current and rising social movements. In the 1940's and 50's, had I been alive, I may have developed an interest in learning how 'UFOlogists' think. What makes them believe? Why does simple confirmation bias lead them down such long rabbit holes full of bad information?

When looking through recently released documentaries, I came across Stephen Greer's 'Unacknowledged.' I was surprised to see a new movie on this subject in 2017. During the first parts of the film, I was a bit impressed. Greer seems to have rounded up a lot of legitimate people who have or once had Top Secret security clearance. People who actually worked on secret programs for the US government.

Then I started typing some of those names into Google.


Paul Hellyer, ex-minister of defense of Canada. Said he saw a UFO many years ago but didn't think much of it until he watched an ABC documentary on UFOs by Peter Jennings. That doc made him a believer so he started demanding that the government release ET evidence.

Dr. Ted Loder, Professor in chemical oceanography. Became a believer after attending a Disclosure Project briefing hosted by Steven Greer.

Dr. Eugene Mallove, scientist and engineer. Lt. Col. Thomas Bearden, claims to have cured all major diseases but says the government suppressed it. Both also make impossible, debunked claims about free energy.

Col. Philip Corso, distinguished career in Army intelligence. Claimed to have worked with extraterrestrial (ET) bodies at Roswell. Has a long history of embellishing what he did in the military. His stories are inconsistent, no matter the subject.

Glenn Dennis, labeled as 'Roswell's Mortician' in Unacknowledged. Was a civilian who delivered an injured soldier to the Roswell Air Force Base (AFB), saw some mysterious metal objects in some ambulances while he was there. Later he claims that a nurse who works on the AFB said she heard there had been autopsies done on ET's.

Brig. Gen. Steve Lovekin, possibly not a real Brigadier General. His military history has been called into question. Instead, he may be a "General" for a "State Guard," a civilian volunteer force with no association with the military. Lovekin claims to know "secrets" about ET's and Project Blue Book. He only has stories he heard from others who were allegedly "in the know." His stories are full of fear and threats but contain no details or evidence. Much like a typical ghost story.

Gordon Cooper, Air Force test pilot. Photographers on an experimental AFB (who reported to him) told him about a UFO sighting. He says he saw pictures and sent them to Project Blue Book. There was no follow-up investigation.

Dr. Robert Jacobs, filmed ballistic missile tests for Air Force. Saw a strange image of what looked like a UFO dismantling a missile through a camera in 1964, 800 miles away. When it's suggested that there might be an explanation other than aliens, he gets aggressive and defensive.

Capt. Robert Salas, Air Force missile launch officer. Test missiles failed to fire due to an electrical failure (proven in an investigation). Salas claims it was a UFO because someone said they saw something weird.

Time and again it's clear that these eyewitnesses, while they have impressive credentials, are no different than the typical sighting. These are normal people who failed to understand what they saw and have attributed it to aliens. When either proven wrong or given a suggestion for another explanation, they refuse and stick to their theories. Even when lacking any concrete evidence or proof. Many of these 'witnesses' are reporting hearsay during an era in which the entire nation was experiencing UFO fever. Most likely due to CIA propaganda to cover up experimental aircraft sightings. (Later mentioned.)

Sagan & Monroe

The film also claimed that during his career, Carl Sagan changed his mind about alien visitation. Greer says that Sagan once talked about how aliens had visited earth. Later, Sagan said there was no evidence to support it. Greer says this is because the intelligence community threatened and blackmailed him. Greer gives no evidence to support this.

The truth is, Sagan was always interested in the possibility of aliens visiting earth. But he became more of a skeptic as he heard more stories of sightings filled with logical and empirical fallacies. He also criticized the lack of scientific rigor by Project Blue Book. Sagan had always, especially by the end of his career, moved for the government to make UFO documentation and research public. To him, this would dispel many of the myths held by believers. He surmised that much of it was propaganda created during the Cold War.

Greer and Sagan both agree that any research on UFO and ET's should be public. But because Sagan doesn't believe there's a cover-up, he must be under the thumb of the government. The inability of Greer to recognize this shows how deep his confirmation bias and how defensive his mind has developed over UFO issues.

Further, the film claims that the government assassinated Marilyn Monroe because she knew "secrets." Which, in the context of the film, apparently means UFO's.

There are many theories about Monroe's death. Most of them revolve around the idea that she had an affair with the U.S. Attorney General, Robert Kennedy. But when you take into account that Monroe's career had failed, her addiction to drugs, her psychological problems, depression, and the actual evidence found at the scene of her death, suicide is more likely. (However, it is likely that she had an affair with Robert Kennedy. But there is no proof she held state secrets or threatened to expose them.)

Other Claims

Unacknowledged made a few other claims that were inaccurate that I feel should be quickly mentioned.

UFO sightings are more often than not near nuclear facilities. There's no evidence for this. Many websites like to list the instances of sightings near anything nuclear but they give no statistical evidence. (Most of these sightings are bunk anyway.)

Roswell AFB had the only nuclear arms squadron in the world at the time of the crash. The rationale given for this is that aliens want to prevent humans from using nuclear weapons, especially in space. One example of another squadron was the 393d Bomb Squadron at Whiteman AFB in Missouri. The squadron that dropped the bombs on Japan during WWII.

The government threatened the lives of many of the "witnesses" if they ever talked. Many of those same "witnesses" have spent their lives talking about what they saw or heard.

The CIA ran a disinformation campaign about UFOs. This is true. During the Cold War, the military was testing a lot of experimental aircraft that many people spotted. The CIA started a campaign to get people to start talking about aliens. This is what most likely started the craze that people like Greer have latched onto.

Free energy. "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another." Free energy is impossible. No one has ever invented a free energy machine.

Unacknowledged Special Access Programs (USAP). First off, this acronym isn't real. Special Access Programs (SAP) exist, USAP is a term used by conspiracy theorists. There are "black projects" kept secret from the American people. (Such as the Manhattan Project before the government declassified it.) But there's nothing to suggest that there are things even the President doesn't have access to.

Shadow Government. It's more accurate to call this the deep state. It refers to people who have spent their lives in influential positions within the government. Compared to the President and Congressmen with limited terms, these people hold an incredible amount of power. It is a major concern. But Greer's referring to it in the context of UFO's is a stretch. Throughout the film, he acts as if UFO's are the biggest secret in government. But considering all available evidence, I doubt that's true.