From: Stig Agermose <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 17:10:52 +0200 Fwd Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 13:21:27 -0400 Subject: Re: Criticism Of New Drive For UFO Disclosure - Source: Wired News http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,56004,00.html Stig *** Outing UFO Clues Good for Ratings By Mark Baard 02:00 AM Oct. 25, 2002 PDT ** Fox Mulder would be proud of a group of Washington insiders who are throwing their weight behind the UFO movement. Former Chief of Staff John Podesta and a former Capitol Hill staffer this week called on the government to release secret evidence from UFO crash sites. The Coalition for Freedom of Information, directed by Washington lobbyist Edwin Rothschild, hopes to acquire UFO documents and debris for scientific analysis. Rothschild said neither he nor Podesta, who joined in the announcement, has heard any new rumors about UFOs from the Oval Office or Capitol Hill. "But people and pilots worldwide have seen things that shouldn't be there," Rothschild said, "and we ought to know what these things are." Rothschild said he wants to encourage a sustained, scientific study of UFO materials. But Rothschild may be more interested in strengthening his ties with the Sci Fi Channel, which is funding the Coalition for Freedom of Information. Sci Fi also happens to be a client of PodestaMattoon, the lobbying and PR firm where Rothschild works. Sci Fi is using the CFI connection to promote its new UFO miniseries Taken. The show, produced by Steven Spielberg, will air in December. And here's a twist worthy of The X-Files: PodestaMattoon is run by John Podesta's brother, Tony, which may explain John's participation in the launch of CFI. John Podesta did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. While schilling for Sci Fi, CFI promises to use its connections to muscle the UFO debate into the mainstream. Indeed, CFI is girding itself for a row with the Air Force over CFI's Freedom of Information Act request for documents from its official UFO investigations. "I've done this type of work before," Rothschild said, "and I've found that some people don't listen unless you file a lawsuit against them." CFI is especially keen for documents about an object the Air Force may have recovered at a crash site in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, in December 1965. Witnesses who saw the Kecksburg object described it as saucer- shaped and marked with strange writing. "For all we know, that writing might have been Cyrillic," Rothschild said. "It might have been a Soviet vehicle. The point is we just don't know." But the public may never see the Kecksburg object, or any other UFO, for that matter. "They'd have an easier time getting the government to haul out an alien cadaver than any piece of a ship," said Ryan Wood, who runs The Majestic Documents, a UFO research site. Wood heads up a group of real-life versions of the X-Files Lone Gunmen who seek to authenticate UFO-related government documents. Wood believes the government may be hiding UFO evidence because of its military value. But one of Wood's associates has another more mundane explanation for the missing data. "With all the bureaucracy surrounding FOIA requests," UFO researcher Nick Redfern said, "the material could just be sitting around somewhere, in a dusty old office." Scientists, including the skeptics, say they'd welcome full disclosure of UFO evidence. "It's unlikely that an interstellar spacecraft has ever struck the earth," said Tom McDonough, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence coordinator for the Planetary Society. "But let's look at whatever evidence there is. Then we can debate about its origins." But Rothschild said that hard-core skeptics, especially in the media, are killing the UFO debate. "We're working against a big ridicule factor here," he said, "and that isn't going to lead to any kind of outcome." ** We are translated daily into Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese Copyright 2002, Lycos, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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