Dean Radin: My guest tonight is Richard Dolan, who is a historian—and I’m going to let Richard tell his story on how he got into the UFO business, because it’s not the sort of thing you’d imagine most historians to get into. I should say, though, that the reason why I wanted Richard to be a guest is because I read his earlier book called UFOs and the National Security State, and I think it significantly changed my opinion about whether or not I should talk and write about the UFO issue. And the reason is that it’s written from the point of view of a historian, and Richard takes a very even-handed approach to simply saying, These are the historical facts about UFOs in the United States and other places in the world. And you just get hit again and again and again with one fact after the other—and, by the time you reach the end of the book, either your head has exploded, or you come to the idea that there really is something interesting going on about UFOs. In my case it was a little bit of both. So that was the reason why, a couple of months ago, when Matthew Gilbert asked if I’d write an article on UFOs for the Shift magazine, I said yes. And that was because of Richard’s book. So I was very glad that he accepted to be a guest on the show, because I want to hear more about the inside story of that book—and, more importantly, the second volume of this book, which has just come out—which brings it up to what year now?
Richard Dolan: Well, this … By the way, thank you very, very much Dean, for the comments that you made. It’s gratifying to me to know that a book such as the one that I wrote could affect a person like yourself. It makes me feel like I’ve had some success in what I set out to do, because I was striving exactly to reach someone that I felt would be an intelligent but dispassionate person, who may not have known a lot about the subject, and yet would find the topic persuasive.
Now, what I’m working on is a three-volume historical trilogy. When I originally set out to write this book, I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll do a two-volume historical analysis that’ll take it from the Second World War to the present day.” In researching all of what was going to be volume two, it was just too much; it was vastly too much. So this second volume takes the story up to the end of the Cold War, in 1991. It’s actually a longer book than the first. And, as far as the third one, the good news at least is that my research for that is nearly completely done, so it won’t take me all that much time to finish the third book, as it has taken me a number of years to get this second book done.
But as far as how I got into the UFO topic: About 15 years ago I was working on a PhD in history at the University of Rochester (I still happen to live in Rochester, New York today). My topic at that time was very conventional history. I was doing Cold War studies, focusing primarily on the administration of Harry Truman, dealing with Cold War strategies circa 1950, so dealing with the birth of the CIA, and the National Security Act of 1947, and a variety of documents that were right in the period just before the Korean War. And I was in a bookstore one day with my wife, Karen, and I saw a copy of a UFO conspiracy book—in fact it’s quite a well-known book: it’s Timothy Good’s Above Top Secret, subtitled The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up. I had never heard of this book before, and my knowledge of the UFO topic was no different really from an ordinary person, who has maybe caught a documentary or two and that was about it. And I saw this book—and I thought, “Well, that’s interesting”—and I remember flipping through the pages thinking, “Well, I know that guy’s name, and I’ve read this person’s autobiography, and I know all about the history of this department—but what are they doing here in this book on UFOs?” Because in the academic world, of course, this is a non-topic. Nobody, nobody, will deal with the UFO issue. So I thought, “Well, I’d like to know! Is this just a load of nonsense, or is there something here that I can really sink my teeth into?” I wasn’t even at the question, Were UFOs real? That was way, way, way beyond where I was at. I got in very slowly. My initial question was, very simply, Was this ever a topic of legitimate interest to historical figures? In the 1950s were there generals, as it has been claimed—and CIA directors, and so forth—who were interested in UFOs? And I just thought, “Hey, even if they were interested as a mistake, that’s still interesting to me!” Wouldn’t you want to be a fly on the wall of one of these generals, and hear him talk about UFOs as a serious issue? How could that not be of interest?
So I did at this time what I often do when I get into a topic: I just dived in. And I thought, “Well, I’ll take two or three months out of my life, and I’ll study this to my satisfaction, and just decide is this anything that’s worthwhile or not.” And I quickly got sucked right in—because, when I started to look into the literature, the bibliography, and really researching this, I thought, “You know what? The believers don’t have a bad case at all. They’ve got a pretty good case.” And then what I ended up doing was looking for my book. When I get into any new historical field, I feel that there should be a nice, big, 500-page book that just lays it out—here’s what happened, then what happened, and then there’s what happened—without too much grandstanding, just laying it out. And I didn’t really find that kind of a book to my satisfaction, so I ended up writing it, and that’s UFOs and the National Security State. And that book deals with the early period of the Cold War, from the 1940s to 1973, and that’s about 500 pages. And I did what I felt any legitimate historian should try to do, which is you go meticulously through sources that are reliable, you stay within proven, non-arguable facts, and you construct a case. And, again, my book wasn’t really at attempt to argue whether UFOs themselves are alien—although I developed an opinion on that subject (and the opinion is, Yes, that some of them are), but that’s irrelevant. What I think the strength of the argument is, is that the national security community for years and years has taken it very seriously while at the same time telling the public and the world that there’s really nothing to it. And that’s really the argument; that’s the fundamental point that I make in that book. It takes 500 pages to do so, but I think it’s presented with as much factual, reliably presented, and clearly argued factual data as I could.
There’s a couple of subthemes in the book, of course, which deal … Part of the book has the key well-documented UFO sightings, and so in that sense the book is something of a reference. If you thought, “Gee, I’d like to know about 1953, that one particular case,” you could find it in my book, hopefully described in a very concise way. But then there’s the attitude, the policy, that we can find out by the relevant agencies—CIA, National Security Agency, and what have you—and did they take this seriously, and so on. And then the third leg of the book, in a sense, is the development of civilian, non-military groups to try to look into this on their own, and eventually culminating in a fight to end UFO secrecy—and that fight failed, but there was a culmination of that by the late 1960s, and I try to treat that story with as much care as I was able to. And so that story…The book ended in the year 1973, partly because I just had felt like I had run 26 miles and collapsed at the finish line and couldn’t do anything else. And when that book was finished, I knew I had a good book there, but I wasn’t really expecting the kind of responses that people were giving me. It struck a chord. I will say that a couple people said, “Well, we need the rest of the story”—and it’s taken me many, many years now to get …
DR: I think, speaking for others who have run across your book, it wasn’t that we need the rest of the story, but we need it now! It’s a lot like reading a historical novel, where you’ve left us at the edge of a cliff, in 1972 or ’73, and you really want to know how to bring it up to date. So, for the benefit of some of the people who have not read this book: Why was it the case that the national security apparatus, in the United States and elsewhere, why were they concerned that this was a serious issue?
RD: Yes; excellent. Well, very simply, because in the aftermath of World War II, in a sense…There was a phenomenon during World War II, but it seems to me that, [in] something as large as the Second World War, a lot can get lost in the shuffle. But after World War II there were definite, unarguable sightings of unconventional things—let’s say, over restricted airspace within the US military structure. So you have major bases that would have reports of these objects, often disc-shaped in appearance, doing things that weren’t supposed to be possible: coming in silently, often making highly angular turns, incredible maneuverability, acceleration, and so forth—often seen visually, tracked on radar, sometimes simultaneously jets or fighter interceptors would be sent to get these things, and they’d fail. Now, if this happens once or twice or three times, you might think, “Well, there’s maybe some kind of anomaly, optical phenomenon,” whatever. But this has happened many, many times. And we know this has happened many times because we were very lucky in this nation’s history in the late 1970s, with the Freedom of Information Act allowing researchers—really for only really a brief period, I think—to get a large number of military documents released from custody of the military. So we know these things happened. For years and years and years the military said, “No, that’s all hallucination or misidentification.” No, in fact, it isn’t. And we know it isn’t because we’ve got several thousand pages of Freedom of Information Act documents, several hundred of which are really good, and they’re very difficult to explain these away. So, clearly something important was happening.
If you were an airbase commander and these objects invaded your airspace, that’s of great concern to you, and so obviously you’d be negligent in your duty not to investigate this and try to do something about it. And that happened, as far as we can tell, really throughout the United States and, indeed, globally. The US, I think, was probably of prime interest mainly because of the technology that was there—and I’m just making an inference, but I think that’s probably why. UFO statistics are notoriously incomplete—they will always be—so we’ll never really know where the greatest amount of action is. We can make some guesses based on the statistics we have, but they’re never going to be complete. But yet, it’s serious.
And so, back in the 1940s and the 1950s, what we can say confidently is that, within a number of areas of the national security community, there were these discussions that were going on over what were these objects. Were they Soviet? It’s a fair question to ask, of course. Were they ours? Both nations, after World War II, ended up with a cache of German scientists, who had been involved in some very exotic types of science, and were dealing with advanced types of airframes and this type of thing. So the question was legitimate. The problem is that, after 50-60 years, it does not look like the Soviets came up with flying saucers right after World War II. And as to whether or not we did—this is not a completely settled issue, I will grant you, but it doesn’t look like it to me. And the reason is the very confrontational, provocative nature of encounters. I mean, these things are coming in, they’re testing our defenses, we’re chasing them down, trying to shoot at them at times. Now, if it’s an American program, is it one that’s going to go for 60 years to do this—to sort of probe the entire United States military establishment? I don’t see the logic there.
DR: Yeah, you’d think that they would have probed it sufficiently by now.
RD: Absolutely. Now, in this second volume, which I have finished writing (it’s not published, but it’s done—I’m actually doing the cleanup of the book right now…)
DR: So we can’t actually buy it yet.
RD: You cannot buy it yet. You’ll be able to get it within a couple of months.
DR: Oh, good.
RD: Soon enough. I’m very happy with it, actually.
RD: But the story continues through the ‘70s and ‘80s, and it’s the same types of encounters—except the difference with these years is that there’s a much broader documentation for the phenomenon as a global thing. So we have fewer American documents dealing with the 1980s and ‘90s—not because they weren’t happening, but because Freedom of Information Act dried up, and our access to a lot of these records just is no longer there—whereas, with other nations, many of those opportunities for learning opened up, and so we were able to learn more about Peruvian Air Force encounters, or in West Africa, or China, or the Soviet Union, or various European countries. So I think what’s happened with this new book, that I’ve just finished, is that has a much more global feel to it, that I’m happy with, and my attitude is that I have to go where the data’s leading me. In the early years, the 1940s and ‘50s, it was a very American-intensive data set that one had to work with, because that’s where the research was. So that’s fine, but I’m very pleased with the fact that this has really become a global book now, in scope.
DR: So, it’s probably safe to infer that this has always been a global phenomenon—and the reason why it may at times seem to move around from one country to the next has to do more with the way that information flows, rather than where UFOs might be.
RD: Yeah, that’s my opinion. Because just consider that…Let’s say it’s 500 years ago, and you’re a member of the Native American tribe in…the Winnebago tribe up in Wisconsin, or somewhere, and you see what you think is a UFO. Well, that’s great—you probably did—but there’s no means of writing it down. Maybe there’s an oral tradition that you might contribute to. Our means throughout history and across cultures has not often…it’s not equal. So, in the 20th century in Western culture, in American culture in particular…We had very, very good means after World War II of recording these sightings, and having at least an opportunity to investigate them. That was not the case in Central Africa in 1950. There’s no infrastructure really for this, so there could very well have been a large number of sightings that just went unreported. In my own experience, when I meet with people privately, they come into my office, and they see an entire wall of UFO books, and they inevitably say, “Oh, I see you like UFOs.” It’s always, “…you like.” [laughs] “You must like UFOs!” [laughs]
DR: Well, what’s not to like…?
RD: Right, there you go. A couple of things not to like. But inevitably what happens is someone will volunteer their sighting to me. I never ask, but I’ve had over the years probably 300-350 people sit across from my desk tell me about this amazing thing that they’ve seen in their life. Some of the sightings are not all that incredible, but some are. And what I find is that very few of these people—maybe five, less than ten, certainly—have ever reported it to any agency that takes reports. And a lot of them have never even told maybe more than one or two friends. So, it’s the most incredible thing that many people have seen in their lives, and they don’t tell anybody. So, in other words, reporting data on this is … I guess you can infer that if one year has more reports than another, there may be a greater total number of sightings in that year, simply by the percentages—but you really can’t know. These days, on the National UFO Reporting Center, I think Peter Davenport gets 4-5000 raw reports submitted to him every year on his website. Whereas, back in the 1950s, there were no places that were that easy to report—there weren’t websites—so, at most, the Air Force was getting a couple of hundred, and a thousand would be a really big year in terms of reports.
DR: Since your two books now are going over 50 years of these sightings, has it changed since the 1940s till now?
RD: There have been a few large-scale developments that I’m seeing. One is that by the late 1980s you start getting the advent of what I would I would call the mass sighting. There were mass sightings, a few, in the early years—but really not many. What you get by the early 1980s, in a number of places in the US and elsewhere, were sightings by large numbers of people, who had often had recording equipment. Video cameras, camcorders started to become used in the 1980s, and so what you get are these waves where these phenomena would be seen in a particular area over and over and over again. I live up in New York state, and I’m not far from the Hudson Valley just north of New York City, where, in the early ‘80s, over a period of 3-4 years, the density of sightings of these bizarre craft that were seen flying low over the Potomac Highway, silent. Many, many thousands of witnesses saw them. In the late 1980s, you get Gulf Breeze, which is another place where there were these mass sightings with regularity. Belgium, in 1989-1990, [is] similar in the sense that there were these triangular craft that were being seen by thousands of individuals. Around the same time, in the Soviet Union, over Moscow and other parts of that country, also lots of mass sightings. In the Alabama town known as Fife—this tiny little town—in I think 1989, there were for a brief period these large numbers of UFO sightings by lots of people. So I think the mass sighting phenomenon is an interesting one.
What’s the biggest difference that I find, in looking at the period, is the culture of UFO research itself. That went through an absolute revolution in the late 1980s. I think the whole field just blew up. A lot of it, I think, was triggered by the young internet. Prior to 1987, there was really no internet to speak of. And so all the discussion of UFOs really took place in…you might call it the “Old Boys’ Club,” amid these journals with limited circulation—the MUFON Journal, and the old APRO Bulletin, and so on. It was a limited number of people, you have to pay for a subscription, and it would be a thousand copies, and that would be all that would go out. They had very strict editorial policies in general. What happened in that, in 1987 and ’88-’89, Usenet (what was then the internet, really) allowed anybody with a computer and a modem instantly to publish their ideas for large numbers of people to see—more than just thousands. And it really opened up ufology in a significant way, for better and for worse. It brought in a large conspiracy emphasis into the study of UFOs, that really hadn’t been there to that degree previously. And so, really, there was this cultural unity that had existed prior to 1987, which was really not there by the end of the topic that I’m dealing with…1991, I think, that was gone away.
The other thing that happened is that our understanding of what these things were, that evolved really quite dramatically. You go back to the 1950s, and the prevailing idea was that these were men from another planet coming here, scoping out our world—kind of like a big surveillance thing—in preparation, presumably, to colonize. And that was absolutely the prevailing opinion. Now, the problem with that opinion is that ten years go by, 20 years go by, 30 years go by, and are they still scoping us out? Sighting are hot and heavy—hundreds and thousands a year. Do they really need to examine our terrain that significantly before they make a move? So, that theory really didn’t hold water very much. And then, on top of that, people started recognizing that there is a lot of strangeness to these UFOs. They didn’t always act like mechanical contraptions that might have been built with advanced technology. There are cases of these UFOs just disappearing, winking out, winking in, shapeshifting at times (it seemed to some witnesses)—and then doing maneuvers in the sky that, even with advanced capabilities, it just didn’t seem possible: making no-radius turns instantly, and shooting instantly straight up into the sky.
And then the beings themselves…Increasingly people would discuss their encounters with these other beings, and they weren’t just regular men from another planet either. A lot of them had very serious telepathic abilities; this is a very strong, consistent thread. But back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, it was very much not done to talk about your alleged encounter with a non-human being. That was very, very rare.
DR: Wait a second. Do you think that it was because of a taboo—adding taboos upon other taboos—that people just couldn’t talk about it?
RD: I think that’s exactly right. There’s an inbred conservatism to the culture, which is crazy. When people think about UFOs, they think, “Oh, well, those are crazy wide-eyed believers—they’ll take anything.” No, absolutely not. What you find is UFO researchers—at least, let’s say, the serious ones—through the ’50s and ‘60s and ‘70s, were a very conservative lot in general, and it took them a long time to be dragged into thinking through a series of hypotheses about this phenomenon. And it takes time to go down that road; it took me, personally, some time. I started 15 years ago thinking, “I only want to know a couple of things; I don’t want to get into crazy things like abductions or cattle mutilations or crop circles; God, no!; I only want to know (this was my attitude) was this a genuine phenomenon.” But the problem, of course, is that if you really pursue this field in an intellectually honest way, the fact is that it opens up an enormous array of new questions. And so it’s like going to the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and saying, “Oh, I’ll only just get my toes wet.” Well, I guess there are some people like that, but I’m not like that. And a lot of other people…Eventually—it takes time—but people will start going into those deeper waters.
The accounts of encounters with alleged alien beings—this took many years, and it really wasn’t until the 1970s that we start getting a lot of these. Around the time that my second volume begins is when that aspect of the phenomenon really takes off. There have been a couple of sporadic cases before that, but you really get a lot. And that phenomenon had a big effect on researchers. You start getting people doing abduction research—but not all of them did abduction research: some of them just were focusing on alleged communication between humans and these non-human beings—not all were abductions. There were many cases of people saying, “I had a telepathic message from this being” of various types—although a lot of times they do seem to have been taken and returned, and so on. So that’s another part of it.
And then you get other, darker aspects of the phenomenon that really come through in the 1970s and ‘80s—for example, the animal mutilation mystery. There are many researchers who will say that that’s not necessarily related to UFOs. I’m not so sure; I think that there’s reason to think that they have a relationship to the UFO phenomenon, although I wouldn’t be 100% sure to say what that is. But here’s an interesting fact about the mutilation mystery: now it’s been going for, I guess, four decades, roughly—and no perpetrators have ever been caught! And there’s been a lot of cattle that have been destroyed and mutilated, and other animals as well. So whoever’s doing it is quite…
DR: Is that a worldwide phenomenon, the cattle mutilation one?
RD: It is worldwide. Just a couple of years ago there was a large wave of animal mutilations, cattle mutilations, in Argentina that I followed with a lot of interest. Certainly the largest number of reported cases are in the United States—the western US, Colorado, New Mexico, and so on—but it’s everywhere. There are cases in the eastern US as well, Canadian cases, South American; fewer cases that I’m aware of in the other hemisphere; a lot of western hemisphere cases, though. It’s just another aspect of the phenomenon that came out.
And then the crop circle phenomenon, really, by the mid-1980s, was becoming a significant question mark. And again you get the same thing: more conservative researchers would say, “Well, there’s really no necessary connection with UFOs.” Again, I’m not so sure. The circles, in my opinion, the genuine circles (and there are those that I think are genuine are those that I think are not)—genuines have certain very particular qualities that I, personally, have a very difficult time seeing how a human hoaxer can do this. Some of these come up overnight, immense, perfect, perfectly done, beautiful works of art, with properties at the cellular level that indicate localized microwave or localized heat at the cellular level of some of these plants. These are at least some of the studies that I’ve seen. So it’s just another aspect of the phenomenon, and I’ve done a little bit of writing on that as well for my next book.
So it’s been a wild ride, Dean, [laughs] writing about this. And then the whole cover-up/conspiracy part of has taken me into a very deep political analysis. I ask myself every day, “Well, if this phenomenon is legitimate, as I think it is, where’s our mainstream media?, where’s our political establishment in discussing this?” Because I kept asking this question, I started to wonder, “What is the actual structure of power in this world? Who’s running the show here?” And looking at it from a broad geopolitical point of view, as well as looking at the UFO cover-up part of it, my conclusion is that, certainly by 1990, there’s very good reason to hypothesize that what we’ve really seen is the death, in a sense, of the traditional nation-state. We’ve gone global in many, many ways, and that includes with the UFO cover-up as well. There’s been a large privatization of this phenomenon, control of the phenomenon.
DR: What do you mean by that: privatization?
RD: What I think has happened is…We can see how this develops right from the beginning. So, pretend it’s the 1940s, and you’re President Truman, and your top general approaches you and says, “Sir, we have recovered technology that does not appear to have been manufactured by human hands.” So, this is a bombshell that you have to deal with. Well, it’s not hard to see why the President might want to keep this secret, initially. He might think, “Let’s study this; let’s find out if there’s anything we can learn, how bad is the panic going to be,” and so forth. So, if you have this artifact, clearly you’re going to want to study it. You’re maybe going to want to try to replicate it, to the extent possible. So, if you’re the Army, and you’ve got this thing, ultimately it’s going to have to go to one of your contractors at some point. Certainly within the Army there are a lot of smart scientists, but if you really want something built you go to places like Lockheed or General Electric or Raytheon or other contractors who…That’s their job. They have the teams of research/development guys and engineers that they build things for you.
So what happens, I think, is that this artifact will eventually go to a place like Lockheed, the lawyers will covertly work out their agreement (I think), and Lockheed will have possession of this artifact. So, the question is: Who owns it? Well, I don’t know. But I suspect that, over a long enough period of time, it becomes privately owned in a significant way. And then, of course, when you-in-the-Army retire, you go over there and get a senior VP job, and you make a lot of money, and then you’ve got great ground-floor investment opportunities—because, five years down the road, one of your brilliant scientists figures out some new electromagnetic property of this thing that you can then incorporate into other gadgets, and so forth. So you’ve got this goose that lays golden eggs.
Now, what we do know—just forget the UFO topic for a moment—just studies of the Pentagon and the system known as special access programs (that is, black budget), what we know about that is that they have largely been taken over by private entities. So that, in other words, if there’s a black budget program, it’s more likely than not to be dominated not by DOD personnel but by contractor personnel—and that an enormous amount of money goes in there and it’s controlled by the contractors, who really have the final word, and the DOD people are really just liaisons, conduits for money. And I think the same applies to the UFO part of it. So that, in other words, what we’ve had is a kind of privatization problem, in the sense that it’s taken the control of this issue increasingly out of public hands into private. And that’s a large geopolitical process that I think happened on a grand scale through the ‘70s and ‘80s and ‘90s, and it’s something that I believe has been happening within the UFO part …
DR: And since private companies are multinational now, then it just fuels the conspiracy theories even more.
RD: That’s right; exactly. So that who’s in charge? Again, I say, “Well, forget the UFO issue for a minute and ask yourself.” I think a perfect example of showing who’s in charge is, just a few months ago, when President Obama’s so-called stimulus package was being discussed in January—a package, by the way, that he took almost in its entirety from former President George Bush, the man he was supposed to be opposed to on every level. He takes [laughs] this trillion-dollar stimulus package as his own. If you recall, two months ago, there was a bit of a controversy over part of that package, the so-called “Buy American” clause of the stimulus package. Now, if you’re an American citizen, this might sound perfectly reasonable: buy American steel—as opposed to, say, Australian steel—in rebuilding your infrastructure, and so on. The problem with that is that it went diametrically against every single big-shot at the G-20 meeting in Switzerland at that time. And the head of Carlisle equity (I forget his name) said in January or early February, “Well, that part of the stimulus package—that’s just a whole lot of steam that they’re letting off for public consumption. That won’t happen.” And, if you’re Barack Obama, you might take exception to that remark! You might think, “Hey, who are you to tell me and my country what part of the stimulus package is going to go over?” No, that’s not what Obama’s people said. A few hours later a spokesman for the administration said, “We will need to revisit that part of the stimulus package.” Now that’s just one example of international groups exercising massive control over something as profoundly important to us as a trillion-dollar, unprecedented bit of economic medicine to hopefully save a dying patient. And we don’t even have control over that, to a large extent.
DR: So, who’s in charge? Right. So there’s some other G-20 out there that is actually not government at all. They’re something else.
RD: Well, there is. They’re called Bilderbergers, and they’re called Trilaterals, and a whole bunch of other unelected, elite organizations that meet. Back in my old, stable, conservative university days, no one would ever discuss such a thing. I’ve become interested in looking at these groups, though; absolutely. The Bilderbergers are an example: they absolutely exist, they’ve existed since 1954, they meet every single year; that’s a fact. It’s also a fact that media coverage is nonexistent, and it’s willfully nonexistent, and yet you’ve got arguably the top 100-200 individuals, in terms of power and influence, [meeting] in total secrecy every year. And I think they’re bigger and badder than the G-20.
DR: So, they have their equivalent of the Smithsonian’s back room, with various things in it. And one of the interesting aspects of this is, if in fact there’s privatization of artifacts from whatever the UFOs are—and they were useful in some way, the way that Corso wrote in his book—modern technology is an outcropping of that. (I’m not sure I accept that statement.) Then, if it was useful in a way where, for example, we were able to get energy out of the vacuum, or something like that, from a UFO, then you would think that the few hundred people who are in charge of the world wouldn’t want the world to completely collapse, in which case they may make something like that actually appear someday.
RD: If they actually want the world to thrive.
DR: That’s a scary thought.
RD: Y’know, I’ve gone through the gamut at this point. But the Corso thesis, incidentally—this idea that we’ve taken some ET technology and seguewayed it off into private industry—I don’t think is illogical. I certainly wouldn’t think it’s necessary for our own development. I think the way that our technology goes is simply that one success leads to another success, and so on, and you get this kind of build-on exponential effect. And so, if anything, you might say that the ET contribution accelerated certain disciplines—not necessarily created it out of whole cloth. I think that’s more likely how I would look at it.
But no, what I’ve really been speculating on—and I certainly emphasize that this is speculation on my part, but it’s an idea that I’ve been thinking long and hard about—which is that when you look at the so-called black budget, what we know is that not billions but apparently trillions of dollars have gone unaccounted-for through the 1990s and through the early 21st century. And we know this because we have a variety of congressional statements and attempts at audits of the federal government and so forth that show missing dollars in the excess of one and sometimes two trillion dollars. Most famously a statement by Donald Rumsfeld in July of 2001 that referred to 2.6 trillion, amended to 2.3 trillion dollars, of transactions that no one knew where they went. It’s an amount of money that boggles the mind, frankly. So, forget that.
So, certain amounts of money go into…let’s call it a black infrastructure. And this goes over many, many decades. This is what I believe has happened. So, how is it possible that an almost separate or to a large degree separate scientific infrastructure could develop in total secrecy, that would be in a sense off the grid? Is such a thing possible? I think in theory it is possible, when you consider science during the Cold War. Western versus Soviet science, for example, often went into different directions. The Soviets famously went into the biological ridiculousness of Trofim Lysenko, who had a theory of genetics and biology that turned out to be complete nonsense, but it was an entire infrastructure in that nation that went off in that direction. There was certainly communication even in the depths of the Cold War between the two sides, but there was to some extent this example of these two infrastructures going their own way. So, I don’t think it’s impossible that a deep, black, well-funded infrastructure filled with its own number of very brilliant people might have the ability, given access to certain exotic technologies, the ability to make a breakthrough that they may then decide they’re going to keep to themselves for now. Breakthroughs: whether that has to do with energy from the vacuum (which I think is a real possibility), or who knows what else, but technologies that allowed them to go off-world. I think, actually, some of it involves manipulation of time, if I may really go out on a tangent here. I think that they’re playing around with space-time to some extent.
DR: What leads you to that idea?
RD: That’s a good question. [laughs] Certain off-the-record individuals that I’ve discussed the matter with. And I can’t prove it, so I don’t really know. But I think that it’s at least a possibility, in my opinion, that there may be more to this cover-up that I had ever thought.
DR: Which is again related to the UFO issue?
RD: Oh, I think so, yeah. I think so because what if these UFOs or individuals or beings that aren’t human…Now, where are they from? Are they from another planet? Are they from another place in our space-time somehow?—or another dimension, some people might say. I think that’s totally possible. Or do they have the ability to essentially play with space-time in ways that ordinary people just don’t do? Yes, I think that’s entirely possible, and I think that it would be possible that a breakaway human group might have figured something out along these lines. So, I’m just putting forward a hypothesis that there may be a completely unknown cold war going on all around us, with entities…some of them aren’t human, some of them deep, black, breakaway entities. I suspect they don’t all get along with each other—that is, not even all the human groups. I think there’s a great deal of compartmentalization within the so-called black world, and I’m not convinced that they all work together. So, if that’s true, then it’s a really complicated situation.
DR: That’s saying it mildly. When you look historically of the vector of this phenomenon, and especially given that you’ve been working on your third book, so you’ve been bringing it about up to date, what would you project where we’re likely to encounter with the way that the UFO phenomenon in its large how is it likely to evolve.
RD: What I think is…My best guess is that…When I look at our own civilization, the thing is that we’re actually the grow-variable in this equation, not them. We have changed so dramatically in one century—gone from a society of horse-driven carriages to automobiles to airplanes to atomic bombs, computers, guided missiles, integrated circuits, and artificially intelligent computers (at least we’re on the cusp of that), quantum computing, nanotechnology—all within really a century. We have succeeded in utterly reinventing ourselves as a species, technologically if nothing else.
So I think that if you look at something like AI, for example…I mean, a lot of people think UFOs are crazy, but they should read some books on the alleged future of AI written by very mainstream scientists who get a lot of money to do what they do. [laughs] Unlike a guy like me. The typical belief in the AI field is that—15 years from now, maybe 20 years from now—your computer will be telling you that it is a conscious, sentient being, it’ll be able to do a quadrillion number of calculations per second, and it’ll be able to pull any bit of data off the internet instantly. So it’ll be like you were me, but on a really good day [laughs], 24/7—very, very smart—and it’ll say that it’s conscious, and we may be likely to accept those claims.
If that’s so—even if that’s remotely so, even in 50 years if not 20—I would have to think that any observing intelligence would be aware of this and they’d be looking at this thinking, “These creatures, in a very short period of time, have made themselves something that might just be a nuisance in a short period of time from now.” Not that they can take us in a street fight, so to speak. But it’s quite possible, because our progress isn’t linear—it’s been absolutely exponential—that we may be making a significant jump, literally to another level of capability here. And so, that being said, I think it’s only a matter of time—a couple of decades—before we’re going to have the capability of determining, to a greater level of satisfaction, that there is indeed another form of intelligence interacting with us. Now, what we’ll be able to do with that, I don’t know.
DR: Well, maybe from an individual point of view, it’s irrelevant. If we’re talking about something like a planetary consciousness, an internet that becomes alive and has penetrated the entire world, then perhaps the UFO is a preparation for a global awareness. Which may actually have very little to do with humans, other than the people who keep the machinery alive.
RD: Well, the AI theorists—many of them, I think—believe that. I think that they see the dominant consciousness on this planet evolving from what starts out as machine intelligence, although that may not be how it ends up. Writers like Ray Kurzweil, for example, have argued that…He says the ultimate end-result of this as a kind of merger between human and machine intelligence—not necessarily the end of biological humanity, but the end of old-fashioned, unenhanced homo sapiens, very likely.
DR: Which is a common science fiction that we see again and again in TV shows and movies.
RD: Yeah, right; exactly. That’s why I’m a sucker for those movies.
DR: Yeah, me too. I want to thank Richard for being a guest on the show—and this could easily turn into a three hour conversation, but we don’t have the time. And I’d also like to recommend that everybody look up keyholepublishing.com, [which] is Richard’s website, and you can find UFOs and the National Security State volume 1, and volume 2 is about to come out; and I recommend that book if you want to freak yourself out, and your friends.
RD: If you forget that, if you just do a Google search on the name Richard Dolan my website’ll come up at the top, so I’m not that hard to find. You can also email me if you’re that excited, you can just send me a quick note if you have anything that you wanted to say. But there’s information on my first volume, and also information on the forthcoming book that’s coming out—and, if you just check that every so often, I’ll have information as to when that book will be published. The writing of that book is done, I’m very happy to say, and I’m actually just doing some cleanup indexing and getting it ready for publication.
DR: So, Richard, I heard a rumor that, [in] the movie version of your book, Hugh Jackman will be playing you. Is that true?
RD: That’s right, yeah. Hugh and I, we go back a long way. Yeah, wouldn’t that be cool? [laughs]
DR: There’s a striking connection.
RD: Honestly, you know what I think? That a movie based in the book that I’ve just written…You could make a variety of movies out of some of the stories that are in there. It’s an absolutely fascinating story in many ways. You could make a movie about the research itself, which almost sounds so mundane, but in fact it’s utterly fascinating. And then movies could be made about many of the mini-dramas that occur within the book. The field is just so much more fascinating than I had ever, ever suspected when I first dipped into it 15 years ago, and I can see that I’m in it for life. And I have no regrets over that; I’m perfectly happy.
Everyone has an entry-point into whatever it is that expands their own consciousness and their own worldview, and for me it was the UFO topic, and that has led me into the study of a whole range of things that I very likely might never have encountered, such as remote viewing or artificial intelligence or black budget issues or who knows what else. So it’s been very fruitful for me.
DR: And I’m sure me and many others are glad that you’ve done what you’ve done. And we look forward to volumes 6, 7, and 8, and the movie.
RD: That’s my plan, man. [laughs]