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 Dr. Joseph Burkes
Ufology's Fundamental Challenge 
Dear Mr. Colaw

I am a medical doctor in Los Angeles and an independent UFO investigator. Thank you for your  report on your sighting that appears in the current Filer Files. 

I have written a position paper on what I view is the fundamental challenge to UFOlogy. If you have recieved this paper already, please excuse this oversight. 
Feedback would be appreciated.

Sincerely
Joseph Burkes, MD



Ufology's Fundamental Challenge 
Copyright 1998 Joseph Burkes MD 

The civilian UFO community often known as "ufology" exists as a 
multitude of individuals and groups who all share a common interest in 
the subject of unidentified flying objects. Since 1991 I have shared 
this passion with other so called "ufologists."
 
For several years I was closely associated with Dr. Steven Greer's 
Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, CSETI. In the 
course of my activities with that group I had a number of limited 
interactive encounters with what appeared to be Extraterrestrial 
spacecraft. 

For a number of reasons, personal as well as professional, I have 
curtailed much of my UFO oriented activities. At this point I would 
like to offer my observations concerning what I perceive is the 
fundamental problem in this field and call for a dramatic solution to 
the crisis in ufology. 

It is my assessment that ufology has failed to recognize the 
importance of how an Extra-terrestrial presence profoundly threatens 
all terrestrial elites. This includes the international corporate, 
military, political and religious leaders of our planet. Without 
recognizing and thoroughly analyzing this challenge to terrestrial 
power, those interested in understanding the phenomenon of 
Extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting our planet, will in my opinion be 
hopelessly confused. More importantly, UFO enthusiasts may have 
unrealistic expectations and may be wasting important energy in 
projects that can not bear fruit given the depths of the power 
structure's opposition to acknowledging an Et presence. 

Currently a number of prominent UFO groups are advocating that 
Congress hold open hearings on the issue of government secrecy 
concerning Extra-terrestrial spacecraft visiting our planet. Retired 
military and intelligence officers who have had direct personal 
experiences with Extra-terrestrial intelligence during their official 
work have been identified. There is now an opportunity to inform the 
public, if these official witnesses can be induced to testify. 

As might be expected the push for public hearings on the topic of the ET 
presence has encountered resistance. It has been the not too secret 
hope of many UFO activists that some kind of official disclosure might 
be underfoot. It is my assessment however that no disclosure will take 
place without tremendous pressure on the terrestrial power structure, 
more pressure that can be applied to Congress at the current time.  
Frustrated by years of official denial, how can UFO enthusiasts work 
to remedy this predicament? A broad based coalition employing 
coordinated political action will be an essential part of the 
disclosure process. This will probably require dozens of organizations 
and thousands of activists. Such a campaign will probably take the 
form of the grassroots movements for social change. Models of such 
efforts include the union organizing drives of the 1930s and the peace 
and the civil rights movements of the 1960s . To develop such a 
coalition of individuals and groups, an analysis of the Et challenge 
to all terrestrial power is required. 

Our planet's population is divided into over 100 nation states.  
National political leaders are able to exercise their power on the 
basis of nationalism. As the prominent ufologist Stanton Friedman has 
said, "Nationalism is the name of the game." Once the people of the 
planet are permitted to acknowledge the ET presence, the masses will 
tend to see themselves as "terrestrial" or simply "human." Faced with 
what will likely turn out to be an incredible diversity of ET 
cultures, people on our planet will likely start to identify with the 
Earth as a whole rather than with their particular nation state. Thus 
the power of national politicians would be threatened by admitting 
that some UFOs represent Extra-terrestrial spacecraft built by non- 
humans from the stars. 

>From the point of view of ordinary citizens, an end to nationalism 
and the realization of the slogan "One planet, one people", might not 
be tragic at all. Given the sad record of this century, with over 100 
million killed in wars resulting from national rivalry, it might make 
very good sense to place nationalism in the dust bin of history. Of 
course national political leaders who derive their power from "the 
people", i.e. their nation's people, would understandably be 
threatened by an outside presence which undermines 
their ideological power base. 

The Extra-terrestrial presence challenges military leaders of every 
nation. Advanced civilizations visiting our planet appear to be quite 
capable of producing craft which can fly circles around the military's 
high performance jets. Military leaders are thus unable to secure our 
planet's airspace from ET intrusion. This provides one rationale for 
the military-intelligence community's role in maintaining the secrecy 
regimen concerning UFOs. 

The Extra-terrestrials appear to have access to incredibly powerful 
energy systems in order to propel their spacecraft. Speculation within 
ufology has suggested that their craft use non-polluting so called 
"free energy systems." If the authorities acknowledged the Et presence 
and over a period of time our culture were allowed to download such 
efficient energy technologies, many of our economic as well as 
environmental problems might be solved. From the point of view of the 
multinational oil corporations, this would not be a favorable 
development. The downloading of ET energy systems would likely 
threaten their worldwide monopoly which has been the source of much 
wealth and influence for important sectors of the corporate elite.  
Considering that the Gulf War and other military actions in the Middle 
East are driven by a hunger for cheap oil, we see the strategic 
importance of what has been called the "empire of oil." Thus the Et 
presence threatens important sectors of the 
economic elite of our planet. 

An important pillar of our planet's belief systems is organized 
religion. The true history of our planet may reveal that the flying 
saucer phenomenon is really an ancient process rather than a modern 
one. Renaissance religious painting depicting flying saucers certainly 
suggest this possibility. The myths of ancient civilizations declaring 
that their knowledge and technology were obtained from so called "star 
people", provides additional support for ancient astronaut theories.  
What if the holy men and prophets of biblical times were in reality 
contactees? Their religious experiences may have reflected encounters 
with non-human intelligence, some of which might have been 
Extra-terrestrial in nature. If this theory were indeed true or even 
merely probable, then acknowledging the Et presence would threaten all 
organized religion. Thus the spiritual elite of our planet is 
threatened by the Et presence. 

If this analysis accurately reflects the perceived self interest of 
our planet's elites, then the Extra-terrestrials visiting our planet 
must threaten all terrestrial power. The world wide secrecy campaign 
concerning UFOs can now be seen as the logical consequence of ruling 
classes which appropriately take action in self defense. This need not 
be seen as a conspiracy. Efforts to deny the Et visitations, to resist 
public disclosure is the natural response of any social system 
attempting to preserve the status quo. 

In the course of human development, both evolutionary and 
revolutionary historical trends can be seen. The creation of 
Christianity out of Judaism can be viewed as the creation of a 
revolutionary force which spread monotheism across the planet. The 
Roman Empire cognizant of the challenge, violently suppressed the new 
religion which placed an almighty God over the emperor.  The 
acceptance of an all powerful and ethical God by this planet's peoples 
has done much to promote their welfare. Concepts such as the rule of 
law and social justice, as well as the ending of human sacrifice and 
slavery, all have their moral roots in that wave of revolutionary 
monotheism which swept our planet during the first millennium of the 
common era. 

In a similar fashion, the rule of both kings and political despots 
have been ended by the democratic revolutions of the 17th through 20th 
centuries. The old regime never gives up without a fight. Indeed the 
struggle for democracy continues to this day. It is therefore only 
natural the Earth's ruling elites will combat what some might perceive 
as the ultimate threat. As long as the Extra-terrestrial visitors 
spare us undeniable displays of their physical presence, indirect 
means can be employed to maintain the status quo. This includes the 
ridicule of witnesses and the suppression of credible reports of 
encounters. Direct violent confrontations may also be taking place to 
meet the Et challenge. If retired Army Lt. Col. Philip Corso, author 
of "The Day After Roswell", is to be believed, covert military actions 
against Et craft are taking place.

Corporate control of the mass media has been used to relegate 
reportage on UFOs to tabloid formats which trivialize this important 
subject. Security oaths under national security regulations are 
employed to silence credible military witnesses of UFO encounters.  
Ufology itself in my opinion is a likely target for disinformation 
spread by special sections of the intelligence services authorized to 
deal with the UFO subculture. It is only reasonable to assume that 
when threatened, terrestrial power will defend itself. 

These efforts will likely continue in the future. 
The creation of a citizens network to challenge the existing regimen 
of secrecy and denial, will by necessity be a difficult and prolonged 
struggle. There will be the need for accelerating the educational 
process to alert the public of the reality of 
Extra-terrestrial spacecraft visiting our planet. 

One of most important factors in this equation is the actions of the 
Extra-terrestrials themselves. For reasons that are only known to 
them, they have chosen not to impose on our culture irrefutable 
displays of their physical presence. Although the tempo of sightings 
and other types of human-Et interactions appears to be accelerating, 
it seems likely that the proverbial "landing on the White house lawn" 
will not occur any time soon. It may never take place. 
Rather than passively waiting for the power structure to acknowledge 
the reality of Et spacecraft visiting our planet, those who feel 
passionately about this issue should be prepared to take action. Non- 
governmental organizations have a long tradition of finding innovative 
solutions to important problems. As a former peace activist
from the 1960s through the 1980s I recall the slogan,
"When the people lead, the leaders will follow."

The most central problem for such a movement is what is the nature of 
the Et presence. This is perhaps the most divisive question for those 
most interested in the flying saucer phenomenon. Is their presence 
good, bad, or indeterminate at the present time? Dozens of popular 
theories abound. It seems likely that no consensus 
will emerge in the near future. 

The alien abduction proponents assert that humanity is being 
victimized by the extra-terrestrial visitors. Opposing this camp are a 
constellation of contactee groups who would have us believe that the 
Et presence is positive. The vast majority of UFO witnesses, like the 
general population simply don't know what to make of the phenomenon.  
As writer and UFO experiencer Whitley Strieber has pointed out, " the 
only thing consistent about this phenomenon 
is that it consistently strange." 

This lack of consensus is a major impediment for establishing a 
movement to pressure the authorities to deal with the 
Extra-terrestrials. Successful mobilizing will likely require large 
numbers of individuals who share a common view as to what the 
Extra-terrestrials have in store for us. From an organizers 
perspective, there are inherent difficulties in the alien abductionist 
position. It is hard to organize people who identify themselves as 
victims. Their psychological needs for healing 
take precedent over other activities. 

The contactee paradigm is certainly a more hopeful one. Activists will 
more likely fight in a protracted political campaign if they believe 
their efforts will result in a better world. Although it appears to be 
a long shot, I believe that some kind of assistance for humanity is 
possible from advanced civilizations visiting our planet. It was this 
upbeat notion which initially attracted me to Dr. Steven Greer's 
CSETI. Despite my team's extremely limited success in drawing Et 
spacecraft into our research sites, I still am very supportive of 
concept "human initiated close encounters" as embodied by Greer's 
"Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind Initiative." 

For the contactee movement to actually get off the ground and 
facilitate face to face encounters with Extra-terrestrials, a 
qualitative change in the human-Et relationship is required. There 
will need to be more clarity, consistency and absolutely more equality 
in future interactions. As the general awareness of the Et presence 
increases within our culture, the social pressure for concerted action 
will correspondingly rise. Eventually our planet's elites will be 
compelled to openly reply to this challenge to power. For the sake of 
future generations, let us hope that their response
will be a peaceful one. 

Joseph Burkes, MD 
http://www.homestead.com/jburke/

Those wishing to reproduce this article should contact Joseph Burkes. 
md1jb3@pol.net

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