Monday, August 08, 2005

Dr. Salla Strikes [Out] Again

Below is Dr. Michael Salla's most recent rant (er... posting) at UFO Updates, in response to one of my postings, wherein I congratulated Brad Sparks (re: Philip Corso) and Kevin Randle (re: Clifford Stone) for setting the record straight, in the face of Dr. Salla's egregious revisionist history and fact-twisting.

It looks like Dr. Salla has finally revealed his true colours. He cares nothing for the scientific or historical research methods, he has no respect for or knowledge of the history of ufological research and researchers, and he has a great deal of trouble, apparently, separating fact from fiction.

Or he does understand all of these things, and chooses to ignore them.

Either / or, he is a clear and present danger to the serious study of the UFO phenomenon.

My original post and Dr. Salla's reply are in italics - my responses to his post are interspersed throughout, in regular text.

The original UFO Updates posting can be found at:

I wrote:

Dr. Salla is worth taking seriously, as Brad, Kevin, Stan Friedman, Josh Goldstein, Dick Hall, myself and others have done at various times, because its important to set the record straight for those who might wander by, here or elsewhere, and just get Dr. Salla's side of the story. He is also worth taking seriously simply because he is one of the main proponents of exopolitics, and its important for ufology to make a very clear, and public, distinction between the fringes - like exopolitics - and the serious study of the UFO phenomenon, just as it was important to make the distinction, years ago, between the contactees and the serious study of the UFO phenomenon. Kudos to Brad and Kevin for their recent efforts.

Dr. Salla replied:

I thank Paul Kimball for taking the exopolitical perspective seriously.

Dr. Salla misunderstands me (or is being deliberately obtuse - it's often hard to tell). I don't think the "exopolitical perspective" should be taken seriously in the way he suggests (duh...). Rather, it should be taken seriously in the same way that a person would take cancer seriously. It is a disease that afflicts the serious study of the UFO phenomenon. Radical treatment is required to stop it before it spreads further.

I do however take exception to his attempt to locate exopolitics at the fringes of what he describes as "the serious study of the UFO phenomenon". Exopolitics is neither at the fringes, nor is it something relatively new to UFO studies that I, Steven Greer, Alfred Webre or others have introduced. I am presently writing a short history of exopolitics for the forthcoming inaugural edition of the Exopolitics Journal which will explain the evolution of exopolitics:

So there is no further misunderstanding by Dr. Salla as to my position, here it is again - Exopolitics is not located "at the fringe" - it IS the fringe!

First let me give a couple of definitions of exopolitcs. One is my favored definition and the second is based on an earlier post to the List. My favored definition is "Exopolitics is the study of the key actors, institutions and processes associated with the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH)." Another definition was raised in an earlier post and is based on the exobiology model: Exopolitics is "a branch of politics concerned with the possibility that life forms are visiting the Earth, and with the problems of adapting Earth politics to deal with visiting aliens."

Neither of Dr. Salla's disingenuous definitions bears even the slightest resemblance to the reality of exopolitics. Exopolitics takes the "hypothesis" out of "Extraterrestrial Hypothesis," and substitutes "Fact." Make no mistake - exopolitics is all about the belief (masquerading as a proven fact) that many different alien races are already here, interacting with our governments, etc., etc. Call it the Extraterrestrial Fact (ETF). This belief is based on the testimony of "whistleblowers" like William Milton Cooper, Philip Corso, Bob Lazar, and Clifford Stone.

In other words, Exopolitics is based on a house of sand built deep in a fog bank.

If you want the real definition of exopolitics, go to the source for some example of exopolitics in action:

How about this statement, which can be found in Dr. Salla's "paper" Political Spin and Extraterrestrial Disclosure - Shaping Public Opinion for First Contact with Extraterrestrials (see

"There has been a worldwide suppression of a secret extraterrestrial presence on Earth for at least 50 years from the general public and most elected public officials. The official public disclosure of the extraterrestrial presence has long been speculated to be imminent. The repeated delays have led to much uncertainty over when the secret extraterrestrial presence will eventually be disclosed. Some whistleblowers persuasively argue that once international terrorism fails to be a credible justification for the vast military expenditures by the U.S. military, then military-intelligence agencies will turn to the extraterrestrial presence to justify such expenditure. However, rather than ‘when’ being the critical issue to be decided, it appears that the more difficult issue is ‘how’ the extraterrestrial presence will be disclosed or ‘politically spun’. The different scenarios of a first contact that have emerged into the public arena by various UFO researchers/whistleblowers point to a competition between and within government agencies for how ‘First Contact’ will be ‘spun’ for world-wide consumption. It appears that there are strong factional rivalries within clandestine organizations that respectively have their own favored contact scenario. It is these rivalries that best explain the long delay in public disclosure of the extraterrestrial presence." - Michael Salla

And let's not forget my personal favourite, from Dr. Salla's "paper" A Report on the Motivations and Activities of Extraterrestrial Races – A Typology of the Most Significant Extraterrestrial Races Interacting with Humanity (see

"There are an extensive number of extraterrestrial races known to be currently interacting with Earth and the human population. In a 1998 interview, Clifford Stone, a retired US army Sergeant who served in the US Army for 22 years and participated in covert operations to retrieve crashed extraterrestrial ships and extraterrestrial biological entities (EBE’s), revealed there were a total of 57 extraterrestrial races known to the US military. From this pool of extraterrestrial races, a number are more active than others, and can be claimed to have the most significance for human evolution and sovereignty. This report describes the main extraterrestrial races most commonly referred to in the literature who appear to have most strategic significance for the evolution and sovereignty of humanity, and their impact on a range of systemic global problems. The report distinguishes between these extraterrestrial races on the basis of their belonging to one of either two distinct groups. The first group contains extraterrestrial races with which ‘shadow governments’ responsible for extraterrestrial affairs, have reached agreements with and even collaborated in a number of joint projects. The extensive set of interlocking agreements between these races and the ‘shadow government’ in the US and elsewhere suggests the existence of a military-industrial-extraterrestrial complex of interests. There is also a second grouping of extraterrestrial races that lie outside of this web of clandestine agreements between extraterrestrial races and ‘shadow governments’/national security agencies. Most ‘contactees’ report these races to be ‘friendly’ to human interests suggesting a more ethical approach to the challenges confronting humanity as it prepares for the truth about the extraterrestrial presence and challenges posed by advanced extraterrestrial technology." - Michael Salla

Notice the difference between Dr. Salla's statements as put forward in these papers - and there are many, many others that say the same things - and the ones he puts forward at Updates as the "definition" of exopolitics? Exopolitics isn't about the ETH, as Dr. Salla suggests at Updates, in a bid, one can only presume, for some respectability - it's about the belief in the ETF!

Don't be fooled, folks, into thinking otherwise.

Defined in either way, exopolitics is neither very new nor at the fringes of Ufology.

Defined properly exopolitics is the essence of the fringe. I do agree, however, that it is not new, per se, but merely a different manifestation of the Contactee movement that rose to prominence in the 1950s, and did great damage to the serious study of the UFO phenomenon as a result.

Using either of the above definitions, it is very clear that the father of exopolitical thought, though not the term, is none other than Maj Donald Keyhoe.

Somewhere Donald Keyhoe, who had a severe dislike of the contactee movement, is turning over in his grave!

In the interests of not further sullying Keyhoe's memory, I'll skip Dr. Salla's very imaginative (to be polite) description of the Major's career, and move straight to his main point.

Since Keyhoe's demise the great tragedy for UFO research was that researchers from the 'physical sciences such as Dr Allen Hynek, Dr James MacDonald and Stanton Friedman became the 'exclusive' standard bearers of UFOlogy with their rigorous 'scientific' pursuit of the UFO phenomenon. Hynek, MacDonald and Friedman and other astronomers, physicists, meteorologists, etc., eschewed 'conspiracy theories' of a national security cover up and believed that more concerted scientific research would yield the truth.

This is hilarious. Stan Friedman, the man who coined the term "Cosmic Watergate," and who has for decades now talked of nothing but the government cover-up, has "eschewed conspiracy theories?"

Give me a break.

While I do not see Stan's acceptance of cover-up conspiracy theories as a positive thing - I merely note that Dr. Salla is flat-out wrong when he states that he "eschews them" altogether.

And to describe Hynek and McDonald's work as a "great tragedy for UFO research" is ludicrous, and an insult to the memory of those two pioneers of the serious study of the UFO phenomenon.

Keyhoe's exopolitical perspective quickly moved from the center stage of UFO research and his extensive citation and use of whistleblower testimonies was forgotten. Now, the exopolitical perspective is considered part of the fringe of serious UFO research.

Whoa... first, Keyhoe did not employ an exopolitical approach. No matter how many times Dr. Salla says he did, it still isn't true (can anyone who knows anything about Keyhoe imagine him having anything but utter contempt for someone who would write a paper about "track two galactic diplomacy"). Second, I could have sworn that Dr. Salla stated above that the exopolitical perspective was not at the fringe of serious UFO research? Now he says that it is. Does anyone else notice how Dr. Salla's arguments, when read in their entirety, lack a certain internal consistency - just like the testimony of his so-called "whistleblowers" lacks a certain internal consistency?

UFO studies as it is presently concentrated is a shadow of what it once was under Keyhoe's leadership and suffers from an acute shortage of resources and organization. I have noted the demise of organizations such as NICAP, CUFOS and FUFOR, and the current difficulties of MUFON and can only conclude that this is brought about by UFO researchers being out of touch with the many millions or 'mainstream public' who accept the ETH and/or that a national security cover up at the highest level is underway.

No, Dr. Salla, you have it wrong... again.

As I have stated here repeatedly, the reason ufology is in a mess is because people like you (the term most often used by the public is "wackos") insist on running around telling everyone that there are a dozen or so alien races already here, working with our governments, with a giant cover-up in place to make sure that we never learn the truth.

Sensible people want nothing to do with this bunk.

What I and others such as Steven Greer have done is to bring in evidence from whistleblowers and others that confirm the political aspect of the UFO phenomenon and the political cover up of the ETH.

No, what you and Greer have done is hurl us back into the 1950s, to the time of good old George Adamski and Silas Newton, i.e. con men trying to take advantage of the gullible, and those who, for whatever reason, desperately want to believe.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Paul Kimball cites researchers such as Brad Sparks, Kevin Randall, Stanton Friedman, Josh Goldstein, Richard Hall and himself as exemplary models for systematically defining the parameters of the "Serious Study of the UFO phenomenon" in terms of a 'scientific method' for studying UFO sightings, the abduction phenomenon, FOIA documents, etc.

Not quite. I was merely pointing out that these people had offered a critique of your so-called "methodology" as of late. However, let me just say that Hall, Sparks, Randle and Friedman, despite having flaws (hey - who doesn't?), make far better models for the seriou study of the UFO phenomenon, on their WORST day, than you do on your BEST day.

It's worth pointing out that aside from Stanton Friedman, none of these gentlemen are scientists that enable them to authoritatively establish the scientific method as championed as the exemplary model for UFO research.

This is a red herring, of course (Dr. Salla uses so many red herrings we should just call him "Fishy" from now on). Take me, for example. My training is in history, vital for UFO research, so much of which is historical, and the law, which is useful for understanding all sorts of stuff that Dr. Salla usually glosses over, such as evidence.

In Stanton's case while he worked as nuclear physicist, he doesn't have a PhD nor does he have a record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.

Umm... just how many UFO papers have you written, Dr. Salla, in legitimate peer-reviewed publications?

Which science is your PhD in??

While Dr. Salla has written dozens of academic papers, NONE have anything to do with the UFO phenomenon (see Dr. Salla's resume at

As for Stan, leaving aside his decades of UFO research, the numerous papers he has written, his two books, and his written testimony to Congress, he also wrote a number of peer reviewed papers back when he was working as a nuclear physicist. I don't always agree with Stan, but I certainly have a great deal of respect for his work and his accomplishments, and I would never suggest, as Dr. Salla does, that he isn't a real scientist. He certainly has more scientific credentials than Dr. Salla.

While Kevin Randall does have a PhD, it's in psychology, not any of the physical sciences cited as the model for the serious study of the UFO phenomenon.

A cynical person (and the more I read from people like Dr. Salla, the more cynical I become, at least in terms of the UFO phenomenon) might suggest that a PhD in psychology is the perfect degree for analysing certain elements within ufology... like exopolitics.

As far as Brad Sparks is concerned, he has a sharp mind and access to much historical information that he creatively spins to support his 'revisionist theories' but his systematic debunking of whistleblower testimonies and eschewal of the ETH doesn't make him in my mind a good model for what UFO research is about. As for his background, I have no information on that other than he co-founded CAUS. Perhaps he might enlighten me and others about what it is in his background that might entitle him to be recognized as laying down the scientific parameters of UFO research.

Brad Sparks has "walked the walk" (as opposed to Dr. Salla, who merely "talks the talk") for decades. To call him a "revisionist" is absurd, as anyone who has read his exchanges with Dr. Salla at Updates can see for themselves. If there is a revisionist here, it is Dr. Salla.

Paul Kimball has a law degree and is an independent filmmaker. Josh Goldstein is a detective. I don't say this in any way to demean their investigative abilities or research competence, it's just that none are scientists with competence in developing appropriate methodologies for investigating hypotheses such as the ETH.

Hahahahah... again, which science degree do you have, Dr. Salla??

Here are his academic credentials:

Doctor of Philosophy (University of Queensland)
Master of Arts (University of Melbourne)
Bachelor of Arts (University of Melbourne)
Graduate Diploma of Education (Melbourne CAE)
Bachelor of Science (University of Melbourne)

Hmm... I guess that B.Sc. trumps Stan's M.Sc, not to mention the PhDs held by Hynek and McDonald.

Or not.

This is a red herring anyway, as the training in science is just one way to develop knowledge of proper methodologies. As I stated earlier, training in history and law work just as well - indeed, better. After all, how many scientists are trained in the skills required to interview witnesses?

Not very many.

In general, the above researchers cited as the models for UFOlogy eschew systematic analysis of the political cover up of the ETH on the basis of biases that EXCLUSIVELY favor scientific study of 'hard evidence' in the form of UFO sightings, and FOIA documents. The cover up of evidence, the testimony of whistleblowers/'leakers', the manipulation of documents, intimidation of witnesses supporting the ETH is not at the fringe of UFO studies.

Of course it is, at least as practised by the exopoliticians, who are not interested in the truth, whatever it is. They are simply interested in spreading their own beliefs.

It was at the center stage of UFO studies at its formation and under Maj Keyhoe who blended together an exopolitical perspective together with the more rigorous scientific analysis of UFO data. I am reminding this List that a movement that forgets its origins and seminal thinkers loses part of its own identity and consequently gets out of touch of the mainstream population.

Again, a complete and total misrepresentation of Keyhoe's career.

I do agree, however, that those interested in the serious study of the UFO phenomenon should never forget those who came before - researchers like McDonald and Hynek, and the real Donald Keyhoe, not the false one Dr. Salla would have you believe stands as the progentior of Exopolitics. Remember others like Dick Hall, and Jerry Clark, and Peter Sturrock, and Jacques Vallee, and Brad Sparks, as well.

In other words, everyone whose work Dr. Salla both ignores and tarnishes.

There is no doubt that UFO research as currently defined by researchers cited by Paul Kimball is in crisis. They are out of touch with the many millions who do accept the ETH and know that a political cover up exists. Exopolitics may be on the fringe of this list given the biases that are systematically promoted by the leading protagonists here, but exopolitics is certainly not at the fringes of UFO research, but belongs at center stage along with the scientific method advocated by MacDonald, Hynek, etc.

Wait a second. I thought the whole point of Dr. Salla's rant was to trash the scientific method employed by Hynek, McDonald et al? Now he's saying that it has as much merit as exopolitics??
That's mighty big of him!

Finally, either of the two definitions of exopolitics cited above herald an emerging trend of researchers, experiencers, whistleblowers who do systematically explore the political processes associated with the cover up of the ETH. The various methodologies to be used for exopolitics will naturally be strongly contested, but this should be done in a way that recognizes the complexities in exopolitical research, and without excluding data that fits outside the artificially constructed paradigm of "Serious Study of the UFO phenomenon."

Read this last statement by Dr. Salla carefully.

What "methodologies" do exppolitics employ?

Blind belief.

What complexities are their in exopolitical research are there?

None. They accept anything and everything that supports their pre-determined belief system. This is about as complex as spitting on the sidewalk.

What is the "artificially constructed paradigm" for the "serious UFO of the UFO phenomenon?"

Objectivity. Rigorous analysis of the evidence, untainted by belief. Rational scepticism.

In other words, all the things that exopolitics, and Dr. Salla in particular, don't care about - and don't want you to think about anymore.

So what is exopolitics?

Let me give you a clue...

If ever the exopolitics "movement" should decide to choose a rock band to sing some sort of exopolitics theme song, there could be only one logical choice:

The Cult.

Paul Kimball

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