Summary: An interview with Dr Steven Greer, a physician and founder of CSETI (the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence), calling for public hearings on the military-industrial cover-up of UFO events world wide.
Dr Steven Greer, a physician and former Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Caldwell Memorial Hospital in North Carolina, USA, is widely considered an authority on UFO and extraterrestrial phenomena. In 1991 he founded CSETI (the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence) as a "world-wide organization dedicated to establishing peaceful and sustainable relations with extraterrestrial life forms."
As part of CSETI, Greer subsequently founded Project Starlight, an attempt to uncover the best scientific evidence regarding UFOs. Since 1993, Greer and other Project Starlight members have provided preliminary briefings on the UFO phenomenon for the US White House staff, a sitting director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, senior military leaders, senior UN leadership, members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, international leaders, and leaders in foreign governments.
Greer has placed particular emphasis on "identifying military, intelligence, government contractor and other government agency employees with direct, first-hand knowledge of the UFO/ET subject." Greer says he has found 107 such government witnesses. In April of this year, 15 of these witnesses testified in CSETI-sponsored briefings held in Washington, DC. Among those in attendance were representatives of more than two dozen US Congressional offices, VIPs from the Executive branch of government and the Pentagon, representatives of the Dutch Embassy, the National Academy of Sciences, and two state Governors' offices. Major print and broadcast media representatives attended a separate briefing. Participants received numerous government and military documents related to UFOs, as well as a video and photographic summary tape of UFO footage.
All the US government witnesses who were present signed a statement that they are willing to testify under oath before an open hearing in the US Congress concerning the UFO/ET projects and events that they personally witnessed. Dr Greer called for government-sponsored public hearings on the UFO issue, leading to a full public disclosure on the subject. In the following interview, Dr Greer discusses some of the possible implications of holding such public hearings, including the potentially embarrassing revelation that certain elements of the "military-industrial" complex worldwide have covered up the existence of UFOs for the past half century.
Share International: What has happened since the Washington DC briefings in April?
Dr Steven Greer: Since then, we have been following up with senior staff and members of Congress, including several committee chairpeople of relevant committees, to negotiate having an open hearing.
What happened in April caused quite a stir - saying it stirred up a hornets' nest might be an understatement. People who were present at the private briefing that CSETI conducted for members of Congress, the White House staff and others were somewhat horrified, I think is the word that was used, to hear top-secret witnesses who have dealt first-hand with unambiguous events such as daylight chases of UFOs involving both satellite tracking and Space Command tracking with extraordinary pursuits and attempts to shoot down the objects back in the 1980s. We had witnesses with top-secret clearances and very sensitive positions, from the Air Force, Navy and Army.
We've taken a very bold step here by identifying definitive evidence related to UFOs and then presenting this to key members of the political and military establishment in the United States, as well as at the United Nations and elsewhere. It has caused not only a tremendous amount of interest, but a lot of concern over something which can only be described as the probable extra-constitutional management of the subject.
SI: What do you mean by 'extra-constitutional management of the subject'?
SG: There are top-secret projects that are in the black area, so-called 'black projects', and then there are the ultra-black ones. This falls into the really ultra-black area of USAPs, Unacknowledged Special Access Projects. Even if someone senior in the chain of command makes an inquiry about them, they will be told very specifically that the project doesn't exist. This is up to and including the White House and the Joint Chiefs [of Staff at the Pentagon] levels.
The best example that has been reported in the public media so far, in the New York Times and the Washington Post, has been the Senate Intelligence Committee confronting the National Reconnaissance Office with the fact that they were building a $300 million office building that had never been authorized by Congress or the White House, and that they had set up a $1.7 thousand million slush fund that no one had authorized.
You have several dynamic issues here: there's the extraterrestrial phenomenon itself; there's the covert program dealing with it; and then the disconnection between the covert management of it and the legal and constitutional government, which has largely been left out of the loop on this. This becomes a very complex problem to resolve, and that's why it has taken so much work, not only on my part, but on the part of hundreds of people with whom I'm working, to try to resolve this crisis.
SI: Are you saying that, since the late 1940s or 50s, the US Government has known about the UFO phenomenon and has tried to keep that information away from the public in a conscious way?
SG: Well, yes and no. And the reason I have to say yes and no is that you must define 'US Government'. The group that I referred to, which has been called MJ-12, or Majestic 12, and alternately PI-40 (I don't know what that stands for), should not be confused with the US Government. For example, I spent nearly three hours briefing a sitting director of Central Intelligence, a CIA director, about this because he couldn't find out anything on the subject. So when someone says 'the US Government' is holding back information, what they have to understand is that 'the US Government' and 99.9 per cent of the people in it have no knowledge of this subject. I'm referring to relevant members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that I briefed, relevant members of the White House staff and the CIA, and very relevant senior members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The questions then become: who is managing this and how is it being managed? These questions cause the most disturbed reaction in people in public life when they find out that there is an organization that exists which is largely based in the private sector with significant representation within the military and intelligence community, which essentially behaves independently of normal checks and balances that are necessary if you're going to have anything pretending to be a democracy.
SI: Are some of the witnesses that you have spoken with actually members or former members of this covert group that has been covering up the UFO story?
SI: Why are they coming forward now?
SG: This gets very complex. The US Government, as you and I think of it, and other governments, don't know about this subject 99 per cent of the time. The elements that do know about it work closely with large high-tech aerospace firms that do a lot of contracting with the US Government. Among those within that group, there is no unanimity on how to handle this issue. Because of what we have been doing, there are a number of them who feel that the time has come for disclosure on this. About one-third of the elements within MJ-12 feel that way. But there is still a majority, particularly the older members, who want to keep this quiet at least until after they have died. So even within that group it's not monolithic.
This is why it is so difficult for the subject to be brought out, because it's not just a matter of saying to the public: 'We're not alone and there are extraterrestrials out there.' And by the way, there's not a scintilla of evidence that these ETs are hostile, notwithstanding the rantings of the UFO community and the science fiction buffs. The issue is much more complex because it deals with hugely vested, powerful interests that are desperate to keep this thing quiet for as long as they can because of the economic, social, technological, geopolitical, and other implications of a disclosure.
SI: How many people do you estimate are involved in this covert group?
SG: There are probably 200 or 300 who really know what's going on, but only a couple of dozen who are key to the operation, and I know who a few of those people are.
SI: Would you describe them as oil company executives, or aerospace executives, or military people? How would you describe them in a general sense?
SG: All of the above, and not necessarily the obvious suspects, by the way. I'll give you an example. After I met with the Director of Central Intelligence, I went to a southwestern city in the US, which is probably all I should say, and met with a member of MJ-12 who was quite interested in what we were doing. They were quite horrified, I think, in the sense that we were not only determined but successful in what we set out to do. He turned to me, around a huge conference table in this mansion - this is a man who is a very high-tech figure and a genius and very much involved in super-computers and other things - and said: "You really don't need to be talking to the CIA Director about this because he doesn't know anything about this and he's not going to know anything about it. If I were you, I'd be talking to people like me, people who are involved in doing a lot of high-tech work, covertly, for contractors to the US Government. I would be talking to certain heads of think-tanks; I would be talking to certain people who are concerned about the religious implications of this, and certain religious orders." He gave me a very specific litany, and at the time I thought this man must be crazy. It turned out he was 100 per cent correct. It was very hard for me to accept this. It's much harder for someone on the Senate Intelligence Committee or the Joint Chiefs of Staff to accept that this is how this is being managed.
I'll give you another example. I had a two-hour meeting with a former Head of the Ministry of Defence in the UK, and the only living five-star admiral in the world, Lord Hill-Norton, who is in the House of Lords. A couple of years ago he and I discussed this at great length. He told me: "I know now that these UFOs are real, that there are extraterrestrial life forms, but I never knew it as a member of the British Government or as a member of the admiralty." I looked at him and said: "This is strange." He said: "I assure you that this subject never ever crossed my radar screen." He told me this, and there was no prevarication or deceit at all; he was being completely forthcoming, as was the CIA Director, and they both basically told me the same story.
They could never find anything out about the subject. In fact they didn't even think to look into it because they never thought it was real. Lord Hill-Norton told me very specifically that he now has no doubt these projects exist. He and I have compared notes and shared data and we've reached this assessment: that the only way that could be possible is if it were being managed in a process parallel to conventional military and political governmental activity.
I got a very similar picture from a sitting CIA Director and from a head of state in Europe that I've met with. This is not to say that there has never been a CIA director that knew. I know that there are. Or that there has never been a president who knew some of the information. But I'm quite convinced that they're told only what the control apparatus in this issue wants them to know, and I think a great deal of it has been dis-information.
Unfortunately, the UFO community and the media have taken this disinformation, hook, line and sinker. They have not asked the hard questions such as when there is an account of a cattle mutilation or a so-called abduction, who's really behind it? Is it the ETs? Almost never. Is it more likely psychological warfare experts staging these sort of events? Yes. And we know that, we have no question that that's going on.
SI: Do you think any heads of media corporations might be involved with this?
SG: I certainly think there are control points that are likely within various media. I used to think not, but there have been certain things that have happened that make me very suspicious of that. I think, though, that people go too far with these kinds of conspiracy ideas. You psychologically condition the media to dismiss the subject. You discredit it, you set up hoaxes that can be exposed, you set up people who are complete charlatans. You put out information from scientists who will stand up and say this is all poppycock, so that the mainstream media, rather than doing true independent journalism, go along with whatever the status quo is because they want to be 'in'.
I myself was approached by a very senior military intelligence figure and told that, if I would work with them and merge my operation with them, they would give us unlimited access to whatever we wanted. But of course then you sell out to that, and that's something we have refused to do. It's not to say that there aren't people who have done so.
SI: Another point is that the media are owned by large corporations that tend to be very conservative.
SG: You question how independent CBS can be if they are owned by a conglomerate, or how independent NBC can be if they are owned by General Electric, a big defense operator.
Another problem is the attitude the media come to the subject with. I cannot tell you how many puffed-up scientists and journalists and people who consider themselves know-it-alls have said: 'This has to be poppycock, because if it weren't, I would know about it because I'm so important.' Moreover, many mainstream journalists bring to it the years of ridicule and debunking, as well as the fact that the predominant feeling out there is that most of these accounts are rubbish, and they're not incorrect in that regard. In that sense I have a lot of sympathy for the media, because I've gone to hundreds of gatherings and UFO meetings and I would say 90 to 99 per cent of everything I hear and see is utter and complete rubbish. So a journalist could be forgiven for thinking that all of it was. That's a mistake, but it's something that is nevertheless understandable.
That said, I'd say that the media people who were at the background briefing we did in Washington were very interested, and there were some good and serious stories that came out of it.
SI: Is there a single person who heads this covert group, and is it international?
SG: Yes, it's international, no doubt about that. I seriously doubt that there's one individual that heads it. There may be a rotating chair of it, but I do know that there are a number of people involved that would be in the policymaking direction.
SI: How many countries do you think are involved?
SG: More than a few and less than all. I can't give you an exact number. I would say there's representation that's very large and extends from religious entities to corporate to financial to military intelligence. I can say that the major industrial powers certainly have entities that are involved with this. However, that doesn't mean, for example, the UK Prime Minister knows, or that the Ministry of Defence in the UK knows, not by any stretch of the imagination.
I do want to say here on the record that a number of people in the military and intelligence communities are some of our biggest supporters for getting this information out. They are honest, upright men and women who really want this issue to get resolved. They understand how dangerous it is to our way of life to have something this powerful managed in an ultra-secret and probably illegal way. Public hearings or private efforts
SI: Are there any indications that a public hearing might be called? And if not, what will you do?
SG: I'm very concerned that, because of the implications of this and the way the subject can be either debunked or quietly silenced by power operators, we may not get a hearing. I am hopeful, though. There are some very good people in Congress and very good former members of Congress helping us who really do understand the implications of this.
But should it not happen, then we have to be prepared as a non-profit research group to put together all of these top-secret witnesses and all the evidence and present it to the public through documentaries, books, and a public press conference so that the subject gets out in an unofficial way. If it isn't done scientifically in a very dignified way, then it simply will not register on the radar scope of the world, and all these top-secret witnesses will be literally risking their lives and careers for nothing.
It wouldn't be easy to do. We have no operating funds. The extent of our staff is someone who comes in 10 hours a week to help with office work and the rest of it is totally volunteer. All of us are taking time away from our families, our work, and our careers.
I can honestly say that we have the physical evidence, photographic evidence, government documents, and more than 100 top-secret military and intelligence witnesses - which, if they could be put together and presented to the public, would constitute a definitive and unambiguous disclosure on this subject. The problem is we don't have the financial means to do it, and if the US Government, through a hearing in the Congress, doesn't allow a vehicle such as that to be created that would have it come out in an official way, then it becomes a very serious problem of how we go about doing it.