Harbinger of Change Passes Over the Ship of State – France launched it!

June 7, 2000
Stephen Bassett

Washington, DC – The Aztecs believed their great god, Quetzalcoatl, would one day return from the east across the sea as a white-skinned man. In the year 1517 a comet appeared in the skies over Mexico. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, was angry his astrologers had not predicted this comet and had them executed. He became filled with a foreboding of eminent destruction.

In 1521, led by Hernán Cortés, Spaniards, who many Aztecs thought to be Gods from the heavens, destroyed the entire Aztec civilization.

Comet – at the beginning of recorded history this celestial phenomena was seen as a harbinger of great change, a cosmic omen. Thousands of years later near the turn of the second Christian millennium, educated people are still capable of using it as a motivation to commit suicide. All humans fear change, including the conquerors of the Aztecs.

The Spanish word for comet – cometa.

In July of 1999 the French (comete) have launched a COMETA into cyber space. It is a three-year study by the Committee for Advanced Studies (COMité d’Etudes Approfondies – COMETA) entitled ”UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For?” Before this study was published in VSD Magazine, it was distributed directly to various French services and departments and to President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

It concludes that UFO/ET phenomena need immediate, further investigation and there is a “strong presumption” the extraterrestrial hypothesis best explains these phenomena.

If you are specifically interested in the UFO/ET reality and access the Internet, you know about this study – it is all over the web. If you are merely a citizen wishing to be informed about matters of national and global importance, you have probably never heard of it. Why? Because the high end news media in the U.S. haven’t covered it and the United States government hasn’t acknowledged it.

This follows a well established pattern. The more substantive the person, organization, event or evidence pertaining to UFO/ET matters, the less likely there will be engagement by top-tier news media or the government. Do not go where you do not have the ability to respond to the inevitable questions and reactions that such engagement would bring.  Pick your spots – a questionable report, a known kook, a clear error in documentation – then move in and expose or ridicule with safe reportage.

When the Society for Scientific Exploration, with its connections to Stanford, published the Sturrock Panel Report, there was modest coverage, little at the top end, and no follow-up. From the government, nothing. When brilliant author, Apollo astronaut and MIT Ph.D., Dr. Edgar Mitchell began stating flat out in public, both here and abroad, there was a second government covering up an extraterrestrial presence, there was NO top-tier coverage and NO government response. When Colonel Philip J. Corso published his flawed but still remarkable memoir, The Day After Roswell, there was NO top-tier coverage and NO government reaction.

If they respond in any way, they have to support that response. They cannot. So they say nothing, answer no questions and leave it to the obstructionists and debunkers within the UFO/ET field itself to rip apart such contributions.

This may not work with the COMETA report because the publishing of this study was literally a shot across the bow of the U.S. ship of state, a warning between the lines: “we (the government of France) are tired of waiting while you continue to stretch out the cover-up of the extraterrestrial presence. We are weary of deferring to the U.S. on the process and timetable of disclosure as the damage and embarrassment to all governments, including the NATO partners, grows with each passing year.”

It is a “shot across our bow” because the report does not emerge directly from the French government – that would truly be a problem for the U.S. Rather it comes from a private committee comprised of former high ranking French military and agency employees.

IHEDN    Civilian, then? Just barely. Many committee members have backgrounds with The Institute for Higher Defense Studies (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale), a government financed strategic planning agency. And the principals, take a look at a few:

  • General Bernard Norlain, former commander of the French Tactical Air Force, military counselor to the prime minister and former director of the IHEDN
  • André Lebeau (former president of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), the French NASA
  • General Denis Letty, French Air Force
  • Admiral Marc Merlo
  • Alain Orszag (the chief civil officer responsible for armaments)
  • Christian Marchal (a chief executive from Ecoles des Mines)
  • Jean-Claude Ribes (astrophysicist, former director of the Lyon Observatory de Lyon)

And what else does this “non-governmental committee” strongly suggest? As pointed out in Leslie Kean’s, May 21 Boston Globe article, they:

  • urge international action
  • recommend France establish ”sectorial cooperation agreements with interested European and foreign countries” on the matter of UFOs
  • encourage the European Union to undertake diplomatic action with the United States ”exerting useful pressure to clarify this crucial issue which must fall within the scope of political and strategic alliances.”
  • chastise the United States for what it calls an ”impressive repressive arsenal” on the subject, including a policy of disinformation and military regulations prohibiting public disclosure of UFO sightings.

The COMETA study was originally published only in French. This made it much easier for the U.S. media to take a pass and the government to pretend it never happened. But alas, limited English translations are turning up and COMETA will soon publish in English. And, of course, the Boston Globe decided to go fishing for Pulitzers and put Kean’s piece into print.

Yeah, it’s a shot across the bow – a powerful statement first issued in July of 1999 sufficiently indirect to permit the U.S. to maneuver and react The Boston Globe finally noticed. Now let’s see whether Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, Tom Brocaw, Katharine Graham, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. and John Puerner saw it go by.

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