June 27, 2000

NASA - a jewel or thorn in the crown?

by Stephen Bassett

Washington, DC  Look hard at the long, strange trip the human race has taken up from the caves at Olduvai Gorge. Savagery and animalism, conquest and war, subjugation and slavery, exploitation and injustice, brutality and pain – all there in plain view.  Twisting and coursing amidst this history, however, is a process that many have struggled mightily to define and project forward in time. Where is this species going and why does it want to get there?

As you sift through events and achievements that seem to impact this process, you notice that some stand out - a few so extraordinary they amount to jewels in the crown of human experience. Here are some examples: the blunting of old world imperialism by the emergence of the Christian faith; the consolidation of Arab and middle eastern factions under Islam; the U. S. Constitution; the Magna Carta; the Marshall Plan and the peace waged after World War II; emergence of science in democratic, ancient Greece; the simultaneous discoveries of relativity and quantum mechanics; and the structures at Giza. 

The last jewel to be added to this crown was created in 1958 – it is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA – the entity charged with taking the free world into space and learning what is there. The accomplishments of NASA are well known and need not be recounted here. One, however, may not be properly appreciated. 

By 1969, at the age of 23, this author was intellectually convinced nuclear war was inevitable. This was not an uncommon sentiment. No generation in history had ever grown up under a Damoclese Sword of global totality. The psychological and social effect of such a sense of impending doom was and is immeasurable.The men (to the 99+ percentile) who ran the world had never in all of history failed to use the weapons they had built – never. 

The stage was set for a deepening nihilism build on hopelessness, which, thanks to the media’s power to spread it around, would envelope the world like Carl Sagan’s nuclear winter.  Humans, having been repeatedly disappointed by the failure of endtime predictions to pan out, had seized the initiative, building their own apocalypse, bomb by bomb. 

After the annus horribilis that was 1968 and for the next 20 years, the wondrous discoveries from our space program provided good reason to turn away from the madness of MAD and give the future some respect. NASA’s accomplishments got many a young man and woman through the nightmare of the Cold War. I was one.

During the summers between college years I worked at the Kennedy Space Center as an intern. It was nothing special, but it allowed for trips around the facility – the famous Pad (39)A where most Apollo shots were launched and the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) where the Saturn V space craft was pieced together.  The launch tower was moved from the largest building in the world, VAB, to Pad A on the largest ground vehicle in the world, a massive crawler. 

One job put me inside the portable tower. The bottom structure was designed like a ship with watertight doors and compartments - built this way because of the cooling torrents of water raining down at launch. I would take the elevator to the top of the tower and look out over the Cape. In the distance were other pads. Across two oceans further east a war was raging. I remembered climbing under my desk in elementary school during nuclear attack drills in the 50’s. It was 1966. I was young, fearful and confused. I didn’t know much, but I knew there were rockets which carried 100 megaton hydrogen bombs and there were rockets which would carry us to the moon. Somehow the existence of the latter made the former easier to bear.

The exploration of space was a damn good reason to be alive. It still is, but something has happened to our space agency, something bad. Like many others who have learned this, I take no pleasure in pointing it out.

The 1958 Space Act

If you wish to understand the terrible dilemma faced by NASA, you must closely read certain paragraphs shown below and pay particular attention to the words in red.

While there were predecessor entities, the modern space agency we know and love was formed by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. The foundation is described in the second section, Declaration of Policy and Purpose. Paragraph (b) is critical.

Sec. 102(b) The Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that adequate provision be made for aeronautical and space activities. The Congress further declares that such activities shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, a civilian agency exercising control over aeronautical and space activities sponsored by the United States, except that activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems, military operations, or the defense of the United States (including the research and development necessary to make effective provision for the defense of the United States) shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, the Department of Defense; and that determination as to which such agency has responsibility for and direction of any such activity shall be made by the President in conformity with section 201 (e).

Section 201 is entitled National Aeronautics and Space Council.  The important portions are below:

Sec. 201. (a) There is hereby established the National Aeronautics and Space Council (hereinafter called the "Council") which shall be composed of--

(1)    the President (who shall preside over meetings of the Council);

(2)    the Secretary of State;

(3)    the Secretary of Defense

(4)    the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

(5)    the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission;

(6)    not more than one additional member appointed by the President from the departments and agencies of the Federal Government; and

(7)    not more than three other members appointed by the President, solely on the basis of established records of distinguished achievement from among individuals in private life who are eminent in science, engineering, technology, education, administration, or public affairs.

 

(d)  It shall be the function of the Council to advise the President with respect to the performance of the duties prescribed in subsection (e) of this section.

 

(e) In conformity with the provisions of section 102 of this Act, it shall be the duty of the President to--

(1)  survey all significant aeronautical and space activities, including the policies, plans, programs, and accomplishments of all agencies of the United States engaged in such activities;

(2)  develop a comprehensive program of aeronautical and space activities to be conducted by agencies of the United States;

(3)  designate and fix responsibility for the direction of major aeronautical and space activities;

(4)  provide for effective cooperation between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense in all such activities, and specify which of such activities may be carried on concurrently by both such agencies notwithstanding the assignment of primary responsibility therefore to one or the other of such agencies; and

(5)  resolve differences arising among departments and agencies of the United States with respect to aeronautical and space activities under this Act, including differences as to whether a particular project is an aeronautical and space activity.

What does this mean?

When NASA was created, there was a specific provision that required any aspects of the exploration of space that impacted national defense and security would be deferred to the aegis of the Department of Defense. It was this provision that led to the popular misconception that NASA was a sub-agency of the DOD. It is not. It is a civilian agency with a whopper of a national security provision.

The President of the United States had considerable influence over the activities of NASA. This oversight was to be exercised via the National Aeronautics and Space Council composed of the President, members of the cabinet and presidential appointees. One of the most critical roles of the president was to arbitrate disputes between NASA and the DOD over national security and defense issues that might emerge from the exploration of space.  

The UFO/ET research effort has clearly determined that any evidence or events pointing toward an extraterrestrial explanation were and are considered matters of national security and defense by our government. Therefore, what, if anything, NASA might or might not do with respect to such evidence or events would be determined by the DOD. The DOD would decide whether such information was disclosed to the public. If NASA wanted it otherwise, only the President of the United States could alter the decision.

From 1958 to 1973 the presidents presiding over the National Aeronautics and Space Council were Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. There is a consensus Eisenhower was briefed appropriately on the extraterrestrial presence and the other three partially briefed. Whatever turned up during those 15 years, the elected executive of the nation  may have known about it. Decisions to not disclose were jointly arrived at between the DoD and NASA.

On April 18, 1973, four months after the last Apollo flight and 16 months before the resignation of Richard Nixon, the National Aeronautics and Space Council was abolished and presidential influence was undercut. Since that time the serving presidents have been Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. Of these, Ford, Carter and Clinton were likely not briefed on the extraterrestrial presence and Reagan was incompletely briefed.  

Consequently, for 14 of 27 intervening years the President of the United States was out of the loop regarding the UFO/ET reality and unable to address the NASA dilemma. For eight of those years a sitting president was a partially informed pawn to inside entities with their own agendas. The person who cast the largest shadow over this entire period, as CIA Director, Vice President and President, was George H. W. Bush, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was the victim.

April of 1973 was a pivotal moment in the unfolding saga of the disclosure process. From that point forward under greater and greater stress, NASA was torn between its mandate as a civilian scientific institution and its obligations under the 1958 Space Act to the Department of Defense.

What has come to pass?

Evidence of trouble is everywhere.

1)         NASA has steadfastly refused to speak to any anomalous evidence that in any way points to an extraterrestrial explanation. It will not research, it will not publish about, and it will not substantively comment on any photo, video or personal testimony from any source, no matter the stature, that points to extraterrestrial “intelligent” life – period.

2)         A host of video evidence was dismissed by an unofficial, surrogate NASA spokesman as ice crystals. Done. No further need for discussion.

3)          Former employees and reputable outside scientists, photo analysts and engineers were betrayed, ignored, lied to, circumvented, stonewalled, subverted and, in one bizarre instance, nearly punched out.

4)          Members of the intelligence and corporate “black ops” communities were placed in positions of high authority.

5)         Control of major aspects of planetary missions were given over to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and removed even further from elected oversight.

6)          Public pressure for attention to the public interest was first dismissed, then condescended to, then flimflammed.

7)          Space craft were lost all over the solar system.

8)         A public relations ploy blew up in the sky. Challenger.

9)         Agency executives have been hauled before congressional committees and humiliated on national television.

10)      Via the internet and talk radio came intense attacks of a most perverted and vile nature directed at UFO/ET researcher/activists by individuals “defending” NASA’s good name – some with established NASA ties.

11)     The agency began a series of announcements aimed at introducing the concept of “life on mars.”  Both the “Mars Rock” and “Mars Water” press conferences were an insult to the intelligence of a significant number of interested parties, including the entire Generation X.  Even the lapdog press were unmoved by the ludicrous anachronisms intended to pass for revelation.

12)     Astronauts who dare to address the extraterrestrial issue are “out.” The rest of the astronaut corps remain silent. Beyond “I never saw anything unusual in space,” they have absolutely nothing to say about a mountain of gathering evidence confirming an extraterrestrial reality.

13)     Participation in “black” projects connected to DOD were denied, then confirmed. When asked about possible future “black” projects on national television, the agency director, Dan Goldin, dodged the question.

This sordid mess can be summed up in one paragraph.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a brilliant creation of human kind with spectacular achievements and noble purpose. It is filled with quality people who want to explore space and report back to us what they find. They and their agency are caught up in a 50-year embargo on the extraterrestrial presence. They are in a terrible bind and are working their way out by a series of disclosures focused on Mars that adhere to a timetable set by other governmental entities. The agency is behind the curve and wide open to criticism from a growing and increasingly sophisticated disclosure movement. Damage is being done. When the managed truth embargo finally ends, the civilian agency that took us to the Moon and soon to the stars, becomes the first beneficiary.

 *****

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Copyright 2000 Stephen Bassett

"April of 1973 was a pivotal moment in the unfolding saga of the disclosure process.  From that point forward with greater and greater stress, NASA was torn between its mandate as a civilian scientific institution and its obligations under the 1958 Space Act to the Department of Defense."