Saturday, March 26, 2011

UFO Files: Black Sharpie and Equivocation

UFO Files: Early in the year 2011, certain elements of the British government released about 1GB of pdf files concerning fifty years of reports of unidentified flying objects. What these files contain no one knows, as the responsible elements have confused the reports with lousy formating, frivolous inventory pages, and copious amounts of double-talk. Enter the nerdery, a government-unassociated entity dedicated to the mass-dispersal of nerd culture, rationalism, and humor. The nerdery will be analyzing the files and releasing the secrets the UK Ministry of Defense didn't want revealed. The truth is in here.

I've spent a few hours total browsing over the first of these pdf documents. It is over 400 pages. Now, that's not quite as daunting to look at as it may sound, as many of the pages consist of little more than scanned in inventory tickets and other minutae. But the reports and summaries of interviews regarding specific incidents are very interesting, if buried in bureaucratic cage-liner.

I haven't sussed out enough to have any really neat revelations yet, but already two things really strike me about these documents. The first is a nerdy realization of a very high caliber:

There's stuff on these pages the government doesn't want me to know.

*Nerd giggle, followed by adjusting my glasses*

At least every second or third page in these declassified documents looks like this. Covered in censored black bars, they blot out the designations of secret bases, the names of conspirators, and the formal name by which the aliens would prefer to be called if we would only listen. Either that, or they're protecting the anonymity of the idiot rural shepherds who reported a UFO sighting the same day the nearest university decided to fly a weather balloon for their class project.

In any case, it is tremendously thrilling for anyone who's ever enjoyed the Dana Scully show for anything other than her being a fiesty redhead to be reading a government file with lots of censor bars across it. It's simply titilating and exhilarating in a way that mirrors sneaking a peak at your Christmas presents as a child, except that in this case the present is Things You Are Not Meant To Know. Nevermind that the files have been scrubbed and distributed on the interwebz for every rugenstein blogger out there to peruse and disseminate.

Yeah, I still feel special. And speaking of feeling special...

The second thing I've realized from the UFO Files is that the British Ministry of Defense has low self-esteem.

But don't tell them. It might hurt their feelings.

This comes from a frequent refrain I've found embedded in several of the MoD's reports. It goes along the lines of 'the MoD is only interested in investigating UFO reports to ascertain possible military threats to the UK'. This is, on a literal level, so blatantly obvious that it deserves analytical ridicule.

Really, George? The Ministry of Defense is concerned about possible threats to the nation? Hrm, I don't know about that. I mean, clearly the possibility of an extra-national group sending highly advanced atmospheric craft over Great Britain without authorization, notice, or concern might potentially pose a threat to the nation, but I'm not sure if that would merit MoD investigative reports.

"...the British Ministry of Defense has low self-esteem."

Now, why would a government agency--even a British one--constantly fall back on such a line that is clearly fed from some seat of authority? I think it's because those responsible for the reports are worried about this:

MoD Department Head: Spooky, why am I reading an interview with a Scottish shepherd? Have the Taliban weaponized ewes?

Spooky: Me, sir?

Head: Sheep, Spooky, sheep! Why would you interview a shepherd?

Spooky: Well sir, as it says in my report, he witnessed a strange light crossing the valley, exhibiting signs of hair-pin maneuvering without making a sound over his field. I thought--

Head: This isn't about those DVDs I caught you watching during tea-time, is it Spooky? I told you, American broadcasting is complete tripe.

Spooky: No sir, I mean, yes sir, you told me that. But this is a dire situation, sir. If there really are extra-terrestrials out there we should try to make contact with them, find out what secrets of existence they've unlocked, if they can help extend our lives, make society better, teach us--

Head: Agent Spooky...

Spooky: Yes sir?

Head: NERD!!!

I mean, why else would official documents keep dropping this obvious justification unless they were afraid of somebody else looking at them as a bunch of Roswell goons? These collective investigators, then, are so held under the fearful auspice of being labeled UFO-anything that they constantly have to check their backs for kick-me signs. Isn't that a pathetic example of low self-esteem? You'd think that once you're investigating reports for the MoD you'd stop looking over your shoulder for wedgies and swirlies, but apparently that stuff doesn't leave you.

The really sad part is that this paints the UFO conspiracy in a totally different light. I can just see the spooks meeting an alien envoy in a Gloucestershiretonville farm field:

Gentleman in Black: Could you guys keep your visits secret? We'd like to meet you again, but we're afraid the cool earthlings still won't believe us and make fun of us.

Mr. Gray: Are you blokes not from the government?

GIB: Yeah, but we'd still rather not have to be called names, you know?

Man up and nerd up, Ministry of Defense! Once you're charged with defending a sovereign nuclear power--it's time you stop worrying about name-calling. You're investigating Unidentified Flying frakking Objects, for Pete's sake!

1 comment:

  1. Nice dialogue between the two MoD guys - I could see it playing out that way. Perhaps the reason why these particular MoD employees have low self-esteem is that they were the guys who made fun of nerds in high school for liking math and UFOs, and, while those nerds went on to work on creating security codes, they ended up working in the UFO department, which, though interesting, is probably only just above Taliban-trained ewes on the MoD's security priority list.