Timothy Good. Alien Liaison, The Ultimate Secret. London, Random Century Ltd, 1991.
Rumours about crashed saucers and their extraterrestrial pilots being held by the US government have been current since the late 1940s and they are still very persistent. Some may thus wonder whether there might be some substance behind these improbable yarns. Good provides us with a summary of the alleged activities of the aliens and of the alleged efforts of US government agencies to keep them secret. It is well known, however, that the US government is pretty hopeless at keeping secrets; and if there are any aliens buzzing around the Earth they could reveal their presence to us all whenever they felt so inclined, regardless of what the US or any other government would wish.
It seems that there are at least nine types of ETs keeping an eye on us, but the main ones are those generally referred to as the 'Greys' and the 'Nordics'. The Greys come from a planet in the Zeta Reticuli system and some of them, living and dead, are in the custody of the US government. This is because of their habit of crashing their saucers in American deserts within easy reach of military bases. Sometimes they even crash their saucers into one another. Driving tests for the aspiring saucer pilots of Zeta Reticuli are obviously not very rigorous.
The two stars of the Zeta Reticuli system are about 37 light years away, not very far in galactic terms, but surely a very long journey when travelling at any practicable speed. Not so, apparently. Each saucer is equipped with three 'gravity generators'. You focus the generators on the place you want to go to and turn them on. This warps space and time. Then you switch off the generators and - sproing! - there you are. As the late Tommy Cooper would have said: "Just like that!"
In September 1989, Good received a letter from the director of a 'Special Development Group' which was allegedly helping to organise a travelling exhibition and presentation with the general theme of the future of space technology. This was to include a section on UFOs. Good suggested his friend Bob Oechsler, an ex-NASA man, as a consultant. Oechsler kept him
informed of developments, including a meeting at the Pentagon with a general who was assisting with the project. The general asked him if it would be best to have real (dead) aliens and saucers at the exhibition or should they use mock-ups.
This is only one of many such preposterous stories told to Good, which he is apparently inclined to take seriously. The problem is that Good is an honest man who evidently finds it hard to believe that people can tell him real whoppers without blushing or grinning. Not being a liar himself, he can't see how others can tell such untruths with every appearance of sincerity.
Of course, Good does not believe all the stories. Some are supposed to be disinformation deliberately fed to selected people to throw a screen of confusion around the true facts. His conclusion is: "The evidence available to me suggests that ... we are being visited by a number of extraterrestrial groups."
But what does the evidence suggest? It suggests that disinformation is sometimes circulated to confuse persons attempting to obtain information about secret military projects. There is also evidence that several governments maintain organisations to investigate UFO reports. They do this in the interests of national security and air safety. They work in seclusion so that they can carry on their investigations without being harassed by journalists, cranks and ufologists. If any UFO experts have any evidence of ETs apart from amazing stories or fuzzy photographs, let them produce it. -- Reviewed by John Harney, from Magonia 42, March 1992.