Dr. Barry H.
One of the most respected current writers in
the area of UFO research is Richard M. Dolan.
Jacques Vallee produced some excellent books beginning in the 1960s, one
of his best, Dimensions, was
published in 1988, but his productivity has since declined. In 1972 J. Allen Hynek, who had been a U.S. Air Force scientific
consultant on UFOs, published The UFO Experience. A chapter in his book was made famous in the
Steven Spielberg film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Hynek’s change from
being negative about the UFO reality to positive was important in encouraging a
new generation of UFO researchers. British
author Timothy Good has also done some excellent work, especially in Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up
These and other researchers helped pave
the way for Richard Dolan, who in 2000 published Volume I of a series UFOs and the National Security State: An
Unclassified History covering the period 1941-1973, and followed it with
Volume II in 2009, covering the period 1973-1991. He is working on Volume III, covering from
1991 to the present. He presents hundreds of documented military and civilian
UFO cases, and places the UFO mystery in the context of national security
issues. He has become such an
established authority that no modern UFO conference wants to be without Dolan
on its lecture list. (I have met Hynek,
Good and Dolan at various MUFON conferences, but have never met Vallee.)
Dolan is not a scientist, but rather a
trained historian, with specialized training in “U.S. cold war strategy.” This has made it easy for him to think of
UFOs from the point of military and scientific strategy, which in our modern
age go hand in glove, like “the military-industrial complex,” a danger Dwight
Eisenhower warned us about.
In 2010 Dolan teamed up with Bryce Zabel to
write a book called A.D. After
Disclosure: The People’s Guide to Life After Contact. Zabel is a media professional, having created
NBC’s Dark Skies series, and worked with
the Spielberg-produced miniseries Taken.
The opening chapter develops a fictionalized
scene in which the President of the United States, through a series of
circumstances, is forced to announce that UFOs exist, and are piloted by
aliens. (The announcement takes place on
Friday, after the stock market has closed.
Other countries around the world follow the American lead and confirm
some kind of truth about UFOs.) But what
kind of truth? Will it be full
disclosure, partial, or false? (In a
false disclosure, the government might admit that UFOs exist, but claim they
are made from human technology.)
Most of the book is devoted to exploring
what the consequences will be for economics, science, the media, world
politics, world defense, and religion.
In a sense, the whole book is “fiction,” meaning there has been no
“Disclosure,” and therefore talking about “After Disclosure” is fictional.
At the same time, we have seen in recent
years a tremendous explosion of Christian fiction about the Second Coming of
Jesus and the Rapture, most notably from those like Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins who wrote the Left Behind series. Stephen Yulish has written a novel dealing
with the end times in light of the UFO mystery.
I find it interesting that both UFO writers
and Christian writers are creating fictionalized accounts of a “disclosure” or
“revelation” event. We usually talk
about Divine Revelation in theology, but anyone who reads theology knows that
theologians use the word “disclosure” and “revelation” interchangeably. Dr. Steven Greer, who began the “Disclosure
Project,” has attempted to force the
government of the United States to tell the truth about UFO reality by
gathering UFO testimony from military leaders and other reliable sources. He was one of the first to claim the term
“disclosure” as part of UFO vocabulary.
Dolan and Zabel were glad to use the word as the defining term for their
Revelation/Disclosure is a theological term
because the ultimate reality studied by theology is God, and God is
invisible. God exists behind some kind
of curtain or wall. The early Genesis
story says that when Adam and Eve were created, there was no wall. But they sinned, and were kicked out of the
garden, and the gate to the garden was slammed shut. The biblical view is that human life now
seems godless, except that God has the freedom to look over the wall, or peak
out from behind the curtain, and reveal himself—not to everyone, but to select
people, chosen people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, and Ezekiel in the Old Testament experience revelation. Then in the New Testament God comes to earth
disguised as a human being. The Word
became Flesh. In Jesus the invisible God
became visible, but in human form very few recognized him. It seemed impossible
for many to believe “He who has seen me has seen the
Father.” (Jn. 14:9)
From my point of view, we are caught up in
what I call God’s Game, which is a faith game.
I see the game idea in texts such as Deuteronomy 8:16, which says the
purpose of God in the Exodus was “to humble you and test you, to do you good in
the end.” We have to enter into this
game by faith, as Hebrews chapter 11 makes clear. Human
life is some kind of test, contest, game.
Our opponent is evil, the devil.
Jesus, as part of his humanity, had to be tested in the wilderness. (Matt. 4:1-11) Jesus passed the test that Adam and Eve failed. I will come back to the issue of testing
several times in this UFO Revelation series.
How do we recognize, identify, the work of
the invisible God on earth? It is not
easy. Adam and Eve ate the fruit of
knowledge of good and evil, as if it were easy to tell the difference. But it is not. The most religious people in Jerusalem did
not recognize Jesus for who he was. The
New Testament is a warning, especially if any of us think we would do any
better at recognizing God walking among us now!
False prophets come in the name of Jesus. The whole world, and perhaps the church,
might be caught up in a “strong delusion” if we are not on guard (2 Thess.
2:14), and even if we are on guard, if the church is in a state of spiritual
corruption, it may not have the purity of faith to recognize divine signs when
they are given. Jesus gave plenty of
signs of his authority, but spiritual corruption often blinded those who
witnessed his power.
How does Richard Dolan see the UFO
world? He has talked to enough reliable
UFO witnesses, including astronauts and military leaders, to be absolutely sure
UFOs are real and extraterrestrial in some sense. Are they from another planet, another
dimension, time travelers? He is not
sure about that, but explores the possibilities in A.D. (See chapter 5, “Threat Analysis: Who Goes
There and What do They Want?” p. 134 ff.)
The title A.D. was chosen
deliberately to acknowledge that the coming of Jesus (A.D.--Anno Domini, in the
year of the Lord) was a historical turning point. Dolan and Zabel see the announcement of UFO
presence as changing history as radically as did the coming of Jesus for
But there is another dimension to Dolan’s
work. Because UFO research has “top
secret” status in the United States, and has had for more than 60 years, Dolan
believes that a whole secret community has grown up, funded by American black
budget money. This money, which goes to
secret projects unknown to congress, ends up in the hands of private scientific
corporations who are milking UFO technology for their own purposes, whatever
these purposes may be. Dolan calls the
group controlling UFO secrets a “Breakaway Civilization,” which is explored in
chapter 3 in A.D., “Breakaway: How Secrets Created a World Within a World.” (p.
59 ff.) It is Dolan’s belief that not
even the current President of the United States knows the truth about UFOs,
because according to rules of classified information, he does not have a “need
to know” UFO truth.
Thus we find Dolan believes in two invisible
kingdoms: one that is human, whose main purpose is to gain UFO secrets from the
aliens, and use these secrets in a way that gives them more power to do
whatever the Breakaway Group wants to do.
But he also believes in the kingdom of the aliens, who come from
somewhere other than earth. Notice that
these two kingdoms are invisible to Dolan, but he infers their existence on the
basis of eye witnesses he has come to trust, witnesses who can either explain
to him how the Breakaway Civilization works, or who have seen the alien craft,
and perhaps the aliens themselves.
We Christians believe in the kingdom of
heaven, which is invisible to us. We do
not know where heaven is, but we believe heaven is where Christ and his angels
now live, although they are free to come to earth if they want to. Christians have traditionally believed that
heaven is in some sense extraterrestrial.
The Bible is our primary witness.
On the basis of the divine Revelation/Disclosure we find in the Bible,
we have come to believe in two kingdoms, earthly, and heavenly. We pray, “thy
kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” Is what Dolan sees as the UFO kingdom, and
what Christians see as the heavenly kingdom, the same kingdom? If so, how would we prove it?
If not, how would we falsify it? How would we prove the UFO kingdom and
heavenly kingdom are not the same? This
is the issue that has troubled me for more than 40 years. I do not want to be taken in by a “strong
delusion.” But the parallels between the
“world’s quest for UFO truth,” and our Christian quest for the final coming of
Jesus and his kingdom, seem to me to demand our thoughtful attention.
If Dolan and Zabel had their way, a day of
Disclosure would come soon. But what
shape might it take? If the Day of the
Lord were to come soon, how would we tell the difference between the Lord’s
landing, and an ET landing? Would a UFO
landing be the devil disguised as an angel of light?
One possibility is that UFO sightings might
become so obvious the governments of the world would not be able to lie any
more. The President of the United States
might hold a news conference and say something like this: “We have not told you
the truth about the UFO reality because we do
not know where the aliens come from, or why they are here. But so far, they do not seem to want to
conquer planet earth.” How would
Christians react to this kind of Disclosure?
Or suppose that the President said, “We are
now ready to explain the UFO situation to the American people. To help with this explanation, let me now
introduce you to our new alien friend Zorg, who will tell us what he hopes will
be the future of planet earth.” How
would Christians react to this kind of Disclosure?
Or again, suppose that a UFO landed, not on
the White House lawn, but in a poor community in Mexico, and a human got out of
the UFO and said, “I am Jesus. I have
come to the least of you on earth. I
want all who believe in me to repent, and turn to God and your neighbor for
forgiveness. Very soon I will be
returning with my angels in judgment. The
earth, my bride, is not ready for me, but I yearn to come. Please tell the world I long to come, ‘Surely
I am coming soon.’” (Rev. 22:20) How
would Christians react to this kind of Disclosure?
Obviously, none of the above three
scenarios may happen, but I find it interesting to think about the biblical
faith, which is my heritage, in light of both current UFO thinking, and current
Christian eschatological thinking. In
the weeks ahead, I hope to explore these and other issues, in a field I am
calling UFO Revelation.
Dr. Barry H. Downing
March 29, 2011