In the entertaining little NASA CONSPIRACIES, prolific Fortean author Nick Redfern peeks under the covers of all the famous and many of the obscure, NASA-related mysteries and conspiracy theories: astronaut sightings of UFOs, the face on Mars, faked moon landings. Challenger sabotage — it’s all here, carefully researched and intelligently considered.
Redfern knows his turf, and is a tireless, well-seasoned researcher with a curious, non-dogmatic mind. He carefully explains his positions on, for example, why the moon landings were not faked, while presenting the case for the “believer” side.
What makes this more interesting than most books on this subject is that Redfern remains willing to consider even the wildest of stories without pre-existing judgement. He presents the facts as they best can be determined, whether it is a Houston Mission Control security guard spotting a gargoyle wandering about, or delving into the stories that NASA sent a crew into Bolivia following a well-documented 1978 egg-shaped saucer crash there. He will present his opinion, but he never confuses those opinions with facts.
NASA CONSPIRACIES is not as entertaining as Redfern’s first-person accounts (like the exceptional THREE MEN SEEKING MONSTERS), but for anyone interested in the subject, it delivers a fine overview and adds plenty of original research to many often volatile theories.
Meanwhile, Redfern’s KEEP OUT!: TOP SECRET PLACES GOVERNMENTS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT tackles a similar terrain, but moves focus to the international stage.
This superbly entertaining and thoughtfully compiled book points out all the usual suspects from Area 51 and Dulce Base to the slightly less known Australian Pine Gap and HAARP in Alaska before moving to the UK, China, Russia and the moon.
Investigating a subject more difficult to unravel than the theoretically public access to the NASA files, Redfern catalogs a fine mixture of facts and stories about secret and secretive military facilities that have ties to the paranormal.
He connects multiple threads into a narrative that is fun and exciting to read. He remains careful not to take definitive positions on anything he can’t prove. And you can’t prove a whole lot in this field.
But finding odd comments like those made by Secretary of the Defense William S. Cohen back in 1997 about his fear of man-made earthquakes provide fantastic fodder for his narrative. Especially when you connect this to the Alaskan HAARP project, blamed by some to be the cause of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Some of this comes across as preposterous, yet with enough credibility to make you pause.
Sounding equally outlandish is his investigation into the stories about a secret U.S. military moon base (with or without an alien presence). KEEP OUT! retains its sense of humor about such prospects, but never fails to point out those semi-credible facts floating around.
While I personally doubt there are aliens on the moon (or on Earth, for that matter), and I equally doubt that National Reconnaissance Office is running a base on the dark side (it’d be difficult, given the presence of the Nazi UFO outpost there), it still remains interesting to consider the evidence, lore and myth that illuminates these theories.
So what was it that Gary McKinnon found out about Non-Terrestrial Officers when he hacked into the Department of Defense computers?
If I were conspiracy-minded, I’d be curious about the shift from government-run projects to the private sector. You cannot shoot off a FOIA request on a project managed by Halliburton like you could with NASA. We’ve seen a dramatic shift even in military conflicts from government troops to a massive corporate presence.
Things add up when you look at them long enough. It doesn’t mean any of it is true, but some of it might be. And that’s what makes Redfern’s books entertaining and insightful. They do not answer your questions, but they give you a glimpse behind the possibilities.
Here’s one that occurred to me, reading about NASA’s Kepler program: Kepler is a space-based observatory set to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Recently, it was announced that our galaxy alone appears to host 160 billion star-bound planets. A few million of those might hit the “Goldilocks” zone capable of sustaining known life forms.
The curious thing is that all of Kepler data was supposed to be freely and immediately available to the public for research purposes. Yet a few years back, there was a sudden announcement that the results would be edited before release with a couple of years’ delay. I haven’t yet seen the conspiracy buffs run with this topic, but but I’d like to see what they can find.
I heartily recommend KEEP OUT! to anyone interested in these subjects. It’s an eye-opening focal point, a quick but broad overview of government secrets, purposeful disinformation, perception management and perhaps even some good-old-fashioned, bug-eyed monsters. —JT Lindroos