tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN June 4, 2021 4:34pm-5:06pm EDT
exists. >> mm-hmm. and that phrase there, everything happens for a reason. we've talked about before as one of these kind of founding mantras of conspiracies, that everything happens within a conspiracy for a reason, that it is a part of a plan. and in kind of a divine providential version of that it is happening because of god's plan in a -- in light of a rationalist view of that. it is happening because of a human or in this case extraterrestrial agency, that there is a plan, that there is something happening. >> i still think there is a difference there because in terms of like god's plan, that is completely centered around humans. and, like, earth and if you're looking at extraterrestrials, you're recognizing that there is another planet with a -- with a
population of other beings and other life and other realities besides just human reality. and i feel like the idea of god and god's plan has to do with only a human reality. so that would in different kind of -- like response to like something happening either looking to god or looking to aliens would be a -- two different narratives. >> matthew? >> yeah, i think, though, alien conspiracies are similar to only like a very particular type of religion. like most villages people are similar to the way most of us think or said that we thought that aliens might be out there somewhere past where you could see and for religion the past where you could see is just after death, not outside of the range of our telescopes. the alien conspiracies we've talked about are more similar to the premillennialists that we've
discussed before. where it starts extending into where we can see or thought to see if this conspiracy weren't muddying the waters or obscuring things. >> yeah. and there are, as we hopefully will get to, we'll see, there are people who make an explicit connection there as well. there is -- there are those who make a explicit linkage between this evangelical dispensationalism and extraterrestrials. usually folding extraterrestrials in as algts of satan, as agents of the anti-christ within those prophecies. i think these are interesting questions. and they're big questions. that unfortunately i don't think we're going to be able to answer today. but that relationship between extraterrestrial visitation and supernatural religious visitation is intimately
intertwined. and these supernatural elements, these other worldly elements are key parts of these abduction narratives, these alien narratives. but it is not just religious narratives that are playing into this as well, right. these narratives have strong elements of native american captivity narratives from the 17th, 18th centuries, right. fears of white colonists, particularly of white female colonists being abducted and held captive by native americans. in terms of their kind of sexual content, the almost pornographic detail that these abduction narratives go into, there is a cigarette or cal debt owed to the anti-catholic escaped nun narratives of the 19th, early 20th centuries. some of which we saw advertised
in the clan newspapers that we were all looking at. so there is a lot of different elements coming into this. not just sexual anxieties as well. anxieties about race. the fact that the first abducted couple is an interracial couple is not unrelated. the fact that one of the major fears in the '60s as interracial marriage is ruled legal by the supreme court, the fact that these fears of mess othination are very present even as alien abduction stories present new fears of interest spearsys sex. that is not unrelated elements. and you have this kind of really interesting conflation as brown points to between the kind of individual body of the abductee,
of the experiencer, and of the natural body, of the citizenry as a whole who is being violated by this conspiracy. and it is increasingly a conspiracy. it is something in which the government is complicit in. it is also talking just very briefly, related to that question of race, there is a really odd kind of eugenist almost that plays into alien abduction theories coming out through the '70s, '80s, '90s as well. and while there is this kind of huge tax onomy of alien races but there is kind of three key races, races or species or whatever you want to call them. one of which is the plaidians who is described as benevolent and loving and beautiful and
highly evolved and spiritual. anybody want to guess what the plaidy ans are meant to look like? caucasians. any specific kind of caucasian? blond and blue-eyed. incredibly arian and referred to as tall nordics. nordic itself being a term of eugenist tax onno my as opposed to the southern europeans who can't be counted as being as racially superior as the nordics. and you see the short gray as the kind of equivalent of southern europeans to some extent in this tax onno my, the
description who owes a debt to those little green men, to the movies of the 50s, to frank skully, explanations. but whose popular appearance culture is really cemented by betty and barney hill again. not only do they set the template for the abduction narrative, but they set the idea of what the big headed gray alien with the big eyes looks like. and really cements that within the popular consciousness. the other big kind of grouping of alien species within these are the old friends, the reptilians or to give them the ufo conspiracy name, the draconians who are these tall lizard people who are probably hiding amongst us, plotting to take over the earth at any time. anybody remember the english
conspiracyist we've talked about before who is focused on these conspiracies and focused on these reptilians. >> you don't remember that but i did read something recently that popped up saying that someone had seen justin beiber turning into his reptilian form in -- a few weeks ago. he is a secret giant lizard. >> that he is one of them. >> which i never heard before. >> very talented for a reptilian. >> lizard people are everywhere, mathew. we can't discount this. especially if you ask david ike. he's the english conspiracyist that we spoke about on the very first day of class who is thoroughly and advocate that the lizard people are the queen, the
president, virtually everybody if high office. anybody remember what ike thinks that they do, how do they survive? >> they drink the blood of people. >> they drink blood, they drink the blood of blond eyed -- blue eyed-blond-aired children of these arian children. so again, they are the specific racial threat and containing these kind of deep elements of anti-semitic blood libel myths as well. sergio, were you going to -- >> i was going to ask, was there a -- i don't know if it is a conspiracy theory, but a theory on since they're described as draconians feeding on arian-like children, would it also be that they were feeding on the dean children. the children are children of deans? >> well, now we're getting into
the deep weeds. depending on who you ask, the plaidy ans may be working together in conjunction with the secret rulers of the state. on the other hand, they may be engaged in a secret millennial long war. on the other hand, we may be the descendants of the plaidians and the reptilians may have come back in time to create a food source for themselves. which is to say virtually any answer is possible to your question. because as we've established, right, with this crisis, with this divorce from physical evidence, virtually any conspiracy theory is possible. and those conspiracy theories are increasingly going to make the government complicit. and an excellent example of that is roswell.
allegedly, flying saucer crash news roswell in july 1947. right on trend with our other ufo sightings. and because it is surrounded by this wealth of other ufo sightings and because the air force pretty quickly declares the wreckage found in roswell that be that of a weather balloon, the media moves on. there are hundreds more ufo sightings to report on. and it is not until the boom in ufo conspiracies coming out of the late 1970s that roswell really regained attention in conspiracy circles. so we talked about this a little bit on tuesday. why might we see a boom in conspiracies and in particularly anti-government conspiracies in the late '70s?
marissa? >> watergate and the revelation of co-intel pro and chaos and the church committee and so just a lot of operations that the public didn't know about that are now in the public. >> mm-hmm. good. we have watergate and wech the church committee, all of the revelation of cia misdeeds and lending even more credence to the idea of secret medical experimentation going on. and there is a very kind of explicit linkage being made in the late '70s between this post watergate era and a boom in alien conspiracies and particularly abduction conspiracies. you see the establishment of citizens against ufo secrecy in 1977. and an organization dedicated to using freedom of information act requests to get the government to reveal the truth about ufos.
which is almost beautifully naive, right. the fact that you think that the government is planning to huge conspiracy, but that because the law is on your side you could still get them to reveal those secrets. it is a nice sentiment i find. but not only does citizens against ufos come along, but a nuclear physicist turned ufo-ologist rediscovered roswell. and we don't want to draw kind of overly simplistic links between this post watergate national concern and this boom in roswell conspiracies, but sometimes the research is themselves make that subtext text. standard freeman said that roswell is a cosmic watergate.
other rivalry research is like don schmidt described the kennedy assassination as a experience and compare the government statements on roswell to the warren commission report and in neither case can this official document be trusted. philip courso who writes the really popular the day after roswell is a firm advocate of the two oswalds theory of the kennedy assassination and goes further than that to say that the entire cold war was really just a cover to help develop anti-alien defense mechanisms. and you see this flood of roswell literature, through the '80s, through the '90s, that said, yes, the government covered it up and they didn't do it for our own good. donald keiaho was wrong.
instead. it is a litany of misinformation and miss deeds. no longer is the air force this benign body trying to protect the public from national hysteria. now president truman sets up magic 12 in 1947 as a special government body to cover up the truth about ufos, presumably also in charge of those men in black. and this reaches such a crisis point that in 1994, the air force actually releases a report about roswell, a thousand pages long and you could still find this as i pulled it off for today on the the d.o.d. website. this is still very easily publicly available. and air force says, okay,
actually we did lie to you about it being a weather balloon. in actual fact it is the wreckage from project mogul which was a top secret project to try to detect long-range soviet nuclear experiments. so it's good, right? that comes out. all the roswell conspiracy theorists say brilliant, it's cleared up we can move on. doesn't work that way. the government says we're lying to you for 50 years but now we're telling you the truth doesn't convince a lot of these conspiracy theorists in much the same way the parl harbor inquiry spurs more conspiracy theories in the same way the warren commission just spurs more conspiracy theories. it's not helped by the cia also
coming out in 1997 and saying we've also been lying to you and we lied to you about the ufo sightings. you did see stuff but it was top secret military planes and we couldn't tell you. sorry, but ufos still aren't real. saying you've been lying for years is not going to build public trust you're now telling the truth. and so over the course of the ages as this roswell conspearicism develops, you see it move not mainstream acceptance but mainstream recognition. nobody came to class today never having heard of roswell. nobody came to class today having not seen a picture of a short gray alien with a big head
and big eyes. and it's really very strongly at the forefront of popular consciousness in the '90s. and you get best selling paper backs that get turned into high rated tv shows. the truth about roswell gets turned into a show time show. you get the classic tabloid covers, weekly world news. all over the clinton ailiant relationship in the '90s. even at some point intimations bill clinton has another sex scandal but this time with an express terrestrial intern and of course television. it's the kind of pop culture culmination of a lot of these trends we've been talking about. and the fact these trends become so prominent within mainstream
discourse is also going to open up room at the fringes for even more esoteric conspiracies to develop. >> skully from the x-files is that a throwback to skully who the -- >> to frank skully? yes, very much so. there's a lot of kind of these references back in -- the creators of the x-files are very well steeped in this when they come along. also very well steeped in this are people like william cooper who releases "behold a pale horse" in 1991. and "behold a pale horse" is a really odd book in many ways not least the fact that cooper doesn't just believe virtually every conspiracy theory we
talked about today, he believes virtually every conspiracy theory we talked about all semester. and because if you believe in a conspiracy that conspiracy is in this book. it makes the book very, very popular and very, very influential among conspiracy circles and amongst a wide variety of conspiracy circles. cooper's book is popular with the patriot or militia movement in the '90s. timothy mcveigh is a fan of "behold a pale horse." but also very popular in the hip hop fan community and the idea jay-z is an illuminati mastermind. and part of that is how all encompassing cooper's narrative
is but it has a very direct philosophy. as he writes, i do not believe in fate. i do not believe in accidents. i cannot and will not accept the theory that long sequences of unrelated accidents determine world events. remind us of anything? bingo. cooper is the example, that there has to be a reason. for cooper everything happens for a reason. there is no contingency, there is no accident. which means that when the question of extraterrestrial life comes along it also is going to have to be folded into
his grand conspearicist knowledge. listen to alex jones for more than about 10 minutes on any given day and it's almost a guarantee you're going to get to the group pretty quickly. very much a foundational element of the kind of new world order conspearicism that takes hold in the '90s. and cooper is a key player in that. for cooper the buildaberg group is founded in 1947. why? what's happening in 1947? the manhattan project is mostly done by that point.
year of the roswell crash, year of all the ufo sightings. for cooper the buildaberg group is created in direct reaction to the extraterrestrial threat. for cooper, though, magic 12 isn't created to cover up the truth about ufos. he says that freedman and others like him are actually government disinformation agents. in fact, what he says is majesty 12 is created to establish relations with these aliens. and cooper goes further. he says by 1954 president eisenhower is going to sign a treaty with the aliens that says, look, you want to come along and experiment on humans, that's fine. we'll look the other way. we'll even build secret bases for you to do so like area 51.
but in return we want secret advance technologies, the two most commonly pointed to being beam weapons and time travel, which apparently the u.s. has hold of since 1954. so what they're doing with it, i don't know. but apparently they do have it. in case anybody's wondering according to cooper the alien ambassador name is his most omnipotent highness crill. so even in alien relationships the pach remarky still holds well. anyone want to take guesses which heroic president is willing to stand up to this?
of course jfk. once again we see conspearicist again a form of counter factual history coming into play. whereas oliver stone's counter fact to history says if kennedy had lived he'd have fulled us out of vietnam. cooper's says that if he'd lived he would have revealed the truth about the aliens and also about the fact that the cia controls the world drug markets to fund the secret alliance with the ailiance. and also the fact that eisenhower was actually working for rockefeller who's actually part of the council on foreign relations who was actually working for illuminati which was actually part of the buildaberg group and working in conjunction with european loyalists and as always the catholics.
if you take cooper's telling then he may have been alien, he may have been human but either way it's the driver of kennedy's car who actually kills kennedy and does so in order to silence him on this question of the alien conspiracy. as you might tell from that, there's a heavily religious argument here as well, the anti-catholic element because where is he getting "behold a pale horse" from? from revelations, good. he's strongly fitting in as matthew pointed to earlier within this strain of premillennial -- he is one of those who strongly believe that
aliens are probably satanic agents and playing their own part in bringing about the end times. he also folds in ideas of medical and newogenic conspiraicism. cooper's argument is that alien's genetic structure is deteriorating and they need to experiment on our superior scrunetic structure in order to save the alien race, which is a really interesting turnabout way of saying these beings from another planet who have traveled however far to get here are still racially inferior to us. there's a weird racial supremicism at work there that in some way echoes the kind of racial supremicism we saw with pearl harbor, that we saw with
the loss of china, the idea that america couldn't possibly have lost to these inferior races. instead there must be complicity from within that allows this conspiracy to take hold, that allows america to be handed this defeat. so cooper very much operating within those strains as well. and while we roll our eyes as i think we've all rolled our eyes talking about cooper, he's massively influential not least in new world order militia conspiricism. it's no coincidence that cooper and new world order conspiraicism both emerge in the
'90s. and there's a strong linkage between the two. that's not to say the two forms of conspiricism map perfectly onto each other but a lot of the tropes we've seen, the men in black, the black helicopters, the secret bases, these are all tropes that are drawn from ufo conspiraicism. and william cooper is really one of the key linkage lgz there given birth to this new form of extraterrestrial conspiraicism we seem to be working our way through now. not a lot of people are talking about alien abduction anymore. alien abduction narratives seem to have fallen off. and instead as bridget brown points us to we're more and more seeing the dark side hypothesis in play.
these new fears of an alien-human alliance that is deeply reflective of contemporary fears of terrorism, of state sovereignty and of the national security state. all right, unfortunately we are out of time so we will leave it there. when we pick up with some of these threads on tuesday particularly these ideas about structures of race and conspiricism. so have a good weekend. i will see you then. >> american history tv on c-span 3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story. saturday 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history former defense secretary daubled rumsfield 2020 lecture on the
war of terrorism from the citadel in charleston, south carolina. sunday 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts a tour of the smithsonian institution castle. and sunday night at 8:00 eastern first lady sarah polic, lady lincoln and lady bird johnson. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. next on lectures in history, indiana university bloomington professor stephen andrews teaches a class about conspiracy culture in american history. he describes how conspiracy theories have changed over time but often include involvementof groups. he talks about how in the 1950s a prominent aspect of conspiracy theories was the threat of communism. but in latter decades a new world order was a common