Théories de conspiration sur les ovnis, 1975-1990

Barkun, Michael: chapitre 5 de A Culture of Conspiracy - Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, novembre 2002

Immediatement après l'attentat à l'explosion d'Oklahoma City au printemps 1995, les américains moyens prirent soudain conscience de l'existence d'une sous-culture politique radicale en leur sein. Avec l'arrestation de Timothy McVeigh et de Terry Nichols et la couverture mediatique de leurs vies, attitudes et associations, le public fut brusquement introduit au monde jusqu'ici insulaire des milices, émissions sur ondes courtes antigouvernementales et à la littérature raciste. Un roman raciste (écrit par Andrew Macdonald, également connu sous le nom de William Pierce), The Turner Diaries — pouvant être obtenu par des librairies conventionnelles — devint l'objet d'un intérêt intense après que l'on apprit que McVeigh l'avait lu et recommandé, et il fut révélé que le roman contenait un épisode étonnamment similaire à l'attentat contre le bâtiment fédéral. Une avalanche de récits télévisuels, dans les magazines et les journaux dévoilèrent l'existence de croyants à la conspiration obsédés par des hélicoptères noirs et armés contre ce qu'ils pensaient être une invasion imminent par des forces du Nouvel Ordre Mondial Andrew Macdonald (pseudonyme de William L. Pierce), The Turner Diaries, 2d ed. (Washington, D.C.: National Alliance, 1980). Typique de la couverture médiatique est Mark Potok et Katy Kelly, "Militia Movement's Draw: A Shared Anger, Fear," USA Today, May 16, 1995, 6D.

Plus que tout autre événement, l'attentat à la bombe de Oklahoma City porta les idées du Nouveau Ordre Mondial à l'attention du public. Mais les idées du Nouvel Ordre Mondial avaient commencé à infiltrer des segments plus large de la conscience américaine plus tôt encore. Pat Robertson avait publié son livre The New World Order en 1991. La version de Robertson de la conspiration (ce qu'on pourrait appeler le "Nouvel Ordre Mondial allégé") est doux comparé à celui que de figures de la milice comme Mark Koernke ; néanmoins, son livre est rempli d'avertissements de mauvaise augure : Les religions de la Nouvelle Ere, les croyances de l'Illuminati, et la Franc-Maçonnerie Illuminée semblent tous se déplacer sur des pistes parallèles au communisme mondiale et à la finance mondiale. Leur appels varient quelque peu, mais essentiellement ils luttent pour la même effrayante vision. Robertson déclare qu'un réseau d'élite des superriches, agissant à travers des sociétés secrètes, est sur le point de prendre un contrôle indisputé du monde. Au même moment, des références au Nouvel Ordre Mondial commençaient aussi à apparaître dans les discours d'une autre figure publique conspicuous, Pat Buchanan, qui liait de telles préoccupations à des menaces sur l'indépendance économique de l'Amerique Pat Robertson, The New World Order (Dallas: Word, 1991), p. 185. "Buchanan Promises 'Millennial Struggle' against World Government," CNN, 6 janvier 2000; (7 janvier 2000)..

Thus in the early 1990s New World Order conspiracy theories ceased to be beliefs that circulated only in an obscure political underground and began to penetrate some channels of mainstream discourse. In fact, however, the most dramatic New World Order penetration came not from Robertson, Buchanan, or coverage of the Oklahoma City bombers. Rather, it occurred earlier, in a segment of American culture that straddles the divide between "mainstream" and "deviant" and encompasses millions of people—the UFO community. Those who are interested in UFOs, believe in them, or claim to have been contacted or abducted by them form a subculture knitted together by lecture circuits, Web sites, magazines, and conventions. Depending on how it is defined, it is also a subculture of immense size.

Ovnis et opinion publique

The number of Americans who actually participate in the UFO subculture—by buying books, magazines, and videotapes; attending conferences; visiting Web sites; and engaging in similar activities—cannot be precisely estimated. But survey data make clear that those who do participate represent merely a fraction of a vast number of people interested in the subject. Whether they are open-minded or simply credulous, it remains the case that millions of Americans view UFOs with considerably less skepticism than do the government and the academy.

Within a few months of the first modern claim of a flying saucer sighting in June 1947, polls showed that 90 percent of the population had heard of them. By 1966, that figure had risen to 96 percent, and, more important, 46 percent of all Americans believed UFOs actually existed. More than a decade later—in 1978—30 percent of college graduates believed they existed. At that time, the number of Americans who believed UFOs were real reached its highest level, 57 percent. The number fell to 47 percent in 1990 but was still at 48 percent in a 1996 Gallup poll, nearly half a century after the first sighting Phil Patton, "Indeed They Have Landed. Look Around," The New York Times, June 15, 1997, section H, 38. Jodi Dean, Aliens in America: Conspiracy Cultures from Outerspace to Cyberspace (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998), p. 36. Amy Harmon, "For U.F.O. Buffs, 50 Years of Hazy History," The New York Times, June 14, 1997, section A, 1. "Gallup UFO Poll: Some Want to Believe, Some Don't", (July 2, 1997).

The Yankelovich polling organization interviewed 1,546 adults in mid-January 2000 for Life magazine. Forty-three percent of respondents believed UFOs were real as opposed to "the product of people's imaginations," and 30 percent thought intelligent beings from other planets had visited the earth. Six percent had seen a UFO, and 13 percent knew someone who had. Seven percent claimed to have "had an encounter with beings from another planet" or knew someone who had Cynthia Fox, "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life," Life (March 2000): 56..

A 1997 Time-CNN poll (presumably commissioned in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the Roswell, New Mexico, UFO "crash") indicated that 17 percent of Americans believed in alien abduction. An even stranger result had appeared in a 1992 Roper survey, which suggested that 2 percent of Americans (roughly 3.7 million) believed they themselves had been abducted. While the Roper result is almost certainly inflated, a number even half as large would be extraordinary Dean, Aliens in America, pp. 30, 52.

Two aspects of these figures are particularly striking. First, they have remained astonishingly stable over a fifty-year period. What might have been an early Cold War fad clearly came to occupy a semipermanent niche in the American psyche. Second, the level of belief was not only relatively stable; it was extraordinarily high, regardless of when the survey was taken or by which polling organization. Even if one compensates for problems of sampling or the wording of questions, tens of millions of Americans accept the reality of UFOs. In a survey of 765 members of the UFO community, Brenda Denzler found her respondents to be anything but "fringe." They were predominantly white, male, middle-class college graduates, with incomes just slightly below the national median Brenda Denzler, The Lure of the Edge: Scientific Passions, Religious Beliefs, and the Pursuit of UFOs (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 164—167.

At the same time, attitudes about UFOs contain the seeds of conspiracist thinking, for public attitudes are clearly at variance with the official position that there is no credible evidence that UFOs exist. Indeed, in the 1996 Gallup survey when subjects were asked, "In your opinion, does the U.S. government know more about UFOs than they are telling us?" 71 percent answered yes. In the Yankelovich poll in 2000, 49 percent believed that the government was withholding information about UFOs "Gallup UFO Poll." Fox, "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life," p. 56.

Thus an extremely large number of people hold beliefs that contradict official government positions and believe that government concealment explains the discrepancy. Belief in a government cover-up runs deep in the ufology community, especially among those who are professional or full-time UFO writers or investigators. Because government investigations have failed to satisfy believers, the existence of a cover-up appears logical to them. Even so, early ufologists did not generally advance a broader political agenda. While steadfastly maintaining that military and intelligence organizations were concealing the truth from the public, they did not extend that suspicion to embrace any larger ideology of conspiracy. In short, ufology's early political program did not extend beyond a general desire to see revealed what was believed to be concealed.

But by the late 1980s, elements of the UFO community began to link their interest in explaining flying saucers with a larger political vision. Receptivity to New World Order ideas in some UFO circles was facilitated by two legends peculiar to the ufology milieu: the "men in black" story and the tale of underground bases.

The legend of the men in black originated in the early and mid 1950s and quickly became a staple of UFO folklore. According to this legend, people whose experiences or research brought them too close to the truth were apt to be stalked, harassed, or even killed by small groups of men—usually two or three—in dark suits who did not identify themselves. Their ambiguous appearance has led to a number of explanations: to some, they are secret government operatives; to others, representatives of a conspiracy that controls the government; to still others, they are aliens whose appearance is close enough to that of humans to allow them to pass. In any case, their appearance and demeanor make them a potent symbol of mysterious but pervasive evil "Men in Black," in The UFO Encyclopedia, ed. John Spencer (New York: Avon, 1993), pp. 210—211. Jerome Clark, The UFO Files (Lincolnwood, Ill.: Publications International, 1996), pp. 127—129. Peter Rojcewicz, "The 'Men in Black' Experience and Tradition: Analogues with the Traditional Devil Hypothesis," Journal of American Folklore 100 (April—June 1987): 148—160. The first book on the subject, which initially appeared in 1956, was by Gray Barker: They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers, repr. (Lilburn, Ga.: IllumiNet, 1997).

The underground-bases legend is part of a larger complex of beliefs about secret installations where (depending on the version) captured or crashed alien craft or aliens themselves may be kept. In the most dramatic versions, the aliens actually control parts of the installation, either by themselves or in concert with secret government agencies. The most famous base is Area 51, also known as Groom Lake and Dreamland, north of Las Vegas, Nevada; but the most elaborate tales involve labyrinthine subterranean caverns, tunnels, and chambers such as those allegedly near the town of Dulce, New Mexico. These stories have led to belief in a hidden world variously inhabited by alien beings or evil human forces, in which conspirators can both conceal their enterprises and seek safety when disasters overtake the earth's surface The literature on each is very large; but the nature of the material can be gleaned from the following. On Area 51: David Darlington, Area 51: The Dreamland Chronicles (New York: Henry Holt, 1997); and Phil Patton, Travels in Dreamland: The Secret History of Area 51 (London: Millennium, 1997). On Dulce: Branton, The Dulce Wars: Underground Alien Bases & the Battle for Planet Earth (New Brunswick, N.J.: Inner Light/Global Communications, 1999); and Commander X, Underground Alien Bases (n.p.: Abelard Productions, 1990). .

Ovnis et Nouvel Ordre Mondial

Gradually, parts of the UFO community began to adopt elements of the conspiracy theories described in the previous two chapters, and by the end of the 1980s virtually all of the radical right's ideas about the New World Order had found their way into UFO literature. Ufology's adoption of the New World Order was by no means universal, but those who have found it attractive have been able to create a version of New World Order theory with some distinct political advantages.

The most immediate advantage for New World Order ideas of being placed in a UFO context has been a reduction in stigma. Although UFO ideas have often been the target of ridicule, the enormous size of the UFO-accepting public has made it impossible to stigmatize UFO beliefs so completely that they are banned from public discussion. Far from it—UFO ideas have ready access to such avenues of distribution as cable television, mainstream bookstores, and magazine publishers. They fall into the realm of stigmatized knowledge discussed in chapter 2, in that they are rejected by science, universities, and government, but the level of stigmatization has not been so great as to exclude them from popular culture.

By contrast, the views of the radical right have been so excluded, through an unstated yet powerful pattern of self-censorship on the part of the mainstream. This voluntary silence has denied access to beliefs deemed racist, bigoted, completely unfounded, or likely to justify or promote violence. Tales of secret Illuminati conspiracies, imminent UN invasions, and Jewish, Masonic, or Jesuit plots, for example, have been informally banned from media, classrooms, and other mechanisms of knowledge distribution. Unlike beliefs about flying saucers, considered eccentric but socially harmless, many conspiracy ideas deemed both false and dangerous have been banished from the mainstream discourse.

Le fait de relier les idées de Nouvel Ordre Mondial avec les ovnis a donné au former a bridge to the territory of semirespectable beliefs. Ufology became, as it were, the vehicle for the New World Order to reach audiences otherwise unavailable to it. To be sure, New World Order ideas occasionally reached mass audiences, as the cases of Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan have shown. In both cases, however, the conspiracies were presented in highly diluted versions; and in Robertson's case, even his weak version produced significant political problems.

L'histoire du lien Nouvel Ordre Mondial—Ovnis est celle d'idées allant dans 2 directions, pas 1 seule. Dans le mouvement initial (examiné plus tard dans ce chapitre), les croyances du Nouvel Ordre Mondial se sont entrelacées avec les croyances liées aux ovnis. Une 2nde migration a suivi dans les années 1990s, dans laquelle les idées du Nouvel Ordre Mondial avec leurs nouveaux ajouts liés aux ovnis sont retournées dans le milieu de droite où elles s'étaient développées en premier. Dans ce milieu, la combinaison a mené au développement de 2 synthèses diamétralement opposées. Dans l'une, exemplifiée par l'auteur et conférencier britannique David Icke (discuté en longueur dans le chapitre 6), les conspirateurs humains feared by the radical right are actually doing the bidding of forces extraterrestres malveillantes dont le but à terme est de contrôler la Terre. Dans l'autre, incarné par la vision de Milton William Cooper à la fin de sa vie (adressé plus tard dans ce chapitre), il n'y a en fait aucun extraterrestre. L'apparence d'un agression extraterrestre sur la Terre est fabriquée par les conspirateurs humains pour fournir un pretexte à the assumption of global dictatorial powers.

The first movement, when New World Order ideas left the hermetic world of the extreme right and began to seep into ufology, is the more significant of the two. As the preceding discussion suggests, there were factors in ufology that made this penetration seem logical, but it was not inevitable. It does not seem to have been consciously undertaken by conspiracists or done for opportunistic reasons, even though in the end it provided a large new audience. Rather, it began in a disorganized, piecemeal fashion, and it provides a case study in the migration of deviant ideas.

Conspirationnisme Ovni : la 1ère phase

Le développement des théories de conspiration du Nouvel Ordre Mondial au sein de l'ufologie peut être mieux compris comme le produit de 2 phases séparées. La 1ère — d'environ 1975 à 1980 — introduisit des motifs de plus en plus conspirationnels dans la spéculation sur les ovnis, mais sans liens discernables avec les idées de conspiration qui prévalaient alors dans l'extrême-droite. Il semblait y avoir 2 voies conspirationnistes distinctes se développant indépendamment l'une de l'autre. Cette absence de connexion entre les 2 est particulièrement frappante parce que la fin des années 1970s était une période d'activité substantielle à droite, avec la croissance de mouvements comme l'Identité Chrétienne et le Posse Comitatus. Le Posse était un mouvement antigovernemental constitué de groupes paramilitaires locaux actifs dans l'ouest et le midwest durant les années 1970s et 1980s. Ils pensaient que la seule autorité gouvernementale légitime était le county sheriff's posse, sous la forme des hommes adultes armés d'une communauté. There is no evidence that ufologists were aware of, interested in, or sympathetic to those tendencies.

During this initial phase, some important themes emerged in the UFO literature that were eventually integrated into more elaborate conspiratorial structures. One of these concerned small devices allegedly implanted in the bodies of UFO abductees. Although such stories were not numerous, they implied the existence of a powerful technology for monitoring and controlling victims' behavior. Thomas Bullard's detailed analysis of 270 abduction stories (most of them dating between the 1940s and 1980) reveals only thirteen cases of reported implants—barely 5 %. These were almost uniformly distributed among the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Despite their small numbers, however, the implant stories contained two points of potential connection with the independently developed New World Order conspiracy theories described earlier. First, they offered apparent confirmation of the mark of the beast associated with the Antichrist. Second, they also appeared to validate the mind-control fears of more secular conspiracists "Abduction Phenomenon," in The UFO Encyclopedia, ed. Jerome Clark, vol. 1 (Detroit: Apogee, 1990), p. 4. Thomas E. Bullard, UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery (n.p.: Fund for UFO Research, 1987), vol. 1, pp. 87—88..

About the same time, in 1976, a Toronto-based neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier, Ernst Zundel, published the first of several reports linking flying saucers with the Nazis. In the strangest version of this tale, Nazis, not aliens, had invented flying saucers and, with the regime's defeat, had fled to subterranean bases in Antarctica with their invention. The suggestion that flying saucers had been under development by the Third Reich and were spirited out of Germany appears to have emerged first among German nationalists in the 1950s. It was quickly assimilated into legends of Hitler's supposed escape to South America or the Antarctic. By 1960, comparable tales were circulating in English, though their full elaboration had to await the efforts of Zundel and other neo-Nazis a decade and a half later. While this scenario begged the question of how so technologically advanced a government could manage to lose the war, it was a story that turned out to have a long life for two reasons. First, it introduced the idea that a secret group of human beings might in some conspiratorial fashion develop such devices. Second, it established a link between UFOs and the much older occultic tradition of an "inner world" beneath the earth, discussed in detail in chapter 7 "Hollow Earth and UFOs," in The UFO Encyclopedia, ed. Jerome Clark, vol. 2 (Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1992), p. 204. Commander X, "Legions of Doom," UFO Universe, Conspiracies & Cover-ups, Special Issue 1 (1998): 64—65. The Nazi-UFO stories have been most fully reconstructed by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity (New York: New York University Press, 2002), chap. 8.

The year 1976 was also the year that some ufologists began to link UFOs with cattle mutilations. Stories of mutilated cattle, mostly in western states, began to appear in the late 1960s and became numerous and the subject of national media coverage by the mid 1970s. Although they were occasionally connected to reports of UFO sightings, a number of alternative explanations were offered, including satanic rituals, "hippies," and natural enemies. The carcasses were often missing portions of soft tissue, and some reports claimed that cuts were made with a precision inconsistent with animal predators "Animal Mutilations and UFOs," in The UFO Encyclopedia, ed. Jerome Clark, vol. 3 (Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1996), pp. 18—25. George E. Onet, "Animal Mutilations: What We Know," National Institute for Discovery Science, (September 13, 2000). Idem, "Animal Mutilations: What We Don't Know", National Institute for Discovery Science, (September 13, 2000)..

In 1979, Linda Moulton Howe, a Denver filmmaker, began work on a documentary that alleged a mutilation-UFO connection. The film, A Strange Harvest, was broadcast in 1980. She later stated that "I am convinced that one or more alien intelligences are affecting this planet. I would like to know who they are, what they want and why the government is silent." Howe and others, influenced by her film and subsequent publications, began to speculate that aliens mutilated cattle in order to secure body parts or biological substances they needed for their own survival, and that the U.S. government was complicit in these efforts. The idea that aliens were engaged in some obscure effort to "harvest" or otherwise retrieve biological substances from the earth has turned out to be a fertile subject for speculation, which eventually came to include such suggestions as the breeding of alien-human hybrids. The ease with which stories of cattle mutilation were assimilated into the UFO literature was a paradigmatic case of fusing disparate forms of stigmatized knowledge. If cattle mutilations and alien spaceships could be connected, why not other stigmatized knowledge claims as well? "Animal Mutilations and UFOs," pp. 18, 23.

Speculations about an alien harvest soon coalesced with aspects of the abduction stories. Nearly half of the abduction tales examined by Bullard featured invasive, often painful physical examinations. A number of accounts included examinations of reproductive organs, and about half a dozen individuals reported sexual intercourse with alien beings. Out of this body of narratives came suggestions that aliens were seeking either to harvest substances from human bodies or to create a race of alien-human hybrids. Because the "other" here was alien in every sense, it was easy to blur the distinction between procedures performed on cattle and those performed on human beings; in the more sinister interpretation, it suggested that human beings were being treated like breeding stock, presumably to compensate for some biological defect in the aliens "Linda Moulton Howe: The 'Alien Harvest' and Beyond," transcript of a conversation in UFOs and the Alien Presence: Six Viewpoints, ed. Michael Lindemann (Newberg, Ore.: Wild Flower, 1991), pp. 61—64. Linda Moulton Howe, An Alien Harvest: Further Evidence Linking Animal Mutilations and Human Abductions to Alien Life Forms (Huntingdon Valley, Penn.: Linda Moulton Howe Productions, 1989), p. 224. On Howe, see Idaho Statesman (Boise), June 5, 1998, 1d. Bullard, UFO Abductions, pp. 50, 86—87, 91.

In 1977, UFO speculation took a different turn with the broadcast by Anglia TV in Great Britain of the strange purported documentary Alternative 3. Alternative 3 claimed to expose a secret plan, approved at the highest levels of the U.S. and Soviet governments, to launch a program of space colonization that would allow a select few to flee the earth before environmental calamities made the planet uninhabitable. The show strongly implied that a secret joint base already existed on the far side of the moon, that another existed or would shortly be established on Mars, and that the Martian surface, contrary to general belief, was hospitable to human life Alternative 3 (videotape; Beverly Hills, Calif.: Underground Video, 1996); originally broadcast on Science Report, Anglia Television (U.K.), April 1, 1977..

Alternative 3 was clearly a hoax—and not only because it was broadcast on April Fool's Day. The interviews with supposed scientists, astronauts, and others were far too dramatically polished to have been spontaneous, and in any case the program's closing credits named the actors who took the roles of interviewees and correspondents. Though artfully produced, the show's counterfeit documentary style could scarcely have been expected to fool many. As an Anglia TV spokesman put it, we felt viewers would be fairly sophisticated about it. They apparently were not; television and newspaper switchboards were swamped after the broadcast. Anglia found it prudent to sell off the book rights. The 1978 book version, by Leslie Watkins, continued the pretense of factuality. It also reached countries, including the United States, where the broadcast had not been aired. Whenever the book was unavailable, believers attributed its absence to the conspirators' attempts at suppression. This type of quasiparanoid fear is a particularly strong tendency in the United States. And the story lent itself to conspiracist interpretations—who were the elite the secret space program was intended to save? Even those willing to acknowledge that Alternative 3 was trumped up insisted that its core argument might very well be true—another instance of the demolition of the fact-fiction boundary discussed in chapter 2 Alternative 3. Leslie Watkins, Alternative 3 (London: Sphere, 1978). Jim Keith, Casebook on Alternative 3: UFOs, Secret Societies and World Control (Lilburn, Ga.: IllumiNet, 1994). Idem, Mind Control and UFOs: Casebook on Alternative 3 (Lilburn, Ga.: IllumiNet, 1999). Bob Rickard, "Hoax: Alternative," Fortean Times 64 (August—September 1992): 47—49..

Alternative 3 does not mention UFOs or aliens. As discussed in chapter 6, its role in the growth of conspiracy theory lay in a later permutation, according to which UFOs and the threat of an alien invasion of the earth are believed to have been invented by the shadowy elite in order to gather sufficient power and resources to complete the space-colonization enterprise. When the scenario of Alternative 3 came to be enfolded within ufological conspiracism, it suggested that UFO conspiracy theories could go in two different directions. The first insisted on the reality of a threat from outer space, with human conspirators involved as the aliens' lackeys or collaborators. The other direction, following the Alternative 3 suggestion, claimed that UFOs from outer space were a deception concocted by the conspirators for their own malevolent purposes, in order to deflect attention from the real evil.

Conspirationnisme ovni : la 2nde phase

La 1ère phase dans la croissance des théorie de conspiration sur les ovnis s'étendit jusqu'à la fin des années 1970s. Elle fut caractérisée par une fragmentation des thèmes, qu'il s'agisse d'implants d'enlevés, de mutilation de bétail ou de bases nazies. Le seul produit de la période qui ait visé à offrir une théorie de conspiration intégrale fut l'émission de fiction Alternative 3, qui n'avait pas du tout mentionné les ovnis. Par contraste, la 2nde phase, qui commença au milieu des années 1980s, fut marquée à la fois par un spectre plus large des allégations de conspiration et par la convergence des plans sur les ovnis avec le conspirationnisme mieux développé de l'extrême-droite.

La 1ère déclaration publiée complète d'une telle théorie apparaît en 1986, dans le livre de George C. Andrews Extra-Terrestrials among Us. Bien que la théorie de conspiration d'Andrews apparaît par bouts et morceaux parsemés dans tout le volume, elle peut être reconstruite groissièrement comme suit. Une race d'extraterrestres malveillants utilise une caste d'élite privilégiée d'humains pour manipuler et contrôler les masses. Pour ce qui concerne les Etats-Unis, le mécanisme principal pour le contrôle politique est la CIA, un gouvernement dans le gouvernement, mettant en oeuvre une forme de facisme de corporation. Andrews accuse la CIA d'avoir assassiné John F. Kennedy, et il cite le pamphlet de William Pabst déclarant qu'un réseau de camps de concentration est préparé pour les dissidents. Il craint que la loi martiale soit sur le point d'être déclarée, amenant la fin de la démocracie americaine. L'utilisation explicite du travail de Pabst, les avertissements sur l'exercice Rex 84 (discusté dans le chapitre 4) et les déclarations répétées que la Constitution est en danger imminent rendent le point de vue politique de Andrews pratiquement indistinguable de celui associé aux milices. Seul son placement des extraterrestres au pinnacle des conspirations l'identifie comme un ufologue George C. Andrews, Extra-Terrestrials among Us, repr. (St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn, 1993 [orig. 1986]), pp. 166, 174—175, 229, 270. William R. Pabst, "Concentration Camp Plans for U.S. Citizens" (January 25, 1999)..

La publication de Extra-Terrestrials among Us marqua le début d'une période fiévreuse de conspirationnisme sur les ovnis, de 1986 à 1989. La plupart de la littérature de cette période fut basée sur le concept d'un appareil gouvernant secret, inconnu et inexplicable, pas dissemblable de la notion d'Andrews de la CIA vue comme un gouvernement dans le gouvernement. L'idée d'un gouvernement caché a reçu son dopant le plus significatif en 1987 avec la publication de ce qu'on appelle les documents du MJ-12.

Le MJ-12 — parfois désigné comme Majestic-12 ou Majic-12 — purports to be a document prepared for President Dwight Eisenhower, to which was attached a memo from President Harry Truman to his defense secretary, James Forrestal. Though made public in 1987, MJ-12 had a history that went back to 1984.

According to those involved, on December 11, 1984, Jaime Shandera, a film producer, received a package anonymously sent from Albuquerque, New Mexico, containing an undeveloped roll of film. He and UFO writer William Moore developed the film, which they said contained images of les documents du MJ-12. Although the documents were not made public until June 1987, when they were revealed at a UFO conference in Washington, D.C., UFO publications referred to them as early as 1985. Facsimile copies were reproduced in the British edition (and later the American edition) of Timothy Good's Above Top Secret, and have appeared elsewhere many times since Patton, Travels in Dreamland, p. 236. Stanton T. Friedman, Top Secret/Majic (New York: Marlowe, 1997), pp. 20—21, 56. Howe, An Alien Harvest, p. 157. The texts appear in Timothy Good, Above Top Secret: The Worldwide U.F.O. Cover-up (New York: William Morrow, 1988), pp. 544—551. The MJ-12 documents also appear in Friedman, Top Secret/Majic, pp. 222—229, and Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 165—172. Robert Alan Goldberg provides another description of the affair in Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 205—208..

Les documents du MJ-12 take the form of a briefing paper for the newly elected president, informing him of the existence of a supersecret group of the same name, allegedly established during the Truman administration, that consists of a dozen high military and scientific figures. The documents describe crashes of UFOs and the recovery of their occupants' bodies, which established them as of indisputably extraterrestrial origin.

Le MJ-12 polarisa immédiatement the UFO community into believers and skeptics. Among the skeptics was Jacques Vallee, who compared the incident to the activities of "Deep Throat" during the Watergate scandal. He suggested that the documents' sender was more likely interested in disinformation than in whistle-blowing, and implied that the documents were forged. Even more dismissive was Philip J. Klass, a longtime debunker of UFO hoaxes, who argued that the format and language of the documents pointed to forgery Jacques Vallee, Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception (New York: Ballantine, 1991), pp. 38—41. "Skeptics Attack" (July 1, 1997)..

In the years since les documents du MJ-12 became widely known, they have taken on a life of their own. Additional, related documents periodically appear, some as recently as 1998. Just as with the Kennedy assassination, MJ-12 has generated a cottage industry of commentators, authenticators, and critics. More broadly, MJ-12 laid the foundation for elaborate conspiracy theories by suggesting that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin, that the federal government was aware of them as early as the late 1940s, and that a secret bureaucracy had been created to study and control the situation. These claims allowed some ufologists to shift from observation of flying saucers to attempts to unravel alleged government machinations. The proliferation of documents du MJ-12 and theories not only identified the enemy as a segment of the government, but—inasmuch as this "secret government" was supposed to have hidden all relevant information—allowed great latitude in what might be "revealed." It mattered little whether publicly available evidence confirmed a claim; its author could always respond, The government knows it, but won't tell you For example, "Declassified Documents Confirm Recovery of Alien Craft and Bodies!" Nexus 6 (February—March 1999): 55—60..

The first such revelation occurred on December 29, 1987, a few months after the release of the documents du MJ-12. It took the form of a statement by John Lear, estranged son of inventor William Lear. Building upon the original documents du MJ-12, Lear constructs a far more elaborate edifice of intrigue and dissimulation. The Lear statement narrates the purported history of the relationship between the MJ-12 group and the extraterrestrials from 1947 to 1987. Although Lear cites few sources and offers no documentation, his statement, like many conspiracy narratives, is striking in its specificity.

The "horrible truth" to which MJ-12 was allegedly privy was so frightening that it drove at least one member—Secretary of Defense Forrestal—to suicide, his death disguised as the result of mental illness. According to Lear, the U.S. government began to hold meetings with the aliens on April 30, 1964, and by 1971 had negotiated a "deal." Its terms called for transfer of the aliens' technology to the government, in exchange for which the government would acquiesce in cattle mutilations and in the temporary abduction of American citizens. The abductees would be implanted with tracking and control devices, given posthypnotic suggestions, sometimes used as guinea pigs in genetic engineering and cross-breeding programs, and occasionally killed "Statement Released By: John Lear, December 29, 1987," William F. Hamilton III, Alien Magic (Glendale, Calif.: Uforces, 1989)..

Lear's text alleged that the "EBEs" (extraterrestrial biological entities) have a "genetic disorder" that has caused their digestive system to atrophy. They can survive only by ingesting biological substances obtained from cows or humans, or by creating an alien-human cross-bred race. This need led to the construction, under government auspices, of gigantic laboratories, not only to receive the aliens' technology but also to allow them to conduct biological experiments. These laboratories included Groom Lake, Nevada (better known in the ufology literature as Area 51 or Dreamland), and several in New Mexico, notably near the small town of Dulce. There, Lear claims, a joint CIA-alien laboratory provides facilities for unspeakable experiments on abducted subjects. Indeed, the aliens' behavior was so repugnant that in 1979 a subterranean battle supposedly took place between them and U.S. military personnel, in which sixty-six U.S. troops were killed Ibid..

The battle at Dulce was the beginning of a crisis for MJ-12, which gradually became aware of the "Grand Deception"—namely, the failure of the aliens to live up to their agreement. Their technology turned out to be only partially usable, they were abducting far more Americans than they had agreed to, and they were mistreating them. Faced with this situation, MJ-12 supposedly decided it was foolhardy to attempt immediate resistance and instead opted to develop weapons that might permit effective resistance at some later time. This weapons development program was the Strategic Defense Initiative, disguised as a Cold War project Ibid..

The Lear statement is brief—only seven printed pages—but dizzying in its claims. It elevates MJ-12 to a conspiratorial position nowhere hinted at in the original papers themselves. It implies a web of subsidiary conspiracies—to silence the news media and the academic community, and to mislead the UFO community as well. According to Lear, ufologist William Moore, the figure most identified with the MJ-12 papers, was probably himself a disinformation agent in the hire of MJ-12. The statement ends with a litany of rhetorical questions—a common device in conspiracy literature—all implying that the aliens' ultimate aim is the conquest of the earth, and that the conspirators in government, centered in MJ-12, are powerless to prevent it Ibid..

Although Lear did not employ the term New World Order, he managed to bring together a number of elements compatible with New World Order theory, including mind-control implants, a government within the government, and the kidnapping of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Lear's claim of having been a CIA pilot only added to the sense that this was an insider's view, notwithstanding the paucity of evidence A brief biographical statement precedes the text of Lear's statement..

If Lear had been alone in his bizarre allegations, they would have disappeared from view. But they were quickly taken up and amplified by a figure who was to prove central to the convergence of UFO and militia positions: Milton William Cooper, the most famous of UFO conspiracists. Cooper also had a military background, having served in the air force and later the navy, from which he was discharged in 1975. Between his discharge and his ufology debut, he apparently received some training and experience in photography as well as working at administrative jobs in vocational colleges. Best known in ufology circles for his bitter conflicts with rivals and critics, his conspiracist reputation rests primarily on a 1991 book, Behold a Pale Horse. While it may not be, as Cooper's Web site biography claims, the best selling underground book of all time, it is widely available and, apparently, widely read in ufology, conspiracy, and antigovernment circles Donna Kossy, Kooks (Portland, Ore.: Feral House, 1994), pp. 191—192. "William Cooper: A Short Biography", (August 29, 2000). Milton William Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse (Sedona, Ariz.: Light Technology, 1991)..

The Cooper Narrative

Cooper presented his own MJ-12 account in a series of related documents released between December 1988 and the end of 1989. Coming as they did immediately after both the MJ-12 release and the Lear statement, Cooper's claims caused a sensation in ufology circles. In a series of Internet postings and in an appearance at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) symposium in Las Vegas in July 1989, Cooper claimed to have seen an astonishing array of secret UFO documents during his naval career. His earliest accounts, from December 1988 and January 1989, closely parallel the MJ-12 papers and the Lear statement, yet they mention neither Moore nor Lear. Instead, Cooper claimed independent knowledge, asserting that in 1972, while in the navy, he was shown sets of documents and photographs dealing with UFOs, their extraterrestrial passengers, and relations between the extraterrestrials and the federal government Don Ecker, "Dead Man Talking," Fortean Times 155 (March 2002): 38..

The earliest statement of Cooper's views—"Top Secret/Majic"—was, according to Linda Moulton Howe, posted on the CompuServe and Paranet networks on December 18, 1988. It purports to summarize the material Cooper says he saw sixteen years previously. While the substance is closely related to the MJ-12 and Lear materials, the structure of Cooper's statement is quite different. It is neither a set of primary documents nor a narrative. Most of it consists of brief sections, often no more than a paragraph, each of which describes or defines a name or term Cooper said he encountered in the original navy material. Many are names of projects or operations allegedly initiated by the government to deal with extraterrestrials, giving the entire statement a decidedly bureaucratic tinge The December 18 statement is reproduced in Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 177—196..

Several details of Cooper's account are noteworthy, either in the manner in which they distance themselves from Moore and Lear or by suggesting new political implications. The latter are particularly important, because in the 1990s Cooper emerged as the most conspicuous link between UFO conspiracists and militia circles.

Les variations de Cooper, bien que minimes, augmentèrent la congruence entre les conspirations sur les ovnis et les histoires de plans circulant dans l'extrême-droite, bien qu'il n'y ait aucun élément explicite indiquant que Cooper était familier de la littérature de droite à l'époque. Dans sa version, le groupe MJ-12 est une partie relativement réduite d'une entreprise de gouvernement bien plus large visant à comprendre les extraterrestres, traiter avec eux et empêcher la connaissance d'atteindre le grand public. Sans surprise, la CIA est décrite comme centrale à l'enterprise, une déclaration également faite dans la description de la conspiration par Andrews en 1986. Les hélicoptères noirs font aussi une apparition, qui accompagneraient des vols d'essais d'appareils exrtaterrestres récupérés au-dessus du désert du Nevada. Bien qu'Andrews n'a pas spécifiquement mentionné d'hélicoptères noirs, il a bien rapporté des transformations dans lesquelles les soucoupes se changeaient en hélicoptères et vice versa Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 183, 184—185. Andrews, Extra-Terrestrials among Us, p. 184..

Cooper did not mention the Trilateral Commission, but he introduced motifs that were to make its future inclusion appear natural. He referred to teams called Delta that, he claimed, provide security for all projects related to the aliens and whose members in fact are the legendary men in black. Later on, others more explicitly identified this group with the well-known Delta Force counterterrorism organization. Cooper's references to Delta are closely related to his lengthy discussion of what he called "a trilateral insignia" allegedly found on alien spacecraft. He claimed that the Delta security guards wear red badges with a black triangle, similar to the "alien flag" of a triangle divided by parallel lines. His linking of the terms delta, trilateral, and men in black offered the possibility of conspiracy in which U.S. military forces, aliens, and the Trilateral Commission collude Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 185, 190—191. Milton William Cooper, "The Cooper Document: The Absolute True Information Regarding the Alien Presence on Earth" (1989), posted October 29, 1997 (November 6, 1997); capitalization in original..

Like Lear, Cooper alleged that the aliens came to Earth not out of mere curiosity but because some biological flaw made them dependent on substances, including blood, that could be obtained from human and animal bodies. According to Cooper, they might have evolved from plants, because they use chlorophyll to convert food into energy and excrete waste products through the skin. How this mechanism related to the need for human and animal blood was not explained Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 187—188..

In early 1989, Cooper issued a revised version of this document. It has since been frequently posted on the Internet. Not all versions, however, are identical. As is often the case with Internet documents, there is no way to determine definitively if changes have been made since the date the document bears There are some discrepancies in dates for Cooper material between Hamilton, Alien Magic, and Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 290—291..

Notwithstanding these difficulties, the later Cooper document is interesting in its own right. In the first place, Cooper attributed the differences between this and the earlier version to his having undergone "hypnotic regression in order to make the information as accurate as possible." He did not indicate who performed the hypnosis, when, or under what conditions. The second version also contains a much-elaborated description of the MJ-12 group itself. It allegedly consists of the twelve senior members of a thirty-two-member secret society called the Jason Society, which was "commissioned" by President Eisenhower to "find the truth of the alien question" Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 292—294..

Identifying a complete and accurate text of the second Cooper document is difficult. Howe's published version contains elisions. An Internet version is considerably longer and places material in a somewhat different order. It is also more overtly political, with references to the Kennedy assassination, the Rockefeller family, black helicopters, and the trilateral insignia; and it charges that the activities described violate the Constitution, as well as "the human rights of every citizen of the world." This longer text may well have been written as early as the printed one (i.e., January 10, 1989), but the technology of the Internet makes the date impossible to verify Cooper, "The Cooper Document.".

Cooper's claims in the second document regarding abductee implants and concentration camps were equally sweeping. One in every forty Americans has allegedly been implanted, which would amount to several million individuals. The concentration camps are part of a plan in which, under the pretext of a terrorist nuclear threat, martial law would be declared and the media nationalized Howe, An Alien Harvest, pp. 297—298..

Cooper's next text, dated May 23, 1989, was an Internet document made public at a UFO symposium in Las Vegas on July 2 of that year. It subsequently formed part of a chapter in Behold a Pale Horse. Here, too, the political element was conspicuously present: the CIA was created to deal with the alien threat, Secretary of Defense Forrestal was an abductee, and the presidents were kept in ignorance Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse, p. 198..

Up to this point, Cooper had suggested little in the way of political action beyond recommending that Congress be informed. Sometime in 1989, however, he associated himself with an anonymous document labeled "Petition to Indict." In his undated accompanying letter, Cooper spoke of "Many other signatures . . . on the original copy," presumably in addition to his own. He begged Congress to act on the petition, but "not to trust any other government agency with these matters because this conspiracy runs deep within the government" Letter from Milton William Cooper, published in Hamilton, Alien Magic, unpaginated section..

The "Petition to Indict," which runs somewhat more than four typed pages, appears in some places to be addressed simply to "the government," at others more specifically to Congress. It charges that "the government" entered into "a secret treaty with an Alien Nation" in violation of the Constitution. In addition to repeating many of the points already made by Lear and Cooper, it charges that the resources to fund secret, alien-related projects came from CIA involvement in the international drug trade "Petition to Indict," published in Hamilton, Alien Magic, unpaginated section..

The petition is also significant for its lengthy references to the involvement of then-president George H.W. Bush. Calling Bush "the most powerful and dangerous criminal in the history of the world," the petition charges that Bush's involvement in the international drug trade went back to his days in the oil business and continued throughout his tenure as CIA director. Bush's associations with Skull and Bones and the Trilateral Commission have made him a favorite target of conspiracy theorists Ibid..

Because the petition asks full disclosure of government plots by May 30, 1989, it can reasonably be dated to early that year, that is to say, roughly contemporaneous with the revised version of the Cooper document. The petition is vague about what might happen if no government action is taken on its charges. But it warns that failure to act will make every member of the House and Senate "accessories to the conspiracy and the crimes outlined in this document," and the signatories "swear on the Constitution" to bring "all guilty parties . . . to justice." How they might do this is not specified Ibid..

The "Petition to Indict" bears some similarities to the "Constructive Notices" sent in 1986 to a judge and to Internal Revenue Service personnel in Nevada. The "Constructive Notices" were purported indictments issued by the Committee of the States, an entity created by Christian Identity preacher and tax protestor William Potter Gale. The "Constructive Notices" threatened the lives of the recipients, and in October 1987, Gale and his associates were tried and convicted of interfering in the administration of the tax laws. In retrospect, it can be seen that the Committee of the States affair anticipated such developments as so-called common-law courts among antigovernment groups in the 1990s. There is no direct evidence that Cooper or the anonymous drafter or drafters of the "Petition to Indict" were familiar with Gale's activities. Nonetheless, like the Committee of the States and many subsequent examples of right-wing shadow legal institutions, the petition implies the authority to bring malefactors to justice if formal legal institutions do not For a detailed, though partisan, treatment of Gale, see Cheri Seymour, Committee of the States: Inside the Radical Right (Mariposa, Calif.: Camden Place Communications, 1991). Michael Barkun, Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement, rev. ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), p. 208..

By the late 1990s, Cooper had moved away from the ufology community, where he had first appeared a decade earlier, to the subculture of militias and other antigovernment groups. His Web site circulated conspiracist versions of the Oklahoma City bombing, and he spoke in the name of a shadowy organization called the Second Continental Army of the Republic (Militia), about which little is known. As Gale had, Cooper also took on the Internal Revenue Service Milton William Cooper, "The Plot Thickens," (June 30, 1998). Idem, "In Search of . . . Mail Digest, May 11, 1997", (November 11, 1997)..

Cooper became convinced that he had been targeted by "The Illuminati Socialist President of the United States of America, William Jefferson Clinton" as well as "by the bogus and unconstitutional Internal Revenue Service." His conflict with the latter resulted in an arrest warrant issued in July 1998. As of fall 2000, it still had not been executed, which resulted in Cooper's being named a "major fugitive" by the U.S. Marshals Service. The government's reluctance to arrest Cooper was apparently a reflection of his conflict-laden rhetoric: "We are formed as the Constitutional and Lawful unorganized Militia of the State of Arizona and the united [sic] States of America. . . . By invading the Sovereign jurisdiction of the State of Arizona to attack the Citizens of the State of Arizona the United States has declared war upon the Citizens of the Several States of the Union. . . . We have drawn our line in the sand." The warrant was never served, because Cooper was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies in November 2001 as a result of an incident unrelated to his tax problems. This bizarre conclusion to a strange life is described more fully in chapter 10 For Cooper's quotation, see "Cooper Family Targeted by Feds", (August 29, 2000). "USMS Major Fugitive Cases", (August 30, 2000)..

Cooper was not the only figure in the UFO subculture who was elaborating politically charged conspiracy theories by the end of the 1980s. The year 1989 marked the beginning of the activities of John Grace, also known as Val Germann and Val (or Valdamar) Valerian. Grace was an air force enlisted man stationed at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, where he apparently came into contact with Lear. About 1988, Grace-Valerian founded the Nevada Aerial Research Group in Las Vegas, but soon relocated it to Yelm, Washington, under the name Leading Edge Research Group. He has been an extraordinarily prolific writer and publisher, claiming to have issued tens of thousands of pages. His central works are the massive, ongoing series of Matrix volumes, of which at least six have appeared, and the serial publication The Leading Edge "Unofficial Link Page for John Grace", (September 16, 1998). "Animal Mutilations and UFOs," p. 34. Valdamar Valerian, Matrix II: The Abduction and Manipulation of Humans Using Advanced Technology, 3d ed. (Yelm, Wash.: Leading Edge Research Group, 1990—1991). Idem, Matrix III: The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological and Electromagnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness (Yelm, Wash.: Leading Edge Research Group, 1992)..

It is impossible to summarize Valerian's system. Indeed, it may well be one of the most complex superconspiracy theories ever constructed. Scarcely any major organization or institution escapes inclusion. One diagrammatic representation requires six pages to lay out the connections among elements of the plot, including the Gestapo, the Mafia, and the Wobblies (IWW). Valerian ranges not only across the usual UFO and conspiracist terrain but across politics, religion, science, and history. He clearly regards his system not merely as an explanation of flying saucers or contemporary politics but as a synoptic vision of all knowledge Valerian, Matrix III, vol. 1, pp. 632—637..

Cooper edged gradually toward more ambitious conspiratorial schemes, but even at his most sweeping he never sought to cover areas such as the sciences (about which, in fact, he claimed ignorance). Valerian, by contrast, takes conspiracism to its logical conclusion by suggesting that all true knowledge has been deliberately hidden, and that attempts to reveal it in one area will inevitably reveal the entire structure, if only one digs widely and deeply enough. Anything that is available and obvious is false, while what is hidden has to be true; its hiddenness can have occurred only because those who truly know do not wish it to be revealed. As Valerian puts it, "As a result of the suppression and compartmentalization of information, cultures have been fragmented into several distinct groups and mind sets which both co-exist and oppose each other." He clearly believes that he has discovered the suppressed synthesis Valerian, Matrix II, p. v..

Leading Edge's location, Yelm, Washington, is also the home of J.Z. Knight, a channeler who claims to be the medium transmitting the words of a 35,000-year-old warrior named Ramtha. The Ramtha School of Enlightenment in Yelm was founded in 1988 or 1989, about the time Valerian arrived. There appear to be no direct links between Valerian's organization and Knight's, but they do share common themes. Ramtha asserts that the UFOs carry aliens who are "your higher brothers." Valerian, like Knight, employs the entity terminology standard in channeling circles, and he includes favorable material about Ramtha in the Matrix volumes. There are some differences: for instance, like many conspiracy-minded ufologists, Valerian believes that there are many alien races, some of which are malevolent. For their part, Knight and Ramtha identify evil with a conspiracy of international bankers who include the Rothschilds and the Federal Reserve. The Ramtha School's book service sells works by Cooper, David Icke, and Jim Keith, and the Ramtha newsletter has published lengthy interviews with Mark Phillips and Cathy O'Brien, with their tales of CIA mind-controlled sex slaves. Notwithstanding the lack of formal connections, Valerian and Knight clearly seem to tap into the same cultic milieu J. Gordon Melton, Finding Enlightenment: Ramtha's School of Ancient Wisdom (Hillsboro, Ore.: Beyond Words, 1998), pp. 70—71. Idem, "Ramtha's School of Enlightenment," in The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions, ed. James R. Lewis, 2d ed. (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus, 2002), pp. 596—600. "Ramtha's School of Enlightenment", (January 21, 1999). Steven Lee Weinberg, Carol Wright, and John Clancy, eds., Ramtha Intensive: Change, the Days to Come (Eastsound, Wash.: Sovereignty, 1987). Valerian, Matrix II, p. i. Idem, Matrix III, vol. 1, pp. 475—446. Melton, Finding Enlightenment, p. 131. "Conspiracies" (September 21, 2000). "Cathy O'Brien", The Golden Thread Newspaper (November 1999), (September 21, 2000)..

A partir du début des années 1990s, par conséquent, au moins une partie de la littérature ufologique est passée par plusieurs transformations. Elle est devenue intensément politisée. Elle insista sur le fait que des éléments puissants au gouvernement U.S. étaient en collaboration continue avec une race extraterrestre maléfique. Et elle prétendait que pour protéger cette information, le gouvernement secret était préparé à détruire les libertés américaines. De 1986 jusqu'à 1990 à peu près, les activités de Andrews, Lear, Cooper et Valerian créèrent une forme conspirationniste de la spéculation sur les ovnis, que Jerome Clark désigne comme le "côté sombre" de l'ufologie "Animal Mutilations and UFOs," p. 33..

Much of this material was either strikingly similar to or compatible with the conspiracy ideas simultaneously circulating in the militia and militant antigovernment subculture. The mythology of concentration camps, secret government security forces, wholesale violation of the Constitution, and control of the state by a hidden elite are themes prominent in both domains. Yet any link between them in the 1980s appears circumstantial. The UFO conspiracists were especially active in the West, where the extreme right was particularly evident; even so, no evidence exists at this time of direct contact between them. But convergent ideas are bound to meet, and as the next chapter shows, this occurred in the early 1990s.