One thing I have said many a time here on Strange Horizons is that UFO lore has great stories. As a science fiction writer, I'm rather envious that I didn't come up with a few of them myself. But in the end, that is all they are: stories.
An example of this, to my way of thinking, is the story of a secret meeting that took place between President Eisenhower and aliens on February 20th, 1954. Like any good story, this one has a bit of fact woven into it. Let's start with those.
All records support the fact that between February 17th and 24th, President Eisenhower took an impromptu vacation to Palm Springs, California. Another surprising fact is that on the evening of the 20th, the President actually disappeared. Rumors spread quickly that Ike was either dead or gravely ill. The White House press secretary called an emergency conference and informed reporters that the President had broken a crown on his tooth and needed to see the dentist. Ike showed up for church early the next morning and everybody seemed to forget about it.
Then over the years...suspicion set in. Why did Eisenhower take a sudden vacation when he had been on vacation just the week before? There was only one dentist in the area to do the crown work. That dentist and his wife were welcomed by the President the following evening for a steak dinner. Yet that dentist's widow cannot recall the date of the meeting nor any specifics of her husband's time with the President in the chair. Lastly, there is an absence of any record of dental work for that weekend in the records at the Eisenhower Library.
All in all, none of this is anywhere near enough to constitute involvement with aliens. Then UFO researchers such as Michael Salla and Art Campbell began to relate testimonies they had gathered from US Air Force airmen stationed at Edwards Air Force Base on the night of February 20th, 1954. Versions of the story from here on out are many, but most of them boil down to the rumor that President Eisenhower met with members of the Grey race of aliens that night in a hangar on the base.
One version maintains that this was not Eisenhower's first diplomatic effort with extraterrestrials. There are allegations that he and Pentagon officials met with members of the "Nordic" race, aliens that look just like us but with perfect features, blue eyes, and blond hair. These aliens wanted diplomatic relations with us, but demanded that we cease destroying our environment and that we dismantle all nuclear weapons. We didn't like that last part, the Nordics refused to give us any technology, so the whole thing went off the rails. That's when we called a meeting with the Greys.
Col. Philip Corso, author of The Day After Roswell with Dr. Bill Birnes, alludes to the idea that a secret, "negotiated surrender" took place that night with the aliens. We knew we could not defeat the Greys militarily, so we brokered a deal. They would give us advanced technology, we would allow them to abduct our people and mutilate our cattle. In plainer language: they sold us out. Michael Salla asserts that this came to be called the Greada Treaty. Shocker of shockers, we didn't get nearly the amount of advanced technology that we wanted and the aliens abducted far more people than they originally claimed they would.
Any other juicy tidbits from the supposed meeting? Well, I like the rumor about the exploding heads. Supposedly, the Greys warned the Air Force not to have any armed guards within a defined perimeter of their persons as they feared adverse reactions with the ammunition the MPs carried. Naturally, the military ignored this warning. Once the MPs crossed the perimeter, the aliens sent out a force (possibly telekinetic) that caused the guards' heads to burst.
This meeting also tidily (but not substantially) explains the onset of the alien abduction phenomena. Prior to this date, alleged encounters with ETs were mostly said to be of the "Space Brother" variety. Someone meets a friendly, Nordic alien, they get a ride in a saucer, they get a warning about what we're doing to our world, and then they're dropped off back home, safe and sound. If the Nordics were told to get lost by our leaders who then jumped in with the Greys, then the abrupt rise of what we now typically call an "alien" with their cold, nigh sadistic demeanor makes sense. It would also explain Gen. MacArthur's 1955 address wherein he warned of "interplanetary war."
Do I believe that our government is suppressing knowledge of alien or at least nonhuman contact? It should be obvious by now that I do. Do I believe that there is a sort of clandestine agreement between them? It wouldn't surprise me, even if it is just on the most basic of levels. But did the 1954 meeting with Ike happen? There's no way to say for sure. In fact, the only way to affirm it would be to have solid evidence and there really isn't any to support it right now. So it remains only a story.
For a very balanced and well-researched look at this alleged incident, click here to read William Moore.
For an interview with Art Campbell on the subject, click here.
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