Is There Really A Secret Space Program?
Gary McKinnon, NASA & What We're Not Being Told
Gary McKinnon is a Scottish systems administrator and hacker who was accused in 2002 of perpetrating the "biggest military computer hack of all time." In 2005 the story took an unexpected twist when in an interview with Jon Ronson, McKinnon claimed that while hacking into the US space command he discovered "lists of officers’ names" under the tantalising heading "Non-Terrestrial Officers" as well as records of "fleet-to-fleet transfers" and even "a list of ship names" - as he felt there was a UFO cover up.
Rather than extraterrestrials, though, the computer hacker told the Guardian columnist that he thought he had found evidence of a secret space program of some kind. When Ronson asked McKinnon "The Americans have a secret spaceship?" McKinnon answering, "That's what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe."
McKinnon’s suggestion that NASA could just be a cover for a much more advanced and deeply clandestine or "black" space program might sound like just another conspiracy theory but McKinnon isn’t the first to advocate such a hypotheses. The concept of a secret space program first gaining some prominence in 1977 when the UK’s Anglia Television (now ITV Anglia) broadcast the now infamous Orson Welles War of the Worlds-style hoax documentary: Alternative 3. The plot, of which, revolved around a global conspiracy to resettle missing scientists onto the Moon and Mars in preparation for an imminent environmental cataclysm.
While Alternative 3 is obviously science fiction. Something the lengthy interview with a fictitious Moon walking Apollo astronaut "Bob Grodin" (played by Shane Rimmer) as well as the list of programme credits run at the end should make clear. It is at least interesting that today climatologists are alarmingly forecasting exactly the kind catastrophic global warming predicted in the mock documentary. A fact which has led to much speculation on the world wide web that the April Fools hoax might have started out as a genuine investigation before having the plug pulled by sinister dark forces … perhaps the same forces calling for the extradition of Gary McKinnon.
In Jim Marrs’ Alien Agenda: Investigating the Extraterrestrial Presence Among Us, the underground bestselling author briefly considered the Alternative 3 controversy. Marrs writing in Alien Agenda of respected UFO investigator and television documentary filmmaker Linda Mouton Howe’s involvement in investigating the controversial docudrama:
"I was curious," Howe said, "and I had a discussion with a BBC producer about it. I was told that the program began as a BBC documentary on the so-called British 'brain drain' of the 1970s. You might remember that a large number of British scientists were leaving, reportedly for better-paying jobs in America. I was told that the program never came off because the BBC could not locate any of the scientists once they left Britain. It was all very odd. It was like they disappeared."
Further, Marrs also writes in Alien Agenda that "Howe said writers Ambrose and Miles wrote a script for Alternative 3 based on real interviews conducted by the BBC." UFO author Nick Redfern wasn’t convinced of this, though. When I asked the paranormal investigator about McKinnon’s comments in a 2008 questions and answers, Redfern replying:
"Non-Terrestrial Officers is of course a provocative term that conjures up all sorts of imagery. I think, however, that like much of Ufology, we have a few fragments of a story with what McKinnon found. But what the term might mean is very much down to personal interpretation."
Other researchers, however, have been less sceptical about the possibility of a secret space program. Best selling author Timothy Good even going as far as suggesting an extraterrestrial connection: "In addition to having reverse engineered some recovered alien vehicles, I believe that we’ve been given highly advanced technology – including spacecraft – by certain allied extraterrestrials. As Ben Rich stated at the University of California School of Engineering in 1993: 'We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects ... and it would take an Act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity.'"
And Good is not alone. Author of UFOs and the National Security State, Richard Dolan, has also spoken out about the possibility of such a covert program indeed existing. Initially sceptical, the Oxford educated Historian writing that: "Slowly, by degrees, I have come to the opinion that there is a secret space program." According to Dolan he was told by an individual with "impressive scientific and intelligence credentials" that he should not dismiss the anomalies located in the Cydonia region of Mars, such as the famous 'Face' and 'City' photographed by NASA’s Viking 1 Orbiter in 1976, and that there were in fact many people within the classified world who were seriously interested in studying these anomalies further:
"That’s when I realized, very concretely, that the notion of space anomalies was indeed a serious topic. I began to consider: if there is covert interest in the anomalies on Mars, would there be a covert space program to investigate? To this day, I don’t know the answer with certainty, but over the years I have encountered no shortage of quiet, serious-minded people who tell me of their knowledge that there is such a covert program. One component of this, it appears, has to do with the Moon. Are there bases on the far side of the Moon? Again, I do not know for sure, but I cannot rule it out. More than once, people I consider to be informed insiders have steered me in this direction."
However, it is not just the opinions of anonymous insiders about the possibilities of alien architecture on Mars and perhaps even the Moon that interests Dolan:
"There is another reason to suppose the existence of an advanced, clandestine space program. An enormous amount of video of space missions has been downloaded and is available for anyone to see. These include missions of NASA, the European Space Agency, Russia, and China. Much of this was downloaded and made available by a gentleman named Jeff Challender, who unfortunately died in 2007. Jeff spent an enormous part of his life downloading and reviewing – very carefully – video recordings of those missions. There can be no denying that there has been a great deal of activity in Earth’s orbit. Much of what was recorded undoubtedly has conventional explanations. But, frankly, many events do not offer easy explanations. I firmly believe there is something unusual going on in Earth’s orbit. Fortunately, after Jeff’s death, I was able to upload his entire site and attach it to my own. His site, known as Project Prove, now has a permanent home at keyholepublishing.com."
This cocktail of tempting space anomalies on the one hand and video evidence of covert activity in space on the other, does seem to add up to good grounds for suspecting a covert space program as Dolan suggests. There is only one problem with all this speculation, though, any space program along the lines of Alternative 3 or envisioned by Dolan with bases on the Moon would cost trillions of dollars, surely there would be evidence of such incredible spending? The short answer is yes, and yes there is evidence of such incredible spending. In 2001, at the National Press Club, US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld admitted to the media that amazingly "According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." What more, this took place somewhat suspiciously on September 10, the eve of the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.