John Podesta's greatest regret - government silence on UFOs

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In summary, John Podesta is an outgoing counselor to President Barack Obama, and has been selected to be a key member of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team, likely campaign manager. He recently announced that his greatest regret is keeping America in the dark on UFO's. This seems to suggest that he is not fully rational, and that he may not be the best candidate to manage Hillary Clinton's campaign.
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John Podesta is an outgoing counselor to President Barack Obama, and has been selected to be a key member of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team, likely campaign manager. He recently announced that his greatest regret is keeping America in the dark on UFO's. What, if anything, does this tell us about the sanity, wisdom and judgment of Podesta, Obama, and Hillary Clinton?

http://news.yahoo.com/outgoing-obam...america-in-the-dark-about-ufos-234149498.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...t-regret-2014-failure-disclose-UFO-files.html

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-%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fmedia.zenfs.com%2Fen_us%2FNews%2Fap_webfeeds%2F5a71305c6964d033690f6a706700f4e9.jpg

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, Counselor to the President John Podesta speaks in Washington, Wednesday, …

Outgoing senior Obama adviser John Podesta reflected on his latest White House stint Friday, listing his favorite moments and biggest regrets from the past year. Chief among them: depriving the American people of the truth about UFOs.

1. Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files. #thetruthisstilloutthere cc: @NYTimesDowd

— John Podesta (@Podesta44) February 13, 2015
Podesta’s longtime fascination with UFOs is well-documented, as his brief political hiatus following four years as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff freed him up to pursue his otherworldly passion.

At a 2002 press conference organized by the Coalition for Freedom of Information, Podesta spoke on the importance of disclosing government UFO investigations to the public.

“It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there,” he said. “We ought to do it, really, because it’s right. We ought to do it, quite frankly, because the American people can handle the truth. And we ought to do it because it’s the law.”


Following Podesta’s tweet, Friday, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...as-not-securing-the-disclosure-of-ufo-files/ recalled an exchange one of its reporters had with Podesta in 2007. Karen Tumulty had asked Podesta about reports that the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, had been bombarded with Freedom of Information Act Requests specifically seeking email correspondence to and from the former chief of staff including terms like “X-Files” and “Area 51.” Podesta’s response, through a spokesperson, was “The truth is out there,” the tagline for the TV show “The X-Files” of which Podesta was known to be a fan.

A 2010 editorial in http://www.columbiatribune.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/podesta-s-reversal-on-ufos-is-mystifying/article_d37bd860-34f1-53d4-acba-fe2c9e90199b.html disparaged reports that Podesta had asked an outspoken UFO photographer to stop discussing his knowledge of extraterrestrial activities in public.

“One wonders why Podesta would do such a radical reversal, given his former plea for UFO disclosure,” the editorial implored.

But contrary to the Columbia Tribune’s concerns, Podesta had clearly not abandoned the cause. He wrote an introduction to the 2010 book “UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record.”

Unfortunately, Podesta will likely have little time to fill out FOIA requests in his new job at Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Perhaps, as his tweet suggests, he’s passing the torch to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
 
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  • #2
Well, it's certainly not a great sign, but crackpottery is a disease that can remain remarkably focused/compartmentalized. I read a book called "Among the Truthers" and the guy interviewed dozens of them who all were otherwise intelligent, functional members of society.
 
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  • #3
russ_watters said:
all were otherwise intelligent, functional members of society.
According to the summary in Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Among_the_Truthers , maybe not so functional, and certainly not productive members of society. I may have to read it just to satisfy my own curiosity.
 
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  • #4
Starting Monday, March 2, the Science Channel will run marathon showings of close encounters and NASA's unexplained files.
 
  • #5
Dotini said:
Starting Monday, March 2, the Science Channel will run marathon showings of close encounters and NASA's unexplained files.
I'm watching and recording this series, some of them 2015 dated, to see if anything new is disclosed. So far they are reviewing many famous cases with the benefit of the best skeptics and latest research. In general, of the thousands of cases reported annually, they allow for 5% unexplained. Some of the famous cases now seem adequately explained, but others are not.

Meanwhile, it seems the Veterans Administration has awarded a medical disability to a veteran said to have suffered radiation exposure in the celebrated Rendlesham Forest incident. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/british-ufo-encounter-gave-heart-5266589
 
  • #6
It just goes to show you there's cranks and whackjobs all the way to the top.

So he's got a weird, eclectic interest that doesn't affect his job. Given the number of PF forumgoers who are professional engineers or scientists, I think it's safe to say we've all known a few otherwise totally functional people who have some truly bugnuts insane ideas that they mostly keep to themselves.

Contrast this to the Republican party, in which you can unironically say that you think that angels are real and the Earth is 6000 years old and in some states have that considered a good thing for your viability as a candidate and anyone who says otherwise is part of a conspiracy to annihilate your religious beliefs. A fantasy about aliens visiting Earth is downright playful by comparison.
 
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  • #8
A few weeks ago, Barack Obama was interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, who asked him some questions about UFO disclosure.
 
  • #9
jack476 said:
It just goes to show you there's cranks and whackjobs all the way to the top.

So he's got a weird, eclectic interest that doesn't affect his job. Given the number of PF forumgoers who are professional engineers or scientists, I think it's safe to say we've all known a few otherwise totally functional people who have some truly bugnuts insane ideas that they mostly keep to themselves.

Contrast this to the Republican party, in which you can unironically say that you think that angels are real and the Earth is 6000 years old and in some states have that considered a good thing for your viability as a candidate and anyone who says otherwise is part of a conspiracy to annihilate your religious beliefs. A fantasy about aliens visiting Earth is downright playful by comparison.

I am left-of-center (not extremely so, though) myself, but, to be fair, you have the anti-vax people, the "Wiccan" crowd , and the far-out radical feminists that make undocumented claims on the far left.
 
  • #10
jack476 said:
It just goes to show you there's cranks and whackjobs all the way to the top.
So he's got a weird, eclectic interest that doesn't affect his job. .
Meet pilot Andrew Danziger, who flew President Obama’s campaign plane in 2008 has come out to reveal that he has seen a UFO during flight, and says that nearly all pilots believe UFOs are real. A 28-year airline veteran, with experience in turboprops and Boeing aircraft, an international 757/767 captain for the last 14 years.
article-captain-column.jpg

Captain Andy talks with the Daily News about his encounter with a UFO.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/guest-column-pilots-ufos-article-1.2177099

http://firsttoknow.com/former-obama-pilot-claims-he-encountered-ufo-during-flight/
 
  • #11
  • #12
Well I guess this I the perfect topic in which to ask my question... I couldn't quickly identify another subforum where to do it.

Now this might be like a rock hitting a window...but i guess you've had it coming by labeling the entire field as " crack pottery".

Was Paul R. Hill a crackpott ? Is his book "Unconventional flying object" a "crackpottery" book?
Cause if you take his beliefs serious, his analysis serious, his examples serious... then you arrive at the unsurmountable (ha in your face) conclusions that he arrived at: UFOs (UFO UFOs, not misidentified balloons/etc) are of extraterrestrial origin and their utilize a yet unknown (perhaps only publicly) repulsive field of force.

I presume everyone knows who Paul R. Hill was?
Does anyone dare label him and his analysis and methodology as "crackpottery'?
If not, then his book's conclusion is valid.
Which is certainly a wake up call for the sceptics.
 
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  • #13
IVAN__V said:
Cause if you take his beliefs serious, his analysis serious, his examples serious... then you arrive at the unsurmountable (ha in your face) conclusions that he arrived at: UFOs (UFO UFOs, not misidentified balloons/etc) are of extraterrestrial origin and their utilize a yet unknown (perhaps only publicly) repulsive field of force.
.
I would label this as crack-pottery, yes, and of the conspiracy theory sort at that.

And just FYI, "unsurmountable" is not a word. Insurmountable is what you meant.
 
  • #14
IVAN__V said:
Was Paul R. Hill a crackpott ? Is his book "Unconventional flying object" a "crackpottery" book?

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

Cause if you take his beliefs serious, his analysis serious, his examples serious... then you arrive at the unsurmountable (ha in your face) conclusions that he arrived at: UFOs (UFO UFOs, not misidentified balloons/etc) are of extraterrestrial origin and their utilize a yet unknown (perhaps only publicly) repulsive field of force.

"Well, if you just assume that he's right, then you reach the conclusion that he's clearly right!"

I presume everyone knows who Paul R. Hill was?
Does anyone dare label him and his analysis and methodology as "crackpottery'?

Let me give you another example. Linus Pauling was one of only 4 people to win more than one Nobel Prize. We have biochemistry as we know it today in large part because of his work. However, in his later years, he became very involved with alternative medicine, despite that the claims of the forms of alternative medicine he was involved with have repeatedly been refuted. The fact that Linus Pauling was an incredibly successful chemist does not validate everything he says. The same is true for any other scientific who makes such an extraordinary claim: it's not the scientist's credentials or accomplishments that matter, it's whether the claim is supported by evidence. In order to support the claim that extraterrestrials have visited the Earth in the past, one has to claim that the lack of conclusive evidence is the result of a truly vast conspiracy for which there is also no evidence.

And do keep in mind that the conspirators in question, ie the US government, have honestly just a really terrible track record when it comes to keeping secrets.
 
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  • #15
This is a good thread in which to link to an essay by skeptic/debunker Michael Shermer. This essay is a preface he wrote to the 2nd edition of his book, Why People Believe Weird Things in which he changes focus to specifically address why smart people believe weird things:
http://www.michaelshermer.com/weird-things/excerpt/

Shermer said:
It is a given assumption in the skeptical movement — elevated to a maxim really — that intelligence and education serve as an impenetrable prophylactic against the flim flam that we assume the unintelligent and uneducated masses swallow with credulity...

...but are the cognitive elite protected against the nonsense that passes for sense in our culture? Is flapdoodle the fodder for only fools? The answer is no. The question is why?

Cutting to the chase (it's a long article) Shermer asserts that no one believes what they believe for sound, rational reasons. Instead:

Shermer said:
...most of us most of the time come to our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning (that, presumably, smart people are better at employing). Rather, such variables as genetic predispositions, parental predilections, sibling influences, peer pressures, educational experiences, and life impressions all shape the personality preferences and emotional inclinations that, in conjunction with numerous social and cultural influences, lead us to make certain belief choices. Rarely do any of us sit down before a table of facts, weigh them pro and con, and choose the most logical and rational belief, regardless of what we previously believed. Instead, the facts of the world come to us through the colored filters of the theories, hypotheses, hunches, biases, and prejudices we have accumulated through our lifetime. We then sort through the body of data and select those most confirming what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those that are disconfirming.

All of us do this, of course, but smart people are better at it through both talent and training. Some beliefs really are more logical, rational, and supported by the evidence than others, of course, but it is not my purpose here to judge the validity of beliefs; rather, I am interested in the question of how we came to them in the first place, and how we hold on to them in the face of either no evidence or contradictory evidence.
His answer to the question in the first quote:
Shermer said:
this is what I call the Hard Question: why do smart people believe weird things? My Easy Answer will seem somewhat paradoxical at first: Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.
 
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  • #16
When did we start selecting our leaders for their intelligence?

I thought we picked the one who could make the craziest things seem plausible. UFOs are pretty tame by presidential standards.
 
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  • #17
Be Careful with what you pronounce or declare as "crackpottery" many have become validated over the years.

http://www.amasci.com/weird/vindac.html

Will this? Who knows,...its one of those things that we can not predict. BUT SETI and other funded scientific research may prove that these
"crackpots" were right all along one day.
 
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  • #18
gjonesy said:
Be Careful with what you pronounce or declare as "crackpottery" many have become validated over the years.

http://www.amasci.com/weird/vindac.html

Will this? Who knows,...its one of those things that we can not predict. BUT SETI and other funded scientific research may prove that these
"crackpots" were right all along one day.
You have to be a believer in the possibility of MASSIVE conspiracies on top of a stunning lack of actual evidence to think so and to me that's all just nonsensical.
 
  • #19
phinds said:
You have to be a believer in the possibility of MASSIVE conspiracies on top of a stunning lack of actual evidence to think so and to me that's all just nonsensical.

How so? Life happened here could it not have happened elsewhere? SETI and other researchers seem to think there is a possibility. Otherwise why spend the money on looking? I'm not a supporter and I'm not a skeptic either. But I also wouldn't simply label them crackpots either, lest I be proven wrong.
 
  • #20
I'd like to respectfully remind everyone that the subject of this thread is John Podesta, the Clinton campaign and what they and the US government says and does with respect to UFO disclosure and government witness testimony without fear of prosecution and/or loss of employment or pension. It is NOT about your opinion of extraterrestrial life and UFOs.

Please consider carefully before you post, and remind yourself that one misstep on your part will see this (my) thread terminated.
 
  • #21
Dotini said:
Starting Monday, March 2, the Science Channel will run marathon showings of close encounters and NASA's unexplained files.
I apologize, but it seems that the thread took a turn away from "John Podesta" right around post #4 well actually post #2 but who's counting. :smile:
 
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  • #22
gjonesy said:
How so? Life happened here could it not have happened elsewhere? SETI and other researchers seem to think there is a possibility. Otherwise why spend the money on looking? I'm not a supporter and I'm not a skeptic either. But I also wouldn't simply label them crackpots either, lest I be proven wrong.
We are not talking about the existence of life elsewhere in the galaxy, we are talking about it having come HERE. Dotini is right, let's get back to the original topic. If you want to discuss alien conspiracy theories, start a new thread.
 
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  • #23
phinds said:
We are not talking about the existence of life elsewhere in the galaxy, we are talking about it having come HERE. Dotini is right, let's get back to the original topic. If you want to discuss alien conspiracy theories, start a new thread.

No thank you, as I stated I have no opinion either way. I just hate to see labels placed upon people (religious, gender, age, race, ect) especially if there isn't evidence to the contrary. And as you pointed out there is none.
 
  • #24
Getting back on the topic of John Podesta, is it his competency in question over his personal belief? It appears that politically it hasn't made any difference. Keep in mind he's been in a high ranking government position, he has expressed regret over non disclosure of "evidence" the government hasn't released. That in it and of itself should tell you something.

Just saying..lol
 
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  • #25
Silicon Waffle liked my post. She seems to be a fan of presidents.

Politicians and crackpottery go hand in hand. It's hard to discuss one without the other.
 
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  • #26
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2016-featured-story-archive/how-to-investigate-a-flying-saucer.html

"10 Tips When Investigating a Flying Saucer:"

https://www.cia.gov/news-information/blog/2016

The truth is somewhere.
 
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  • #27
jack476 said:
In order to support the claim that extraterrestrials have visited the Earth in the past, one has to claim that the lack of conclusive evidence is the result of a truly vast conspiracy for which there is also no evidence.

And do keep in mind that the conspirators in question, ie the US government, have honestly just a really terrible track record when it comes to keeping secrets.

UFO-related government documents over 60 years old remain classified.
The link below is a decent introduction to the history of government secrecy on this topic.

http://devoid.blogs.heraldtribune.com/15450/some-ideas-about-digging/
NBC didn’t take the Hillary Clinton UFO bait during Sunday night’s primary debate, staged just a couple of weeks after the former Secretary of State vowed to “get to the bottom of” The Great Taboo. As per tradition, the mainstream media tossed a lot of confetti in the air over her UFO remarks before getting bored and wandering off. But in doing so, they forget – assuming they ever knew – about the formidable and unremitting curiosity of Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta.

In 2002, the former Clinton White House chief of staff joined the ad hoc Coalition for Freedom of Information in a federal lawsuit against NASA for access to files related to the so-called Kecksburg incident of 1965. Although that initiative, spearheaded by independent investigative journalist Leslie Kean, produced no smoking gun, the effort shook loose hundreds of previously unreleased documents, revealed that many others had been destroyed or went missing, and forced the space agency to pay the plaintiff's legal fees.

digging.jpg

It's going to be a long and tedious slog, but any hopes of reaching the ground floor of Uncle Sam's relationship with UFOs will require punching through layers of bureaucratic sediment/CREDIT: bovilla.com

We may never know what, if anything, Podesta attempted to accomplish on the UFO front during his time as senior adviser in the Obama White House. But he has a roadmap for how to attack the archives on multiple fronts. Or rather, he has access to a strategy promoted by a network of scholars, historians and researchers known as the Sign Historical Group (SHG).
 
  • #28
UFOs are a matter of faith. The fact that they are unidentified (by definition) makes them untestable and not part of science.

Like rains of frogs and other miracles they are rare enough that any hypothesis is untestable. Sure there are reasonable explanations, but without repeatable data, believe what you want.

Having lived in Roswell, NM, and thus studied lots of UFO reports, I can say definitively, "I have no idea what's going on."
 
  • #29
nsaspook said:
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2016-featured-story-archive/how-to-investigate-a-flying-saucer.html
The truth is somewhere.
The media has been buzzing about this "release" of CIA UFO historical documents. I think it's a nice gift to us.
From the CIA link provided:

UFO-Survey-1952.jpg

Points 2 and 3 from the Survey of Flying Saucer Reports, 1 August 1952. (Credit: CIA)

http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000015341.pdf
  1. Survey of Flying Saucer Reports, 1 August 1952(PDF 175 KB)
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/blog/2016/take-a-peek-into-our-x-files.html
http://www.newsweek.com/cia-having-xfiles-fun-ufos-421407
 
  • #30
Dotini said:
I think it's a nice gift to us.
I'm not sure what you mean. My take on it is simply that the CIA didn't (and probably still doesn't) want the public to know anything about what it's doing. I think if we could examine more CIA memos we'd find ones urging agents to be more careful about disclosing how many bathrooms there are at CIA headquarters and how much toilet paper they go through per month in the event that info might be of use to foreign powers.
 
  • #31
Podesta ‘encourages’ journalists to ask Hillary about UFOs
MARCH 3, 2016

"Democrat operative John Podesta is so obsessed with what the government knows about aliens and UFOs, he has actually asked reporters to question his candidate on the fringe subject.

The shocking revelation comes from an interview the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign gave to CBS 8, which aired Wednesday night."

http://www.theamericanmirror.com/re...to-ask-hillary-about-declassifying-ufo-files/
 
  • #32
Dotini said:
Democrat operative John Podesta is so obsessed with what the government knows about aliens and UFOs, he has actually asked reporters to question his candidate on the fringe subject.

The shocking revelation comes from an interview the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign gave to CBS 8, which aired Wednesday night."
zoobyshoe said:
I'm not sure what you mean. My take on it is simply that the CIA didn't (and probably still doesn't) want the public to know anything about what it's doing. I think if we could examine more CIA memos we'd find ones urging agents to be more careful about disclosing how many bathrooms there are at CIA headquarters and how much toilet paper they go through per month in the event that info might be of use to foreign powers.
Yeah we all know how honest and forthcoming our government is with its miss, er um its "information" lol . Let's face this in our own honest way, consider this, Iran contra, training Islamic terrorist, Monica Lewinski and bikini atoll. Things like this weren't reveled to the public till it was politically advantageous for someone in the know. Most of these things amounted to mud slinging for shifts in power. IF by some chance there is evidence the government has and if John Podesta is in the "know" about something kept secret within our government, is he pushing for a revel for political gain? Or is he secretly working for the other side trying to sow seeds of doubt in the competency of his own parties candidate? Is it for publicity? What has he to gain? The more I read about it the more complex and fascinating the potential motive becomes. There are many possibilities, but if he's doing it sincerely because he wants to prove it to the country then if the government wants to keep it secret then he's going to be labeled a crackpot or he's going to end up having and unfortunate accident. I'm thinking(Crackpot) regardless of what the truth may or may not be.
 
  • #33
gjonesy said:
I'm thinking(Crackpot) regardless of what the truth may or may not be.
The article I linked to in post #15 points out that more "smart people" have weird beliefs than you'd suppose. Weird beliefs are suppressed at PF, so this is not apparent among PF members. In real life, according to Shermer, you encounter more science types who harbor weird beliefs than you'd expect; a scientific attitude is supposed to be a prophylactic against this kind of belief, but this isn't born out by reality. So, the chances he is merely a smart person/crackpot are quite reasonable.
 
  • #34
zoobyshoe said:
The article I linked to in post #15 points out that more "smart people" have weird beliefs than you'd suppose. Weird beliefs are suppressed at PF, so this is not apparent among PF members. In real life, according to Shermer, you encounter more science types who harbor weird beliefs than you'd expect; a scientific attitude is supposed to be a prophylactic against this kind of belief, but this isn't born out by reality. So, the chances he is merely a smart person/crackpot are quite reasonable.

Well lots of (labeled crackpottery) in some cases are proven true. Whether John Podesta will pan out remains to be seen. To out right deny the possibility of anything that we lack the ability to totally disprove is an over abundance of pride. In some cases it challenges established religious/dogmatic/doctrine/ and or even nonreligious beliefs, for some its equivalent to heresy. For admitting to a "possibility" you may establish a possibility for something else (that goes against a belief) or an impossibility for the other (lack of belief). IMHO its completely unscientific to do so.
 

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