Ms. K.C. and so many others sent this to me this week, that as one might expect, I have to comment on it. After all, high octane speculation is our trademark here, and this story certainly lends itself to it. What's the story?
NASA, it seems, has posted a job opening for a "planetary protection officer":
Of course, when one reads the title of the "job opening," all sorts of wild scenarios spring to mind (and that may, indeed, have been a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor on NASA's part), scenarios involving huge motherships and invading extra-terrestrials and what-have-you.
But I submit the actual job description itself is far more provocative than any scenarios of wild extraterrestrial invasions, if one reads carefully, and is willing to speculate a bit. Consider, for example, the opening paragraph:
This position is assigned to Office of Safety and Mission Assurance for Planetary Protection. Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration. NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies, and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration. This policy is based on federal requirements and international treaties and agreements. (Emphasis added)
At first glance, reading the entire job description, requirements, and so on, reveals some standard government boilerplate, and the impression is that there's "nothing to see here, move along." But it's that little reference to "any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration" that caught my attention, and caught it big time.
Many years ago, in 1969 to be exact, the famous novelist Michael Crichton authored the novel The Andromeda Strain, a kind of "techno-thriller" about a secretive space program deliberately designed to go out and look for the most deadly foreign bacteria and viruses in outer space, and return them to Earth for study and weaponization as a part of America's biological warfare program. In the novel, the secret project was called Project Wildfire, and, predictably, the project was wildly "successful," for a satellite, which had captured such an organism, lands near a small Arizona town, and promptly wipes out the whole population, including pets and wild animals... all except for a drunken old man and an endlessly crying baby. In the novel, unable to figure out a cure for the "bug," the frustrated scientists recommend a nuclear strike to kill it, until they find out at the last minute that the pesky little thing actually feeds off of radiation, and detonating a nuclear bomb would be like throwing a feast for it. Thus, what caught my eye, of course, was this statement by NASA that specifically mentions that type of scenario, without, of course, any reference to secret "extra-terrestrial" biological warfare projects or nuclear detonations.
Which brings us, of course, to the high octane speculation of the day. Regular readers here know that I am a subscriber to two hypotheses: (1) that there is a secret space program which is a component of (2) Mr. Richard Dolan's idea of a "breakaway civilization," i.e., a group of humanity with access to technologies profoundly in advance of anything in the public arena, possession of which gives them a radically different cultural matrix in which they take decisions, from which they view the world. In short, they are perhaps in possession of a very different "world view" and "cosmology". Let's add to this speculative cocktail a third component: (3) the UFO problem, as it began to manifest itself after World War Two, comprising both a national (and global) security issue and, in worse case scenario types of analysis, a potential threat, which I have referred to as the "Tower of Babel Moment" of history, revisited (see for example my remarks at the Secret Space Program conferences in San Matteo, CA, in 2014, and Bastrop, TX, in 2015).
If one suspected extra-terrestrial visitation and potential intervention in human affairs, and if one suspected some hostile intent, the strategic problem confronting the national security establishment would be immense, but basically it would boil down to "how to we protect and defend ourselves." To this end, every avenue would be pursued... including the Michael Crichton "Andromeda Strain" scenario, which, in effect, might be the best option available; one would have to look for something deadly to all those alleged recovered ET bodies (and I remain a skeptic on this issue). Additionally, as a component of such speculation, there are suggestions that, indeed, humanity has had a secret off-world presence for some time. Recall only the allegations of British hacker Gary McKinnon, or, in this respect, the statement in President Ronald Reagan's memoirs of having been briefed about our "off world personnel carrying capacity", which, as Reagan put it, was some 300 people, far in excess of the publicly admitted space shuttle capacity.
The bottom line here is, admittedly, speculative, but it also admittedly is that NASA may have just let a very significant cat out of a very large bag...
See you on the flip side...