The Brookings’ Report

Joshua Smith
16 min readAug 21, 2018

Just when I thought I had found the end of the line in terms of conspiratorial documents, I remembered one long since forgotten. Forgotten by me that it is. Not forgotten by those who hope to turn up evidence of nefarious plans and government cover-ups. But this one falls outside of the more traditional range of secretive material. This one takes us into the realm of the bizarre in ways that many in conspiracy circles refuse to even look. Because of this, it will require a bit more of setting the scene than some of the previous documents.

So far, I have kept my investigations confined to what I refer to as the ‘hardcore political conspiracy’ domain. This one, although tangentially connected, takes us into the domain of UFO conspiracy theories and what has been termed ‘exopolitics’. I must further admit this is outside of my personal area of relative expertise as well. Until this particular document, I have not even bothered to look at any UFO material in about ten years because it is just not my area of interest and because I am quite skeptical about the entire endeavor. Yet I have tried to keep an open mind in order to at least look into it enough for this video and article.

Purported examples of “Foo Fighters” spotted by pilots in WWII

I must point out here that territoriality becomes important. These two groups are often in conflict. The hardcore political conspiracy groups frequently decry any connection with what are sometimes called UFOlogists (those who study UFO phenomena). To my eyes, the territoriality stems from two different and important angles. First, the politically-oriented types want to be taken seriously. For this reason, they often keep the UFO groups out. They do not associate with them, they do not interview them, they never endorse them, and they do not promote them. Second, the politically-oriented conspiracy groups tend to come from two different spheres. One group comes from the conservative (usually Christian) right and the other group comes from a milieu of leftwing movements.

Those from the Christian right commonly denigrate UFO conspiracy theorists in the same way that mainline political commentators insult the hardcore political and religious conspiracy theorists. They call them “kooks” and “crackpots” and “tin foil hat” wearing crazies. From long observation, I think this primarily derives from certain fundamentalist and Orthodox Christian views that assert that since the Bible does not explicitly detail non-human super-intelligent species, that then they cannot exist. The common line that one finds from them is that if anything is seen in the skies that one cannot identify, it must be an illusion, a hallucination, a hoax, or a secret experimental military craft. They will usually further insist that if any “aliens” exist, then these aliens are really “demons” portraying themselves as aliens. Strangely, in support of this position, they will sometimes even point to ‘Rare Earth’ type claims from naturalistic evolutionists to claim that the conditions for life evolving on Earth were so extraordinary that it is highly unlikely life (especially intelligent life) ever evolved elsewhere.

Those from the leftwing conspiratorial milieu will follow much of this, but since many of them are atheists and agnostics, they will reject the “demon” hypothesis outright. They tend to put much more emphasis on misidentifications, on the general scientific illiteracy of the public (this is where one will much more commonly hear a left political conspiracist say that anyone who sees a UFO is just some drunk farmer falling off his tractor in a field at 3:00 am), on official U.S. government statements, or that UFOs are secret experimental military craft.

To switch sides, the UFOlogists often regard the hardcore political conspiracy theorists with suspicion. From their view, the reality of UFO phenomena and even the ETH (extra-terrestrial hypothesis) are so clear and so undeniable that they suspect their counterparts to be involved in the cover-up of the single greatest conspiracy and greatest secret of all time. This group tends to view itself as the more pro-science wing of UFOlogy. To a UFOlogist, talking about secret societies, the Illuminati, the New World Order, silent weapons, the Bohemian Grove, quiet wars, globalist elites, and so on is mere child’s play compared to the notion that there is not only life elsewhere in the universe but that at least some of these lifeforms are highly intelligent and technologically advanced far beyond human civilization.

Among UFO researchers, there are a couple of other major subdivisions. One wing takes itself to be oriented more toward “hard” science: engineering, physics, chemistry, and so on. I like to refer to them, and not derogatorily, as the “nuts and bolts” version who tend to be in the mold of a Stanton Friedman in that they are oriented toward “flying saucers”. The other wing is often more interested in multi-dimensionality or hyper-dimensionality, higher consciousness, astral planes, ethereal realms, and what is sometimes referred to as “high strangeness”. This latter group is often more concerned with spirituality, a oneness of being, and the like. The former is sort of the ‘Just the facts, ma’am’ (probably no longer PC) approach, perhaps best reformulated as: ‘Show me the documents’ or ‘Show us the data’. Their texts tend to be replete with footnotes, a bibliography, and an index, which are sometimes missing from the unverifiable confessional-style books one often encounters from the latter.

Another, perhaps related, subdivision within UFO research communities is the way they typify the contact phenomenon. These visions are bifurcated along lines which paint a good v malevolent breakdown. Some say all aliens must be good and peaceful given that they have chosen (thus far) not to destroy humanity, seem to communicate with humanity through ‘crop circles’, astral projections, and other levels of consciousness. The counter-narrative contends that aliens are a threat because they abduct people, mutilate animals, probe and experiment on humans, and so on.

It is easy to see from this very cursory thumbnail sketch overview that the UFO conspiracy theory community has a range of reactions towards debunkers and skeptics to be sure, but the infighting among other UFOlogists can be downright brutal in their disagreements. It is extraordinarily rare for this wide array of varied conspiracy groups to ever have a meta-discussion about the diverse communities of which they are a part. In fact, most of them get so caught up in their own little special area of focus that they do not even bother to track the overall task at hand. Furthermore, and this they share with the political conspiracy theorists, very small pieces of information that could be trivial are imbued with great meaning that may or may not account for anything.

Secret Signs, Codes, or Oaths

Let me offer an example of what I mean. Both groups of conspiracy theorists often get into symbolism, symbology, numerological analyses, secret codes, subliminal messaging, and so on. Since that is the case, if some company is involved in an event of interest, it takes very little to draw that company into part of a cover-up. So let us say that there is a suspicious crash with unknown cargo. A company named The Phoenix Corporation (purely fictional here) comes in to help. Immediately eyebrows of conspiracy theorists shoot up because the phoenix is an ancient symbol often employed by certain secretive and possibly conspiratorial groups as a coded message to others within the conspirator’s hierarchy that things are being concealed appropriately. Or let us say that a politician makes some awful decision to do something conspiracy groups don’t like and then they find out that the politician is a Freemason or wrote an article for Foreign Affairs (the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations) or once appeared in a photograph with Richard Nixon…well, that is then taken as sufficient evidence that the politician is in on the plot.

Appeals to evidence such as this are common. Whereas most other people would look at those things, perhaps even all three in conjunction, and say “So what?,” conspiracy theorists will make much of it. I am not saying they are right or wrong (personally I need more info, but maybe that is just me?), but to me this approach generates a number of philosophical concerns.

When you add to this a situation wherein some rather odd characters are drawn to conspiracies (UFOlogists realize this as well), some are drawn to UFOs, others to aliens, still yet others to abductions, not to leave out real misinformation and disinformation agents, and so on…you have an extraordinary mess to try to sort out. I certainly will not try to do that here.

Taken together, this creates a situation of fundamental distrust among the two broad groups (political v UFO) especially when it comes to critical censorship issues wherein one often finds one group ignoring the problems of the other. Whereas the problem of censorship should lead to greater unity, it often does not play out that way in reality. Each group has a tendency to section itself off and put on blinders.

A Cover-up Begins?

Given that backdrop, to follow a path from the past to where we are today, we must begin many decades ago to the locus of what some claim to be a motive for concealing the truth about UFOs and alien beings. Although some wish to go back into ancient times, others to the 19th century and so on, I wish to focus more on the modern (but post-Roswell) period in order to get to the document of central concern.

The Brookings Report was commissioned by NASA in the late 1950s and was meant to answer (through a series of recommendations) sundry questions. This stemmed from President Eisenhower establishing Project Mercury in 1958. The Mercury Project was set up in order to create a human spaceflight program. It ran from 1958 to 1963.

The official title of the report was ‘Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs’ and was completed in December of 1960. The report was compiled by a team all told of about 200 different academics and experts from an assorted array of disparate fields. The lead author was a social psychologist by the name of Dr. Donald N. Michael and seven other prominent co-authors. This was at the behest of the Committee on Long-Range Studies of NASA.

The report itself of is over 200 pages length and consists of hundreds of footnotes. This separates it in form and content from all three previous documents that I examined. The first being ‘Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars’ and the second being ‘The Report from Iron Mountain’ and the third being ‘The NASA War Document’. I covered what separates each of those from the others in previous videos and articles and encourage you to check them out.

There are a number of very interesting things found throughout the Brookings Report. For example, the document projected the future spread of satellite television, the eventual ubiquitous nature of telecommunications, the notion of deep space research through the use of radio wave monitoring and space-based telescopes, increasingly accurate weather models, and hints at research on very advanced technology such as magneto-hydrodynamic drives (sea, land, air, and space applications) among several other things. Yet what it is famous (or infamous) for are just a few pages near the end. These pages deal with some far out scenarios related to the possibility of human contact with an alien species, the detection of a radio signal from an intelligent species, the discovery of ancient alien artifacts on the Moon or Mars, and so on.

Origins of the Dark Mission

Many within UFO conspiracy circles suggest the official cover-up began with the 1947 crash at Roswell. They claim this was the primary impetus behind the 1947 National Security Act which created the NSA and sundry other changes to government secrecy. Others point to the 1942 Battle of Los Angeles where an unidentified object (or objects according to other reports) was spotted in the skies and resulted in the U.S. military firing over 1,400 anti-aircraft shells. The event resulted in the deaths of 5 people and massive property damage. Later this event was dismissed with a hand-wave as a simple misidentification of a blimp or some weather balloons. UFO researchers are so used to such explanations that they similarly dismiss them with a hand-wave.

Unexamined Dimensions

However, most within these groups tend to point to the 1960 Brookings Report as a smoking gun document which set into motion an official policy of NASA to conceal the truth about UFOs and the ETH. This begs a few questions to say the least. How did this document come to such prominence? What does the document itself actually say?

This document was entered into the Congressional Record in 1961. However, it was largely lost to time until the early 1990s when Richard Hoagland and others were able to bring the document to light. Hoagland later was to go on to write a bestselling book called ‘Dark Mission’ along with co-author Mike Barra detailing what they claim are various aspects of the NASA cover-up and related to supposed findings on the Moon and Mars. Hoagland and his cohorts make much of a few selections from about two and half pages of material. In the version that I have these are pages 215–217 in a section called “The implications of a discovery of extraterrestrial life”.

Virtually everything in this section is, to me anyway, clearly speculative. For instance the authors write on page 216, “It is conceivable that there is semi-intelligent life in some part of our solar system or highly intelligent life which is not technologically oriented, and many cosmologists and astronomers think it very likely that there is intelligent life in many other solar systems.” Obviously speculative and not definitive.

That is if one reads the document purely exoterically rather than esoterically. The same could be said for other documents in this series. This exoteric/esoteric or surface/occult (as in hidden) divide is another common approach found in the methodology of conspiratorial interpretations. Perhaps a hermeneutics of conspiracy theories will be a specialized field of study for a thesis or dissertation some day.

Of Signals and Artifacts

The paper continues, “While face-to-face meetings with it will not occur within the next twenty years…artifacts left at some point in time by these life forms might possibly be discovered through our space activities on the Moon, Mars, or Venus. If there is any contact to be made during the next twenty years it would most likely be by radio — which would indicate that these beings had at least equaled our own technological level.” This brings to mind the “Wow!” signal which was detected in 1977 and concepts found in Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘2001: A Spacy Odyssey’.

The famous Wow! signal detected in 1977

This component led the authors to then speculate about how humanity would react to such discoveries. Following these lines of thought, they offered a few recommendations, “Continuing studies to determine emotional and intellectual understanding and attitudes — and successive alterations of them if any — regarding the possibility and consequences of discovering intelligent extraterrestrial life.” Much can be read into that phrase, especially if one has a conspiratorial turn of mind. The second, and most controversial, said: “Historical and empirical studies of the behavior of peoples and their leaders when confronted with dramatic and unfamiliar events or social pressures….Questions one might wish to answer by such studies would include: How might such information, under what circumstances, be presented to or withheld from the public for what ends? What might be the role of the discovering scientists and other decision makers regarding release of the fact of discovery?” Once again, obviously, much can be read into this that isn’t there.

To me what is not there is definitive proof of a conspiracy. These are, just as the document itself explicitly states, a series of possibilities and recommendations. I think what I find most irritating about the claims of the power of this document, is that it is just a piece of paper. No document like this can have actual binding power on future decisions. No leadership at NASA in 2018 is bound by a Brookings paper from 1960. To put this in context, the Constitution is supposed to be the most powerful and truly binding document for the U.S. yet the U.S. had a president who reportedly referred to it as “just a G/D piece of paper”. Even if that particular quote is not true, people on both sides of the political divide understand that the U.S. has had lots and lots of politicians who have exhibited behavior contrary to the Constitution. Remember, the Constitution is not a series of mere recommendations or suggestions for possible action, it is the law of the land and still yet it has been ignored and trampled upon many times over the decades.

This does not, however, mean that there is no cover-up. That is not what I am saying. The U.S. has many departments that keep many secrets. Some have suggested that almost half of all government produced papers are kept locked away in some level of secrecy. Much of it the public will never know anything about even with FOIA requests a century from now. That is just a fact. But can we really make the leap from there to claim that, for example, artifacts have been found on the Moon and kept secret or evidence of advanced or intelligent life on Mars has been discovered? Recall the guide I always point to: it is not about what you can claim, it is about what you can prove. Good luck proving artifacts were found on the Moon.

What we can prove, on the other hand, is that the U.S. government at the highest levels has long had an interest in unidentified aerial phenomena. This interest preceded anything ever publicly admitted and has continued (contrary to government-issued statements that claim otherwise). This is where debunkers and Skeptics are being gullible and naive. To simply accept official government pronouncements uncritically is about as absurd an approach as anything one will find from the conspiracy theorists. For example, historian Dr. Richard Dolan has put together a list of 12 documents (a tongue-in-cheek coded reference to the MJ-12 documents?) which prove high level government interest in such events here: https://www.richarddolanpress.com/twelve-government-documents .

Two of the most-balanced texts ever written on the controversial topic

Conclusion

Although this is not even my area of interest, I have long thought that people on both sides of the aisle (UFOlogists and debunkers/Skeptics) could improve the way they interact with one another and discuss these subjects. In fact, I find many of the same complaints emerge here that I have about ordinary political discourse as the patterns are replicated within the conspiracy theory community and those who oppose them.

For instance, we are entering into a period of rabid leftwing ideological censorship of the political right. Or rather censorship of anyone who is not far out on the political left. Recently we have seen major names silenced. There are likely many more to follow them into the Electronic Gulags that are being set up by the Tech Left of Silicon Valley. Conservatives, libertarians, patriots, and so on are tarred as “racists”, “sexists”, “bigots”, and so on. The leftwing mainstream media asserts all of those non-left groups supposedly suffer from or exhibit a whole range of “-phobias” and other -isms. Those who engage in this censorious behavior (and those who refuse to speak in defense of those with whom they may disagree) should be ashamed of themselves for creating a toxic political environment and revealing their own cowardice as they attempt to curry favor with certain power centers.

We need to have an improved and open dialogue across all of these dimensions of thought. People have to stop being afraid to address difficult or controversial topics. More importantly, people have to stop thinking the best way to deal with challenging topics is to unperson others, to ruin their lives, to destroy their ability to make a livelihood out of speaking their mind and presenting research that interests them, to deplatform them or to call for them to be deplatformed, and be aware that those empowered to censor today may end up being the censored later. In other words you may be next.

Finally, my position is that the best way to go about dealing with all of this material — political speech, challenging debates, and controversial topics — is through philosophy. It is philosophy and not conspiracy that roots us all. It is the duty of philosophy to root out (through debate and open evidence) destructive theories and to expose them but not deplatform them, to root out the deadly ideologies of communism, Marxism, and socialism, to root out the absurdist irrationality of post-modernism, and to root out the ideologies that support censoring opposition. The only way this can be done is to actually know (by hearing or reading) the arguments of communists, socialists, conspiracy theorists, far leftwing ideologues, far rightwing ideologues, and so on. If one does not even know the arguments, how can one contest them? Only in an environment of robust intellectual engagement can this be possible because speech control is ultimately thought control. By artificially restricting the bounds of what can be said, this also artificially restricts the range of thought that is allowed. This is what some refer to as the Overton Window or (as the great libertarian scholar Tom Woods puts it) the 3 by 5 card of allowable opinion. We must be allowed to operate beyond these confines if we, as a society, are truly interested in truth instead of a series of purely self-centered conclusions and emotions. Ultimately, the final thing I would like to say about this series of articles and the four documents (Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, The Report from Iron Mountain, The NASA War Document, and The Brookings’ Report) that I have covered is this: they do not seem to prove as much as some would have us believe. Along the way I have seen literally dozens of videos wherein the people speaking about these four documents have made some rather extraordinary claims not only about the contents of the documents, but about the real world impact that followed directly from the documents. After looking at multiple sides of these issues and after considering the debates in all directions, I am not compelled by the evidence to accept the conspiratorial claims. That being said, I am open to being convinced otherwise. However, I do admit the world is full of malevolent actors, full of people who wish to bring harm upon others, truly evil people who enjoy hurting others and the like. Conspiracies indeed do exist and take place every day, as do conspiracies to break the law, and to harm innocents. Furthermore, some of the nefarious things mentioned in the documents do seem to be actually taking place but linking those events to the documents is a task easier said than done. I’m keeping an open mind regarding these and many other controversial subjects and you should too.

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Joshua Smith

Defender of family, freedom, and history. Concerned observer of our world.