Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reagan's Obsession With Alien Invasion

Back in January, Jennie posted about President Reagan and aliens.

Here is a more detailed account of Reagan's comments on a possible alien invasion from Ronald Reagan's Obsession With An Alien Invasion by A. Hovni:

The President first disclosed his recurrent thoughts about "an alien threat" during a December 4, 1985, speech at the Fallston High School in Maryland, where he spoke about his first summit with General Secretary Gorbachev in Geneva. According to a White House transcript, Reagan remarked that during his 5-hour private discussions with Gorbachev, he told [Gorbachev] to think, "how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from some other species from another planet outside in the universe. We'd forget all the little local differences that we have between our countries ..."

Except for one headline or two, people didn't pay much attention.

Not then and not later, when Gorbachev himself confirmed the conversation in Geneva during an important speech on February 17, 1987, in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, to the Central Committee of the USSR's Communist Party. Not a High School in Maryland, precisely!

There, buried on page 7A of the 'Soviet Life Supplement,' was the following statement:

"At our meeting in Geneva, the U.S. President said that if the earth faced an invasion by extraterrestials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion. I shall not dispute the hypothesis, though I think it's early yet to worry about such an intrusion..."

Notice that Gorbachev doesn't say this is an incredible proposition, he just says that it's too early to worry about it.

If Gorbachev elevated the theme from a high school to the Kremlin [palace], Reagan upped the stakes again by including the "alien threat" [again], not in a domestic speech but to a full session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Towards the end of his speech to the Forty-second Session on September 21, 1987, the President said that, "in our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond.

"I occasionally think," continued Reagan, "how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask" -- here comes the clincher -- "is not an alien force ALREADY among us?" The President now tries to retreat from the last bold statement by posing a second question: "What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?" Unlike the off-the-cuff remarks to the Fallston High School, we must assume that the President's speech to the General Assembly was written very carefully and likewise, it merits close examination.

Ronald Reagan has told us that he thinks often about this issue, yet nobody seems to be paying attention. When the President mentioned last May 4 in Chicago for the third time the possibility of a threat by "a power from another planet," the media quickly dubbed it the "space invaders" speech, relegating it to a sidebar in the astrology flap. The ET remark was made in the Q&A period following a speech to the National Strategy Forum in Chicago's Palmer House Hotel, where he adopted a more conciliatory tone towards the Soviet Union.

Significantly, Reagan's remark was made during his response to the question, "What do you consider to be the most important need in international relations?"

"I've often wondered," the President told us once again, "what if all of us in the world discovered that we were threatened by an outer -- a power from outer space, from another planet." And then he emphasized his theme that this would erase all the differences, and that the "citizens of the world" would "come together to fight that particular threat..."

There is a fourth, unofficial, similar statement from Ronald Reagan about this particular subject. It was reported in the New Republic by senior editor Fred Barnes. The article described a luncheon in the White House between the President and Eduard Shevardnatze, during the Foreign Minister's visit to Washington to sign the INF Treaty on September 15, 1987. "Near the end of his lunch with Shevardnadze," wrote Barnes, "Reagan wondered aloud what would happen if the world faced an 'alien threat' from outer space. 'Don't you think the United States and the Soviet Union would be together?' he asked. Shevardnadze said yes, absolutely. "And we wouldn't need our defense ministers to meet,' he added."


Was Reagan making an analogy about how the Cold War enemies could become friends? Was he speaking from hidden knowledge of a real threat? Conspiracy theorists will say yes. Was he suffering from Alzheimer's and speaking off script? I think it probably was an analogy but it is interesting anyway.

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