I am quoting an article from 2014 that summarizes pretty well the situation: “A few years ago the question was ‘Do UFOs exist?’ Today that question has been answered, and the presence of UFOs performing maneuvers that defy our laws of physics has been well documented. The question has more so shifted to, ‘Is that an extraterrestrial space craft?’ (..) I definitely believe that a good chunk of these UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin. I also believe that many of these crafts are ‘ours.'”
Historians of the Cold War who researched the UFO topic believe that during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the US military carried out a “false-flag UFO program.” With also abductions of people, cattle mutilations and so on… Secret groups related to the military staged fake aliens with special effect like in the movies…
Why would they do that? In the midst of the Cold War? Was it a form of psychological warfare? Of course it was, even if it is not easy to understand.
The US military observed and started to take UFOs very seriously after WWII. USSR and many countries as well but they were more passive. Other countries only kept records of the events and denied the phenomenon publicly. The US military was not passive, it reacted. It shared some of the information with USSR – and most western countries.
The US went into different stages regarding UFOs. At first it was fear and violence… But when they understood the UFOs were far more advanced, they switched to curiosity and research. All of this in total secrecy, in parallels to the NASA space program. They even tried to make contact with ET’s. According to some accounts and testimonies, contact was made. (Or at least the US wanted the Russians and the World to register this narrative about alleged aliens!)
The “UFO topic” was in the hand of the US military and the US Navy at the beginning. And it was progressively privatized into what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. During the Cold War every part of human society was weaponized. And this is still partly true. The civil society. Universities programs. Sociology. Psychology. Drugs. Economy. Science and research in general. Even modern art. Even paranormal skills like remote viewing… In the “American War Machine” the UFO topic was classified higher that the H bomb… While at the same time being developed and played with in literature, science fiction, pop culture – Hollywood in particular.
The “alien invasion” theme is common in popular culture since H.G. Wells and Orson Well’s famous radio prank.
At an early stage, the US seriously speculated about an interplanetary war against E.T.’s. The military might have been terrified. Imagining a possible alien invasion… Or maybe it was only a hoax… to make other countries believe the US made contact and have obtained advanced secret technology. So they would be feared by other countries, in particular by the USSR and China… Maybe the purpose was to convince everyone to keep negotiating and to avoid escalating the conflict into a real WWIII.
What ever is under that “UFO topic”… it has been so highly classified they say even some presidents are not told about it… Many researchers agree this extreme secrecy started specifically under Eisenhower, when the military-industrial complex was taking over society… getting out of the control of civil society and out of control of the US democratic system.
Some people link this with the possibility of a breakaway civilization that would be scientifically 50 years ahead of us, with a secret space program and secret bases. Some speculate about many such groups, some very ancient and some coming out of Earth but a very long time ago.
In the 50’s the Intelligence Community (or the “Deep State” in general) was going nuts against “communists” and “anarchists”. It was a hunt and the paranoia level was very high. The potential enemy was everywhere. Inside and outside. (One might also add that JFK was not playing along the lines of this new power. Even the President was suspect of communism!)
There are quite a few similarities between the Islamic threat today (the artificial Islamic State) and the Alien threat back then… Both are a mix of reality and fiction… Both are forms of psychological warfare… After the Cold War, it seems the Alien threat was replaced with the Islamic threat… with the augmented effects of the new technologies such as the Internet (social networks in particular) and Reality TV.
Researchers seriously studied the abduction phenomenon and inteviewed many people to compare the experiences and try to understand… It seems people were really abducted by what they thought were “aliens”. People were experimented upon. It was private secret medical experiment programs on humans beings. Without asking for consent. It was ethically illegal. Some of people had small ships inserted under their skin. People had them removed and we have examples of those ships.
The wikipedia page about Project Blue Book is worth reading. It summarizes the history of the US relationship to the UFO phenomenon.
Out of the Blue is a good documentary about the UFO phenomenon. The title is a reference to Project Blue Book. It is a feature-length documentary which premiered in theaters in July 2002. It was first shown on television in June 2003.