Commentary: A Call to Arms & Press Release
On this Saturday, CAUS is proud to present a commentary by eternal CAUS loyalist and old friend, UFO activist Larry W. Bryant. Larry, with the assistance of another long time CAUS supporter, attorney Bob Bletchman, is championing another type of CAUS...one that involves the political process. Recently Larry and Bob have been given a vote of support (see below) by the MUFON Board of Directors who pledged the assistance of their state and local chapters in gathering signatures.
Though my views on the viability of the political process to help end over 50 years of secrecy have been made clear in past commentaries, CAUS is in full support of this Herculean endeavor and calls upon all its members to help accomplish what has never been accomplished before...a UFO Ballot Initiative.
A Call to Arms by: Larry W. Bryant
Let's suppose you have the opportunity to hold to the fire the feet of those government policymakers who for decades have been denying the public full access to official UFO-related information.
Would you seize this long-awaited opportunity to call the government into full account, or would you let it pass through your fingers like so many bits of popcorn in a darkened movie theater?
Well, if you're like me and Bob Bletchman, co-chairs of the National Coordinating Committee for the UFO Ballot Initiative, you'll want to lose no time in responding to our call to arms.
In this case, the "arms" to which I refer are the arms by which you can carry a stack of several hundred signed petitions for delivery to your state's governor's office, there to be certified for placing the proposed measure on the next available election's ballot -- provided that your state happens to be one of the 16 offering voters this "direct initiative" process.
The primary phase of the process consists of gathering the requisite number of registered-voter signatures on the petition. This figure varies from state to state, but it generally amounts to a small percentage of the votes cast during the last gubernatorial election. The signed petitions have to be submitted for certification several months before the election.
All this, of course, takes careful preparation and hard work on the part of petition organizers. And history shows that any shifting of a social, scientific, or political paradigm entails lots of planning, diligence, and stamina.
The UFO Ballot Initiative proposes that we citizen-voters -- the people our elected representatives ignore at their peril -- now have the chance to shift the paradigm on how our government handles the UFO problem. It presents a proposed proclamation to be enacted into state law upon winning the majority of votes cast at the election. (Not this fall's election, mind you -- but the one in year 2000.)
This people-enacted law -- as Jeffersonian and libertarian as one can imagine -- would proclaim and observe the year 2000 as the Year of UFO Awareness. In saying "no to the status quo," it would urge Congress to expeditiously convene open hearings on the UFO problem as defined by certain insider sources eager to testify publicly were they granted a waiver of their official secrecy oaths and agreements of nondisclosure.
The full text of both the proclamation and a press release announcing MUFON support of the initiative, along with related discussion material, appears on the website of http://www.ufocity.com.
Here are the 16 states offering the direct initiative: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Besides Washington and Utah, five other states -- Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, and Michigan -- offer the "indirect initiative," which requires the signature petitions to be submitted to the state legislature for its decision on whether to place the measure on the ballot.
CAUS members and supporters are urged to join this historic effort to hold the federal government accountable for what it knows, and when it knew it, about UFO reality. We of course need some seed money to get things rolling -- and volunteers to help form and support Petition Drive Committees in each of the affected states.
Please keep in mind: in supporting this effort, you needn't be a member of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy, Inc., the Mutual UFO Network, Inc., Operation Right to Know, Inc., or any other organization dedicated to resolving the UFO issue. As a foot soldier in this nationwide call to arms, you now can apply more of your civic spirit, your organizing prowess, your technical/social talents, your political skills, and your financial resources toward boldly reminding our elected and appointed officials that we have a right to know and the government has the duty to tell.
Volunteers may contact Bob and me as follows: Bletchman (10 Mulberry Lane, Avon, CT 06001; phone: 860-675-6379; no e-mail address yet); Bryant (3518 Martha Custis Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302; phone: 703-931-3341; e-mail address: OvertCI@bellatlantic.net).
MUFON Supports Ballot Initiative to End Official Secrecy on UFO Reality
In a letter entered into the Congressional Record in 1960, retired Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, first CIA head, urgently warned Congress to take UFO reports seriously. His concern: misidentifying Unidentified Flying Objects as enemy hostiles could trigger a nuclear response from Cold War adversaries. In 1989, the Soviet Union echoed that concern in a publication, "Soviet Military Review."
Today, public opinion polls show that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the government knows more than it lets on; their conclusion adds to the cynicism corrosive of the trust necessary to democratic institutions.
Yet Congress does nothing.
In a bold effort to gain congressional attention, the Mutual UFO Network, Inc. is supporting ballot initiatives for next year's elections in various states that permit legislation by direct and indirect initiatives through voter petitions. Voters -- actual voters (people that politicians do heed) -- will be asked to officially proclaim 2000 the Year of UFO Awareness, urging open congressional hearings. (Scores of current and former military personnel, et al., stand ready to present sworn testimony based on personal knowledge, if granted immunity by waiver of security oaths.) Perhaps the New Millennium can afford Congress some political cover to be at least open to the possibilities.
"Direct initiative" produces laws (like a proclamation) when the people directly place (by petition) proposals on the ballot, submit them to the voters, and win their approval. Currently, 16 states offer the direct initiative: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
"Indirect initiative" produces law when the people submit the proposal to the state legislature during a regular session, and win approval. Seven states offer the indirect initiative: Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, and Washington.
"Formidable hurdles, such as gathering tens of thousands of petition signatures, lie ahead," said MUFON international director Walter H. Andrus, Jr. "But if you believe, as MUFON does, that our constitutional republic depends on an informed citizenry, and that the UFO problem has as much political presence as it has scientific promise, then join us in this effort."
With chapters in nearly every state and in 45 foreign countries, MUFON, founded in 1969, serves as the world's largest member organization dedicated to the scientific study of UFO reports. It qualifies as a not-for-profit corporation and as an IRS tax-exempt organization, headquartered at 103 Oldtowne Road, Seguin, TX 78155 (Phone: 830-379-9216).
Andrus concluded: "Tell your congressman you support this 'UFO ballot initiative' effort. Tell us, too. Help make a difference."
Ballot Initiative to End Official Secrecy on UFO Reality
"We the voting citizens of this state do hereby issue an OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION, the wording of which follows:
"We proclaim that the year 2000 be observed as the Year of UFO Awareness. Because of the federal government's failure to be officially forthcoming about Unidentified Flying Objects, the public remains ill-informed and confused on a matter of potentially great consequence. We therefore urge the US Congress to expeditiously convene open, comprehensive hearings in which governmental personnel (military, civilian-contract, and agency employees -- active and retired) are permitted to present sworn testimony regarding their personal knowledge of any UFO-related evidence, to be given under immunity by waiver of any applicable security oath or agreement of nondisclosure.
"This proclamation acknowledges the following facts:
"(1) the weight of the cumulative evidence -- e.g., eyewitness, electronic-detection, photographic, documentary -- overwhelmingly supports the conclusion of a majority of Americans that some of the reported UFOs represent somebody else's spacecraft;
"(2) the federal government's handling of the UFO issue has contributed to the public cynicism toward, and general mistrust of, government -- a development injurious to our republic;
"(3) this initial year of the third millennium affords us a renewed opportunity to explore, assess, and convey every facet of UFO reality."
CAUS wishes both Larry and Bob the best of luck. If intensity, dedication and hard work accomplishes results, then they both are sure to reach their goals.
The PAG Network
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