Interview with Daniel Sheehan July 14, 2001 'Strange Days...Indeed' with Errol Bruce-Knapp and Scott Robins
Transcribed by Grant Cameron
SDI: Our guest for tonight has degrees from Harvard in government, law and divinity. He established the Christic Institute in Washington D.C., and has been legal counsel on many high profile cases... Cases such as Karen Silkwood for example -- Iran-Contra, the American Sanctuary Movement, the Pentagon papers, Three Mile Island and Watergate. He has gained access to many restricted government files. Danny has represented John Mack, chairman of the Harvard Department of Clinical Psychology, after Harvard tried to fire him after he published "Abduction: Mack tried to publish an article on his research in the New England Journal of Medicine, but the editorial board didn't even consider it, so he wrote the book. Daniel Sheehan, funded by Laurance Rockefeller, resolved the case against John Mack very quickly. Daniel Sheehan has said that many members of the human family are not properly prepared for open contact with extraterrestrials. In May he appeared with many UFO-related witnesses with the Disclosure Project at a Washington Press Conference. Joining us from his home in California is lawyer Daniel Sheehan... (A short segment ensued where Steven Bassett, held over from the hour before, says hello to Sheehan and thanks him for the work that he has done over the last year to advance the Disclosure process.) [The interview began with a short clip of Sheehan recounting his experience of seeing classified materials in the basement of a building of the Library of Congress in 1977.]
SDI: Dan Sheehan. You have been a busy man since you were last on this program which was back in October, many months ago.
DS: Yes I remember.
SDI: That was a clip that we played from your last appearance with us. Were the documents that they showed you . . . were they identified in any way? Were there classification marks on them?
DS: No, no. As I had mentioned they were in a set of boxes, which were sort of like shoe box-sized boxes, kind of off-khaki green color. There were many, many of them in this room. What I did is I just started going through one at a time. I was looking at the photographs. The photographs didn't have any classification markings on them. They were in these little metal containers, almost like little film canisters. They didn't have any classification stamps or documents on them. All I know is this is where I was told to go by Marcia Smith. When I got there they knew that I was coming. They checked my identification, and cleared me into the room. They didn't ask for any special verification, whether I had special classified status or anything. So I just went in and took advantage of the opportunity.
SDI: Daniel take us back to how this all started. You're obviously out for the truth, the facts. You are, because of who you are, in a position to gain some access, gain some information, credibility, to allow this information and these hidden documents to come forward. Tell us how this all started for those of us who are really not familiar, so we can discuss it and take it from there.
DS: Well it started with - interestingly enough - I have mentioned it before, that I was actually having dinner with Rosemary Chalk who was the Secretary of the National Academy of Science in Washington D.C. I happened to know her. I was General Counsel at the Jesuit National Headquarters, Office of National Social ministry. We went to church together, and I had talked to her at church, with a number of other people. She invited me to dinner at her home, in Washington D.C. I was there. This was in late 1976, sometime and I was having dinner with her - I've explained this all a dozen times now. She was telling me that based on the cases I had worked on up to that time that she assumed that I must have been just a born lawyer - that I'd always wanted to be a lawyer my whole life - that I must have been thinking of this since I was a kid. I told her actually no. I was actually wanting to be an astronaut, and that I was an applicant to the United States Academy in 1963 when I was a senior in high school. I had actually been one of the finalists in New York State to be appointed to the Air Force Academy, so I could go there and join the astronaut program. It's a long story, but Senator Jacob Javits ended up giving the appointment to someone else. He told me to go get the appointment from my Congressman. My Congressman, Carlton King, had given the appointment to the son of the mayor of Glen's Falls, the biggest city in my county. So I was sort of flabbergasted by all this, and offended at it, so I decided, because I was not going to get into the Air Force Academy, I should become a lawyer, thinking that I would just have to do a little fine tuning to keep things like this unfair act from happening again or taking place in the future. Turned out that it was a much longer duty than I thought it was going to be. Ended up spending the next thirty years of my life full time involved in social justice litigations. So I explained this to her, and she was kind of flabbergasted that I really wanted to be an astronaut. She asked me why I wanted to be an astronaut, and I said that I thought that the most one exciting single event that was going on in our lifetime was the reaching out into outer space, with the potential contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. She was very surprised by this, and she said "Gees, there's a person who I should introduce you to. She's a friend of mine." She said, "Her name is Marcia Smith, and she is the director of the Science and Technology Division of the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service. She's been working on a number of projects, and doing research on UFO stuff and extraterrestrial intelligence." So it was Rosemary Chalk who introduced me to Marcia. Sometime, there after, I met Marcia. Marcia told me that she had been asked by the Science and Technology Committee of the Library of Congress to undertake an evaluation of two separate issues. One was the potential existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. The second was the evaluation of the data on these phenomena of UFOs. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in her official capacity as director of the Official Congressional Research Service, that she had been asked by the United States Congress to do this investigation. This went on for some period of time. I made inquiries about how this thing got started. Who was it that wanted to have this thing done? It turned out that President Carter, then in 1977, when he had actually come into office . . . it turned out that President Carter had had a sighting when he was still governor of Georgia. He and a number of other people had seen a UFO and he had written an official report and asked that it be investigated. So it turned out that when he came to the Presidency, he had actually asked to have the information regarding the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence and the UFO phenomena sent to him. This procedure of asking the United States Congress - The Science and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives to have the Science and Technology Division of the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service gather all this information together, and make a determination about what information was going to be released to the public, and how much was going to be made available to Congress could be made in that context. So it was in that context that I was talking to Marcia Smith, and Marcia asked me whether as General Counsel to the United States Jesuit Headquarters, there at their National Office in Washington D.C., whether or not I could get access to the section of the Vatican library in Rome that would contain this information - any information that the church had on extraterrestrial intelligence and the UFO phenomenon. I was very pleased to try to do that. So I asked Father Bill Davis, who was the Director of the National Office at that time (1977) if I could follow that process of trying to get that information from the Vatican. He gave me his official approval, so I undertook that process, but much to my surprise in fact, and much to the surprise of Father Davis I might add, we were refused access to that particular portion of the Vatican Library. So I sent back a second letter to the Jesuit who was the head of the Vatican library, and explained to him that this was an official request that had come from the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress - that it had come from the Congress of the United States, and that the President himself had wanted to get this information. So I thought that would get us the information, but I received a second response from the Vatican Library saying no - the Jesuit National Headquarters would not be provided with this information. So I had to regretfully report that back to Marcia Smith letting her know that I was not able to get it. So I hadn't heard from Marcia in a while, and she called me and told me that the United States Congress had cut, in half I believe, the funding for the SETI program, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and wanted to know if I, in my capacity as the General Counsel for the Jesuit Headquarters Office of Social Ministry that dealt with public policy, she asked if I would be willing to join a group of former astronauts, and some other people to go and meet with a number of key congressmen to lobby them - to ask them to reinstate these funds for SETI. I was more than happy to do that. Again I got permission from Father Bill Davis, and he consented to this, so I participated with them. Shortly after the full funding was reinstated for the SETI project I was then asked. Marcia called me from the Library of Congress, telling me that the scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in the SETI program, wanted to have me give them a seminar out at JPL talking about the potential theological religious implications of potential contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. I was delighted to do that, so I said to Marcia "Look if I am going to be doing this, which I am totally delighted to do, I would like to be able to get access to some of the data that you might have available in the course of your doing this investigation for the Science and Technology Committee in Congress. So she said, "Well what would you like to see?" It didn't take me a second to tell her what I wanted. I would like to see the classified sections of the Project Blue Book. Well, she said that she didn't know whether the Air Force and the Department of Defense would agree to release these to the Library of Congress, but she would try. So she contacted them and shortly thereafter she called me and she said, much to her surprise, "They have agreed to do this." So she gave me a particular date and time and told me that I should go over to the new building at the Library of Congress, which was on the other side of Independence Avenue. I had mentioned before, when asked about this, this building had not even been opened yet. There were no people in it. I went over there, I believe it was on a Saturday morning and brought my identification. I went to the door, and there was an Executive Protective Service officer at the front door of the library. I showed him my identification. He was a little puzzled because there was nobody in the building; no offices had been opened yet. I showed him my identification, and he made a call. A little bit to his surprise he said, "Yes, you are expected." So I went in, and he told me what room I was expected to go to. I went down the hall, and went downstairs into the basement looking for this room. I found this place, and there was a room and these two security officers there at the door, and there was actually a third, plainclothed, sitting at a desk to the right of them. As I came in there I showed them all my identification, and they checked some documentation that they had, and said "Yes. I was supposed to be here." As I started to go in, the man sitting at the desk told me I had to leave my briefcase there. I wouldn't be allowed to take any notes. It turned out I had a yellow pad under my arm, so I set the briefcase down, gave it to him, and I went into the room. I was in there for some time. There were a bunch of documents there. There was actually a film machine. It was like a little reel-to-reel-kind of a film machine there. I don't know if it was 35mm, or whatever those things were -- so there was actually some little films there. I looked at some of the films and they were like the classic films that you have seen, sort of far distant shots of strange moving vehicles. So I decided I wasn't making much headway on this, so I began to look into these little boxes, that had these canisters there. There was one of these overhead filmstrip machines that was sitting in the room. I began to take these little canisters out, and open them up, and put the filmstrips in and look through these things. I don't know how many I had gone through. I had gone through several, or at least a few of these boxes, when I hit upon this one canister that had film and pictures. I started going through, turning the little crank and there it was. Again I have told people about this a number of times. There were these photographs of unmistakable -- of a UFO sitting on the ground. It had crashed, apparently. It had hit into this field and had dug up, kind of plowed this kind of trough through this field. It was wedged into the side of this bank. There was snow all around the picture. The vehicle was wedged into the side of this mud-like embankment -- kind of up at an angle. There were Air Force personnel. As I cranked the little handle, and looked at additional photos, these Air Force people were taking pictures. In the photograph they were taking photographs of this vehicle. One of the photos actually had the Air Force personnel with this big long tape measure measuring this thing. You could see that they had these parkas on, with little fur around their hoods. You could see that they had the little name tags on their jacket. They were clearly U.S. Air Force personnel. I was kind-of in this strange state saying: "Here it is!" So I turned the crank for more pictures, and I could see on the side of this craft these, like, little insignias - little symbols. So I turned ahead a couple of pictures to see if there was a closer picture. Sure enough, there was. One of the photos had kind of a close-up picture of these symbols. So what I did is -- I was getting nervous -- I looked around, and the guys weren't watching or anything. They were outside of the room, so I took the yellow pad, and I flipped it open to the little grey cardboard backing and I flipped it under the screen. I shrank the size of the picture to the exact same size as the back of the yellow pad, and traced the actual symbols out in detail, verbatim of what was there. Then I said, like, I'm going to leave. That's it. I've got this, and I don't want to push my luck on this thing... (Commercial break)
SDI: Danny, a long row you have been hoeing there. You said that over in '76 when you were at a friend's place for dinner, culminating in this recent sit-down, in a yet-to-be occupied basement of a building in Washington, to be privy to some very interesting, if not incredible, documentation and pictures -- what have you. Now, we are going to ask you some questions and move on from there in terms of what you saw, and what can be accomplished by this revelation. You were still finishing the story when we broke for the news.
DS: It's just that once I had copied these out -- I have thought about this a lot of times since that time because it was a little peculiar since I was there -- I was authorized to be there. I had been cleared into the place, even though they told me I couldn't take any notes or anything. Once I had actually seen these pictures, and actually chosen to copy down and trace these symbols from this craft, I just decided that I should get out of there. So I got up, closed the little pad, and I put the film back in the canister. I put all the boxes back where they were, and put the yellow pad under my arm, and just walked out. As I came through the door, I went over to get my briefcase up, and the man at the little desk that was sitting there pointed to the yellow pad under my arm, and he said, "What's that that you've got there?" I said,"That's the yellow pad that I had with me." He said, "Let me see that." He reached out and I handed it to him. He flipped through the yellow pages, and never looked at the back, never looked at the inside cardboard backing, and handed it back to me. So, I just put it under my arm, got my briefcase and walked out of there. I went right back to Jesuit National Headquarters, and told Father Bill Davis about this, and asked to convene a meeting of the 54 heads of the national Religious Organizations through the Washington Inter-religious Staff Council to ask for a special retreat for the churches to discuss potential issues that the Democratic and Republican parties had not yet taken positions on. It was a general session, and I raised the issue with them to see if they would agree to start looking into and authorize a major official investigation of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence and the potential secreting of information by the Executive Branch of the United States Government of the existence of this phenomena. They basically didn't want to do it, and so I was kind of kicking myself. So, then I went and gave the presentation to the SETI people at JPL -- big three-hour seminar discussing the potential theological implications of contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. I know that the reports came out -- that Marcia Smith in the Library of Congress prepared two separate reports. One was specifically restricted to the issue of extraterrestrial intelligence, and the other one was on the phenomena of the UFOs. So I actually saw copies of these that Marcia showed me that she had completed, and that was that.
SD; There is obviously a desire from inside to get this information out, to get some real concrete action here -- some headway made, otherwise you wouldn't have been sitting there in that basement.
DS: It would seem that something had happened, and that's why I was surprised a little bit with President Carter in the presidency, having reportedly seen one of these, this report having been prepared, submitted to the Science and Technology Committee of the Library of Congress, that something didn't happen. Of course, you will recall that it was a peculiar type of presidency with President Carter. He was very much under siege by extreme conservative forces that were actually inside his National Security Council. Donald P. Greg, for example, was in his NSC. He apparently was regularly reporting secret meetings that they were having all the way to Bill Casey, who was the head of the Republican campaign to try and oust Carter from the Presidency to the point, as you know, of intervening in the efforts that President Carter was making to negotiate for the release of the American hostages from Iran. So it was a terribly disruptive period of time. Gary Sick, who was in the NSC for President Carter at the time, has written a book called "The October Surprise." It actually delineates his conclusions, as an official member of the NSC, that the efforts of the entire Carter administration were being sabotaged by extreme conservative elements that were still in the government that wanted him out of there. It was very difficult apparently for President Carter during that period of time. The only estimate that I can have, is that any idea that he ever had of releasing information about this ended up getting swamped through the gas shortages, the difficulties he had with the hostages, and a whole series of other national security problems. They just kept him from doing this.
SDI: If we can go back to the room in the basement. You said on your way in, there were a couple of security people there. Were they military security? Were they Wackenhut? What were they?
DS: I didn't ask them for their credentials! As I recall they were civilians. They guy that was at the chair and the desk. He was in civilian clothes. The other two guys . . . they had extreme military bearing, but they were in private clothes -- in suits and ties, but I got the impression that they were military. The other fellow gave off the vibes of a civilian.
SD; The other question of course is what became of the yellow pad with the cardboard backing?
DS: Oh, I still have that. SDI: You do?
DS: Oh yes.
SDI: Has anyone analyzed that? Have you had anyone take a look at that?
DS: Well actually, no. I've got it in all my Jesuit Headquarters files. I have them all in file drawers that are in the basement of the garage.
SDI: What would be the chances of doing a scan of or reproduction of...
DS: Well, I'm obviously going to have to do that one of these days. You know when I got asked to give a presentation to MUFON, I figured it was just important to tell people about this. I guess I should have realized the potential importance of the data. There should come a time when I should dig these documents out, and make them available, which I am going to have to do.
SDI: Actually, it's extremely interesting because there are people who contribute to this program who claim they have seen what they believe are alien symbols, and there have been reports of other symbols that have been seen on objects in the sky, and it would be interesting to compare what they've seen and what you managed to bring out of that room with you.
DS: Yes. It's true. You see I had expected frankly that by this time that I would have been asked by our community -- the UFO community -- would have been interested in having a major professional investigation undertaken. So, I always said to myself, when that time comes, then I know it would be politically time to bring this forth and to integrate this into a major professional investigation. Much to my surprise, it still hasn't happened.
SDI: So in the world that is UFO investigation you have been waiting for the proper vehicle to come forward, but perhaps, shall we say, a little frustrated with the mechanics of the UFO world out there -- it's treatment of what you have done, and how this is all going to play itself out in a factual or respectable manner?
DS: Well, it's a difficult issue. As you know I think that there are real efforts under way now by members of the post-war generation, now that we are past the cold war. Even though it was 10 years ago, it seems like it happened just yesterday, that we are in this new era. It seems to me that we now have an opportunity in this particular area of public policy, to become much more sophisticated in this public policy arena to come together, very importantly, I've raised this twice now in presentations that I've made. This extraordinary inclination that seems to be present in this particular community of attacking, and setting upon each other, over various minutia of their various reports. I think that what I want to do is participate in gathering people together, to come together to discuss these things in an intelligent way, to combine our forces and our resources to really focus on a concentrated professional investigation. This is what our Christic Institute set about doing in the area of nuclear power, with the Karen Silkwood case, in the areas dealing with the clan and the Nazis, in the case we did in Greensboro, in regards to the Contra military funding, in South America, in the Iran-Contra case. It is something that when a public policy really comes to maturity, they eventually come to realize that there needs to be this kind of coalition force in disciplined attention, verifying in detail, through a professional investigation, the data that we need to move forward. I'm (unintelligible) the conference that we are going to be having down in Irvine here on the 20th and 21th and 22nd of July for MUFON may well play a major role in bringing people together to focus our resources on such an investigation.
SDI: Ya, that would be good if that would happen. The two reports that you say Marcia Smith had produced and done for Jimmy Carter. You said you saw one, or you said you had seen both?
DS: I saw both of them.
SDI: Were they yet classified?
DS: I don't know. People have asked me that. There wasn't any classified designation on them when I saw them, or when Marcia showed them to me.
SDI: What would you say the odds were for an eager beaver researcher to be able to get their hands on either one of those reports via the Freedom of Information Act there in the states?
DS: I don't know. It would depend upon whether or not they were classified. If they were classified, that's one of the twenty-two grounds on the basis of which the freedom of Information Act will not give you material.
SDI: But I can't see them not being classified, in view of the content, and what you said you saw.
DS: Well, it's not clear. Again, I just don't know. We couldn't tell what it is that was going on at that time. That was right at the time when we were filing the Karen Silkwood case. I had just filed the Karen Silkwood case in November of 1976, and was in the midst of all kinds of preliminary hearings and depositions and such. While I was extremely interested in this, I couldn't tell what was really happening. I was waiting for the President to say something -- to do something, but he got kind of swept up in all those other affairs I mentioned earlier.
SDI: In that room back in Washington, obviously there were other things that you saw. This one particular picture of a plowed furrow in a field, and an object stuck in an embankment, and hieroglyphics. Beyond that, anything else that you took out of that room that was significant in terms of its impact on you?
DS: No, no. I realized that there was probably going to be a limited amount of time that I was going to get to be there, so I first started looking through some of the reels that had documentation on them. I started to say to myself, "Look, if I start trying to look through these documents, I'm going to run out of time." So I was trying to find some key photographs. So that's why I went looking into the canisters looking for a canister that had photographs in it. That's how I happened to come to that particular canister.
SDI: Danny, explain this for me if you would. Amuse me I guess. I am a layman, not a lawyer. Lawyers think differently, and are used to long periods of waiting. If I had come across something like that in a basement in Washington, and done my little sketch, I'd be talking to everyone and anybody about what I had seen. Now explain it away to me, that I'm just a lawyer, I think differently, and things take a long time. Why would you have just not gone public with that?
DS: Well that is interesting. That's a perfectly logical question. At the time when I was in Washington D.C. the thing that I realized, being the general counsel for the Jesuit Headquarters, is that you actually bring information to the proper authority and try to make the legal system work the way it is supposed to work. It took quite some time for me to realize that really it was necessary to go out to the people, and have the people mobilize, rise up against the major institution, and try to force them to do what they were doing. I had come into Washington in 1975, and I was still operating in 1976 and 1977 very much under the idea that we can get these legal institutions to work. Since we had the new President, and I understood that the President knew about this stuff, that he had actually seen one, and that he was going to get copies of this report, that I was anticipating that it was going to start to work. When I was working on the Karen Silkwood case, I was out in Oklahoma most of the time doing depositions regularly, running professional investigators in the field -- into a major confrontation with the Central Intelligence Agency over the potential smuggling of plutonium out of these facilities -- I got kind of swept up in all of that stuff, and I was really very much buried in much of that stuff for the next couple of years. I was surprised frankly, that nothing came out of the White House and the Executive Branch. Basically the time sort of passed for that sort of key piece of information to come out. I was waiting for some stuff to happen. I talked to people about it -- informally when I would see them. That's one of the reasons when people contacted me to talk to John Mack about representing him, I immediately agreed to do that. SDI: Daniel, you obviously carry with you a great deal of credibility -- the cases you have been involved with, the whole Silkwood thing, incredible. Hollywood movies and so forth have come from what you have worked on. Given who you have talked to, what you have been privy to in the way of statements from individuals, documents, pictures, the information that came to you as a result of people trusting your credibility, what do you believe?
DS: (pause) Interesting. Actually, I believe that we are going to have a major private professional investigation sponsored by the UFO community that I am going to get to play a fairly major part in -- I hope. Therefore, I need to remain open to what exactly is going on. I did make a presentation to the International UFO Congress at Laughlin [March 2000] setting forth what I thought were seven or eight different potential explanations for the various phenomena that are going on, and rather than saying that I came to the conclusion that any one of them was true, to the exclusion of others, I believed that some percentage of incidents that have been reported are probably attributable to different phenomena. I laid that out for them at the Congress, as a preliminary view of what were the areas that I thought really needed to be investigated -- what potentials really needed to be looked at with potential explanations for various aspects of this phenomena. Now that having been said, in general, what I believe, I believe that a substantial portion of the very up-close sightings, where you get to see a vehicle that's absolutely clear, that it isn't just a mistaken light of some sort. I think that a substantial plurality of these are in fact vehicles from an extraterrestrial civilization, and I believe that they probably have a means of transporting themselves, which in fact exceeds the speed of light, and for that reason they would appear to be almost other-dimensional. Because when they come out of that mode of transport they appear to sort of materialize and dematerialize from that realm. So what some people think makes these beings extra-dimensional beings, my opinion is that some of them are in fact extraterrestrial. The report that Marcia showed me on extraterrestrial phenomena actually stated that it was the conclusion of the Library of Congress, Science and Technology Division, that from two to six, at least, other highly-intelligent, technologically-developed civilizations exist right within our own galaxy. Now they based this upon the Drake's equation, in working out various probabilities. They are increasing every day now that we discover that other star systems outside of our own star system -- where planets exist. We have discovered evidence of water in other solar systems now. I think that it's clear that these civilizations exist, and the only question is a fact question: Whether or not they have been capable of developing a mode of transportation that exceeds the speed of light. I believe that they have.
SDI: That is fascinating information that we have here on our desk this evening for this radio program. The House Space Science committee, information coming and statements being made among the advances and discoveries -- at least fifty planets have been found in orbit around distant sun-like stars in the last five years -- and researchers now believe those systems may be common throughout the system. Finding planets was considered an essential step to finding life of course, and that is being done.
DS: I was with my two sons, the night before last, and I said, "It's just amazing. You can tell your great-grandchildren that you were alive right at the time when they discovered other planets outside of our solar system. Now that's just an extraordinary step for human beings to take. My son said to me, "Well, that will probably be dwarfed by the fact that we will probably establish contact with a whole extraterrestrial civilization." I said, "Ya, you're probably right. That's probably true." The big discoveries we are making here each . . . (Part of line missing) SDI: Can you stay for ten to fifteen minutes after the news?
DS: Ya. My wife has agreed to stand by to wait to go out to dinner tonight. So I have agreed to do that.
SDI: We'll just keep you for another ten or fifteen minutes. Good stuff. Dan how did you get hooked-up with the Disclosure Project?
DS: Well, I just got called by Steven Greer, and he asked if I would participate in it and I have been trying over the last year or so to make myself available to each of the major groups that have been involved in the UFO issue, such as the International UFO Congress, MUFON, Steven Greer's group, Dr. John Mack, and others on a kind of an equal basis, so that I can demonstrate I am open to talking to people from all points of view, and actually establish a level of confidence in our relationships together. We can try and draw the people together, and share information, and work together in a common investigation.
SDI: Daniel, perhaps this is the development that we have been waiting for without many of us realizing that that is it. We have been hoping for some critical mass to occur, so that this can become publicly legitimate and properly researched and uncovered as it were. I think to date it has been the hopes of many that there would be enough sightings, that there would be video footage, that there would be enough multiple personal experiences, that someone would have to admit to this. The kind of critical mass that seems to be coming to the fore now is the critical mass that well-noted, well-respected, learned individuals who are now saying, "I am stepping into this arena." People such as yourself. That kind of critical mass is very, very exciting to hear -- someone such as you say what you said before we broke for news: "I believe this is real." That is incredibly exciting.
DS: I think that also the ability of people in our generation, our post-war generation, to actually conduct ourselves in a responsible and civil manner towards each other, even though different people have different points of view. To avoid being scurrilous and antagonistic towards each other is also part of the coming-of-age that really entitles a movement of this sort to receive the type of respect that is going to be necessary in order to get people in high positions of responsibility, both civilian and military, to come forward and to be willing to participate. I have heard many people say, "I don't want to go near that, because they are going to chew you up and kill you." They are not talking about any secret government official. They are talking about the people in the movement itself. I am hoping that this can in fact be a very important crossing that we make together, and avoid picking on each other's points of view, and try to share different perspectives, to that we can come to a collective of what is really going on here.
SDI: You are very diplomatic but the bottom line is that the UFO community as a whole has a nasty habit of eating it's young and stabbing each other in the back.
DS: Well I just think that what we have to do is that we come to participate. We have to be aware of the fact that this is a risk that we all take when we come into this area, but if we are able to smile and kind of pass aside those kinds of shots taken, and be civil and be respectful of everyone, and try and get people to come together at a common event such as this big MUFON gathering on July 19, 20, 21, and 22nd down in Irvine. If people will come to those things, and say, look, we are all here and we've got five, six, or eight of the top major participants in these investigations. Why don't we try an form some kind of common coalition here, without anyone being the chief of the thing? Why don't we try and work together? I think that this type of collegial decision making, where we take responsibility for ourselves -- not be dependant upon some military authority, government official, or even the President of the United States to come forward and spoon feed us this information, is the type of responsibility that may well be what is essential for us to demonstrate the type of worthiness that is necessary in order to be prepared for this information.
SDI: Excellent point. So in summation, for your moments here with us this evening, what next? Other than the Irvine symposium.
DS: Well, I hope that what we will do is come to an insight, that we pool our resources together and actually sponsor -- I pointed out before when I was on the Art Bell show -- a tribunal which we can actually bring forth and marshal our evidence. Put it forward in a way that is admissible, with present rules of federal civil procedure, that we act responsibly in this way, that we try to do this in a way that will encourage people who have opposing points of view, to those that are held by the UFO community in general, to come forward to try and represent the other side in a responsible and respectful way, and that we can subject the various witnesses to cross-examination and to testing of their evidence. We can then bring on federal judges who will sit in judgment of this. We can empanel a real jury, who can participate in listening to this information, that it can be broadcast over radio and television, or web cast over the Internet so that people can witness this type of major event, so that we can bring the information forward in the most responsible and careful way that we can, and then watch the jury deliberate. We can actually have cameras, live cameras in the room to see regular citizens deliberating on the respectability of the respective witnesses, the different pieces of evidence, and see what kind of conclusion that we can come to here.
SDI: Yes, if we are still not being told, or the information is not forthcoming then what do we accomplish with all that? Those that hold the details, hold the evidence, military, government, whatever, even despite that sort of arena.
DS: Well we have experience that in the past, as you know, the government withheld the information about the dangers of nuclear power, it withheld the information about Watergate, it withheld the information about Iran-Contra. You know the entire Iran-Contra hearings were brought -- the government official hearings -- about only because we as citizens mobilized and prepared this information and brought it forward in a completely comprehensive way. They were finding themselves getting behind the power curve, so they had to respond. You know Ed Meese, the Attorney General, under Ronald Reagan. The only reason he ever asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor was because it was getting out of control. I think that is what we really need to do, kind of a citizens initiative utilizing the standard rules of federal civil procedures in a kind of sophistication that we have learned as a collective community to utilize. That is the exact type of procedure that we need to undertake. If the government chooses to try to respond to it in some way, then that is fine. We will provide a forum for them, to come forward and participate in such a process. It is very much like Harvard Law School when I began at Harvard in 1967. We as a studentry organized the Joint Student Faculty Committee at Harvard Law School. There was no faculty on it, because they wouldn't gain to participate in it, in the kind of sharing of authority to make decisions. Yet, after two full years of holding meetings, the faculty at Harvard found it absolutely essential that they come forward and participate, because they were losing their authority and power. So I think we need to have sort of a citizens diplomacy program coming forward, where we take responsibility for these decisions ourselves. You know, the fact of the matter is, there are images where five hundred or six hundred Jewish people would sit there with two German soldiers holding guns on them, and leading them into a German prison camp. If people would only rise up, and take control of their own lives we cannot be coerced like this. What I think we need to do is mobilize people; utilize the training that our two-post war generations are the most widely educated educations in the history of our human family. We don't have to sit back and wait for someone like the king, or the pope, or someone like this to tell us this information. We can get this information ourselves, if we are willing to take the responsibility ourselves.
SDI: The time to move forward and take advantage of the inevitable critical mass situation.
DS: Right. Absolutely.