One of the most important personalities in levitating the UFO discussion to the public was Victor Marchetti (1929-2018), a former executive assistant to the Deputy Director of the CIA. Not exactly a UFO whistleblower, Marchetti, who co-authored the best-selling book “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” (1974), thought the U.S. government maintains secret contacts with extraterrestrials.
In his 1979 article, titled “How The CIA Views The UFO Phenomenon,” Marchetti made some statements about U.S. intelligence agencies keeping what they knew about UFOs out of the public domain at all costs. He also explained the reasons behind that.
Victor Marchetti circa 1972. He was “at the vanguard of what has been called the literature of disillusion,” said Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy. Credit: NY Times
“I do not know from my own firsthand experience if there are UFOs. I have never seen one. Nor have I seen conclusive, empirical, or physical evidence that they really exist. But, I do know that the CIA and U.S. Government have been concerned over the UFO phenomenon for many years and that their attempts, both past and recent, to discount the significance of the phenomenon and to explain away the apparent lack of official interest in it have all the earmarkings of a classic intelligence cover-up.
My theory is that we have, indeed, been contacted – perhaps even visited – by extraterrestrial beings and that the U.S. Government, in collusion with other national powers of the Earth, is determined to keep this information from the general public.
The purpose of the international conspiracy is to maintain a workable stability among the nations of the world and for them, in turn, to retain institutional control over their respective populations.
Thus, for these governments to admit there are beings from outer space attempting to contact us, beings with mentalities and technological capabilities obviously far superior to ours, could, once fully perceived by the average person, erode the foundations of the Earth’s traditional power structure.
Political and legal systems, religions, and economic and social institutions could all soon become meaningless in the mind of the public. The national oligarchical establishments, even civilization as we know it, could collapse into anarchy.
Such extreme conclusions are not necessarily valid, but they probably accurately reflect the fears of the “ruling class” of the major nations, whose leaders (particularly those in the intelligence business) have always advocated excessive governmental secrecy as being necessary to preserve “national security.” The real reason for such secrecy is, of course, to keep the public uninformed, misinformed, and, therefore, malleable.”
The alleged stories of Grey aliens or aliens being shot at Wright-Patterson AF Base in Dayton, Ohio did not impress Mr. Marchetti except for the strange signals from outer space being received by NSA. It was because he had frequent contact with that agency while serving with the CIA, and the signals were treated with extreme caution even by SIGINT standards.
But let us assume that there have been contacts by intelligent beings from beyond the Earth. Former CIA operative further explained how the CIA and US Government would respond to such a phenomenon.
Mr. Marchetti said that while those outside the agency may have joked about the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial civilizations, those in the CIA did not. The subject was considered taboo, except for rumors that ET had contacted humankind via mysterious signals and stories of crashed UFOs and recovered bodies.
Victor Marchetti with his wife, Bernice Marchetti, and granddaughter, Isabella Marchetti. “If I had it to do all over again, I’d have kept my mouth shut,” he said years after the furor over his book. “I’d have played the game.”Credit: Stacey Marchetti
“During my years in the CIA, UFOs were not a subject of common discussion. But neither were they treated in a disdainful or derisive manner, especially not by the agency’s scientists. Instead, the topic was rarely discussed at internal meetings. It seemed to fall into the category of ‘very sensitive activities,’ e.g., drug and mind-control operations, domestic spying, and other illegal actions. People simply did not talk about the UFO phenomenon,” Mr. Marchetti wrote.
Mr. Marchetti found the Jimmy Carter UFO experience most impressive. He wrote that Carter and his son Jeff once saw a UFO at night in Georgia in 1973. Three years later, when campaigning for the presidency, Carter promised to make “every piece of information the country has about UFOs available to the public.” However, he never fulfilled that pledge nor has he ever again spoken out publicly on the subject.
After Mr. Marchetti left the CIA, he penned a book with John D. Marks that immediately created a censorship, court battle between himself and the agency.
In reviewing the manuscript in 1973 for “The C.I.A. and the Cult of Intelligence,” the agency cited 339 passages that it said had to be removed on the grounds that they jeopardized national security, according to the New York Times. Mr. Marchetti, as all CIA employees are required to do, had signed an agreement to allow the agency to approve any writings he produced about the CIA before having the work published. (Source)
Victor Marchetti’s and John D. Marks’s book, published in 1974, revealed the C.I.A.’s involvement in coups, assassinations and cover-ups.
The authors and their publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, challenged the agency in court, accusing it of violating their First Amendment rights. Moreover, they argued that much of the material in the book had already been made public or was so trivial — like the pronunciation of names — that it hardly undermined national security. (Source)
Over several months, the agency whittled down its objections to 168 passages. Knopf then published the book using blank spaces for passages that had been censored and using boldface type to indicate passages that the CIA had initially wanted to censor but later allowed.
While many viewed Mr. Marchetti as a whistle-blower hero, others simply saw him as an opportunist breaking his employment agreement with his employer, the CIA. But all would have to agree that Mr. Marchetti paid a heavy price for his candor. Mr. Marchetti said so in a 1980 interview with The Washington Post:
“I lost everything I had. If I had it to do all over again, I’d have kept my mouth shut. I’d have played the game.”