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Secret Sources: Friends Or Foes?

There can be very few people in the field of Ufology who have not been approached by sources with something amazing to say, but who are determined to remain in the shadows. Of course, the vast majority of those same sources have legitimate reasons for not wanting their names used in a book, in an article, on a TV show, or in a lecture. Indeed, anywhere. They may be worried about how such revelations might impact on their jobs ( I have spoken to several cops over the years who have had UFO encounters and who were reluctant to go on the record for that very reason). Or, how matters might cause problems at home. Might their kids be ridiculed by friends at school? The list of reasons why a person might not want to be publicly identified goes on and on. But, that’s not the category of “secret sources” I’m talking about today. The ones I’m talking about here are very different.

It’s accurate to say that over the years I have spoken to a lot of what many call “insiders” who have shared with me astonishing and controversial data on various aspects of the UFO phenomenon. Material and revelations contained in my books The Roswell UFO Conspiracy and On the Trail of the Saucer Spies spring to mind. They tell of sinister conspiracies to hide the dark truth of alien agendas, of the bodies of dead aliens held at Area 51, of the Men in Black, and much more. The big question is: are these people speaking the truth? An even bigger question (that many recipients of allegedly secret information often forget to ask) is this: why is the source even sharing the data in the first place?

I have also  spoken to many UFO researchers who have cultivated their very own “ufological Deep Throat.” Those same researchers are excited by what their sources have to say. They see the data as a means to take their work further. Maybe so. But, consider this: Whenever anyone in Ufology tells me of such encounters, I always ask them a question which is often met with a puzzled silence. That question goes like this: “Why do you think they specifically chose you?” The reply to my question is usually: “What do you mean?”

The fact is that most insiders don’t share their UFO information of the supposedly top secret kind just because they want to do us all a favor. In other words, there is always a reason. And, it’s a reason that many ufologists don’t want to hear or deal with. It’s the possibility that their source is playing them. Manipulating them. Deceiving them. I’ll give you a perfect example, one which involved me.

Back in the latter part of the 1980s – and into the early 1990s – I did  a lot of research into how animal-rights groups in the U.K. were secretly monitored, and even infiltrated, by British Intelligence and by the police. I got quite a few sources during that period – some from the inside. Yes, they shared certain interesting data (but nothing truly mind-blowing), which opened a few doors. Of course, they refused to have their names used. But, what stood out for me was the quite subtle way in which they asked me how the research was going, what I had uncovered, when I might be publishing something. And so on and so on. It was very clear to me that these were not innocent questions.

I was being fed a few genuine tidbits of material, with the hope being that in return I would spill the beans on what I had found. When, after a number of meetings, it became clear to the sources that I was only interested in receiving information – and not giving it to people who might turn out to have ulterior motives – the contacts began to fade away. To the point where, in the ’90s, it came to an end. I have seen that exact same approach time and again in Ufology. A seemingly friendly source wants to help, but there is always a cost: they want information in return. But, they do it in a skillful,  friendly way.

So, a word or several of warning: if you are approached by a secret source – who promises to give you exactly what you want to hear – don’t let your “I want to believe” factor take hold. Listen carefully, but also be mindful of that important question: “Why me?” With the prospect of receiving “secret UFO documents” don’t get over-excited and don’t fail to fully address the matter of that aforementioned  question.

As a UFO researcher are you digging into other issues too (as I was: my research into UFOs, and that relative to animal-rights, were going on at the very same time)? Are you an activist in any particular arena? Do you take part in peaceful demonstrations? You get the picture, right? A few final words: if you are ever approached by a secret, insider source, listen to what they have to say. And take careful notice of it too. But, remember, such sources rarely ever do what they do without a specific agenda. And that agenda may not be to your advantage, even if you think it is.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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