People often ask me for my views on those individuals who claim secret knowledge of some of the most classified data on Unidentified Flying Objects. We are, of course, talking about what have commonly become known as UFO whistleblowers. Over the years - and just like so many other people within the field of Ufology - I have had my encounters and run-ins with such people. It's a situation that can be eye-opening, thought-provoking, and, at times, even downright surreal. Particularly so when it comes to matters of a "cloak and dagger" nature. But, how much, exactly, is the word of a UFO whistleblower really worth? Is it worth anything? Well, that very much depends upon a wide variety of factors.
All too often I have seen certain players within Ufology go way over the top (with near-foaming-at-the-mouth excitement) when it comes to the domain of the whistleblower. So, someone contacts you and they want to share what they claim is highly-classified material or data on UFOs. And what do you do with that material and data? Or, rather, what should you do with it? What's in it for you? What's in it for them? The answers to those questions all depend on the circumstances. And, I'll explain what I mean by that.
If you're approached by someone claiming to have the scoop on what "the government" really knows about UFOs, the first thing to ponder upon is not the nature of the material that may soon be coming your way. Rather, you should think very carefully as to why you, specifically, have been targeted. What was going on in your life at the time you were approached? Are you pursuing a story that might prompt someone to share with you information that could significantly help you? On the other hand, are you chasing down a case that might very well cause someone to try and push you down the wrong path? Namely, a path filled with disinformation, distorted stories, and bogus data.
If there's one thing that can be said about all whistleblowers (and not just of the UFO kind), it's that they have an agenda. Whether an agenda of their own, or one orchestrated by their cunning and manipulative handler. It's that agenda you need to try and understand and take note of. Unfortunately, and largely as a result of the "excitement/eye-candy" factor of Ufology that reels so many into the subject, people want to believe what their secret sources are telling them. There are a couple of reasons for this: (a) the data may be exactly what the researcher so desperately wants to see and hear; and (b) it makes them feel important, chiefly because they have been "selected."
I had my own experiences with alleged UFO whistleblowers, specifically when I was writing my books On the Trail of the Saucer Spies, Final Events and Body Snatchers in the Desert. As I freely admit (and as I also freely and publicly admitted when the books were published), even to this day I cannot say for sure what the true nature of their agendas were. Maybe their words were the entire truth. Perhaps some of what they said amounts to outright lies. It's even possible they were themselves deceived by someone above them, but remained completely unaware of it.
Certainly, some of the material proved to be true. For example, in my 2006 book, On the Trail of the Saucer Spies, I revealed how a retired source with the British Police Force told me that its Special Branch had - in the 1990s - opened files on two UK-based UFO researchers, Robin Cole and Matthew Williams. Six years later, the existence of the files on both men was officially acknowledged by Special Branch. Some of that material has now been declassified; other data still remains withheld.
When and where possible I have consistently shared with the UFO community the information shared with me. But, I have always urged caution when it comes to buying into it. If you do buy into it (regardless of whether it's true or not) you're already akin to the fish going after the bait.
On a slightly different but still connected path, I've even come across a few, pathetic "Walter Mitty" types, who think that playing 007, acting like a whistleblower, and faking "top secret UFO documents" is fun. Well, for them, maybe it is. They're easy to spot: obsessive-compulsive, solitary, lacking in self-esteem, and not a girlfriend, UFO groupie, or wife in sight. Yes, this tragic category of losers is all male. Avoid them.
So, in conclusion, if one day you find yourself face to face with a UFO whistleblower, listen to what they have to say. And listen carefully. And guardedly. But not uncritically.