TLDR: Here’s the academic paper: https://uapbridge.org/great-strategic-silence/
I am a former academic scientist (an unremarkable one). I was a die-hard empirical skeptic, never even considering the concept of alien UAPs as even vaguely sensible until about 5 years ago, when two things happened:
First, I semi-accidentally spent a year working in corporate counterintelligence. The experience made me realise how naive I was, as a scientist, to intelligence matters, and that when used in the intelligence world, many of my basic scientific assumptions taken from the scientific method seemed to be worse than useless – and perhaps even systematically wrong.
Second, I read the NY Times article about the Nimitz event, and simply couldn’t find a prosaic explanation for it (I spent months researching it, and asked the smartest people I know – they couldn’t either.)
The combination of the two lead me to think that all of those years I’d spent as a scientist dismissing the ridiculous idea of an NHI conspiracy (because science practically always dismisses conspiracy, it’s a central and very useful concept in the scientific method*) might have been too hasty.
After all, the Fermi Paradox says there should be super advanced aliens, and it’s weird we don’t see them. Meanwhile, covert spying has been almost routine behaviour throughout human history, which is our only data point for intelligent species. With an intelligence hat on, it started to seem actually quite reasonable to wonder whether the reason we don’t see the super advanced aliens is because they’re doing what today, every country does to every other – covertly spying on us.
It seemed like a plausible idea, but I still didn’t know anywhere near enough about intelligence to sensibly assess it – whether it would make sense for advanced ET to be motivated to do it, what the patterns and evidence might look like if they really were spying on us, and so on. So I spent years (too many) researching everything related to covert intelligence – the game theory that underpins its motivations, typical evidence patterns of large scale, long term intelligence operations (especially by much more advanced opponents), intelligence investigation and analysis methods, the history of covert intelligence, methods of deception, tradecraft, obfuscation – even related fields like stage magic, cognitive biases – everything I felt I needed to form a more educated model of how likely this possibility actually was, along with the current scientific understanding of the Fermi Paradox, etc. These are huge and expansive fields, and despite a lot of effort (and over 1000 pages of notes), I am sure I have still only scratched the surface – but I had to stop somewhere, and eventually I felt I had a reasonable grasp of some of the most important concepts.
This paper is the first in 2-3 papers that are the output of that research. It tries to lay out the basic concept of how an ET / NHI conspiracy could be scientifically sensible (and solve the Fermi Paradox) by describing some basic covert intelligence groundwork, such as pointing out that covert intelligence like the CIA and NSA are actually a basic reality, and not just dismissible as a “conspiracy theory” – so perhaps neither can we do this with ET.
The paper also describes how the patterns we might expect from a long term, covert intelligence operation by a significantly superior opponent (i.e. ET) appear to be strikingly similar to the data and patterns of the history of the UAP / UFO phenomenon. In other words, the paper says that, when I actually tried to seriously model what ET spying on us might look like, based on universal patterns in the terrestrial history of covert intelligence, the conceptual model essentially predicted that we should expect to see a pattern of reports surprisingly similar in content and pattern to those we see in the UFO / UAP literature. As a skeptic, I found that a new and interesting reason to take the possibility of covert ET more seriously.
Additionally, the paper suggests some potential explanations for puzzling aspects of the UAP phenomenon. For example: Why do UAP sometimes appear to be covert, but other times seem to go out of their way to be detected? Why do many UAP incidents have absurd and contradictory elements? Why are occupants all humanoid when this seems very scientifically unlikely?
The paper proposes is that these may be instances of somewhat expected patterns in typical covert intelligence operations. For example, information tends to inevitably leak from any long-term covert operation, and does so in multiple, predicable ways, including:
Accidents and failures (e.g. crashes, mistakes) Intentional disinformation (intelligence groups know information will leak, so they get out in front and intentional stage events, often with absurd or contradictory elements, to undermine authentic accidents, leaks, etc. – see “firehose of falsehood” approach) Leaks from rogue elements (like the Snowden leaks) Undetected advances in the opponent’s detection capabilities (e.g. radar upgrades, etc.).
Interestingly, my research suggests that the history of UAP events seems to contain events that may align to each of these categories:
Accidents and failures (e.g. crashes – Grusch) Intentional disinformation by NHI (e.g. any of the absurd UAP events that come from groups of credible people – e.g. see Jacques Vallee’s books for many examples) Undetected advances in detection capabilities (e.g. the Nimitz event, and Ryan Graves et. al. 2015 events on US east coast – both sets of which coincided with separate, early deployments of major radar system upgrades) UAP events that seem to imply particualrly brazen and overt behaviour that bucks the covert trend could even potentially be interpreted as Snowden-esque leaks by rogue elements (e.g. Ariel School, Westall, etc.) – although these could similarly be intentional disinformation, or other categories of detections.
In short, some UAP events might be absurd and overt because they are intentional / staged disinformation by ET, acting to undermine any authentic events, whereas other UAP events may appear covert, because their detection was not intended by ET, and so on.
This general principle could also potentially be extended to explain other puzzles, like why occupants nearly always appear to be humanoid, and craft appear to reflect the sci-fi style of the period, despite these seeming to be scientifically very unlikely: Because they have been intentionally designed to appear that way by ET to facilitate their dismissal as unscientific.
I hope the paper is somewhat useful or interesting. It’s been an interesting ride to research. It’s a tricky and very broad area to research, so please, forgive any obviously mistakes. Also, anything I quote or describe incorrectly assume is my mistake, and anything I claim, but that someone else has said first, assume was their idea.
The next 1-2 papers (coming hopefully soon) will deal with the biggest problem I came up against: That it seems science might not be capable, or might not be the right tool, to actually study UAP (if they are strategically covert ET). In short, it seems that a key reason why science hasn’t engaged with the UAP / UFO phenomenon might be that covert intelligence operations (which are de facto “conspiracies”, because they are secret plots) clash with some of the key principles of science. Not because covert intelligence operations aren’t real or important, but because science isn’t “designed” to deal with problems where they are a realistic possibility, so it just dismisses them. (Which is why we don’t usually use science to solve these types of problems, we use things like criminal investigation frameworks, or intelligence analysis methods, that have inbuilt steps to cope with a potential strategic adversary working to manipulate our investigation.)
Note 1: I don’t provide my credentials for authority – I don’t have any authority (I don’t know who does on this topic). I’d ask you judge the paper on the quality of the logic, not my background, which is mostly irrelevant. I only provide it for context of how I arrived at the logic. I’d rather stay anonymous for now.
*I think science dismissing conspiracy is actually very valuable when used in the right context – i.e. when there’s no chance of a strategic adversary, such as when studying subatomic particles, volcanoes, jellyfish, etc., because it avoids wasting time considering it.