+quot;BOOK, HYPE, AND SNOOKERED+quot; by Robert Sheaffer (Book Review reprinted from the N

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"BOOK, HYPE, AND SNOOKERED" by Robert Sheaffer (Book Review reprinted from the Nov.Dec., 1979 issue of the now-defunct magazine, "Second Look") ALTERNATIVE 3 by Leslie Watkins, David Ambrose and Christopher Miles. New York: Avon Books, 1979. Can a book be banned from sale in the United States? Well- known UFOlogist Gray Barker [died 1984] claims in his regular column in UFO Review (June, 1979) that this one was. The book's thesis that the end of life on earth is coming, and that only the elite of the world can be rescued, is purportedly too shocking for the government to permit the book's release. "I'm not going to risk trouble by trying to get a copy," Barker shudders (although after I effortlessly obtained a copy of the original British edition, no "Men In Black" came pounding on my door). An American edition of "Alternative 3" is available now. It is not difficult to see why the government might want to suppress the book, *if* what it says is true*. East/West tensions are a deliberate fraud, it says, a smokescreen thrown up to divert attention from the real danger now reportedly facing the world. The eco-alarmists are right, the authors contend: the world is now facing certain extinction due to an accelerating runaway greenhouse effect resulting from the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels. Alternative 1 was supposedly discussed by an elite panel of end-of-the-world brainstormers, and rejected as being impractical and hazardous: using a series of nuclear explosions to "punch holes" in the supposed envelope of carbon dioxide. Alternative 2 - moving the elite of mankind to live in underground cities - was also rejected as impractical and undesirable. That leaves us with Alternative 3: transporting the world's intellectual and governmental elite off the earth completely, using the moon as a way-station in the colonization, and eventual terraforming, of Mars. The technology to accomplish this is alleged to already be in existence: the space program as we know it is said to be just a diversion from the *real* space effort, a joint US/USSR venture, which is far more advanced than everyone has been led to believe. A lunar colony is claimed to already exist, managed by the elite "designated movers," where a corps of de-sexed, lobotomized slaves, tactlessly called "batch consignments," performs all of the manual labor. It is difficult for the casual reader to know what to make of Alternative 3. The book purports to be non-fictional (the British edition carries the categorization "World Affairs/ Speculation"), an adaptation of a supposedly earth-shaking TV documentary produced by Anglia TV. It is filled with references to real persons and real events. Otto Binder *did* make wild claims about weird objects that the astronauts supposedly sighted in space. Gerard O'Neill [died 1992] *did* make headlines with his advocacy of space colonies (the US/USSR conspirators are said to have debated whether Professor O'Neill should be done away with, since he knows so much: "not necessary," they decided. I wonder if he realizes how close to death he came!) We find references to Senator Edward Kennedy, astronauts Mitchell, Aldrin and Armstrong (as well as a fictitious moon-walker named "Grodin"), UFOlogist Dr. David Saunders and many others. We find many apparently authentic quotes from newspapers and magazines. Yet the book is obviously a novel. The dialogue is too contrived, and the protagonists' slam-bang uncovering of layer after layer or treachery and conspiracy is typical of low-grade spy novels. Can anyone truly convince himself that top American and Soviet officials meet regularly in docking submarines beneath the arctic ice cap to review conspiracy developments, and that the transcript of their ultra-secret deliberations would read like this? American 2: I told you we should have killed that guy Gerstein . . . way back in February . . . I said that he was dangerous . . . Russian 4: My friend is right . . . he did say that. And I pointed out that Gerstein's talk could start a panic among the masses . . . A 8: . . . and I propose an expediency. A 2: Seconded. R 8: Those in favour? . . . then that is unanimous. The method? A 3: How about a telepathic sleep job . . . maybe with a gun. R 8: that seems sensible . . . it's too soon after Ballantine for another hot job. Gray Barker devoted a full column to the book because of information received from an unnamed Major so-and-so. (The hints Barker drops appear to be chosen to make us immediately conclude "The Major" to be former NICAP director Major Keyhoe. But it is not. It is a different retired Major [Wayne Aho], living on the West coast, not nearly as well-known as Keyhoe, who has long been associated with Adamski-style contactees.) The Major attempted to buy one hundred copies of "Alternative 3" from the Canadian publishing firm or Thomas Nelson & Sons. Jim Gifford, the manager of the paperback division, informed the Major that the order could not be filled because, in his ill-chosen phrase, "the above title has been banned from sale in the United States." The Major apparently sent a copy of this letter to Barker, who picked up the football and ran a hundred yards, charging that this book was suppressed in the U.S. because it was embarrassing to the authorities, and that the "space program is a hoax" movie, "Capricorn One", was canned prematurely, supposedly for the same reason. Since, however, the full letterhead of Thomas Nelson & Sons is reproduced in the Barker piece, I wrote to Gifford asking if "Alternative 3" really was banned in the United States. He replied that it is unfortunate that Barker did not contact him before rushing off to print, as it would have saved considerable embarrassment on both their behalfs! The reason the book was supposedly "banned" in the U.S. , he explained, was that Avon Books had purchased the U.S. paperback rights. Had the Canadian firm filled the Major's order, it faced the risk of a whopping lawsuit from Avon Books. But are the startling claims of "Alternative 3" true? How do we explain the interviews with whistle-blowers, the tie-in with missing persons, the clues to allegedly mysterious deaths of prominent persons? Our British readers already know the answer: April Fool! As reported in "The Times" of London on June 21, 1977, the day after the TV version was presented, "Independent television companies last night received hundreds of protest calls after an Anglia programme, "Alternative 3", giving alarming "facts" about changes in the earth's atmosphere. It was a hoax, originally intended for April 1." Reporter Alan Coren observed that "the year's worst kept secret was that Alternative 3 was a spoof . . . if you know that 'a hoax is a hoax, how can you possibly attack it for lacking authenticity?" He suggested that had he not been in on the "secret" in advance, while the total preposterousness of the story itself might not have deterred belief, the acting was so unconvincing as to remove all doubt. It seems that we Americans, who almost never read the British press and whose own media have said virtually nothing about this matter, are having our credulity tested by the promoters of "Alternative 3". Some of us have already risen to the occasion, mustering credulity above and beyond the call of duty: Major A., Gray Barker (the first to write a book about the supposedly mysterious "Men In Black," whose existence has now been swallowed by Hynek, Vallee, Keel, Clark and many others), as well as Timothy Green Beckley, editor of "UFO Review". Don't be the next to bite the hook. The marketing of "Alternative 3" represents a real-world test of the old adage that a fool and his money are soon parted. -- Robert Sheaffer - Scepticus Maximus - sheaffer@netcom.com Past Chairman, The Bay Area Skeptics - for whom I speak only when authorized! "Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk. It is as when a conflagration has broken out in a great city, and no man knows what is safe, or where it will end." - Emerson: Essay, "Circles" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Jeff Papineau "Alternative 3": April Fool! From: jeffp@netcom.com (Jeff Papineau) Message-ID: xc5nhtn.jeffp@netcom.com Newsgroups: alt.alien.visitors,sci.skeptic,alt.conspiracy Although I do hate to beat a dead horse, it does seem that we need to set the record straight here with the pertinent facts such that people will not feel inclinded to subscribe to any proffered party line... Contrary to what people have written about reading in the Fortean Times and in Roberts latest post about Alternative 3, there are many issues surrounding the original broadcast in the UK Commonweath, and the subsequent book that are simply not addressed by cries of "hoax' and "april fools, ect." This initial airing on UK television was quit a stir for the folks over there. The show that originally broadcast and produced it was called the Science Report, a documentary non-fictional program, up until the time that the Alternative 3 program had been aired. So the folks tuning in were expecting non-fiction. Part of the mystery here all along was, "What had prompted the producers to deviate from the regular menu of documentary programing? It seemed very out of charactor, and must have been prompted by some interesting ideas they wished to promote. The book was published in 1978, the documentary in 1977. The authors of the book were Leslie Watkins and David Ambrose. The TV program aired with actors credits following the program at the end. This program aired June 20, 1977, so it seems that the April Fools pitch is contrived at best. Anyway, the different network presidents quickly issued statements in Britain, Cananda, and Australia claiming the show to be a hoax... seemingly by preasure from above. And the author Watkins has publicly stated that the book is 65% true, and 35% fiction. So in reality it is many facts collected together to support a fictional(?) conspiracy theory in the grand tradition that all conspiracy theories are postulated and proposed. Some of the ideas proposed in 1977's Alternative 3 were somewhat ahead of great public exposure to a host of environmental threats that we hear of daily in 1992; Global Warming Co2 release Overpopulation - Well, this one's been around a while, but it seems to be the one that no matter what, will bring use face to face with the mortality of the race, regardless of how well the planet can handle the first two issues in the next decades. Deforestation These topics were first brought to light in a conference held in Huntsville AL in 1957, the main topic even back then being the Greenhouse effect. One of the actors who was in the TV production actually attended the conference. One of the most interesting things about Alternative 3 is that there were facts reported on the show that were not released to the press untill over a decade later, and issues came up that seemed to be verifyable concerning Mars by visual evidence observable from Earth. First, the actor portraying a Prof. Girstin reported that a Russion missile carrying an atomic warhead had blown up on the pad in 1960, killing hundreds of Russian scientists. The reported mission of the rocket was to deliver it's warhead to Mars in the attempted terra forming of the planet. Life magazine stated NASA has openly discussed the terraforming of Mars, in its May 1991 issue "Our Next Home, Mars, Bringing a Dead World to Life"... It was not reported until 1991 by Russian authorities that in fact a rocket had exploded in 1960, killing more than 200 Soviet space experts, a missile reported to be part of thier balistics program (nuclear). So it becomes clear that the producers of the program had access to secret information at the time the program was aired. If you look closely, it becomes obvious that the program contained information that was much more than just vivid imagination, it was a product of investigative journalism, with some explainations for anomylous observations thrown in, such as never seen before cloud formations on Mars, observed from earth. Although officially, these observations were attributed to violent storms more powerful than ANY previously seen, could it be that the US/USSR does have a secret space program, they are actively attempting to terraform Mars, and we are seeing the effects of nuclear detonations that are creating these cloud formations on Mars? These are the questions that the book and the TV production ask, and it would seem that the authors were somehow privy to information the public was not... There are many books on the theory of the secret space effort, and while many of these theorys upon first investigation seem to be very far out, even outlandish, there is one thing you can be very sure of: NASA is charged with many duties that they do not speak of, there is a space effort by the US that is not publicised, there are technologies being used that could be far in advance of what we consider to be possible at this time, and that they won't tell use about it until they feel it will somehow promote thier agenda. What ever that agenda is; we don't know what it is, because of a trite little expression called 'national security' that has outlived its justifications. Furthur reading if your interested includes: International UFO Library magazine - Vol. 2, Article by Tony Dodd Moongate: Suppressed Findings of the US Space Program - W. Brian II We found alien bases on the Moon (or somesuch book I have seen around, but don't have yet.) The Secret Space Program - Herbert G. dorsey III (this book seems to have more information regarding Alternative 3 than anyother I have seen.) Cosmic Top Secret - William Hamilton The Vindicator Scrolls - Stan Deyo The Cosmic Conspiracy - Stan Deyo Behold a Pale Horse - William Cooper The Anit-gravity Handbook - Dr. Childress UFO Crash at Aztec - William Steinman


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