The inside story of the government’s search for alien life

An author profile photo and a book cover.
Are we alone in the universe? Journalist Garrett Graff explores the history of UFOs — and what the government is or isn't saying about them — in his new book, "UFO."
Photo courtesy of Elmanstudio | Cover courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Are you convinced the U.S. government knows more than it will reveal about UFOs? After doing a deep dive into the history, journalist Garrett Graff is too. But he doesn’t think the cover-up is a necessarily hiding alien life.

“There are two obvious cloaks of secrecy that surrounds the government cover-up of its understanding of what UFOs and UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena) are today,” Graff tells MPR News host Kerri Miller on this week’s Big Books and Bold Ideas.

“One level is we don’t know what level of public UFO sightings are our own government’s secret development projects.”

“The other is that … some chunk of UAPS are advanced adversary technology being tested against us — drones from other countries. So the military doesn’t want to say what it’s detected lest it give away too much.”

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But is there alien life? Graff feels certain there is. He just doesn’t see proof that it’s visiting earth.

His new book looks at the history of UFO sightings in the United States, including the large reports of flying saucers after WWII, UFO conspiracy theories after Watergate and the U.S. government’s efforts in recent years to engage in more open dialogue about extraterrestrial life.


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