As famous capital cities of world-straddling superpowers go, Washington DC is somewhat disappointing. The grandiose urbanism is surely meant to resemble the boulevards of Paris, with the parks of London, but in reality the dreary post-modern/neo-classical bombast makes it looks like Tashkent married to Milton Keynes. A city that is planned to project power actually projects tedious, if reliable, stolidity.
But that, for my purposes, is the thing. Washington DC is nothing if not boring. And pompous. And self-consciously serious. And yet, over the last few years, months, even days, a story has been emerging, from this same ponderous city, which is mind-bustingly crazy, possibly world changing, yet often unnoticed or airily dismissed – perhaps because it is so ‘mad’.
I’m talking about UFOs – or, as the Pentagon in the Washington suburbs would refer to them, UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena). The reason the Pentagon has renamed UFOs is because they feel the term ‘UFO’ has been stigmatised as intrinsically suspicious, labelling anyone that talks about them as a lunatic.
And the Pentagon, and Washington in general, is really keen on talking about UFOs. Here’s a list of senior DC people who’ve been making strange remarks about UFOs/UAPs (in the sense, at the very least, that something inexplicable is haunting our planet).
John Brennan, head of the CIA under Obama, in 2021: ‘Some of the phenomena we’re going to be seeing continues to be unexplained and might, in fact… something that we don’t yet understand, and could involve some type of activity that some might say constitute a different form of life.’
John Ratcliffe, Donald Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, also in 2021:
‘There are a lot more sightings than have been made public. Some of those have been declassified. And when we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain.