DEF CON 21 – Richard Thieme – The Government and UFOs A Historical Analysis
The Government and UFOs: A Historical Analysis by Richard Thieme
This talk is about the ways the many components of governments interact and respond to challenging and anomalous events–highly relevant to hacking by all definitions and at all levels. If you donít know the lay of the land, you can not engage in appropriate research and reconnaissance, counter-measures, and operations.
The proliferation of reliable reports of unidentified flying objects from the 1940s forward represented just such a challenge. The phenomenon was anomalous, well-documented, and certainly challenging because, as Major General John Samford said, “credible people have seen incredible things.”
The UFO History Group includes some of the best researchers in the field. Richard Thieme was privileged to be invited to join the group and their project which resulted, after nearly 5 years of work, in “UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry,” an outstanding work of historical scholarship that nevertheless reads like a fascinating detective story. In almost 600 pages and with nearly 1000 citations, the work illuminates the response of the government since the early 1940s. how and why policies were set, and how they were executed. The book has been recommended by CHOICE, the primary resource for academic libraries, for inclusion by libraries at all levels because the book stands out as “an exception” in a field filled with speculation (there is virtually none in this book). Other reviews say, “this is the best book about the UFO phenomena that was ever written” and “UFOs and Government is a triumph of sober, conscientious scholarship unlikely to be equaled for years to come.”
You have never heard a talk like this — about a subject that has been ridiculed and marginalized intentionally for sixty years as a matter of policy and politics. As Don Quixote said, “insanity is seeing things as they really are.” This speech uses UFO phenomena as dye in the arteries of “how things really are.”
Richard Thieme (@neuralcowboy) has established a reputation for edgy thinking, the mindset of a hacker, and radical clarity (“insanity is seeing things as they really are,” said Don Quixote). Jeff Moss said of him, “His ability to be open minded. conspiratorial, ethical and subversive at the same time is inspiring.” Clint Brooks, Asst. Deputy Director of NSA (ret) said, “Thieme takes us to the edge of cliffs we know are there but rarely visit.”
He is an author and professional speaker focused on the deeper implications of technology, religion, and science for twenty-first century life. He has published hundreds of articles, dozens of short stories, three books with more coming, and has delivered hundreds of speeches. A novel, FOAM, is in progress and ìA Richard Thieme Reader,î collecting fiction and non-fiction, interviews and book reviews, will be published in 2013.
Thieme speaks professionally about the challenges posed by new technologies and the future, how to redesign ourselves to meet these challenges, and creativity in response to radical change. He has spoken for numerous hacker, security and intel conferences around the world. He recently spent a day at NSA doing a speech, a panel, and a discussion. His column, “Islands in the Clickstream,” was distributed to thousands of subscribers in sixty countries before collection as a book in 2004. When a friend at the NSA told him, “The only way you can tell the truth [that we discuss during a decade-long project on intelligence and ethics] is through fiction,” he returned to writing short stories, one result of which is “Mind Games,” a collection of nineteen stories. Other edgy realities are referenced in the recently published and critically extolled “UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry” to which he contributed, a 5-year research project using material from inside the military and intelligence communities to document government responses to the phenomena from WW2 to the present.