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Remember The Simpsons’ “Lisa vs Malibu Stacy” episode from season 5, when Lisa is trying to convince a mob of girls trying to get their little hands on the ‘new’ Malibu Stacy model, that it’s just the same old doll with a stupid, cheap hat?

–“She still embodies all the awful stereotypes she did before!” yells Lisa.

–“But she’s got a new hat!” says Smithers in the back. 

…And that was that.

I feel this is an adequate metaphor for what has just happened in UFOland, after the US Department of Defense announced the ‘official release’ of the three UFO Navy videos (FLIR1, Gimbal and GoFast) which made a splash in global consciousness since 2017, ever since that fateful article published by the New York Times revealed the existence of the AATIP/AAWSAP program:

The Department of Defense has authorized the release of three unclassified Navy videos, one taken in November 2004 and the other two in January 2015, which have been circulating in the public domain after unauthorized releases in 2007 and 2017.  The U.S. Navy previously acknowledged that these videos circulating in the public domain were indeed Navy videos.   After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena. DOD is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as “unidentified.”

It’s as if the whole Internet was a short-term memory dog or something. All of the sudden we’re back to the “ZOMG the government just told us UFOs are real and nobody cares!” memes we’ve been enduring for. Over. Two. Effing. Years! Never mind it’s the same old low-quality, grainy, short clips everybody and their grandmother have watched over, and over, and over, and OVER again, in every news channel or recently made UFO documentary –even though there are persistent rumors of other videos with better resolution. Never mind the Pentagon is not giving us any new information concerning the encounters between Navy pilots and unidentified objects which occurred almost 16 years ago, or whether there have been any new sightings reported by military personnel more recently. “The hashtag AliensExist is trending, bro! What more do you want?” boast the members of UFO Twitter, giving a pass to the click-baity hyperbole employed by some websites who should know better, because they’re happy to see UFOs dominating the news cycle once again –as if THAT was so difficult to accomplish, now that celebrity Zoom reunions, Tik Tok challenges and sourdough bread recipes is all we care to talk about to distract us from the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And make no mistake: the Pentagon’s ‘new’ UFO videos offered on their website are exactly the same three videos we’d already seen. We can be sure of that thanks to the investigative work of Dave Beaty, who analyzed the video codes and found a 2007 Google copyright –meaning the Pentagon simply downloaded the files from Youtube, instead of retrieving them from their own servers! Is it because nobody bothered to save a copy back when they were originally recorded?

Credit: Dave Beaty

“The hat is new, Lisa! So shut the hell up and buy the doll already, like the nice little consumer you are…”

***Sigh***

Another thing overlooked by UFO buffs is in the wording employed by the Pentagon in their all-too-brief statement: qualifying the publishing of the videos by the New York Times –at the behest of Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars– as an “unauthorised release.” Which would imply that every time TTSA referred to the videos as “officially released” by the government they were… um… lying? (That hasn’t stopped Tom from bragging about the recent news, as if it was all his doing). 

Once again the futile dispute between whether TTSA and Elizondo were officially sanctioned to release the videos to the public before he quit the DoD will erupt in the Twitter trenches. “The Pentagon is just playing catch-up, they don’t know what’s really going on!” they say. So why should we care so much every time they touch the subject of UFOs, then? And everytime the statements made by Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough contradicts Elizondo’s claims, they attack her credibility. So in the end it comes to the issue of which insider you want to believe in, based on which one tells you exactly what YOU want to hear.

Is this it?? Is this all the “Disclosure” we can hope for in the post-AATIP era –just endless regurgitations of the same old news and the same old cases, followed by a brief burst of excitement until people get back to playing Animal Crossing? Because if that’s the case, somebody hand me the Clorox bottle so I can escape Punxsutawney once and for all! 

Not “I’ve Got You, Babe” again…

Meanwhile Senator Harry Reid keeps teasing us that this new move by the Pentagon “only scratches the surface of research and materials” available: 

‘Materials’? Oh my! Does that imply actual physical samples, like the ones BAASS researchers were so desperate to inquire about in their exchanges with South American UFOlogists? Well, at the pace they’re going, I guess we might find all about it in 10 or 15 years *if* we’re lucky, won’t we?

“It’s a new haaaaat, Lisaaaaa…”

The only good question worth asking at the moment is, why now? What does the Pentagon gain from handing us a stick and telling us to keep beating this old horse carcass like an indestructible piñata? Cui bono?

“They might be prepping us for a big demonstration” clamors Jaime Maussan, happy to hop into the hype while it lasts.

“It’s a classic example of “a good day to bury a bad news”” speculates Nick Pope, meaning the DoD might have thought the world would be too preoccupied with the coronavirus, to care too much about things flying above the level of spit particles. An argument that makes a bit more sense than Maussan’s sensationalism, but not that much –couldn’t they simply stay quiet and wait until the public forgot all about it, like they always do?

In the end, we’ll probably never elucidate the real reason behind this new Chess play, which seems not to be over given the hint that Gough is getting ready to make a new statement about AATIP coming later this week; not that it matters much outside the tiny eco-chamber of the Fortean blogosphere, in which enthusiasts are all-too happy to see their beloved UFOs being discussed by the ‘normies’ even if we’re not really learning anything new about it. The hat is new and that is all that matters.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a tea party to prepare with my Lisa “Liminal” Lionheart. Ta ta…