Conspiracy Watch: Little Green Men

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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The latest installment in our ongoing collection of wonderfully weird (and totally whack) conspiracy theories. Find more Conspiracy Watch entries here.

THE CONSPIRACY: The alien spaceships that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 (PDF) hold the secret to stopping climate change. The federal government has spent billions studying their anti-gravity propulsion system, which would make fossil fuels obsolete. But Republicans, wary of Democrats reaping the political benefits of unveiling this revolutionary carbon-free energy source, triggered the financial crisis to distract President Obama and delay our E.T.-inspired green future.

THE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS: Stephen Bassett, head of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena PAC, claims the Roswell saucers have an “inertial mass reduction system” that uses a mere fraction of the energy consumed by man-made engines—with zero emissions. He estimates that this technology could slash our energy costs by as much as 95 percent. Bassett has written to Obama and Al Gore urging them to end the “truth embargo” on the reverse engineering of UFOs. He’s also praised the Exopolitics Institute, which has suggested that the Iraq War was a secret effort to capture alien “stargates” hidden inside Sumerian ruins—a Conspiracy Watch favorite.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON EARTH: Bassett may not be the only one who wants to believe: Former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and Center for American Progress head John Podesta have called for full disclosure of any top-secret extraterrestrial research.

Kookiness Rating: Tin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat Small
(1=maybe they’re on to something, 5=break out the tinfoil hat!)

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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