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As the COVID “crisis” wanes, the media is directing our attention to the heavens in search of a higher power. An upcoming intelligence report on unexplained aerial phenomena, to be delivered to Congress on June 25, has UFO enthusiasts going crazy. In the absence of solid evidence, the imagination runs wild. We now have a beloved president-turned-celebrity fanning those flames—for reasons we can only speculate on. In the old days, UFO cultists would flip through The Weekly World News for validation. Today, they read the New York Times. As the news media fuel their expectations, I wonder how long it’ll be before one of these sects loses it completely. Back in 1997, we saw 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult castrate themselves and commit mass suicide. They were convinced that a spacecraft hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet would pick up their souls on its way to the stars. Such tragedies only matter when they happen, though. Until then, public fantasies about super-intelligent beings with advanced technology can be harnessed for power, profit, or fun. The 2020 release of The Phenomenon was a naked attempt to steer this growing UFO craze leftward.

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