BY LARRY BURRISS
There is a perhaps humorous saying I like to use when discussing conspiracy theories, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't watching you." In other words, the conspiracy theorists may be nut cases, but that doesn't mean some of what they say isn't true.
So, let's think about one of the most public relations conscious agencies in the government, NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. And while we're at it, let's also think about the secret NASA described in a new book authored by a respected Smithsonian curator, James David.
From its very beginning NASA has been a prime example of the power of public relations. Many of you probably remember the early days of the manned space program. In one of the nation's most successful public relations coups, NASA turned seven fairly ordinary test pilots, who weren't anywhere near flying in space, into instant national heroes.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you, I'm a strong supporter of the space program, and think we need to be spending lot more money on space exploration.
So what about this secret NASA described by the Smithsonian author?
Well, yes indeed, NASA, the Defense Department, the CIA, and who knows what other agencies, have had a long secret relationships. Even the original NASA charter provides for cooperation. But using the Freedom of Information Act, the author has uncovered dozens of missions, programs and procedures that are intertwined to a degree that is almost impossible to untangle. Almost impossible, but not completely.
It's almost like there are two space administrations: the very public one, and the one that wasn't supposed to be public, but now is.
Unfortunately, these revelations will only serve to encourage the conspiracy theorists. But I wonder which ones. The ones who say we never landed men on the moon in 1969, or the ones who say we landed men on Mars in 1979.