It’s late afternoon and Chris Augustin is sitting in a private room in the back of Essene Café and Market on South Fourth Street—an unlikely setting for the local arm of a national political movement that seeks to bring extra terrestrial life into the public discourse, if only by way of discussion—waiting for the rest of the group he organizes, about 20 members from in and around Philly.
In 2008, Augustin and fellow UFOlogist Bob Gardner were the focus of a PW piece on UFO subculture. Their combined research since has led them to some new, weird places. And like all alien information, it’s either complete bullshit, or the most important information anyone’s come across, ever.
“The biggest belief now is that UFOs are being suppressed for one major reason, and that’s energy,” says Augustin. “They represent a totally new energy form that could potentially destroy the world’s economy.”
An IT professional working in Center City, Augustin sports a tightly cropped goatee and neat, forward-combed black hair. He’s been to Area 51—the top-secret Nevada military base central to UFO conspiracy theories—twice, and plays the video evidence on his laptop to prove it. He claims multiple experiences with sightings and even claims to have had a triangular alien implant inserted into his leg during an abduction which he hasn’t been able to remember through regressive hypnosis or otherwise.
But never mind all that. Augustin says there’s proof that extra-terrestrial UFOs have the ability to perform maneuvers that would be impossible using conventional fuels: 180-degree turns, multiple-speeds in a given flight or instant and propeller-less hovering. “Of all the UFO sightings I’ve seen either on TV or myself, there’s never an exhaust vent, they’re not using any conventional convulsion, the maneuvers they perform aren’t aerodynamic,” he says. “If this technology was shared with the public, oil, gas and standard utilities would be irrelevant,” he says.
Since the Roswell, N.M., crash in 1947, the U.S. has had the ability to harvest new energy technology which could do just that—and even leased out some of the recovered material to companies like Boeing, he says. If this is sounding a little New World Order-ish, it should. Augustin sounds pretty sure shadowy figures are working behind the scenes to keep some of this information suppressed. “They control the entire world’s populace by controlling sources of energy,” he says. “And if they revealed, ‘Yes, UFOs are real and they hold a type of energy we’re trying to replicate,’ that could be a big problem for them.”
He and others around the country have advocated, through discussion, activism and a wide Internet presence, to get the U.S. government to release the full extent of its work on UFOs. The most famous of that work may be Project Blue Book, a 1952-spawned, 12,000-document government operation dedicated to determining if UFOs were a threat to the United States. It’s believed this operation holds secret government documents—of which, some information has been released, then redacted—that proves the existence of alien life.
There’s the Disclosure Project, too. That’s a Maryland and Virginia-based nonprofit, and the professional center of the effort to disclose information on extra terrestrials to the American public. It was set up by retired emergency room physician Steven Greer in 1992, and has attempted to lobby members of Congress toward its cause, publicly warning them of possible dire consequences conducted by both the New World Order-like curtain dwellers and, perhaps, aliens themselves.
“If you look at 1947 on, you notice a gigantic leap forward with technology,” Augustin says, noting in the late ’40s, most nuclear testing and experiments with advanced radar were being conducted in New Mexico. “Up until that point, computers took up entire buildings. Then, out of nowhere, we start developing microchips and microwaves. Where’d that breakthrough come from? If you were an alien species keeping tabs on the human race, that’s the place you would want to be to see all this stuff. It’s too much of a coincidence for me.”
Still, Gardner thinks the very idea of talking about disclosing the government’s secrets on UFOs, going on the History Channel, wearing his MUFON T-shirts around town—that alone is a small step toward disclosure, whether it comes next year or decades from now.
“Some people say the Disclosure age might begin in 2012, or shortly after,” says Gardner, who doesn’t dismiss the idea that Nazis may have worked with aliens on space travel in the 30s and 40s. “But I don’t buy into that. People nowadays can’t handle basic things. You’ve got racism, sexual discrimination, homophobia. How can we throw another race into the mix who are four-feet tall with almond-shaped eyes?”