Sunday, August 6, 2023

We Were On A Break!

When Steve Cohen went from being a minority 8% stakeholder in the New York Mets back in 2020, to the majority owner, he ended what many fans of the orange and blue viewed as a dark period of time where the team was essentially held hostage by then owner, Fred Wilpon, whose death grip on the franchise was viewed by many fans as an eternal damnation. Due to years of poor organizational decision making along with the eventual collapse of the Wilpon finances at the hands of Bernard Madoff, the loyal fanbase was pushed to the very edge of despair. The team was headed down a tunnel without the hope of a redeeming light at the end. They were well on their way towards becoming a joke in the sports world and nobody in the MLB hierarchy seemed inclined to put this abuse to an end. 

The team operated like a small market club - no longer financially able to attract or afford high end talent - in ironically, the largest entertainment market the world over. Steve Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund guru, bought out the Wilpons and Saul Katz and became the proverbial knight in shining armor practically overnight. He was their last best hope that someday, this relatively young team born in 1962, would take its rightful place next to their older, more polished and historically revered rival and brother in the Bronx.  It’s often said that sometimes wishes really do come true, even if they come with a few caveats.  

It’s been a tough week for the New York Mets and their fans. Yes, that's quite purposely an understatement.  After winning 101 games last year and making the playoffs, the Mets have been slogging through a woeful 2023 season with a record well under .500. With a record high payroll of $364 million dollars, Billy Eppler, the General Manager of the team, under the direction of Cohen, realized the current situation was mathematically untenable, with the odds of making the playoffs somewhere around 12%, decided it was time to sell high. His aging veterans were still relatively healthy and had value - so he traded away two of its most talented, expensive and oldest players in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and a few others, for prospects.  To put all of this in a better perspective, let me try to explain the last 3 years in Metville.  

When Cohen became majority owner in 2020, he made a bold prediction and said that his plan was to have a world championship within 5 years.  Anything less than that, he would view as a failure.  This is apparently not a man who takes failure lightly or who it seems will accept anything short of a championship as a win.  He didn’t regurgitate the tired trope we hear so often from sports execs and owners who like to say it’s just about getting into the playoffs blah blah blah. No, this was straight up balls to the walls Steinbrenner talk.  No frills. No bullshit. And he was very willing to spend a king's ransom to get there. Whoa.

We all know how 2020 went down.  Covid hit and turned the professional sports world upside down just as it did to the rest of the world.  It seemed drama was organically attached to the Mets when Carlos Beltran was named their new manager but within days he was forced to resign after being tied to the infamous Houston Astros cheating scandal. The 2020 joke of a season was cut down to a mere 60 games and I dare anyone if they can remember who was crowned “champion” that year. It was a year we’d all love to forget for so many reasons, baseball being the least important of all. 

The 2021 season was something of a transitional year for Cohen as the team was slowly divesting itself from the Wilpon regime.  Many holdovers remained, including the former general manager and team president in Sandy Alderson, but little was done in the offseason to bolster the team in any meaningful way.  One of the main deficiencies from the Wilpon era was the lack of talent within the organization at all levels. The minor league system was devoid of prospects and considered one of the league's worst, having ranked near the very bottom in MLB. 

Steve Cohen knew he would have to spend to get this team right, and not just on the superstar free agents to fill the backpages of the New York tabloids. The big marquee names, that was the easy part, much like feeding red meat to the ravenous animals in the zoo, and he didn’t disappoint. On December 1st, 2021, the New York Mets signed future Hall of Fame pitcher, 37 year old Max Scherzer to a 3 year $130 million dollar contract, giving him the highest AAV of any player in the history of MLB.  Steve Cohen ladies and gentlemen, had arrived. 

It was probably one of the most exhilarating feelings I’ve ever had as a Met fan when I heard what Cohen had done. His decision to give Scherzer that much money, even if it was for just 3 years, forever changed free agency in MLB, and I’m sure the other 29 owners weren’t exactly jumping for joy. This was Cohen’s Waterloo; his Alamo. He was Gandalf, slamming his wooden staff into the ground, proclaiming it was a brand new day in Queens. Scherzer would be paired with Jacob deGrom, a one-two pitching punch the likes of which haven’t been seen in quite some time and certainly at least not at Citifield.  Then wouldn’t you know it, fate once again reared its ugly head. 

Jacob deGrom was shut down early in Spring Training with shoulder trouble, and it lasted for the majority of the 2022 season. Earlier in the year he made it known that at the end of the season he was going to opt out of his current contract and elect free agency. As a Met fan, it’s hard not to feel as if this team is perpetually snakebitten.  Would we ever get to see deGrom healthy again? If one believes in karma, you would think having shed the bad juju of the Wilpons would have afforded this team some respice. But, here we were, in August and finally watching deGrom make his season debut, smack dab in the middle of a heated pennant race against the Atlanta Braves.  The best writers in Hollywood wish they could pen a drama this intense, and it was just the beginning. 

Having already experienced a season ending collapse in 2007, you’d think something like that would be tough to repeat but, as much as I love them, we are talking about the New York Mets here.  On June 1st, of 2022, the Mets had a 10.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves.  They maintained their first place status right up to the last weekend of the season when they lost three straight games to the Braves. Those last ten days of the season and that sweep, meant the Mets gifted themselves a second place finish with a spot as one of the National League’s three Wild Card teams.  Maybe this wasn’t an official collapse but ask a Met fan and they’ll tell you it sure felt like one. 

Needless to say, the team that won 101 games during the regular season, lost 2 out of 3 games to the San Diego Padres in the National League Wild Card. Essentially in a 2 to 3 week span of time the Mets went from being the cream of the crop in the National League Eastern Division, to being creamed. Like Yogi would say, “It was deja-vu all over again.”  Fans were in shock. The players were in shock.  I can only imagine the thought process of Steve Cohen at the time. It was a surreal feeling. Not quite the debacle of 2007 but a hybrid amalgam of it and to top it off, Jacob deGrom to his word, opted out of his contract with the Mets.  It was at that moment I knew this chapter in Queens was about to close. End scene.

On December 2nd, 2023, a little over one year from when the Mets made Max Scherzer the richest player (AAV) in MLB, Jacob deGrom signed a 5 year $185 million dollar contract with a 6th year team option, to play for the Texas Rangers.  Man this hurt. Losing deGrom felt like losing Seaver all over again but this time, it was the player doing the massacre. What was even more shocking, deGrom never gave the Mets an opportunity to counter the Ranger’s offer. At the time I didn’t understand why but like all wounds that need time to heal, this was no different. 

Being a fan means we can think irrationally about our players, especially those that are possibly looking to move on to greener ($) pastures.  We toss around crazy numbers in our minds, as if we were in Cohen’s shoes, hoping beyond hope that our favorite player will say yes to coming back but being a Met fan tempers our irrationality, which can be a blessing and very annoying at the same time. Five years with a sixth year team option for $185 million dollars, for a team that plays in a state with no state income tax, in a place deGrom actually prefers to raise his young family in, for a pitcher with his health history - well, what can you say other than best of luck and thank you for the memories, right?  No team, not the Mets, not the Yankees, not even the Dodgers would take such a risk giving deGrom a contract like that knowing his health history and I’m sure deGrom knew it and would have been a fool to not have taken it. Asking for a counter offer from the Mets would have been not just silly but downright disrespectful.

So once again here we were, kicked in the groin with how the season ended, all self-inflicted by the way, and now we were down arguably our best pitcher since Dwight Gooden.  Now what? How the hell do you replace Jacob deGrom? How can you really? Well, maybe. Billy Eppler and Cohen wasted no time and within a few days of losing Jake the team signed future Hall of Famer, the 39 year old Justin Verlander, to a two year contract worth $86.7 million with a vesting option for a third year at $35 million.  It would reunite Verlander with his former teammate Max Scherzer, who both played for the Detroit Tigers from 2010 to 2014.  Steve Cohen ladies and gents, strikes again.

So as the realization of losing Jacob deGrom set in and while we were licking our collective wounds, Uncle Stevie pulled a shocker once again out of his hat.  The fact that no team was really willing to give Verlander a contract quite like that speaks volumes. Yes, he was coming off a spectacular rebound season that earned him his 3rd career Cy Young award. Astonishing considering his age and that he was one year removed from having Tommy John surgery.  The Mets rolled the dice but left themselves with ample wiggle room, wiggle room that for better or worse, came into play in 2023.  

Now that you’re caught up, we can all see why both Scherzer and Verlander were offered massive yet short term contracts.  It wasn’t as if Eppler and Cohen were hoping for either to regress or for the team to fail, it was quite the opposite.  They were looking for that lightning in a bottle and unfortunately, it simply didn’t work out for a number of reasons.  The offense wasn’t what it was last year.  Sure, you can argue that the team needed to bolster that and almost did by signing Carlos Correa.  But look at what Correa is doing back in Minnesota.  He’s barely hitting over his weight with little power and yes, with the same wonky ankle that spooked the Mets and a few other suitors this past offseason.  Imagine if the Mets were under that contract as well right now.  They dodged the baseball gods on that one for sure. 

Another thing missing was the lack of cohesion in the clubhouse as SNY’s Steve Gelbs pointed out during a broadcast.  Last year during games you’d see the pitching staff hold impromptu analysis meetings, in game, after each start, sharing insights and details of what they faced.  That was nowhere to be seen this year.  Whether that was because Scherzer and Verlander weren’t the chummiest to begin with or the language barrier of Senga, it was noticeable. Small things like that can absolutely make a difference on a team especially at this level.

All in all, nothing has really gone the right way for the Mets in 2023.  So tell me this, what exactly is a master hedge fund guru known for? He knows when to fish and cut bait.  Don’t get me wrong, nobody has a crystal ball and can predict the future but Cohen does have an uncanny ability to see the landscape not for what he’d like it to be, but for what it is, and then to make a decisive move. Half measures obviously haven’t worked.  Dipping hard into the free agent pool without having a sustainable minor league system is like getting your car detailed but with a transmission that’s about to go. 

New York sports talk has been eviscerating Steve Cohen saying he’s no different from the Wilpons and that he should have given the team a chance being only 6 games out of the Wild Card. A chance? They’ve had their chance and it just didn’t work out, should we compound it by wasting an opportunity that’s staring the team right in the face?  Trading Scherzer, Verlander, Canha and Pham, took brass balls the likes of which Brian Cashman wishes he had. I shouldn't be so hard on him because once again the X factor is Steve Cohen.  If it weren’t for Cohen’s ability to absorb the money owed to those players, the Mets would have never been able to acquire the talent they did.  What Eppler did in a few days, normally takes teams many years of losing and hopefully drafting well at the same time. 

The Mets luxury tax penalty for 2023 is now at $101 million.  They gave the Astros $54 million to offset Verlander’s salary, $36 million went to the Rangers for Max.  If you include the contracts for Brian McCann, Tommy Pham and Mark Canha, the Mets have close to $210 million dollars in dead money, money for players no longer on this team.  Think about that the next time Bobby Bonilla day comes around and you want to bitch about that.  That’s what the Wilpons gave us. What Cohen did by opening his checkbook, literally no professional sports owner has ever done, in the history of planet Earth.

There’s no guarantee the players the Mets acquired will become the next stud(s) of the game.  In fact there’s probably a 2 to 3% percent chance that they will make the upper echelons of a franchise. Why? Because…hard. It’s also expensive and the players need to be developed.  Having a diamond in the rough is nice but if you don’t have a good jeweler to cut it properly, then all it is is a very expensive rock. If there is anything we all should have learned by now when it comes to Steve Cohen, he doesn’t waste his time or his money and he’s very willing to change the course when needed.  

The next two months are going to be hard. Honestly, I’m not going to watch the games as religiously the remainder of this year.  Some might say that’s very fairweather of me, and that’s fine. You do you. I do have hope for this team but the wise words of Peter Cetera once said, “Everybody needs a little time away, just for a day, from each other…” and I need it. I expect Cohen to be very active in the free agent market next year in spite of some of the contradictory statements.  Will he be in on Ohtani? Maybe. But the word is that Ohtani prefers the west coast.  But I wouldn’t be the least shocked he goes after one or two free agent pitchers, including Urias from the Dodgers. We’ll see. 

I’ll leave you with this.  It’s ok to take a break from this team.  We all need time to regroup and recharge and to quote another wise prognosticator,

Friday, April 14, 2023

I sometimes wonder if I’m more of a Star Trek or Star Wars fan. I’m a 48 year old self-admitted nerd who was raised mostly on Star Wars but in the mid eighties was re-introduced to the world of Star Trek through the Next Generation which first aired on CBS on September 28th, 1987. Kirk, Spock and Bones were replaced by Picard, Riker and Data. It was a shaky start to the rebirth of Star Trek on television. The first season, while ushering in new groundbreaking visual effects for prime time television, lacked in script quality and didn’t quite match the overall wonder the original series had. It took about three years for the Next Gen to get its footing and boy did it get its footing.

For me, Star Wars was always about mythical fantasy. The Force. The Jedi. The Sith. It was almost symmetrically akin to religion whereas Trek was deeply rooted in the future of our reality and the world we live in and what we could aspire to if we had the desire to do so. Starfleet was the Navy. The Federation was the embodiment of what some would believe to be a perfect government, if that is even possible. Both franchises were similar in some respects but immeasurably different in others and I loved them both for those reasons.

I’ve been watching on Paramount Plus the 3rd and final season of Picard, the vehicle that was created to be centered around Patrick Stewart’s character of Jean-Luc Picard from the Next Generation. The first two seasons of the show practically ignored the rest of the Next Generation crew minus Data, who came back but was once again, sent off to the big scrapheap in the sky. So many changes were made including when Picard himself “died” and was remade by a relative of Dr. Noonian Soong ( the creator of Data) into a “new” human/android variant yet just as old as hell as the original Picard. The first two seasons lacked the heart of what made Star Trek so loved; it lacked family, Picard’s family.

For Picard, his “family” was his crew and to have them all together on screen doing what they do best together for one monumental final send off, a proper send off might I add, has been an incredibly emotional ride. I always wondered what was lacking in the first two seasons of Picard and I understand what it was now.

Hollywood loves to milk franchises, going for the endless cash grab, until we grow to absolutely despise what they’ve morphed into. There are so many examples out there from the Walking Dead to the Fast and the Furious to yes even Star Trek and Star Wars to a degree. Sometimes, oftentimes, Hollywood simply can’t just say no and let what was once great, be. It’s the reason why I hope Marvel (Disney) doesn’t try to lure Robert Downey Jr. back to the role of Iron Man to resurrect their brand. To do so would essentially destroy what was one of the most emotionally satisfying ends to a character in cinema history.

For Picard to be successful, not just his character but the series, has always been that he needs his “family” around him. To ignore them was a mistake that luckily the showrunner for season three, Terry Matalas, decided to remedy with a little, dare I say it, fan service. I can’t tell you how much it annoys me when I hear a Hollywood exec talk about fan-service and how it’s so beneath them. The air of self-absorption permeates the air when they opine on how they refuse to “give the people what they want’. Why? Because they’re the “artistes” and know better. You’re just a living embodiment of a wallet to them. Their arrogance sickens me.

One would think having the luxury and privilege to make these whimsical, cinematic ballads of the imagination are made specifically for us, the fan. If this was for the ego of the filmmaker then go run off with your iPhone and grab a few of your like minded buddies and make a film. No one is stopping you. Leave the work of entertaining the living wallets to those who give a shit about them.

But that is Hollywood. The land of maniacal egos, bullshit personalities and occasionally wondrous works that make you feel emotions with subtle aplomb. If you were a fan of Star Trek The Next Generation, Picard season 3 will make you feel young once again and will properly close the chapter on the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise 1701-D. 

Live long and prosper indeed.

Monday, March 27, 2023

The Great Awakening

As I grow older, and hopefully somewhat wiser, I realize the cynic in me has been as much of a passenger if not at times the pilot, in this experience called life. I remember being a green 17 year old in 1992 and seeing a commercial for then Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, who was running to unseat the once very popular President George H.W. Bush. Call this number and the Clinton campaign would send you his “blueprint” for “Putting People First”. This was all new and exciting for me and it would be my first time voting. So the little I knew about politics and life in general, coaxed me to eat this up hook, line, and sinker.

Bush was riding high coming off the “success” of the first Iraq war. As some of you might remember, the first war was magnified, televised and glorified by the mainstream media. I would be in my classroom at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando and we’d have the tv turned to CNN, watching bomb camera footage as they were plowing into buildings in and around Baghdad like a souped up video game. It's amazing when the entire mainstream media approves of something how quickly dissent evaporates into the ether. Hell, we were winning (at least that’s what they were telling us) and the media was sanitizing it, banking on unprecedented ratings. Who were we? The United States? The Coalition? The U.N.? I had no clue. But hey, we were winning as Bernie Shaw, John Holliman and Peter Arnett kept us riveted non-stop.

It was intensely surreal. All that was missing was the popcorn as we were all in awe and cheering on the soldiers, looking to free that tiny little known nation of Kuwait from the scourge of our time, the new Hitler in Saddam Hussein. What the hell was happening? Reality was becoming a movie. The script was written. The locations were set. It was showtime and just a few weeks later, like magic, the President declared victory. Hussien was out of Kuwait. The oil, I mean the people of Kuwait were safe and we were having parades for the soldiers and all seemed good in the world again. President Bush was in all intents, untouchable politically and almost a lock for re-election.

Bill Clinton by comparison was a newbie to national politics, an outsider, as opposed to recent candidates for the White House. He appealed to me in a way that no other politician did. And it seemed like all of that good will President Bush earned after the Gulf War was squandered. The economy was tanking and Bush seemed out of touch with the people. Granted I was starting to form my own political thoughts, most of which were not based on policy and not closely aligned with my parents, so I wasn’t exactly an expert in politics.

I came from a family that was conservative but my dad always wanted me to find my own way and not copy his or anyone else’s ideology. To him, that would be laziness on my part, and if there was one thing he instilled in me was to never be a lemming; to think for myself. Unlike many who’d rather indoctrinate, he wanted me to be an individual more than being a member of a party.

So here I was all in for Bill Clinton and dad just looked at me and asked me to explain why. I didn’t have a cogent answer other than that he was young and on MTV and seemed cool. Dad was unimpressed with my reasoning and in retrospect it was kind of a lame answer. In my defense, I was a kid and this was going to be my first time voting so, what did I know?. He told me to call that 800 number from the Clinton campaign and get them to send me his booklet for “Putting People First”. He told me when I get it, read it and then come back with a better answer.

Now you have to understand this was 1992. This is way before the woke revolution. Way before MAGA. Way before cancel culture. Democrats were generally in favor of personal freedom and Republicans were proselytizing on how to live your life. It's amazing how the tables have turned in just 30 years.

So I couldn't stop thinking about tomorrow; that song was burned into my brain like a red hot branding iron to a cow's ass. Looking back, being young, impressionable and naive pretty much described me to a tee. As time passed, I saw and admitted that Bubba was far from the knight in shining armor I thought he was. However politically, in comparison to today’s Democrats, Bill Clinton was a practical right winger let alone a moderate. But his darker side was just as magnanimous as his public persona.

His private life, if there really is a private life for a politician, was a symphonic hot mess that went far beyond what his opposition labeled him at the time. It wasn’t until years later that the real Bill Clinton was finally exposed as being the wretch he was/is, especially to women. But by that time I jumped ship, made a conversion and welcomed with open arms, Junior Bush who campaigned and sounded more like Ronald Reagan than his own father.

Fast forward to the September 11th attacks in 2001. We had a new enemy in Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. The same Bin Laden that the US relied heavily on to thwart the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980’s. The chickens have come home to roost and here we were, in a battle of good versus evil, this time with Frankenstein’s monster. However, considering Bin Laden took responsibility for the 9/11 attack, going after him and the Taliban that protected him in Afghanistan, was a no-brainer and easily justified. Time to unleash holy hell on him and once again, the American people were completely behind another President Bush. That is until he turned his sights on, you guessed it, good ole’ Saddam.

Yes, Saddam was still kicking rocks, but not bloviating as he used to about his grand army, nuclear weapons program and his stockpiles of chemical weapons. His government would tell U.N. inspectors that no such programs still existed in his country. Apparently he turned a new leaf. It was hard to believe at the time but the U.N. inspectors kept confirming it. Just not the CIA. During that span, Saddam went full Corleone and put out a hit on old man Bush, which you have to admit would piss the ever loving shit out of a son who had at his fingertips the greatest military the world has ever known. I know if I were in W’s shoes, I’d be tempted.

Bin Laden was apparently harder to find than Waldo but in the minds of the powers that be, they simply couldn’t justify blowing up tents and caves with multi-million dollar munitions just to get one guy. Unless of course that guy was Saddam. The fight in Iraq this time didn’t sell like the first Gulf War sold itself to the American people. It was a video game war, part II. I bought into it as so many did. Then in one fell swoop, all rationale took a collective dump in the Euphrates.

So what started off as retaliation to the worst terrorist attack on American soil, turned into what would become one of the costliest, deadliest and divisive wars America ever took part in. Why? We were told since Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and the means to make more and he would use them like he did on his own people when he gassed the Kurds. The intel community theorized he absolutely could hand over a mini nuke or a chemical weapon over to a member of Al Qaeda and wham, there goes New York. Post 9/11 world here we come.

They even sent the stoic Colin Powell, media darling of the first Gulf War to the U.N. to make the case that Saddam was going to partner with Bin Laden, a dream team of jihadi’s, to destroy the world as we knew it. At the time it made pretty decent sense, especially since the intel communities of many nations agreed it was true. Psychologically as a nation, we were on the ropes from 9/11, having failed to “connect the dots” on how that was brewing under our noses for all that time. We were itching for retribution and were willing to get it from anywhere we could and in any way.

The intel, we were told, was airtight, solid. Backed up by MI6, the Mossad and a host of other international intel organizations. He had the weapons and the means to make more. I remember Powell held up a small vial of poison showing how easily it could be done. This was the new narrative. Saddam, who was a Sunni Muslim and Bin Laden was a Shiite, historically two sides of the Muslim faith that never saw eye to eye but for some reason our intel community figured, the enemy of my enemy could have a kumbaya moment and agree to break bread and come after us. Add to that a mainstream media that once again rolled over and the rest we know is history.

So here I am. Stuck between a Democrat and a Republican and now after years of seeing the bullshit that is tossed around by both parties, a nomad of sorts. My political rebirth as a libertarian with no real home in either party, was complete. It’s for the best because I can honestly say that I’m no longer a true believer politically.

When you think you’ve found your hill that you’re willing to die on, you find out quickly how political winds change and you're standing there, alone asking yourself how did your “team” abandon you? When you look behind the curtain and find out it’s the same person with different clothes on you begin to feel like you’ve been had, like you’ve been snookered and finally been shown the light. I also started to realize that the things I worried most about were inconsequential in comparison to what I believe will shake our reality to its core. Something that neither party or any party will ever really acknowledge. Gotta keep the lemmings occupied.

It’s that reality which is the most important story ever in human history and it’s unfolding right in front of our eyes and most of us don’t even realize it. At least not yet. We were never meant to recognize it by the very same powers that would rather you worry about a spy balloon flying over the country or why we need to give more money to Ukraine, which was listed as one of the most corrupt nations in the world, to fight another corrupt country in Russia. It’s been a massive shell game where we’ve been groomed to pick sides - whether it’s Republican or Democrat never really mattered - and it’s been 70 plus years in the making. Keeping the masses distracted and at each other’s throats to ward them off the real scent, the real issue, that is their true modus operandi.

What is this monumental story I’m talking about? It’s the story of UAPs. Also known as unidentified aerial phenomenon. I’m talking about the realization that we are not and never have been alone in this universe. I know when some people read that they assume I’m ready for a straightjacket. It’s a woo subject and it’s been purposely designed that way to foster a stigma that attaches to those who dare to even discuss it.

If and when they do bring up the subject there’s always an air of silliness that permeates the reporting. You’ll hear the reporters start to snicker. Suddenly the producers play the theme of the X-Files ever so softly in the background, making a joke of what’s about to be said. It’s a defense mechanism when confronted with uncomfortable facts and possibilities. It’s been a process of ridicule that has been meticulously cultivated and ingrained into our society since the mid 1940s and continues on today. Just listen to the White House press secretary and the reaction from the White House press corps recently. The stigma has essentially silenced the media. But why, you ask yourself? Because of access. The fear of losing access or the fear of not being invited to a cushy dinner gathering or worse being outrightly ostracized, that’s why. The press in America and around the world, is hostage to its own need to access the very people controlling the narrative. The puppeteers and the marionettes in a symbiotic sickening dance covered in the illusion of a free press.

The story that’s unfolding is being told to us in a reverse chronological way of sorts. Well they’re not about to come out and say they’ve lied all these years to the American people, to the world, so they have to start at square one. Everything unfolding has to look as if it was just discovered for that shock value to work as a blanket of deniability. To come straight out at this point and say, surprise, aliens are real and we've been lying to protect you for the last 70 years, just won't fly. Especially if you consider the fact that the information has been kept from legislative oversight, making it a criminal offense. To say they're treading lightly is understating it. Unless Congress issues a blank check of amnesty to those with this knowledge, people could absolutely face prison. However, I’d love to find the prosecutor willing to go there. He or she would need more protection than Ghislaine Maxwell otherwise they too may end up like her boss Mr. Epstein.

The phenomenon has been noted throughout history. Paintings, pictographs and Native American lore have recorded it. To point out when all of this was initially held from us you could look back to the world's first nuclear explosion that occurred on July 16, 1945, when a plutonium implosion device was tested at a site located 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico, on the plains of the Alamogordo Bombing Range, known as the Jornada del Muerto. The code name for the test was "Trinity." You could say that when we split the atom, we garnered far more than just national and international attention.

From that point on, there was a spike in ufo reporting all around the world, not just in the United States. But the greater question I’ve always asked myself is, why? Why would this information be kept hidden from us? What is their rationale? Who are they? Is it just our government? This is the unfortunate side of the enigma; the rabbit hole. It’s where charlatans lay in wait trying to persuade you or in some cases dissuade you. Confusion and disillusion is their ally then finally, we surrender and return to mundane life as the lemmings they ultimately count on and rarely do we disappoint.

I’ve always tried to use the scientific method when it comes to the phenomenon.

Make an observation.

Ask a question.

Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.

Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.

Test the prediction.

Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

Taking the first question, “why would this information be hidden from us?”, led me to this conclusion. If there is another form of life that exists other than human beings, and they are capable of traveling the way they do through these physical machines that have been observed traveling tens of thousands of miles per hour in space, inside of our atmosphere and under water, then simply put, we are no longer the most advanced species, period. We're no longer at the top of the food chain.

Why would our government withhold this information? It’s straightforward if you think about it. If our government can’t stop or control these machines from violating our airspace at will, do you really think they would want to admit that they exist? Look at what we just went through with the Chinese spy balloon and the other 3 mysterious objects that were shot down. We were later told that those other 3 objects were not going to be recovered and the search for their wreckage was called off. This was on February 18th and there hasn’t been nary a word from the mainstream media regarding this since. Nothing. They took what the Pentagon said and went on to the next story. Remember, it’s the shell game and we the people have more important things to do like see what Kanye tweeted about today.

Supposedly in the wake of the China spy balloon, NORAD changed the settings on their radar systems so now they can “see” more objects in the sky. I personally think that’s a load of crap. I doubt the sensitivity of our radar systems were ever in question. Perhaps it’s better to convey a (false) message that we’ve tightened the screws so to speak, on our radar systems. Better to admit we’ve been caught with our pants down (and look like idiots on the worldstage) versus having to explain what all those “other” objects are should tell you where on the importance scale the phenomenon rates.

Those objects have always been there, only to have been overlooked for some reason by the military. It's just that the balloon got the attention of the media in a grand way but the government need not worry. Their lackey’s in the media locked down the narrative. They ended any queries or debate and the toddler-esque attention span of American people gave up on this story as fast as it came upon us. Done and done. Move along, move along.

We were told that the other 3 objects that were “shot” down, could have been weather balloons from a private company or recreational groups. The government has options that provide cover here. One, they don’t want to admit by showing cockpit video footage of a takedown of a weather balloon, having to then account for the cost of the action. A few million to shoot down some balloons from private companies with multiple sidewinder missiles would be a tough one to swallow. It would also admit that politics alone was the reason and the Biden administration needs that like a hole in the head.

But at the same time, if they weren’t balloons, as some of the pilots have reported that the objects interfered with their sensors, it makes sense that the government hasn’t released the footage of those takedowns - nullifying their supposed benign nature. Either way, they gain cover by feigning stupidity, thanks to political pressure, again taking one on the chin for the greater good of keeping this subject matter out of the public sphere. Done and done.

When you delve further into the rabbit hole you come up to who “they” are. Are “they” us, from the future as some have suggested? Are “they” from another planet in a distant part of the universe? Are “they” from a different dimension as Jacques Vallee has opined? Could “they” be here, on Earth, and have lived amongst us in a shadow biome or better, the deep seas as postulated by Drs. Hal Puthoff and Gary Nolan? Are “they” benevolent, malevolent or just neutrally observing? Let's start with the hypothesis that “they” are us from the future.

In 1994, in Ruwa Zimbabwe, children from the Ariel school claimed they saw ufo’s land and interacted with their occupants on a field adjacent to the school. More than 60 children had the same story when describing what they saw, right down to what “they” looked like; no taller than the kids themselves with large heads and large black eyes. Some of the children said “they” spoke to them telepathically, with the beings saying that we must “not be too technical” and to care for our planet better.

I interpret the “not to be too technical” message as a warning that we are going down a dangerous path with AI. To the minds of children, I could understand how they would interpret that message in the way they did. Perhaps “they” were us, from the future, trying to warn ourselves for being too smart for our own good. Always attempting to do the impossible without asking if we should be doing it in the first place. Knowledge without the governance of humility, could that be our downfall? Are we acquiescing our very humanity to the artificial for what we currently believe is for the improvement of mankind?

Could “they” be from a distant part of the galaxy, perhaps the Zeta Reticuli system as was told to Betty Hill in what became known as the Barney and Betty Hill incident. The incident which took place on September 19th, 1961, where both Barney and Betty Hill claimed they were abducted by extraterrestrials in rural New Hampshire. When Betty was interviewed regarding the incident she recalled being shown a star map by the aliens. She didn’t realize it at the time but apparently the stars lined up with the Zeta Reticuli star system, some 39 light years away from Earth. Ironically as years passed, when George Knapp of KLAS tv in Las Vegas interviewed Bob Lazar, who claimed he worked out of a secret military base in Nevada which became known as Area 51, was reverse engineering alien spacecraft which supposedly also came from Zeta Reticuli.

All of this leads us back to the origin point, at least what I believe is the official, unofficial origin point where the United States government was introduced to the Phenomenon, and that is in Roswell, New Mexico. The year was 1947 and on July 8th the Roswell Army Airfield issued a press release stating that they have recovered a “flying disk” of alien origin. Of course they quickly retracted that statement, coming up with the weather balloon story that has been the official accounting up to most recently in 1994. Then, a new “investigation” by the Air Force, stated that it was debris from Project Mogul, a military surveillance program using balloons. It’s ironic how some things just come full circle don’t they?

According to the late Colonel Philip J. Corso, in his book The Day After Roswell, the debris from the crash at Roswell was split up and sent to various military bases including what is now Wright Patterson, to be studied and eventually integrated with private defense contractors in order to keep the research on this matter out of public view. As we’ve come to realize over time, materials in the hands of private contractors are not subjected to public scrutiny using FOIA (freedom of information act). It’s ingenious when you think about it. If these materials were in the sole custody of the US Government, they would be subject to review. In private hands however, there were no such requirements. Move along. Move along.

All of this is pure speculation and I’m sure would be categorized as a conspiracy theory. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve seen more and more conspiracy theories metamorph into conspiracy facts. Be it the JFK assassination or the origin of COVID and how our government conspired with big tech to censor anyone on social media challenging the status quo, it seems conspiracies can only last so long. It’s been said that the sanitizing light of day will eventually bring forth the truth, even if it’s taken over 70 years. Eventually truth finds its way. The Great Awakening is right around the corner. The only question remains is, will we be ready to accept the truth no matter what dogma it may question?