We Wanted to Write a History of the Future
At this time, a decade ago, Richard Dolan and I were deep into the writing of A.D. After Disclosure: The People’s Guide to Life After Contact. We wanted to fuse our respective experiences as a a UFO historian/researcher and a Hollywood writer/producer into a book that could convey what we felt was the imminent global understanding of UFO/UAP reality.
It wasn’t a historical piece, or pure non-fiction, or a novel. We coined a new term: “speculative non-fiction” to describe it. In it, we focused solely on the changes society will face when the reality of this Phenomenon is globally accepted and acknowledged by both official sources and the public.
Our First Edition was published on October 25, 2010 by Richard Dolan’s Keyhole Publishing. Richard, of course, had already written some ground-breaking books before but this was my first. I remember the rush of pride I felt when the first box arrived at my house. They looked magnificent. In Hollywood, things seem so transient in film and television. These looked and felt… substantial.
The reaction from readers blew me away. They embraced what we were trying to do and understood that we had swung for the fences, really trying to do something that had not been done before. It was so gratifying.
In 2012, we moved the book over to Career Press to give it new life. For that Second Edition, we had to trim out about 20,000 words. They changed the sub-title so the name was now A.D. After Disclosure: When the Government Finally Reveals the Truth about Alien Contact.
We fought with our editor over this sub-title. We said, we don’t know it’s aliens and we don’t know that the Disclosure, such as it is, will be forthcoming only from the government. There could be other explanations, we said. There were two of us and one of him, and he outvoted us, such is the way of the publishing world.
As we look back on the book from what are obviously very changed circumstances in the world since 2010, it holds up well. We didn’t get everything right. Who really could predict Tom DeLonge or Donald Trump? We did, however, sketch out the conditions that would exist to create them.
We Wish They Were Here to See This
We were honored to receive wonderful endorsements for the book. Four of the endorsers are no longer with us: Stan Lee, Edgar Mitchell, Stanton Friedman and Jim Marrs.
My absolute favorite came from Stan Lee who I’d worked with on several projects. In his own inimitable style, he wrote the blurb that would go on the cover of our Career Press edition:
“I’ve imagined this future many times, but these guys actually wrote the book on it! Zabel and Dolan have brilliantly created a compelling blend of history and informed speculation that makes their exciting world seem like tomorrow’s news today. Don’t dare miss it! ‘Nuff said.”
Tomorrow’s News Today. Perfect Stan. Exactly what we were going for.
We know how much Stan, Edgar, Stanton and Jim would have appreciated this moment. Some degree of Disclosure has already happened in that the government is increasingly ready to say UFOs actually do exist, in that they are unknown and unidentified, and not made by us.
How thrilled these four gentlemen would be that we messy, imperfect humans are going to actually get the job done one way or the other. And that suffering UFO activists will find some degree of redemption. Or, careful what you wish for. No one really knows.
A shout-out to Alex Asher Sears, the talented photographer who took the photos featured in this article. You can see her work (or hire her for your own) here on your site at AsherSears.com. She can be contacted at AlexandraWrote @ me. com.
Alex says she remembers: “I loved how easy it was to shoot with you as you were so at ease and happy in each other’s company.” This makes me smile because it’s true. By this time, Rich and I had become more than writing partners. We were friends.
Now, granted, the friend part doesn’t show quite so much in these photos because we were going for the Woodward-Bernstein vibe, the look of a couple of investigative reporters, out to break the cover-up apart.
This one above, in particular, was Alex’s idea to go black-and-white against a stark plain background. If the color version was Woodward & Bernstein, this one might be our Butch & Sundance. Or maybe it’s the other way around. All I know is that a friend wrote me when he saw it and said, “You look pissed off.”
My response? That’s exactly the idea. I am pissed off that this cover-up has been in place every second of my life.
Having said that, here is the Introduction to the book, as we wrote it at the time. Lightly edited for clarity and length.
Thousands of books have been published, all debating whether UFOs are real or just figments of our imaginations. This book is not one of them.
Over six decades into this quiet revolution, we can now see the outlines of a reality that has been sneaking up on us, one step at a time.
The issue that was hushed up by one generation, then turned into an object of derision by another, now demands to be heard straight up in ours.
Since the first major wave of UFO sightings in 1947, the number of people who believe that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin has steadily risen. Today a majority of Americans, as well as other global citizens, believe that this is so, and at least five percent claim to have seen a UFO.
The evidence that something strange has been happening is voluminous and convincing. All you have to do is look for it. Over the years, determined researchers have forced the release of classified reports prepared by the U.S. government and other nations. These accounts tell a story of contact through the eyes of thousands of professional witnesses — law enforcement, military pilots, and even astronauts. Most people now reject the theory that all sightings can be explained away as weather balloons, swamp gas flares, ball lighting, or mass hallucination. Instead, they have settled on one conclusion:
At least some UFOs appear to be intelligently controlled physical craft of some kind from some place that is not here.
Accepting that as our starting point makes our book different.
No secret can last forever. Our own society is changing so fast, so completely, that we will scarcely be recognizable a mere century from now. In such a world, with intelligent computers, advanced quantum computing, and nearly unforeseeable developments in global communication, can we really believe that a secret such as the presence of another intelligence on Earth can continue to remain hidden and undisclosed?
At what point between now and then do we cross the threshold of knowing the truth about UFOs, and having an open acknowledgment of them in our world? It might be as soon as next week, or as long as several more generations, but it won’t be forever. It will happen. The wall of official denial that has been in place for more than half a century is now fracturing.
And yet, an acknowledgment that “UFOs are real and some of them are not us” will not end the debate. It will only lead to more questions, and mark a new phase of the mystery.
Will Disclosure lead to social panic? Undermine religion? Destroy the stock market? Or will it lead to revolutionary new technologies, extended life spans, and world peace?
If alien civilizations have sent their own explorers across the universe to visit us, who are they? What do they want? And why would some of our own people have kept the news of their arrival from the rest of us? What will unmasking a truth of this magnitude do to our reality, our way of life, our culture, our society? Could it be that these beings are not “visitors” from another part of our universe, but full-time residents of our world already? Are even stranger physics involved, such as dimensions or time travel?
Any such revelation will be a game-changer of monumental proportions. Unlike 9/11 when we said everything changed, in this case it really will. Full Disclosure could equally usher in an age of human unity or one of greater global conflict. It could lead to paradise or hell.
Those are the questions that have kept us up at nights. Because we wanted answers, we have written this book. Both of us feel that our previous research has led us inexorably to this project. We may now be believers in UFO reality, but we did not start out that way. We followed the facts where they led.
Throughout both our careers, we have each sifted through the evidence, listened to the believers and deniers and, frankly, done the homework that investigative journalists and university scholars should have done, but which few have even tried. And while the work has been rewarding, it has never been easy, and has often been troubling.
A detached review of the proven evidence, much of which is freely available via once-classified documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, tells us that militaries from around the world have been plagued by UFOs. There is no other way to characterize this. Time after time, sensitive and restricted air space has been the scene of violations by objects tracked on radar and seen visually by base personnel. Attempts to intercept have often been made, typically ending in failure. The documents describe these unknown objects as performing maneuvers that would have destroyed our best fighter aircraft. UFOs could hover indefinitely, and then accelerate instantaneously. Witnesses often described them as roundish or disk-shaped, giving rise to the term “flying saucer.”
To read one or two such reports, we might well be inclined to dismiss them as mistakes: unknown natural phenomena, equipment malfunctions, or some other error in perception. But hundreds of such reports have come down to us. Their tone is serious. Higher level military and intelligence personnel discussed them and were left perplexed and sometimes distressed.
The general scenario is clear. Advanced technology has been traversing the Earth. Whoever it belongs to, it is technology that is not supposed to exist — and yet it does. Moreover, those individuals in strategic positions of power were able to create and maintain a system of secrecy designed to keep the rest of the world in the dark.
Was it right to keep this secret from the people since the 1940s? To laugh at people who saw what they saw, to make them feel small and ridiculous for speaking out? To transform the most important information of our time into fodder for stand-up comedy?
No, it was not. Perhaps, after the truth is known, there will be efforts to bring some of these secret-keepers to justice. More likely, however, many people will shrug their shoulders and reflect that they might have done the same thing had they been confronted with the problem of UFOs. They will also find, as we have in the course of our research, that the problem of UFOs has seldom been clear, and never simple.
And yet, whatever the reasons for keeping us in the dark, we deserve to hear the full story now. We deserve to make our own plans. The truth may be wonderful, or it may be disturbing, but whatever it is, people have the capacity, and more importantly the right, to learn it and act upon it.
In any case, we as a society will learn it. The structure of secrecy, when it falls apart in the months or years ahead, could disappear with astonishing speed. One day it will be there and the next it will not.
Those who have held this secret for so long need to understand that the river of time cannot stop, and that truth cannot indefinitely be denied. The day is coming when they will be forced to come clean, and it is best for them, as well as for humanity, that they do this sooner rather than later. We will need all the wisdom, foresight, and time possible to make a smooth transition to the new reality, After Disclosure or A.D.
To the group of beings we have come to call the “Others” — whoever and whatever they are — we want to remind them that, whatever their attitude about the human race, our scientific trajectory may soon enable us to leap into their world. It may well be that, at some point in the future, they will be forced to answer to us for past transgressions, or we may be thanking them for past services rendered. Either way, the human race is poised to advance to the next level of civilization.
If there is a final thought to the journey of A.D.: After Disclosure, it is a piece of advice: no fear. That means do not be afraid to express your views regarding the reality of other intelligences interacting with humanity, for the truth is that more people believe this than you realize. Do not fear the secret-keepers, for they are people, too, who have generally done what they have out of the belief that it was best. Also, do not fear their power, as they are not infallible, and time is against them. You have your own resources to marshal the truth. Do not fear the Others, either, no matter what that truth may be. Whether they be angels, demons, good, bad, or indifferent to our fate, do not fear them. You lived well enough up till now, and you will survive well enough after the Great Change. Above all, believe in humankind, in our ability to face unexpected challenges, in the strength and wisdom that reside within us, much more than we realize, waiting for the moment to manifest.
After assessing the probable transformations that will affect our society and ourselves following Disclosure, we have gained a deeper appreciation for why UFO secrecy has been maintained for so long, the multifaceted, revolutionary nature of the UFO phenomenon.
We are confident that the truth will come out. We are not alone. And the Others are not light years away, some kind of cosmic pen-pals chatting by radio telescope. They are here, now.
The day will come when humanity reviews its history and divides it between everything before the truth was spoken out loud and everything A.D., After Disclosure. Soon enough, we will all be living in the brave new world of life after contact.
Richard Dolan | Bryce Zabel