In the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis, policymakers concluded that the prices in the market could not be allowed to fall. They made a concerted effort to prevent what they thought would be an unprecedented catastrophe. They dropped interest rates to zero and embarked on a policy of spreading free money around called Quantitative Easing (QE). Ben Bernanke got a Nobel Prize for spearheading the idea. It worked for a while. But soon, they realized that QE could not last forever. They needed another way to get liquidity into the markets. They found it. Defense spending. Today we are seeing the results of this massive jump in defense spending in the form of UAPs, light flashes in the sky, clashes in space, and poor explanations from The White House. Let me explain.
In 2016, I argued, in my book Signals, that the outcome of QE was obvious and inevitable. Inflation would come back, of course, because that’s the whole point of the strategy. That inflation, plus the easy availability of funds, would also end the peace dividend that had been brought about by the end of the Soviet Union and the fall of communism. The decline of interest rates to nothing and the return of inflation would reignite geopolitics. Inflation would destabilize emerging markets and cause governments to race for control over supply chains of food and energy. All that sounded ridiculous in 2016, but I went further and argued that at some point, QE would hit a limit. People would start challenging the policy. Policymakers would have to find a new way to push cash into the economy. It seemed clear to me then that defense spending would become the new QE (as I said on CNBC here and on Real Vision here) because it’s invisible because it’s not subject to any audit process and because it would spur innovation in technology, which it has. To finish, I argued that we were witnessing the start of a new arms race and a re-ignition of confrontations amongst the superpowers.
Today, I stand by all this and will now argue that many of the strange events around UAPs, odd lights in the sky, and other concerning events, are the result of this arms race and the ongoing invisible war that the superpowers are conducting with all this money and new tech in the places the public cannot see: near and far space, across and under the open oceans, within data/cyberspaces, and in, let’s call it, “Spygame land” where spies have returned as a “thing.” The Chinese “Sky Lanterns” floating across the skies have illuminated a previously invisible arms race and a war that we need to understand.
First, it matters that defense budgets are entirely opaque. You cannot complain about this back-door form of fiscal spending spurring inflation if you can’t get a firm grip on how much has been spent. The DOD has never passed a single financial audit despite a clear Congressional mandate since 1990 and five attempts to date. Then there are Special Access and Black Budget programs where even Pentagon officials can’t tell what’s happening inside their own organization. These seem to hold the information about UAPs, by the way. We simply don’t know how much is being spent on defense.
Meanwhile, during this period, the US has consistently pressed its closest allies to increase their own defense spending substantially. Now they are doing it. As of 2023, Poland is set to increase its defense spending to 3% of its GDP and double the size of its army. Germany now says that the 100b Euro increase in defense spending announced in 2023 is not enough, and they need 10b Euros more because they didn’t consider the need for munitions purchases or inflation-driven pay hikes. In Britain, a defense spending increase of £1b is needed this year just to avoid real-term cuts. This is being challenged by the National Audit Office even as the US tells Britain they are not spending enough.
Where is all this money going? Much is being spent on innovation, as it should be. C4ISRNet writes, “DARPA’s detailed fiscal 2023 budget plan was released April 25, nearly a month after the Department of Defense unveiled its top-level spending request. The budget proposal shows a $250 million increase over the $3.8 billion Congress appropriated for DARPA in fiscal 2022, largely driven by an $883 million ask for microelectronics, $414 million for biotech programs and $412 million for AI.” Spacenews writes that the Space Force got “$26.3 billion for the U.S. Space Force, which is nearly $1.7 billion more than the Pentagon requested.” No doubt there are many more examples of this spending.
So, here’s the question: what if the spending is working? What if militaries have developed new capabilities that the public does not know about? What if new innovations are no longer in development but are now deployable or even deployed? Is it possible that your average person expects the new technology to look like an aircraft carrier or a fighter jet but, in reality, the new tech is much faster, much smaller, and deployed further away than anything we’ve seen before? Maybe China and Russia together have a David versus Goliath strategy? Maybe they have developed systems that are very small and which are quite literally under America’s radar.
This raises another question. Where is this battlefield? What is the domain of modern warfare? We look up in the sky and see a balloon, so it must be an air-based war, just as in WWII. We don’t see the satellite shenanigans and thus cannot imagine a war is going on out in space or understand why it matters. Perhaps we are already in what the Pentagon calls “all domain” warfare? That would include the oceans as well as space.
Surprise, surprise, there are tons of events happening at sea and in space. A regular drip of headlines has revealed ongoing attempts to cut the world’s most important undersea internet cables. This has further accelerated the desire to move the internet off of earth into space orbits. Amazon is emerging as a competitor to Starlink in providing satellite-based wifi. Starlink, meanwhile, has been shrinking away from its satellites being used in Ukraine. It’s one thing to provide a besieged civilian population with comms. It’s another to be providing strategic support for offensive military operations. Note that the US just blacklisted six Chinese companies due to the balloon debacle, so everybody can see that it’s a real problem if your firm is seen as a military company.
But wait! The Pentagon’s approach has been to outsource to private companies because they are more efficient, more cutting-edge, and more cost-effective. Also, pretty much everything these days is “dual use,” meaning most tech can be used for civilian commercial purposes or military war-fighting purposes. Personally, I don’t think the term dual use has made much sense since the late 1950s, but we keep pretending that there is an imaginary line between civilian and military technology. Civilian tech innovation is military tech innovation these days.
This brings us to “all domain warfare.” The battlefield now includes all physical domains. Have we seen signs of warfare across all domains? Funnily enough, yes. In fact, I have long argued that despite the terrible situation in Ukraine, the fight between the West and the Russia/China alliance is principally naval. This is a particularly murky, low-visibility space that involves submarines, ocean-going vessels, and deep underwater anomalies. It’s fascinating to me that nobody wants to talk about Sy Hersh’s explosive reporting that accuses the US of having blown up Nordstream 2. Any such suggestion of it is deemed to be Russian disinformation. Given the escalation that’s going on, perhaps we should consider the possibility that Norway’s Special Operations divers (The MKD or Minedykkerkommandoen) might have had a hand in it? After all, it sure looks like the Russians cut the internet cable in Svalbard last year, which connects almost all high-altitude satellites to earth, as I reported at the time. Russian subs keep surfacing nearby Norway and Denmark. To the credit of the Norwegians, an internet search comes up with absolutely nothing: “Your search - Norway mkd Nordstream - did not match any news results.” No fingerprints.
While Scandinavians seem to be completely invisible when it comes to countering their opponents, their opponents are becoming increasingly visible. Spies are being unearthed everywhere in Scandinavia. A Brazilian working at the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Tromsø in Norway’s Arctic Circle turned out to be a Russian spy named Mikhail Mikushin. Two Iranian brothers in Sweden, Peyman Kia and Payman Kia, were recently arrested as Russian spies too. As the Guardian wrote last month, “Peyman Kia, 42, served in the Swedish security and counter-intelligence service, Säpo, and in armed forces intelligence agencies, including the foreign intelligence agency (Must) and KSI, a top-secret unit dealing with Swedish spies abroad.” His brother Payam, “Payam, 35, was convicted of aggravated espionage for planning the crime and managing contacts with Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.” Spy games are back.
Today spy games are all too real. Mind games are too. The Chinese may be concerned about spy-ops but the Russians are concerned about psy-ops. When we see Foreign Policy Magazine, a serious publication, writing about Putin’s fear of “psychic attacks”, we can conclude that Putin is mad. Or, we can wonder at what technological innovations combined with huge injections of QE and defense spending have happened in neuroscience that make mind games something that is very real indeed. When I searched for “neuroscience military,” the first thing I got was an article in The National Defense Magazine called, Weaponizing the Brain: Neuroscience Advancements Spark Debate. That was from 2017! A more recent article can be found in Neuroscience News in 2022: “Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Allow Soldiers to Control Weapons With Their Thoughts and Turn Off Their Fear.”
We can only conclude that we are now in all-domain warfare, which includes stuff that genuinely makes the inside of your head spin. Not long ago, in 2021, General Hyten, the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, called All-Domain Operations “the biggest key to the future of the entire budget.” Even if that warfare is sub-threshold, hybrid and, until now, invisible to the public, it is still very real. This Invisible War relies on the dual-use tech that a well-funded private sector developed during the QE/Defense spending boom years.
But, let’s face it, the public does not know much about science or tech at the best of times, a problem that Carl Sagan considered to be outright dangerous in a democracy. We spend our lives depending on a mobile phone that operates on the basis of wifi, GPS, Sat Nav and yet cannot understand why the superpowers are in a contest for control over space. Just as electricity does not come from the socket in the wall, GPS and sat nav, and increasingly wifi, do not materialize out of thin air. They all depend on satellites in space. It behooves us to notice that just last week, yet another Russian satellite, the Kosmos 2499, disintegrated into a sea of razor-sharp shards hurtling through space at some 25 thousand miles per hour. This happened last year too, when Russia deliberately exploded their own satellite in an Anti-Satellite Test.
Could it be that we’ve got the wrong end of the story? Could it be that the issue here is that the superpowers are duking it out via satellites, as well as balloons, depriving each other of valuable orbits by creating debris fields and now even threatening to chuck each other’s satellites into the back of beyond via satellites with powerful robotic arms? On this last matter, only the US and China have such strong-arm satellites. The Chinese have been demonstrating this capability for a while. The Drive explained in January 2022:
“On January 22, China’s Shijian-21 satellite, or SJ-21, disappeared from its regular position in orbit during daylight hours when observations were difficult to make with optical telescopes. SJ-21 was then observed executing a “large maneuver” to bring it closely alongside another satellite, a dead BeiDou Navigation System satellite. SJ-21 then pulled the dead satellite out of its normal geosynchronous orbit and placed it a few hundred miles away in what is known as a graveyard orbit.”
While we can all see China’s giant, 200-foot balloons drifting over the US, we cannot see what’s going on in the graveyard of space. Ignorance is bliss. Could we be at war in space, and nobody but the military knew? Yes.
This takes us to Unidentified Flying Objects, which were only recently and conveniently reconsecrated as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. What if well-funded secret military programs have succeeded in creating aerial and even submarine capabilities that we don’t know about? Wouldn’t it be surprising if all that money had not resulted in new capabilities? It strikes me as very interesting that NORAD is loaded with all kinds of cameras and sensors for detecting inbound nuclear missiles, which is their principal mission. After the first Chinese balloon wafted straight over Alaska, Canada, and the entire US Continental land mass, NORAD decided to “open the filters” on these sensors so that they could detect smaller objects. Suddenly…….
they detected several, including one that was “octagonally shaped” “with strings” and one that was “cylindrical shaped.” Neither had any “visible means of propulsion.” Both had a deleterious effect on the aircraft flying near them. Is it really a coincidence that Uruguay, China, and now Romania are all finding weird objects in their airspace too? Note that Moldova is next door to Romania and is currently being threatened by Russia, which wants to turn next door Transnistria into the next Ukraine. The government in Moldova fell this week, and then they closed their airspace as well. Hmnnn!
The Pentagon did two things in response to the UAPs that are worth examining. Remember that we are at the highest alert level for nuclear events since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Only a week ago, The UN Secretary general warned of the risks of an accident and said, “This is the closest the clock has ever stood to humanity’s darkest hour, and closer than even during the height of the Cold War.”
Against that backdrop, first, the Pentagon promptly shot these objects down, as we all know. Second, they pretty promptly said the UFO/UAPs are not balloons. Air Force General Glen VanHerck, who is the head of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Northern Command, said, “We’re calling them objects, not balloons, for a reason.” He also explained that these objects have no known propulsion systems. This is where we begin to encounter the word “alien.”
We have to decide what we are now seeing. Is it:
New technology that defies the public’s understanding of physics which we can call “alien” new physics. This is the Feynman Option. He saw science as constantly evolving and new discoveries always underway. The new tech is us but it feels like it’s too advanced for humanity to have created it. My contacts at the Pentagon are pretty cocky about saying, “We have stuff you can’t imagine,” for a good reason.
Or, it is old technology that some alien civilization has either left behind or made available to humanity or we found? We’ll call this the Lazar Option after Bob Lazar who said he worked at AREA 51 before the government confirmed that it was real, and where he says he helped to reverse engineer downed alien craft. This option feels too out there for many observers. But, X-Files, Ancient Aliens, and Graham Hancock have created a broad audience of people who really want to believe. Many are in official positions. It does seem eerily convenient that the US government has only just appointed a large group of very serious scientists to study UAPs at various government agencies, from NASA to the Office of National Intelligence. The Pentagon only just released its new report on UAPs, which cites “hundreds of new reports.” The new podcast called Merged by Ryan Graves, the Former US Fighter Pilot, and Topgun instructor, is worth a listen. One has little reason to doubt that Navy and commercial pilots are increasingly being encouraged to report what they see. Another coincidence? The Watergate question leaps out at us. What did the government know, and when did they know it?
Option three is that we have perfected perfectly normal traditional physics and tech that’s so advanced that we cannot recognize it as real. Let’s call that this group the “Simpson’s” who have no idea about technology but are happy to express an opinion anyway. It’s no mistake that Bart Simpson is responsible for a nuclear facility but has no idea how it works. The Simpson’s option feels plausible too.
What have we seen in the news? Endless stories about new discoveries in physics and almost endless stories about strange anomalies. The new discoveries include graphene interfaces breaking Coulomb’s Law. Or, see Chinese Discovery Challenges Classical Theory of Astrophysics. Hardly anyone can keep up with the new physics. Also, there are many weird happenings. Meteors are falling from the sky that are said to have been predicted, yet no one verifies when and where the predictions were made. The former Chairman of the Astrophysics Department at Harvard says that some objects that we think are meteors are not. He is trying to prove that some of these meteors are actually interstellar alien technology. Chris Mellon says these objects are not only aerial but also submerged underwater. How very interesting that the Pentagon established the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense just before all these UAPs showed up! Yet nobody confers with them before the White House briefing on the first UAP sightings and takedowns?
Frankly, what all this activity is proving is that humans seem to be handling the news pretty well. Even NPR writes, “They can shoot down the UFOs, but they can't shoot down our hopes of meeting aliens.” No crowds are forming. Nor are there any signs of panic buying. At least we now know that UFO/UAPs are real, even if we haven’t entirely concluded where they came from. We also know that the peace dividend is transforming into a conflict premium. We also know that a ton of new money will go into the defense sector and UAP studies.
So, is it 1. aliens, or is it 2. alien/new or unknown physics/technologies, or 3. is it both? Bill Ackman, and others, are right to ask, “What if the three UFOs shot down are found to use technology or be made of materials that are not native to earth? How does life change thereafter? What do we do next?”
Personally, I keep hoping that there is a higher intelligence, which shows up in a wide array of forms whenever we humans get too close to launching nuclear weapons. The timing on that front in this new Invisible War is impeccable. I figure if NORAD is “widening the filters” through which it observes reality, each one of us should do the same, especially since so much effort and money is being spent on this new arms race. We can thank China’s Sky Lanterns for illuminating this The Invisible War for us.
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Everybody is now trying to back down:
US Says 3 Mystery Objects Likely Private, With No China Link
Initial evidence finds no link to Chinese espionage efforts
Officials still trying to collect debris from downed objects
Plot twist: We are the aliens. 👽