I met a man who sincerely claims he met with aliens

© blogfactory

In the good old days, the arrival of UFOs on the front page of America’s paper of record might have seemed like a loose-thread tear right through the fabric of reality — the closest that secular, space-race America could have gotten to a Second Coming. Two decades ago, or three, or six, we would’ve also felt we knew the script in advance, thanks to the endless variations pop culture had played for us already: civilizational conflicts to mirror the real-world ones Americans had been imagining in terror since the beginning of the Cold War.

Floating Down (1990), by David Huggins, who makes oil paintings about his encounters with aliens. As featured in Love & Saucers, a 2017 documentary about the artist.

But when, in December, the New York Times published an undisputed account of what might once have sounded like crackpot conspiracy theory — that the Pentagon had spent

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