Jesse Michels: UFOs, David Grusch, Venture Capital
Why would these things travel thousands of light years away and just crash? For all we know, it's more like they're sending us a gift. Grusch sort of touched on this as well. Jesse Michels, the CEO of American Alchemy Holdings, is at the helm of private venture investments that reach into the nine-figure realm. His tenure includes a four-year stint at Peter Thiel's family office, where he was instrumental in investing.
Michael's has also made substantive contributions to the world of media. He was the producer of the podcast The Portal with Eric Weinstein. His professional journey also led him to Google, where he served in operations under the Research and Machine Intelligence department. Michels holds a degree in History from the prestigious Columbia University. He continues to share his insights and engage with some of the most intriguing minds of our era through his YouTube channel, aptly now named Jesse Michels. Welcome.
Well, same. I hold you in high regard. It was nice meeting you a few months ago back in March, and I've been looking forward to meeting up again or speaking again, and so welcome. Yeah, man. Thanks. I really appreciate it, and I'm excited for that episode.
For all Theories of Everything fans, I did an interview with Curt. It was right before I took a long break on the media front, and so I'm putting that out soon. And it's a great interview, and please tune in and wait for it. And for those of you who don't know, Jesse is the only person to have interviewed David Grusch outside of Yes Theory and outside of Ross Coulthartt, at least not in a major way. And no one knows how you were able to secure this, not even me. We're going to talk about that.
But first, what was going through your mind prior to that interview, just prior to it? I was freaking out. I was like, this is world history, and part of me is like, it's a total imposter syndrome. I shouldn't be here. This is crazy. And I just wanted to do it justice. Luckily, I can do stuff and I can edit and post, and so if I screw something up royally, I can sort of make up for that, and I'm decently good in conversation and somewhat polymathic and can talk a lot about a lot of different things with people. But I was just really nervous. I was like, why am I in this position? This is insane.
I don't want to screw it up. And so that was what was going through my head 24 hours before the interview. If you could ask David Grusch one question and get a straight answer, like an actual answer that he said he won't give you any qualifiers, what would that be? I think the hardest, the most important thing is characterizing the NHI. Who are these NHI, and what do they want to do with us? There are all these questions I think you could ask him, which a lot of people revert to around who is involved in the government, which private aerospace contractors were involved, how should they be recriminated against and treated? All of these questions I think are very important. I think where I land, and I imagine you land based
on me being a big fan of your show, is this is the nature of reality that we're talking about. And if we're not at the top of the food chain, we're not sort of apex predators or apex consciousness, then who are these NHI? If there are different races, what races exist? And then what are their agendas, if you can speak to that? That would definitely be my main question. Would that be the same question that you would ask Lue, Lue Elizondo? Absolutely, yeah. Same, yeah. What if you were allowed one question to anyone, anyone, even if they're dead? Oh man.
Who would it be and what would that question be? Oh, that's such a good question. That's so hard. I would probably, you know, it's so hard, but I think I would try to just be in the presence of somebody who's a known mystic. So like Jesus would be kind of a classic proverbial example, but I think Mohammed and Moses, I think these are a few of maybe many that have experienced the transcendent in some way and have come back down to earth and are trying to spread a message. But there's some sort of translation function issue where, you know, Grusch actually said this in our interview, it's almost like the symbol rate of language is too slow to actually get across what they're trying to say. And so if you read the New Testament, just as an example, Jesus is speaking
in riddles, you know, it's mysteria is the Greek, it's mysteries. And, you know, I think John Locke even talks about, you know, how he speaks, he's sort of misdirecting maybe in certain cases. And, you know, maybe, you know, there's a famous political philosopher, Leo Strauss, 20th century, and he talks about how a lot of philosophers write in code, and maybe Jesus was sort of Straussian, maybe he was sort of speaking in code. And that allows for multi layers of meaning that, you know, it's like, you have to have ears to hear. And so you have to be at a certain level
to sort of hear, to get the message. And then I think it also allows for this sort of Lindy effect of like, the message lasts for a very long time, because everybody's sort of poking at it and picking at it, the meaning is not, you know, obvious. And then the, you know, maybe the Occam's razor explanation is there's nothing actually behind all of it. But I think, I tend to think, you know, in cases like Jesus and other sort of very mystical characters, there is more behind it, there is more substance. And so there's sort of maybe hermetically sealed meaning that is sublinguistic. Do you think your degree in history provides you a unique advantage in studying the UFO phenomenon? And also to venture capital? Yeah, I think both. I think, I think history does for sure, because it's like, you read a certain
thing, you're like, like, okay, I'll give you a good example. Actually, there are these documents that came out about where supposedly FOIA documents where FDR is writing and he says that we've been given this, like, very destructive force. Presumably, he's talking about the atom bomb or precursor to the atom bomb from extraterrestrials. And there's, it doesn't, it doesn't read like his writing. I don't think he would use the word extraterrestrial. Like, like,
there are like a million ways in which it like doesn't make sense. And I think that the history thing sort of helps with that. And I think venture helps too, because if you get something wrong, you just lose money. And it sucks. And I've been there. It's the worst thing ever. And so if your thing is falsified, it's not just like, oh, I'm wrong in a Socratic debate or whatever. It's like,
I just lost money, you know, in many cases for myself, in many cases, fiduciary responsibility for somebody else. And it's not fun. It's not a fun position to be in. And so I think there's a level of rigor there. And bringing that to the UFO thing, I think, can be helpful too. And I think thinking probabilistically as well, where with venture, it's like, the whole point is you want this sort of asymmetric risk reward profile. Like you, you want to, you want to have asymmetric, an asymmetric understanding of something. You want to understand that you want to see a risk reward that other people don't see. And so, you know, maybe, maybe the risk is less than other people
think. Maybe the reward is higher than other people think. But you want to somehow have a ratio there that you have an asymmetric understanding of that other people don't. And I think that the, the point is, is that, that, that makes you think probabilistically. You're not thinking in these sort of like, is this a psyop? Is this real? You know, you can't pre-crystallize knowledge. You're trying to get to a certain confidence interval level. And once you get to that certain confidence level, it becomes a good risk reward. And then
you decide to make the bet. And so that, you know, to me, I think that in some cases, to put it in annoying financial terms, the UFO thing is like this interesting arbitrage opportunity because you have outside of you and again, one or two other people, like, it's mostly snake oil and it's like really, really bad people kind of attached to it. And yet I think there are a lot of facts compared to that. And, and people can't think probabilistically. They can't, they can't not pre-crystallize. It's either bullshit or it's real. And it can't be like, well, there's clearly something worthy of investigation here. I'm like almost a hundred percent sure of that, just that it's worthy of investigation. And then let's go
forward without having to kind of snap it to a grid of like, this is, you know, this is definitely ET or it's definitely time traveler or it's completely bullshit. So you talked about that. There's so much BS in this, in this field. So how do you vet some people before you interview them? How do you know who you should speak to? I, I, I actually try to initially cast a really wide net and then I try to demarcate where I think things are super speculative. So I, I guess I think it's sort of our duty to speculate a lot. If something involves really bad thinking, just like on the face of it, it just feels like there are way too many leaps of logic. I just, I won't entertain it. I'll give you an example. I guess the thing that I entertained on the show that is probably the most out there on the UFO front that I think is probably wrong when, when it comes down to it. But I think it's an, it's,
it's interesting. It's an interesting way to possibly think about it. And probably you or a fan of your show could better falsify or corroborate this than me is I had, I had Deep Prasad on and he, you know, he's talking about reverse engineering UFOs and I didn't, I actually, you know, again, I don't think it's probably, it's probably not the best approach, but I do think there are ways in which UFOs kind of look like maybe quantum macroscopic. objects, like it looks like they're like tunneling or whatever, or it looks like they're sort of non-local. Sorry, what's not the right approach? What's not the right approach with that episode or with the Deep? So his idea is that you cannot solve Schrodinger's wave equation at scale. You can only solve it for like a few electrons. And so you have to use, I think it's like density functional theory, like these sort of like calculus workarounds to scale that up.
And his idea is that a quantum computer could be able to solve Schrodinger's wave equation at scale. And then you can do all sorts of novel material science. You can basically, and I think this is even from a Paul Dirac quote, you can like predict like how any material, like its attributes, essentially, you can do like material science, synthetic material science at scale. If you figure that out, I think as a startup, that's, it's really, it's really hard, right? Like you're like betting on like being able to build a quantum computer, then you're betting that that can solve Schrodinger's wave equation at scale.
It's like Peter, who I work for, Peter Thiel, talks about like a two or three, you never want to bet on like, like companies are a miracle. You don't want to bet on like a three miracle company. And again, I'm a huge fan of deep, so don't take this as too hard a critique.
And I'd love to, you know, talk with him more, but it feels a little like a three miracle company, right? It's like, you're building a quantum computer, then you have to build Schrodinger's wave equation, then building company at all is a miracle. Like it's really hard to build a company. So there's like the, you know, there's a, there's a lot there, but I think it's generative.
There's a lot of, there's plenty of marketing and hype around quantum computation. So I'm speaking to Scott Aronson soon. Oh, sweet.
Had this whole, yeah, he has this whole critique. It's great that you know who that is. He has this whole critique of Michio Kaku's book saying, look, it's not going to solve. Okay.
Well, you will have to wait for the episode, but. Well, I can't wait. I'm excited. He's, he's a genius. He's where he's in Austin or something.
Don't know. I don't know what that's based. Okay. So continue. Where were you saying? So what I get, that was a super long winded way of saying, I think that his, his deep line of thinking is very generative, but not, I wouldn't necessarily like say I agree with it.
Right. And so I think you get, you can speak to certain people and you find all these people in ufology where it's like, everything is everything, right? It's like, you could literally tell them it's, it's reptilian snakes and, but it's also tall whites and it's this and that, and it's like 50 different species and the Nazis allied with them and also this and that. And you can, and it's, it's just bad thinking and it's, it's, it's Kabbalah and it's this and it's that or whatever.
And they'll agree with all of it. There's, there's completely indiscriminate and there's no underlying truth because truth isn't malleable. I do believe there is, there is sort of objective truth and, and so, well, the reason I somewhat qualified that is I'm, I'm, I do, I do believe in, you know, I think consciousness and parapsychology is an interesting in road and on, on the physics front. And so I think our, I do think there is underlying truth and then I think what we perceive is not necessarily that underlying truth. I see.
I see. Yeah. I find the character of the conversations in the UFO topic to be of a drastically different tenor than those on, of the usual topic on, at least on this channel of physics and math and computer science and philosophy.
There are some ideas that someone believes that most people would say, most people in that field would say that's not correct. So for instance, Stephen Wolfram believes you can base all the physics and math and hypergraphs and many mathematicians and physicists disagree with him. So let's call that a wild idea.
It doesn't mean it's a wrong idea, but it's a wild in the field, in the UFO field. It's not that you have one or two wild ideas, which is the general case when I'm interviewing physicists. It's that you have 20 different ideas that are all connected and they're all a standard deviation or two standard deviations away. So it's like you buy, you don't just buy one, you have to buy 15. So that's something that I've noticed.
I don't know about you. And also it seems like people get extremely offended in either regard, whether you say that there's something to this or there's not something to this or there's something to investigate or there's not something to investigate. It seems like this is a contentious field.
Yeah. There's a lot of ego and there's a lot of like, everybody I feel like wants to be the disclosure person or whatever. For me, I try to, and look, I'm not going to lie, like I have an ego.
I think everybody does. But it's like, I don't like the fact that I'm the tip of the spear. I would much rather somebody take the stuff that I'm talking about, like in the Gresh documentary, which I think was pretty comprehensive.
And it's like, okay, investigate, corroborate or falsify. Like the stuff we're talking about with Oppenheimer or Sarbok or Townsend Brown, all of these historical characters. Yeah, and we'll get to all this. Amazing. I'd love for somebody to come out and be like, no, this is definitively wrong because of XYZ.
And I'd be like, okay, great. We can talk about it. But it feels like we're stuck on home plate. Like we can't even get to first base. I also wonder, is it even true, like to rebut what I just said, is it even true that there's more discord in the UFO community than the average community that's large? So for instance, in the Amber Heard versus Depp case, you can have the same mentality.
And then in religion, you have the same. And for me, I see in physics, there's something similar between string theorists and the rest and between different factions. I see nothing of that in chemistry. But I'm sure if I was to speak to a chemist, they would say, oh, what are you talking about? It's just because you're from the outside, you don't know. So we're so ensconced, we see it and we think, well, man, there's so much dirt thrown to other people.
Can I flip this on you for a second? Yeah, sure. I don't get to talk to you that much. You're so smart and I love talking to you. So the string theory thing you just mentioned, what would you say are the similarities between string theory and maybe its detractors, if you were to find common ground there? I mean, what do they agree on? Yeah, what do they agree? Yeah. They agree that there's a finite amount of parameters and it's meant to be predictive.
So what that means is that here's how physics works. It's a fun way of thinking about how physics works, is that you have observables. So you observe, you get data.
And the problem is that this data is underdetermined by the theories. In other words, there are multiple theories, like an uncountably amount of theories that can predict the same data. You choose a theory and this theory, what you want this theory to have as ingredients in it is something that's finite. So it means string theory hopes to do this with one parameter. The standard model has about 27 parameters or so, depending on how you count it, because you have complex numbers.
Maybe that's two dimensions and maybe there's the seesaw mechanism. Other mechanisms aren't known, but the standard model is something like 20 to 30 parameters. There is a way of combining quantum mechanics with general relativity, but then you get an infinite amount of parameters.
It means you need to put in an infinite amount of data to get your answer, which we don't think is, which actually the universe could operate like that. We just don't think it does, or we don't like it. The majority of physicists agree that what you want is something that's predictive, meaning you can specify initial data and then you can evolve it forward. And by the way, when I say the majority, there are exceptions, like there's Chiara Marletto, who believes in constructor theory, which says that this predictive model is not the right way. And it's been the way since Newton, like you specify initial conditions and you say what is the velocity of the ball and its position, and then you know its arc. She says maybe what's required is stipulations on what is possible and what isn't possible.
And that's called constructor theory. So in other words, the second law of thermodynamics is one such law. It says that it's impossible for entropy to decrease.
She's trying to find a way to reformulate physics, thinking, okay, perhaps we have this incorrect. Yes, we've gotten the standard model and general relativity from thinking in terms of predictivity, but maybe we need a new paradigm or a new framework. Anyhow, your question was, what do the string theorists agree with the rest of the community on? I think the majority would be that it's predictive and you want a finite amount of parameters and you would like to treat gravity and quantum mechanics in the same theory. Awesome. Cool. Thank you for educating me.
Okay, so explain your relationship with Grusch. Sure. So you know the fitness coaches can be expensive. That's why I was excited when Copilot Fitness approached us. It's one of those apps that when you see how easy it is, you wonder why wasn't it invented before? And I think that's because it's more than just an app. It's this whole experience of speaking to your coach, of communicating during, after, being held accountable.
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So two years ago, I had a friend, I have a friend, but I had him then. He served on the Air Force. He was in Space Force. I'd pick his brain on UFOs because he's in the Space Force.
I'm like, come on, man. I know you're in the Space Force. What do you know? He'd be like, look, I'm sympathetic to a lot of this stuff. It was clear he didn't know an insane in-depth amount, but he sort of vaguely believed in UFOs. I sort of got to a certain point in my questioning and he was like, I do have somebody you should probably meet if you're really into this topic. You could tell I was super into it.
He was like, I do have somebody you should meet. That person was Dave Grusch. I met him probably literally two years ago. I think initially he was probably like, who's this crazy kid who works in kind of a private venture context who knows a decent amount about the UFO field. I was just flinging questions at him. I think a lot of them, I think he probably was like, wow, he's probably barking up some of the right trees here. That probably intrigued him. Yeah, we just stayed in touch,
had sporadic phone calls between now and then. I saw some of this stuff go on kind of behind the scenes in terms of his frustration with the government trying to kind of move it from the inside on the UAPTF and that not really working as a strategy. Then I think at some point he was like, fuck it. I'm going to, from the outside, I'm going to defect and leave. Say what I can, but in a limited capacity and really try to get the executive
branch to say a lot more than me as far as real full disclosure, which is really his whole goal. I think a super important thing to preface this entire conversation with and for the public to understand is I get why if you knew nothing coming into this and you saw some 14-year Intel officer with a bunch of three-letter agencies as credentials, I get why if you heard him just say, there are crafts and we have biologics with the craft. Why you'd be skeptical? Why you'd be like, well, wait, why are you being so vague? His whole strategy is to get the executive branch to do full disclosure. I think he's rightfully admitting and having kind of epistemic humility around, I don't understand. I don't have the full kind of top of the pyramid, full equities understanding of this. I don't want to screw
with American national security secrets, with alliances, with really important kind of covert R&D. He wants to do this as above board as he can. Exactly. He's saying that. He's saying he's not full Ed Snowden. If that's your take, if you want a full Ed Snowden, look elsewhere. He's going through a proper kind of internal
process. I think that's super admirable and really cool, especially with a government right now that's insanely sclerotic, that can't get anything done, that can't even meet right now. Congress might be frozen for all we know. I think that's actually somewhat refreshing to see, but also really important for the average person to understand.
What's the UAPTF? You said that there is a scuffle between him and that you saw it over the past two years. Can you explain, what do you mean that you saw it? He was the NGIA's appointment to the UAPTF. The UAPTF is the, I know a million acronyms. Yeah, there's so many. It's really complicated and annoying. Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Task Force, which was basically like an independent commission by the DOD. You had people like Senator Gillibrand from New York behind this saying, we should look into UFOs. It was prompted by the Leslie
Kane 2017 revelations around ATIP and OSAP. The idea that we had a government UFO reverse engineering program that Ted Stephens and Harry Reid had commissioned from 2007 to 2012. The UAPTF was the post-2017 version of that, where it was like, let's look into UFOs. Let's figure out what's happening in our skies. Grusch is the appointment from the National
Geospatial Intelligence Agency. I think initially he was thinking that, okay, he'd be doing a lot of the work that he was doing on the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which you can think of the NRO as kind of the intel, like we're going to actually get the data. We're going to have satellites in space doing crazy stuff and getting imagery and different other signatures of interesting stuff happening in our space. Then you can think of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency as like, we're the analysts on the ground classifying what these things are. That was his expertise and he was put on the UAP task force. This is a classic story. It's a story that if we could interview J. Allen Hynek or Edward
Ruppelt back in the day, they'd tell the same story. He came in thinking, I'm going to debunk this thing and it's going to be space trash and airplanes and BS. I'm going to figure this out in two months. Not only were there cases in the sky that sort of baffled him where he was like, okay, some of this stuff is not prosaic, what I know of as terrestrial technology, but then he started to bump into reverse engineering programs where people who he had even intersected with, because he had a 14-year career in Intel, were taking him behind closed doors and being like, look, I don't know if you're aware of this, but we have some interesting programs where we have material, we've been working on reverse engineering this stuff. The material has isotope ratios not naturally forming on Earth. They're heavy elements, so it's hard to recreate them in a centrifuge. A lot of sort of strange stuff. Initially, I think Rush was like, maybe this is bullshit, but he got a lot of other
high-ranking senior Intel people to back channel with those people and see if they would lie to them and they didn't get lied to. I think some of the people he spoke to had a counter Intel background, but he found people who were more kind of of the just pure hapless engineering type. He's a pretty strong first principles thinker. He basically came to the conclusion, wow, I think this is real. That's when he sort of started to make moves inside the government that wasn't super effective. That's when he was like, I'm going to leave and try to make noise from the outside and did the News Nation thing and the debrief mean? Basically, I don't know how much I can say, but I think he basically tried to tell his superiors at his agency, the NGIA, look, this is what's going on. Look, you tasked me with this. This is my job. I'm supposed to find out whether UFOs are possibly classifiable
or real or what's going on here. I found all these programs. What's up? You should have oversight over this. Nothing really happened. I don't know if you believe or have heard of the Wilson memo, but there's a guy named Thomas Wilson who was head of J2, Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was supposed to have supervision. In his purview is all military technology. As exotic as it gets, that should fall under his jurisdiction. He has a meeting with Eric Davis that I think gets actually discovered at the Edgar Mitchell estate after Edgar Mitchell dies. It's the same story where Thomas Wilson meets with this private aerospace contractor.
They say that they have material. They say that progress has been very slow, that it's super compartmentalized. It's outside of the jurisdiction of the government. He's furious. He tries to affect change within government, presumably. I don't know exactly what he tries to do, but he's very angry in the meeting with Davis. You hear this time and time again of people trying to do things in the government and just getting sort of buzzled. I think Dave's kind of one of the first case to just say, look, I'm just going to leave. I'm going
to push disclosure from the outside, which I think is pretty cool. You have a friend, a space... Sorry, what kind of friend? He was in Space Force, and before that he was in the Air Force, and now he's in the private sector.
Force friend. Force friend, yes. Double force. This person knows David Grusch. Two years ago, you were speaking to this guy. You were telling him what you think, and he said, you should speak to Grusch. This guy, you're like, who's Grusch? Then you're like, I'll speak to him. Yeah, why not? So you speak to him. You accost Grusch with your numerous speculations, and you said that some of them may have jived with Grusch that made him think, hey, this guy knows what he's talking about, or he's on the right track. So speak to Grusch.
That's my own speculation. Speculate about those speculations. And this gets into some of the stuff we covered in the documentary, but there's just so much out there that's actually open source that weaves together in bizarre ways where if your null hypothesis is that this is a PSYOP, it is so much better than the second best PSYOP, whatever the hell that is. It is the best PSYOP of all time. It's intergenerational. If someone says, this is just a PSYOP, and then they leave, they comment that and then they leave, like on Reddit or whatever, why are you leaving? That itself is mind-blowing. Right, right, right, right.
This is a PSYOP? Exactly. And you're totally comfortable with this being a PSYOP as well? Exactly. Oh, this is just the government lying to us on a massive scale and with extreme coordination? No, exactly.
Even if it is, why is that something that you can just say as a dismissal of it rather than, oh my gosh, let's continue to investigate. Oh my gosh, there's something here. We should have a church commission on that immediately. It's insane. If this is a PSYOP, throw out MKUltra, throw out Tuskegee. Oh, it's like someone finds out about MKUltra, this is just a PSYOP. Yeah, yeah, right, it is.
It is, right, sure. Okay, so that's it? So you're not going to investigate? Yeah. No, I'm with you, man. I'm totally with you. And to the point that it's not even a PSYOP, which if it were a PSYOP, it would be a fascinating story in and of itself, but to the point that it's not even a PSYOP, it's like you have this guy, Townsend Brown, who is dealing with Curtis LeMay, Robert Sarbacher, Edward Teller, top brass when it comes to American atomic programs by all accounts, by conventional history accounts. You have Jacques Vallée, who doesn't know Grusch, they're not close. Vallée's been studying this thing forever, and used generally from the outside, although he assisted J. Allen Hynek, but these guys are not compadres, and Jacques Vallée is saying that, he's questioning, would Oppenheimer have known, would Enrico Fermi have known, because all of the crashes seem to take place around atomic sites, which we can get into, because there's a ton of evidence
around that, and was there somehow a connection between American atomic programs and these reverse engineering efforts? And then Townsend Brown, who I think, if there were reverse engineering programs, he was clearly at the helm of all of this, given a lot of other interesting things about his work, and so you weave all these things together, and you're like, if this is a PSYOP, it's gotta be this insanely well-coordinated thing, and then you have Robert Hastings, right, who writes this book, it's aptly named, it's called UFOs and Nukes, he's the son of a nuclear missile man, radar operator, and he's at Malmstrom Nuclear Base, and he's actually a janitor there, because his dad is the radar operator, he's a janitor there, and another radar operator calls him in, he says, we caught some unknowns again, we caught some UFOs again, and he starts questioning him, and then, his superior, the radar operator's superior comes down and is like, never ask about this again, whatever, and then he starts compiling, he interviews 150 nuclear missile man radar operators, these guys are literally tasked with hitting the button that send nukes, they're on what's called the PRP, the personal reliability program, they have to report if they're on ibuprofen, so they have to be, by definition, the picture of mental health, and you think of a guy that gets into that line of work, and they are not histrionic, they're not attention-seeking, they don't want their names known, they're not interested in that, and so, Hastings has this 150-person account thing, you have Townsend Brown, who's doing a lot of weird, he's working on gravitators that look a whole lot like flying saucers, and forming NICAP, which is the first civilian UFO organization, and doing a lot in that area, and meeting with the top atomic brass, and then you have Jacques Follet telling me a lot of these secrets are going into the DOE, possibly, and maybe Oppenheimer was involved, and then Grusch is corroborating that Oppenheimer probably was involved because he created atomic secrecy in 53-54 with the Atomic Energy Commission, of which the McMahon Act in 46 was a precursor, and it's basically saying everything that emits alpha, beta, gamma radiation, any nuclear material would basically fall under the secrecy that atomic stuff would fall under, and so you're basically, it's this cloak-and-dagger way of saying if you have UFO craft, which emits radiation, you can keep it secret, and so you have all these disparate touch points. George Knapp is doing his own research on this stuff. You have all these disparate touch points pointing towards a pretty coherent story. It's not this everything is everything is story, and so that's why I want to skew the kind of the Gaia types that are like, it's the pineal gland, it's this and that, or whatever, and just like, actually, no. There's a
real narrative here, and we should be just trying to corroborate or falsify the narrative. So was Grusch saying, or are you saying, that Oppenheimer is involved with UFOs above and beyond creating the secrecy that was then used for, or the claim is that that was then used for, as a guise for UFOs? So in other words, Oppenheimer comes about and creates this framework of secrecy. This then gets used as a shield for UFO research. This is the claim. Or is the claim that Oppenheimer also took part in this UFO research? And also, yes, sorry, please, that's his own question. Let's take it one at a time.
That is an amazing question. I'm so happy that you asked that question. So I don't know is the honest answer, but there is a lot of interesting stuff around Oppenheimer. So there's a book by a guy named William Steinman called UFO Crash that claims that Robert Oppenheimer was on a clean-up crew, a UFO crash clean-up crew in Aztec, New Mexico, March of 1948, a year after Roswell, with Townsend Brown, among a few others. And so again, I don't know whether that's true. I'm working my way through the book right now. I think it's worthy of either corroboration or falsification. There's another book called The
Fall of Robert J. Oppenheimer, UFO Secrecy and the Fall of Robert J. Oppenheimer. It's by an Air Force guy, a guy named Donald Burleson. And he makes the very interesting claim that maybe the stripping of the queue clearance in Oppenheimer's case had more to do with his UFO knowledge than actually his schmoozing with Soviet spies in the 30s or whatever. Christopher Nolan is wrong. Disinformation from Nolan. Maybe. I have a very prominent journalist friend who I won't out in saying this, but he has a funny quote. He's like, you don't spend $130 million to tell the truth
or something like that. He's very skeptical. And look, I don't know. I think Nolan's amazing. And I think the movie was incredible. But there are a lot of weird things around that case that, again, let's demarcate this, Curt, as speculation. I'm not saying that Oppenheimer definitely was part of the research. But Gordon Gray, who was rumored to be part of the Majestic 12,
was overseeing that kangaroo court that stripped him of his queue clearance. And so the Majestic 12, again, is this sort of this group of top brass in the military, high up scientists and strategists under Truman and then later under Eisenhower that basically would advise on kind of the UFO issue. And so Gordon Gray, he does form the psychological strategy board. That's a historical fact under Eisenhower, is overseeing this sort of kangaroo court with Oppenheimer where his queue clearance gets stripped. And there are a lot of weird quotes from the transcripts. And one of the quotes is Oppenheimer says,
a lot happened between 45 and 49. He keeps saying that. It's like a trope. And it's like, okay, what happened between 45 and 49? Well, the atom bomb was created between 41 and 45. And if anything, he got increasingly marginalized as the H-bomb was created, which was really Teller's thing. So post-45, what are you talking about? What happened? And if you believe any of the lore, all of the UFO stuff happened between 45 and 49. So that's kind of interesting.
John von Neumann has a very—I'm sure you're intimately familiar with John von Neumann, genius Hungarian physicist, created the mathematical foundations for quantum mechanics. And he's defending his friend Oppenheimer in this kangaroo court. And he says it took Robert Oppenheimer a while to get adjusted to the Buck Rogers universe that we're living in.
What is he talking about? Buck Rogers was a comic strip at the time, all about space travel and aliens and interplanetary colonization and time travel. And it's weird. And it begs this question, right? You're super familiar with CERN. What is CERN doing? It's higher and higher energy output to get to better ontological truth. And do we get unprecedented
ontological truth with the unprecedented energy output that we had with the first atom bomb? I don't know, and I'm not claiming that that's for sure a thing. I do think it's a possibility. And then here's the very weird thing, Curt. Edward Condon is also stripped of his Q clearance at the same time. Condon, who's known now publicly as this famous UFO detractor—he creates the Condon Commission later in 1966—is also stripped of his Q clearance in 5354 alongside his friend Robert Oppenheimer. They were very close. They studied under Max Born at Göttingen in Germany in the—must have been in the 20s. And he wrote the Los Alamos Primer. He helped set up Los Alamos. He's from Alamogordo. And he writes the Los Alamos Primer, which is basically a document that all
employees at Los Alamos had to read. And then the nominal story is that Condon actually leaves Los Alamos because he clashes with General Leslie Groves, Matt Damon's character in Oppenheimer, because he thinks that Matt Damon is—you know, there's too much secrecy. So that's the nominal story. And he goes on to actually work on civilian outreach nuclear programs. And he actually drafts the McMahon Act of 46, which is—again, becomes the Atomic Energy Commission, the Atomic Energy Act of 5354. So he's super instrumental in, I think, what becomes UFO secrecy. But then—so
he's stripped of his clearance, doesn't have his clearance alongside Oppenheimer. And then in 66, a guy named Lue Branscombe, who studies under—who's under Don Menzel at—he's like an early NSA guy, also rumored to be on the Majestic 12. And this is all in an interview that Condon is giving to the American Institute of Physics. So this is not crackpot stuff.
Lue Branscombe goes to Condon and says, hey, I think you should get your clearance back. No reason why. And Lue Branscombe is on the Jason Advisory Board, as deep as it gets when it comes to American defense strategy. And Condon gets his clearance back. And all of a sudden, he's running this independent commission, which we know now isn't independent because there are letters that have been revealed between him and Air Force Colonel Robert Hippler, where Robert Hippler is saying, you know, I think you should show all past UFO research as a waste of money or whatever. And so he's doing this independent commission where he's
not supposed to be coordinating with the Air Force, but he is coordinating with the Air Force. And it deals a death blow to UFO research, and it kind of kills Blue Book. And Blue Book ends at that point. And so I find it fascinating that— maybe, you know, there is a narrative that maybe Oppenheimer was stripped of his Q clearance because of the UFO thing.
Condon, his buddy, is stripped of his Q clearance alongside Oppenheimer. He's then given his—and also around—he also—they had stuff on Condon around Soviet— you know, that maybe he—he was from Berkeley. And in his 20s and 30s, he was kind of a labor— a pro-labor journalist. And they said he and his wife had Soviet sympathies or whatever. But I find it fascinating they're both stripped of their clearance at the same time.
Then he's randomly given his clearance back. He's put on this UFO commission, which is, I think, a total fake hit job, as history has proven, on the UFO subject. And in the background, here's the kicker, Kirk. There's an—the most read document on the FBI's website is something called the Hoddle Memo, which is about a UFO crash and an Air Force officer finds the UFO with the crew intact. And it's insane. It's on the UFO—it's on the FBI website for everyone to see.
And so this—again, this document could be fake, but it's on the website, and it's—it's, you know, been FOIAed or declassified, and it's—it's there. Guy Hoddle is the guy—he's the guy who's being written to, and that's why it's called the Hoddle Memo. Guy Hoddle is creating a dossier of field reports on Edward Condon throughout his own kangaroo court where they're stripping him of his clearance. So you have an FBI agent who's the head of the Washington field office for the FBI, and Guy Hoddle, who definitely knows about UFOs, unless this document is a total forgery, but it's on the FBI website, who is creating compromise, who is—who is literally creating this big, you know, all these documents on Condon. And then Condon is given this—his security clearance back mysteriously in the 60s to basically do a hit job on UFOs.
And so my question is, was he in the know all along because he's an atomic insider, and he was clearly very close with Oppenheimer, and then his security clearance and its stripping and then—and then—and then retrieval was used—it was used as bait, essentially, to get him to do the Air Force and the FBI's bidding and kind of dismiss UFOs. And I think all of these are super open questions worthy of investigation or falsification, if anybody can do that, but it's interesting. When Oppenheimer said that, quote-unquote, there was a lot that happened between 1945 and 1949, what was the context of that? Because it could also be that he's referring to himself. Like for myself, there's plenty that happened between 2010 and 2015. Sure. So that's—that counts as a life event. Great game.
GTA V. Great game. It's—it's a really good question, and I'd love to read the original transcripts. The book is—is not the best written book. It's—it's like, you know, 100 pages, and I'm—I'm picking out four of what I think are the most intriguing facts around the transcripts. It is interesting. I think Gordon Gray has the full transcripts of the Kangaroo Court in his archives, and he donated his archives to the Eisenhower Library. The one thing he asked to be kept out of the archives were the Oppenheimer Court transcripts. So I do—I find that very interesting.
So I do—I think a follow-up from this conversation that you're now motivating me to do is like, we should—we should go through all the original transcripts, read—read all this stuff in its proper context. Yeah. So I don't—I don't have a great answer to that. When you're reading transcripts, books, or whatever it may be, how do you retain all that information? What is your process? Yeah, I don't know. I—I—you know, I'm really stupid on some things. Like when I hear you talk about physics, I'm like, I'm a—I'm a chimp. I'm like, not the same species as you. You know, like, I think when it comes to memorizing, like, names and dates and stuff, I just—I'm good with that. I don't know why. Especially when they're very meaningful to me, like in terms of like fitting together a narrative of what's—what's happening. You know, I think— Hey, here's something you might want to know.
Yeah. You know who also had a history degree, or at least started in history? I know who you're going to—I think—I think I know who you're going to say is Ed Witten. Mm-hmm. Yeah, how crazy—see, that's crazy, right? Yeah.
Yeah, it's so interesting. And then he— You know, when he was asked why, you know what he said? What did he say? He said, young people do stupid things. He said he—basically, he doesn't know why. He said, I have no good answer for that. It was just, young people do stupid things. That's hilarious. I think— Because he was also great in math when he was in high school. So it's not like he discovered he was great in physics and math when he was in his master's or late undergrad. Totally. I think, was it Steven Weinberg read a recommendation for him, and he was like, he's way smarter than me. Like, you should take him or something. Yeah, yeah. Do you know this story about von Neumann? I don't know if I told you this in person.
No. About the fly between the cars? Please tell me. Okay, so this is how much of a genius von Neumann is. So mathematicians say that the most brilliant mathematician, maybe that ever was, was John—was von Neumann. Yeah. It goes Newton and then von Neumann. He was asked the question, okay, let's imagine you have two cars coming at one another at 10 miles per hour. So they're just driving slowly, coming at one another. The space between them is initially 100 miles. Okay. There's also a fly that starts at one, say the one on the left, and it can, it's a fast fly. So it can go like 50 miles per hour. So it speeds, it goes from this car, it reaches the next one, but the next one has moved a bit because they're both moving at 10 miles per hour.
Oh, that's a hard problem. Hits it. Yes, exactly. Hits it, turns around, comes back, hits it, hits it. And then, so this fly is moving, moving, moving. And then it stops. And then, because it gets killed between these two cars. The question is then, how far did the fly travel? I'm not going to attempt to answer. Yes, exactly. So there's a way of doing it with an infinite sum. Okay. Okay. So you can, you just add up a series, but you have to write down the formula. But the trick is, is that, okay, if these cars are coming at one another 10 miles per hour each, then it's as if one is stationary, the other is coming at it at 20 miles per hour. Okay. If there's 100 miles of a distance, then it takes it five hours to get from here to here. Okay. This fly moves at 50 kilometers per hour. Five times 50 is 250 miles. Okay. So that's the easy way of doing it. The quote unquote easy way is to realize there's a trick. Just reframe the problem. You don't have to worry about the fly's perspective. You just worry about how long does it take for them to crash? And then you multiply that by the fly's speed.
Right. Okay. So this question was given to von Neumann. And then von Neumann just gives the answer almost instantaneously. It says 250 miles. And then they're like, oh, you know the trick. And then he's like, what trick? I just summed the infinite series. That's crazy. That's crazy. Yeah. Speaking of genius, a common rebuttal about UFOs is if there is such an advanced species, why do they crash? So explain why do you think they crash and why does it occur after 1945 more? Yeah, totally. I think this is, again, demarcate this as speculation. I have no idea why they crash. But the possible interesting things people have said, so I guess the theories are if you have nuclear blast, you have gamma radiation fallout, you have kind of an EMP effect.
And so maybe that pops into whatever interdimensional space they're in and either messes with their flight path or sends a signal that they should sort of enter ours. Again, I don't know if that's true. Another just interesting thing would be like they're sort of trying to protect their resources and monitoring nuclear stuff. And every time we detonate a nuke or we're about to detonate a nuke or things become aggressive, it's more like they're sending us a gift. That would be the Jacques Vallee theory. So they're sending – maybe they'll send us – and Rush sort of touched on this as well. Like they'll send us like a little like civil propulsion where it's like you guys didn't need to create nukes. You could have gone the civil propulsion route or whatever. Like here's like a zero point energy machine. Like figure it out. So I think it is a very valid question. Like why would these things travel from thousands of light years away and just crash? Like if they have that capability, they probably wouldn't crash. But I think a common trope of all alien encounters of the first or third kind, whether you're seeing crafts or we can believe it or not interacting with any sort of beings, there's some sort of absurdity element.
And I do – that's where I do sort of like the Jacques Vallee idea that intermittent reinforcement, like behavioral reinforcement techniques are sort of used as a way to sort of nip at the herd and like – so it's like why are they abducting Betty and Barney Hill of all people or Travis Walton? Like these people aren't like – it's not like the president of the US or like – it's not like the most important. But maybe there's some sort of ripple under – like a la like cellular automata or something. There's some sort of like ripple effect whereby like you're like a node and you transfer the information. You get it. So I don't know. I don't know why they crash. But I think it's – we're so limited. If – we were speaking from the perspective of like an ant colony like wondering why humans do certain things. We're just so epistemologically limited would be my sort of main counterpoint. Unsubstantiated conjecture? Please. Yeah. My – I – okay, again, this is just if I was to speculate completely. It could be the case – could be the case that it's just the nature of these devices. So that they're so temperamental that it's a miracle like 49 out of 50 are supposed to crash. And it's a miracle that they only have one out of 100. Yep. Okay, so it could be that. And it also could be that they just don't care about them in the same way we fly drones into volcanoes.
Yep. And so we're like, all right, well, whatever. They're so inexpensive. So it could be like that. It could also be that – well, something else that I – that I don't agree with is when people say if they have anti-gravity, then they're so much more advanced. I don't see that as being the case. So for instance, it may be that it's an independent technology. So for instance, it's conceivable one country could have developed the steam locomotive, whereas another developed superconductors. Yep. And then each would look at the other one and say, whoa, you're way more advanced than me. Advanced compared to what? It's
not like it's a singular scale. Totally. It's not linear. Yeah, it's like the LK99 stuff's probably BS. It's probably wrong. But like say that had, you know, say you figured out the Meissner effect. And look how close it was. Let's look at how close it is. And say that came out of Korea. Like that would be some sort of super asymptotal. That would be like a stepwise leap. And yeah, it's not like you have to like build on some necessary bedrock. Exactly, exactly. Yeah, I'm with you. Yeah, or let's imagine another culture
has fiber optics and another one has sustainable agriculture. Yep. Like each one would look at the other and be like, oh, you're leagues ahead and envious of the other. Totally. Or weapons of war for one versus medicine. Totally. Okay, so it could be that, that they're not more advanced than us. They look at us, they're like, how the heck are you doing what you're doing? And we look at them like, how are you doing what you're doing? So that's another. If there is even a them. Yeah, right. Okay, and then something else that was mentioned
by you and I'd like to pick your brain on it. You said that what we do at CERN is we use high energy to investigate more and more ontological reality. Okay, so we use our technology to investigate reality. I wonder if that's part of the problem. That is to say that we shouldn't be using technology to find reality, but rather the reality is right here. And that you, Jesse, you're so powerful, like so, so effing powerful. You are too. Like Gohan from
Dragon Ball Z, if you ever watched that, it just needs to be unlocked. It's like that. Or maybe it is unlocked. You're super saiyan. Right. And you're super saiyan is your capacity to love other people. And maybe that is like way more powerful than any technology. And that's the most
real. And it's this, it's like satanic or upside down to think what we should use is technology to investigate reality. It's a complete reversal and it's a distraction. So anyway, I want to know what you think. Yeah, I think that, I mean, that's a typical, what is the Faustian bargain is for
forbidden knowledge, right? And it's, you sell your soul to the devil because you want to know the truth, but maybe the truth is less important in some abstract, factual sense. And ontological reality is less important than, like you said, kind of bleeding from the heart or yeah, leading a true, honest life in accordance with virtues that for all we know in the, say there is some higher trans-temporal alien realm, maybe that's the currency. And maybe our sort of capitalist construct or where we sort of, we barter for things, we have currency that's fungible and we have limited real estate and we have possessions. Maybe the currency up there is
actually love and the four virtues or something. Yeah. Isn't there a sighting where some other beings came to some people and said, you're so powerful because you have a, because you, what was it? Was it the aerial school or no? A lot of the aerial school testaments, they are told by the alien, like you don't realize how special and powerful you are. And that's a common trope among other alien abductions as well, which I find fascinating. Yeah. No, no, no. Tell me.
What do you think the process? Yeah. I think the process of science is the exact opposite of that. It's saying how not special are we? Let's keep removing ourselves from being special over and over and over and over. And then we look for where are we special, but we've saturated ourselves with the doctrine of unspeciality. And so. No, I love that. I love that. Even think about the word high tech, right? It's like the tech is on high. Like you are outsourcing your power to the high priest, but now it's the high tech or whatever. Interesting. And so I think there is something about science where you do feel, it's like Bertrand Russell wrote about, like you looked up at the stars and you just felt so small. And there's something about science where
post-Copernican revolution, especially, it's humans are becoming a smaller and smaller part of the picture in some ways, right? It's like, well, maybe the earth's not the center of the universe. And maybe carbon-based life is like one form of life, but maybe there's silicon-based life and we should experiment with that in labs. And maybe all Michael Levin's work, maybe the EM field can create interesting biological von Neumann replicators that are non-human, but they're from human. We can rinse a primordial cell and create a xenobot. And it's increasingly humans are kind of out of the picture and it's like, how do we create some optimal functioning life form? And I do think there's an interesting possible, I don't want to say Luddite, because that's too extreme, but backlash to that, where it's raining that in, where it's like, you're alive and there's something really special about your life. And the things that are
presented to you are not maybe by chance or by coincidence. And maybe instead of being obsessed with AI, which I view of as, it's sort of, if this is a larger algorithm, if you think that, maybe you have an IT view of the universe like Wolfram, the AI we're creating is definitely a bit compressed version of that. So it's like, if we're going to explore things, I think there's something really interesting about human consciousness, which is why I love your show, human biology and humans themselves. Like, what