Area 51: Very Secret, Very Cool, but not Aliens
As part of the Foundation’s Distinguished Speaker Series, Brent Geary, Ph.D., historian with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Center for the Study of Intelligence, presented a lecture titled, “Very Secret, Very Cool, but not Aliens: The U-2, the A-12 and Area 51,” to over 50 attendees at Park University on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
His presentation discussed several formally classified projects that led to much of the UFO speculation of the 1950s and 1960s. For decades, the aerial surveillance programs of the CIA were shrouded in mystery by both design and necessity. Unfortunately, according to Geary, their secrecy and spectacular technological achievements combined to add fuel to conspiracy theories related to extraterrestrials at a time when popular culture experienced a surge in interest in the topic.
Geary is a career leadership analyst who has worked primarily on Iran and the Middle East. In his role as an Iran expert, he briefed senior U.S. government and military leaders, including President Barack Obama in 2012, and foreign leaders. He spent one year as a president’s daily briefer at the White House serving then Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, and other members of the White House’s National Security Council staff.
The Distinguished Speaker Series is designed to allow the Foundation to bring senior government experts to speak to area universities and the general public. Partners participate in the program to enrich the educational opportunities for their students, faculty, and university community. This event was produced in partnership with Park University and the National Archives. If your school or organization is interested in participating in the Speaker Series, contact the Foundation office – firstname.lastname@example.org and (913) 651-0624.