By A. Craig Copetas
A galactic mystery hovers over the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland: How many of the 2,280 global leaders, including 31 heads of state, gathered in this Alpine resort conduct business with extraterrestrials? This is no whimsy for Davosians.
It's on the agenda of the annual powwow of the influential and affluent who will ask forum participants such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Coca-Cola Chairman Douglas Daft and De La Rue Chief Executive Ian Much if the aliens have landed and are collaborating with them to concoct government policy, brew soda pop and mint Iraq's new bank notes.
"The extraterrestrials have yet to make contact with me," said Much, who will help moderate tonight's dinner seminar (closed except to forum participants) on The Conspiracy Behind Conspiracy Theories: Have Extraterrestrials Made Contact With Government Leaders?
The British moneymaker is confident — at least for now — that De La Rue remains the largest nongovernment printer of bank notes in the Milky Way. "If the aliens are here," Much reckoned, "I'd absolutely expect them to call me to have their currency printed."
Despite the twilight zone topic arching many an eyebrow along the snow-covered strip of fashionable hotel bars, forum officials maintain their five-day program on Partnering for Security and Prosperity requires an unambiguous examination of extraterrestrial presence on Earth.
"The panelists are the best in their domain; they all have expertise in specific fields," explained Philippe Bourguignon, the forum's co-chief executive officer and a former CEO of Club Mediterranee. "The themes and sessions at Davos reflect the global agenda."
And the public's pulse. A 1996 Gallup Poll found that 71 percent of Americans believe the government knows more about UFOs than it has disclosed. A Roper poll found that some 80 percent of those questioned think Wall Street and Washington are hiding knowledge of extraterrestrial contact. And the Internet search engine Google turns up as many Web pages dedicated to UFOs as it does for investment banking.
"It is possible that UFOs really do contain aliens, and the government is hushing it up," Cambridge University physicist Stephen Hawking told British television viewers in a 1998 interview.
President Bush's recent call to put a man on Mars before 2030 has swelled investor interest in exotic technologies, last week boosting the Bloomberg Aerospace Index 1.9 percent, its biggest gain since October.
Earth's leaders prospecting extraterrestrial commerce as part of the forum's agenda has set off anticipation not seen among UFO analysts since Close Encounters of the Third Kind was released on DVD.
Richard Boylan, a retired professor of behavioral science at the University of California, couldn't be more gleeful if Capt. Kirk had beamed him aboard the Enterprise.
"The Davos dinner may represent the great leap forward we need to unravel the fact that corporations and governments are doing business with star visitors," says Boylan, widely regarded by ufologists as a specialist in intergalactic mergers and acquisitions.
Boylan says he isn't surprised the forum neglected to invite him and his colleagues to Davos for the first significant, high-level discussion on emerging alien markets and other popular conspiracy theories that stretch from whether the U.S. government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11 to the question of whether Humpty Dumpty fell or was pushed off the wall.
"I've learned to live with insults," the 64-year-old psychologist says from his home in California. "Billions of dollars have been spent to intimidate witnesses and use the giggle factor to put on a funny farm anyone who suggests corporations have privatized extraterrestrial technology."
According to the calmly resolute Boylan, more than 100 extraterrestrial races are in cahoots with companies including IBM, Ford, Lucent Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Dow Corning, Monsanto, Boeing and European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co.
"Most Earth corporations are
working with visitors from the Altair star system," Boylan says.
Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, 15.7 light-years
from Wall Street.
Forum participant Martin Reese, Britain's royal astronomer, says, "There is no logical or illogical reason why Earth corporations would be doing business with Altair."
Although Altairian executives were unavailable for comment, Francois Auque, a managing director at EADS, says he's eager to hear from them. "I'd love to establish links with extraterrestrials," says Auque, one of the businessmen behind the Aurora Project to discover if there's water on Mars. "So far, no messages on my cell phone."
Rattling off lists of purported government documents and first-person testimonies, Boylan says star visitors have instructed global leaders to publicly reveal the intergalactic mergers by 2007. Still, the American academic frets that the politicians of Earth won't honor the deal and that the forum's conspiracy dinner may be part of the conspiracy.
"If all the extraterrestrial technology came out at once," Boylan reasons, "it would hurt stockholders in obsolescent industries, and the multinationals don't want to lose their power."
As Boylan tells it, the extraterrestrials first came to Wall Street in 1947 by way of Roswell, N.M. It was that year when U.S. Army Col. Philip Corso said he found five aliens amid the buzzards and rattlesnakes at a UFO crash site in the desert. The new arrivals were just over 4 feet tall, with grayish-brown skin, four- fingered hands and watermelon-size heads without hair.
In his book The Day After Roswell, Corso says he salvaged parts from the downed UFO and managed a government-sponsored reverse-engineering program that decanted the technology to IBM, Bell Labs and Dow Corning. The flotsam of Roswell and other UFO encounters, Boylan adds, was used to formulate laser beams, fiber optics and Microsoft Corp.
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