Two years ago, I heard the occult investigator and author Walter Bosley say something quite interesting. He believes Christopher Columbus took one ship across the Atlantic in 1485 and turned around as soon as he saw land. Making contact wasn't his mission on this voyage. It was, rather, to validate his belief that land was indeed there. With this information, he could try to persuade a royal court to fund a trade mission.

Although evidence for this 1485 voyage is lacking in conventional accounts, it makes sense that Columbus would have made it. Why would Isabella take the financial risk of sending out three ships if Columbus hadn't given her some reason to believe the trip could be successful?

Columbus's computation of the size of the planet was way off, and Isabella's advisors told her so. Asia was much farther away than Columbus believed. Columbus's one rebuttal could have been: "But I saw land!"

It makes more sense that Isabella had reason to believe the land could be where Columbus said it was than that she was willing to throw money at an idea that was quite literally far-fetched. That said, I don't have any evidence that Columbus made a pre-1492 voyage westward.

One reason we lack evidence is that Columbus would have wanted to keep the expedition as secret as possible; he didn't want rivals to get the same idea and profit from it. People who keep secrets don't leave paper trails.

Bosley, a former Air Force intelligence officer, and FBI employee, has a similar idea about the 1969 moon landing. He believes the U.S. had successfully gone to the moon at least once before televising it. American officials would have wanted to be sure it could be done. Why risk showing a disaster before a live tv audience?

I thought of Bosley (who discusses these ideas here beginning at the 29:30 mark when I heard Ralph Blumenthal interviewed on the Paranormal Podcast. Blumenthal and Leslie Kean broke the story of David Grusch, a former intelligence officer who accused federal agencies of withholding information about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) from Congress

Host Jim Harold asked Blumenthal that since Grusch is a member of the intelligence community, couldn't he be part of a disinformation campaign or psy-op? Blumenthal answered that he doesn't believe in conspiracy theories.

Blumenthal also speaks of Grusch's integrity and credentials, as testified to by… other members of the intelligence community and military! But it's not clear to me that Air Force veteran Grusch's participation in "covert and clandestine operations to advance American security" means that he's being truthful about UAPs. Maybe he's lying as part of his job. Maybe he's lying because he's following orders.

Maybe he's lying to, in his eyes, "advance American security."

I'm not suggesting that Grusch is lying, and I have no opinion at this time about his UAP allegations. What I take issue with is Blumenthal dismissing skepticism toward Grusch as "conspiracy theories."

We know that the government has engaged in disinformation. Good examples are found in the 2013 documentary Mirage Men. But "disinformation" is not the same thing as "conspiracy," which is "a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful."

There are undoubtedly more conspiracies and more crimes committed by U.S. intelligence and the military in their secret wars and proxy wars than in their handling of UAP matters. I think we conflate "conspiracy theory" with speculative history, occult history, and the run-of-the-mill disinformation that is inherent in both war and politics.

As Walter Bosley has said, it wasn't a "conspiracy" to launch moon missions before Apollo 11. Secrecy? Yes. Would government officials have lied if they were asked about it? Yes. Conspiracy? No. There was nothing criminal in going to the moon without the public's knowledge. The reason it's not been revealed is, that those involved had made an oath of secrecy and have a clear conscience.

What if Isabella or some other patron sent Columbus off on a top-secret mission across the ocean to find land? Secret? Yes. Would they have lied about it if asked? Yes. Was this a conspiracy? No, because there was nothing criminal about it.

I might believe Grusch is telling the truth because "the American people have a right to know," or I might suspect he's part of a disinformation campaign in the service of "national security." But nobody was hurt if the U.S. had gone to the moon before Apollo 11, and nobody's hurt if some aspects of the UAP phenomenon remain covered up in secrecy for the time being.

If there's no criminality, I don't call it a conspiracy.