In a new documentary,
U.S. government agents claim
they spent decades giving fake evidence of extraterrestrials
to gullible ufologists.
But why? And how can we trust them now?
Hidden among the avalanche of documents leaked by Edward Snowden were images from a Powerpoint presentation by GCHQ, entitled The Art of Deception – Training for Online Covert Operations.
Images include camouflaged moths, inflatable tanks, women in burqas, and complex diagrams plastered with jargon, buzzwords and slogans:
“Disruption Operational Playbook”, “Swap the real for the false and vice versa”, “People make decisions as part of groups” and, beneath a shot of hands shuffling a deck of cards, “We want to build Cyber Magicians”.
Curiously, sandwiched in the middle of the document are three photographs of UFOs. Not real ones – classic fakes: one was a hub cap, another a bunch of balloons, and one that turned out to be a seagull.
Devout ufologists might seize upon this as further proof that our governments “know something” about aliens and their transportation methods, but really it suggests the opposite:
the UFO community is a textbook case of a gullible group susceptible to manipulation.
Having spent too long watching the skies and The X-Files, it’s implied, they’ll readily swallow whatever snippet of “evidence” suits their grand theory.
If there really is a UFO conspiracy, it’s surely the worst-kept secret in history.
… it’s all been fed through the pop culture mill to the point of fatigue.
Even the supposed enforcers of the secret, the “men in black”, have their own movie franchise. But a new documentary, Mirage Men (above video), unearths compelling evidence that UFO folklore was actually fabricated by the U.S. government.
Rather than covering up the existence of aliens, could it be that the real conspiracy has been persuading us to believe in them?
deceived UFO spotters.
Mirage Men’s chief coup is to land an actual man in black:
a former Air Force special investigations officer named Richard Doty, who admits to having infiltrated UFO circles.
A fellow UFO researcher says:
“Doty had this wonderful way to sell it – ‘I’m with the government. You cooperate with us and I’m going to tell you what the government really knows about UFOs, deep down in those vaults’.”
Richard Doty and his colleagues fed credulous ufologists lies and half-truths, knowing their fertile imaginations would do the rest.
In return, they were apprised of chatter from the community, thus alerting the military when anyone was getting to close to their top-secret technology. And if the Soviets thought the U.S. really was communing with aliens, all the better.
The classic case, well-known to conspiracy aficionados, is Paul Bennewitz, a successful electronics entrepreneur in New Mexico.
In 1979, Bennewitz started seeing strange lights in the sky, and picking up weird transmissions on his amateur equipment. The fact that he lived just across the road from Kirtland air force base should have set alarm bells ringing, but Bennewitz was convinced these phenomena were of extraterrestrial origin.
Being a good patriot, he contacted the Air Force, who realized that, far from eavesdropping on ET, Bennewitz was inadvertently eavesdropping on them. Instead of making him stop, though, Doty and other officers told Bennewitz they were interested in his findings.
That encouraged Bennewitz to dig deeper. Within a few years, he was interpreting alien languages, spotting crashed alien craft in the hills from his plane (he was an amateur pilot), and sounding the alert for a full-scale invasion. All the time, the investigators were surveilling him surveilling them.
They gave Bennewitz computer a software that “interpreted” the signals, and even dumped fake props for him to discover. The mania took over Bennewitz’s life. In 1988, his family checked him into a psychiatric facility.
There’s plenty more like this.
As Mirage Men discovers, central tenets of the UFO belief system turn out to have far earthlier origins. Mysterious cattle mutilations in 1970s New Mexico turn out to have been officials furtively investigating radiation in livestock after they’d conducted an ill-advised experiment in underground “nuclear fracking”.
Test pilots for the military’s experimental silent helicopters admit to attaching flashing lights to their craft to fool civilians.
Doty himself comes across as a slippery character, to say the least.
“He remains an absolute enigma,” says Mark Pilkington, writer of the book Mirage Men, the basis for the documentary.
He found the retired Doty working as a traffic cop in a small New Mexico town.
“Some of what he said was true and I’m sure a lot of it wasn’t, or was a version of the truth. I have no doubt Rick was at the bottom of a ladder that stretches all the way to Washington. It’s unclear to what extent he was following orders and to what taking matters into his own hands.”
Doty almost admits to having had a hand in supposedly leaked “classified” documents, such as the “Majestic 12” dossier – spilling the beans on a secret alien liaison committee founded by President Truman.
But he denies involvement in the “Project Serpo” papers – which claimed that 12 American military personnel paid a secret visit to an alien planet in the Zeta Reticuli system – only to be caught out as the source of the presumed hoax.
The Serpo scenario, it has been noted, is not unlike the plot of Steven Spielberg‘s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.