paranoia, espionage, psychological warfare and UFO’s
This link is to a web page that contains multiple links, information on how to buy or rent the two-disc DVD, four links to information about the four producers, information on the book, seventeen articles or reviews, and a trailer that runs almost three minutes.
Mirage men: an adventure into paranoia, espionage, psychological warfare and UFO’s,
Mark Pilkington, SkyHorse Publishing (Herman Graf Books), New York 2010.
A book review
(Of interest especially as it dovetails into Marrs’ work on NASA et al
[library book: see photocopies on shelf])
See also Kennedy’s executive order on space
This book jumped off the shelf in my hand at the library, as frequently occurs; the section for new nonfiction books is centrally located in the lobby and I always see what they have to offer. The title alone grabbed my attention. I had to return the book, of course, but made hasty notes and photocopies of some of the content.
The first thing that caught my eye was on page 6, a report of a brief New York Times item dated 14 December 1944 which read: “a new German weapon has made its appearance on the Western air front, it was disclosed today. Airmen of the American Air Force report that they are encountering silver colored [sic] spheres in the air over German territory.” Having been a student in the past of the Battle of the Bulge, I knew that the Nazis had a few earlier production jet aircraft with which they hoped to dominate the skies over the Ardennes forest. People in Europe have been have a greater awareness of what are termed “foo fighters”; these are discussed on pages 6 and 7, along with other UFO sightings in United States including Pilkington’s own sighting over Yosemite, and an early reference to an “American with an intelligence background and interest in the unidentified flying objects told me that they were US mature military reconnaissance drones, perhaps lending weight to the China Lake theory. A psychic who claim to have done “remote viewing” work for the United States government (psychic spying) told me that the spheres were extraterrestrial in origin and were well known to certain government groups.”
I took note of the following quote on page 13: “… creating noise, a surplus of information and bogus documentation–data-chaff known in the business as disinformation–is a favorite technique of the intelligence and counterintelligence agencies.”
On page 16 near the bottom, the author offered up a standard response to anxious calls about strange things in the sky: “My standard response was to suggest that the witness keep watching the light until they became too cold or too bored to continue. Then they were to go back outside the same time the following night: if the light was still there then they didn’t need to call me back.”
On page 21, lines 6 and seven: “UFO researchers knew everything about UFO’s except what they are, why they are here, where they come from and who steering them.” One could make fascinating parallels between this and many discussions about 9/11.
The author used what I thought was a powerful phrase when he discussed the beginning of America’s obsession with flying saucers in the summer of 1947 (Kenneth Arnold’s observation of nine fast flying objects near Mount Rainier in Washington state), and makes note that that was the same year in which the US says US Air Force was established as a separate military service, that the OSS was transformed into the CIA, and the Truman Doctrine and the Voice of America became the Cold War’s first acts of ontological aggression.
Almost in the same vein, the author asks a number of pointed questions, in particular about the Roswell incident. The discussion, running across pages 41, 42 and 43, notes the official US Air Force version of events presented in “The Roswell Report: fact versus fiction in the New Mexico desert” (1995), a report which was written by Col. Richard Weaver whose job prior to his retirement at about the same time was as Deputy for Security and Investigative Programs for the United States Air Force. “This meant he was a disinformation specialist and, in the early 1980s, he just happens to have been one of Richard Doty’s superiors at the Office of Special Investigations. [See also http://www.exopolitics.org/Exo-Comment-41.htm ] About a paragraph later, he notes:
“If it wasn’t an unconventional balloon or rocket that crashed, why did Roswell Army Air Force Base transmits a press release that launched a thousand unidentified flying objects? Because a saucer crash was considered an innocuous cover that would effectively mask sensitive experiments? We can be sure that the press release was transmitted with specific intent.… Why would such an lead unit, for which tight secrecy was an everyday reality, put out a press release about something as potentially sensitive as a flying disc or even a secret weather balloon project? Why would they mention the incident at all rather than just thank rat rancher Mac Brazell and ask him to keep his mouth shut as a matter of national security? And if it was an accident, why did base commander Col. William Blanchard, on whose watch the incident took place, and Deb enjoying a highly illustrious career? given the political climate of the time and the press excitement about flying saucers in the weeks following the Arnold sighting, is it possible that the story was deliberately planted? Within the American military there were serious concerns that the flying saucers represented an advanced Soviet technology. perhaps announcing that one had been captured might send ripples back to the Soviets, ripples that could be then traced by the relevant intelligence bodies. Or perhaps the announcement was intended to lure Soviet moles to Roswell or Wright field to find out what was really going on….”
Again, there are fascinating parallels with 9/11.
Pages 42 and 43 has a discussion of the book The Flying Saucer which was published in 1948 and written by British author Bernard Newman, which based on the descriptions in Pilkington’s book, appears to be predictive propaganda (or the aforementioned ontological aggression).
On page 49: “in late 1962 Pres. Kennedy – who, some say, was killed before he could review revealed the truth about UFOs to the American public–authorized a foreign-exchange of cosmic proportions. A team of 12 specially trained humans whose identities were subsequently erased (or “sheep-dipped” as they say in the intelligence business), would return with Ebens [ members of an extra-terrestrial race with whom United States government was communicating regularly] to their planet in a program called Project Crystal Knight.” [Google returns many hits on that term. It is of curious interest and nomenclature given what I have read recently about the presence of Nazis in the US space program.] “Preparations were made for a face-to-face meeting between Eben and human ambassadors and on 24 April 1964 two Eben spacecraft entered Earth’s atmosphere. One of them landed close to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. A team of senior US government officials boarded the craft and were presented with a holographic device known as the Yellow Book, which contained a complete history of planet Earth. The personnel exchange was agreed for the following year and in July 1965, the human away team entered and even the craft while another ET, nicknamed EBE 2, stayed behind. The ET’s planet, named Serpo By the human visitors, is 38 light years from Earth, in the Zeta Reticuli star system….”
The interviews of those aboard EBE2 at Los Alamos were discussed on page 167; alas, I failed to photocopy that page.
On page 71: “Folklorists have a word for the process whereby folktales bleed into reality; they call it “ostention”. But when these tales are given a kickstart by the intelligence agencies, I think we can simply call it deception.)
An example of the above is presented on page 74 in detail of the aswang [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswang ], a superstitious belief exploited by Edwin Lansdale’s team in the Philippines to create terror among indigenous and insurgent groups. “Local superstitions were also exploded during the Vietnam war, where the Army’s sixth PSYOPS Battalion regularly broadcast an audio recording called “the wailing soul” through speakers mounted on backpacks or helicopters. Praying on Vietnam ease traditions of the unquiet dead, tape contained a conversation between the little girl and the wandering soul of her dead father, who’d been killed while fighting the Americans. The recording, which made heavy use of urea reverb effects and traditional Vietnamese funeral music, was so effective that also spooked American soldiers patrolling the jungle at night.
Lansdale’s aswang and a wandering soul were just two of the countless psychological deception operations carried out during the hot years of the Cold War. Tom Braden, former head of the international organizations division of the directorate of plans, (now the national clandestine line service), which oversaw most of the CIA’s PSYOPS, covert action and propaganda work, wrote in 1973 that there were “ so many CIA projects at the height of the Cold War that was almost impossible for man to keep them in balance”.
In the fight against communism, maintaining a firm but gentle grasp on hearts and minds at home–the proverbial iron fist inside a velvet glove–was as important as winning them over abroad. Although the National Security Act expressly forbade the CIA from conducting activities on American soil, it seemed to have no trouble finding ways to do so, setting up a veritable empire of false companies–nicknamed “Delaware’s” after the state in which they were registered–and employing “quiet channels”, companies and institutions who were on the right side, to get their people into key positions on newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, businesses and grassroots organizations across the nation. While the CIA worked on the ground, the bigger picture was shaped by an even more secretive organization, about which little was known until almost 50 years after its dissolution.
The Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) was signed into existence by Harry Truman in 1951, tasked with coordinating psychological operations at home and abroad, and ensuring that America and Americans looked, sounded and thought right. If this sounds Orwellian, then that’s because it was: even the contents of its first strategy paper are still classified, the traces of it can be found referenced in other documents. According to one, the PSP’s role was to develop “a machinery” to promote “the American way of life”, and to counter “doctrines hostile to American objectives”. To do so they would take in open quotes all fields of intellectual interests, from anthropology and artistic creations to sociology and scientific methodology”.
In May 1952, the PSB took over Packet, the CIA’s psychological warfare program, aimed at persuading foreign leaders that the American way was superior to anyone else’s way, particularly the Russians. Maintaining America’s charisma abroad required the control, procurement and production of everything from scholarly “seminars, symposia, special tomes, learned journals [and] libraries,” to church services, comic books, “folksongs, folklore, folktales and itinerant storytellers”. The PSP’s message was broadcast over TV and radio, and from ships and aircraft; even the use of three-dimensional moving images was considered for added realism.”
[Footnotes for the PSB material note two sources: “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” by John Marks and Victor Marchetti (1974), and “Who paid the Piper? CIA in the cultural Cold War”, by Francis S Saunders (1999). The footnotes note that the first book “was considered so potentially damaging that 168 sections, including whole pages, were delete it by the CIA before its publication could be authorized. Marchetti resigned from the CIA in 1969. By the end of his 14 year career he had become special assistant to CIA director Richard Helms.”]
The epigraph on page 78:
“Symbols should convey the Line of Persuasion. They must convey a preconceived notion already developed by the deception target… Sport anglers do the same by applying scents, motion, and color to indicate the lure is an easy meal.”
A primer for deception analysis: psychological operations’ target audience analysis,
Lieut. Col. Ricka Stroh and Major Jason Wendell, Iosphere, Fall 2007.
In early 1952 CIA director Walter B Smith [Ike’s World War Two aide-de-camp, “Beetle”] wrote to Raymond Allen, director of the Psychological Strategy Board:
“I am today transmitting to the National Security Council a proposal in which it is concluded that the problems associated with unidentified flying objects appear to have implications for psychological warfare as well as for intelligence and operations. I suggest that we discuss an early board meeting the possible offense of and defense of utilization of these phenomena for psychological warfare purposes.”
On page 84 there is a discussion of psychological warfare and, inside an extended quotation (whose attribution I have lost because I failed the photocopy page 83), there is another interesting note with an eerie parallel to 9/11:
“… At any moment of attack, we are now in a position where we cannot, on instant basis, distinguish hardware from phantom, and as tension mounts we will run the increasing risk of false alerts and the even greater dammit dammit danger of falsely identifying the real as phantom.”
On pages 115-116,: “Believing that the military and the intelligence agencies were behind the entire flying saucer phenomenon struck me as being no less misguided or paranoid than any of the other wild tales circulating within the UFO lore. It seemed clear that the US Air Force, the Navy, the CIA, the NSA and who knows which other members of this cryptic alphabets soup had knowingly deceived the public and, at times, each other, about UFOs. Each had, in their own way, exploded the phenomenon to their own ends and, in doing so, shape the way that the mythology had unraveled. Whether theUFOs were flying overhead, crashing to the ground, hailing us or kidnapping us, there were human fingerprints all over them.”
On pages 116-117: “In 1953 the CIA Robertson Panel had recommended that civilian UFO organizations should be closely monitored (for ‘ monitored’ we can probably read infiltrated), mentioning the aerial phenomenon research organization (APRO) and Civilian Saucer Investigations (CSI) by name. If the wiser members of the UFO community were aware that there were being watched and sometimes interfered with by the government, they tended to believe that it was because they were getting too close to the truth of extraterrestrial visitation. Three decades later, a very different picture of government involvement began to emerge, one that most ufologists, perhaps understandably, chose to it nor. It all hinged on ufology’s first whistleblower, a heroic researcher turned traitor and pariah: enter William Moore.
Bill Moore was one of the most respected players in the field. He’d been largely responsible for digging up the Roswell story after four years 40 years of obscurity, and his best-selling book the Roswell incident had contributed to the fields increasingly presentable public image. But that by the time of his presentation at the 1989 mutual UFO network (MUFON) conference at the Aladdin casino hotel in Las Vegas, the UFO community was in total disarray: the conference reflected what was, essentially, a Civil War. As the relatively sober minded official MUFON event took place at the Aladdin, a splinter conference was being held nearby at another site. The speakers here advocated the more extreme, “ Darkside” of the UFO phenomenon, Morning of the successful alien colonization of the planet and a vast government conspiracy to cover it up while providing human genetic material to the extraterrestrials, harvested in terrifying abductions, in exchange for advanced military technologies.”
Pages 126-127 offer up a description of effective psy ops communications tradecraft Involving encoded bits of information transmitted with postcards, untraceable phone numbers, recognition signals, passwords, “the inevitable manila envelope”, etc.
Pages 153-154 offer up a discussion of “the fabled black, silent helicopters of conspiracy lore”, their ARPA genesis, the company who makes them, and their use by domestic police departments, as well as tests at area 51, deployment to Laos, and their return to Edwards AFB for dismantling. The paper trail ended inside a CIA front organization, and the author states that “the technology for such a craft was fully functional by late 1972 ….”
Page 159 contained a good description of “set dressing”, an old example of whihc was the use of rubber tanks in the UK to deceive Germany about the site of the D-Day landings.
Page 178 has a good breakdown of the sub-agencies involved in Air Force PsyOps under AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) which include electronic warfare operations (EW Ops), network warfare operations (NW Ops), and influence operations (IFO). Influence operations include “military deception (MILDEC), operations security (OPSEC), psychological operations (PSYOP), counterintelligence (CI), public affairs operations (PA), and counter propaganda”.
On page 179, there is (again with an eerie parallel to 9/11) a description of a project which served to focus and divide the UFO community, creating a wall of noise around the subjects that made serious research difficult; many people who might want to take the subject seriously were dissuaded from doing so.” On page 186 is a discussion among several people of digital trickery and special effects.
The epigraph at the top of chapter 12 reads as follows:
“The purpose is… conditioning of billions of human minds, through direct access to their television screens… whoever controls information governs the world… the message is no longer obvious; instead it is impressively seductive.”
Lofti Maherzi, Algerie Actualite, 13-19 March 1985
On page 193-194: “Back in 1953 the CIA’s Robertson panel had recommended that a ‘broad educational program’ should be put in place to “strip the unidentified flying objects of the special status they have been given in the aura of mystery they have unfortunately required”. Among the companies named to work on these educational programs was Walt Disney Incorporated and according to one of its lead animators, two years later this is exactly what happened. Ward Kimball was one of Walt Disney’s inner circle of animators and designers. He created Jiminy Cricket for Pinocchio and the crows in Dumbo, and won Oscars for two of his Disney shorts. In the mid-1850s Kimball wrote in directed three TV specials featuring the German rocket scientist Werhner von Braun…. Ward Kimball was also a keen UFO enthusiast and remained one throughout his life. In 1979 he made an unscheduled appearance at the Mutual UFO Network’s annual conference, where he told the audience that in 1955 the US Air Force had approached Walt Disney with suggestions of making a documentary film aboutUFOs. the Air Force promised to supply Disney with real UFO footage, and Disney said his animators to work designing a leading characters to appear in it. The Air Force never delivered on the UFO footage, leaving Disney to cancel the project, although some of the aliens appeared in a 15 min. film about UFOs that was never publicly shown. [Emphasis mine.] Page 262 mentions some Masonic symbolism at Disney World in California.
Page 195-196 have a description of holography. “Allan Sandler was treated to a particularly impressive holographic demonstration in a screening room with a small stage at one end. The curtains parted and a man walked onto the stage to introduce the Pentagon’s new, state-of-the-art holographic projection technology. All of a sudden, a small bird flew out from the wings and landed on the man’s shoulder; he smiled and both of them disappeared. They were the demonstration.”
Chapters 13, 14 and 15 ought to be presented in their entirety; the latter two are the meat and potatoes of the book, “where the dog died”, but available space, cash, and pertinent copyright laws prevent me from presenting them here; perhaps Mr. Pilkington should be invited to participate in the Deep Politics Forum. In chapter 16, he addresses the allegation that he was himself working for MI6 while he conducted his research. Page 260 mentions a UFO museum, perhaps not unlike the one on the sixth floor in Dallas, to further bake and salt an “epistemological pretzel”.
On page 272: “In The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence Victor Marchetti and John Marks discussed the problem of “emotional attachment”, which because particularly acute for agents working in special operations. They describe a team in the late 50s training Tibetans loyal to the Dalai Lama for an uprising to reclaim their country from the Chinese, a mission that was fundamentally hopeless and led to many deaths. Several of the CIA trainers later adopted the prayers and beliefs of their charges. Emotional attachment, they note, is particularly prevalent in special operations, whose officers “often have a deep psychological need to belong and believe. This, coupled with the dangers and hardships they willingly endure, tends to drive them to support extreme causes and seek unattainable goals.
Is this how it happens? Is there something so deeply appealing, so deeply right about the UFO, about the idea of saviors from outer space, of technological age of Angels, of our future time traveling selves, that it also infects everybody that comes in contact with? Do we need to believe that someone else out there can save us, or least give us hope that we, as a species, as a planet, can survive the Pope actual chaos of life on earth?…” The author notes that “when carriers … get into corridors of power, as they sometimes do, then there’s every possibility that their infection… might spread. And from there it wouldn’t take much for the contagion to get dangerously out of hand.”
Finally on page 274, Pilkington suggests that the entire thing is “enough to make Sherlock Holmes unplug his modem”.
Posted May 22 2011, 10:50 AM