25 February 2014

A crackpot theory about crackpot theories

One of my whiskey rants when talking about Weird Stuff is how I suspect that the aliens which supposedly crashed near Roswell, New Mexico were probably an invention of US Air Force disinformation as a kind of “false bottom” concealing the real secret of the crash of one of Project Mogul's experimental spy balloons. If folks found evidence of the cover-up of Project Mogul, the trail would lead them first to “evidence” of space aliens, thereby leading would-be investigators to either dismiss the story or follow the wrong story and discredit themselves.

Since this is at least plausible, one might go on to suspect that UFO conspiracy culture as a whole could be an example of what the CIA used to call a “Mighty Wurlitzer”: a self-sustaining ecosystem of propaganda organs which, once built up, generates its own material but can also be used to inject propaganda ideas into a society. The spooks don't need to control everything in the media, as the truly paranoid would imagine; they just need to water the garden a little and plant a few invasive species.

I've stumbled across a blog post with a similar thesis, grounded in that amazing article from Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations which has been making the rounds. Greenwald publishes slides from a presentation used by the Government Communications Headquarters, UK's equivalent to the NSA, talking about the dirty tricks they use to manipulate online communities.

And now we get to the really freaky stuff. I honestly was not expecting to see this ...

Why do UFO images appear in a GCHQ document about deception, magic tricks and social control? Obviously, the people who put this document together do not believe in aliens. This ain't about that. This presentation is about the manipulation of large numbers of people. It's about deception.


I'd give a lot to know the context. Just what did the presenter say about the preceding flying saucer photographs? How do they tie into the theme of control?

My suggestion: Ufology, unimportant in and of itself, is a testing ground for deception tactics. If those tactics prove effective in that arena, they may be imported into the “real” world and put to serious use.


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