Mirage Men (2013)
Roland Denning … (co-director)
Kypros Kyprianou … (co-director)
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
What if someone told you that most – maybe all – of the biggest UFO stories of the last few decades were carefully crafted lies? And what if that same someone told you that those lies were a deliberately manufactured disinformation campaign directed by elements within the government to steer you away from the truth: the UFOs are us.
Would you believe it?
If you’ve been a follower of the UFO phenomenon for any length of time, you’d probably answer that with a dogmatic cry of: No Way! However, if you’re being honest with yourself, then you’ll probably come to the uncomfortable realization that much of what you’ve been told is bullshit.
Pissed off? You should be. Especially if you’ve been the target of such a campaign (paging Paul Bennewitz), and you’ve dedicated your whole life trying to uncover the truth. Or whatever that is.
Mirage Men is the fascinating and frustrating tale of UFO’s being used as “weapons of mass deception” to deceive genuine researchers and their followers into believing that E.T.’s are here.
The real question is why.
For over 60 years teams within the US Air Force and Intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and ET visitations as part of their counterintelligence programmes. In doing so they spawned a mythology so powerful that it captivated and warped many brilliant minds, including several of their own. Now, for the first time, some of those behind these operations, and their victims, speak out, revealing a true story that is part Manchurian Candidate and part Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Focusing mostly on the mysterious latter-day Walter Mitty of weirdness Richard C. Doty, a purported retired special agent who worked for AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigation), the film chronicles his lead role in spreading disinformation as a cover to some of the government advanced technology programs. We say “purported” because, quite frankly, there’s no evidence (beyond Doty’s testimony) that he ever stopped working for them. In fact, quite the opposite may be true, at least as of the time the film was being made. But with all the lies and distortions surrounding this story, who the hell knows.
So what does all of this have to do with Nazis? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. Though the companion book to the film provides a much more comprehensive look into this labyrinthine tale of psychological warfare and advanced military projects, it really only hints at the deeper implication of the infamous WWII fascists.
For that, you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
WHAT DID WE THINK?
This is a damn good documentary. And the book is even better, as it provides more in-depth analysis and context to the proceedings. It’s also a personal account, as the authors and filmmakers Mark Pilkington and John Lundberg inject themselves gonzo-like into the murky world of counter-intelligence as they try to uncover what the hell’s really going on. And they do so without dismissing the deeper implications behind the phenomenon.
It’s by turns maddening, fascinating, and hilarious (yes, hilarious) to discover that some of the most well-known and pervasive myths being peddled by the UFO community for the past several decades originated in some drab government office, and from the fertile imagination of an equally drab government apparatchik. We can just picture a bunch of dweebishly bureaucratic Dotys sitting in their colorless offices snickering as they peruse through the Sci-fi pulps for inspiration for their latest scheme. These guys should have been writing for Hollywood instead.
In a way, they were.
However, unlike Hollywood, the game being played had real-life consequences that escaped the control of its creators. Like a Frankenstein monster from the Id, the myths invaded the fragile psychology of the masses. More ominously, it destroyed the mind of at least one individual, and for that, the players should be ashamed. They’re probably not, as they can rationalize they were doing it for the greater good. The ends justify the means, we can hear them saying. And besides, what’s a few people’s lives when compared to the importance of National Security? After all, this is above top secret shit we’re talking about here.
It’s a dangerous game to be playing with people’s myths and belief systems. Especially when you don’t know what the consequences of that action may be.
For these reasons and more, Mirage Men is not only entertaining, but an important documentary as well. Not only for exposing some of the tactics our government is capable of, but also for revealing a more frightening and exhilarating truth: nobody ultimately really knows what’s going on.
It’s a puzzle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma disguised as a game. And it’s fun to play until you realize… it’s a cookbook!