For over 60 years, the US Air Force and US intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and extraterrestrial visits as part of their counter-intelligence programs. Now ... Read allFor over 60 years, the US Air Force and US intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and extraterrestrial visits as part of their counter-intelligence programs. Now some of those behind these operations speak out.For over 60 years, the US Air Force and US intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and extraterrestrial visits as part of their counter-intelligence programs. Now some of those behind these operations speak out.
Mirage Men explores more than sixty years of government involvement in the UFO phenomenon but it doesn't so with the typical conspiratorial overtones. While it touches upon everything from rumors of secret government bases to crashed UFOs, it really looks at something just as compelling: how the phenomenon has been manipulated, especially by groups and agencies within our own government.
The main focus of the documentary is Richard Doty, a former agent of the Air Force Office Of Special Investigations (AFSOI). The documentary looks at how Doty and some of his colleagues in the 1980s were responsible for helping to foster much of what is today part of the lore that has become synonymous with UFOs. For example, it presents what one interviewee calls the "sad, strange, horrible" true story of electronics engineer and UFO researcher Paul Bennewitz who, having filmed and recorded transmissions from what he thought were UFOs, was targeted by Doty and his colleagues to the point of being driven virtually insane, having come to believe an alien invasion was imminent from underground bases in New Mexico.
The Bennewitz story is just the tip of the iceberg. The documentary explores the efforts Doty and his colleagues made around the same time with others including UFO researcher William Moore (one of the original investigators of Roswell) who made a Faustian bargain that involved him spying on others in the UFO research community in an attempt to get information out of the government and investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe who Doty handed documents claiming humans had been genetically altered by aliens. There's also an exploration of cattle mutilations with the odd origins of that sideline of the UFO story and ends by exploring the alleged human/alien exchange program Project Serpo, which appears to be just the latest addition of disinformation to UFO lore.
The question the documentary really tries to answer is a simple one: why do any of this at all? Is it just a series of cover stories to protect any number of things from the early development of stealth technology in the 1980s to drones in more recent times? Is it to cover up what the government actually knows about UFOs? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle perhaps, having been perhaps irrevocably distorted by the need for "national security"?
In the end, Mirage Men doesn't have all the answers nor claims to have them. What it does present on the other hand is a fascinating look at how the UFO phenomenon, whatever the truth behind it might be, has been manipulated and often so by the very government that claims they don't exist at all. Ultimately then, Mirage Men shows that the truth might be very well out there but it may be stranger than anything we could imagine.
- Jun 20, 2014