The Truth Behind UFO Sightings and the U.S. Air Force
'Mirage Men' author Mark Pilkington discusses how the military used UFO stories to keep aircraft projects secret
Are UFOs a mirage, conjured up by the
How has the UFO story been shaped by the government?
These ideas do generate themselves to some extent, but there is evidence that they were specifically shaped in some instances. I don't think this is some long-running grand conspiracy, I just think that the UFO story has been deployed and used at times when it was convenient. Just about everything that is popularly believed about UFOs has been exploited, shaped, and, at times, generated by people working for the
Why would the government "seed" these ideas?
UFO stories are used as a cover story for the flight-testing of experimental and clandestine aircraft. If you look at the places where UFO sightings are frequent, they are also the places where the military tests its experimental aircraft. For the first few years that UFOs circulated in popular culture after World War II, the public didn't talk about UFOs as being alien. Rather, they were talked about as advanced U.S. or Russian aircraft.
How long has this been going on?
Much of it dates to the first flights of the U2 spy plane back in the 1950s. The CIA's in-house journal had a story about 10 years ago that said that one of the functions of Project Blue Book [the official
Were the Soviets a target for this?
There are other, more subtle motivations from the U.S. side. One is the idea of a super weapon. If unfriendly nations believe that you harbor alien technology that you have integrated into your own weapons systems and aircraft, then they have good reason to be afraid.
What happened in 1952 over
The first incident took place early one morning in July. It was reported extensively in the newspapers that a number of unknown objects appeared on radar screens around
Do UFO fanatics know it may be they're duped?
Certainly. I'm not the first person to tell them this. UFO lore has transcended to what has become a religious matter for many of those involved. We talk to a man called
Is this a worldwide phenomenon?
The UFO story is a global one, but I think it has its origins in American culture. Not long ago there was a major UFO wave in
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The Truth Behind UFO Sightings and the U.S. Air Force
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