The US government may want you to believe in UFOs

Originally published at: The US government may want you to believe in UFOs | Boing Boing

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Obligatory explanation of the screenshot illustrating this article

Writing in the New York Times, Ross Douthat asks
I like the idea of replacing one conspiracy with another, but Christ, it's this asshole again?


Maybe they’re just keeping aliens in the back pocket for when they want to do some high-quality distractin’

“Hey we’re abolishing the first ten amendments… BY THE WAY THERE ARE ALIENS!”


Alternate theory: there are conspiracy theorists in the US government and military.

It’s not exactly implausible. I mean, look at Michael Flynn. He was both a general and briefly National Security Advisor, and he’s pushed all kind of crazy shit. It’s not clear how much he actually believes, but that’s not what’s important.

Picture an official with a stalled career and a disastrous personal life. Pushing UFO conspiracies allows them to pretend to have super-secret knowledge no one else does, and gives them an importance they desperately need.

Even if it’s bullshit.


DOD sanctioned aliens threat would be an excellent way to insure the continual escalation of the Pentagon budgets in perpetuity. As with most other justifications, no proof necessary. You have their word.


The timing makes me kinda wonder if the US government, or some organization they’re part of, does have such evidence that they’ve been sitting on for a while, but with a certain ex-president about to be sent to federal trial, they’re afraid he’ll blurt out the truth, and they want to prepare the people for this eventuality.

Now, the obvious flaws in this idea are his incapability of not barfing out stuff like that whenever possible, the impossibility of more than two people from keeping such a secret (some say only one) for more than five minutes, and of course the traditional use of UFO/alien sightings and other ‘evidence’ to cover up secret government projects and sow disinformation, among others.


I recall that on The X-Files they regularly went back and forth about whether the UFO’s of the week were actual alien visitors or a government hoax :thinking:


Yeah, it’s almost certainly that one.

There is a whole fascinating sub-field of trying to separate out what spy agencies (1) leak strategically, (2) pretend to leak as disinformation, and (3) leak because they’re bungling, paranoid clown-boobs who’ve been rolling in billions of unsupervised dollars for 60 years.

I will say, there’s enough evidence for the third option (see e.g.: Cuba) that if the CIA faked it all, they’re the most effective organisation that ever existed.

‘Course, if these people can find their own asses with both hands and a flashlight, you have to wonder when their 4D chess is going to lead to a single good outcome.


Devil’s advocate here with the company line about success being a slow news day. And coups can’t be easy to organize.

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I think the public – at this stage – could digest the idea of aliens visiting Earth and the world wouldn’t change much. What they would have a very hard time with is learning that these UAPs are in fact software artifacts which prove we’re living in a simulation. Now that would be pretty dangerous to reveal.

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… what would be the danger :confused:

( not arguing, just wondering what you think would happen )


Some day I’ll write about the two hour chat about aliens that I had with the son of General Wesley Clark, who himself is a veteran, and who had gone on some private business trips with his dad involving some supposed alien technology. Spoiler: it was not alien technology, and even a high profile military officer who was also a Democrat presidential nominee still fell for it.


This, to me, is the funniest part of every GOP Deep State conspiracy theory: they all assume an incredible amount of coordination and cooperation among intelligence agents. When in reality: have you ever worked with people?! With anyone? You know how hard it is to get people to go along with shit? And to trust them? Come the fuck on!


100% this.

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People want to believe that high ranking government officials are rational, highly competent people in every way, but the fact is they are just people. Conspiracy and irrational thinking is extremely common. It’s the default form of human cognition. It’s everywhere, at every level in society. Just because someone is a general, a pilot, or whatever, doesn’t change that.

This isn’t really new. There’s always been a voice among UFO nuts that maybe the US stokes these fires of belief as an elaborate distraction for something else. During the Cold War it was said they did this to keep people from poking around about advanced aircraft the US might be developing. Better to have people think spy balloons and stealth bombers were UFOs than to ask too many legitimate questions. This is still conspiracy thinking. It’s on a slightly different vector, but still of no value.

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I know, I said the same thing. Though I have to admit, this is kind of funny:

Second, that human governments have been collecting evidence for generations without the truth ever being leaked or uncovered or just blurted out by Donald Trump.

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To a “Jose Chung’s *From Outer Space” level of recursion. Maybe just having all that uncertainty on what is actually happing is an advantage?