CIA Kept Area 51 Secret Because Rumors Cooler Than Reality


CIA Kept Area 51 Secret Because Rumors Cooler Than Reality

Kelsey D. Atherton
[Australian Popular Science gives credence to what we’ve repeatedly inferred, that conspiracy theories are frequently employed as a style of propaganda. In this case, fabricated UFO and Alien conspiracies employed as a cover for real, but secret military experiments. As noted on this site previously, conspiracy theorists were the most prominent dupes and disseminators of crackpot, anti-American propaganda entirely fabricated by the Kremlin, for instance manufactured anti- American AIDS conspiracies as well anti-US, Kremlin invented JFK conspiracies.]
<strong>A Pair Of U-2 Spyplanes</strong> One the left is an original U-2, with an 80 feet wingspan, and on the right is a U-2R with a wingspan of 103 feet.
A Pair Of U-2 Spyplanes One the left is an original U-2, with an 80 feet wingspan, and on the right is a U-2R with a wingspan of 103 feet.
IMAGE BY Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday the CIA declassified a 400-page document about Area 51, the secret facility in the Nevada desert that has fascinated armchair historians and tormented conspiracy theorists for decades.

The site, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, has been associated with a number of legends and rumors: about strange aircraft, experimental weapons, weather control, and especially aliens. So many alien conspiracy theories.

Area 51, it turns out, was just test site that housed spy planes, most notably the U-2. Introduced in 1957, the U-2 could travel as far as 7,000 miles, at an altitude of 70,000 feet, and stay airborne for up to 12 hours. U-2s are still in service with the U.S. Air Force today, and the old film cameras have been replaced U-2s used to carry have been replaced by digital cameras. In fact, some public land has weird, barcode-like patterns on it, built for U-2 camera tests.

Why is the CIA involved? Before spy satellites, U-2s flew over the Soviet Union to collect information about the USSR’s nuclear program. This was intelligence by airplane, conducted secretly and with huge consequences on the international stage. In 1960, a U-2 was shot down by Russia, spoiling a diplomatic meeting and escalating Cold War tensions. Later, in 1962, a U-2 took photos of what looked like preparations for nuclear weapons in Cuba, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is all old history by now, but when the CIA first classified the U-2 program and chose to keep Area 51 a secret, it was state-of-the-art technology, and an incredibly important test site for collecting secrets.

The declassification of the CIA’s documents won’t deter any conspiracy theorists; the kind of person who thinks the government creates weather machines for mind control will have no qualms believing the government also falsifies documents to cover up evidence of the same.

ARE UFOs JUST A CIA CON-TRICK?


ARE UFOs JUST A CIA CON-TRICK?

MIRAGE MEN BY MARK PILKINGTON

By HARRY RITCHIE

The way of things to come?: Or are UFOs just a CIA conspiracy?
The way of things to come?: Or are UFOs just a CIA conspiracy?

Ufology is a faith that includes many beliefs, from the oddly popular one about Nazi aliens who live under the ground to David Icke’s contention that the Duke of Edinburgh is in fact a shape-changing, blood-sucking alien lizard.

But here’s the core of the faith – that some UFO sightings and encounters are real, the U.S. government knows all about these extraterrestrial visitations, and they’ve mounted a huge conspiracy to keep the aliens secret and us in the dark.

This book threatens to demolish that faith. Because here Mark Pilkington sets out to prove that the U.S. government really has been conducting a top-secret UFO conspiracy – only one designed not to hide UFOs but publicise them, fuelling and even creating the major UFO myths. Flying saucers, alien abductions, crash-landed spacecraft, secret underground bases in New Mexico – they were all created by the U.S. government.

As Mark Pilkington immediately acknowledges, that might sound only marginally less ridiculous and emptily melodramatic than claiming that the Royal Family are actually alien reptiles. But he begins to build a pretty convincing case that U.S. agencies really have been conducting just such a long-running disinformation campaign to promote UFOs. And it does make sense.

UFOs make the perfect cover story to hide experimental aircraft from prying Russian eyes as well as those of their own citizens. Ufologists are a particular pest to U.S. Air Force security, for ever trying to root around their secret projects and hack into their systems – they need to be led up various extraterrestrial garden paths and far away from finding out about actual highly-classified experiments in weaponry or aircraft.

The Roswell Incident: were alien bodies really found?
The Roswell Incident: were alien bodies really found?

Pilkington’s theory would certainly explain why so many of the key UFO sightings and events happen near U.S. Air Force bases – such as Roswell, home of the famous ‘incident’ when an alien craft was supposed to have crash-landed, with a couple of aliens aboard.

And why so many extraterrestrial spaceships seem to behave like the pilotless drones and stealth aircraft developed by the U.S. Air Force. And why flying saucers should first turn up at the start of the Cold War, just when the U.S. Air Force was beginning to experiment with exotic new types of flight.

According to Pilkington, the campaign to promote the idea of UFOs was masterminded in the Fifties by the head of the CIA, Allen Welsh Dulles. More recently, many of the leaked fake documents and bogus stories seem to have come from the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

One victim of fake UFO documents evidently supplied by the American government was Timothy Good, whose international bestseller about supposed contact with aliens, Above Top Secret, included completely bogus papers planted in the American National Archives.

Another is George Adamski, an early fan of flying saucers whose bestselling books in the Fifties described his meetings with a chap called Orthon from Venus and his own trips in flying saucers.

I came across one of Adamski’s mad books in my local public library when I was a boy, and I remember being disturbed and perplexed – this was a book, a proper printed book, so all this stuff about going to Venus and meeting Venusians … it had to be real, didn’t it? Now, it seems Adamski was an innocent, eager dupe and that Orthon and the spaceships weren’t figments of his silly or venal imagination but real people and vehicles supplied by the CIA.

Fake spaceships, fake aliens, fake documents and even a fake underground alien base – it might all seem unduly elaborate and indeed expensive.

But the Americans certainly had the money for it, budgeting billions of dollars for the CIA’s black arts.

The Pentagon already had a good bash at that themselves, sponsoring a recruitment film of the Seventies, which claimed that UFOs were real and which included footage of a flying saucer landing at a U.S. Air Force base and a couple of aliens disembarking.

And that, you might think, is the Pentagon bang to rights. But at this point in the book, things begin to get even more complicated.

An AFOSI agent takes Pilkington aside and confides the real ‘truth’ – yes, there is a huge government conspiracy to produce a smokescreen of nonsense about UFOS, of course; however, it’s designed to hide not supersonic test-flights but … real UFOs.

Because, you see, by offering up a series of scary stories about UFO invasions and alien abductions, this will gradually desensitise the public to the eventual truth that the U.S. government really has been in contact with aliens.

Argh! Clearly, obviously, surely, this is more hokum, an attempt to exploit Pilkington with a slightly refined version of the same old stories – but he has previous as a Ufology believer and he can’t quite shake off the thrill of thinking that maybe, just maybe, an alien spaceship did crash-land at Roswell. That’s typical of a book that isn’t quite the rigorous hard-hitting investigation it could and should have been. Pilkington just about manages to hold on to his scepticism but ends with a spiel about nobody knowing for sure what the truth can be and Ufology being a murky, grey area.

No, no, no. There’s nothing grey about it. Either we have been visited by aliens and the American government is covering this up or we haven’t and it isn’t.

Either that debris at Roswell was part of a crashed flying saucer or it came from a test-flight that went wrong or a knackered high-altitude weather balloon. Either the Duke of Edinburgh is a blood-sucking alien reptile seeded from a distant star system or he is a human from Greece. So. What do you reckon? Great credit to Pilkington, though, for revealing who Orthon really was/ those aliens really are.

The Truth Behind UFO Sightings and the U.S. Air Force


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

By   Alex Kingsbury

Are UFOs a mirage, conjured up by the Air Force to obscure classified flight projects? In part, argues Mark Pilkington, a British journalist and filmmaker who writes about society’s oddities. In Mirage Men: An Adventure into Paranoia, Espionage, Psychological Warfare, and UFOs, he makes a persuasive case that much UFO-logy canon was started or encouraged by the government trying to conceal Cold War military projects. He recently chatted with U.S. News about the origins and effects of UFO mythology around the world. Excerpts:

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 U.S. Air Force and the intelligence community. The idea that UFOs crashed on U.S. soil, that the U.S. government was harboring and hiding UFO technology, that it was denying its citizens the right to know that aliens have come here and visited—all these things have been deliberately seeded into the culture.

[See who the defense aerospace industry gives the most in campaign contributions to.]

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 Air Force investigation into UFOs] was to monitor how visible the U2 was to people on the ground. Someone would see what they thought was a UFO and then the Air Force would send someone around to talk with them. Of course, the Air Force would have a schedule of the U2 flights and be able to tell if what the person saw was indeed a U2. By talking to all these supposed UFO witnesses, the CIA could assess how visible the U2 was.

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.

[See photos of space missions.]

What happened in 1952 over Washington, D.C.?

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 Washington. Now, it looks very plausible to me that the Washington incident was a demonstration of a technology from the Defense Department, known as Project Palladium, which allowed the operator to project radar blips onto other radar screens. Later on, the technology became very sophisticated to the point where you could change the shape of the blip and its speed and so forth. We go on in the book at length about the evidence that suggests that the Washington radar incident was a planned operation.

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 Bill Moore, who in the 1980s was one of the most respected people in the UFO community. He was co-opted by Air Force intelligence to act as a mole passing information to the Air Force about what people were researching and to pass disinformation back into the UFO community. When he came clean about all this at a UFO convention in 1989, people ran out crying into the hallways. But what happened to the larger UFO lore? Nothing.

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 Iran. Not surprisingly, all the UFO incidents happened near the country’s known nuclear sites. Initially it was odd lights in the sky, then over a few days, the stories started getting more dramatic. They were describing small robots hovering in the skies. I read an interesting article recently that described the impact of the drone use over Pakistan and Afghanistan. The villagers describe the drones as being spiritual beings with a life of their own that live in bedrooms in space and come to feed on women and children. It is fascinating to watch, because I feel like I’ve seen it all before. It will be different for every nation, as they develop. Perhaps every nation will get the aliens it deserves.