October 18, 2010 - 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 publicize 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?
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).
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