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Robertson and Egil Asprem. Conspiracy theories are a ubiquitous feature of our times. The Handbook of Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Religion is the first reference work to offer a comprehensive, transnational overview of this phenomenon along with in-depth discussions of how conspiracy theories relate to religion s. Bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines, from psychology and philosophy to political science and the history of religions, the book sets the standard for the interdisciplinary study of religion and conspiracy theories.
Again, relative to controls, the ad increased confidence that they personally had shaken hands with the impossible character as a child at a Disney resort. It is precisely through the lack of interest in a subject matter that errors and confusions of this sort filter in. More seriously, though, how events are represented is no small matter for concern.
The resistance to the Vietnam War has been attributed in part to how footage of its violence appeared in an unprecedented way on national television. The lesson learned from the influence of this relatively new medium led to such a tightly-controlled, sanitized spin on reporting the First Gulf War that it inspired French philosopher Jean Baudrillard to pen several articles collected in a hyperbolically titled volume The Gulf War Did Not Take Place Such anxious considerations are now de rigueur in the age of social media and their volatile, political exploitation.
To take up the latter topic first: it is perhaps sychronicitious that the CIA and the flying saucer both make their respective official appearances in One might say the relation was made canonical, for the ufophilic at least, by Richard Dolan in his two-volume study UFOs and the National Security State and , published in and respectively, and officially certified with the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure at the National Press Club in April, That the conspiracist aspect of the series is passed over in silence in is itself remarkable.
Second, the unconscious acceptance of the motif is curious at a time when conspiracism has returned with a vengeance in the form of the Q Anon conspiracy theory. An even graver motif in the series is that concerning human experimentation, for the moment at least, on military personnel. This latter episode, especially, echoes the real-world cases where American military personnel have been exposed to chemical agents and psychoactive drugs.
Experimentation on unwitting or unwilling human subjects touches on something essential to modernity, the perversion of rationality to identity thinking and instrumental reason. This latter is characteristic of both technology and capitalism, for whom the world is reduced to a warehouse of resources for exploitation and profit.
Such a reduction is especially egregious in the case of living systems and organisms. Most immediately, such thinking is an important cause of the environmental crisis. In the case of human beings, if not nonhuman animals , instrumental thinking is essentially immoral, as it treats others as means rather than ends in themselves.
When the Hynek and Quinn characters meet von Braun in Episode 4, they do not hesitate to openly express their disgust, an ironic reaction for viewers aware of Nazi human experimentation among other atrocities, e. The initial impulse behind this blog was to keep me honest. Many of the posts at Skunkworks have been just that, interpretations of various aspects of the myth as it has been developed since Complementing this hermeneutic labour has been reading classics of the canon to grasp their respective contributions to the myth and the poetic resonances within and between them.
But flying a parallel path to my poetic endeavors has been a cultural critical approach to the phenomenon. How the US government created a myth that took over the world. ET visitors These are the core elements of the modern UFO mythology, a story that has captivated farmers, princes and generals for generations, and shows no sign of loosening its grip on the popular imagination. But what if, instead of covering up the UFO story, elements in the US military had actively encouraged it as part of their Cold War counterintelligence arsenal - manufacturing the myth of the UFO as a powerful weapon of mass deception and the perfect cover for all manner of clandestine technologies and operations.
Now, for the first time, some of those whose actions have directly shaped the UFO mythology, and some of their victims, tell their stories, revealing a surreal disturbing and sometimes tragic sequence of events that is part Manchurian Candidate and part Close Encounters Written by Anonymous. Truth, as the saying goes, is often stranger than fiction. When it comes to the UFO phenomenon and the topics associated associated with it, that would most certainly appear to be the case.
Research Journal: The Most Influential People in Ufology Today
Based on the book by Mark Pilkington, the documentary film Mirage Men certainly proves that the real world can produce tales as strange as any you are likely to encounter in a science fiction tale. 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 documentary looks at how Doty and some of his colleagues in the s 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.
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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. 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 s 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"?
Tag: UFO Conjectures
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. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.
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