6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Who Knows, You Might Learn Something!,
This review is from: Mirage Men: A Journey into Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs: The Weird Truth Behind UFOs (Paperback)
Let me begin by explaining that I am skeptical of most UFO claims. I am not looking for what "I want to believe." I have been researching the UFO subject for over 30 years, some of which involves a close association with subject matter and persons in this book. And I have concluded that "Mirage Men" is a very important book to read, with a note of caution. It involves people and events that most Ufologist carefully avoid at all costs. Sure the Government Covers-Up UFOs and Alien Visitations, but "Disinformation" is what the other guy believes and I do not! No need to look further.
Mark Pilkington was willing to look. Not without considerable bias as a self confessed Crop Circle Hoaxer. Where he wants to lead the reader becomes self evident in the first few chapters in the book. And that is his privilege as the author. My contention is that one can learn a great deal from this book without confusing an important part of the picture with the whole, as I think this author clearly does. This is an important read for Ufologists who wish to deal with the historical and government involvement with the subject.
The first flaw in the book are factual errors. If I am aware of a good number upon casual reading no doubt it has many more. Not entirely the authors fault, because they tend to be repeated and spread in Ufology without question as long as they fit certain viewpoints. For example, a single altered AFOSI document that Bill Moore was encouraged to pass on to Paul Bennewitz becomes "false documents." There were a number of documents, but they did not involve the activities against Bennewitz. Later the same document is said to have been "retouched" by Moore and given to Bennewitz. Moore did not alter this document as given to Bennewitz, and only passed it along after much hesitation and a note of caution that it might be fake. To his credit Bennewitz kept it to himself. Such false remarks might seem innocent enough, until they are repeated and spread to form conclusions about activities and people that fit certain agendas. Another example is when the author speculates that Bill Moore was "inclined" to take the NASA involvement Bait because of the astronaut sighting in the original Roswell Book. Those were added by co-author Berlitz as filler. But the misconception has it's real origin in a 1987 MUFON paper that reveals more about a certain individuals 20 year vendetta against Bill Moore personally than it does about the truth of the MJ-12 matter. A paper filled with absurd speculations based on very limited and often second hand information. And while pointing so many fingers at US Intelligence Pilkington parrots the CIA's 1997 Historical UFO explanations. Well researched Critiques of this article are not mentioned or sighted. Considerable research on the MJ-12 Documents is also missing.
Then there is the often fantastical speculation in order to get you hooked on the authors way of thinking about the UFO and Roswell "Myth." The book would have been better if the author stuck to what he knows and was told rather than drift in order to fit so much UFO history in a neat little box. The author confuses what is sometimes the intelligence communities ability at subtle manipulation of belief in place, into incredible powers of deception!
The author displays at attitude often expressed during a change in Ufology away from the ETH in the 1970's. Personally I am very open minded about alternative explanations to UFO events. One explanation for the best cases need not fit "all" when the subject is about something unidentified in multiple incidents. However, the trend at the time produced some anti-extraterrestrial attitudes that became fixed. Writers like John Keel dismissed Roswell out of hand, while at the same time repeating cases that are far more likely to be outlandish hoaxes rather than evidence of a Paranormal Haunted Planet! To this day Jacques Vallee stretches scientific sounding anti-ETH arguments to extreme limits. But if it's from another "dimension" I guess anything is possible?
If it fits your ideas then it is evidence, if not be very skeptical. You end up with the same kind of bias that such people accuse many UFO researchers of having, including this author. And indeed many of them do. The problem is these researchers obviously suffer from the same problem of blanketed explanations and trying to force fit their own perspective.
After all this, why am I telling you to buy this book? Because this rather dark area of UFO research needs to be discussed. People with strong held beliefs are indeed easily manipulated. And characters like Rick Doty do have something important to say, even if you don't believe much of what they are telling you. We also have Dr. Christopher Green who has some very remarkable insights. He also knows his way around the Intelligence Community and how government operates. Imagine if Bill Moore, Rick Doty, ect.....never talked? How much would we be capable of suspecting today concerning UFO "disinformation?"
Perhaps the author is correct, and there is little to cover-up than the government own high tech toys. But if they did have something outside of their control with very serious implications to hide, you can bet they would take active counter-intelligence measures to protect it! They might also manipulate belief in what they can't control to test the Public's Reaction. Good enough reason to give this book some serious consideration. You can put information aside until something else comes along to confirm or refute it. And study that with caution as well.