Wired has an interview with our good friend Mark Pilkington about his recent book Mirage Men, which looks at the tangled web of UFO research history in the light of government/military disinformation campaigns. The interview discusses everything from the infamous Richard Doty to ‘UFO hacker’ Gary McKinnon, and is a good read. Here’s one interesting question and answer about the disinfo progenitors of what we today call ‘viral marketing’:
W: Your book shows how releasing a few documents to the right people can influence a whole community. Now every new movie seems to have its own viral marketing campaign complete with fake videos and bogus websites — have the Mirage Men’s influencing techniques have gone mainstream?
MP: Absolutely, the techniques are more or less identical. And it’s no coincidence that some of the key players in the information wars came out of advertising and the media. Sefton Delmer, who turned deception into an artform for the British in WWII, was a former Daily Express journalist, while Edward Lansdale, one of the great American Cold Warriors who coined the phrase “hearts and minds”, worked in the advertising industry.
Although based on this post from a while back here at TDG, I disagree with Mark about the Palladium radar-spoofing explanation for the Milton Torres case.
Remember too that I also interviewed Mark about his book (way back before it was the cool thing to do…) here on TDG.