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Speaking on a CNN panel discussion, American economist Paul Krugman suggests a novel way of boosting the economy: fake an alien invasion.

If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that – this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, ‘whoops we made a mistake, there aren’t actually any space aliens’… there was a Twilight Zone episode like this, in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time…we need it to get some fiscal stimulus.

Most Grailers would probably see an echo here of Reagan’s statement in the 1980s that an outside threat from aliens might bring the world together. Readers of our Darklore series would also be aware that there was an earlier fictional telling of this ‘hoaxed alien threat’ plotline: in his article in Darklore Volume 1 (Amazon US and UK), Blair MacKenzie Blake discusses Bernard Newman’s 1948 book The Flying Saucer:

[I]t was possibly the first book to deal with the subject of flying saucers, and…its enigmatic author was almost certainly an intelligence agent whose career remains to this very day shrouded in secrecy and deceit.

…the plot involves a “League of Scientists” who stage a series of flying saucer crashes, in the hope that the world’s leaders will unite against a common foe (i.e. the deliberately created extraterrestrial threat), thus bringing about world disarmament. Newman’s novel contains many elements that will be familiar to Roswell aficionados, and the story often mirrors the labyrinthine intrigue of today’s UFO psy-ops and military disinformation tactics.

Included in the narrative is the contrived crash of a flying saucer in the wastes of New Mexico, complete with a considerably quantity of strange lightweight, though extraordinarily hard metallic debris…

(h/t Boing Boing)

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