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A number of people have asked, if there is a government UFO cover-up, why haven’t documents relating to them turned up in the massive intelligence leak by Edward Snowden. Well, in a new document released at The Intercept, the new website devoted to publishing information about the leaks, the flying saucers have arrived. Though where they’ve turned up might be cause for concern for the Fox Mulder’s out there.

That document is a Powerpoint presentation from the British intelligence agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), titled simply enough “The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations“, in which three of the fifty slides are images of ‘UFOs’. Unfortunately, there is no text related to the images, so there could be a number of reasons for them being included – from pointing out people’s belief systems, through to them possibly being part of actual psychological operations (psy-ops). The only clue might be that the images are listed under a heading of “Influence and Information Operations”.

Besides the UFO references, there are a number of allusions to magic, from the mission statement to produce “cyber-magicians”, to another slide listing the historical involvement of professional magicians with psy-ops, through to finishing with an image of Teller beside a quote, “Conjuring with Information”.

Glenn Greenwald has written some commentary on the latest release of documents, pointing out how they show intelligence agencies are intentionally manipulating online discussions:

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.

Returning to the topic of UFOs, writer/film-maker Mark Pilkington is well-acquainted with the dual topic of UFOs and intelligence agency deceptions via the intensive research he did for his book and related documentary Mirage Men. On his blog, Mark notes that “it’s clear that [intelligence agencies] consider the UFO subject, its attendant beliefs, and the vocal community surrounding it, to be a useful field of operations for their activities”. He also points out that not much has changed in the last six decades, given the similarities between the newly released document and a research paper released in 1950 titled “Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare” – right down to the listing of magicians who have participated in psy-ops.

If you’d like to learn more about this subject, take a look at the lecture Mark gave a couple of years ago (embedded below), titled “The Abuses of Enchantment: Folklore and Deception in the Disinformation Age”:

As Greenwald points out, “these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online… Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that… No government should be able to engage in these tactics”.

Or, as Fox Mulder told us all those years ago: “Trust no-one”.

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