The UFO sightings were all disinformation – or that’s what they want you to think…
A few years back, as part of my research into a book on conspiracy theories of all kinds, I looked into a number of the UFO reports over the years – from Roswell in the US to Rendlesham Forest in the UK (even travelling up there to walk the route between the various sites) – and I have to say that to my mind it’s clear that something unexplained happened at both places, but not that it was necessarily extra-terrestrial in origin. A number of the Area 51 stories, for instance, derive from sight of prototype aircraft that were completely out of the ordinary.
The problem that I encountered during the research was that it was very rare to find anyone who looked at these matters disinterestedly. Books, understandably, had their own agendas to peddle – either fiercely in favour of the alien visitation concept, or virulently against it. The makers of this documentary, which has had considerable success on the festival circuit, have tried to an extent to be even-handed, and note that even their debunking of a lot of UFO reports as disinformation could itself be disinformation…
The Mirage Men of the title are the agents who tried to disseminate this sort of story among the believers/credulous (delete as applicable), with Special Agent Richard Doty an expert at pointing them in the wrong direction. Some of those who believed the stories suffered mental problems as a result, and are understandably not best pleased by Doty’s revelations.
It’s not an easy film to watch – not so much because of its subject matter, but for the way in which its makers John Lundberg, Roland Denning, Kypros Kypianou, and Mark Pilkington throw so many ideas at the wall that you’re still wondering about the last one before they jump onto something else. The extra interviews on the second disc do investigate some matters further but even so, there are still many unanswered questions.
Mirage Men doesn’t try to present easy answers, and if you’ve got an interest in the UFO sightings of the last hundred years, then you may well find material here you haven’t seen or known about previously.
Verdict: Occasionally frustrating, there is much to recommend here for those wondering if the truth really is out there. 8/10