An Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) is a reported sighting of an object or light usually seen in the sky whose appearance does not have a conventional explanation. In most cases UFOs are eventually explained as celestial bodies, planes, or even birds. However, in a small percentage of cases, which is actually a large number, UFOs have been identified as real extraterrestrial (ET) crafts not from this earth.
In fact, a great deal of evidence for this reality has been accumulated. Evidence such as photographs, video footage, eye witness testimony, physical evidence, and even captured ET ships have been acquired. But still there is a disagreement on the certainty of this evidence and its authenticity. Why is there so much disagreement and why won’t the scientific and political communities seriously examine the phenomena? One of the main reasons is the misinformation, deception, propaganda, and other social mechanisms being applied by different groups. These mechanisms when part of a planned program are termed psychological operations (PSYOPs).
A PSYOP is a prescribed process used to induce or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to an originators interest. PSYOPs are routinely used by governments and militaries to effect change across the full spectrum of political, military, economic, and ideological actions. PSYOPs are so widely used that they may have become the most exploited means to achieve national objectives. Many governments routinely use them against their own citizens.
A simple Google internet search will confirm that PSYOPs are part of modern military and governmental operations. Whole organizations and bureaucracies have been built around these undertakings. Why is this being done? The answer is clear, because they are extremely effective at achieving their objectives. PSYOPS have become so effective they are now being used on world populations at an ever increasing and alarming rate. In almost all cases the affected populations are not aware that this is occurring.
PSYOPs by their very nature are secretive. In order to effect change, its’ existence and intentions must not be known by the intended recipients. If an operation was discovered it would not be effective and the receiver would not be misled. This piece of information alone means that evidence of PSYOPs is hard to obtain. Governments go to great lengths to conceal them but some have been revealed. A number of readily available examples are those used by the military.
When PSYOPs are part of a nation’s military strategy, they are known collectively as psychological warfare (PSYWAR). A PSYOP used in warfare has the primary purpose of influencing attitudes and behavior of a hostile foreign power in a way that achieves the warring nation’s objectives. During war, a nation’s use of propaganda and other psychological measures would often be illegal to use on its’ citizens at home.
A modern example of PSYWAR occurred in the early 1990s during the Gulf War. In that campaign the U.S. led coalition successfully used PSYOPs and ejected Iraq’s military out of Kuwait. Tens of thousands of Saddam Hussein’s military were induced to surrender or defect by an exceptionally effective deception PSYOP. Other military examples are readily available for those willing to search the internet.
In environments less than war, a nation uses PSYOPS to accomplish its objectives just as the military would during a war. PSYOP policy is derived from normal governmental policy statements. It has become integrated into governmental operations as a means of doing business. That is most assuredly how PSYOPs have come into play within the UFO phenomena.
In the beginning a policy of playing down UFOs may have been implemented in order to reduce perceived public anxiety. This policy may have made sense sixty years ago but now has outlived its usefulness. Regardless of the policy’s legitimacy, PSYOPs would have been an expected government outcropping to respond to the policy decision. PSYOPs can be massive campaigns or mere statements made to the right audience by the correct spokesperson.
Most PSYOPs require extreme subtlety to be effective. They work delicately to change the target audience’s perceptions. Everything we know about the world around us comes from our perceptions. In truth perception is reality for us. Those who practice PSYOPs understand this and have developed means to direct messages that are tailored and targeted to specific listeners.
After years of careful testing and studying, PSYOP professionals have become incredibly knowledgeable and effective in determining the target audience and what small message is needed to send for the desired outcome. How a subject matter is portrayed in key public forums makes a difference and can substantially affect public perception and opinion. If a subject is portrayed a specific way in the right forum, it will be a major influencing factor.
An example of how this type of subtle message works occurred during the October 2007 U.S. Presidential debate. Tim Russert, described as "the quintessential Washington insider" by the Washington Post asked Congressman Dennis Kucinich if he'd seen a UFO in a dismissive and trivializing way. The way the question was asked clearly stated to the world that the UFO subject was inappropriate and not worth serious consideration. Even Congressman Kucinich was forced to play down his actual UFO sighting in order to maintain some respectability.It is important to note that nothing in U.S. Presidential politics is said or done without a specific reason. Russert holds a doctorate degree; he is well regarded as a journalist, and clearly a political pundit “in the know”. He would not have made that type of statement without an intended rationale. These types of statements, in key forums, by key speakers are what create and maintain the “giggle factor” around UFOs. That is how attitudes and behaviors are reinforced using a subtle PSYOP. Of course it cannot be known if Russert’s remarks were part of an actual PSYOP but it is certainly a clear example of how one might work.