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Analysis of the Occult Symbols Found on the Bank of America Murals

Posted by Admin on July 30, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/analysis-of-the-occult-symbols-found-on-the-bank-of-america-murals/

By  | November 23rd, 2010

Prominently displayed in the lobby of the Bank of America’s Corporate Center are “creepy” frescoes, filled with occult symbols. Even more unsettling is the fact that those images seem to predict events of a radical world change in the not-so-distant future. Are those murals predicting the coming of an occult New World Order? We will look at the occult meaning of the symbols found on the Bank of America frescoes.

A reader of Infowars sent me pictures of some very odd murals displayed at the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, NC. Needless to say they immediately caught my attention, as I was flabbergasted by their symbolism and their message. I also couldn’t help relating them to the ominous murals of the Denver International Airport.

Painted by Benjamin Long, the paintings are said to revolve around the themes of “making/building, chaos/creativity, and planning/knowledge in a “daring blend of abstract and realism, set off with touches of gold“.

The three frescoes ruling over the lobby of the Bank of America Corporate Center.

Although we normally read from left to right, there are clues within the frescoes hinting the viewers to read the paintings from right to left. The “planning” stage (visually represented by the fresco on the right) is normally the first step of any process so it would make sense to start from there.  There is also alchemical symbolism hinting towards the chronology of the frescoes, so we will begin with the one on the right:

Right Fresco

The fresco on the right is dubbed Planning/Knowledge.  An esoteric read of its symbolism reveals exactly what is being planned and what knowledge it is referring to.

Masonic Boy on Masonic Floor

We see here a young blond boy standing on a standard Masonic checker-board pattern floor. His feet are placed at a 90 degrees angle, in accordance to Masonic initiation ritual:

Q. On your return to the Lodge, where were you placed, as the youngest Entered Apprentice?

A. In the northeast corner, my feet forming a right angle, my body erect, at the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east, an upright man and Mason, and it was given me strictly in charge ever to walk and act as such.”
– Malcolm C. Duncan, Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor

Seemingly underneath the boy are people dressed in business suits, seemingly strategizing while pointing at the Masonic boy. Does the boy represent the “new generation”?

This blond boy is very reminiscent of the blond boy featured at the center of one of the murals of the Denver International Airport.

Blond boy hammering a sword into a plowshare. Note that the boy is wearing a traditional Bavarian costume … perhaps as in Bavarian Illuminati?

Burning Bush, Woman in Cube and Pyramid

Symbolism overload

Behind the boy is a tree on fire, which is a reference of the Burning Bush of the Old Testament. The Burning Bush is of great importance in Masonic ritual, especially for the 33rd degree, whose members are considered to be “near the Burning Bush”.

“In the third Exodus it is record that, while Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro on Mount Horeb, “the angle of Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”, and there communicated to him for the first time his Ineffable Name. This occurrence is commemorated in the Burning Bush of the Royal Arch Degree. In all systems of antiquity, fire is adopted as a symbol of Deity; and the Burning Bush, or the bush filled with fire which did not consume, whence came forth the Tetragrammaton, the symbol of Divine Light and Truth, is considered in the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, like the Orient in the lower, as the great source of true Masonic light; wherefore Supreme Councils of the Thirty-Third Degree date their balustres or official documents, “near the B.B.” or Burning Bush, to intimate that they are, in their own rite, the exclusive source of all Masonic instruction”.
– Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Part 1

In the background is an Egyptian pyramid, the ultimate symbol of the Mysteries in occult teachings.

A strange feature of the painting is the woman apparently trapped inside a transparent cube, hanging from threads coming from the sky. Does she represent the common man, stuck in the confines of the material world (occultly represented by the cube) and manipulated by unseen the forces from above?

Stairs and Black Sun

Jacob’s ladder and a black sun

On the left of the image are stairs, apparently leading to the heavens, a classic symbol representing the path to illumination/Illuminati through the mysteries of Masonry.

A Masonic engraving depicting stairs leading from the Masonic floor to the “outside”

In the sky is a black sun, another symbol of an esoteric significance. Hermetic traditions teach the existence of two suns, an invisible and etheric one made of pure “philosophical gold” and the material one, the only one the profane can perceive, known as the Black Sun.

In alchemy, the black sun (Sol niger) is the name of the result of the first stage of the Opus Magnum. The alchemical Magnum Opus (or Great Work) starts with the “blackening” – the calcination of crude metals – and ends with their transmutation into pure gold.

Today, the symbol of the Black Sun is mostly associated with esoteric Nazism and cults such as the Temple of Set. It is also found in odd places such as:

Bracken House, London. The Black Sun beares the face of Winston Churchill.

…and, once again, the Denver International Airport.

Floor design in the DIA depicting a black sun moving in front of the golden sun

The right fresco therefore seems to portray the first step of a “Great Work” that needs to be accomplished, as symbolically represented by the black sun. Men dressed in suits (one of them oddly looks like Adam Weishaupt),  seem to be preparing a new generation of Masonic youth. Meanwhile, the “profane” seem to be idling in an translucent cube, controlled by invisible puppeteers.

Middle Fresco

The middle fresco, Chaos/Creativity, depicts a turbulent transitional period. Many details within the painting describe this profound turmoil, which seem to be affecting all part of society and civilization. We find military and religious figures, people protesting and much more.

Barb wires, nets and soldiers on the streets tell the viewers that this period of turmoil is also one of oppression. The nun does not seem very pleased either.

At the left of the painting is a person wearing a biohazard suit, hinting to some kind of chemical warfare.

Person in gas suit

For this reason, and many more, I find this painting very similar to one of the Denver Airport’s murals … the most infamous one.

This mural of the DIA portrays a militaristic figure wearing a gas mask and oppressing an endless line of sad people. Chemical warfare, military repression, dead babies … what is there not to like about this image?

If we look at the top of the fresco, we see translucent beings spinning with fire, perhaps implying that the turmoil is also happening on a metaphysical, cosmic or astral level.

Spinning naked bodies in a vortex of fire

This round fiery shape can also be likened to a sun. Its pale golden color and the transparency of its figures can be associated with the intermediate step of the great alchemical work named “Whitening”. Jung compared this step with daybreak, the preparation for the next and final stage, which is the sunrise, characterized by the color red. Which is, of course, the most prominent color of the left fresco.

Left Fresco

The fresco on the left is said to focus on the theme of “Making/Building“. The main figure of the fresco is a worker holding a shovel, contemplating the work done. In his back pocket is a red piece of cloth, a symbolic detail in the context of this image. There is indeed a great emphasis on the color red in this fresco, which, as mentioned above, is the also the color associated with the final step of the alchemical Magnum Opus: Rubedo, the “Red Work”.

In occult teachings, alchemical transformation can happen on numerous levels: a material level, where crude metals are transmuted to pure gold, but also on a spiritual and philosophical level, where the profane man becomes a “regenerated man”. In secret-society lore, the entire world is considered to be the subject of alchemical transformation; it is said to be an imperfect plane needing to be “transmuted into gold” in order to mirror the heavens, in accordance with the hermetic axiom “As Above, So Below”. Is a New World Order the “Great Work” of the occult elite?

Sleeping Giant

Is he dead or sleeping? And what does “EQ” mean?

An odd detail of the fresco is this man blending with the earth, apparently in deep sleep … or is he buried? This is also reminiscent of the (unsettling) sleeping little boy on the DIA murals.

A helpless little boy sleeping (or dead) under a red blanket

What Is The Meaning of the Frescoes?

Like most elitist art, the frescoes on display at the headquarters of Bank of America, the largest bank in America, tell a story intended to be decoded by those in the know. The frescoes seem to depict three stages of world transformation – planning, chaos and achievement – and are color-coded to be analogous to the three stages of hermetic alchemy: Nigredo (blackness), Albedo (whiteness) and Rubedo (redness).  The frescoes beare many resemblances to the murals of the Denver International Airport, which also depict progressive phases of a profound transformation of society after a period of intense turmoil.

The first fresco displays a wide array of occult symbols, some directly referring to Freemasonry. This is quite astonishing as the painting is in the lobby of the headquarters of the United States’ most predominant bank and not in a Masonic lodge … but perhaps there is some overlap. Those who are “in the know” and initiated to the Mysteries are those who are qualified to accomplishing the planning process, which in this painting seem to be the men in suits, whose ties match the red and white checker-board floor, and who make plans for the future generation, represented by the blond Masonic boy.

In the second fresco, civil unrest, riots, protests and repression are all taking place. Historically, the masses only usually go into an outright revolt when their living conditions deteriorate significantly or when hugely unpopular policies get adopted. Does this piece refer to the loss of civil liberties and the rise of a police state? There is also a metaphysical aspect to the image, represented by the spinning naked bodies that appear as the sun, implying that the period turmoil is also happening on a cosmic level.

The last fresco gives a sense of “mission accomplished”, with the dominant figure surveying the work, while also conveying the message that “the work is never totally done” as labourers are still hard at work in the underground. This is reminiscent of the movie Metropolis, where a class of workers silently slave away underground to sustain the elite’s utopia. I also can’t help but being reminded of the 33 Chilean miners while looking at those workers …

In Conclusion

The Bank of America frescoes are yet another example of the elite’s agenda being “hidden in plain sight”. These giant images, on display for all to see, but designed to be understood by few, describe the philosophy of the elite rulers, their occult knowledge and their plans for the future.  As it is the case for all works of art, it is possible to interpret these paintings on numerous levels and to come up with different conclusions. It is, however, difficult to ignore the recurrent themes found in the”Sinister Sites” described on The Vigilant Citizen: prevalent occult symbolism, the heralding of a “new era”,  contempt for the profane masses, celebration of repression and war, etc. When comparing the Bank of America frescoes with the art of the DIA and the Georgia Guidestones, we can find a definite consistence in their symbolism, their tone and their message. This leads me to believe that the same group is behind all of those sites and many more. Whoever they are, we know a few things for sure: they are extremely rich, extremely powerful and they don’t really like you … because you are not one of Them.

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Mind Control Theories and Techniques used by Mass Media

Posted by Admin on July 30, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/mind-control-theories-and-techniques-used-by-mass-media/

By  | April 28th, 2010

Mass media is the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society.

Image source deesillustration.com

Most of the articles on this site discuss occult symbolism found in objects of popular culture. From these articles arise many legitimate questions relating to the purpose of those symbols and the motivations of those who place them there, but it is impossible for me to provide satisfactory answers to these questions without mentioning many other concepts and facts. I’ve therefore decided to write this article to supply the theoretical and methodological background of the analyzes presented on this site as well as introducing the main scholars of the field of mass communications. Some people read my articles and think I’m saying “Lady Gaga wants to control our minds”. That is not the case. She is simply a small part of the huge system that is the mass media.

Programming Through Mass Media

Mass media are media forms designed to reach the largest audience possible. They include television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, records, video games and the internet. Many studies have been conducted in the past century to measure the effects of mass media on the population in order to discover the best techniques to influence it. From those studies emerged the science of Communications, which is used in marketing, public relations and politics. Mass communication is a necessary tool to insure the functionality of a large democracy; it is also a necessary tool for a dictatorship. It all depends on its usage.

In the 1958 preface for A Brave New World, Aldous Huxley paints a rather grim portrait of society. He believes it is controlled by an “impersonal force”, a ruling elite, which manipulates the population using various methods.

“Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously accelerated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new techniques for manipulating, in the interest of some minority, the thoughts and feelings of the masses.”
– Aldous Huxley, Preface to A Brave New World

His bleak outlook is not a simple hypothesis or a paranoid delusion. It is a documented fact, present in the world’s most important studies on mass media. Here are some of them:

Elite Thinkers

Walter Lippmann

Walter Lippmann, an American intellectual, writer and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner brought forth one of the first works concerning the usage of mass media in America. In Public Opinion (1922), Lippmann compared the masses to a “great beast” and a “bewildered herd” that needed to be guided by a governing class. He described the ruling elite as “a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality.” This class is composed of experts, specialists and bureaucrats. According to Lippmann, the experts, who often are referred to as “elites,” are to be a machinery of knowledge that circumvents the primary defect of democracy, the impossible ideal of the “omnicompetent citizen.” The trampling and roaring “bewildered herd” has its function: to be “the interested spectators of action,” i.e. not participants. Participation is the duty of “the responsible man”, which is not the regular citizen.

Mass media and propaganda are therefore tools that must be used by the elite to rule the public without physical coercion. One important concept presented by Lippmann is the “manufacture of consent”, which is, in short, the manipulation of public opinion to accept the elite’s agenda. It is Lippmann’s opinion that the general public is not qualified to reason and to decide on important issues. It is therefore important for the elite to decide ”for its own good” and then sell those decisions to the masses.

“That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power. . . . Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.”
–Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion

It might be interesting to note that Lippmann is one of the founding fathers of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the most influential foreign policy think tank in the world. This fact should give you a small hint of the mind state of the elite concerning the usage of media.

“Political and economic power in the United States is concentrated in the hands of a “ruling elite” that controls most of U.S.-based multinational corporations, major communication media, the most influential foundations, major private universities and most public utilities. Founded in 1921, the Council of Foreign Relations is the key link between the large corporations and the federal government. It has been called a “school for statesmen” and “comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite – a group of men, similar in interest and outlook shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes. The creation of the United Nations was a Council project, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.”
– Steve Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States

Some current members of the CFR include David Rockefeller, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, mega-church pastor Rick Warren and the CEOs of major corporations such as CBS, Nike,Coca-Cola and Visa.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung is the founder of analytical psychology (also known an Jungian psychology), which emphasizes understanding the psyche by exploring dreams, art, mythology, religion, symbols and philosophy. The Swiss therapist is at the origin of many psychological concepts used today such as the Archetype, the Complex, the Persona, the Introvert/Extrovert and Synchronicity. He was highly influenced by the occult background of his family. Carl Gustav, his grandfather, was an avid Freemason (he was Grand Master) and Jung himself discovered that some of his ancestors were Rosicrucians. This might explain his great interest in Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology and symbolism. One of  his most important (and misunderstood) concept was theCollective Unconscious.

“My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”
– Carl Jung, The Concept of the Collective Unconscious

The collective unconscious transpires through the existence of similar symbols and mythological figures in different civilizations. Archetypal symbols seem to be embedded in our collective subconscious, and, when exposed to them, we demonstrate natural attraction and fascination. Occult symbols can therefore exert a great impact on people, even if many individuals were never personally introduced to the symbol’s esoteric meaning. Mass media thinkers, such as Edward D. Bernays, found in this concept a great way to manipulate the public’s personal and collective unconscious.

1955 Time Magazine cover featuring Carl Jung. Looks a little like Avatar, doesn’t it?

Edward  Bernays

Edward Bernays is considered to be the “father of public relations” and used concepts discovered by his uncle Sigmund Freud to manipulate the public using the subconscious. He shared Walter Lippmann’s view of the general population by considering it irrational and subject to the “herd instinct”. In his opinion, the masses need to be manipulated by an invisible government to insure the survival of democracy.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda

Bernay’s trailblazing marketing campaigns profoundly changed the functioning of American society. He basically created “consumerism” by creating a culture wherein Americans bought for pleasure instead of buying for survival. For this reason, he was considered by Life Magazine to be in the Top 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.

Harold Lasswell

In 1939-1940, the University of Chicago was the host of a series of secret seminars on communications. These think tanks were funded by the Rockefeller foundation and involved the most prominent researchers in the fields of communications and sociological studies. One of these scholars was Harold Lasswell, a leading American political scientist and communications theorist, specializing in the analysis of propaganda. He was also of the opinion that a democracy, a government ruled by the people, could not sustain itself without a specialized elite shaping and molding public opinion through propaganda.

In his Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, Lasswell explained that when elites lack the requisite force to compel obedience, social managers must turn to “a whole new technique of control, largely through propaganda.” He added the conventional justification: we must recognize the “ignorance and stupidity [of] … the masses and not succumb to democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests.”

Lasswell extensively studied the field of content analysis in order to understand the effectiveness of different types of propaganda.  In his essay Contents of Communication, Lasswell explained that, in order to understand the meaning of a message (i.e. a movie, a speech, a book, etc.), one should take into account the frequency with which certain symbols appear in the message, the direction in which the symbols try to persuade the audience’s opinion, and the intensity of the symbols used.

Lasswell was famous for his media analysis model based on:

Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect

By this model, Lasswell indicates that in order to properly analyze a media product, one must look at who produced the product (the people who ordered its creation),  who was it aimed at (the target audience) and what were the desired effects of this product (to inform, to convince, to sell, etc.) on the audience.

Using a Rihanna video as an example, the analysis would be as follows: WHO PRODUCED: Vivendi Universal; WHAT: pop artist Rihanna; TO WHOM: consumers between the ages of 9 and 25; WHAT CHANNEL: music video; and WHAT EFFECT: selling the artist, her song, her image and her message.

The analyzes of videos and movies on The Vigilant Citizen place a great importance on the “who is behind” the messages communicated to the public. The term “Illuminati” is often used to describe this small elite group covertly ruling the masses. Although the term sounds quite caricatured and conspiratorial, it aptly describes the elite’s affinities with secret societies and occult knowledge. However, I personally detest using the term “conspiracy theory” to describe what is happening in the mass media. If all the facts concerning the elitist nature of the industry are readily available to the public, can it still be considered a  “conspiracy theory”?

There used to be a variety of viewpoints, ideas and opinions in popular culture. The consolidation of media corporations has, however, produced a standardization of the cultural industry. Ever wondered why all recent music sounds the same and all recent movies look the same? The following is part of the answer:

Media Ownership

As depicted in the graph above, the number of corporations owning the majority of U.S. media outlets went from 50 to 5 in less than 20 years. Here are the top corporations evolving around the world and the assets they own.

“A list of the properties controlled by AOL Time Warner takes ten typed pages listing 292 separate companies and subsidiaries. Of these, twenty-two are joint ventures with other major corporations involved in varying degrees with media operations. These partners include 3Com, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Citigroup, Ticketmaster, American Express, Homestore, Sony, Viva, Bertelsmann, Polygram, and Amazon.com. Some of the more familiar fully owned properties of Time Warner include Book-of-the-Month Club; Little, Brown publishers; HBO, with its seven channels; CNN; seven specialized and foreign-language channels; Road Runner; Warner Brothers Studios; Weight Watchers; Popular Science; and fifty-two different record labels.”
– Ben Bagdikan, The New Media Monopoly

AOL Time Warner owns:

  • 64 magazines, including Time, Life, People, MAD Magazine and DC Comics
  • Warner Bros, New Line and Fine Line Features in cinema
  • More than 40 music labels including Warner Bros, Atlantic and Elektra
  • Many television networks such as WB Networks, HBO, Cinemax, TNT, Cartoon Network andCNN
  • Madonna, Sean Paul, The White Stripes

Viacom owns:

  • CBS, MTV, MTV2, UPN, VH1, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TNN, CMT and BET
  • Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films
  • Blockbuster Videos
  • 1800 screens in theaters through Famous Players

“Disney ownership of a hockey team called The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim does not begin to describe the vastness of the kingdom. Hollywood is still its symbolic heart, with eight movie production studios and distributors: Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax, Buena Vista Home Video, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Buena Vista International, Hollywood Pictures, and Caravan Pictures.

The Walt Disney Company controls eight book house imprints under Walt Disney Company Book Publishing and ABC Publishing Group; seventeen magazines; the ABC Television Network, with ten owned and operated stations of its own including in the five top markets; thirty radio stations, including all the major markets; eleven cable channels, including Disney, ESPN (jointly), A&E, and the History Channel; thirteen international broadcast channels stretching from Australia to Brazil; seven production and sports units around the world; and seventeen Internet sites, including the ABC group, ESPN.sportszone, NFL.com, NBAZ.com, and NASCAR.com. Its five music groups include the Buena Vista, Lyric Street, and Walt Disney labels, and live theater productions growing out of the movies The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and King David.”
– Ibid

The Walt Disney Company owns:

  • ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, A&E, History Channel
  • Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Film Corp., Dimensionand Buena Vista International
  • Miley Cyrus/ Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers

Vivendi Universal owns:

  • 27% of US music sales, labels include: Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Island, Def Jam, MCA, Mercury, Motown and Universal
  • Universal Studios, Studio Canal, Polygram Films, Canal +
  • Numerous internet and cell phone companies
  • Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z

Sony owns:

  • Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics
  • 15% of US Music sales, labels include Columbia, Epic, Sony, Arista, Jive and RCA Records
  • Beyonce, Shakira, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera

A limited number of actors in the cultural industry means a limited amount of viewpoints and ideas making their way to the general public. It also means that a single message can easily saturate all forms of media to generate consent (i.e. “there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq”).

The Standardization of Human Thought

The merger of media companies in the last decades generated a small oligarchy of media conglomerates. The TV shows we follow, the music we listen to, the movies we watch and the newspapers we read are all produced by FIVE corporations. The owners of those conglomerates have close ties with the world’s elite and, in many ways, they ARE the elite. By owning all of the possible outlets having the potential to reach the masses, these conglomerates have the power to create in the minds of the people a single and cohesive world view, engendering a “standardization of human thought”.

Even movements or styles that are considered marginal are, in fact, extensions of mainstream thinking. Mass medias produce their own rebels who definitely look the part but are still part of the establishment and do not question any of it. Artists, creations and ideas that do not fit the mainstream way of thinking are mercilessly rejected and forgotten by the conglomerates, which in turn makes them virtually disappear from society itself. However, ideas that are deemed to be valid and desirable to be accepted by society are skillfully marketed to the masses in order to make them become self-evident norm.

In 1928, Edward Bernays already saw the immense potential of motion pictures to standardize thought:

“The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions. The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation. Because pictures are made to meet market demands, they reflect, emphasize and even exaggerate broad popular tendencies, rather than stimulate new ideas and opinions. The motion picture avails itself only of ideas and facts which are in vogue. As the newspaper seeks to purvey news, it seeks to purvey entertainment.”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda

These facts were flagged as dangers to human freedom in the 1930′s by thinkers of the school of Frankfurt such as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse. They identified three main problems with the cultural industry. The industry can:

  1. reduce human beings to the state of mass by hindering the development of emancipated individuals, who are capable of making rational decisions;
  2. replace the legitimate drive for autonomy and self-awareness by the safe laziness of conformism and passivity; and
  3. validate the idea that men actually seek to escape the absurd and cruel world in which they live by losing themselves in a hypnotic state self-satisfaction.

The notion of escapism is even more relevant today with advent of online video games, 3D movies and home theaters. The masses, constantly seeking state-of-the-art entertainment, will resort to high-budget products that can only be produced by the biggest media corporations of the world. These products contain carefully calculated messages and symbols which are nothing more and nothing less than entertaining propaganda. The public have been trained to LOVE its propaganda to the extent that it spends its hard-earned money to be exposed to it. Propaganda (used in both political, cultural and commercial sense) is no longer the coercive or authoritative communication form found in dictatorships: it has become the synonym of entertainment and pleasure.

“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies — the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”
– Aldous Huxley, Preface to A Brave New World

A single piece of media often does not have a lasting effect on the human psyche. Mass media, however, by its omnipresent nature, creates a living environment we evolve in on a daily basis. It defines the norm and excludes the undesirable. The same way carriage horses wear blinders so they can only see what is right in front of them, the masses can only see where they are supposed to go.

“It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale. The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment. Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society.”
– Jacques Ellul

One of the reasons mass media successfully influences society is due to the extensive amount of research on cognitive sciences and human nature that has been applied to it.

Manipulation Techniques

“Publicity is the deliberate attempt to manage the public’s perception of a subject. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations of all kinds, and works of art or entertainment.”

The drive to sell products and ideas to the masses has lead to an unprecedented amount of research on human behavior and on the human psyche. Cognitive sciences, psychology, sociology, semiotics, linguistics and other related fields were and still are extensively researched through well-funded studies.

“No group of sociologists can approximate the ad teams in the gathering and processing of exploitable social data. The ad teams have billions to spend annually on research and testing of reactions, and their products are magnificent accumulations of material about the shared experience and feelings of the entire community.”
– Marshal McLuhan, The Extensions of Man
The results of those studies are applied to advertisements, movies, music videos and other media in order to make them as influential as possible. The art of marketing is highly calculated and scientific because it must reach both the individual and the collective consciousness. In high-budget cultural products, a video is never “just a video,” Images, symbols and meanings are strategically placed in order to generate a desired effect.
“It is with knowledge of the human being, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his automatisms as well as knowledge of social psychology and analytical psychology that propaganda refines its techniques.”
– Propagandes, Jacques Ellul (free translation)
Today’s propaganda almost never uses rational or logical arguments. It directly taps into a human’s most primal needs and instincts in order to generate an emotional and irrational response. If we always thought rationally, we probably wouldn’t buy 50% of what we own. Babies and children are constantly found in advertisements targeting women for a specific reason: studies have shown that images of children trigger in women an instinctual need to nurture, to care and to protect, ultimately leading to a sympathetic bias towards the advertisement.
.
Strange old 7up ad using the cuteness of babies
Sex is ubiquitous in mass media, as it draws and keeps the viewer’s attention. It directly connects to our animal need to breed and to reproduce, and, when triggered, this instinct can instantly overshadow any other rational thoughts in our brain.

Subliminal Perception

What if the messages described above were able to reach directly the viewers’ subconscious mind, without the viewers even realizing what is happening? That is the goal of subliminal perception. The phrase subliminal advertising was coined in 1957 by the US market researcher James Vicary, who said he could get moviegoers to “drink Coca-Cola” and “eat popcorn” by flashing those messages onscreen for such a short time that viewers were unaware.
“Subliminal perception is a deliberate process created by communications technicians, by which you receive and respond to information and instructions without being consciously aware of the instructions”
– Steve Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States
This technique is often used in marketing and we all know that sex sells.

Although some sources claim that subliminal advertising is ineffective or even an urban myth, the documented usage of this technique in mass media proves that creators believe in its powers. Recent studies have also proven its effectiveness, especially when the message is negative.

” A team from University College London, funded by the Wellcome Trust, found that it [subliminal perception] was particularly good at instilling negative thoughts. There has been much speculation about whether people can process emotional information unconsciously, for example pictures, faces and words,” said Professor Nilli Lavie, who led the research. We have shown that people can perceive the emotional value of subliminal messages and have demonstrated conclusively that people are much more attuned to negative words.”
– Source

A famous example of subliminal messaging in political communications is in George Bush’s advertisement against Al Gore in 2000.

Right after the name of Gore is mentioned, the ending of the word “bureaucrats” – “rats” – flashes on the screen for a split second.

The discovery of this trickery caused quite a stir and, even if there are no laws against subliminal messaging in the U.S., the advertisement was taken off the air.

As seen in many articles on The Vigilant Citizen, subliminal and semi-subliminal messages are often used in movies and music videos to communicate messages and ideas to the viewers.

Desensitization

In the past, when changes were imposed on populations, they would take to the streets, protest and even riot. The main reason for this clash was due to the fact that the change was clearly announced by the rulers and understood by the population. It was sudden and its effects could clearly be analyzed and evaluated. Today, when the elite needs a part of its agenda to be accepted by the public, it is done through desensitization. The agenda, which might go against the public best interests,  is slowly, gradually and repetitively introduced to the world through movies (by involving it within the plot), music videos (who make it cool and sexy) or the news (who present it as a solution to today’s problems). After several years of exposing the masses to a particular agenda, the elite openly presents the concept the world and, due to mental programming, it is greeted with general indifference and is passively accepted. This technique originates from psychotherapy.

“The techniques of psychotherapy, widely practiced and accepted as a means of curing psychological disorders, are also methods of controlling people. They can be used systematically to influence attitudes and behavior. Systematic desensitization is a method used to dissolve anxiety so the the patient (public) is no longer troubled by a specific fear, a fear of violence for example. […] People adapt to frightening situations if they are exposed to them enough”.
– Steven Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States
Predictive programming is often found in the science fiction genre. It presents a specific image of the future – the one that is desired by the elite – and ultimately becomes in the minds of men an inevitability. A decade ago, the public was being desensitized to war against the Arab world. Today, the population is gradually being exposed to the existence of mind control, of transhumanism and of an Illuminati elite. Emerging from the shadows, those concepts are now everywhere in popular culture. This is what Alice Bailey describes as the “externalization of the hierarchy”: the hidden rulers slowly revealing themselves.

Occult Symbolism in Pop Culture

Metropolis – a movie by the elite, for the elite?

Contrarily to the information presented above, documentation on occult symbolism is rather hard to find. This should not come as a surprise as the term “occult”, literally means “hidden”. It also means “reserved to those in the know” as it is only communicated to those who are deemed worthy of the knowledge. It is not taught in schools nor is it discussed in the media. It is thus considered marginal or even ridiculous by the general population.

Occult knowledge is NOT, however, considered ridiculous in occult circles. It is considered timeless and sacred. There is a long tradition of hermetic and occult knowledge being  taught through secret societies originating from ancient Egyptians, to Eastern Mystics, to the Knights Templar to modern day Freemasons. Even if the nature and the depth of this knowledge was most probably modified and altered throughout the centuries, mystery schools kept their main features, which are highly symbolic, ritualistic and metaphysical. Those characteristics, which were an intricate part of ancient civilizations, have totally been evacuated from modern society to be replaced by pragmatic materialism. For this reason, there lies an important gap of understanding between the pragmatic average person and the ritualistic establishment.

“If this inner doctrine were always concealed from the masses, for whom a simpler code had been devised, is it not highly probable that the exponents of every aspect of modern civilization – philosophic, ethical, religious, and scientific-are ignorant of the true meaning of the very theories and tenets on which their beliefs are founded? Do the arts and sciences that the race has inherited from older nations conceal beneath their fair exterior a mystery so great that only the most illumined intellect can grasp its import? Such is undoubtedly the case.”
– Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages

The “simpler code” devised for the masses used to be organized religions. It is now becoming the Temple of the Mass Media and it preaches on a daily basis extreme materialism, spiritual vacuosity and a self-centered, individualistic existence. This is exactly the opposite of the attributes required to become a truly free individual, as taught by all great philosophical schools of thought. Is a dumbed-down population easier to deceive and to manipulate?

“These blind slaves are told they are “free” and “highly educated” even as they march behind signs that would cause any medieval peasant to run screaming away from them in panic-stricken terror. The symbols that modern man embraces with the naive trust of an infant would be tantamount to billboards reading, ‘This way to your death and enslavement,’ to the understanding of the traditional peasant of antiquity”
– Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

In Conclusion

This article examined the major thinkers in the field of mass media, the media power structure and the techniques used to manipulate the masses. I believe this information is vital to the understanding of  the “why” in the topics discussed on The Vigilant Citizen.  The  “mass population” versus “ruling class” dichotomy described in many articles is not a “conspiracy theory” (again, I hate that term), but a reality that has been clearly stated in the works of some of the 20th century’s most influential men.

Lippmann, Bernays and Lasswell have all declared that the public are not fit to decide their own fate, which is the inherent goal of democracy. Instead, they called for a cryptocracy, a hidden government, a ruling class in charge of the “bewildered herd.” As their ideas continue to be applied to society, it is increasingly apparent that an ignorant population is not an obstacle that the rulers must deal with: It is something that is DESIRABLE and, indeed, necessary, to insure total leadership. An ignorant population does not know its rights, does not seek a greater understanding of issues and does not question authorities. It simply follows trends. Popular culture caters to and nurtures ignorance by continually serving up brain-numbing entertainment and spotlighting degenerate celebrities to be idolized. Many people ask me: “Is there a way to stop this?” Yes, there is. STOP BUYING THEIR CRAP AND READ A BOOK.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.”
– Thomas Jefferson

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A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television

Posted by Admin on July 30, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/a-history-of-government-management-of-ufo-perceptions-through-film-and-television/

By  | July 6th, 2011

UFOs and aliens beings have often been portrayed in mass media, whether it be movies or television shows. Most of these appearances were however heavily edited and calculated by the American government in order to communicate a specific attitude towards this mysterious phenomenon. What is the purpose of these efforts? This article looks at the fascinating history of government involvement in UFO-related movies and television shows.

This article originally appeared in the magazine 49th Parallel, Vol. 25 (Spring 2011) and is reproduced on Vigilant Citizen with the permission of the authors: Robbie Graham (University of Bristol)* & Matthew Alford (University of Bath)†.

* Robbie Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Bristol for a PhD examining Hollywood’s historical representations of UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation. He is also creator of the blog Silver Screen Saucers.

† Matthew Alford is the author of Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy (Pluto Press, 2010). He received his PhD in Cinema and Politics from the University of Bath in 2008.

On 22 January 1958, the popular CBS television show Armstrong Circle Theatre presented an entire programme dedicated to the subject of unidentified flying objects entitled: “UFO: Enigma of the Skies.” Among the high-profile experts invited to speak on the show, retired US Navy Major Donald Keyhoe – director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) – was notable for his outspoken views on government secrecy surrounding the UFO phenomenon. Arguing against UFO reality on the programme were astronomer and vehement UFO sceptic Donald Menzel and Air Force representative Col. Spencer Whedon of the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC). Their task should have been an easy one as the show’s content had been scripted in advance by CBS in conjunction with the US Air Force, and all guests – especially Keyhoe – had been instructed to read their preapproved material from a teleprompter.

When it came time for Keyhoe to speak, in frustration he veered from his script and stated to the nation: “And now I’m going to reveal something that has never been disclosed before…” 1 The rest of his announcement went unheard by television viewers: unbeknownst to Keyhoe, his microphone had been cut by the station. Keyhoe continued:

“For the last six months, we have been working with a congressional committee investigating official secrecy about UFOs. If all the evidence we have given this committee is made public in open hearings, it will absolutely prove that the UFOs are real machines under intelligent control.”2

After the show, CBS was inundated with calls and letters from viewers demanding to know why Keyhoe’s audio had been cut: “Call it what you like,” wrote one viewer, “but it appeared to be a very shocking display of censorship; and certainly offensive to the intelligence of the American public…” 3 Nine days later, CBS admitted it had been subject to official censorship. In a letter to a disgruntled viewer dated 31 January, 1958, CBS director of editing, Herbert A. Carlborg, stated:

“This program had been carefully cleared for security reasons. Therefore, it was the responsibility of this network to insure [sic] performance in accordance with pre-determined security standards. Any indication that there would be a deviation might lead to statements that neither this network nor the individuals on the program were authorized to release.”4

As will be evidenced in this essay, the US government’s historical efforts to censor UFO-related media products extend considerably further than the Keyhoe incident and have noticeably affected the content of numerous films and TV products over a six-decade time span. Before moving to examine some of these cases, however, it is necessary to ask: why should the US government wish to exert its influence over media representations of a subject as seemingly fanciful as UFOs? The answer to this question becomes clear with even a cursory glance at the government’s early documentation on the subject, which reflects a sustained concern about UFOs (if not a consensus on their origins) at the highest levels of the US military.

Background

The US government’s interest in UFOs dates back to the summer of 1947 when America’s national security apparatus was besieged by hundreds of reports from concerned citizens and military personnel of what appeared to be metallic disk-shaped objects traversing the nation’s skies, sometimes in formation and often at impossible speeds. On 24 June private aviator and businessman Kenneth Arnold reported seeing a chain of nine unusual objects over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Arnold described the objects’ movement as being “like a saucer if you skip it across the water,” inspiring the press to dub the mystery objects “flying saucers.” 5Many hundreds of saucer sightings were reported worldwide in the months to follow.

In 1948 the US Air Force produced its Top Secret and highly controversial “Estimate of the Situation,” an official report concluding flying saucers to be interplanetary in origin.6 Other factions within the Air Force, however, favoured the more palatable (though perhaps no less alarming) idea that the saucers were the product of technological innovations in the Soviet Union. Either way, secrecy regarding the issue was of paramount importance as the question of whether the objects were physically real had already been affirmatively answered in the minds of America’s military leaders. In a once secret letter to Air Force Headquarters dated 23 September 1947, General Nathan Twining, head of Air Materiel Command (AMC), stated that flying saucers were “real and not visionary or fictitious,” that they had “metallic or light reflecting surface[s],” were “circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and domed on top,” and were sometimes sighted in “well-kept formation flights varying from three to nine objects.” 7 In a previously Top Secret Canadian government document dating from 1950, Wilbert Smith – head of the Canadian government’s UFO research project, Magnet, noted with regard to UFOs that “The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States government, rating higher even than the H-bomb.” 8

Today, numerous governments worldwide maintain dedicated and costly UFO study projects – collating and often investigating what collectively amount to thousands of UFO sighting reports made annually to authorities. In South America alone, the governments of Argentina,9Uruguay,10  Peru,11 Chile12 and Brazil13 either operate UFO investigations units or actively collect UFO sighting reports through their militaries. Other governments, including those of France,14New Zealand,15 Denmark,16 Canada17 and Russia,18 have in recent years released to the public thousands of pages of previously classified UFO files.

The UK government also is engaging with the public on the UFO issue through an ongoing process which has seen the release of thousands of previously classified UFO files through the National Archives.19 According to the UK Ministry of Defense, UFOs (or UAPs – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – as the MoD refers to them) “certainly exist,” but are “still barely understood.”20 In a formerly secret 400-page assessment of the UFO phenomenon released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act, the UK Defence Intelligence Staff acknowledged that:

“The phenomena occur on a daily, world-wide basis… That UAP exist is indisputable. Credited with the ability to hover, land, take-off, accelerate to exceptional velocities and vanish, they can reportedly alter their direction of flight suddenly and clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile – either manned or unmanned.”21

The report also notes that “attempts by other nations to intercept the unexplained objects, which can clearly change position faster than an aircraft, have reportedly already caused fatalities,” and warns that, with the increasing density of UAP reports in the UK air defence region, “a small possibility may exist… of a head-on encounter with a UAP.”22

There appears, then, to be a broad consensus among the governments cited above: UFOs are objectively real – albeit currently not fully understood by science – worthy, at best, of focused study and, at the very least, of sustained monitoring in the interests of aviation safety and national security. Standing outside of this consensus is the United States, which is conspicuous for its almost total silence on the UFO issue, which it has maintained since the closure in 1969 of the Air Force’s long-running UFO investigations project: Blue Book.23 Despite shunning discussion of the phenomenon today, the US government’s historical concerns regarding UFOs clearly represent a significant passage – if not an entire chapter – in the history of its early Cold War machinations. Yet academic discourse surrounding the accepted historical meta-narrative of the US national security state rarely, if ever, accommodates serious discussion of UFOs. This is owed to the fact that, as observed by political scientists Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall: “Considerable work goes into ignoring UFOs, constituting them as objects only of ridicule and scorn… to that extent one may speak of a ‘UFO taboo,’ a prohibition in the authoritative public sphere on taking UFOs seriously.” 24

In turn, details of the government’s involvement in UFO-themed entertainment products are meagre in the pages of cinema and TV history, with the only substantive work on the subject to date having been produced by historian Lawrence Suid.25 Although Suid’s work is undeniably valuable (it is referenced extensively throughout this paper), it mischaracterises UFOs as a minor PR concern for the military – when in fact they were an issue of great sensitivity that initially raised serious questions regarding national security – and fails to acknowledge several cases of film and TV productions that the authorities actively sought to manipulate for political ends in line with government UFO policy.

This essay builds on Suid’s work, filling in the gaps, bringing it up to date and elucidating further the government’s historical motivations for exerting its influence over UFO-themed film and television productions. The government’s historical engagement with such fare can most thoroughly be discussed with regard to the Department of Defense (DoD), which has worked extensively with Hollywood in exchange for the right to edit scripts for sixty years with the principal aim of encouraging recruitment and retention of personnel, as detailed by Suid in his extensive tome Guts and Glory (2002) and by journalist David Robb. However, in practice the Pentagon’s remit is more wide-ranging, as it routinely promotes its own version of US history, as with its sanitisation of the military’s public image through its removal of a key character in Black Hawk  Down (2002) who in real life had been convicted of raping a twelve-year-old boy;26 when it refused to cooperate on the feature film Counter Measures (1998) on the grounds that it did not want to remind the public of the Iran-Contra scandal;27 or when it removed a joke about “losing Vietnam” in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).28

The UFO Problem: Managing Perceptions

With regard to UFOs, the government’s efforts at managing public perceptions are very well established, with the prime example relating to the so-called “Roswell Incident” of July 1947 when the Roswell Army Air Force (RAAF) hastily announced to the press its “capture” of a downed “flying saucer” on an isolated ranch in the deserts of New Mexico.29 A few hours later, the RAAF changed its story to the effect that what had been recovered, in fact, was a common weather balloon.30The United States Air Force (USAF) was to change this story again in 1995 with the announcement that the “weather balloon” had been a Top Secret high-altitude spy balloon.31This story was then officially re-written in 1997 to account for a number of apparently non-human bodies eyewitnesses claimed were recovered from the crash. The bodies, said the USAF, were human corpses, test dummies, or both.32

It is unsurprising, then, in light of its historical headaches relating to the UFO issue, that when filmmakers working on UFO-themed productions have sought cooperation from the Pentagon the response has been dismissive: deny cooperation or else request script changes that de-legitimise the study of the phenomenon. This process of official de-legitimisation can be traced back to recommendations made in 1953 by the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel, a group of leading scientists assembled by US government physicist Howard Percy Robertson for the task of reviewing the Air Force’s UFO files. The Robertson Panel’s main findings were that UFOs were not a direct threat to national security. Nevertheless, it suggested the Air Force begin a “debunking” effort employing the talents of psychiatrists, astronomers and celebrities with the goal of demystifying UFO reports.33 The reasoning for this recommendation as officially stated lay in the belief that the Soviets might try to “mask” an actual invasion of the USA by causing a wave of false UFO reports to swamp the Pentagon and other military agencies.34 Their formal recommendation was:

“That the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.” 35

The panel further stated that this should “be accomplished by mass media such as television [and] motion pictures…” and gave specific reference to Walt Disney.36 It is not clear to what extent or how successfully these recommendations were implemented. However, even as late as 1966 the Robertson Panel wielded a demonstrable influence over media representations of UFOs in the CBS TV broadcast of UFOs: Friend, Foe, or Fantasy? (1966), an anti-UFO documentary narrated by Walter Cronkite. In a personal letter addressed to former Robertson Panel Secretary Frederick C. Durant, panel member Dr Thornton Page confides that he “helped organize the documentary around the Robertson Panel conclusions,”37 even though this was thirteen years after the panel had disbanded and despite the fact that he was personally sympathetic to the existence of flying saucers.

The mentality of the CIA-Robertson Panel was present in other productions during the 1950s, not least in the aforementioned Keyhoe CBS/ USAF censorship case discussed earlier. Also notable is the 1956 documentary, Unidentified Flying Objects: The True Story of Flying Saucers, which prompted the USAF to draw up contingency plans to counteract the anticipated fallout from the film upon its release. The director of the USAF’s official UFO investigations unit, Project Blue Book, Captain George T. Gregory, was tasked with monitoring not only the film’s production process, but its public and critical reception. Believing that the film would stir up a “storm of public controversy,” the USAF set about preparing a special case file that would debunk every saucer sighting examined in the movie and even went so far as to have three of its Blue Book officers provide “technical assistance” to the filmmakers in an effort to control the content of the documentary.38

Another case in this vein relates to a UFO-themed episode of the Steve Canyon TV series (1958–1959) that raised the ire of the US Air Force. Backed by Chesterfield Cigarettes and produced at Universal Studios with the full cooperation of the USAF, the NBC show chronicled the live-action exploits of Milton Caniff’s famous comic strip character. The episode to which the USAF took objection was entitled “Project UFO” and saw Colonel Steve Canyon investigate a spate of flying saucer sightings reported to a local Air Force base. According to aviation historian James H. Farmer, “This was an episode that the Air Force did not really want to be aired,” because the UFO subject was “a hot potato.”39

By the time the USAF had finished with the script, it was, according to Farmer, “pretty tame… compared to the earlier renditions.”40 In the episode as aired the UFO sightings are attributed to a combination of hoax-induced hysteria and – in support of the USAF’s original Roswell cover story – misidentifications of weather balloons. Producer John Ellis of the Milton Caniff Estate (which owns Steve Canyon) explained: “Every single page got re-written, and re-written, and re-written…”41 David Haft, the show’s producer, was more to the point in his recollection of the USAF’s reaction when he submitted the first script draft for official approval: “Oh, oh, oh, oh! No, no, no, no!”42 Haft also noted that the USAF had difficulty in deciding what was acceptable for broadcast.43

In one of the earliest drafts of “Project UFO,” Steve Canyon speaks to his Commanding Officer, Colonel Jamison, in defence of a civilian UFO witness: “Why call him a jerk?” asks Canyon, “Seems to me like he acted like a pretty solid, clearheaded citizen…”44 This dialogue was removed. Elsewhere in the draft, Canyon appears to be enthusiastic about flying saucers. At one point, when a fresh UFO report comes into the base from the local town, Canyon, “Jumps to [his] feet, rushes to [the] door,” and cries “This I gotta see!” before making “a hurried exit.”45 In the final scene as originally written, Canyon is actually seen opening a book on flying saucers, “and sits there quietly reading…”46 This scene failed to make it to the final draft, and, in the version as aired, Canyon’s excitement about UFOs is replaced with scepticism or plain indifference. An entire plot strand concerning the recovery and scientific analysis of what is initially suspected to be flying saucer debris (but which eventually turns out to be nothing of the sort) was removed. The draft included dialogue like: That thing [flying saucer] dropped a small metal ball enclosing an electrical apparatus so intricate, so ingenious, nobody yet has been able to figure out its purpose,” and, “the metal wouldn’t respond to any of the standard tests.” 47

Despite the rewrites, the USAF preferred that the episode not be aired at all. “It got stuck on a shelf,” says Ellis in his DVD commentary, “it was finished… but they held on until near the end of the series to air it.”48 Indeed, it was only through a last act of defiance on the part of the show’s producers toward the end of its run in 1959 that the episode was screened at all.49

Even prior to the Robertson Panel’s formation, government attitudes to UFO themed film and TV productions in the 1950s were hostile, as Lawrence Suid observes:

“The decision of whether the military should cooperate with a filmmaker depended not only on the way the military would be portrayed but also on whether the film differed from official Department of Defense positions on subjects like UFOs and alien life forms.”50

However, concerns were raised by at least one film not even seeking military cooperation. The Flying Saucer (1950) was America’s very first UFO movie and its director, Mikel Conrad, claimed publicly whilst in production that he had managed to secure genuine footage of a real flying saucer for use in his movie. In September 1949, Conrad told the Ohio Journal Herald, “I have scenes of the saucer landing, taking off, flying and doing tricks.”51 Shortly thereafter Conrad became the subject of a two-month official Air Force investigation. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that an agent of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations was dispatched not only to interrogate Conrad about his claims but also to attend the first private screening of his completed film. Unsurprisingly, Conrad’s story was soon revealed as an elaborate marketing scam designed to promote what was, in reality, a tedious and uneventful movie.52Nevertheless, the Conrad case is significant for its demonstration of the high degree of seriousness with which the USAF regarded the issue of media representations of the burgeoning UFO phenomenon.

Also in 1950, the USAF refused cooperation with RKO pictures on The Thing from Another World (1951). In a Pentagon meeting with the film’s producer, Edward Lasker, USAF officers explained that they had just spent half a million dollars proving that flying saucers did not exist and asked: “Why should we help you make a picture about one?” 53They emphasised that “the Air Force will not participate in any activity that could be interpreted as a perpetuation of the flying saucer hoax.”54

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which depicted a flying saucer landing in Washington DC, was similarly turned down by the USAF, although the Pentagon ultimately provided limited assistance through the National Guard because, it said, in the event of an alien invasion, the Armed Services would indeed defend the nation.55 In other words, although there were clear attempts to prevent the spread of the UFO mythology through the 1950s, there was at least some flexibility built into the Pentagon’s criteria for working with UFO-related productions.

In 1969, the US closed Project Blue Book, its systematic study of UFOs, concluding that these sightings did not represent a threat to national security nor technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge.56 Yet the government-media model of non-cooperation and script manipulation remained generally true into the 1970s and beyond. In 1976, several arms of the government refused to cooperate on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), his classic blockbuster imagining alien contact with humans.

Major Sidney Shaw in the National Guard Bureau in Washington wrote to Columbia Pictures:

“We have reviewed the script and believe it would be inappropriate for the Air Force or National Guard Bureau to support the production. In 1969 the USAF completed a study which concluded there is no evidence concerning the existence of UFOs. We have not been involved in UFOs since that study other than answering queries about the study. The proposed film leaves the distinct impression that UFOs, in fact, do exist. It also involves the government and military in a big cover up of the existence of UFOs. These two points are counter to Air Force and Department of Defense policy and make support to the production inappropriate.”57

NASA also rejected the chance to cooperate with Close Encounters, even though the space agency had been known for being, “more flexible, sometimes to the breaking point” – in Suid’s words – over its relative willingness to cooperate with films that showed them in an unflattering light, including productions like Marooned (1969) and even the NASA conspiracy movie Capricorn One (1977).58 Suid, however, in his analysis of this case, neglects to mention that not only did NASA refuse cooperation to Spielberg, but that the space agency sought actively to convince the director not to make the film at all. In a 1978 interview for the journal Cinema Papers Spielberg said:

“I really found my faith [in UFO reality] when I heard that the government was opposed to the film. If NASA took the time to write me a 20 page letter, then I knew there must be something happening. I had wanted cooperation from them, but when they read the script they got very angry and felt that it was a film that would be dangerous. I think they mainly wrote the letter because Jaws convinced so many people around the world that there were sharks in toilets and bathtubs, not just in the oceans and rivers. They were afraid the same kind of epidemic would happen with UFOs.”59

An Era of Greater Flexibility

However, by the 1980s it was at least possible for a film to mention UFOs without the DoD trying to stifle it, starting with the children’s fantasy Invaders from Mars (1986), which was granted full cooperation from DoD. This cooperation, however, was based on the fact that the film did not draw directly from established UFO mythology; that the traditional “flying saucer” motif received minimal screen time; and because the film presented positive images of the military. Major Fred Peck of the LA Public Affairs Office and his deputy, Chief Warrant Officer Chas Henry, helped director Tobe Hooper visualise how Marines might actually react in the event of the invasion. Peck commented that, “Marines have no qualms about killing Martians,” a line which made it into the film.60 Peck and his Deputy also helped Hooper identify Marine reservists to constitute the cinematic leatherneck unit and recruited a retired public affairs officer, Captain Dale Dye, to prepare the extras.61

In a return to its old ways, in the mid-1990s, the Pentagon denied cooperation to Independence Day (1996) although depictions of UFOs were not its only concern over the picture. In fact, Tom McCollum of the Army Public Affairs Office in Los Angeles had a long list of changes, mostly quite technical.62 Still, it is notable that among its list of recommended changes was the request that any government connection to Area 51 or to Roswell be eliminated from the film.63 Maj. Nancy LaLuntas of the US Marines’ Los Angeles Public Affairs Office stated explicitly that the Pentagon would not support a film that perpetuates the Roswell “myth” and added that the “DoD cannot hide info from [the] President (i.e. aliens and [a space]ship in custody).”64

In contrast to its disapproval of Independence Day, the DoD had no qualms about cooperating with Steven Spielberg for his 2005 remake of War of the Worlds. As was the case with Invaders from Mars, though, Spielberg’s film did not draw in any readily identifiable way from modern UFO mythology as its narrative featured no government conspiracy, no UFO-related terminology (such as “Area 51”) or reference to historical UFO-related events (such as Roswell); nor, indeed, did it feature any UFOs in the conventional sense – only the ‘tripods’ of HG Wells’s source material. So, while War of the Worlds projected to audiences a vivid, vérité rendering of what a post-9/11 alien invasion in reality might look like, crucially for the Pentagon it also provided a recruitment-friendly representation of the professionalism and sheer fire power with which the US military would respond to such an invasion.65

In the interests of PR, the DoD also saw fit to lend extensive support to Spielberg’s 2007 production of Transformers,66 despite the film’s plot drawing obliquely from UFO mythology. The USAF provided director Michael Bay with billions-of-dollars worth of state-of-the-art hardware for use in the film, including the F-117 Nighthawk and the F-22 Raptor fighter. The DoD saw Transformers as an ideal opportunity to bolster the image of the US military, which it achieved by exercising its considerable contractual power throughout the film’s production. As such, the onscreen military is portrayed forcefully as an unswervingly heroic and righteous institution, making the film “a great recruiting tool,” according to Pentagon employee Chief Master Sgt. Mike Gasparetto.67

Like War of the Worlds, however, despite it dealing with the subject of aliens, Transformers was unlikely to have prompted a wave of flying saucer sightings as it contained no UFOs, per se, only giant transforming robots. The DoD’s involvement in the film was also notably self-serving beyond the primary purpose of recruitment and can be seen as an attempt on the DoD’s part to cleanse its image with respect to its troubled history with the UFO phenomenon. In one scene, for example, the Pentagon is absolved of complicity in what we learn has been a decades-long cover-up of alien visitations. Blame for the conspiracy is instead placed at the doorstep of the extraconstitutional “Sector 7,” a “special access division of the government” which has been concealing its “Top Secret” alien research since 1934 within “Special Access Projects.” Crucially, the cover-up has been conducted without the knowledge or consent of the Secretary of Defense (played by Jon Voigt), who is outraged when the truth is finally revealed to him: “And you didn’t think the United States military might need to know that you’re keeping a hostile alien robot frozen in the basement?”68

An Unknown Agenda

Anomalous within the pattern thus far established of government hostilities toward UFO-mythologising in films and TV shows are perhaps two major cases in which various state agencies chose to cooperate on productions in which UFOs were depicted as being not only real, but distinctly extraterrestrial.

In 1979, Oscar-winning Disney animator Ward Kimball claimed that in the 1950s the USAF had approached Walt Disney himself to request cooperation on a documentary that would help acclimatise the public to extraterrestrial reality but that the project was abandoned when the USAF reneged on its offer to provide “real” UFO footage.69 Indirect support for Kimball’s claim was offered in 1997 by Philip Corso, a retired Lieutenant Colonel and former Chief of the Pentagon’s Foreign Technology desk.70 Corso claimed that the production of flying saucer movies was secretly encouraged by government-led UFO study groups in the 1950s to acclimatise the public to extraterrestrials whilst simultaneously manipulating perceptions of the phenomenon; he referred to this alleged strategy as: “camouflage through limited disclosure.”71 However, the testimonies of Kimball and Corso are just that: testimonies, and are not supported by documented and physical evidence. Still, other cases along these lines are rather more substantial. For the 1982 blockbuster ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, for example, it is known that producer Kathleen Kennedy and director Steven Spielberg brainstormed with NASA scientists on the likely official response to an alien’s arrival. This collaboration shaped sections of the movie, including the scene when NASA personnel enter a sealed-off suburban home in search of E.T. The producers also asked NASA what sort of planet E.T. might call home. They came up with a “little green planet” populated by “little mushroom farmers,” Kennedy says. E.T.’s biology reflected this scenario – the little alien “was closer to a plant than a biological human being,” Kennedy says.72Cooperation in this case was likely offered as a low-level courtesy due to the fact that the film’s representation of NASA was generally favourable – the professionalism and humanity of the space agency’s personnel shining through even in the face an extraterrestrial bio-hazard – and because its story was not so much concerned with the UFO phenomenon as with the fantastical friendship between a boy and an alien.

There was more comprehensive, high-level cooperation from the DoD for the production of one particularly unusual film, though – the documentary, UFOs: Past, Present and Future (1974), which considered the extra-terrestrial hypothesis in a much more serious light. The film’s director, Robert Emenegger, was given unprecedented access to DoD facilities, including the highly sensitive Holloman Air Force Base and the Pentagon itself. “The Secretary of the Air Force [Robert Seamans] gave the order to co-operate,” explained the director, who was granted time with highranking military officers apparently well-versed in UFO-related matters, among them Colonel William Coleman, a former spokesman for Project Blue Book, and Colonel George Weinbrenner, then head of Foreign Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.73 The film even included a detailed reconstruction of what Emenegger claims the USAF told him was a real extraterrestrial landing at Holloman Air Force Base in 1971, complete with artistic renderings of the alleged aliens. The USAF even provided Emenegger with a few seconds of footage showing what appeared to be an unusual, bright object descending slowly and vertically over the base. These frames, Emenegger claims, were taken from the “genuine” alien landing footage and officially authorised for use in his completed documentary, which, in line with a recommendation by the USAF, presented the incident as “one that might happen in the future – or perhaps could have happened already.”74 Emenegger claims that he was approached by the USAF to initiate this project, which would be in line with his scholarly interest in propaganda, his history as a Vice President at Grey Advertising, and his personal involvement in the Nixon Campaign to Re-Elect the President (CREEP).75 The film also received support from the Army, the Navy and NASA, with the latter furnishing Emenegger’s production with previously unreleased photographs of what appeared to be UFOs taken in space by Gemini astronauts. It is hard to divine an explanation for the DoD’s actions in this case other than as some kind of public reaction test or an attempt by the Pentagon to be more open about its continued monitoring of the phenomenon.

The government also apparently provided assistance on Disney’s 2009 live action family film Race to Witch Mountain, despite the film’s plot drawing extensively from UFO mythology (with references both to Area 51 and Roswell) and despite its presentation of a sinister government cover-up. Working within the narrative constraints of the film’s previous incarnation, Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), director Andy Fickman – a self-confessed UFO enthusiast – took pride in infusing his remake with as many elements as possible drawn directly from UFO literature.

When Fickman first received the script from Disney it had been “more of a comedy,” but the director felt the material should be treated seriously and wanted to make use of events, debates and terminology stemming from the UFO research field: “I’m willing to do this movie,” Fickman told Disney, “but I want to ground it in as much reality as I possibly can.”76

Although the vast majority of the film’s UFOlogical content came from Fickman, at least some of it was the result of CIA input. In a highly unusual production arrangement Fickman claims he was closely assisted by an active employee of the CIA whose advice extended so far even as to designing the alien writing seen in the UFO during the film’s climactic scene. Fickman is unwilling to name this advisor, but claims he is an Air Force Colonel with a background in Technical Intelligence, that he had been “very active in Hollywood” and “had a lot of connections in the computer world and [experience in] satellite imagery.”77

Fickman said of his CIA advisor:

“All of the on-camera alien language in terms of their spaceship and everything – that was all designed by him in the sense [of what] the mathematics of communication would be, so you know… there would be a similar mathematical equation that the government probably has if they were to ever come across an alien race. So a lot of the things we ended up using were things he was bringing to me… and the next thing  you know, that’s what I had on screen.”78

The advisor also recommended that certain UFO-related content be removed from the script: “there were things we got rid of in the script that he was just trying to follow logic [on] from a protocol standpoint,” said Fickman, although he would not elaborate on the nature of the changes made.79

Fickman further claims that he was afforded a visit to NORAD’s sensitive Cheyenne Mountain facility in 2008, where – accompanied by his CIA advisor – his team spent twelve hours taking photographs and talking with on-duty military officers, including the heads of NORAD. “We wanted our Witch Mountain to resemble what NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain look like inside,” he said, adding: “We took a thousand photos and then by the time they released us into the wilderness maybe we had three hundred that had been approved for us to somewhat copy [for production design purposes].”80

The CIA, for its part, claims to have had no involvement in Race to Witch Mountain. In an email to the author, Paula Weiss, Media Spokeswoman at the CIA Office of Public Affairs, said: “to the best of our collective knowledge in the media relations office, we did not provide any technical or other support to this production.”81

Fickman was puzzled by the CIA’s denial. Questioned by the author on whether or not the CIA man could have been retired from the Agency and had been acting in a private capacity (as is the case with a number of ex-CIA operatives in Hollywood, including Robert Baer, Milton Beardon and Chase Brandon), the director replied: “there’s no way we would have had what we had, had he not been an active CIA employee…”82 Indeed, throughout the NORAD visit, Fickman claims he relied heavily on the influence wielded by his CIA man: “Nothing happened at NORAD without him flashing his card and making his calls.”83

Fickman believes it was due largely to the fact that his military and intelligence advisors were secured “through back door channels” that his production was granted such extraordinary access to the inner-workings of the national security apparatus, but he insists there was no hidden agenda behind the US government’s uncharacteristic generosity in this regard:

“All of a sudden I was in places that I don’t know I would have been had I gone through normal channels. I don’t think there was anything abnormal about what they were doing, I just think it was [that] phone calls were being made and doors were sort of opening.” 84

Conclusion

The US government has made concerted efforts over the years to manage through entertainment media popular perceptions of UFOs while attempting simultaneously to massage its own public image in relation to the phenomenon. If, though, as the government insists, UFOs are essentially non-existent, why the concern? In 1961, a NASA-commissioned report by the Brookings Institute, “Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs,” warned that an official announcement confirming the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial beings could have disastrous consequences for human civilisation:

“Anthropological files contain many examples of societies sure of their place in the universe, which have disintegrated when they had to associate with previously unfamiliar societies espousing different ideas and different life ways; others that survived such an experience usually did so by paying the price of changes in values and attitudes and behavior.” 85

The report also advised that the government ask: “How might such information, under what circumstances, be presented to or withheld from the public for what ends?”86 However, although the Brookings report points to the concerns raised amongst powerful organisations about the potentially dangerous implications of UFOs and the need to control perceptions about the possibilities of alien life, it certainly does not constitute evidence of a UFO cover-up. A US government cover-up, though, is precisely what was alleged in 1999 in a ninety-page report detailing the results of an independent study for the Institute of Higher Studies for National Defence – a French military think-tank. The white paper, now commonly referred to as The COMETA Report, was compiled by a group of thirteen retired top-tier generals, admirals and government scientists (including General Bernard Norlain, the former head of the French Tactical Air Force, and Andre Lebeau, the former head of CNES [the French equivalent of NASA]) and documented the existence of unidentified flying objects and their implications for national security.87 Copies were received by President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The report concluded that for the small percentage of UFO sightings which after exhaustive investigation and analysis could not be attributed to any known earthly technology or phenomena, the extraterrestrial hypothesis was valid. The report stated that some UFOs represent “completely unknown flying machines with exceptional performances that are guided by natural or artificial intelligence”88 and noted that, although the extraterrestrial hypothesis “has not been categorically proven… strong presumptions exist in its favour.”89 The report then goes on to consider in detail the likely consequences of open extraterrestrial contact for politics, science and religion.

In regard to the US government’s historical UFO research, the report states:

“It is clear that the Pentagon has had, and probably still has, the greatest interest in concealing, as best it can, all of this research, which may, over time, cause the United States to hold a position of great supremacy over terrestrial adversaries, while giving it a considerable response capacity against a possible threat coming from space. Within this context, it is impossible for them to divulge the sources of this research and the goals pursued, because that could immediately point any possible rivals down the most beneficial avenues. Cover-ups and disinformation (both active as well as passive) still remain, under this hypothesis, an absolute necessity. Thus it would appear natural in the minds of U.S. military leaders, secrecy must be maintained as long as possible.” 90

US government secrecy surrounding UFOs throughout much of the Cold War is now a matter of public record; ongoing secrecy on the matter, however – much less an official cover-up – is difficult if not impossible to prove, although numerous persons of influence have over the years indicated that a cover-up of sorts has been and may still be in effect. Notable among these individuals are: former CIA director Roscoe Hillenkoetter;91 former special assistant to deputy CIA director Richard Helms, Victor Marchetti;92 Senator Barry Goldwater;93 Gemini astronaut Col. Gordon Cooper;94billionaire financier Lawrence Rockefeller;95 Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell;96 former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Hellyer;97 and former Governor of Arizona, Fife Symington.98John Podesta – head of President Obama’s White House Transition team and former Chief of Staff to President Clinton – has also strongly hinted at a UFO cover-up. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC in 2002, Podesta stated:

“I think it’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark on Government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it, really, because it’s right; we ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because it’s the law.” 99

Since the flying saucer phenomenon entered the popular consciousness in 1947, the US military has maintained that UFOs are neither signs of aliens from outer space nor any other phenomena that points to a hidden government agenda. As such, numerous attempts by filmmakers utilising these themes on screen to secure DoD or broader government assistance have been rebutted on the grounds that their productions are in opposition to the official position that UFOs do not exist; furthermore, and on the same grounds, the Pentagon has actively discouraged – even censored – certain UFO-themed media products. Still, on occasion, and especially since the 1980s, the Pentagon has shown itself willing to cooperate on certain productions: namely those which downplay the sinister government links to UFO mythology and play up the abilities and willingness of the military to defend civilisation against attack. At the same time, the government has been cautious about associating itself with any film that promotes UFO reality in the context of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, with two officially acknowledged exceptions – Spielberg’s E.T. The Extraterrestrial and the documentary UFOs: Past, Present and Future, and one unofficial exception, Race to Witch Mountain. Official involvement in E.T. can be accounted for on the grounds that it was both self-serving – in that the film depicted NASA scientists as being efficient and compassionate – and that it was not in contravention of its official policy on UFOs as the film’s plot did not plug directly into UFO mythology or depict a pre-existing, large-scale government cover-up. However, for reasons previously outlined, involvement on the part of various government agencies in the latter two productions is difficult to rationalise from an outside perspective.

None of this is to suggest that the government personnel who work on a day-to-day basis with Hollywood have any particular knowledge of or direct orders relating to UFO representations; indeed, it may be simply that the government’s Hollywood/Washington liaisons work to avoid associating the Pentagon with the UFO phenomenon for the very same reason that many people in other spheres of influence avoid the subject: namely, the aforementioned “UFO taboo.” Still, the pattern of the US government’s perception management relating to UFO-based entertainment is hitherto barely known and under-researched. Overall, this pattern indicates that for over six decades national security institutions, or at least powerful factions within them – in contrast to their publicly stated disinterest in UFOs – have closely observed and altered television and film depictions of the phenomenon, typically in line with broader government objectives in an attempt to prevent UFOs from gaining greater legitimacy or political currency.

Endnotes

1 Richard M. Dolan, UFOs and the National Security State: Volume 1: Chronology of a Cover-up, (Virginia: Hampton Roads, 2002), 209-10.

2 Ibid.

3 Richard H. Hall, “Armstrong Circle Theatre: Air Force Censorship of TV Broadcast about UFOs Stirred Controversy in 1958,” Journal of UFO History. Vol. 1, No. 6 (Jan/Feb 2005), 5, accessed on Jan., 30, 2011 at: http://www.nicap.org/jufoh/JournalUFOHistoryVol1No6.pdf

4 Ibid.

5 For a selection of early press reports detailing Arnold’s sighting, see “UFO Reports – 1947,” Project 1947, accessed on 30 Jan. 2011 at: http://www.project1947.com/fig/1947b.htm. The first use of the term “flying saucer” features in the report titled: “Harassed Saucer-Sighter Would Like to Escape Fuss,” Boise, Idaho Statesman, 27 Jun., 1947.

6 The Estimate of the Situation was first mentioned in print in 1956 by former Project Blue Book Head Captain Edward Ruppelt. Its conclusions so alarmed Chief of Staff General Hoyt S. Vandenberg that he ordered all copies of the document incinerated; a few survived, however, one of which was examined by Ruppelt. See Edward Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (Middlesex: The Echo Library, 2007), 45.

7 Air Material Command, “Flying Discs,” 23 Sept., 1947, Letter to Commander of the Army Air Forces, in T. Good, Beyond Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Security Threat (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1996): 313–315. Document also viewable at: http://www.nicap.o /twining_letter_docs.htm

8 Smith obtained this information via the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. See Wilbert Smith, “Memorandum to the Controller of Telecommunications,” 21 Nov., 1950, Top Secret Confidential Department of Transport, Intradepartmental Correspondence, Ottowa, Ontario. Accessed on Jan., 30, 2011 at: http://www.roswellproof.com/Smith_11_21_50.html

9 In 2010, the Argentine Air Force announced its creation of a commission to investigate UFOs. See “On the Hunt for UFOs,” TN, 29 Dec., 2010, accessed on 30 Jan., 2011 at: http://www.tn.com.ar/sociedad/128489/la-caza-de-ovnis

10 The Uruguayan Air Force has been active in UFO investigations for decades and began declassification of its UFO files in 2009. See Daniel Isgleas, “There are still 40 cases of unexplained UFO[sic],” El Pais, 7 Jun., 2009, accessed on 30 Jan., 2011 at: http://www.elpais.com.uy/09060/pnacio-421863/nacional/hay-aun-40-casos-de-ovnis-sin-explicacion/

11 The Peruvian Air Force’s Office for the Investigation of Anomalous Activity (known as OIFFA) was established in 2001. See Leslie Kean, UFOs: Pilots Generals and Government officials go on the Record, (New York: Harmony Books, 2010), 189.

12 The Chilean government’s Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (known as CEFAA) was established in 1997 under the jurisdiction of its civil aviation department and works closely with the aviation branch of the Chilean Army. Ibid, 190.

13 In 2010 the Brazilian government ordered its Air Force to officially record all UFO sightings and to register them with the national aerospace defence command. All sighting reports are now stored in the national archives in Rio de Janiro and made available to researchers. See “Brazil Air Force to Record UFO Sightings, BBC News, Latin America and Caribbean, 12 Aug., 2010, accessed on 30 Jan., 2011 at: http://www.bbc.co.u /news/world-latin-america-10947856

14 Operating within the framework of the French national space agency (CNES) the Group for the Study of Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (known as GEIPAN) is generally recognised as the most scientific and efficiently organised official UFO investigations body in the world, having operated continuously for over thirty years. See: http://www.cnes-geipan.fr/

15 In 2010, The New Zealand government declassified approximately two thousand pages of UFO sighting reports collected by its military between 1954 and 2009. See “New Zealand Releases UFO Government Files,” BBC News, Asia-Pacific, 22 Dec., 2010, accessed on Jan 30., 2011 at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12057314

16 The Danish Tactical Air Command’s historical UFO archives were made available to the public in 2009 and are accessible here: http://forsvaret.dk/FRK/Nyt%20og%20Presse/Pages/UFO.aspx

17 Canada’s UFO files have been available to the public through its national archives since 2007. See: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/ufo/index-e.html

18 In 2009, the Russian Navy declassified its records of encounters with UFOs and USOs (Unidentified Submerged Objects). See “Russian Navy UFO Records Say Aliens Love Oceans,” Russia Today, 21 July, 2009, accessed on Jan 31., 2011 at: http://rt.com/news/russian-navy-ufo-records-say-aliens-loveoceans/

19 MoD UFO files viewable at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos/

20 Air Command, UK Ministry of Defence. UAP in the UK Air Defence Region: Executive Summary (Full). Mod.uk. December 2000, 6-7, accessed on 31 Jan., 2010 at: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FreedomOfInformation/PublicationScheme/SearchPublicationSch eme/UapInTheUkAirDefenceRegionExecutiveSummary.htm

21 Ibid, 4.

22 Ibid, 10.

23 Although the US government has released thousands of previously classified UFO files to the public, it has done so only under pressure applied through the FOIA, while the other governments cited recently have taken a more pro-active approach to their release of UFO files.

24 Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall, “Sovereignty and the UFO,” Political Theory, Vol. 36 (August 2008), 610, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://ptx.sagepub.com/content/36/4/607.full.pdf+html

25 See Lawrence Suid, “Lights! Camera! NASA!,” Space World, Jun., 1987.

26 David L. Robb, Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies (New York: Prometheus, 2004), 91-93.

27 Ibid, 42-45.

28 Ibid, 29-30.

29 “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region: No Details of Flying Disk areRevealed,” Roswell Daily Record, 8 Jul., 1947, 1. Forfurther details see: http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/07/0708army-announces-roswell-new-mexico-ufo-sighting/

30 Associated Press, “Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer,” Roswell Daily Record, 9 Jul., 1947, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc382.htm

31 Headquarters United States Air Force, “The Roswell Report: Fact Versus Fiction in the New Mexico Desert,” US Government Printing Office, 1995, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://contrails.iit.edu/History/Roswell/Report/index.html

32 Headquarters United States Air Force, “The Roswell Report: Case Closed,” US Government Printing Office, 1997, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://contrails.iit.edu/History/Roswell/roswell.pdf

33 United States, Central Intelligence Agency, Report of Scientific Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects Convened by Office of Scientific Intelligence, CIA: January 14 – 18, 1953, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://www.cufon.org/cufon/robert.htm. See also: Dolan, UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Cover-up 1941-1973 Revised Edition, 122-131.

34Ibid.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid.

37 Thornton Page, Letter to Frederick Durant. 8 Sept., 1966, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 398, Box 61, Folder No. 4, cited in: Terry Hansen, The Missing Times: News Media Complicity in the UFO Cover-up (Self Published, 2000), 254, 330.

38 Robert Barrow, “U.F.O. Revisited,” Official UFO Magazine, 1976, accessed on 31 Jan., 2011 at: http://www.nicap.org/ufochop1.htm. See also: Paul Meehan, Saucer Movies: A UFOlogical History of the Cinema (Maryland: Scarecrow, 1998), 66-67.

39 James H. Farmer and John Ellis, DVD commentary, The Complete Steve Canyon on TV Volume 1, Episode 7: “Project UFO,” NBC First Run Tuesday 19 May, 1959, DVD released through Milton Caniff Estate.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid.

42 David Haft, interview with John Ellis, 17 Aug., 2006. Ellis relayed Haft’s account to the author in a telephone interview dated 01 Jun., 2009.

43 Ibid.

44 Draft script supplied by John Ellis to the author, 27 May, 2009, courtesy of the Milton Caniff Estate.

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid.

47 Ibid.

48 James H. Farmer and John Ellis, DVD commentary, The Complete Steve Canyon on TV Volume 1, Episode 7: “Project UFO,” NBC First Run Tuesday 19 May, 1959, DVD released through Milton Caniff Estate.

49 Ibid.

50 Lawrence Suid, “Lights! Camera! NASA!,” Space World, Jun., 1987, 16.

51 Nick Redfern, “The Flying Saucer That Never Was,” Intermediate States: The Anomalist, Vol. 13, (Oct. 2007), 51.

52 Ibid.

53 Lasker’s comments likely refer to the Air Force’s Project Grudge, an official UFO-debunking effort which ran throughout 1949. Grudge would reincarnate in 1952 as Project Blue Book. For details on the history and operating procedure of Project Grudge, see Edward Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, 58-66.

54 Lawrence Suid, “Lights! Camera! NASA!,” 16.

55 Lawrence Suid, Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film, Revised and Expanded Edition (University Press of Kentucky: 2002), 223.

56 For information on Blue Book files stored at the US National Archives, see: http://www.archives.gov/foia/ufos.html

57 Lawrence Suid, Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film, Revised Expanded Edition, 494.

58 Lawrence Suid, “Lights! Camera! NASA!,” 20.

59 Gail Heathwood, “Steven Spielberg,” Cinema Papers (April/June 1978), 320. Requests to NASA, the Pentagon and Spielberg for a copy of the letter have proved unsuccessful.

60 Lawrence Suid, Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film, Revised Expanded Edition, 588.

61 Ibid.

62 Ibid.

63 Ibid, 590.

64 Ibid. 588-89.

65 The film’s primary military advisor, Pentagon film liaison Phil Strub, justified the DoD’s involvement in the film thus: “We just wanted the case made that the Marines [depicted onscreen] understood that they were not going to prevail, but they were nobly sacrificing so the civilians… could escape.” See John Herrman “How America’s Proudest Technological Achievements Become Movie Props,” Smart planet, 5 Oct., 2010, accessed on Jan., 30, 2011, at: http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/thinking-tech/how-americas-proudest-technologicalachievements- become-movie-props/5418/

66 Larry A. Simmons, “’Transformers’ put Airmen, Aircraft on Big Screen,” Af.mil, 03 Jul., 2007, accessed on Jan., 30, 2011 at: http://www.af.mi /news/story.asp?id=123059424

67 Ibid.

68 Transformers (Dir. Michael Bay, Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures, DVD, 2007).

69 Stanton Friedman, “Re: The UFO/Disney Connection,” email to researcher Grant Cameron, 17 Mar., 2000. Friedman was present when Kimball revealed the story and confirmed to Grant Cameron that: “It was at the Saturday Night program of the July, 1979, MUFON Symposium in San Francisco. Kimball spoke first, then Allen Hynek [former chief scientific consultant to Project Blue Book], and then me.” Incidentally, Kimball’s enduring fascination with UFOs was well known during his later years. His involvement in space-themed educational films for Disney and the political significance of these is also well established. See: http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbraun/disney_article.html 70 Philip, J. Corso and William, J. Birnes, The Day After Roswell (New York: Pocket Books, 1997), 84-85.

71 Ibid.

72 Dan Vergano, “Searching for Signs of ET life in the Universe,” USA Today, 19 Mar., 2002, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2002-03-19-et-signs.htm

73 Robert Emenegger, telephone interview with the author, 28 Oct., 2008.

74 UFOs: Past Present and Future (Dir. Robert Emenegger, Sandler Institutional Films, 1974).

75 As a Graduate student at UCLA in the late 1950s Emenegger wrote his thesis on “The Influence of Motion Pictures on Public Behavior.” Official documents pertaining to this, as well as Emenegger’s professional biography and details of his involvement in CREEP, are contained within the US National Archives. Copies of said documents are in possession of the author, courtesy of Grant Cameron.

76 Andy Fickman, telephone interview with the author, 02 Sept., 2010

77 Ibid.

78 Ibid.

79 Ibid.

80 Ibid.

81 Paula Weiss, email response to the author, 09 Aug., 2010. After having conducted the interview with Fickman the following month, the author sought further response from Weiss, who on 07 Sept., 2010, replied via email: “We have no knowledge of any CIA officer having assisted with this film… It’s very easy for outsiders, including Hollywood film people, to assume any US intelligence officer is CIA when in fact he could be from DIA, NSA, NGA, etc. Sorry I can’t resolve this for you based on the available information.”

82 Andy Fickman, telephone interview with the author, 02 Sept., 2010

83 Ibid.

84 Ibid.

85 Brookings Institution, Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1961, 216, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://www.nicap.org/papers/brookings.pdf

86 Ibid, 217.

87 An English Translation of The COMETA Report is downloadable in full at: http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/cometa.htm

88 COMETA, UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For? Institute of Higher Studies for National Defense, 1999, 34, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/COMETA_part2.pdf. The report originally appeared in a special issue of the magazine VSD in France, Jul., 1999.

89 Ibid, 71

90 Ibid, 85

91 “Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense. To hide the facts, the Air Force has silenced its personnel.” Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillencoetter as quoted in: “Air Forge [sic] Order On ‘Saucers’ Cited; Pamphlet by the Inspector General Called Objects a ‘Serious Business’,” New York Times, 27 Feb., 1960, accessed on Jan., 31, 2011 at: http://select.nytimes.co /gst/abstract.html?res=F50A12F9345D1A728DDDA10A94DA405B808AF1 D3. See also Leslie Kean, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record, 143.

92 “I do know that the CIA and the US government have been concerned over the UFO phenomenon for many years and that their attempts, both past and recent, to discount the significance of the phenomenon and to explain away the apparent lack of official interest in it have all the earmarks of a classic intelligence cover-up.” Victor Marchetti, “How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon,” Second Look, May, 1979, 2-5.

93 In an official United States Senate letter dated 28 Mar., 1975, Goldwater responded to an enquiry regarding his publicly stated interest in UFOs: “About ten or twelve years ago I made an effort to find out what was in the building at Wright Patterson Air Force Base where the [UFO] information is stored that has been collected by the Air Force, and I was understandably denied this request. It is still classified above Top Secret.” In another Senate letter, dated 19 Oct., 1981, Goldwater further stated: “I have had one long string of denials from chief after chief, so I have given up… this thing [the UFO issue] has gotten so highly classified… it is just impossible to get anything on it.” See: Leslie Kean, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials go on the Record, 243.

94 “For many years I have lived with a secret, in a secrecy imposed on all specialists and astronauts. I can now reveal that every day, in the USA, our radar instruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to us… I feel that we need to have a top-level, coordinated program to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the Earth concerning any type of encounter, and to determine how best to interface with these visitors in a friendly fashion.” Gordon Cooper, Col. USAF (Ret.), letter to Ambassador Griffith, Mission of Grenada to the United Nations, New York, 09 Sept., 1978.See Gordon Cooper and Bruce Henderson, Leap of Faith: An Astronaut’s Journey into the Unknown (New York: Harpertorch, 2002), 219-225.

95 In a 1995 letter addressed to Bill Clinton, as part of a sustained dialogue with the White House on the issue of UFO disclosure, Rockefeller requested that the President “personally and specifically direct a review of current government information policy concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI), including Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).” Rockefeller wrote: “It is widely believed that various agencies of the federal government have substantial information concerning the existence or nonexistence of UFOs, and that it has been unnecessarily withheld from the public as classified. If the information were released, it would be received as evidence of a new spirit of partnership between government and its citizens.” Lawrence S., Rockefeller, “Lifting Secrecy on Information About Extraterrestrial Intelligence as part of the Current Classification Review, letter to President Clinton, 23 Aug., 1995. Document viewable at: http://www.paradigmresearchgroup.org/Rockefeller%20Document/RID-8-23-95.htm#2

96 “I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real… It’s been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it’s leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it… I’ve been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes – we have been visited.” Edgar Mitchell as quoted in: “Apollo 14 astronaut claims aliens HAVE made contact – but it has been covered up for 60 years,” The Daily Mail, 24 Jul., 2008, accessed on 30 Jan., 2011 at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1037471/Apollo- 14-astronaut-claims-aliens-HAVE-contact–covered-60-years.html

97 “The time has come to lift the veil of secrecy and let the truth emerge so that there can be a real and informed debate about one of the most important problems facing our planet today… but it is quite impossible to have that kind of informed debate about a problem that doesn’t officially exist.” Paul Hellyer speaking at a symposium on UFO disclosure, 25 Sept., 2005, accessed on Jan., 30, 2011 and viewable at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8964281348675417592#docid=- 8731502304852399080

98 “There are many high-ranking military, aviation and government officials who share my concerns [about UFOs]. While on active duty, they have either witnessed a UFO incident or have conducted an official investigation into UFO cases relevant to aviation safety and national security… We want the government to stop putting out stories that perpetuate the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth conventional terms. Investigations need to be re-opened, documents need to be unsealed and the idea of an open dialogue can no longer be shunned… When it comes to [UFO] events… that are still completely unsolved, we deserve more openness in government, especially our own. See Fife Symington, “Symington: I Saw a UFO in the Arizona Sky,” CNN, 09 Nov., 2007, accessed on Jan., 31 at: http://articles.cnn.com/2007-11-0 /tech/simington.ufocommentary_1_ufos-flares-aviationsafety?_s=PM:TECH

99 The press conference took place on 22 Oct., 2002 and was organised by the coalition for Freedom of Information. Video of Podesta’s statement available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smwQau3HtKM

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Associated Press, “Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer,” Roswell Daily Record, 09 Jul., 1947.
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Hall, R. H., “Armstrong Circle Theatre: Air Force Censorship of TV Broadcast about UFOs Stirred Controversy in 1958,” Journal of UFO History, Vol. 1, No. 6 (Jan/Feb 2005), 3–6.
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Posted in Exopolitical Interventions, Exopolitics by Ed Komarek and Others | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television

AP Exclusive: ‘Knight Templar’ says no Norway link

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2011

A Seal of the Knights Templar, who founded the...

A Knights Templar Seal

http://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-knight-templar-says-no-norway-162410288.html;_ylt=AgJ4rHs1Q1uf_pYApvFAEKlvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNhdmhpM2RrBHBrZwNmMGI3NGMwYS1hZTk1LTNjOGYtYTM3MS02ZTA3NGY5ZTJjYTAEcG9zAzIwBHNlYwNNZWRpYVRvcFN0b3J5BHZlcgMzZDIyYzgyMC1iODdjLTExZTAtYmI1Zi1mZDA1NjVkOTBjYzU-;_ylg=X3oDMTFqOTI2ZDZmBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZARwdANzZWN0aW9ucw–;_ylv=3

By SIMON HAYDON – Associated Press | AP – 15 mins ago

LONDON (AP) — A British right-wing blogger linked to the Norway gunman has confirmed the existence of an anti-Muslim group inspired by ancient crusaders that the killer claims he was a member of.

But in an interview with The Associated Press, the Briton denied Anders Behring Breivik belonged to his Knights Templar group and said he’d never heard of the Norwegian before the attacks.

Breivik said in his 1,500-page manifesto that he was mentored by a British man known as “Richard (the Lionhearted)” — and the leader of the far-right English Defense League has told AP that “Richard” is Paul Ray, author of the blog “Lionheart.”

But Ray, who split with the EDL years ago, denied any connection to Breivik.

In a telephone interview from his home in Malta, Ray said he was not at a 2002 meeting in London which Breivik claims gave birth to a group called the Knights Templar of Europe, whose founders included himself and “Richard.”

However, the 35-year-old Ray said he shares Breivik’s views and has several apparent similarities with the “mentor” in the killer’s manifesto, chiefly that he leads an anti-Muslim group called The Ancient Order of the Templar Knights. But Ray denied knowing Breivik and suggested the group had no formal structure. He refused to name any members or indicate how many it has.

“It’s an idea,” Ray said. “It’s not like it’s a massive organization. It’s a belief.”

But he denies he approved of Breivik’s methods, which include killing innocents to draw attention to his philosophy.

“I’d like to express my deepest sympathy to the people of Norway and to the families who have lost children,” Ray said. “It’s a horrendous crime that has been committed by someone what goes beyond the realm of human understanding.”

Breivik, 32, claims he committed Friday’s massacre as the order’s first blow in an apocalyptic war against Muslims, immigrants and leftists to prevent what he believes is an Islamic attempt to take over western Europe.

Ray said he fled England two years ago after being arrested for stirring up racial hatred, and settled in Malta. He plans to return next week to see his family even though he doesn’t know if he will be arrested on outstanding charges.

“I’m willing to speak to anyone in authority and to be open about everything,” he said.

Breivik has said the PCCTS, a Latin acronym for the Knights Templar, has several cells in Western countries and two more in Norway. In his manifesto, he claimed he sets the group’s agenda.

“We have the right and a duty to temporarily seize political and military control of our country until all … traitors have been hunted down and executed and all Muslims have been deported,” he writes.

He also sought to detect links between the Knights Templar and the EDL: “I wonder sometimes if one of the EDL founders was one of the co-founders of PCCTS, I guess I’ll never know for sure. EDL is a nonviolent protest organization though but I noticed they have copied a lot from the PCCTS.”

The leader of the EDL, Stephen Lennon, said Tuesday he doesn’t know Breivik and kicked Ray out shortly after the EDL was formed, on grounds he was bent on taking over the group with his own agenda.

Ray, who says he was born Paul Sonato but took his mother’s maiden name, denied ever having heard of the Norwegian before Friday’s massacres.

“Being implicated in this, I just want the truth to come out and it proven that I’m nothing whatever to do with this,” Ray said.

Ray said the confessed killer appeared to have taken some of his ideas and used them as justification for his killing spree.

“This is getting bad. It’s really pointing at us. All these things he’s been talking about are linked to us,” he said. “It’s like he’s created this whole thing around us.”

Ray often shares views similar to Breivik’s on his anti-Muslim blog, whose title is a reference to King Richard I of England, who led Christian crusades in the 12th century.

“My thoughts are the same as that Anders, that there is a threat to our way of life from Islam. I’m not going to say I don’t think there is because I do,” Ray said. “Me being a Christian, I do look towards the Templars throughout history and how they’ve defended us from the jihad.”

The order, Ray said, was set up in response to “Muslims in our country (England) trying to take over our country. Let’s not pretend it’s not happening. They are actively declaring their vision to take our country over.”

Ray’s blog discussed establishing a Knights Templar order as far back as 2007: “Where are the ‘original’ Knights Templar’s, Gods Army on Earth now, it is time you came out of the shadows and helped your fellow country men, the time of peace and security has passed.”

___

Paisley Dodds contributed to this report from Luton, England.

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Russia’s Putin considering Kremlin return: sources

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/russias-putin-considering-kremlin-return-sources-121459651.html;_ylt=AoIno6lF81k3AzVvIhoqwgNvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTM5ZXFpbTNrBHBrZwM1ZjEyZDJhYy0yYzdiLTM2NzQtYmU3Mi0zOWMzOTlhZDhjYWUEcG9zAzUEc2VjA01lZGlhVG9wU3RvcnkEdmVyAzYyNTAzYzkwLWI4NjgtMTFlMC04ZWZkLTMyZGVmN2YyMzlmMQ–;_ylg=X3oDMTFqOTI2ZDZmBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZARwdANzZWN0aW9ucw–;_ylv=3

By Guy Faulconbridge | Reuters – 2 hrs 37 mins ago

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is close to a decision to bid for the presidency in an election next year because he has doubts about his protege, President Dmitry Medvedev, senior political sources say.

Putin ruled as president from 2000 to 2008 before handing over to Medvedev to comply with a constitutional ban on a third consecutive term. He will be free to run in the March presidential election.

Putin, 58, and Medvedev, 45, have repeatedly refused to say which of them will run but as Russia‘s paramount leader, officials and diplomats say the decision is Putin’s.

“I think Putin is going to run, that he has already decided to,” said a highly placed source who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the political situation.

The source said Putin had been troubled by the perception that his protege, whom he has known for more than two decades, did not have sufficient support among the political and business elite or the electorate to ensure stability if he pushed ahead with plans for political reform.

“Putin has much more support from the people than Medvedev. Medvedev has overestimated his weight inside the system,” he said.

Another highly placed source who declined to be identified said: “Putin wants to return, really wants to return.”

The source said an attempt by Medvedev to assert his authority in recent months had unsettled Putin, but the two leaders communicated well on a regular basis.

A third source also said Putin was thinking of running and that if he became president he could appoint a reformist prime minister, an apparent attempt to dispel fears that his return would usher in a period of stagnation two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Investors see few differences between the two leaders’ policies but many say privately that Medvedev would be more likely to carry out reforms than Putin.

Medvedev’s spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, dismissed talk of any discord between them.

“I do not quite understand where these rumors come from because the president and the prime minister communicate not only on formal issues, but informally too,” Timakova said.

A senior Kremlin source said it was up to the people, not the elite, who ruled Russia.

“The discussion should be not about support within the elite but about who has more support from the people,” the Kremlin source said. “Support from the elite is not always decisive for the country to move forward.”

Asked whether Putin was considering a return to the Kremlin, the prime minister’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: “Vladimir Vladimirovich is working, working hard, rather than thinking about whether to run in the election.”

BATMAN AND ROBIN?

Most officials and foreign diplomats believe that, as the ultimate arbiter between the powerful clans that make up the Russian elite, Putin will have the final say on who will run in 2012.

As Russia’s most popular politician and leader of the ruling party, Putin would be almost certain to win a newly extended six-year term if he decided to return to the presidency.

He could also then run again for another term from 2018 to 2024, a quarter of a century since he rose to power in late 1999. He would turn 72 on October 7, 2024.

The picture of Russia’s “alpha-dog” ruler eyeing another Kremlin term corresponds to the assessment of U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle who cast Medvedev as playing “Robin to Putin’s Batman,” according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

“Russia’s bicephalous ruling format is not likely to be permanent based on Russian history and current tandem dynamics,” Beyrle wrote in February 2010 according to a copy of the cable on http:/wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10MOSCOW272.html

Because of Medvedev’s weakness in relation to Putin, the Kremlin chief’s attempt to present himself as anything other than Putin’s loyal protege has puzzled investors and irked some of the officials who make up part of Putin’s court.

In a host of choreographed public events, Medvedev has pitched himself as the right man for Russia, calling for opening up the tightly controlled political system crafted by Putin and even reportedly lobbying Russia’s powerful tycoons for support.

A Kremlin insider said it appeared that both Medvedev and Putin wanted to be president, but that the tandem had not shown itself to be an effective way to rule Russia.

“Neither Medvedev nor Putin have shown that this construction is stable,” said the source, who added that talk of any discord was overblown and that Putin had shown his confidence in Medvedev by steering him into the Kremlin in 2008.

Asked about Medvedev, the source said: “He is not stupid but he is not a brilliant manager and I am not completely convinced he has enough steel… Putin does not plan to leave power anytime soon.”

(Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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U.N. flies food into famine-hit Somali capital

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-flies-food-famine-hit-somali-capital-175012420.html

By Abdi Sheikh | Reuters – 29 mins ago

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The United Nations airlifted emergency food for starving children into the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday as aid groups warned of a growing influx of hungry families from the famine-hit south of the country.

Some 3.7 million Somalis — almost half of the population — are going hungry with drought hitting some 11.6 million people across what local media have dubbed a “triangle of death” straddling Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Though the U.N. food agency had already distributed food in the capital, this is its first airlift of food into Somalia since the food crisis began.

“We need to scale up our programs, and especially the nutrition programs, in order to avoid children falling into severe malnutrition,” Stephanie Savariaud, a U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman, told Reuters.

“Then they need to get hospitalized and it’s much more difficult to save them.”

The U.N. plane carried 10 tonnes of so-called therapeutic food — the type used to feed malnourished children under five. The shipment will feed 3,500 children for a month, WFP said.

The agency said it has an additional 70 tonnes ready in Kenya, which it will fly to Somalia over the coming days.

Aid agencies say they cannot reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the parts of the country where Islamist militants control much of the worst-hit areas.

WFP officials have said they will try to deliver food to the areas controlled by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels over the next week and that they will consider food drops from aircrafts as a last resort.

There are about 400,000 displaced people in the capital Mogadishu, with about 1,000 new arrivals each day, the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a statement on Tuesday. It estimated that 100,000 internally displaced people have arrived in the city over the last two months.

People in makeshift settlements are fighting over food being distributed by local charities, with the weaker ones unable to push through the crowds to get it, UNHCR said.

“Even if people are able to obtain the food and water being distributed, they often lack even the most basic containers to carry it. Often, they must haul food and water in plastic bags,” UNHCR said.

The WFP has set up 16 feeding centers across the capital, providing hot meals to new arrivals using supplies delivered by sea from Kenya and Tanzania.

Boats are continuing to shift food in but they can take months to arrive. They are escorted by the European Naval Force to Somalia to deter pirate attacks.

(Additional reporting and writing by Katy Migiro in Nairobi; Editing by Barry Malone and Elizabeth Fullerton)

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China protests against U.S. spy flights near its coast: report

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/china-protests-against-u-spy-flights-near-coast-144948889.html

By Ben Blanchard | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

BEIJING (Reuters) – China warned that recent U.S. surveillance flights near the Chinese coast have severely harmed strategic mutual trust and were a major obstacle hindering military ties between the two countries, state media reported Wednesday.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, vowed Monday to press ahead with surveillance flights near China despite opposition from Beijing, following reports that Chinese jets crossed a boundary with Taiwan to pursue a U.S. spy plane.

Two Chinese Sukhoi-27 fighters last month briefly crossed a line in the center of the Taiwan Strait that is considered an unofficial air boundary between both sides. Asian media reported the Chinese jets were attempting to intercept a U.S. U-2 reconnaissance plane.

“We demand that the U.S. respect China’s sovereignty and security interests and take concrete measures to boost a healthy and stable development of military relations,” the Global Times newspaper quoted the Ministry of National Defense as saying.

Xinhua news agency later quoted ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng as saying the reconnaissance missions “have severely undermined mutual trust and remained a major obstacle to the development of military ties.”

The comments followed Mullen’s visit to China two weeks ago, part of efforts to improve ties with the People’s Liberation Army. Their ties have been rocky, with China unhappy with U.S. reconnaissance patrols near its coast and is suspicious of its bases in South Korea and Japan.

China’s rapid military buildup and territorial disputes in the South China Sea have also sparked concerns in the region.

The United States for its part wants greater military transparency from China over its military modernization, and has warned about China’s growing missile and cyber capabilities.

Self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory, has been another major irritant in Sino-U.S. military relations. China has been furious about a 2010 package of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan worth up to $6.4 billion.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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Doing by Not Doing

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2011

by Owen Waters

Wouldn’t it be just great if life suddenly became a lot easier? What if, instead of working hard to complete a project, it all just flowed together in one easy-moving path towards perfect completion?

Such is the promise of the Eastern philosophy of Wu Wei (“Woo-Way”), which promotes the idea of “doing by not doing.” When nothing is done, it says, nothing is left undone.

When nothing is done… excuse me? When I first encountered this stark contradiction I became seriously worried about my brain cells short-circuiting and melting. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that I was starting to smell smoke coming out of my ears!

Later, at an older and riper age, I began to see the idea behind the apparent contradiction. The alternative translation of “action without effort” instead of “doing by not doing” helped to clarify the original idea. I came to realize that if, instead of trying to make something happen by the usual efforts of planning, willpower and determination, you go within and see the action accomplished, then something very different happens. The action doesn’t mysteriously become accomplished by non-effort, but you experience a state of flow which enables you to move through the task with ease, grace and incredible efficiency.

A leading light in positive psychology today is Hungarian-American professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. (In case you’re wondering, his last name is pronounced, “Cheek-sent-me-high-ee.”) His focus on happiness and creativity led to the concept of flow, which is a state of concentration or complete absorption in an activity. He points out that developing a state of flow leads to higher skill development and the ability to meet higher challenges within a chosen field.

The message of Wu Wei is to develop exactly such a state of flow and to do it by developing deeper states of inner awareness. The easiest way to invoke a state of flow, therefore, is to go within, attune with your inner being and the intended task, then come out into the world of action and carry out your intuitive guidance every step of the way until the task is completed.

In a state of flow, the action is guided from within and the doer virtually vanishes into the deed.

The key to creating the desired state of flow is that, because your inner being is fully attuned with the universe, you can then act in a manner which is perfectly aligned with all other circumstances related to your work. This is how synchronicity happens and coincidences become commonplace in your life. People, ideas and materials all come together at the exact right time and in the right place because flow is an orchestration of the many, not just the one.

You can be the main person conducting the work, but the universe responds to your inner connection and brings to you everything that you need with effortless coincidence.

The message of Wu Wei is that there is a time and a place for everything to come together for effortless achievement. By intending a goal and connecting with your inner being, you start the creation of that perfect time and place by attracting all the resources you need to achieve the goal. Then, by acting exactly when the energy feels right, you express the flow of ideas and energy which pour forth from your inner being.

Achievement becomes effortless, and the realm of being has become manifest in the world of action. You will have achieved success by alignment with the realm of not doing.

*If you enjoyed today’s article, forward it to a friend! They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Owen Waters is the author of Freedom of the Spirit: Four Powerful Steps to Spiritual Freedom. This deeply insightful e-book combines some of today’s most proven and time-tested spiritual practices into one powerful and effective package.

Available now for immediate download at:
http://www.infinitebeing.com/ebooks/freedom.htm

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Blasts rock Tripoli as NATO targets Gaddafi compound

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/blasts-rock-tripoli-libya-state-tv-says-nato-001357961.html

By Missy Ryan | Reuters – 2 hrs 31 mins ago

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Explosions rocked central Tripoli for the second night in a row and Britain said weeks of NATO bombardment had inflicted extensive damage on Muammar Gaddafis heavily-fortified compound.

Libya‘s leader is clinging to power despite a four-month-old NATO air campaign and a lengthening conflict with rebels seeking an end to his 41-year rule and who have seized large swathes of the North African country.

The explosions hit Tripoli at about 1 a.m. on Sunday, a day after NATO launched strikes on what it said was a military command site in Tripoli.

Major General Nick Pope, the Chief of the Defense Staff’s communications officer, said Royal Air Force aircraft struck the high perimeter walls of Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah complex.

“Gaddafi has for decades hidden from the Libyan people behind these walls. The vast Bab al-Aziziyah compound is not just his personal residence, but more importantly is also the main headquarters for his regime, with command and control facilities and an army barracks,” Pope said on Sunday.

“Successive NATO strikes in past weeks have inflicted extensive damage on the military facilities within.”

As the war drags on longer than many had initially envisaged, the West is increasingly hoping for a negotiated end.

Libya’s government also appears willing to talk. Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on Friday that Libyan representatives were ready to hold more talks with the United States and the rebels, but that Gaddafi would not quit.

Ibrahim said senior Libyan officials had a “productive dialogue” with U.S. counterparts last week in a rare meeting that followed the Obama administration’s recognition of the rebel government.

“We believe other meetings in the future … will help solve Libyan problems,” Ibrahim told reporters in Tripoli. “We are willing to talk to the Americans more.”

TOUGH FIGHT

On the cusp of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, poorly armed rebels seem unlikely to quickly unseat Gaddafi.

The rebels declared advances this week but they also suffered losses near Misrata and in fighting for Brega.

On Thursday rebels said minefields slowed their advance on Brega — which they had earlier claimed to have all but captured — but that they had pushed closer to Zlitan, on the Mediterranean coast 160 km (100 miles) east of Tripoli.

It was relatively quiet on the western front near Zlitan on Sunday, with some sporadic fire from Gaddafi’s forces. Most rebels were taking shelter from the hot sun. The forward field hospital had one wounded man on Sunday and 22 on Saturday.

“We are holding this position and waiting to move forward. God willing, it will be soon,” said Salim, a 21-year-old student and rebel volunteer.

Britain’s Pope said RAF jets on patrol near Zlitan successfully struck four buildings on Saturday, which NATO surveillance had identified as command and control centres and staging posts, as well as hitting an ammunition stockpile.

Apache helicopters also struck a number of military positions between Zlitan and Khums, he said.

Zlitan is the largest city between rebel-held Misrata and the capital Tripoli and remains in Gaddafi’s control. Were the rebels to take Zlitan, attention would turn to Khums, the next large town on the coastal road to the capital.

As Western nations intensify diplomatic efforts to foster an exit from the conflict, a European diplomat said that a U.N. envoy would seek to persuade warring parties in Libya to accept a plan that envisages a ceasefire and a power-sharing government, but with no role for Gaddafi.

The diplomat said the informal proposals would be canvassed by the special U.N. envoy to Libya, Abdul Elah al-Khatib, who has met both government and rebels several times.

Khatib, a Jordanian senator, told Reuters in Amman he hoped both sides would accept his ideas.

“The U.N. is exerting very serious efforts to create a political process that has two pillars; one is an agreement on a ceasefire and simultaneously an agreement on setting up a mechanism to manage the transitional period,” he said. He did not go into the details of that mechanism.

Hopes for a negotiated settlement are growing as Europe and the United States grapple with fiscal crises at home. This week, France said for the first time that Gaddafi could stay in Libya as long as he gives up power.

Complicating Gaddafi’s situation is the fact that the world court in The Hague seeks his arrest over crimes against humanity allegedly committed by his forces. This makes it difficult for him to find refuge outside the country.

(Additional reporting by Tim Castle in London, Nick Carey in Misrata, Jospeh Nasr in Berlin, Souhail Karam in Rabat and Lutfi Abu Aun in Tripoli; Writing by Lin Noeuihed; Editing by David Cowell)

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Libya in Pictures: What the Mainstream Media Does Not Tell You

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25630

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, July 16, 2011

Global Research reports from Tripoli

Mirage fighters, F16 fighters, B-2 Stealth bombers, 15,000 NATO air sorties. the bombing of thousands of civilian targets…

NATO is said to be coming to the rescue of the Libyan people. That is what we are being told.

Western journalists have quite deliberately distorted what is happening inside Libya. They have upheld NATO as an instrument of peace and democratization.

They have endorsed an illegal and criminal war.

They are instruments of US-NATO propaganda.

Global Research’s Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reporting from Tripoli refutes the media consensus which uphold’s NATO’s humanitarian mandate. He provides us with a review of the mass rallies directed against NATO including extensive photographic evidence.

Forward this article. Post it on Facebook. Spread the word.  

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, July 15, 2011

PHOTOMONTAGE

For complete report on GRTV with extensive photographic evidence

 

VIDEO: This is Libya: On the Ground Scenes

GRTV Report from Tripoli
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-07-16


TRIPOLI. July 15, 2011. 

 



Friday of July 1, 2011 like many other Fridays has seen huge rallies in Tripoli’s Green Square.

It’s very hard to get an accurate number of the mass of people that have attended these rallies. Estimates have placed the size of the July 1st rally in Green Square at one million people. 

(See the GRTV Video report by ANSWER with Cynthia McKinney and Ramsey Clark)

The rallies have been taking place almost weekly in Tripoli and other Libyan cities, including Sabha on July 8, 2011.

Western public opinion has been misinformed. People in Europe and North America are not even aware that these mass rallies have taken place. 

The rallies express the Libyan people’s firm opposition to NATO’s “humanitarian” intervention (“on behalf of the Libyan people”). 

The large majority of the population are opposed to the Benghazi-based Transitional Council. 

The rallies also indicate significant popular support for Colonel Qaddafi in contrast to the usual stereotype descriptions of the Western media.

The mainstream media has either casually dismissed the significance of these public gatherings directed against NATO intervention or has failed to even report them.

These rallies continue late into the night. 

The following are pictures of Libyans converging on Green Square on July 1, 2011.

These pictures also show that the mainstream media was present and aware of these rallies. 

So what is preventing them from reporting the truth?

Why are some of these journalists claiming that only a few thousand people attended?

It is important to note that the pictures were taken at the outset of the event.

Libyans headed throughout the day into the night towards Green Square. Highways and roads leading towards Green Square were packed.  At the height of the rally, the number of people was signifcantly larger than what is conveyed in the pictures.

 


PHOTOMONTAGE 

For complete report on GRTV with extensive photographic evidence

 

VIDEO: This is Libya: On the Ground Scenes

GRTV Report from Tripoli
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-07-16




1. Western journalists position themselves on rooftops

 

People move towards Green Square

 

Libya’s Children: The Victims of NATO bombings

Photographs: Copyright. Mahdi Darius Nazemoroaya, Global Research 2011

 

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reporting from Tripoli is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

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Volcano erupts in central Indonesia

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/volcano-erupts-in-central-indonesia-1310706494-slideshow/indonesia-volcano-150711-04-photo.html

An Indonesian volcano spit lava and smoke thousands of feet into the air early Friday, sending panicked residents fleeing down its slopes.

indonesia-volcano-150711-04

Mount Lokon spews hot lava and volcanic ash during an eruption in Tomohon in Indonesia‘s North Sulawesi province July 14, 2011. Indonesia’s Mount Lokon erupted to spew hot lava and volcanic ash as high as 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) in the north of Sulawesi island, prompting panicked residents to flee the agricultural area, a government official said on Friday. REUTERS/Stringer

Map locates Mount Lokon in Indonesia, which erupted early Friday, forcing evacuations

  1. Map locates Mount Lokon in Indonesia, which erupted early Friday, forcing evacuation

indonesia-volcano-150711-08

indonesia-volcano-150711-05

The Lokon volcano erupts near Tomohon on July 15, 2011. The Indonesian volcano erupted late July 14, spewing rocks, lava and ash hundreds of metres into the air, an official said, three days after its alert status was raised to the highest level. There has been a significant rise in volcanic activity at Mount Lokon on Sulawesi Island since June 9, prompting hundreds of people to evacuate the area. AFP PHOTO / TENGKU

indonesia-volcano-150711-06

This picture taken on July 13, 2011 shows the Lokon volcano spewing smokes in Tomohon, North Sulawesi. Indonesia on July 11 said it would evacuate hundreds of people living near Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island after raising the volcano’s alert status to the highest level. AFP PHOTO / GLEN RARUNG

indonesia-volcano-150711-02

Mount Lokon spews volcanic smoke in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Officials raised the alert for the Indonesian volcano with history of violent explosions to its highest level Monday, following a series of eruptions over the weekend. (AP Photo/Grace Wakary)

indonesia-volcano-150711-07

The glow of lava from Mount Lokon’s eruption is seen against the night sky as seen from Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, early Friday, July 15, 2011. The volcano spit lava and smoke thousands of feet into the air early Friday, sending panicked residents fleeing down its slopes. There were no immediate reports of casualties. (AP Photo)

indonesia-volcano-150711-01

Mount Lokon spews volcanic smoke in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Officials raised the alert for the Indonesian volcano with history of violent explosions to its highest level Monday, following a series of eruptions over the weekend. (AP Photo/Grace Wakary)

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