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The UFO boom might just be a distributed US intelligence gathering effort

I have been bouncing around a theory for a while about the whole UFO discussion of the last... five years? It's interesting how it has ebbed and flowed in US, even getting a fair amount of discussion (and true believers announcing themselves) on the predecessor forums to this forum. I think the most important and interesting thing is not the phenomenon - how many times are people going to get excited about hazy videos that may or may not show small specks moving in unnatural ways, but the discussion itself - and I think there's a specific reason why the system might foster this discussion.

We certainly know that the US government takes a great interest in social media and has done so since the beginning, as demonstrated by articles like this one. The effective voluntary surveillance abilities offered by Facebook and other security-state-connected social media means that there can now be what amounts to a voluntary distributed vast civilian surveillance operation by the security state.

If media successfully rekindles interest in UFOs, there's going to be photos all over social media, and they might be of some use, as there's timestamps and location data, and you can use rapidly advancing machine learning abilities to, for instance, give credence to pilot sightings by checking if there's relevant civilian sightings, or photographs.

By stoking interest in UFOs, having people photograph or otherwise talk about whatever strange lights in the sky they have seen, they will receive data that they can now categorize and utilize – true open-source intelligence. They can then figure out whether there is a cause for further interest and concern.

Such civilians might not do this just voluntarily. Indeed, many of them are exactly of the suspicious type that would actively refrain from watching the skies if the government directly told them to do so. And it is not just Americans. A successful operation would provoke sightings all around the world, even in enemy countries (as far as those allow the penetration of American social media). And as automatic data analysis capabilities improve, so would the capabilities to use that data.

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Could also being leading to soft disclosure. Now, when conspiracy types talk about soft disclosure with UFOs, they are usually talking about the government basically priming the public so they won't be shocked to find out aliens exist.

But we've soft disclosures before, but usually they make the thing more farfetched than the truth, so that the truth looks mild in comparison.

A good example is chemtrails. This conspiracy popped up around the early 90s, and quickly went into the mainstream, with cable networks having all sorts of 'documentaries' about it. It would later turn out that congress was secretly investigating the use of chemicals, sprayed from airplanes, over the US (and other countries, like Canada, the UK, Mexico, etc). Also the spraying of chemicals on the military, predominantly US Navy ships.

By the time a report was published publicly, around 2000 iirc, it made little impact. Chemtrails were a 'crazy' conspiracy, 'debunked' by the media, and had largely been framed as being about mind-control (and the spraying on the Navy being connected to time travel). I believe the real purpose of the spraying was to test fallout patterns. But they were using chemicals (and bacteria) which may (or may not) cause cancer, and sprayed it over American citizens (primarily the west coast) for a couple decades (which coincided with the rise of crime and serial killers, though I doubt they are related; but maybe the chemicals/bacteria could trigger violence in certain folks? Though I doubt it..)

Operation LAC (Large Area Coverage) was one of the largest.

But if you mentioned to someone that the US government was secretly spraying potentially harmful chemicals over American citizens for 30+ years, most would connect it with the chemtrail conspiracies and immediately consider you to be a crazy loon.

So my feeling is that the UFO/UAP thing is simply a soft disclosure. People have aliens and craft that break physics in their minds. A few years from now congress will publish some random report that fully explains UFO/UAP (though the report will likely not contain ANY terms related to that), it'll be so dry and unexciting that the media will barely be able to stomach giving it a blurb, and the public will remain largely unaware of its existence. If you ever brought it up to a random person, they'd label you crazy and think you were talking about UFO/UAPs (which will get 'debunked' over the same time frame; it'll fill the public discourse and inoculate them against the truth, keep conspiracy theorists focused, instead of snooping into other shit looking for something; and basically get 'believers', particularly ones with an ounce of credibility, to take positions that they will be unwilling to abandon for a less tantalizing truth - and even if they do change their position, the machine can simply point to their old positions to discredit them among most of the populace, especially those in the media and academia).

There's no way the UFO/UAP thing can be a snooze that's going to pass unmentioned unless it's a cover story for some advanced sensor fuckery program, in which case, yes.

I mean, actual craft apparently breaking the laws of physics isn't something that can be just .. left aside. You might as well try to hush up a Godzilla lounging in the silly rectangular pool you have in D.C.

There's nothing anywhere that appears to break the laws of physics. You need to look at the effect filming with a gimbal has. I saw one video taken from a helicopter using a heat sensor or something (black and white video). The thing seemed to be really moving fast but someone got out google maps and mapped out the course the "object" was travelling and it was actually going very slow. Obviously a bird.

Another trick to watch out for is perspective. If you think something is very far away but is actually closer it will appear to be going impossibly fast. And in the sky you don't have good frames of reference to easily detect this.

How would a gimbal lock explain a radar and infrared signature ? They'd never have found somethign to fool their gimbal had they not been directed to the area on the basis of a radar finding.

Gimbal lock doesn't explain anything but making slow things appearing fast. Radar is most likely a bug or some kind of tests designed to trick radar (which the US has conducted in the past). Could you expand on what you mean by infra red signature? If you're talking about my example, nothing was fooled there. The pilots knew they were watching a bird but they saw the infra red video it looked like a UFO so they uploaded it.

Birds on IR don't look like mostly static pill shapes.

Well, you can't convince someone against something they really want to believe. The fact is we have no conclusive evidence of anything breaking physics at all. The physics says it's impossible, or if it could somehow happen we should also have time travel. Why has no one ever come back if time travel will one day exist?

As Charles Stross said on his blog: people who believe we're being visited by aliens don't understand just how vast space is.

I mean, I'm on record of being skeptical of the whole thing (thought it was a psyop from the start), and now I'm leaning towards what Dasein says.

But we've seen a plenty of IR footage from the recent war.. and yeah. A bird's a bird.

That was the incident where they were testing the new shared radar processing, right? So everyone was getting a bunch of ghosts from the computers having to mesh together different radar readings.

Were the algorithms that bad?

One might guess that the governments kind of like the spread of extreme and extensive COVID conspiracy theories for a similar reason; softens the blow if a final reckoning comes showing that they just kind of didn't know what to do with COVID, did a lot of counterproductive stuff to chase public support or because they themselves were personally scared and just want to go away, or because they believed in oversold promises by pharmaceutical companies, zero-Covid influencers etc.

I've had similar thoughts regarding the UFO discourse as well. In my opinion it's not about aliens, it's all a military public opinion psyop. Copypasta'd from the old world:

Regarding the UFO discourse from the government/military lately. It seems like an intentional program to explore how information disseminates on the internet. Even coining the phrase "UAP" is exactly what you would do to track a new meme (good SEO) and getting Obama to talk about it on Jimmy Kimmel or whatever is exactly what you'd do to get people talking about it like you're marketing a new movie premiere. The government/military is testing out their propaganda powers to see how information spreads and disseminates online with a red herring like UFO's so that later they can harness this intelligence to sell their next war in the realm of public opinion the next time they need to do so (since the public seems to be taking narrative building into their own hand and crowdfunding narratives with the diminishing power of the mainstream media)

Yeah, that's very much one possibility. In this case I don't think it's necessarily even a specific purpose like "selling the next war", just generally testing the systems and getting more data for purposes that might not even currently be fully planned by themselves yet. Just in case - getting information that might be useful for governance purposes at some point.

If I was inclined to find a conspiratorial explanation for the whole vaccines drama of 2021 with vaccine passports and threats of mandatory vaccination and stuff, my suggestion for the conspiracy would not be one intent on killing or sterilizing people (why would they want to do this to their supporters, not the ones not taking the vaccinations?), but rather again a data-gathering one - once you have a database of everyone who gets a vaccine either voluntarily or due to a modest amount of public pressure, what you then also have is a database of people who will specifically refuse to do so, something that will surely correlate to general tendecy for societal disobedience.

Related hypothesis: UFOs are a US intelligence recruiting effort. "Come work for the government and learn if any world-shattering conspiracies are actually true or not."

Almost certainly some of this here, too. People often point to statements by pilots, astronauts, intelligence officials etc. entertaining the extraterrestrial hypothesis as if those are automatically neutral parties to this whole debate, but I would expect all three of these to draw in people who are joining in with one of their specific motives being seeing or meeting the aliens, or at least learning the truth about aliens, which might well color their interpretations of various events.

The hack of John Podesta’s emails show he’s very interested in UFOs.

One of the previous discussions.

My explanatory hypothesis: «psyop overcapacity».

The basic idea is that the infrastructure, primarily of the fleshy sort, that certain agencies use to manufacture public opinion is designed to deal with sharp, short peak loads: damage control for military and security fiascos, covering up spooky military tech trials, counteracting enemy propaganda, basically flooding the zone with shit like Bannon said of Trump's election campaign tactics. It's supremely important for the preservation of the regime. They don't need much effort in "peace time" because the state's long term credit of trust is effectively limitless due to the pool of normie patriots, while people who dedicate themselves to reminding the public of MKULTRA and so on are tanking their own credibility.

But they still need to train new recruits, pass on the baton, check the integrity of their agent networks in anticipation of the next Big Moment. Thus they have a perishable overcapacity of psyop-production.

So, long story short, UFO hoax that is maintained in relative peacetime is akin to endless wars in the Middle East which build up experience for a conflict with a peer power. Or, using a more funny analogy, it's similar to weirdly overbuilt Chinese highways which absorb the excess production of steel and concrete when the functional stuff is mostly finished.

Except UFOs absorb the overproduction of deadpan bullshit.

Yours is even more devious, but points at a clearer motive.

Also, we could just consider those psyops as some sort of an active sonar. The controlled emission of authoritative information will reveal all sorts of structures in the society and meme propagation networks, potential adversaries (people who've lost faith in the regime and push back on UFO «revelations») and those who'll buy anything and can be relied upon (or institutionalized).

On a less conspiratorial note, maybe the USG/Army/spooks/etc. just have a bunch of UFO fans who are honestly interested in the topic.

Yeah, I sort of referred to this in the text.

Indeed, social medias amount to a vast mean to get the pulse of the nation – nations all over the world, in fact – in the real-time, constantly, checking various indicators to see whether whatever event gets positive or negative reactions in the nation, fear or anger or what, one might even guess there’s an increasing temptation to just start pulling off weird stuff simply to see what sort of reactions it provokes, a nationwide testing of psychological reactions and how to utilize or cause them.

Of course finding individual cases of people and networks to monitor more closely would be a part of that pulse.

On a less conspiratorial note, maybe the USG/Army/spooks/etc. just have a bunch of UFO fans who are honestly interested in the topic.

I think this is one major explanation, people generally don't seem to really grasp how many people in the high reaches of government and administration are true believers in weird stuff. However, these don't really shut each other off - you might very well have people form alliances to push this narrative with one being a true believer and another one having more cynical use for it - and one thing I've found is that it really is even possible for same people to 100 % believe in something and at the same time 100 % be aware and pragmatically utilize aspects of the same thing for personal purposes or other agendas. You see this all the time with cult leaders, terrorist leaders etc.

I'm fond of electric universe theory based explanations. Electric spikes could cause plasma events in the atmosphere.

It certainly would explain things like the "Nuremberg Sky Battle",

obligatory (very long) introductory twitter thread, for people who think they are not blackpilled enough on the alien question

Add to that it was a well-known “secret” among police that every pedo they busted had some Star Trek memorabilia.

Is there actually a UFO boom?

Trends says...mostly random spikes, no obvious swell. But the data is pretty sparse, and probably driven by just a couple headlines.

I wouldn't expect the DoD to be running such an effort, but I'd especially not expect one to be so underwhelming.

If we search with "UFOs", though, we see huge spikes corresponding to the Pentagon release of UFO vids and the 60 Minutes report on UFOs.

Without a doubt. I’m not sure I see a lasting trend as suggested by the article, though.

Of course I have to go by subjective impressions, but there was at times enough of a boom to create a lot of mainstream media articles, get politicians to make outlandish statements and have some threads created at /r/ssc and /r/themotte.

I think it started back with that release of the on-board footage of a Navy(?) pilot watching a UFO/UAP (specifically, the one with one pilot saying "it's not a fucking drone, dude!"). That was...2015 or 2017, maybe? Also, I think a couple years ago, the DOD or Air Force had candidly published some UFO stuff.

If you look at official statements, though, the government only says that these are really their videos. They don't even say they don't know what it is.

The whole UFO discourse is one of those that offers good practice for reading statements exactly as they are written, which frequently is both extremely hard and offers good insight to what the government or other such instances are actually doing and saying. The enthusiasts often fail in this completely, reading all sorts of stuff they wish to deliberately ambiguous governmental statements, when the exact writing precisely leaves certain things out.