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Mirage Men: A Journey into Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs.

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  35 reviews

Seeking the truth about UFOs in America, Mark Pilkington and John Lundberg uncover a 60 year-old story stranger than any conspiracy thriller.

Through the fascinating account of their quest Mark Pilkington reveals the long history of UFOria and its parallels in little known tales from the murky worlds of espionage, psychological warfare and advanced military technology. A

Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Published July 29th 2010 by Constable (first published January 1st 2010)
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Joe Valdez
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a junior high school student in the 1980s, I was obsessed with the unexplained. My reading habits looked like Fox Mulder's on The X-Files. Instead of cars, sports or blondes, what I wanted in a TV show was Robert Stack briefing me on the latest in ghosts, lake monsters or UFOs on the NBC series Unsolved Mysteries. It's been that long since a book on the paranormal intrigued me and I was primed for a deep dive into those waters using the latest technology, investigative techniques and perspect ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My background primes me to be SUPER INTO UFOs and associated phenomena. I've managed to remain fairly uninvolved with the community at large but have always had an intensive outsider's fascination with UFOlogy and everything it entails, and this book is a great primer in that respect. For someone who's super familiar with the genre I don't know how much new information will be in here, as it reads kind of like a literature review at times, but I found it super informative and a quick but enjoyab ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mirage Men
Mark Pilkington

Although this is a book about the ‘truth about UFO’s’, if you really believe we are being visited by Little Green Men (or perhaps their more grown up cousins - the Greys) then you probably won’t enjoy this.

For anyone else who is curious about what all the fuss is about then I highly recommend it. Certainly it must be on the reading list for any Paranormal Investigator who is serious about his craft.

The book is more about human psychology than about strange lights in
Michael Redmond
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another re-read: Mark Pilkington's MIRAGE MEN: An Adventure into Paranoia, Espionage, Pyschological Warfare, and UFOs (Skyhorse Publishing, 2010). A must-read for anybody interested in UFOs, aka "ufology." A thorough-going account of what's known and suspected about the games U.S. intelligence services played for decades during the Cold War and afterward, simultaneously validating and debunking the UFO phenomenon.

Included is a pretty exhaustive review of cutting-edge aircraft, once secret, now o
Josh Liller
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ufos
Two British skeptics - one of them involved in crop circle making - take a trip to America and into the history of UFOs. The focal point is several meetings with the enigmatic and controversial Richard "Rick" Doty.

The central theme of "Mirage Men" is that the government is lying about UFOs but not the way you think: the government has spent time and effort sowing disinformation for reasons ranging from experiments to Cold War intelligence operations to distracting people from experimental aircra
Peter Wolfley
This is a completely new take on UFOs that I had never considered. To help shield secret military testing, the government is actually working in cahoots with conspiracy theorists and those that believe in extraterrestrials. It feels like meta- paranoia that we are now concocting conspiracy theories to explain conspiracy theories but if there's one thing I know about America it's that we can never get enough of a good thing.
I really enjoyed this book. It presents the intersection of the US military intelligence community and UFO buffs in a way that strikes me as very fresh - it never occurred to me, for example, that inter-service rivalry might account for some UFO events, and mapping a documented AFOSI disinformation campaign to the F117 program, and then extrapolating that along a timeline, is really informative.
Tim Pendry
Pilkington has produced a highly intelligent book on the UFO phenomenon that makes a good starting point for anyone interested in the subject. I shall only quibble with his evident tolerance for the dumb asses who need to believe anything to hand.

Nevertheless, he is more critical than most and it is true that, if you have to believe something, the presence of aliens on this planet is no more daft than believing that Iron Age texts can tell us anything about how the modern world works.

The main th
I enjoyed the documentary film based upon this book, which revolves around the revelations that much of the folklore surrounding the UFO phenomenon was actively cultivated by the U. S. Air Force for the purpose of distracting from secret flights of aircraft like the U-2 and SR-71 spyplanes, as well as the F-117 and B-2 stealth bombers. The film had a narrow focus on interviews with Richard Doty, a retired USAF officer tasked with feeding UFO investigators tall tales about alien invasions that th ...more
Eric Farr
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The narrative Mark Pilkington presents is truly troubling and conspiratorial: the U.S. intelligence services and military have largely invented the core UFO myths of today; this work started with the inception of UFO culture in the 1940's and 1950's; and all of this serves as disinformation to conceal various government projects, often top-secret aircraft. As crazy as it may sound, Pilkington slowly builds a solid base of evidence in support of his theory, pointing out the U.S. government's hist ...more
Dec 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mirage Men> is one of the rare books dealing with the UFOs and paranormal that I would recommend without hesitation to those just getting interested in the subject. For that reason--and that reason alone--I gave it less than a stellar star rating. As someone who is, apparently, incredibly immersed in the history and culture of UFOlogy far too much of this book was rehash and citation of earlier books and stories.

However, it's awesome for presenting great profiles of some of the key figures in th

Oct 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ufos
Slightly disjointed in style, this book can't quite decide if it wamts to be gonzo journalism told first hand or a hard-nosed investigation into American alphabet agency UFO disinformation shenanigans. Still, has some intriguing insights into the murky world of the disinfo agents - the "Mirage Men" of the title - and the mindsets of the ufologists they manipulate. Injects some much needed pyrrhonism into the field. You don't know what pyrrhonism is? Nor did I until I read the last chapter of thi ...more
Willy Boy
UFOs as weapons of deception and psychological warfare. Alleged covert operations that beggar belief! Visitation by advanced extraterrestrials is but nothing in comparison to the endless duplicity and callousness of man! Is 'reality' little more than a tapestry of fictions, precariously liable to unravel?

One of the few truly essential UFO books, and one that should be read by all regardless of viewpoint on the 'phenomenon'.
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Details how UFO reports and the attendant folklore have been manipulated and propagated as disinformation tools by the intelligence community. In his fervor to debunk, Pilkington almost goes too far, ascribing more skill to the Air Force and CIA than they’ve demonstrated to the public, but it’s well-researched and pretty gripping reading, if you’re similarly obsessed with UFO folklore, the weird obsessive personalities that populate the UFO and intelligence worlds, and the like. 
Gabriella Alziari
Pros: VERY comprehensive history, well-researched, interesting personal experiences.
Cons: too long, acted shocked by research when the facts were clear, kept pushing away facts and asking unnecessary questions.
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During the 1970s and 80s, a successful businessman named Paul Bennewitz noticed unusual objects in the sky near his home, which happened to overlook a U.S. Air Force Base. Believing the objects to be UFOs from outer space, Bennewitz contacted the Air Force with his concerns. Instead of telling Bennewitz he had witnessed secret experimental aircraft, the Air Force chose to encourage Bennewitz to believe he had witnessed Extraterrestrial craft from another planet. They sent an intelligence officer ...more
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I've long been interested in strange goings-on, the whole subject of UFOs has never really piqued my interest - it's all so...confusing. Then I read this and after about 20 pages could see what all the fuss is about; the difference between this and other such writings on the subject is that this is wonderfully lucid and intersperses the author's own involvement in the world of UFOlogy with a terrific history of the whole history of UFO encounters and the US Govt's role in them (or not!) ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, conspiracy
A must read for anyone interested in UFOlogy. The main thrust of the book is that the government - particularly the CIA, DIA, and Air Force - do not want people looking to the skies, because we sight their classified projects (or in some cases, projects of other countries). Given that people do, they would rather have it that people believe what they are seeing is from another world. UFO research groups are regularly infiltrated and fed disinformation, and much of what the believers take for cer ...more
Michael Hitchcock
If I was going to give you a fact-free spoiler-free one paragraph retelling, it would be: "Do aliens exist? I think so. Yes. Seems doubtful. Probably not. Holy shit maybe! I think so. Definitely not. But maybe yes omg."

The story followed two fellows down a recursive little rabbit hole where they learn a lot about the nature of disinformation in general, and how that has applied to the UFO question in practice.

It was good information, but not such a good book. Very slow to start, with a lot of sc
Dale Stonehouse
Written by British writer for Fortean Times, this was a schizophrenic book, perhaps mirroring its subject matter. At times writing UFOs off as a religion for the weak-minded, to quote Jesse Ventura, at other times he seems to become an experiencer (belief is not part of it for all of us). There were a few new tidbits included, but not enough to impress me. He stays away from most of the good contactee cases, probably because people like the late Elizabeth Klarer of S. Africa and Betty Andreasson ...more
George K. Ilsley
Took me a while to get through this and I almost gave up. Any book which discusses the difference between misinformation and disinformation is bound to raise suspicions of its own contents. At times, the text does descend to the level of blatant deceptions (ie, "silent helicopters did exist at the time, so the craft could have been nothing more than that" : true, but this is pure speculaation unless there is more evidence).

However, by the end it does become marginally more interesting, although
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liminality
Pilkington’s conclusions are admirably open-minded. His grip on common sense is very firm, but his sense of wonder and cosmic fun is strong enough that he’s prepared to let go every now and then, to see what it’s like. He knows that both rigour and playfulness demand that the door to the reality-warping Unknown be left ajar, but that limiting the risk of ending up with a tinfoil hat means it should stay on its hinges. More: ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed, started slow and became a review of other literature with the authors waffling about their own beliefs. If you're looking for answers, don't look here. The best part of the book is the evidence that the government is propagating ufo myths, but that could have been said more clearly and in less words. Skepticism is liberally spread among other authors, reporters and experiencers, but one of these authors states that he was a part of a group who made crop circles, so is he ...more
Christopher Obert
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
I thought this was one of the best UFO books that I have read in a long time, even though the book tells very few UFO stories. This book discusses various government rolls in releasing false UFO material, creating cold war psychological warfare, coving up military test of top secret (real) aircraft, and possibly suppressing legitimate UFO data. The book questions everything and everyone. I am still not sure of the author’s creditability and what kinds of connections he has! Any way, the book mak ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating journey into the realms of UFOs and those who believe in them, and who make us believe. The author explores key elements of modern UFO lore and discusses the hand American intelligence agencies have had in perpetuating these myths. Often the story is complex, with many characters and an alphabet soup of agencies, but Pilkington is able to expertly weave all of this together in an informal writing style that takes you along with him on a journey into the heart of the mythic UFO hear ...more
Jan Jackson
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good. Interesting. Informs on the need for disinformation, and for the need for others to believe. It's all an act of faith. Of course, there is no single truth to be had, but Pilkington adds to whole blather by saying:
"... We talked like this for a while, Rick dropping crumbs and clues, some of which I can't repeat here."

Yea. Right. Spin and spin again...
David Kidd
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The defacto ufo book for skeptics that ends up being more of an investigation into Americas counter intelligence practices in the 60s. In short they were shocking and appeared to have no limits as to the depths they would goto I order to protect their military secrets

Aslo UFOs from outer space don't exist
Andrew Mcneill
Wasn't a particularly exciting read. I thought it would have included more anecdotes and exciting stories but really it's an exploration of the history of ufology and the various characters involved. I imagine that anyone intrigued by UFOs might find it interesting but unfortunately it wasn't my cup of tea.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2012
While there wasn't that much said about actual abductions, and sightings, I really enjoyed reading this.
I was amazed at just how far the American Government agencies went to discredit certain Ufologists and the subterfuge used to hide the fact that Aliens had landed.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: conspiracy, ufology
I Want To Believe the Government did it.
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