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DVD Review

DVD cover

Mirage Men


Distributor: Perception Management Productions
RRP: £10
Certificate: E
Release Date: 30 June 2014

Mirage Men reveals how for over 60 years teams within the US Air Force and Intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and ET visitations as part of their counterintelligence programmes. In doing so they spawned a mythology so powerful that it captivated and warped many brilliant minds, including several of their own. Now, for the first time, some of those behind these operations, and their victims, speak out, revealing a true story that is part Manchurian Candidate and part Close Encounters of the Third Kind...

Mirage Men is a documentary for UFO nuts and lovers of conspiracy theories, not for the general public as most of the cases they discuss are glossed over. So, you're going to need to know what on earth Cash-Landrum was all about and be vaguely familiar with some of those being interviewed to get the most out of this film.

in the '80s I was a keen reader of the paranormal - particularly ghosts and UFOs. I was merely interested in them - having seen evidence to support both when I was much younger. As far as UFOs were concerned, I was always convinced it was the testing of unreleased aircraft. I lived near an RAF base in Lincolnshire for a while and a lot of activity was focused there. And then in the '90s I was doing a photographic assignment for university and, staying with my family over the holidays, I decided to take pictures of the local airbase. I watched a jet plane enter a hanger, right by the road and I thought no more about it as the shutter bind door of the hanger rolled down. I continued to take photos and about 40 minutes later the hanger opened and the plane had vanished. Obviously there must have been a lift that lowered the plane to an underground bunker where they were stored or underwent maintenance, but I had never thought about that before. So in this documentary, when people are at pains to point out that there are alien living living areas under the earth, it's probably more likely, if true, that these are government storage facilities.

The main thrust of Mirage Men is an exploration of the theory that the US government set about seeding misinformation about the existence of UFOs in order to cover something else up. Now, it could be that they were hiding the fact that aliens are among us; that they are trying to cover up top secret experimental manmade aircraft from the eyes of foreign spies; or they know nothing and don't want to appear ignorant if something much bigger is going on - because it could cause panic if the public can't turn to the government for answers.

The main interviewee is Richard Doty, a former Special Agent assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and a great deal of time is spent focusing on his work feeding misinformation to UFO investigator Paul Bennewitz. Bennewitz became convinced that aliens were among us and were living in vast underground bases waiting to unleash their plan, whatever it was, on the human population. Doty, claims, that he played a big part in stopping Bennewitz from his original goal, which was intercepting and listening to air force base communication. It was Doty's job to get him to stop this activity, and when it became obvious that he wasn't going to, he was charged with giving him what he thought he wanted. So, elaborate stories were constructed and proof fabricated so that Bennewitz would be dismissed as an eccentric. Of course, this didn't work as well as expected, as Bennewitz was pushed to the brink of insanity, even being submitted temporarily to an asylum after suffering a nervous breakdown.

Doty's entire job was to lie to people, something that this interview proves he is still doing to this day. So why you'd trust him as the central voice of this documentary is anyone's guess. It's obvious that he's wrapped himself up in so many fabricated lies that probably he can't remember what's real and not real. The man openly admits that he used techniques to gain people's confidence. It appears that he still is and being at the centre of this documentary sort of makes this another one of his little projects to quietly discredit. Is he really a civilian now? Why would a man who so clearly spent years trying to discredit UFO investigators, now spend his time frequenting UFO meetings?

Doty comes across as insincere when he tries to make out that he tried to stop Bennewitz, because he had started to consider him a friend. He didn't have any qualms about wrecking the life and career of a serious female journalist and the fact he's come out from behind the curtain to reveal all smells more than a little fishy. If you ask me it seems as though his cover was blown and his superiors decided to run with it and let him continue his work, but make out that he was no longer involved with the government any more.

Why else would he lie about contacting another investigator by email, pretending to be someone else, only to be shown up as a liar when it was discovered that the IP address of this mysterious stranger's email and Doty's were one and the same. Not only that, but Doty's IP address was shown to be the same one used by several so called whistle blowers contacting the same individual. Confronted with this fact he continues to deny it was him. Why would he do that?

While I did enjoy Mirage Men, it wasn't surprising that at its conclusion more questions were raised than answered.

Disc two contains 22 featurettes. Most are 2-5 min long additional interviews but there's also a rather odd music video (22 min, 52 sec). Almost all of the extra interviews are worth watching as there's some interesting things explored here.

Another unexplained mystery: Why was this DVD released across two DVDs, when the content would easily have fitted onto a single disc?


Darren Rea

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