Posted by Henry Paterson | May 4, 2013 17

One common thread runs throughout almost every paranormal or unexplained topic and that is that there exists and agenda of disinformation by some authority or other

Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.

Unlike traditional propaganda techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole.

Anne Strieber has written an article quoting UFO Investigator Bill Moore:

Bill Moore, UFO investigator and author, has learned a great deal about the government coverup of UFO information over the years. A large part of this coverup has to do with what intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, refer to as DISINFORMATION.

In his speech to the MUFON convention in Las Vegas on July 1, 1989, Mr. Moore had this to say about the subject: “Disinformation is a strange and bizarre game. Those who play it are completely aware that an operation’s success is dependent upon dropping false information upon a target or `mark’, in such a way that the person will accept it as truth and will repeat, and even defend it to others as if it were true. One of the key factors in any successful disinformation scheme is that it must contain some elements of truth in order to be credible. Once the information is believed, the work of counterintelligence is complete. They can simply withdraw in the confidence that the dirty work of spreading their poisonous seeds will be done by others.”

Strieber goes on to add:

While there is no final proof that the U.S. government has sponsored disinformation programs concerning UFOs, the circumstantial evidence is growing stronger every day. It is a matter of record that at least one individual spread disinformation in this field while working as a government employee in an intelligence-related job, and the revelations of Bill Moore and others indicate that false stories have been planted among UFO researchers for years.

While you can Read The Article Here, Strieber makes the key point in the last paragraph above. “…there is no final proof that the U.S. government has sponsored disinformation programs…” relying solely upon circumstantial evidence to make the case.

Circumstantial Evidence is also known as indirect evidence, evidence which relates to a series of facts other than the particular fact sought to be proved.

In the case of UFOs especially, but certainly relating to any word of mouth driven rumor mill, the circumstantial evidence surrounding the presumed disinformation strategy has been around for decades, passed from one source to another often paraphrased or edited, subject to partial quotation to suit the agenda of the day or the individual. It can be difficult to locate an original source, especially when those sources are undocumented to begin with. “A ‘high ranking official’ has revealed privately to me…” “Evidence” passes through a decades long game of Chinese Whispers. I’m sure you’ve played it or at least heard of it:

… one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the re-tellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly, from the one uttered by the first. Reasons for changes include anxiousness or impatience, erroneous corrections, and that some players may deliberately alter what is being said in order to guarantee a changed message by the end of it.

The game is often played by children as a party game or in the playground. It is often invoked as a metaphor for cumulative error, especially the inaccuracies as rumours or gossip spread, or,more generally, for the unreliability of human recollection.

This is pretty clearly illustrated in the Strieber article quoting Moore as beyond the point where she says there is no direct evidence of government disinformation, the article continues on as if it is a proven conclusion that disinformation is in fact in use. And before you comment that “of course it is,” or “everyone knows it is,” or “I personally know…” before you make any of those sorts of statements, be sure you have independently verifiable proof in support of your statement.

There is an interesting analysis of Disinformation Strategy and how it is employed, written by H Micheal Sweeny. I am sure you will find it interesting and informative, but very possibly not for the same reasons I do. All of us who contribute content here on Ghost Theory have at one time or another been accused of propagating disinformation. And this is not only laughable but can be used to serve as an illustration of how one of the common arguments between believers and non-believers goes.

There will be a story that one of us brings to your attention. Typically with as much analysis as we are able to provide. We’re skeptics here, we are trying to bring a degree of reason to the stories we address, and reasonable doubt is enough to cause one to question the reality of a particular event. One of the most frequent statements that appears is: “You can’t prove that (UFOs, BigFoot, Ghosts, aliens, crop circles, pick your favorite unexplained topic and insert here) isn’t real” You’re right. I can’t, just like I can’t prove I am not a disinformationist controlled by some shadow government agency. I cannot demonstrate to you that there is a complete absence of communication between myself and a shadow government controller who is feeding me the stories I post here. Because I cannot show you an absence of something, it is assumed by many that there must therefore be the presence of something.

Below is a list of the 25 key elements of Disinformation strategy as described in Micheal Sweeny’s article. See how many of the strategies below are being employed by commentors who make the accusation that we at GT are purveyors of disinformation.  Items 2, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19 could all be said to apply if you refrain from a more liberal interpretation than those offered. Ten of twenty five ways to employ disinformation in one simple statement asking a skeptic to prove that an event didn’t happen, or an object or creature does not exist. Therein lies the danger of the disinformation argument. It works against you as hard or harder than it works for you. For those of you who read forums on the unexplained see how many statements by the believers fall into the categories below.

Again, keep in mind as you read this list, the examples and comments posted are of how the various communities of BELIEVERS make statements or behave in a manner which can be said to employ the same or similar tactics as those described as disinformation coming from various attempts at cover-up.  All examples are culled from various sources on bulletin boards, believer websites and discussion boards including commentary from this site.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it

On the whole, believers are not going to do this. Face it, they love the sound of their own voice as much as skeptics do. What is quite common enough to mention is the number of times they cite unnamed “experts” “professionals” “top researchers” and “high government or military officials. ” By “high” I will give the benefit of the doubt that they are referring to officials of significant rank or office.


2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme.

As illustrated by this believer in UFOs:

well, your entitled to your own opinion, i give you that. i guess we can count the astronauts, the presidents, the people who run our nuclear facilities and our air traffic control. you call all of them crazy? okey dokey, i dont need to convince you, because you wouldnt believe it if an e.t. dick smacked you in the mouth

the end,
concerned out

::drops mic::


3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations.

Isn’t this pretty much what is going on in any discussion that accuses someone of being a tool of disinformation on wither side of the subject?


4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad.

Welcome to Debate club 101. That is just one of the rules of the game. Want a good example? Read this article. Ha! tricked you,now you have to read it just to find out if the statement I just made is a # 11 or not.


5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary ‘attack the messenger’ ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach.

Here is a fine example, and a mild one at that. There are far worse.

like everyone has said ….your an idiot. so looks like your and idiot….do a little research before you flippin abuse the poor people who are telling you the truth. I can only hope you see something unsual as well, it would serve you right.

well till then…you are some smart and hot sht.


6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer.

This is too common in any discussion board to bother finding an example of. Oops, was that a #1


7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias.

That is pretty much what this whole article is about. Yes, governments have used disinformation in espionage and counter espionage during conflicts. Are they using it on a worldwide basis to cover up the existence of your belief of choice? Bill Moore states above that there is no proof that they are. Are believers using the same tactics? Keep reading and find out, also you can re-read Anne Strieber’s statement about circumstantial evidence of government use of disinformation, which will come up again.


8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough ‘jargon’ and ‘minutia’ to illustrate you are ‘one who knows’, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

Here is one regarding Crop Circles

Human science doesn’t understand the physical as well as it thinks it does and certainly not as well as the Extraterrestrial people do. Again, the Extraterrestrial people have had more time to gain greater understanding. With greater understanding comes greater ability to use this understanding for the benefit of people.


9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion.

For some people it isn’t play. (a #18 by the way ; )  )

Here is a response to a commentor who offered a case by case refutation of “evidence” of the Moon landings being hoaxed:

Sounds like you were hired by the government to cover it all up. Nice job. You got all the dumbasses believing the lie…


10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with – a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.

For a change of pace, here is a Bigfoot example regarding the question, is the government covering up the existence of bigfoot to protect the logging industry?

I have said this for years. Just look what the spotted owl did to logging in the western states when it was discovered. I know first hand that it crippled the logging industry for years. I know of 3 or 4 saw mills that shut down after that because very little government land was able to be logged after it was discovered. Thus putting a strain on those logging the logs to find private land to log and cutting their production signifacantly. And that was just in North California in my little neck of the woods.


11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’

See example #4


12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve.

A common tactic in religions of every stripe. The ineffability of the divine force in question. It is not for us to know.


13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.

From another Crop Circle discussion

The aliens would not necessarily have to travel light years. Suppose they exist deep under the oceans. After all, this is the most protected area (from radiation, asteriods, pollution, etc.) which explains why underwater species are still in existence vs. the dinosaurs, etc. Remember, we all had fluid in our lungs prior to birth and are still 60% water after birth. It’s not to far fetched that life evolved underwater and then to land. A tadpole is a prime example of this in a single lifetime. Can you think of any species that that evolves reversely from land to water? I can’t.


14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.

Actually the best place to find an example for this on is in the debate over how the Universe came to be:

It can also be noted that evolutionists only discuss this subject in the broadest terms. If evolution is true, why don’t they give us answers to our many questions?

Where did all the 90-plus elements (iron, barium, calcium, silver, nickel, neon, chlorine, etc.) come from?

How do you explain the precision in the design of the elements, with increasing numbers of electrons in orbit around the nucleus?

Where did the thousands of compounds we find in the world come from—carbon dioxide, sodium chloride, calcium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, oxalic acid, chlorophyll, sucrose, hydrogen sulfide, benzene, aluminum silicate, mercaptans, propane, silicon dioxide, boric acid, etc.?

This list continues from the macro of where did the Universe come from if not from divine intervention down to the micro of every detail of minutia of the Universe.


15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

That alternate conclusions are rejected by the community of believers in any field of the unexplained is highly disturbing when major argument from that side of the table is that alternatives should be considered rather than rejected, and I will refer readers back to number #3 on this list. Apparently the only alternatives worthy of consideration are the alternatives that believers propose. And incidentally, go back and review where Anne Strieber suggests that the evidence for government disinformation is based wholly on circumstantial evidence. A great deal of how circumstantial evidence is applied is to fit the facts to the case.


16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

Well, let’s face it, some of these tactics are only going to be available to government and military, and of course Extra-terrestrials


17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic.

More from the bigfoot discussion:

the enviro-nazi’s would be bringing up some kind of civil rights issue. so not only loggers would be put out of the forest but also i believe everyday people would be locked out also! it would mean bye bye camping, atv, and anything else fun to do in the woods. thank god for their cover-up! for once anyway!


18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent.

Sort of like this:

Wow, can’t even begin to say how stupid you are for having written such a waste of an article… Maybe that’s just your strategy, deny every possible aspect of this research and with “100%” certainty of opinion. Do you really expect us (if it be true or not) to be able to argue such a stupid article? I’m only going to go as far as address the issue that you have no idea what you’re talking about when you say the entire project had such negative effects…. where are all these negative opinions and disappointed people??? I see nothing but people extremely satisfied with the results, I never entirely bought the whole UFO disclosure until AFTER I watched the film, maybe you were watching a different video, buddy, or maybe you have absolutely NO scientific background or research at all. Pathetically stupid is the only thing I can sum up. Might as well be arguing that the Earth is flat… how could we argue something that stupid if you just say “ah those images of a round Earth are just non-sense.”


19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the ‘play dumb’ rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by.

Here is a response to an article I presented regarding witnesses recanting their testimony in a famous Brazilian UFO case:

This is absolutely preposterous. The amount of evidence about the Varginha Case,
including thousands of hours of investigations by a few dozen men,
and hundreds interviews with witnesses, such as the military who did
the capture, guarantee otherwise completely. You are basing most of the story
on Badan Palhares account. Amazing. Would you expect that he confirms that he
dealt with alien corpses? Come on?!

This comment comes from an editor of Brazilian UFO magazine. Does he have an agenda to keep the question of this case open?
You can find that article HERE


20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations — as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution.

Well, when do believers present hard, independently confirmed facts or physical evidence? Pretty much all evidence is hearsay, circumstantial, and anecdotal. Again here is an example of what this article is intended to illustrate. Though they will call what they have hard evidence, it often requires you to “keep an open mind.” Which is basically the same as asking someone to believe you when they have no evidence. Facts do not require faith.


21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion.

Granted, this tactic is only available to the government, but is this so different from what the Citizen Hearing For Disclosure does? Here is the press release from the 2013 hearing.

The Citizen Hearing:

Current testimony is being given to six former members of Congress at the National Press Club on the material and remains found in area 51 at Roswell by multiple military sources. President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon are said to have sent top clearance CIA operatives to investigate and report back on the findings. One such operative gave video testimony and another, who is no longer alive, was represented by his son. Investigative researchers on the topic who had interviewed and validated the reports of these sources testified as well.


22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably.

Here is a list:
Aerial Phenomena Enquiry Network (APEN)
The Aerial Phenomena Investigations Team (API)
Baltimore Area Xperiencers! (BAX)
Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI)
Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS)
Disclosure Project
Exopolitics Institute (ExoInst)
Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR)
International UFO Congress (IUFOC)
Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)
National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC)
Project 1947
((UFO Research Center of Pennsylvania)) (UFORCOP)
Open Minds
And this list is only in reference to UFOs

These next two pretty much fall into the category of not being available to the public.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

How many revelations begin with this? The person in question is typically peddling a book and saying they have had to remain quiet thus far for fear of reprisals.

While my examples span a broad number of topics, that is not because there are no examples to be found for each ploy in each topic you could conceive, rather I tried to choose examples from a broad base to illustrate that they exist in every debate. That, and I try to be an equal opportunity offender, sort of like Dirty Harry.  I am merely trying to open your eyes to the possibility, it is up to the reader to evaluate in their own experience if they see the same tactics being used, and maybe refine their own points in the course of debating their particular belief. If these sorts of arguments can be eliminated from what could be a healthy debate then the subjects of debate can become the focus and maybe, just maybe lead us that little bit closer to answers, where right now, too often the debate itself seems to be the point.

If any shadow government agencies would like to contact me re: Recruitment to the Bureau of Disinformation, please send application and resume requirements to:

[email protected]


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Henry Paterson

Editor at GhostTheory
I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

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17 Responses

  • Bubba Fets

    The quote in the Streiber article is not Bill Moores, it´s Anne Streibers comment to the Moore statement that is within quotemarks.

  • You are correct, thank you for catching that and I have made corrections where needed. I still feel the message does not fundamentally change.

  • Druscilla Alix Tempest

    Often enough, it’s also a matter of low hanging fruit.
    People (generalizing), statistically overwhelmingly prefer to believe what they ‘like’ as an answer to any question, typically without question.

    On the fringe topic side, it’s often the unpopular answer that is the most true, but, nothing worth having should ever be expected to come easy.

    The hard, unpopular questions asked by those of us that want to know the ACTUAL truth, are also an exercise in scientific method.
    Science works because everything that comes out of it is crash-tested to oblivion and back to see if the idea, theory, postulate, can be broken.

    If a story, or anything can’t stand up to some rigorous questioning, and thorough poking at, then there’s probably some good reasons for reserving taking any stock in it.

  • I agree and count myself among those who want to know the actual truth. A part of why I question is that too many people who believe simply want to be told what they already believe. If people like me ask for rigorous science then we are accused of being deniers or tools of disinformation, and in that process the believers begin to use the tools of disinformation and that then becomes the debate while the subject is forgotten. They do not need to question because they believe.

  • Druscilla Alix Tempest

    An additional aspect besides agreeing with and defending a false position just because someone wants it to be true, and or because they just like that position is the position of conformity.

    Fringe topic reporting and discussion sites often tally a disproportionate demographic of ‘believers’ compared to a relatively small though also vocal minority of patrons educated in the schools of reason and logical inquiry. There are of course many flavors in between believers and skeptics, but, for the most part we find a majority demographic on the side of unquestioning belief.

    This has an effect of reinforcement and validation for similar thinking peers, but where damaging we have the confiomity effect as demonstrated in the Asch paradigm: http://youtu.be/TYIh4MkcfJA as well as elements of sympathetic collusion and other socially driven nuances in play.

    Hey, if ‘everybody’ else is saying it’s true, it MUST be, no?
    You, have, of course, mentioned the predictable effect where anyone speaking from a position of reason is often called out as a ‘Disinformation Agent’, or other similar, where then the very sorts making such accusations are their own self-deluding agents of disinformation.

    It’s all wonderfully fascinating.

    Often enough, for me, it’s not the actual topics of discussion and debate on the Fringe meriting more fascinating than the psychology going on with the participants.

  • rasar

    the Asch theory just proves you are wrong… if someone is saying that there are UFOs, by the Asch theory, all the other persons will say no. because almost no person believes that there are, and to follow the “group thinking”, they will say that there aren’t.

  • The Oshmar

    Henry, you forgot to mention some people are just trolls and that they just enjoy conflict over a system that won’t get them punched in the face.

  • On the contrary, that is sort of the point. I am not so much claiming that Believers are out there using some sort of twisted disinformation strategy (except possibly
    in one example) so much as I am trying to illustrate that given the number of tactics listed above and the volume of discussion generated on both sides it is hardly possible to avoid being accused of being involved in disinformation.

  • HandsOnSgt

    I remember you saying I never give you facts.

    Have you ever considered the alleged small occupants of the so called alien craft?

    I imagine you know off special projects involving German science teams and the Nazi link to UFOlore?

    I am surprised no investigator, has considered the horrendous experiments done by the Nazi’s in the various camps.Especially DWARFS. Scientists who studied these things, were also whisked off to the US.

    These small humans are used, for super high speed craft in the upper atmosphere and other short range limited capability ships, that do, even though design and tec has limited the ridiculous stress on the body, require a smaller occupant.

    The long range and deep space ships don’t have to worry about small beings to fly.

    80-90% of vehicles are unmanned anyhow.

    I AM hands on and I have told truth on this site before. You attacked me saying I didn’t prove anything. I don’t have to. I will just type what I know to be fact and leave the cognitive reasoning to others. I know those who know a little, will know.

    There are no and have never been aliens, or alien ruins, artifacts, or other evidences, relating to aliens.
    There are ruins on the moon and other bodies. They are believed to be possibly 5 thousand years old and human.

    Why not make yourself famous in the UFO community, by following the Dwarf trail?. I can’t think of any other UFOer digging in to that pandora’s box.

    Or will you just dismiss again?

    I posted this on the disinfo site on purpose. Because you think i am lying.

    And no The Oshmar, I won’t be killed for knowing things and revealing them. I think you’ve watched too many MIB films perhaps?

  • I have delved into the Nazi UFO subject and you can find two articles on this site by me:

    And I am always looking for story ideas, I will happily look into the idea that Nazis experimented on Little people because their physiology gives them an advantage in dealing with high g forces.

    And that article can only be improved by the inclusion of your information and sources to corroborate your assertions.

  • IThinkso

    Disinformation prevails when truth departs.

  • ballyho!

    In the beating heart of disinformation, there is comfort for the masses.

  • MikeD.

    Who would you believe if they stood up and said they saw a alien –what top official or scholar?

  • Lord Amon

    There is so much information, disinformation, misinfortmation, twistinformation, disunmisinformation that I’m surprised anyone’s still sane.
    Yeah, I’m sure UFOs are around, but the Illuminati is hiding Bigfoot with Hitler and the Loch Ness Monster in the Antarctic while plotting to turn Islam into Alien Satanism and destroy Christianity using the Mothman as a Presidential Candidate 2020?


  • I would vote for Mothman.

  • Lord Amon

    Pssh, who wouldn’t?

  • IThinkso

    “They said they could not reveal their client, only that they had been hired to stop the area from “becoming a circus.””

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