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anatomy of a disinfo operation

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posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 07:38 PM
"disinformation campaign" is thrown around freely these days, and it generally refers to government funded not-so-merry pranksters trying to trick some villagers in some spider infested country where they still pray to stone gods or else a way to rally some yokels behind the flag. no art there. half the people on this board could do it, given the authority and funding. getting something in the blog echo chamber is even easier, especially for people working on the inside. two or three backchannels to the right people and your version is out there forever.

but here is an example of how you get a story just far enough into the mainstream media to make a g-d fool out of everybody. you can have unfriendly editors at hostile papers and news stations scraping eggs off their faces for years. if you do it right you ruin some careers and get others in your debt. this is something my father did back in the 50s. i'm going to be vague with details and if you don't believe it, eh. i can tell you for sure this is how it's done.

this was when there was a first wave of "disclosure" talk about ufos. the swedes and a few other civilized nations had gone on record saying that ufos were definitely real. both americans and soviets were going on record saying something was definitely up. but there were a lot of people who wanted to kill the disclosure noise and take out a few journalistic careers in the process. so here's what happened.

first of all, you always want to run disinfo campaigns in the media through a source who is out of their element. so what happened was, there was this up and coming reporter for a major newspaper whose specialty was covering western europe. she was in her early 30s and she'd spent more time abroad since college than she had at home. she knew names and had sources just deep enough on domestic matters to fact check and get background on stories but she definitely was not plugged in.

my father was working the diplomatic service then and he was instructed to approach her at a cocktail party, do a hard sell on a cock and bull story about little green men. she didn't buy it, because she wasn't a schmuck, but she took down his name and a couple of days later did a little checking. so as far down as she could get, she heard my father was a good man and true, that he'd been under a lot of stress lately and that his career was probably in trouble. this sucked her in deeper, because it sounded like a classic burn an agency would do on a potential whistle blower--praise his past integrity, imply he was having personal problems, end by saying everybody hopes he gets better but for right now don't trust a word he says.

so she gets in touch with my old man and he sets up a meeting at a hotel. nothing too cloak and dagger but obviously taking some trouble about security. when you're lying to the media you can't oversell it. try to make it look like you're trying not to make your paranoia obvious. act like an innocent man under duress.

he tells her a story about a crashed ufo in sweden. shows her some pretty well faked pictures, a couple of documents (one half-burnt up, nice touch), tells her she can quote him only as deep background.

now she's got a serious crush on the story and she pushes it a little bit further. all the non-ufo background he gave her checks out and it's no surprise she can't get anybody else on record about the ufo. everybody is blowing her off, just like they would if they were trying to stonewall a story.

now she's an up and comer but she's not experienced enough to smell a rat. AND because she's a comer, she doesn't want to bring anybody else on board because she wants the story for herself. so she plays it close and sells an editor on it. the editor is a guy the state department had it in for, and they know he's got a soft spot for the gal. they both think they've got the story of the year. the editor has some juice (this will be the last time he ever has juice) and he gets the story through, mucho space in the domestic section of the paper under "military coverup". a couple of other papers pick it up and then, on cue, a couple of OTHER friendly papers start to ridicule it.

so the state department gets in touch with her publisher a couple of weeks later, say they've found her "source", some crazy dude who never even worked for them but tries to impress girls at cocktail parties. they show her the evidence this crazy dude supposedly showed the reporter--only the stuff the publisher sees is total crap. amateur hour ed wood style hack job a fourth grader should've seen through. publisher is furious. people in the paper start talking about how the reporter and the editor were a little too cozy (maybe true, maybe not, too close to true to be dismissed under the circumstances).

reporter insists my father was her source. stupid such and such even gives out his name even though that's beyond unethical for a reporter to do. naturally he denies it, says he saw her talking to the crazy dude the state department mentioned, says maybe crazy dude gave his name and she never bothered to check id or something.

very soon the paper issues an embarrassing retraction. reporter is covering flower and garden shows in baltimore a few months later. editor is out on his butt in the snow. another nail in the coffin of the disclosure movement because beleivers are again painted as breathless crazy eyed lunatics and drunks at cocktail parties.

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:27 AM
reply to post by Slothrop

I have no idea if this is true but it's a pretty cool story. It sounds pretty plausible and you definitely talk like you have some kind of inside knowledge.


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