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(originally published Aug 2010)

Mirage Men

A recent book titled Mirage Men by Mark Pilkington has been received with great fanfare and positive review by the UFO community. According to Amazon's summary, Mirage Men are those men who are part of "the strange and symbiotic relationship between the U.S. military and intelligence agencies and the community that believes strongly that UFOs have visited earth."


But much of the premise of the evocatively titled Mirage Men – like a mirage itself – is illusory and insubstantial. The truth is that there is no truth to a "strange and symbiotic relationship" with agencies of the US Government and those into UFOs. There is nothing whatsoever to be gained from giving even passing consideration to the UFO tales told by those such as former AFOSI Special Agent Richard Doty. Such people are not government-sanctioned "disinformers" as some speculate. And their efforts are not being used to officially "cover up" advanced experimental military craft or operations. Nor do such men have any "special knowledge" to impart us about the true "core story" of UFOs and ET.


Calling even more attention to such attention-craving individuals only serves to feed their egos and perpetuate their pranks. Putting the spotlight on these types – even in the context of "UFO folklore" or as a social commentary – does the field of serious UFO research a serious disservice. The best course of action is not to highlight the actions of these Mirage Men at all – but to ignore them forevermore. We should not listen to the Mirage Men.



UFO enthusiasts know of the endless stories and documents associated with people such as Richard Doty. I will not detail here the many things that he has been involved with in the world of UFOs, as the list is so long: MJ-12 stories, the Paul Bennewitz Affair, fabrication of a UFO base intrusion document, the book Exempt from Disclosure with author Robert Collins, etc. Recent evidence ties Doty rather conclusively to the ridiculous "Project Serpo" hoax from a couple of years ago.

Mirage Men are much more than a mere "distraction" to the disciplined and intelligent pursuit of the UFO mystery. To have to "deal with a Doty" – and those of his ilk – is tiresome and counter-productive in every way. Such nonsense takes away valuable resources that are 

better spent on real investigation. It involves the time of researchers who must work to "disprove" fraud. And most importantly, it clouds the public's perception of what is true when it come to things UFO.

"Mirage Men" are not here to help, but their role is not a "sinister" or "covert" one either. Rather, their "role" is a self-serving one. They are not "mysterious" or "shadowy" – though they would like you to think so. They are really here to feed their egos. They receive enjoyment from deceit because they have nothing "real" to give. They insinuate their "power" over others in a way that is meaningful only to themselves.


People hoax many things – from literary works to clinical results. Precisely why they do this is difficult to ascertain. But personal "elevation" is always at the heart of such hoaxes. We have all faked something in our lives. We do so when we cannot offer truth. And there are many who have faked their knowledge of the truth about UFOs. This includes people from all walks of life. Station and position in the world have little to do with the desire or ability to fake. Some very intelligent and very prominent people have done so. Those who lie about the "core story" of ET have included military officials, intelligence agents and even men of science. They all can be Mirage Men.


Stories from people such as these – which surface with alarming regularity in the world of UFOlogy – suggests that the "Walter Mitty" syndrome is widespread in the field. Making up stories to get attention, or wanting to be someone important without expending a lot of effort, are hallmarks of these compulsive fantasists. They remind me of The Talented Mr. Ripley. The title character says what Doty, et al. must believe: "It’s surely better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody."


But unlike Walter Mitty and The Talented Mr. Ripley (who are clearly and delightfully fictional), Mirage Men is rather like putting the spotlight on those afflicted with deep-seated emotional, social or mental challenges. There is nothing "funny" or "entertaining" about it – and it only serves to document the sad, inner workings of the deluded and psychologically needy. It also "eggs them on" to create new "mirages", and it inspires future Mirage Men.


Dr. Colin Gill, a brilliant UK psychologist who has studied such types, states: "There is a suggestion that these kind of fantasies reflect some kind of deficit in childhood – they were not noticed, rewarded or perhaps loved – so later in life they go on to try and seek the attention or praise that was denied them." Such psychologists caution that the best "treatment" is not to engage them in their delusions and to give them no attention. Do not play into their mind-games, or they could infect yours too.


John Lear Jr. (UFO tall-tale-teller and Doty friend) is a perfect example of the psychological dynamic of which Gill speaks. The rebellious son of an overachieving father, the Junior's achievements were far surpassed by those of the Senior, the inventor of the Lear Jet. John Jr. did not need the money or notoriety to tell his tall ET tales, he just wanted to have some fun and spin some yarns in his advancing years. An adventurous type, Mr. Lear spun tales of adventure about pretend underground alien bases at Dulce. Lear even flirted briefly with supposed ex-Navy Intel's William Cooper's UFO fantasies. When Cooper began carrying guns and behaving very strangely, Lear backed away.



"Real" disinformation does of course exist. Governments generate false information all the time. This is particularly true in two cases: during wartime for military purposes, and for political purposes during peacetime. Such disinformation and propaganda can include covert media placements; dissemination of false stories and documents; and editing broadcasts or images. The technique of disinformation by military and intelligence goes back to at least 1918 with the end of WWI.

And I do believe that the art and science of disinformation does extend to UFOs. As readers know, I also believe that the Government used all manner of disinformation to suppress the truth of fallen ET at Roswell in 1947.


But such obviously phony stories emanating from people like Doty are not examples of an "official" disinformation campaign, or of "authorized" actions. They are amateur attempts by men who are trying to insert themselves into history. They are like Walter Mittys and talented Mr. Ripleys:


  • They are not helping to "hide secret military aircraft experimentation" with tall tales


  • They are not themselves knowledgeable about the "core story" of the truth about UFOs and ET

  • They are not agents who are authorized by their superiors to spread "wild tales" to make UFOs and ET "appear ridiculous"


Rather, Mirage Men are men who wish that they knew the truth about UFOs and ET. Due to their positions in US military and intelligence, they may have even been near – or suspected that they were near – the truth. But instead, they are men who never quite made it, ones who would never be in a position to "really know." They were always near the action and around men of achievement, but were themselves mere wannabes. They wanted to "make a mark" for themselves by making great "revelations". They would use "smoke and mirrors" to delude themselves and others in the process.


The Mirage Men are "seeking" ET answers – just like all of us. The difference is that they will go to any length. They will even lie, play "games" and use others to find the truth. The MJ-12 "papers" were fabricated – not so much as to "deceive", but to "smoke out" the "real" papers. Mirage Men have their own sense of strange humor. And they will even make up stories to get to the real story.


Richard Doty


I have little interest or time for the Mirage Men. I hesitated even writing this article because I do not wish to give them any more attention than they already "enjoy." They need no more attention from anyone, ever. But during the course of doing some research on Roswell, I had a brush with them.


Some months ago I had happened across a 1982 MUFON paper that researcher Bill Moore had presented. Moore had cited an interview with Special Agent Percy Wyly (who authored the FBI Telex on Roswell). Moore claimed the interview of Wyly was conducted by Richard Doty, about a year prior. Due to the startling, confirmatory information that Wyly supposedly imparted to Doty about Roswell, I felt compelled to "break my rule", and I contacted Mirage Men.


I e-mailed Richard Doty directly about this. He chose not to answer my question about his supposed interview of Percy Wyly. Instead, I received a brief e-mail reply from him dated March 31, 2010, 12:09 AM that read:


"Mr. Bragalia: I am no longer involved in any aspect of UFO investigation, research, nor do I involve myself with the topic. It is impossible to provide any information without being criticized, defamed or trashed. I suggest you contact Bill Moore. Richard Doty."


So, I then contacted Bill Moore by e-mail and received an email back from him:


"Dear Mr. Bragalia: You must understand that all of my concerns were satisfied a long time ago and therefore I no longer have any need, or desire, to pursue these matters any further."


But then Moore later in the e-mail contradicts himself and indicates that he would indeed pursue the matter with me further – but only under these stipulated, bizarre conditions:


"If you can answer these three recognition questions correctly, you will have identified yourself as someone I can safely talk to. Otherwise I have nothing more to say. I understand that you have an Aunt who is a famous dancer. (1) What is her name? (2) Where does she dance? (3) And what is her favourite bird? Best, WLM"


I do not need to point out to readers that the reply from Doty is disingenuous. He still loves being a Mirage Man. Though we should not listen, we will hear more nonsense from Richard Doty in the future. Of that you can be sure.


The e-mail reply that I received back from William Moore seemed like it could have come from a kid obsessed with "cloak and dagger" games. He continues with his imagined "aviary" of "UFO insiders". Moore had put together what he termed an "aviary" of individuals in military and intelligence who were seeking truth about the "core story" of ET after Moore had written his book The Roswell Incident in 1980. He assigned these individuals code-names using the names of birds. The "birds" (many of whom I have talked with) often did not even know that they had ever been "assigned" such names or that they were even part of a formal "Aviary". On the face of it, we should have known that Bill Moore was not acting as an especially mature man. He was acting out James Bond-like scenarios. William Moore's e-mail to me confirms that he has still not grown up. At one time early on, a ground-breaking UFO researcher, Moore has perhaps regressed into fantasy and puerile behavior.


Doty and Moore fed each other tall tales. And they fed each other’s egos. A "minor member" of the Aviary was Dr. Henry Monteith. Erroneously reported as deceased in Greg Bishop's credulous book Project Beta on the "Paul Bennewitz Affair", Bishop did not dig deep enough and he allowed the "cast of characters" to influence his research.


Now retired after decades with Sandia Labs, Monteith is a believer in ET. However, when Doty came by to discuss the UFO matter with him in the 1980s, Monteith told me, he did not trust him. Not because Monteith felt that Doty had a "covert" agenda or any "official" status, but because he didn't think much of Doty. Doty was apparently trying to elicit any UFO "tidbits" from anyone he could because he had no "special knowledge" about ET himself. He then fed the information to others, inspired others, and mixed a cocktail of stories only the gullible would swallow.


Do you really think that the US Government military or intelligence agencies would employ such rank-amateur, laughable characters as Messrs. Moore, Doty or their ilk? Would they entrust the cover-up of state secrets (whether relating to ET or to experimental military technology) to people who write e-mails like the ones written to me?


Mirage Men can be found out. We know many of these military, intel, and science posers already: Sgt. Rick Doty, Capt. Robert Collins, Dr. Kit Green (whose MD is apparently from a non-existent school), Sgt. Clifford Stone, Dan Smith, John Lear Jr., Val Valerian (Capt. John Grace, Lear's friend), Bob Lazar, Sgt. Dan Sherman, Command Sgt. Major Robert O. Dean, and many, many others.


They form their own cliques; they "support" and reinforce one another's claims and they feed their "mirages" into the future. Despite their station and position, these Mirage Men are not dissimilar to "contactees" and other fringe denizens of UFO conventions. None are worth our energy, and to get too near them will sap ours. We are instructed in Galatians to "discern" the spirits and test for their veracity. So too must we apply this instruction to anyone in military, intel, or science who claims to know the "core story" of UFOs and ET.



Mirage Men are legion, but they are easy to detect. Many are mentioned in the book – and there were many before this current crop. In fact, they have always been with us under many guises, and they always will be.


But they are not "official government agent dis-informers." Nor are they "trickster figures" with some sort of "deeper meaning." Nor do they know more than we about ET. They are merely a group of minor men who themselves have more questions than answers. In their own confusion, they confuse us and waste our valuable time. And in some way, putting a spotlight on them is cruel, like putting a spotlight on the afflicted, for our own entertainment and amusement. They deserve our pity but not our attention, lest we get woven into their web ourselves.


The lesson learned from the Mirage Men is that they are best left alone.

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