The Missing Times : News Media Complicity in the UFO Cover-up explores the idea that elements of the U.S. government, using standard methods of censorship and propaganda, as well as covert ties to well-known news organizations, have attempted to hide the existence and activities of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) from the American public. It is based on hundreds of sources, including original interviews, news accounts, books, magazine articles, television and radio broadcasts, academic studies, and government documents. The Missing Times is 376 pages long including end notes and the cross-referenced index. It is organized as follows:
Chapter 1: Parallel Universes
A detailed case study of news coverage about UFO activity over Montana Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) sites in 1975 serves to emphasize the sharp and persistent difference between regional and national news coverage of the UFO phenomenon. The regional news media tend to tell the UFO story as ordinary people report it, while the national news media, on those rare occasions when they cover the story at all, tend to rely mainly on official sources for their interpretation of UFO-related events. Thus, a pronounced dichotomy has arisen in how the news media portray UFO-related events. The author refers to the poles of this dichotomy as "folk reality" and "official reality." Over time, folk reality and official reality have diverged, raising important questions about the credibility of news. During past national-security crises, the elite news organizations have abandoned objective journalistic values to help the U.S. government plan and carry out its deception plans. The author argues that this is likely to be a key reason for the sharp and persistent difference between regional and national news coverage of UFO incidents a full half-century after the controversy began.
Chapter 2: Sources of Silence
To shed light on the relationship between the elite news organizations and the U.S. government during the UFO crisis, the author leaves the subject of UFOs and reviews the history of media-government interaction over the course of the 20th century. He shows how news organizations and the journalists who work for them have always played a central role in deceiving the public during times of national crisis by (1) voluntarily censoring their own reporting and (2) broadcasting government propaganda in the guise of accurate reporting. Censorship is the first step in any military deception program because it paves the way for public acceptance of the propaganda that follows. This chapter reviews the many social and institutional ties between the intelligence community and the elite news organizations. It also explains how the U.S. government and the elite news media have worked together historically to censor news, and it describes the methods typically employed. Along the way, it traces the origins and rising influence of the so-called "secret government."
Chapter 3: A Brief History of Lies
Once censorship is firmly established, it becomes possible for government propaganda specialists to create what is known as a "pseudo-environment" by injecting false information into society. Here again, the U.S. government traditionally has looked to influential journalists and the elite news organizations to carry out this function. The history of these activities is chronicled in this chapter, along with a list of standard propaganda methods. Over time, American society has gradually drifted away from its traditional democratic ideals toward an authoritarian frame of mind in which psychological operations experts manage the behavior of populations using covertly planned and conducted deception schemes.
Chapter 4: Perception Management
his review of censorship
propaganda methods in use during the last century, the author revisits
the subject of UFO news coverage. Assuming that UFOs raised
national-security concerns among U.S. government policymakers, as the
historical record certainly indicates, then it follows that many of the
same methods of censorship and propaganda used in other crises might be
applied to manage public perceptions about UFOs. The author summarizes
the standard methods used by deception experts and applies them to the
UFO controversy to create a hypothetical model that is consistent with
news media behavior. This model can also be used to predict the types
of evidence we should look for to determine whether a UFO-related
deception campaign has in fact been under way during the past 50 years.
Chapter 5: Editing History
The author reviews the history of the UFO controversy for evidence of standard censorship methods and shows that, indeed, most of the same censorship techniques employed during other national crises have been applied to managing information about UFOs. This censorship, whether the result of a centrally orchestrated campaign or a remarkable series of coincidences, has made it possible for false and misleading information about UFOs to be foisted on the American public.
Chapter 6: Creating the Pseudo-environment
chapter reviews the evidence
standard propaganda methods applied during the course of the UFO
controversy. Evidence shows that UFO-related propaganda has been widely
disseminated, often by organizations and individuals with clear ties to
the U.S. intelligence community. For example, well-known American news
organizations with a history of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
cooperation in other contexts have also played a central role in
shaping public perceptions about UFOs, often following guidelines
spelled out by the CIA in the 1950s. In one instance, documentation
confirms that the CIA played a key role in an influential CBS
television "documentary" about UFOs narrated by famed newsman Walter
Cronkite. The broadcast was aired during a period of especially intense
and alarming UFO activity, some of it involving nuclear weapons
facilities. A content analysis of New
York Times UFO news coverage
suggests it, too, adhered to CIA guidelines, just as it has during
other national-security crises. The history of the National
Enquirer suggests it also played
a key intelligence-gathering and propaganda role.
Chapter 7: New Media, Old Methods
The final chapter explores the role that the so-called "new media" are now playing in the UFO controversy. By bringing freedom of the press to the masses, new technologies such as Internet Web sites, hand-held video cameras, and electronic mail have made it possible to distribute information about UFOs while by-passing the major news organizations that have toed the government line on UFOs. However, the new media have also made it possible for government deception experts to covertly monitor the behavior of political activists while more precisely targeting the public with propaganda.
Appendix A: A Journalist's Guide to Covering the UFO Controversy
Observations, advice, warnings, and suggestions for journalists who wish to cover controversial scientific topics, particularly UFO research.
In 2002, The Missing Times was awarded "Best Book In a UFO Subject" by Britain's UFO Magazine.