Vice News claims UFO & QAnon Connection is Disinformation

Vice News Q and UFOsOn October 29, MJ Banias from Vice News wrote an article claiming that “QAnon and UFO Conspiracies Are Merging”. Banias promotes an alleged “disinformation expert” to make the case that questions arising from a linkage between the Deep State, UFOs and QAnon are harmful, and those investigating such questions are merely opportunists.

Jordan Sather from Destroying the Illusion is a particular target for Banias’ article that devotes much time to him and his comments connecting QAnon and UFOs. I also get a dishonorable mention for one of my articles linking Trump, QAnon and UFO’s, as does Dr. Steven Greer, founder of the Disclosure Project. In fact, I wrote about the Q Anon and UFO connection here.

Sather’s YouTube channel has nearly 200,000 followers thus making him a juicy target for those from the mainstream media threatened by the growing popularity of alternative media sources, which are routinely labeled as “fake news”.

It’s worth mentioning that the “fake news” term was initially pushed by mainstream media sources wanting to delegitimize the alternative media which the US and the global public were increasingly visiting to inform themselves on multiple issues. The breaking point was Hillary Clinton’s presidential election loss, which was largely attributed to alternative media support for Trump’s campaign.

The “fake news” label has been subsequently used to demonetize, shadow-ban and remove countless alternative media websites, YouTube channels and social media pages to ensure that the 2020 election goes more along the path desired by those controlling the mainstream media.

QAnon has exposed the mainstream media as tightly controlled in multiple posts showing that many journalists get talking points sent to them each morning at 4 am, which are then used to craft their news articles. For example, in a January 18, 2018 post (561), QAnon wrote:

MSM is FAKE NEWS.
Propaganda.
Talking points [4am] – private email addresses.
Paid contractors.
JUDGEMENT DAY.
Q

Those journalists faithfully writing up their (4 am) talking points to the satisfaction of their media handlers are “paid contractors” who are subsequently promoted, honored and rewarded in multiple ways.

This perspective promoted by QAnon helps explain why President Trump has been so strident in publicly attacking the mainstream media as fake news. He well understands that many celebrated media pundits are nothing more than hacks receiving 4 am talking points to focus exclusively on in their writing and news commentary.

Trump is the proverbial prophet warning of the coming Judgement Day, foretold by QAnon, that will expose the media hacks that are “paid contractors” for the Deep State.

Sather responds to Banias’ article with an entertaining Youtube video deconstructing the multiple fallacious points in his article. It’s well worth watching to understand why Banias and Vice were targeting Sather over QAnon and the UFO connection.

What I found particularly interesting was Banias’ promotion of Ben Decker from the Global Disinformation Index who is cited extensively as a “disinformation expert” who can get to the truth behind conspiracy theorists. Banias wrote:

Disinformation experts say that the intersection of conspiracy theories is common, and can be particularly dangerous.

“I think that intersectionality is really important when discussing various online conspiracy theories whose relevance is partially handcuffed to the news cycle,” Ben Decker, lead analyst for the Global Disinformation Index said.

Interestingly, when going to the Global Disinformation Index one finds no reference to Decker in the “about” page. The only references to him are five articles he has written on the GDI site since May 3, 2019. We don’t know anything about Decker other than him writing some articles in 2019, yet this is enough to make him a “disinformation expert” according to Banias.

We know that Global Disinformation Index has only been in existence since early 2019. It is a UK registered not-for-profit organization that acknowledges receiving funding from the UK government, philanthropy, and companies. GDI’s funding is a red flag raising the possibility that the GDI is a front sponsored by one of the UK’s intelligence services conducting online disinformation.

We do know for a fact that the intelligence community from the UK, as well as other “Five Eyes” countries, do conduct “online deception” aka disinformation. This was confirmed in a 50-page document titled “The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations” that was part of the Edward Snowden document dump back in February 2014.

The document was authored by the British equivalent of the NSA, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and shared among signals intelligence services from the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The document is quite revealing, as summarized by the journalist, Glenn Greenwald:

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.

Destroying the reputations of different targets by the use of social science methodologies is precisely what the content of the articles by Decker and the Global Disinformation Index attempts to do. Greenwald concludes:

… these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations.”

What Greenwald is warning us about is that the intelligence community has many online operatives creating false narratives where targets are labeled “fake news”.

The “Art of Deception” has three powerpoint slides that show UFO photos dating as far back as 1950. The fact that the photos take up three of the 50 slides of the “Art of Deception” document indicates that the UFO issue is covered in some detail in the training of online covert operatives in the use of psychological warfare techniques.

UFO photo in The Art of Deception, p. 35

This is not a surprise to any familiar with a 1953 report issued by a CIA convened panel investigating reports of flying saucers, as UFOs were widely known at the time. The Robertson Panel delivered a report, the Durant Report, that recommended debunking the UFO (aka flying saucer) phenomenon for national security reasons. The Report stated:

The “debunking” aim would result in reduction in public interest in “flying saucers” which today evokes a strong psychological reaction. This education could be accomplished by mass media such as television, motion pictures, and popular articles.… Such a program should tend to reduce the current gullibility of the public and consequently their susceptibility to clever hostile propaganda.

The Report’s references to a “strong psychological reaction” and “gullibility of the public” show the CIA/Deep State’s emphasis on conducting psychological warfare operations to deceive the public when it comes to the UFO issue. This strategy is a national security policy that continues to the present day as reflected in “The Art of Deception” document.

This takes us back to the Global Disinformation Index whose content and unknown funding sources raise strong suspicions that it is linked to the GCHQ’s online deception program. By frequently referring to Decker and the GDI as authoritative sources on disinformation, the Vice’s Banias is, in fact, promoting “disinformation experts” that are very likely part of an “online deception” campaign by the British intelligence community.

By making the argument that the linkage of QAnon and UFOs is a harmful threat, Banias is merely providing a new twist to the decades-long psychological warfare policy of discrediting UFO researchers and reports. Banias’ use of alleged disinformation experts, who can be linked to a GCHQ online deception program, suggests he is either simply naïve or has begun receiving 4 am talking points.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

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