Back to current issue

A History of Government Management of
UFO Perceptions through Film and Television

Robbie Graham (University of Bristol)
Dr. Matthew Alford (University of Bath)

Abstract:
Our paper shows that the US government (principally the Pentagon) saw the explosion of interest in UFO sightings in the 1940s as not merely a public relations problem, but something that initially raised serious questions about national security, which therefore affected the way that it chose to work on related film projects. It documents numerous cases, most apparent between the 1950s and 1970s, where it has altered scripts and otherwise refused to cooperate with major screen entertainment productions for these reasons. It also highlights an aberrant film, UFO's: Past, Present and Future (1974) that inexplicably received extensive Pentagon support despite being a documentary that was highly sympathetic to the UFO/extra-terrestrial hypothesis, which therefore suggests that the government has had mixed and non-transparent motives when it comes to media cooperation over this issue.
Full text: PDF





ISSN 1753-5794