Filling in for George Noory, George Knapp welcomed journalist Terry Hansen for a discussion on the media's role in covering UFO phenomenon. Hansen said he became interested in the topic when he noticed a gulf between what happens in the real world and the way in which national news organizations portray or ignore certain events. As an example, he cited the several month period in the 1970s when local reports abounded of cattle mutilations and UFOs flying over ICBM complexes near Great Falls, Montana. The national media did not report on the story, Hansen noted.
Hansen believes media companies, despite their claims of independence, actually have a long history of clandestine work with the government, helping them to condition public thought on UFOs. "There is a behind the scenes influence of the intelligence community in media content," he said. In support of this charge, Hansen referenced a 1966 CBS documentary, UFOs: Friend, Foe Or Fantasy, narrated by Walter Cronkite and generally dismissive of the subject. It was later discovered that a member of the CIA's UFO-debunking Robertson Panel had a hand in orchestrating that program, he revealed.
Hansen traced the government's media connection to World War 2, when "the media was virtually drafted by the Pentagon to censor the news... and create and disseminate propaganda for the war." According to Hansen, almost the entire press corps was working for the military during that period. Since then, the government's influence over the press has persisted, he said. Gene Pope, founder of The National Enquirer, came from the CIA's psychological warfare department, and CIA-sponsored tabloids have been found around the world, he added. Hansen also commented on Mike Wallace's 1958 interview with Major Donald Keyhoe (see below), the work of UFO researcher Robert Hastings, and the rise of the Internet as an alternative source of news and information.
The final half of the show was devoted to Open Lines.
Check out some of the items that have recently caught George Knapp's attention, including archival video from a 1973 news report on UFOs with CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, a piece by the Huffington Post's Lee Speigel on a new two-hour History Channel special, "Secret Access: UFOs On The Record," and an article on the near-future possibility of video games that can read players' emotions:
Friday's guest, journalist Terry Hansen, provided links to Mike Wallace's 1958 CBS TV interview with Major Donald Keyhoe, in which the two chat about UFO sightings, government cover-ups, and the prospect of interplanetary war.
Bumper music from Friday August 26, 2011