George Knapp was joined by author Mark Pilkington, who revealed the long history of parallels between UFOria and espionage, psychological warfare and advanced military technology. "I'm very, very sympathetic to a lot of the ideas that are batted around within the UFO lore and culture," he said, "but I do think that it may be helpful to present alternative possibilities and explanations for these things." To that end, Pilkington examined how disinformation may have played a role in a number of notable UFO cases such as Roswell, the 1952 Washington D.C. overflights, and the Kenneth Arnold sighting which spawned the term "flying saucer."
Pilkington detailed the infamous case of Paul Bennewitz, a highly respected engineer who fell victim to government disinformation after he reported seeing UFOs over New Mexico's Kirtland Air Force Base in the early 1980's. Rather than dissuade him from investigating the lights, the Air Force "encouraged Bennewitz in his belief that these lights were belonging to ET craft that were flying over the area and, indeed, had a malevolent intention." Sadly, this troubling information ultimately resulted in Bennewitz being institutionalized in a mental hospital and the misinformation fed to him about the UFOs ended up becoming a part of UFO lore to this day. Based on his research, Pilkington speculated that the Air Force was actually trying to "lure the UFO research community away" from the burgeoning stealth program which was still under development at the time.
Looking at a contemporary case of suspicious UFO insight which may have roots in the world of disinformation, Pilkington talked about the SERPO story of 2005. This tale alleged a government exchange program with an alien race and was circulated throughout the Internet via an email mailing list. Soon after it began making waves in Ufology, Pilkington said, "a number of characters emerged from the digital woodwork" and claimed to be former government insiders who could corroborate the story. However, it was later determined that these "insiders" were actually sharing the same IP address as notorious government disinformation agent Rick Doty. Despite this turn of events, Pilkington contended that "the actual origins and meaning of the SERPO story remain a mystery as far as I'm concerned." He theorized that it could have been a sociological experiment or a way of tracking ideas across the digital landscape.
Tuscon UFO Sighting
During the first hour, journalist Steve Hammons talked about the recent UFO sightings near Tucson, Arizona. According to local media in the area, he said, dozens of residents in the area reported seeing a "triangular shaped object with lights around it" on the night of Thursday, September 23rd. Hammons acknowledged that there are a number of Air Force bases near Tucson, but noted that, due to that fact, the residents of the area are well-versed in what air traffic looks like. Hammons also talked about the theory that the PROMEX computer virus may be related to extraterrestrials as well as the new NBC program The Event and it's prospect that it is somehow UFO related.