Doc Review: Mirage Men (Dirs, John Lundberg/Roland Denning/Kypros Kyprianou)

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“Doty’s disinformation campaign destroyed careers and drove some of its victims insane. His tall tales came to be believed by millions of ordinary people as the hidden truth behind the modern era’s greatest mystery.” — Mirage Men’s Website 

Like Ghosts and the general paranormal/supernatural at large I’ve been fascinated by UFOs since childhood, not to the extent that I would go out and investigate sightings and so forth but more to the extent of just being an “armchair investigator;” books and documentaries are as far as my fascination extends.

Speaking personal history-wise my grandparents on my mother’s side were driving home one night and as they reached the four-corners they saw a strange light in the sky, when they got home they came to the conclusion there was some missing time between the sighting of that “UFO” and the arrival at the ol’ homestead.

I knew my grandmother well; we lived with her until her death and she never once spoke of this incident. I was told of this account by my mother in my early 20s.

And then there’s that “dream.” I’m not saying concretely that “little green men” visited me but ever since I learned of what happened to my grandparents it kind of put this “dream” I had into some kind of “otherworldly” context. And I still remember it to this day. It was when my brother and me were little kids, maybe, somewhere between six and eight, and we shared the same room. Yes, this could simply be just what it is, a really weird, funky dream and nothing more, but I have never had this kind of dream before or since, so… anyway what I can recall is vaguely waking up and peering at the doorway, this was before a door was put on our room, and seeing this “face” staring at me from around the corner. A face that instantly frightened the shit out of me.

I vaguely recall floating and still being in a panic, then my grandmother showed up and said something like, “oh, just calm down they’re not gonna hurt you..” My next memory is either a continued extension of that same “dream” or another separate “dream.” I just don’t know. In this one my grandmother wakes my brother and me up in the middle of the night and tells us she has some friends she wants us to meet. Feeling half asleep and groggy we get up, go out into the kitchen and all the lights are on in the house and I had a sense all these “small people” were walking around. My grandmother stops me and puts her hands on my shoulders as these “small people” begin loitering around me. This time I felt no fear what so ever.

And that’s it.

I call them dreams because they have that weird dream-veener. But in light of my grandmother’s missing time/UFO sighting, I suppose, it’s always given me more food for thought on what they are, or might be, or just is.

Now onto the review.

Anyone remotely curious about UFOs has heard the “rumor” that the government has put fake information about them into the public eye, well, Mirage Men, actually puts a face on that rumor and tells you what they were doing was in fact real after all.

At some point in the 40s the government came to the conclusion that people intensely interested in UFO mythology needed to be kept track of. We eventually meet a Richard Doty who was indoctrinated into this new division whose sole purpose was to give “interested parties” in the public made-up, bullshit accounts of UFO incidents.

The doc centers on three main people whom the government singled out to “muddy the waters” of UFO mythology. Most of this muddy watering was to simply cover up technology they were testing that wasn’t ready for “prime time” yet, so to speak, or certain troop maneuvers.

In the first account a scientist had stumbled upon some “emissions” coming from a nearby military base. Doty visited him and told him they were UFO related and spun this man’s life out of control. He was a scientist who literally believed for years all the bullshit they were feeding him, until he was confined to mental institution because of his obsession with what he was being fed.

Doty stayed friends with him for years, until he really went off his rocker and when Doty finally fessed up to all the lies, the man didn’t believe him.

Doty is interviewed and tells exactly how they manipulated this man, the others, and the public, which always had me wondering, why? If someone sees something they shouldn’t wouldn’t it have been a lot less high maintenance to simply make them “disappear?” But a theory is put forth that maybe the government was actually experimenting on how the public would react to alien visitors, the “targets” not really being the person(s) they singled out to receive all their bullshit documents but the reaction of the public to the bullshit docs.

And like one interviewer puts it there so much bull in the UFO community even if someone came forth and was genuinely telling the truth and showing genuine evidence it would simply be looked at as more misinformation. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

Doty explains in the closing minutes that he’s only speaking out because the government tried to do the same thing to him that he’s been doing all these years to the public and decided as revenge he was going to finally tell the truth. Which led me to wonder with all the lies Doty deals in, perhaps, this doc and his claims are just more misinformation.

Wherever the truth lies Mirage Men is certainly interesting regardless.

Cinedigm is set to release it only on DVD June 3rd.

Video/Audio/Subtitles: No aspect ratio is listed on the DVD, but it is anamorphic and appears to be either 1.78:1 or 1.85:1. Audio is English only and in a 5.1 Dolby Digital configuration. There are no subtitles.

And there are no extras.

The doc runs only 1 hour and 24 minutes, but fascinating nonetheless. Seek it out.

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