How conspiracy theorists on Reddit, 4Chan are reacting to the New York Times UFO story

How Conspiracy Theorists on Reddit Are Reacting to That New York Times UFO Story

How Conspiracy Theorists on Reddit Are Reacting to That New York Times UFO Story

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 19 2017 7:55 PM

How Conspiracy Theorists on Reddit Are Reacting to That New York Times UFO Story

Some conspiracy theorists believe NASA is launching a false flag attack.


After the New York Times published a piece on Sunday revealing the existence of a $22 million program in the Pentagon that investigates UFOs, conspiracy spinners were active in the bizarro corners of Reddit, Twitter, and 4chan. Yet users seemed to be consumed less by the possibility of a forthcoming alien invasion and more by the theory that the government is scheming to use fake extraterrestrials to manipulate the population.

It’s tough to comprehensively explain the false flag myths without tumbling down rabbit holes, but most of them seem to stem from the writing of a prolific conspiracy theorist named Serge Monast. According to Wikipedia—the most reputable source I managed to find on the subject—Monast was a self-styled journalist from Quebec who wrote an influential paper in 1994 called “Project Blue Beam,” which alleged that NASA and the United Nations are working together to simulate an invasion from space using holograms. The world’s populace, apparently, will then abandon all religions and take this hologram to be a messiah, establishing a new worldwide religion that will serve as a string for nefarious puppet masters in the government to set up a global dictatorship called the New World Order.


“Project Blue Beam” was a popular buzzword in the forums discussing the Times’ piece. As an anonymous user posted in 4chan, “Read the NY Times? Hell yes they're trying to pull project bluebeam. But it's not going to work.” The forum proceeded to get remarkably into the weeds on the specific mechanics of the holograms, with some asking how anyone is going to believe that they’re real if bullets are going to pass right through them, and others responding that the holograms will be “touchable” or that the military will fake the combat.

Similar threads of conversation flowed on Reddit’s r/conspiracy, with commenters swapping step-by-step outlines of how the scheme will play out. A user with the handle TheHighBlatman seemed to indicate that the theory was well-known on the subreddit: “I think the thought is just scary because the people here that have studied blue beam, know it sounds ridiculous but is all based on real tech.” Another wrote, “secret space program, false invasions and project bluebeam are updated versions of the apocalypse.” And a skeptic attempting to push back at the claims posted, “Why would you assume that project blue beam is real before it even happens? What if the aliens are real?”

Another false flag theory that seemed to attract a bit of buzz on social media came from Steven Greer, a retired physician and outspoken figure in the ufology scene whose most recent documentary, Unacknowledged, was released on Netflix this year. He’s long been warning that the government will manipulate facts when it discloses information on UFOs in order to consolidate power.

In a blog post, he wrote, “Strictly speaking, the militarists and war-mongers, itching to ‘kick some alien butt’ as it was said in the movie Independence Day, may actually only want a pretext to justify their existence and get the world to eventually spend huge sums of money on a perceived (if contrived) threat from space.” The theory also involves religious fanatics attempting to initiate an Armageddon.

Greer offered his take on the Times’ piece in a series of tweets:

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