Feb 14, 2022 I Nick Redfern

America, Russia and the Psychological Use of UFOs

My previous article was focused upon how, during the Cold War, U.S. intelligence sought to make the Russians think America had its hands on crashed UFOs and dead aliens. Today's article, however, will demonstrate how that particular secret project really began. As well as investigating what appeared to be legitimate, mystifying UFO encounters in the summer of 1947, the FBI also studied the possibility that the Russians were recruiting communists within the United States to provoke fear – and were using aspects of the UFO enigma to heighten that fear. Barely a month after the Kenneth Arnold situation erupted and caused worldwide amazement, FBI Special Agent S.W. Reynolds had a face-to-face chat with Brigadier George F. Schulgen, of the Intelligence Branch of the Army Air Corps Intelligence. The reason was, in part, to address that controversial matter of potential Russian manipulation of the UFO issue. In fact, it was this theory – rather than matters relative to aliens or to highly classified U.S. military programs – that was at the forefront of Brigadier Schulgen’s thinking. FBI records show Schulgen informed Reynolds that "the first reported sightings might have been by individuals of Communist sympathies with the view to causing hysteria and fear of a secret weapon [italics mine]." Schulgen’s team suspected that many flying saucer sightings were not what they seemed to be. Rather, they were completely fabricated tales – with no real UFO component attached to them at all, but driven by a Soviet operation to maximize deep concern in the United States. The Russian program had begun.

1 Kremlin Cover 570x416
(Nick Redfern) Cold Wars and UFOs

On August 14, 1947, the FBI got word – via newspaper articles contained in "the Los Angeles papers" of the day – that, to quote the FBI, "Soviet espionage agents had been instructed to determine the facts relative to the flying discs. The article carried a Washington date-line and indicated that Red espionage agents had been ordered to solve the question of flying discs, the Russians being of the opinion that this might be some new form of defense perfected by the American military." It should also be noted, however, that the FBI was worried that those same Russian agents cited in the L.A. press were actually in the United States for other reasons. Namely, to determine how effectively they - the Soviets - were disrupting the U.S. by conjuring up bogus tales of unidentified flying objects. When questioned by the media on this matter, the FBI stated that it had no information relative to such a story. Uh-huh. FBI Special Agent D.M. Ladd, of the Bureau’s Domestic Intelligence Division said that “in the event any inquiries were made concerning such a story, that the story should be flatly denied in so far as the FBI was concerned.” Nevertheless, behind closed doors elements of the FBI were still speculating on the astounding theory that many UFO reports were complete fabrications; fanciful tales put together at the behest of influential and powerful figures in the Moscow Kremlin - to give it its full name – which is the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

While addressing the same time-frame - the latter part of the 1940s - we see evidence that the U.S. Government chose to follow the lead of the Soviets when it came to the matter of manipulating the UFO controversy. That’s to say, U.S. Intelligence realized that if the Soviets could theoretically use bogus UFO tales as a means to try and keep the American people in a state of concern, then why couldn’t Uncle Sam do exactly the same – but with their operations aimed at the citizens of the likes of Moscow and Saint Petersburg? Evidence that the U.S. intelligence community entered into the very same realm of mind-games that the Russians initiated, can be found in the pages of a Project Grudge "Technical Report" on UFOs; Grudge being one of the early UFO projects of the U.S. military. The report was prepared by the U.S. Air Force in August 1949. The writer of the lengthy Project Grudge document states in part the following: "Upon eliminating several additional incidents due to vagueness and duplication, there remain 228 incidents, which are considered in this report. Thirty of these could not be explained, because there was found to be insufficient evidence on which to base a conclusion."

IMG 0159 570x760
(Nick Redfern)

It’s the following words, however, that really stand out. The military made a recommendation that "[the] Psychological Warfare Division and other governmental agencies interested in psychological warfare be informed of the results of this study [italics mine].” Quite possibly, it was this document - more than any other of that particular era - that led the U.S. Government to initiate a highly secret program to manipulate the flying saucer phenomenon and mess with the minds of Soviet Premier, Joseph Stalin, and his goons. Take a look at how the Pentagon defines psychological warfare. It is, in the military’s own words, “The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives [italics mine]." What this demonstrates, is that the earliest U.S. military-controlled UFO research programs weren’t just about investigating sightings of strange things in the sky. The operations were also focused on creating utterly bogus flying saucer-themed stories; amazing tales born out of psychological warfare operations and ingenious propaganda. And what a strange and twisted game it all became.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!