When the intelligence community becomes involved in movies and ufology, for whatever reasons, it matters to the interested demographics. That is the case whether or not the selection of the genre matters in the least to the IC, and their involvement initiates chains of events that unfold in any variety of relevant manners and directions.
I invite readers to consider the extents investigators may commonly be missing the mark when contemplating IC involvement in sci fi and ufology, at least if the 'Argo' operation is much of an indicator. For instance, fans of 'Lord of Light' would have been concerned about the script whether or not the Agency cared any at all about the subject matter. UFO buffs and similar such demographics stood to be interested in both the purchase of the script and most certainly about the fact the CIA was involved. After all, you're reading this, aren't you?
I suggest there is relevant established precedence in the 'Argo' circumstances as declassified by the Agency and subsequently explained by Tony Mendez and reported by Joshuah Bearman. I further suggest there are lessons to be learned.
I submit for consideration that had certain parties discovered in 1980 that the 'Lord of Light' script was purchased and subsequently canned by the CIA, at least one of the evolving theories would have included the oversimplified suspicion that the Agency was attempting to discourage interest in the subject matter. While having only a partial view of a bigger picture, some might very well have suggested that, in essence, the powers that be were hiding the supposed truth contained in a tale of cosmic conflagration. An apparently incorrect assumption, or at the least an oversimplified perspective, of a UFO cover-up was ripe for the picking.
There would have been additional theories, many of which would have related in some fashion to the IC asserting itself in UFO circles. My point being that speculation would abound and completely regardless of what interests, if any at all, the CIA actually had in the subject matter of the script. Once such chains of events are set in motion, the domino effect is on.
Moreover, I invite consideration of how events might unfold if the 'Argo' operation were not yet declassified. Perhaps at some point an ambitious investigator might suggest further research was justified into the possibility Studio Six had been a CIA front. Perhaps that same investigator might correctly suggest the 'Lord of Light' script was obtained for purposes related to deception operations in the Middle East. Would it not be reasonable to suspect that many would ironically call the investigator a fanatical conspiracy theorist, virtually regardless of the quality of research put forth? An irony, indeed, particularly considering the likelihood a high percentage of the investigator's critics would so adamantly subscribe to a conspiracy of ongoing and orchestrated UFO cover-up.
Perhaps the IC, at least at some points in time, placed its members in ufology for reasons other than their stated purposes. Maybe they indeed networked and developed connections to support hidden agendas. There is certainly precedence to suggest such. As with Mendez and his Hollywood collaborators, there would not be any single, long term specific purpose for such operations as is often mistakenly oversimplified and commonly argued to be the case, but many different general purposes as times change and objectives dictate. The primary reason I think further consideration should be given to the likelihood members of the IC in ufology conducted covert activities is rather simple: they are here.
Ufology and accountability
Certain deception operations overlap with science fiction and UFO subject matter, as confirmed in the case of 'Argo' and as cited by Mark Pilkington in his work, 'Mirage Men'. It is apparent and would stand to reason that some similar operations remain classified.
Tight lips surrounding such currently classified operations would further fuel the fires, intentionally or otherwise, of supposed UFO cover-up, gradual disclosure and so on. In actuality, such circumstances are apparently substantially more likely to be related to such matters of state as clandestine aircraft and deception operations than alleged alien spacecraft. This appears to be the case in spite of what sometimes overzealous, naive or possibly even blatantly dishonest UFO disclosure activists would have us believe. Repeatedly demanding the White House fully address such circumstances and classified operations, or at the least pretending to believe doing so might soon result in anything more rewarding than successful fundraising, is a whole 'nother topic of fallacy and deception unto itself.
I am not suggesting that one is necessarily ill advised to research possibly paranormal events. Neither am I suggesting that what has come to be known as the UFO phenomenon is necessarily void of any such paranormal events. Competent researchers may produce increasingly significant results of such possibilities and I would be most interested should that prove to be the case.
That stated, we indeed know the IC developed a presence and resulting influence in both science fiction film and the closely related genre of ufology. We therefore need not establish IC involvement in the UFO community, but accurately gauge its extent and impact.
If the challenge is deciding what to believe, then the solution is requiring accountability. To be clear, I am not talking about counter productively badgering elected officials or unfairly discrediting sincere witnesses. I am talking about requiring accountability of people claiming to be qualified to provide conclusive information about UFOs, aliens, disclosure and the like.
Information can generally be placed into one of three categories: that which has been verified as accurate, that which has been demonstrated to be false, or that which requires suspension of judgment pending further investigation. If we remain mindful of such circumstances when contemplating the credibility of any given statement or concept, it would seem we would consistently increase our likelihood of forming accurate perspectives.
Perhaps the next time we click on a podcast or attend a lecture about ufology that features a member of the intelligence community, we might consider the many, many possible reasons they could be present – far and above those they claim and those commonly supposed. Whatever we each may choose to think, the 'Argo' saga provides us with an intriguing glimpse into intelligence operations. It offers us confirmation of one of the more interesting cases of IC tampering in sci fi and UFO-related subject matter yet declassified, the operative word very possibly being 'yet'.