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Some Information About Disinformation

If you were a government and you wanted to hide your true capabilities from your
enemies, would you want them to underestimate those capabilities, or to overest
imate them?
Most people will probably think that it would be best to lead your enemies to un
derestimate your capabilities, since you would then have more than what they exp
But let's consider what situation would result if instead you led your enemies t
o overestimate your capabilities. For instance, if you put out 'leaked' reports
that you had made technological advances in areas of science that were not alrea
dy well developed or known about, it would lead your enemies to take steps to be
gin their own research and development in that area just to keep up, thereby was
ting their efforts. At the same time, they would have a false impression of what
to expect in the case of a potential attack, so that they would also waste effo
rts in taking steps to defend against it.
By leading your enemies to overestimate your capabilities, a definite advantage
is created, where you will know exactly what you really have as well as what you
r enemies think you have, while your enemies will never be certain of what you m
ight really have laying at the ready, and must assume that what they've been led
to believe is true, even if they never see any evidence of it beyond hints and
On the other hand, if you were to lead your enemies to underestimate your capabi
lities, the moment you reveal your true capabilities by actually using them, you
no longer have that advantage of uncertainty, and you must now worry about your
enemies acquiring those same capabilities. You can keep your secret capabilitie
s out of use so that your enemies don't ever discover them, but then there's no
point in having them.
So, leading your enemies to overestimate your capabilities is far more advantage
ous, and this is done through the release of disinformation.
There is one other possible situation that should be considered here. If you hav
e or are developing capabilities that would give you the advantage and thereby l
ead your enemies to underestimating you, and you want to lead them to overestima
te you instead, you can create decoys that will lead them to think the capabilit
ies are something other than what they really are. This situation can be dealt w
ith in a manner that is explained further on in this article, where cover storie
s are discussed. In this case, the cover stories (are parts of them) are intenti
onally 'leaked', in order to lead your enemies into false perceptions so that th
ey will take steps that will be wasted.
Let's consider another aspect of all this. What sort of disinformation would be
better - that which sounds plausible, or that which sounds implausible?
Most people might think that the more implausible a piece of information is, the
less likely it would be considered. However, in the world of secrecy and espion
age, nothing is necessarily as it appears, and truths can be hidden in implausib
le stories as much as they might be found in plausible ones. But, just as we saw
in the case of overestimations versus underestimations, creating a level of unc
ertainty would be in your favor, since an implausible story, although it might s
ignify to the enemy that it's disinformation and will therefore contain hidden t
ruths, investigating it will nevertheless waste a great deal of their time and e
fforts as they attempt to uncover those hidden truths.
Some real-life examples of this third situation include: using the UFO/alien abd
uction scenario to cover up mind-control research and technologies; using the ev
ents surrounding the purported Philadelphia Experiment to cover up the research
into antigravity and stealth technologies*; and using the current exaggerated mi
sconceptions about mind-control technologies to cover up more plausible ones.
Disinformation is usually created preemptively, meaning that a cover story is fo
rmulated before an idea for research and development into a prospective technolo
gical advancement even gets put down on paper. This occurs at the point when onl
y a minimal number of people know anything about the idea, and it's at this poin
t that cover stories are created that will satisfy the needs of anyone who will
be brought in to handle the various aspects of the research and development.
Compartmentalization of information will also be incorporated at the very outset
, and different cover stories can be given to the different people working separ
ately on the different components of the overall project, and none of them will
ever know that what they are working on might be related to anyone else's work,
nor will any of them know what the overall project goal is. As each stage of the
R&D is fulfilled, the next stages go through this same procedure, with cover st
ories being formulated preemptively and new people being brought in to work sepa
rately on each of the various components of that stage. Should any information l
eaks occur, only the cover stories will ever be revealed, since the real goals w
ill remain tightly held by the few people who are in charge of the overall proje
Now, let's consider how this works with respect to someone who is brought in to
work on some aspect of a classified project. They can be given a cover story and
know that it's false, and this is fine as long as it doesn't hinder their abili
ty to do their work. They're just there to do their job, and they know that the
cover story is for their protection as much as it is to protect the security of
the project. They accept the cover story and don't ask questions or speculate to
o much on what the real truth might be, because they know that they could be tar
geted by the enemy to gain information. This might be accomplished through a var
iety of social engineering techniques that could be unsuspectingly used on them
in an attempt to draw out useful pieces of information, or it might take the for
m of more drastic methods that could involve their abduction and torture. So, fo
r their own safety as much as for the safety of the project, they work under the
pretense of a cover story and don't even speculate on what the truth might be.
Before they're even brought into the project, these people will have undergone e
xtensive security checks, and as soon as they're brought in but before they're t
old anything about the project, they will be made to sign a security oath that c
arries extreme penalties if they breach it. Also, throughout the project and pos
sibly for many years after (depending on what they know), they will be closely m
onitored to assure that the security is maintained.
Because the people working on a classified project can know that the cover story
they're given is false, it's implausibility doesn't really matter, as long as i
t serves to explain the purpose of their work.
In the case where purposeful leaks are desired to throw off your enemies, certai
n people who are brought into a project can be selected because of their lack of
ability to maintain certain levels of security, in which case they will only be
given carefully selected information, cover stories, or weak security measures
that will lead to possible 'leaks' of disinformation that appears to be valid. I
n these situations, these people will usually be selected because they're suscep
tible to believing that the cover story they're given is the truth.
* See Nick Cook's 'The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antig
ravity Technology' for an in depth look at how this implausible disinformation s
tory was used to cover up more plausible R&D, which has effectively led to a gro
ss overestimation (and misconception) of the US government's technological capab
ilities that continues today.