Re: Mass hysteria, sightings of the Virgin Mary, the Emperor's New Clothes, false positives
You mean when "The X-Files” was regularly on TV?
You better upgrade your UFO lore!
A most interesting remark about the Belgian UFO flap, which may have been triggered by F-117 trolling the Kingdom of the Plains:
In 1992, about three years after the first sighting, which occurred on 29 November 1989, in Eupen, Marc Hallet wrote an essay about the Belgian UFO wave criticizing the work done by the SOBEPS: "La Vague OVNI Belge ou le triomphe de la désinformation", arguing that this UFOlogical organisation was spreading misinformation in the media. Hallet's thesis is that the Belgian UFO wave was mostly a mass delusion, boosted by the work done by the SOBEPS. This mass delusion would have followed Philip J. Klass's law: Once news coverage leads the public to believe that UFOs may be in the vicinity, there are numerous natural and man-made objects which, especially seen at night, can take on unusual characteristics in the minds of hopeful viewers. Their UFO reports in turn add to the mass excitement, which encourages still more observers to watch for UFOs. This situation feeds upon itself until such time as the media lose interest in the subject, and then the « flap » quickly runs out of steam.
The biggest UFO flaps were in the 50s. There was a big one in France. And one in Washington D.C:
The X-Files times is only relevant because that's when the US government actually started to kill its own people on its own territory, complete with smearing campaigns by the MSM, and it was all considered kosher.