A documentary about UFO researcher Norio Hayakawa is complete and set to premiere on the big screen soon. Portions of the documentary, titled “The Conspiratologist,” were filmed at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center and at Hayakawa’s house in the Northeast Heights.
The documentary is a Weekender Media production directed by filmmakers Justin Jay Jones and Stephen Bradford. Hayakawa said the most important part of the documentary is toward the end of the 30-minute video where he talks about how the UFO phenomenon helped to create a conspiracy culture in the United States.
“I’m very satisfied with how Justin put everything together in the right perspective by not going to any extreme conclusion but staying neutral, yet accommodating my belief that America is dangerously going into conspiracy beliefs in which we were responsible in the 1990s for planting the seed of QAnon and other conspiracies believed by a whole bunch of people,” Hayakawa said. “It’s like a cancer. It’s dividing our nation.”
Hayakawa says he and former colleagues investigating the UFO phenomenon and the alleged UFO cover-ups gave rise to other conspiracies that have had a damaging effect on political discourse and American culture in general. He says the documentary, “is like a confession how in the 1990s we planted the seeds for today’s conspiracy culture. Not only myself, but former colleagues,” Hayakawa said.
With the spread of mis- and disinformation made easier through social media and around-the-clock news feeds, it can be difficult to separate the truth from fiction. “The only solution is when you dig into a topic, you have to look at many places, including even alternative news sources. Not all alternative news sources are bad,” Hayakawa said. “We have to be very diligent and use common sense to determine what is more or less faithful to what seems to be reality rather than conjecture or speculation.”
In the documentary, Hayakawa talks about how propaganda and false narratives can be used to push a certain agenda or keep the public at bay about military research. He says the reports of cattle mutilations and rumors of an underground alien base in Dulce, New Mexico, may have been used to redirect attention away from the nuclear test that took place nearby in 1967. The test, known as Project Gasbuggy, was conducted by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission just 12 miles southwest of Dulce.
According to a U.S. Department of Energy fact sheet, the AEC “detonated a 29-kiloton-yield nuclear device in the emplacement well (GB-E) at a depth of 4,277 feet in an attempt to stimulate production of natural gas from the overlying gas-bearing Pictured Cliffs Formation.” The explosion resulted in an increase flow of natural gas, similar to how fracking works today, but the gas was radioactive and had a low heat value. In 1976, it was decided that testing should be stopped, and the site was decommissioned in 1978. The location of the test is considered a legacy site, which the U.S. Department of the Interior says are lands that are accessible to the public that may contain munitions or explosives and pose special land-management challenges. Residents living near legacy sites have reported an assortment of health problems related to testing and environmental damage.
Hayakawa said he has several friends from the Dulce area that have discussed strange personal experiences with him that cannot be proved through scientific methods. “As I’ve said in my presentations, there’s a lot of cases of cancer that seems to have spread after they exploded this nuclear thing near those areas in 1967. So, in that sense, it is strange,” Hayakawa said, adding that experiments like Project Gasbuggy “led to the growth of certain kinds of conspiratorial beliefs.”
Although a premiere date has yet to be set, “The Conspiratologist” can be watched on Vimeo at vimeo.com/728469246/c7dc0c757b. Hayakawa said the documentary is important for understanding how conspiracy culture was created and what individuals can do to guard against dangerous theories and misinformation. He said the only way to get to the truth is to “diligently make a distinction between reality and imagination.”