"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Birth of an X-file

If you are the government, and you really, really want to ensure that every conspiracy theorist and kook will soon be talking about the "Harbour Mille Incident" in the same way they still talk about Roswell, here's how you do it.

First, you insist that it was nothing, but without bothering to reveal the something that it was:
"We confirmed that it was something," Sgt. Wayne Edgecombe told CBC News Wednesday. But Edgecombe said he couldn't reveal what the police investigation uncovered.

"It's nothing criminal," he said, in relation to the unidentified object.

Edgecombe said he contacted the Department of National Defence and "they gave me some info," but he said that it is up to that department to release the information publicly.
Then, you make sure as many officials as possible give as many reporters as possible as much of a runaround as possible. Like this:

Defence Department officials said they were aware of the reports, but were waiting on a final report before commenting and that the RCMP were in charge of the investigation. However, the RCMP released a statement Wednesday referring all media inquiries on the subject to Public Safety Canada.

That department referred inquiries back to the RCMP.
And this:
He pointed out that Sgt. Edgecombe in Newfoundland had said the Mounties had already put the case to rest. He pointed out that Edgecombe had passed the buck to DND much earlier in the day, that his initial queries had gone to DND and that they, and Foreign Affairs, had passed the matter back to Public Safety, even though it didn't seem at all clear how Public Safety could even be involved. Unless that was, of course, it had something to do with the RCMP, which, of course, has its own media relations department and is quite capable of answering its own queries, as Sgt Edgecombe did earlier in the day.
For bonus points, become conspicuously silent:
And just like him, [the wire service had] been referred to Public Safety, who, according to one of the stories, "did not immediately return phone calls."

Let the highest level of government get itself mired in the PR fiasco:
The Prime Minister Office says there is no evidence of anyone firing a rocket near Newfoundland's southern coast, despite reports of a flaming unidentified object shooting through the sky in Harbour Mille on Monday.

"There is no indication that there was ever a rocket launch," Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said Thursday in an email.

And finally, come up with the flimsiest, most laughable, least plausible plausible-deniability cover story since "it was just a weather balloon!":
The Prime Minister's office has waded into the rocket launch mystery over the Burin Peninsula earlier this week. The Press Secretary for the Prime Minister's Office says there is no indication that there was ever a rocket launch. The PMO goes on to explain that the area is fequented by model rocket hobbyists, and the photo circulating may be a model rocket launch.

And hey, guys — when you find the wreckage containing lifeless aliens in the woods above Terrenceville, be sure to take lots of grainy footage, but "lose" the corpses and all samples.


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