In a posting over on the ufologyinuk discussion group UFO researcher/archivist Isaac Koi points out that ufologists are often quite unaware of the academic literature on conspiracy theories, even though they form such an important part of the ufological narrative.
He notes that the leftist think-tank Demos has recently published 'The Power of Unreason', a 55-page report on conspiracy theories. Koi comments: "I found its content to be rather simplistic in various respects and based on some assumptions that are not actually justified by the sociological data regarding conspiracy theories, but it has quite a few interesting references at the end to other academic discussions."
The report is on the Demos website, where a copy can be downloaded for free:
Although largely looking at conspiracy theories in terms of political extremism and terrorism, it has relevance in the wider context in which UFO-related conspiracy theories develop. Of course these themselves merge, through ideas of 'government cover-up' into the broader spectrum of political conspiracy.
One group they reference, which I had not previously come across are the Nuwaubians: "classified by Southern Poverty Law Centre as a Black supremacist hate group. The leader’s literature includes conspiracy theories, ‘ufology’, the extra-terrestrial origins of the humanity, extra-terrestrials control Hollywood, Illuminati, anti-group conspiracies."
They note the way in which overtly political conspiracy theories have been incorporated into what they call "other forms of 'counter-knowledge' such as ufology, the occult and David Icke's shape-shifting lizards", referencing Michael Barkun's Culture of Conspiracy, Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, which has been reviewed on the Magonia Blog HERE.
Acknowledging its limitations this is still an interesting report, well worth reading and many thanks to Isaac Koi for bringing it to our attention.