Tag Archives: By Jack Brewer

Who’s Been Running MUFON?

MUFON is Broken

     The Mutual UFO Network recently announced a new Director of Research, Dr. Christopher Cogswell. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and “hopes to bring a seriousness and strong research focus to this field,” according to the MUFON website.

While we wish the doctor the highest degree of success, we would be remiss if we failed to observe the organization where he chooses to volunteer has an infamous history of substantially obstructing the very efforts he claims to undertake. His predecessor, Robert Powell, bailed for reasons reportedly including the MUFON choices of speakers at its annual symposium in 2017. In a nutshell, the organization’s mission

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
2-12-18

statement of dedication to scientific study is miles apart from many of its actual activities. If Dr. Cogswell is going to help the situation a number of circumstances will need to be addressed, from employing hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool to endorsing psychic channeling, and those are just some of the problems.

MUFON Panel Discussion

A lack of transparency and public accountability has long plagued MUFON. We have explored it at length on The UFO Trail, including posts such as UFO Community Members Weigh in on Dubious MUFON Speakers. Long before Powell’s concerns became more widely known, writers and researchers such as Nigel Watson, Frank Warren, Robert Sheaffer, and several more expressed relevant points about the quality of MUFON speakers and contributed to the 2015 post.

Back in 2014 we attempted to obtain explanations of what MUFON termed a collaboration with a French government agency, GEIPAN, that investigates unexplained aerial phenomena. Statements from MUFON leadership arguably were embarrassingly vague, while, in stark contrast, the head of GEIPAN proved quite willing to discuss the circumstances when contacted.

Other posts, such as parts one and two of the 2013 offering, MUFON, Science and Deception, further demonstrated the leadership’s lack of willingness to field questions. MUFON’s Jan Harzan has been contacted numerous times, including for comment on how an org dedicated to scientific study could promote such entirely speculative notions as Barbara Lamb’s claims surrounding ET-human hybrids, but did not respond.

Likewise, Harzan failed to respond to inquiries about the criteria used to grant David Jacobs a lifetime achievement award. Jacobs is a historian who practices hypnosis as a memory enhancer, claimed to have been harassed by an ET-human hybrid that sent him instant messages, and suggested to Emma Woods to wear a chastity belt during a long distance telephone hypnosis session, among numerous other dubious actions.

In preparation for a 2013 article on a reported UFO crash in Casselberry, Florida, attempts were made to consult several MUFON personnel. Multiple emails inquiring about the case were sent to the Executive Director, Director of Investigations, Florida State Director, and a former Florida Chief Field Investigator. None responded. We could go on at length, but the issues run even deeper still than irresponsibly promoting unsubstantiated conjecture under the guise of science or failing to share information about investigations.

From where I sit, it is significant that the Pentagon indirectly admitted funneling funds to MUFON via Robert Bigelow. This was clearly done through Bigelow’s now known receipt of funds and subsequent MUFON-BAASS initiative, yet it is virtually a non-story in UFO Land. Community members for years accused MUFON of acting as an arm of the federal government, and are now validated for all practical purposes, yet the wheels of sensationalism continue to turn with hardly a pause. You can’t say we weren’t warned.

The Pentagon
After serving as MUFON International Director from 2006 to 2009, James Carrion wrote in a 2011 blog post that it was not Robert Bigelow who funded MUFON’s work for Bigelow Aerospace, but “sponsors” Bigelow revealed to John Schuessler but not the rest of the MUFON Board of Directors. Carrion’s statements have aged well (See my post, Pentagon-UFO Story Reflects Fundamental Problems, for further info and commentary).

The Pentagon acknowledges the Defense Intelligence Agency invested money in the UFO community. Up until that time, such interests and circumstances were officially denied. They were taboo, scandalous. It was out of bounds to so much as speculate the IC was in bed with UFO researchers and their organizations. Capital “S” Skeptics cried conspiracy and called for proof. Now it’s confirmed and met with a shrug on both sides of the UFO community aisle.

I’d like to direct our attention for a while, please, to the fact the intelligence community has full on acknowledged involvement in the UFO community – this century, here and now. Others told us so and they are now validated, yet it’s seemingly not a story, in lieu of analyzing film clips, exchanging opinions on inconclusive claims about alleged aliens, and minimizing its potential significance. In my opinion, if funding sources for one project are called into question, then funding sources for many projects are called into question, especially those involving the same individuals and organizations.

MUFON has a long way to go to gain any credibility, not to mention competently addressing who’s been running its organization. Please join me in considering some of the circumstances that brought us to the point in which the Pentagon casually confirmed what amounts to funding the Mutual UFO Network.

Carpenter Affair

The Carpenter Affair. Let’s start there.

Carpenter Doc

During the 1990’s, the org’s lead alien abduction researcher “confidentially,” as he put it to me in a series of emails, provided Robert Bigelow – the guy who would later play point man on the DIA’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program – with data from case files of alleged abductees in exchange for a reported $14,000. John Carpenter, a Missouri social worker and hypnosis advocate, defended his actions, which included choosing not to obtain consent from the 140 people prior to releasing their files to Bigelow and his National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS).

MUFON officials, including John Schuessler, who sat on a NIDS board, primarily chose the stance of silence on the topic. Col. John Alexander, a former employee of the Bigelow-founded NIDS, declined comment in 2013. Alexander was asked about any interest he may have had in the files; why he suspected his employer, Bigelow, may have desired to obtain them; if other alien abduction researchers also shared files with Bigelow as Carpenter claimed may have been the case; and if Alexander was at liberty to discuss any relationships between Bigelow corporations and intelligence agencies. Alexander, a man who has repeatedly presented himself as willing and able to talk inside baseball on UFOs and the intelligence community, didn’t want to discuss it.

The above image is a copy of the second page of a 1996 letter apparently composed from Carpenter to Bigelow, discussing copying and sending 140 case files, as well as expressing thanks for payment. The image was obtained from researcher Gary Hart, who included the letter and other items in complaints filed to MUFON and the State of Missouri Division of Professional Registration. Read more in the 2013 blog post on the Carpenter Affair linked above.

NSA Memo

In 2017 I published a post about NSA largely releasing a document via my FOIA request about an NSA assignee’s attendance at a UFO symposium. The existence of the document, though previously withheld, was long known to researchers such as Philip Klass. Although we did not previously know its specific contents, Klass confidently suspected it was authored by Tom Deuley. Klass was in all likelihood correct for reasons provided and linked in my 2017 post. The document proved to be a memo, titled Information request solicitation, in which its author informed NSA of events and actions of researchers at the 1978 MUFON Symposium. From the now mostly declassified memo:

NSA MUFON Memo

Ambient Monitoring Project

In 2014 I did a blog post on the ill-fated Ambient Monitoring Project (AMP). The undertaking was initially titled the Abduction Monitoring Project, but was changed for reasons that reportedly included efforts to increase credibility and attract qualified researchers. The initiative involved placing instruments to measure environmental changes in the homes of individuals reporting alien abductions. It was headed up by long time ufology staple and career intelligence officer Tom Deuley, who likely composed the above NSA memo and served in leadership capacities of multiple UFO organizations, including MUFON. Funding sources for the AMP were not clearly disclosed and details of project results were never released. From the 2014 blog post:

Deuley wrote in the 2008 Journal article that the AMP was jointly proposed to MUFON, FUFOR [Fund for UFO Research] and the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). The collaboration reportedly resulted in the UFO Research Coalition, or the URC, as Deuley dubbed it. Exactly where the funding originated, however, was not clear, and Deuley did not at all address the amount and specific terms of project funding.

The proposal was given to the Fund for UFO Research, Deuley stated in the article, “with the intention that they in turn offer the idea to some prospective donors who might be interested in this project.”

“Over time,” he continued, “the Fund’s efforts led to sufficient funding for the work.”

“With a good prospect for a sponsor,” Deuley not so clearly explained further, “the URC continued to fine-tune the proposal. After several rounds of changes and negotiation with the prospective funding organization, the proposal for the Ambient Monitoring Project was accepted.”

Who ever the “prospective funding organization” of which Deuley may have been referring, how ever the proposal may specifically have been “accepted,” and where ever reported “sufficient funding” may have actually originated, Richard Hall told UFO Updates List the project was out of money. Hall informed them of that nine months before Deuley’s July, 2008, article which suggested funding was in hand and data was in the process of being analyzed.

[…]

In 2008 I emailed inquiries about the project to various board members of the UFO organizations involved. An email was sent to Deuley, who I requested provide details that might be available for public release, particularly concerning such information as final analysis and project personnel. He replied August 2, 2008:

“The analysis is in progress and will include a full report when all of the cases have been analyzed. Until then we feel it is prudent to not publicize who is doing the analysis or where it is being conducted. The report is most likely to be printed in the MUFON Journal, and if extensive to be published for sale by the UFO Research Coalition.”

I sent a similar inquiry to David Boras of CUFOS, who briefly replied on August 3, 2008, “Statistical analyses are ongoing and not yet available.”

Astronomer Dr. John Carlson, also of FUFOR, and I exchanged some brief messages. Even after I made him aware Deuley had just days prior stated in an email to me that AMP data was in the process of being analyzed, Carlson wrote in an August 5, 2008 email there were no funds to analyze the data, so he believed the project was effectively dormant.

Such discrepancies and contradictions within MUFON and UFO orgs have now become common to the point of no longer attracting meaningful discussion. Inaccuracy and a lack of direct answers from leadership have come to be expected.

UFO Research Coalition

Robert Bigelow
Robert Bigelow
It was repeatedly stated by those familiar with and involved in the AMP that it was a collaboration of CUFOS, MUFON and FUFOR. Tom Deuley reported in his 2008 MUFON Journal article that the collaboration resulted in the forming of the UFO Research Coalition. The FUFOR website indicated the Coalition was formed at the suggestion of Robert Bigelow.

“Disagreement over control of the UFO Research Coalition lead to a complete break with Robert Bigelow,” the website further stated, indicating the “disagreement” culminated in 1994. The conflict was apparently resolved by the time of the MUFON-BAASS venture of 2009, when many of the same organizational leaders were on deck, as can be explored in detail at the bottom of the 2014 blog post, What Happened to the Ambient Monitoring Project?.

Conclusions

There may be some events of interest under the descriptions of high strangeness or things in the sky. I don’t claim to know, and as regular readers are aware, my primary area of focus migrated into social aspects of the UFO community. While I don’t profess to conclusively know much about what all is being reported and witnessed, I’m pretty confident you aren’t going to get any substantial explanations from the latest crowd of self-proclaimed insiders, researchers, and disclosure activists. We simply have no reason to think so, barring extreme changes of operating procedures. It is more than reasonable at this point, if not arguably naive not to call into question the funding sources and agendas of those directing the UFO research community.

It is also reasonable to desire financial accountability from tax-funded projects, such as the AATIP, and nonprofit corporations, namely MUFON, that collect public financial support while enjoying tax benefits. You are entitled to expect accurate and reasonably transparent reporting of budgets and activities. We clearly have a long, long way to go to achieve such transparency in the UFO community. I am strongly of the opinion its obstruction and the related issues are much more worthy of attention than the unsubstantiated sensational claims promoted by the involved parties.

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The Paranormal Radio Host and the Money Scandal – Pt 3

The Paranormal Radio Host and the Money Scandal - Pt 3

Updates on Paracast Host Gene Steinberg ‘Emergency’ Cash Solicitations

     This is a follow up to a Jan. 2, 2018, blog post, Gene Steinberg Personal ‘Emergency’ Cash Solicitations Span Years, Hundreds of Emails. See the original post for information on Steinberg’s years of repetitive cash solicitations framed as emergencies. This post will serve as a place to publish ongoing updates and developments.

For more info on Steinberg’s email cash solicitations, follow @SchemeGeneRC on Twitter. You may also choose to keep an eye on a UFO Trail Twitter thread tracking a year to date total of Steinberg’s email solicitations.

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
2-1-18

Subject lines and dates of Steinberg’s 2018 emails may be viewed at the end of this post. Check back for periodic updates.

Following the initial UFO Trail blog post on Steinberg’s email campaign, his Paracast co-host Christopher O’Brien weighed in. O’Brien expressed concerns surrounding the chronic cash requests and subsequent integrity of the show. Following up on his concerns, O’Brien stated in a Feb. 1 email, quoted with his permission:

I’m looking to shake some things up in my life, Jack. I’ve grown tired of being taken for granted by some folks in this field and I’m tired of being ignored by others in these so-called fields of “research.” I’m leaving Arizona and am returning to the East Coast (where I lived for 16 years) for a few months to finish up several projects and to help out a longtime friend. I am also planning changes in my broadcasting pursuits and am considering some exciting potential opportunities. Also, very soon there will be an important announcement about the San Luis Valley Camera/Monitoring Project.

Steinberg’s stance, as demonstrated in public comments, was that his solicitations have nothing to do with Paracast, specifically stating his cash requests are “not at all connected with the radio show, the Paracast newsletter or the forum.” No explanation was offered, however, of how the e-list used for solicitations was compiled if not from the Paracast following and the interest generated by its co-hosts and guests. Moreover, a review of facts directly and firmly contradicts Steinberg’s assertion.

The cash requests, which number well into the hundreds, have been broadcast for several years from a paracast.com email address. That continues to be the case in 2018. Steinberg emailed ten such solicitations during January, 2018, originating from a paracast.com address.

A Twitter account operated by Steinberg, titled @theparacast and displaying a Paracast logo, is commonly used to promote Steinberg’s purported plight and subsequent cash requests. A couple 2018 tweets, dated Jan. 25 and Jan. 24:

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UFO-Pentagon FOIA Request Delayed

Nimitz UFO

     The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provided an interim response for an FOIA request seeking clarification about the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The DIA indicated more time is needed to process the request. A letter dated Jan. 10, 2018, and composed by FOIA and Declassification Services Office Chief Alesia Y. Williams, stated in part:

This is an interim response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated December 23, 2017, requesting copies of all contracts pertaining to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, (AATIP) this includes contracts undertaken and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace…

Jack Brewer By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
1-20-18

We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA’s 20 day statutory time period due to unusual circumstances. These unusual circumstances could be: (a) the need to search for and collect records from a facility geographically separated from this office; (b) the potential volume of records responsive to your request; and (c) the need for consultation with one or more other agencies which have substantial interest in either the determination or the subject matter of the records. For these reasons, your request has been placed in our queue and will be worked in the order the request was received. Our current administrative workload is in excess of 1,139 requests.

The body of the original Dec. 23, 2017, FOIA request contained the following:

Please provide copies of all contracts pertaining to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. This includes contracts undertaken with and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace.

All paperwork is requested concerning the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, as recently reported by major news outlets to have operated no less than 2007 to 2012. Requested are all reports composed by personnel of the program, reports submitted by funding recipients of the program, lists of contractors and subcontractors, and any related files and information.

A second similar request was submitted, seeking “copies of all contracts undertaken with and funding provided to the National Institute for Discovery Science. Likely date ranges would include 1995 to 2004.”

Chief Williams responded, indicating once again that more time was required for “unusual circumstances” listed the same as above. Both interim response letters were dated Jan. 10, 2018.

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See Also:

BREAKING NEWS: The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program Revealed | VIDEO

Ex-CIA Chief – Keep Studying UFOs

Herald Tribune Reporter, Billy Cox Queries CIA On Chase Brandon’s Roswell UFO Claims

Luis Elizando Former Head of Secret Pentagon UFO Program Describes Five Categories of UFOs | INTERVIEW

While Waiting for the Next New York Times UFO Bomb to Drop

Navy Pilot, Who Chased A UFO, Says ‘We Should Take Them Seriously’

UFO Legacy: What Impact Will Revelation of Secret Government Program Have?

UFO Reports at Nuclear Missile Sites and The Pentagon UFO Program

Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson Discusses The Pentagon UFO Program on Colbert | VIDEO

Ex-Military Official Details Pentagon’s Secret UFO Hunt | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Pentagon’s Secret UFO Search, Stanton Friedman Weighs In | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

What the New York Times UFO Report Actually Reveals

‘Second’ Navy Pilot Comes Forward Re UFO Encounter | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

‘The Pentagon’s Newly Revealed UFO Research Program’ – What a Week!

On the Trail of a Secret Pentagon U.F.O. Program

UFO-Pentagon Story Reflects Fundamental Problems

Pentagon UFO Study Examined UFO Activity at Nuclear Missile Sites Says Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid

UFO Study Focused on U.S. Military Encounters

PENTAGON UFO PROGRAM: ‘Recovered Material’ From UFOs Discussed By Leslie Kean | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Senator Reid Discusses Secret UFO Program | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Navy Pilot Recounts UFO Encounter | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Aliens, UFOs, Flying Discs and Sightings — Oh My!

Secret Programs, U.S. Senators and Money, Who Wants to Talk UFOs Now?

Navy Pilot Talks: The UFO Jammed Their Radar — ‘It Accelerated Beyond Any Airplane We Have’

BREAKING NEWS: The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program Revealed | VIDEO

Navy UFO Encounter: ‘It Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’ – F/A-18F Pilot | VIDEO

Secret UFO Pentagon Program Explained By Leslie Kean | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Secret Pentagon UFO Program Spent Millions

The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs

REPORT YOUR UFO EXPERIENCE

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The Paranormal Radio Host and the Money Scandal – Pt 2

The Paranormal Radio Host and a Money Scandal - Pt 2

Gene Steinberg Personal ‘Emergency’ Cash Solicitations
Span Years, Hundreds of Emails

     Gene Steinberg solicited cash donations from an e-list hundreds of times since 2014 and earlier, including 139 emails during 2017, for circumstances framed as financial emergencies. Screenshots of subject lines of many of the emails are posted below. A list of the 2017 emails by subject line and date is provided at the end of this post.

The dozens of 2017 messages continued what has become an ongoing story of financial destitution narrated for years by the host of The Paracast. The money, according to Steinberg’s emails, was needed for such personal expenses as rent, utilities, and groceries, often described as crises and nightmares. The emails contained a

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
1-2-18

PayPal link and instructions for sending funds, as has been the case in years past.

Steinberg messages to the e-list from 2016, with December through July followed by June to January:

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UFO-Pentagon Story Reflects Fundamental Problems

Secret UFO Pentagon Program

     Mainstream news outlets jumped into the deep end of Billy Cox’s Great Taboo. The New York Times, Politico and The Washington Post are among those reporting to have confirmed that Luis Elizondo, a career intelligence officer formerly with the Defense Department and currently of Team DeLonge, headed a UFO investigation project as claimed. The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, reportedly operational from no less than 2007 to 2012, was financed through black funding which included money funneled to Bigelow Aerospace, owned by longtime UFO enthusiast and controversial philanthropist Robert Bigelow. The remarkable circumstances published included the claim, “Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings
Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
12-20-17

in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.”

If you’re interested in UFOs, you are justified in sitting up and taking note. If you’ve been pulling for DeLonge, congratulations. A little chest beating is in order. The current revelations don’t excuse his wild and unsupported claims about an alien presence, but he apparently has, in fact, been in contact with an intelligence community member who actually had something to say, or at least more to say than the average self-proclaimed insider.

That stated, questions involve how and why it was orchestrated. It is imperative to proceed cautiously and critically. I encourage trying to refrain from premature conclusions and confirmation bias.

While some long frustrated ufology activists have indeed succeeded in making some noise, it is important to remember a well executed public relations campaign does not an established fact make. It is imperative the reporters and key players produce materials fully supporting their claims else risk driving yet another stake of cynicism squarely through the heart of open mindedness. In this post let’s cautiously explore where these stories lead us, both past and present.

Taxpayer Funds

For starters, let’s consider the reported UFO hunting initiative was a taxpayer-supported program. I asked Sharon Weinberger via email if she cared to provide comment for this blog post. She is Executive Editor at Foreign Policy and author of the nonfiction book, Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld, as well as the recent bestseller, The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World.

“As a long-time advocate of government transparency, I think the only thing I have to say at the moment is that such programs, if pursued, must be able to stand up to public scrutiny,” Weinberger explained. “The fact that we didn’t know about this program until long after it was over, even though it was unclassified, reflects a more fundamental problem at work here. Taxpayers deserve to know their money is being spent.”

The reported distribution of funds under the direction of the Department of Defense potentially opens the circumstances up to FOIA inquiries. The news stories alone offer a substantial number of FOIA opportunities, including requesting for public verification and review the documents and communications provided to the reporters. Obviously, circumstances surrounding the alleged physical evidence stored in modified buildings per Bigelow’s oversight should be scrutinized at length, among other items referenced.

It was further reported via the Times, “Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes.” I encourage submitting FOIA requests on such research, who specifically did it, the exact funding trail involved, the resulting dissemination of data, and similar details.

For instance, who were the “program contractors” collecting material recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena? With what organization(s), exactly? What were the specific circumstances?

Dr. Tyler Kokjohn holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and is a Professor of Microbiology at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has shown a willingness to address UFO-related topics in reasoned manners, applying his expertise to issues often debated within the community. In response to request for comment on the UFO-Pentagon news, the doctor provided the following:

Helene Cooper et al. have reported a remarkable story about an obscure Defense Department ‘black money’ project, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program 1. This 5 year, multi-million dollar effort to investigate UFO reports was funded at the request of Senator Harry Reid supported by two (now deceased) Senate colleagues. Financial support for the earmark program was terminated in 2012 when officials determined these funds should be directed to ‘higher priority issues.’2 Whether the work still continues somewhere within the Department of Defense is unclear.2

This news story has exposed a secret treasure trove of information for follow-up investigations. It appears most of the money was channeled to an aerospace research company owned by Robert Bigelow. Researchers interviewed military personnel who reported UFO sightings and conducted medical examinations of subjects experiencing physical manifestations linked to UFO incidents. In addition, Bigelow Aerospace customized buildings in Las Vegas to store metal and other materials recovered from UFO encounters.

The story by Cooper et al. (1) was solid journalism in that it provided information acquired from several persons with direct involvement in the events. However, one facet of the reporting inadvertently reveals something odd; the scientist and engineer contacted for responses, although highly expert, did not appear to have direct knowledge of the work or to have been given access to any results/data. Accordingly, their responses were generic doubts about the UFO subject, not specific critiques of the actual work itself. This seems strange because Bigelow Aerospace solicited research proposals for the effort and hired people to conduct the work. Somehow the people best able to comment regarding the scientific quality of the investigations and the significance of the results obtained were mostly overlooked.

For somewhere between 5-10 years, data and physical evidence gathered under the auspices of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program has been hidden from the public. Perhaps the unclassified portions of the scientific work performed by Bigelow Aerospace will now be forthcoming to enable evaluations by independent experts. This was a taxpayer-supported program and some extraordinary claims are being made about the findings in public. It will be unfortunate if investigators are forced to resort to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to discover what was done in this program. However, because it appears requests for research proposals/assistance were issued by Bigelow Aerospace, investigators may be able to pry loose some of the information if it becomes necessary.

The information provided in the New York Times story suggests that opinions as to what was discovered and its significance varied sharply. Senator Reid felt that the findings were so momentous the program needed a higher level of security to restrict access. A director’s summary alleged science fiction had become science fact and the U.S. could not defend itself against some of the technologies discovered. It will be fascinating to see how Defense Department officials receiving such statements weighed them against the hard data to reach a decision that other priorities were more pressing.

Because some of the principals involved in overseeing the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program have been speaking about it openly and exploiting their experiences in a commercial venture, it seems unlikely any entity could now withhold all scientific results by claiming the information is classified. Does Bigelow Aerospace hold physical evidence proving UFOs are real? Do the data prove claims the phenomena did not originate from any country? From a scientific perspective the most fascinating question is this – why would any organization with convincing, apparently unclassified, proof of UFO technologies and their origins keep it secret? Maybe an independent scientific inspection of the evidence will confirm why secret earmark programs are not always good ideas. Evaluating the scientific evidence in hand and comparing it to some remarkable claims promises to be a fascinating exercise.

(1) Helene Cooper et al. 2017. Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program, The New York Times, 16 December 2017.

(2) David Morgan. 2017. Does Pentagon Still Have a UFO Program? The Answer Is a Bit Mysterious. The Does Pentagon Still Have a UFO Program? The Answer Is a Bit Mysterious. The New York Times via Reuters, 16 December 2017.

MUFON

In 2009 the Mutual UFO Network entered into an ill fated collaboration initiated by the then-newly launched Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. The MUFON-BAASS venture was almost certainly a part of the now revealed Pentagon-funded Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, if not the primary arm of the operation. At the time, MUFON attempted to coordinate widespread training for field investigators described as a rapid response team. The organization soon found itself marred in turmoil which included a large scale exodus of personnel. Public relations were extremely strained as revolving door leadership saw a run of four executive directors in as many years. A lack of organizational transparency was a common complaint, which included the public nonprofit corporation’s failure to provide details of funding sources, so before we join the capital-D disclosure celebration, let’s consider how the players conducted their affairs up to this point.

James Carrion served as Executive Director of MUFON from 2006 to 2009. He is a former intelligence analyst and UFO writer/researcher who pursues forensic historic analysis. An excerpt from his 2011 blog post titled, Strange Bedfellows:

 Strange Bedfellows

In response to request for comment for this post, Carrion provided the following contribution:

In the fall of 2008, Robert Bigelow approached MUFON with an extraordinary business proposal – a subcontract from a Bigelow subsidiary called Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC (BAASS) for MUFON UFO investigative services. The MUFON Board signed non-disclosure agreements and the negotiations began.

BAASS essentially wanted MUFON’s field investigators to conduct quality investigations of significant UFO cases, no expense spared, and then to feed those investigations to BAASS scientists. BAASS’ alleged goal for this endeavor was to acquire UFO super technology and then to file patents on this technology. The contract was signed in the spring of 2009 and ran for only a few months before the partnership withered and fell apart towards the end of the year.

Before, during and after this partnership, only one MUFON Board member, former MUFON International Director, John Schuessler, was ever made privy to the money source for the Bigelow subcontract. Now it is public knowledge, courtesy of investigative journalists, that this money came from a Pentagon black budget project.

What are we to make of this public disclosure of the Pentagon’s renewed forage into UFO investigation? If we look back in history when UFOs first hit the mass consciousness in 1947, the nascent U.S. Air Force investigated UFOs through a number of projects culminating in the last official investigation, Project Bluebook, which was killed off in 1969. That is, count it, 22 years of taxpayer dollars spent in the pursuit of “something” that was declared a non-threat to national security.

Fast forward to 2007 and the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) – funded allegedly at the behest of a politician and a billionaire who had a common interest in the phenomenon. Are we expected to believe that the Pentagon let almost 40 years pass in-between its investigations before deciding that UFOs were a potential threat? Did the billions of dollars spent prior on air defense against a Soviet, Chinese or rogue nation nuclear attack, or tracking the most minute space junk, simply not detect these UFO threats beforehand?

And is black budget money given out freely at the whim of any politician who wants to study their eccentric interests? Is there a black project currently looking into uncovering Barack Obama’s “real” birth certificate, or whether Ted Cruz’s father was really involved in the JFK assassination or one that is trying to determine how hundreds of thousands of Americans donned an invisibility cloak at the 2017 Presidential inauguration?

And will the disclosure of AATIP just spawn countless other conspiracy theories, like perhaps AATIP is just a shade of gray and that other competing and unacknowledged UFO projects are hidden even deeper in the murky world of black projects?

Today when science is sadly under attack, previously accepted facts take second place to rumor, innuendo and fantasy, and where the alleged leader of the free world spins daily conspiracies and has a severe allergy to the truth, what are we really to make of the Pentagon investigating what it has consistently called a nothing burger? Even after the AATIP was disclosed, some of the data it collected or is still collecting remains classified. Does that mean the American public will AGAIN only get half of the truth?

The question that every American should be asking their elected officials is what did the 22 million taxpayer dollars, earmarked for this black budget UFO investigation project, really buy them and how soon can we the people examine the ENTIRE merchandise? Even more importantly for Congress to investigate is the decision making rationale that led up to this project and why almost 40 years lapsed before UFOs were declared objects non grata in American airspace.

What an in-depth Congressional investigation may reveal is a deeper truth – one that as Sir Winston Churchill once described the former Soviet Union – is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. In reality, we are all tired of enigmas, mysteries and riddles – what Americans really want, indeed what the whole world wants, is just the ultimate truth, whatever that may be.

The MUFON-BAASS train wreck was not the first time activities involving the nonprofit, Bigelow, and cash accountability came under fire. At the turn of the century news leaked of what would become known as the Carpenter Affair. It was soon confirmed that John Carpenter, while serving as MUFON Director of Abduction Research, secretly provided Robert Bigelow data from case files of some 140 “alien abductees” for a reported $14,000.

John Carpenter is among those who confirmed what he termed the discreet sharing of data, which reportedly included copies of recordings of hypnosis sessions conducted with the individuals. Carpenter explained during a 2012 email exchange that he confidentially provided the data to Bigelow for review by Bigelow and colleagues at the now dissolved Bigelow-founded National Institute for Discovery Science. Personnel of the Institute included Col. John Alexander, who, according to John Velez via UFO UpDates List in 2000, confirmed what Velez termed the “file sale,” as did MUFON then-Executive Director Walt Andrus and Bigelow himself.

An excerpt from my 2013 blog post, The Carpenter Affair: For the Record:

The Carpenter Affair - For the Record

The 140 people in question, who had sought support from Carpenter and MUFON, were not informed of the arrangement between Carpenter and Bigelow. The specific details of the primary motives and agendas behind the circumstances remain unclear.

“We may never know,” Elizabeth Chavez Carpenter, former wife of John Carpenter and one of the 140, reflected during a December, 2013, telephone conversation.

A lack of accountability is disappointingly common within the UFO community. Its members, often eager for new and intriguing information, frequently fail to question the bookkeeping of the messenger if they support the message.

A 1996 AP article which explored Bigelow’s interests in the Skinwalker Ranch reported that Bigelow declined to be interviewed, while NIDS employee John Alexander stated details would not be provided of how or why research was being conducted. The article further indicated former ranch owner Terry Sherman, employed by Bigelow to maintain the property, chose not to comment because Bigelow had him sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Public trust of MUFON and its collaborators was substantially diminished due to a lack of accountability for the Ambient Monitoring Project. In 2008, long time MUFON and ufology staple Tom Deuley wrote in the MUFON UFO Journal how the approximately ten year-long effort was coming to fruition. Deuley explained funding was in hand to complete analysis already begun on data obtained from instruments placed in the homes of reported alien abductees. The idea was to monitor the environment and discern what, if anything, was physically taking place during alleged abductions.

Much to the disappointment of a community eager to hear what happened, no conclusions were ever produced. Explanations were offered by a variety of involved parties as to why no final project report or even summary was published, all of which were inadequate, often contradictory to one another, and sorely lacking in professionalism.

The failed project involved a collaboration between some UFO organizations, including the Fund for UFO Research, which Deuley suggested in his 2008 article was a substantial influence. A review of the circumstances revealed, per the FUFOR website circa 1993, “the Fund joined with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) to form the UFO Research Coalition to conduct major projects, at the suggestion of Las Vegas builder Robert Bigelow, who promised major funding.” By 1994, it was further reported via the website, “disagreement over control of the UFO Research Coalition lead to a complete break with Robert Bigelow. Laurance Rockefeller appeared on the scene, ready to fund major projects through his intermediary, Mrs. Marie ‘Bootsie’ Gailbreath.”

Further research and communications with men listed as members of boards of directors of the involved nonprofit corporations often produced the same inconsistent statements as made publicly, if not implying worse. A 2008 email inquiry to astrophysicist Dr. Richard Henry, listed at the time as a FUFOR board member on the org’s website, resulted in the doctor responding he had not heard from FUFOR “in ages.”

“Let me know if you find out anything!” he added.

Bottom Line

There is no substitute for an established fact, and facts cannot be established absent evidence available for public review. Some of the material supplied to those reporting on the UFO-Pentagon story, i.e., the DeLonge project, is relevant and offers some value as contributions to the UFO genre. The videos, for example, embody what, by definition, are UFOs. They deserve ample examination by qualified experts.

That stated, the public indeed has a valid complaint when taxpayer funds are used to obtain alleged materials that, as of this writing, are not readily available for review. The public also has a valid complaint when public nonprofit corporations, which enjoy tax benefits and offer tax deductions for donors, fail to adequately report their financial activities and agendas.

What’s more, some of the parties involved in the Pentagon saga have not only shown a willingness to avert from disclosing details of their activities, but an outright effort to conceal them. In doing so, the identities of funding entities have been concealed, financial reporting has been inadequate, and notification of the circumstances to involved parties has, at times, been nonexistent.

Just because someone is an intelligence community asset doesn’t make them inherently dishonest or nefarious. There are any number of people who assist the U.S. intelligence services in honorable manners. A primary point, as I see it, is that with all the half-truths, lack of accountability, and direct lies within the UFO community, it is impossible to discern the value of someone’s claim if they don’t produce the beef. Demand it or recognize the situation for what it often is: sizzle and no steak. It might also be unethical at times. The only way to know for sure is to actually find out, and you know what they say about fool me once…

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See Also:

Pentagon UFO Study Examined UFO Activity at Nuclear Missile Sites Says Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid

UFO Study Focused on U.S. Military Encounters

PENTAGON UFO PROGRAM: ‘Recovered Material’ From UFOs Discussed By Leslie Kean | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Senator Reid Discusses Secret UFO Program | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Navy Pilot Recounts UFO Encounter | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Aliens, UFOs, Flying Discs and Sightings — Oh My!

Secret Programs, U.S. Senators and Money, Who Wants to Talk UFOs Now?

Navy Pilot Talks: The UFO Jammed Their Radar — ‘It Accelerated Beyond Any Airplane We Have’

BREAKING NEWS: The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program Revealed | VIDEO

Navy UFO Encounter: ‘It Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’ – F/A-18F Pilot | VIDEO

Secret UFO Pentagon Program Explained By Leslie Kean | INTERVIEW – VIDEO

Secret Pentagon UFO Program Spent Millions

The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs

REPORT YOUR UFO EXPERIENCE

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Intelligence Community Influence Is a Ufology Staple

Intelligence Community Influence Is a Ufology Staple

     Historian Aaron J. Gulyas is doing a podcast, The Saucer Life, and I recommend checking it out. Gulyas is a longtime researcher, writer, and presenter in the UFO community. He does good work and his podcast is entertaining, as well as full of intriguing, well sourced tidbits. The Nov. 26 episode, Encounter 206: And then the feds showed up…, addressed the type of circumstances often explored here at The UFO Trail.

The show focused on a chain of events involving the 1954 Detroit Flying Saucer Club. Gulyas cited declassified FBI documents he located at The Black Vault which indicate members of the Saucer Club became

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
12-5-17

concerned about the potentially anti-American and subversive activities of other attendees. A concerned citizen contacted the FBI, touching off an investigation, a series of covert interactions surrounding FBI agents and club members, and, as Gulyas put it, an example of why government interest in flying saucers was really never about the saucers in some cases.

Points I find interesting about the saga include similarities between mid 20th century fear of communist aggression and current day Islamophobia. For instance, activities at least one Detroit Flying Saucer Club member felt warranted reporting to the FBI included the expression of anti-nuclear war sentiments and the promotion of peace. Not exactly treason, but apparently disturbing enough for a self-described patriotic American to call the feds.

Also of interest was a central figure, Laura Mundo, who conducted a campaign to promote the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. We might reasonably assume her support of predominant themes in the movie – namely, aliens, universal peace and disarmament – primarily fueled her interest in the film, pending substantial reasons to suspect otherwise.

It’s an intriguing side plot that the CIA in all likelihood substantially influenced the production of The Day the Earth Stood Still. As writer/researcher Robbie Graham pointed out, verified propaganda specialists were employed on the set as a production chief and a script writer, among other significant circumstances (see Graham’s book Silver Screen Saucers and paper The CIA, the Movie Mogul, and ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’).

This presents any number of interesting scenarios, including Mundo becoming indirectly influenced by intelligence agencies conducting projects using the UFO topic as a tool. She was neither the first nor the last to be ensnared in the cloak and dagger activities of such agencies, seemingly at least sometimes unaware of the actions and objectives of one another. The Saucer Life might lead us to revisit some related circumstances.

Intelligence and UFO Communities

As we have previously explored, investigation of espionage has been much more relevant to the UFO community than its disproportionately low amount of attention suggests. Espionage and counterespionage operations have significantly shaped UFO-related beliefs, inadvertently or otherwise, of any number of community members, some of them more directly and noticeably than others. This is often without so much as a smattering of discussion. What’s more, the involvement of intelligence personnel in ufology is not only nothing new, but a staple. If we were to make a Venn diagram of the intelligence and UFO communities – particularly ufology’s high profile members – the much larger circle of the former would significantly overlap the latter.

The birth of the modern era of UFOs was fathered by the intelligence community. The ghost rockets, Kenneth Arnold story, Roswell saga and more are saturated with IC involvement and verifiable instances of under the table activities.

The contactee movement, which, as Gulyas reports, included Laura Mundo’s support of George Adamski, was itself saturated with intel implications as well. To omit the involvement of the IC in an exploration of the contactee era would render an incomplete assessment. As a matter of fact, many ufology circumstances from the times involved intelligence agencies, as Gulyas is exploring at The Saucer Life. The cases are many and frequent.

The USAF Office of Special Investigations became a regular player in the UFO genre, and the FBI always was. Career CIA and NSA personnel substantially contributed to the evolving fantastic story lines and subplots, ranging from sitting on boards of directors of UFO organizations to making sensational yet unsubstantiated claims themselves. The list goes on.

The covertly CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel suggested to the Agency in 1953 that UFO “organizations should be watched because of their potentially great influence on mass thinking if widespread sightings should occur. The apparent irresponsibility and the possible use of such groups for subversive purposes should be kept in mind.”

CIA Instruction To Fabricate
View the full transcript of the Jan. 30, 1954 CIA cable
via the State Department

Far from above such subversive actions itself, the CIA recommended in 1954 to operatives in Guatemala to consider fabricating a story about flying saucers. The objective was to distract public attention from Agency sponsorship of a coup in the Central American nation.

It began that way in ufology in the mid 20th century, and it really hasn’t changed a whole lot since. “Disclosure activists” are indeed continuing to hang their hopes on the cryptic statements of intelligence personnel, arguably reading between the lines exactly what they desire to find. What’s more, the much discussed Tom DeLonge identifies himself as willing and able to sort IC fact from fiction and inform us of what he “knows” about the alien presence. Actual substance is disappointingly – and quite noticeably – absent from his disclosures.

I can understand when UFO enthusiasts aren’t interested in the intelligence community. I really can. I realize many people want to hear about unexplained phenomena. It’s interesting, and very few of us ever picked up our first UFO book or attended our first conference to learn about the significance of espionage in the UFO community. There are indeed any number of intriguing UFO cases with well presented research surrounding them. It’s reasonable to find them of interest.

It is nonetheless equally true that the mid 20th century to present era of UFOs includes substantial activity of the intelligence community. The reasons are many, and the objectives, whatever they all may be, are different from one situation to the next. The fallout is relevant. Whether we choose to find it more interesting to stock our bookshelves with reports of unusual phenomena, or the social circumstances surrounding them, may at times be considered comparable to viewing an optical illusion, the kind in which we see either a vase or two faces opposite one another, depending on perspective. It might sometimes be worth remembering that the entire disorienting illusion was created by an artist in the first place.

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NSA Declassifies Documents on MUFON Conference

NSA Memo (pg 2) Re MUFON Conference - 1978

     The National Security Agency recently released the majority of a 1978 memo prepared by an assignee (see below) about his attendance at a UFO conference. The document was obtained following a Jan. 24, 2017, request for a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR). The five-page memo contains the subject line, “Information request solicitation,” and advises the NSA on such matters as likely fraudulent CIA letters showcased at the conference, activities of some specific researchers in attendance, relationships with the researchers, and potential problems that might arise through such relationships. The NSA Sep. 12, 2017, response to the MDR request and the partially redacted document may be viewed and downloaded at the link above.
Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
ufotrail.blogspot.com
9-22-17

The Memo

NSA Memo (pg 1) Re MUFON Conference - 1978 NSA Memo (pg 2) Re MUFON Conference - 1978
NSA Memo (pg 3) Re MUFON Conference - 1978 NSA Memo (pg 4) Re MUFON Conference - 1978 NSA Memo (pg 5) Re MUFON Conference - 1978
– click and or right click on image(s) to enlarge –

The NSA continues to withhold the name of the assignee who composed the memo, as well as identities of additional NSA personnel referenced, but the late writer and researcher Philip Klass confidently speculated the author to be Tom Deuley. Klass was probably correct, as we will explore later in this post.

The Aug. 29, 1978, message begins by providing its recipient with some context. The author explained how he informed proper NSA personnel of his interest in UFOs and his intention to attend the 1978 MUFON Symposium. He then described events which occurred at the conference and involved researchers Leonard Stringfield, Robert Barry and Todd Zechel.

Stringfield did a presentation, during which he introduced Barry, who shared two letters he allegedly received from the CIA (Further research revealed Stringfield’s presentation was on crashed flying saucers, so we might reasonably assume Barry’s letters were related to the topic). The memo author/NSA assignee indicated he suspected the letters to be fraudulent, and proceeded to interact with the researchers in order to investigate the authenticity of the docs. He went on to explain he contacted CIA personnel who verified the letters to be frauds, and that the CIA wrote Barry and informed him that was the case.

The memo author described his suspicions of the origin of the purported CIA letters, as well as his concerns about the activities of researchers involved, including Todd Zechel (who founded Citizens Against UFO Secrecy, or CAUS):

NSA Memo (Snippet 1) Re MUFON Conference - 1978

This leads us to the bulk of the body of the memo, and the purpose of its subject line, “Information request solicitation.” The memo author describes a nearly hour long telephone conversation with Zechel in which the NSA man clearly developed a sense of responsibility to inform the Agency of its contents. The author explained Zechel was requesting he “watch out for UFO related information within NSA” and “that I pass on what I could.” The NSA assignee added he had “to some degree” checked on Zechel’s character “with some people who have worked with him more closely.”

“There is some thought,” he continued, “that he would be capable of being behind the CIA letter fraud and that he is apt to go to most any length to collect information or to bend facts to fit his needs.”

The author further wrote, “I personally have some fear that now that he has made contact with me, he may, either privately, or worse, publicly attempt to make it look as if I am an inside NSA contact for him. Or, on the other hand, he may elude to having such a contact for years, then when he feels it appropriate or when cornered, hope to produce me as that contact.”

The memo concludes with mentioning “a chance of building a productive working relationship” with Zechel, whatever that’s supposed to mean, and committing, “Any further contact or requests for information will be reported.”:

NSA Memo (Snippet 2) Re MUFON Conference - 1978

History

The trail of the 1978 memo can be followed back to the Yeates affidavit. The sworn statements of NSA man Eugene F. Yeates were recorded in the early 1980’s when CAUS sued the NSA for its UFO files.

Yeates stated some 239 documents responsive to the FOIA request submitted by CAUS were located in NSA files. One of the docs, he noted however, should not be considered relevant to UFOs: the 1978 memo. As Yeates explained in the affidavit, “It is an account by a person assigned to NSA of his attendance at a UFO symposium and it cannot fairly be said to be a record of the kind sought by the plaintiff.”

In other words, it didn’t really have anything to do with UFOs. Yeates’ statements further suggested the NSA was reluctant to fully release the rest of its files for similar reasons: the info therein had less to do with the plaintiff’s UFO-related interests than matters of national security, particularly communications intelligence (COMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT).

Philip Klass explored the topic in his Jan., 1997 newsletter. Klass obtained some 156 formerly Top Secret COMINT “UFO documents” spanning the years 1958 to 1979 and previously withheld from CAUS by the NSA. While the docs were “heavily censored,” Klass concurred they primarily revealed matters of national security, such as NSA eavesdropping on Russian military sites and similar circumstances.

Klass further wrote that he strongly suspected the author of the then-withheld memo by the assignee at the UFO conference (referenced in the Yeates affidavit) to be Tom Deuley, a former NSA man and longtime MUFON board member. Klass continued that Deuley explained in a 1987 paper he was assigned to the Agency in mid-1978, just prior to attending the MUFON annual conference held that year in Dayton, Ohio. Deuley reportedly also wrote, “Before making that trip I felt it was necessary to let NSA know that I had an interest in UFOs. I took the matter up with my immediate supervisor, suggesting that the fact be put on the record.”

It can be reasonably surmised that Klass was likely correct about the identity of the memo author, as both the date, 1978, and location, Dayton, of the conference are corroborated in the now largely released document. The sponsor of the event, the Mutual UFO Network, is also corroborated, as is the description by the memo author that he was then-recently assigned to the NSA and desired to keep his employer properly informed of his activities.

Context

In my opinion, the declassified memo represents important yet largely under reported aspects of the UFO community: the significance of espionage and counterespionage operations, investigations (unrelated to UFOs but overlapping with the UFO community) conducted by the intelligence community, and the effects the circumstances have on the genre as a whole. This appears to have particularly been the case in the 20th century, when standard methods of operation seem to have included fabricating tales of crashed flying saucers and circulating unsubstantiated reports of aliens via fraudulent documents. The dynamics are reflected in the 1978 memo, whatever may have been the actual agendas of the parties involved.

Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz

The time of the memo, 1978, was just a few short years before Richard Doty gaslighted Paul Bennewitz and shared unverified extraordinary documents with Linda Moulton Howe. The Bennewitz Affair contained entirely unsubstantiated rumors that nonetheless continue to be recycled and continuously accepted throughout UFO circles.

At that same point in time, the early 1980’s, a young airman stationed in Nevada and holding a Top Secret clearance was slipped none other than a likely forged smoking gun doc. She had a preexisting relationship with MUFON and interest in UFOs. As explored in my book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community, Simone Mendez was subjected to grueling interrogations before being cleared of potential espionage charges and any wrongdoing. It is reasonable to suspect she and others may have been provided such docs for the purpose of following their trails through the UFO community, somewhat like throwing a dye pack in a sinkhole and seeing where the dye emerges.

Barry Greenwood of CAUS would later assist Mendez in obtaining documentation of her circumstances from the FBI and USAF Office of Special Investigations via the Freedom of Information Act. He also provided me with documents and information requested for inclusion in the chapter on the Mendez case contained in my book.

Also noteworthy was the 1980’s case of the late Vincente DePaula. He apparently held security clearance in his employment in the defense industry, working on satellite systems. DePaula, who had an interest in UFOs and traveled ufology social circles, was reportedly interrogated at length by the Defense Investigative Service about his ufology associates.

The activities of the intelligence community within ufology stand to substantially alter and subsequently form popularly held perspectives, and the activities often have nothing to do with unusual phenomena. The interests of intelligence agencies at least some of the time include circumstances as reported by Klass, protecting the sensitive details of such circumstances, and keeping a sharp eye on those who express unusually deep interests in them.

The UFO topic has in at least some instances been used as a vehicle to gain the trust of individuals holding security clearances in employment capacities. It is then used in attempts to extract information. It should be understood and taken into consideration that the accuracy of stories passed among such people is extremely suspect, even as they gain wider attention throughout the UFO community at large. What’s more, the intent of such architects of deception, at least some of the time, is not to mislead the public, but such manipulation is simply a byproduct of other objectives. They just don’t care what the public thinks about UFOs.

Boyd Bushman
Bushman showing a highly questionable photo of an
alleged alien reportedly obtained from his network of contacts
As recently as 2014 a video surfaced of the late Boyd Bushman, a man claiming to have held Top Secret and Special Access clearance while employed at Lockheed Martin. He additionally expressed he was convinced of the existence of an alien presence. He also expressed his disdain for security regulations he interpreted to restrict the sharing of research. As explored in a May, 2017 blog post, Bushman indeed held such clearance – and a declassified 1999 FBI memo revealed his employer suspected shady individuals of trying to elicit classified information from him. It is reasonably clear his interest in UFOs served as an opportunity for developing such relationships, and the resulting unsubstantiated alien-related stories were repeated without question by a segment of the community.

In the end, a valid point can be made that it is not only the IC games that contribute to the deterioration of the genre and the topic, but the very presence of individuals who partake in such games. This goes much further than a simple warning of ‘buyer beware’. The fact is the Mutual UFO Network has long been inundated with byproducts of the intelligence community, and many will recall it was Tom Deuley who served as front man for the ill fated Ambient Monitoring Project, an initiative which involved placing various data-gathering sensors and equipment in the homes of self-described alien abductees. The project was ultimately strongly criticized due to its lack of completion, lack of transparency, and general incompetence. Maybe the IC had nothing to do with the lack of adequate explanations for its failure, or the lack of resolution surrounding Skinwalker, or any number of similar circumstances, but if its members weren’t so deeply involved in such cases while simultaneously harboring classified agendas, we wouldn’t have to wonder.

Whatever the objectives may have been that were furthered by such events spanning from a 1947 press release in Roswell to the cultivation of the MJ-12 meme and all the way to the adventures of Tom Delonge – and virtually countless more cases potentially involving the IC along the way – their significance in shaping public perception should be recognized. The reasons may be as diverse as the dates and cases, but their relevance should be understood and incorporated into assessments.

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UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot To Surpise or Deceptive Data

The NSA Releases a Formerly Secret Document Via FOIA Request

UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot To Surpise or Deceptive Data - NSA (pg 1)

     The NSA has released in full the document UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise or Deceptive Data, following an FOIA request to review redacted sections for further declassification. In a letter dated July 17, 2017, the Agency responded that the previously partially published document was processed as a Mandatory Declassification Review and subsequently released. The letter and accompanying file may be viewed and downloaded at the link above.

We first explored the doc, composed at some point prior to 1979 by an unnamed author, here at The UFO Trail in the January blog post,

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
ufotrail.blogspot.com
8-10-17

NSA UFO Docs. Two redacted sections of the seven-page file were noted. The first section provided an example of how human response to perceived unusual phenomena can be detrimental, particularly from a military perspective. Images below show previously redacted pages on the left, with the now fully disclosed pages on the right.

UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot To Surpise or Deceptive Data (Redacted) - NSA (pg 2)
UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot To Surpise or Deceptive Data - NSA (pg 2)

Offering an example of detrimental responses, the author explained how a USAF technician “was engaged in first level traffic analysis and intercept processing against Soviet Bloc countries,” when one of the countries began to report an unusual radar track. It was described as “a high flying fast moving object with an erratic flight pattern.” Although identified as occasionally moving against the wind, the Bloc “began reporting the object as a balloon.”

“The next Bloc nation picked up the object and continued the designation of balloon despite the erratic flight pattern, high speed, and against the wind maneuvers,” the author continued.

It was further explained that the airman noted a variety of emotional reactions taking place among personnel within the American processing facility. Such reactions included “everyone was more edgy and silent than usual,” as well as “aggressive and distracted responses” to requests for clarification of some of the data.

The author concluded human flaws leave us blinded to unusual or surprising material. Some people, however, it was suggested, “are less affected by strange phenomena than others, though still frightened by it, they remain capable of reporting it with a fair degree of objectivity.”

UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot To Surpise or Deceptive Data (redacted) - NSA (pg 5)
UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot To Surpise or Deceptive Data - NSA (pg 5)

The second redacted section was the author’s recommendations to effectively address such challenges, which included training intelligence analysts “to be able to deal with unusual phenomena.” It was also suggested:

Select a group of analysts and evaluators who have the natural capability to see unusual phenomena and be able to process it. Form these analysts into a special surprise alert team responsible directly to the JCS and the highest levels of the intelligence community and intensively train them further in the art of processing surprise material.

Further recommendations included providing intensive training to high level military officers responsible for strategic decisions. Such training included “the objective handling and analysis of surprise material.”

The document offers some intriguing points for consideration. Among them is the author’s interest in Air Force personnel reactions to surprise data. Also noteworthy, in my opinion, is the author’s seemingly at times uncritical interpretations of reported UFO phenomena and ways to conduct investigation.

For instance, an event can be “so shockingly unusual,” the author reports, it “is buried in the unconscious of the person where it is only accessible to hypnosis” or other carefully conducted modes of communication. Such views show how deeper, more accurate understandings of the unreliability of hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool have evolved in the scientific community and presumably among NSA assets. We periodically see similar outdated views reflected in IC Cold War era docs concerning other UFO and paranormal topics, as well.

Related dynamics and NSA historic willingness to explore the fringe were considered in a March blog post titled, NSA Interest in the Paranormal. In a manner of speaking, the Gulf Breeze Six episode – whatever it may have ultimately involved – was not an anomaly as much a part of the natural progression of topics explored and activities regularly conducted by the Agency. That doesn’t necessarily make it any less interesting, but should be clearly understood as the context is relevant: NSA and other agencies, such as DARPA and CIA, are as historically involved in exploring the fringe as debunking it, if not more so. That creates many potential options for the IC from one era and project to the next, as well as lines of research for those of us following along.

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Crashed UFO Misinformation

Flying Saucers a Myth - Airgram (pg 6) 3-22-1968

Crashed Saucer Misinformation

     Time recently spent in Roswell gave me the opportunity to talk UFOs with some people quite knowledgeable on the topic. Among them was Nick Redfern. Aware of my interest in the overlapping of the UFO and intelligence communities, Nick shared his thoughts on several such cases. This included an alleged saucer crash supposedly occurring in 1952 on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.

Nick blogged about the Spitsbergen case in 2012, explaining how it consisted of a few different tellings, depending on which intel agency or news publication one chose to consult. Basically, a story was passed around that a flying saucer (with no occupants) was retrieved

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
ufotrail.blogspot.com
7-11-17

from the island. As late as 1985 researchers were still trying to substantiate the story, which had grown to include comparisons to flying disks allegedly seen by military personnel around the Arctic. The origin of the alleged Spitsbergen saucer was suggested to be both Russian and outer space at different times, and the case was called both a hoax and a matter of utmost importance, depending on the agency and era.

The part of the story Nick found most intriguing involves a file at the NSA. It’s titled, Department of State AIRGRAM – Subject: Flying Saucers Are a Myth.

The file contains a 1968 airgram message from the American embassy in Moscow to the U.S. Department of State. The purpose of the message is to provide the State Department with an English version of a then-recently published article debunking UFOs and authored by Villen Lyustiberg, Science Editor of the Novosti Press Agency.

Lyustiberg’s piece contains a paragraph addressing the Spitsbergen case. The paragraph has been circled and identified as a “plant,” presumably by someone employed at an American intelligence agency at some point in time.

Flying Saucers a Myth - Airgram (Snippet)  (pg 6) 3-22-1968

Author David Clarke addressed the alleged Spitsbergen saucer in his nonfiction
book, How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth. He described the above document as shared with him by Nick Redfern, and went on to explain the work of Bill Spaulding of the U.S. group Ground Saucer Watch.

Following intensive FOIA work, Spaulding apparently came to believe that crashed saucer lore was actually promoted and in some cases deliberately fabricated by the U.S. government. Clarke reported that Spaulding found no evidence the CIA had any knowledge of such crashed saucers, but the Agency indeed considered advantageous uses of spreading belief in UFOs for psychological warfare purposes. As Clarke wrote, “One [CIA] memo put it this way: ‘A fair proportion of our population is mentally conditioned to the acceptance of the incredible. In this fact lies the potential for touching-off of mass hysteria and panic.'”

In 1990 Clarke obtained comment from Spaulding on such documents, to which Spaulding explained in part, “There are some good official UFO documents. But they do not show the existence of saucers as spaceships. Rather, they show a deliberate trail of misinformation about saucers, a ruse to cover-up high tech testing.”

We might give such circumstances deeper consideration when contemplating stories of alleged downed alien spacecraft. We might also consider the perspective promoted by Science Editor Lyustiberg, some 50 years ago, was to discourage belief in flying saucers among the Russian public. It does not go unnoticed by this writer that the author of the above referenced airgram pointed out to the State Department that Lyustiberg’s position was in contradiction to other Russian publications; the embassy employee briefly summarized Russian stances on UFOs for the recipient at State before attaching Lyustiberg’s article.

It should be a forgone conclusion at this point that the UFO topic was exploited by the global intelligence community for a variety of purposes from one operation and era to the next. The consequences might indeed be significant and far-reaching.

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UFOs, Alien Accounts Manipulated By Intelligence Agencies?

UFOs, Alien Accounts Manipulated By Intelligence Agencies?

Boyd Bushman, the FBI and Counterespionage

      “[T]here didn’t seem to be an official reason for the CIA to pay any attention to UFO research. Then, in 1990, Ron [Pandolfi] told me the official reason: the possibility of espionage. He said that in the 1970’s, the CIA had obtained ‘firm evidence’ that the KGB had devised a plan to use US citizens, including UFOlogists, to penetrate the US defense program.”

– Bruce Maccabee, PhD, The FBI-CIA-UFO Connection: The Hidden UFO Activities of USA Intelligence Agencies (p. 354)

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
ufotrail.blogspot.com
5-8-17

Boyd Bushman

The late Boyd Bushman and a photo of suspect origin
In 2014 a video featuring an interview with the now deceased scientist Boyd Bushman made a bit of an internet splash. While the original vid has come and gone for whatever reasons, the gist of it is currently available on YouTube.
Bushman can be seen sharing fantastic stories of alleged extraterrestrials, including photographs. The images were soon shown to be strikingly similar to plastic figurines available at Walmart, as documented at several websites.
The then-elderly Bushman stated that during his career at Lockheed Martin he developed a network of contacts who exchanged stories (and obviously photos) about alleged activities at Area 51. The video contained Bushman’s disjointed remarks about Chinese and Russian scientists collaborating with Americans, as well as statements about research conducted into anti-gravity technology.

Bushman also stated, “The intelligent ones… and me believe that a great deal of information should be lifted up from those dark recesses of Area 51 and moved over so people can see it.”

National Security Implications

Please understand when people holding security clearances start whispering around water coolers about classified information they think should be published, it tends to attract attention. More on that shortly, but first let’s take a look courtesy of The Black Vault at an investigation launched by the FBI into the activities of Boyd Bushman.

A 1999 FBI memo established Bushman was indeed employed at Lockheed Martin (LM). The man’s claims of holding Top Secret clearance while working as a Senior Specialist were also verified. Please note, however, LM expressed concerns to the Bureau of what “may be an ongoing attempt to elicit LM proprietary or USG classified information” surrounding Bushman:

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