Tag Archives: CAUS

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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NSA UFO Docs



NSA UFO Docs

     Documents declassified by the NSA paint an intriguing picture of interest and activities in the UFO community. Please follow along as we cross reference files that explore UFO-related deception and establish the existence of a report on a UFO symposium authored by an NSA assignee in attendance. I’ll also explain my efforts to learn more via the Freedom of Information Act.

“Surprise or Deceptive Data”

The January, 1997, Volume 43 of The Skeptics UFO Newsletter is available at The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website. Its author, the late Philip

Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
ufotrail.blogspot.com
1-24-17

J. Klass, described a batch of docs released by the NSA due to various efforts, including a lawsuit launched by Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS). I point out the work of Klass because not only did he discuss the docs we’re going to explore, but primarily because he speculated about the possible author of some of the NSA material. Klass suspected Tom Deuley, a long time MUFON director and former NSA employee, was “almost certainly” involved in compiling a portion of the information held by the NSA. I bring this up not to be overly conspiratorial, but because I find the chain of events interesting, and I suspect some of you will agree. To try to be clear, please allow me to emphasize it is not news that Deuley was employed by the NSA or that he discussed the UFO community with his employer, but it warrants mention in relation to the following material.

A declassified doc available on the NSA site is a draft titled, UFO’s and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise or Deceptive Data. Its author is not disclosed, as is standard policy, and it is undated. However, we know it was obviously composed prior to the info release as described by Klass because he discussed it in the 1997 newsletter, and it is referenced in another NSA doc from the same era. More on that shortly, but let’s consider the draft a bit.

“The implications of the UFO phenomena go far beyond the particular phenomena itself,” the 7-page doc begins. It goes on to explain that “surprise attack is such a basic ingredient of military success” because “it is able to rely on a most dependable human blind spot: The inability of most men to objectively process and evaluate highly unusual data and to react to the data in a meaningful way.”

The author then cites celebrated ufologist Dr. Jacques Vallee while establishing the human response to observations of unusual phenomena “is predictable and graphically depictable.” The assault of a person’s psychological structure is considered, with the emotional impact of the strangeness of a UFO sighting compared to witnessing a brutal murder, and identified as “the same.”

Conditions attributed to trauma are reviewed, including amnesia, and a chart with a “strangeness index” (see right) estimates the likelihood a person will discuss experiences with others in proportion to the perceived extent of peculiarity. It suggests the stranger the incident, the less people the witness will tell, which could also easily be interpreted as the more traumatized and mentally paralyzed they stand to become.

The first of two redacted sections is apparently an example of how human response to perceived unusual phenomena can be detrimental, particularly from a military perspective, as the author concludes, “It is apparent that we cannot allow such a human flaw to leave us blinded to unusual or surprising material. The example indicates that some people 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.”

It might be interesting to know more about the details of that redacted example. The second redacted section is the author’s recommendations to solve the challenge.

Seeking more information about the two redacted sections brings us to another document you’ve probably heard about or seen around. It’s an affidavit of NSA man Eugene F. Yeates in the case of Citizens Against Unidentified Flying Objects Secrecy v. National Security Agency – and there are two affidavits, one public, the other originally classified but later released. Nothing’s ever simple in UFO Land.

Fork in the Road

Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, once said about UFOs, “Well, it turns out that the government does have something to hide, but it has nothing to do with extraterrestrials.” He may very well be right, and he’s certainly correct in at least most cases, yet many of us, Mr. Aftergood included, might find the circumstances quite interesting.

CAUS sued the NSA in the early 1980's

CAUS sued the NSA in the early 1980’s to release its UFO files. This resulted in a chain of events which included the affidavit of Eugene F. Yeates. The long and short of his statements suggest the reasons the NSA desired to selectively withhold information had nothing to do with the UFO community’s popular suspicions and collective definition of UFOs. The concerns, Yeates stated, were about national security involving matters of communications intelligence (COMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT).

Did you notice that fork in the road? Some people always chase aliens, and if there aren’t any around, they’re not interested. Others always debunk aliens, and if they’re convinced they’ve established there aren’t any around, they’re not interested anymore either. If, however, you’re interested in how the intelligence and UFO communities bump into each other in dark alleys, then thanks for sticking with me and we’re well on our way.

There is a public Yeates affidavit and a formerly classified, now available affidavit. The NSA hosts a copy of the public doc, and The Black Vault provides a copy of the declassified doc.

The formerly classified affidavit contains statements from Yeates on the “Blind Spot” document explored above, including comments on the two sections remaining redacted. Yeates explained:

This document was discussed in paragraph 20b of my public affidavit. It is entitled UFO’s and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise or Deceptive Data. In this document, the author discusses what he considers to be a serious shortcoming in the Agency’s COMINT interception and reporting procedures — the inability to respond correctly to surprising information or deliberately deceptive data. He uses the UFO phenomena to illustrate his belief that the inability of the U.S. intelligence community to process this type of unusual data adversely affects U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities. Deletions in this document were made as follows:

[…]

(2) Paragraph three of this document uses a signals intelligence operation against [redacted] to illustrate the author’s point. This paragraph contains information about SIGINT activities that is currently and properly classified… The material in this paragraph also concerns the organization and operational activities and functions of NSA directed against [redacted]…

(3) Paragraph four of the memorandum states the conclusions and recommendations of the author. While it talks of the ability of the Agency employees to deal with unusual phenomena it is not responsive to the plaintiff’s request regarding UFO or UFO phenomena. In any event, as I stated in my public affidavit (paragraph 20b), the subject matter of that paragraph is exempt from disclosure because it contains the employee’s specific recommendations for addressing the problem of responding to surprise material… One specific recommendation suggests an operational approach to solving the problem which reveals NSA activities and is, therefore, exempt from disclosure..

That sounds pretty interesting and potentially relevant to me. I’d like to know more.

The formerly classified Yeates affidavit went on to address a document withheld, once again on the grounds it had nothing to do with actual UFO phenomena, but was instead an “account by a person assigned to NSA of his attendance at a UFO symposium”:

In processing the plaintiff’s FOIA request, a total of two hundred and thirty-nine documents were located in NSA files. Seventy-nine of these documents originated with other government agencies and have been referred by NSA to those agencies for their direct response to the plaintiff. One document, which I addressed in paragraph 20c of my public affidavit, was erroneously treated as part of the subject matter of plaintiff’s FOIA request. 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.

The same circumstances described by Yeates, yet this time as he stated in the public affidavit:

The third non-COMINT document is a memorandum for the record by an NSA assignee that was originally withheld in its entirety… In my review today I have ascertained, however, that this memorandum is neither in whole nor in part responsive to the plaintiff’s request. It does not deal with UFOs or the UFO phenomena. Rather, it is a document voluntarily prepared by the assignee to report an incident that occurred during his attendance at a UFO symposium. It is the assignee’s personal account of his activities and does not include reference to any UFO sighting or phenomena.

FOIA

It is apparently the statements about the UFO symposium that led Philip Klass to be most confident Yeates was referring to Tom Deuley, at least in that particular instance. As Klass explained in his 1997 newsletter, Deuley spoke publicly of discussing his attendance at a UFO conference with his employer, the NSA. Regardless, I identify a number of things of potential interest about the documents. I therefore filed a couple of FOIA requests.

In the first, I requested that the declassified draft, UFO’s and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise or Deceptive Data, once again be reviewed with consideration given to releasing the two currently redacted paragraphs. If possible, it might be interesting to know more about the operations, examples and recommendations contained therein and offered by the author.

The second FOIA request was to review the feasibility of now releasing the previously withheld report on the UFO symposium. It could be interesting to read, whether or not composed by Deuley, and it is of potential historic value. I’ve got a few more requests pending to other agencies on different cases and will be sure and pass along any relevant info as it develops.

Last but not least, I do not consider myself experienced at wading through declassified docs, identifying the latest declassified version (sometimes a doc will be declassified and “more” declassified repeatedly over time) and similar relevant tricks to know of the FOIA trade. If you’re aware of docs and material relevant to the above cases or other topics I write about, a heads up is always welcome.

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Foreign UFO Sightings Intercepted by NSA

Foreign UFO Sightings Intercepted by NSA

Hundreds of Foreign UFO Sightings Intercepted by NSA According to Yeats Affidavit

By Gabrielle Pickard
www.topsecretwriters.com
10-13-14

     The power of governments to keep things hidden from the public has come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked the (1) biggest intelligence scandal in NSA’s history, governments are being viewed with even greater skepticism and mistrust.

Yet more government secrecy can be found, this time in relation to the UFO phenomena. In the mid to late 1970s, several members of the group Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the NSA and other US government agencies, to release its files on recorded UFO sightings.

Consequently a document is (2) available to read on The Black Vault. The document has been stamped “Top Secret Umbra”, the code word for what is considered the most sensitive category of intelligence communications. The paper titled ‘In Camera Affidavit of Eugene F. Yeates: Citizens Against UFO Secrecy v. National Security Agency’, was once classified. The affidavit was originally filed by the NSA in a lawsuit in 1980 to justify the concealment of records about UFOs. . . .

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