Retroactive Terror: Your Past Might Come Back To Haunt You
There is a dark, dank, insidiously foreboding side to the paranormal that is not discussed anywhere for good reason. This life threatening aspect of the dystopian paranormal reality is far more dangerous than any theoretical demon, entity, ghost or spirit one could ever imagine. This terrifying side of this crazy field, possesses the ability to stop you dead in your tracks, where the only place before you might be a poorly lit wet alley on a cold winter night, or a pine box that rests six feet beneath the earth.
Before deciding to embark upon a professional career in parapsychology or simply doing paranormal research with friends, you should be aware of what the toxic fallout from such might be if your efforts attract strong media interest. What you are about to read is only the tip of a very large iceberg that is never discussed because of embarrassment and humiliation. But at my age, I am well beyond that point in my life now, so it doesn’t really matter. I will start with the most recent incident and work backwards in time to where it all began.
In the last week of February I was contacted by a gentleman who claimed to be part of a new parapsychology lab called the “Theoretical and Applied Neurocausality Laboratory” (TANC Lab) being established at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), where they wanted to hire me to be on their board of directors and to head up their research program in precognition. It all sounded very interesting, until I discovered what the funding source was: Department of Defense (DOD), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Northrop Grumman (builders of the B2 Spirit Bomber). The only focus of said lab would be in precognition, as opposed to anything else. It all seems like a great fit for me and possibly several other parapsychologists I had in mind to join this new facility. Then reality set in.
About a week later, I received a rather shocking email from them informing me that I could not be hired because I’ve written and spoken on ufology as well as poltergeists and ghosts: “Your having a formal affiliation with our lab would be politically difficult, if not impossible, as we are attempting to break into mainstream academia. It is our belief that we must focus on presentiment research (professional nomenclature for precognition), and cannot afford to be associated with the high risk your presence and participation would represent. Unfortunately, your public interest and beliefs on the topics of UFOs, ghosts and poltergeists presents an insurmountable level of political and reputational risk both in academia and for DOD/DARPA. You’re association with our lab would result in embarrassment and humiliation on many levels that would not only inhibit, but prevent our efforts from succeeding in an academic environment.”
Didn’t these clowns even look at the title of my book before contacting me? Didn’t they read the many blogs on this site related to ufology, ghosts and poltergeists? It sounds like their right hand didn’t know what their left hand was doing? Typical government stupidity. What’s wrong with this picture? And yet they think that by cleverly masking the definition of what precognition is, that they will somehow overcome one hundred and thirty-three years of skepticism and prejudice at the academic level? Yeah right. What a relief it was to learn that in all the decades since I was first associated with the intelligence and military community that nothing’s really changed. They’re just as stupid, ignorant and disorganized as when I first dealt with them more than forty years ago.
But what’s really odd here is that this labs formal title is indicative not of precognition, but of psychokinesis, which suggests that this entire matter might be one of disinformation and misinformation. Perhaps these people think that using such exotic nomenclature will throw most people off as to what they’re really trying to do here? But hey, it’s the government, and the one thing they can trusted to do is LIE. It’s nice to know that some things never change.
After some due diligence of my own into the background of the people who solicited my employment at this UCSB facility, it appears that this lab is to be nothing other than a massive disinformational effort to convince academia and the public that remote, paranormal informational access is nothing more than dissociative and delusional forms of perception. Moreover, an electrochemical short-circuit within the brain, causing people to misjudge and misinterpret what’s really going on in terms of normal perception, making it appear to be paranormal, when in reality, it is not. How deceptively disgusting!
Late in 2014, a friend from the mid-1970’s reappeared to allegedly get reacquainted. I knew Jim, who came from a very wealthy Beverly Hills family, when UCLA’s old parapsychology lab was up and running. Jim is now a multi-millionaire property owner in his own right who suddenly wants to become a movie writer/producer any way he can.
After several lunches and a dinner where I met his wife and children, the real reason for Jim’s sudden appearance was disclosed. This old “friend”, asked me to sign away my life rights regarding my book, website, patents, etc. for zero dollars, and then actually had the nerve to ask me to help him promote the movies he’s going to make about my life’s work, where I wouldn’t see a penny off the back-end, let alone the front.
He said “If you sign the life rights agreement in front of you, at least your name will be out there supporting what you’ve done and what I’ve made, If not, I’ll just claim that it was all my research and the world will never even know that you did the investigations on these cases that led to these movies.” Wow, and this from a friend, or as some might call him, a sociopathic opportunist, who has total disdain for everyone and everything that isn’t at or above his level of financial success. A flowering example of humanity at its worst. I wonder who put this bug into his head? I have my suspicions about this.
The reason behind Jim’s insane offer was that he assumes that all of my life’s work is now in the public domain, where anyone can make use of it. Apparently, this poor excuse for a friend or even a human, perceives copyright law and public domain law quite differently than the rest of the legal and entertainment world does.
Jim erroneously claims that because I’ve been doing so many media appearances over the last four and-a-half decades discussing my work, that it’s rendered everything I own into the public domain, and thus free for anyone to use, especially him. He argues that all the stories contained in my book and on this website, are free for anyone to use in any way they please without compensation and/or credit to me.
The only reason he wanted my life rights signed over to him, was to use my name, background and experience to help promote the films he’s going to make, but I wouldn’t have made a dime off any of that, for all monies I have received would belong to Jim. This sounds like someone in the industry misinformed Jim about how such intellectual property laws really work, and that in order for him to make many films based on my life’s work, he’d have to trick me into signing a life rights agreement for no money. Then, and only then, could a production company/studio or distributor give him a contract for a multi-picture deal.
After hearing all this from him the other day I simply said; “Why don’t you just take out a gun shoot me between the eyes right now, it’s much easier?”
You cannot imagine how it felt for an acquaintance to reappear after almost 40 years and then threaten to destroy my life and prevent me from earning a living from it. When I asked him how I was supposed to survive if he steals all my work, his immediate response was; “hey, you’ve got social security, don’t you”, which he kept saying over and over again, “I’m offering you something really great here, why not take advantage of it?” Jim even bragged about what he intends to do to me right in front of his wife and children I had just met, as if to demonstrate how powerful and detached he is. What kind of monster is this, when in his next breath he asks if I’d like to occasionally get together over lunch or for a barbecue at his massive Hollywood Hills estate? This is a true sociopath with a messianic complex, where because of his extreme wealth that he was born into and maintains, he figures that he can do anything he wants and there’s nothing I can do about it because I’m not rich and cannot afford good attorneys to fight him.
But wait, there’s more.
The last thing Jim mentioned before I walked out on our lunch meeting of last Wednesday when all this was revealed, was that if I didn’t sign away my life rights for nothing, he would make sure that the people who own my building were made aware of what kind of work I do and what my background is in terms of the paranormal, for he knew exactly how they might react to such knowledge being old and very closed-minded; they’d surely try to evict me if for no other reason than fear, even though such might not be a legally valid cause.
OMG, a direct threat.
My next words to Jim were; “Do you know what the words “extortion” and “blackmail” mean?” “Those are criminal offenses, not civil ones.” He had now crossed the line between sociopath and criminal.
Jim just looked into my face without saying a word or budging.
Only time will tell what becomes of this miscreant’s threats, as to whether he actually starts producing out movies based upon my work with his name on them. But I have a sneaking suspicion that his movie deals are in some way contingent of having me under contract, as Jim has no background in doing such research.
If and when I learn of Jim’s criminal actions, I will make sure that everyone online and in the industry knows precisely who he is and what he’s done. I’ve already told him in no uncertain terms what I will do if he starts stealing my life’s work to profit from while leaving me in the dust.
Think this first story is just a little upsetting? Wait until you read what follows.
Several years ago, a close friend and colleague, also a parapsychologist, a professor at an east coast university, suddenly found himself unemployed when new administrators took over the facility, reviewing the records of all those working/teaching there. They eventually came across my colleague’s background in parapsychology, and even though he was tenured and never had a single complaint filed against him, they terminated his job of more than twenty years. They told him that they do not believe in the paranormal, and that his very presence at the university was in insult to academia and their institution, especially as such research is nothing other than the devil’s own handiwork (oh please, not this nonsense again?).
Think that this type of reaction is odd or uncommon? Think again.
Several years earlier, I personally ran into a situation that bared a striking resemblance to what you just read. Back in 2011, several of my associates and I submitted our business plan, which dealt with high-tech, medical devices not in any way related to parapsychology, to a European-based, multi-national corporation that specializes in such technology. After the company’s head of development read our plan and was very impressed by it, he immediately forwarded it with his favorable comments to the head of the company. His suggestion was for the company to immediately implement the development of three of our five patented devices. In today’s tech market, one cannot ask for more than that.
After about six months, we were concerned as to why we never heard back from this company. We made some initial inquiries, but never received a reply. After three more months. we again contacted them in search of answers.
I was about to have a direct encounter with what much of the real world, especially the financial one, thinks of people who spend too much time dabbling in, and become publicly linked to anything paranormal, regardless of how scientific their work is or what their academic credentials are. I was about to get a lesson in what cognitive dissonance, ignorance, dogma and religious zealotry can do to even the most educated and successful people. A new form of prejudice, if you will.
Several weeks later I was able to actually speak with the head of this company, and his reaction to our plan was unlike anything I had ever heard before from anyone who had read it. This man told me that our plan showed no evidence whatsoever that any real clinical development work had even been done at all, and that our patents were literally indecipherable. What? What was this man talking about?
Over time, we had heard different comments regarding our business plan, but nothing on the level of what this man had just said to me. It was then quite obvious that this individual was blatantly lying, as he had not read one word of our business plan or of our patents.
My next words to this man on the phone were. “All right, stop lying and just tell me the truth here, as it’s obvious you haven’t read one word of our plan or patents”. There was a brief moment of silence where I thought that the man on the other end of the line had simply hung up, but I was wrong. Then finally came the truth, or at least the truth as he saw it.
“You want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth. I looked you up online and found out why no one has ever invested any money into what you’re doing”. “Your ghosts, UFO’s, aliens, ESP, it’s all bullshit, and so is your plan and patents”. “After learning who and what you really are, I immediately threw your business plan and patents into the garbage, as they’re as real as the paranormal and you are.” “You’re just another con-artist and snake oil salesman.” That was followed by the man immediately hanging up on me. Shortly thereafter, the VP of product development, the one who had initially read our plan and patents and wrote the glowing commentary, suddenly found himself unemployed, as he was supposed to do the kind of due diligence that the head of the company did, which he failed to do.
Well, at least the head of this company finally spoke the truth?
To expose this hideous element to the light of day, we must first journey back some forty years in time to when I finished my education. It was an exciting moment in my life, where I sent out over one hundred applications for employment for assistant professor positions all over the world, portending a wonderful future of research and teaching in the field I was formally educated in (not parapsychology).
As this was long before the advent of the personal computer and the internet, all such applications were done by ordinary mail, what is now referred to as “snail mail”, due to how long it took conventional mail to reach its intended destination. I had the greatest hope that I would find employment at any one of several universities or research facilities around the world. What I didn’t expect, was for the world to come crashing down around me like a massive earthquake.
As weeks and then months went by, I was disappointed by the utter lack of response to my employment applications. I assumed that my applications were simply rejected and that the lack of response was their way of saying no. For the most part, I was correct, but the limited reactions to my queries were even stranger than I could have ever imagined. The few places that did respond were shocked that I even had the nerve to contact them for job. What?
Apparently, my reputation and background in parapsychology were already well established by the mid-’70’s, even without computers and social media. Much of this is discussed in detail within Legacy’s End, elsewhere on this site, and pretty much helped seal my fate when it came to immediate employment based on my education.
The very notion of hiring someone who’s worked in a fringe science and obtained substantial media publicity for it might create a hostile work environment, where they might distract, frighten or even intimidate other employees if ever speaking about such work. I’ve been looked upon as a wave-maker, not a cog in a wheel, as in innovator and free-thinker, as one who challenges the norm in search of scientific progress and technological evolution, opposed to a robot who shows up every weekday to work and leaves everyday only after completing his work. Apparently, I am not what good employees are made of.
Moreover, I was politically incorrect then, and I’m still incorrect now. Isn’t it amazing how human ignorance, fear and dogma never change? And then we wonder why our technology has not developed beyond the level it has. In the end, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.
Most of what I’ve discussed here is only the tip of a very large iceberg, because the real working world shuns those who dare enter and remain within the wild and crazy paranormal landscape.
To drive home a point, I will close with a very guarded and cryptic account regarding what happened to several, highly educated scientists, who spent considerable time doing funded, clinical, parapsychological research for the government.
Once the program ended and their contracts had expired, these two gentleman suddenly found themselves out of job for the first time in their adult life, where even their multiple doctorate’s in various scientific disciplines and superb employment history was insufficient for them to gain further work. They were essentially blacklisted by science and expelled from the real-world workforce because they dared to do formal, laboratory based, parapsychological research, just like I did.
Is there an echo in here, or is this deja vu?
Anti-gravity and Hyperspace Propulsion: One Step Closer To Star Trek
March 17th, 2006
From issue 2533 of New Scientist magazine, 05 January 2006, page 24
EVERY year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year’s winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There’s just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognized kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?
The AIAA is certainly not embarrassed. What’s more, the US military has begun to cast its eyes over the hyperdrive concept, and a space propulsion researcher at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories has said he would be interested in putting the idea to the test. And despite the bafflement of most physicists at the theory that supposedly underpins it, Pavlos Mikellides, an aerospace engineer at the Arizona State University in Tempe who reviewed the winning paper, stands by the committee’s choice. “Even though such features have been explored before, this particular approach is quite unique,” he says.
Unique it certainly is. If the experiment gets the go-ahead and works, it could reveal new interactions between the fundamental forces of nature that would change the future of space travel. Forget spending six months or more holed up in a rocket on the way to Mars, a round trip on the hyperdrive could take as little as 5 hours. All our worries about astronauts’ muscles wasting away or their DNA being irreparably damaged by cosmic radiation would disappear overnight. What’s more the device would put travel to the stars within reach for the first time. But can the hyperdrive really get off the ground?
”œA hyperdrive craft would put the stars within reach for the first time”
The answer to that question hinges on the work of a little-known German physicist. Burkhard Heim began to explore the hyperdrive propulsion concept in the 1950s as a spin-off from his attempts to heal the biggest divide in physics: the rift between quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Quantum theory describes the realm of the very small – atoms, electrons and elementary particles – while general relativity deals with gravity. The two theories are immensely successful in their separate spheres. The clash arises when it comes to describing the basic structure of space. In general relativity, space-time is an active, malleable fabric. It has four dimensions – three of space and one of time – that deform when masses are placed in them. In Einstein’s formulation, the force of gravity is a result of the deformation of these dimensions. Quantum theory, on the other hand, demands that space is a fixed and passive stage, something simply there for particles to exist on. It also suggests that space itself must somehow be made up of discrete, quantum elements.
In the early 1950s, Heim began to rewrite the equations of general relativity in a quantum framework. He drew on Einstein’s idea that the gravitational force emerges from the dimensions of space and time, but suggested that all fundamental forces, including electromagnetism, might emerge from a new, different set of dimensions. Originally he had four extra dimensions, but he discarded two of them believing that they did not produce any forces, and settled for adding a new two-dimensional “sub-space” onto Einstein’s four-dimensional space-time.
In Heim’s six-dimensional world, the forces of gravity and electromagnetism are coupled together. Even in our familiar four-dimensional world, we can see a link between the two forces through the behaviour of fundamental particles such as the electron. An electron has both mass and charge. When an electron falls under the pull of gravity its moving electric charge creates a magnetic field. And if you use an electromagnetic field to accelerate an electron you move the gravitational field associated with its mass. But in the four dimensions we know, you cannot change the strength of gravity simply by cranking up the electromagnetic field.
In Heim’s view of space and time, this limitation disappears. He claimed it is possible to convert electromagnetic energy into gravitational and back again, and speculated that a rotating magnetic field could reduce the influence of gravity on a spacecraft enough for it to take off.
When he presented his idea in public in 1957, he became an instant celebrity. Wernher von Braun, the German engineer who at the time was leading the Saturn rocket programme that later launched astronauts to the moon, approached Heim about his work and asked whether the expensive Saturn rockets were worthwhile. And in a letter in 1964, the German relativity theorist Pascual Jordan, who had worked with the distinguished physicists Max Born and Werner Heisenberg and was a member of the Nobel committee, told Heim that his plan was so important “that its successful experimental treatment would without doubt make the researcher a candidate for the Nobel prize”.
But all this attention only led Heim to retreat from the public eye. This was partly because of his severe multiple disabilities, caused by a lab accident when he was still in his teens. But Heim was also reluctant to disclose his theory without an experiment to prove it. He never learned English because he did not want his work to leave the country. As a result, very few people knew about his work and no one came up with the necessary research funding. In 1958 the aerospace company BÃ¶lkow did offer some money, but not enough to do the proposed experiment.
While Heim waited for more money to come in, the company’s director, Ludwig BÃ¶lkow, encouraged him to develop his theory further. Heim took his advice, and one of the results was a theorem that led to a series of formulae for calculating the masses of the fundamental particles – something conventional theories have conspicuously failed to achieve. He outlined this work in 1977 in the Max Planck Institute’s journal Zeitschrift fÃ¼r Naturforschung, his only peer-reviewed paper. In an abstruse way that few physicists even claim to understand, the formulae work out a particle’s mass starting from physical characteristics, such as its charge and angular momentum.
Yet the theorem has proved surprisingly powerful. The standard model of physics, which is generally accepted as the best available theory of elementary particles, is incapable of predicting a particle’s mass. Even the accepted means of estimating mass theoretically, known as lattice quantum chromodynamics, only gets to between 1 and 10 per cent of the experimental values.
But in 1982, when researchers at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg implemented Heim’s mass theorem in a computer program, it predicted masses of fundamental particles that matched the measured values to within the accuracy of experimental error. If they are let down by anything, it is the precision to which we know the values of the fundamental constants. Two years after Heim’s death in 2001, his long-term collaborator Illobrand von Ludwiger calculated the mass formula using a more accurate gravitational constant. “The masses came out even more precise,” he says.
After publishing the mass formulae, Heim never really looked at hyperspace propulsion again. Instead, in response to requests for more information about the theory behind the mass predictions, he spent all his time detailing his ideas in three books published in German. It was only in 1980, when the first of his books came to the attention of a retired Austrian patent officer called Walter DrÃ¶scher, that the hyperspace propulsion idea came back to life. DrÃ¶scher looked again at Heim’s ideas and produced an “extended” version, resurrecting the dimensions that Heim originally discarded. The result is “Heim-DrÃ¶scher space”, a mathematical description of an eight-dimensional universe.
From this, DrÃ¶scher claims, you can derive the four forces known in physics: the gravitational and electromagnetic forces, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. But there’s more to it than that. “If Heim’s picture is to make sense,” DrÃ¶scher says, “we are forced to postulate two more fundamental forces.” These are, DrÃ¶scher claims, related to the familiar gravitational force: one is a repulsive anti-gravity similar to the dark energy that appears to be causing the universe’s expansion to accelerate. And the other might be used to accelerate a spacecraft without any rocket fuel.
This force is a result of the interaction of Heim’s fifth and sixth dimensions and the extra dimensions that DrÃ¶scher introduced. It produces pairs of “gravitophotons”, particles that mediate the interconversion of electromagnetic and gravitational energy. DrÃ¶scher teamed up with Jochem HÃ¤user, a physicist and professor of computer science at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzgitter, Germany, to turn the theoretical framework into a proposal for an experimental test. The paper they produced, “Guidelines for a space propulsion device based on Heim’s quantum theory”, is what won the AIAA’s award last year.
Claims of the possibility of “gravity reduction” or “anti-gravity” induced by magnetic fields have been investigated by NASA before (New Scientist, 12 January 2002, p 24). But this one, DrÃ¶scher insists, is different. “Our theory is not about anti-gravity. It’s about completely new fields with new properties,” he says. And he and HÃ¤user have suggested an experiment to prove it.
This will require a huge rotating ring placed above a superconducting coil to create an intense magnetic field. With a large enough current in the coil, and a large enough magnetic field, DrÃ¶scher claims the electromagnetic force can reduce the gravitational pull on the ring to the point where it floats free. DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user say that to completely counter Earth’s pull on a 150-tonne spacecraft a magnetic field of around 25 tesla would be needed. While that’s 500,000 times the strength of Earth’s magnetic field, pulsed magnets briefly reach field strengths up to 80 tesla. And DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user go further. With a faster-spinning ring and an even stronger magnetic field, gravitophotons would interact with conventional gravity to produce a repulsive anti-gravity force, they suggest.
”œA spinning ring and a strong magnetic field could produce a repulsive anti-gravity force”
DrÃ¶scher is hazy about the details, but he suggests that a spacecraft fitted with a coil and ring could be propelled into a multidimensional hyperspace. Here the constants of nature could be different, and even the speed of light could be several times faster than we experience. If this happens, it would be possible to reach Mars in less than 3 hours and a star 11 light years away in only 80 days, DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user say.
So is this all fanciful nonsense, or a revolution in the making? The majority of physicists have never heard of Heim theory, and most of those contacted by New Scientist said they couldn’t make sense of DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user’s description of the theory behind their proposed experiment. Following Heim theory is hard work even without DrÃ¶scher’s extension, says Markus PÃ¶ssel, a theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany. Several years ago, while an undergraduate at the University of Hamburg, he took a careful look at Heim theory. He says he finds it “largely incomprehensible”, and difficult to tie in with today’s physics. “What is needed is a step-by-step introduction, beginning at modern physical concepts,” he says.
The general consensus seems to be that DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user’s theory is incomplete at best, and certainly extremely difficult to follow. And it has not passed any normal form of peer review, a fact that surprised the AIAA prize reviewers when they made their decision. “It seemed to be quite developed and ready for such publication,” Mikellides told New Scientist.
At the moment, the main reason for taking the proposal seriously must be Heim theory’s uncannily successful prediction of particle masses. Maybe, just maybe, Heim theory really does have something to contribute to modern physics. “As far as I understand it, Heim theory is ingenious,” says Hans Theodor Auerbach, a theoretical physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich who worked with Heim. “I think that physics will take this direction in the future.”
It may be a long while before we find out if he’s right. In its present design, DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user’s experiment requires a magnetic coil several metres in diameter capable of sustaining an enormous current density. Most engineers say that this is not feasible with existing materials and technology, but Roger Lenard, a space propulsion researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico thinks it might just be possible. Sandia runs an X-ray generator known as the Z machine which “could probably generate the necessary field intensities and gradients”.
For now, though, Lenard considers the theory too shaky to justify the use of the Z machine. “I would be very interested in getting Sandia interested if we could get a more perspicacious introduction to the mathematics behind the proposed experiment,” he says. “Even if the results are negative, that, in my mind, is a successful experiment.”
From issue 2533 of New Scientist magazine, 05 January 2006, page 24
UFOs and the CIA: A Close Encounter Of The Wrong Kind
CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90
A Die-Hard Issue
WARNING: Before reading this lengthy commentary, be aware of the fact that this is but one of many, well-developed methods the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community uses via social media to disseminate its own disinformation, where they continuously lie in an effort to dissuade the public from believing that UFOs are real. What’s so even more interesting, is how the intelligence community in general has trouble keeping their own lies straight, where they appear to continuously contradict themselves. This is now a well-oiled machine, that is regularly reinforced by the media. I find it most interesting how the CIA places propaganda on their own servers. Do they really think that anyone with even half a brain will be stupid enough to believe that the CIA’s own “alleged cover-up” is an accurate one? Give me a break!
An extraordinary 95 percent of all Americans have at least heard or read something about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), and 57 percent believe they are real. (1) Former US Presidents Carter and Reagan claim to have seen a UFO. UFOlogists–a neologism for UFO buffs–and private UFO organizations are found throughout the United States. Many are convinced that the US Government, and particularly CIA, are engaged in a massive conspiracy and coverup of the issue. The idea that CIA has secretly concealed its research into UFOs has been a major theme of UFO buffs since the modern UFO phenomena emerged in the late 1940s. (2)
In late 1993, after being pressured by UFOlogists for the release of additional CIA information on UFOs, (3) DCI R. James Woolsey ordered another review of all Agency files on UFOs. Using CIA records compiled from that review, this study traces CIA interest and involvement in the UFO controversy from the late 1940s to 1990. It chronologically examines the Agency’s efforts to solve the mystery of UFOs, its programs that had an impact on UFO sightings, and its attempts to conceal CIA involvement in the entire UFO issue. What emerges from this examination is that, while Agency concern over UFOs was substantial until the early 1950s, CIA has since paid only limited and peripheral attention to the phenomena.
The emergence in 1947 of the Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union also saw the first wave of UFO sightings. The first report of a “flying saucer” over the United States came on 24 June 1947, when Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot and reputable businessman, while looking for a downed plane sighted nine disk-shaped objects near Mt. Rainier, Washington, traveling at an estimated speed of over 1,000 mph. Arnold’s report was followed by a flood of additional sightings, including reports from military and civilian pilots and air traffic controllers all over the United States. (4) In 1948, Air Force Gen. Nathan Twining, head of the Air Technical Service Command, established Project SIGN (initially named Project SAUCER) to collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern. (5)
The Technical Intelligence Division of the Air Material Command (AMC) at Wright Field (later Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) in Dayton, Ohio, assumed control of Project SIGN and began its work on 23 January 1948. Although at first fearful that the objects might be Soviet secret weapons, the Air Force soon concluded that UFOs were real but easily explained and not extraordinary. The Air Force report found that almost all sightings stemmed from one or more of three causes: mass hysteria and hallucination, hoax, or misinterpretation of known objects. Nevertheless, the report recommended continued military intelligence control over the investigation of all sightings and did not rule out the possibility of extraterrestrial phenomena. (6)
Amid mounting UFO sightings, the Air Force continued to collect and evaluate UFO data in the late 1940s under a new project, GRUDGE, which tried to alleviate public anxiety over UFOs via a public relations campaign designed to persuade the public that UFOs constituted nothing unusual or extraordinary. UFO sightings were explained as balloons, conventional aircraft, planets, meteors, optical illusions, solar reflections, or even “large hailstones.” GRUDGE officials found no evidence in UFO sightings of advanced foreign weapons design or development, and they concluded that UFOs did not threaten US security. They recommended that the project be reduced in scope because the very existence of Air Force official interest encouraged people to believe in UFOs and contributed to a “war hysteria” atmosphere. On 27 December 1949, the Air Force announced the project’s termination. (7)
With increased Cold War tensions, the Korean war, and continued UFO sightings, USAF Director of Intelligence Maj. Gen. Charles P. Cabell ordered a new UFO project in 1952. Project BLUE BOOK became the major Air Force effort to study the UFO phenomenon throughout the 1950s and 1960s. (8) The task of identifying and explaining UFOs continued to fall on the Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson. With a small staff, the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) tried to persuade the public that UFOs were not extraordinary. (9) Projects SIGN, GRUDGE, and BLUE BOOK set the tone for the official US Government position regarding UFOs for the next 30 years.
Early CIA Concerns, 1947-52
CIA closely monitored the Air Force effort, aware of the mounting number of sightings and increasingly concerned that UFOs might pose a potential security threat. (10) Given the distribution of the sightings, CIA officials in 1952 questioned whether they might reflect “midsummer madness.” (11) Agency officials accepted the Air Force’s conclusions about UFO reports, although they concluded that “since there is a remote possibility that they may be interplanetary aircraft, it is necessary to investigate each sighting.” (12)
A massive buildup of sightings over the United States in 1952, especially in July, alarmed the Truman administration. On 19 and 20 July, radar scopes at Washington National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base tracked mysterious blips. On 27 July, the blips reappeared. The Air Force scrambled interceptor aircraft to investigate, but they found nothing. The incidents, however, caused headlines across the country. The White House wanted to know what was happening, and the Air Force quickly offered the explanation that the radar blips might be the result of “temperature inversions.” Later, a Civil Aeronautics Administration investigation confirmed that such radar blips were quite common and were caused by temperature inversions. (13)
Although it had monitored UFO reports for at least three years, CIA reacted to the new rash of sightings by forming a special study group within the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) and the Office of Current Intelligence (OCI) to review the situation. (14) Edward Tauss, acting chief of OSI’s Weapons and Equipment Division, reported for the group that most UFO sightings could be easily explained. Nevertheless, he recommended that the Agency continue monitoring the problem, in coordination with ATIC. He also urged that CIA conceal its interest from the media and the public, “in view of their probable alarmist tendencies” to accept such interest as confirming the existence of UFOs. (15)
Upon receiving the report, Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) Robert Amory, Jr. assigned responsibility for the UFO investigations to OSI’s Physics and Electronics Division, with A. Ray Gordon as the officer in charge. (16) Each branch in the division was to contribute to the investigation, and Gordon was to coordinate closely with ATIC. Amory, who asked the group to focus on the national security implications of UFOs, was relaying DCI Walter Bedell Smith’s concerns. (17) Smith wanted to know whether or not the Air Force investigation of flying saucers was sufficiently objective and how much more money and manpower would be necessary to determine the cause of the small percentage of unexplained flying saucers. Smith believed “there was only one chance in 10,000 that the phenomenon posed a threat to the security of the country, but even that chance could not be taken.” According to Smith, it was CIA’s responsibility by statute to coordinate the intelligence effort required to solve the problem. Smith also wanted to know what use could be made of the UFO phenomenon in connection with US psychological warfare efforts. (18)
Led by Gordon, the CIA Study Group met with Air Force officials at Wright-Patterson and reviewed their data and findings. The Air Force claimed that 90 percent of the reported sightings were easily accounted for. The other 10 percent were characterized as “a number of incredible reports from credible observers.” The Air Force rejected the theories that the sightings involved US or Soviet secret weapons development or that they involved “men from Mars”; there was no evidence to support these concepts. The Air Force briefers sought to explain these UFO reports as the misinterpretation of known objects or little understood natural phenomena. (19) Air Force and CIA officials agreed that outside knowledge of Agency interest in UFOs would make the problem more serious. (20) This concealment of CIA interest contributed greatly to later charges of a CIA conspiracy and coverup.
Amateur photographs of alleged UFOs
The CIA Study Group also searched the Soviet press for UFO reports, but found none, causing the group to conclude that the absence of reports had to have been the result of deliberate Soviet Government policy. The group also envisioned the USSR’s possible use of UFOs as a psychological warfare tool. In addition, they worried that, if the US air warning system should be deliberately overloaded by UFO sightings, the Soviets might gain a surprise advantage in any nuclear attack. (21)
Because of the tense Cold War situation and increased Soviet capabilities, the CIA Study Group saw serious national security concerns in the flying saucer situation. The group believed that the Soviets could use UFO reports to touch off mass hysteria and panic in the United States. The group also believed that the Soviets might use UFO sightings to overload the US air warning system so that it could not distinguish real targets from phantom UFOs. H. Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of OSI, added that he considered the problem of such importance “that it should be brought to the attention of the National Security Council, in order that a communitywide coordinated effort towards it solution may be initiated.” (22)
Chadwell briefed DCI Smith on the subject of UFOs in December 1952. He urged action because he was convinced that “something was going on that must have immediate attention” and that “sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major US defense installations are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.” He drafted a memorandum from the DCI to the National Security Council (NSC) and a proposed NSC Directive establishing the investigation of UFOs as a priority project throughout the intelligence and the defense research and development community. (23) Chadwell also urged Smith to establish an external research project of top-level scientists to study the problem of UFOs. (24) After this briefing, Smith directed DDI Amory to prepare a NSC Intelligence Directive (NSCID) for submission to the NSC on the need to continue the investigation of UFOs and to coordinate such investigations with the Air Force. (25)
The Robertson Panel, 1952-53
On 4 December 1952, the Intelligence Advisory Committee (IAC) took up the issue of UFOs. (26) Amory, as acting chairman, presented DCI Smith’s request to the committee that it informally discuss the subject of UFOs. Chadwell then briefly reviewed the situation and the active program of the ATIC relating to UFOs. The committee agreed that the DCI should “enlist the services of selected scientists to review and appraise the available evidence in the light of pertinent scientific theories” and draft an NSCID on the subject. (27) Maj. Gen. John A. Samford, Director of Air Force Intelligence, offered full cooperation. (28)
At the same time, Chadwell looked into British efforts in this area. He learned the British also were active in studying the UFO phenomena. An eminent British scientist, R. V. Jones, headed a standing committee created in June 1951 on flying saucers. Jones’ and his committee’s conclusions on UFOs were similar to those of Agency officials: the sightings were not enemy aircraft but misrepresentations of natural phenomena. The British noted, however, that during a recent air show RAF pilots and senior military officials had observed a “perfect flying saucer.” Given the press response, according to the officer, Jones was having a most difficult time trying to correct public opinion regarding UFOs. The public was convinced they were real. (29)
In January 1953, Chadwell and H. P. Robertson, a noted physicist from the California Institute of Technology, put together a distinguished panel of nonmilitary scientists to study the UFO issue. It included Robertson as chairman; Samuel A. Goudsmit, a nuclear physicist from the Brookhaven National Laboratories; Luis Alvarez, a high-energy physicist; Thornton Page, the deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Operations Research Office and an expert on radar and electronics; and Lloyd Berkner, a director of the Brookhaven National Laboratories and a specialist in geophysics. (30)
The charge to the panel was to review the available evidence on UFOs and to consider the possible dangers of the phenomena to US national security. The panel met from 14 to 17 January 1953. It reviewed Air Force data on UFO case histories and, after spending 12 hours studying the phenomena, declared that reasonable explanations could be suggested for most, if not all, sightings. For example, after reviewing motion-picture film taken of a UFO sighting near Tremonton, Utah, on 2 July 1952 and one near Great Falls, Montana, on 15 August 1950, the panel concluded that the images on the Tremonton film were caused by sunlight reflecting off seagulls and that the images at Great Falls were sunlight reflecting off the surface of two Air Force interceptors. (31)
The panel concluded unanimously that there was no evidence of a direct threat to national security in the UFO sightings. Nor could the panel find any evidence that the objects sighted might be extraterrestrials. It did find that continued emphasis on UFO reporting might threaten “the orderly functioning” of the government by clogging the channels of communication with irrelevant reports and by inducing “hysterical mass behavior” harmful to constituted authority. The panel also worried that potential enemies contemplating an attack on the United States might exploit the UFO phenomena and use them to disrupt US air defenses. (32)
To meet these problems, the panel recommended that the National Security Council debunk UFO reports and institute a policy of public education to reassure the public of the lack of evidence behind UFOs. It suggested using the mass media, advertising, business clubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across. Reporting at the height of McCarthyism, the panel also recommended that such private UFO groups as the Civilian Flying Saucer Investigators in Los Angeles and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in Wisconsin be monitored for subversive activities. (33)
The Robertson panel’s conclusions were strikingly similar to those of the earlier Air Force project reports on SIGN and GRUDGE and to those of the CIA’s own OSI Study Group. All investigative groups found that UFO reports indicated no direct threat to national security and no evidence of visits by extraterrestrials.
Following the Robertson panel findings, the Agency abandoned efforts to draft an NSCID on UFOs. (34) The Scientific Advisory Panel on UFOs (the Robertson panel) submitted its report to the IAC, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration, and the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board. CIA officials said no further consideration of the subject appeared warranted, although they continued to monitor sightings in the interest of national security. Philip Strong and Fred Durant from OSI also briefed the Office of National Estimates on the findings. (35) CIA officials wanted knowledge of any Agency interest in the subject of flying saucers carefully restricted, noting not only that the Robertson panel report was classified but also that any mention of CIA sponsorship of the panel was forbidden. This attitude would later cause the Agency major problems relating to its credibility. (36)
The 1950s: Fading CIA Interest in UFOs
After the report of the Robertson panel, Agency officials put the entire issue of UFOs on the back burner. In May 1953, Chadwell transferred chief responsibility for keeping abreast of UFOs to OSI’s Physics and Electronic Division, while the Applied Science Division continued to provide any necessary support. (37) Todos M. Odarenko, chief of the Physics and Electronics Division, did not want to take on the problem, contending that it would require too much of his division’s analytic and clerical time. Given the findings of the Robertson panel, he proposed to consider the project “inactive” and to devote only one analyst part-time and a file clerk to maintain a reference file of the activities of the Air Force and other agencies on UFOs. Neither the Navy nor the Army showed much interest in UFOs, according to Odarenko. (38)
A nonbeliever in UFOs, Odarenko sought to have his division relieved of the responsibility for monitoring UFO reports. In 1955, for example, he recommended that the entire project be terminated because no new information concerning UFOs had surfaced. Besides, he argued, his division was facing a serious budget reduction and could not spare the resources. (39) Chadwell and other Agency officials, however, continued to worry about UFOs. Of special concern were overseas reports of UFO sightings and claims that German engineers held by the Soviets were developing a “flying saucer” as a future weapon of war. (40)
To most US political and military leaders, the Soviet Union by the mid-1950s had become a dangerous opponent. Soviet progress in nuclear weapons and guided missiles was particularly alarming. In the summer of 1949, the USSR had detonated an atomic bomb. In August 1953, only nine months after the United States tested a hydrogen bomb, the Soviets detonated one. In the spring of 1953, a top secret RAND Corporation study also pointed out the vulnerability of SAC bases to a surprise attack by Soviet long-range bombers. Concern over the danger of a Soviet attack on the United States continued to grow, and UFO sightings added to the uneasiness of US policymakers.
Mounting reports of UFOs over eastern Europe and Afghanistan also prompted concern that the Soviets were making rapid progress in this area. CIA officials knew that the British and Canadians were already experimenting with “flying saucers.” Project Y was a Canadian-British-US developmental operation to produce a nonconventional flying-saucer-type aircraft, and Agency officials feared the Soviets were testing similar devices. (41)
Adding to the concern was a flying saucer sighting by US Senator Richard Russell and his party while traveling on a train in the USSR in October 1955. After extensive interviews of Russell and his group, however, CIA officials concluded that Russell’s sighting did not support the theory that the Soviets had developed saucerlike or unconventional aircraft. Herbert Scoville, Jr., the Assistant Director of OSI, wrote that the objects observed probably were normal jet aircraft in a steep climb. (42)
Wilton E. Lexow, head of the CIA’s Applied Sciences Division, was also skeptical. He questioned why the Soviets were continuing to develop conventional-type aircraft if they had a “flying saucer.” (43) Scoville asked Lexow to assume responsibility for fully assessing the capabilities and limitations of nonconventional aircraft and to maintain the OSI central file on the subject of UFOs.
CIA’s U-2 and OXCART as UFOs
In November 1954, CIA had entered into the world of high technology with its U-2 overhead reconnaissance project. Working with Lockheed’s Advanced Development facility in Burbank, California, known as the Skunk Works, and Kelly Johnson, an eminent aeronautical engineer, the Agency by August 1955 was testing a high-altitude experimental aircraft–the U-2. It could fly at 60,000 feet; in the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet. Consequently, once the U-2 started test flights, commercial pilots and air traffic controllers began reporting a large increase in UFO sightings. (44) (U)
The early U-2s were silver (they were later painted black) and reflected the rays from the sun, especially at sunrise and sunset. They often appeared as fiery objects to observers below. Air Force BLUE BOOK investigators aware of the secret U-2 flights tried to explain away such sightings by linking them to natural phenomena such as ice crystals and temperature inversions. By checking with the Agency’s U-2 Project Staff in Washington, BLUE BOOK investigators were able to attribute many UFO sightings to U-2 flights. They were careful, however, not to reveal the true cause of the sighting to the public.
According to later estimates from CIA officials who worked on the U-2 project and the OXCART (SR-71, or Blackbird) project, over half of all UFO reports from the late 1950s through the 1960s were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights (namely the U-2) over the United States. (45) This led the Air Force to make misleading and deceptive statements to the public in order to allay public fears and to protect an extraordinarily sensitive national security project. While perhaps justified, this deception added fuel to the later conspiracy theories and the coverup controversy of the 1970s. The percentage of what the Air Force considered unexplained UFO sightings fell to 5.9 percent in 1955 and to 4 percent in 1956. (46)
At the same time, pressure was building for the release of the Robertson panel report on UFOs. In 1956, Edward Ruppelt, former head of the Air Force BLUE BOOK project, publicly revealed the existence of the panel. A best-selling book by UFOlogist Donald Keyhoe, a retired Marine Corps major, advocated release of all government information relating to UFOs. Civilian UFO groups such as the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) immediately pushed for release of the Robertson panel report. (47) Under pressure, the Air Force approached CIA for permission to declassify and release the report. Despite such pressure, Philip Strong, Deputy Assistant Director of OSI, refused to declassify the report and declined to disclose CIA sponsorship of the panel. As an alternative, the Agency prepared a sanitized version of the report which deleted any reference to CIA and avoided mention of any psychological warfare potential in the UFO controversy. (48)
The demands, however, for more government information about UFOs did not let up. On 8 March 1958, Keyhoe, in an interview with Mike Wallace of CBS, claimed deep CIA involvement with UFOs and Agency sponsorship of the Robertson panel. This prompted a series of letters to the Agency from Keyhoe and Dr. Leon Davidson, a chemical engineer and UFOlogist. They demanded the release of the full Robertson panel report and confirmation of CIA involvement in the UFO issue. Davidson had convinced himself that the Agency, not the Air Force, carried most of the responsibility for UFO analysis and that “the activities of the US Government are responsible for the flying saucer sightings of the last decade.” Indeed, because of the undisclosed U-2 and OXCART flights, Davidson was closer to the truth than he suspected. CI, nevertheless held firm to its policy of not revealing its role in UFO investigations and refused to declassify the full Robertson panel report. (49)
In a meeting with Air Force representatives to discuss how to handle future inquires such as Keyhoe’s and Davidson’s, Agency officials confirmed their opposition to the declassification of the full report and worried that Keyhoe had the ear of former DCI VAdm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, who served on the board of governors of NICAP. They debated whether to have CIA General Counsel Lawrence R. Houston show Hillenkoetter the report as a possible way to defuse the situation. CIA officer Frank Chapin also hinted that Davidson might have ulterior motives, “some of them perhaps not in the best interest of this country,” and suggested bringing in the FBI to investigate. (50) Although the record is unclear whether the FBI ever instituted an investigation of Davidson or Keyhoe, or whether Houston ever saw Hillenkoetter about the Robertson report, Hillenkoetter did resign from the NICAP in 1962. (51)
The Agency was also involved with Davidson and Keyhoe in two rather famous UFO cases in the 1950s, which helped contribute to a growing sense of public distrust of CIA with regard to UFOs. One focused on what was reported to have been a tape recording of a radio signal from a flying saucer; the other on reported photographs of a flying saucer. The “radio code” incident began innocently enough in 1955, when two elderly sisters in Chicago, Mildred and Marie Maier, reported in the Journal of Space Flight their experiences with UFOs, including the recording of a radio program in which an unidentified code was reportedly heard. The sisters taped the program and other ham radio operators also claimed to have heard the “space message.” OSI became interested and asked the Scientific Contact Branch to obtain a copy of the recording. (52)
Field officers from the Contact Division (CD), one of whom was Dewelt Walker, made contact with the Maier sisters, who were “thrilled that the government was interested,” and set up a time to meet with them. (53) In trying to secure the tape recording, the Agency officers reported that they had stumbled upon a scene from Arsenic and Old Lace. “The only thing lacking was the elderberry wine,” Walker cabled Headquarters. After reviewing the sisters’ scrapbook of clippings from their days on the stage, the officers secured a copy of the recording. (54) OSI analyzed the tape and found it was nothing more than Morse code from a US radio station.
The matter rested there until UFOlogist Leon Davidson talked with the Maier sisters in 1957. The sisters remembered they had talked with a Mr. Walker who said he was from the US Air Force. Davidson then wrote to a Mr. Walker, believing him to be a US Air Force Intelligence Officer from Wright-Patterson, to ask if the tape had been analyzed at ATIC. Dewelt Walker replied to Davidson that the tape had been forwarded to proper authorities for evaluation, and no information was available concerning the results. Not satisfied, and suspecting that Walker was really a CIA officer, Davidson next wrote DCI Allen Dulles demanding to learn what the coded message revealed and who Mr. Walker was. (55) The Agency, wanting to keep Walker’s identity as a CIA employee secret, replied that another agency of the government had analyzed the tape in question and that Davidson would be hearing from the Air Force. (56) On 5 August, the Air Force wrote Davidson saying that Walker “was and is an Air Force Officer” and that the tape “was analyzed by another government organization.” The Air Force letter confirmed that the recording contained only identifiable Morse code which came from a known US-licensed radio station. (57)
Davidson wrote Dulles again. This time he wanted to know the identity of the Morse operator and of the agency that had conducted the analysis. CIA and the Air Force were now in a quandary. The Agency had previously denied that it had actually analyzed the tape. The Air Force had also denied analyzing the tape and claimed that Walker was an Air Force officer. CIA officers, under cover, contacted Davidson in Chicago and promised to get the code translation and the identification of the transmitter, if possible. (58)
In another attempt to pacify Davidson, a CIA officer, again under cover and wearing his Air Force uniform, contacted Davidson in New York City. The CIA officer explained that there was no super agency involved and that Air Force policy was not to disclose who was doing what. While seeming to accept this argument, Davidson nevertheless pressed for disclosure of the recording message and the source. The officer agreed to see what he could do. (59) After checking with Headquarters, the CIA officer phoned Davidson to report that a thorough check had been made and, because the signal was of known US origin, the tape and the notes made at the time had been destroyed to conserve file space. (60)
Incensed over what he perceived was a runaround, Davidson told the CIA officer that “he and his agency, whichever it was, were acting like Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamster Union in destroying records which might indict them.” (61) Believing that any more contact with Davidson would only encourage more speculation, the Contact Division washed its hands of the issue by reporting to the DCI and to ATIC that it would not respond to or try to contact Davidson again. (62) Thus, a minor, rather bizarre incident, handled poorly by both CIA and the Air Force, turned into a major flap that added fuel to the growing mystery surrounding UFOs and CIA’s role in their investigation.
Another minor flap a few months later added to the growing questions surrounding the Agency’s true role with regard to flying saucers. CIA’s concern over secrecy again made matters worse. In 1958, Major Keyhoe charged that the Agency was deliberately asking eyewitnesses of UFOs not to make their sightings public. (63)
The incident stemmed from a November 1957 request from OSI to the CD to obtain from Ralph C. Mayher, a photographer for KYW-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, certain photographs he took in 1952 of an unidentified flying object. Harry Real, a CD officer, contacted Mayher and obtained copies of the photographs for analysis. On 12 December 1957, John Hazen, another CD officer, returned the five photographs of the alleged UFO to Mayher without comment. Mayher asked Hazen for the Agency’s evaluation of the photos, explaining that he was trying to organize a TV program to brief the public on UFOs. He wanted to mention on the show that a US intelligence organization had viewed the photographs and thought them of interest. Although he advised Mayher not to take this approach, Hazen stated that Mayher was a US citizen and would have to make his own decision as to what to do. (64)
Keyhoe later contacted Mayher, who told him his story of CIA and the photographs. Keyhoe then asked the Agency to confirm Hazen’s employment in writing, in an effort to expose CIA’s role in UFO investigations. The Agency refused, despite the fact that CD field representatives were normally overt and carried credentials identifying their Agency association. DCI Dulles’s aide, John S. Earman, merely sent Keyhoe a noncommittal letter noting that, because UFOs were of primary concern to the Department of the Air Force, the Agency had referred his letter to the Air Force for an appropriate response. Like the response to Davidson, the Agency reply to Keyhoe only fueled the speculation that the Agency was deeply involved in UFO sightings. Pressure for release of CIA information on UFOs continued to grow. (65)
Although CIA had a declining interest in UFO cases, it continued to monitor UFO sightings. Agency officials felt the need to keep informed on UFOs if only to alert the DCI to the more sensational UFO reports and flaps. (66)
The 1960s: Declining CIA Involvement and Mounting Controversy
In the early 1960s, Keyhoe, Davidson, and other UFOlogists maintained their assault on the Agency for release of UFO information. Davidson now claimed that CIA “was solely responsible for creating the Flying Saucer furor as a tool for cold war psychological warfare since 1951.” Despite calls for Congressional hearings and the release of all materials relating to UFOs, little changed. (67)
In 1964, however, following high-level White House discussions on what to do if an alien intelligence was discovered in space and a new outbreak of UFO reports and sightings, DCI John McCone asked for an updated CIA evaluation of UFOs. Responding to McCone’s request, OSI asked the CD to obtain various recent samples and reports of UFO sightings from NICAP. With Keyhoe, one of the founders, no longer active in the organization, CIA officers met with Richard H. Hall, the acting director. Hall gave the officers samples from the NICAP database on the most recent sightings. (68)
After OSI officers had reviewed the material, Donald F. Chamberlain, OSI Assistant Director, assured McCone that little had changed since the early 1950s. There was still no evidence that UFOs were a threat to the security of the United States or that they were of “foreign origin.” Chamberlain told McCone that OSI still monitored UFO reports, including the official Air Force investigation, Project BLUE BOOK. (69)
At the same time that CIA was conducting this latest internal review of UFOs, public pressure forced the Air Force to establish a special ad hoc committee to review BLUE BOOK. Chaired by Dr. Brian O’Brien, a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the panel included Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer from Cornell University. Its report offered nothing new. It declared that UFOs did not threaten the national security and that it could find “no UFO case which represented technological or scientific advances outside of a terrestrial framework.” The committee did recommend that UFOs be studied intensively, with a leading university acting as a coordinator for the project, to settle the issue conclusively. (70)
The House Armed Services Committee also held brief hearings on UFOs in 1966 that produced similar results. Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown assured the committee that most sightings were easily explained and that there was no evidence that “strangers from outer space” had been visiting Earth. He told the committee members, however, that the Air Force would keep an open mind and continue to investigate all UFO reports. (71)
Following the report of its O’Brien Committee, the House hearings on UFOs, and Dr. Robertson’s disclosure on a CBS Reports program that CIA indeed had been involved in UFO analysis, the Air Force in July 1966 again approached the Agency for declassification of the entire Robertson panel report of 1953 and the full Durant report on the Robertson panel deliberations and findings. The Agency again refused to budge. Karl H. Weber, Deputy Director of OSI, wrote the Air Force that “We are most anxious that further publicity not be given to the information that the panel was sponsored by the CIA.” Weber noted that there was already a sanitized version available to the public. (72) Weber’s response was rather shortsighted and ill considered. It only drew more attention to the 13-year-old Robertson panel report and CIA’s role in the investigation of UFOs. The science editor of The Saturday Review drew nationwide attention to the CIA’s role in investigating UFOs when he published an article criticizing the “sanitized version” of the 1953 Robertson panel report and called for release of the entire document. (73)
Unknown to CIA officials, Dr. James E. McDonald, a noted atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, had already seen the Durant report on the Robertson panel proceedings at Wright-Patterson on 6 June 1966. When McDonald returned to Wright-Patterson on 30 June to copy the report, however, the Air Force refused to let him see it again, stating that it was a CIA classified document. Emerging as a UFO authority, McDonald publicly claimed that the CIA was behind the Air Force secrecy policies and coverup. He demanded the release of the full Robertson panel report and the Durant report. (74)
Bowing to public pressure and the recommendation of its own O’Brien Committee, the Air Force announced in August 1966 that it was seeking a contract with a leading university to undertake a program of intensive investigations of UFO sightings. The new program was designed to blunt continuing charges that the US Government had concealed what it knew about UFOs. On 7 October, the University of Colorado accepted a $325,000 contract with the Air Force for an 18-month study of flying saucers. Dr. Edward U. Condon, a physicist at Colorado and a former Director of the National Bureau of Standards, agreed to head the program. Pronouncing himself an “agnostic” on the subject of UFOs, Condon observed that he had an open mind on the question and thought that possible extraterritorial origins were “improbable but not impossible.” (75) Brig. Gen. Edward Giller, USAF, and Dr. Thomas Ratchford from the Air Force Research and Development Office became the Air Force coordinators for the project.
In February 1967, Giller contacted Arthur C. Lundahl, Director of CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), and proposed an informal liaison through which NPIC could provide the Condon Committee with technical advice and services in examining photographs of alleged UFOs. Lundahl and DDI R. Jack Smith approved the arrangement as a way of “preserving a window” on the new effort. They wanted the CIA and NPIC to maintain a low profile, however, and to take no part in writing any conclusions for the committee. No work done for the committee by NPIC was to be formally acknowledged. (76)
Ratchford next requested that Condon and his committee be allowed to visit NPIC to discuss the technical aspects of the problem and to view the special equipment NPIC had for photoanalysis. On 20 February 1967, Condon and four members of his committee visited NPIC. Lundahl emphasized to the group that any NPIC work to assist the committee must not be identified as CIA work. Moreover, work performed by NPIC would be strictly of a technical nature. After receiving these guidelines, the group heard a series of briefings on the services and equipment not available elsewhere that CIA had used in its analysis of some UFO photography furnished by Ratchford. Condon and his committee were impressed. (77)
Condon and the same group met again in May 1967 at NPIC to hear an analysis of UFO photographs taken at Zanesville, Ohio. The analysis debunked that sighting. The committee was again impressed with the technical work performed, and Condon remarked that for the first time a scientific analysis of a UFO would stand up to investigation. (78) The group also discussed the committee’s plans to call on US citizens for additional photographs and to issue guidelines for taking useful UFO photographs. In addition, CIA officials agreed that the Condon Committee could release the full Durant report with only minor deletions.
In April 1969, Condon and his committee released their report on UFOs. The report concluded that little, if anything, had come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years and that further extensive study of UFO sightings was unwarranted. It also recommended that the Air Force special unit, Project BLUE BOOK, be discontinued. It did not mention CIA participation in the Condon committee’s investigation. (79) A special panel established by the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the Condon report and concurred with its conclusion that “no high priority in UFO investigations is warranted by data of the past two decades.” It concluded its review by declaring, “On the basis of present knowledge, the least likely explanation of UFOs is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings.” Following the recommendations of the Condon Committee and the National Academy of Sciences, the Secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced on 17 December 1969 the termination of BLUE BOOK. (80)
The 1970s and 1980s: The UFO Issue Refuses To Die
The Condon report did not satisfy many UFOlogists, who considered it a coverup for CIA activities in UFO research. Additional sightings in the early 1970s fueled beliefs that the CIA was somehow involved in a vast conspiracy. On 7 June 1975, William Spaulding, head of a small UFO group, Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), wrote to CIA requesting a copy of the Robertson panel report and all records relating to UFOs. (81) Spaulding was convinced that the Agency was withholding major files on UFOs. Agency officials provided Spaulding with a copy of the Robertson panel report and of the Durant report. (82)
On 14 July 1975, Spaulding again wrote the Agency questioning the authenticity of the reports he had received and alleging a CIA coverup of its UFO activities. Gene Wilson, CIA’s Information and Privacy Coordinator, replied in an attempt to satisfy Spaulding, “At no time prior to the formation of the Robertson Panel and subsequent to the issuance of the panel’s report has CIA engaged in the study of the UFO phenomena.” The Robertson panel report, according to Wilson, was “the summation of Agency interest and involvement in UFOs.” Wilson also inferred that there were no additional documents in CIA’s possession that related to UFOs. Wilson was ill informed. (83)
In September 1977, Spaulding and GSW, unconvinced by Wilson’s response, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Agency that specifically requested all UFO documents in CIA’s possession. Deluged by similar FOIA requests for Agency information on UFOs, CIA officials agreed, after much legal maneuvering, to conduct a “reasonable search” of CIA files for UFO materials. (84) Despite an Agency-wide unsympathetic attitude toward the suit, Agency officials, led by Launie Ziebell from the Office of General Counsel, conducted a thorough search for records pertaining to UFOs. Persistent, demanding, and even threatening at times, Ziebell and his group scoured the Agency. They even turned up an old UFO file under a secretary’s desk. The search finally produced 355 documents totaling approximately 900 pages. On 14 December 1978, the Agency released all but 57 documents of about 100 pages to GSW. It withheld these 57 documents on national security grounds and to protect sources and methods. (85)
Although the released documents produced no smoking gun and revealed only a low-level Agency interest in the UFO phenomena after the Robertson panel report of 1953, the press treated the release in a sensational manner. The New York Times, for example, claimed that the declassified documents confirmed intensive government concern over UFOs and that the Agency was secretly involved in the surveillance of UFOs. (86) GSW then sued for the release of the withheld documents, claiming that the Agency was still holding out key information. (87) It was much like the John F. Kennedy assassination issue. No matter how much material the Agency released and no matter how dull and prosaic the information, people continued to believe in a Agency coverup and conspiracy.
DCI Stansfield Turner was so upset when he read The New York Times article that he asked his senior officers, “Are we in UFOs?” After reviewing the records, Don Wortman, Deputy Director for Administration, reported to Turner that there was “no organized Agency effort to do research in connection with UFO phenomena nor has there been an organized effort to collect intelligence on UFOs since the 1950s.” Wortman assured Turner that the Agency records held only “sporadic instances of correspondence dealing with the subject,” including various kinds of reports of UFO sightings. There was no Agency program to collect actively information on UFOs, and the material released to GSW had few deletions. (88) Thus assured, Turner had the General Counsel press for a summary judgment against the new lawsuit by GSW. In May 1980, the courts dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the Agency had conducted a thorough and adequate search in good faith. (89)
During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Community shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintelligence aspects. Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relating to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using US citizens and UFO groups to obtain information on sensitive US weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the US air-defense network to penetration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings.
CIA also maintained Intelligence Community coordination with other agencies regarding their work in parapsychology, psychic phenomena, and “remote viewing” experiments. In general, the Agency took a conservative scientific view of these unconventional scientific issues. There was no formal or official UFO project within the Agency in the 1980s, and Agency officials purposely kept files on UFOs to a minimum to avoid creating records that might mislead the public if released. (90)
The 1980s also produced renewed charges that the Agency was still withholding documents relating to the 1947 Roswell incident, in which a flying saucer supposedly crashed in New Mexico, and the surfacing of documents which purportedly revealed the existence of a top secret US research and development intelligence operation responsible only to the President on UFOs in the late 1940s and early 1950s. UFOlogists had long argued that, following a flying saucer crash in New Mexico in 1947, the government not only recovered debris from the crashed saucer but also four or five alien bodies. According to some UFOlogists, the government clamped tight security around the project and has refused to divulge its investigation results and research ever since. (91) In September 1994, the US Air Force released a new report on the Roswell incident that concluded that the debris found in New Mexico in 1947 probably came from a once top secret balloon operation, Project MOGUL, designed to monitor the atmosphere for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests. (92)
Circa 1984, a series of documents surfaced which some UFOlogists said proved that President Truman created a top secret committee in 1947, Majestic-12, to secure the recovery of UFO wreckage from Roswell and any other UFO crash sight for scientific study and to examine any alien bodies recovered from such sites. Most if not all of these documents have proved to be fabrications. Yet the controversy persists. (93)
Like the JFK assassination conspiracy theories, the UFO issue probably will not go away soon, no matter what the Agency does or says. The belief that we are not alone in the universe is too emotionally appealing and the distrust of our government is too pervasive to make the issue amenable to traditional scientific studies of rational explanation and evidence.
(1) See the 1973 Gallup Poll results printed in The New York Times, 29 November 1973, p. 45 and Philip J. Klass, UFOs: The Public Deceived (New York: Prometheus Books, 1983), p. 3.
(2) See Klass, UFOs, p. 3; James S. Gordon, “The UFO Experience,” Atlantic Monthly (August 1991), pp. 82-92; David Michael Jacobs, The UFO Controversy in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975); Howard Blum, Out There: The Government’s Secret Quest for Extraterrestrials (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990); Timothy Good, Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up (New York: William Morrow, 1987); and Whitley Strieber, Communion: The True Story (New York: Morrow, 1987).
(3) In September 1993 John Peterson, an acquaintance of Woolsey’s, first approached the DCI with a package of heavily sanitized CIA material on UFOs released to UFOlogist Stanton T. Friedman. Peterson and Friedman wanted to know the reasons for the redactions. Woolsey agreed to look into the matter. See Richard J. Warshaw, Executive Assistant, note to author, 1 November 1994; Warshaw, note to John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator, 31 January 1994; and Wright, memorandum to Executive Secretariat, 2 March 1994. (Except where noted, all citations to CIA records in this article are to the records collected for the 1994 Agency-wide search that are held by the Executive Assistant to the DCI).
(4) See Hector Quintanilla, Jr., “The Investigation of UFOs,” Vol. 10, No. 4, Studies in Intelligence (fall 1966): pp.95-110 and CIA, unsigned memorandum, “Flying Saucers,” 14 August 1952. See also Good, Above Top Secret, p. 253. During World War II, US pilots reported “foo fighters” (bright lights trailing US aircraft). Fearing they might be Japanese or German secret weapons, OSS investigated but could find no concrete evidence of enemy weapons and often filed such reports in the “crackpot” category. The OSS also investigated possible sightings of German V-1 and V-2 rockets before their operational use during the war. See Jacobs, UFO Controversy, p. 33. The Central Intelligence Group, the predecessor of the CIA, also monitored reports of “ghost rockets” in Sweden in 1946. See CIG, Intelligence Report, 9 April 1947.
(5) Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 156 and Quintanilla, “The Investigation of UFOs,” p. 97.
(6) See US Air Force, Air Material Command, “Unidentified Aerial Objects: Project SIGN, no. F-TR 2274, IA, February 1949, Records of the US Air Force Commands, Activities and Organizations, Record Group 341, National Archives, Washington, DC.
(7) See US Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUEBOOK Reports 1- 12 (Washington, DC; National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1968) and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 50-54.
(8) See Cabell, memorandum to Commanding Generals Major Air Commands, “Reporting of Information on Unconventional Aircraft,” 8 September 1950 and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 65.
(9) See Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUE BOOK and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 67.
(10) See Edward Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI, “Flying Saucers,” 1 August 1952. See also United Kingdom, Report by the “Flying Saucer” Working Party, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” no date (approximately 1950).
(11) See Dr. Stone, OSI, memorandum to Dr. Willard Machle, OSI, 15 March 1949 and Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI, memorandum for DDI, “Recent Sightings of Unexplained Objects,” 29 July 1952.
(12) Stone, memorandum to Machle. See also Clark, memorandum for DDI, 29 July 1952.
(13) See Klass, UFOs, p. 15. For a brief review of the Washington sightings see Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 269-271.
(14) See Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI, memorandum to DDI Robert Amory, Jr., 29 July 1952. OSI and OCI were in the Directorate of Intelligence. Established in 1948, OSI served as the CIA’s focal point for the analysis of foreign scientific and technological developments. In 1980, OSI was merged into the Office of Science and Weapons Research. The Office of Current Intelligence (OCI), established on 15 January 1951 was to provide all-source current intelligence to the President and the National Security Council.
(15) Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI (Philip Strong), 1 August 1952.
(16) On 2 January 1952, DCI Walter Bedell Smith created a Deputy Directorate for Intelligence (DDI) composed of six overt CIA organizations–OSI, OCI, Office of Collection and Dissemination, Office National Estimates, Office of Research and Reports, and the Office of Intelligence Coordination–to produce intelligence analysis for US policymakers.
(17) See Minutes of Branch Chief’s Meeting, 11 August 1952.
(18) Smith expressed his opinions at a meeting in the DCI Conference Room attended by his top officers. See Deputy Chief, Requirements Staff, FI, memorandum for Deputy Director, Plans, “Flying Saucers,” 20 August 1952, Directorate of Operations Records, Information Management Staff, Job 86-00538R, Box 1.
(19) See CIA memorandum, unsigned, “Flying Saucers,” 11 August 1952.
(20) See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, “Flying Saucers,” 14 August 1952.
(21) See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, “Flying Saucers,” 19 August 1952.
(22) See Chadwell, memorandum for Smith, 17 September 1952 and 24 September 1952, “Flying Saucers.” See also Chadwell, memorandum for DCI Smith, 2 October 1952 and Klass, UFOs, pp. 23-26.
(23) Chadwell, memorandum for DCI with attachments, 2 December 1952. See also Klass, UFOs, pp. 26-27 and Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November 1952.
(24) See Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November 1952 and Chadwell, memorandum, “Approval in Principle – External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified Flying Objects,” no date. See also Philip G. Strong, OSI, memorandum for the record, “Meeting with Dr. Julius A. Stratton, Executive Vice President and Provost, MIT and Dr. Max Millikan, Director of CENIS.” Strong believed that in order to undertake such a review they would need the full backing and support of DCI Smith.
(25) See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, “”Unidentified Flying Objects,” 2 December 1952. See also Chadwell, memorandum for Amory, DDI, “Approval in Principle – External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified Flying Objects,” no date.
(26) The IAC was created in 1947 to serve as a coordinating body in establishing intelligence requirements. Chaired by the DCI, the IAC included representatives from the Department of State, the Army, the Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FBI, and the AEC.
(27) See Klass, UFOs, p. 27.
(28) See Richard D. Drain, Acting Secretary, IAC, “Minutes of Meeting held in Director’s Conference Room, Administration Building, CIA,” 4 December 1952.
(29) See Chadwell, memorandum for the record, “British Activity in the Field of UFOs,” 18 December 1952.
(30) See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, “Consultants for Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects,” 9 January 1953; Curtis Peebles, Watch the Skies! A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994). pp. 73-90; and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 91-92.
(31) See Fred C. Durant III, Report on the Robertson Panel Meeting, January 1953. Durant, on contract with OSI and a past president of the American Rocket Society, attended the Robertson panel meetings and wrote a summary of the proceedings.
(32) See Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects (the Robertson Report), 17 January 1953 and the Durant report on the panel discussions.
(33) See Robertson Report and Durant Report. See also Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 337-38, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 95, and Klass, UFO’s, pp. 28-29.
(34) See Reber, memorandum to IAC, 18 February 1953.
(35) See Chadwell, memorandum for DDI, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 10 February 1953; Chadwell, letter to Robertson, 28 January 1953; and Reber, memorandum for IAC, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 18 February 1953. On briefing the ONE, see Durant, memorandum for the record, “Briefing of ONE Board on Unidentified Flying Objects,” 30 January 1953 and CIA Summary disseminated to the field, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 6 February 1953.
(36) See Chadwell, letter to Julius A. Stratton, Provost MIT, 27 January 1953.
(37) See Chadwell, memorandum for Chief, Physics and Electronics Division/OSI (Todos M. Odarenko), “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 27 May 1953.
(38) See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 3 July 1953. See also Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, “Current Status of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOB) Project,” 17 December 1953.
(39) See Odarenko, memorandum, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 8 August 1955.
(40) See FBIS, report, “Military Unconventional Aircraft,” 18 August 1953 and various reports, “Military-Air, Unconventional Aircraft,” 1953, 1954, 1955.
(41) Developed by the Canadian affiliate of Britain’s A. V. Roe, Ltd., Project Y did produce a small-scale model that hovered a few feet off the ground. See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, “Flying Saucer Type of Planes” 25 May 1954; Frederic C. E. Oder, memorandum to Odarenko, “USAF Project Y,” 21 May 1954; and Odarenko, T. M. Nordbeck, Ops/SI, and Sidney Graybeal, ASD/SI, memorandum for the record, “Intelligence Responsibilities for Non-Conventional Types of Air Vehicles,” 14 June 1954.
(42) See Reuben Efron, memorandum, “Observation of Flying Object Near Baku,” 13 October 1955; Scoville, memorandum for the record, “Interview with Senator Richard B. Russell,” 27 October 1955; and Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for information, “Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft,” 19 October 1955.
(43) See Lexow, memorandum for information, “Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft,” 19 October 1955. See also Frank C. Bolser, memorandum for George C. Miller, Deputy Chief, SAD/SI, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Check On;” Lexow, memorandum, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Follow Up On,” 17 December 1954; Lexow, memorandum, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers,” 1 December 1954; and A. H. Sullivan, Jr., memorandum, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers,” 24 November 1954.
(44) See Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach, The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954-1974 (Washington, DC: CIA History Staff, 1992), pp. 72-73.
(45) See Pedlow and Welzenbach, Overhead Reconnaissance, pp. 72-73. This also was confirmed in a telephone interview between the author and John Parongosky, 26 July 1994. Parongosky oversaw the day-to-day affairs of the OXCART program.
(46) See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 135.
(47) See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 128-146; Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Doubleday, 1956); Keyhoe, The Flying Saucer Conspiracy (New York: Holt, 1955); and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 347-49.
(48) See Strong, letter to Lloyd W. Berkner; Strong, letter to Thorton Page; Strong, letter to Robertson; Strong, letter to Samuel Goudsmit; Strong, letter to Luis Alvarez, 20 December 1957; and Strong, memorandum for Major James F. Byrne, Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence Department of the Air Force, “Declassification of the `Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects,'” 20 December 1957. See also Berkner, letter to Strong, 20 November 1957 and Page, letter to Strong, 4 December 1957. The panel members were also reluctant to have their association with the Agency released.
(49) See Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for the record, “Comments on Letters Dealing with Unidentified Flying Objects,” 4 April 1958; J. S. Earman, letter to Major Lawrence J. Tacker, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Information Service, 4 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Berkner, 8 April 1958; Berkner, letter to Davidson, 18 April 1958; Berkner, letter to Strong, 21 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Tacker, 27 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Allen Dulles, 27 April 1958; Ruppelt, letter to Davidson, 7 May 1958; Strong, letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Earman, 16 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Goudsmit, 18 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Page, 18 May 1958; and Tacker, letter to Davidson, 20 May 1958.
(50) See Lexow, memorandum for Chapin, 28 July 1958.
(51) See Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 346-47; Lexow, memorandum for the record, “Meeting with the Air Force Personnel Concerning Scientific Advisory Panel Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, dated 17 January 1953 (S),” 16 May 1958. See also La Rae L. Teel, Deputy Division Chief, ASD, memorandum for the record, “Meeting with Mr. Chapin on Replying to Leon Davidson’s UFO Letter and Subsequent Telephone Conversation with Major Thacker, [sic]” 22 May 1958.
(52) See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Contact Division (Scientific), memorandum to Chief, Chicago Office, “Radio Code Recording,” 4 March 1955 and Ashcraft, memorandum to Chief, Support Branch, OSI, 17 March 1955.
(53) The Contact Division was created to collect foreign intelligence information from sources within the United States. See the Directorate of Intelligence Historical Series, The Origin and Development of Contact Division, 11 July 19461 July 1965 (Washington, DC; CIA Historical Staff, June 1969).
(54) See George O. Forrest, Chief, Chicago Office, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division for Science, 11 March 1955.
(55) See Support Division (Connell), memorandum to Dewelt E. Walker, 25 April 1957.
(56) See J. Arnold Shaw, Assistant to the Director, letter to Davidson, 10 May 1957.
(57) See Support (Connell) memorandum to Lt. Col. V. Skakich, 27 August 1957 and Lamountain, memorandum to Support (Connell), 20 December 1957.
(58) See Lamountain, cable to Support (Connell), 31 July 1958.
(59) See Support (Connell) cable to Skakich, 3 October 1957 and Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 October 1957.
(60) See Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 October 1957.
(61) See R. P. B. Lohmann, memorandum for Chief, Contact Division, DO, 9 January 1958.
(62) See Support, cable to Skakich, 20 February 1958 and Connell (Support) cable to Lamountain, 19 December 1957.
(63) See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Contact Division, Office of Operations, memorandum for Austin Bricker, Jr., Assistant to the Director, “Inquiry by Major Donald E. Keyhoe on John Hazen’s Association with the Agency,” 22 January 1959.
(64) See John T. Hazen, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division, 12 December 1957. See also Ashcraft, memorandum to Cleveland Resident Agent, “Ralph E. Mayher,” 20 December 1957. According to this memorandum, the photographs were viewed at “a high level and returned to us without comment.” The Air Force held the original negatives. The CIA records were probably destroyed.
(65) The issue would resurface in the 1970s with the GSW FOIA court case.
(66) See Robert Amory, Jr., DDI, memorandum for Assistant Director/Scientific Intelligence, “Flying Saucers,” 26 March 1956. See also Wallace R. Lamphire, Office of the Director, Planning and Coordination Staff, memorandum for Richard M. Bissell, Jr., “Unidentified Flying Saucers (UFO),” 11 June 1957; Philip Strong, memorandum for the Director, NPIC, “Reported Photography of Unidentified Flying Objects,” 27 October 1958; Scoville, memorandum to Lawrence Houston, Legislative Counsel, “Reply to Honorable Joseph E. Garth,” 12 July 1961; and Houston, letter to Garth, 13 July 1961.
(67) See, for example, Davidson, letter to Congressman Joseph Garth, 26 June 1961 and Carl Vinson, Chairman, House Committee on Armed Services, letter to Rep. Robert A. Everett, 2 September 1964.
(68) See Maxwell W. Hunter, staff member, National Aeronautics and Space Council, Executive Office of the President, memorandum for Robert F. Parkard, Office of International Scientific Affairs, Department of State, “Thoughts on the Space Alien Race Question,” 18 July 1963, File SP 16, Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59, National Archives. See also F. J. Sheridan, Chief, Washington Office, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division, “National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP),” 25 January 1965.
(69) Chamberlain, memorandum for DCI, “Evaluation of UFOs,” 26 January 1965.
(70) See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 199 and US Air Force, Scientific Advisory Board, Ad Hoc Committee (O’Brien Committee) to Review Project BLUE BOOK, Special Report (Washington, DC: 1966). See also The New York Times, 14 August 1966, p. 70.
(71) See “Congress Reassured on Space Visits,” The New York Times, 6 April 1966.
(72) Weber, letter to Col. Gerald E. Jorgensen, Chief, Community Relations Division, Office of Information, US Air Force, 15 August 1966. The Durant report was a detailed summary of the Robertson panel proceedings.
(73) See John Lear, “The Disputed CIA Document on UFOs,” Saturday Review (September 3, 1966), p. 45. The Lear article was otherwise unsympathetic to UFO sightings and the possibility that extraterritorials were involved. The Air Force had been eager to provide Lear with the full report. See Walter L. Mackey, Executive Officer, memorandum for DCI, “Air Force Request to Declassify CIA Material on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO),” 1 September 1966.
(74) See Klass, UFOs, p. 40, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 214 and Everet Clark, “Physicist Scores `Saucer Status,'” The New York Times, 21 October 1966. See also James E. McDonald, “Statement on Unidentified Flying Objects,” submitted to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 29 July 1968.
(75) Condon is quoted in Walter Sullivan, “3 Aides Selected in Saucer Inquiry,” The New York Times, 8 October 1966. See also “An Outspoken Scientist, Edward Uhler Condon,” The New York Times, 8 October 1966. Condon, an outgoing, gruff scientist, had earlier become embroiled in a controversy with the House Unamerican Activities Committee that claimed Condon was “one of the weakest links in our atomic security.” See also Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 169-195.
(76) See Lundahl, memorandum for DDI, 7 February 1967.
(77) See memorandum for the record, “Visit of Dr. Condon to NPIC, 20 February 1967,” 23 February 1967. See also the analysis of the photographs in memorandum for Lundahl, “Photo Analysis of UFO Photography,” 17 February 1967.
(78) See memorandum for the record, “UFO Briefing for Dr. Edward Condon, 5 May 1967,” 8 May 1967 and attached “Guidelines to UFO Photographers and UFO Photographic Information Sheet.” See also Condon Committee, Press Release, 1 May 1967 and Klass, UFOs, p. 41. The Zaneville photographs turned out to be a hoax.
(79) See Edward U. Condon, Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Bantam Books, 1969) and Klass, UFOs, p. 41. The report contained the Durant report with only minor deletions.
(80) See Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense, News Release, “Air Force to Terminate Project BLUEBOOK,” 17 December 1969. The Air Force retired BLUEBOOK records to the USAF Archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. In 1976 the Air Force turned over all BLUEBOOK files to the National Archives and Records Administration, which made them available to the public without major restrictions. Some names have been withheld from the documents. See Klass, UFOs, p. 6.
(81) GSW was a small group of UFO buffs based in Phoenix, Arizona, and headed by William H. Spaulding.
(82) See Klass, UFOs, p. 8.
(83) See Wilson, letter to Spaulding, 26 March 1976 and GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859.
(84) GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859, p. 2.
(85) Author interview with Launie Ziebell, 23 June 1994 and author interview with OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. See also affidavits of George Owens, CIA Information and Privacy Act Coordinator; Karl H. Weber, OSI; Sidney D. Stembridge, Office of Security; and Rutledge P. Hazzard, DS&T; GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859 and Sayre Stevens, Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment, memorandum for Thomas H. White, Assistant for Information, Information Review Committee, “FOIA Litigation Ground Saucer Watch,” no date.
(86) See “CIA Papers Detail UFO Surveillance,” The New York Times, 13 January 1979; Patrick Huyghe, “UFO Files: The Untold Story,” The New York Times Magazine, 14 October 1979, p. 106; and Jerome Clark, “UFO Update,” UFO Report, August 1979.
(87) Jerome Clark, “Latest UFO News Briefs From Around the World,” UFO Update, August 1979 and GSW v. CIA Civil Action No. 78-859.
(88) See Wortman, memorandum for DCI Turner, “Your Question, `Are we in UFOs?’ Annotated to The New York Times News Release Article,” 18 January 1979.
(89) See GSW v. CIA Civil Action 78-859. See also Klass, UFOs, pp. 10-12.
(90) See John Brennan, memorandum for Richard Warshaw, Executive Assistant, DCI, “Requested Information on UFOs,” 30 September 1993; Author interviews with OSWR analyst, 14 June 1994 and OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. This author found almost no documentation on Agency involvement with UFOs in the 1980s.
There is a DIA Psychic Center and the NSA studies parapsychology, that branch of psychology that deals with the investigation of such psychic phenomena as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and telepathy. The CIA reportedly is also a member of an Incident Response Team to investigate UFO landings, if one should occur. This team has never met. The lack of solid CIA documentation on Agency UFO-related activities in the 1980s leaves the entire issue somewhat murky for this period.
Much of the UFO literature presently focuses on contactees and abductees. See John E. Mack, Abduction, Human Encounters with Aliens (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1994) and Howard Blum, Out There (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990).
(91) See Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore, The Roswell Incident (New York: Berkeley Books, 1988); Moore, “The Roswell Incident: New Evidence in the Search for a Crashed UFO,” (Burbank, California: Fair Witness Project, 1982), Publication Number 1201; and Klass, UFOs, pp. 280-281. In 1994 Congressman Steven H. Schiff (R-NM) called for an official study of the Roswell incident. The GAO is conducting a separate investigation of the incident. The CIA is not involved in the investigation. See Klass, UFOs, pp. 279-281; John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator, letter to Derek Skreen, 20 September 1993; and OSWR analyst interview. See also the made-for-TV film, Roswell, which appeared on cable TV on 31 July 1994 and Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 245-251.
(92) See John Diamond, “Air Force Probes 1947 UFO Claim Findings Are Down to Earth,” 9 September 1994, Associated Press release; William J. Broad, “Wreckage of a `Spaceship’: Of This Earth (and U.S.),” The New York Times, 18 September 1994, p. 1; and USAF Col. Richard L. Weaver and 1st Lt. James McAndrew, The Roswell Report, Fact Versus Fiction in New Mexico Desert (Washington, DC: GPO, 1995).
(93) See Good, Above Top Secret; Moore and S. T. Friedman, “Philip Klass and MJ-12: What are the Facts,” (Burbank California: Fair-Witness Project, 1988), Publication Number 1290; Klass, “New Evidence of MJ-12 Hoax,” Skeptical Inquirer, vol. 14 (Winter 1990); and Moore and Jaime H. Shandera, The MJ-12 Documents: An Analytical Report (Burbank, California: Fair-Witness Project, 1990), Publication Number 1500. Walter Bedell Smith supposedly replaced Forrestal on 1 August 1950 following Forrestal’s death. All members listed were deceased when the MJ-12 “documents” surfaced in 1984. See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 258-268.
Dr. Larry Bland, editor of The George C. Marshall Papers, discovered that one of the so-called Majestic-12 documents was a complete fraud. It contained the exact same language as a letter from Marshall to Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey regarding the “Magic” intercepts in 1944. The dates and names had been altered and “Magic” changed to “Majic.” Moreover, it was a photocopy, not an original. No original MJ-12 documents have ever surfaced. Telephone conversation between the author and Bland, 29 August 1994.
Gerald K. Haines is the National Reconnaissance Office historian.
Demystifying The Paranormal. Dr. Barry Taff Unravels the Poltergeist Mystery
As Published In:
It’s cheesy, and certainly doesn’t speak to the man’s work, but take the three original Ghostbusters. Imagine the pithy sarcasm of Peter Venkman, the uncompromising shrewdness of Egon Spengler, top it with the zealous, stocky stature of occult-buff Ray Stanz, and you can more or less paint a picture of parapsychologist Dr. Barry E. Taff.
If you’re not familiar with the man, maybe you’re familiar with the 1983 film The Entity starring Barbara Hershey, an eerie psychological horror where the female protagonist is repeatedly raped by some malevolent presence. If you’re not familiar with either, then you’re not clued in on the stranger side of poltergeist phenomena (yes, it gets much stranger).
It’s a film that sparked notoriety in paranormal circles, and even placed at #4 in Martin Scorsese’s “11 Scariest Horror Films of All Time”. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/10/28/martin-scorseses-top-11-horror-films-of-all-time.html. It was based on a real 1974 investigation that would mark the beginning of, and ultimately define, Dr. Taff’s long, polarizing, and rather illuminating career in parapsychology.
If Los Angeles has any local legends, The Entity Case is definitely one of them.
During the summer of ‘74, Doris Bither (Carla Moran in the film) and her four children were being terrorized by unseen forces in their new, and rather shabby, home in Culver City, California. As research assistants at UCLA’s now-nonexistent Parapsychology Lab (I’ll get to that later), it was business as usual for Dr. Taff and his colleague Kerry Gaynor when they interviewed Doris at her home. She described some typical, ghostly disturbances since her family moved in, but it wasn’t long before she dropped a bombshell.
“I’ve been raped,” she told them. The men’s faces turned white. “There were three of them. Two held me down, and a big one attacked me.” It was at that point Dr. Taff and Gaynor referred Doris to a clinical psychologist on staff at UCLA and shortly after departed.
It was almost two weeks later that they agreed to return to Doris’ house… now there were witnesses. They arrived, this time met with the smell of rotting flesh, extreme drops in temperature (during a hot L.A. summer), and a frying pan that flew out of a cabinet and tossed itself across the kitchen floor.
What followed was a weeks-long investigation which peaked with the appearance of a full-fledge apparition. In front of Doris, Dr. Taff, and the two dozen research assistants and techies buzzing around the house, strange ‘corpuscular masses of light’ coalesced and formed into the upper torso of a large humanoid figure. It looked around at the room full of shocked onlookers before it vanished suddenly.
Doris eventually moved, only to have the activity follow her. So, she moved again, and then again, and then again. Dr. Taff eventually lost touch with her, and was left with more questions than answers. For more of the story: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1534e9_dr-barry-taff-the-entity-files creation.
That was forty years ago. Though a landmark case, Doris Bither’s is only 1 in over 4,000 that Dr. Taff has personally investigated. With a Ph.D in Psychophysiology and a minor in Biomedical Engineering, his life’s work in the paranormal field has essentially led him to this: “There is no such thing as the paranormal,” he says flatly, “it’s a misnomer.”
Taff posits that we’ve been calling ‘paranormal’ is actually more normal than we may think. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to make you feel better, but, essentially, the problem could have less to do with dead people floating around, and more to do with the psychogenic nature of the human subconscious.
I mentioned the UCLA Parapsychology Lab earlier, Dr. Taff’s old stomping grounds. And no, it isn’t the subject of another horror film. Taff was mentored during a time when there was widespread interest in parapsychology. At UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI), now the Semel Institute, the lab operated from 1969-1978, headed by Dr. Thelma Moss. The lab functioned on two fronts:
Firstly, it facilitated ‘psi-training research groups’ in which average individuals were aided in developing their extra-sensory perception (ESP), recording the accuracy of nonlocal observation long before Remote Viewing became a household phrase. The lab’s psi results were uncanny, and to test subjects, startling. The success rates transcended the odds of mere coincidence. “It was intriguing, but also boring,” he recalls, “because it became easy to replicate.” In addition to being covered by The L.A. Times and local news, the experiments attracted the attention of the CIA, NSA, ONI, DLI, DIA, DARPA, the FBI, and even the CHP and LAPD, all of whom paid numerous visits to the lab, often in civilian clothing.
Secondly, the lab investigated haunted houses and sites all over Southern California. Among them was the infamous Holly Mont Drive case in 1976, where a once grandiose Mediterranean home now sits rotting, http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/02/lovely_but_wrecked_mediterranean_in_the_hills_needs_a_miracle.php still nestled in the old Hollywood Hills above Franklin Village. In fact, it’s one of the few cases Taff considers to be a genuine ‘haunting’, as opposed to poltergeist phenomena they typically encountered.
The university quickly became wary of the lab’s work, and its end was looming. Being that the lab was a non-sanctioned entity, and with its prospects of attracting federal grant money, new NPI chairman Dr. Louis Jolyon West shut it down. UCLA didn’t want an embarrassing PR scandal on their hands. As disappointed as Dr. Taff was, he didn’t blame the university for its outlook, as the stigma attached to parapsychology was palpable even in 1978. Read more in detail here http://www.teemingbrain.com/2012/11/15/legacys-end-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-ucla-parapsychology-lab/. Asking the university for information about the lab will yield a stonewall denial of its existence, despite articles like this one still being published to this day. http://dailybruin.com/2010/10/26/ucla_lab_researched_parapsychology_in_the_70s/
Though survival-after-death is yet to be proved or disproved, a compelling theory surfaced for Dr. Taff after thousands of investigations and decades of collected data. According to him, what we imagine as ‘ghosts’ is actually stemming from very real, and very alive people. Taff refers to these people as Poltergeist Agents, who unknowingly act as ‘biological waveguides’ when they enter a specific environment. I know, stay with me.
Essentially, Taff lists three variables that act together in concert to produce the physical manifestations of a good old-fashioned haunting: 1) The haunted site is located in an electromagnetically (EMF) anomalous environment 2) The poltergeist agent is usually prone to seizures or epileptic, and their biomagnetic field emits well over one million times the amplitude compared to the average person and 3) The poltergeist agent is neurologically wired in a way, usually an inability to cope with stress, that enables their nervous system to hyper-react to said environment and wreak paranormal havoc.
“Once these conditions are met, all bets are off,” Dr. Taff bluntly assures, “anything could occur.” So, if you’d like to, imagine all your deep-seated, psychological frustrations and anxieties literally coming to life, as it were, and going bump in the night…
There’s more. Poltergeist phenomena, according to Taff, can also behave like a virus, following the agent from house to house, infected the site, leaving it saturated with its residual energy for another potential agent to come along, move in, and pick it up. “The places and faces may change, but the phenomena does not.” And you thought Ebola was scary.
Such intrepid and rarely discussed theories are not unlike the theories of those like Jacques Vallee (The Invisible College), D. Rogo Scott (The Haunted Universe), and John Keel (The Mothman Prophecies). They all too, in their own way, came to the conclusion that there is an underlying connection between all the seemingly ‘separate’ aspects of the paranormal. Consciousness, it seems, plays a pivotal and cunning role.
But it’s a long road to the kind of scientific discovery Dr. Taff is after. There’s a big hindrance to the pursuit of understanding the paranormal: Being eclipsed by its perpetual mystification at the hands of charlatans and science fiction.
“As there are no academic credentials required for anyone to go out and investigate the paranormal,” Dr. Taff says, as matter-of-factly as any scientist could, “every new age groupie is out there looking for demons, emulating the garbage they’ve seen on cable TV paranormal shows. To fully comprehend the possibility that a living person’s subconscious mind can involuntarily generate such power as to manifest luminous anomalies, apparitions, and macroscopic psychokinetic events, is for me, far more compelling than if a discarnate intelligence was responsible.”
The ranting of an acerbic old man, or the long-due condemnation coming from a hardened researcher? While you decide, here’s Nick Kroll’s “Ghost Bouncers” for your viewing pleasure. http://youtu.be/2LBPoxMnfzc
Whatever the case may be, it certainly begs the question: Is pop culture, and its increasing saturation in the media, hindering the scientific pursuit of demystifying the paranormal?
Even horror films pre-slasher-80’s held a general air of sophistication in regards to research. Recall the 1973 Roddy McDowall classic Legend of Hell House, based on the book by the late Richard Matheson, in which the rational physicist played by Clive Revill asserts that the Hell House hauntings are merely the result of unfocused electromagnetic energy, and nothing that suggests survival after death; a theory that is tested to untimely ends.
Jump forward to The Innkeepers, a 2010 indie darling written and directed by Ti West. The frumpy male character Luke, played by Pat Healy, is nothing more than an amateur (and, spoiler alert: phoney) ghost hunter hoping to get hits on his blog and score points with Claire, played by Sara Paxton, also a mere ghost hunting enthusiast. Nothing in the story comes to revelation, as it turns out creepy ghost brides are simply creepy ghost brides. Or how about the anti-climactic reveal in 2013’s The Conjuring, when it turns out creepy, satanic ghost witches are simply creepy, satanic ghost witches?
Not that anyone’s putting recent film-making efforts down, but it’s the culture itself that may have an impairment—pigeon-holing investigations as ‘ghost hunts’ and reducing its aims to nothing beyond a reality TV market in a culture that continues to shout, “Show me the money (not so much the data)!”
It’s these very reasons Dr. Taff doesn’t bother preaching to the choir. He blames the fact that the paranormal arena is ignored by mainstream science and psychologists on the fact that it attracts droves of mentally and emotionally unstable people. http://barrytaff.net/2012/12/psi-and-psychosis-be-afraid-be-very-afraid/
It becomes a catch-22—without the funding and research, it becomes difficult to properly differentiate between what’s parapsychological and what’s psychotic. Suffice to say Taff received a bit of backlash from the paranormal community, and was put down for what was construed as an attack on the mentally ill.
Although blunt, even curt, his conclusions and ongoing theories are made clear, steered by observational data. In our rational and mechanistic culture of the West, Dr. Taff is a lone voice in bringing a scientific framework to a phenomenon we have credulous language for, if any language at all—scrubbed from the pages of Wikipedia, purged from the annals of academia.
For the first time in his lengthy career, he published a book chronicling his case studies. Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown (Cosmic Pantheon Press) is a healthy mix of spine-tingling chills, dry analysis, and rather candid personal insight. There’s a lot to geek out to, everything from haunted houses to alien abduction to warp drives to alternative means of energy. There’s almost too much to consider. What you’re getting is the vanguard of rationale for strange albeit everyday phenomena that continues to dazzle the public, and frustrate mainstream science.
A remake of The Entity has been in the works for quite some time now (director Hideo Nakata was attached at one point), which would resemble more closely the events of the actual case. The 1983 version was based on the novel by Frank De Felitta, who was present during the investigation. If you’ve read this far, I imagine your interest is piqued. So, for your eerie pleasure, I’ve included segments of a phone interview I had with Dr. Taff this past Day of the Dead:
It’s been a long time since ‘The Entity’, a film that continues terrifying its audience. Do you think the remake can have the same effect, or are its aims completely different?
I personally didn’t like the film. The director rewrote a lot of it, and it was lambasted in the press. I remember Barbara Hershey pleaded with the production company to be in the movie, as did Ron Silver, but they hated it after it was torn apart in the media. If [the remake] was made today, and was the same thing as it was then, it might be a little hokey. But if it’s more serious and follows what really transpired, it could be more frightening. A lot of it simply depends on who’s writing, directing, and acting in it.
In the field, you’ve witnessed objects, even people, being tossed across rooms by unseen forces. If restless dead people aren’t the culprit, what then is at work here?
I don’t, for one second, believe this is the work of dead people throwing living people around. The evidence and collected data suggests these effects are the result of what’s called Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK).
There’s two types of psychokinesis (moving physical objects around without physical means). There’s microscopic, which works on very small scales, things like affecting random number generators, random event generators, and moving subatomic particles around. It’s usually electrostatic-based, fatigue in the individual is shown, as it’s done on a conscious level. And then there’s macroscopic, what we call ‘poltergeist,’ and that’s a whole different ball of wax. We’re talking about the ability of moving very massive objects, hundreds of pounds easily. It’s done on a subconscious level, as there is no fatigue seen in the person at the core of it. Like the microscopic type, it’s believed that the phenomena are generated by a living human agency.
So, it’s our subconscious minds, then, that have the ability to hurl household objects around?
It’s more complicated than that. It seems to be that there are several overlapping variables at work. One is the location—either a geomagnetic or an electromagnetic anomaly site—where there’s some strong form of energy that we know of affecting the individual at the core of the phenomenon. The second variable is that the individual is usually seizure-prone or epileptic, sometimes without knowing it. Lastly, they also suffer from ineffective coping mechanisms and problems dealing with stress. If those three variables work in the right relationship with one another, you get phenomena.
The way the electromagnetic environment affects these people is stressful. It alters their body in some way. The mechanism is called ‘inductive resonance coupling’. So, even if you’re in the right environment and you’re seizure-prone or epileptic, if the field doesn’t resonate with yours…nothing happens. And that may be based more on your emotions than anything else. What’s also curious is that most seizure-prone or epileptic people are not poltergeist agents. It’s unilateral, not bilateral, and we don’t know what the missing variable is. This is why, with every case we approach, on top of everything else we do a medical background check of the individual and ask a lot of personal questions that, seemingly, have little to do with what’s going on.
If mainstream science pursued the understanding this phenomena, what kind of consequences would it have on the current paradigm?
My gut is telling me is that if we find out what this energy is, it could take us to the stars. This is energy that does work without heat! There’s only four forms of energy that we basically deal with: electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear, and gravitational. Well, it can’t be gravitational because the mass is insufficient. It can’t be nuclear because the individual would be dead due to ionization long before any RSPK occurred. Is it electromagnetic? When you see a 215-pound man being picked up and thrown across a room, his clothing and everything else should burst into flame by the liberated heat of the force doing it. Second law of thermodynamics. But it doesn’t get hot, it gets cold! What are we being shown here? Call it Zero Point Energy, call it whatever you want, but whatever it is explains much, if not all, of the paranormal—from ESP all the way to OBE’s (out-of-body experiences) and NDE’s (near-death experiences). However, the way this energy couples to us is almost assuredly magnetic in nature. The problem is we can’t simulate these conditions and test it in a lab yet. For one, it would be very, very costly, and more importantly, it would also put the test subjects at risk—you might fry them.
A Wikipedia search for Remote Viewing tells us there is no credible scientific evidence that RV works, and that it failed to produce any useful intelligence information. What are your thoughts?
Well, I’m curious as to who wrote and posted the entry. Anyways, yes, there is an overwhelming amount of data, it’s been replicated thousands of times. We ran the research at UCLA long before there was work at SRI [Stanford Research Institute], and it ran until ’78 when the lab closed. After that, we went into offices in the Westwood area and ran it through 1987, and then everyone went in their own direction and that was that. It’s real. It’s demonstrable. It doesn’t work with everyone, if it did we would understand it. And even when it does work with a lot of people, we still don’t understand the mechanism. The reason our government didn’t do anything with remote viewing is because 1) they couldn’t weaponize it 2) they couldn’t profit from it and 3) they were skeptical of it because we couldn’t explain the mechanism, even though it worked. So, if you can’t kill anybody with it, and if you can’t explain it, then either it’s useless or it must be the Devil.
What do you think we can we do to reintroduce science into the paranormal?
First of all, get rid of the crap on television. One of the biggest negative factors dealing with this subject matter is, basically, all of these paranormal reality shows being fraudulent. In my opinion, they’ve set the field back at least three quarters of a century. The shows are all fake, everyone knows that. A lot of people don’t even care. There isn’t a legitimate paranormal reality show on TV because it can’t count on something happening, you have to make it happen, and that means you’re faking it. But if you’re a producer, you’ve got to have a show, you can’t just have talking heads for forty-two minutes. It’s this kind of market that has attached a stigma to the paranormal. If you go into this field there’s a good chance, academically, you’ll never work. You won’t have a job. I can testify to that.
So your work in this field has alienated you from other professional endeavors? What sort of prejudice have you experienced?
For example, I do a lot of normal things, I have a company that develops a number of medical patents, not involving the paranormal. But since my name is in these [business] plans, potential investors have looked me up and instantly think I’m nuts because, well… “You’re doing all this crazy stuff.” See, if you’re already wealthy, or you’ve made a lot of money turning investments into big profits, then you’re “eccentric,” and they don’t care what you’re doing. But if you’re not financially lucrative, or successful doing anything with someone else’s money, then you’re “crazy.”
I confronted an investor about it recently. It was a big multinational electronics company, you’ve probably heard of them. They initially approved to develop three out of five of our patents. It went to the head of development, they thought our work was great, we’re given a green light. Okay, great. But then months go by, and we don’t hear from them. So, we send an inquiry. The head of the company gets back to us, and starts going off on how the patents are bullshit, the research is bullshit, and on and on. And we’re going, “What? Where did this come from?” So, I asked him, “Look, tell me the truth. Drop the bullshit, and just tell me the truth.” And after a long pause he says, “Okay, you want to know the truth? I looked you up and the minute I found out who are you and what you do, I threw it away. You’re crazy. No one’s giving you money, no one will ever give you money, they’ll think you’re crazy, and you are. End of story.” So, this has happened at least six to eight times that we know of, and it’s because of my background in parapsychology. Since then, we’ve changed a lot of our plans, omitted my name, we changed the name of the company, I don’t even know what it is anymore, nor do I want to know. I’m completely removed from it. So, getting into this professionally, you’ll eventually discover you can’t get a job. “Sorry, position’s already full.” That kind of thing. It’s looked at as a pseudoscience, it’s looked at as a fringe science. If you can’t make a lot of money with it, and if you can’t kill people with it, no one cares. It has no use in the western world. So that’s, you ’know, where things are.
It’s interesting that hauntings could be more of a mental health issue than, say, a spiritual one. If people find themselves in a ‘haunted’ home, what can they do about it (short of running to their favorite television network)?
Well, first of all, the probability of something literally harming people is the chance of you getting hit with a meteorite in the next five minutes. It’s not going to happen. And since most people don’t even want to read what the real research has indicated, it’s a dead end. Until we get to the point where we understand the mechanism behind these things, nothing will ever change. This kind of phenomena has been around forever. Our ancestors believed this stuff was the result of dead people floating around. Now we know different. I have a little over 4,500 cases in my file, and I’d say more than 99% have been poltergeists. Very few, if any, have been what we call ‘hauntings,’ and even those are suspect. You go where the data takes you. If you can’t replicate something in a laboratory under controlled conditions, like we can with remote viewing, you’re basically left with noticing patterns—longitudinal patterns—in the data you collect. And it’s there. It’s kind of a joke almost. As I always emphasize: the places and faces may change, but the events do not. So you see the same thing, over and over, over and over. And you keep getting the same stories, the same measurements, the same readings, and the same answers to all the medical and psychological background questions. So the question becomes: How many times do you have to be hit in the head with this stuff before you realize, “Oh my god, this is amazing?!”
In terms of having an interest in this subject matter, I’ve gotten the most useful information attending your lectures. How often do you speak publicly?
Well, in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s I was lecturing a lot. But it’s very infrequently now. If I lecture a couple times a year, I’m amazed. The only thing I’ve done recently, funny enough, was film for a TV show, “Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks” on the Travel Channel.
So paranormal reality shows aren’t entirely off the table for you?
The only reason I agree to do certain shows is because they don’t ask me to lie about myself or the work. I’m not conducting any field research, but they are featuring a recent update from my Cielo Drive case in the Benedict Canyon area. We’ve got this incredible photo. The woman pictured was having a mini seizure, and directly next to her head is a strange, luminous anomaly that wasn’t seen by anyone present at the time. I think what we’re seeing here is the optical analog of what the energy is doing to her: the very potent geomagnetic field was literally cooking her brain, and she was convulsing because of it.
Wow, so that’ll be featured on ‘Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks’ on the Travel Channel?
Yes, it’s supposed to air in February.
The Lockheed Martin TR-3B
A friend said, he would never forget the sight of the alien looking TR-3B based at Papoose. The pitch black, triangular shaped TR-3B was rarely mentioned–and then, only in hushed whispers–at the Groom Lake facility where he worked. The craft had flown over the Groom Lake runway in complete silence and magically stopped above Area S-4. It hovered silently in the same position, for some 10 minutes, before gently settling vertically to the tarmac. At times a corona of silver blue light glowed around the circumference of the massive TR-3B. The operational model is 600 feet across.
Okay, admittedly the physics discussed in the video above is just speculation, speculation based on “Known” physics, primarily inside the box.
Could it be something more exotic? of course, something far more refined than mercury vapor at hundreds of thousands of atmospheres of pressure spinning at ridiculous speeds? yes.
Something like harnessing energy from the vacuum, complete localized control of gravity and inertia.
The bigger question is how could they keep this a secret for so long? for some answers and compelling thought on this question see the video below which discusses UFO’s and the national security state, how extensively important the deepest parts of the government consider this technology and the UFO issue to be despite their continued denial of being interested or having any knowledge at all, all the while having perfected gravity control since 1955 or 56.
NOTE: In 1965 the NSA had Computers with a clock speed of MHz, computer technology of that level was not available commercially until 2000, 35 years later!
NOTE: Some key aspects of Maxwell’s Equations were wrong!
If this is true as it seems to be, a good deal of the physics people use to discredit the possibility of these technologies may be rendered invalid!
The TR-3B vehicles outer coating is highly reactive to radar stimulation and can change it’s reflectiveness, absorption coefficient, and color (electro-chromic?). This polymer skin, when used in conjunction with the TR-3B’s electronic Counter Measures and (ECM), can make the vehicle look like a small aircraft, or a flying cylinder, or even trick radar receivers into falsely detecting a variety of aircraft, no aircraft, or several aircraft at various locations. A circular, plasma filled accelerator ring called the Magnetic Field Disruptor (MFD), surrounds the rotational crew compartment and is far ahead of any imaginable technology.
Sandia and Livermore laboratories developed the reverse engineered MFD technology. The government will go to any lengths to protect this technology. The plasma, mercury based, is pressurized at 250,000 atmospheres at a temperature of 150 degrees Kelvin and accelerated to 50,000 rpm to create a super-conductive plasma with the resulting gravity disruption. The MFD generates a magnetic vortex field, which disrupts or neutralizes the effects of gravity on mass within proximity, by 89 percent. Do not misunderstand. This is not anti-gravity. Anti-gravity provides a repulsive force that can be used for propulsion. The MFD creates a disruption of the Earth’s gravitational field upon the mass within the circular accelerator. The mass of the circular accelerator and all mass within the accelerator, such as that within the cockpit, avionics, MFD systems, fuels, crew environmental systems, and the nuclear reactor, are reduced by 89%. This causes the effect of making the vehicle extremely light and able to outperform and outmaneuver any craft yet constructed–except, of course, those UFOs we did not build.
The TR-3B is a high-altitude, stealth, reconnaissance platform with an indefinite loiter time. Once you get it up there at speed, it doesn’t take much propulsion to maintain altitude. At Groom Lake there have been whispered rumors of a new element that acts as a catalyst to the plasma. With the vehicle mass reduced by 89%, the craft can travel at Mach 9, vertically or horizontally. My sources say the performance is limited only the stresses that the human pilots can endure. Which is a lot, really, considering along with the 89% reduction in mass, the g-loading forces are also reduced by 89%.
The TR-3Bs propulsion is provided by 3 multi-mode thrusters mounted at each bottom corner of the triangular platform. The TR-3 is a sub-Mach 9 vehicle until it reaches altitudes above 120,000 feet, then god knows how fast it can go! The 3 multi-mode rocket engines mounted under each corner of the craft use hydrogen or methane and oxygen as a propellant. In a liquid oxygen/hydrogen rocket system, 85% of the propellant mass is oxygen. The nuclear thermal rocket engine uses a hydrogen propellant, augmented with oxygen for additional thrust. The reactor heats the liquid hydrogen and injects liquid oxygen in the supersonic nozzle, so that the hydrogen burns concurrently in the liquid oxygen afterburner. The multi-mode propulsion system can; operate in the atmosphere, with thrust provided by the nuclear reactor, in the upper atmosphere, with hydrogen propulsion, and in orbit, with the combined hydrogen\ oxygen propulsion.
What you have to remember is, that the 3 rocket engines only have to propel 11 percent of the mass of the Top Secret TR-3B. The engines are reportedly built by Rockwell. Many sightings of triangular UFOs are not alien vehicles but the top-secret TR-3B. The NSA, NRO, CIA, and USAF have been playing a shell game with aircraft nomenclature – creating the TR-3, modified to the TR-3A, the TR-3B, and the Teir 2, 3, and 4, with suffixes like “Plus” or “Minus” added on to confuse further the fact that each of these designators is a different aircraft and not the same aerospace vehicle. A TR-3B is as different from a TR-3A as a banana is from a grape. Some of these vehicles are manned and others are unmanned.