Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sources for Presentations at Roswell

I am pleased to be among the speakers at the Roswell UFO Festival. The conference where I will be speaking is organized by Guy Malone and titled, 70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.

I'll be doing a couple different presentations, one being The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in Ufology and the Intersection of the Intelligence and UFO Communities. The other is MKULTRA to Gitmo: Correlations Between State Sponsored Involuntary Human Experimentation, Hypnosis and the UFO Community

There are certainly many different explanations for reported UFO phenomena and high strangeness, whatever those explanations may eventually prove to be, and I do not claim to know them all. I am not suggesting there is nothing necessarily of interest in all cases, anymore than I would suggest any given explanation or two would account for all reports. 

That stated, there are indeed many instances - readily available for citation - of exploitation of the topic of UFOs. I subsequently feel the methods employed by intelligence agencies and questionable researchers deserve attention in order to better understand how our opinions and beliefs developed. I will be exploring some of those instances, as well as situations and dynamics worthy of deeper consideration, in how they impact the UFO topic and alleged alien abduction genre. 

I advocate conducting such research in responsible manners: Accurately identify facts, then consider what the facts may indicate. I encourage differentiating between fact and opinion, as well as differentiating between scientific study and other forms of research and/or activities. 

Please allow me to emphasize I am not suggesting involuntary human experimentation necessarily accounts for any reports of alleged alien abduction. I do feel, however, some of the material deserves consideration in proper and responsible context. There are many possibilities of potential relevance.

For instance, we now conclusively know that experiments were conducted in which chemicals were covertly dispersed in public places. We also know that unwitting research subjects were led into situations in which they were drugged and observed. There are numerous ways such circumstances could become intertwined with the UFO popular narratives, particularly considering that - during the mid 20th century time in question - most U.S. citizens did not even remotely suspect their federal government was capable of abusing them. Such research subjects might struggle to find explanations for their experiences, and confuse the circumstances with those that became commonly reported within the UFO community. The possibilities are many.

Below are some key links to items addressed during my presentations, offered for those who would like sources and have a desire to read further. We will be discussing how such circumstances may, in some instances, affect public perception of UFOs. We will also explore correlations among some of the circumstances. Questions, comments, challenges to my points of view expressed during the presentations, and other inquiries may be emailed to me at the address located in my blogger profile.

Some may choose to read my book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community. It explores the ways the UFO topic has been manipulated by multiple demographics for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons, it should be noted, have nothing to do with UFOs, but influence the genre as byproducts of the pursuit of unrelated objectives. Additionally explored rather thoroughly in the book are the cases of Simone Mendez, Leah Haley and Emma Woods, among others.

UFOs and the IC

- James Carrion maintains the blog, Anachronism, where you can download his book of the same name for free. Topics explored between his book and blog include the Ghost Rocket phenomenon, the possible significance of Project Seal during the summer of '47, and a group of potentially relevant intelligence officers known as Joint Security Control. 

- A 1949 Project Grudge report references the UFO topic as a potential psychological propaganda and warfare tool, including the planned release of unusual aerial objects.

Iconic, archetypal shot from The Day the Earth Stood Still
- In his book Silver Screen Saucers: Sorting Fact from Fantasy in Hollywood's UFO Movies, author Robbie Graham documents ongoing CIA interest in the portrayal of ET in film. This includes propaganda specialists employed as a production chief and a script writer on the set of the 1951 film, The Day the Earth Stood Still

- The CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90, is available on the Agency website. It contains such info as CIA initially concealing sponsorship of the Robertson Panel, as well as concealing interest in use of the UFO controversy as a psychological warfare tool.

- A now declassified 1954 CIA telegram suggested to operatives in Guatemala to consider fabricating a story about flying saucers as an option to distract public attention from Agency involvement in a coup. This was reported in a 2003 New York Times article, The C.I.A.'s Cover Has Been Blown? Just Make Up Something About U.F.O.'s.

- CIA man Gene Poteat composed a report on the use of electronic countermeasures in his now declassified work, Stealth, Countermeasures, and ELINT, 1960-1975. Among items of potential interest to the UFO community include Poteat's description of the planned release of balloon-borne metalized spheres in coordination with the projection of false radar paints. 

Overlapping of the UFO and Intelligence Communities

- In his book The FBI-CIA-UFO Connection: The Hidden UFO Activities of USA Intelligence Agencies, author Bruce Maccabee, PhD, credited CIA man Ron Pandolfi with suggesting Agency interest in UFOs was for counterespionage purposes. Particularly, it was suggested, CIA obtained evidence in the 1970's that adversaries devised a plan to use U.S. citizens, including ufologists, to penetrate the U.S. defense program.

Investigation of Vincente DePaula is an article on a website maintained by Ron Regehr. It describes the reported interrogation by the Defense Investigative Service of the late Mr. DePaula, a former member of the UFO community who was employed in the defense industry to work on classified satellite systems. 

- Information about the 1980's Paul Bennewitz case - and the involvement of USAF Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Richard Doty - can be found in the work of Greg Bishop, Mark Pilkington and others. A 2014 Open Minds post by Alejandro Rojas documents his efforts to hold the evasive Air Force accountable for its role in the saga. The actions of Doty and the OSI might be considered in the context of the 1981 Simone Mendez case, to which I allocated a chapter in my book.

The late Boyd Bushman and a photo passed around his circles
- A 1999 FBI memo obtained by John Greenwald, Jr. of The Black Vault indicates the late Boyd B. Bushman was employed at Lockheed Martin and held Top Secret and SCI/SPA security clearances in his capacity as a Senior Specialist in the Special Programs Department. The memo further indicates Lockheed Martin harbored concerns of ongoing attempts to elicit classified information from Bushman. A 2014 video apparently shot by UFO enthusiasts showed Bushman explaining his interests in UFO and ET-related topics, which he described discussing throughout his career with a network of what he considered to be like-minded colleagues. The intriguing circumstances were explored in my blog post, Boyd Bushman, the FBI and Counterespionage

- The Carpenter Affair of the 1990's is covered in my book and rather extensively in a number of posts on my blog. It involved Missouri Social Worker, hypnotist, and MUFON Director of Abduction Research John Carpenter. He released data contained in the case files of 140 suspected alien abductees, including Leah Haley, without the knowledge or consent of the 140. They were hypnosis subjects of Carpenter, two of which he married. The data was provided to controversial philanthropist Robert Bigelow for review by him and his colleagues, which included Col. John Alexander, in exchange for a reported $14,000 paid to Carpenter. Stipulations of a 2001 five-year probation period eventually enforced upon the Social Worker license of Carpenter may be viewed via the State of Missouri public document, State Committee for Social Workers v. John S. Carpenter.

Millionaire searches for UFOs on ranch in Utah is a 1996 article published in the Eugene Register-Guard. It describes Robert Bigelow declining to be interviewed about Skinwalker Ranch, and Col. John Alexander, a Bigelow employee, explaining details will not be provided of how and why research is being conducted. 

- In 2011 James Carrion wrote he and an accompanying scientist were denied access to the Skinwalker Ranch, and Bigelow, during ill-fated dealings with MUFON, moved funds on behalf of what was described as an undisclosed financial sponsor. The identity of the sponsor was revealed only to John Schuessler, but not the rest of the MUFON board of directors.

- In 2012 I published an interview of CB Scott Jones, a retired career intelligence officer who, among other noteworthy items, stated to Austin MUFON that he believed his friend Michael Drosnin was targeted by the FBI with an incapacitating mind control device. Jones claimed during the 2012 interview he continued to believe the UFO subject is used to cloak classified U.S. programs, including mind control operations.

Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III
- That same year, 2012, I delved into the activities of Maj. Gen. Bert Stubblebine and his wife Dr. Rima Laibow. Stubblebine is credited with developing Remote Viewing, and Laibow formerly spoke at UFO conferences as an advocate for using hypnosis with alleged alien abductees. In more recent years the couple has supported increasingly questionable conspiracy theories, up to claiming attempts were made on the life of Laibow in retaliation for their activism.

- Investigative journalist Sharon Weinberger published the article Mind Games in 2007 in Washington Post Magazine. It included an interview with Col. John Alexander, who suggested mind control projects were receiving renewed interest post-9/11, and that electronic neutering might prove beneficial on detainees such as held at Guantanamo Bay. 

"Maybe I can fix you, or electronically neuter you," Alexander was quoted by Weinberger, "so it's safe to release you into society, so you won't come back and kill me."  

Hypnosis and the UFO Community

- The American Psychology Association (APA) explains its stances on hypnosis as a therapeutic tool, not a memory retrieval technique. Further reading includes the work of experimental psychologist and renowned memory expert Dr. Elizabeth Loftus. Also relevant is the work of experimental psychologist Dr. Julia Shaw, among many others, who clarify it's not a matter of if memory is flawed, but how flawed, and that memory enhancing techniques are conclusively unreliable.

Barbara Lamb
- I exchanged emails in 2013 with hypnotist Barbara Lamb about her claim "ET-human hybrids are real and they are here." According to a MUFON promotional email containing the statement, Lamb hypnotically regressed hundreds of people, some of which, with her "help," discovered they were hybrids. During the email exchange, I urged Lamb to directly address if any objective third parties had conducted any kinds of analysis which would lend support to her repeated claims she knows people with ET DNA. She then stopped corresponding.

- In 2012 I interviewed David Jacobs, PhD (in history), a self-described investigator of alien abduction. His bizarre and often convoluted claims about alleged aliens and ET-human hybrids are described at length in my book. Further info can be found at the website of Emma Woods, including recordings of long distance international telephone hypnosis sessions Jacobs conducted with the woman. It is important to listen to the recordings if you desire to develop an informed opinion about investigative techniques used by Jacobs, the Woods case, and his claims of being an advocate of strict scientific and ethical research methodologies. The methods used do not support either his claims or fantastic conclusions.

Hypnosis and the Intelligence Community

The Search for the Manchurian Candidate by John Marks, circa 1979, remains a valuable resource on Project MKULTRA, mid 20th century behavior modification operations, what's known of the personnel involved, and what's known of the experiments using hypnosis, drugs and torture for a variety of stated purposes. Marks' book includes further reading on the activities of George H. Estabrooks, Milton Kline, Martin Orne and George Hunter White.

- A 1954 MKULTRA document titled Hypnotic Experimentation and Research described how a woman was successfully directed during hypnosis to fire a pistol at another female hypnosis subject, unaware the gun was not loaded. Researchers claimed the subjects reported no memories of the events taking place.

- A now declassified document titled SI and H Experimentation (25 September 1951) contains the claims of CIA researchers that they successfully administered post-hypnotic suggestions via telephone. The suggestions involved the experimental subject delivering a post-hypnotic code to a second subject, who executed detailed instructions while hiding what appeared to be a bomb in a public location. Researchers further claimed the subjects largely could not recall their participation in the experiment.

- The CIA online library contains the article, Hypnosis in Interrogation, approved for release in 1993. The Edward F. Deshere piece describes recommendations from hypnosis expert and MKULTRA consultant Martin Orne, which included the use of a "magic room," props, and pseudo-hypnosis shams in order to deceive detainees into thinking they were defenseless against advanced hypnosis techniques. 

- The 2015 Hoffman Report documented APA involvement in 21st century national security interrogations and collusion in conducting torture. The document references the possibility hypnosis was used during the interrogation of Petty Officer Daniel King as conducted by psychologist Michael Gelles. The report describes findings of an APA ethics committee liaison who described the actions of Gelles as "misleading," and added that Gelles could have offered King substantial help understanding how false memories can be established and solidified during interrogation. Further documented in the Hoffman Report was the presence of at least one other hypnosis expert as a relatively present day long time CIA consultant.  

Involuntary Human Experimentation

- The 2012 New Yorker article Operation Delirium offers insight into the madness of MKULTRA while depicting circumstances surrounding experiments conducted at Edgewood Arsenal during the mid 20th century.

- Intellipedia, an intelligence community resource, contained a now declassified entry on MKULTRA describing project objectives, abused citizens of note (which include Theodore Kaczynski, who became the infamous Unabomber), and numerous well-sourced items of interest.

Undated doc Albarelli suspected was sent to
Rockefeller Commission, directly referencing
several key aspects of Pont-Saint-Esprit incident
- Writer/researcher Hank Albarelli, Jr. summarizes in a 2010 blog post why he suspects the Pont-Saint-Esprit tragedy was a CIA weapons research and development project involving MKNAOMI personnel.

- My 2014 blog post Psy Ops and Mind Control: Then, Now and the UFO Community includes links to work by Albarelli, psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kaye, journalist Jason Leopold and others. Aspects of Project Artichoke and their possible significance are considered.

Army Cold War Chemical Research Report is a 2017 blog post I did on a declassified 1976 Army Inspector General report addressing 25 years of chemical research, development, and testing on humans. The report correlates the existence of Special Purpose Teams deployed for use on "nonvolunteers" as described in the work of Albarelli and his references to Artichoke, as linked above.

- Dr. Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold reported extensively on how 21st century CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques" as used at Guantanamo Bay constituted involuntary human experimentation. Such collaborations by Kaye and Leopold include a 2012 article based upon an inspector general report that explained CIA was administering powerful antipsychotic and other medications as treatment for conditions caused by the very interrogation techniques employed and continued. A 2010 article documented that Gitmo detainees were given five times the normal dosage of Methloquine, substantially increasing the likelihood of effects such as hallucinations and paranoid delusions. The drug belongs to a class known as quinolines, was explored as part of the MKULTRA program, and is sometimes used in much smaller doses to treat malaria, which the detainees did not have. Kaye is author of the book, Cover-up at Guantanamo: The NCIS Investigation into the "Suicides" of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri.

- Writer/researcher Joseph Hickman served in the 629th Military Intelligence Battalion at Guantanamo Bay. He described in an interview with Reader Supported News the failed process that created the Gitmo prisoner population, how human experimentation occurred, and how ideas implemented evolved out of MKULTRA. Hickman is writing extensively about his experience in the military, including his book, Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant's Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay.    

Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay
- Research materials recommended for review include the Seton Hall Law Center Paper, Guantanamo: America's Battle Lab, the now declassified Fay Report, the previously referenced Hoffman Report, and reports published by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). Just days ago, PHR published Nuremburg Betrayed: Human Experimentation and the CIA Torture Program, concluding the CIA post-9/11 torture operations constituted unethical and experimental research on unwilling human subjects. PHR reported that torture techniques were designed and implemented by health professionals, who then collected data on torture's effects. The circumstances are described as "one of the gravest breaches of medical ethics by U.S. health personnel since the Nuremburg Code was developed."

Electronics

- In 2008 a Kansas court issued the first-of-its-kind order of protection banning a man from electronically harassing a former business associate. James Walbert told the court he was threatened with "jolts of radiation," then later claimed to feel sensations of electric shocks, hear electronically generated tones, and hear ringing in his ears. Walbert's former associate was subsequently banned from using electronic means to harass him.

- In his 1985 book, The Body Electric, author Dr. Robert Becker explained how researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research claimed to have successfully transmitted spoken words directly to the human brain via pulsed microwaves in 1973.

- In 2008 Sharon Weinberger reported the Army removed a page from its website depicting "voice to skull" devices. The non-lethal weapon was described as a neuroelectromagnetic device capable of sending sound into the skull of persons or animals.

Dennis Kucinich
- In 2013 an Emergency Defense Motion was filed at Guantanamo Bay on behalf of Bin al Shibh. The motion sought relief from sounds and vibrations directed at the detainee. 

- Psychiatrist Dr. Emily A. Keram evaluated Gitmo detainee Shaker Aamer in 2013. Keram quoted Aamer as claiming to believe some kind of electromagnetic or radiation weapons were directed at him. He described the effects as feeling in a trance and difficulty getting his body to move.

- Former presidential candidate and UFO witness Dennis Kucinich proposed for legislation the Space Preservation Act of 2001. The bill, which did not pass, sought to ban space-based and airborne weapons which used electromagnetic, radiation, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of information war, mood management or mind control.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Consequences of Covert and Unethical Operations

The spread of tuberculosis is on the rise in rural Alabama. Researchers blame the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study as a significant factor in public aversion to healthcare in the region. Let's explore how some unethical and covert projects have detrimental consequences on public perception of the medical community and result in poor healthcare practices.   

Tuskegee and Guatemala

Tuskegee Institute, circa 1916
The Center for Disease Control reports that in 1932 the Public Health Service, working jointly with the Tuskegee Institute, launched a study to record the progression of syphilis among black men. Taking place in Central Alabama, the undertaking was titled, "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male." The project was later considered unethical and found to have neglected to facilitate proper informed consent for research subjects. Originally slated to last six months, it went on for 40 years while failing to treat hundreds of infected individuals. Medical care continued to be withheld in lieu of observation long after effective treatments were developed by the medical industry. 

Perhaps most heinously, research subjects were led to believe they were receiving free healthcare. In fact, terms of their participation included burial insurance.

The Public Health Service also used its resources to conduct a similar study in Guatemala. From 1946 to 1948 the U.S. organization funded a collaboration with the Pan American Sanitary Bureau and various Guatemalan government agencies. An estimated 1000 to 3000 Guatemalans were subsequently infected with venereal diseases. The abused included soldiers, orphans, mental patients, and prisoners.

From the "Why do they hate us so much?" file: In addition to infecting Guatemalan citizens, Uncle Sam also overthrew their elected government.

In 1954 the CIA sponsored a coup in Guatemala. Operation PBSUCCESS, as it would become known, ousted the nation's president, but not before rumors of CIA involvement were published in a white paper. To minimize consequences of the white paper, a now declassified CIA cable reveals assets were instructed to consider distracting public attention by such means as to "fabricate big human interest story, like flying saucers." The declassified cable inspired the 2003 New York Times article title, Word for Word/Coup Control; The C.I.A.'s Cover Has Been Blown? Just Make Up Something About U.F.O.'s.

Mistrust of Medical Professionals

Fast forward to 2016. About 115 miles west of Tuskegee you'll find Marion, Alabama, right in the heart of a county hit hard by a lack of trust for public healthcare. The consequences of rejecting medical care can be seen in a rise in the highly contagious and fatal tuberculosis disease, and the reasons for mistrust include dwindling public funds. The community doesn't even have a hospital, leaving some residents feeling isolated and abandoned.

The reasons for mistrust also include echoes of the Tuskegee Study. As The New York Times reported in 2016, "Many people in Marion, where about 63 percent of the residents are black, said they knew little about what had happened in Tuskegee, but they often said their wariness of medical professionals had been passed on through generations."

Harper's Magazine article published in the June, 2017, edition documented the TB outbreak in Marion to be nearly 100 times the national average. For some context, that puts the community at a higher infection rate than such third world countries as India, Kenya and Haiti.

Several strategies have been implemented by medical staff to try to encourage TB screenings, including throwing festive parties and even offering financial incentives, but progress has been slow. Harper's reports that residents often feel distrustful and fear being targeted by outsiders.

Similar social dynamics can be observed in a relatively recent CIA fake vaccination drive. The Agency covertly used medical personnel to claim they were providing vaccinations to children in Pakistan, but were actually extracting DNA. The samples were wanted for testing during a reported hunt for Osama bin Laden. The lead doctor was imprisoned by Pakistani authorities for cooperating with American intelligence agents, and residents understandably became wary of vaccine programs and international healthcare workers. Scientific American reported in its article, How the CIA's Fake Vaccination Campaign Endangers Us All, that villagers along the Pakistan-Afghan border subsequently chased off a legitimate vaccination team, among other concerning events.

There are most assuredly men and women of high integrity who serve their countries and fellow human beings honorably throughout both the medical industry and intelligence community. However, past actions carry consequences, and trust must be built and maintained. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

New Book and Upcoming Conference

UFOs: Reframing the Debate
I'm pleased to report that UFOs: Reframing the Debate from White Crow Books is now available. The nonfiction book is edited by Robbie Graham with artwork by Red Pill Junkie. It consists of several essays written by authors who hold a variety of different perspectives.

I'm proud to have been extended an invitation to contribute. The chapter I wrote, The Future Leads to the Past, explores the ways preconceived notions might influence interpretations of events which haven't even happened yet. Factors that pave the way to resulting misunderstandings are considered, along with what can be done to reframe the UFO debate and cultivate a healthier, more functional community.

Fellow contributors include Greg Bishop, Mike Clelland, Joshua Cutchin, Lorin Cutts, and SMiles Lewis, among many more. Each offer their own point of view on dynamics within ufology. Perhaps you'll choose to give the book a read.



Roswell UFO Festival

Just around the corner is the upcoming festival in Roswell. I hope to see lots of you there!

I'll be speaking at a conference titled, 70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. The event runs from June 29 to July 2, and includes such fellow speakers as Nick Redfern and Michael Heiser, PhD. The conference is organized by Guy Malone, who will also be presenting his research and ideas. Click the link to learn more about costs, schedule, live streaming, and much more.

I'll be sharing things I've learned about ways the UFO topic has been exploited by the intelligence community, and how the UFO and intel communities overlap. They are at times one and the same.

We'll also take a look at how self-described investigators of alleged alien abduction persist in cultivating unsubstantiated beliefs, including via the use of hypnosis. This has been done in spite of warnings issued by qualified experts of the potential dangers to the hypnosis subjects, and study upon study conclusively shows hypnosis to be unreliable as a memory enhancer. Moreover, investigators have a demonstrable history of averting from opportunities to properly secure and test forensic evidence, opting instead to remain heavily reliant upon witness testimony often obtained during hypnosis sessions.

The decades of such dynamics will be considered, and I think it deserves much more attention than it typically receives in order to better understand how some premature beliefs have been promoted and fostered. I'm looking forward to meeting lots of you as I hope to contribute in a constructive manner to the event and genre.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DoJ Responds to FOIA Appeal, Directs FBI to Search Further for Lash Files

A May 10 email from the Department of Justice stated my appeal for files on Jeffrey Alan Lash "has been processed with the following final disposition: completely reversed/remanded." The email was from the DoJ Office of Information Policy and addressed an appeal filed due to the FBI previously reporting requested records were unable to be identified. From the DoJ email:



Readers will recall my post on the Lash case summarized the 2015 story of a man found dead in a vehicle in the Los Angeles upscale community of Pacific Palisades. The bizarre saga involved a stash of millions of dollars in weapons and ammo, about a quarter of a million dollars in cash, and testimonies that the deceased had claimed to be an ET-human hybrid working with U.S. intelligence agencies, among other odd plot twists. The post went on to become my most viewed by far, and continues to consistently be among the most viewed per week in spite of having been posted two years ago.

Outside Pacific Palisades condo where Lash reportedly lived
in what an LA police captain called the worst case of
weapons hoarding she'd seen in her 27-year law enforcement career  

My initial FOIA request to the FBI for records on the Lash case was filed in 2016. I was subsequently informed by the Bureau in a letter dated Dec. 15, 2016, that records were unable to be identified, but it was added that the "response neither confirms nor denies the existence of your subject's name on any watch lists." It was also clarified to be a standard notification "and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist."

The letter further stated, "If you have additional information pertaining to the subject that you believe was of investigative interest to the Bureau, please provide us the details and we will conduct an additional search."

I subsequently wrote, in part, in an appeal dated Feb. 1, 2017:
I therefore point out 'The Guardian', in an article dated July 23, 2015, reported the late Mr. Lash believed he "was a secret government operative under constant surveillance by the CIA, the FBI or both." The article may be viewed at:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/23/jeffrey-alan-lash-firearms-spy
Similarly, 'The Washington Times' reported Lash identified himself to neighbors as "Bob Smith" and "claimed to have worked for either the FBI or CIA." The July 23, 2015, article may be viewed at:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/23/jeffrey-alan-lash-space-alien-secret-agent-dead/
'The Los Angeles Times' and many other media outlets reported similar circumstances. Files available for release are therefore requested on any investigations the Bureau may have conducted of Jeffrey Alan Lash, as well as any interest in or relationships with Lash.

Let's hope a further search for responsive records at the FBI turns up something interesting and available for release. For those of you following the political sword rattling taking place between the White House and FBI, it might be worth noting that the letter received in the May 10 email was actually contained in a pdf, and was dated March 23. For whatever reasons, the March letter was not emailed until the day after former Director James Comey was fired. I mention this because it might or might not indicate ripples of the political turbulence reach throughout the FOIA staff and process in some manner. 

--------------------------------------------------------

View previous posts on the Jeffrey Alan Lash case and my related FOIA requests

Monday, May 8, 2017

Boyd Bushman, the FBI and Counterespionage

"[T]here didn't seem to be an official reason for the CIA to pay any attention to UFO research. Then, in 1990, Ron [Pandolfi] told me the official reason: the possibility of espionage. He said that in the 1970's, the CIA had obtained 'firm evidence' that the KGB had devised a plan to use US citizens, including UFOlogists, to penetrate the US defense program."
- Bruce Maccabee, PhD, The FBI-CIA-UFO Connection: The Hidden UFO Activities of USA Intelligence Agencies (p. 354)

In this post I'll explore how fantastic stories of alleged aliens might sometimes contain underlying relevant themes manipulated by the intelligence community while having nothing to do with extraterrestrials or UFOs.

Boyd Bushman

The late Boyd Bushman and a photo of suspect origin
In 2014 a video featuring an interview with the now deceased scientist Boyd Bushman made a bit of an internet splash. While the original vid has come and gone for whatever reasons, the gist of it is currently available on YouTube

Bushman can be seen sharing fantastic stories of alleged extraterrestrials, including photographs. The images were soon shown to be strikingly similar to plastic figurines available at Walmart, as documented at several websites. 

The then-elderly Bushman stated that during his career at Lockheed Martin he developed a network of contacts who exchanged stories (and obviously photos) about alleged activities at Area 51. The video contained Bushman's disjointed remarks about Chinese and Russian scientists collaborating with Americans, as well as statements about research conducted into anti-gravity technology. 

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

National Security Implications

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

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



The FBI appears to have assigned a Special Agent (SA) to address "intriguing questions" and determine the specifics of the situation:





















Fax messages pertaining to FBI and Lockheed Martin investigations were included in one of two files released by the Bureau to The Black Vault. The faxes addressed concerns about the security of weapons projects and other classified information, as well as identities and interests of Bushman's international contacts. From a 1999 fax:



























The FBI files on Bushman published at The Black Vault offer interesting insight into counterespionage investigation and I recommend reading them. Bushman is profiled as an intelligent yet impatient man, annoyed at what he seemed to feel were restrictions imposed upon him by his security clearance. Simply stated, he wanted to network. While the man does not appear to have intentionally violated any security obligations, he most certainly desired to discuss his work, ideas, and beliefs with others, throughout both his industry and the world - and he did.

Ufology Implications

The ways the UFO topic might become exploited as an espionage tool by the global intelligence community is among the least explored aspects of ufology. It is not surprising the dynamics are not well understood. Those interested in flying saucers and accompanying seemingly paranormal phenomena typically aren't concerned about counterintelligence protocols. Similarly - although from a different point of view - those with a skeptical eye tend to disengage once they feel confident a lack of ET presence has been established. Both demographics often fail to drill down through additional points of potential interest left in the wake of select reports. There may sometimes be much more to learn about a case than whether or not it has aliens or paranormal qualities.

In defense of the skeptical viewpoint, I interpret it to be generally agreed that conspiracy theories are minimized for reasons that include promoting a more accurate and healthy worldview. While this is understandable, an alternative valid argument can be made that a point comes in which suppressing considerations of deception operations becomes standing in denial of authentic declassified documents.

It has long been apparent the UFO topic attracts a number of people who hold security clearances in their employment at intelligence agencies and contractors. It shouldn't be difficult to envision the opportunities such interest provides adversaries to try to befriend the individuals and gain trust through the use of fabricated UFO-related stories, ultimately gaining access to classified info. The impact on the genre is potentially significant, and many cases can be cited which carry implications. 

Intelligence operations, counterintelligence operations, and their often present elements of deception are an entire area of specialized historical research. The cultural significance is well established and studied at length by scholars. It's time ufology integrated it into the genre, and more deeply explored how the overlapping of the intelligence and UFO communities impacts public perception of the topic.

------------------------------------------------------

I'll be discussing the above issues and much more this summer in Roswell. I'll be speaking at a conference taking place as part of the annual UFO festival and themed, 70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. Please consider joining me.


  
-------------------------------------------------------

Related posts:

NSA Interest in the Paranormal

NSA UFO Docs

Further Research Is Justified

Friday, April 28, 2017

Info Wars Indeed

4th Psychological Operations Group,
193rd Special Operations Wing,
Pennsylvania Air National Guard
"The reality is that not everyone shares our vision, and some will seek to undermine it — but we are in a position to help constructively shape the emerging information ecosystem by ensuring our platform remains a safe and secure environment for authentic civic engagement," Facebook recently announced. The monster social media site further stated what amounted to acknowledgments of the existence of well organized networks of sock puppets spreading and "amplifying" misleading information for political and financial purposes. Such instances, it was stated, included during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The public is always a bit slow on the uptake on such stories, but the circumstances are by no means breaking news, or at least they shouldn't be. It has been well reported for years that intelligence agencies throughout the world target social media sites to conduct "non-lethal warfare." Israeli Defense Forces alone acknowledge carrying out such activities in six languages on some 30 platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

FB's Mark Zuckerberg
Moreover, Facebook was reported to be among the most preferred targets for NSA data collection. Per WaPo, circa 2013, "A document supplied to The Washington Post by Edward Snowden indicates that in one representative day, the NSA collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail, and 22,881 from other providers."   

While Facebook might find it advantageous to once again address the situation for one reason or another, I'd challenge its statement of "ensuring our platform remains a safe and secure environment for authentic civic engagement." I'm not convinced it could be shown to have ever been, much less "remain" so.

Speaking of Misleading Information

Notorious InfoWars front man Alex Jones caught the losing side of a child custody case. Imagine that. Items surfacing during the messy battle included his tendencies to hurl profane insults and fan flames of such unfounded allegations as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre never happened. Attorneys for Jones argued that his on air persona is simply performance art, for what that's worth, as counterarguments included documentation of Jones calling a Congressman a "c---sucker," bellowing in a drunken stupor on inauguration night in DC that "1776 will commence again," and other gems.

Right-wing conspiracy theorist, performance artist,
narcissist, presidential aide and dad, Alex Jones
Also surfacing was the testimony of a doctor who stated Jones was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Dr. Alissa Sherry conducted group therapy sessions for the Jones family and testified the diagnosis was present in Jones' case file. The disorder involves an inflated sense of self-importance, along with a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Dr. Sherry added that Jones would regularly take his shirt off during therapy sessions, the only time she recalled a patient undressing in the middle of such sessions. 

Additional whoppers attributed to Alex Jones include accusations the government is lining juice boxes with estrogen to turn boys gay. This man, you will recall, is someone Donald Trump collaborated with and identified as having an "amazing" reputation, which brings us to:

Not THOSE Aliens

Alien on the lam?
The Trump admin launched an office supposedly designed to serve the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. Dubbed VOICE, the department includes a phone number for victims. The hotline was reportedly trolled in short order by callers offering up stories of renegade space aliens.

Martian jokes aside, studies conclude immigrants are actually significantly less likely to commit crimes in the U.S. than their American-born counterparts. Such studies span several years of data and were conducted by multiple sources, including the Cato Institute and American Immigration Council, among many more.

I particularly appreciated the Doubtful News take on the story:

The purpose of the hotline is to highlight the incidents of illegal immigrants who victimize Americans. According to statistics, this extra effort is baseless. And, it makes little sense. Those who are in the country without permission would be very stupid to call police attention to themselves. They wish to remain hidden and so are less likely to commit a crime. Besides, no justification has been demonstrated that these particular crime victims need a special office, VOICE, for their reporting. There are already means to report such crimes. This is clearly a manufactured problem in order to influence public opinion about illegal immigrants. It’s a waste of money and promotes misinformation. So, I’m glad it is failing. Put money to better use, on real problems.
   
The current presidential administration has in its short lifespan already shown a remarkable and destructive tendency to cling to a poorly argued point in the face of all reason. Policies on such issues as a border wall and so-called "travel" ban cannot even be shown to be grounded in factual data, much less that the billions of dollars in costs and lost revenue would solve the "problems" not established to exist in the first place. 

As reported in 2015 via The Intercept article, The Greatest Obstacle to Anti-Muslim Fearmongering and Bigotry: Reality:




We clearly would be wise to exercise reasonable skepticism when solicited to buy into a social media story or related point of view. Every day is April Fools out there. I opt for getting my news from multiple outlets, keeping an eye on verification and sources cited. It's an info war indeed, and your opinion is the prize. Form it wisely.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Questioning Alien Abduction Research Methodology

Dr. Ellen Tarr recently posted some thoughts on UFO-related survey results as conducted and presented by FREE (Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters). Tarr holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Immunology, is an Associate Professor at Midwestern University, and graciously offers analysis from time to time on such topics as Project Core and alleged Sasquatch DNA.

She interpreted survey results as reported by FREE to be unclear on details like numbers of respondents and exactly how FREE arrived at some of its figures. Tarr's pointed observations included "the myriad problems with the survey itself and the analysis," as well as "the lack of controlling which respondents answer follow-up questions." As she explained:
There are numerous cases within the survey where more people responded to follow-up questions about a specific type of experience than had claimed to have had the experience. For example, 211 respondents reported having sex with an ET and 236 gave answers regarding what type of ET they had sex with. The likelihood that many items include responses from people who did not have the experience calls many results into question. 
Tarr also noted survey results were represented by FREE as specifically including people who reported UFO-related contact experiences with a non-human intelligence, yet it is unclear if all who responded actually interpreted that to be the case. For instance, fewer people reported a craft or ship associated with their experiences than participated in the survey.

Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs at a 2004 Intruders Foundation seminar
Credit: Carol Rainey

Hopkins, Jacobs and Westrum

Such challenges with surveys and their interpretations have long plagued the UFO community. The design of a 1991 Roper Poll funded by Robert Bigelow and conducted by Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs and Ron Westrum was competently called into question by qualified professionals. The trio arrived at the stunning conclusion 3.7 million Americans had been abducted by aliens through a survey of less than 6,000 people who were never even asked. Instead, those surveyed were subjected to a series of questions of which Hopkins and Jacobs felt themselves qualified to interpret if the responses indicated abductions had occurred. To directly ask respondents if they'd ever been abducted, it was rather incredibly rationalized, would give false results because many people were unaware of their abductions until after hypnosis.

Of a total of 5,947 people interviewed, 119, or two percent, were identified as likely alien abductees. It was from there the conclusion was drawn that about two percent of the American population, which at the time equated to 3.7 million people, had been abducted by aliens.

Critical review was provided by parapsychologist Susan Blackmore and sociologist Ted Goertzel, among others. The work of the late psychologist Robyn M. Dawes and political scientist Matthew Mulford, the latter of which became an expert in research methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, showed how questions on the survey were poorly constructed in ways known to produce flawed results. Goertzel wrote:
This conclusion is also strongly supported by Dawes and Mulford's (1993) innovative study at the University of Oregon which demonstrated that the dual nature of Hopkins, Jacobs and Westrum's first item, which asked about waking up paralyzed and about sensing a strange person in the room in the same item, actually led to an increased recollection of unusual phenomena as compared to a properly constructed single-issue survey item. Textbooks on questionnaire writing universally warn against "double-barreled" questions of this sort because they are known to give bad results. Dawes and Mulford confirm this and further offer the explanation that the combination of the two issues in one item causes a conjunction effect in memory which increases the likelihood of false recollection.
While the Hopkins, Jacobs and Westrum scale is not a valid measure of UFO abduction, they have inadvertently constructed a useful measure of another phenomenon: the tendency to have false memories. 

The poll and its questionably interpreted conclusions continue to be cited in UFO circles in spite of its flawed construction. The problematic aspects of its methodologies are typically not addressed when claims are made of some 4 million Americans being abducted by aliens. The objectivity of Budd Hopkins was further questioned due to such circumstances as his claims surrounding alleged alien symbols purported to have been seen by abductees while aboard alien craft. His questionable interpretations and desire to "stack the deck," as he put it, were documented in the 13-minute video clip below shot by Carol Rainey.


  

Standards of Evidence

An important point, in my opinion, is that Dr. Tarr and other qualified experts demonstrate a willingness to address the UFO phenomenon and offer review of research produced by ufology. The scientific community is often criticized for dismissing the topic out of hand, and the complaint may be justified at times, but there are clearly exceptions.

Furthermore, it should be noted that such critical review is part and parcel of the path to establishing fact-based evidence. The critiques of qualified professionals should be embraced and addressed, not discarded with aversion. It is when standards of evidence are recognized, and professional research protocols are collectively respected and implemented, that the UFO community will mature and begin to gain the credibility it has long claimed to seek.

-----------------------------------------------------

Please join me this summer in Roswell at a conference themed 70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. I'll be discussing exploitation in ufology, the intersection of the UFO and intelligence communities, and related topics.