Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review: 'Chameleo' by Robert Guffey

'Chameleo: A Strange but True Story of Invisible Spies,
Heroin Addiction, and Homeland Security'
The nonfiction 'Chameleo' could have been a great case study of paranormal phenomena, or so it might initially seem. Talented author and college-level educator Robert Guffey's description of unfolding bizarre events and seeming synchronicities of extremely low probability are more than a little reminiscent of such classics as Keel's 'Mothman'. However, Guffey and his unlikely protagonist, whom he simply happened to have known since high school, do not hold supernatural or extraterrestrial beings responsible for their descent into high strangeness. They lay the blame squarely at the feet of the United States federal government, and with good reason, it would seem, if Guffey reported the saga with reasonable accuracy.

A number of circumstances make the plight of Dion Fuller, a drug addict struggling to cope with life even on his best days and absent government harassment, significantly different than the typical and often nebulous claims of what have come to be known as Targeted Individuals, MILABs and alien abductees. For one thing, Dion's lifestyle led to a series of choices in 2003 that culminated into being served a search warrant by Special Agent Lita A. Johnston and company of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Dion had allowed a young man to hang out a few days at his apartment, a "party house" frequented by Greater San Diego drug addicts and drifters. The guy was AWOL from Camp Pendleton, and had stolen some night vision goggles and other equipment of which NCIS took great interest. Dion was reportedly held and interrogated for six days. It was after his release without charges that the high strangeness and surveillance ensued. Most people who report such circumstances do not have as clear a perceived point of origin for where and when the events started. Neither do they have a point of contact, as Lita Johnston served not just for Dion, but for peripheral players who also got in touch with her when the pot boiled and spilled.

Some readers will recall I blogged about NCIS when the agency and the American Psychological Association (APA) were implicated in an ethics investigation documented in the Hoffman Report. NCIS employed an APA psychologist who explored the use of hypnosis as an interrogation tool on Petty Officer Daniel King, a young man accused of spying in 1999 and grilled for two years before being released without formal charges.

Early on in the reading of 'Chameleo' I considered how difficult it is to sort out extraordinary claims because the claimant becomes increasingly traumatized and subject to reporting inaccuracies even if some of the events actually happened as perceived. A reasonable question becomes if the individual was mad or driven to madness. Did the person perceive such things because they are hysterical or are they hysterical because of what they saw? 

I have considered similar dynamics between self-described investigators and alleged alien abductees. If a hypnotist/investigator proceeds to conduct months or years of hypnotic regression sessions with an individual about alleged menacing visitors from the far reaches of the universe, it would seem eventual conditions and resulting symptoms of emotional trauma should be expected to manifest in the behavior of the hypnosis subject and considered the norm, not the exception. Again, we might wonder if the individual was driven to extreme perceptions and behaviors by quite human beings and the hypnosis sessions themselves, not the alleged phenomena focused upon in the sessions.

Another thing that seems to make Dion and Guffey's story rather unique as compared to similar reports is their path led them face-to-face with Richard Schowengerdt, an aerospace engineer who worked on Top Secret projects. He confirmed the existence of technology that supported Dion's claims of invisible stalkers, surreal scenery outside his window, inexplicably expanded rooms and similar perceptions. As a matter of fact, the engineer invented and held a patent on some of it. What's more, related research and development, it turned out, were taking place literally down the street from Dion's apartment. Guffey conducted an interview with Schowengerdt published in the March, 2007, edition of 'UFO Magazine'. I found it interesting and perhaps telling of a UFO community biased towards the extraterrestrial hypothesis that Guffey indicated he received virtually no comments or feedback about the article, 'To See the Invisible Man'.

'Chameleo' is an entertaining read, even hilarious at times, but this is not to suggest it minimizes the potential significance of its otherwise dark subject matter. Robert Guffey tells the story in sometimes unflattering yet appreciated frankness of the goings ons among the fringe subculture and the dysfunctional people who inhabit it. A typical saga of investigator and experiencer it is not – and it should arguably make us consider how easily it could have been if the writer had opted to frame the events in such contexts.

Readers are bound to agree with some of Guffey's points and disagree with others, yet he has produced a work that should be read by those sincerely desiring to better understand such claims and the people who make them. We can only wonder how many Dions may be out there who did not happen to have gone to high school with a future professional writer.

'Chameleo' by Robert Guffey is published by OR Books. It contains 264 pages in paperback for 18 USD. Also available in e-book.   

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dozens of Gov Offices Regularly Visit UFO Website

Following publication of the recent blog post, 'Homeland Security Reads 'The UFO Trail'', I received an email from Frank Warren of the popular website, 'The UFO Chronicles'. My post addressed information recorded via a blog traffic statistics program which indicated some recent site activity originated from an Internet service provider (ISP) registered to the Department of Homeland Security. Similar visits from additional government offices have previously been logged.

Frank brought to my attention traffic of potential interest regularly recorded at his website which include ISPs at the locations below. The list, a comparatively small sample not to be interpreted as an all inclusive accounting, is published with his permission. Please note it is offered without speculation of purpose or intent of site visits.

Thanks to Frank Warren for the heads up. 

ISPs logged at 'The UFO Chronicles' in recent weeks include a Department of Defense (DoD) office located in Lawton, Oklahoma, and Navy Network Information Center (NNIC) offices in Hawaii, California and Florida. Other ISPs recorded over time at the website: 

  • US Department of Defense Network    Las Cruces    New Mexico    United States
  • DoD Network Information Center    Indianapolis    Indiana    United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration    Sherman Oaks    California    United States
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (fermilab)    North Aurora    Illinois    United States
  • US Department Of Defense Network    Colorado Springs    Colorado    United States
  • DoD Network Information Center    Huntsville    Alabama    United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration    Bowie    Maryland    United States
  • Federal Aviation Administration    Oklahoma City    Oklahoma    United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration    Cleveland    Ohio    United States
  • FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems    Clarksburg    West Virginia    United States
  • Department of Homeland Security    Springfield    Virginia    United States
  • US Dept of Justice    Potomac    Maryland    United States
  • DoD Network Information Center    Arnold    Missouri    United States
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory    Livermore    California    United States
  • US Department of Defense Network    Fort Huachuca    Arizona    United States
  • Navy Network Information Center (NNIC)    Virginia Beach    Virginia    United States
  • US Department of Defense Network    Natick    Massachusetts    United States
  • Bigelow Management    North Las Vegas    Nevada    United States
  • DoD Network Information Center    Washington    District of Columbia    United States
  • US Department of Defense Network    Fort Polk    Louisiana    United States
  • U.S. Department of State    Washington    District of Columbia    United States
  • Government of the District of Columbia    Washington    District of Columbia    United States
  • Navy Network Information Center (NNIC)    Pass Christian    Mississippi    United States
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Sandia National Laboratories    Albuquerque    New Mexico    United States
  • Headquarters, USAISC    Colorado Springs    Colorado    United States
  • Australian Department of Defence    Port Melbourne    Victoria    Australia
  • Headquarters, USAISC    Tacoma    Washington    United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration    Beltsville    Maryland    United States
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory    Upton    New York    United States
  • U.S. Department Of Energy    Las Vegas    Nevada    United States
  • US Senate    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration    Mountain View, California, United States
  • US Department of Defense Network    Belcamp, Maryland, United States
  • FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems    Clarksburg, West Virginia, United States
  • Department of Homeland Security    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • U.S. House Of Representatives    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • U.S. Department Of State    Washington, District of Columbia, United States   

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Homeland Security Reads 'The UFO Trail'

A computer with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) IP address recently visited 'The UFO Trail' blog. The user viewed the post, 'Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange Case of Jeffrey Alan Lash', and exited by following links to related stories on other UFO websites. 

The bizarre Lash case drew attention around ufology earlier this year when the corpse of Lash, incredibly described by his reported fiancee and an associate as an ET-human hybrid who worked with the CIA, was discovered by police in a vehicle in Pacific Palisades, Cal. The resulting law enforcement investigation turned up some 1200 guns and nearly a quarter of a million dollars in cash located in a condo associated with the recently deceased man and his fiancee. Police promptly reported that foul play was not suspected in the death, but further details of the odd circumstances have not yet been released by authorities.   

The case arguably received much more intensive investigation in UFO circles than from the mainstream media. The latter tended to offer rather vanilla coverage, often limiting their investigations to quoting one another, while various UFO websites and online discussion forums explored the players and circumstances at length. Comments on this blog, for instance, reflected research conducted which included the possibility multiple identities were used by some of the individuals involved in the story, and a Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney owned a condo in the same neighborhood as the one used to store weapons and cash, among other items of potential interest. 

Department Of Homeland Security [IP address edited]                           
Washington, District Of Columbia, United States    

1 Nov
1 Nov
1 Nov
Traffic stats of 'The UFO Trail' blog, reflecting a visit early the morning of Nov. 1 from a computer accessing the Internet via DHS. The user apparently followed a link from Twitter to the Lash post, and exited through two links contained in the post, one to a related story at Whitley Strieber's 'Unknown Country', and the other to a second related story at Linda Moulton Howe's 'Earthfiles'.

It is not entirely unusual for 'The UFO Trail' to receive traffic from IP addresses of government offices. In at least some of those circumstances, if not the vast majority, it would be reasonable to suspect the visitors were simply surfing the web for their own personal interests, possibly entertaining themselves during breaks, as compared to conducting work in official capacities.

In other circumstances, it might not be an unreasonable stretch to suspect an intelligence analyst might check a few posts around the UFO community for items of interest to include in a file they may have been assigned to create. In the case of Lash, for instance, one could particularly save them self a substantial amount of work by reading what some UFO websites have compiled, rather than starting from scratch.

Such circumstances offer us opportunities to consider how intelligence agencies have every reason, and arguably responsibility, to delve into such chains of events as represented in the Lash saga. Regardless of what reasons may have existed for the rise of stories about aliens and secret agents, the case clearly contains suspicious dynamics involving inordinate amounts of cash and weapons that, at best, indicate exploitation and manipulation to some extents. It is not unreasonable at all for such circumstances to be investigated by any number of law enforcement agencies, certainly including DHS. 

To the best of my knowledge, the case has not yet been publicly confirmed to have become a matter of interest for DHS or CIA, seeming to remain relatively local in scope. Perhaps FOIA requests on such matters, including DHS computer activities the morning of Nov. 1, would eventually prove useful, but it is extremely unlikely they would bear relevant responses as of yet. 

The DHS visit offers us an opportunity to consider how the paths tend to dissect of intelligence agencies and UFO-related stories. Whatever the many reasons prove to be from one instance to the next, the fact remains that the UFO and intelligence communities remain closely related.

We are often at a disadvantage to understand exactly why we might find intelligence agencies involved in bizarre stories, and why they might be identified as visiting UFO-related websites. It is important to refrain from jumping to premature conclusions, as UFO researchers have an unflattering history of interpreting the presence of intelligence personnel as confirmation of preferred theories. The fact of the matter is that we often simply do not know what such circumstances indicate. 


Look for this writer's soon to be published book, 'The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community', for more information on the intermingling of intelligence agencies and ufology. Connect with Jack Brewer through 'The UFO Trail' blog, @TheUFOTrail on Twitter or send an email.