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. 

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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.

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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.


  
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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.

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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.

Monday, March 6, 2017

FOIA Rundown

In the post below I'll summarize the contents and status of some of my requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I'll also share some links I hope you'll find useful.

Joint Security Control

I submitted a rather lengthy and detailed request on Joint Security Control (JSC) records from 1946-47 pertaining to deception operations, among other items. The request was filed Sep. 6, 2016, to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which quickly issued a negative response Sep. 27. An appeal is currently pending. 

At his blog Anachronism, James Carrion made a series of posts in August and September of 2016 in which he explored the JSC and its implementation of deception operations during the 1946-47 time frame. The era was of course a boom for what became high profile UFO cases.

James called on researchers to join his attempts to further understand details of circumstances surrounding the JSC. I deemed it a worthy request, given the existence of declassified documents establishing that the U.S. intelligence community explored the topic of UFOs as a psychological propaganda and warfare tool. 

Along with JSC records of 1946-47 deception operations, my Sep. 6 FOIA submission also included similar such files of the Plans and Operations Division of the War Department. NARA Archivist Mr. R.E. Cookson wrote in part in his Sep. 27 response:
[Y]our request consists of topics rather than describing specific documents, and therefore is not reasonably specific enough for us to be in a position to easily locate documents responsive to your request. A preliminary search of the finding aids that are available to us reveals that your request could contain information in any one of 4 record groups. 
I appealed the response, citing the existence of documents already establishing the purposes in creating the JSC included the design and implementation of deception operations. That being the case, I requested further consideration be given to how a researcher might otherwise learn about such established operations than request their files. The appeal was submitted in October and I am awaiting a response.

Here's how you can help: Submit FOIA requests on the JSC.

For example, the May, 1947, revised JSC charter could be cited. As James Carrion wrote:
In May of 1947, JSC received a revised charter, one that authorized it to continue its deception mission not just under wartime conditions but also during times of peace. JSC was tasked with preventing important military information from falling into the hands of the enemy, to control classified information through proper security classification, to correlate, maintain and disseminate all of the information furnished to JSC by the War and Navy Department Bureau of Public Relations, and finally the very important mission of cover and deception planning and implementation.
Several additional docs establishing JSC involvement in deception operations may be found in posts by James. I encourage you to cite such documents, and request files on the specific operations referenced therein.

Requests of this nature might best be submitted to the National Archives and Records Administration due to the age of the records. You may file via email at specialaccess_foia@nara.gov and learn more here. For those unfamiliar with the process, a sample FOIA letter is provided at the bottom of the page linked.

Whatever the JSC operations may have involved, I see no good reasons researchers should avert from further study. Even those who suspect the government intentionally covered up an ET presence and/or UFO-related data should seek supporting evidence in files of the JSC, a high level unit specifically tasked with controlling and classifying important information.

I encourage you to submit requests and seek answers. Let us know how it goes!

Jeffrey Alan Lash

As many readers are aware, I've submitted a number of information requests to various agencies about the Jeffrey Alan Lash case. The latest correspondence comes from an exchange with the CIA. On Feb. 21, Acting Information and Privacy Coordinator Allison Fong wrote in part:
After conducting a search reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents, we did not locate any responsive records that would reveal an openly acknowledged CIA affiliation with the subject.
To the extent that your request also seeks records that would reveal a classified association between the CIA and the subject, if any exist, we can neither confirm nor deny having such records... If a classified association between the subject and this organization were to exist, records revealing such a relationship would be properly classified and require continued safeguards against unauthorized disclosure. You may consider this finding a denial of this portion of your request... 
I think that's a reasonable ruling, all things considered. Much more so than the response to the original FOIA request in which CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator Michael Lavergne indicated it could be difficult for him to identify files on who I was asking about. 

Of all the agencies, I'm probably most disappointed in the LAPD lack of transparency in its investigation of the case. I find it particularly concerning when we can't count on police departments to help clarify actuality. The Loveland (Colorado) Police Department, for example, was very helpful in 2014 when I requested files on Stan Romanek's claims of being assaulted. In relatively short order I was provided records indicating detectives strongly suspected Romanek staged the scene of the alleged assault. 

The last line out at this point on Lash is to the FBI. The Bureau is yet to rule on my appeal of its initial response of having no files on Jeffrey Alan Lash.

Gulf Breeze Six

I've so far filed a total of six FOIA requests on the Gulf Breeze Six, four in February and two more in March. Two were sent to the NSA and Army Office of the Inspector General. I requested a Mandatory Declassification Review of the file referenced by Philip Coppens. The late writer and researcher explained how 1400 of the file's 1600 pages were originally withheld, so I'm hoping more of it will now be declassified and released. 

Requests were also submitted to the CIA and FBI in the hopes relevant records will be declassified. Both agencies were reported by newspapers to have been involved in the detention and interrogation of the six. I invited consideration the group became public figures, as such status may in some cases result in making more information available. All of the requests included supporting materials.

The FBI is the only agency to respond as of yet. It declined to release any records, suggesting more evidence of public notoriety was required. I replied, offering copies of web pages that establish Vance Davis (of the GB6) wrote a book about the ordeal, spoke publicly at conferences, conducted written and live interviews, and that the saga was widely covered by the media, among other citations provided. I'm awaiting a ruling on the appeal.

The final two FOIA requests were inspired by a discussion at Above Top Secret and submitted to the NSA and Army IG. I requested copies of the original mysterious message and accompanying photos sent to the Army and media outlets as reported in a story published in the Aug. 16, 1990, edition of the Gulf Breeze Sentinel and titled, Did mysterious note influence release of Gulf Breeze Six?

As Gordon Miller explained in a 1994 published email:
From the Gulf Breeze SENTINEL, August 16, 1990.
Brief article entitle [sic] "Did mysterious note influence release of Gulf Breeze Six?"
In full:
An interesting piece of the puzzle of the six army deserters who
showed up in Gulf Breeze, were arrested by the FBI, were taken to Fort Benning and Fort Knox, and then were released with General Discharges, has here-to-for not been shared with the general public.
That puzzle piece came in the form of of an unsigned typewritten
note presumbably [sic] sent to the US Army and all the major TV networks and wire services demanding the release of "The Gulf Breeze Six."
The note was accompanied by two photographs [Ed. note: of circular objects in the air that some people might refer to as "UFOs", which I cannot repreoduce. (sic)] and threatened the release of "500+ photos and plans you want back... unless they are released.."
The note ended "Answer code AUGSBB3CM"
Mark Curtis at WEAR Channel 3 first shared this intriguing note with
The Sentinel two days before the announcement that the Gulf Breeze Six were discharged from the Army and released.
The photos shown here [Ed. note: Well...*there* anyway.] are courtesy of Les Sinclair at WALA TV 10 and appear to be the same ones sent to WEAR.
The article concludes with an apparent photocopy of the note in question which reads, in its entirety:
ABC, NBC, CBS, AP, UPI
U.S. Army:
Free the Gulf Breeze Six.
We have the missing plans, the box of 500+ photos and the plans you want back.
Here is proof with close-ups cut out.
Next we send the closeups and then everything unless they are released.
Answer code AUGSBB3CM
You may submit FOIA requests online to the NSA. Requests to the Army IG may be submitted via email, and you can learn more at the website

Let us know how your FOIA efforts go, if you bear any results, and related thoughts. Happy hunting!  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

NSA Interest in the Paranormal

A declassified NSA draft titled Parapsychology: The COMSEC Threat and SIGINT Capability recently caught my attention when an excerpt was shared by researcher Michael Best. COMSEC stands for communications security, while SIGINT refers to signals intelligence. The six-page document, apparently composed in approximately 1981 and approved for release in 2011, may be viewed in full on the CIA website.

The unnamed author of the draft wrote that dealing with such issues as the manipulation of personnel behavior by psychic means could not be avoided within the work force, including at the NSA. The author continued that psychic warfare was inevitable and that "practitioners" within the Agency were already "functioning." 

Whatever we are to make of such declassified documents, their very existence may offer us some insight into an era in which the intelligence and UFO communities alike pushed the envelope edges. Let's take a look at some topics previously explored on The UFO Trail and how they might relate to one another. We might consider how such cases as the Gulf Breeze Six may possibly have been more a result of a fringe-friendly NSA and intelligence culture than it was the bizarre, isolated incident it's often thought to have been. Reviewing such circumstances might help us more clearly understand the evolution of belief systems surrounding UFOs, as well as assist us in ultimately forming more relevant questions.


Parapsychology: The COMSEC Threat and SIGINT Capability, p 3


In January I did a post, NSA UFO Docs. One of the declassified files explored was an NSA draft titled, UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise or Deceptive Data. The draft could be interpreted a number of different ways, but in this context I'd like to consider how it was composed by an NSA employee at least seeming to be quite convinced of the "strange nature of the [UFO] phenomena," and its potential for rendering witnesses psychologically devastated. We could reasonably conclude the draft, which was written sometime between approximately 1958 and 1979, was lacking meaningful citations and scientific merit while containing perspectives typically found in the UFO community, for whatever reasons. 

Also explored was a doc that has come to be known as the Yeates affidavit. Dated 1980, it contains the testimony of NSA man Eugene F. Yeates about various UFO files, including one he described as an account of an NSA assignee about their attendance at a UFO symposium. On a side note, I filed an FOIA request to the NSA for the report and am currently awaiting a response.

Tom Deuley
The late Philip J. Klass speculated the author of the report was Tom Deuley, a retired career Navy man, former NSA employee, and longtime member of the MUFON Board of Directors. It was "almost certainly" Deuley, Klass wrote, noting that Deuley spoke publicly of meeting with NSA administrative officials about his plans to attend a MUFON conference in Dayton, Ohio, shortly after he was assigned to the Agency in 1978. Whether or not Klass was correct, I believe the point is well made the NSA culture was UFO and paranormal tolerant, if not friendly, as Deuley was indeed an NSA assignee and MUFON director. 

It is a reasonable statement that the intelligence community, in general, attempted to better understand, manipulate, and weaponize subject matter surrounding reported UFO and psychic phenomena. That is the case in contradiction to the more widely held public perspective that the IC debunked the related claims. Intelligence agencies were actually deeply enmeshed with the topics, whatever the combinations of purposes may have included.

The career of Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III spanned from a 1952 graduation from West Point to his 1984 retirement as the Commanding General of the Army Intelligence and Service Command (INSCOM). A member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, Stubblebine was credited with completely redesigning the intel structure of the entire U.S. Army.

Bert Stubblebine
Stubblebine's more recent ventures include operating the Natural Solutions Foundation, a nonprofit corporation co-founded with his wife, Rima Laibow, MD. Dr. Laibow is a former advocate for alleged alien abductees and the use of hypnosis as a memory enhancer. At Natural Solutions Foundation, the couple are, by any definition, promoters of extreme conspiracy theories, including those surrounding chemtrails and vaccinations, which, the two say, are part of the "big plan" to turn children into autistic worker drones. 

Mind control operations are also involved, according to the couple. Laibow asserts as a "fact" that "Natural Solutions Foundation is so effective in our opposition to the Powers That Be that a serious attempt was apparently made on my life..." 

Before conducting an all out campaign against the PTB, Maj. Gen. Stubblebine of course was the PTB. He was also credited with inventing Remote Viewing along with his explorations of such topics as neurolinguistic programming and psychic spoon bending. "Stub" and his longtime colleagues, which include Col. John Alexander, are as much parts of UFO and paranormal lore as Travis Walton and Whitley Strieber.

Lyn Buchanan
Enter Sgt. Lyn Buchanan. It was in 1984, while stationed at the U.S. Intelligence Field Station in Augsburg, Germany, that Buchanan was recruited by Stubblebine into a Remote Viewing unit. He caught the attention of Stubblebine following what Buchanan described to me as a "psychokinetic" computer-related anomaly. According to Buchanan, Stubblebine was hoping to harness Buchanan's psychic potential to "destroy enemy computers - then later learn how to simply control the data and programming within them." Buchanan considers himself an alien abductee, as he explained to me in the linked interview. 

By the way, the first doc cited at the beginning of this post, Parapsychology: The COMSEC Threat and SIGINT Capability, references dynamics surrounding electronic psychic warfare as described by Buchanan. Topics mentioned in the doc include "Telekinetic Manipulation of Circuitry" and "Telepathic Manipulation of Operator to Induce False Message."

The activities of intelligence personnel Stubblebine, Alexander, and Buchanan were portrayed in Jon Ronson's The Men Who Stare at Goats. Below are some related remarks from a man identified by Ronson as a Special Forces soldier:


It was just six years after Sgt. Buchanan's computer incident at the Augsburg Field Station that the base served as a temporary home to the Gulf Breeze Six. It was there, from Stubblebine's former stomping grounds, that the crew of NSA intelligence analysts reportedly took up hypnosis and Ouija board sessions in attempts to communicate with mysterious entities and religious icons. The group then went AWOL in 1990 to travel to the home of a self-described psychic residing at a UFO hot spot, Gulf Breeze, Florida, hosting a MUFON symposium at the time. 

Perhaps such circumstances show us the evolution of woo pedaling in intel circles. Stargate, CIA psychic spies and many examples could be cited for consideration. 

Perhaps such incidents indicate something more, whatever it may be. A reasonable argument could be made that combinations of explanations apply to the IC long history of interest in fringe topics and communities. Any way we choose to look at it, one might question why the underlying issues do not receive more attention, and particularly sincere, objective consideration, from both the skeptical and pro-paranormal aspects of the UFO community. 

I'll close with a passage from The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community, pp 223-224:
[I]n early 2015 the British army announced the formation of the 77th Brigade, a unit of 1500 troops The Guardian dubbed “Facebook warriors.” The soldiers are charged with carrying out unconventional, “non-lethal warfare” and executing psychological operations through the use of social media. Israeli and US armies engage heavily in such operations, with the Israel Defense Forces reporting activity conducted in six languages on 30 platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
It would be difficult for me to believe the UFO community did not serve in some capacity in the research and development of such psyops, or, at the least, I would doubt the community was exempt from effects of the evolution of such projects. As a matter of fact, in his hard hitting 2015 piece on how the US intelligence community drove to dominate the world through information control, Why Google made the NSA, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed referenced ufology's favorite CIA consultant, Col. John Alexander. Specifically, the targeting of civilian populations for information war.
Addressing a 1989 US Navy brief authored by well-connected Pentagon official Richard O'Neill, Ahmed wrote, “That secret brief, which according to former senior US intelligence official John Alexander was read by the Pentagon’s top leadership, argued that information war must be targeted at: adversaries to convince them of their vulnerability; potential partners around the world so they accept 'the cause as just'; and finally, civilian populations and the political leadership so they believe that 'the cost' in blood and treasure is worth it.”

Monday, February 20, 2017

News of Note

Romanek Trial

A Feb. 17 pre-trial conference in the case of Stan Romaek was postponed to Feb. 24 when prosecutors, defense attorneys, Romanek and Judge Susan Blanco met privately. Romanek is a self-described alien abductee charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. The group discussed additional evidence presented by the prosecution, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald. Elizabeth McClintock, an attorney representing Romanek, stated the evidence could affect the defense team's previously endorsed alibi. An eight-day jury trial is scheduled for March 20 [Edit: The trial was delayed again to July 31]. Learn more at Relevant Web Links on Romanek Case, where I've been updating key links of what has now been a three-year saga since Romanek's arrest.

As Every Cop Is a Criminal

Lucien Greaves
Spokesperson Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple will be making a presentation titled, Mind-Control, The Process Church, Satanism, The FBI, & The Life of a Public Paranoid. It will cover research conducted by Greaves on the late FBI man Ted Gunderson and related conspiracy narratives of Satanic ritual abuse. You can read more about the event in a Facebook post. The presentation will be held Friday, March 3, 8-10pm EST at The Satanic Temple in Salem, MA, and will be posted to YouTube shortly thereafter.

The work of Greaves and his colleagues periodically overlaps into social issues found in ufology and related genres. Among their areas of interest are the consequences of failing to prioritize critical thinking, as well as damage induced through hypnosis irresponsibly administered on vulnerable populations. 

See, for instance, the infamous case of the Castlewood Treatment Center, in which lawsuits were settled alleging that patients who sought treatment for their eating disorders were rendered increasingly dependent on facilitators when hypnotically led to believe they were victims of Satanic ritual abuse. A solid argument can be made it's strikingly similar to alien abduction fear-mongering with an alternative perpetrator, devil worshipers, cultivated by an obvious common denominator, the hypnotist.

You'll likely find The Satanic Temple's activism intriguing if you're interested in debate surrounding such issues as separation of church and state, rights to worship and assemble, and freedom of expression. The organization is significantly active in pressing elected officials to uniformly recognize obligations to members of the public, regardless of religious preference. 

IUFOC

The International UFO Congress recently wrapped up in Arizona. Motherboard spoke with a retired neuroscientist in attendance. Not sure about all that, but keep an eye on Robert Sheaffer's Bad UFOs blog, where he traditionally posts a summary of the event and its speakers.     

UFOs: Reframing the Debate

"If you like your UFO literature to confirm what you already 'know,' this is not the book for you!" 

I'm proud to have submitted a chapter to the soon to be released book, UFOs: Reframing the Debate. Edited by Robbie Graham and with artwork by Red Pill Junkie, it's a collection of essays on alternative perspectives on UFOs and how we might more usefully study the phenomenon in the 21st century. I look forward to reading the work from my fellow contributors.

Roswell Conference

I'll be speaking this summer in Roswell, and it would be great to connect with readers and people I otherwise only e-know. The event is part of the 2017 festival and themed, "70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis". It will be June 29 to July 2, and I'll be giving two presentations. I'll be exploring at length such topics as exploitation in ufology and ways the UFO and intelligence communities overlap. 

Check out the website for speaker list, schedule and more related info.

Hope to see you there!