Monday, October 5, 2015

Judge Denies Defense Request in Romanek Case

Stanley Romanek appeared in court Monday morning for a motions hearing. The Loveland, Colo., self-proclaimed alien abductee was arrested February 1, 2014, on two felony counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child stemming from allegations of possessing and distributing child pornography.

LPD Det. Brian Koopman
During the latest hearing, Romanek's attorneys sought access to evidence of criminal charges leveled in another case against Loveland Police Detective Brian Koopman, according to the 'Loveland Reporter-Herald'. The detective led the search of Romanek's home in April of 2013 after the Department of Homeland Security reportedly downloaded incriminating files originating from Romanek's IP address. Koopman has been accused of misconduct in unrelated investigations. Elizabeth McClintock, an attorney representing Romanek, argued the information sought would go towards Koopman's credibility.

District Attorney Joshua Ritter expressed concerns that the primary rationale presented by the defense was to determine if their client's constitutional rights were violated. That was not what the trial was going to be about, he added, stating that the relevant question to the jury is whether Romanek possessed and distributed pornographic material of children.  

Judge Daniel Kaup denied the defense's request for information about Koopman. The case against him has yet to be adjudicated, Kaup pointed out, ruling that the court would be overstepping its legal authority to begin questioning and further exploring the relevance of the charges against the detective.

Koopman testified to the court in March that incriminating files were shared using a program called Limewire. A Homeland Security agent reportedly documented evidence of such file sharing from Romanek's IP in 2008 and 2009.

Romanek purports a "space organization," as the 'Reporter-Herald' termed it, was harassing him and putting "disgusting things" on his computer. This was allegedly due to the UFO-related work he was doing. 

Yet another motions hearing will occur prior to a possible jury trial. Watch the case tracking summary to stay informed of court dates.


For ongoing updates and key links on the Romanek legal case:

Relevant Web Links on Romanek Case

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange Case of Jeffrey Alan Lash

Jeffrey Alan Lash,
2010 Cal. DL photo
On or about July 17, police retrieved the deceased body of Jeffrey Alan Lash from a vehicle parked in Pacific Palisades, Cal. The story soon broke that two women, Catherine Nebron and Dawn VadBunker, parked the car where it was discovered with the corpse inside. Attorney Harland Braun had apparently informed authorities of its location. 

Braun was hired by Nebron and described her as Lash's longtime fiance. Braun informed the media that Nebron and her employee and assistant, VadBunker, were with Lash on July 4 when he died of causes brought on by terminal illness. They were reportedly in a grocery store parking lot at the time. 

After Lash died, the women reportedly relocated the vehicle, left the body in it and fled to Oregon. Braun stated the two did so for reasons including they believed Lash was an ET-human hybrid working for US intelligence agencies, and that his contacts would soon retrieve the body. They reportedly opted to not seek medical treatment for the dying man for similar reasons, and maintained they were following his prearranged instructions. It would later surface that at least one additional party may have also been with the two women, and the grocery store where the man was said to have died was, oddly enough, frequented by Whitley Strieber.

Nebron returned to the Los Angeles area from Oregon approximately twelve days later to find the remains of Lash still sitting undiscovered in the vehicle. It was apparently then that she contacted Braun for assistance and legal representation, and the attorney notified authorities of the body.

Police subsequently searched a condo owned by Nebron and reported to be the residence of her and Lash, which was located in the vicinity of where she and VadBunker left the car containing the corpse. The search resulted in the confiscation of some 1200 guns, additional weapons and literally tons of ammo estimated to be worth several million dollars. The two-bedroom, 2,000 square-foot condo was located in a relatively exclusive area and was valued at $750,000 to $1million. Every room of the structure was reportedly stacked to the ceiling with guns and boxes of gun accessories, more weapons, such as machetes and bows, and cases of ammo. Police filled the driveway and a nearby alley with items brought out of the condo. An LA police captain described the scene as the worst c
ase of weapons hoarding she had ever seen in her 27-year law enforcement career. Some $230,000 in cash was confiscated from the condo and reportedly counted in a neighbor's garage.

Media reports described neighbors as saying Lash occasionally claimed he was an intelligence operative, and neighbors also stated they did not know how the condo became filled with weapons and boxes. They had not noticed how all the items were delivered to the residence. 

Lash was additionally reported to have owned many vehicles, one of which was described as an SUV equipped to drive underwater. VadBunker's husband, Jim Curry, told reporters the woman's job entailed renting garages all over Southern California to store what he described as Lash's dozens of vehicles. The story, Curry explained, was that Lash was CIA and had other agents who might need vehicles on a whim. 

Online sleuths and interested parties began uncovering more info about VadBunker, including an odd letter she wrote to her parents, in which the woman described her recent actions as having been for the good of the world. VadBunker's mother, Laura VadBunker, corroborated existence of the hybrid story to the media, stating that the entire episode was "worse than a Twilight Zone movie." 

"He was part alien and part human and was out to save the world," Laura VadBunker added.

Also introduced in the online community was a suspicious alleged legal doc interpreted to have been posted by the younger VadBunker, establishing her as a member of the VadBunker family, but its origins and purposes were not entirely clear. While investigating the document, an individual using the screen name SysConfig subsequently identified the judge who allegedly signed it as having been retired prior to its creation date, further calling its authenticity into question.

SysConfig identified a unit neighboring the condo owned by Nebron as owned by Assistant District Attorney Whelma T. Llanos and attorney Dominic J. Messiha. The unit owned by Llanos was near the condo where Nebron and Lash reportedly resided and the weapons stash was confiscated, and it may possibly have been Llanos' garage where the nearly quarter of a million dollars was counted. SysConfig notified a news outlet which had previously covered the story. A response was received, but no particular interest was demonstrated by the outlet in the irony of an Assistant DA possibly being a neighbor of Lash and Nebron.

Authorities have not yet reported results of their investigations into the origins of the weapons, cash and additional items taken into custody. When all the dust settles, the legal status of the weapons and cash will prove to be key aspects of this truly bizarre story. The intentions of the various people involved, their lines of work, and the purposes of their actions and statements may never be entirely clear, only whether or not police ever file any charges against any of them. At this point, foul play is not suspected in the death of Jeffrey Alan Lash, whoever and whatever he may have actually been in life.    

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Romanek Trial Delayed

Legal proceedings were delayed yet again on the charges of child sexual exploitation brought against Stanley Romanek. A motions hearing scheduled for Sep. 2 was continued until Oct. 5, 'Loveland Reporter-Herald' journalist Dana Rieck stated today by email. A jury trial previously scheduled to begin Oct. 5 is now postponed until November.

Stanley did not appear in court Sep. 2,” Rieck explained, “his motions hearing was continued before that date until Oct. 5 at 9:30 a.m. His jury trial is scheduled for the following month. He did plead not guilty to both felony counts.”

Stanley Romanek
Rieck has covered the case for the 'Reporter-Herald' since Romanek was initially arrested. She reported in March that the self-described alien abductee was ruled mentally competent to stand trial for the felony charges stemming from possessing and distributing child pornography.

In more recent developments, Lisa Romanek continued her attempts to build public support for her husband through implicating the Loveland Police Department, and specifically Det. Brian Koopman, in acts of corruption. Det. Koopman, who was involved in the investigation of Stanley Romanek, is currently on administrative leave pending charges of attempting to influence a public servant during an unrelated murder case. Allegations of misconduct surrounding violations of constitutional rights have been leveled against the detective in two additional instances and legal outcomes are pending. Koopman has reportedly received seven meritorious service awards and 20 department performance case involvement recognitions.

Lisa recently posted comments at 'The UFO Chronicles' in which she referenced the charges against Koopman and suggested they be given more attention. Such circumstances and the promotion of the accompanying implications are not unusual.

Given much less attention, however, is the fact that to date neither the Romaneks nor their supporters have offered any specific details of exactly how Stanley was purportedly framed by corrupt police officers. Neither have they provided any verifiable evidence supporting ongoing allegations the man was targeted by intelligence agencies attempting to silence his outspoken stance on an alleged alien presence.

Further omitted from the ongoing yet vague narrative is the fact the investigation of Romanek was initiated in 2008 by Homeland Security Special Agent Darrel Franklin, not the Loveland Police Department. The latter acted on a tip provided by DHS, and it was officers from Greeley, Larimer and Loveland Police Departments who jointly served a search warrant, not just Det. Koopman and the LPD. Furthermore, it was the Northern Colorado Regional Forensics Lab that analyzed Romanek's confiscated computers and reported locating over 300 images depicting child pornography and multiple child pornography videos.

Lisa, however, maintained the resulting police reports were “filled with crap.”

Koopman had filled these reports with lies,” she told 'The Huffington Post' in 2014.

Reporter Sebastian Murdock nonetheless observed that Koopman's was just one police report of many that corroborated the findings of one another during the serving of the search warrant. Some therefore find the ongoing fantastic claims and unsupported assertions of the Romaneks and their backers extremely difficult to take seriously, and patience has long since worn thin in many circles.

The Romanek case was briefly removed recently from a Case Tracking Summary maintained by the Larimer County District Attorney's Office. The file consists of cases that receive media attention. Public Information Officer Jodi Lacey explained in an email Tuesday that the Romanek case was not getting much attention, and it was removed due to the lack of calls and emails received. Officer Lacey subsequently returned the case to the summary spreadsheet following an inquiry of its status.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Looking Back Along 'The UFO Trail'

As you read this, it is entirely possible that I am sitting at my laptop, surrounded by coffee cups and protein bar wrappers, writing my way through the homestretch of a forthcoming book. The book is about questionable activities conducted by a variety of (quite human) sources within the UFO community. 

That's largely what this blog was about in the first place, and earlier this year I decided to write more extensively on the topic. I can certainly empathize with those who find potential paranormal aspects of the UFO phenomenon interesting, but I reached a point where I was kind of like, "Wow, never mind the aliens and entities, is anybody paying any attention to what those people are doing?!"

So as I hunt and peck my way to the final chapter, I'd like to share a few of my favorite posts here at 'The UFO Trail'. Perhaps that might help new readers get a good idea of what I write about, as well as provide long time readers a review of how we got here. I appreciate you all.

The Ozark Con

In 2012 I attended the annual Ozark UFO Conference. Subsequent blog posts continue today to account for four of the top ten all time most viewed posts, as indicated in the sidebar to the right. By the way, that first line of posts in the sidebar, the ones with images beside the titles, represents the most viewed posts since the blog was launched in 2010. The next group, "Most Viewed Posts This Week," represents the most viewed posts during the previous seven days.

After attending the Ozark Con, I did a three-part post titled, 'The Bizarre World of Doctor David Jacobs: An Interview and Review'. Part One consisted of an interview conducted at the con with Dr. Jacobs, in which his positions were established on alleged alien abductions, supposed ET-human hybrids and related topics. Part Two included summaries of critical review of Jacobs' work previously published by qualified experts. Part Three contained new and exclusive critical review provided by retired engineer and scientist Frank Purcell and microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn. 

Obviously, the posts continue to attract web traffic, which would not be particularly significant to me if it were not for the fact the primary sources consistently include search engines. I find that rewarding in that I interpret it to suggest that people seeking legitimate information on the subject matter are directed to posts which the contributors and I composed for just that purpose.

Ironically, however, interviewing David Jacobs was not the main reason I flew to Missouri to drive to Arkansas to meet a speaker at the Ozark Con. Interviewing one of ufology's most popular CIA consultants, Col. John Alexander, was actually the primary reason I went, yet, after agreeing to the interview by email, he declined to be interviewed when I arrived and approached him in person. Nonetheless, I described the circumstances in 'John Alexander, Contradictions and Unanswered Questions', and I felt I presented issues of interest adequately and reasonably. I thought it was a fair, informative and balanced piece.

Since those 2012 interactions with the colonel, I have emailed him on occasion and requested he comment on various issues. Sometimes he directly addresses my questions and sometimes he does not, and I have come to interpret that to be par for the course. Similar experience was gained while composing and exchanging emails with the subjects of such posts as 'Lyn Buchanan: Military Intel and 'Alien Abductee'' and 'The Interesting, Eventful and Incredible Story of Commander C.B. Scott Jones'

Investigative Posts

My growing interest in connections between ufology and the intelligence community hit full stride with a series of posts that began with 'Leah Haley on Alien Abduction: "It Doesn't Happen"'. After corresponding with Haley for a couple of years, I drove to Pensacola, Florida one weekend in March of 2011 to interview her extensively. A former rather high profile alleged alien abductee, Leah revised her interpretations of her experiences to conclude that aliens had not been involved whatsoever, and that she was actually the target of covert human experimentation.

Did I mention
the Eglin expedition?
I covered significant parts of her story in a series of posts and interpreted there to be several fascinating aspects of the saga. I also felt that some members of the UFO community, while vehemently criticizing Haley's research and interpretations, were consistently missing a glaringly monumental point of the story: Actions and accountability of researchers and organizations involved were at issue no matter what the explanations may have been for her reported perceptions.

Haley's case was substantially mishandled by researchers who represented themselves as qualified to help her, and the story was riddled with issues of exploitation and questions of whether the welfare of the witness/research subject was prioritized. Moreover, the circumstances were not isolated incidents. All of that was apparent and relevant regardless of what it may ultimately have collectively indicated. Exploration of Haley's case, the related issues and the resulting series of posts included 'The Carpenter Affair: For the Record'.

At a point in 2013 in which I felt well on my way to immersion in what can be the tar pit of researching alleged alien abduction, mind control and the associated players, I decided to ask those for guidance who had cannonballed into tar before me. Sharon Weinberger, Nigel Watson and Mark Pilkington graciously fielded my questions for Parts One and Two of a post titled, 'Ethics of Exploring the Fringe'. I am very grateful for the valuable time and attention they shared while offering insights on issues ranging from responsible reporting to state-sponsored deception operations. 

I continue today to weigh the contributions they provided when deciding the most appropriate ways to frame stories, interact with witnesses and similar dynamics that are ever relevant when writing about topics in which the author is destined to become the target of passionate criticism. It is simply an inherent part of the process, and here's something I learned: The more accurately you explain what you're finding out, the higher your chances may become of being mistaken as a punching bag by angry and disappointed people who never really got a handle on the meaning of the term, "don't shoot the messenger."

My interest in the Leah Haley case and its related issues of exploitation contributed to my interest in the work of Emma Woods and Carol Rainey, speaking of shooting messengers. I subsequently did an investigative piece titled, 'Security of Budd Hopkins Archive Called into Question, David Jacobs Shares Responsibility'. Just recently was 'MUFON, Sham Inquiry and the Woods/Jacobs Scandal'.
Other investigative efforts that I thought turned out pretty well included Parts One and Two of 'MUFON, Science and Deception'. Another was 'MUFON, GEIPAN and Transparency'. The three posts put the Mutual UFO Network, its activities and the often conflicting statements of its representatives under the microscope.

I thought one of my better posts was 'Psy Ops and Mind Control: Then, Now and the UFO Community'. It was an exploration of the manners ufology and dark, covert aspects of the intelligence community are at times conclusively linked, while at other times just minimal degrees of separation apart.

About three years ago I did a post called 'Open Mic Night', in which I invited several ufology personalities of diverse interests and beliefs to comment on their interpretations of the most constructive directions the genre could take (None of the contributors, by the way, recommended sending a crew to Mexico City to serve up some deceased people's Kodachrome slides as evidence of an alien presence, which raises the value of their stock in and of itself). More recently was 'UFO Community Members Weigh in on Dubious MUFON Speakers', in which I requested comment from select individuals on MUFON booking speakers who promote the Roswell Slides. Also at issue were investigators invited by the organization to speak who promote such lore as the existence of ET-human hybrids, yet those so-called investigators seem to invest much more effort in impeding collection of forensic evidence than facilitating it.

I have more favorite posts but I'll stop there. I like most of the posts, of course. I wrote 'em.
Like many bloggers and writers who devote resources to ufology, this did not have anything to do with livelihood. Not by any stretch. I'm just a guy who was interested in the subject matter, asked around about some topics, and subsequently came to feel I had some things to say about them. 

In addition to blogging, I eventually began composing word files about those things with the intention of committing them to book form. Sooner than later I'll upload it to Amazon where you can obtain and read it if you'd like. I'm hopeful it will be considered an informative and interesting effort. 

Keep an eye on this blog, find me on Twitter @TheUFOTrail and/or email me to keep informed of progress. Your interest is appreciated. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

MUFON, Sham Inquiry and the Woods/Jacobs Scandal

Recipient of MUFON PA
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award,
Dr. David Jacobs
Retired historian, author and investigator of alleged alien abduction Dr. David Jacobs will be presented a lifetime achievement award at an upcoming conference conducted by MUFON PA in Philadelphia. Jacobs is also the keynote speaker for the October event. In a bio on his website, Jacobs purports to be "a strong advocate of strict scientific and ethical research methodology," and MUFON purports via its mission statement to be dedicated to "the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity."

Well, I'm always up for some good strict scientific info on UFOs, so hot damn! This outghta be great, right?


I emailed MUFON Executive Director Jan Harzan and MUFON PA State Director John Ventre and asked permission to pose a few questions. For the sake of accuracy and context I will share an August 8 email exchange, rather than summarize it, that subsequently occurred with Ventre. I will then present what I interpret to be significant points of interest. 

The Email Exchange

My initial email read as follows:

Hello Gentlemen:

Jack Brewer here from the blog, 'The UFO Trail'.

Would it be okay if I email you a few questions about the upcoming MUFON PA conference in Philadelphia and include your responses in a blog post? I would particularly like to obtain information about the selection process resulting in Dr. David Jacobs as the keynote speaker and recipient of a lifetime achievement award as described in the following link:

Thanks for your consideration,

The UFO Trail


Below is John Ventre's reply and the subsequent exchange between the two of us with minor edits for grammar and clarity.


I already answered that question on the UFOinfo forum and don't plan to do that again. There are 3-4 antagonist haters on that site that ruins it for everyone else.

If you are writing an objective article then I will reply.


My response:

Thanks for your reply. I'm not familiar with your forum post, but perhaps you will offer responses to the following items at your convenience:

Who was empowered to select Dr. David Jacobs as a recipient of a lifetime achievement award?

What was the criteria used to select a recipient? 

Given the MUFON mission statement of dedication to scientific study for the benefit of humanity, would you please explain specifically what methodology employed by Jacobs was identified as scientific? What makes it so?





I select the speakers for our 3 Pa conferences which you can view at I have read approx. 30 UFO books in the past year as I try to figure out the origin of the Grey abduction phenomena. The only 3 names referenced multiple times in these books are Mack, Vallee and Jacobs. I was surprised that Kathie Marden who heads up MUFON's abduction research was never mentioned. I tried to book Vallee who said he no longer does conferences and Mack is no longer with us. We also try to recognize a veteran in the field with a lifetime achievement award. In the past, we recognized Stanton Friedman, Linda Moulton Howe, Bill Birnes and Travis Walton. We are also recognizing Loren Coleman at our Pitt Conf in Nov. I also don’t theme my Pa conferences and offer a variety of speakers and topics including Bigfoot and the paranormal etc. You also need to know that MUFON states operate fairly independent of HQ so these were my decisions. Jacobs was a pioneer in this field when there were few. Jacobs and Hopkins basically wrote the book on regressive hypnosis and many of their techniques are still used today. For critics who say he had no formal training, I say he has a PhD and there was no formal training in this field when he started. I think Jacobs is highly qualified and I say to the critics that you can view it as an Elia Kazan 1999 Academy Award. You don’t have to like the man or his methods but his contributions to Ufology stand. I for one absolutely agree that the ETs are not here to help. That is Jacobs' message. I have a different view on who they actually are and you can read all about that in my new book, "Case for UFOs" in September. . . . . .

John Ventre


Thanks, John, and I understand that you would obviously be tolerant of Dr. Jacobs' methodology, else you would not have offered him a lifetime achievement award - but that does not address my inquiry about scientific study. 

So I would pose the question this way, please:

Did you identify any of Jacobs' methodology as scientific, or did you decide you were not concerned about his lack of practicing scientific study?

Also, would you please offer a quote or two on how you resolve your choice of Jacobs as an award recipient with the Emma Woods scandal?

If helpful, here is a page containing specific quotes and recordings of interactions between Jacobs and Woods during hypnosis:

Would you please explain, specifically, how you reconcile such statements with presenting a lifetime achievement award from a purportedly scientific research organization?





State conferences do not follow the same criteria as the yearly Symposium. They can be informative, entertaining or instructive. I once had a punk rock band perform a UFO song for us at the end of the conference. I thought it was great. I read Bill Birnes' take on Jacobs and Woods years ago. That’s for the courts to decide, not me. By your logic, we should condemn NASA and the US space program because we recruited NAZI scientists and Wernher von Braun. Not my place. Jacobs has contributed much to the field and is one of the few voices who doesn’t believe abductions are for our benefit and "They" are here to help us. John Wayne and Clint Eastwood were never really great actors but they won academy awards for their body of work.

Be sure to send me a link to your article.


I sincerely do not mean to be overly aggressive on the point of scientific study, John, but you are arguably evading the question. 

Did you or did you not consider sound scientific research principles as criteria for potential lifetime achievement award recipients?

Would you please explain your stance on the Emma Woods scandal in relation to bestowing David Jacobs with an award?

Those do not seem like unreasonable questions to me. If you disagree, I am more than willing to quote any explanations you might care to provide as to why the points are not valid or are unreasonable.


[Note: Ventre soon sent three emails before I replied further. One simply stated, "Here’s a name I wouldn’t give a LT Achievement award to: Stan Romanek," another read:]

The main reason I want [David Jacobs] to lecture is that he and Whitley Strieber are the only 2 out there that have concluded that abductions are evil and not for the benefit of mankind. I agree. Most abduction groups are self-deluded with liberal metaphysical beliefs that "they" are here to save the planet or cure diseases. Hasn’t happened and won’t happen. Jacobs' message needs to get out. His message will do more good than focusing on the Emma Woods case. I believe many people thought she was unstable.

[Note: Wow. Is that implying that hypnotically suggesting MPD, instructing a woman to send her undergarments and telling her to wear a chastity belt, for examples, are irrelevant as long as "many people" think she is unstable? For whatever reasons, those many people seem to ignore that it was the same methodology as employed during the Woods case that Jacobs used with other research subjects to develop that message he markets. We'll come back to that in a bit. Another email, of which I opted to respond, stated:]


If you dig deep enough you will find something to critique on every name in this field. I am honoring his body of work just as I did LM Howe and Bill Birnes who I am sure you could critique also.

I think you are confusing my state event with the International MUFON Symposium which usually features 7-8 PHD level speakers. Emma Woods is not the deciding factor; his overall contribution is.


Just to be clear, John, are you suggesting that MUFON PA does not concern itself with the MUFON mission statement, and that you do not expect your lifetime achievement award recipient to conduct scientific study?

Is that a reasonable interpretation of your comments?



No Jack, that’s what you want to write. My award is for the person’s body of work and contributions to the field.


Okay, then would you please explain specifically what you identify about David Jacobs' "body of work and contributions to the field" that involve scientific study?

Is that not a reasonable question?

If not, why not?

[Note: No further emails were received from Ventre, and Harzan did not reply to the initial query.]

Sham Inquiry 

With scientific study for the benefit of humanity like that, who needs bias and exploitation?

Robert Sheaffer presenting at the
2012 Independent Investigations Group Awards
Sharon Hill of 'Doubtful News' coined the term, "sham inquiry." It is basically defined as non-scientific, often questionable research activities misrepresented as scientific procedures. The detrimental consequences can be numerous and severe. In the case of MUFON's ongoing assertions of engaging in scientific study, Robert Sheaffer of 'Bad UFOs' summed it up quite well when he recently suggested that maybe the organization should just drop the false pretense and acknowledge what it actually does.

"Perhaps MUFON should simply admit that it is in the business of providing people with titillating and exciting UFO stories, without worrying about whether they are true," Sheaffer wrote.

The issue is indeed relevant. MUFON PA and any other group are entitled to invite whoever they want to speak as guests and bestow awards upon them. However, if they invite figures who employ regressive hypnosis as an investigative tool and declare humankind to be under invasion by diabolical aliens and their sexually deviant hybrids, while providing no corroborating conclusive evidence and failing to demonstrate systematic research methodology, then they are not entitled to label their activities scientific. That would be the case whether they do so directly, indirectly or while evading relevant questions. 

Please allow me to emphasize the point as it seems to often be elusive: People are entitled to believe virtually anything they choose, as well as pursue whatever activities they want, as long as they fall within the limits of the law. They are not entitled to call any given activity scientific, however, unless it meets certain criteria. To do so, and conduct sham inquiry, is often an attempt to deceptively add unwarranted credibility to an activity and related agenda that otherwise lacks legitimacy.


The ethical implications are staggering. Emma Woods provided ufology with extensive documentation through audio recordings that David Jacobs conducted regressive hypnosis via international telephone calls (Ya caught that, right? ...conducted regressive hypnosis via international telephone calls?) in which the associate professor of history suggested she had Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Both Jacobs and Woods were aware they were being recorded during the sessions. In one such session, Jacobs admittedly led and shaped Woods' statements about an alleged abduction in which she was sexually assaulted and used as what he termed the facilitator of sperm collection. In another hypnosis session he suggested she start wearing a chastity belt, the type of which he could select for her because they have them at a sex shop he frequented, he explained, and it would put a "kink" in the plans of hybrids allegedly committing ongoing sexual assaults (Yes, he literally said that). He additionally suggested to Woods during hypnosis sessions, according to the recordings, that she mail him her underpants - and to not think about it afterward. Is it just me, or is it difficult to fit such behavior into the context of strict scientific and ethical research methodology?

A ufologist supply store specializing in devices used to 
discourage sexual assaults committed by ET-human hybrids, 
or an adult novelty shop, depending on who you ask

John Ventre may have been correct when he suggested that some of Jacobs' actions might warrant attention from legal authorities and the court. To add some context, let's consider a recent case currently pending and allegedly involving extremely questionable use of hypnosis.

The law license of Ohio attorney Michael W. Fine was suspended pending further investigation when police recorded Fine apparently using hypnosis to manipulate a female client into participating in sexual acts without her consent. According to a November, 2014 complaint filed with the State of Ohio, "Jane Doe 1" reported that she discovered her clothing disheveled after meetings with Fine, and that she found herself unable to remember parts of their interactions. She reported similar memory loss following telephone conversations with the attorney. 

Eventually a police investigation was launched, and a warrant was obtained to record a meeting between Doe 1 and Fine without his knowledge. Police came out of hiding and intervened when Fine allegedly used code words to induce a hypnotic state, followed by issuing graphic sexual commands.  

Interestingly, a second woman, "Jane Doe 2," who reportedly did not know about the first woman, approached authorities with similar allegations about the same attorney. According to the complaint filed, Doe 2 stated that Fine urged her to allow him to teach her what he called meditation and relaxation techniques. She suspected she was being hypnotized for exploitative purposes, and reported experiencing circumstances similar to Jane Doe 1. Police therefore obtained corroborating testimonies from independent witnesses.

Expert opinion was provided to the court, including "scientific support for both the therapeutic and manipulative use of hypnosis," by clinical psychologist Dr. Ross Santamaria. He reported Fine's behavior to be in violation of professional protocols, and the complaint charged that Fine represented "a substantial threat of serious harm to the public." Dr. Santamaria explained that hypnosis can be used to manipulate individuals in immoral, unethical, illegal and inappropriate ways.

Back home in ufology, the license of clinical social worker, hypnotist and former MUFON Director of Abduction Research John Carpenter was put on a five-year probation period in 2001 after investigator Gary Hart filed complaints with MUFON and the State of Missouri, where Carpenter was licensed. The complaints cited a series of actions which became known as the Carpenter Affair, in which Carpenter provided copies of case files of 140 hypnosis subjects and possible alien abductees to controversial philanthropist Robert Bigelow in exchange for approximately $14,000. The subjects, some of which had paid Carpenter for his services, were not informed their files were copied and shared, and Carpenter went on to marry two of his former clients. MUFON failed to act on Hart's complaint. 

"Immediately after filing my MUFON complaint," Hart explained to me during a 2013 email exchange, "I was told in no uncertain terms that MUFON had no intention of taking the complaint seriously and actually doing an investigation, so I investigated the case further and made a proper report/complaint to the state licensing board."

Founding member of MUFON,
John Schuessler
When MUFON continued to enable the circumstances and left Carpenter in a leadership role, Hart submitted the complaint to the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, which handed down the five-year probation. Carpenter subsequently resigned from his position as Director of Abduction Research, according to the April, 2001 MUFON Journal, in which John Schuessler described Carpenter as vacating the position for "personal reasons and the need to spend more time with his career activities." The vast majority of the 140 and much of the MUFON membership never knew of the Carpenter Affair. The probation period placed on Carpenter's license as a clinical social worker was apparently successfully completed in 2006.

David Jacobs, in contrast to attorney Fine and social worker Carpenter, to the best of my knowledge does not hold any type of license directly compromised by his reckless hypnosis activities. It would seem reasonable to suspect that he and the late Budd Hopkins, his long time associate and fellow hypnosis advocate, avoided undertaking professional training, certification and accepting payment for their endeavors for the very reason of minimizing options of legal redress available to their hypnosis subjects.
Significance of the Woods/Jacobs Scandal

Ethical standards are prioritized among professional researchers for reasons in addition to valuing the safety of the research subject. While the subject's well being should certainly be prioritized, especially if your mission statement includes reference to the benefit of humanity, there is another very important reason ethics matter: They effect the quality of the research conducted and the subsequent accuracy of information reported. All games aside of evading accountability about scientific study and criteria for selecting award recipients, there are some very significant issues at the heart of the Emma Woods and David Jacobs scandal that should be addressed and resolved. Failing to do so calls into question Jacobs' other "research" offerings, as well as the judgment and motives of those who support his work.

For starters, the Emma Woods case cannot be surgically removed from Jacobs' body of work. The very methodology employed with Woods, and the resulting stories of ET-human hybrids having their way with human females, is what Jacobs built his entire thesis upon. The Woods debacle is the byproduct of Jacobs' method of operation, not the nucleus of the problem. It's a result of the problem and sham inquiry.

Ill advised activities and resulting unsupported assumptions were used to prop up more assumptions, each in turn misrepresented as facts, leading to a body of work in which the Woods case is but a reflection. Moreover, former Jacobs research subject Brian Reed corroborated the Woods complaints and leveled accusations of his own. Woods is not the isolated incident she is made out to be by Jacobs apologists. And if Jacobs was wrong about and/or retracted virtually everything he was going to write on her experiences, what does that suggest about the cases he continues to assure us are solid? 

Any way one chooses to look at it, Emma Woods is obviously and understandably very unhappy with the evolution of her interactions with David Jacobs, and he didn't fare so well himself. He was utterly ineffective in both mining credible data and assisting the witness. If we're willing to temporarily play along with the idea Jacobs even remotely believes the story he peddles, it becomes important to know exactly what chains of events led him to jump the shark. Both he and Woods were very unhappy with the outcome of the interaction, as well as many more people, so what, exactly, is he doing to correct his course?

That is relevant in identifying what actions Jacobs and other investigators should take to ensure they do not make the same mistakes again. If he and his colleagues are sincere about conducting research that bears reliable results, which is increasingly doubtful (if even a reasonable assumption) at this point, they must embrace critical analysis and peer review. To continue to fail to do so while seemingly hoping people will just stop talking about sham inquiry and the Emma Woods case suggests Jacobs and his supporters are much more interested in campaigning for their agendas and preconceived conclusions than conducting even reasonable research, much less scientific study as purported. It also suggests they are well aware that transparency and accountability would be devastating to David Jacobs, and, by association, the flailing alien abduction narrative of which they hitched their wagons.

Shouldn't we be asking what, if any, reasons remain at this point to reject the evidence presented by Emma Woods, Carol Rainey and others? Will Jacobs or any of his supporters ever actually address points raised by Woods and Rainey, rather than dismiss them out of hand with insulting and irrelevant stereotypes? After five years now, it appears not.

If we don't ask the relevant questions, we enable the problems, enable sham inquiry and continue to get more of the same: Entirely unsupported stories of aliens and ET-human hybrids, spun by self-described investigators promoted by a purported scientific research organization which consists of directors who, by all appearance, either do not understand or do not care about criteria of the scientific study they are entrusted to conduct and facilitate. In the mean time and if Emma Woods is any indication, women are getting called on the phone, hypnotized and subjected to suggestions they suffer from MPD, enlisted to discuss items sold at sex shops, and instructed to mail their unwashed underpants absent any afterthought, all under the guise of conducting strict scientific and ethical research - and then called crazy when they voice objections.



'Aliens Versus Predator: The Incredible Visitations at Emma Woods', Jeremy Vaeni

'The Priests of High Strangeness: Co-Creation of the "Alien Abduction Phenomenon"', Carol Rainey

'Emma Woods Files', the website of Emma Woods, in which the home page includes an audio recording of Jacobs' hypnotic suggestions of MPD

'The Woods/Jacobs Tapes and the 'Oral History' Falsehood', Jack Brewer, includes audio clips

Paratopia Episode 94: Brian Reed Vindicates Emma Woods, podcast interview conducted by Jeremy Vaeni and Jeff Ritzmann

'Unhelpful Hints: Deflection and Withholding Evidence in the David Jacobs Scandal', Tyler Kokjohn, PhD