|Pensacola Beach, Florida, a short distance |
from massive Eglin Air Force Base.
Haley attracted widespread attention within the UFO community in 1993 with the publication of her book, Lost Was the Key, in which she described her extraordinary experiences consisting of fragmented memories of UFOs and apparent non-human beings. She became a well known speaker and was commonly sought for interviews. Ten years later she published Unlocking Alien Closets: Abductions, Mind Control and Spirituality, further documenting her descent into an increasingly complex web of deceit, disinformation and character assassination within ufology. Sales of her books climbed well into the thousands although word of mouth was virtually the only means of marketing.
Haley initially thought aliens were responsible for her experiences but that changed following years of investigation. She long acknowledged military personnel were involved in her experiences to some extent, but she fully re-evaluated circumstances after viewing select Freedom of Information Act and U.S. Patent Office documents. Haley further based her revised conclusions on hundreds of interactions with abductees and researchers, as well as having mysterious individuals enter and later abruptly vanish from her life. She is now thoroughly convinced mind control experiments are responsible for what became known as the alien abduction phenomenon.
“I really can explain every alien abduction away using human technology,” Haley said.
Commenting on what she termed “legitimate” reports of abduction, she continued, “I don't know for sure, but every case that I know very, very well – every single one of them – if I probe deeply enough, I'm going to find that there were humans here and there too. That tells me that it was a human-instigated situation. I can't think of a single case, not a single one, that I've really delved into that didn't have humans in it too, so I just don't think alien abductions are happening. I don't know, but I just don't think they are.”
Who Is Leah Haley?
The polite yet confidently direct woman who came to be embraced - for better or worse – by the UFO community said she was born in 1951 in Decatur, Alabama. According to her books, Haley earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Alabama, a master's degree in education from the University of North Alabama and a master's degree in business administration from Mississippi State University. She told me she is a Certified Public Accountant, currently employed in the field.
I first contacted Haley via email in June of 2009 due to my interest in her reported experiences which involved apparent military personnel. Our interactions led to me interviewing her over the course of a couple days in March, 2011.
As much an artist as she is a business administrator or anything else, Haley loves to write. She enjoys many forms of art and particularly appreciates theater. While the name Leah Ann Haley will be forever joined with the UFO phenomenon, the woman came to prioritize a healthy social life and enjoying herself, as was indicated by the presence in her den of gifts from her birthday celebration. “If I put the gifts away, I'll forget to send thank you notes,” she explained with a laugh.
During a drive through downtown Pensacola, she fondly pointed out locations where bands regularly perform. She enjoys concerts, and told me about attending a Lynyrd Skynyrd gig, remarking that she of course likes the band's music due to her roots in (Sweet Home) Alabama.
Haley developed a strong faith which she attributes in part to her traumatic experiences and the stress of going public with her story. She enjoys attending casual worship services held Sunday mornings at picnic tables on Pensacola Beach. “I think that's so cool,” she said while describing the services.
Her first marriage ended as she became increasingly committed to investigating her experiences and publicly sharing her findings. Was her involvement in ufology responsible for her failed marriage? “Oh, yeah,” she responded decisively, “absolutely.” Her status as a relatively high profile, controversial figure severely strained family relations, but Haley feels she picked up the pieces as well as could be expected.
Take her or leave her, Leah Haley is willing to be scrutinized. Other high profile members of the UFO community often hide from objective evaluation, reciting their largely unchallenged rhetoric with relentless and annoying persistence. Contrastingly, Haley at least seemingly provides us with a refreshingly transparent view of the path of an experiencer of high strangeness who embarked upon a sincere journey of investigation and self-discovery. It is only natural that such a journey included evolving perspectives, changing over time, and it appears Haley happens to be secure enough to tell us when she changes her mind.
“The most important thing about my case,” she said, “is that my memories were of alien abductions, and that after spending thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and years and years and years of research trying to find evidence that alien abductions occurred, the only evidence I found is of human-instigated mind control.”
|The UFO House of Pensacola Beach serves as an eerie reminder|
of the Gulf Breeze UFO craze that snowballed into a frenzy.
Haley cited U.S. Patent Office documents, demonstrating evolution of electronic technology and non-lethal weapons that correlates with the time line of reports of alien abduction. Advances in technology during the 20th century included using electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) to remotely entrain brain waves, induce altered states of consciousness and transfer an otherwise inaudible voice directly into the brain. Overexposure to EMFs was documented to cause hallucinations, nausea, short term amnesia (missing time) and reddened skin, circumstances which became staples of abductee testimonies.
Haley has claimed to have been interrogated and tortured by military personnel, but do not expect her to name alleged perpetrators. Though much speculation has circulated about Haley's alleged abusers, she is well aware she cannot prove accusations and therefore chooses to withhold public comment on identities.
She also claimed to have been approached repeatedly by mysterious people interested in her experiences, and on at least one occasion such a person apparently claimed to be acting on behalf of intelligence officials. Haley believed she confirmed the claim to a reasonable extent.
The two discovered many mutual interests. They eventually married and plunged ever deeper into the world of ufology. The duo spent extended periods of time conducting research and presenting their work through Greenleaf Publications, a corporation founded by Haley in 1992 and subsequently jointly operated by the couple. It was with Davenport's help as a researcher and support as a friend that Haley dissected the world of military intelligence and black budget research projects.
She explained, “It was like a progression with me until I finally came to the conclusion that everything with me was human-instigated. That's where the evidence pointed. I didn't find any concrete evidence - no absolute concrete evidence - of aliens, but plenty of evidence of human intervention.”
Such evidence included two events reportedly occurring the morning of June 16, 2000. Haley experienced abduction-like visions, non-ordinary states of consciousness and the sensation of hearing voices in her head. Haley was home alone during the second episode, which also included paralysis. Davenport returned unexpectedly, observing a helicopter hovering within 100 feet of their house. The helicopter soon departed, leaving Davenport to find Haley ill and disoriented inside the home.
It was therefore not only Davenport's help as a colleague, but also his experience as a direct witness, that assisted Haley in re-evaluating her experiences. Davenport continued to report on mind control and non-lethal weapons.
In 2005 Davenport was diagnosed with what Haley called an unusual form of cancer. He lost his life to what proved to be the painful and disabling illness.
Does Haley think Davenport's cancer was intentionally induced? “I will go to my grave believing so,” she said.
Haley's experiences included missing time, disturbing body markings and a retrieved possible implant, in addition to interactions with mysterious strangers and military personnel. Her search for answers included regressive hypnosis sessions conducted by John Carpenter, a mental health counselor who served as the MUFON director of abduction research during the early 1990's. For what is in all likelihood a variety of reasons, Haley's mental imagery during the sessions included implications of aliens and emotional trauma.
Carpenter conducted some 14 regressive hypnosis sessions with Haley, encouraging her to accept alien abduction, before selling her case file. In what became known as the Carpenter Affair, Carpenter betrayed 140 clients and alleged alien abductees when he accepted $14,000 for their case files. The purchaser was Robert Bigelow, whose activities and associates never stray far from controversy. Non-lethal weapons expert and consultant to the CIA, Colonel John B. Alexander, was termed a science advisor to Bigelow at the time.
When asked how she now feels about Carpenter, Haley took a long breath and exhaled deliberately. She replied that she thinks Carpenter was “manipulated” into his actions, but that does not mean she completely absolves him of all responsibility.
Haley explained it was very distressing when the names of Carpenter's clients were briefly posted on the Internet. Literally over night, anonymity was lost, family members were outed and similar such situations befell those who sought support and were assured confidentiality by Carpenter and MUFON. Haley remains uncertain exactly who was responsible for originally posting the client names on the Internet.
Haley said most of the 140 probably never knew Carpenter sold their files to Bigelow. About a dozen of them were aware of it and convinced Haley “to join them in the lawsuit that turned out to go nowhere,” she explained with frustration.
Would she rather not discuss the Carpenter Affair? “I don't mind talking about it,” she said. “It's just that the statute of limitations expired.”
“We had a clear cut case,” she continued. “The first attorneys said, 'There are no doubts.'”
Haley explained the attorneys initially met with the plaintiffs, assuring them testimony and evidence, which they had, was all they needed. However, the first group of attorneys later turned over the case to a second group, and lines of communication declined to a non-functional mess. Haley felt certain the lawsuit fell through the cracks “because of threats.”
In a bit softer and more despondent voice, Haley concluded, “There's not anything that can be done about it. That whole group just got away with it.”
Matters of Compassion and Responsibility
|The sun sets on the waterfront in downtown Pensacola |
where crowds of eager skywatchers once gathered regularly.
Haley considered sharing her story to be matters of compassion and responsibility. “It disturbs me greatly that there are people who are still being victimized by that system,” she commented.
Perhaps it is ultimately Haley's ability to successfully navigate the no-nonsense world of accounting that enabled her to painstakingly re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about alien abduction and her experiences. Maybe it was a genuine desire to seek truth. I really cannot say for sure, but Haley's message is certainly clear enough: A check and balance of facts versus belief systems reveals alien abduction dogma does not properly add up, particularly in her specific case.
Haley said she periodically distanced herself from ufology and her past but kept getting “drawn back in.” She explained she was most recently drawn back in by me and what she found to be my interest in black budget operations and her case. I thanked her for her willingness to interact with me, then asked what was most important to her to ultimately accomplish.
Without hesitation, Leah Haley leaned back in her chair, looked skyward and replied with animated emphasis, "I want mind control and other invasive experiments on unwitting U.S. citizens to be stopped. And I want the mind control perpetrators brought to justice!"