Tuesday, May 15, 2012

John Alexander, Contradictions and Unanswered Questions

The Green Beret war hero has a resume that could in itself be the focus of entire books, much less blog posts. The bio of Colonel John Alexander, as presented during the Ozark UFO Conference, included mention of advanced studies undertaken by the colonel at UCLA, MIT and Harvard, in addition to attending other educational institutions. Alexander has acted as an advisor to the Central Intelligence Agency, US Special Operations Command, National Intelligence Council, Council on Foreign Relations, National Research Council and Army Services Board.    

As others have noted and in spite of his apparent qualifications, Colonel Alexander's presentations are unpopular among UFO enthusiasts. Mid-April in the Ozark Mountains was no different, as grumbles from the audience were prevalent and significant numbers of people periodically rose from their seats and simply left.

John Alexander
I believe it is worth mention, however, that accuracy is not necessarily reflected in popular opinion, if not quite the opposite some of the time. I happen to be among those who found the colonel's presentation quite easy to sit through, all the way up to the finale in which he put on a pair of dark shades to match his black suit, topping off the MIB look when he displayed a device he pulled from his coat pocket which he later said was a gift received directly from the set of Men in Black. Flashes filled the conference room from the cameras of attendees who made it to the end of the presentation.

Granted, I find his work easy to sit through because I happen to be particularly interested. I also think he makes many reasonable points, even if likely to be popularly dismissed out of hand.

Please note I wrote that I think he makes many reasonable points, not that I would take all his claims to the bank. So, first, let's take a look at some things the colonel says that I can reasonably accept. Then we'll consider some points I would appreciate John Alexander giving much more attention and comment than is currently the case and if he may ever be so inclined.

Okay, I Might Could Buy That

Colonel Alexander is of the general stance that there seems to be something unidentified occasionally flying through the skies, but it is of little interest to United States intelligence officials who prioritize other issues. He adamantly suggests he has no knowledge of any well organized cover-up that would rock the Pentagon if it ever hit The 'Post.

I simply do not know if there is a large scale UFO cover-up. I could not conclusively say one way or the other.

Moving along, I was completely on board with the colonel when he explained researching and reporting UFO-related phenomena is not a financially lucrative venture as some people seem to misinterpret, or at least I agree that is the case a great deal of the time. He further stated one must practically be sadomasochistic to so much as even get involved due to the many inherent challenges.

What's more, Alexander described the UFO community as cannibalistic when explaining why the intelligence structure would not spend its resources devaluing the credibility of those with interests in ufology even if it desired to devalue them. He suggested we do an effective enough job of freely and abundantly trashing one another without requiring professional assistance.

While the existence of one described scenario does not necessarily negate the other, the fact remains the man is correct that we do not need too awfully much help firing up the coals and putting one another on the grill. That is indeed getting quite thoroughly accomplished with or without federal funding.

The colonel's suggestions are reasonable perspectives: writing books about UFOs is a poor choice of financial ventures, the UFO community eats its young and if one is going to wade into ufology they might be well served to enjoy the sight of their own blood. Choosing to voice such perspectives begs the question, however, exactly what a retired career intelligence officer is now or was ever doing center stage at the equivalent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Colonel Alexander went on during his presentation to cite some UFO cases he claimed to suspect represent true mysteries. Among such cases was the well known Tehran, Iran, incident in which an Iranian military jet reportedly experienced interruptions in communications and weapons systems operation while engaged with an apparently unidentified craft. 

Explaining why he found the Iranian case of interest and referencing his expertise in electromagnetic weapons, Alexander noted, "I know how to shut you down, but I don't know how to turn you back on again."

...But What About All This?

Along his way, the man who went on to be known as “Mr. Non-Lethal” became so involved in the UFO community he is now a staple. The UFO Trail found itself frequently crossing the John Alexander trail during the course of research, so I emailed the man prior to the Ozark UFO Conference and asked if he would meet with me for a few minutes during the event to answer some questions for a blog post.

Colonel Alexander initially agreed to my request, but when I approached him at the conference he unfortunately informed me he changed his mind. He indicated he was not going to schedule a time to meet with me due to what he stated was my interest in conspiracies, of which he adamantly denies exist. During the ensuing few minutes, the colonel came to now hold the distinction of being the only member of the UFO community I have ever asked permission to turn on my audio recorder who did not grant it.

Now, before we light the torches, distribute the pitchforks and demand he take his rightful place upon the grill of ufology, let's think this through. After all, the man has indeed had his share of accusations hurled his way over the years. I am willing to consider Alexander might have had his fill of Alex Constantine and similar such writer/researchers before I go taking it all personally that he backed out of an interview.

I can try to empathize. Colonel John Alexander does not necessarily owe me an opportunity to hold him accountable. He might feel the reception he gets from the UFO community is one helluva way to treat a war veteran and decorated career intelligence officer. That might be considered a reasonable choice of perspectives on his part. In addition to empathizing, I might also choose to present issues surrounding what would have been my questions had I been granted the interview, and that would be an equally reasonable choice on my part.

I neither created nor embellished the conspiracies surrounding the career of John Alexander. They were there long before I came along and I simply noticed discrepancies in certain accounts contained within. I would now like to address some circumstances which deserve further consideration, particularly when such circumstances involve people who claim they are trying to shed the light of actuality on the darkness of ufology.

They Said What?!

John Alexander and other alleged military insiders simply contradict one another too frequently to accept some of their statements as anything more than claims requiring further investigation. Sergeant Lyn Buchanan, retired military intelligence and self-described alien abductee (you read that right), entirely contradicts Alexander's descriptions of both a lack of government interest in ufology and a lack of covering it up.

Lyn Buchanan
In a series of emails exchanged with The UFO Trail, Buchanan provided permission to include his statements in a blog post and elaborated on his claimed extraordinary career. Buchanan described involvement in a remote viewing unit and an alien abduction he stated took place many years earlier. He further described alleged incredible statements made by intelligence personnel - amounting to providing evidence of an alien presence - during their investigation of circumstances surrounding his reported abduction.

When asked why he thinks individuals such as Colonel Alexander claim they can find no such evidence, and whether we should doubt Alexander's sincerity, consider him out of the loop or some other possibility, Buchanan replied, “There are two key (terms) in your question, 'claim' and 'some other possibility.'"

Commander C.B. Scott Jones is a retired career intelligence officer. Like Buchanan and for whatever reasons, Jones claimed to have experienced events of high strangeness. Actually, Jones' work makes Buchanan's story of remote viewing, aliens and military interrogation seem relatively mainstream, as Jones subscribed to Sitchin-esque perspectives and lobbied legislators to enact protocol for embracing the supposed visiting extraterrestrials. Jones once asserted his writer/researcher friend was targeted by an electronic mind control device wielded by the FBI, and Jones went on to inform a Presidential science advisor that the UFO subject was apparently being used to cloak mind control operations.

C.B. Scott Jones, Edgar Mitchell
and John Alexander
When asked if he believes the UFO subject continued to cloak mind control operations, Jones informed The UFO Trail in obvious direct contradiction to Alexander's stance, “I think that the UFO/ET subject has been used to cloak a number of classified U.S. programs that certainly includes mind control."

Major General Albert “Bert” Stubblebine III and his psychologist wife, Dr. Rima Laibow, asserted that covert mind control operations continued after Project MKULTRA. Attempts were unsuccessfully made by The UFO Trail to obtain further statements and clarification from the couple, and their comments continue to be most welcomed should they become inclined to provide them.

I did not get the chance during my short time with Colonel Alexander to reference all of the above circumstances and ask how people such as these, that he knew well and in some cases worked with directly, could have such differing accounts than his of what took place. I did, however, have a chance to mention the claims set forth by General Stubblebine and Dr. Laibow during my brief interaction with Alexander. He qualified that Stubblebine was his boss and added that he simply does not know why Stubblebine says the things he says. Well, I don't either, but I'm not the one claiming to be able and willing to explain this Chuck Barris routine to the rest of us while in actuality refusing to go on record to address its contradictions.

Please note it is not my intention to necessarily present any given claim as particularly indicative of the truth. My point is the claims are often mutually exclusive of one another. For instance, if Stubblebine is correct about ongoing mind control programs, then Alexander cannot be correct about the nonexistence of the covert operations, and so on.

If some call that fodder of a conspiracy theorist, so be it. I call it pointing out that people claiming to provide insider information and who worked together in intelligence actually make completely contradictory statements.

That Carpenter Thing

I would have liked to discuss the Carpenter Affair with Colonel Alexander. John Velez explained in a July, 2000, email to UFO UpDates List that Alexander was among those who confirmed John Carpenter sold abductee case files to Robert Bigelow. Velez wrote:
This nasty business has now been confirmed by Bigelow himself, Walt Andrus, Dr. [John] Alexander of NIDS, and about seven of the abductees whose files were sold. This [sic] no Mickey Mouse, "Ok now we all know about it so let's forget it because we're all human" kind of thing... John [Carpenter] has violated the trust, privacy, and right to anonymity of 140 abductees.
Robert Bigelow
Carpenter recently informed The UFO Trail that he provided Bigelow with abductee case file information on an ongoing basis which he stated spanned some three years. I would have liked an opportunity to ask Colonel Alexander about his interest in the files and data. I would also have liked to hear Alexander's perspectives on why Robert Bigelow would have ever invested in Carpenter's recurring documentation of hypnotically induced accounts of both alien and military raping and pillaging. It is reasonable to want to know what the colonel would have to say about Carpenter's work, Bigelow's previously sustained interests in it and what he thinks it was all about.

It also seems reasonable to ask if Alexander ever had any knowledge of Bigelow moving funds around for undisclosed “sponsors,” as asserted by former MUFON international director James Carrion. If so, who were the sponsors and what were the circumstances?

If we consider funds dispersed by Bigelow went to such recipients as Hopkins, Mack, Jacobs, Moulton-Howe, Carpenter, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR), supposed abduction research projects and many, many more, reportedly even including infamous Bob Lazar, it is not difficult to envision such funds substantially shaped the current public perception of alleged alien abduction. How different and more accurate might we collectively view the situation if it were not for the unsupported claims so-called researchers misled us to prematurely embrace as established truth? How relevant are the specific sources of money that bankrolled the descent into absurdity?

Those questions seem to represent a reasonable line of consideration to me, and one that perhaps would be interesting to hear the colonel address. After all, whether or not it was done intentionally, it is indeed what happened. How and why?

Playin' Those Mind Games

I was disappointed Colonel Alexander did not provide me an opportunity to discuss Martin Cannon with him. I would very much like to hear his current thoughts on Cannon-related events.

The 1999 International Remote Viewing Association included
Hal Puthoff (left), John Alexander (3rd from left) and
Lyn Buchanan (4th from left, standing)
Cannon published The Controllers: A New Hypothesis of Alien Abduction, circa 1990, in which he explored the possibility some reported abductions might actually be the results of Manchurian Candidate type covert research projects such as MKULTRA. While it is readily apparent the colonel would publicly assign no more value to such a publication than to use it as kindling to light the coals of the grill on which to hoist Martin, I am more interested in how Alexander might comment on his relationship with Cannon than what he would obviously say about the man's work.

For example... Alexander's wife, Victoria, reportedly telephoned Cannon in 1993. She allegedly informed Cannon that Alexander and Hal Puthoff were very angry at Cannon, for whatever reasons, and that Gordon Novel had been called on to handle the situation, whatever the situation and details of its handling specifically may have been considered to be.

Writer/researcher George P. Hansen explained he personally heard the recording left by Alexander's wife on Cannon's answering machine. Hansen wrote:
Alexander has spent some time with Novel and has flaunted the affiliation, perhaps in an attempt to intimidate others. Martin Cannon, an investigator who has written on government mind-control projects, received a call from Alexander’s wife on May 30, 1993. She left a message on his answering machine saying: “Martin, as an ex-friend I have to warn you. John and Hal [Puthoff] are really pissed off at you. And they’ve given the matter over to Gordon [Novel] to handle. Watch out.” ...Cannon was well aware of Alexander’s interest in UFO abductions and of Novel’s background. He was quite alarmed, and the day he received the message, he called and played me the tape. I suggested that he alert a number of people in the media, and he also notified the FBI.  
John Alexander, Gordon Novel and Victoria Alexander
I would find it interesting to ask the colonel about the matter. Was he actually pissed? If so, why?

Did he, in fact, give the matter over to Novel? If so, exactly what did that mean and entail?

Another item of interest to me was a 2007 interview of Colonel Alexander conducted by investigative journalist Sharon Weinberger. The interview was published in her Washington Post cover story, Mind Games, which explored accusations of mind control and issues related to non-lethal weapons.

Among other news of note, Weinberger wrote, “But September 11, 2001, changed the mood in Washington, and some in the national security community are again expressing interest in mind control, particularly a younger generation of officials who weren't around for MK-ULTRA. 'It's interesting that it's coming back,' Alexander observed.”

Sharon Weinberger
Wow, it was coming back? Five years ago?

Weinberger went on to explain, "When Alexander encounters a query he doesn't want to answer, such as one about the ethics of mind control, he smiles and raises his hands level to his chest, as if balancing two imaginary weights. In one hand is mind control and the sanctity of free thought -- and in the other hand, a tad higher -- is the war on terrorism."

I would be most interested in discussing details, such as exactly who those younger officials were that were expressing interest in mind control. I would also like to explore the colonel's interpretations of how such interests were specifically demonstrated and how such interests have since evolved.

As I bring this post to a close, I wish to once again express that I empathize with certain perspectives presented by Colonel John Alexander. He makes many reasonable points.

However, there are certain issues in which more clarification might help us further understand exactly what took place in the past and how it shaped the present. I continue to invite such clarification and related statements from Colonel Alexander, General Stubblebine, Dr. Laibow and any individuals who feel they have relevant information to contribute. Confidentiality will be respected and discretion will be exercised as applicable. My email address can be obtained through my profile.

Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince
There are many ways to interpret the complex situation and certain researchers such as James Carrion suggest if there is any state-sponsored conspiracy concerning UFOs, at least some of it involves the perpetuation of an incorrect and widespread belief aliens are on the prowl, not the denial thereof. Writer/researchers Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince relatively agree, recommending consideration be given to the fact some key aspects of modern day UFO dogma can be easily demonstrated to have originated in intelligence circles. What's more, many high profile UFO cases that shaped the current popular public opinion were literally reported from military facilities.

Counterpoints suggest ET might keep a watchful eye on the activities of folks in uniform, thus maintaining a presence at military installations. That supposition, however, does not seem particularly probable in light of alternative, much more down to earth explanations for UFO cases and reports of supposed high strangeness that are clearly produced by Uncle Sam and his intelligence officers. What's more, such pro-alien supposition remains entirely unsubstantiated. 

Some of course disagree with the implications and the research presented by Carrion, Picknett and Prince. Many, I suppose - including John Alexander. But as the colonel says on occasion, that's what makes a horse race.

5 comments:

  1. For another comment read my review of the book.
    http://www.brumac.8k.com/AlexanderBookReview/AlexanderBookReview.htm

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  2. Jack, interesting stuff. This is one of the many channels that lead out from the central UFO theme and I can't say I know much about this one. It's a good journalistic instinct to follow the money trail as you're doing.The point is well taken that private funding in the mid- to-late 90s certainly played a role in establishing the popular conception of alien abduction. What I noticed was that just as the Hopkins/Jacobs malevolent take on the phenomenon became well established by 1995, the various private funding sources dried up. Bigelow, Rockefeller, Lichtenstein--all gone. And no federal research institute will touch funding any UFO researcher. Whose fault is that? The collective UFO community, as you state above: lacking protocols, lacking common courtesy to one another, often riding roughshod over the welfare of research subjects.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments, Carol. The dynamics related to ufology, funding sources and the nonprofit industry are often overlooked, but, as you suggest, that does not make them any less relevant.

      Thank you for your interest. It is appreciated.

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  3. Col. John B. Alexander will be doing an "Ask Me Anything" thread on Abovetopsecret tomorrow, SEP 30, 2013. How nice it would be if you asked him a few questions there.

    Yes, imo, that website is a honeypot and worse, still and all a good audience in search of good information. Such as can be found on this most excellent blog. Cheers, mate, keep up the great work!

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  4. As goes Alexander so goes in parallel Vallee- he of the fairy tale theory that adds nothing, commands attention and distracts from the quest for physical (military secret) evidence and which along with fellow CIA assets is yet another control system.

    ReplyDelete