Monday, July 21, 2014

James Carrion to Podcasters: Deception Inherent to Ufology; Don't Focus on the Signal, Focus on the Noise

James Carrion is a former international director of the Mutual UFO Network, a former signals intelligence analyst for the US Army and an IT manager. He is the author of the recently released book, The Rosetta Deception, in which he presents research focusing on the years 1946 and 1947 that suggests deception operations conducted by the intelligence community likely effected public perception of UFOs. Carrion was interviewed by hosts of The Paracast Gene Steinberg and Christopher O'Brien in a two and a half hour podcast published July 20. I think some of his perspectives deserve consideration, so let's jump right in.

Just prior to the 17-minute mark of the podcast, Carrion was asked where he first saw evidence of deception in ufology.

"I would have to say during the time I was in MUFON," he explained. "When I first joined the organization, just like everybody else, I was very curious. I wanted to know why this subject was still a mystery. The more I started to look into it, the more I started to research it, and the higher that I got up in the organization, the more I could see that there was a large element of human deception involved.

"A lot of the cases, for example, that I investigated personally during MUFON, there was no paranormal. There was no extraterrestrial aspect to a lot of these cases. A lot of it boiled down to strange people passing strange stories – and of questionable backgrounds – and really trying to spin the whole rumor mill around the subject."

Carrion offered a couple examples of such circumstances, then added, "We get a lot of these strange characters that just pop into the UFO field. They make these grandiose claims and none of it really pans out."

At the 2:06:30 point of the interview, Carrion commented on MUFON in general. Are they sincere or advancing disinformation?

"I don't think you can really label it that easily. I think there are folks that genuinely have – in the organization – that have a genuine interest in knowing the truth. I think there are folks in the organization that are very much true believers and they discard a lot of evidence presented to them... I've fallen out of favor with MUFON in that they lost their way. Their motto is the scientific investigation of UFOs and you would be hard pressed to find anything that resembles science in that organization.

"I think that's reflected in these shows that they're doing on Discovery Channel. You know, it's almost embarrassing to watch to see MUFON lower themselves to repeating mythology and repeating folklore and repeating outrageous allegations, and not sticking to what they should be sticking to, which is pure science."

At 2:16:00, Carrion addressed challenges inherent to investigating reported UFO sightings.

"It mostly had to do with deception. There was some level of deception. I call it 'unknown deception' because I don't know if these folks that perpetrated it had a personal reason for doing it – ya know, they just wanted to go out there and perpetrate a hoax, if there was a money aspect to it or there may be an intelligence agency aspect to it. All I know, it was human involvement and nothing highly strange about it."

He continued, "I have to say something that I think a lot of people in ufology may not like to hear, and that is - I think the bottom line is - there are folks that are in the field that call themselves ufologists, call themselves researchers, investigative journalists – whatever they want to call themselves, it doesn't really matter – but when their modus operandi is to perpetuate the mystery instead of solving it, we have a big issue. We have a big problem because the mystery will never get resolved as long as these people are out there hawking their latest theories or the latest controversy for controversy's sake, or their latest witness, or their latest 'lead' investigation – whatever you want to call it, it doesn't really matter – but if you don't have a sincere interest in truth, if you're simply interested in making the rounds of the UFO talk circuit... you're part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Around the 1:29:00 point, Carrion was asked if any UFOs are "real".

"Ya know, honestly I can't tell you. I'm not saying that every single UFO sighting in 1946 or 1947 had to be Rosetta or our intelligence community. Who knows? There are things out there in the universe we simply can't explain. There are mysteries that we can't explain. All I know is that in such a concentrated time frame we had very strange things going on that to me fit more a Cold War and intelligence operation than fit any sort of other explanation.

"Could there have been other things flying around the atmosphere? Sure. What they are, I don't know. All I know is that what I've been able to research and what I have been able to uncover here shows more of a terrestrial explanation."

1:36:30 Could some of the early reported abductions have been mind control or drug experiments?

"I would say that may very well be, so I think it may be part of this mushrooming; this inability to contain what started off as a myth that was created by mundane hands."

1:53:00 Absent deliberate deception, does any evidence remain that points to an extraterrestrial explanation?

"Well, I can tell you that my belief is that what the activity surrounded in 1946 and 1947 was, from my point of view, a strategic deception operation, so definitely involving military intelligence agencies. That's a very interesting question because this is where we get into the bucket argument. What I call the bucket argument is that people who are believers or that truly believe in UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation, they want to have one bucket of evidence. Everything gets thrown into this bucket, right? From the building of the pyramids to the foo fighters to ghost rockets to Roswell to you name it, it all goes into one large bucket. If you try to take anything out of that bucket, well, no, no, no, you can't, because all the other stuff in the bucket means it's extraterrestrial or there's 'proof' there.

"I think that is not the way to approach the subject at all. I think you have to compartmentalize your research. I think you have to focus your research into certain discreet cases and discreet time frames, and, really, you can't just pile up all the evidence and say it all makes sense together. It simply doesn't, because, I'll be honest, and tell you that I believe that there is life out there in the universe. I think the possibility of life not being out there, life not being out there, is absolutely nil. Statistically, there is life out there on other planets.

"The question is have they arrived here, either today, in the near past or in the very distant past. It's very plausible that we had alien visitation way back whenever, or it could be very plausible that we have alien visitation today. So I'm not saying that's not a possibility. I'm not saying that at all.

"What I am advocating is that the early days of UFOs – the modern day UFO era, 1946-1947, that time frame - I don't believe had anything to do with extraterrestrial visitation."

2:04:00 Does the intelligence community manipulate the public perception of ET and possibly such circumstances as the Skinwalker Ranch to its advantage?

"Absolutely. I think the large amount of mythology that surrounds Area 51, for example, a lot of that was originated in the military as an operation to just cover up what was really happening at Area 51, which was very mundane in nature. So I think that the intelligence establishment uses the phenomena, uses the mythology, uses the subject to cover up any number of mundane operations.

"Ya know, I found that my involvement with Robert Bigelow and Skinwalker Ranch – the fact that I basically paid my own way to go there and was refused entry on the ranch - that lack of transparency tells me that there is something else going on. This whole subject is so muddied already, what you don't need is more cover up, more deception, more obfuscation.

"When I started seeing that in the whole MUFON-BAASS relationship, that's when I started to question what's really behind all of that and I voiced my opinions to the board. All of it was history after that because they went behind my back and renegotiated that contract.

"The bottom line being that I think – and this is very well known – that if you think you can dance with these intelligence agencies and they don't want you to dance with them, you're never gonna dance. The bottom line is there will be a way where you'll end up on the outside of that. I think there is a very interesting dance happening between ufology and the intelligence organizations that have more to do with what the goals of the intelligence agencies are than a cover up of extraterrestrial visitation."

More on Bigelow, BAASS and MUFON at 2:22:00.

"There very much has to be a large amount of transparency when you're going to be involved in something of this nature. You can't hide anything. So, for example, when Bigelow hid the source of his funding and would only reveal it to John Schuessler on the MUFON board, that lack of transparency really rubs me the wrong way. That tells me there's something being hidden for a certain purpose and I don't want to be involved in that."

More on the Skinwalker Ranch at 2:29:00.

"You know, the Skinwalker Ranch to me is interesting for a couple reasons. To me, the mythology – and I'll call it mythology because I don't think what's written in the book is accurate – this is based on personal investigation from when I went there and was denied access to the ranch, and then finding out that the brother of the original owner of the ranch, before it was sold to Bigelow, was very adamant in saying that nothing paranormal or strange in nature happened while his brother was owner of the ranch. He knows this because he was on the ranch many times. So I think there was a mythology built around that, in the same way that a mythology gets built around a number of cases that end up on the silver screen as a 'true story'."

Carrion also stated, "There's a mythology that was being built up. Why was it being built up? I think it had somewhat to do with the mythology surrounding Area 51. Somebody wants to continue that mythology. The same way that the mythology is continued around Dulce, New Mexico, and underground bases and a lot of the stuff that we hear about that really has no substantiation.

"Just because a billionaire owns the ranch, and a book is out there written by folks that allegedly were on the ranch, doesn't make it true."

Summing up events surrounding Bigelow and the Skinwalker Ranch, Carrion stated, "All I know is somebody is obfuscating what is really going on, and I don't think it has to do with protecting people's lives [concerning the lack of access and lack of transparency]. I think it's something else."

2:08:00 How can the average person separate signal from noise? What would Carrion tell a young person getting involved in ufology?

"I would say, based on my years of exposure, don't focus on the signal, focus on the noise. There's a lot to be learned from the noise.

"It's almost – I've said this quite a few times – the absence of evidence is as telling as the presence of evidence. So if you go into this field with an open mind, you put aside your beliefs, you really look to see why there's so much noise surrounding this field. Pay attention to the noise. Pay attention to the characters that are in the field.

"Make sure that you check their sources. Make sure you check every single fact. You better be a fact checker, because if you're not a fact checker, you're gonna be at the recipient end of disinformation, hoaxes and just being led down the primrose path that a lot of ufologists find themselves.

"The bottom line is to go out there with a sincere desire to know truth and to learn truth, no matter how hurtful that truth may be, even if it hurts your own beliefs. Look for that truth."

The full podcast includes James Carrion discussing his book, The Rosetta Deception, his thoughts on controversial writer/researcher William Moore, former Director of Central Intelligence Roscoe Hillenkoetter who joined the UFO research organization National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), strategic deception, intriguing high strangeness and much more. Learn more about Carrion and his work at his blogs Follow the Magic Thread and The Rosetta Deception


  1. Your blog continues to shine Jack, reading these features with great interest.

    Thanks for directing attention to this podcast! I look forward to hearing it. For this subject, Carrion strikes me as as one among exceedingly few with high credibility - specific to Manner of Interest, as I call it.

    (Scientists & creationists are both intensely interested in same thing, human origins and evidence pertaining to it - but not quite the same way - differing, even opposed, motives & means).

    UFOs Over Earth (cable tv micro-series) was my first alert to Carrion. I'll never forget how effectively - and revealingly - he illuminated Jaime Maussan, like I'd never seen before - despite all his previous tv appearances over 2 decades.

    Perhaps best of all Maussan displayed no consciousness of the light into which he'd stepped into so unwarily. Nor did Carrion, to find out what he wanted to know, need him to as appeared. All intensely interesting and compelling, eye-opening.

    Thanks for this feature and all your work-up on this saucer beat - keep up the goods, couldn't resist kudos to you, and Carrion - I find his 'followthemagicthread' really interesting and informative too, great reading. Your blog and his, both - there are none better, for my Manner of Interest in this subject - that I know. Velly intelestink.

    1. Thank you, sir. Your support and encouragement are sincerely appreciated! Thank you very much for your interest.

  2. > You better be a fact checker

    I second that.

    1. Motion has been moved and seconded, but obtaining a majority vote might be a tough gig.

  3. What atruck me is that right at the beginning of the CIA and the NSC (not NSA) UFO sightings were treated as but one of many types of Forteana, and the very first "UFOlogists" were correctly called Forteans- people who like John Keel later on would look at ANY odd occurrence.

    It was clear that CIA saw these people snooping near bases as a threat to their total secrecy policy.

    And right there at the beginning UFOlogy as a field was created not by the enthusiasts but by the intel people, to hijack Fortean research- which they successfully ruined in short order- as well as create a crackpot cult type "field of research" which has never from the beginning been coherent and scientific in approach.

    The fact that people like Hillenkoeter and Townsend Brown were seminal in the creation of UFO groups is also disturbing. Any intelligence or clandestine research work people being involved, far from lending credibility or providing inside information (has it ever?) diverts and destroys.

    UFOlogy is a control system.

  4. I read his book The Rosetta Deception, a great book, an attempt to reveal a classified covert operation which took place just after WWII.

    I respect his work, great to read about James Carrion here!

  5. Thanks for your comments and interest, folks. They are appreciated.

    From my seat, it appears more evident than ever that a large part of the challenge is that, often times, people know a lot about one particular subject, such as UFOs, but much less about other related subjects, such as the intelligence community and Cold War history. Similarly, my personal experience and observations leads me to think some people know a lot about alleged alien abduction - or at least a lot about what is claimed to be known about it - but a high percentage of those people rarely invest any time and attention in learning about related, quite relevant subject matter, such as picking up a competently written book once in a while on witness testimony, forensics or trauma, just to name a few.

    I think the widespread lack of understanding of relevant related topics is often out of simple ignorance. Other times I think it is due to a fear to look - people do not want to have their beliefs challenged. Yet other times it appears this one-sided, almost censoring approach to what the leaders of the UFO community offer their following seems much more orchestrated and intentional, as if the conference organizers, leading writers, etc. are indeed quite vested in perpetuating a mystery.

  6. It was interesting that you provided us with much of the transcript only a day after the audio file became publicly available. Valid discretions aside, leadership* generally involves being open about the ways things are done.

    (* as in being a leading ufology blogger, of course)

  7. Hi folks,

    For various reasons, I cannot listen to the podcast but I'm sure that Carrion is probably close to the truth. However, we must be clear that deception never stopped, and is still going on. And in my view, The Paracast is actually part of the problem. Steinberg is not interested in the actual causes or getting to the bottom of the ufo mystery, or anything else, in my opinion, and is purely interested in entertainment, and pecuniary matters.

    Chris O'Brien is someone who I respected until I saw a documentary on the BBC with documentary maker, Louis Theroux. I saw him before this as a rational, down to earth guy, and not a bs-er like some in the ufo field. And then, I saw him, not talking about his research into the odd things going in the San Luis Valley, but instead about the many kinds of extra-terrestrials that have been sighted over the years in the ufo field ie nords, reptilians, greys etc.

    For me this is pure misinformation/disinformation, and I stopped following him from here on in. He had a chance to put forward some of the really interesting information, and instead concentrated on the idiotic nonsense (in my most humble opinion, of course :D) which disparages the field and muddies the waters. I felt that he was something other than what I thought, and as I said, I stopped following him from then on.

    He later on took over from David Biedny, and has seemed to work quite happily with Steinberg on The Paracast. His website is also hosted on The Paracast servers so he seems to be quite at home with working with someone of quite an "interesting disposition".

    So we have to be careful with who we follow, give credit to, give light to people's bad thinking and dodgy behaviour. Doing this may cut down on the level of deception in the ufo field.

    I have no problem with Carrion's message. I just wish people would stop going on programmes like The Paracast. It just continues any deceptive practices on behalf of the people who put out such podcasts, and gives credit to people who just don't deserve it, in my opinion.

    Anyhow, just a few thoughts ...

    Best wishes

    Harvey Price