Tuesday, May 10, 2016

UFO Memes and Media

Tom DeLonge fronted the popular rock band Blink 182 before he apparently decided a rewarding career awaited him in the wide open field of deciphering fact from fiction in ufology cloak and daggers. He put the word out on the street that spooks willing to blow the UFO whistle have a friend in him. The amazing things DeLonge has now learned, he tells us, enable him to inform the masses there are "high level" groups within the Department of Defense aware of "crashes" and the discovery of a "life form." His contacts reportedly include "a high-level member of the Pentagon," prompting the Mirage Men Twitter account to suggest he's the new Paul Bennewitz.

1947 newspaper headlines
later retracted by the Army
For those coming late to the party, don't worry, you haven't missed much, at least not as far as confirmation of stories about alleged aliens and their crashed spaceships go. There isn't any confirmation. However, you might have some catching up to do on how those tales have been garnished and served to previous generations.

The Bennewitz Affair

Paul Bennewitz became convinced during the 1980's he was uncovering an alien plot to invade the planet. His suspicions were further cultivated by Richard Doty of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), as well as William Moore, a high profile ufology writer and researcher of the era. The circumstances, which included tales of alien underground bases and circulation of inauthentic documents, were thoroughly explored in Mirage Men by Mark Pilkington and associates, and Project Beta by Greg Bishop, among other sources.

Many researchers now suspect AFOSI exploited Bennewitz's incorrect assumptions in order to minimize his credibility. That would have been so no one would pay any attention to matters of national security the man did happen to be stomping all over, however entirely unrelated to extraterrestrials the matters may have been. Moore dropped a quarter on the whole operation when he declared - during his keynote speech at the 1989 MUFON International Symposium, no less - that he had been conspiring with the intelligence community to feed disinformation to Bennewitz and the ufology faithful at large (see 1989 Nov. and Dec. editions of MUFON UFO Journal). 

Doty claims he was acting on official orders while gaslighting Bennewitz, who was eventually involuntarily admitted to a residential mental health facility. The matter of Air Force involvement continues to be debated. Alejandro Rojas conducted some solid FOIA work into the issue that was largely stonewalled, yet nonetheless made a worthy article

Moulton Howe and Mendez  

About the same time all that was happening with Doty, he also led researcher Linda Moulton Howe down the primrose path. He shared his brand of so-called official documents with her that made mention of aliens and their creation of humanity. As the work of Rojas points out, the Air Force remains mum on whether Doty was carrying out orders or if any investigations were ever conducted into its personnel circulating fantastic stories and forged supporting docs around town.

Meanwhile, a young airman named Simone Mendez got in a dust up with the same agency during the same era over the same topic, UFOs. She was stationed at Nellis AFB of Area 51 fame in 1981 when a coworker approached her with a likely forged classified doc about a dramatic UFO-related event. Mendez ended up grilled for months by AFOSI, which, as in the case of Bennewitz, Moulton Howe and Doty, seemed to practice some less than overt policies about who bears responsibility for possessing and distributing fake documents. The FBI got in on the interrogations as well, and Mendez later obtained files through the FOIA verifying some of the facts surrounding her ordeal (of which she was cleared of any wrongdoing). You can read details of the case in my book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community, which has a full chapter dedicated to the circumstances.

The Pentagon
But back to DeLonge. While younger and more optimistic members of the community might enthusiastically await the coming disclosure, seasoned spectators will experience feelings ranging from amused to annoyed about DeLonge's purported confidence in his sources. Suffice it to say they've heard it a few times before, and as longtime community member Lorin Cutts observed:
And worse still, DeLonge’s big “inside info” reveal is basically the deFacto mantra of the military-industrial elite and the perfect reason why we need to carry on spending $650 billion a year of public taxpayer money into the largely private accounts of the military-industrial complex. Hell, with full on disclosure (or even just disclosing to policy makers or hinting at it over and over) maybe they can even multiply that by a ten or hundred? He’s their poster boy (“Lockheed Martin are AWESOME”) and he’s reaching the masses via the mainstream in a way that most UFO disclosure campaigners could only have dreamt of.
Here’s what Tom has to say about his work with these top-secret insiders.
“I wanted to reverse people’s cynical view of government, not politicians. But the government and what it’s doing. There are people doing really heroic work. When people hear this they’re going to be so relieved that it’s not some big, bad secret government. It will change the way people feel about our military and intelligence leadership”
“There won’t be any disinformation in my project”.
With all due respect Tom, how on Earth would you know? 
Amy on the Radio

Last but not least, big thanks to Amy Martin of Amy on the Radio for recently having me on her new show. She has a significant presence in the Fortean community from such ventures as conducting The Haunted Skeptic Podcast and hosting Dark Matter Network News on Midnight in the Desert with Art Bell and Heather Wade. Amy describes her latest show as "one of variety, with large focus on interesting topics of scientific and skeptical inquiry." 

I'm honored to have been the guest on the initial broadcast, Thursday, May 5, in which her listeners and Twitter followers were hospitable, well-informed and all around great. We discussed topics as explored above, along with much more. If you missed it and want to check it out, you can subscribe like I did for just five bucks a month. 

Amy on the Radio airs live Mon. through Fri., 9 pm to midnight ET, on Deep Talk Radio Network, and you can get all the info at amyontheradio.com. Join the Twitter convo at #AmyTalk. I wish Amy and her supporters much success in producing many episodes of interesting, entertaining and - now, in the age of social media, interactive - paranormal radio.


  1. As to why the military/intelligence community is leading DeLonge (and his generation) down the garden path -- this statement of his says it all, "I wanted to reverse people’s cynical view of government, not politicians. But the government and what it’s doing. There are people doing really heroic work. When people hear this they’re going to be so relieved that it’s not some big, bad secret government. It will change the way people feel about our military and intelligence leadership.

    This DeLonge exercise has nothing at all to do with UFOs, disclosure, ETs, etc. It's about reversing the widely and deeply held distrust in and disgust with the US government and the military/intelligence community in the US today. It's too late for any of this BS to work on us older folk, so it's aimed at those with no knowledge of what went before. DeLonge is the perfect spokesman. His Punk credentials are impeccable.

    1. The more I've studied it, PG, the less I think the vast majority of IC activities in ufology had anything to do with UFOs or ET. I don't think actions around Bennewitz, LMH, Roswell, Rendlesham, Bigelow-MUFON, Vallee, Martin Cannon, to name a few, had any more to do with UFOs and ETs than card tricks have to do with magic.

  2. LMH is breathless over the recent UK disclosures about Rendlesham. UFOs are real. Of course they are real. I can't identify any of the aircraft flying in the sky. More to the point, I can't identify any of the people in the bloody things. What LMH carefully avoids saying is what she implicitly conveys: That the pilots of the Rendlesham objects were in fact alien beings. How would anyone know? Well, results from hypnosis sessions involving Rendlesham participants confirms it.

    Bedrock evidence, that. The UK said the crafts' side effects produced hallucinations. Not to commit LMH's sin of defining the variable, but it seems likelier to me that technology has been developed that can activate hallucinoid mechanisms in the mind; that humans are intelligent enough to create such technology; that they have been intelligent enough for quite some time.

    These apparently are very well-funded people. They declare they're penniless but their relentless persistence suggests otherwise. It is doubtful that one may make enough money peddling UFO abduction tales such that one may travel the world over. Yet they somehow do . . . travel the world over.

    I have misgivings about Vallee myself.

    1. As for Vallee, I don't believe he's ever described himself as "penniless". He's never denied being very well off thanks to his real day jobs as a venture capitalist, information theorist, and computer scientist. He has some interesting things to say that are, at least, thought provoking. And I don't recall he's ever claimed to have "the answer". He just suggests possibilities.

      LMH, on the other hand, has become kind of a joke among those who approach UFOs with a balanced viewpoint. Sadly, she's turned herself into Ufology's crazy bag lady. I was rooting for her to finally get a grip post-Doty, but she seems hell bent on going down a dead end road (excuse the mixed metaphors). Sigh.

    2. I had my faith in Vallee dislodged when I happened to be rereading his Revelations (or Confrontations) and the section on Bill Cooper while also watching UFOS IT HAS BEGUN on YouTube. Vallee expressed confusion over Cooper's reference to O.H. Krill or Crlll. He's narrator of UIHB. It features a section on Crlll. He shouldn't have been confused. Cooper is the right-wing militia version of Bennewitz.

      UIHB is important in the genealogy of the narrative. The "UFO landing" it speaks of apparently occurred at the Air Base the Lorenzens worked at. The film features a research credit attributed to one "David Jacobs". The description of the "aliens" appears to match the description of "aliens" given by Travis Walton. Once you look into the chronological order of things, the house of cards falls.

      The footage featured appears to be the same footage Doty tried to hook Howe with. It's touted even today as proof of extraterrestrial visitation. It might be proof of early drone tech and an unreliable drone at that.

      While Bishop may have certain facts straight, his tenor in interviews about Bennewitz, Doty, and Moore suggest he hadn't much compassion for Bennewitz. That suggests he's little more than a "Pentagon Pundit" type individual, Doty and Moore's chummy stenographer.

      I suggest looking at DeLonge through the lens of the "Vietnam Syndrome." The people who cooked up these disastrous wars managed to convince the media they were protesting the soldiers. They managed to turn servicepeople into human shields for bad policy made in upper echelons. It seems these secret agent people now are the patriots and those doubting them are giving comfort to the enemy, aka, the bobbleheaded goblins from Zeta Reticuli or some such. Walton's bottle nosed dolphins.

      The plain fact of the matter is we do not have the manpower or the money to fight global war with boots on the ground. The only way we, the West, can win is with weapons of mass destruction.

      The UFO is such a weapon. Because of our fundamental narcissism, we have to be adored when we bomb people. We have to look like heroes of the Universe. The architects of the Iraq War were shocked the Iraqis didn't like us. Ninety-three percent? Now think we're the enemy.

      A similar shock is in store for the "UFO Pundits".

      So when DeLonge says these men are patriots and "we" should adore them I am tempted to ask "Whose 'we' white man?"

      It's not going to work. It didn't work with Iraq and Afghanistan. It won't work with UFOs. You can't adore bad policy into good policy.

    3. Vietnam has no relevance whatsoever to the generation DeLonge is appealing to. Don't make that analogy. It's totally lost on Millennials to whom Vietnam is some dim, poorly understood event that took place in the century before the one in which they were born (that is, it's ancient history, Man).

      I continue to find Vallee interesting, especially when he's speculating based on his work in information theory. I hold none of his speculations as gospel, but rather as much more intelligent food for thought than almost everyone else in Ufology or in the skeptical community (where reason and logic are often just as lacking) is capable of generating.

      Meanwhile, you know what? The phenomenon will continue on as it has for millennia no matter what any of us believes or says about it today.