Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mirage Men Conclusively Linked to UFO Summer of '47

In his ongoing research to clarify the extent Cold War spy games influenced public perception of the UFO phenomenon, writer and former intelligence analyst James Carrion recently linked military deception planners to the UFO wave of 1947. His latest blog post cites declassified documents that conclusively demonstrate how career intelligence officers, part of a high-level unit now known to have been specifically assembled to execute strategic deception operations, petitioned the FBI for assistance investigating flying saucers. Given the purpose of the unit, titled the Joint Security Control Special Section, and details of the documents quoted, Carrion concludes there would have been no other reason for the interaction with the Bureau than to actively promote a deception plan.

The post is well worth the time to absorb and digest. It contains several relevant points of interest, including key aspects of the career of Col. Carl Goldbranson. The colonel trained extensively in military deception and, according to author and historian Thaddeus Holt, engaged in deception activity during the 1940's and until the end of his career. Holt documented Goldbranson to be one of the most skilled deception planners in the Allied service in his 2004 book, The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War.  

Carrion demonstrates Col. Goldbranson to have been the senior member of the deception-tasked Joint Security Control Special Section at the time he was advising FBI personnel on incidents of flying disks. Carrion explained:
This July 21, 1947 FBI memo is extremely important. It unequivocally documents the connection between US strategic deception planners and early UFO events by relating how Colonel Carl Goldbranson petitioned FBI assistance in investigating UFO events. Goldbranson was a WW2 member of Joint Security Control and one of its principal deception planners.
Carrion continued:
The Special Section of JSC consisted of only seven individuals including Goldbranson who as a full bird Colonel would have been the senior member. So for those who question the importance of Goldbranson to this analysis, only one question need be answered. What are the odds that the senior member of the principal US organization and specific section charged with planning and implementing U.S. strategic deception is on record in FBI official memorandum, getting his hands dirty in the UFO controversy of 1947? Goldbranson had no reason to be involved unless he was actively promoting a deception plan.

For those unfamiliar with James Carrion's work, he focuses on the 1946-47 time frame. He cites declassified documents and related materials to present forensic historical analysis. Carrion proposes that a small group of U.S. intelligence personnel masterminded deception operations surrounding reported UFOs for a variety of purposes designed to create military advantages. Learn more in his free book, Anachronism, and keep an eye out for his forthcoming work, The Roswell Deception.

I've followed James Carrion's research rather closely, including summarizing some of it in my recently published book along with an interview he graciously provided. Some highlights of his work, in my opinion, include demonstrating the ghost rockets saga conclusively involved aspects of deception; a discontinued classified operation, Project Seal, was misrepresented to be ongoing and consisting of developing an airborne weapon more powerful than the atomic bomb; and, now, Carrion shows deception planners were conclusively linked to the UFO summer of '47.

Critics of Carrion's work typically cite unrelated UFO cases or peripheral circumstances. Rarely do they directly address the material presented. Arguments are common that Uncle Sam couldn't be responsible for all reported UFO phenomena, in spite of the fact Carrion is simply sharing what he is learning about the specific 1946-47 era. 

A primary point, as far as I'm concerned, is that Carrion's findings justify further research into the extent public perception of the UFO phenomenon was exploited at the time. It's clear that it happened - relevant questions revolve around how much, why, the specific instances and the consequences.       

Thursday, August 11, 2016

From Pokemon to Perception Management

Developments related to previous posts and primary blog topics:

Happy Hunting

Iran banned Pokemon Go, stating the wildly popular app raised "security concerns." Ya think?

John Hanke
China will probably never allow use of the app. It recognized the national security risk, explaining locations of secret facilities could be surmised simply from identifying areas inaccessible to the Pokemon hunt. It's for sure there are more reasons, and they weren't that hard to figure out, but here's a key point to date:

Pokemon Go CEO John Hanke was involved in one of the biggest privacy scandals yet when he ran Google Geo, the division responsible for Google Earth and Google Maps. Hanke scored the job when his successful and admittedly CIA-funded venture, Keyhole, was acquired by Google. 

The Intercept reported:

...Pokemon Go is run by a man whose team literally drove one of the greatest privacy debacles of the internet era, in which Google vehicles, in the course of photographing neighborhoods for the Street View feature of the company’s online maps, secretly copied digital traffic from home networks, scooping up passwords, email messages, medical records, financial information, and audio and video files.

The article continued:

It eventually emerged that, in the U.S. alone, this collection went on for more than two years. The scandal, referred to as the “Wi-Spy” case as it was unfolding, resulted in:
  • A bruising Federal Communications Commission investigation, which followed a director’s comment that Google’s activity “clearly infringes on consumer privacy” and which resulted in a $25,000 fine.
  • A federal class-action case against Google, ongoing to this day, in which a district and appeals court have both ruled, against the company’s arguments, that the sort of data Google accessed is protected from interception under the U.S. Wiretap Act. (The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google’s appeal.)
  • Lawsuits brought by authorities in Spain.
  • Regulator intervention in Italy and Hungary.

Pokemon Go reportedly surpassed Twitter, Facebook and Netflix in day-to-day use on Android phones. On Apple devices, the augmented reality game was downloaded more times in its first week than any previous app. 

Romanek Case

The trial of Stan Romanek on charges of sexual exploitation of a child was postponed yet again. Romanek, widely known for doubtful UFO claims and infamous theatrics, was arrested Feb. 13, 2014. The trial may begin March 20, 2017.

Billy Cox of De Void wrote about the case and my assessment of it. His efforts to encourage consideration of the relevant dynamics and continue the discussion are appreciated. 

Annie Jacobsen Interview  

Writer and researcher Annie Jacobsen was recently interviewed by Big Picture Science and it's well worth the listen. In one seven-minute segment, she discussed ongoing research conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop super soldiers. DARPA's efforts included embedding an electronic chip in a moth which enabled researchers to remotely control its flight.

Annie Jacobsen is the author of such non-fiction works as The Pentagon's Brain, in which the history of DARPA is explored. She also wrote Operation Paperclip, a book that - for my money - is the leading resource on the subject.  

Perception Management

Former Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Walter Bosley has a new book on the horizon. As he tweeted Aug. 10:


Bosley is the author of several books on occult mysteries, breakaway civilizations and related subject matter. He has provided interviews and commentary at numerous venues and media, including Mark Pilkington's Mirage Men.  

Nothing Here, Just a Fog Bank

The Independent Barents Observer, "a journalist owned online newspaper covering the Barents Region and the Arctic," reported this week the Russian Navy is enveloping an entire town in manufactured smoke during an exercise to create camouflage. Severomorsk, population 50,000, is the third largest city on the Kola Peninsula and home to the main base of Russia's Northern Fleet. The operation was scheduled to take place Aug. 10 to 12, during which time townsfolk were instructed to take sensible precautions like keeping windows shut, but told to generally not worry about what's going on.

"Residents are asked to remain calm: the smoke mixture is not dangerous to humans, though, it has a particular smell," the Russian Defense Ministry explained in a prepared statement.

Talk about Mirage Men! 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ufology Indicted

Stan Romanek
The meandering path of Stan Romanek winds into the courtroom next Monday, Aug. 15 [Edit: Trial has been postponed until March 20 at the request of both prosecuting and defense attorneys. Edit: Trial was again rescheduled to July 31, with a status conference set for April 7]. His 2000 reported UFO encounter snowballed into a chain of increasingly fantastic, difficult to believe scenarios, often supported by no more than flimsy evidence bordering on insults to intelligence. His troubled story evolved to allege that enduring alien abduction and the covert nefarious activities of government agents became an ongoing way of life. 

Whatever extraordinary events may or may not have taken place around him, Stan Romanek will now be judged by a Colorado jury on two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The high profile UFO community personality is accused of possessing and distributing child pornography. 

Questionable Claims

The Stan Romanek saga is out of the ordinary even by ufology standards, and that was the case long before his Feb. 13, 2014 arrest. It is unusual for a number of reasons, including because it is often considered utterly unbelievable. This is in a genre in which first hand accounts of alien spacecraft and their occupants are routinely exchanged with casual acceptance. 

One of the things making Romanek's claims so difficult to buy is that he repeatedly led with the chin where angels fear to tread. He presented evidence intended to support his claims, yet when the "evidence" frequently went south, the persecution card was played. This was typically done under extremely shaky circumstances in which even the most willing to believe tended to doubt Romanek's accusations of government plots to discredit him. 

Although Stan's efforts indeed led some to promote his saga as the most thoroughly documented alien abduction case ever, it would equally be true that his "evidence" did not produce the validation he likely sought. Romanek may at times have been his own worst enemy.

Take, for instance, when James Carrion reported the word "follow" was misspelled as "fallow" in a report Romanek submitted to the National UFO Reporting Center. The word was then misspelled the same way, "fallow," in correspondence allegedly written by independent witnesses. Three of them. The spelling-challenged witnesses, two of which were supposedly physicists, to the best of my knowledge have yet to be produced or verified to exist. 

"Fallow" also surfaced in an alleged Air Force document Stan presented that was titled "Project Romanek." He claimed the doc was left in his mailbox. 

I kid you not. As Carrion wrote in 2009:
The word fallow shows up in Stan's original UFO reports to the National UFO Reporting Center.
The word fallow shows up in the UFO report to the National UFO Reporting Center by a 3rd party witness that allegedly had no relationship to Stan Romanek but corroborates one of his sightings.
The word fallow shows up in an alleged Air Force document that Stan mysteriously received in his mailbox, subject "Project Romanek."
The word fallow shows up on the Jeff Rense website in an online posting by alleged physicist John Mannon who supports Stan's story.
The word fallow shows up on the AboveTopSecret.com website in a posting by another alleged physicist (TommyBoy) who supports Stan's claims.
"The fact that the word fallow got misspelled in any single document or online posting is not the issue," Carrion emphasized, "but that the misspelled word shows up in so many third party documents supporting Stan's claims - third parties that allegedly have no relationship or connection with Stan. What are the odds that all of these third parties misspelled the same word (in documents supportive of Stan), is due to chance?" 
     
Then there was the Boo Video. That's the clip where Stan claimed he filmed an alien peeking in a window. 


A still from Romanek's alien vid

In one of his more infamous episodes, Stan clearly attempted to discreetly throw objects around a room while implying something paranormal was taking place during a 2014 video interview with Peter Maxwell Slattery. He would later tell Slattery that he intentionally discredited himself because he was instructed to do so during an anonymous phone call else face consequences to himself and loved ones. Basically, he went with the "I made a fool out of myself on purpose or they'd kill me" strategy. Did I mention leading with the chin where angels fear to tread?

An entire book could be written on the discrepancies alone in the Stan Romanek case. In 2009 he claimed a break in occurred at the home of a friend where he was temporarily staying in order to appear at a conference, and that police were called to investigate the situation. Allegations were also leveled that a bomb threat took place at the hotel hosting the event. Local police, however, reportedly confirmed they received no such calls during the time in question, and that no other departments would have responded to the reports. The Romanek saga is absolutely riddled with such inconsistencies.   

Alleged Police Corruption

Less than two weeks after Romanek was arrested on child porn charges, he showed up at a Loveland hospital claiming he'd been beaten up by police. I obtained a copy of the police report and investigations, resulting in my article, Police detective: Evidence not consistent of a fight in Romanek assault case.

Romanek after alleged assault
Loveland Police Det. Henry Stucky suspended the case due to a lack of suspect information and leads, concluding the physical evidence at the scene did not support Romanek's claims. Stucky cited several instances as well as information contained in reports composed by his colleagues as to why he drew his conclusion. The final report clearly suggested detectives were doubtful Romanek was actually assaulted and that they suspected the scene was staged.  

The Romaneks reacted to the collective chain of events by upping their ongoing claims Stan was targeted by government agents in order to discredit him and keep the lid on the ET situation. Allegations of harassment and hacked computers were frequent and standard fare, yet no conclusive proof of such claims has been produced to date, much less that illegal material was covertly placed on his computers as claimed. 

In what some would describe as a rather typical, convoluted attempt to deflect attention from the lack of actual evidence supporting Romanek's many fantastic claims, the actions of Loveland Police Det. Brian Koopman were specifically blamed for Stan's legal woes. Koopman, who was a key figure in the Romanek sexual exploitation of a child investigation, was later charged in an unrelated case with attempting to influence a public official. He was found not guilty.     

Romanek supporters continued to allege Koopman set up Stan. The theory is in contradiction to the fact Koopman and fellow officers investigated Romanek due to a tip initially received from Homeland Security, and, basically, the conspiracy narrative that Koopman was out to get Romanek doesn't make sense. It really wouldn't matter if it made sense if it was validated, but it's not, at least not at this point in time. It's just empty talk, like the entire Romanek saga to a large extent, save the discrepancies and inconsistencies being the only circumstances that can be confirmed. 

Ufology Indicted

None of the above means Stan Romanek is necessarily guilty of the charges. Far from it. He is entitled to due process.

What it does mean is, like it or not, ufology - and its community and culture - have been drug into that Colorado courtroom right along with Stan. And maybe they should be.

Should the UFO community not suffer the public relations consequences of celebrating what to more moderate members of society clearly appear to be disturbed individuals? If not the ufology event organizers and consumers, who, exactly, is responsible for putting people at podiums who fail to demonstrate abilities to follow and present rational lines of reasoning?

When vulnerable, non-consensual parties start getting hurt is often the point where authorities take notice of what's going on within fringe subcultures. No matter how the Romanek trial unfolds, the social issues will be on full display, and their relevance will remain regardless of the verdict. It will be completely apparent to the less indoctrinated that the UFO community, in its current incarnation, offers acceptance and normalcy to people intent on avoiding accountability for their statements and actions while averting from critical thinking. 

They also tend to avert from professional mental health services, and the consequences are staring us right in the face. Right there in Loveland. At the least as a reminder, if not a literal example.

There is no doubt we have a percentage of community members who suffer from untreated emotional trauma, a lingering effect of horrific events long since experienced. Those experiences just aren't likely to have been at the hands of alien perpetrators. How we, as a community, choose to deal with that reality is relevant. It's also going to trial. 
  
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See Relevant Web Links on Romanek Case for a list of significant articles and developments since Romanek's arrest. 

Follow Dana Rieck on Twitter and keep an eye on her employer, the Loveland Reporter-Herald, for coverage of the Stan Romanek trial [Edit: Dana Rieck no longer works for the Loveland Reporter-Herald as was the case when this post was published. She now reports for the Belleville News-Democrat of Southwestern Illinois].