Tuesday, April 16, 2019

UFOs as Espionage Tools

The Boyd Bushman case offers examples of how intelligence agencies might investigate people involved in wild stories of alleged aliens and UFO technology. These stories may become tools used in intelligence and counterintelligence operations to gain the trust of people issued security clearances. Beliefs in an extraterrestrial presence may then be cultivated and exploited in an effort to obtain classified information. It's not hard to envision such scenarios might substantially disrupt the research process in ufology as well as the resulting beliefs in the public at large, even when that's not an objective of the operation. Writer and researcher Nick Redfern recently gave his take on the Bushman case.   

Submarine launch of an LM Trident missile
The late Boyd Bushman was issued a Top Secret security clearance in his role as a Senior Specialist at Lockheed Martin, a major American aerospace and defense company. He publicly discussed extreme ET-related beliefs, including describing networking with allegedly like-minded global associates. They supposedly shared his concerns that the U.S. government possessed smoking gun alien tech that should be open to the masses.

His employer, LM, apparently thought otherwise, and informed the FBI in the 1990's it was concerned Bushman was the subject of "an ongoing attempt to elicit LM proprietary or USG classified information." FBI records on Bushman, available at The Black Vault, indicate at least one of his associates was found to have "a history of allegations of misconduct, violations of security and classified information handling procedures, and suspicious contacts with foreign nationals." All of this involved a person "suspected of inappropriately releasing information."

From FBI files on Bushman

It's not difficult to theorize that at least some of Bushman's global contacts, people he described as sharing a mutual belief that government secrecy hampered the efforts of scientists to discuss alleged ET technology, may have had ulterior motives. There are several interesting cases of this nature in the winding history of ufology, and one of them involves the now deceased Vincente DePaula.

Vincente DePaula

It's first helpful to consider 1980's ufology to develop context of the DePaula case. The alien smoking gun was coming anytime and there were a lot of intel operatives jamming up the UFO conference circuit, or at least that's what a lot of people believed. The former obviously never came to pass, but the latter actually proved to have merit. All that's pretty much a lot more stories for another time, but the gist of the plot is there were a bunch of spooks and their assets in ufology, we just probably are wrong about the purposes much more often than not.  

Tensions were high, and, as is consistently the case in ufology, many interpret the presence of the intelligence community as confirmation of their beliefs. That's of course not necessarily true, if not quite often probably untrue. 

As still happens, people with opposing views were apt to accuse one another of spreading disinformation on behalf of intel agencies, whatever the actual reasons may have been for IC interest in the social circles. This is not to necessarily minimize the potential significance of the complex and tangled webs, as there were indeed people acting with unclear and obstructed agendas, as there continue to be around the UFO scene.

Bill Moore, Jaime Shandera and Stanton Friedman,
staples of the 1980's UFO community

Vincente DePaula was a Cuban immigrant employed in the defense industry, according to a now inactive website belonging to Ron Regehr. The two met and developed a friendship due to their work on classified material and their shared interest in UFOs. Both were active in the Mutual UFO Network, resulting in DePaula drawing the head of an alien at Regehr's request. The specific details behind the drawing are not entirely clear, but it apparently received some notoriety around the community. DePaula was eventually interrogated by the Defense Investigative Service (DIS) and, according to Regehr, DePaula stated the interrogations were related to the drawing.

Interrogations by DIS of Vincente DePaula,
according to Ron Regehr
DePaula indicated DIS wanted to know more about sources of information pertaining to the alien head. He apparently did not cooperate, which reportedly led to four interrogations during 1986, collectively spanning some 41 hours. One lasted for eight hours and another went on for 28 hours.

Some people seemed to think DePaula's ordeal was due to a DIS interest in tracking who knew about an alien presence and maintaining secrecy. It was also speculated that DePaula and his UFO associates suspected his work on classified satellite systems was part of a secret government effort to monitor UFO activity and alien abductions. Some even believed DePaula's lack of cooperation with DIS led to induced cancer and his untimely death. 

Perhaps another possible explanation for DIS interest in Vincente DePaula and his UFO social circles might involve something more along the lines of how the FBI seems to have undertaken an investigation into the associates of Boyd Bushman. It seems easy to envision, whether or not it applies to the DePaula case, that intelligence agencies would become concerned about the identities and motives of people who develop confidential relationships with individuals issued security clearances. That might particularly be the case when the nature of such relationships includes discussions directly related to their employment activities by way of the topic of alleged aliens.

I unsuccessfully attempted through the Freedom of Information Act to obtain records on the reported interrogations of Vincente DePaula. DIS was disbanded and absorbed into the Defense Security Service, which responded that no records currently exist and were probably discarded. Other agencies similarly reported no records available for release.   

4 comments:

  1. Hi Jack,

    Your post is intriguing but I have to disagree with some of your evidence.

    To start with, the FBI's findings clearly state that the worst thing Bushman did was mishandle some classified material. If they had reason to believe it was something more serious, they would have at least revoked his clearance and he would have been fired. That he retained his clearance and senior position at LM says something.

    That he had an association with someone with ties to Moscow, well....I would recommend looking him up on Youtube. There are at least three interviews he gave to regular members of the public on the topic of UFOs. As such, I'm not sure if there was necessarily anything serious about his association with that individual. I think the interviews show that he was just very approachable on the topic. You can tell he had a passion for it.

    I know Bruce Maccabee wrote that Ron Pandolfi had suspicions about government agents using UFO researchers to release the names of classified projects and this is plausible. But, in all of the Freedom of Information releases and open literature, there has never been mention of someone actually convicted of this. Furthermore, this information came from supposed members of Bill Moore's Aviary, so take it how you will.

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    1. Bushman was suspected of being targeted as a source of classified info, not suspected of espionage. I'd argue it's a likely possibility that some of the people sharing a fraudulent photo with him and encouraging the sharing of wild stories about ET tech (that dove tail with his employment activities) were acting in state-sponsored professional capacities, as compared to pulling pranks or UFO true believers. That could particularly be considered the case given the known backgrounds of some of Bushman's associates as the FBI files show.

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  2. This reminds me a little of The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. Whereas the program may have been earnestly conceived, it quickly became corrupted. The questions are who corrupted it, why did they corrupt it and when was it corrupted. Whereas Vincente Depaula seems to have acted honorably, the same cannot be said for Louis Elizondo. The fact that Elizondo resigned as head of the program and joined goofy Tom DeLonge as a paid employee is highly dubious. And Robert Bigelow's involvement? Even worse. Please. Chunks of alien metal? Riiight. Vincente Depaula comes across as the real deal, fighting the good fight. The AATIP crew come across as the greedy gang that couldn't shoot straight.

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    1. I think reviewing these cases is timely, yes.

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