Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Leah Haley Case: Tom Deuley, The Tampa Trib and MUFON Unaccountability

This is one in a series of posts on the Leah Haley Case.

In March, 1995, Leah Haley and Marc Davenport had a speaking engagement at the Tampa Unity Church in Tampa, Florida. The couple regularly shared the controversial views they held at the time on such matters as aliens, multiple dimensions and military abductions.

Kurt Loft of The Tampa Tribune-Times wrote a piece on the scheduled event. Loft's article, UFO Enthusiasts to Describe Out-of-This-World Adventures, was published in the March 5, 1995, edition of the newspaper.

Loft summarized the claims and perspectives of Haley and Davenport and sought statements from other applicable sources. Major David Thurston, identified by Loft as a spokesman for the Air Force in Washington, provided comment. He explained the Pentagon did not take such claims seriously.

Fair enough. I would certainly expect Thurston to have accurately represented the policies and stances of his employer.

Loft also sought comment from Tom Deuley of MUFON. Loft wrote:

The Pentagon scoffs at the accusations, said Maj. David Thurston, a spokesman for the Air Force in Washington.

"I don't want to dignify such charges with a comment," he said.  "I will say the Air Force isn't in the business of kidnapping the citizens of this country."

Nor does the Mutual UFO Network, which publishes the UFO Journal in Seguin, Texas, embrace Haley's abduction stories--either by aliens or the military.

"I would advise people to listen very closely to their lecture and apply some common sense to what they hear," said Tom Deuley of the Network, which has more than 5,200 members.  "We feel very embarrassed that UFOs are the vehicle for people making a living. When people tell such ridiculous stories, it doesn't help the serious scientific work being done."
Trouble was, the article and Deuley's statements were simply misrepresentations of actual MUFON actions and apparent policy.

Tom Deuley

Tom Deuley
Lieutenant Commander Thomas P. Deuley, US Navy, Retired, has an impressive resume and long history in ufology. One of his many bios circulating through the UFO community states he holds an engineering degree from Auburn and a degree in advertising from San Antonio College. He has a diverse background in military affairs including security and intelligence.  A former National Security Agency employee, Deuley has presented information to the UFO community on a variety of topics.

Deuley is a long time member of the MUFON board of directors. He also held key positions within additional UFO organizations and resulting projects, including the Fund for UFO Research, the UFO Research Coalition and the ill fated Ambient Monitoring Project, a program drawing substantial criticism, among other reasons, for its lack of transparency.

At the time, March 5, 1995, Loft suggested in The Tampa Trib, evidently based upon comments provided by Deuley, that neither MUFON nor its Journal embraced such abduction stories, little could have been further from correct. The facts of the matter were if we need any documentation MUFON has a long history of supporting such stories, we need look no farther than the very MUFON Journal suggested to oppose such claims.

In actuality, the 1995 February and April editions of the Journal carried a column written by then-MUFON director of abduction research, John Carpenter. The column, Abduction Notes, was regularly published in the Journal and clearly promoted and endorsed claims of abduction, both alien and military.

As a matter of fact, in February, 1995, Carpenter wrote that John Mack brought attention to the “reality of UFO abductions.” Carpenter went on in the same column to endorse Streiber's Communion and Hopkins' Intruders.

The April, 1995, installment of Abduction Notes published in the MUFON Journal saw Carpenter writing about the importance of providing professional support to alien abductees. Combined with Deuley's virtually simultaneous and particularly critical comments on such matters, the situation could reasonably be interpreted as an outrageously ironic contradiction in MUFON policy. Clearly, the MUFON stance was not entirely and accurately represented in The Trib.

Perhaps most insulting of all to Leah Haley, Deuley apparently failed to inform Loft it was Deuley's fellow MUFON director, John Carpenter, who originally personally assisted and encouraged Haley in forming and cultivating her ideas via hypnosis about aliens and military personnel in the first place. The article also failed to accurately portray the role MUFON director Donald Ware played in the situation. Ware participated in the Eglin expedition, a hike in which a US Air Force base was searched for the site of an allegedly downed alien craft Haley was once supposed to have been aboard. What's more, it was Ware who originally suggested they undertake the remarkable hike and search. The very organization in which Leah sought help, hesitantly yet trustfully following their paradigm-shifting concepts and suggestions that included a year of hypnotic regression sessions, threw her under the bus on the pages of The Tampa Tribune-Times.

More facts of the matter include Haley was not “making a living” at sharing her story as Deuley suggested. Far from it, actually.

In her book, Unlocking Alien Closets, pages 181-182, Haley addressed the Loft article. Among other points presented, she detailed her personal finances which clearly demonstrated her activities in the UFO community were severely detrimental - and by no means beneficial - to money matters. Haley further stated that to the best of her recollection, she never so much as met Tom Deuley.

I emailed Deuley to try to learn more. I informed him I write a UFO-related blog and I provided a link. I stated I am writing about the Leah Haley Case and asked if I may ask him some questions.

Two similar requests were sent to the MUFON email address of Robert Swiatek, another long time MUFON board member who has previously posted comment here at The UFO Trail. The emails to Swiatek were not answered.

Multiple emails were also sent to MUFON board member Marie Malzahn at two different email addresses on file here at The 'Trail. I requested permission to ask her some questions about current MUFON policy and no replies were received.

Deuley replied he would be glad to entertain questions but advised he did not recall much about the Haley case. He added maybe the questions would be reminders.

On January 9, 2012, I emailed Deuley a summary of the Loft article and situation as described above, as well as reference to the Carpenter Affair. I thanked him for his willingness to entertain questions and stated I would appreciate comments at his convenience.

I asked what he would say to people who might question the hypocrisy of him speaking on behalf of MUFON and criticizing Haley, when it was his very MUFON peer, Carpenter, who originally encouraged and promoted her then-beliefs. I asked, most importantly, how might he expect Leah Haley to feel about it.

I also requested Deuley state his stance on MUFON chapters continuing to promote and
conduct regressive hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool.
I requested Deuley explain, as a long time MUFON board member and considering the mission of the organization to conduct scientific research, how he feels about the MUFON tendencies to provide public platforms to such self-described researchers as the late Budd Hopkins and others who use hypnosis as a primary tool of investigation. I asked Deuley to clarify his stance on David Jacobs being recently provided a public platform at MUFON LA. I also requested Deuley state his stance on MUFON chapters continuing to promote and conduct regressive hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool.

I asked if he would please comment on his recollections of how the MUFON board of directors handled the Carpenter Affair. I inquired whether Deuley was pleased or dissatisfied with MUFON actions, and what he thought was most important about the entire series of events.

I referenced how former MUFON international director James Carrion was quite outspoken about his interpretations the intelligence community plays a significant role in ufology, including the manipulation of MUFON. I further referenced how Clifford Clift made comments to a similar effect, even if the two men imply one another were more part of the problem than not. I then asked Deuley if he thinks MUFON was ever, at any time either formerly or currently, covertly infiltrated by the intelligence community.

As of this post, I have received no further emails or responses from Tom Deuley.


To clarify, I do not oppose Deuley's implications ufology could use more critical thinking. Of course it could.

I take issue with MUFON board members holding conflicting perspectives while each claiming and/or implying to be acting on behalf of the organization, especially when it results in an individual, Haley, publicly criticized who was assured help and did as she was suggested. I also take issue with said board members being unaccountable for the behavior. I further take issue with members of the MUFON board of directors continuing to refuse to commit to a stance or even so much as address the issues, particularly concerning the use of hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool.

The latest MUFON international director, David "The Captain" MacDonald, cooperatively fielded some questions here at The UFO TrailWhile I appreciate his willingness to address issues, I find his comments concerning hypnosis unacceptable and indicative of a poorly informed UFO community.

Concerning MUFON providing platforms to individuals who use hypnosis as a primary investigative tool, Mr. MacDonald stated he has "no problem" with chapters hosting speakers making presentations on any "investigative procedure," including hypnosis. The problem with that, Mr. MacDonald, is the professional research community does not recognize hypnosis as an investigative procedure. This includes the academic/scientific community. The medical industry, which includes mental health professionals, does not recognize hypnosis as an investigative procedure, either. That is because, to overstate what should be the obvious yet remains chronically elusive, it is not an investigative procedure. 

None of that would be particularly significant if it were not for the facts the Mutual UFO Network is a nonprofit public charity and claims to be dedicated to the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity. It is not a private corporation or a hypnosis society. Neither is it dedicated to promoting inaccurate information subject to the best ticket draw and at the emotional sacrifice of those who approach it for advertised investigative and support services - even though it may appear that way much more often than not.

As we proceed with the exploration of the Leah Haley Case, let us please remember the key issues. Let us not be swayed by those who try to distract our attention from the most significant facts.

Leah Haley was hypnotized repeatedly throughout 1991 by a MUFON director, John Carpenter, inducing emotional upheaval and beliefs she was traumatically abducted again and again by a variety of alien and human perpetrators. She was guided by another MUFON director, Lieutenant Colonel Donald Ware, through an expedition of a US Air Force Base, supposedly searching for a site an alien craft was downed with her aboard and as suggested during one of the many hypnosis sessions. Her case file and the files of 139 other alleged abductees were released by Carpenter to Robert Bigelow and his military intelligence associates, as reportedly confirmed by Colonel John Alexander and cited in the previous post.

Those are facts. What the facts may indicate is open to interpretation and justifies further research. As I have stated all along, I do not claim to have conclusions.

Haley believes she somehow became involved in covert research operations. As I have written, Haley's case may, at worst, be indicative of covert psychological operations in which any number of people were manipulated and deceived. At best, Haley's story is the saga of a woman who sought the services of organizations and individuals claiming to provide quality, scientific investigation and healthy emotional support - and those organizations and individuals simply lied, be it out of ignorance, incompetence, deception or combinations thereof.

I would hope the UFO community would take note of such occurrences and be interested in improving its performance. Unfortunately, I have little reason to currently believe that is the case.

Haley's situation, extraordinary as it may seem, is actually not as unique as it may initially appear. It just happens to be relatively high profile. Think about it. 

There is the Emma Woods situation. There is the Carol Rainey films and information. Let us not forget there are no less than 139 others directly involved in the Carpenter Affair. I am personally and directly aware of individuals who contacted MUFON, a public nonprofit corporation purportedly dedicated to scientific research, for assistance in understanding their strange experiences and were abruptly referred to hypnotists. Some of these individuals have since decided the hypnosis sessions were unhelpful in identifying actuality, traumatic and quite harmful to their emotional well being and mental health.

I invite you to ask yourself if you will support and enable those who rationalize such circumstances, trying to dilute the significance of damage being inflicted. Accountability is in order - not excuses.


  1. Jack--

    Sorry I missed your MUFON e-letter to me. My own, non-MUFON opinion about Leah Haley (I forget her birthname, although you might have mentioned it in one of your previous blogs) is: Nice woman, but her tales are in toto too lurid for me to accept. I'll concede she might have had a genuine abduction at some point in her past, but what abductions truly are continues to elude me. --Rob Swiatek

  2. Hello Mr. Swiatek:

    Would you care to comment on current MUFON policy concerning the use of hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool? What do you think about MUFON LA offering David Jacobs a platform?

    As your time allows, I would also appreciate reading your interpretations of the manner the MUFON BoD handled the Carpenter Affair. Satisfied or disappointed, and why?

    Any other comments you might choose to provide on such actions and policies would be appreciated. Thank you.

  3. If I understand what Rob Swiatek has written in his above comment...Leah Haley is not the true, legal name of the individual? This is very disappointing.

    I agree with the ending of your essay, Jack - that "Accountability is in order - not excuses." Whether it's MUFON, independent investigators, the government (I would imagine this would entail several western governments, if you're considering the MILAB theory) *and* the individual experiencer! That means, in this case, Leah Haley. Her children's book encouraging "friendly" alien abductions is still being sold, so she's making money off of of her own apparent lies and deceptions.

    MILABs is intriguing and I think (as I'd stated in your former forum) that a black ops program (or a private industry program - ala Bob Bigelow types) might be piggy-backing onto experiencers (close encounters/abductees ect.) to glean some information - physical or otherwise. But, as the root cause for ufos and the abduction enigma, I think MILABs is unlikely. Abductions occur throughout the world in vastly different cultures, religions, ethnicities and political systems. And, it appears to have predated WW2. Just my opinion...

    ~ Susan

    1. Leah Ann Haley is the legal name of the individual. The woman legally changed her name as she became increasingly involved in ufology.

      Some type of anomalous phenomena may very well be at the core of alleged alien abduction, as you imply, Susan. I could not say for sure, but I am sure reports of abductions are in some cases the causative effects of a variety of circumstances, including the eventual encouragement of a sometimes unhealthily overenthusiastic UFO community. Such causative effects additionally include emotional trauma, inaccurate perceptions and, perhaps sometimes, involuntary involvement in covert psychological operations, the existence of which is a confirmed reality.

    2. Jack, Thankyou for clarifying the name issue!

      ~ Susan

    3. I believe that Leah Haley's children's' books were written during the time that she sincerely believed that she was an alien abductee, so they don't add up to deliberate misinformation, right? Her views on what was going on in her life have changed enormously since her first non-fiction books were written. Having gone through a very similar metamorphosis in my own view of my own missing time, I really feel for her. It's embarrassing as hell to have years of writing (mostly online posts, in my case) from a mistaken viewpoint out there for people to read now.

      LilyPat (posting as Anonymous due to a complete inability to puzzle out how to do so otherwise)

    4. Hi, LilyPat,

      Thank you for sharing your perspectives. Such a metamorphosis and the accompanying emotional turmoil indeed deserve their places among quite relevant topics.

      Show me someone who does not revise their stance as they gain wisdom and more information is revealed, and I will show you someone who is wrong. Major hurdles within ufology to such revisions include ego (as you suggested) and peer pressure, among others that do nothing to support actuality.

      Jeremy Vaeni of Paratopia recently addressed such issues (see Episode 167, Bravery Defined):

      Vaeni interviewed a woman who seemed to have a sincere interest in learning more about her possibly paranormal experiences, leading her to discover through professional medical evaluation that she suffered from a significant sleep disorder. The disorder no doubt accounted for at least some of her non-conventional perceptions.

      The woman provided interesting and relevant insight into how the medical diagnosis made her feel. She addressed identifying with the self-image of an experiencer, fears she was letting her friends down by revealing her medical condition and similar such subject matter that definitely deserves ongoing consideration.

    5. Hi LilyPat,

      First, I'd like very much to read what you use to post on your experiences and then the transition to what you think now. It's nothing to be embarrassed about when you think that we're all writing about a very marginal subject.

      I don't know Haley's mind or character, but I do know she has four books, including 'Ceto'( for children to accept 'aliens' intruding in their lives) for sale on Barnes&Noble and Amazon.

      Haley could, at the very least, add a review on both sites to her CETO book disavowing what she wrote for children. To the best of my knowledge she has not. And she's still making money off of it.

      I suspect Haley will just move from one "mistaken viewpoint" to another and another, thinking each new explanation is the 'cat's meow'. Her current thinking is that MILABS account for ALL abductions (and she's selling a book about that too). She can speak for herself, but doesn't have the right to speak for others experiencers, dismissing their opinions and interpretations.

      Some experiencers do change their beliefs or opinions on what they're personally going through. When I was a child right into my teenaged years I thought this was from "outer space" - the ETH. My late grandfather, when he was in his early teens in Turkey, thought the disc-shaped craft and the beings that floated out of it towards him and his friends were "cin"(Turkish word for djinn, even though he was an ethnic Armenian - they (Armenians) were taught to speak Turkish). His Armenian Orthodox priest, who he confided in, told my grandfather they were "ruhu"; what we in our English translation bible would refer to as "familiar spirits".

      For many years now, I've doubted the ETH. I think the identity of ufos and alien beings (as well as the high strangeness that 'haunts' an experiencer's life), might be closer to Keel and Vallee's Ultraterrestrials, as well as Ivan Sanderson and Mac Tonnies Cryptoterrestrials and Rosemary-Ellen Guiley's (along with the now disgraced Philip Imbrogno's) Djinn. Sort of an amalgam of their ideas.

      However, I won't dimiss the ETH outright and do consider there may be more than one type of 'alien'(we certainly hear/read of differing physical descriptions) thus making room for the ETH.

      The greater point is I'd never force my beliefs or interpretations upon others. I can only speak for myself and my own experiences and to a certain extent some family members experiences (and a friend's as well, as she doesn't mind).

      ~ Susan

    6. Hi Jack,

      I listened to the free portion of that Paratopia interview 'Bravery Defined'. Piglitshameful still believes she had paranormal experiences that are separate from her newly diagnosed sleep disorder. I don't have any particular p.o.v. or opinion on her.

      What I did notice, when I use to listen regularly to Paratopia podcasts was the next day some Paratopia regulars, who'd listened to the previous evening's podcasts would often write in the forum about experiences (overnight) that were identical or nearly identical to what was discussed on the podcast - whether a kundalini tune-up, spontaneous dancing, photos uploaded of needle marks(which looked like spider bites to me), astral traveling ect. The principle hosts would sometimes claim this with eachother too, as if it's all part of 'high stangeness' that is in an experiencer's life and somehow is interconnected with other experiencers.

      But, I think the power of suggestion combined with paranoia, can never be underestimated and likely accounted for much of what was discussed on podcasts and in writing.

      ~ Susan

  4. Jack--

    Since I'm not an authorized spokesman on behalf of MUFON, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on past or ongoing affairs. MUFON's policy re. the use of hypnosis in abduction research is set forth in its Field Investigator's Manual. --Rob Swiatek

    1. I realize you may very well not give a damn about any of this, Rob, but, all bullshit aside, I find it extremely difficult to believe you would not understand the issues of hypocrisy and unaccountability inherent to your most recent statements. This is particularly the case when we consider you so eagerly offered your "non-MUFON opinion," as you termed it, on Leah Haley.

      Perhaps at some point you might choose to share your "non-MUFON opinion" on the activities of David Jacobs and why any of it should be showcased by a purportedly scientific research organization. I would also be interested in reading your "non-MUFON opinion" on what you think about a supposed scientific research organization distributing an investigation-manual that even so much as has anything "set forth" in it about "the use of hypnosis in abduction research" in the first place.

  5. Jack--

    Wow, I wasn't expecting such an emotional outburst to my few words! Interesting... I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in an ultimately futile, nonconstructive debate with you, Jack.

    You asked about MUFON's policy on hypnosis, and I gave you the answer. Sorry it wasn't what you wanted to hear--I'm not about to paraphrase several pages of text for you. Make the effort to acquire or read a copy as your ignorance of the organization you're so freely castigating is profound. --Rob Swiatek

    1. MUFON is a church teetering on the precipice of becoming a cult.They support the use of hypnosis as a tool in research and they helped promote selling Menkin Helmets to children to prevent them from being "abducted."

      What's a Menkin Helmet? A modified tin-foil hat.
      See also:

      In a report to . . . MUFON, Menkin wrote:"My personal thanks to Jim Bouck of New York MUFON for presenting my helmet at a MUFON meeting last year. I wanted MUFON to help make the helmet available in kit form but nobody was interested. Perhaps if there is more demand I can get some interested MUFON members to help."

      Some MUFON members consider Menkin a galactic hero. It's a good thing they didn't sell the kits. But I'd appreciate it if MUFON confined itself to screwing up the lives of adults with its religious passion for alien-abduction and kept its paws off children.

      Given its judgement with regard to tin-foil hats, I'd suggest MUFON's considered opinion on hypnosis is apt to be just as deeply distorted by fanaticism and as horrendously uneducated.

      That, and their response to criticism seems to be to ask whether you're an alien-human hybrid or not.

      No witch hunt that.

  6. You may rationalize the hypocrisy and unaccountability any way you choose, Rob, and it will remain. The facts of the matter are MUFON personnel commonly openly discuss cases, witness data and even information shared in what should be the safety of support groups, yet balk and play the “inappropriate for me to comment” game when asked direct questions of substance, just as you have done here.

    You can attempt to blame it on me, anyone else or extenuating circumstances all you want, and the fact will remain you and the leaders of your organization, a nonprofit public charity, commonly refuse to be held accountable for what takes place within the corporation. The poor examples of responsible leadership, just as have been demonstrated right here through my recent interactions with members of the MUFON BoD, set the bar low throughout the organization and all levels follow suit.

    You can call it anything you want for board members to repeatedly refuse to address issues such as what they think about the promotion of Jacobs and the handling of the Carpenter Affair, but I will tell you again what your sidestepping actually is: bullshit. People have been hurt, some of them severely. When you or any of the rest of your peers are ready to seriously address the issues relevant to such people being hurt, and the measures you are actively taking to decrease the continuing damage, further comments are both welcomed and encouraged.