Monday, August 25, 2014

Flying Saucers as CIA Distractions

Former HQ of the United Fruit Company,
a front for PBSUCCESS, a CIA operation
facilitating a coup in 1950's Guatemala
A declassified 1954 CIA memo indicates undercover operatives in Guatemala were instructed to consider creating a sensational UFO-related story as a tactic to divert attention from Agency intervention in political affairs. Public awareness of CIA interest in manipulating the Guatemalan government peaked after the Agency was outed via the publication of a cover-blowing white paper. Strategies were subsequently identified that would best accomplish successfully ridiculing critics of the Agency and de-emphasizing the related accusations. Such strategies involved creating a bigger public stir than was set off by the white paper, including the fabrication of a "big human interest story, like flying saucers" or similar sensational topics.

A 2003 article titled, The CIA's Cover Has Been Blown? Just Make Up Something About U.F.O.'s, was published in The New York Times. It provides a summary of the circumstances and an overview of related declassified documents. The US Department of State Office of the Historian offers a well cited transcript of the specific memo, which read in part:
3. De-emphasis:
A. Attempt obtain bigger play for recent stories of WSBURNT refugees than for paper.
C. If possible, fabricate big human interest story, like flying saucers, birth sextuplets in remote area to take play away.  
Author and aerospace historian Curtis Peebles commented on the implications during an appearance on the double disk edition of Mirage Men, a film created by Mark Pilkington and company. Mr. Peebles suggested the circumstances are relevant in that they provide clear documentation of covert interests on behalf of an intelligence agency in manipulating public perception of the UFO phenomenon. 

James Carrion addressed similar circumstances in his recently released book, The Rosetta Deception. The former intelligence analyst made a convincing argument via authenticated documents and similar sources that the "ghost rockets" of the 1940's were part of a well calculated deception operation. Motives likely included increasing global dislike of the Soviet Union while simultaneously spreading confusion among adversaries trying to analyze the many - yet often sketchy - reports.

Wherever one may stand on the UFO phenomenon and its subcategories, there seems to be no getting around the relevance of the intelligence community. It has been deeply involved since the beginning of the modern UFO era.   

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dr. John Mack and His Irrational Argument for Hypnosis

The video below was recently posted by Paul Kimball. It contains a couple or so minutes of footage shot by Mr. Kimball at a press conference conducted at the 2001 MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California. 

In the video, the late Dr. John Mack attempts to defend the use of hypnosis, or what he prefers to call a relaxation exercise, as a memory retrieval tool for alleged alien abductees. 


I find the doctor's lines of reasoning profoundly irrational. Shockingly so, as a matter of fact.

Arguing the validity of hypnosis, Mack offered an example he apparently felt would support his point. He explained that an alleged abductee recalled an alien-related experience in a quite different manner before hypnosis as compared to during hypnosis. Mack astonishingly seemed to view the discrepancy as evidence of the value of hypnosis in clarifying actuality, as opposed to calling the validity of the memories into question.

It went something like this:

Witness testimony: I met a very friendly alien.

Witness testimony under hypnosis: I met a very unfriendly alien.

Hypnotist: That is an excellent example of how hypnosis assists the client in discerning reality. 

I challenge the validity of such lines of reasoning. 

In the event one might wonder, yes, I have read Mack's material. I also attended one of his presentations during the 1990's. I was not surprised to find him well spoken and entertaining. His activities were of course greatly appreciated by proponents of alien abduction as a literal reality. 

His work was of interest to many at the time due to his credentials and status in the academic community. It seemed there might actually be something to the fantastic reports and witness testimonies - and there still may be. I'm not suggesting that everything from Mothman to Fatima necessarily hinges on Mack coming down with a case of mind freeze during a UFO con presser.

Nonetheless, I challenge the logic behind the example Dr. Mack presented. It is simply irrational.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Discussing the Carpenter Affair on Paranormal Waypoint

Jeff Ritzmann is the host of Paranormal Waypoint, a podcast that airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET on KGRA Radio. I accepted Jeff's invitation to be on the show this Tuesday, August 19, to discuss a chain of events that became known as the Carpenter Affair. I very much encourage readers to listen and develop understandings of the significance of the circumstances. I will provide some relevant links and points of reference below.

MUFON logo with its questionable mission statement
John Carpenter is a former MUFON director of abduction research. He is a social worker and hypnotist who supports the literal reality of alien abduction.

MUFON Orange County recently announced it will feature Carpenter as a speaker. A promotional email circulated by MUFON and received today implied Carpenter advocates scientific research. The email further suggested that Carpenter's experience in the field of researching alleged alien abduction entitles him to present his preferred beliefs. As a matter of fact, it was stated in the email that John Carpenter would present "proof supporting the reality of UFO abductions".

I dispute those claims. 

While serving as the MUFON director of abduction research, John Carpenter provided Robert Bigelow with copies of case files of some 140 possible alien abductees. This was done in exchange for cash and without the informed consent of the experiencers, some of whom had been his paying clients. Additionally, I was presented evidence during the course of researching the circumstances that Carpenter created and marketed tapes of regressive hypnosis sessions. The chain of events was dubbed the Carpenter Affair. 

Further research revealed, as one investigator stated, "Everyone does it," referring to both selling case file information and having sex with hypnosis subjects. In the circumstances of John Carpenter, the social worker married two former clients.

I assert that such research conditions are unscientific and encourage bias. Specifically, John Carpenter was financially motivated to persuade research subjects to narrate extraordinary experiences. I also assert that having sexual relations with research subjects creates dysfunctional dynamics to the point of calling the entire body of work into serious question.

Further dysfunction was perpetrated by the MUFON board of directors. In an incredibly questionable chain of events, Carpenter conducted hypnosis sessions with Leah Haley, inducing mental imagery which suggested she was aboard an alien spacecraft when it was downed by US military forces. Before it was over, this saga evolved to include two more MUFON directors, Donald Ware and Robert Reid, coordinating a hike with Haley across Eglin Air Force Base in search of the site of the downed spacecraft. Then, in 1995 a fourth MUFON director, Tom Deuley, told The Tampa Tribune-Times that MUFON did not embrace "such ridiculous stories" as Haley's, and that "it doesn't help the serious scientific work being done."

Trouble was, Deuley failed to inform The Trib that it was his very own fellow board members who played key roles in cultivating those stories. He also failed to mention that during the very time his remarks were published, the MUFON Journal was publishing an ongoing column written by Carpenter, in which Carpenter was proclaiming the reality of alien abduction.

I dispute on several grounds the integrity of such circumstances as well as the claims contained in the MUFON email promoting Carpenter's work. I dispute that the man's activities resulted in virtually any information worthy of serious consideration. I entirely and emphatically dispute that his research was scientific.

Perhaps what we really learn from his upcoming Orange County engagement is the depths proponents of literal alien abduction must stoop to try to impose so-called evidence upon us. If the topic is reduced to presenting the work of John Carpenter as "proof" of alien abduction, it is indeed a defeated state.

Perhaps much more important and telling is what the chain of events suggests about the concern - or lack thereof - for the welfare of research subjects. It would seem the genre has been reduced to encouraging regressive hypnosis, its inherent emotional trauma, and all with no crisis of conscience from what we have learned and the intentional omission of relevant information. 

Please tune in Tuesday the 19th at 9pm to KGRA. The chat room is highly recommended.

Related reading:

The Carpenter Affair: For the Record

The Leah Haley Case: John Carpenter 

The Leah Haley Case: The Eglin Expedition

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Psy Ops and Mind Control: Then, Now and the UFO Community

"It should still be classified – if nothing else, to keep information the division developed out of the hands of some nut."
- Dr. Andrew Cowan, former chief of Fort Detrick Special Operations Division, as quoted by Hank P. Albarelli Jr.

In a series of articles, blog posts and books spanning the last few years, researchers reported significant aspects of past and current psychological operations conducted by the US intelligence community. Author Hank Albarelli Jr., psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kaye and investigative journalist Jason Leopold reported on such topics as previously unknown aspects of efforts to control the human mind. They collectively covered the CIA use of drugs as tools of interrogation, events surrounding the violent death of Frank Olson and the manner the activities and duration of Project ARTICHOKE were intentionally misrepresented to the public for decades. During the course of their research, which included dozens of FOIA requests, it became increasingly clear these were not exclusively matters of distant yesteryear, but circumstances of which correlations could be directly drawn to ongoing and current events.

It was discovered by Kaye and Leopold in 2012 that detainees in the custody of the US military were currently being forced to take powerful drugs while incarcerated and during the course of interrogation. A white paper previously published by Physicians for Human Rights concluded that "possible human experimentation" was being conducted during such operations, and suggested a thorough investigation should be launched. Detainees were in some instances forced to submit to injections upon arrival at sites, sometimes without being informed of what they were taking, and in at least one circumstance a detainee was given an injection during an interrogation in a "deliberate ruse" in which he was told it was "truth serum".

Further research indicated the CIA had long played a deceptive shell game of moving activities from one project to another. This seemed to include changing the titles assigned to certain procedures to more politically acceptable terms when the expressions fell out of public and Congressional favor, while in actuality continuing to conduct virtually unrestricted operations.

Did this mean "mind control", which became "behavior modification", had eventually evolved to become the current buzz phrase, "enhanced interrogation techniques"? Was it all the evolution of the same general chain of research? And is it not a reasonable perspective that, by any other name, it all amounts to torture?

What might the work of such researchers as Albarelli, Kaye and Leopold indicate about the mysteries perennially explored on blogs such as this? And, ultimately, is the UFO angle a relatively insignificant aspect of the overall topic, at least as compared to the violations of human rights?

Consideration should indeed be given to the questions of ethics that are bound to arise when medical doctors and similar professionals become employed in the administration of torture and experimentation of involuntary research subjects. That may well be considered the primary issue. Even so, does it not remain apparent – and relevant, at least to the UFO community - that lines between the activities conducted by intelligence officers and UFO-researchers are subject to blurring?

In order to formulate answers to such questions, let us review some of the events that took place from the last several decades to present. Our review will include operations conducted by the IC, the work of some leading writer/researchers, and events of potential interest occurring within the UFO community.

Cries From the Past

Initial CIA efforts to perfect ways to manipulate and control human behavior included projects titled BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA, among others. Beginning in the late 1940's, the IC undertook experimenting with hypnosis, drugs and a wide variety of factors that might assist in achieving objectives such as creating Manchurian Candidate-type operatives and advancing interrogation techniques.

The late Senator Frank Church
of the Church Committee
Such projects and their exploitation of unwitting human subjects continued for some known 25 years. It was then, in the 1970's, that a series of Congressional hearings and the work of writer/researcher John Marks took place, bringing to light some of the details of the disturbing circumstances. The covert operations were ordered ceased by Congress.

A number of posts on this blog explored aspects of CIA mind control ventures and efforts to successfully create Manchurian Candidates. Posts can be located by using the search feature or browsing the 'Labels' section in the sidebar to the right.

Morse Allen is credited with being the CIA's first behavioral research czar. He was the project director for BLUEBIRD as well as ARTICHOKE. According to John Marks, in 1954 Allen coined the phrase "terminal experiments", or research resulting in the loss of human life, while proposing an operation to his superiors.

Allen attempted to persuade the Agency to carry out a scheme in which a research subject would be programmed to conduct a mission abroad, but then detained when the CIA would "tip" the friendly country that a suspected spy was in its midst. Allen reasoned this would afford the CIA the opportunity to observe firsthand how its programmed man would hold up under interrogation and torture that would presumably result in death. It was unclear if the operation was ever conducted.

Hank Albarelli and Dr. Jeffrey Kaye co-authored a 2010 truthout article titled, Cries From the Past: Torture's Ugly Echoes. The article contained a summary of Allen's activities, which included devising plans for the exploitation as research subjects of military personnel detained in brigs, as well as inmates at federal prisons. Facilities equipped with medical staff were considered to be particularly attractive options.

Albarelli and Kaye noted the influence of Nazis recruited during Operation Paperclip from the outset of such projects, explaining that Agency objectives included securing control over segments of society perceived to be weaker and less intelligent. It should be noted that Paperclip recruits were indeed established to have been among the original architects of CIA mind control operations.

"That the CIA's initial mind control activities show a close kinship with many prominent characters within the racist and anti-immigration eugenics movement is no coincidence," Albarelli and Kaye explained.

Cries From the Past also explained how Project ARTICHOKE included a series of experimental field assignments followed by dispatching specialized team members to locations throughout Europe and Asia. Some 257 specific assignments were reportedly carried out between 1954 and 1961. Albarelli and Kaye wrote:
A February 6, 1954 team report, delivered to CIA headquarters by "Diplomatic Courier," provides partial insight into one seemingly unique Artichoke field assignment in Europe. The report states: "These two subjects [foreign agents] are disposal problems, one because of his lack of ability to carry out a mission and the other because he cannot get along with the chief agent of the project. Both have extensive information concerning (other) assets and thus are security risks wherever they are disposed of. Anything that can be done in the Artichoke field to lessen the security risk will be helpful since the men must be disposed of even at maximum security risk. The urgency of consideration of this case is due to the fact that one of the men is already somewhat stir crazy and has tried to escape twice."
Another field report reads: "Subject was given a sedative suppository to increase his resistance to pain, this in order to intensify his ordeal midway through the planned session." Another reads in part: "This A [Artichoke] session involved four subjects all of whom present serious disposal problems after results are produced."
ARTICHOKE teams were also charged with conducting operations within the United States. Objectives included "contacting" certain aliens, or immigrants, by infiltrating targeted groups and setting up "sympathetic fake left-wing organizations" to attract members of demographics of interest. Attempts were made to indoctrinate individuals as "hypnotically controlled agents".

Allen Dulles, who served as
Director of Central Intelligence from 1953-1961
Researchers long thought ARTICHOKE to be a forerunner to the infamous MKULTRA. While that is accurate to a certain extent, it is apparently not entirely correct. If ARTICHOKE operations cited in Cries From the Past took place from 1954 to at least 1961, the project was running simultaneously with MKULTRA, not absorbed into it as widely accepted.

Moreover, Cries From the Past indicated that ARTICHOKE operated from 1954 until at least 1970. That would mean it continued many years after MKULTRA was initiated, running simultaneously and relatively independently of the now more widely known project.

Might such circumstances give us glimpses of insight into events in UFO Land such as those reported by Betty and Barney Hill, circa 1961? The Hills were of course an inter-racial couple involved in the civil rights movement and might indeed have landed on the radar of an agency setting up bogus left-wing organizations in attempts to lure persons of interest. Before considering that further, let us continue our review of the IC and what might be suggested by ARTICHOKE operating longer than was previously revealed.

Long Term Cover-Up of ARTICHOKE

Albarelli and Kaye reported in their 2010 article that members of the 1975 Ford administration conspired in an operation informally titled Dormouse to downplay and distract attention from ARTICHOKE. This apparently included releasing information related to MKULTRA due to a chain of events that included the Rockefeller Commission report and Church Committee hearings.

It was then, according to Albarelli and Kaye, that CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston, a man with direct experience in such circumstances as the investigation of the death of Frank Olson, informed Ford's chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld, and the chief assistant, Dick Cheney, that MKULTRA was far less problematic than ARTICHOKE. The perspective seemed to partially include the mentality that MKULTRA involved farming out operations to respected universities and similar otherwise credible contractors, while the blood of violence born of ARTICHOKE was solely on the hands of the Agency.

"Houston stressed that deliberate exposure of the MK/ULTRA program by essentially offering it to the press would serve to placate the brewing feeding frenzy over so-called mind control projects," Albarelli and Kaye wrote, "and would divert any investigative attempts into the multi-faceted Artichoke Project."

This writer recently emailed Albarelli and requested further clarification about sources and documents used to obtain such information. He promptly responded that the info resulted from FOIA requests spanning 15 years to the CIA and other government agencies. Much of the Dormouse information came from a Ford administration letter, he stated. The ARTICHOKE info, including the 1954 team report, was obtained from a CIA briefing book on the project and from lawsuit depositions. Albarelli added that some, if not all, of the docs were cited in the footnotes of his last two books.

Present Day Experimentation

Albarelli and Kaye are among the writer/researchers who point out that operations such as ARTICHOKE directly led to policies and procedures employed today in the intelligence community. What's more, they tell us, the involuntary human experimentation continues. They wrote:
CIA interest in exotic and abusive methods of detecting deception continues to the present day. In July 2003, the CIA, the Rand Corporation and the American Psychological Association conducted a series of workshops on detecting deception. One of these workshops considered the use of truth drugs ("pharmacological agents are known to affect apparent truth-telling behavior") and the use of sensory overloads. The workshop asked its classified participants, "How might we overload the system or overwhelm the senses and see how it affects deceptive behaviors?"

In a 2010 article titled, Obama Interrogation Official Linked to Mind Control Research, Kaye explored circumstances surrounding the workshop mentioned above. He noted how classified participants were invited to discuss techniques for experimentation and that information previously published about the workshop on the American Psychological Association website was removed, along with all references to the event.

Kaye co-authored a 2012 article with Jason Leopold titled, EXCLUSIVE: DoD Report Reveals Some Detainees Interrogated While Drugged, Others "Chemically Restrained"The two cited a 2009 inspector general's report they obtained through a FOIA request that took two years to complete.

Psychologist James Edgar Mitchell (R), architect of
interrogation methods now considered torture,
according to a 2014 article in The Tampa Tribune
The report probed alleged use of "mind altering drugs" during interrogations (to be clear: currently, not 60 years ago). Findings included circumstances of detainees forcibly drugged with powerful antipsychotic and other medications that could of course impair abilities to provide accurate information. In some circumstances, the CIA incredibly defended the actions as treatment for psychoses brought on by the interrogation procedures themselves, yet continued seemingly unabated. It was additionally learned that detainees were subjected to what were termed "chemical restraints" during what the writers interpreted to be psychological manipulation.

In an article published in April of this year, Dr. Kaye cited DoD directives to establish "control, dependency, compliance and cooperation" in detainees. July 24 it was reported in The Washington Post that a European court found Poland complicit in CIA torture and held the nation responsible for compensating victims. That is just one such ruling of many.

We have learned via declassified documents that ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA involved detaining persons of interest throughout the world. Individuals were then subjected to experiments and interrogations involving powerful drugs, extreme sensory deprivation, hypnosis and resulting trance states, among other trial by fire activities. Given recent official probes into exploitation of involuntary human research subjects - along with current IC doublespeak terminology and procedures involving global black sites, enhanced interrogation techniques and forced ingestion of drugs - it is not difficult to understand the correlations drawn between Cold War-era mind control operations and current events.

Developments in Washington

Perhaps the work of such journalists as Albarelli, Kaye and Leopold provide insights into circumstances often contemplated by the UFO community and those who describe themselves as Targeted Individuals. An item making the rounds in such circles was a 2006 Navy doc outlining research protocol involving human subjects.

It established the Secretary of the Navy as the approval authority for protocols involving "waivers for the requirement of informed consent". Additionally addressed were approval procedures for circumstances involving "severe or unusual intrusions, either physical or psychological, on human subjects (such as consciousness-altering drugs or mind-control techniques)", "prisoners", "potentially or inherently controversial topics" that might "attract significant media coverage or that might invite challenge by interest groups", and "classified human research".

Author Sharon Weinberger ambitiously tackled the mind control issue in her 2007 article, Mind Games. The WaPo piece contained an interview with Col. John "Mr. Non-Lethal" Alexander, who, among other statements of potential interest, declared he would argue the baby was thrown out with the bathwater when MKULTRA was axed. Weinberger wrote:
Alexander also is intrigued by the possibility of using electronic means to modify behavior. The dilemma of the war on terrorism, he notes, is that it never ends. So what do you do with enemies, such as those at Guantanamo: keep them there forever? That's impractical. Behavior modification could be an alternative, he says.
"Maybe I can fix you, or electronically neuter you, so it's safe to release you into society, so you won't come back and kill me," Alexander says. It's only a matter of time before technology allows that scenario to come true, he continues. "We're now getting to where we can do that." He pauses for a moment to take a bite of his sandwich. "Where does that fall in the ethics spectrum? That's a really tough question."

The colonel, who has long been a UFO Land attraction, stated during the interview that members of the national security community were once again expressing interest in mind control. He suggested that was particularly the case after 9/11 for a younger generation that wasn't around for MKULTRA.

"It's interesting, that it's coming back," Alexander told Weinberger.

Perhaps he was indeed referring, at least in part, to such operations as reported in recent years by Albarelli, Kaye and Leopold. But was there actually much more of an ongoing evolution of such research, as suggested in the similarities between ARTICHOKE and present day interrogation procedures?

Dennis Kucinich
During the early 1990's, future presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich experienced a UFO sighting while staying at the Graham, Washington, home of actress Shirley MacLaine. WaPo reported on the events in 2007, indicating Kucinich observed three objects that "he doesn't know what they were", emphasis theirs. MacLaine claimed he "heard directions in his mind", but, according to WaPo, Kucinich denied that to be the case.

Perhaps more importantly, career politician and lawmaker Kucinich proposed the Space Preservation Act of 2001. Whatever he may have thought about his 1990's UFO sighting or whatever intelligence he may have gathered in the mean time, his bill sought to ban space-based weapons. That included the "use of land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such persons or populations." The bill additionally proposed the banning of "exotic weapons systems such as high altitude ultra low frequency weapons systems".

The Space Preservation Act of 2001 was not passed. In order to consider how such circumstances may have developed, let us review some specific examples of covert CIA activity and how it ties in to UFO matters.

Frank Olson and Pont St. Esprit

Hank P. Albarelli Jr. is the author of the 2009 book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments. He summarized the work in a 2010 post at Voltaire Network

The Hotel Statler, later renamed
the Hotel Pennsylvania
and the site of Olson's death
Albarelli explained how he explored the mysterious 1953 death of Frank Olson, which many will recall resulted from a fall from a New York City hotel window and was officially ruled a suicide. The Olson family was unaware for many years that Frank, a biological warfare scientist, was involved in covert operations related to LSD and had been dosed without consent himself just a week earlier. The Olson family and the public learned more of the details as a result of the hearings and probes conducted in the 1970's. FOIA docs, among other sources, verify that Olson was deeply involved at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in the testing of aerosol methods of delivery of drugs and chemicals.

While researching such circumstances, Albarelli became increasingly suspicious that Olson may have been involved in yet another event that had been the focus of researchers and conspiracy theorists, the mystery of Pont St. Esprit. The French village experienced a mass outbreak of insanity in 1951. Nearly 500 people were effected, including five deaths and two suicides. Victims reportedly thrashed wildly about, experienced intense hallucinations and obviously suffered tremendously.

Possible explanations included ergot poisoning, which could have resulted from consuming bread with psychedelic mold. Researchers would eventually suspect the town was the target of some kind of psychological operation and weapons testing.

Undated White House doc considered
by Albarelli to be "the smoking gun"
The link to Olson, as Albarelli reported, included an undated White House document apparently provided to the Rockefeller Commission during its 1970's investigation of CIA abuses. Under a specific reference to Frank Olson, the doc contained the names of two French nationals employed covertly by the CIA, a direct mention of the "Pont St. Esprit incident", and reference to the Fort Detrick Special Operations Division, which conducted now infamous experiments on exploited enlisted men. 

Additional items of interest included declassified docs indicating the Special Operations Division, which Olson directed, planned and in some cases executed ops strikingly similar to what apparently occurred at Pont St. Esprit. In 1956, for example, the Division conducted experiments involving the aerosol spraying of chemicals through the exhaust pipe of a car driven around New York City. In 1952 and 1953, the CIA similarly released chemicals in the New York subway. See operations titled Big City and Mad Hatter for more information.

Another declassified doc studied by Albarelli contained a 1953 report composed by an unnamed CIA informant. A meeting is described between the informant and a Sandoz Chemical Company official whose name is redacted. The informant explained how the Sandoz official stated that some were aware the Pont St. Esprit "secret" did not involve bread at all. It was an experiment involving a man-made compound, the Sandoz man stated, and that he allegedly knew that to be the case because the French had occupied Sandoz laboratories for weeks conducting analysis. This writer has personally viewed a copy of the document, as it was included in the MKULTRA collection released by the CIA.

Numerous additional docs were cited by Albarelli in his 900-page book, including some that demonstrated CIA interests in pursuing the use of LSD as a weapon for use on mass populations. A 1954 scientific intelligence memorandum, for instance, addressed capabilities of "rendering whole groups of people, including military forces, indifferent to their surroundings and situations, interfering with planning and judgment, and even creating apprehension, uncontrollable confusion and terror". 

A very compelling case can indeed be made that Frank Olson and his Special Operations Division were involved in what some might describe as the unconscionable drugging of Pont St. Esprit. Some, possibly, including what may have become an intolerably guilt ridden Frank Olson.

Albarelli explained that in 2005, he and a former Baltimore Sun reporter by the name of Scott Shane made inquiries into why the CIA destroyed virtually all records of operations involving chemicals and aerosols conducted by the Fort Detrick Special Operations Division. The CIA explained that "people would not understand or misconstrue the reasons for many of the projects the Agency carried out". When Shane asked former top ranking Special Operations Division officer Dr. Andrew M. Cowan to address such projects, Cowan stated, "I just don't give interviews on that subject. It should still be classified – if nothing else, to keep information the division developed out of the hands of some nut."


Dr. Ewen Cameron was a prominent and well respected mid 20th century psychiatrist. He served as president of both the American and Canadian Psychiatric Associations, as well as director of the Allan Memorial Institute, the psychiatric treatment arm of McGill University. Cameron also incredibly shared Morse Allen's willingness to conduct terminal experiments.

It was in Montreal at the Rockefeller Foundation-initiated Allan Memorial Institute that Cameron exploited psychiatric patients in the pursuit of "psychic driving". MKULTRA Subproject 68 included efforts to erase and reprogram the personal conditioning of research subjects.

Methodologies included use of a wide variety of physically and mentally incapacitating drugs. "Patients" were strapped down and subjected to up to 16 hours per day of recorded looping suggestions and monotonous programming, often carrying relentlessly repeated negative messages.

Extreme sensory deprivation was also employed, which included confining subjects to boxes, sometimes weeks at a time. It was clearly understood by the CIA that such experiments would almost certainly cause irreparable damage. The Agency was informed so by its own consultant, brain surgeon Dr. Maitland Baldwin, who shared the willingness of Cameron and Allen to conduct terminal experiments. 

It took quite some time for the circumstances at McGill to begin to become more widely known and accepted as reality, and lawsuits eventually resulted. The DoD shelled out millions in compensation, and legal battles continued well into this century. 

An interesting aside of the Cameron saga involves its direct relation to a future writer on the topic of UFOs and alien abduction. In 1962, while Cameron remained employed at the facility, McGill brought on a young psychologist as a lecturer in the psych department, Dr. Don Donderi. According to his resume, Donderi rose through the ranks to eventually become a leader at McGill. He remained associated with the university for decades, including fielding questions and addressing issues about the events surrounding Cameron.

Donderi developed a relationship with the late pro-hypnosis and alien abduction icon Budd Hopkins. This included Donderi assigning much credibility to such aspects of Hopkins' work as the otherwise highly questionable circumstances surrounding "symbols" reportedly seen aboard alien craft and subsequently sketched by alleged abductees. Donderi authored the 2013 book, UFOs, ETS, and Alien Abductions: A Scientist Looks at the Evidence, which received very poor reviews by venues such as Magonia Blog, where it was considered to fall well short of providing readers with a scientific assessment as implied in the title.

The Hill Case

Betty and Barney Hill
During the 1950's and 1960's while ARTICHOKE teams were apparently scouring the countryside for left-wingers to reprogram, and psychiatric experts funded by MKULTRA were hard at work perfecting techniques to accomplish the reprogramming, a most curious chain of circumstances befell an inter-racial American couple following a visit to Montreal. It was in 1961 that Betty and Barney Hill stepped out of their home in New Hampshire and forever into the history of pop culture, the UFO community and conspiracy theory circles.

The story of the Hill alleged alien abduction is a complex affair. The gist of the matter is that African American Barney Hill and his Caucasian wife Betty perceived something extraordinary happened to them while driving home from Montreal. The event involved what the couple thought to be a UFO sighting and a significant amount of what came to be known as missing time, or short term amnesia.

Later, under hypnosis conducted by Boston psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Simon in apparent efforts to treat the couple for trauma, they recounted what they felt to be deeply buried memories of an alien abduction occurring during the missing time in question. The case drew a great deal of public interest and became known as the grandfather of alien abductions.

Coincidentally or otherwise, another highly respected psychologist, Dr. Martin Orne, was covertly conducting MKULTRA Subproject 84, the focus of which was hypnosis, in Boston, the same city where Simon held his practice. This is but one in a long list of curiosities that arguably deserve more attention, or, at the least, should not be entirely omitted from mention when considering potentially relevant aspects of the Hill case.

A declassified 1950 CIA memo offers a glimpse into the deceptive and manipulative mindsets of those who developed such projects as ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA. While considering a "candidate for indoctrination" - a professional man to be involved in regressive hypnosis-like work on behalf of the Agency - the memo read in part:
This man recently took training at [redacted] He has given up all connections with dianetics because we do not consider dianetics medically ethically [sic] but the technique of so called dianetic auditing is an interesting one in that the subject, lying on a couch with his eyes closed, is regressed in such a way as to relive incidents, either pleasant or unpleasant at various times in his life. This is accomplished, usually without medication, and is said to be non-hypnotic.
[Redacted] would like to be re-called to active duty in his rank. I feel sure that his personality is such that he would be adaptable to indoctrination. At present, he knows nothing of what might be desired of him. 
Intriguing as some of that may be, in recent months writer/researcher Nick Redfern made some interesting remarks about events that provide direct implications into the Hill case, as well as the IC manipulation of public perception of such topics as alien abduction. In order to tie some of this together, let us consider Redfern's comments about an author who published books on both the Pont St. Esprit tragedy and the Hill case, and, according to Nick, was well paid to frame events in manners that were advantageous to the Agency.

John G. Fuller

Commenting in January at The UFO Iconoclast(s) blog, Redfern indicated he believed the Hill case to be the result of MKULTRA. He went on to discuss circumstances related to writer John G. Fuller, author of The Interrupted Journey, which is about the Hill case, and The Day of St. Anthony's Fire, a book on the events of Pont St. Esprit.

"There are actually some very interesting threads involving Fuller and MKUltra," Redfern explained. "He actually met some of the CIA personnel involved, back in the late 1950s, and he wrote the book 'The Day of St. Anthony’s Fire,' all about the early 1950s Pont-Saint-Esprit, France affair, which was almost certainly a pre-MKUltra-type event."

Redfern continued:
But there is something to remember: one of the reasons why so many CIA botched events (or even successful events) have been uncovered is because the mainstream media has looked into them and uncovered the facts.
The problem is that mainstream media (with its finances and staff available to investigate in-depth) hardly ever do in-depth probing of the UFO issue, because it's not seen as worthwhile.
If the mainstream media gave the same persistence as that which was given to looking into Iran-Contra, WMD, Watergate etc, then we might actually find more of this MK/UFO angle surfacing.
That's the problem: the regular media is conditioned to think the UFO issue is bullshit. So, it steers away from it.
If the major funding and manpower that has been devoted to issues like those above was also applied to UFOs, the[y] might find something very interesting. But, they won't do it.
As for us, as a UFO community, we are limited in terms of time available and funding.
Plus, regardless of what people might think, there IS a MAJOR MKULtra-John Fuller link - Fuller being the man who wrote the Hill's story up in his "The Interrupted Journey."
Fuller's private notes show he was fascinated by MKUltra, LSD and the Pont-Saint-Esprit, France affair, and how people's minds could be transformed to see something fantastic - which was the absolute crux of Pont-Saint-Esprit.
Not many have looked into all this, but I have. And I have something coming out on all this in a few months, something which will present Fuller in a whole new light... And not a positive light. The man is going to come crashing down like a ton of bricks.

Redfern concluded, "Fuller was paid well to help nurture the imagery of 'alien abductions' via The Interrupted Journey. And I don't mean paid well by his publisher..."

That's a Wrap

Perhaps time will tell about matters related to the Hill case suggested by Nick Redfern. But what about his views on UFOs and the media? Are his points legitimate?

There is no doubt that solutions to mysteries often result from well rounded, functional efforts involving multiple disciplines and varied approaches. A related point could be argued that IC watchdog journalists may well be illuminating the paths to some of the answers sought by the UFO community, even if the journalists prioritize different issues.

It is the opinion of this writer that the UFO community has long collectively suffered from a lack of ability to accurately contextualize certain concepts and matters of historical record. That is of course a detriment.

Journalists are making valid points about similarities between Cold War operations such as ARTICHOKE and the current drugging and interrogation of detainees. An alarming number of detainees are being very questionably defined as persons of interest and should have never been incarcerated in the first place. Anticipate more lawsuits. The tactics between black ops of yesteryear and activities of today are indeed similar to the extents that one might question if, in some instances, interrogation may virtually not be taking place at all as compared to experimentation.

William Moore, an author in the
 UFO community who proclaimed
himself a disinformation agent
Relevant questions for the UFO community would include whether projects such as ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA resulted in any cases such as the Hills. If so, and given the seeming continuation of projects involving covert human experimentation, or at the least the apparent revival of such operations in response to "terrorism", the question might also be posed as to the extents some post-Cold War reports of high strangeness might have been attributable to Uncle Sam. Yet another relevant question the UFO community might ask would be why its leaders traditionally avert from such obvious considerations as inspired by the research of individuals such as Albarelli and Redfern. One might indeed question the sincerity and priorities of seemingly oblivious community leaders - or at least one should.

Journalists now report that the CIA spied on the very Congressional oversight committee charged with monitoring and assessing its activities. The circumstances were acknowledged by the Agency – after they were initially denied yet later proven. A member of the Michigan House of Representatives conceded he has no idea what goes on in the CIA.

Neither does the UFO community. The prevailing question is how relevant the circumstances would be if it did.