Monday, April 25, 2016

Black Vault Obtains UFO Docs from NCIS

John Greenewald of The Black Vault recently received a positive response to his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for UFO records from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). The agency released three files, totaling some 60 pages of what Greenewald described as not the usual cache of UFO information. While the docs will indeed likely disappoint those hoping to find sensational and jaw-dropping revelations, I very much appreciate Greenewald's efforts due to my interest in the activities of NCIS. I will outline some reasons for that interest below, followed by a summary of info contained in the files obtained by The Black Vault.

Allegations of NCIS harassment) In the book Chameleo: A Strange but True Story of Invisible Spies, Heroin Addiction, and Homeland Security, author Robert Guffey leveled accusations that American citizens were harassed into cooperating with investigations by such means as the use of nonlethal weapons and torturous psychological warfare techniques. Guffey specifically named NCIS as a perpetrator of such harassment due to events surrounding an investigation led by Special Agent Lita A. Johnston. Guffey claimed that perceptions and conditions induced in the individual targeted by NCIS were similar to those commonly reported by UFO witnesses and alleged alien abductees. Points contained in the controversial book are certain to be argued and disputed, but I felt Guffey presented some thought provocative perspectives worthy of further consideration, as described in my review of his work.

NCIS activities were also called into question in the 2015 Hoffman Report, a 500-page document on national security interrogations and torture presented to the American Psychological Association (APA). It was compiled by David H. Hoffman, Esq., and colleagues at the law offices of Sydney Austin LLP. Hoffman is a former Inspector General, federal prosecutor, Assistant US Attorney and clerk of the Supreme Court. Among other points of interest, the report quoted an APA Ethics Committee liaison as describing interrogation techniques of psychologist Michael Gelles as "ethically very marginal." Acting on behalf of NCIS, Gelles screened a petty officer for hypnosis, whatever that might exactly mean.

Petty Officer Daniel King was subjected to grueling interrogations, sometimes for weeks at a time, incarcerated for over 500 days (1999-2001) and never formally charged with a crime. The specific objectives for the use of hypnosis were not clarified, but it is not difficult to envision its potential for employment as an aid in obtaining confessions and similar procedures, as evolved from such Cold War intelligence operations as Project Artichoke. I explored the reported actions of Gelles and related circumstances in more detail in my book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community, as well as the blog post, Hypnosis, the Intelligence Community and Ufology.  

Website traffic) Those who follow the topic of UFOs have long been intrigued by interest expressed by intelligence agencies in the UFO community. In more recent years, website traffic originating from IP addresses assigned to such agencies has been identified and considered. There are any number of reasonable explanations for such traffic, and I'm certainly not suggesting members of the Clandestine Services hope to find relevant information about ET on The UFO Trail. However, there are some circumstances which can reasonably be considered more curious than others, such as when traffic logs indicate multiple site views from different offices of the same agency within a concentrated time frame, or when a specific post receives such traffic, as compared to a single IP viewing the home page or conducting what might appear to be typical browsing. 

I therefore appreciate the FOIA efforts of such researchers as John Greenewald. I'm always hopeful documents released might shed more light on circumstances as mentioned above.  

Disturbed Veteran

A primary challenge in writing about fringe topics is that witnesses, by the very nature of the subject matter and often their own admissions, are typically traumatized. Sometimes extremely so. A built in obstacle is that the behavior exhibited and perceptions described are often virtually indistinguishable from symptoms of trauma, as well as various psychological conditions that would not only reasonably account for the witness testimonies, but be much more likely explanations. That might particularly be considered the case when evidence in support of the claims is in short supply. 

NCIS conducted an investigation in 2013 into extraordinary claims put forth by a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict. From page five of the pdf of the docs posted at The Black Vault:
On 05Sep13, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Resident Agency Camp Pendleton, CA was notified by [redacted] of harassment she was receiving by members of her command and the United States Government. [redacted] claimed upon her return from a deployment with the U.S. Army Delta Force in Afghanistan she became ill. [redacted] stated she was infected with a nano-partical [sic] which was provided to her via food, vaccines and through the air because she had knowledge of a friendly fire incident wherein a Soldier was killed in action. [redacted] stated after an illness caused from [redacted], she was returning home from work in Los Angeles, CA to Burbank, CA when she noticed she was being followed. [redacted] claimed she was being followed by a U.S. Drone or an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO). [redacted] claimed she obtained photographs of the drone/UFO; however did not have them present during the interview. [redacted] stated she turned to meditation to calm her of her ongoing illness and government tracking of her. [redacted] claimed during one of her meditations she exited her body and went into a spacecraft where she met with "Ashtar" who said they were looking for her. Further, [redacted] claimed an electro-magnetic pulse weapon was used on her legs and caused a burn to her.

The file went on to document erratic behavior demonstrated by the individual on various occasions, as well as a number of beliefs and suspicions held which could reasonably be considered disturbing. The file could serve as a grim reminder that investigators of topics such as alleged alien abduction and mind control have responsibilities to tread cautiously when compiling material. It should be considered important to differentiate between advocating a conclusion and reporting objectively, all while prioritizing the well-being of witnesses and those effected in the process. I think such issues warrant deep attention and discussion. 

In 2013, while considering such dynamics and how they related to the directions I might take my writing, I called on those who navigated these paths before me to share their experience. The result was a two-part post, Ethics of Exploring the Fringe, Part One: Sharon Weinberger and Nigel Watson on Responsible Reporting and Ethics of Exploring the Fringe, Part Two: Mark Pilkington on Deception Operations, Witness Claims and More.

Quadcopter Down

On a much lighter note, NCIS docs obtained by Greenewald indicated you would be wise to give a whole lot more thought to flying a drone around a Navy base than was the case with a couple guys who reportedly met through Craigslist. Several dozen pages were dedicated to the investigation, and I'll give you the meat and potatoes:

In 2014 some people, including gate guards, saw something or other flying around near a base in San Diego. By loose definition, a UFO.

Soon after, a base groundskeeper notified personnel he happened across what turned out to be a recreational drone apparently crashed just outside the gate. Understandably, base personnel take such situations seriously, and deployed a bomb squad while safely retrieving the downed drone. It was also tested for fingerprints. While one print was reportedly obtained, the drone was not deemed threatening.

About a week later, a woman, employed at the base, informed proper personnel that she knew two men who lost a drone during the time in question. NCIS soon paid them a visit.

The two guys met on Craigslist and were exchanging drone-related materials. The woman knew them because one of them lived with her a couple blocks from the base. He subsequently told NCIS the two men were test flying the drone when they lost control and it headed for the base. That's their story and they're stickin' to it.

One of the guys, reportedly employed at Shitty Red Trucks Flooring (page 42), stated they weren't trying to use the quadcopter for any wrongful purposes and he didn't know why it took so long to ask for it back. The other man stated he failed to speak up about the lost drone because of the grief it might stir up between the woman he lived with and her employer, the Navy, as well as between he and the woman.

NCIS essentially concluded no harm, no foul. I'm not sure the woman did the same. Maybe the moral of the story is if you live with a woman employed at a Navy base, don't invite a guy over from Craigslist who works at Shitty Red Trucks Flooring with a drone and fly it into the gate of the base.

Open Internet Search

Lastly, offered for your consideration is a file released which provides insight into why, at least sometimes, intel agencies visit UFO-related websites. In 2012 a couple of letters identified as suspicious were sent to Navy personnel stationed in Kings Bay, Georgia. NCIS was alerted and described the letters as rambling. While they apparently contained no specific threats, the letters were investigated further due to such circumstances as the manners they were written and business cards were enclosed. Page 14 of the pdf, a document titled Results of Open Internet Search, states:
On 19Sep12, Participating Agent (PA) [redacted] NCISRA Kings Bay, GA, conducted an open source internet search for the website, PA [redacted] reviewed the website, which was a blog by [redacted] The blog appeared to be focused on environmental issues, especially the presence of dams. [redacted]s blog, Infinity Project, appears to be used as a platform for him to voice his environmental concerns as well as writing about himself. [redacted] wrote in his blog that he is a regular drug user and writes of having hallucinations and having sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and contact with other life forms. Based on the writings of his blog, [redacted] sees the U.S. Navy as the "solution" to the "problem" of the country's dams stopping the natural flow of water.

I appreciate John Greenewald's efforts. Such files provide ever more insight into the workings and perspectives of the agencies involved as well as those they investigate. I feel it is part of the process of learning the right questions to ask.

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