Monday, May 8, 2017

Boyd Bushman, the FBI and Counterespionage

"[T]here didn't seem to be an official reason for the CIA to pay any attention to UFO research. Then, in 1990, Ron [Pandolfi] told me the official reason: the possibility of espionage. He said that in the 1970's, the CIA had obtained 'firm evidence' that the KGB had devised a plan to use US citizens, including UFOlogists, to penetrate the US defense program."
- Bruce Maccabee, PhD, The FBI-CIA-UFO Connection: The Hidden UFO Activities of USA Intelligence Agencies (p. 354)

In this post I'll explore how fantastic stories of alleged aliens might sometimes contain underlying relevant themes manipulated by the intelligence community while having nothing to do with extraterrestrials or UFOs.

Boyd Bushman

The late Boyd Bushman and a photo of suspect origin
In 2014 a video featuring an interview with the now deceased scientist Boyd Bushman made a bit of an internet splash. While the original vid has come and gone for whatever reasons, the gist of it is currently available on YouTube

Bushman can be seen sharing fantastic stories of alleged extraterrestrials, including photographs. The images were soon shown to be strikingly similar to plastic figurines available at Walmart, as documented at several websites. 

The then-elderly Bushman stated that during his career at Lockheed Martin he developed a network of contacts who exchanged stories (and obviously photos) about alleged activities at Area 51. The video contained Bushman's disjointed remarks about Chinese and Russian scientists collaborating with Americans, as well as statements about research conducted into anti-gravity technology. 

Bushman also stated, "The intelligent ones... and me believe that a great deal of information should be lifted up from those dark recesses of Area 51 and moved over so people can see it."

National Security Implications

Please understand when people holding security clearances start whispering around water coolers about classified information they think should be published, it tends to attract attention. More on that shortly, but first let's take a look courtesy of The Black Vault at an investigation launched by the FBI into the activities of Boyd Bushman. 

A 1999 FBI memo established Bushman was indeed employed at Lockheed Martin (LM). The man's claims of holding Top Secret clearance while working as a Senior Specialist were also verified. Please note, however, LM expressed concerns to the Bureau of what "may be an ongoing attempt to elicit LM proprietary or USG classified information" surrounding Bushman:  

The FBI appears to have assigned a Special Agent (SA) to address "intriguing questions" and determine the specifics of the situation:

Fax messages pertaining to FBI and Lockheed Martin investigations were included in one of two files released by the Bureau to The Black Vault. The faxes addressed concerns about the security of weapons projects and other classified information, as well as identities and interests of Bushman's international contacts. From a 1999 fax:

The FBI files on Bushman published at The Black Vault offer interesting insight into counterespionage investigation and I recommend reading them. Bushman is profiled as an intelligent yet impatient man, annoyed at what he seemed to feel were restrictions imposed upon him by his security clearance. Simply stated, he wanted to network. While the man does not appear to have intentionally violated any security obligations, he most certainly desired to discuss his work, ideas, and beliefs with others, throughout both his industry and the world - and he did.

Ufology Implications

The ways the UFO topic might become exploited as an espionage tool by the global intelligence community is among the least explored aspects of ufology. It is not surprising the dynamics are not well understood. Those interested in flying saucers and accompanying seemingly paranormal phenomena typically aren't concerned about counterintelligence protocols. Similarly - although from a different point of view - those with a skeptical eye tend to disengage once they feel confident a lack of ET presence has been established. Both demographics often fail to drill down through additional points of potential interest left in the wake of select reports. There may sometimes be much more to learn about a case than whether or not it has aliens or paranormal qualities.

In defense of the skeptical viewpoint, I interpret it to be generally agreed that conspiracy theories are minimized for reasons that include promoting a more accurate and healthy worldview. While this is understandable, an alternative valid argument can be made that a point comes in which suppressing considerations of deception operations becomes standing in denial of authentic declassified documents.

It has long been apparent the UFO topic attracts a number of people who hold security clearances in their employment at intelligence agencies and contractors. It shouldn't be difficult to envision the opportunities such interest provides adversaries to try to befriend the individuals and gain trust through the use of fabricated UFO-related stories, ultimately gaining access to classified info. The impact on the genre is potentially significant, and many cases can be cited which carry implications. 

Intelligence operations, counterintelligence operations, and their often present elements of deception are an entire area of specialized historical research. The cultural significance is well established and studied at length by scholars. It's time ufology integrated it into the genre, and more deeply explored how the overlapping of the intelligence and UFO communities impacts public perception of the topic.


I'll be discussing the above issues and much more this summer in Roswell. I'll be speaking at a conference taking place as part of the annual UFO festival and themed, 70 Years Later: Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. Please consider joining me.


Related posts:

NSA Interest in the Paranormal


Further Research Is Justified


  1. UFOs, except for a few brief periods in the past, have always been a sub-culture phenomenon. Now, they’ve become so “fringe”, they’re pretty much of no interest to anyone under the age of 40 who can’t make money hoaxing YouTube videos. The only people who might be taken in by these intelligence operations not targeted specifically to them are the dwindling number of fringe dwellers in Ufology (a dying species if ever there was one). Even Tom DeLonge has become a story only on a slow news day and he’s losing traction.

    The real social impact of UFOs is their role in the development of a conspiracy culture in the US. It's partly the outgrowth of Ufology’s long-held and loudly-trumpeted assertion (with not one whiff of verifiable proof) the government is lying to its citizens about alien visitation and covering it up (this belief predates Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, which also helped build America’s current conspiracy fire). It’s no accident that Ufology has become peopled by far right-wing conspiracy mongers. It’s a group where you will be welcomed and validated for your most outlandish and nonsensical suspicions and paranoia about the government. Ufology meet Alex Jones. Alex Jones meet Ufology.

    For me this conspiracy fallout comes under the heading of unintended, maybe advantageous(?), consequences of UFO-related intelligence activities (That is, if a paranoid America is an advantage to any foreign power. Given our nuclear arsenal, would it really be? And why would a government want to make its citizens universally suspicious of all its actions? That doesn’t make sense.).

    You’re correct, UFO skeptics would rather explain everything away as Venus, meteors, clouds, temperature inversions, migrating birds, etc. than explore the possibility that many UFO stories could well be the result of clandestine operations or classified aircraft. If there was a meteor shower that week, well, that must explain the UFO. Case closed.

  2. Is there any reason to regard Ron Pandolfi's talk of the KGB exploiting ufologists as genuine? He's associated with some imaginative people, and he might have picked up on this "evidence" in a remote viewing session or from someone like Bill Moore.

  3. Yet another Jonathan Pollard...

  4. In a bipolar world where humans biggest fear and paranoia is what the other side knows and is doing to advance its military superiority, an alien takeover would be greatly helped by the division and secrecy among humans.


  5. Skeptics: Can you explain the video released by the Chilean Navy of the unexplained UFO they captured on camera, flying at superhuman speeds? Why would the Navy come up with a fake video? It's not about the fear of the unknown, it's about knowing the truth.