Monday, April 27, 2020

Be Good to Yourselves While Staying Home

Remember how in the movie Cast Away, the Tom Hanks character got so used to sleeping on the ground that, when he was rescued, he preferred it to a bed? That's an example of conditioned behavior. 

Once while I was on a Buddhist meditation retreat, the Sri Lankan monk leading the event explained he would rather sit in a lotus position than in a chair, even if he was watching television. He described how he found it uncomfortable to sit in a chair for long. He told us Westerners this to offer us an alternative point of view to our typical conditions of physical pain and emotional anxiety brought on by spending extended periods of time sitting on a meditation cushion. It's a matter of perspective.

My thoughts have turned lately to wondering about things like how long people can stay in their homes, venturing out only occasionally, before becoming agoraphobic to some extent, and no longer wanting to go out at all. We've all experienced implementing a "temporary" solution and found ourselves still wearing the "Band-Aid" years later. Temporary becomes permanent. You sleep in a cave on a deserted island long enough, you don't even want a bed anymore.

I've also been considering how a lot of our newfound lifestyles may affect our self-images. I used to do things I identified with, many of which I now have not done in weeks. 

At some point we begin asking ourselves how much we really even miss sports bars anymore. Or shooting pool. Or movie popcorn.

How long can you not participate in your career before you begin rethinking your career path? Social distancing, or quarantining, or whatever we each happen to be calling our degree of isolation, carries consequences. They can be good or bad or neutral, and, yes, they are matters of perspectives, but they are real, and there's no "going back" to before. Only going forward.

February and our old lives are gone. We can't return to that time or those moments. We never could return to the past, but our current state of affairs just makes it much more apparent than usual.

In all likelihood, most of us will drop a few bad habits and pick up a few new ones; cease doing some constructive things, yet initiate some new parts of a routine we find beneficial. We'll stop hanging out "here" and eventually start hanging out "there." Time and intention will tell.

And one more thing, perhaps the most important thing, to please consider, guys: Be good to yourselves. This is a time unlike the vast majority of us have ever experienced. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Maybe that big project isn't getting done that you thought you'd tackle during staying at home. Or maybe you still haven't done your damn taxes. Or maybe it's as simple as you're still looking at that mess on the other side of the room you won't clean up day after day. Or all of the above. And that has to be okay for now. 

Most of us got hit with dropping our life as we knew it, going home, and staying there. Hopefully that's the worst of it, but for many, it's not. Regardless, we all have various responsibilities to maintain and levels of stress to deal with.

Maybe the best you can do today is keep yourself safe and not infect others, and that's a pretty good thing to be doing. It's a pretty big project and deal in itself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


It's all fun 'n' games 'til real problems come along. 

The United States is far and away the global leader in number of annual reported UFO sightings and similar such phenomena. It could be debated whether my country has so many UFO researchers and organizations because we're such a hotbed of activity, or whether we have so much reported activity because so-called researchers and pop culture manufacture it, directly or indirectly. As a friend of mine used to say, "If you don't want to be abducted by aliens, move to France." 

To cut to the chase, many of our fellow UFO buffs throughout the world would be justified in asking if Americans tend to so frequently perceive brushes with aliens and Bigfoot for reasons that include we have enjoyed a relatively spoiled and entitled existence. In other words, when your nation is not being occupied by a hostile invader or food supplies are not cut off, you have the luxury to begin suspecting you're menaced or blessed by paranormal creatures.

This is not to necessarily suggest there is no unknown phenomena worthy of deeper investigation, or that people may not on occasion cross its path. Maybe they do.

However, a valid point can be made that many Americans have indeed enjoyed several decades of having the resources to travel to interesting places to attend UFO conferences and such. We then discuss the perils of government cover-ups and alien agendas with friends while dining in upscale restaurants. Perhaps while this has been taking place, we allowed real problems to gain traction, and the bill has come due. 

The UFO genre is obviously not the only aspect of American culture with leanings towards neglecting issues of higher priority. It is arguably an American characteristic that many believe our country is simply exempt from substantial epidemics and similar life-altering hardships. "It just doesn't happen here," many seem to continue to believe in the face of all evidence.

An attack on science and fact-based information has been underway, the likes of which would require the mention of disturbing regimes of years gone by to offer analogies of such propaganda and populism. The UFO genre most certainly has done more than its share of dismissing qualified experts and critical thinking in lieu of entertaining empty and unfounded claims, subsequently contributing to the 'stupidification' of America. This is often done by people claiming to be professional reporters and trustworthy experts.   

While much of the rest of the world has been rolling its collective eyes over the last three years at what us crazy Americans got ourselves into this time, teams of disease experts - experienced scientists - were dismantled. They would have really come in handy lately.

We also managed to turn our Department of Justice, a fundamental government branch designed to operate independently and uphold, you know, justice, into a counterproductive, partisan-led agency. Inspectors General, traditionally charged with conducting oversight, have been under partisan attack, as have heads of intelligence agencies. The consequences are many and broad, including but by no means limited to the appalling treatment of immigrants, travel bans, and human and civil rights movements lost decades of progress. Unless we all matter, none of us matter.

These are just some of the issues now at stake for Americans. We should each, as individuals, act responsibly on a daily basis, whether that means respecting social distancing recommendations to protect ourselves and communities, or working in potentially dangerous situations for the common good. Many people were suffering hardships even before the pandemic, so our abilities to isolate and take care of ourselves vary, depending on socioeconomic conditions and responsibilities. Stress levels are high and stand to get worse before things get better. This is as good a time as any to do something kind for someone or pad a few extra bucks on a tip for a service worker if you are able. 

Then, when the opportunity presents itself, we should vote, and vote responsibly. Each and every one of us. Please register and vote. Perhaps, at some point, we may then resume arguing about intergalactic travelers stalking the U.S. Navy.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Leah Haley, MUFON and NIDS

Following is from Chapter 13 of my 2015 book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community. I find reflecting on it now to be timely and interesting.

Pensacola Beach, a short distance from Eglin Air Force Base

Leah Haley and the 139
[T]his is not a 'witch hunt' or any kind of a personal anything against John Carpenter. This is about those 140 abductees that have been screwed and used by John and to insure that there is never a repeat performance. I hope that you can appreciate the importance of pursuing this as vigorously as is necessary.
This nasty business has now been confirmed by Bigelow himself, Walt Andrus, Dr. [John] Alexander of NIDS, and about seven of the abductees whose files were sold. This [is] no Mickey Mouse, “Ok now we all know about it so let's forget it because we're all human” kind of thing. This isn't about “cheating on the wife” or “pilfering office supplies from work,” John [Carpenter] has violated the trust, privacy, and right to anonymity of 140 abductees.
No good. That kind of bullsh*t has to stop, and stop now.
- John Velez to Budd Hopkins, UFO UpDates List

On a Saturday morning in March of 2011, I drove my Ford down the sunny streets of Pensacola, Florida. I located an address where I was expected in what turned out to be a neighborhood with an inviting appearance, and I came to a stop in front of a corner lot hosting a pleasant looking brick house. After double checking the address, I parked in the driveway, gathered some equipment and walked up a sidewalk shaded by oak trees to the front door. I considered how things are not always as they appear as I rang the bell at the seemingly typical home of a woman directly involved in a very not so typical chain of events that consistently created more questions than answers.

Leah Haley opened the door. We were soon in her den, seated across from one another discussing extremely questionable activities that had long plagued the UFO community.

Haley became a relatively high profile figure within ufology during the 1990's as an alleged alien abductee. I first contacted her in 2009 due to my growing interest in cases that seemingly overlapped with elements of the intelligence community. In addition to her possibly anomalous experiences, she reported numerous interactions with people who behaved in very questionable manners. She described how one such person directly claimed to have approached her on behalf of intelligence officials. Her story was filled with people appearing to have hidden agendas and conflicts of interest, whoever they worked for and whatever their motives may have been. She subsequently authored books on her experience in ufology, and by the time she and I began corresponding, Haley no longer believed extraterrestrials were involved in her story at all: Her research led her to conclude that human beings were conducting mind control-like experiments and operations, and that some of the people who were targeted, including her, had misinterpreted the circumstances as alien abduction.

I have come to confidently conclude Haley's saga included exploitation, manipulation and ulterior motives. That is the case regardless of what specific explanations may apply to the circumstances.

Sitting in her den that Saturday morning, we talked about her fragmented memories of a childhood UFO sighting in Alabama, and how years later the memories led her to seek assistance from the UFO community. We talked about how she became involved with ufology hypnotists, and how, after writing Budd Hopkins, he referred her to John Carpenter. It was subsequently during a 1991 trip to Missouri to meet with hypnotist Carpenter and his assistants that Haley explained how she was approached at the airport in Springfield by a stranger. The man suspiciously asked out of the blue if her travels had anything to do with her interest in extraterrestrials. That occurred long before she became outspoken on the subject of UFOs, and a minimal number of people should have known – or cared – she was in town to be hypnotized by Carpenter.


Haley and I talked about how she got involved from her former home in Mississippi with the UFO scene in Gulf Breeze, a community of substantial significance in ufology located near Pensacola. That, in turn, resulted in two now previous board members of the Mutual UFO Network accompanying her on a 13-mile hike across Eglin Air Force Base.

On September 24, 1992, Leah Haley, along with USAF Ret. Lt. Col. Donald Ware and USAF Ret. Col. Robert Reid, set out across the south end of Eglin, which borders the Gulf of Mexico. They hiked from Navarre east across the base to Fort Walton Beach in search of the site where an alien spacecraft had been allegedly downed by American military personnel – with her aboard. That fantastic notion, dubbed the beach incident, resulted from the hypnosis sessions conducted by Carpenter, yet another member of the MUFON Board of Directors at the time. Ware later acknowledged it was he who incredibly suggested they search the base shoreline for the crash site and undertake the puzzling expedition.

The sun sets on Pensacola
Haley and I talked about how, a few months prior to the hike with Ware and Reid, she interpreted herself to have received a telepathic message stating her alien abductors were from Sirius. She later discovered Sirius to be a star in the constellation Canis Major. In her 2003 book, Unlocking Alien Closets, pages 19-20, Haley documented experiencing what she interpreted as a second telepathic message the very next day, March 13, 1992, following the transmission referencing Sirius.

“My communicators told me to check out the beach incident; they indicated that it had occurred Thursday morning, August 4, 1988, on Navarre Beach,” Haley wrote.

She discovered Navarre Beach to be near Pensacola and border Eglin Air Force Base. The circumstances directly contributed to her further involvement with the Gulf Breeze UFO community, Donald Ware and the subsequent hike across Eglin.


At one point in our interactions I asked Leah if she was aware of Martti Koski. She responded she never heard of him. I inquired about Koski, a Finnish citizen who claimed to have been a victim of MKULTRA-type mind control experimentation while visiting Canada, because he reported hearing unexplained voices – that told him his abusers were from Sirius. His case was cited in Martin Cannon's 1990 work, The Controllers: A New Hypothesis of Alien Abduction.

“Koski, for example,” Cannon wrote, “was at one point told that the doctors afflicting him were actually 'aliens from Sirius.'"

Further food for thought includes a September, 1991, Flying Saucer Review submission, The Extraordinary Case of “Elizabeth Richmond”. Explored in the article were events surrounding the alleged UFO-related experiences of a woman assigned the pseudonym Elizabeth Richmond, who apparently resided in Pensacola. Her reported anomalies included telepathic contact involving a message about aliens from Sirius.

“During later meditation sessions there was apparently some telepathic contact,” the authors wrote. “Elizabeth was told that their home-planet belonged to the star Sirius...”

While I found such circumstances intriguing, my interest admittedly spiked when I noted this: The authors were Donald Ware and Robert Reid. I checked with Haley to make sure there was not some kind of mix up in which Ware and Reid were actually writing about her as “Elizabeth Richmond,” which, Leah confirmed, they indeed were not. She further indicated she was previously unaware of the article and its contents.

Were we to believe MUFON directors residing in Greater Pensacola knew at least two people during the early 1990's stating they interpreted themselves to have received telepathic messages claiming to have been transmitted by aliens from Sirius?

MUFON Contradictions

Whatever we are to make of the many curious circumstances that make up the Haley saga, they do not change the fact that a great deal of consideration could be given to the actions of people involved in the case, whatever those actions might indicate. At the least, issues of ethics and exploitation arise. That is the fact no matter how adamantly one may choose to argue the validity of Haley's conclusions about her experiences or one potential explanation or another.

As I blogged about the case, primarily between 2011 and 2013, I frequently observed people seeming to be either unable or unwilling to absorb and discuss the social significance of the chain of events and its implications to ufology as a whole. Interested parties often seemed unable to get past arguing about the legitimacy of alleged alien abduction or the feasibility of relatively recent mind control operations in order to meaningfully discuss what I interpreted to be issues that offered better opportunities for deeper, more focused study. At the least, Haley's case offered opportunities to identify details of specific incidents and the players involved. I'd go as far as to say, in hindsight, I confidently suspect a significant segment of the UFO community prefers to keep attention aimed at nebulous concepts, arguing about beliefs that can't be conclusively resolved, rather than drilling down through that which is actually available for closer examination.

Tom Deuley
A fourth MUFON board member, US Navy Ret. Lt. Commander Tom Deuley, questioned Haley's motives and judgment in statements published in the March 5, 1995, edition of The Tampa Tribune-Times. The engineer and former National Security Agency employee stated that MUFON did not embrace Haley's story of alien and military abductions when he was quoted for an article addressing her then-upcoming speaking engagement. “We feel very embarrassed” about “such ridiculous stories,” Deuley commented on behalf of MUFON, adding that “it doesn't help the serious scientific work being done.” Such statements might be considered an understandable public stance to express – if they had been accurate.

While throwing Haley under the bus, Deuley completely failed to disclose it was his own MUFON colleagues – fellow board members, no less – who played primary roles in shaping and encouraging her perceptions in the first place; perceptions cultivated via such means as hypnosis and a very peculiar field trip across an Air Force facility in search of the crash site of an alien spaceship. Deuley apparently failed to disclose extents of MUFON involvement with Haley while literally describing her statements as ridiculous. He represented the stance of the organization as rejecting such claims, when, in fact, a much more accurate description of the situation would have been that its board members were actively involved in manufacturing them.

Readers even vaguely familiar with the Mutual UFO Network should be well aware of its long established tendencies to embrace and promote such beliefs, contrary to what Deuley informed the newspaper reporter. As a matter of fact, in 1995, during the very time in which The Tampa Trib ran the story with Deuley's comments, the MUFON UFO Journal was regularly carrying a pro-alien abduction column authored by John Carpenter. Abduction Notes, as it was titled, clearly endorsed and promoted claims of abduction of both the alien and military variety. In a column published in the February, 1995, edition of the Journal, a matter of just days before the March 5 newspaper article went to press at The Tampa Trib, Carpenter specifically promoted “the reality of UFO abductions” while referencing such material as Whitley Strieber's Communion and Budd Hopkins' Intruders.

For Deuley to assert that MUFON attempted to discourage spreading such stories in favor of promoting “serious scientific work” was obviously, to put it kindly, incorrect. For the MUFON director to frame the events in such a manner while simultaneously omitting mention of board members' direct involvement and literal participation in Haley's story, which he described the organization as identifying as embarrassing and ridiculous, was, to put it politely, not an accurate representation of the circumstances. History would soon show us that Deuley's failure to provide The Tampa Trib with more accurate context of the circumstances was only a trailing indicator of what would prove to be much deeper and systemic MUFON problems directly related to transparency, protocols and ethics.

The Carpenter Affair

In 1995, hypnotist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and MUFON Director of Abduction Research John Carpenter was publishing columns in the MUFON UFO Journal. He was advocating quality services and compassionate treatment for alleged alien abductees, including what he described as the emergence of “a promising network of abduction support groups” led by “trustworthy individuals.” He would later state he was at that same point in time conducting what he attempted to justify as “data sharing” with controversial ufology philanthropist Robert Bigelow: Carpenter was supplying Bigelow and his associates at the now dissolved National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) information from and copies of case files of alleged abductees without their knowledge or consent.

John Carpenter
The circumstances would become known as the Carpenter Affair, and, according to documents and statements obtained from multiple sources which included Carpenter himself, copies of the case files of 140 alleged alien abductees were released. The files were shared without the informed consent of the individuals who were hypnosis subjects of Carpenter, and some had paid him for the sessions, including Leah Haley. Additional materials released apparently included audiotapes of hypnosis sessions.

Carpenter received a reported $14,000 from Robert Bigelow in exchange for the “data sharing.” He framed the compensation as reimbursements for his time and expenses, while others interpreted him to have sold case files.

“'[M]y data sharing was spread over three years around 1995,” Carpenter stated during a January, 2012, email exchange I conducted for a blog post at The UFO Trail.

“Other researchers were approached with the same proposal, and some of them may have shared data, too,” he added, but declined twice to elaborate further on the alleged involvement of other researchers.

Carpenter consistently defended his actions. He repeatedly described his hypnosis and alien abduction investigation activities as serious scientific research conducted with the best of intentions.

“It was an honor to have great minds study this important information, quietly, discreetly, and respectfully,” he wrote of the hypnotically induced narrations and their release to Bigelow and associates.

“If you were so confident your motives and intentions were honorable,” I asked during the 2012 email exchange, “why did you not ever just ask Leah if it would be okay to share her file with an interested party? After all, she was obviously an ambitious truth seeker, considering her activities and levels of commitment. Why didn't you just ask her?”

“She was already publicly sharing, speaking, and publishing more details of her case than I ever thought of sharing,” Carpenter replied, “and I wasn't sharing anything publicly - only discreetly and privately with scientists - that's what researchers do.”

Even if we were to entertain that statement – evasive and condescending as it may be - as a sincere description of Carpenter's interpretation of his actions in the case of Leah Haley, it doesn't explain his justification for bypassing informed consent in releasing the files of the other 139. They weren't all speaking publicly about details of their experiences and hypnosis sessions, were they? Furthermore, it's quite arguably beside the point from a number of perspectives, and suffice it to say Haley saw the situation substantially differently than Carpenter tried to rationalize it.

MUFON Complicity

In a two-page statement (see below) included in a 2001 complaint filed to the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, Haley explained how Carpenter originally presented himself as acting in the capacity of a mental health professional and repeatedly assured her that all information discussed would be kept confidential.

“Had I known that John [Carpenter] would sell my case files or disclose information he did not have permission to disclose, I would never have gone to him,” Haley wrote in the prepared statement.

What we can reasonably discern about the Carpenter Affair is that during the 1990's Carpenter supplied data to Bigelow and payment was made. The exchange was indeed discreet, as Carpenter described the circumstances, if not covert. It was not until investigator Gary Hart, acting on information provided to him by alleged abductees who told him of what they termed a file sale, picked up the trail in 1999 and more widely published the details. According to Hart, his tipsters were concerned about both the breach of confidential information as well as the MUFON willingness to enable the circumstances while failing to take corrective measures.

Hart took the role of principal reporter of the Carpenter Affair and in 2000 submitted a formal complaint to the Mutual UFO Network. The organization still took no apparent action. MUFON allowed Carpenter to remain in a leadership capacity and continued to encourage self-described abductees to seek his services.

Hart then filed a complaint in 2001 to the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, where Carpenter was licensed as a social worker. The agency enacted a five-year probation period on Carpenter's license. The action reportedly resulted from Hart's complaint. Carpenter vacated his position as MUFON Director of Abduction Research that same year, 2001, and the probation period was completed in 2006.

MUFON staple John Schuessler
I picked up the Carpenter Affair story while blogging about the Haley case. Gary Hart subsequently left comments about the saga at The UFO Trail, and I then contacted him for more information. The result was the 2013 blog post, The Carpenter Affair: For the Record, which contained several documents submitted and specific points addressed in the complaints filed to the Mutual UFO Network and the Missouri Division of Professional Registration.

Among the points of Hart's complaint I identified as most relevant was the apparent MUFON complicity in the chain of events. MUFON founding member and participant on the board of directors John Schuessler was simultaneously sitting on a NIDS advisory committee during the time in question, the 1990's. It became increasingly apparent that factions of the MUFON hierarchy not only attempted to cover up the Carpenter Affair, but had in all reasonable likelihood been aware of its circumstances all along. Larry Bryant, MUFON Director of Governmental Affairs at the time, expressed such concerns in a 2000 formal statement on the matter:

Since a cloud of alleged impropriety now hangs over the Executive Committee (of MUFON) for its having taken so long to act upon its months-long knowledge of the 'Carpenter Affair', I hereby call upon all members of the Executive Committee to resign forthwith from their Committee positions, from their membership on the MUFON Board of Directors, and from their MUFON general membership - all in the interest of helping restore the public's confidence in the purpose, operation, management, and integrity of this organization...
In addition, you Executive Committee members owe all of us in the entire field of UFO research not only a full, written explanation as to who on the MUFON Board originally knew of the 'Carpenter Affair' (and when they knew it) but also a published apology for their having embargoed or otherwise downplayed that knowledge at the expense of the rest of the Board. If we have a lesson to be learned from this debacle, how about this one: Enforced silence never can be the ally of truth!

Hart made it abundantly clear that, after submitting his complaint to MUFON, representatives for the organization expressed neither concern about the matter nor interest in pursuing it.

“Immediately after filing my MUFON complaint I was told in no uncertain terms that MUFON had no intention of taking the complaint seriously and actually doing an investigation, so I investigated the case further and made a proper report/complaint to the state licensing board,” Hart informed me in 2013.

He added, “Perhaps the most important point in all of this is that MUFON's ethics code was all for show. They had and apparently still have no intention of holding anyone, even a board member, to their code of ethics.”

Other key points contained in Gary Hart's investigation included implications of sexual relations commonly taking place between investigator/hypnotists and alleged alien abductees. Carpenter, for instance, reportedly married two of his former clients, one of which was a hypnosis subject represented in the 140 files released to Bigelow and his NIDS associates.

Hart reported in his complaint that Carpenter's activities rendered his body of research worthless due to the “exceptionally dysfunctional behavior” documented as having occurred between Carpenter and some of his abductee contacts. Given the circumstances, Hart continued, professional researchers could no longer determine what was truth or fiction within Carpenter's abductee accounts and conclusions. Hart's work further suggested such questionable activities were common among investigators of alleged alien abduction.

Conditions of the probation enforced upon Carpenter's license were specified in State Committee for Social Workers v. John S. Carpenter, a 2001 public document available on the website of the Missouri Division of Professional Registration. Stipulations included he submit to a psychosocial evaluation as part of a treatment program for an impaired professional. He was then required to inform the State Committee of any counseling or care recommendations that might result, as well as furnish progress reports on a quarterly basis. Carpenter was also required to provide the Committee with performance evaluations completed by his employer twice per year, among additional stipulations.

The Players

Robert Bigelow
Several attempts were made at various times to obtain comments on the Carpenter Affair from relevant parties. Multiple requests for permission to submit questions were sent to Robert Bigelow and his representatives. No responses were received.

John Carpenter was emailed in preparation for blog posts in 2012 and again in 2013, and he was willing to provide statements in each of the two circumstances. He maintained his lack of negligence and defended his actions, in spite of acknowledging he indeed provided Bigelow and associates with copies of the files and that payment was made. He consistently denied they were sold, however. In 2013 I requested he specifically comment on how he could deny the allegations he sold case files in the context of statements he wrote in a 1996 letter to Bigelow. A copy of the letter was included in Hart's complaint, and I provided Carpenter a copy when I requested comment.

“Personally, I want to thank you, Bob, for your assistance regarding the 140 cases I mailed to you. That helped pay some bills,” Carpenter wrote to Bigelow in the letter (see below).

“The remainder has been what we have been living on since last December at the rate of $600-$800 per month... What has really hurt this year – after I began copying and sending files – was the elimination of my bonus/incentive pay program at work.”

In response to request for comment on his remarks contained in the 1996 letter, Carpenter stated in an email received October 15, 2013, “I am now and always have been in complete possession of all original case files, approximately 140 in number. Mr. Bigelow paid me for my time, expense, and labor in making some copies that his elite science panel could review in order to understand the abduction phenomenon more fully.”

John Carpenter may describe his activities as he chooses, yet the fact will remain it is not difficult to understand why some people would interpret the circumstances as selling the case files and betraying the trust of the parties involved. An argument could also be made the specific purpose of the compensation is irrelevant as compared to the significance of the file release itself.

Part of a 1994 regional MUFON newsletter,
establishing Carpenter framed his hypnosis
activities as paid professional services,
a point later denied by his attorney


MUFON International Director from 2000 to 2006 and founding member John Schuessler was part of that “elite science panel” Carpenter referenced. Schuessler sat on the NIDS Scientific Advisory Board.

I emailed him on multiple occasions and requested permission to pose a few questions about the Carpenter Affair, clarifying that his comments were requested for inclusion in blog posts. No responses were received.

Former member of the MUFON Board of Directors Donald Ware and the organization parted ways, and Ware went on to direct the International UFO Congress from 1993 to 2010. He and I exchanged emails in preparation for my February, 2012, blog post, The Leah Haley Case: The Eglin Expedition.

Donald Ware
Ware explained that he suggested undertaking the hike across Eglin in 1992 based on the description of the alleged crash site, alluding to details which arose during a July, 1991, hypnotic regression session conducted by Carpenter with Haley.

“I told her there is about 100 miles of the sugary white sand along our coast,” Ware wrote, “but the most likely place for the military people to be there so soon would be the 13 miles of restricted Eglin AFB beach between Navarre and Ft. Walton Beach.”


In a July, 2000, email to the once popular listserv and website UFO UpDates List, John Velez indicated that Col. John Alexander and Robert Bigelow himself, along with some of the suspected abductees in question, were among those who had confirmed that “files were sold.” Career intelligence officer, non-lethal weapons expert and CIA consultant Col. Alexander was a staff member of NIDS at the time.

It was for such reasons that I emailed the colonel in the weeks preceding the 2012 Ozark UFO Conference, where Alexander was scheduled to speak, and requested permission to interview him at the event for a blog post to be published at The UFO Trail. In an email dated March 2, 2012, Col. Alexander responded that he “would be happy” to meet with me, and recommended I get with him at the conference to schedule a time. However, when I approached Alexander in person at the conference the next month, April, he declined to be interviewed due to what he described as my interests in conspiracies.

Since our interactions in 2012, I have emailed Col. Alexander and requested comment for blog posts on various occasions. Sometimes he offers direct statements and other times he is more vague.

In August of 2013 I emailed Alexander and informed him I was hoping he would provide comment on some issues surrounding the Carpenter Affair. I particularly asked what interests he may have had in the 140 files. I also asked if he would please explain, in his opinion, why his former employer, Robert Bigelow, desired to obtain the 140 files and, in effect, finance Carpenter's ongoing activities. Comment was requested on any knowledge he might have of other researchers offered similar agreements, as asserted by Carpenter.

Lastly, I cited James Carrion's January, 2011, allegation that Bigelow, during dealings with MUFON, moved funds on behalf of an undisclosed financial “sponsor” that Bigelow only revealed to John Schuessler, but not the rest of the MUFON board. I asked Col. Alexander if he could offer comment on Carrion's allegation, and if there was anything he might be at liberty to discuss concerning relationships between Bigelow corporations and intelligence agencies.

“You should ask Bigelow if you are interested in old affairs,” Alexander less than transparently emailed in response.

It is possible Alexander's aversion to discussing the Carpenter Affair and related issues, while ironically promoting himself as an intelligence insider both willing and able to explain behind the scenes ufology, may be due at least in part to nondisclosure agreements long reported to be conditions of dancing with Team
Bigelow. Following is an excerpt from an Associated Press article, Millionaire searches for UFOs on ranch in Utah, which references such agreements while exploring Bigelow's interests in the Skinwalker Ranch, published in the October 24, 1996, edition of the Eugene Register-Guard:

Officially, the research is being conducted by the National Institute for Discovery Science, which Bigelow formed last October. Among the scientists involved is John Alexander, former director of non-lethal weapons testing at Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico.
“Our approach is to do good, high-quality research using a standard scientific approach and do what we can to get hard data,” Alexander said from the institute's Las Vegas offices. “One of the missions of the institute is to make information widely available.”
Bigelow himself declined an interview. Alexander would not provide details of how or why the research is being conducted.
[Former owner of the property Terry] Sherman, now employed by Bigelow to maintain the ranch, said he can no longer discuss the activity because of a nondisclosure agreement Bigelow had him sign.

Along with the use of nondisclosure agreements, reports have circulated of Bigelow's direct involvement with intelligence agencies, in addition to his practice of employing their consultants such as Col. Alexander. An individual identifying himself as “Chip” in an interview published in September, 2012claimed to have been employed in security at the Skinwalker Ranch during approximately 2009. Chip indicated security clearances and nondisclosure agreements were prerequisites for employment at the facility, and alleged that he saw copies of a contract between Bigelow interests and the NSA during the time he worked at the ranch.

James Carrion, in his ongoing research, documented contradictions and inconsistencies put forth by NIDS. Carrion reported that individuals, including family members of the former Skinwalker Ranch owners, stated that accounts of supposed high strangeness related to the property were exaggerated or entirely misrepresented. Moreover, while serving as the MUFON International Director, Carrion and an accompanying scientist visited the ranch but were denied access. Carrion further reported that he was among the people interviewed for a background investigation on John Schuessler for a US government security clearance allegedly related to his consulting work for Robert Bigelow.

Elizabeth Chavez Carpenter is a former wife and hypnosis subject of John Carpenter, and her case file was among the 140 released. She contacted me in December, 2013, after reading my posts at The UFO Trail about the Carpenter Affair. Although I had not previously interacted with her directly, I was aware of Chavez Carpenter due to my research of the circumstances and correspondence with Gary Hart. She was among the sources who provided Hart with information contained in his formal complaints, and he described Chavez Carpenter as “truthful in my many talks with her.”

She and I subsequently corresponded, and I considered one of the more interesting aspects of her experience as one of the 140 to be that she actually had a copy of her case file eventually sent to her by standard mail. Chavez Carpenter explained that she contacted John Alexander after identifying him from the NIDS website as someone who could possibly be instrumental in returning her file and audiotapes. She and Alexander then exchanged emails, according to Chavez Carpenter, from May to October of 2000.

She described the colonel as polite in their interactions, adding that he at one point informed her that he would check on the tapes the next time he was at the NIDS offices. In one email from Alexander, she indicated, he asked her if she had yet received anything. In another, Alexander suggested that he had discovered the tapes were not at NIDS – whatever we might suspect that implied.

Chavez Carpenter received her case file in 2001, but knowing that NIDS kept a copy, she concluded. It came in an envelope with no return address, as she recalled.

“I sent three letters to Robert Bigelow requesting to have my case file back along with the audiotapes,” Chavez Carpenter explained. “I did receive the case file, minus the audiotapes.”

She was unsure of the specific chain of events that led to receiving the file in the mail. I asked, for instance, if she thought Alexander was instrumental, as she initially suspected he might be.

“As I look back and reflect on all this, I cannot really say.”

I asked Chavez Carpenter what she thought the reasons were that Robert Bigelow was willing to provide John Carpenter with cash and purchase copies of the case files and related materials.

“We may never know,” she replied.


[I]n early 2015 the British army announced the formation of the 77th Brigade, a unit of 1500 troops The Guardian dubbed “Facebook warriors.” The soldiers are charged with carrying out unconventional, “non-lethal warfare” and executing psychological operations through the use of social media. Israeli and US armies engage heavily in such operations, with the Israel Defense Forces reporting activity conducted in six languages on 30 platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

It would be difficult for me to believe the UFO community did not serve in some capacity in the research and development of such psyops, or, at the least, I would doubt the community was exempt from effects of the evolution of such projects. As a matter of fact, in his hard hitting 2015 piece on how the US intelligence community drove to dominate the world through information control, Why Google made the NSA, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed referenced ufology's favorite CIA consultant, Col. John Alexander. Specifically, the targeting of civilian populations for information war.

Addressing a 1989 US Navy brief authored by well-connected Pentagon official Richard O'Neill, Ahmed wrote, “That secret brief, which according to former senior US intelligence official John Alexander was read by the Pentagon’s top leadership, argued that information war must be targeted at: adversaries to convince them of their vulnerability; potential partners around the world so they accept 'the cause as just'; and finally, civilian populations and the political leadership so they believe that 'the cost' in blood and treasure is worth it.”

In the end, the best most of us can do is inventory the facts, carefully differentiating between what we can demonstrate to be true versus what we are told is true. We can then make an honest effort to see what kind of picture emerges when the facts stand on their own, absent unsubstantiated proclamations and stripped of colorful yet distracting costumes.

Leah Haley initially waded into the UFO community in search of credible information. People claimed they were qualified to provide it. Some 14 or more hypnosis sessions and a life altering change of belief systems was facilitated by the board of directors of a purported scientific research organization. Haley put on the brakes and summoned the courage to question the validity of the indoctrinated alien narrative. In her renewed efforts to separate fact from fiction, she found nothing to support an alien presence, yet repeatedly identified circumstances of human-instigated exploitation. She and others who have sought guidance from ufology hypnotists and similar self-described experts will deal with the adverse effects the rest of their lives.

I cannot conclusively say Leah Haley is a victim of covert mind control research as she suspects, but I can confidently say that she and her circumstances were exploited...

Either way, it was her involvement with the people of the UFO community who qualified themselves as able to be of assistance that directly led to the entire traumatic series of events, of which this chapter represents but a small sample. In a manner of speaking, she's right, one way or the other, as her interpretations of reality and memories of past experiences were definitely altered and manipulated. Relevant questions become how intentional was it, who was interested in studying it and for what purposes.

As for me, I'm pretty sure a lot of the excessive window dressing is hung by people bound by nondisclosure agreements and government security clearances which restrict them from discussing classified information. They're promoting hypnotic regression as a memory enhancer, and they are generally - and in some cases extremely - exploiting the public. They're spending decades as key personnel of nonprofit corporations funded by undisclosed sources and operating under false pretenses of prioritizing scientific study, while, in actuality, virtually constantly promoting an entirely unsubstantiated alien presence. If they can ever undress the facts they're disguising beneath multiple layers of elaborate costumes, evasive statements and unresolved contradictions, I'd be more than willing to adjust my assessment accordingly.

In the meantime, I call bullshit.