Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Stolen Imaginary Friends, Bigfoot Bears, & The Clinton Chronicles Redux

imaginary friend

  • With the recent passing of British comedian Rik Myall, you might have had nightmarish flashbacks to one of the most astoundingly awful films of recent decades: Drop Dead Fred. Or maybe you had fond flashbacks, because you were one of the people who cherished that movie. But did you know that the movie’s title character was stolen?
    Sometime in the late ’90s, I read the fantasy short story “Mr. Fiddlehead”, by Jonathan Carroll, in a 1990 collection of the year’s best fantasy and horror. In the story, a woman falls in love with her BFF’s imaginary childhood friend after he materializes as a carroty-haired, freckled, impish man. He appears only when the woman who created him is in emotional distress. He delights the two women with his practical jokes, childish sense of humour, and magical powers.
    I was appalled that Mr. Carroll had recycled the plot of a terrible movie.
    What I didn’t bother to notice at the time was that “Mr. Fiddlehead ” had already appeared in Carroll’s 1989 book A Child Across the Skytwo years before Drop Dead Fred was released. Somebody had recycled a plot, but it clearly wasn’t Carroll.
    The IMDB page for Drop Dead Fred credits one Elizabeth Livingston for the story. It is her only listed story credit. The script was written by Anthony Fingleton and Carlos Davis. Davis’s only other screenwriting credit is a TV children’s movie  from the early ’80s. What is he doing these days? Possibly working on the long-rumoured remake of Drop Dead Fred, his one and only big-screen effort.
    Are we dealing with out-and-out theft, or with the sort of “inspiration” that Yann Martel used to refashion Moacyr Scliar’s Max and the Cats into a slightly different (but infinitely more famous) story? That’s a judgment call. But I would absolutely love to hear Ms. Livingston, Mr. Fingleton, or Mr. Davis explain how their shitty movie somehow ended up with the central character from a story they didn’t create.
    UPDATE: After additional research, I have found that Elizabeth Livingston is a freelance writer/editor who was a book editor with Reader’s Digest for many years. She co-authored two children’s books.
    In a 1991 interview with Fantazia magazine (reproduced here), Rik Myall said of the screenwriters, “They’d been talking with a mutual friend, Elizabeth Livingston, who was writing a story based on her little daughter’s imaginary friend, Drop Dead Fred. They decided it would make a better film than series and approached me.”
    This doesn’t clear up the mystery, of course. It just establishes that Livingston was not simply the pseudonym of a writer who didn’t want to be connected to the movie.
  • Happy World UFO Day! International Business Times has a fun piece about a video hoax that involved both the secret space program and yet another alien corpse.
  • Two years after Melba Ketchum released the profoundly weird results of her Bigfoot DNA study, the group of UK researchers that was conducting a parallel study has announced its findings. Researchers at Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology, led by Bryan Sykes, have spent the past two years analyzing 30 hair samples suspected to be from Bigfoot, Almas, and the Yeti. The upshot? Not a single hair came from an unknown animal. Most were from bears. The rest came from horses, deer, wolves, raccoon, sheep, cows, a porcupine, a human, and a tapir. Curiously, a hair sample from the Himalayas turned out to be a match for a prehistoric polar bear.
  • Mother Jones has compiled one of the largest lists of Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories ever. We’ll be seeing lots of these in the run-up to the 2016 elections. One of the latest, crafted by a JFK researcher who loves boobies, is that Chelsea Clinton is actually Webster Hubbell’s daughter. Morrow also asserts that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist, and claims that a large number of U.S. presidents (including, um, Nixon) were secretly bisexual.
chelsea

Oh my glob, a morphing .gif. HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED?!

 

The Boy from La Noria

The Secrets of the Atacama Humanoid Human

As described in my last post, ufologist Dr. Steven Greer announced last summer that he had gained access to the tiny body then known as the Atacama Humanoid or the Atacama Alien, discovered around 2003 in the desert sands of Chile. It is a seemingly human skeleton with an elongated and peculiar skull, not much longer than a pencil, yet remarkably well-proportioned. Strangely, it has only ten ribs and what appears to be a tooth. Greer said that two top scientists – a geneticist and a foremost expert on skeletal abnormalities – were analyzing the creature, and promised the results would be made known to the world in the documentary Sirius. The film was screened earlier this week in Los Angeles, to wildly mixed reviews.

“In the end, no halfway intelligent person will be swayed by this film.” – Bad UFOs

“I got the feeling that it should be called Greer Movie instead of Sirius.” – Before It’s News

“The tag line for this film is…’It’s time you know’. To be honest you can keep it to yourselves. ” – Troll2Rocks

Did I say the reviews were mixed? Yeah, they weren’t. It was terrible. Everybody hated it. And yes, you read that correctly – a Troll 2 fan thinks Sirius is awful.

But we did get what Greer promised: The long-awaited findings of the two American scientists who analyzed the Atacama Humanoid. We now know they were Dr. Garry Nolan and Dr. Ralph Lachman. Nolan is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, and Lachman is a pediatric radiologist specializing in the study of skeletal dysplasia (“dwarfism”).
After studying DNA samples and images of the body for over half a year, what do these esteemed medical professionals have to say about it?

Welp, it’s not a monkey. Or an ape. Or an alien. Or a human-alien hybrid. It’s a six- to eight-year-old child that could fit in the palm of your palm. Think about that for a minute. If it’s not blowing your mind yet, think about it some more. I’ll wait.

The body is evidently not – as a I originally suspected – a Piltdown Man or a Nondescript, stitched or glued together from parts of different species for the amusement of some trickster. Greer’s team extracted a DNA sample from the body by surgically dissecting two of its ten ribs. These samples contained bone marrow material. DNA analysis conducted by Nolan (which is ongoing) shows the tiny being is a male human child, probably born to an indigenous Chilean woman. Though its age is difficult to estimate, Nolan guesses it was  born sometime in the last one hundred years. According to Nolan, “Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born.” You can read a preliminary summary of his and Lachman’s findings here.
Working with X-ray and CAT scan images, Lachman found that the skeleton’s bone density and epiphyseal plates were those of a small child, approximately six to eight years of age, rather than a foetus. As you’ll see, not everyone agrees with his conclusions.

Atacama Human

Bizarrely, Greer states early in the film that the body is extraterrestrial, only to be contradicted later on by his own experts, and his report on the skeleton contains weird references to Martian obelisks and DNA that is 10 billion years old. He still refers to the skeleton as humanoid, and plans to talk more about it at this year’s Mutual UFO Network symposium. If someone can figure out WTF Greer thinks he’s doing, let me know.

At this point, we know very little about the boy found in the desert. His body was unearthed by a treasure-hunter in the autumn of 2003. If the account of his discovery is accurate, it seems the boy was given a crude burial beside the Catholic church in the long-abandoned mining town of La Noria, in northern Chile’s Atacama desert. This is a desolate place, once home to one of Chile’s many saltpeter mining operations but now known only as a literal ghost town with a spectacularly creepy cemetery. Eschewing a coffin, someone had wrapped the body in a piece of white cloth, bound it with some purple ribbon, and interred it in a shallow grave near the church.

Was the child considered a demon? A curse? A portent of disaster? Stories of “monstrous” human infants, like the legendary Hull House devil baby that terrified Catholics in pre-WWI Chicago, continue to be told even today – so it seems quite likely that devout Catholics in a remote desert town would have been petrified (and perhaps mesmerized) by the birth of a baby that would make Tom Thumb look like a  giant. They may have kept the child’s existence a secret, out of shame and fear. It’s even possible the boy was never known to the world beyond his immediate family, or perhaps nuns entrusted with his care. To date, no contemporary reports of a tiny child born in Chile have surfaced. One has to wonder what his brief, astonishing life and untimely death were like. Was he baptized? Was he loved? Did the skull fracture observed by the doctors have something to do with his death? Did a weeping mother kneel beside his grave? As the last residents of La Noria drove away in the 1950s, did they gaze back through the swirls of dust at the little Catholic church and whisper a goodbye to the boy they had never known, but always heard about?

After his discovery in 2003, the “horrible dwarf extraterrestrial” was briefly spotlighted in Chile’s tabloid media. Thereafter, he was passed from hand to hand like a carnival sideshow exhibit, finally ending up in the possession of a Barcelona “exobiologist” named Ramón Navia-Osorio. He was treated much more like a collectible curiosity than a scientific specimen, but Navia-Osorio did persuade several scientists to render their opinions on the body. According to an article at the UFO site Open Minds, three physicians X-rayed it and determined it was a complete human skeleton, rather than an assemblage of parts. Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of legal and forensic medicine at Basque Country University and a specialist in forensic anthropology at Madrid’s Complutense University, declared the body to be that of a mummified human foetus, approximately fifteen weeks old.

Greer, on the other hand, decided he was an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity and commissioned Lachman and Nolan to examine him. If the boy had been considered merely a human oddity rather than a possible EBE, it is doubtful he would have regained any degree of attention. I certainly hope that once the alien nonsense fades away, other scientists will examine him and tell us much more about him. They should be able to resolve the disparities between Dr. Etxeberria’s report and the Lachman/Nolan findings.

I have only one thing to ask of you. Don’t think of the Atacama skeleton as just another alien hoax, or yet another black mark against Steven Greer, or the over-hyped hook for some goofy documentary. Think of him as the little boy from La Noria.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Steven Greer’s alien + lots of other fake dead aliens

srsly

On April 22, Amardeep Kaleka‘s documentary Sirius will premiere in L.A. Though the film is mostly about magical alien energy sources, like Thrive, the highlight will undoubtedly be the tiny alien body that Dr. Steven Greer has been studying for more than a year. (Update: You can read more about that here. )

Greer’s alien was discovered by a treasure-hunter back in 2003, in the ghost town of La Noria in Chile’s Atacama desert (interestingly, a place considered similar to the Martian surface). The dessicated little skeleton, which is no longer than a pen yet has perfect proportions, was found buried  in a ribbon-tied bit of cloth near La Noria’s Catholic church. It had well-formed teeth, nine ribs, and a strangely elongated skull. The tabloids in Chile joked about a “horrible dwarf extraterrestrial”, but no serious interest was shown in the “Atacama humanoid”. It changed hands a few times, eventually ending up in Spain.
That’s where it came to the attention of Dr. Greer, an American ufologist best-known for founding the Disclosure Project. He probably heard about the humanoid during the Exopolitical Symposium held near Barcelona in 2009 (he was a presenter). Last year, he announced that his Center for the Study of ET Intelligence had gained access to the body, and would need funding to carry out scientific tests. He released a single photo and an X-ray of the “humanoid”, failing to mention it had already been in the Chilean tabloid press nine years earlier. In late October, he announced the body had been examined by “experts” using X-rays and CT scans, but still wouldn’t release more photos or give the names of the scientists working with him. For a disclosure advocate, Greer doesn’t like to disclose much. He would only say that “one of the world’s top geneticists” was studying DNA samples from the alien, and the “world’s foremost authority on skeletal abnormalities” had pronounced the skeleton non-human.

Atacama Humanoid

The Atacama alien

Steven Greer has a – how shall I put this? – rather checkered history in the field of UFO studies. He has promised big things before, with no payoff:

  • Throughout the ’90s, he claimed the ability to summon and communicate with UFOs using lights, lasers, and mental telepathy.
  • In 2008, the Orion Project announced it was developing a free energy device. Delay after delay pushed its unveiling all the way to the spring of 2010, when the Orion Project declared the work could not continue until their funding needs were met (a mere $3 million or so). Greer repeatedly insisted the device was already functional, yet it has still not been revealed.
  • In 2009, he practically guaranteed that the Obama administration would give full disclosure about UFOs and ETs by the end of 2010. (video)

Greer claims the secrets of aliens, free energy, and antigravity spacecraft are being kept from the public by a massive conspiracy possibly known as PI-40, comprised of Freemasons, Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and…uh…Mormons. He says most of his associates, including Eugene Mallove, were murdered because they came too close to the truth about aliens – just like Marilyn Monroe and former CIA director William Colby. He also thinks the government has possessed the capability to induce cancer from a distance since the 1950s.

You would think the Atacama humanoid results would be big, big news in the world of ufology, but skepticism and disinterest remain high. I’m guessing this is partly because of Greer’s track record, partly because he won’t even release the names of these world-renowned scientists, and partly because we’ve been through all this before. Since the ’50s, we have been subjected to a veritable parade of alien fetuses, alien autopsies, alien skeletons and alien skulls – nearly all of which turned out to be terrestrial. Let’s take a quick look at some of the alien corpses of years past. Be warned that a few of the photos are kinda gross.

1953: Spaceman hit by a truck

georgia monkey

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a bald monkey.

Three young men in Georgia reported to police that they had struck what appeared to be a 2″-tall space creature with a pickup (the alien’s two companions had managed to escape in their flying saucer). A local vet confirmed the round-eyed, jug-eared being was no animal known to mankind, but Emory University anatomists who studied the body disagreed: The Georgia alien was a shaved Capuchin monkey with its tail removed. The three men confessed to staging the hoax to get into the local paper. Today, the spacemonkey is displayed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation museum. (read more at The Museum of Hoaxes)

1979: Puerto Rico’s baby Conehead

Puerto Rico Alien

Consume mass quantities.

As one version of the story goes, two teenage boys exploring a cave near Cerro Las Tetas stumbled upon a whole colony of aliens, and bludgeoned one of the creatures to death in their panic. The pickled alien was revealed to the world by ufologist Jorge Martin later that year. It was never subjected to thorough scientific examination, however, and its current whereabouts are unknown. Señor Martin has since moved on to other dead aliens that are definitely fake. (read more at the Forgetomori blog)

1995: American alien autopsy

alien autopsy

His name was Bob.

Supposedly a film of doctors conducting a peculiar autopsy on an alien killed in the Roswell crash of 1947, the film turned out to be precisely what it looks like: A hoax utilizing rubber aliens, animal parts, and raspberry jam. The owner of the footage confessed to fakery, but stubbornly insists it was a “recreation” of genuine Roswell autopsy footage that is too damaged to be shown.

1996: Dr. Reed’s alien, AKA the Screaming Alien or the Microwave Burrito Alien

Burrito Alien

Protip: Fake aliens always look more real if you stick ’em on a space blanket.

You could probably compose several novels, an entire History Channel series, and an opera out of the hilariously dumb saga that is the “Dr. Reed” hoax, in which a Seattle psychologist enthralled Coast to Coast AM listeners with his tale of encountering a landed triangular spacecraft in the Cascades, watching a very fast alien vaporize his dog, then capturing the alien and stuffing it into his freezer. The alien wasn’t quite dead yet, however, and let out a horrifying shriek when Reed opened the freezer. Reed claimed the body was stolen by government agents who continued to stalk and menace him (though they somehow forgot to confiscate his photos of the UFO and the frozen alien).
“Dr. Jonathan Reed” was soon exposed as Seattle gas station attendant John Rutter. Incredibly, Rutter still insists his alien story is essentially true, and has made many fantastical additions to it over the years, including the discovery of an alien bracelet that either allows him to teleport (skip to the 7:00 mark) or just sit on a couch in a Mexican TV studio. (read more at UFO Watchdog)

1999: The Starchild skull

starchild skull

In 1999, American novelist Lloyd Pye purchased what is probably the skull of a hydrocephalic child. But he’s pretty damn sure it’s an alien-human hybrid, and won’t stop talking about it.

2005: Yugoslavian alien autopsy

Yugoslav alien

I prefer them medium rare.

Basically the same as the American autopsy footage, this film was said to have been taken in the former Yugoslavia in 1966. In photos sent to UFO Casebook by one “Ivan Kremer”, doctors are shown examining the charred corpse of an alien, supposedly recovered from a crashed UFO in the village of Otocek. Italian skeptic Andrea Zoboli later took credit for the hoax, citing the American alien autopsy as his inspiration.

2006: alien in a jar

attic alien

Antiques Roadshow estimate: $3.50

During renovation of a cottage in Gunthorp, workers found a jar containing what appeared to be (and was) a realistic alien model made from clay. Who put the alien model in Barney Broom’s attic, and why, remains a mystery. (read more at the BBC)

2008: Russian alien autopsy

Russian alien autopsy

Might be Joan Rivers. Somebody check.

The makers of this film were quite innovative. They opted for colour instead of black and white, chose a small alien dummy rather than a child-sized dummy, and zoomed in on the alien instead of standing ten feet away. The film even includes footage of Russian soldiers surrounding a crashed UFO that looks about as real as Tara Reid’s breasts. B for effort, guys.
This is not to be confused with a  “KGB” film that shows unmasked doctors hovering over random bits and pieces of an alien (judging by the hair on the lady doctor, this one was shot in the ’80s or early ’90s).

2011: Siberian alien and Russian refrigerator alien

Siberia alien

finger lickin’ good

The Siberian alien was probably the biggest dead alien story to hit the news since the American autopsy. Media outlets around the world carried stories of the cell phone video shot and posted to YouTube by anonymous teens, showing a pitifully one-legged alien entity sprawled in the snow. The Kremlin actually launched an investigation, and within hours an “alien” made out of old bread and chicken skin was found in the home of one of the kids in the video. Two boys confessed to creating it.
A few months later, Marta Yegorovnam of Petrozavodsk produced photos of a plastic-wrapped alien corpse she had been storing in her fridge for two years. It looked somewhat like the lovechild of Jabba the Hut and Kermit the Frog. Sadly, no one ever had the chance to examine Ms. Yegorovnam’s disgusting leftovers, because she surrendered them to the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy disclaimed any knowledge of the fridge alien. (read more at the Daily Mail, which was one of the few mainstream media outlets to bother with this)

Russian fridge alien

C’mon, lady.
At least put it in the crisper.

Date unknown: Roswell alien that looks suspiciously like the masks from the movie Brazil

roswell alien  brazil

Hoaxes From Space: Lingering Questions About the Philadelphia Experiment and the Montauk Project


Continued from Hoaxes From Space: The Montauk Project

Is there any chance the Philadelphia Experiment really happened, and that a lot of dumb-a** hoaxes have become attached to it?

Not really. Given the amount of time and money that the military-industrial complex devoted (and still devotes) to nature’s version of invisibility – plain ol‘ camouflage – they haven’t been able to make big stuff literally disappear yet. They’re working on small-scale invisibility with groovy metamaterials, though.
The only eyewitnesses to the supposed disappearance of the USS Eldridge are lifelong pranksters and hoaxsters fascinated with UFOs, alternative energy, and mind control.
There is one tantalizing possibility concerning the experiment, but I’m sorry to say it still doesn’t involve a disappearing ship. In the early ’40s, some of the greatest names in American sci-fi literature were serving in or working for the Navy, and were stationed at the Naval Air Experimental Station at the Philadelphia Navy Yard: Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague DeCamp, and Robert Heinlein (as a civilian engineer). L. Ron Hubbard was also there for a time, before heading off to California to do other stuff. It’s tempting to speculate that some of these guys were chatting about their fiction one day, and were overheard by a young merchant marine sailor with a penchant for tall tales, one Carl Allen…
But as for anything really happening? Naval records, as well as the recollections of sailors known to have actually served on the Eldridge, show that it never even docked in Philly during WWII. No one has identified even one of the sailors who went insane and ended up in mental institutions. No record of the Cameron brothers and their sinister father exist. And Aleister Crowley never mentioned anything about meeting Preston Nichols, a traveler from the future.

If it was all such an obvious hoax, why is the story still believable to so many people?

First of all, it’s a pretty good story. It’s spooky, it’s science-fictiony, and it’s a hell of a lot more intriguing than Bigfoot poop. Secondly, the Navy’s initial interest in the story lent it a great deal of credibility – even though the officers who commissioned the Varo Edition were merely acting on their personal fascination with flying saucers. Then several mass market paperbacks lent the tale some more credibility. Thirdly, while nearly everyone has heard of the Philly Experiment, who knows the name of Carl Allen, an obscure Pennsylvania drifter and prankster? As Swift put it, “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after.”
I’m happy to report that the truth is finally putting on its pants, though. The History Channel program History’s Mysteries did a show on the Philly Experiment, and included the full background of Carl Allen and his hoaxes.

Who is this Al Bielek, anyway?

The funniest, saddest aspect of the entire Philly Experiment/Montauk Project hoax is that Bielek, Duncan Cameron, Preston Nichols, and their cohorts have already told us exactly who they are and everything we need to know to realize they’re full of sh**. Cameron freely admits he’s way too young to have been aboard the Eldridge during WWII, and explains that away with a very complex and retarded story about the government using alien technology to capture and store his soul until it could be implanted into his own younger brother.
Bielek admits he was working a day job in California for the duration of the Montauk Project. Lucky for him he had special access to every commuter’s wet dream, a secret high-speed underground magnetic levitation train! But as with Bob Lazar moonlighting as a photo developer while reverse-engineering extraterrestrial craft, I have to wonder why the hell the government didn’t just make Bielek quit his job in Cali, transplant to the East Coast, and take another mundane cover job closer to the Montauk facility. That would have cut down his commute, which was still two hours cross-country.
Some of Bielek’s real history can be found at a site called Bielek Debunked, but be aware that the creator believes the Philly Experiment really happened – Bielek just wasn’t involved in it, in his opinion.

I suspect that Bielek and Nichols hooked up through their involvement in the Psychotronics Association, shared their fascination with all things fringy, and decided to create a personalized sci-fi mythos that could get them some attention, some cash (Nichols’ three books on Montauk, co-authored with Peter Moon, are still in print and available at just about every New Age bookstore), and of course some cheap entertainment. What did they have to lose?

Is there any evidence that mind control and/or time travel experiments were secretly conducted at Camp Hero (Montauk) after it was shut down in 1981?

Aside from the “eyewitness testimony” of Preston Nichols, Stewart Swerdlow, and a few other men, no.

After serving its purpose as a coastal bulwark and a nuclear-detection facility throughout WWII and most of the Cold War, The Montauk Air Force Station was considered borderline obsolete and was shut down. Spy radar had replaced its SAGE radar. By the time it was supposedly serving as headquarters of the Montauk Project, Camp Hero’s old radar system had been disabled and the area was a state park.
Even if you found Preston Nichols’ stories of Drano-chugging lizard men believable, the fact that he represents them as repressed memories is problematic. Sure, the military could use some of its cool alien technology to wipe his memory banks, but how did he recover those memories such a short time later?
Swerdlow now makes his living giving workshops on how to overcome and combat mind control.

Is time travel even possible?

Technically, surprisingly, yes. Check out Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Impossible. Or watch Lost: The mechanism that transports islanders to Tunisia in the blink of an eye probably creates a wormhole through space/time, as the island has both a sufficiently enormous electromagnetic force and a natural Casimir Effect, which generates the exotic matter needed to stabilize a wormhole.

How about age-regression technology?

I sometimes doubt that age-regression technology of the kind described by Bielek will ever be perfected, but then I look at Sarah Brightman and reconsider.

Pants Afire Awards

The Pants Afire Award goes to the least credible people I’ve written about here on Swallowing the Camel.
And the lucky winners are…

Benjamin Fulford, saving the world with Freemasonic ninjas

Larry Sinclair – Obama’s gay lover and his murder allegations

James Frey – Bad writer, no Pulitzer!

Sylvia Browne, the whiskey-throated emodiment of epic FAIL

Dr. Deagle – taking WTF to whole new levels

Al Bielek – He survived the Philadelphia Experiment only to be zapped back to infancy. Never trust the government, folks.

Casey Anthony – Whether she’s guilty of killing her daughter or not, this girl has got to be one of the least competent liars in the history of lying.

Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski – He became the world’s most infamous Mafia hitman without actually working for the Mafia or being a hitman.

Hoaxes From Space: The Montauk Project

Continued from The Philadelphia Experiment Part II: Along Came Bielek

Meet Me in Montauk

When Al Bielek was recruited into the Montauk Project (then called the Phoenix Project) in the ’50s, it had just been transferred from the Navy to the Air Force and divided into two separate, but loosely connected, programs: Electromagnetic mind control experiments, and time travel experiments. A third, unofficial, program consisted of basically cooking human guinea pigs with radar beams of 100 million watts. A few planes were accidentally shot down during these experiments, so in the ’70s air traffic was restricted over the Montauk base.

Bielek and Duncan Cameron were both aware of the murders of test subjects, but at the time they did nothing to stop them or alert the public to what was happening at Montauk. Just one of the many flaws in their story. To be true heroes (or even just whistleblowers), they would’ve had to tell these horrifying tales decades earlier than they actually did. The way they tell it, it seems like they were every bit as evil as they would like us to believe John Von Neumann and the military officers in charge of the project were.

The civilian head of the project was still John von Neumann, who faked his death in 1957. Bielek claims he is the “Dr. Reinhard” in Moore and Berlitz’s book about the Philly Experiment. He was in charge of the Phoenix Project until 1977, when a split personality he’d developed became a problem. A Dr. Herman C. Unterman took over. Von Neumann’s alter ego, Howard E. Decker, moved to New York and became a surplus electronics dealer.

The Montauk Boys

In the ’70s, Bielek was put in charge of the young men and boys involved in the Montauk Project, directing all the operations of the mind control program during his evening shift. During the day, he conducted ELF research in Los Angeles. In the early ’80s, he gave presentations on his work at the annual conferences of the U.S. Psychotronics Association, and claims he shared research results with William Bice, the “first person to detect the Russian Woodpecker signal“. (As this signal was picked up by amateur radio operators in numerous locations, I seriously doubt that anyone knows who noticed it first.)

It’s worth noting that ELF research was very popular among mentally disturbed, science-minded conspiracy theorists in the ’70s. Among them were Philip K. Dick and Ira Einhorn, who still insists the FBI framed him for the murder of his girlfriend because he knew too much about psychotronic mind control – even though the woman’s putrefying, reeking corpse was found in his bedroom closet after body fluids leaked into the apartment below his.

The Montauk Boys, as the Montauk test subjects are called by Bielek and company, were brought in beginning in the ’60s and housed in a bunker on the base. Most of these boys were blonde and blue-eyed, ranging in age from 10 to 16. Most were street kids or foster children. All were physically, sexually, and emotionally brutalized, to break them down for mental reconditioning (why anyone would publicly claim to be part of a project like this, I do not understand). Using alien technology, the scientists then eradicated the boys’ thoughts and memories and replaced them with “new”, fully indoctrinated minds. Just what they were reconditioned to do is unclear. Some of the boys were also subjected to genetic experiments.

Preston Nichols and Duncan Cameron have explained that part of the Montauk Boys’ new psyches were somehow copied from Duncan’s, so they had to be genetically similar to him (blonde and blue-eyed) in order for the process to work. This makes about as much sense as saying that a wall clock has to look like a grandfather clock in order to keep the correct time.

To date, only one of the Montauk Boys has come forward to discuss the torture and mind control carried out at Montauk, and that man is Stewart Swerdlow. Preston Nichols has claimed to have deprogrammed several survivors, but none of them have publicly discussed the project under their real names. Today, Swerdlow conducts workshops and seminars on the history of covert government mind control.

The Cameron Boys

Throughout the ’70s and most of the ’80s, Duncan Cameron and Al Bielek worked together at Montauk without realizing they had once been half-brothers, or that they had taken part in the Philadelphia Experiment (though Bielek admitted to a fascination with it). Bielek had no inkling that he had been age-regressed and adopted; Cameron had no clue that he was the reincarnation of his own dead brother, also named Duncan, born in Germany in 1917. Cameron says that in 1963, his soul was transplanted into the body it now occupies (which belonged to a child born to his parents in 1951). This “explains” why he is technically far too young to have served on the Eldridge during WWII. I wonder what happened to the soul of the child Duncan Cameron? That part hasn’t been explained. Not that the explanation would make much sense.

The Camerons’ father, Alexander Cameron, came out of retirement after WWII to participate in Project Paperclip (smuggling Nazis into the U.S. and South American countries). Peter Moon (real name Vince Barbarick), who wrote three books about Montauk with Preston Nichols, draws links between Dr. Mengele’s genetic experiments and the Montauk Project. It’s very interesting to note that Peter Moon also co-wrote Ong’s Hat: The Beginning with Joseph Matheny.

Alexander also had some role in training the crew of the Eldridge for the Philly Experiment. He was selected to instruct 33 volunteers at the Coast Guard Academy in Groton, Connecticut. As the story goes, most of these men disappeared, burst into flames, or were driven insane by the experiment.

Bielek possesses a photo that supposedly shows “his” father standing on the deck of the ship with some sailors, the only physical proof he has ever presented in support of his stories. But even Duncan Cameron seems to doubt whether this is really his father. At any rate, in 1939 Alexander pressured his two sons, Edward (born to a mistress in 1916 ) and Duncan (born to Alexander’s wife in 1917), into joining the Navy and becoming part of Project Rainbow. They had the perfect qualifications. Duncan had a physics degree from the University of Edinburgh, and Edward had a Masters from Princeton and a doctorate from Harvard. As with Bob Lazar, the government apparently scrubbed their academic backgrounds, because there is no record of the Cameron brothers at any of these schools.

The Cameron brothers’ first Navy assignment, in early 1940, was to observe the Project Rainbow operations at the Institute for Advanced Study and explain them to Navy and government officials who couldn’t possibly understand them. For most of 1941, they served at sea on the Pennsylvania. On December 5th, they were returning to Pearl Harbor from a short furlough when they were summoned to see Admiral Hal Bowen, chief of the Office of Naval Engineering. He informed them that Pearl Harbor would soon be attacked by Japan, so they were being reassigned to San Francisco. At the start of 1943 they were shipped back to the Institute to resume their observations of Project Rainbow. They crunched some numbers and realized that Tesla’s concerns about “personnel problems” related to invisibility were valid. Reluctantly, Von Neumann tried to avert catastrophe by adding a third generator to the ship. However, it was removed after it arced and put a technician into a coma for four months. Tesla didn’t want to use crew members during the big test, but the Navy wouldn’t budge from its March 1943 deadline. Finally, Tesla secretly sabotaged the equipment and bowed out of the project. Von Neumann took over. T. Townsend Brown, alleged antigravity pioneer, was also on the project at this time, designing the antennas that would be used on the Eldridge. By January 1943, the ship was outfitted with the two generators, the motor drive, the diesel electrical system to power it all, four RF transmitters, the two tower-mounted antennas designed by Brown, and Tesla’s Zero Time Reference Generator. According to Preston Nichols, this was a vastly important piece of equipment. Zero Time Reference is the geocentric centre of our galaxy; everything has to be referenced to it. Though it was ingeniously designed by Tesla, the generator apparently didn’t function as intended, and that’s why many of the sailors ended up deranged. The power on the Eldridge disrupted the sailors’ time references; they had been unmoored from the only reality they had ever known, ripped from their time locks without warning. To combat these and other problems, Von Neumann later developed the first all-electric computer. By 1953 a Dr. Goldston had perfected the new system, and another test with a different ship was fully successful.

On July 22, 1943 the first test with crew aboard was conducted, with a Captain Hangle in charge. At 0900 hours the Cameron brothers threw the switches, and the ship vanished for 15-20 minutes. The sailors on deck were severely nauseated and disoriented afterward, but suffered none of the dramatic effects that would mar the August 12th test. The Navy bigwigs decided that the goal of this test would be radar invisibility only, since optical invisibilty was too risky. Doy.

On August 12th, everything went as planned for the first minute or so. When the Camerons threw the switches, the Eldgridge vanished from radar while remaining visible.

Then there was a flash of blue light, and the Eldridge vanished. The time tunnel to Montauk opened, swallowing up the Camerons and one of the three UFOs that were apparently observing the Philly Experiment. There’s a big fat paradox here, because while a sodden Edward Cameron was chatting with a not-dead John Von Neumann in 1983 Long Island, the exact same man – Alfred Bielek – was obliviously working at his day job in Los Angeles. That evening, he took a secret, magnetic levitation train to Montauk without ever knowing that he had visited the facility earlier in the day. Add this to the other paradoxes that have already piled up. For instance, while Edward Cameron was studying at Harvard, he was also (in the form of Al Bielek) attending high school in New York. Bielek says these paradoxes were explained by the theories of MIT prof Norman or Henry Levinson (the name varies in Bielek’s speeches), but the scientific establishment has ensured that Levinson’s work remains buried and unknown. He supposedly died in 1974. Needless to say, I can’t find a trace of him.

Another invisibility test, sans crew, was conducted in October. It failed utterly. Equipment was missing when the ship reappeared, and the control room had been mysteriously destroyed by fire. In 1948 or ’49, according to Bielek, the military rendered an F-80 invisible, but the pilot vanished in mid-air and the plane crashed with its helpless passenger.

Though he would later insist he had no interest in the paranormal or the unexplained aside from the Philly Experiment, Bielek was already on the scene in the ’50s. He met Ivan Sanderson and confirmed for him the authenticity of some “rod” photos taken by Trevor James Constable. This is extremely interesting, because (as previously mentioned) Sanderson was a good friend of Morris K. Jessup – the man at the centre of the original Philly Experiment hoax.

Back to Montauk

While Nichols and Bielek worked on technical aspects of the Montauk Project, maintaining equipment and supervising the Montauk Boys, Duncan Cameron became the project’s star psychic. The researchers had already learned how to enter human minds, and were eager to use an alien chair that would employ a human-computer interface to transmit messages from one human brain to another. Duncan became the project’s primary sender of telepathic messages, creating a virtual reality scenario in his mind and sending it to a Cray 1 computer. From there, the scenario would be sent to the radio transmitter and beamed to the intended recipient(s). Duncan could virtually recreate any time and place in history, and it could be projected anywhere in the world. Thoughtforms could actually be materialized through this method; cans of beer, which you could really drink, were routinely beamed to the commander’s desk. But the thoughtforms wouldn’t materialize on any reliable schedule, so the techs were put to work on the task of fully mastering time. Soon, they had a functioning time tunnel on the base.

In the ’80s, time travel experiments commenced at Montauk, and Al participated in some of them. Both he and Duncan traveled to Mars on several occasions. With other team members, Al also traveled to a research station set up in 10,000 B.C., to the year 6037, and to several distant planets. On some of these other worlds, researchers collected “light” and “dark” energy in canisters.

But Wait, There’s More!

Everybody knows that stories about invisible ships and time travel and mad scientists faking their own deaths would be boring as hell without some aliens, right? That’s probably why Preston Nichols and Duncan Cameron added a few. Nichols says that in ’75 or ’76, a flying saucer that was not of manmade origin suddenly appeared in the magnetite deposits beneath the Montauk facility, materializing out of nowhere. He assumes it was one of the three saucers glimpsed by Duncan as the Eldridge was sucked into hyperspace; for some reason, it had taken a few decades to fully materialize. Soon, Bielek and Nichols were working alongside aliens. A 7-foot-tall reptoid named “His Highness Draco Something-or-Other” used the office adjacent to Preston’s. He somewhat resembled the Gorn from Star Trek. He liked to sip Drano.
Gray aliens were also running around the base, and they reeked because they excrete through their skin. Project members made a habit of grabbing the ugly little guys and flinging them into the shower, until one enterprising employee came up with the idea of dousing a Gray with Lysol. This is how they learned that Lysol is an intoxicant to Gray aliens; from that point on, the Grays got smashed on the stuff at every opportunity, while His Highness Draco enjoyed his Drano.

The Beginning of the End

On August 12, 1983, the Montauk scientists opened the tunnel between 1943 and 1983. Back in 1943, the Cameron brothers leapt from the deck of the Eldridge in Philadelphia only to end up at Camp Hero in 1983. Duncan recalls seeing three vast UFOs hovering in the vicinity of the wormhole when the ship vanished, and one of these craft slipped into the wormhole along with the Camerons. Years later, in 1975 or ’76, it would spontaneously materialize in the underground facility at Montauk. The aliens had telepathically influenced the scientists to conduct the Philly Experiment and the opening of the Montauk time tunnel on these specific dates so they could enter our world from another dimension. Nichols says the earth’s biocycle makes August 12th a significant date every 20 years, energetically speaking.

Von Neumann and the other Montauk researchers had finally realized they were playing a very dangerous game (never mind torturing young boys, frying homeless people, or subjecting sailors to time travel). They wanted to call the whole thing off, but they couldn’t; the time tunnel they had opened was “locked in” to the equipment on the Eldridge. Someone would have to travel back in time and destroy it, or else the “bubble” that surrounded the ship could expand and swallow up the entire planet. Von Neumann ordered the Cameron brothers to do this, and both men have taken credit for dismantling the equipment with axes – but both insist they did this without the other’s help. At any rate, the equipment was trashed and both projects were shut down (Rainbow temporarily, Montauk permanently). A section of the Montauk facility that had been floating in hyperspace as the result of an experiment spontaneously returned to Long Island, and the Eldridge rematerialized in Philly with its crew deranged or embedded in the ship.

At least, that’s one version of the story. The other version, told by Duncan Cameron and Preston Nichols, is that renegade workers on the Montauk Project (themselves included) had decided to sabotage the project by having Duncan summon a ravenous and angry monster from another dimension while he was seated in the alien chair. This plan worked. The monster, nicknamed “Junior, rampaged through the Montauk facility, terrifying scientists and technicians. The project director ordered a powerdown. Nichols cut wires to the transmitter with an acelatylene torch, but the transmitter kept going. He had to venture into the transmitter building itself to pull more wires. Again, nothing happened. Finally, he made his way to the master controls on the second floor and succeeded in shutting down the transmitter. Junior returned to his own dimension, or to Duncan’s brain, or whatever, and the facility was saved. The project, on the other hand, was promptly shut down. But Bielek and company have hinted that it probably continued, maybe even to this very day, in some other form at some other location.

Back (Foward?) to Philly

After the Philly Experiment, Edward Cameron was assigned to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, then to Camp Hale in Colorado around the same time that Dr. Vannevar Bush was directing the recovery of a crashed UFO at Aztec, New Mexico. (As you may know, the Aztec UFO crash was one of the stupidest and most poorly executed hoaxes in the history of ufology, and it was thoroughly exposed years before Bielek made this statement. But this hasn’t stopped the more credulous ufologists from fixating on it.) Bielek also describes a small alien recovered from a ’49 UFO crash. It had chlorophyll instead of blood, communicated telepathically, and could walk through walls. The military kept him in a Faraday cage for about two years, until he died. This alien gave Von Neumann some tips on how to improve the technology used in the Philly Experiment, and Von Neumann also dipped into metaphysics and the occult in search of help. From his studies he learned that each person has a “time lock” from conception, that we live in a 5-D universe, and that time flows. His findings would be incorporated into the Montauk Project.

By 1947 the Navy apparently had no further use for Edward Cameron. Von Neumann ordered that he be age-regressed to the age of one and placed in the care of Albertina and Arthur Bielek of New York in the year 1928. Meanwhile, Duncan Cameron had returned to the year 1983. The loss of his time lock caused him to age and die within days, despite the Navy’s best efforts to save him. It was up to Al Bielek to convince “his” aging parents to have another child so that Duncan’s soul, stored in a Navy facility, could be transplanted into the child. The new Duncan Cameron was born in 1951. In 1963, the old Duncan’s soul was placed in the new Duncan’s body. Both Cameron brothers lived out their new lives without any conscious awareness of their previous existence. Then, in 1988, the memories of Edward Cameron surfaced in Al Bielek’s mind as he watched The Philadelphia Experiment on HBO.

Bielek and Preston Nichols have a silly story about how the movie came to be made. It was produced by EMI-Thorn, the merger of EMI and Thorn Industries, a maker of scientific instruments established around 1820 and inherited by the Wilson brothers in 1850. This much is factual. But Preston Nichols claims that in July of ’89, the “chief archivist” of EMI-Thorn showed up at his lab unannounced to tell him that the company had been searching for him for a long time. He presented a group photo featuring the Wilson brothers, Aleister Crowley, and Preston Nichols. It was taken in 1890. Apparently, Nichols had been sent back to this year and had told Crowley and his pals all about the wonders of time travel. Then his memory of the trip was erased. It seems someone with EMI-Thorn had recognized Nichols from the photo while he was attending a U.S. Psychotronics Association conference in New York, and knew they had finally found the man Crowley described as “not of this time”. Back in 1890, the archivist explained, Nichols had given the Wilsons all the details of the Philly Experiment. They were recorded and stored away until, in the ’80s, EMI-Thorn decided to turn them into a shitty B movie.

Preston Nichols, whose memories of the Montauk Project were artificially repressed by the military, regained them while working on a time transducer in his personal lab.

Bielek’s handlers must have realized something was up, because Bielek was quietly removed from government contract employment. In ’89 he began giving public lectures on his part in the Philly Experiment. He made a big splash among ufologists with his January 13, 1990 MUFON presentation in Dallas. He may have met Nichols at the February 1989 Psychotronics Association conference in New York, where they both gave presentations unrelated to the Philly Experiment.

The reason the government didn’t try to silence him, Bielek explains, is that he and his “half-brother” Duncan had something of a special, protected status within the Montauk Project. Their bodies were “locked in” with a biorhythm stabilization cycle that would be complete on August 12, 2003 – exactly 60 years after the Philadelphia Experiment. If either man was harmed before that date, time would go all wonky. Or something. This doesn’t explain why the government still hasn’t shown any interest in Bielek and company, of course. They’ve been promoting their tales through lectures, interviews, and books for over 20 years without the slightest impediment, convincing hundreds (perhaps thousands) of very credulous people that the government knows all about telepathy, teleportation, thoughtforms, time travel, total thought control, age regression, soul transference, and at least two species of intelligent extraterrestrial or ultradimensional entities.

Part II: Lingering Questions

Hoaxes from Space: The Philadelphia Experiment Part II



Along Came Bielek

In 1988 , an elderly man named Alfred (Al) Bielek began giving interviews and lectures about his involvement in the Philadelphia Experiment. Or rather, the involvement of a Navy sailor named Edward Cameron. As Bielek has explained it, the U.S. government used alien technology to age-regress Cameron back to infancy, then placed him with the Bielek family of New York.
Whatever the hell was going on, Bielek was consciously unaware of his previous existence until January of 1988, when memories of his life came back to him during a late night showing of the movie The Philadelphia Experiment. He realized that as Edward Cameron, he had been on board the USS Eldridge with his brother Duncan when it dematerialized in 1943, and was transported into the distant future.

If you’re confused, I have to warn you that it only gets stupider from this point.

Al Bielek was “born” in 1927 (according to the forged birth certificate provided to him) and became an electronics engineer in California and Arizona, working for various military contractors. His first unusual life experience came in 1956, when he encountered a man he now identifies as Mark Hamill. The actor would have been about 5 years old at this point, but apparently this was a future Mark Hamill who was dropping in on 1956 for some reason.

Al Bielek’s account of the Philly Experiment differs dramatically, in many respects, from Carl Allen’s. For one thing, he doesn’t consider the Navy blameless. He claims the Navy knew exactly what kind of dangers the sailors unwittingly faced, and rather than mothballing the program, they eventually expanded it into a series of deeply unethical mind control and time travel experiments called the Montauk Project.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, several more “survivors” of the two projects stepped forward to corroborate Bielek’s tale. Duncan Cameron claimed to be Edward Cameron’s brother, reincarnated, as well as the psychic superstar of the Montauk Project. Preston Nichols claimed he had been a chief electrical engineer on the Philly Experiment and the Montauk Project, working alongside several races of extraterrestrials in the underground facility beneath Montauk. Stewart Swerdlow claimed to have been one of the many young male victims of the Montauk Project, one of the lucky 1% who were not mentally incapacitated by mind control experimentation.
According to Preston Nichols and Duncan Cameron, aliens had initiated the project by establishing telepathic contact with human scientists and basically coercing them to open a time tunnel between Long Island in 1983 and Philly in 1943. The Philadelpia Experiment ripped a hole in space-time, enabling aliens to invade Earth a short time later. Bielek claimed the same group of ETs met face-to-face with FDR aboard the battleship Pennsylvania in 1934, somewhere in the Pacific. There he struck a deal with the aliens, trading “planetary privileges” for ET goodies. The meeting was arranged by Nikola Tesla.

In this new version of the story, Tesla – not Einstein – was in charge of all the experiments that would culminate in the Philly Experiment, collectively called Project Rainbow, beginning in the early ’30s. He had been in contact with alien intelligence since 1895, the year he projected radio waves into outer space and received signals from another planet in return. Later, telepathic communication with the aliens enabled him to develop some of his most sophisticated devices: the induction motor, new kinds of generators and transformers, a system of AC power transmission, fluorescent lights, a new kind of steam turbine, and plans for a new wireless transmission of power (free energy). It was on Long Island, not far from the Camp Hero Air Force station where the Montauk Project would be conducted, that he set up a tower that would have sent out this free wireless energy. No investor was interested in that. His career went into a tailspin, though he continued to dream of astonishing inventions until his death in 1943. He died ten months before the Philadelphia Experiment.
The initial stages of the top secret invisibility project began under the aegis of a Navy-sponsored team that included Tesla and Austrian physicist Dr. Kurtenauer. In 1933 the project moved to the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. (Recall that this was the same period when physicists at the Institute began hanging out with a time travel commune hidden in the New Jersey pine barrens.) It was at this time that John von Neumann joined the Rainbow working group. Einstein was aware of the project, but didn’t participate directly (in the Montauk Project accounts of the experiment, Nazis were also involved).

Preston Nichols says the funding for Project Rainbow came from $10 billion worth of Nazi gold (WWII-era U.S. dollars!) that was looted from a train in or near Paris by U.S. Army soldiers at the end of WWII. Supposedly, the gold ended up on a ship bound for Long Island. This ship sank just off Montauk Point, where the loot was secretly retrieved by U.S. Navy divers and stowed in the underground facility.
Incredibly, the project plowed through this money and had to be propped up by funding from ITT and Krupp.
Preston said “several movies” have been made about this train robbery, but I can’t identify any such incident. The train featured in The Train was stalled in Paris, but its contents were seized by the Resistance and returned to their rightful owners. The Hungarian gold train was looted by the U.S. Army, but it was never in Paris. It was seized by the Allies in Austria. Neither train contained anywhere near $10 billion in gold; the Hungarian train held about $4 billion in gold by 2007 standards, adjusted for inflation.

In 1936 the Princeton group conducted its first partially successful experiment in invisibility. The first large-scale test was conducted in March, 1942, and was a complete failure; Tesla covertly sabotaged it in protest of the Navy’s insistence on having a crew aboard the Eldridge during the experiment, despite his strong recommendation that an unmanned ship be used. He also wanted to work out some more bugs before the first test, but the Navy refused to give him any more time. Tesla left the project in disgust.

In Bielek’s version of events, the Eldridge ended up not in Virginia, but in the waters off Long Island very close to Montauk. So close, in fact, that Bielek/Cameron and his brother were able to swim to shore after leaping from the rematerialized boat. Little did they know they had actually leapt into a wormhole. Disoriented and scared spitless, they assumed they were still just a short distance from the Philadelphia naval dock. It came as quite a shock to emerge from the ocean onto Montauk Point. They slogged to the nearest building, which turned out to be a military facility. Strange, isn’t it, that in all accounts of the experiment, the ship spontaneously transported to nearby U.S. military property rather than, say, the middle of an island in the South Pacific?
They were evidently expected, because a guard ushered them into the underground facility to meet with none other than one of the leading lights of the Philadelphia Experiment, John Von Neumann. Von Neumann informed the men that the Eldridge had been sucked into a time tunnel linking Philadelphia in 1943 and Long Island in 1983. Never mind that Von Neumann died of cancer in 1957. That’s just a cover story.

Somehow, both Cameron brothers ended up in hospital in the year 2137. Al was later transported to 2749 and spent two years there, working as a tour guide.

After the disastrous Philly Experiment, Project Rainbow was temporarily discontinued and the funding redirected to the Manhattan Project. Then, in ’48, Rainbow was quietly resurrected by the Air Force to perfect the technology. This resulted in the development of stealth aircraft, which can literally go invisible. Another project undertook psychological research to learn why the Eldridge sailors went insane. This part of the project was known as Pheonix, and was conducted at Brookhaven National Lab. It incorporated the findings of MK-Ultra, the results of the Philly Experiment, and the energy theories of ubercrank Wilhelm Reich. Ultimately, Pheonix was a long-term experiment in electromagnetic mind control and the manipulation of psychic powers. The invisibility and mind control projects were christened the Montauk Project.

In the late 1950s Bielek was recruited into this top-secret Montauk Project on Long Island, former site of SAGE radar experiments. Every single day for 30 years, Al would work his ho-hum day job in Los Angeles, then travel to Montauk. At first he hopped a secret magnetic levitation subway train to Long Island, which took just two hours. By early morning he would be back in L.A. Later, as the project evolved, he was simply teleported back and forth.
The base was fully (but secretly) re-activated around 1972, including the radar satellite (because it operated on the same frequency as Reich’s orgone energy). This is when Preston Nichols joined the project as an electrical engineer with defense contractor PJM, specializing in radar-jamming equipment. He was put to work on the satellite transmitter.

Things were about to get crazy.

Part III: Meet Me in Montauk

Hoaxes From Space: The Philadelphia Experiment Part I

The Beginning

In July 1955, a paperback copy of Morris K. Jessup’s recent book The Case for the UFO arrived at the Office of Naval Research in Washington, D.C.
Jessup was an auto parts salesman who had once studied for a doctorate in astrophysics at the University of Michigan (he is sometimes misidentified as an astronomer). He had a deep interest in scientific ufology, believing that rigorous study of the physics of UFOs might unlock the secrets of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, among other things.

The book had been mailed anonymously from Seminole, Texas, addressed to Admiral N. Furth (a nonexistent officer) with “Happy Easter” scrawled across the envelope. Naval officers found that the book had been copiously annotated by hand, apparently by three different anonymous people (but penned by just one man, as it turned out). These notes were far more intriguing than the book itself, which was a rather standard examination of the flying saucer phenomenon. The author of the notes claimed to know exactly where the alien visitors hailed from and how their vehicles functioned. In fact, he provided so many details that the more imaginative ufologists would wonder if the notes had been written by the aliens themselves.
The author included tantalizing references to things like vortices and magnetic nets, motherships, a Great Ark, a “great bombardment”, and “telepathing”. He also gave the outline of a mysterious “Philadelphia Experiment” conducted under the auspices of the Navy in 1943. Einstein, who was helping the Navy develop conventional weapons at the time, had agreed to apply his incomplete Unified Field theory to the problem of radar invisiblity – and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
In the 1880s, German physicist Heinrich Hertz observed that radio waves passed through some objects while reflecting off of others, and realized the incredible potential for detecting objects at a distance. In the 1920s, the U.S. Naval Research Lab experimented with Hertz’s findings and discovered that an interference pattern was returned when a ship or a plane passed through a radio signal. Two decades later, as international tensions escalated in the run-up to WWII, microwave radar was rapidly developed. By 1939, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US possessed functional radar systems.

The next goal: Achieving radar invisibility. But according to the margin notes in Jessup’s book, the Navy went a step farther, and aimed for optical invisibility as well. Einstein himself worked out a way to envelop a destroyer escort (an anti-submarine ship) in an electromagnetic “fog”, a forcefield so powerful it would bend light rather than reflect it, rendering the entire ship invisible.

Whether he knew it or not, the author of the notes had sent his information to just the right people. Captain Sidney Sherby had developed a deep interest in UFOs after one of the best pilots under his command watched a glowing saucer fly in formation with his plane for 5-10 minutes. Commander George Hoover, chief of Special Projects, was also intrigued by saucer sightings, and both men were frustrated by the military’s reticence on the subject. Sherby referred to Blue Book as a “one-way street” and a “sink” into which UFO reports vanished.
Sherby was impressed enough with the bizarre revelations in the margin notes that in 1957 he sought Jessup’s permission to print several hundred copies of the annotated version of his book. It came to be known as the Varo Edition.

Jessup wasn’t too surprised by the notes. Months before his book arrived at the ONR, he began receiving related information in the form of letters from one Carlos Allende of Gainesville, Texas. Among other things, Allende explained that there were two races of extraterrestrials active on Earth; the benevolent “LMs” and the hostile “SMs”. This is strongly reminiscent of the Deros and Teros central to the Shaver Mystery, which was still playing out in the pages of FATE magazine when the Navy received the book.
All of these letters, just like the annotations in Jessup’s book, were batsh** insane. They were written in stilted, grammar-challenged English, with many capitalizations and underlinings. But you have to give the guy some credit for spreading the insanity around. Nowadays it’s easy to slap your craziness up on the ‘Net for all the world to enjoy; back in the ’50s, he actually had to stamp and address all this lunacy.
The first letter Jessup received from Mr. Allende chided him for encouraging his readers to demand government research into Unified Field Theory. He didn’t realize the dangers, Allende warned darkly.
He claimed that as a merchant seaman, he had witnessed the Philadelphia Experiment from the deck of another ship berthed at the Philadelphia Naval dock (the USS Andrew Furuseth), and described in detail the surreal torments suffered by the crew of the destroyer escort used in the experiment, identified in later letters as the USS Eldridge.
Allende watched the Eldridge become encased in a green, “fiery” fog like St. Elmo’s Fire. Then it vanished from sight and radar for several minutes. It flickered back into view, briefly, before teleporting 300 miles away to the harbour at Norfolk, Virginia. When it reappeared in Philly a second time, the skeleton crew on board had undergone irreparable and horrifying changes. Those who were not fused to the steel parts of the ship were prone to spontaneous combustion, going “blank”, or getting “stuck” (unable to move, as though catatonic). Others made it through the experiment safely but vanished in midair later, in front of mystified family members. Over half the surviving crew members had gone insane and had to be permanently confined to psych wards.
Allende opined that the Navy was probably blameless in the whole catastrophe; they didn’t know such terrible things would happen when they reached into the outer limits of science.
In his second missive to Jessup, penned four months later in response to a letter requesting more information, Allende volunteered to undergo hypnosis or take sodium pentothol to help him recall the names and service numbers of some of his shipmates. No one took him up on this offer.

Though he remained quite skeptical of Allende’s claims, Jessup was fascinated by all these weird stories – particularly the Philadelphia Experiment. He tried his hardest to unearth any evidence that could corroborate Allende’s account. By 1959, his research had reached a critical point. He told friend J. Manson Valentine that he had important news to share with him about it, and even claimed the Navy had approached him about joining similar projects. Then his car was found in a park in Coral Gables, Florida, a hose running from the exhaust pipe to the window. Jessup was inside it.
Naturally, quite a few ufologists promoted the idea the idea that there was something sinister about Jessup’s death. Gray Barker fanned the flames the hardest. A friend of Jessup, Ivan T. Sanderson (whom we met in Time Travel Hoaxes?), indicated that Jessup had feared for his life in the days before his death.
But the clues led unmistakeably to suicide. Jessup had sent letters to several people expressing thoughts of ending his life. One of them was addressed to paranormal radio talk show host Long John Nebel (the Art Bell of his day), in which Jessup outlined an afterlife experiment he wanted Nebel to perform on-air after his death. Nebel was to try to contact Jessup on the other side (Jessup’s widow reportedly threatened to sue Nebel if he actually did this, so the experiment was never carried out). When his stepdaughter May learned of Jessup’s death, she automatically replied, “How did he do it?”. By all accounts, he had been deeply depressed for at least a year prior to his death. Financial woes, marital trouble, and professional problems had overwhelmed him. No one really knows if the disturbing stories related to him by Carlos Allende, about deranged sailors and malevolent alien entities, played any part in his emotional decline – but they certainly couldn’t have helped.

In 1967, eight years after Jessup’s death, Allende began sending letters to another ufologist, Jacques Vallee. They were more or less identical to his previous missives, but now Allende seemed eager to make a buck off his notoriety; he offered to sell Vallee flying saucer blueprints for a mere $750, and his own copy of the Varo Edition for $6000. He referred to it as “the book that killed Einstein (so hard was its psychological blow on the good & gentle Einstein)”. Never mind that the Varo Edition was printed two years after he died.
Allende also made more startling revelations, notably that in May or June of 1947, as a crew member of the SS Maylay (a nonexistent ship) he had survived a collision with a UFO that was 1600 feet in diameter. The enormous explosion caused his hair to fall out in clumps, and in the morning the Maylay was coated with a layer of “angel hair” (tinsel-like stuff frequently reported in early close encounters).

Carlos Allende appeared to be a drifter, posting his letters from places as widely separated as Texas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Several of them were mailed from New Kensington, Pennsylvania, which just happened to be the home of UFO/sci fi enthusiast Robert Goerman. Beginning in the late ’60s, Goerman attempted to track down Allende and verify details of his stories. By this time the Allende enigma had found its way into dozens of books and magazines devoted to UFOs; he had attained near-legendary status in the UFO community without ever showing his face. In fact, it was probably his elusiveness that led so many people to become obsessed with his stories in the first place.
Then the phantom appeared, briefly. In the summer of ’69, a gaunt and jug-eared mean stepped into the Arizona headquarters of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), holding a copy of Jessup’s The Case for the UFO, and introduced himself as Carlos Allende. He declared that the annotations had been “the wildest pack of lies I ever wrote”.

This confession didn’t dim the allure of the Philly Experiment. Instead, it fired even more interest. In 1979, William Moore and Charles Berlitz released their book The Philadelphia Experiment. We’ll be meeting Moore again in the saga of Paul Bennewitz and the Dulce base; for now, I’ll just mention that he’s not exactly the most trustworthy source for accurate information. In fact, he’s an admitted disinformationist and hoaxer.
The Philadelphia Experiment
speculated that the Eldridge had been briefly transferred to another dimension, perhaps even coming into contact with alien beings. And it contained several jaw-droppers, including Moore’s interview with a “Commander Reinhard” who confirmed that the experiment took place more or less as Allende described. More than anything up to that date, Moore’s and Berlitz’s book triggered intense public interest in the Philadelphia Experiment. Allende’s story confirmed that the government does, indeed, hide all the really cool stuff from us. Wanting a piece of the action, Allende recanted his confession and resumed his letter-writing.

Meanwhile, John Goerman was still searching for Allende. He had only managed to locate two of his brothers, Randolph and Donald. Imagine his surprise when an elderly neighbour, Mr. Allen, mentioned in the course of a chat that Randolph, Donald, and “Carlos” (Carl) were his sons. He offered Goerman a boxful of papers, containing letters from Allende and assorted documents. Most of the letters were every bit as disjointed and bizarre as those sent to Jessup and the Navy, but the box held one priceless gem: Carl Allen’s seaman’s papers, bearing the same ID number that he had included in one of his letters to Jessup. At long last, the mystery man was exposed. To be generous, he wasn’t quite what the ufologists expected.

“Carlos Allende” was born Carl Meredith Allen in Springdale, Pennsylvania, in 1925. His brother Donald said he was exceptionally smart, scoring high on an IQ test, but did badly in school. He spent a great deal of time annotating nearly everything he read.
Goerman realized there wasn’tanything mysterious about Carl Allen. He was an eccentric teller of tall tales, plain and simple. He describes their eventual meeting as the most anticlimatic moment of his life.
To Goerman’s surprise, other UFO enthusiasts weren’t receptive to information about the real Allende. He had a hard time finding an outlet for his article on the man. It was ultimately published in the October 1980 issue of FATE, the same magazine that launched the Shaver Mystery.
Allende was furious at being outed as a fibber. He wrote to his father that he wanted to shoot Goerman. Since his ’60 confession to APRO, he had stuck to his story about the Philly Experiment.
In 1983, science writer Linda Strand somehow obtained an interview with Carl Allen in Boulder, Colorado. Puffing a pipe, he informed her that everyone he had ever talked to about the experiment had died under mysterious circumstances. “Within two years,” he said, “you’ll be dead as a doornail.”

Allende himself died in a Colorado nursing home in 1994.

Part II – Along Came Bielek

Hoaxes From Space: Time Travel Hoaxes?

The following stories may or may not be hoaxes (with the exception of the last one, which is almost definitely a hoax), but they’re worth mention in this series because they involve claims of time travel or time superimposition that are really freaking bizarre.


Doing the Time Warp at Versailles

In August 1901, two English schoolmarms traveled to Paris. Like countless tourists before and after them, they ended up at Versailles. They gawked and chattered their way to the Petit Trianon, enjoying the mild weather and wondering what they would have for tea.

Yawn. None of this would be worth mentioning if, several months later, these two spinsters hadn’t agreed that there had been something not quite right about the Petit Trianon on that summer day.

Charlotte Moberly, 55, was the first principal of St. Hugh’s College, a women’s university at Oxford. Eleanor Jourdain, 37, taught at the college. Though they weren’t close friends, both were spinsters with a fondness for travel, so they agreed to share their summer holiday. Neither had ever been to Versailles.
Their visit to the palace grounds was perfectly ordinary until they began walking down a narrow, tree-shaded path between Marie Antoinette’s theatre and the little teahouse known as the Belvedere. Though they didn’t know it at the time, this shadowed pathway had been destroyed immediately after Marie Antoinette’s execution in 1794.
En route to the Petit Trianon, the ladies took a wrong turn. They found themselves on a little lane bordered by trees, meadows, and quaint farm buildings. A woman was shaking a cloth out the window of a little cottage. As they continued, the atmosphere become strangely oppressive. Miss Moberly noted a peculiar stillness in the air, as though the trees around them had transformed into “a wood worked in tapestry”. They saw several men they assumed to be gardeners, though they were all wearing long coats and tri-cornered hats for no apparent reason. Soon they came to a gazebo surrounded by untended grass. A man sat on the ground nearby, wearing a cloak and a large hat that shaded his rough, “repulsive” complexion. Neither woman dared ask him for directions to the Petit Trianon.
Miss Moberly intuitively sensed that they shouldn’t take the path on their left, and this was confirmed seconds later when a young man in a sombrero burst out of the trees and told them to take the path on their right.
Turning right, the ladies passed over a small, rustic bridge over a little ravine. On the other side, beside a meadow, they finally reached the little square country house that was the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s beloved refuge from court life. A woman was sketching in the English-style garden. She wore a shady hat over her fluffy, fair hair and an unusual summer dress with a low-cut bodice and very full skirt – not at all the style in the summer of 1901.
To their disappointment, a wedding party was already touring the house and they would not be able to enter it. They took a little carriage back to the Hotel des Reservoirs and had their tea.

Months later, as they discussed their visit to the Petit Trianon, Miss Jourdain mentioned that she hadn’t seen the sketching lady. They also shared their impressions of the “dreamy oppressiveness” they experienced on the lane that led to the house. This spurred them to compare notes and do some research. They reached this conclusion: “The result of this showed us that everything we had described by word and in writing before the research began was in agreement with the conditions of the place in 1789, many of which had not persisted later than that date.” The odd-looking clothes worn by the eight people they had seen were typical morning dress in 1789. The woods, the bridge, and the grotto with its little waterfall no longer existed.
They concluded that the sinister-looking man near the gazebo had been the spectre of the Comte de Vaudreuil, a smallpox-scarred Creole friend of the queen. Later, Miss Moberly recognized the fair-haired sketching woman from a picture drawn by Wertmuller – it was Marie Antoinette herself.
They were able to account for all of the phantom scenery they had seen; it existed in 1789. But the little rustic bridge was not featured in any of the maps or descriptions they studied.
Then, years later, they learned that in 1903 the hand-drawn map of the architect who had designed the gardens around the Petit Trianon, Richard Mique, was discovered stashed away in the chimney of a house in Montmorency, once the residence of Rousseau. How it ended up there no one knew, but the map showed the little bridge just where Miss Moberly and Miss Jourdain recalled crossing it in 1901 – over a century after it was destroyed.

Despite the ladies’ sterling academic reputations, the world of paranormal research was not impressed. In 1950, W.H. Salter of the Society for Psychical Research re-examined their notes and compared them to their published account of the adventure, and he concluded they had gleaned the details not from their 1901 visit, but from historical research. Everything they documented was already known to history and available to any diligent researcher.
Since then, numerous academics have tackled the adventure at Versailles, offering a rainbow of intriguing theories without really getting to the bottom of what happened.

Ivan Sanderson Visits France

We’ll be running into Ivan T. Sanderson again in the story of the Philadelphia Experiment; he claimed that his friend Morris K. Jessup feared for his safety towards the end of his life. But for now, let’s look at Sanderson’s own enigmatic brush with time travel.
The first thing you should know about him is that even though Sanderson was a pre-eminent, well-respected naturalist and author in his day, he was also into a lot of seriously weird stuff. He coined the word “cryptozoology“, and perhaps the name “Bermuda Triangle”. He identified the diet of the Yeti, photographed “rods” many years before Jose Escamilla discovered them, investigated the Flatwoods UFO case, witnessed poltergeist activity in Sumatra, and gave his stamp of approval to the Patterson-Gimlin film. Most notoriously, as recounted in Mike Dash’s Borderlands, he concluded that huge three-toed tracks found on a beach in Clearwater, Florida, in 1948 had probably been made by a giant penguin driven from its natural habitat by some unknown catastrophe. In 1988, 15 years after Sanderson’s death, a local man admitted that he and a friend had made the tracks with a pair of cast-iron boots they constructed.

Yet in his book More “Things” (Pyramid Books, 1969), Sanderson had the chutzpah to claim he had never taken any interest in the occult, because he was far too busy trying to keep up with the more pragmatic facts of life. So you might want to go ahead and take the following story with a grain of salt roughly the size of Utah.

The setting is Haiti in the 1930s. Sanderson was conducting a biological survey there, living in the village of Pont Beudet. One night he, his wife Alma, and his assistant Fred decided to drive to Lake Azuei in the Sandersons‘ car. When it became hopelessly mired in the mud of an unpaved road, they had to continue on foot in the moonlight. Fred trudged ahead of the couple.
Suddenly, the Sandersons found themselves on what appeared to be the main street of a very peculiar village. It was a cobblestoned street, lined with Elizabethan buildings lit by lanterns and candles. Strangely, even though the place was strongly reminiscent of sixteenth-century England, both Sandersons were certain that the village was actually French. They noted an odd stillness in the air, and began to feel dizzy.
As soon as Fred (oblivious to the time slip) noticed the Sandersons were in a daze far behind him, he backtracked and offered them cigarettes. That’s when the village vanished, never to be seen again.

Whitley Strieber‘s Drive Through Nowhere

As if it’s not strange enough to be be abducted by aliens umpteen times and to meditate nightly with alien houseguests, author Whitley Strieber has experienced several “time slips” and even met up with time travelers. Most of his time slips involved visions of the past, but he has also spontaneously traveled into the future on at least one occasion. So has his psychic friend Starfire Tor.
The most notable time slip Strieber has discussed publicly occurred sometime before he wrote his third book on his alien abduction experiences, sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s. He was driving one of his young son’s friends from his cabin in upstate New York to a diner on Route 17 in New Jersey. They had made this trip many times before, as the boy often stayed with the Steribers and was usually driven back to New York City by his father. The diner was their usual meeting place. To reach it, Strieber took a certain exit ramp and backtracked several hundred yards. In this part of New Jersey Route 17 is lined with strip malls and fast food joints, so the scenery was mundane and very familiar to Strieber and his son’s friend.

On this occasion, a cloudy day, Strieber and the boy spotted the father’s vehicle in the parking lot of the diner as they drove past towards the exit ramp. But when Strieber took what he thought was his usual exit, he found himself on an entirely unfamiliar highway. Unlike 17, it was deserted and eerily quiet – not a vehicle or business in sight. Tall concrete walls flanked either side of this highway for a short distance. They ended up on a silent residential street shadowed by a canopy of trees. Just like the strange highway, the place was devoid of life. Not one resident was walking the dog or tending to the large, immaculate lawns. Weirdly, the day had become sunny in a matter of seconds.
The houses were the spookiest part. Single-story and boxlike, made of tan stone, two of the dwellings had enormous snake designs carved into their facades.
Strieber and the boy became deeply uneasy. They reached another exit leading to an ordinary, busy highway – but instead of Route 17, it was Route 80, an estimated twenty-minute drive from the diner. They had been in the serpent house neighborhood for far less than twenty minutes.

Later, after searching the area thoroughly, Strieber realized the bizarre neighborhood didn’t exist. Neither did the exit that led him to Route 80. The boy and his father also searched for the street in vain. Strieber feels that he and his son’s friend were spontaneously dropped into the future.

Dr. Bruce Goldberg: On a Clear Day You Can See Whatever

We’ve all heard about past life regression. A housewife goes to a hypnotherapist to help her quit smoking or something, and the next thing you know she’s recalling her previous incarnation as an Irish chick who just happens to be a lot like her old neighbor, or as Garth Brooks’ wife, or as Superman. But you may not have heard about future life progression. That’s the specialty of Dr. Bruce Goldberg.
Piecing together the stories of numerous patients who have undergone future life progression, Goldberg has come up with a road map of the near future, and it looks something like this:

Beginning in this century, humanity will experience a Jesus jump of unprecedented peace, health, and technological advancement. War will be nonexistent for at least 300 years. By the 25th century, all diseases will be nearly eradicated and you’ll be able to learn anything you need to know simply by swallowing a “knowledge pill”. Apparently, most people will live and work in communal, self-sustaining biospheres within huge glass pyramids. At death, they can transfer their consciousnesses to computers.
Of course, this technically isn’t time travel, because Goldberg’s patients don’t go anywhere. They just sit in a comfortable chair and pay him money.

The Famous Manuscript of John Palifox Key

In 2001, a woman posted a time-slip story at about.com. She described driving through a state in the northern U.S. and inexplicably being transported to a jungle land populated by intelligent, bi-pedal lizards and gnome-like humanoids that were harvesting triangular fruit. “I swear this is a true story…”

Soon, a user by the names of Jon Grantly and Ferabo began posting intriguing responses to the story. He referred the woman to the “famous manuscript” of John Palifox Key, titled Proofs of My Return. He wrote, “Everything in your story matches what Key and others (Jacques Bergier, Serge Hutin, etc.) indicate for a doorway into another realm… Those of us interested in this phenomena, and we are many, know of a quite famous–or at least often reported–portal in a remote area of the state of Michigan, so if by chance you were in Montmorency County, Michigan, you’re experience [sic] is doubly validated. If you can, read John Palifox Key, and let me know where you were.”
In other comments, he offered information about two more portals located in Colorado.

Another user (or more likely, “Jon Grantly” using another identity) chimed in with this: “I can’t believe someone is still passing around the manuscript of John Palifox Key (or reading Serge Hutin, for that matter). Let me know where you found it. You know that about 8 years ago there was a movement to destroy every last copy. Some think it’s dangerous. ”

Maybe it would be dangerous, if it existed. To this day, unwitting anomalists are scouring antiquarian booksellers for this “famous” manuscript, and searching in vain for any evidence that someone by the name of John Palifox Key ever existed in this space-time continuum. Maybe Mr. Grantly can fill us in when he returns from Uqbar.

Conspiracy Monday: The Secret Space Program

Hoaxes from Space Part II

About ten years ago, a teenage Evangelical Christian boy I knew was talking about the space program when he suddenly burst out, “Why do rich people want to live on the moon, anyway? Don’t they know it’s going to turn to blood?”
Though I didn’t know it at the time, he was expressing the commonly held suspicion that the world’s elite are planning to leave the ailing planet for off-world retirement colonies, abandoning the rest of us to drop dead from overpopulation and pollution. It’s not an entirely idiotic notion, but where did it come from?

– A secret space program and its connection to Paperclip scientists was mentioned in the Torbitt Document, an odd collection of notes supposedly assembled by a prominent American attorney (though they read more like the jottings of a half-deranged janitor). Links are drawn among Area 51, UFOs, and the assassination of JFK by left-wing fascists. Among its other bizarro revelations, the Torbitt Document states that the Umbrella Man of Dealey Plaza was former Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Nagy, and that NASA ran a secret space program out of Mercury, Nevada.
The document was published in 1970 as Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal. Aside from the UFO stuff, most of the material jives with the very dubious findings of Jim Garrison.
According to Jim Marrs, Torbitt was David Copeland of Waco, Texas. He supposedly received his information from an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent, both of whom remain completely unknown to history.

Dr. Richard Boylan and Dr. Bill Deagle have both claimed the U.S. has a secret fleet of spacecraft reverse-engineered from alien technology, including the X-33A, the Aurora, and the B-2 stealth bomber.
Boylan says the U.S. government met secretly with ETs at least twice in the ’60s, and agreed not to interfere with alien spacecraft. But they lied. NASA still fires on spaceships, and astronauts even captured one after it was shot down by an Earth-based neutral particle beam weapon. They do this because they want to steal and reverse engineer alien weapons systems. Apparently, particle beam weapons just aren’t cutting it. They also abduct, torture, and interrogate any “Star Beings” that fall into their hands.
By the way, Dr. Boylan (stripped of his licence to practice psychiatry for hot-tubbing with some of his female clients and convincing two of them that they had been abducted by aliens) has declared he is the Councilor for Earth to the Star Nations High Council. He’s responsible for bringing “overall Earth policy issues” to the High Council, and for communicating Star Nations policies as widely as possible on Earth. He welcomed to Earth the 2008 delegation of twelve “top environmental scientists” from the planet Altimar, who are going to help remedy our environmental crises.
Dr. Deagle says we’ve had a base on the Moon and a colony on Mars since 1982. They are reached by a fleet of Aurora spacecraft, which are actually the outdated Model-Ts of interplanetary travel, soon to be replaced by craft that travel above the speed of light. He learned this from an anonymous Canadian source.

Richard C. Hoagland believes that at the very least, NASA has secretly photographed the surface of Mars. He also believes that the intelligentsia know far more about the history of our solar system than we do, since they possess information preserved in ancient codexes. In Hoagland’s universe, ancient Martians colonized Earth and constructed our pyramids. Or ancient humans found a way to travel to Mars and construct its pyramids. Either way, Earth’s elite have tapped into this knowledge. They know how to glean free energy from what he calls “hyperdimensional physics”, and NASA uses occult rituals in conjunction with its space program. They have revealed this ancient wisdom to us, piecemeal, through Disney movies, ViewMaster slides from the 1950s, and of course a few X Files episodes.
NASA believes a global cataclysm will occur at some point in the near future, and are secretly preparing to escape it. Hoagland calls this The Plan.
Also, someone has constructed enormous glass structures on the lunar surface. NASA has a whole department of employees assigned to painstakingly airbrush them out of photos.
Joseph P. Farrell, a pseudohistorian who works closely with Hoagland these days, has written about what he calls the Two Space Programs Hypothesis in his book The SS Brotherhood of the Bell: NASA’s Nazis, JFK, and Majic-12.

Richard Sauder, who writes and lectures about secret underground military installations, contends there could be a secret space program, citing U.S government reports on the possibility of mining the moon. He suspects classified anti-gravity technology could be part of the clandestine space program, and suggests that some of the people who have mysteriously disappeared without a trace might have been taken to underground facilities and used as guinea pigs for secretive cloning and genetic experiments.

– The most famous examination of secret space programs appeared on British TV in the late ’70s, in the final installment of Anglia Television’s Science Report. This was an actual science news show, similar to NOVA, but on April Fool’s Day 1977 the producers decided to mix it up a little by presenting Alternative 3. Unfortunately, the broadcast was delayed, which only added to the confusion. It aired in June.
Paranoid fantasies haven’t been the same since. You see, like Richard Hoagland, many conspiracists are convinced that They leak their secret knowledge and plans to the masses via popular TV shows. Why? I have no freaking idea. Alex Jones thinks it has something to do with Kabbala. He and Maxwell Jordan insist Their occult system requires Them to tell us what They’re going to do with us before They do it, but in such a way that we won’t realize we’re being told. Whatever.

Alternative 3 is so obviously scripted and acted that only the most duuuhhh viewers could possibly mistake it for anything other than what it is – a clever mockumentary.

This Science Report begins the way all installments of the series do, with the image of an atom and some strange electronic music (the rest of the program’s music, incidentally, was by Brian Eno).
A woman anxiously describes the disappearance of her brother, Robert, in November 1975. “We weren’t told much… just that he had gotten a grant to do some kind of work out there.”
Next, a scientist says his female colleague “simply disappeared” in December of the following year.
Then a senior couple opine that it’s their right to know what happened to their son, who vanished in 1974.
The host of the program explains that this installment began, eighteen months earlier, as an examination of Britain’s “brain drain”, the problem of underfunded research scientists leaving the country for greener pastures. It turned into something quite different.

We see footage of the missing woman scientist, solar energy specialist Ann Clarke. She complains to reporter Colin Benson that she isn’t getting the funds she needs to do her work properly, and she’s thinking of leaving Britain. When Benson catches up with Dr. Clarke a short time later, she appears very nervous and says she can’t talk about her decision to take another job. “That is the last piece of film we have of Dr. Ann Clarke,” the narrator says darkly. She disappeared in December 1976, after telling friends she was flying to New York from London’s Heathrow Airport. Science Report found her car abandoned at the airport, but learned she had not taken any flight out of London.

Robert Patterson, a senior lecturer in mathematics at St. Andrew’s University, did a similar vanishing act. In November 1975 he, his wife, and children departed their home for Heathrow Airport and were never seen again. Robert’s sister was told there were no clues to her brother’s whereabouts.
Brian Pendleburry told his parents he was going to work for an Australian electronics firm after leaving the RAF. He sent them many letters and photos from Sydney, but when a family friend visited his address there, the residents said they’d never heard of Brian. The last documented sighting of him was at Heathrow Airport.

Science Report discovered that out of 400 scientists who had left Britain, 24 disappeared without a trace. Others died under mysterious circumstances.
Radio astronomer Sir William Ballantine was in a fatal single-car crash shortly after mailing a roll of film to a friend. The film contained seemingly ordinary signals from space, picked up by a radio telescope. An American caller known only as “Harry” told Science Report that Ballantine had visited NASA in Houston shortly before his death. He implied that Ballantine’s death had been anything but an accident, and nervously instructed Colin Benson to show up at a London address with a film crew the following day. Benson and his crew found Harry desperately ill, unable to remember their previous conversation. He attacked Benson and the cameraman in a rage.

The host talks about the unprecedented droughts and natural disasters occurring in England and other parts of the world. Forest fires, heatwaves, and severe water shortages have broken out, while the Thames reached its “lowest level in living memory”. Earthquakes and volcanic activity inexplicably increased, resulting in the deaths of millions. “Scientists began to suspect that the balance of the Earth’s ecology was far more delicately poised than they’d ever realized.” Earth was seeing the greenhouse effect in action. Another ice age could occur.
Leaders around the world panicked and turned to Dr. Carl Gerstein of Oxford for help. He informed them that it was too late. They had ignored his warnings about the greenhouse effect for too long. A hastily convened conference came up with three alternatives to annhilation, Gerstein says. The first two alternatives were “crazy”, but the third seemed feasible. And the conversation ends there. Gerstein refuses to discuss Alternative Three.

Part two of Alternative 3 begins with a satellite interview of Apollo astronaut Bob Grodin. Sometime after his career with NASA ended, Grodin became mentally unstable and went into hiding in New England. Recordings of his communications from the Moon to Houston revealed that he saw something he wasn’t supposed to see on the lunar surface, something remarkable. But when asked what he had seen, Grodin grows fidgety and agitated. “What are you tryin‘ to do to me? You tryin‘ to screw me? Like that dumb bastard, Ballantine?” he shouts. Satellite communication is inexplicably broken at this point.

Colin Benson traces Grodin to his home, where (drinking heavily) he agrees to a second interview. He explains that Ballantine’s film had been decoded by NASA, and caused a stir among the scientists. He also reveals that the later Apollo missions were only a smokescreen for secret missions to the moon, undertaken jointly by the USSR and the US.

The host notes that this secret cooperation in space could explain the stasis of the Cold War, and asks: What’s really going on in space? Why did the ambitious space programs of two countries atrophy so abruptly? And why were so many of the Russian and US moon landings concentrated on a particular region of the moon? Was the moon being used as a base for some clandestine project?

In 1972, the Russian orbiter Vostok was spotted in Moon orbit by Bob Grodin, flashing its lights. Yet Vostok had been launched in the ’60s, and an unmanned craft should not have been so active years later.

Questioned a second time, Dr. Gerstein admits that Alternative 3 was a theoretical plan to set up off-world colonies through terraforming. Perhaps Mars had once been hospitable to life, and its atmosphere could be resurrected from its soil. The massive dust storms observed in 1961 lent some credence to this theory, because a dark band had become visible near the planet’s equator after the storms cleared. Was this vegetation?
Gerstein suggests the storms could have been caused by a nuclear missile launched from Earth, possibly Russian in origin.

Meanwhile, the girlfriend of Harry (the ill American who attacked Benson and his cameraman) asks to speak with Science Report. She fears for her safety, and wants to hand over a printed circuit that Harry entrusted to her. With the proper equipment, it can be used to decode Ballantine’s mysterious tape.
This time, rather than random signals, the film shows crystal-clear footage of the Martian surface taken in 1962. A NASA craft filmed the terrain before landing safely on Mars. Temperature readings showed the surface was a relatively comfortable 40 degrees Celcius. The terraforming had been a success.
However, the atmosphere wasn’t the only thing that had been resurrected. The footage shows something very large burrowing beneath the soil, like a giant worm.

Though most people who have seen or heard of Alternative 3 accept that it was a hoax, that certainly hasn’t stopped conspiracy writers and lecturers from sharing their own stories of secret space programs and the elites’ plan to flee Earth, nor from suggesting that Alternative 3 was just thinly disguised fact.
In the ’80s, Al Bielek recounted how in the late ’70s he and his “brother” Duncan Cameron (it’s a long story, which we’ll explore in a later post) were transported by time machine from the Air Force base at Montauk, Long Island to an underground facility on Mars.

Ken Adachi of the mind control/conspiracy site Educate Yourself.org has written a very brief history of Alternative 3, which he said was formulated by the Jasons at the behest of President Eisenhower. According to Adachi, Alternative 3 involves the use of alien technology in off-world colonization. Alternative 1 was rejected because it would have employed nuclear weapons. Alternative 2, however, was actually initiated: Each major country on the planet constructed massive underground cities for its elite citizens.
Adachi links these secret programs to the Philadelphia Experiment, citing Al Bielek’s trip to the underground base on Mars.

Celebrated pilot and UFO enthusiast John Lear believes the U.S. has been secretly mining the moon for decades.

In 2004, exopolitics pioneer Michael Salla posted a lengthy article on the “real” aspects of the Science Report program. “I believe that Alternative 3 was intended to disclose to the general public a truth that was too disturbing to be announced through conventional political channels,” he wrote.

The late conspiracy writer Jim Keith actually wrote an entire book about Alternative 3 and its implications, Casebook on Alternative 3. He explored extremely tenuous links to mind control, suggesting that scientists were being brainwashed and shipped to off-world colonies.

Why did so many people suspect there was some truth behind Alternative 3? Well, part of the reason is Australian author Leslie Watkins. About a year after the program aired, she capitalized on the War of the Worlds kerfuffle it caused by publishing a paperback novelization entitled – naturally – Alternative 3. In it, she claimed that the TV show had been “fiction based on fact”, and elaborated on some of the storylines.
Incredibly, many people believed her.

Viewers who zeroed in on Alternative 3 and byzantine NASA conspiracies missed the point by roughly a gazillion miles. Clearly, this Science Report mock-up was a gentle warning about the global warming trends that were, and continue to be, ignored or minimized by the majority of the world populace. The writers were saying, “See what could happen?” The entire program was a reminder that living comfortably in space is, of course, not a viable option at this time – so we’d better take care of this planet.

Then there are those, like Al Bielek, who claim that they were actually part of Alternative 3 operations. One such individual is Michael Relfe. In December 1996, an Australian kinesiologist named Stephanie began doing biofeedback “clearing sessions” and kineseology with Michael, a former U.S. Navy officer. He could recall seeing “spaceships” as a child, and wanted to unlock any hidden memories about them.
Basically, Stephanie coaxed information out of Michael’s subconscious with kineseology. Michael would raise his arm to a certain level, and Stephanie would ask a yes or no question before trying to push his arm down. If Michael’s arm remained in place, that meant his answer was consistent with his unconscious memories. If Stephanie was able to manipulate his arm, that meant he was still holding something back. Through this painstaking process, Stephanie and Michael learned that seventeen years earlier, when he was still in the Navy, Michael had been sent on a mission to Mars. He remained there for twenty years, working as a psychic mercenary in an outfit called Tech Psi, killing people and aliens with his mind. But Michael’s real employer was the Galactic Federation, a sort of universal UN.
Michael’s primary job was to defend Mars against Reptilians (telepathic, astrally-travelling creatures from Orion and other planets that also dwell in underground caverns on Earth). To this end, he was trained as a spaceship fighter pilot and eventually promoted to Captain. During one dogfight in space, Michael’s body was pierced by a missile. Fortunately, he was wearing a flight suit that could robotically administer first aid. Whew.
When his mission was complete, the government age-regressed Michael so that in Earth time, he had only spent six months on Mars. Then they shipped him back to his home planet with no awareness that he had been battling reptoid aliens on Mars for most of his life. He couldn’t even recall that he had a Martian wife, June, who had died of pneumonia.
His ordeal didn’t end there, though; as he learned in the clearing sessions, Michael was still being abducted by the military on a weekly basis. He stopped this by composing a prayer list of all the equipment used by his abductors and praying against it.

Stephanie and Michael married shortly after the clearing sessions. Sadly, they lost their first child in 2001 when Reptilians transported Stephanie through a wormhole to an artificially created reality, placed her on a table, and teleported the fetus out of her body with a machine they attached to her leg.
Mrs. Relfe now runs an online support group for women whose unborn babies have been abducted by aliens.

Now that I think of it, getting the hell off this planet isn’t such a bad idea, after all…