The Controllers: A New Hypothesis of Alien Abductions
By Martin Cannon
Table of Contents
I. Introduction. 1
The Problem.. 1
The Hypothesis. 3
II. The Technology. 6
A Brief Overview.. 6
Subsequent Electrode Implant Research. 10
Abductee Implants. 12
A Question of Timing. 13
The Quandary. 14
Remote Hypnosis. 15
That’s Entrainment 19
Wave Your Brain Goodbye. 20
Final Thoughts on “The Wave”. 24
III. Applications. 26
Palle Hardrup’s “Guardian Angel”. 27
Screen Memory. 30
The Super Spy. 32
Bases of Suspicion. 37
The Scandinavian Connection. 38
Helicopters and Discs. 39
The Military and Mind Control 40
The Ultimate Motive For Mind Control 43
IV. Abductions. 46
The Hill Case and the “Advanced” Aliens. 47
Arms and the Abductee. 50
“They Will Think It’s Flying Saucers”. 52
Glimpses of the Controllers. 54
Grounds For Further Research. 57
Final Thoughts. 59
One wag has dubbed the problem “Terra and the Pirates.”
The pirates, ostensibly, are marauders from another solar system; their victims include a growing number of troubled human beings who insist that they’ve been shanghaied by these otherworldly visitors. An outlandish scenario — yet through the works of such authors as Budd Hopkins and Whitley Strieber, the “alien abduction” syndrome has seized the public imagination. Indeed, tales of UFO contact threaten to lapse into fashionability, even though, as I have elsewhere noted, they may still inflict a formidable social price upon the claimant.
Some time ago, I began to research these claims, concentrating my studies on the social and political environment surrounding the events. As I studied, the project grew and its scope widened. Indeed, I began to feel as though I’d gone digging through familiar terrain only to unearth Gomorrah.
These excavations may have disgorged a solution.
Among ufologists, the term “abduction” has come to refer to an infinitely-confounding experience, or matrix of experiences, shared by a dizzying number of individuals, who claim that travellers from the stars have scooped them out of their beds, or snatched them from their cars, and subjected them to interrogations, quasi-medical examinations, and “instruction” periods. Usually, these sessions are said to occur within alien spacecraft; frequently, the stories include terrifying details reminiscent of the tortures inflicted in Germany’s death camps. The abductees often (though not always) lose all memory of these events; they find themselves back in their cars or beds, unable to account for hours of “missing time.” Hypnosis, or some other trigger, can bring back these haunted hours in an explosion of recollection — and as the smoke clears, an abductee will often spot a trail of similar experiences, stretching all the way back to childhood.
Perhaps the oddest fact of these odd tales: Many abductees, for all their vividly-recollected agonies, claim to love their alien tormentors. That’s the word I’ve heard repeatedly: love.
Within the community of “scientific ufologists” — those lonely, all-too little-heard advocates of a reasonable and open-minded debate on matters saucerological — these claims have elicited cautious interest and a commendable restraint from conclusion-hopping. Outside the higher realms of scientific ufology, the situation is, alas, quite different. In the popular press, in both the “straight” and sensationalist media, within that journalistic realm where issues are defined and public opinion solidified (despite a frequently superficial approach to matters of evidence and investigation) abduction scenarios have elicited two basic reactions: that of the Believer and the Skeptic.
The Believers — and here we should note that “Believers” and “abductees” are two groups whose memberships overlap but are in no way congruent — accept such stories at face value. They accept, despite the seeming absurdity of these tales, the internal contradictions, the askew logic of narrative construction, the severe discontinuity of emotional response to the actions described. The Believers believe, despite reports that their beloved “space brothers” use vile and inhuman tactics of medical examination — senseless procedures most of us (and certainly the vanguard of an advanced race) would be ashamed to inflict on an animal. The Believers believe, despite the difficulty of reconciling these unsettling tales with their own deliriums of benevolent off-worlders.
Occasionally, the rough notes of a rationalization are offered: “The aliens don’t know what they are doing,” we hear; or “Some aliens are bad.” Yet the Believers confound their own reasoning when they insist on ascribing the wisdom of the ages and the beneficence of the angels to their beloved visitors. The aliens allegedly know enough about our society to go about their business undetected by the local authorities and the general public; they communicate with the abductees in human tongue; they concern themselves with details of the percipients’ innermost lives — yet they remain so ignorant of our culture as to be unaware of the basic moral precepts concerning the dignity of the individual and the right to self-determination. Such dichotomies don’t bother Believers; they are the faithful, and faith is assumed to have its mysteries. Sancta Simplicitas.
Conversely, the Skeptics dismiss these stories out of hand. They dismiss, despite the intriguing confirmatory details: the multiple witness events, the physical traces left by the ufonauts, the scars and implants left on the abductees. The skeptics scoff, though the abductees tell stories similar in detail — even certain tiny details, not known to the general public.
Philip Klass is a debunker who, through his appearances on such television programs as Nova and Nightline, has been in a position to affect much of the public debate on UFOs. In his interesting but poorly-documented work on abductions, Klass claims that “abduction” is a psychological disease, spread by those who write about it. This argument exactly resembles the professional press-basher’s frequent assertion that terrorism metastasizes through media exposure. Yet for all the millions of words expectorated by newsfolk on the subject of terrorism, terrorist actions remain quite rare, as any statistician (though few politicians) will admit, and verifiable linkage between crimes and their coverage remains to be found. For that matter, there have also been books — bestsellers, even — on unicorns and gnomes. People who claim to see those creatures are few. Abductees are plentiful.
Both Believer and Skeptic, in my opinion, miss the real story. Both make the same mistake: They connect the abduction phenomenon to the forty-year history of UFO sightings, and they apply their prejudices about the latter to the controversy about the former.
At first, the link seems natural. Shouldn’t our thoughts about UFOs color our thoughts about UFO abductions?
They may well be separate issues. Or, rather, they are connected only in this: The myth of the UFO has provided an effective cover story for an entirely different sort of mystery. Remove yourself from the Believer/Skeptic dialectic, and you will see the third alternative.
As we examine this alternative, we will, of necessity, stray far from the saucers. We must turn our face from the paranormal and concentrate on the occult — if, by “occult,” we mean secret.
I posit that the abductees have been abducted. Yet they are also spewing fantasy — or, more precisely, they have been given a set of lies to repeat and believe. If my hypothesis proves true, then we must accept the following: The kidnapping is real. The fear is real. The pain is real. The instruction is real. But the little grey men from Zeti Reticuli are not real; they are constructs, Halloween masks meant to disguise the real faces of the controllers. The abductors may not be visitors from Beyond; rather, they may be a symptom of the carcinoma which blackens our body politic.
The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.
Substantial evidence exists linking members of this country’s intelligence community (including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Office of Naval Intelligence) with the esoteric technology of mind control. For decades, “spy-chiatrists” working behind the scenes — on college campuses, in CIA-sponsored institutes, and (most heinously) in prisons have experimented with the erasure of memory, hypnotic resistance to torture, truth serums, post-hypnotic suggestion, rapid induction of hypnosis, electronic stimulation of the brain, non-ionizing radiation, microwave induction of intracerebral “voices,” and a host of even more disturbing technologies. Some of the projects exploring these areas were ARTICHOKE, BLUEBIRD, PANDORA, MKDELTA, MKSEARCH and the infamous MKULTRA.
I have read nearly every available book on these projects, as well as the relevant congressional testimony. I have also spent much time in university libraries researching relevant articles, contacting other researchers (who have graciously allowed me access to their files), and conducting interviews. Moreover, I traveled to Washington, DC to review the files John Marks compiled when he wrote The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate.” These files include some 20,000 pages of CIA and Defense Department documents, interviews, scientific articles, letters, etc. The views presented here are the result of extensive and ongoing research.
As a result of this research, I have come to the following conclusions:
1. Although misleading (and occasionally perjured) testimony before Congress indicated that the CIA’s “brainwashing” efforts met with little success, striking advances were, in fact, made in this field. As CIA veteran Miles Copeland once admitted to a reporter, “The congressional subcommittee which went into this sort of thing got only the barest glimpse.”
2. Clandestine research into thought manipulation has not stopped, despite CIA protestations that it no longer sponsors such studies. Victor Marchetti, 14-year veteran of the CIA and author of the renown expose, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, confirmed in a 1977 interview that the mind control research continues, and that CIA claims to the contrary are a “cover story.”
3. The Central Intelligence Agency was not the only government agency involved in this research. Indeed, many branches of our government took part in these studies — including NASA, the Atomic Energy Commission, as well as all branches of the Defense Department.
To these conclusions I would append the following — not as firmly-established historical fact, but as a working hypothesis and grounds for investigation:
4. The “UFO abduction” phenomenon might be a continuation of clandestine mind control operations.
I recognize the difficulties this thesis might present to those readers emotionally wedded to the extraterrestrial hypothesis, or to those whose political Weltanschauung disallows any such suspicions. Still, the open-minded student of abductions should consider the possibilities. Certainly, we are not being narrow-minded if we ask researchers to exhaust all terrestrial explanations before looking heavenward.
Granted, this particular explanation may, at first, seem as bizarre as the phenomenon itself. But I invite the skeptical reader to examine the work of George Estabrooks, a seminal theorist on the use of hypnosis in warfare, and a veteran of Project MKULTRA. Estabrooks once amused himself during a party by covertly hypnotizing two friends, who were led to believe that the Prime Minister of England had just arrived; Estabrooks’ victims spent an hour conversing with, and even serving drinks to, the esteemed visitor. For ufologists, this incident raises an inescapable question: If the Mesmeric arts can successfully evoke a non-existent Prime Minister, why can’t a representative from the Pleiades be similarly induced?
But there is much more to the present day technology of mind control than mere hypnosis — and many good reasons to suspect that UFO abduction accounts are an artifact of continuing brainwashing/behavior modification experiments. Moreover, I intend to demonstrate that, by using UFO mythology as a cover story, the experimenters may have solved the major problem with the work conducted in the 1950s — “the disposal problem,” i.e., the question of “What do we do with the victims?”
If, in these pages, I seem to stray from the subject of the saucers, I plead for patience. Before I attempt to link UFO abductions with mind control experiments, I must first show that this technology exists. Much of the forthcoming is an introduction to the topic of mind control — what it is, and how it works.
In the early days of World War II, George Estabrooks, of Colgate University, wrote to the Department of War, describing in breathless terms the possible uses of hypnosis in warfare. The Army was intrigued; Estabrooks had a job. The true history of Estabrooks’ wartime collaboration with the CID, FBI and other agencies may never be told: After the war, he burned his diary pages covering the years 1940-45, and thereafter avoided discussing his continuing government work with anyone, even with close members of the family. Occasionally, he strongly intimated that his work involved the creation of hypno-programmed couriers and hypnotically-induced split personalities, but whether he succeeded in these areas remains a controversial point. Nevertheless, the eccentric and flamboyant Estabrooks remains a pivotal figure in the early history of clandestine behavioral research.
Which is not to say that he worked alone. World War II was the first conflict in which the human brain became a field of battle, where invading forces were led by the most notable names in psychology and pharmacology. On both sides, the war spurred furious efforts to create a “truth drug” for use in interrogating prisoners. General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, director of the OSS, tasked his crack team — including Dr. Winifred Overhulser, Dr. Edward Strecker, Harry J. Anslinger and George White — to modify human perception and behavior through chemical means; their “medicine cabinet” included scopolamine, peyote, barbiturates, mescaline, and marijuana. (This research had its amusing side: Donovan’s “psychic warriors” conducted many extensive and expensive trials before deciding that the best method of administering tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, was via the cigarette. Any jazz musician could have told them as much.)
Simultaneously, the notorious Nazi doctors at Dachau experimented with mescaline as a means of eliminating the victim’s will to resist. Jews, Slavs, gypsies, and other “Untermenschen” in the camp were surreptitiously slipped the drug; later, mescaline was combined with hypnosis. The results of these tests were made available to the United States after the War.
In 1947, the Navy conducted the first known post-war mind control program, Project CHATTER, which continued the drug experiments. Decades later, journalists and investigators still haven’t uncovered much information about this project — or, indeed, about any of the military’s other excursions into this field. We know that the Army eventually founded operations THIRD CHANCE and DERBY HAT; other project names remain mysterious, though the existence of these programs is unquestionable.
The newly-formed CIA plunged into this cesspool in 1950, with Project BLUEBIRD, rechristened ARTICHOKE in 1951. To establish a “cover story” for this research, the CIA funded a propaganda effort designed to convince the world that the Communist Bloc had devised insidious new methods of re-shaping the human will; the CIA’s own efforts could therefore, if exposed, be explained as an attempt to “catch up” with Soviet and Chinese work. The primary promoter of this “line” was one Edward Hunter, a CIA contract employee operating undercover as a journalist, and, later, a prominent member of the John Birch society. (Hunter was an OSS veteran of the China theatre — the same spawning grounds which produced Richard Helms, Howard Hunt, Mitch Werbell, Fred Chrisman, Paul Helliwell and a host of other noteworthies who came to dominate that strange land where the worlds of intelligence and right-wing extremism meet.) Hunter offered “brainwashing” as the explanation for the numerous confessions signed by American prisoners of war during the Korean War and (generally) un-recanted upon the prisoners’ repatriation. These confessions alleged that the United States used germ warfare in the Korean conflict, a claim which the American public of the time found impossible to accept. Many years later, however, investigative reporters discovered that Japan’s germ warfare specialists (who had wreaked incalculable terror on the conquered Chinese during WWII) had been mustered into the American national security apparat — and that the knowledge gleaned from Japan’s horrifying germ warfare experiments probably was used in Korea, just as the “brainwashed” soldiers had indicated. Thus, we now know that the entire brainwashing scare of the 1950s constituted a CIA hoax perpetrated upon the American public: CIA deputy director Richard Helms admitted as much when, in 1963, he told the Warren Commission that Soviet mind control research consistently lagged years behind American efforts.
When the CIA’s mind control program was transferred from the Office of Security to the Technical Services Staff (TSS) in 1953, the name changed again — to MKULTRA. Many consider this wide-ranging “octopus” project — whose tentacles twined through the corridors of numerous universities and around the necks of an army of scientists — the most ominous operation in CIA’s catalogue of atrocity. Through MKULTRA, the Agency created an umbrella program of a positively Joycean scope, designed to ferret out all possible means of invading what George Orwell once called “the space between our ears” (Later still, in 1962, mind control research was transferred to the Office of Research and Development; project cryptonyms remain unrevealed.)
What was studied? Everything — including hypnosis, conditioning, sensory deprivation, drugs, religious cults, microwaves, psycho-surgery, brain implants, and even ESP. When MKULTRA “leaked” to the public during the great CIA investigations of the 1970s, public attention focused most heavily on drug experimentation and the work with ESP. Mystery still shrouds another area of study, the area which seems to have most interested ORD: psychoelectronics. This research may prove key to our understanding of the UFO abduction phenomenon.
Perhaps the most interesting pieces of evidence surrounding the abduction phenomenon are the intracerebral implants allegedly visible in the X-rays and MRI scans of many abductees. Indeed, abductees often describe operations in which needles are inserted into the brain; more frequently still, they report implantation of foreign objects through the sinus cavities. Many abduction specialists assume that these intracranial incursions must be the handiwork of scientists from the stars. Unfortunately, these researchers have failed to familiarize themselves with certain little-heralded advances in terrestrial technology.
The abductees’ implants strongly suggest a technological lineage which can be traced to a device known as a “stimoceiver,” invented in the late ’50s-early ’60s by a neuroscientist named Jose Delgado. The stimoceiver is a miniature depth electrode which can receive and transmit electronic signals over FM radio waves. By stimulating a correctly-positioned stimoceiver, an outside operator can wield a surprising degree of control over the subject’s responses.
The most famous example of the stimoceiver in action occurred in a Madrid bull ring. Delgado “wired” the bull before stepping into the ring, entirely unprotected. Furious for gore, the bull charged toward the doctor — then stopped, just before reaching him. The technician-turned-toreador had halted the animal by simply pushing a button on a black box, held in the hand.
Delgado’s Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society remains the sole, full-length, popularly-written work on intracerebral implants and electronic stimulation of the brain (ESB). (The book’s ominous title and unconvincing philosophical rationales for mass mind control prompted an unfavorable public reaction — which may have deterred other researchers from publishing on this theme for a general audience.) While subsequent work has long since superceded the techniques described in this book, Delgado’s achievements were seminal. His animal and human experiments clearly demonstrate that the experimenter can electronically induce emotions and behavior: Under certain conditions, the extremes of temperament — rage, lust, fatigue, etc. — can be elicited by an outside operator as easily as an organist might call forth a C-major chord.
Delgado writes: “Radio stimulation of different points in the amygdala and hippocampus in the four patients produced a variety of effects, including pleasant sensations, elation, deep, thoughtful concentration, odd feelings, super relaxation, colored visions, and other responses.” The evocative phrase “colored vision” clearly indicates remotely-induced hallucination; we will detail later how these hallucinations may be “controlled” by an outside operator.
Speaking in 1966 — and reflecting research undertaken years previous — Delgado asserted that his experiments “support the distasteful conclusion that motion, emotion, and behavior can be directed by electrical forces and that humans can be controlled like robots by push buttons.” He even prophesied a day when brain control could be turned over to non-human operators, by establishing two-way radio communication between the implanted brain and a computer.
Of one experimental subject, Delgado notes that “the patient expressed the successive sensations of fainting, fright and floating around. These ‘floating’ feelings were repeatedly evoked on different days by stimulation of the same point...” Ufologists may recognize the similarity of this sequence of events to abductee reports of the opening minutes of their experiences. Under subsequent hypnosis, the abductee could be instructed to misremember the cause of this floating sensation.
In a fascinating series of experiments, Delgado attached the stimoceiver to the tympanic membrane, thereby transforming the ear into a sort of microphone. An assistant would whisper “How are you?” into the ear of a suitably “fixed” cat, and Delgado could hear the words over a loudspeaker in the next room. The application of this technology to the spy trade should be readily apparent. According to Victor Marchetti, The Agency once attempted a highly-sophisticated extension of this basic idea, in which radio implants were attached to a cat’s cochlea, to facilitate the pinpointing of specific conversations, freed from extraneous surrounding noises. Such “advances” exacerbate the already-imposing level of Twentieth-Century paranoia: Not only can our phones be tapped and mail checked, but even Tabby may be spying on us!
Yet the ramifications of this technology may go even deeper than Marchetti indicates. I presume that if a suitably-wired subject’s inner ear can be made into a microphone, it can also be made into a loudspeaker — one possible explanation for the “voices” heard by abductees. Indeed, I have personally viewed a strange, opalescent implant within the ear canal of an abductee. I see no reason to ascribe this device to alien intrusion — more than likely, the “intruders” in this case were the technological inheritors of the Delgado legacy. Indeed, not many years after Delgado’s experiments with the cat, Ralph Schwitzgebel devised a “bug-in-the-ear” via which a therapist — odd term, under the circumstances — can communicate with his subject.
Other researchers have made notable contributions to this field.
Robert G. Heath, of Tulane University, who has implanted as many as 125 electrodes in his subjects, achieved his greatest notoriety by attempting to “cure” homosexuality through ESB. In his experiments, he discovered that he could control his patients’ memory, (a feat which, applied in the ufological context, may account for the phenomenon of “missing time”); he could also induce sexual arousal, fear, pleasure, and hallucinations.
Heath and another researcher, James Olds, have independently illustrated that areas of the brain in and near the hypothalamus have, when electronically stimulated, what has been described as “rewarding” and “aversive” effects. Both animals and men, when given the means to induce their own ESB of the brain’s pleasure centers, will stimulate themselves at a tremendous rate, ignoring such basic drives as hunger and thirst. (Using fixed electrodes of his own invention, John C. Lilly had accomplished similar effects in the early 1950s.) Anyone who has studied the abduction phenomenon will find himself on familiar territory here, for the abductee accounts are replete with stories of bewildering and inappropriate sexual response countered by extremely painful stimuli — operant conditioning, at its most extreme, and most insidious, for here we see a form of conditioning in which the manipulator renders himself invisible. Indeed, B.F. Skinner-esque aversive therapy, remotely applied, was Heath’s prescription for “healing” homosexuality.
Ralph Schwitzgebel and his brother Robert have produced a panoply of devices for tracking individuals over long ranges; they may be considered the creators of the “electronic house arrest” devices recently approved by the courts. Schwitzgebel devices could be used for tracking all the physical and neurological signs of a “patient” within a quarter of a mile, thereby lifting the distance limitations which restricted Delgado.
In Ralph Schwitzgebel’s initial work, application of this technology to ESB seems to have been limited to cumbersome brain implants with protruding wires. But the technology was soon miniaturized, and a scheme was proposed whereby radio receivers would be mounted on utility poles throughout a given city, thereby providing 24-hour-a-day monitoring capability. Like Heath, Schwitzgebel was much exercised about homosexuality and the use of intracranial devices to combat sexual deviation. But he has also spoken ominously about applying his devices to “socially troublesome persons”...which, of course, could mean anyone.
Bryan Robinson, of the Yerkes primate laboratory has conducted fascinating simian research on the use of remote ESB in a social context. He could cause mothers to ignore their offspring, despite the babies’ cries. He could turn submission into dominance, and vice-versa.
Perhaps the most disturbing wanderer in this mind-field is Joseph A. Meyer, of the National Security Agency, the most formidable and secretive component of America’s national security complex. Meyer has proposed implanting roughly half of all Americans arrested — not necessarily convicted — of any crime; the numbers of “subscribers” (his euphemism) would run into the tens of millions. “Subscribers” could be monitored continually by computer wherever they went. Meyer, who has carefully worked out the economics of his mass-implantation system, asserts that taxpayer liability should be reduced by forcing subscribers to “rent” the implant from the State. Implants are cheaper and more efficient than police, Meyer suggests, since the call to crime is relentless for the poor “urban dweller” — who, this spook-scientist admits in a surprisingly candid aside, is fundamentally unnecessary to a post-industrial economy. “Urban dweller” may be another of Meyer’s euphemisms: He uses New York’s Harlem as his model community in working out the details of his mind-management system.
If we are to take seriously abductee accounts of brain implants, we must consider the possibility that the implanters, properly perceived, don’t look much like the “greys” pictured on Strieber’s dustjackets. Instead, the visitors may resemble Dr. Meyer and his brethren. We would thus have an explanation for both the reports of abductee brain implants and, as we shall see, the “scoop marks” and other scars visible on other parts of the abductees’ bodies. We would also have an explanation for the reports of individuals suffering personality change after contact with the UFO phenomenon.
Skeptics might counter that the time factor of UFO abductions disallows this possibility. If estimates of “missing time” are correct, the abductions rarely take longer than one-to-three hours. Wouldn’t a brain surgeon, operating under less-than-ideal conditions (perhaps in a mobile unit) need more time?
No — not if we accept the claims of a Florida doctor named Daniel Man. He recently proposed a draconian solution to the overblown “missing children problem,” by suggesting a program wherein America’s youngsters would be implanted with tiny transmitters in order to track the children continuously. Man brags that the operation can be done right in the office — and would take less than 20 minutes.
Conceivably, it might take a tad longer in the field.
The history of brain implantation, as gleaned from the open literature, is certainly disquieting. Yet this history has almost certainly been censored, and the dates manipulated in a nigh-Orwellian fashion. When dealing with research funded by the engines of national security, one can never know the true origin date of any individual scientific advance. However, if we listen carefully to the scientists who have pioneered this research, we may hear whispers, faint but unmistakable, hinting that remotely-applied ESB originated earlier than published studies would indicate.
In his autobiography The Scientist, John C. Lilly (who would later achieve a cultish renown for his work with dolphins, drugs and sensory deprivation) records a conversation he had with the director of the National Institute of Mental Health — in 1953. The director asked Lilly to brief the CIA, FBI, NSA and the various military intelligence services on his work using electrodes to stimulate directly the pleasure and pain centers of the brain. Lilly refused, noting, in his reply:
Dr. Antoine Remond, using our techniques in Paris, has demonstrated that this method of stimulation of the brain can be applied to the human without the help of the neurosurgeon; he is doing it in his office in Paris without neurosurgical supervision. This means that anybody with the proper apparatus can carry this out on a person covertly, with no external signs that electrodes have been used on that person. I feel that if this technique got into the hands of a secret agency, they would have total control over a human being and be able to change his beliefs extremely quickly, leaving little evidence of what they had done.
Lilly’s assertion of the moral high ground here is interesting. Despite his avowed phobia against secrecy, a careful reading of The Scientist reveals that he continued to do work useful to this country’s national security apparatus. His sensory deprivation experiments expanded upon the work of ARTICHOKE’s Maitland Baldwin, and even his dolphin research has — perhaps inadvertently proved useful in naval warfare. One should note that Lilly’s work on monkeys carried a “secret” classification, and that NIMH was a common CIA funding conduit.
But the most important aspect of Lilly’s statement is its date. 1953? How far back does radio-controlled ESB go? Alas, I have not yet seen Remond’s work — if it is available in the open literature. In the documents made available to Marks, the earliest reference to remotely-applied ESB is a 1959 financial document pertaining to MKULTRA subproject 94. The general subproject descriptions sent to the CIA’s financial department rarely contain much information, and rarely change from year to year, leaving us little idea as to when this subproject began.
Unfortunately, even the Freedom of Information Act couldn’t pry loose much information on electronic mind control techniques, though we know a great deal of study was done in these areas. We have, for example, only four pages on subproject 94 — by comparison, a veritable flood of documents were released on the use of drugs in mind control. (Whenever an author tells us that MKULTRA met with little success, the reference is to drug testing.) On this point, I must criticize John Marks: His book never mentions that roughly 20-25 percent of the MKULTRA subprojects are “dark” — i.e., little or no information was ever made available, despite lawyers and FOIA requests. Marks seems to feel that the only information worth having is the information he received. We know, however, that research into psychoelectronics was extensive; indeed, statements of project goals dating from ARTICHOKE and BLUEBIRD days clearly identify this area as a high priority. Marks’ anonymous informant, jocularly named “Deep Trance,” even told a previous interviewer that, beginning in 1963, the CIA and military’s mind control efforts strongly emphasized electronics. I therefore assume — not rashly, I hope — that the “dark” MKULTRA subprojects concerned matters such as brain implants, microwaves, ESB, and related technologies.
I make an issue of the timing and secrecy involved in this research to underscore three points: 1. We can never know with certainty the true origin dates of the various brainwashing methods — often, we discover that techniques which seem impossibly futuristic actually originated in the 19th century. (Pioneering ESB research was conducted in 1898, by J.R. Ewald, professor of physiology at Straussbourg.) 2. The open literature almost certainly gives a bowdlerized view of the actual research. 3. Lavishly-funded clandestine researchers — unrestrained by peer review or the need for strict controls — can achieve far more rapid progress than scientists on “the outside.”
Potential critics should keep these points in mind should they attempt to invalidate the “mind control” thesis of UFO abductions by citing an abduction account which antedates Delgado.
We have amply demonstrated, then, that as far back as the 1960s — and possibly earlier still — scientists have had the capability to create implants similar to those now purportedly visible in abductee MRI scans. Indeed, we have no notion just how advanced this technology has become, since the popular press stopped reporting on brain implantation in the 1970s. The research has no doubt continued, albeit in a less public fashion. In fact, scientists such as Delgado have cast their eye far beyond the implants; ESB effects can now be elicited with microwaves and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, used with and without electrodes.
So why — if we take UFO abduction accounts at face value — are the “advanced aliens” using an old technology, an Earth technology, a technology which may soon be rendered obsolescent, if it hasn’t been so rendered already? I am reminded of the charming anachronisms in the old Flash Gordon serials, where swords and spaceships clashed continually.
Do they also watch black-and-white television on Zeta Reticuli?
Hypnosis provides the (highly controversial) key which opens the door to many abduction accounts. And obviously, if my thesis is correct, hypnosis plays a large part in the abduction itself. One thing we know with certainty: Since the earliest days of project BLUEBIRD, the CIA’s spy-chiatrists spent enormous sums mastering Mesmer’s art.
I cannot here give even a brief summary of hypnosis, nor even of the CIA’s studies in this area. (Fortunately, FOIA requests were rather more successful in shaking loose information on this topic than in the area of psychoelectronics.) Here, we will concentrate on a particularly intriguing allegation — one heard faintly, but persistently, for the past twenty years by those who would investigate the shadow side of politics.
If this allegation proves true, hypnosis is not necessarily a person-to-person affair.
The abductee — or the mind control victim — need not have physical contact with a hypnotist for hypnotic suggestion to take effect; trance could be induced, and suggestions made, via the intracerebral transmitters described above. The concept sounds like something out of Huxley’s or Orwell’s most masochistic fantasies. Yet remote hypnosis was first reported — using allegedly parapsychological means — in the early 1930s, by L.L. Vasiliev, Professor of Physiology in the University of Leningrad. Later, other scientists attempted to accomplish the same goal, using less mystic means.
Over the years, certain journalists have asserted that the CIA has mastered a technology call RHIC-EDOM. RHIC means “Radio Hypnotic Intracerebral Control.” EDOM stands for “Electronic Dissolution of Memory.” Together, these techniques can — allegedly — remotely induce hypnotic trance, deliver suggestions to the subject, and erase all memory for both the instruction period and the act which the subject is asked to perform.
RHIC uses the stimoceiver, or a microminiaturized offspring of that technology to induce a hypnotic state. Interestingly, this technique is also reputed to involve the use of intramuscular implants, a detail strikingly reminiscent of the “scars” mentioned in Budd Hopkin’s Missing Time. Apparently, these implants are stimulated to induce a post-hypnotic suggestion.
EDOM is nothing more than “missing time” itself — the erasure of memory from consciousness through the blockage of synaptic transmission in certain areas of the brain. By jamming the brain’s synapses through a surfeit of acetylcholine, neural transmission along selected pathways can be effectively stilled. According to the proponents of RHIC-EDOM, acetylcholine production can be affected by electromagnetic means. (Modern research in the psycho-physiological effects of microwaves confirm this proposition.)
Does RHIC-EDOM exist? In our discussion of Delgado’s work, I have already cited a strange little book (published in 1969) titled Were We Controlled?, written by one Lincoln Lawrence, a former FBI agent turned journalist. (The name is a pseudonym; I know his real identity.) This work deals at length with RHIC-EDOM; a careful comparison of Lawrence’s work with MKULTRA files declassified ten years later indicates a strong possibility that the writer did indeed have “inside” sources.
Here is how Lawrence describes RHIC in action:
It is the ultra-sophisticated application of post-hypnotic suggestion triggered at will [italics in original] by radio transmission. It is a recurring hypnotic state, re-induced automatically at intervals by the same radio control. An individual is brought under hypnosis. This can be done either with his knowledge — or without it by use of narco-hypnosis, which can be brought into play under many guises. He is then programmed to perform certain actions and maintain certain attitudes upon radio signal.
Other authors have mentioned this technique — specifically Walter Bowart (in his book Operation Mind Control) and journalist James Moore, who, in a 1975 issue of a periodical called Modern People, claimed to have secured a 350-page manual, prepared in 1963, on RHIC-EDOM. He received the manual from CIA sources, although — interestingly — the technique is said to have originated in the military.
The following quote by Moore on RHIC should prove especially intriguing to abduction researchers who have confronted odd “personality shifts” in abductees:
Medically, these radio signals are directed to certain parts of the brain. When a part of your brain receives a tiny electrical impulse from outside sources, such as vision, hearing, etc., an emotion is produced — anger at the sight of a gang of boys beating an old woman, for example. The same emotion of anger can be created by artificial radio signals sent to your brain by a controller. You could instantly feel the same white-hot anger without any apparent reason.
Lawrence’s sources imparted an even more tantalizing — and frightening — revelation:
...there is already in use a small EDOM generator-transmitter which can be concealed on the body of the person. Contact with this person — a casual handshake or even just a touch — transmits a tiny electronic charge plus an ultra-sonic signal tone which for a short while will disturb the time orientation of the person affected.
If RHIC-EDOM exists, it goes a long way toward providing an earthbound rationale for alien abductions — or, at least, certain aspects of them. The phenomenon of “missing time” is no longer mysterious. Abductee implants, both intracerebral and otherwise, are explained. And note the reference to a “recurring hypnotic state, re-induced automatically by the same radio command.” This situation may account for “repeater” abductees who, after their initial encounter, have regular sessions of “missing time” and abduction — even while a bed-mate sleeps undisturbed.
At present, I cannot claim conclusively that RHIC-EDOM is real. To my knowledge, the only official questioning of a CIA representative concerning these techniques occurred in 1977, during Senate hearings on CIA drug testing. Senator Richard Schweicker had the following interchange with Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, an important MKULTRA administrator:
Schweicker: Some of the projects under MKULTRA involved hypnosis, is that correct?
Schweicker: Did any of these projects involve something called radio hypnotic intracerebral control, which is a combination, as I understand it, in layman’s terms, of radio transmissions and hypnosis.
Gottlieb: My answer is “No.”
Schweicker: None whatsoever?
Gottlieb: Well, I am trying to be responsive to the terms that you used. As I remember it, there was a current interest, running interest, all the time in what affects people’s standing in the field of radio energy have, and it could easily have been that somewhere in many projects, someone was trying to see if you could hypnotize someone easier if he was standing in a radio beam. That would seem like a reasonable piece of research to do.
Schweicker went on to mention that he had heard testimony that radar (i.e., microwaves) had been used to wipe out memory in animals; Gottlieb responded, “I can believe that, Senator.”
Gottlieb’s blandishments do not comfort much. For one thing, the good doctor did not always provide thoroughly candid testimony. (During the same hearing he averred that 99 percent on the CIA’s research had been openly published; if so, why are so many MKULTRA subprojects still “dark,” and why does the Agency still go to great lengths to protect the identities of its scientists?) We should also recognize that the CIA’s operations are compartmentalized on a “need-to-know” basis; Gottlieb may not have had access to the information requested by Schweicker. Note that the MKULTRA rubric circumscribed Gottlieb’s statement: RHIC-EDOM might have been the focus of another program. (There were several others: MKNAOMI, MKACTION, MKSEARCH, etc.) Also keep in mind the revelation by “Deep Trance” that the CIA concentrated on psychoelectronics after the termination of MKULTRA in 1963. Most significantly: RHIC-EDOM is described by both Lawrence and Moore as a product of military research; Gottlieb spoke only of matters pertaining to CIA. He may thus have spoken truthfully — at least in a strictly technical sense — while still misleading the Congressional interlocutors.
Personally, I believe that the RHIC-EDOM story deserves a great deal of further research. I find it significant that when Dr. Petter Lindstrom examined X-rays of Robert Naesland, a Swedish victim of brain-implantation, the doctor authoritatively cited Were We Controlled? in his letter of response. This is the same Dr. Lindstrom noted for his pioneering use of ultrasonics in neurosurgery. Lincoln Lawrence’s book has received a strong endorsement indeed.
Bowart’s Operation Mind Control contains a significant interview with an intelligence agent knowledgeable in these areas. Granted, the reader has every right to adopt a skeptical attitude toward information culled from anonymous sources; still, one should note that this operative’s statements confirm, in pertinent part, Lincoln Lawrence’s thesis.
Most importantly: The open literature on brain-wave entrainment and the behavioral effects of electromagnetic radiation substantiates much of the RHIC-EDOM story — as we shall see.
Robert Anton Wilson, an author with a devoted cult following, recently has taken to promoting a new generation of “mind machines” designed to promote creativity, stimulate learning, and alter consciousness — i.e., provide a drug-less high. Interestingly, these machines can also induce “Out-of-Body-Experiences,” in which the percipient mentally “travels” to another location while his body remains at rest. This rapidly-developing technology has spawned a technological equivalent to the drug culture; indeed, the aficionados of the electronic buzz even have their own magazine, Reality Hackers. I strongly suspect that we will hear much of these machines in the future.
One such device is called the “hemi-synch.” This headphone-like invention produces slightly different frequencies in each ear; the brain calculates the difference between these frequencies, resulting in a rhythm known as the “binaural beat.” The brain “entrains” itself to this beat — that is, the subject’s EEG slows down or speeds up to keep pace with its electronic running partner.
The brain has a “beat” of its own.
This rhythm was first discovered in 1924 by the German psychiatrist Hans Berger, who recorded cerebral voltages as part of a telepathy study. He noted two distinct frequencies: alpha (8-13 cycles per second), associated with a relaxed, alert state, and beta (14-30 cycles per second), produced during states of agitation and intense mental concentration. Later, other rhythms were noted, which are particularly important for our present purposes: theta (4-7 cycles per second), a hypnogogic state, and delta (.5 to 3.5 cycles per second), generally found in sleeping subjects.
The hemi-synch — and related mind-machines — can produce alpha or theta waves, on demand, according to the operator’s wishes. A suitably-entrained brain is much more responsive to suggestion, and is even likely to experience vivid hallucinations.
I have spoken to several UFO abductees who describe a “stereophonic sound” effect — exactly similar to that produced by the hemi-synch — preceding many “encounters.” Of course, one usually administers the hemi-synch via headphones, but I see no reason why the effect cannot be transmitted via the above-described stimoceiver. Again, I remind the reader of the abductee with an implant just inside her ear canal.
There’s more than one way to entrain a brain. Michael Hutchison’s excellent book Mega Brain details the author’s personal experiences with many such devices — the Alpha-stim, TENS, the Synchro-energizer, Tranquilite, etc. He recounts dazzling, Dali-esque hallucinations, as a result of using this mind-expanding technology; moreover, he offers a seductive argument that these devices may represent a true breakthrough in consciousness-control, thereby fulfilling the dashed dream of the hallucinogenic ’60s.
I wish to avoid a knee-jerk Luddite response to these fascinating wonder-boxes. At the same time, I recognize the dangers involved. What about the possibility of an outside operator literally “changing our minds” by altering our brainwaves without our knowledge or permission? If these machines can induce a hypnotic state, what’s to stop a skilled hypnotist from making use of this state?
Granted, most of these devices require some physical interaction with the subject. But a tool called the Bio-Pacer can, according to its manufacturer, produce a number of mood altering frequencies — without attachment to the subject. Indeed, the Bio-Pacer III (a high-powered version) can affect an entire room. This device costs $275, according to the most recent price sheet available. What sort of machine might $27,500 buy? Or $275,000? What effects, what ranges might a million-dollar machine be capable of?
The military certainly has that sort of money.
And they’re certainly interested in this sort of technology, according to Michael Hutchison. His interview with an informant named Joseph Light elicited some particularly provocative revelations. According to Light:
There are important elements in the scientific community, powerful people, who are very much interested in these areas...but they have to keep most of their work secret. Because as soon as they start to publish some of these sensitive things, they have problems in their lives. You see, they work on research grants, and if you follow the research being done, you find that as soon as these scientists publish something about this, their research funds are cut off. There are areas in bioelectric research where very simple techniques and devices can have mind-boggling effects. Conceivably, if you have a crazed person with a bit of a technical background, he can do a lot of damage.
This last statement is particularly evocative. In 1984, a violent neo-Nazi group called The Order (responsible for the murder of talk-show host Alan Berg) established contact with two government scientists engaged in clandestine research to project chemical imbalances and render targeted individuals docile via certain frequencies of electronic waves. For $100,000 the scientists were willing to deliver this information.
Thus, at least one group of crazed individuals almost got the goods.
Every Senator and Congressional representative has a “wavie” file. So do many state representatives. Wavies have even pled their case to private institutions such as the Christic Institute.
And who are the wavies?
They claim to be victims of clandestine bombardment with non-ionizing radiation — or microwaves. They report sudden changes in psychological states, alteration of sleep patterns, intracerebral voices and other sounds, and physiological effects. Most people never realize how many wavies there are in this country. I’ve spoken to a number of wavies myself.
Are these troubled individuals seeking an exterior rationale for their mental problems? Maybe. Indeed, I’m sure that such is the case in many instances. But the fact is that the literature on the behavioral effects of microwaves, extra-low-frequencies (ELF) and ultra-sonics is such that we cannot blithely dismiss all such claims.
For decades, American science and industry tried to convince the population that microwaves could have no adverse effects on human beings at sub-thermal levels — in other words, the attitude was, “If it can’t burn you, it can’t hurt you.” This approach became increasingly difficult to defend as reports mounted of microwave-induced physiological effects. Technicians described “hearing” certain radar installations; users of radar telescopes began developing cataracts at an appallingly high rate. The Soviets had long recognized the strange and sometimes subtle effects of these radio frequencies, which is why their exposure standards have always been much stricter.
Soviet microwave bombardment of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow prompted the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Project PANDORA (later renamed), whose ostensible goal was to determine whether these pulsations (reportedly 10 cycles per second, which puts them in the alpha range) could be used for the purposes of mind control. I suspect that the “war on Tchaikovsky Street,” as I call it, was used, at least in part, as a cover story for DARPA mind control research, and that the stories floated in the news (via, for example, Jack Anderson’s column) about Soviet remote brainwashing served the same propaganda purposes as did the bleatings of Edward Hunter during the 1950s.
What can low-level microwaves do to the mind?
According to a DIA report released under the Freedom of Information Act, microwaves can induce metabolic changes, alter brain functions, and disrupt behavior patterns. PANDORA discovered that pulsed microwaves can create leaks in the blood/brain barrier, induce heart seizures, and create behavioral disorganization. In 1970, a RAND Corporation scientist reported that microwaves could be used to promote insomnia, fatigue, irritability, memory loss, and hallucinations.
Perhaps the most significant work in this area has been produced by Dr. W. Ross Adey at the University of Southern California. He determined that behavior and emotional states can be altered without electrodes — simply by placing the subject in an electromagnetic field. By directing a carrier frequency to stimulate the brain and using amplitude modulation to “shape” the wave into a mimicry of a desired EEG frequency, he was able to impose a 4.5 cps theta rhythm on his subjects — a frequency which he previously measured in the hippocampus during avoidance learning. Thus, he could externally condition the mind towards an aversive reaction. (Adey has also done extensive work on the use of electrodes in animals.) According to another prominent microwave scientist, Allen Frey, other frequencies could — in animal studies — induce docility.
The controversial researcher Andrijah Puharich asserts that “a weak (1 mW) 4 Hz magnetic sine wave will modify human brain waves in 6 to 10 seconds. The psychological effects of a 4 Hz sine magnetic wave are negative — causing dizziness, nausea, headache, and can lead to vomiting.” Conversely, an 8 Hz magnetic sine wave has beneficial effects. Though some writers question Puharich’s integrity (perhaps correctly, considering his involvement in the confused tale of Uri Geller), his claims here seem in line with the findings of less-flamboyant experimenters.
As investigative journalist Anne Keeler writes:
Specific frequencies at low intensities can predictably influence sensory processes... pleasantness-unpleasantness, strain-relaxation, and excitement-quiescence can be created with the fields. Negative feelings and avoidance are strong biological phenomena and relate to survival. Feelings are the true basis of much “decision-making” and often occur as subthreshold impressions... Ideas including names [my italics] can be synchronized with the feelings that the fields induce.
Adey and compatriots have compiled an entire library of frequencies and pulsation rates which can affect the mind and nervous system. Some of these effects can be extremely bizarre. For example, engineer Tom Jarski, in an attempt to replicate the seminal work of F. Cazamalli, found that a particular frequency caused a ringing sensation in the ears of his subjects — who felt strangely compelled to bite the experimenters! On the other hand, the diet-conscious may be intrigued by the finding that rats exposed to ELF (extra-low-frequency) waves failed to gain weight normally.
For our present purposes, the most significant electromagnetic research findings concern microwave signals modulated by hypnoidal EEG frequencies. Microwaves can act much like the “hemi-synch” device previously described — that is, they can entrain the brain to theta rhythms. I need not emphasize the implications of remotely synchronizing the brain to resonate at a frequency conducive to sleep, or to hypnosis.
Trance may be remotely induced — but can it be directed? Yes. Recall the intracerebral voices mentioned earlier in our discussion of Delgado. The same effect can be produced by “the wave.” Frey demonstrated in the early 1960s that microwaves could produce booming, hissing, buzzing, and other intracerebral static (this phenomenon is now called “the Frey effect”); in 1973, Dr. Joseph Sharp, of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, expanded on Frey’s work in an experiment where the subject — in this case, Sharp himself — “heard” and understood spoken words delivered via a pulsed-microwave analog of the speaker’s sound vibrations.
Dr. Robert Becker comments that “Such a device has obvious applications in covert operations designed to drive a target crazy with ‘voices’ or deliver undetectable instructions to a programmed assassin.” In other words, we now have, at the push of a button, the technology either to inflict an electronic Gaslight — or to create a true Manchurian Candidate. Indeed, the former capability could effectively disguise the latter. Who will listen to the victims, when the electronically-induced hallucinations they recount exactly parallel the classical signals of paranoid schizophrenia and/or temporal lobe epilepsy?
Perhaps the most ominous revelations, however, concern the mysterious work of J.F. Schapitz, who in 1974 filed a plan to explore the interaction of radio frequencies and hypnosis. He proposed the following:
In this investigation it will be shown that the spoken word of the hypnotist may be conveyed by modulated electromagnetic energy directly into the subconscious parts of the human brain [my italics] — i.e., without employing any technical devices for receiving or transcoding the messages and without the person exposed to such influence having a chance to control the information input consciously.
He outlined an experiment, innocent in its immediate effects yet chilling in its implications, whereby subjects would be implanted with the subconscious suggestion to leave the lab and buy a particular item; this action would be triggered by a certain cue word or action. Schapitz felt certain that the subjects would rationalize the behavior — in other words, the subject would seize upon any excuse, however thin, to chalk up his actions to the working of free will. His instincts on this latter point coalesce perfectly with findings of professional hypnotists.
Schapitz’s work was funded by the Department of Defense. Despite FOIA requests, the results have never been publicly revealed.
I must again offer a caveat about possible disparities between the “official” record of electromagnetism’s psychological effects and the hidden history. Once more, we face a question of timing. How long ago did this research really begin?
In the early years of this century, Nikola Tesla seems to have stumbled upon certain of the behavioral effects of electromagnetic exposure. Cazamalli, mentioned earlier, conducted his studies in the 1930s. In 1934, E.L. Chaffe and R.U. Light published a paper on “A Method for the Remote Control of Electrical Stimulation of the Nervous System.” From the very beginning of their work with microwaves, the Soviets explored the more subtle physiological effects of electromagnetism — and despite the bleatings of certain right-wing alarmists that an “electromagnetic gap” separates us from Soviet advances, East European literature in this area has been closely monitored for decades by the West. ARTICHOKE/BLUEBIRD project outlines, dating from the early 1950s, prominently mention the need to explore all possible uses of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Another point worth mentioning concerns the combination of EMR and miniature brain electrodes. The father of the stimoceiver, Dr. J.M.R. Delgado, has recently conducted experiments in which monkeys are exposed to electromagnetic fields, thereby eliciting a wide range of behavioral effects — one monkey might fly into a volcanic rage while, just a few feet away, his simian partner begins to nod off. Fascinatingly, when monkeys with brain implants felt “the wave,” the effects were greatly intensified. Apparently, these tiny electrodes can act as an amplifier of the electromagnetic effect.
This last point is important to our “alien abduction” thesis. Critics might counter that any burst of microwave energy powerful enough to have truly remote effects would probably also create a thermal reaction. That is, if a clandestine operator propagated a “wave” from outside an abductee’s bedroom (say, from a low-flying helicopter), or from a truck travelling alongside the subject’s car), the power necessary to do the job might be such that the microwave would cook the target before it got a chance to launder his thoughts. Our abductee would end up like the victim of the microwave “hit” in the finale of Jerzy Kozinsky’s Cockpit.
It’s a fair criticism. But Delgado’s work may give us our solution. Once an abductee has been implanted — and if we are to trust hypnotic regression accounts of abductees at all, the first implanting session may occur in childhood — the chip-in-the-brain would act as an intensifier of the signal. Such an individual could have any number of “UFO” experiences while his or her bed partner dozes comfortably.
Furthermore, recent reports indicate that a “waver” can achieve pinpoint accuracy without the use of Delgado-style implants. In 1985, volunteers at the Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, were exposed to microwave beams as part of an experiment sponsored by the Department of Energy and the New York State Department of Health. As The Arizona Republic described the experiment, “A matched control group sat in the same room without being bombarded by non-ionizing radiation.” [My italics.] Apparently, one can focus “the wave” quite narrowly — a fact which has wide implications for abductees.
So we now have some idea of the tools available to the “spy-chiatrists.” How have these tools been used?
This question necessarily involves some detective work. The Central Intelligence Agency, under duress, provided some, though not enough, documentation of its efforts to commandeer “the space between our ears.” We know that these efforts were extensive, long-term, and at least partially successful. We know also that these experiments used human subjects. But who? When?
One paradox of this line of inquiry is that, for many readers, the victims elicit sympathy only insofar as they remain anonymous. Intellectually, we realize that MKULTRA and its allied projects must have affected hundreds, probably thousands, of individuals. Yet we react with deep suspicion whenever one of these individuals steps forward and identifies himself, or whenever an independent investigator argues that mind control has directed some newsworthy person’s otherwise inexplicable actions. Where, the skeptic may rightfully ask, is the documentation supporting such accusations? Most of the MKULTRA “paper trail” was (allegedly) burnt at Richard Helms’ order; what’s left has been censored, leaving black ink smudges wherever the names originally appeared. Claimed mind control victims can, for the most part, only give us testimony — and how reliable can such testimony be, especially in light of the fact that one purpose of MKULTRA was to induce insanity? Anyone asserting that he was victimized by the program might well be seeking an extrinsic excuse for his own psychopathology. If you say that you are a manufactured madman, you were probably mad to begin with: Catch 22.
When John Marks wrote The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate” he received numerous letters from people insisting that they had been drugged, “waved,” or otherwise abused by the CIA or the military. Most of these communications went directly into his crank file. Perhaps many deserved that destination; I know of at least one that did not.
Marks did, however, devote much attention to Val Orlikov, a former “patient” of perhaps the most notorious figure in the annals of American medical crime: Dr. Ewen Cameron, a CIA-funded scientist heading the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Cameron, a highly-respected mental health researcher, experimented with a technique he called “psychic driving,” a brainwashing program which involved inflicting upon a subject an endless tape loop blaring selected messages, 16-to-24 hours a day, combined with massive electroshock and LSD. The project’s “guinea pigs” were patients who had come to Allan Memorial with relatively minor psychological complaints. Cameron’s experiments failed and his theories were discredited, which may explain why the CIA and its apologists now feel relatively comfortable discussing the Frankensteinian efforts at Allan Memorial, as opposed to more successful work elsewhere.
Orlikov’s testimony has received much respectful attention from those writers who have examined MKULTRA, and correctly so. When I studied the files at the National Security Archives, I was particularly keen to read her original letters to John Marks, for these pages had led to the unmasking of an especially heinous CIA project. The letters, interestingly enough, proved just as vague, disjointed, and bizarre as similar correspondence which researchers routinely dismiss. Orlikov can’t be blamed for the hazy nature of her recollections; a certain amount of fog is to be expected, given the nature of the crime perpetrated against her. The important point is that her story, ultimately, was found to be true. All of which leads me to wonder: Why did her claims prompt investigation when those of others prompt only dismissal? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Orlikov’s husband became a Canadian Member of Parliament. Any victims of CIA experimentation who wish to be taken seriously ought, perhaps, first make sure to marry well.
Of course, we can easily forgive previous writers and readers whose researches into MKULTRA have been biased in favor of complacency. But we can’t let this natural prejudice cripple our present investigation. Let us examine, then, a few of the “horror stories” from the mind control literature and highlight possible correlations to abductee testimony.
As mentioned previously, I have not delved much into the subject of hypnosis in this paper — primarily because of space and time limitations, but also because discussions of the possibilities of hypnosis per se tend to cloud the issue of its use in conjunction with the above-mentioned electronic techniques. Obviously, however, hypnosis is a major weapon in the mind controller’s armament; in a forthcoming full-length work, I intend to deal with this subject at much greater length.
Needless to say, one of the primary objectives of MKULTRA and related projects was to determine whether one could hypnotically induce someone to commit an anti-social act. This possibility remains one of the most hotly-debated issues in hypnosis, for conventional wisdom asserts that no individual can be hypnotized to commit an action which violates his interior moral code. Martin Orne, editor of the prestigious International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis agrees with this axiom, and he is in a position to codify much of the established view on this topic. Orne, however, is a veteran of MKULTRA, and furthermore seems to have lied — at least in his original communications — to author John Marks about his witting involvement with subproject 84. While I respect much of Orne’s ground-breaking work, his pronouncements do not hold, for this layman, an Olympian unassailability.
To be sure, many other hypnosis experts, untainted by Company connections, also discount the possibility that anti-social actions can be induced. But a number of highly-experienced professionals — including Milton Kline, William Kroger, George Estabrooks, John Watkins, and Herbert Spiegel — have argued that such actions can, at least to some degree, be elicited by an outside manipulator.
Occasionally, claims of hypnotically-induced anti-social behavior find their way into the courtroom; one such case, which led to the incarceration of the hypnotist, was the Palle Hardrup affair. This incident occurred in Denmark in 1951. Palle Hardrup robbed a bank, killing a guard in the process, and later claimed that he had been instructed to do so by the hypnotist Bjorn Nielsen. Nielsen eventually confessed to having engineered the crime as a test of his hypnotic abilities.
The most significant aspect of this incident concerns the “pose” Nielsen adopted to work his malicious designs. During the hypnosis sessions, Nielsen hypnotically suggested that he was Hardrup’s “guardian angel,” represented by the letter X. Hardrup testified that “There is another room next door where Nielsen and I go and talk on our own. It is there that my guardian spirit usually comes and talks to me. Nielsen says that X has a task for me.”
One of these tasks was arranging for Hardrup’s girlfriend to have sex with the hypnotist. The other tasks, he mentioned, included robbery and murder. Nielsen convinced his victim that “X” wanted the robbery funds to be used for worthwhile political goals. The end, Hardrup was told, justified the means.
Compare this scenario to that encountered in the typical contactee case, in which alien “guardians” convince their victims/subjects that the encounter will eventually serve some unspecified “higher purpose.” Indeed, in my interviews with abductees who have established a “long-term” relationship with their visitors, I have found that some of them originally believed themselves in contact with Hardrup-like angelic guardians. Only in recent years was the “angel” pose discarded and the true “alien” form revealed.
Thus we have one possible means of overcoming the proposition that hypnosis cannot induce anti-social behavior. If a hypnotist lacks scruples, and has access to a particularly susceptible subject, he can induce a misperceived reality. Actions which we would abhor in an everyday context become acceptable in specialized circumstances: A citizen who could never commit murder on a suburban street might, if drafted into an army, kill on the field of battle. In hypnosis, the mind becomes that battlefield. In the words of Dr. John Watkins,
We behave on the basis of our perceptions. If our perceptions of a situation can be altered so as to cause us to misconstrue it, or to develop a false belief, then our behavior in relation to it will be drastically altered. It is precisely in the area of changing perceptions that the hypnotic modality demonstrates its most powerful effects. Hallucinations both under hypnosis, and posthypnotic, can easily be induced in the suggestible subject. He can be made to ignore painful stimuli, be apparently unable to hear loud sounds, and “see” individuals who are not present [my italics]. Moreover, attitudes and beliefs can be initiated in him which are quite abnormal and often contrary to those which he previously held.
If traditional hypnosis, unaided, can achieve such changes in perception, one can only imagine the possibilities inherent in the combination of hypnotic techniques with the psychoelectronic research previously described.
Scientists such as Orne and Milton Erickson have taken issue with Watkins’ assertions. But the Hardrup case would appear to bear Watkins out. If someone can be convinced that he, like Jeanne D’Arc, acts under the influence of a supernatural higher power, then previously unthinkable capabilities may be evinced and “impossible” actions carried forth. Indeed, when we consider the extreme personality changes — and occasionally, the heinous actions — elicited by leaders of certain cults, and occult groups, we understand the desirability of installing a hypnotic “cover story” within a supernatural matrix. People will do for God — or the Devil, or the Space Brothers — what they would not do otherwise.
The date of the Hardrup affair corresponds to the institution of BLUEBIRD/ ARTICHOKE; it doesn’t require much imagination to see how this case could have served as a model to the scientists researching those and subsequent projects.
According to declassified documents in the Marks files, a major difficulty faced by the MKULTRA researchers concerned the “disposal problem.” What to do with the victims of CIA-sponsored electroshock, hypnosis, and drug experimentation? The Company resorted to distressing, but characteristic, tactics: They disposed of their human guinea pigs by incarcerating them in insane asylums, by performing icepick lobotomies, and by ordering “executive actions.”
A more sophisticated solution had to be found. One of the goals of the CIA’s mind control efforts was the erasure of memory via hypnosis (and drugs, electronics, lobotomies, etc.); not only would this hide what occurred during the experimental indoctrination/programming sessions, it would prove useful in the field. “Amnesia was a big goal,” confirms Victor Marchetti, who points out its usefulness in dealing with contract agents: “After you’ve done it, the agent doesn’t even know what he’s done...you send him in, he does the job. When he comes out, you clean his head out.”
The big problem: Despite hypnotically-induced amnesia, there would be memory leaks — snippets of the repressed material would arise spontaneously, in dreams, as flashbacks, etc. A proposed solution: give the subject a “screen memory,” a false story; thus, even if he starts to recall the material, he will recall it incorrectly.
Even the conservative Dr. Orne notes that:
A S [subject] who is able to develop good posthypnotic amnesia will also respond to suggestions to remember events which did not actually occur. On awakening, he will fail to recall the real events of the trance and will instead recall the suggested events. If anything, this phenomenon is easier to produce than total amnesia, perhaps because it eliminates the subjective feeling of an empty space in memory.
Not only would the screen memories fill in the uncomfortable blanks in the subjects’ recollection, they would protect against revelation. One fear of the MKULTRA scientists was that a hypno-programmed individual used as, say, a courier, could be un-programmed by another hypnotist, perhaps working for the enemy. Thus, the MKULTRA scientists decided to instill multiple personalities — multiple cover stories, if you will — to confuse any “unauthorized” hypnotist.
One case using this technique centered on an assassin named Luis Castillo, who, after his capture in the Philippines, was extensively de-briefed and studied by experts in the employ of the National Bureau of Investigation, that country’s equivalent to our FBI. Castillo was discovered to have had at least four separate personalities hypnotically instilled; each personality could be triggered by a specific cue. In one state, he claimed to be Sgt. Manuel Angel Ramirez, of the Strategic Air Tactical Command in South Vietnam; supposedly, “Ramirez” was the illegitimate son of a certain pipe-smoking, highly-placed CIA official whose initials were A.D. Another personality claimed to be one of John F. Kennedy’s assassins.
The main hypnotist involved with this case labelled these hypnotic alter-egos “Zombie states.” The report on the case stated that “The Zombie phenomenon referred to here is a somnambulistic behavior displayed by the subject in a conditioned response to a series of words, phrases, and statements, apparently unknown to the subject during his normal waking state.”
Upon Castillo’s repatriation to the United States, the FBI claimed that he had fabricated the story. In his book Operation Mind Control, Walter Bowart makes a convincing case against the FBI’s claims. Certainly, many aspects of the Castillo affair argue for his sincerity — including his hypnotically-induced insensitivity to pain, his maintenance of the story (or stories) even when severely inebriated, and his apparently programmed suicide attempts.
If Castillo told the truth, as I believe he did, then he manifested both hypnotically-induced multiple personality and pseudomemory. The former remains controversial; the latter has been repeatedly replicated in experimental situations.
This point is vitally important for students of the abduction phenomenon. We cannot assume the accuracy of abduction descriptions given during subsequent hypnotic regression. Moreover, we cannot even assume the accuracy of spontaneously-arising recollections (i.e., abduction memories not elicited through hypnotic regression). Indeed, responsible skeptics have argued that hypnotic regression may prove inadvertently harmful, in that it may lock in place a false remembrance. (Note, however, that other psychiatric professionals consider hypnotic regression the best technique, however flawed, in unlocking amnesia. For my part, I maintain an ambivalent and cautious attitude toward the use of hypnosis in abductee work.)
Granted, it is all too easy for the debunkers to cry “confabulation” to dismiss hypnotic testimony which does not conform to our preconceptions about the possible; I do not intend to make this same error. Whenever skeptics offer the phenomenon of pseudomemory to rationalize abduction claims, they cite experimental situations in which pseudomemory was originally created by a hypnotist. These experiments can not be cited as proof that an individual abductee spontaneously conjured up a fantasy (which just happens to correspond to the details of hundreds of similar “fantasies”). Rather, laboratory studies of pseudomemory creation prove my point: Pseudomemory can be induced by previous hypnosis.
In other words, an abductee may talk of aliens — when the reality was something else entirely.
In correspondence with me, a noted abduction researcher noted an instance in which an abductee recounted seeing a helicopter during his experience; as the abductee testimony progressed, the helicopter turned into a UFO. During one of the (quite few) regression sessions I attended, I heard an exactly similar narrative. Hopkins would argue that the helicopter was a “screen memory” hiding the awful reality of the UFO encounter. But does Occam’s razor really cut that way? Shouldn’t we also consider the possibility that the object in question really was a helicopter — which the abductee was instructed to recall as a UFO?
Among the released BLUEBIRD/ARTICHOKE/MKULTRA papers was the following handwritten memorandum, unsigned and undated:
I have developed a technic which is safe and secure (free from international censorship). It has to do with the conditioning of our own people. I can accomplish this as a one-man job.
The method is the production of hypnosis by means of simple oral medication. Then (with no further medication) the hypnosis is re-enforced daily during the following three or four days.
Each individual is conditioned against revealing any information to an enemy, even though subjected to hypnosis or drugging. If preferable, he may be conditioned to give false information rather than no information.
In the margin of this document, one of Marks’ assistants wrote, “Is this Wendt?” The reference here is to G. Richard Wendt, a professor employed by project CHATTER who, in 1951, led both his Naval employers and the CIA on a mind control merry-goose-chase, when an experiment similar to that described above failed to produce results. Even if the above memorandum does describe an operational failure (and the tactics described in this memo do not seem very feasible to me), we should not rest complacent. We now know that, in at least one case, more sophisticated techniques made the above scenario a reality.
I refer to the case of Candy Jones.
Her story has filled at least one book and ought, one day, to give rise to another. Obviously, I cannot here give all the details of this fascinating and frightening narrative. But a precis is mandatory.
Ms. Jones (born Jessica Wilcox) achieved star status as a model during World War II, and later established her own modelling agency. An FBI man requested her to allow her place of business to be used as a “mail drop” for the Bureau and “another government agency” (presumably, the CIA); Candy, deeply patriotic, accepted the proposition gladly. Toiling on the fringes of the clandestine world, Candy eventually came into contact with a “Dr. Gilbert Jensen,” who worked, in turn, with a “Dr. Marshall Burger.” (Both names are pseudonyms.) Unknown to her, these doctors had been employed as “spy-chiatrists” by the CIA. Using a job interview as a cover, Jensen induced hypnosis, found Candy to be a particularly responsive subject — and proceeded to use her as other scientists would use a rhesus monkey. She became a test subject for the CIA’s mind control program.
Her job — insofar as it is known — was to provide a clandestine courier service. Estabrooks had outlined the basic idea years earlier: Induce hypnosis via a disguised technique, give the messenger information to memorize, hypnotically “erase” the message from conscious memory, and install a post-hypnotic suggestion that the message (now buried within the subconscious) will be brought forth only upon a specific cue. If the hypnotist can create such a courier, ultra-security can be guaranteed; even torture won’t cause the messenger to tell what he knows — because he doesn’t know that he knows it. According to the highly respected Dr. Milton Kline, “Evidence really does exist that has not been published” proving that Estabrooks’ perfect secret agent could be successfully evoked.
Candy was one such success story. Success, in this context, means that she could be — and was — brutally tortured and abused while running assignments for the CIA. All the MKULTRA toys were brought into play: hypnosis, drugs, conditioning — and electronics. Using these devices, Jensen and Burger managed to:
― install a “duplicate personality,”
― create amnesia of both the programming sessions and the field assignments,
― turn Candy into a vicious, hate-mongering bigot, the better to isolate her from the rest of humanity (previously, her associates considered her noteworthy for her racial tolerance; her modelling agency was one of the first to break the color barrier), and
— program her to commit suicide at the end of her usefulness to the agency.
The programming techniques used on her were flawed. She breached security when she married famed New York radio personality John Nebel, who, using hypnotic regression, elicited the long-repressed truth. Eventually, the “Other Candy” was bade farewell, and the programming broken.
Skeptics might find Candy’s story as incredible as the abduction accounts — after all, an amateur had conducted her hypnotic regression, and the possibility of confabulation always lurks. Nevertheless, I feel that the veracity of her narrative has been established beyond reasonable doubt. In her hypnotic regression sessions, she recalled being programmed at a government-connected institute in northern California — which, as John Marks’ investigators later proved, was indeed heavily involved with government-funded brainwashing research. Marks himself believes Candy’s story — not least, because the details of the programming methods used on her were substantiated by documents released after her book was published. Interviews with Milton Kline, Dr. Frances Jakes, John Watkins and others provided the testimony that the programming of Candy Jones was feasible — and Deep Trance substantiated the story.
Recently, the case has received important “indirect” confirmation: Investigators interested in follow-up research have filed FOIA requests with the CIA for all papers relating to Candy Jones. The agency admits that it has a substantial file on her, but refuses to release any part of it. If her tale is false, then why would the CIA be so reluctant to deliver the information? Indeed, why would they have a file in the first place?
The final confirmation of Candy’s tale requires a revelation — one which I make with some trepidation, even though the individual named is dead.
“Marshall Burger” was really Dr. William Kroger.
Kroger, long associated with the espionage establishment, had written the following in 1963:
“...a good subject can be hypnotized to deliver secret information. The memory of this message could be covered by an artificially-induced amnesia. In the event that he should be captured, he naturally could not remember that he had ever been given the message...however, since he had been given a post-hypnotic suggestion, the message would be subject to recall through a specific cue.”
If Candy confabulated her story, why did she name this particular scientist, who, writing theoretically in 1963, predicted the subsequent events in her life?
After l’Affair Jones, Kroger transferred his base of operations to UCLA — specifically, to the Neuropsychiatric Institute run by Dr. Louis Jolyon West, an MKULTRA veteran. There he wrote Hypnosis and Behavior Modification, with a preface by Martin Orne (another MKULTRA veteran) and H.J. Eysenck (still another MKULTRA veteran). The finale of this opus contains chilling hints of the possibilities inherent in combining hypnosis with ESB, implants, and conditioning — though Kroger is careful to point out that “we are not concerned that man might be conditioned by rewards and punishments through electronic brain stimulation to be controlled like robots.” He may not be concerned — but perhaps we ought to be.
The control of Candy Jones gives us much information useful to our “alien abduction” hypothesis.
1. Her torture sessions — inflicted during her programming by her CIA masters, and on missions by as-yet mysterious persons — seem strikingly like the otherwise senselessly painful “examinations” allegedly conducted aboard alien spacecraft.
2. Her personality shifts roughly parallel those experienced by certain UFO abductees.
3. Despite her brutalization, she remained “loyal” to Drs. Jensen and Burger. This bewildering behavior reminds me of my first abductee interviews, during which I heard ghastly descriptions of UFO torture sessions — followed by protestations of limitless love for the alien pain-mongers.
4. Like many abductees, Candy had to attend regular “conditioning” sessions. Repeated exposure to the programming is necessary to effect continuous control.
5. To maintain their hammerlock on her mind, Candy’s handlers programmed her to remain isolated. Specifically, they instilled a deep paranoia toward other human beings; “outsiders” were probable enemies, out to use or abuse her. I have seen this pattern consistently in my own work with abductees. Skeptics would argue that unreasonable abductee fears probably indicate paranoid schizophrenia — one symptom of which can, indeed, be hallucinatory experiences. But most abductees are easily hypnotized, while paranoid schizophrenics are extremely difficult to “put under,” according to Dr. Edward Simpson-Kallas, a psychiatrist with wide experience in the area of forensic hypnosis. If, however, those unreasonable fears had been hypnotically induced, the contradiction is resolved.
6. Candy was the product of an unhappy childhood, hence her propensity toward multiple personality. Many of the “repeater” abductees I have interviewed had similarly depressing family histories.
7. The story of Candy Jones also has what we might call a “negative relevance” to the abduction accounts. Because the Controllers did not establish a hypnotic cover story, or pseudomemory, the true facts of the case managed to percolate into her conscious mind. No matter how thorough the post-hypnotic amnesia, leaks will occur — hence the need for a false memory, to fill the gap of recollection. The CIA learns from its mistakes. Candy’s hypno-programming broke down in early 1973 — the year the “alien disguise” became (if my hypothesis proves correct) standard operating procedure. (Milton Kline accepted the Candy Jones story, but considered the job amateurish and inconsistent with the best work done at that time. Perhaps the major fault was the lack of a pseudomemory cover story?)
“Underground base” rumors are as hot as jalapenos in the UFO field right now, and several of these stories involve abductions.
For example, a sideshow of the famous Bentwaters UFO case involves the abduction of an airman named Larry Warren to an underground cavity beneath the military base. There, while in what he later described as “a bit of a drugged state,” he saw aliens and human beings — military figures — working side-by-side.
I have spoken to another abductee, Nancy Wright, who was allegedly taken to an underground chamber ten miles north of Edwards AFB, California. As this was a multiple-witness event, and Ms. Wright has not attempted to capitalize on the story for financial gain, I tend to credit her story. According to abduction researcher Miranda Parks, an elderly couple living in the vicinity was also abducted in an exactly similar fashion.
In 1979, Paul Bennewitz and Leo Sprinkle researched a particularly controversial abduction involving a young woman (name unrevealed) who was apparently taken to a facility where aliens processed fluids and body parts from a cattle mutilation. This investigation seems to have led to the government harassment of Bennewitz, in which some form of mind control (or, as I have previously referred to it, “electronic Gaslight”) may have played a part.
How do we account for these tales of alleged alien skullduggery carried out in conjunction with the military? I, for one, cannot credit the generally-unsubstantiated tales of “cosmic conspiracy” now promulgated by ex-intelligence agents such as John Lear and William Cooper. While I cannot assert insincerity on the part of these men, I often wonder if they have been used as conduits — witting or unwitting — in a sophisticated disinformation scheme.
A simpler, though no less chilling, explanation for the “base” abductions may be found in the story of Dr. Louis Jolyon West, now notorious for his participation in MKULTRA experiments with LSD. Inspired by Violence and the Brain (a book by Drs. Frank Ervin and Vernon H. Mark which ascribed inner city turmoil to a “genetic defect” within rebellious blacks), West proposed, in 1973, a Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence, where potentially violent individuals could be dealt with prophylactically.
And who were these individuals? According to West’s proposal, the noteworthy factors indicating a violent predisposition were “sex (male), age (youthful), ethnicity (black) and urbanicity.” How to deal with them? “...by implanting tiny electrodes deep within the brain, electrical activity can be followed in areas that cannot be measured from the surface of the scalp...it is even possible to record bioelectrical changes in the brains of freely-moving subjects, through the use of remote monitoring techniques...” By monitoring the subjects’ EEGs remotely, potentially violent episodes could be identified.
For our purposes, the most significant aspect of this proposal had to do with location. In a secret communication to Dr. J.M. Stubblebine, director of the California State Department of Health (fortunately, this missive was “leaked” to the public), West disclosed that he intended to house his Center in an abandoned Nike missile base, whose location was accessible yet relatively remote. “The site is securely fenced,” West wrote. “Comparative studies could be carried out there, in an isolated but convenient location, of experimental model programs, for the alteration of undesirable behavior.”
Public outcry stopped these plans. But was this scheme truly eliminated? Or was it merely modified, stripped (temporarily) of its overtly racial overtones and relocated to some less-accessible spot?
One thing is certain: A CIA “spy-chiatrist” favored secret behavior control experimentation in a remote military installation. Perhaps someone within the espionage establishment’s mind-modification divisions still thinks highly of the idea. If so, the disposal problem would once again rear its ugly head, should “visitors” to these installations ever reappear in outside society. Again, a hypno-programmed cover story — the less believable, the better — would prove invaluable.
Many books have been written about abductees, yet few exist about the victims of mind control. I cannot understand this situation; the reality of UFOs is still controversial, yet the existence of mind control was verified in two (heavily compromised) congressional investigations and in thousands of FOIA documents. Nevertheless, the abductees find many a sympathetic ear, while those few who dare to proclaim themselves the victims of known government programs rarely find anyone to hear them out. Our prejudices on this score are regrettable, for if we listened to the “controllees” we would hear many details strikingly similar to those mentioned by UFO abductees.
Two cases in point: Martti Koski and Robert Naeslund.
Koski, a Finnish citizen, claims to have been a victim of mind control experimentation while visiting Canada. Shortly after his experience began, he attempted to broadcast his situation to the world and draw attention to his plight. Few listened. Many of his details were bizarre, and not being a native speaker of English, he could not express himself convincingly to those he approached for help. Yet many aspects of his story correspond closely to known details of MKULTRA and related programs.
Naeslund, a Swedish citizen, tells a similar story. Moreover, his claims were backed by special evidence: X-rays revealed an implant in his brain. Naeslund actually went to the extreme of having his implant tested by electronic technicians employed by Hewlett-Packard. A Greek surgeon performed the necessary trepanation to remove the device.
Many aspects of the Koski and Naeslund stories correspond to my hypothesis. Koski, for example, was at one point told that the doctors afflicting him were actually “aliens from Sirius.” At another point, he was led to believe that he was under the direction of “the Lord.” (As I previously indicated, manipulation of religious imagery could help induce anti-social behavior; the subject’s super-ego can be nullified if he believes that he follows commands from on high. Such manipulation may explain the more bizarre aspects of Betty Andreasson Luca’s abduction.)
Naeslund’s implant was originally placed through his nasal cavity. He first realized that something terrible had happened to him after an experience of missing time, followed by an inexplicable nosebleed.
This detail will be instantly familiar to anyone who has studied abductions; I have encountered it in my own conversations with abductees. For an excellent example in the UFO literature, I refer the reader to the case of Susan Ransted, as detailed in Kevin D. Randle’s The UFO Casebook; the background of alleged contactee Diane Tessman is also noteworthy in this regard. Intriguingly, I have located a reference in the open literature to the use, in animal study, of nasally-implanted electrodes for the measurement of electromagnetic radiation effects.
There are other claimed mind control victims bearing evidence of implants; note, especially, the fascinating case of James Petit, a CIA-connected pilot and alleged brainwashing alumnus; X-rays of his cranium have revealed abductee-style implants — fitting, perhaps, since his body bears abductee-style scars. Conversely, certain abductees will, if allowed a thorough and sympathetic hearing, deliver testimony strongly agreeing with Koski’s narrative.
The bizarre story of Rex Niles and his sister (not named in news accounts) may shed interesting light on a variety of abductee cases, particularly that of Betty and Barney Hill. Niles, the high-rolling owner of a Woodland Hills defense subcontracting firm (Rex Rep) was fingered by authorities investigating defense industry kickbacks. He became an extraordinarily cooperative witness in the investigation — until he was targeted by his enemies, who allegedly used psychoelectronics as harassment.
The following excerpt from the Los Angeles Times article on Niles is particularly compelling:
He [Niles] has produced testimony from his sister, a Simi Valley woman who swears that helicopters have repeatedly circled her home. An engineer measured 250 watts of microwaves in the atmosphere outside Niles’ house and found a radioactive disc underneath the dash of his car [my italics].
A former high school friend, Lyn Silverman, claimed that her home computer went haywire when Niles stepped close to it.
No aliens in this story — yet how similar it is to tales of alien abduction! The low-flying helicopters, of course, are frequently reported by abduction victims — the Betty Andreasson Luca case provides the best-known example. The haywire electronics equipment is also frequently encountered in putative abduction cases; I have spoken (independently) to three women who claimed to have been able to disturb or shut off televisions and stereos simply by walking past the devices; one woman even claimed she had switched off her TV simply by pointing at it!
But the radioactive disc is especially intriguing. As former FBI agent Ted Gunderson recently explained to my associate Alexander Constantine, magnetic radioactive discs have long been used by the clandestine services as cancer-inducing “silent killers” — i.e., as tools of assassination. Not only that. The disk calls to mind one little-remembered detail of the Hill case — the dozen-or-so circular “shiny spots,” each the size of a silver dollar, found on the trunk of her car directly after the abduction. A compass needle reacted wildly when placed near these spots. Could they have marked the location where an electromagnetic or radioactive device, similar to that found by Niles, was placed on the car? (Such a device might have been held to the spot magnetically, hence the circular impressions.) If so, then the disorienting EMR could have helped induce the Hills’ “UFO sighting.”
Some time ago, I attended hypnotic regression sessions in which the subject — a claimed UFO abductee — recalled undergoing a mysterious “brain operation” at a veteran’s hospital in California. The operation was performed by human beings, not aliens. Interestingly, this same hospital was mentioned in two other cases I encountered. These other claims were not made by abductees, but by people alleged to have been victims of mind control experimentation.
One of these claimants, a former Navy SEAL who undertook numerous dangerous missions in Vietnam, favorably impressed me with the wealth of detail in his story. This individual — I’ve taken to calling him “the trained SEAL” — had received specialized combat training at a military base in California; he claims that at one point during this training he was drugged, hypnotized, possibly placed under some form of electronic control, and subjected to the extremes of pain/pleasure operant conditioning. One peculiar detail of his story concerns the “reward” aspect of the conditioning: When properly acquiescent, he was given unlimited sexual access to a woman who, the SEAL avers, was herself the victim of brainwashing!
Unbelievable as this last claim may seem, I found it oddly resonant when I later interviewed a prominent abductee in the Southern California area, who bravely offered me details on a puzzling, albeit quite delicate, incident in her past. Still an attractive woman, she recalled for me — indeed, seemed strangely compelled to describe — an early love affair with a young soldier training at a military base near her home. She cannot recall the soldier’s name. All she remembers is that one day he started living at her family’s house; she has no memory of how the arrangement began, and her parents have never felt comfortable discussing the matter. Although unattracted to this soldier, she felt compelled to become intimate with him, adopting a pliant, obeisant attitude that was quite out of character for her. Later, the soldier went on to covert missions in Vietnam.
Of course, a young person’s psycho-sexual development is never smooth, and the incident related above may merely have represented one peculiarly upsetting bump in that notoriously rough road. Still, some of the details of this story — particularly the parents’ attitude, the woman’s personality shift, and her subsequent memory lapses — are striking, and I treat with respect the abductee’s intuition that this minor enigma in her personal history could, if properly understood, shed light on her later “missing time” experiences.
Could the “trained SEAL” have been right? Was there, is there, a coterie of hypno-programmed soldiers conducting particularly hazardous missions? And do the programmers have at their disposal a “ladies’ auxiliary,” so to speak, of hypnotized camp followers?
If the SEAL’s story stood alone, skeptics could easily dismiss it (provided they did not sit, as I did, face-to-face with the story’s teller, listening to all the grisly and unsettling details). But other veterans have added their voices to this grim tale. Daniel Sheehan, of the Christic Institute, claims that his organization has spoken to half-a-dozen individuals with narratives similar to my SEAL informant. All had received “processing,” so to speak, within the context of standard military training; after programming and specialized combat instruction by mercenaries, the recruits were placed “on hold,” to be used as situations arose — and some of those situations occurred within the United States.
Walter Bowart began his own researches into mind control by placing an ad in “Soldier-Of-Fortune”-style publications, asking for correspondence from veterans who experienced inexplicable lapses in memory or strange behavior modification techniques while serving in Vietnam; he received over 100 replies. Bowart devoted an entire chapter to one of these respondents — an Air Force veteran named David, who ended his four-year tour of duty recalling only that he had spent the time “having fun, skin diving, laying on the beach, collecting shells...It never dawned on me until later that I must have done something while I was in the service.” (An obvious example of screen memory.) He was also “assigned” a girlfriend whose name he cannot now recall, despite the length and deep intimacy of the affair. The parallels to the SEAL’s story and the abductee’s account should be obvious.
We even have a confession, of sorts, from a scientist who specialized in one aspect of this sort of training. Lt. Commander Thomas Narut, of the U.S. Naval Hospital at the NATO headquarters in Naples, Florida, admitted during a lecture in Oslo that recruits in Naples underwent “Clockwork-Orange”-style behavior modification sessions. Trainees would be strapped into chairs with their eyelids clamped open while watching films of industrial accidents and African circumcision ceremonies — films frequently used by psychologists as a means of inducing stress in experimental situations. Unlike the protagonist in Clockwork Orange, who learned revulsion at the sight of violence, Narut’s soldiers were taught to accept and enjoy bloodshed, to view it with equanimity. Similar techniques were used to dehumanize potential enemies. Graduates of this program became, in Narut’s words, “hit men and assassins,” to be placed in American embassies throughout the world.
When questioned by reporters about these claims, the American government denied the story; Narut — after a long incommunicado period and apparent coercion — later explained to journalists that he had merely spoken theoretically. If so, why did he originally describe the behavior modification procedure as an ongoing program?
And while it may seem frivolous to return to the subject of abductions after examining such grim data, I should remind the reader of the many abduction accounts in which abductees recall being forced to watch certain stress-inducing motion pictures. The aliens, it seems, have learned a few lessons from Dr. Narut.
Narut, of course, concentrated on selective programming of individual American soldiers; on the other side of the mind control spectrum, Defense Department specialists have also concentrated on methods to render entire enemy battalions “combat ineffective.” Electromagnetic weaponry, intended to wipe out the aggression of the enemy, is the province of DARPA, under the direction of Dr. Jack Verona. These projects remain fairly mysterious; we do know, however, that one operation, SLEEPING BEAUTY, employed the services of Dr. Michael Persinger, a scientist who has expressed interesting views regarding UFOs.
Persinger discovered a method of using ELF waves to induce the brain’s MAST cells to release histamine; should a battlefield commander wish to subject his enemy to mass bouts of vomiting, Persinger’s trick could do the job even faster than a Tobe Hooper movie. The method works on animals. “The question,” writes mind control researcher Larry Collins, “is how to get from point A to point B without violating one of the most rigorous commandments of Government ethics — thou shalt not conduct experiments like that on human beings.”
If Collins studied the record a little more carefully, he might realize that the government hasn’t always regarded this commandment as something graven in stone. As Milton Kline put it:
“Ethical factors involved in most research would preclude having positive results. Those ethical factors don’t always hold with government research. The research which has given really positive results has not been limited by ethical constraints.” [My italics.]
Hypnosis hard-liners of the Orne school would almost certainly dismiss the foregoing veterans’ accounts of the use of hypnosis, drugs and behavioral conditioning on American fighting men. Why, the skeptics would ask, would anyone attempt to create a “Manchurian Candidate” when the military services, using entirely conventional means, can create a “Rambo”? There have always been recruits for even the most hazardous duties; what need of hypnosis?
The need, in fact, is absolute.
The modern battlefield has little place for the traditional soldier. Advanced weaponry requires an increasing level of technical sophistication, which in turn requires a cool-headed operator. But the all-too-human combatant — though capable of extraordinary acts of courage under the most stressful conditions imaginable — does not possess inexhaustible reserves of sang-froid. Eventually, breakdowns will occur. Per-capita psychiatric casualties have increased dramatically in each successive American conflict. As Richard Gabriel, the excellent historian of the role of psychiatry in warfare, writes:
Modern warfare has become so lethal and so intense that only the already insane can endure it...Modern war requiring continuous combat will increase the degree of fatigue on the soldier to heretofore unknown levels. Physical fatigue — especially the lack of sleep — will increase the rate of psychiatric casualties enormously. Other factors — high rates of indirect fire, night fighting, lack of food, constant stress, large numbers of casualties — will ensure that the number of psychiatric casualties will reach disastrous proportions. And the number of casualties will overburden the medical structure to the point of collapse.
The ability to treat psychiatric casualties will all but disappear. There will be no safe forward areas in which to treat soldiers debilitated by mental collapse. The technology of modern war has made such locations functionally obsolete...
According to Gabriel, the military intends to meet this challenge by creating “the chemical soldier,” a designer-drugged zombie in fighting man’s uniform:
On the battlefields of the future we will witness a true clash of ignorant armies, armies ignorant of their own emotions and even of the reasons for which they fight. Soldiers on all sides will be reduced to fearless chemical automatons who fight simply because they can do nothing else...Once the chemical genie is out of the bottle, the full range of human mental and physical actions become targets for chemical control...Today it is already possible by chemical or electrical stimulation to increase the aggression levels of the human being by stimulating the amygdala, a section of the brain known to control aggression and rage. Such “human potential engineering” is already a partial reality and the necessary technical knowledge increases every day.
While this passage speaks of drugs and electronics, we can safely assume that the planners of battle would not refrain from using any other promising technique.
Gabriel writes primarily of large-scale battle scenarios, but based on his information, we can fairly deduce that the mind-controlled soldier will also play a role in the surgical strike, the covert operation, the infiltration behind enemy lines by units of the Special Forces. On such missions, United States personnel have increasingly relied on torture as a means of interrogation and intimidation, and as such barbarism becomes standard procedure the American fighting man of the future will need to find within himself unprecedented reserves of brutality. Will the average recruit, culled from the nation’s suburbs and reared on traditional ideals, possess such reserves?
Vietnam proved that the soldier, despite a barrage of propaganda intended to cloud his discernment, will sense the difference between fighting for legitimate defense interests and fighting to protect political hegemony. To forestall this realization, or to render it irrelevant, military planners must withdraw the human combatant and replace him with a new species of warrior. The soldier of the future will not discern; he will merely do. He will not be a butcher; he will be the butcher’s knife — a tool among other tools, thoughtless and effective.
And it is my contention that to create this soldier of the future, the controllers need a continuing program, one designed to test each new method and combination of methods for conquering the human mind. One primary goal of this program must include expanding the human capacity for stress and violence. Subjects enrolled in such experimental procedures will experience pain, and will learn to accept the pain. Eventually, they will learn to inflict it, without remorse or even remembrance. The nation who first creates this new soldier will possess a decisive advantage on the “conventional” battlefield — as will the nation which first develops a means of using mass mind control techniques to disable entire enemy platoons. This paramount military necessity is the reason why I will never believe any unconvincing reassurances that our nation’s clandestine scientists have foregone or will forego research into behavior modification. This research will never be mere history. What’s past is present, and today’s covert experimentation will become tomorrow’s basic training.
A prototype of the future warrior may already be with us. The Navy SEAL I interviewed spoke in horrifying detail of dismemberment without emotion, of rape as routine, of killing without affect. And then forgetting that he had killed. Even years later, he could not recall the stories behind many of the wounds on his own body. He claims that whenever he would need the services of the veteran’s hospital, doctors would re-hypnotize him shortly after his admission, while a physician specifically cleared for such work would examine his medical history, which was highly classified and kept under lock and key.
According to the SEAL’s testimony, his memory block cracked little by little, as a result of events too complex to recount here. Finally, years after Vietnam, he was able to remember what he did.
Amnesia was a blessing.
Press and public now regard abductees as tony curiosities, yet science, for the most part, still banishes their tales to the domain of the damned, as Charles Fort defined damnation. So too with claimed victims of mind control. The Voice of Authority tells us that MKULTRA belongs to history; like Hasdrubal and Hitler, it threatened once, but no more. Anyone insisting otherwise must be silenced by glib rationalization and selective inattention.
Yet these two topics — UFO abductions and mind control — have more in common than their mutual ostracization. The data overlap. If we could chart these phenomena on a Venn diagram, we would see a surprisingly large intersection between the two circles of information. It is this overlap I seek to address.
Note, however, that I can not address all the other interesting and important issues raised by the UFO abduction experience. For example, I have written, admittedly rather vaguely, of nasal implants reported by abductees — the sort of detail which might place an account in the “high strangeness” category, and of course, a detail central to my thesis. But what percentage of the percipients speak of such implants? A truly scientific analysis would provide a figure. Unfortunately, I haven’t the resources to compile a sufficiently large abductee sample from which one could draw statistics. Nor can I make an over-arching qualitative analysis, measuring the value of “high strangeness” reports against other abductee claims. All I can do is note the available literature, and leave the reader to wonder, as I do, whether the compilers of that literature concentrated on exceptional cases or were biased in favor of the less fantastic abductee accounts. I have supplemented readings of the abduction literature with my own interviews with percipients — which, since abductees tend to know other abductees, can give a surprisingly wide view of the phenomenon. This view has been broadened still further by my talks and correspondence with other members of the UFO community.
Of course, we must recognize the difference between testimony and proof. No one can state definitively that abduction reports have a basis in objective reality (however misperceived). Ultimately, all we have are stories. Some of these stories may be of questionable veracity; others may be contaminated by investigator bias; many are insufficiently detailed. No one research paper can resolve all abduction controversies, and many necessary battles must be fought on other fields.
Still, the testimony won’t go away — and we certainly have enough to allow for comparisons. I maintain that an unprejudiced overview of abduction reports in the popular press and the less-familiar material on mind control will demonstrate a striking correlation. Once other abduction researchers have been educated in the ways of MKULTRA (and this paper is intended as an introductory text) they may note a similar pattern. If so, we can then begin to write a revisionist history of the phenomenon.
The abduction enigma contains within it sub-mysteries that slide into the mind control scenario with surprising ease, even elegance — mysteries which fit the E.T. hypothesis as uncomfortably as a size 10 foot fits into a size 8 shoe. As we have seen, the MKULTRA thesis explains the reports of abductee intracerebral implants (particularly reports involving nosebleeds), unusual scars, “telepathic” communication (i.e., externally induced intracerebral voices) concurrent with or following the abduction encounter, allegations that some abductees hear unusual sound effects (similar to those created by the hemi-synch and cognate devices), haywire electronic devices in abductee homes, personality shifts, “training films,” manipulation of religious imagery, and missing time. Needless to say, the thesis of clandestine government experimentation readily accounts for abductee claims of human beings “working” with the aliens, and for the government harassment that plays so prominent a role in certain abductee reports.
Let’s look at some more correlations.
Earlier, I asked, “Do the aliens also watch black-and-white television?” in reference to their alleged use of old-fashioned, Terra-style brain implantation devices. Abduction accounts abound in other examples of alien “retro-technology.” The most striking example can be found in the Betty and Barney Hill incident, the details of which are too well-known to recount here. As we have already glimpsed during our discussion of the Rex Niles affair, the Hills’ “interrupted journey” abounds in data which, taken together, permits the construction of an alternative explanation.
At one point during the alleged UFO abduction, the “examiners” inserted a needle in Betty Hill’s navel, telling her that this practice constituted a test for pregnancy. Some ufologists rashly assume that Betty Hill’s “pregnancy test” is evidence of advanced extraterrestrial technology, since her 1961 account pre-dates the official announcement of amniocentesis, which does indeed make use of a needle inserted into the navel. But we now have much less invasive means of testing for pregnancy than amniocentesis. True, amniocentesis is still sometimes used to gather information about the fetus, but the wielders of a highly evolved technology would certainly use other methods of determining the existence of pregnancy in the first place.
Betty Hill’s testimony reminds us of certain other abduction accounts, which contain descriptions of “healings” surprisingly similar to the procedures associated with still-experimental electromagnetic therapy techniques, such as those described in Robert O. Becker’s The Body Electric. For example, abductee Deanna Dube described for me an abduction-related “regeneration” of her long-damaged heart; had she been familiar with Becker’s work, she might have been a bit less rapid to ascribe her healing to otherworldly influences.
Medical breakthroughs often undergo years of testing before their official “discovery.” For some of these tests, finding volunteers presents a major obstacle. If we accept the proposition that the Hill incident originated in an external and objective stimulus, we must then ask ourselves which scenario is more likely: Did Betty Hill encounter human beings using a technique ten years ahead of its time? Or did she encounter aliens (reputedly a “billion years ahead of us”) using science from eons before their time?
One must also ask why Betty Hill’s aliens seemed to have no grasp of basic human concepts (such as how we measure time) — yet they knew enough about us to speak English fluently and had even mastered our slang. Were these real aliens, or humans engaging in theatricals (and occasionally muffing their lines)? For that matter, why did Betty Hill originally recall her abductors as humanoid, only later describing them as aliens?
The Hill case provided a particularly controversial piece of evidence — the celebrated “star map” recalled by Betty Hill under hypnosis. In later years, an Ohio schoolteacher named Marjorie Fish made an ingenious and laudable attempt to discover a match for this map by constructing an elaborate three-dimensional model of nearby star systems; whether she succeeded remains a matter for keen debate. For now, I prefer to avoid taking sides in this dispute and will confine myself to insisting that pro-ET ufologists answer (without resorting to glib ripostes) a point first raised by Jacques Vallee: The map makes no sense as a navigational aid. Vallee notes that, even if we grant the Fish interpretation, the stars are not drawn to scale — and at any rate, alien spaceships would surely be navigated the same way we guide our own spacecraft: via computers and telemetry. The validity of the Fish interpretation is irrelevant; the point is that any such chart would have no value to an interstellar star-farer.
Fish’s work raises other controversies: Allegedly, the map points to Zeta Reticuli as the aliens’ home system and pictures Zeta Reticuli as a single star, a view consistent with scientific opinion of the 1960s. Yet in later years scientists discovered that Zeta Reticuli is binary. Moreover, how did our abductee manage to remember so accurately a complex chart glimpsed in passing? Even allowing for the possibility of increased accuracy of recollection under hypnotic regression, the memory feat here seems remarkable. Consider the circumstances of the abduction: Kafka on hallucinogens couldn’t have conceived of the nightmare vision confronting Betty Hill that night — yet for some reason this particular arrangement of stars emerged as her most intensely-detailed recollection of the experience.
This memory (if not confabulated during regression, a possibility we should always weigh) is comprehensible only as an example of artificially-induced hypermnesia. In other words, Betty Hill was directed to store that chart within her subconscious. The celebrated star map ought to be recognized for what it was: a prop, a seemingly-confirmatory circumstantial detail meant to convince her — and perhaps us — of the reality of her abduction.
The question of motive arises. Why — if my thesis is correct — were these two fairly innocuous individuals chosen for this new variation on the old MKULTRA tricks?
The selection might, of course, have been arbitrary. Or perhaps circumstances now irretrievably lost to history rendered the couple a convenient target. Interestingly, Barney Hill had become acquainted (through church functions) with the head of Air Force intelligence at Pease Air Force Base; perhaps this relationship first brought the Hills to the attention of members of the intelligence community. Arguably, the Hills could have been fingered for a wide variety of reasons; as a general rule, the clandestine services prefer to satisfy a number of itches with one scratch.
In fact, the espionage establishment had one particularly compelling reason to focus on the Hills. Barney Hill (a black man) and his wife held important positions in several civil rights organizations, including the NAACP. The abduction took place during the 1960s, when the NAACP and allied groups fell victim to an increasingly paranoid series of attacks from the FBI and other governmental agencies (under operations COINTELPRO, CHAOS, GARDEN PLOT, etc.). At that time, infiltration of civil rights groups proved a difficult chore; while most left-leaning groups provided easy targets for FBI stooges, the average undercover operative would have had an exceptionally difficult time posing as a black activist. (In 1961, the only black people on the FBI’s payroll were the servants in J. Edgar Hoover’s home.)
In light of these facts, we should recall Victor Marchetti’s anecdote about the cat that the CIA had “wired for sound.” Perhaps an ambitious covert scientist proposed a similar experiment, in which a human being would play the role that had once been assigned to the unfortunate feline? As Estabrooks noted, the ultimate espionage agent would be the spy who doesn’t know he is a spy. Barney Hill, a well-regarded figure with a near-genius-level IQ, was a safe bet to obtain a leadership role in any group he joined; he would have been remarkably well-positioned, had any outsiders wished to use his ears to overhear prominent black organizers in confidential discussion.
Of course, many intelligence professionals would counter this suggestion by reminding us that eavesdroppers on the civil rights movement had plenty of less-flamboyant methods: Bugging, “black bag” jobs, paying for information, etc. The point is valid. But if the technology to create a “human bug” was developed circa 1961 — and there is documentation suggesting that such was indeed the case — the intelligence agencies would surely have wanted to test the possibilities in the field. And considering the expense of such a test, why not conduct the experiment in such a way as to reap the maximum benefits? Why not choose a Barney Hill?
Budd Hopkins told the following story during his lecture at the Los Angeles “Whole Life Expo.” He considers the case “very good...lots of corroborating witnesses for parts of it.” Though not, presumably, for this part:
Hopkins’ informant, after the by-now familiar UFO abduction, was given a gun by the aliens. Not a Buck Rogers laser weapon — this was something Dirty Harry might have packed.
The abductee was also given someone to shoot. Not a little grey alien — another human being, tied to a chair. The “visitors” told their armed abductee that this captive had done “evil on the earth, and he’s a bad person. You have to kill him.” If the abductee didn’t do as asked, he would never leave the ship.
The captive proclaimed his innocence, and pleaded for his life. The abductee, caught in the middle of all this, became quite upset. (Worth noting: he seems to have at least considered the aliens’ request to shoot someone he had never met.) Ultimately, the abductee turned the gun on the aliens, and said, “Nobody’s going to get shot here.”
According to Hopkins, “The aliens said ‘Fine. Very good.’ They took the gun from him; the man [presumably, the captive] got up, walked away, disappeared, and they went on to the next thing.” Obviously, this little drama had been staged — a test of some sort.
I submit that this surreal incident is incomprehensible as either an example of alien incursion or of “Klass-ical” confabulation. The scenario described here exactly parallels numerous experiments in the hypnotic induction of anti-social action as revealed both in the standard hypnosis literature and in declassified ARTICHOKE/MKULTRA documents. For example, compare Hopkins’ account to the following, in which Ludwig Mayer, a prominent German hypnosis researcher, describes a classic experiment in the hypnotic induction of criminal action:
I gave a revolver to an elderly and readily suggestible man whom I had just hypnotized. The revolver had just been loaded by Mr. H. with a percussion cap. I explained to [the subject], while pointing to Mr. H., that Mr. H. was a very wicked man whom he should shoot to kill. With great determination he took the revolver and fired a shot directly at Mr. H. Mr. H. fell down pretending to be wounded. I then explained to my subject that the fellow was not yet quite dead, and that he should give him another bullet, which he did without further ado.
Of course, if a conservative hypnosis specialist were asked to comment on the above account, he would quickly point out that hypnotic suggestions which work in an experimental situation would not easily succeed outside the laboratory; on some level, the subject will probably sense whether or not he’s playing the game for real. Similarly, a conservative abduction researcher would, in reviewing Hopkins’ material, emphasize the problems inherent in using testimony derived during regression, where the threat of confabulation lurks. I’ll concede both arguments — for the moment — only to insist that they are beside the point. The matter of primary importance, the sticking point which neither Klass nor Hopkins can comfortably confront, is the convergence of detail between Mayer’s hypnosis experiment and the testing event related by Hopkins’ abductee. Why are these two stories so similar? Did the good Dr. Mayer take pupils from Sirius?
Hopkins says he knows of other instances in which abductees found themselves in similar crucibles. So do I.
One person I spoke to can remember (sans hypnosis) being handed a gun inside a ziplock baggy, and receiving instructions that she will have to use this weapon “on a job.” Early in my interviews with her (and with no prompting from me) she recited an apparent cue drilled into her consciousness by the “entities” (as she calls them): “When you see the light, you will do it tonight,” followed by the command, “Execute.” (One can only speculate as to how such commands would be used in the field; we will discuss later the use of photovoltaic hypnotic induction.) Though her personal feelings toward firearms are decidedly negative, she vividly describes periods in her “everyday” life when she feels an uncharacteristic, yet overpowering urge to be near a gun — a quasi-sexual desire to pick one up and touch the metal.
She is not alone. Another has been so affected by gun fever that he became a security guard, just to be near the things. The abductees I have spoken to connect this sudden surge of Ramboism to the UFO experience. But I suggest that the UFO experience may be merely a cover story for another type of training entirely.
One of the primary goals of BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, and MKULTRA was to determine whether mind control could be used to facilitate “executive action” — i.e., assassination.
It isn’t difficult to imagine the media’s reaction if a public figure were murdered by someone acting at the behest of the “space brothers.” Who would dare to speak of conspiracy under such circumstances? The hidden controllers could choose a myth structure that conforms to the abductee’s personality, then pose as higher beings, who would whisper violence into the ear of the percipient. Using this ruse, the trick that scientists such as Ludwig Mayer could perform in the lab might now be accomplished in the field. As Estabrooks’ associate Jack Tracktir (professor of hypnotherapy at Baylor University) explained to John Marks, anti-social acts can be induced with “no conscience involved” once the proper pretext has been created.
Jenny Randles contributes an anecdote from Great Britain which dovetails nicely with this hypothesis.
In 1965, “Margary” (a pseudonym) lived in Birmingham with her husband, who one night told her to prepare her for a “shock and a test.” As Randles describes what she calls a “rogue case”:
They got into his car and drove off, although her memory of the trip became hazy and confused and she does not know where they went. Then she was in a room that was dimly lit and there were people standing around a long table or flat bed. She was out on it and seemed “drugged” and unable to resist. The most memorable of the men was tall and thin with a long nose and white beard. He had thick eyebrows and supposedly said to Margary, “Remember the eyebrows, honey.” A strange medical examination, using odd equipment, was performed on her.
Both the husband and the scientists, using (apparently) hypnotic techniques, flooded her mind with images that, she was told, would be understood only in the future. According to Randles, “At one point one of the ‘examiners’ in the room said to Margary in a tone that made it seem as if he were amused, ‘They will think it’s flying saucers.’” The husband also revealed that he had a second identity. After the abduction, this husband (am I going too far to assume his employment with MI6 or some cognate agency?) left, never to be seen again. Margary did not recall the abduction until 1978.
This affair can only baffle a researcher who insists on fitting all abduction accounts into the ET hypothesis; once we free ourselves from that set of assumptions, explanations come easily. I interpret this incident as a case in which the controllers applied the flying saucer cover story sloppily, or to an insufficiently receptive subject. If my thesis is correct, the UFO “hypnotic hoax” technique would still have been fairly new in 1965, particularly outside the United States; perhaps the manipulators hadn’t yet got the hang of it. The odd comment about the scientist’s eyebrows may refer to an item of disguise donned for the occasion. The unscrupulous hypnotist, unsure about his ability to induce an impenetrable amnesia — and mindful of the price paid by his forerunners in mesmeric criminality — would understandably want to hedge his bets; by indulging in the British penchant for theatrics, he could further protect his anonymity.
A similar incident was brought to my attention by researcher Robert Durant. The relevant excerpt of his letter follows:
“Now I want to turn to a case that I have been investigating for several months. The subject is an abductee. Standard abduction scenario. Twice regressed under hypnosis, the first time by a well-known abduction researcher, the second time by a psychologist with parapsychology connections.
In the course of many hours of listening to the subject, I discovered that she has had close personal contact over a long period of time with several individuals who have federal intelligence connections. She was hypnotized many years ago as part of a TV program devoted to hypnosis. Her abductions began shortly after she attended several long sessions at a laboratory where, ostensibly, she was being tested for ESP abilities. Two other people who were “tested” at this same laboratory have also had abductions. All three were told by the lab to join a local UFO group. During her abductions, the principal alien spoke to the subject in the English language in a normal manner, not via telepathy. She recognized the voice, which was at one time that of her very close friend of yesteryear who was then and is now employed by the CIA. The other voice was that of an individual who works in Washington, has what I will call very strong federal connections as well as a finger in just about every ufological pie, and who just happened to bump into her at the aforementioned laboratory. He also anticipated, in the course of telephone conversations, her abductions. When the subject confronted him about this and the voice, he claimed to be psychic.” (!)
The “ESP” connection is suggestive; the MKULTRA documents betray an astonishing interest on the part of the intelligence agencies in matters parapsychological.
Some researchers would object that examples such as this are rare; most abductions contain no such overt indications of intelligence involvement. But have investigators looked for them? As mentioned in the introduction, a false dichotomy limits much ufological thought; as long as the abduction argument swings between the ET hypothesis and purely psychological theories, researchers will not recognize the relevance of certain key items of background data.
In an interview with me, a northern-California abductee — call him “Peter” — reported an experience which was conducted not by a small grey alien, but by a human being. The percipient called this man a “doctor.” He gave a description of this individual, and even provided a drawing.
Some time after I gathered this information, a southern-California abductee told me her story — which included a description of this very same “doctor.” The physical details were so strikingly similar as to erase coincidence. This woman is a leading member of a Los Angeles-based UFO group; three other women in this group report abduction encounters with the same individual.
Perhaps those three women were fantasists, attaching themselves to another’s narrative. But my northern informant never met these people. Why did he describe the same “doctor”?
One of the abductees I have dealt with insisted, under hypnosis, that her abduction experience brought her to a certain house in the Los Angeles area. She was able to provide directions to the house, even though she had no conscious memory of ever being there. I later learned that this house is indeed occupied by a scientist who formerly (and perhaps currently) conducted clandestine research on mind control technology.
This same abductee described a clandestine brain operation of some sort she underwent in childhood. The neurosurgeon was a human being, not an alien. She even recalled the name. (Note: This is not the same individual referred to above.) When I heard the name, it meant nothing to me — but later I learned that there really was a scientist of that name who specialized in electrode implant research.
Licia Davidson is a thoughtful and articulate abductee, whose fascinating story closely parallels many found in the abductee literature — except for one unusual detail. In an interview with me, she described an unsettling recollection of a human being, dressed normally, holding a black box with a protruding antenna. This odd snippet of memory did not coincide with the general thrust of her abduction narrative. Could this remembrance represent an all-too-brief segment of accurately-perceived reality interrupting her hypnotically-induced “screen memory”? Peter clearly recalls seeing a similar box during his abduction.
Interestingly, Licia resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Tujunga Canyon, a prominent spot on the abduction map: Many of the abductees I have spoken to first had unusual experiences while living in this area. Near Tujunga Canyon, in Mt. Pacifico, is a hidden former Nike missile base; more than one abductee has described odd, seemingly inexplicable military activity around this location. The reader will recall the connection of Nike missile bases to the disturbing story of Dr. L. Jolyon West, a veteran of MKULTRA.
Some abductees I have spoken to have been directed to join certain religious/philosophical sects. These cults often bear close examination.
The leaders of these groups tend to be “ex”-CIA operatives, or Special Forces veterans. They are often linked through personal relations, even though they espouse widely varying traditions. I have heard unsettling reports that the leaders of some of these groups have used hypnosis, drugs, or “mind machines” on their charges. Members of these cults have reported periods of missing time during ceremonies or “study periods.”
I strongly urge abduction researchers to examine closely any small “occult” groups an abductee might join. For example, one familiar leader of the UFO fringe — a man well-known for his espousal of the doctrine of “love and light” — is Virgil Armstrong, a close personal friend of General John Singlaub, the notorious Iran-Contra player, who recently headed the neo-fascist World Anti-Communist League. Armstrong, who also happens to be an ex-Green Beret and former CIA operative, figured into my inquiry in an interesting fashion: An abductee of my acquaintance was told — by her “entities,” naturally — to seek out this UFO spokesman and join his “sky-watch” activities, which, my source alleges, included a mass channelling session intended to send debilitating “negative” vibrations to Constantine Chernenko, then the leader of the Soviet Union. Of course, intracerebral voices may have a purely psychological origin, so Armstrong can hardly be held to task for the abductee’s original “directive.” Still, his past associations with military intelligence inevitably bring disturbing possibilities to mind.
Even more ominous than possible ties between UFO cults and the intelligence community are the cults’ links with the shadowy I AM group, founded by Guy Ballard in the 1930s. According to researcher David Stupple, “If you look at the contactee groups today, you’ll see that most of the stable, larger ones are actually neo-I AM groups, with some sort of tie to Ballard’s organization.” This cult, therefore, bears investigation.
Guy Ballard’s “Mighty I AM Religious Activity,” grew, in large part, out of William Dudley Pelly’s Silver Shirts, an American Nazi organization. Although Ballard himself never openly proclaimed Nazi affiliation, his movement was tinged with an extremely right-wing political philosophy, and in secret meetings he “decreed” the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. The I AM philosophy derived from Theosophy, and, in this author’s estimation, bears a more-than-cursory resemblance to the Theosophically-based teachings that informed the proto-Nazi German occult lodges.
After the war, Pelley (who had been imprisoned for sedition during the hostilities) headed an occult-oriented organization called Soulcraft, based in Noblesville, Indiana. Another Soulcraft employee was the controversial contactee George Hunt Williamson (real name: Michel d’Obrenovic), who co-authored UFOs Confidential with John McCoy, a proponent of the theory that a Jewish banking conspiracy was preventing disclosure of the solution to the UFO mystery. Later, Williamson founded the I AM-oriented Brotherhood of the Seven Rays in Peru. Another famed contactee, George Van Tassel, was associated with Pelley and with the notoriously anti-Semitic Reverend Wesley Swift (founder of the group which metamorphosed into the Aryan nations).
The most visible modern offspring of I AM is Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s Church Universal and Triumphant, a group best-known for its massive arms caches in underground bunkers. CUT was recently exposed in Covert Action Information Bulletin as a conduit of CIA funds, and according to researcher John Judge, has ties to organizations allied to the World Anti-Communist League. Prophet is becoming involved in abduction research and has sponsored presentations by Budd Hopkins and other prominent investigators. In his book The Armstrong Report: ET’s and UFO’s: They Need Us, We Don’t Need Them [sic.], Virgil Armstrong directs troubled abductees toward Prophet’s group. (Perhaps not insignificantly, he also suggests that abductees plagued by implants alleviate their problem by turning to “the I AM force” within.)
Another UFO channeller, Frederick Von Mierers, has promulgated both a cult with a strong I AM orientation and an apparent con-game involving over-appraised gemstones. Mierers is an anti-Semite who contends that the Holocaust never happened and that the Jews control the world’s wealth.
UFORUM is a flying saucer organization popular with Los Angeles-area abductees; its founder is Penny Harper, a member of a radical Scientology breakaway group which connects the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard with pronouncements against “The Illuminati” (a mythical secret society) and other betes noir familiar from right-wing conspiracy literature. Harper directs members of her group to read The Spotlight, an extremist tabloid (published by Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby) which denies the reality of the Holocaust and posits a “Zionist” scheme to control the world.
More than one unwary abductee has fallen in with groups such as those listed above. It isn’t difficult to imagine how some of these questionable groups might mold an abductee’s recollection of his experience — and perhaps help direct his future actions.
Some modern abductees, with otherwise-strong claims, claim encounters with blond, “Nordic” aliens reminiscent of the early contactee era. Surely, the “Nordic” appearance of these aliens sprang from the dubious spiritual tradition of Van Tassell, Ballard, Pelley, McCoy, etc. Why, then, are some modern abductees seeing these very same other-worldly Uebermenschen?
One abductee of my acquaintance claims to have had beneficial experiences with these “blond” aliens — who, he believes, came originally from the Pleiades. Interestingly, in the late 1960s, the psychopathically anti-Semitic Rev. Wesley Swift predicted this odd twist in the abduction tale. In a broadcast “sermon,” he spoke at length about UFOs, claiming that there were “good” aliens and “bad” aliens. The good ones, he insisted, were tall, blond Aryans — who hailed from the pleiades. He made this pronouncement long before the current trends in abduction lore.
Could some of the abductions be conducted by an extreme right-wing element within the national security establishment? Disagreeable as the possibility seems, we should note that the “lunatic right” is represented in all other walks of life; certainly hard-rightists have taken positions within the military-intelligence complex as well.
John Keel’s ground-breaking Operation Trojan Horse, written in an era when abductees still came under the category of “contactees,” includes the following intriguing data, gleaned from Keel’s extensive field work:
Contactees often find themselves suddenly miles from home without knowing how they got there. They either have induced amnesia, wiping out all memory of the trip, or they were taken over by some means and made the trip in a blacked-out state. Should they encounter a friend on the way, the friend would probably note that their eyes seemed glassy and their behavior seemed peculiar. But if the friend spoke to them, he might receive a curt reply.
In the language of the contactees this process is called being used...I have known silent contactees to disappear from their homes for long periods, and when they returned, they had little or no recollection of where they had been. One girl sent me a postcard from the Bahama Islands — which surprised me because I knew she was very poor. When she returned, she told me that she had only one memory of the trip. She said she remembered getting off a jet at an airport — she shouldn’t recall getting on the jet or making the trip — and there “Indians” met her and took her baggage...The next thing she knew she was back home again.
Puzzling indeed — unless one has read The Control of Candy Jones, which speaks of Candy’s “blacked out” periods, during which she travelled to Taiwan as a CIA courier, adopting her second personality. The mind control explanation perfectly solves all the mysteries in the above excerpt — save, perhaps, the odd remark about “Indians.”
Hickson and Mendez’ UFO Contact At Pascagoula contains the interesting information that Charles Hickson awakes at night feeling that he is on the verge of re-awakening some terribly important memory connected with his encounter — yet ostensibly he can account for every moment of his adventure.
Hickson also received a letter from an apparent abductee who claims that the grey aliens are actually automatons of some sort — perhaps an unconscious recognition of the unreality of the hypnotically-induced “cover story.” In this light, the film version of Communion — whose screenplay was written by Whitley Strieber — takes on a new interest: The abduction sequences contain inexplicable images indicating that the “greys” are really props, or masks.
Communion and Transformation contain passages detailing what seems to be a hazily-recalled Candy-Jones-style espionage adventure, in which Strieber was shanghaied by a “coach” and a “nurse” (both human beings) who apparently drugged him. Recall the example of Keel’s informants. Moreover, Transformation contains lengthy descriptions of alien beings working in apparent collusion with human beings.
Abductee Christa Tilton also recalls both human beings and aliens playing a part in her experience. Ever since her abduction, she claims, she has been “shadowed” by a mysterious federal agent she calls John Wallis. Christa’s husband, Tom Adams, has confirmed Wallis’ existence.
In his Report On Communion, Ed Conroy — who seems to have become a participant in, and not merely an observer of, the phenomenon — describes harassment by helicopters, which as we have already noted, seems to be quite a common occurrence in abductee situations. Researchers blithely assume that these incidents represent governmental attempts to spy on UFO percipients. But this assertion is ridiculous. Helicopters are extremely expensive to operate, and the engines of espionage have perfected numerous alternative methods to gather information. After all, we now have a fairly extensive bibliography of FBI, CIA, and military efforts to spy on numerous movements favoring domestic social change. Why have no veterans of CHAOS or COINTELPRO (either victim or victimizer) spoken of helicopters? Obviously the choppers serve some other purpose beyond mere surveillance. One possibility might be the propagation of electromagnetic waves which might affect the perceptions/ behaviors of an implanted individual. (Indeed, I have heard rumors of helicopters being used in electronic “crowd control” operations in Vietnam and elsewhere; alas, the information is far from hard.)
Contactee Eldon Kerfoot has written of his suspicions that human manipulators, not aliens, may be the ultimate puppeteers engineering his experiences. He describes a sudden compulsion to kill a fellow veteran of the Korean conflict — a man Kerfoot had no logical reason to distrust or dislike, yet whom he “sensed” to have been a traitor to his country. Fortunately, the assassination never materialized. But the situation exactly parallels incidents described in released ARTICHOKE documents concerning the remote hypnotic induction of anti-social behavior.
One last speculation:
Renato Vesco’s Intercept But Don’t Shoot outlines a fascinating scenario for the “secret weapon” hypothesis of UFOs. Vesco points out that if these devices are one day to be used in a superpower conflict, the attacking power would be well-served by the myth of the UFO as an extra-terrestrial craft, for the besieged nation would not know the true nature of its opponent. Perhaps, then, one purpose of the UFO abductions is to engender and maintain the legend of the little grey aliens. For the hidden manipulators, the abductions could be, in and of themselves, a propaganda coup.
I do not insist dogmatically on the scenario that I have outlined. I do not wish to dissuade abduction researchers from exploring other avenues — indeed, I strongly encourage such work to continue. Nor can I easily account for some aspects of the abduction narratives — for example, any suggestions I could offer concerning the reports of genetic experimentation would be extremely speculative.
But I do insist on a fair hearing of this hypothesis. Criticism is encouraged; that which does not destroy my thesis will make it stronger. I ask only that my critics refrain from intellectual laziness; mere differences in world-view do not constitute a valid attack. God is found in the details.
I recognize the dangers inherent in making this thesis public. New and distressing abductee confabulations may result. I would prefer that the audience for this paper be restricted to abduction researchers, not victims, who might be unduly influenced. However, in a society that prides itself on its ostensibly free press, such restrictions are unthinkable. Therefore, I can only beg any abduction victims who might read this paper to attempt a superhuman objectivity. The thesis I have outlined is promising, and (should trepanation ever provide us with an example of an actual abductee implant) susceptible of proof. But mine is not the only hypothesis. The abductee’s unrewarding task is to report what he or she has experienced as truthfully as possible, untainted by outside speculation.
Whether or not future investigation proves UFO abductions to be a product of mind control experimentation, I feel that this paper has, at least, provided evidence of a serious danger facing those who hold fast to the ideals of individual freedom. We cannot long ignore this menace.
A spectre haunts the democratic nations — the spectre of technofascism. All the powers of the espionage empire and the scientific establishment have entered into an unholy alliance to evoke this spectre: Psychiatrist and spy, Dulles and Delgado, microwave specialists and clandestine operators.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste —
and a worse thing to commandeer.
Acid Dreams, by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain (Grove, 1985). Outstanding work on MKULTRA and drugs.
The Body Electric, by Robert Becker (Morrow, 1985). Important.
The Brain Changers, by Maya Pines (Signet, 1973). Outdated, but an excellent chapter on the stimoceiver and related technologies.
Brain Control, by Elliot Valenstein (John Wiley and Sons, 1973). Highly conservative; outdated; still worth reading.
CIA Papers, compiled by the Capitol Information Associates (POB 8275, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48107). Interesting selection of MKULTRA documents.
The Control of Candy Jones, by Donald Bain (Playboy Press, 1976). Mandatory reading.
Human Drug Testing By the CIA, hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee On Human Resources, United States Senate (Government Printing Office, 1977).
Hypnotism, by George Estabrooks (Dutton, 1957). See especially the chapters on hypnosis in warfare and crime. Some modern experts in clinical hypnosis decry Estabrooks’ work. These “experts” tend to have a history of funding by CIA cut-outs and military intelligence. I suspect they denounce Estabrooks not because his work was shoddy, but because he let the cat out of the bag.
Individual Rights and the Federal Role in Behavior Modification, by the Staff of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee of the Judiciary, United States Senate (Government Printing Office, 1974).
Megabrain, by Michael Hutchison (Ballantine, 1986). The only popular book on modern mind machines.
Messengers of Deception, by Jacques Vallee (And/Or, 1979). Vallee has been criticized, correctly, for including in this book invented “conversations” with a composite character he calls Major Murphy. But the section on cults in this book bears a haunting resemblance to stories I have heard in my own investigations.
The Mind Manipulators, by Opton and Scheflin (Paddington Press, 1978). Conservative, but extremely useful as a reference work.
Mind Wars, by Ronald McCrae (St. Martin’s Press, 1984).
Operation Mind Control, by Walter Bowart (Dell, 1978). The best single volume on the subject. Difficult to find; indeed, this book’s rapid disappearance from bookstores and libraries has aroused the suspicions of some researchers. (Tom Davis Books, POB 1107, Aptos, CA 95001, carries this work.)
Physical Control of the Mind, by Jose Delgado (Harper and Row, 1969). Outdated; still essential.
Project MKULTRA, joint hearing before the Select Committee On Health and Scientific Research of the Committee On Human Resources, United States Senate (Government Printing Office, 1977).
Psychic Warfare: Fact or Fiction? edited by John White (Aquarian, 1988). See especially Michael Rossman’s contribution.
Psychotechnology, Robert L. Schwitzgebel and Ralph K. Schwitzgebel (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1973).
The Scientist, by John Lilly (expanded edition: Ronin, 1988). Bizarre — Lilly is an ex-“brainwashing” specialist who claims to be in contact with aliens. Is he controlled or controlling?
The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate”, by John Marks (Bantam, 1978). An invaluable book. However, many people have made the mistake of assuming it tells the full story. It does not.
Were We Controlled? by Lincoln Lawrence (University Books, 1967). Explores possible connections to the JFK assassination. Dr. Petter Lindstrom’s endorsement of this work makes it mandatory reading.
Who Killed John Lennon? by Fenton Bresler (St. Martin’s Press, 1989). Interesting thesis concerning the possible use of mind control on Mark David Chapman. Better in its analysis of Chapman than in its history of mind control. In my own work, I have encountered data which may help confirm Bresler’s theory.
The Zapping of America, by Paul Brodeur. (MacLeod [Canadian edition] 1976). Contains a good chapter on microwave mind control technology.
The important stories of Martti Koski and Robert Naeslund can be obtained by sending three dollars to: Martti Koski, Kiilinpellontie 2, 21290 Rusko, FINLAND. Koski’s description of his “programming” sessions should not be taken at face value: We cannot always trust the perception of someone whose perception has been altered. His research into the technology of mind control is solid.
[“The Controllers” released circa 1990.]