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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 11

Salla On Greg Bishop's Project Beta

From: Michael Salla <exopolitics.nul>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 04:48:44 -1000
Fwd Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 11:22:26 -0400
Subject: Salla On Greg Bishop's Project Beta

Review Article:

Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security,
and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth

I recently finished reading Greg Bishop's book on Paul Bennewitz
and was pleasantly surprised to read about one UFO researcher's
attempt to find the truth about what happened to Bennewitz and
the extraterrestrial information he allegedly discovered in the
period from 1978 to 1986. Bishop researches the Bennewitz saga
by conducting a number of interviews with individuals who
directly knew and worked with Bennewitz during the period in
question. William Moore, Richard Doty, Leo Sprinkle and Gabe
Valdez, according to Bishop, are the individual keys to
unlocking the mystery behind the Bennewitz saga.

According to the saga unraveled by Bishop, Bennewitz through his
electronics wizardry was able to find the electronic frequencies
upon which some classified military projects were being
conducted in the area around the Manzano Nuclear facilities near
Kirtland Air Force base in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />New Mexico. Alert
to the possibility of extraterrestrial involvement through the
recent spate of cattle mutilations in the area that he had been
researching, Bennewitz was to embark on a journey where he
ultimately claimed that extraterrestrials had established an
underground base in the area, and were showing a suspicious
interest in US military facilities in the Manzano nuclear
facility. Bishop relates how Bennewitz in November 1980 went
through the process of passing on his information, the United
States Air Force and how they took his views seriously. Too
seriously for Bennewitz's ultimate well being in Bishop's

According to Bishop, the USAF Office of Special Investigations
(AFOSI) soon began a campaign of systematically feeding
Bennewitz disinformation about underground alien bases, captured
humans, and alien hybridization programs. The goal, according to
Bishop, was to so destabilize Bennewitz that he would ultimately
be unable to separate the truth from the falsehoods being
directed towards him and ultimately discredit himself. This
apparently happened with veteran UFO researchers deserting
Bennewitz and Bennewitz himself finally succumbing to a complete
nervous breakdown in 1986. In this saga, Bishop clarifies the
role of key individuals such as Moore and Doty in feeding
Bennewitz the disinformation that ultimately led to his
discrediting and abandonment by the UFO community. Both Doty and
Moore befriended Bennewitz, and allegedly used this friendship
to lead Bennewitz astray from whatever it was he had discovered
in his research.

Bishop goes on to further argue that the disinformation fed to
Bennewitz ultimately went on to be disseminated by controversial
UFO researchers such as William Cooper, John Lear and others,
who created a whole new genre of extraterrestrials located at
underground facilities using captured humans for all sorts of
nasty purposes. Bishop's point is that much of modern Ufology
has been contaminated by the disinformation fed to Bennewitz,
and discerning 'modern' researchers need to weed out the
disinformation regurgitated by less astute 'researchers' that
was originally spawned through Bennewitz. Bishop's thesis is
certainly ambitious so the reasonable question to ask is, "is
Bishop correct?"

There are many assumptions that Bishop makes that can be
seriously criticized. First should Richard Doty and William
Moore be believed that the information they fed to Bennewitz was
in fact disinformation, rather than rumors of disinformation
being spread to discredit Bennewitz and his legitimate claims of
extraterrestrial bases with captive humans? Bishop certainly
concludes the former from his interviews with Doty and Moore,
and curiously doesn't consider the latter possibility as
seriously worth considering. If Bennewitz was the subject of a
disinformation campaign, as most agree was indeed the case, then
should one find credible the testimony of individuals directly
participating in such a campaign? Bishop paints a sympathetic
picture of Moore as someone who unintentionally overstepped the
bounds of sensible research principles and cooperated with the
'wrong side' so to speak. The same cannot be said for Richard
Doty who was a professional in AFOSI and was a direct part of
the campaign to discredit Bennewitz. Bishop seems too eager to
accept Doty's and Moore's' versions of events that the
information Bennewitz claimed concerning underground
extraterrestrial bases and captive humans was in fact
disinformation fed to Bennewitz.

The question Bishop doesn't answer is why should anyone believe
anything claimed by Richard Doty who in his official duty for
AFOSI was a professional in disseminating disinformation and
discrediting UFO researchers and witnesses? As for William
Moore, it is also dubious to accept his version of events where
he volunteered to participate in a campaign to discredit
Bennewitz in order to learn about how AFOSI interfered with UFO
research. If Moore choose to believe Doty and Moore's other
AFOSI handlers that Bennewitz was being fed disinformation, then
it's not surprising that Moore would later contend that
Bennewitz had been fed disinformation. Put simply, Bishop places
too much faith in a professional in discrediting UFO
witnesses/researchers, and a UFO researcher who naively believed
he could benefit by being a part of the military-intelligence
game. Bishop assumes that Bennewitz's claims were a result of
the disinformation being fed to him, and doesn't seriously
consider that Bennewitz's central claims were accurate and that
rumors of disinformation were used to discredit the genuine
information Bennewitz was disseminating.

Bishop's most unsympathetic assessment of Bennewitz's work came
with his interviews concerning the case of Myrna Hansen, an
abductee that Bennewitz claimed was being taken to the
underground extraterrestrial base. Bennewitz's efforts to gain
information from Myrna Hansen through the regressive hypnosis by
Leo Sprinkle are depicted in terms of an increasingly neurotic
Bennewitz who was using Hansen to feed his increasing paranoia
about extraterrestrial bases and abducted humans. What Bishop
fails to discuss is Bennewitz's expertise in electronic
transmissions and his alleged success in discovering the radio
frequency of the extraterrestrial implants inserted into Hansen.
This kind of electronic interception device was a specialty area
for Bennewitz and he actually held a number of patents in the
area of electronic transmissions. This alone may explain why
AFOSI was interested in Bennewitz's work since the interception
and deciphering of electronic transmissions between a 'human
abductee' and the extraterrestrial abductors would clearly have
national security significance. Bishop totally ignores such a
possibility and instead chooses to promote the idea that
Bennewitz was paranoid in his dealing with Hansen and that this
was a product of the disinformation being fed to him. However,
since Bennewitz's work with Hansen began in May 1980, six months
before he notified AFOSI of his conclusions in November, it's a
stretch for Bishop to argue that Bennewitz's claims about
extraterrestrials having underground bases with captured humans
was a product of  disinformation. Bennewitz's views were already
formed well before AFOSI were notified of Bennewitz's concerns,
and presumably began their campaign of discrediting Bennewitz.

Another significant act of omission in Bishop's work concerns a
number of whistleblower testimonies alleging the existence of
underground bases located at Dulce, New Mexico as claimed by
Bennewitz. First was Bob Lazar who claims to have read a
briefing document at the S4 facility about an underground base
in 1979 where there was a firefight between extraterrestrials
and elite security forces. Another whistleblower is Phil
Schneider who went on the lecture tour in 1995 claiming to have
worked in the underground construction of classified military
bases, and had been directly involved in a military altercation
at Dulce between extraterrestrials and elite security forces in
1979. Schneider was found dead in his apartment in January 1996
in what some claim were circumstances that resembled a contract
killing. Another whistleblower is Daniel Burisch who claims to
have been taken to Dulce and heard the cries of captive humans.
Burisch was allegedly threatened with the prospect of joining
the captive humans if he did not participate in a highly
unethical retro-virus program. Yet another whistleblower is
Michael Wolf who claimed that he worked at Dulce and regularly
met with extraterrestrials working with there under agreements
with clandestine government authorities. Arguably the most
controversial whistleblower is a former allegedly security guard
at Dulce, Thomas Castello, who claims in great details the
alleged treatment received by captive humans by
extraterrestrials at Dulce and also claims to have participated
in the 1979 firefight. Despite his extraordinary claims, Bill
Hamilton researched Castello's claims and found him plausible.

For more analysis of whistleblower testimonies concerning
Dulce - see:


Bishop's claim that information circulating in the UFO community
about underground extraterrestrial bases and captive humans held
underground was disinformation should not be accepted without
thorough research of the above whistleblowers claims. These
whistleblowers allegedly had direct experience with evidence
validating Bennewitz's claim of an underground extraterrestrial
base at Dulce suggests that there is some merit to Bennewitz's
claims. Unfortunately, Bishop doesn't examine any of these
whistleblower claims and makes what appears to be the
unfortunate assumption that they are not worth investigating.
This kind of routine dismissal of whistleblower testimony should
not be condoned and is really impermissible for anyone wanting
to conduct a balanced investigation of a major event in UFO
history such as the Bennewitz case. The kind of difficulties
many whistleblowers have in validating their credentials or
testimony should not be used as an excuse to dismiss their
claims as regularly done by veteran UFO researchers. This
approach used by veteran UFO researchers is inappropriate as I
have argued elsewhere  - see:


Another area of concern in Bishop's book is a significant piece
of information dug up by Bishop that the USAF awarded Bennewitz
a grant of $75,000 to conduct research on what he had discovered
by his electronic intercepts. Bishop suggests that this was part
of the 'sting' operation launched against Bennewitz by AFOSI.
This stretches the bounds of credibility since I have heard of
no other case where a significant research grant will be awarded
to a UFO researcher with the primary purpose of disinforming him
while getting more information on the precise nature and
conclusions of his research. What is more likely is that
Bennewitz had developed the means for intercepting electronic
transmissions that were of great interest to the Air Force.
These transmissions may have been little more that
communications used in a classified project as Bishop suggests;
or may have been more exotic in terms of intercepted
extraterrestrial communications which is what Bennewitz
believed. It is clear that Bennewitz had discovered something
with his electronic interceptions and his methods where the
subject of close observation by the USAF.

It's hard to believe that the USAF would have given a grant to
Bennewitz so they could find out more about how he was
intercepting their own classified transmissions. They could
easily have silenced Bennewitz by informing him that he had
intercepted signals from a classified military project. As a
loyal citizen, it's hard to imagine that Bennewitz would have
done anything other than simply comply. It's more plausible that
he received his grant because the Air Force wanted to learn more
about what the alleged extraterrestrials were up to as Bennewitz
was indeed claiming. It appears that while Bennewitz was passing
on information to the USAF, he was simultaneously the recipient
of an intense campaign to discredit him by claiming he was
ingenuously accepting disinformation passed to him. To accept
the word of those playing a direct role in discrediting
Bennewitz's primary claims concerning underground
extraterrestrial bases and captive humans as disinformation
appears to be a dubious way of assessing the validity of
Bennewitz's claims. Yet this is what Bishop does in his book.

Ultimately I come away from Bishop's book with very mixed
feelings. He has done some excellent field work in uncovering
much pertinent background information about the Bennewitz affair
and deserves recognition for bringing this important case to the
public's attention. Yet from the very chapter of his book,
Bishop has the clear goal of demonstrating that Bennewitz was
the victim of a disinformation campaign and that Bennewitz's
claims were too laden with disinformation to be of any service
to the UFO community other than a warning of how researchers can
be led astray. Bishop's citation of sources and interviews are
all geared to demonstrate the truth of his thesis that the UFO
community was right to dismiss the bulk of Bennewitz's
extravagant claims. Unfortunately, Bishop doesn't seriously
entertain the idea that Bennewitz was possibly correct, even in
part, in his most extravagant claims concerning underground
extraterrestrial bases with captive humans. Indeed, Bishop
assumes that such claims were precisely the disinformation fed
to him, when it may have been that rumors of disinformation were
generated towards Bennewitz to discredit his research findings
about an underground extraterrestrial base at Dulce. Its
Bishop's a priori dismissal of the possibility the Bennewitz
could have been correct is what most weakens his book as an
impartial research study of a key historical figure in UFO

A more balanced assessment that seriously explores the claims
made by a number of whistleblowers who allegedly directly
witnessed evidence or physically visited an underground
extraterrestrial base at Dulce, New Mexico, together with the
claims made by Richard Doty and William Moore concerning the
discrediting of Paul Bennewitz, is needed. Simply accepting
Doty's and Moore's testimony that Bennewitz believed
disinformation fed to him is to do a disservice to the memory of
Bennewitz who was an astute observer of the UFO phenomenon and
who had valid observations to make regardless of the rumors of
disinformation leveled against him.  Bennewitz was ultimately
discredited by a clever disinformation campaign. However, it was
rumors of him ingenuously spreading disinformation that were
more damaging to his reputation, than his actually using the
information received by AFOSI agents and assets to formulate his
views about what was really occurring in underground facilities
in New Mexico.

Michael E. Salla, PhD

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