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The Sad and Sinister Saga of Paul Bennewitz: UFO Disinformation and Counterintelligence

An Albuquerque, New Mexico physicist who died in 2003, Paul Bennewitz spent a significant amount of time digging into U.S. Air Force- and National Security Agency-based top secret projects which, from the late-seventies to the early-eighties, were housed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Bennewitz wrongly believed those projects were connected to the activities of sinister extraterrestrials. The aliens soared across the skies above Kirtland AFB by star-filled, moonlit nights, demonstrating their extraterrestrial invulnerability and power, Bennewitz concluded. It’s hardly surprising that, for years, Bennewitz was put under deep surveillance by the U.S. military and a numbers of intelligence services. He was, as a consequence of his digging, bombarded by the murky world of officialdom with a mass of disinformation and faked UFO-driven stories in order to divert him from his research. It worked. In fact, and to Bennewitz’s eternal cost, it worked just too damned well. By the mid-eighties, he was heading for complete mental disintegration.

The intelligence community cared not a bit that Bennewitz thought their secret operations were UFO-related – precisely because the UFO connection was one of Bennewitz’s very own making. There was, however, deep concern on the part of the world of officialdom that by digging into classified activities at Kirtland in search of UFOs, Bennewitz just might inadvertently reveal – to the spies of the Soviet Union, in a worst-case scenario – information and technology that had to be kept secret at all costs, even if those costs included Bennewitz’s own sanity and health. Which, ultimately, they did. And, so, a grim and undeniably bizarre plan was put into place. U.S. agents learned the essential parts of Bennewitz’s theories from the man himself, by actually breaking into his home while he was out and checking his files and research notes.

Bennewitz’s beliefs were astounding and controversial: aliens were mutilating cattle as part of some weird genetic experiment. The E.T.s were abducting American citizens and implanting them with small devices for purposes disturbingly unknown. Those same aliens were living deep underground in a secure fortress below the Archuleta Mesa at Dulce, New Mexico. And everyone was soon going to be in deep and dire trouble as a direct result of the presence of this brewing, intergalactic threat. So, the intelligence community gave Bennewitz precisely what he was looking for: confirmation that his theories were all true, and more. It’s important to note, though, that this was all just a carefully-planned ruse to bombard Bennewitz with so much faked UFO data in the hope that it would steer him away from the classified military projects of a specifically non-UFO nature that he had uncovered. And, sure enough, it all worked very well. For the government. Far less so for Bennewitz.

When Bennewitz received conformation (albeit carefully controlled and utterly fabricated confirmation) that, yes, he had stumbled upon the horrible truth and that, yes, there really was an alien base deep below Dulce, the actions of the Intelligence community had the desired effect: Bennewitz became increasingly paranoid and unstable, and he began looking away from Kirtland (the hub of the down-to-earth secrets of the NSA and the Air Force that had to be kept) and harmlessly towards the vicinity of Dulce, where his actions, research, and theories could be carefully controlled and manipulated by the government. At this time American Intelligence brought Bill Moore into the secret scheme and asked him to keep them informed of how well – from their perspective – the disinformation operations against Bennewitz were working. They worked all too well. Bennewitz had a breakdown, required treatment, and from then on pretty much walked away from the world of UFOs, aliens, cattle mutilations and the rest of the controversy. The plot to destabilize Bennewitz achieved its goal.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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