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Mysterious Deaths with Sinister UFO Connections: Fatal Encounters

Over the years (decades, in fact) there have been claims to the effect that more than a few people in the UFO field have been murdered for what they knew. We’re talking about those who allegedly got too close to “the truth,” and who just had to be exterminated by the likes of the Men in Black and hired assassins. There’s no doubt this is one of the most controversial angles of Ufology. For that reason, it’s a topic that should be examined carefully. Very carefully. Today, I’m going to share with you a number of such cases that, as I see it, are worth addressing. For example, there was the jump (or, maybe, the ruthless push) of the first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal from the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Maryland on May 22, 1949. It has been rumored that it was top secret knowledge of UFOs and aliens that led to Forrestal’s breakdown. Ufologists will tell you that Forrestal – a man with a mind filled with swirling secrets – was overwhelmed by the dark, alien secrets he suddenly found himself burdened with. The only thing we know for sure is that just a couple of months before Forrestal’s life was no more, he told his long-time friend, William O. Douglas, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: “Bill, something awful is about to happen to me.” Something awful did happen. Death came for Forrestal. The very first fatal victim of a UFO cover-up? Maybe.

James V. Forrestal

Now, let’s take a look at a now-dead writer, Danny Casolaro. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, Casolaro claimed he was hot on the trail of what he called “The Octopus.” It was said to have been a worldwide organization with tentacles all across the world (hence the term “Octopus”) that manipulated major events, made murders look like suicides, and even sought to have us all under some kind of “New World Order” in the years ahead. The Octopus also had a connection to the UFO subject, said Casolaro. It was the summer of 1991 – specifically August 1 of that year – when the body of a middle-aged man was discovered in a hotel room in the Martinsburg, West Virginia Sheraton Inn. His body was lying in the shower. It was a grim sight for the maid that made the discovery. The man, it seemed, had committed suicide: his wrists were cut deep, something which effectively meant that without anyone to help him, the man was doomed. And, he was. It didn’t take more than a few moments for hotel staff to figure out who, exactly, the man was. He was identified by the person on the front-desk as none other than Danny Casolaro. He was an investigative journalist of the Woodward and Bernstein variety. Casolaro’s death was a big tragedy for his family and friends. Suicide is always a terrible tragedy – and not just for the victim, but also for those left behind who have to pick up the pieces. But, was Casolaro’s death really just the suicide that it appeared to be?

Danny Casolaro

Many people in the field of conspiracy theorizing doubted the official theory for Casolaro’s death. More were fascinated by the UFO angle to it all.  Casolaro said he had proof of the existence of the so-called secret group known as Majestic 12. Supposedly, it oversaw Area 51, and the wreckage and alien bodies said to have been found in New Mexico in the summer of 1947 – the legendary Roswell affair, of course. For the record, the Majestic 12 issue has been an integral one to the field of Ufology for decades. For some UFO investigators, Majestic 12 is the real deal. For others, though, it’s nothing but government disinformation designed to confuse the Roswell incident even further. By early 1991, Casolaro’s head was spinning – which is hardly surprising. Unfortunately, Casolaro did not live to see the truth of the Octopus unveiled – by himself, he hoped. The matter of his death in August 1991 ensured that. While Casolaro’s death could have been due to suicide – certainly, that’s what it looked like – there were solid and valid reasons to suggest that his death was due to something very different. At the time of his passing, Casolaro was certainly not in a state of woe or depression. It was the exact opposite: he was energized by new leads, and new revelations, in his quest to find the truth of the Octopus, its activities, and its motivations.

Now, onto the matter of the infamous Roswell “UFO crash” affair of July 1947. Miriam Bush was someone who knew exactly what happened just outside of Roswell in early July of 1947. Not only that, she may well have paid for that knowledge with her life. Miriam has, at times, been incorrectly described as a nurse who worked at the military hospital at the Roswell Army Air Field. She was not: Miriam was actually an executive secretary at the facility. The distinction may sound small, but the fact is that Bush’s position meant that she would have been in a prime position to see the mangled bodies when they were secretly brought to the base. It’s hardly surprising, given the circumstances and the subsequent warnings issued to Bush and others in the base hospital at the time, that Miriam Bush became deeply paranoid and even in fear of her life. Although she had been told by high-ranking personnel at the base never, ever to discuss what she had seen, Bush secretly chose to confide in her family, but warning them to never tell anyone what had happened and what she knew. For Bush, though, the Roswell affair came to dominate her life: she became even more paranoid, entered into a loveless marriage, and soon started hitting the bottle to a serious degree. Miriam would soon be a full-blown alcoholic. Such were the effects of what can happen when finds oneself tangled in a conspiracy as disturbing and dark as the Roswell event surely was.

For Miriam Bush, matters came to a head – and to a shocking and suspicious end – in the late 1980s. Without warning, and on a particular day in December 1989, she took off for San Jose, California and checked into a local motel under her sister’s name – a strange action, and which further suggests that she was concerned she was being watched. After all, why would she try and obfuscate her real identity, if she had nothing to hide? The very next day, Bush was found dead in that very same motel room: a plastic-bag was around her neck. It had been tied tightly. Marks on her arms were indicative of a scuffle having occurred at some point after she checked in the motel. Despite the evidence suggesting she was murdered, the official conclusion was that Bush had taken her own life.

Morris K. Jessup

In 1955, one of the most controversial of all the many and varied UFO books published in the fifties was released – and, for the UFO field, to a distinct fanfare. Its title was The Case for the UFO. The author was Morris K. Jessup. His book was a detailed study of the theoretical power-sources for UFOs: what was it that made them fly? How could they perform such incredible, aerial feats, such as coming to a complete stop in the skies, hovering at incredible heights? Jessup believed that the vitally important answers lay in the domain of gravity. Or, as he saw it: anti-gravity. Jessup may well have been onto something, as it wasn’t long at all before the world of officialdom was on Jessup’s back – specifically senior figures in the U.S., Navy. And it was one particularly intriguing office of the Navy that was watching Jessup – a “special weapons” division. Clearly, someone in the U.S. Navy was interested in, and perhaps even concerned by, Jessup’s findings and theories. Maybe, that same office of the Navy was worried that Jessup just might stumble onto the same technology that was being used to fly Uncle Sam’s very own UFOs – those UFOs which the military were very happy for the public to perceive them as alien spacecraft, as it all helped their long-term plan to fabricate an alien invasion. Just like Miriam Bush,  Jessup became deeply worried – paranoid, even – that he was being spied on by certain elements of the U.S. government. In the early evening of April 20, 1959, the lifeless body of Morris Jessup was found in his car, which was parked in the Matheson Hammock Park in Miami, Florida. The car’s engine was still running and a hosepipe, affixed to the exhaust, had been fed through the driver’s side window. Jessup was dead from the effects of carbon-monoxide. Jessup’s body was found by a man named John Goode, who worked at the park. Shocked at the sight before him, Goode quickly called the police, who arrived in no time at all. The verdict was suicide. Not everyone in the UFO field at that time agreed.

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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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