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Deaths in the UFO Subject: How Much is the Real Deal?

Over the years (decades, in fact) there have been more than a few reports of people supposedly murdered for what they knew about UFOs. Intriguing and interesting, for sure. But, how much truth is there to these high-profile claims? That’s the theme of today’s article. We’ll begin with one of the most high-profile deaths in Ufology: that of the late alien abduction investigator-researcher-writer Professor John E. Mack. I’ll come straight to the point: Mack was not wiped out by some kind of ruthless hit-team. Anyone who thinks that such a thing could have happened is an idiot. No, hang on, that’s an insult to an idiot. Mack died because of an unfortunate set of circumstances on the night of September 27, 2004 in bustling London, England. Let’s get things into perspective: it was late at night. It was dark. And when he was hit by a vehicle – as he crossed the road by foot, no less – on a busy London road Mack had no chance of survival. There’s something else, too; something very important that many might not think of. Almost certainly, when Mack crossed the road he looked the wrong way. In the U.K. we drive on the left, while in the U.S. it’s the right. That’s what sealed Mack’s death. And not the Men in Black. Mack’s life was snuffed out all because of the way he turned his head at the wrong time. Worse still, the driver who hit Mack was under the influence of booze. Sometimes, a series of events come together – in the worst ways possible – and lead to the death of a well-known figure. In this case, Mack.

Dr John E. Mack, pioneering researcher of the abduction phenomenon.

Now, let’s look at Morris K. Jessup. He was someone who was well-known in Ufology in the 1950s. His books included The Case for the UFO and The Expanding Case for the UFO. His interests involved ancient levitation, modern-day Saucer stories, and the so-called “Philadelphia Experiment.” You know the one: the invisible ship that spawned an entire phenomenon. And a couple of movies. The first movie, in 1984, was good fun and entertainment. The follow-up was total garbage. As for Jessup, his life ended in 1959. In the early evening of April 20, the lifeless body of  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. It was all too late. It didn’t take long before ufologists were saying Jessup’s death was not just suspicious, but extremely suspicious. We need to look into Jessup’s private life for the answers. All of us have our lives away from things like Bigfoot, Nessie and aliens. And, sometimes, those lives don’t go well. That’s exactly what happened with Jessup. As the mid-to-late 1950s progressed, Jessup’s marriage began having problems. He had a car accident, something that played on him for a long time. His publisher turned down several of his ideas for future books. Paranoia set in that he was being watched. And, finally, the time came when Jessup couldn’t take it anymore. He took his life. No assassination. No murder. Just a tragic death provoked by a man whose turmoil became out of control.

Morris K. Jessup

That all said, there are some deaths in Ufology that I do think could have had suspicious endings. Take, for example, Miriam Bush, a figure in the world’s most famous UFO case: Roswell, of course. Miriam knew the truth of what happened back in 1947 on the Foster Ranch, saw the damaged bodies (human or alien), and was told to stay quiet. Or else. It didn’t stop her from telling her family of at least some parts of the story. And she started to take to the booze. To a significant degree. Unfortunately, Miriam was never really able to get rid of that ufological albatross. In the final month of 1989, Miriam headed off to San Jose, California. She had fears she was being watched. She probably was. The day after she hit the road, Miriam was found dead in her motel-room. A plastic bag was covered her head. The conclusion: suicide. Yeah, right. For me, the death of Miriam Bush is one that we should take a very close and careful look at.

Moving onto the 1990s, there was the death of Danny Casolaro. It was midway through 1991 when the lifeless corpse of a middle-aged man was found in a hotel room in the Martinsburg, West Virginia Sheraton Inn. Specifically, 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 Danny Casolaro. He was an investigative journalist of the Woodward and Bernstein variety. At the time, Casolaro was pursuing a dangerous group of people that he called “The Octopus.” Supposedly, they engineered the JFK assassination, Watergate, the Lockerbie, Scotland Jumbo Jet 747 crash over Scotland in 1988, and much more. As Casolaro continued his research, he found himself finding more and more UFO links to the Octopus, such as tales of UFOs, alien autopsies, Area 51 and much more. Casolaro was right on the edge of writing a book on all of this when death decided to come along. Two cases that I suspect were suspicious and two that weren’t. In other words, we have to be very careful as to how we handle such delicate events and incidents. Just because someone in Ufology dies, it doesn’t mean it has to be under suspicious circumstances. But, on the other side of the coin, we shouldn’t ignore such grim possibilities.

Danny Casolaro

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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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