Feb 21, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Aliens, Monsters and Psychedelics: How Much of the UFO Phenomenon is Real?

You'll know from my articles here at Mysterious Universe that I take the view there are real UFOs and there are others that are the creations of government/military agencies. Indeed, you might be wondering just how much of the UFO phenomenon is real, and how much is the top secret work of scientists in the U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon, and Porton Down’s scientists in the U.K. And who knows how many other labs and agencies, too? It might crush your belief-systems, but the grim fact is that such UFO-linked manipulation of the public - and of unwitting military personnel, too -  didn’t begin with the likes of the Rendlesham Forest incident of December 1980. Some might say that it was certainly the pinnacle of it all, but it has been going on since the very early days of Ufology. Much of it occurred in the United States under the MK-Ultra "mind-control" program. And there was one particularly notorious incident that happened in the early 1950s in France. It’s most important that I address the French and American cases that are about to cross your path. As to why, it’s for this reason: they demonstrate how drugs, hallucinogens, and faked and staged events have been put into place for more occasions than you might expect. We’ll begin with a story of horrendous proportions – that, as you’ll see, is an ideal and appropriate description for what’s coming now.

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(Nick Redfern) When a UFO Might Not Really Be One

If you think that entire groups of people cannot be rendered into altered states of perception – and at the manipulative hands and minds of intelligence agencies – you would be acutely wrong. Prepare yourself for the shocking facts concerning a terrible and terrifying saga that went down in a small town in France in the early 1950s. Its name: Pont-Saint-Esprit. It’s a small locale, the origins of which date back centuries and that, today, only has a population of around 11,000. As for the horrific things that happened on August 15, 1951, they were almost unbelievable. Matters started just like any other day in the town. By the end of the day, however, things were very different. What you are about to read might seem like the plot-line of an apocalypse-type, big-bucks movie. It is not. The truth is far more frightening than anything that Hollywood could have ever concocted.

It was no time at all before many of the residents began to have intense hallucinations of all manner of strange creatures and monsters in their midst. Some of them even began to act like crazed beasts. The cause of the event – or, rather, of the claimed cause – was the ingestion of a fungus called ergot, and that had reportedly got into the town’s food supply. Ergot, a fungal disease of various cereals, can have a mind-blowing effect on a person when it invades the human body. And, so we are told, that is exactly what happened to the people of Pont-Saint-Esprit. In her 2006 book, Hunting the American Werewolf, Linda Godfrey says of this notoriously weird story that “ergot is now widely regarded as a possible cause of the bestial madness. According to this theory, it was not demonic influence but the ingestion of Claviceps purpurea (which contains a compound similar to LSD), which led to the demented behavior and thus, executions, of many alleged witches, werewolves, and vampires.”

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(Nick Redfern) Nick Redfern with Linda Godfrey, who has carefully studied the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident

By the end of the day, more than 250 people in town were affected – and dangerously so, too. By the next day, four people were dead and dozens more were in asylums. The survivors were held within the walls of the imposing buildings for the safety of not just the affected, but also for the safety of the doctors and nurses who were treating them. It’s now time to look at the startling, real answer for what happened at Point-Saint-Esprit back in 1951. In the years that have passed since the events occurred, an ever-growing body of data has surfaced, all of which makes a strong case for the theory that the poor people of the town were deliberately targeted – primarily to see how hallucinogens can affect the human mind. Those behind the experiment quickly found out.

H. P. Albarelli, Jr., was the author of A Terrible Mistake. It’s a book that tells the shocking story of a man named Frank Olson. At the time the events in France were erupting, Olson was employed as a chemist at the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Division. For a while, that is. Olson lost his life on November 28, 1953: he was pushed, or he jumped, from the 10th floor of the Manhattan-based Hotel Statler (today, the Hotel Pennsylvania). It has to be said that Albarelli makes a very strong case that Olson did not commit suicide, but was thrown out of the window of the hotel – because Olson was on the verge of revealing to the media that behind the scenes in the labs of the CIA and the Army, terrible experiments were afoot to manipulate the mind. It’s most intriguing to note that Frank Olson was in France in both 1950 and 1951 – where he met with French intelligence personnel who were very interested in the growing realm of mind-control. Thanks to the relentless research of Albarelli – and the terms of the Freedom of Information Act - we now know that Olson’s name appears in once-classified CIA files that are related to Pont-Saint-Esprit. One such document reads as follows: "Re: Pont-Saint-Esprit and F. Olson files. SO Span / France Operation file, including Olson. Intel files. Hand carry to Berlin – tell him to see to it that these are buried."

It’s very clear this particular memo was written in a form that only those in the know, within the CIA, would understand the precise nature of what was being discussed. That certain "files" were planned on being "buried" by agency personnel, and that this all had a connection to Frank Olson and Pont-Saint-Esprit, strongly suggests that what happened in France in 1951 was a ruthless, deliberate test on the locals and with the help of the CIA. No wonder the UFO/mind-control/psychedelics issue frazzles the minds of many!

Nick Redfern

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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