Apr 15, 2022 I Nick Redfern

UFO Researchers: Is Someone Listening to Your Calls?

There's no doubt that within the field of Ufology there is a great deal of paranoia. Some of it is warranted. On other occasions, though, it's due to people letting their imagination spiral out of control. I know UFO investigators who have had sleepless nights just because they heard a solitary click on the phone. That's how Ufology often goes. Today, however, I'm going to focus on the real, sinister side of how and why we - as a UFO community - are being watched. I know that the surveillance is real for one specific reason: it has happened to me on more than a few occasions. We'll begin with something that happened on May 25, 2015. On the last weekend of May – in fact, just a few days later - I was due to speak at the annual Contact in the Desert gig at Joshua Tree, California. The subject of my lecture: the UFO Contactee phenomenon. One of the things I planned to speak on (and which I did speak on) was the matter of a certain Contactee; a woman who had an intriguing, but very controversial, story. For those who may not know, the Contactees first surfaced in the early 1950s, claiming contact with long-haired space aliens who demanded we get rid of our nukes and live in peace and harmony. In today’s world of Ufology, the Contactees have been largely elbowed out of the window by the Abductees. But, not entirely – which brings me back to the matter of the woman referred to above. It's a bizarre story involving NASA and its Challenger space shuttle that exploded on January 28, 1986.

Note: This photo of the Space Shuttle, Challenger, was taken by NASA. As NASA is a U.S. Government agency, the picture is in the public domain

Back in 1986, the woman was interviewed by the FBI, as part of the Bureau’s investigation into the January 28, 1986 explosion of NASA’s Challenger Space Shuttle. It was a tragic event that killed all of the crew and created shockwaves around the planet. Declassified under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI’s files on the incident record that the woman (whose name is deleted from the available documentation – although it is known to me) said that the Shuttle was sabotaged. According to the heavily-redacted documentation which the FBI has been willing to release into the public domain, a source of some standing, one who was apparently very well known to Bureau agents, had come into contact with the woman. And matters only escalated from there. In essence, that is the extent of the relevant, declassified material on this particularly unusual, highly controversial, and probably unique conspiracy theory. Even though some may scoff at its contents, it’s notable that the FBI has admitted to withholding in their entirety, and in the specific name of national security, no less than 26-pages of secret documentation on this weird saga of the allegedly sabotaged Space Shuttle.

 Well, given that the woman claimed contact with supernatural beings, I decided to reference all of this in my Contactee-themed lecture at Joshua Tree. So, I surfed the Net for a good picture of the ill-fated Challenger that I could insert into my PowerPoint presentation. A couple of hours later, I had to make a call to my agent, Lisa Hagan – on the matter of none other than my then-forthcoming book, Men in Black: Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures. During the course of the conversation, Lisa said that something very strange had happened to her earlier that same day. I asked what it was and she told me how she received a phone call – number not available – from someone who spoke just two words: “Challenger exploded.” Lisa is one-hour ahead of me, and when we checked, it turned out that she got the phone-call right around the time that I was searching online for the photo. It scarcely needs to be said that Lisa was amazed - and quite a bit unsettled, too - when I told her I was looking into the Challenger issue the very morning she got the call. I had a deep suspicion – one that has not gone away – that my every move was being monitored; probably Lisa’s, too. After all, both of us knew all too well that the MIB and mysterious calls go together like hands in gloves. Now, let's go onto another strange phone-based affair.

Claudia Cunningham was christened by the late UFO researcher and author, Tim Beckley, as the “MIB Lady,” due to her diligent and dedicated research into the phenomenon, as well as being someone who had her very own run in with one of the MIB in 2009, as I detailed in my book The Real Men in Black. In the late 1970s, Claudia experienced something else that many researchers of, and witnesses to, the Men in Black issue experience at least once in their lives: strange and unsettling telephone interference. She told me: "In the late ‘70s I was married and my husband was a police officer who worked nights. Being alone and bored a lot I was heavily into reading of the paranormal through my massive little library - and I was then reading Phone Calls from the Dead by Scott Rogo. The gist was that when someone died they could call you and the book gave many instances of this happening. One famous person it happened to was the late actress Ida Lupino. Her father, London stage actor Stanley, supposedly called her from beyond the grave. It was eerie reading, believe me. One night I was in bed reading the same book and I snapped on the AM radio on my night table, and the show was WGY’s talk show and they were interviewing UFO abductee Betty Hill. She said she had a lot of phone interference after seeing the UFO with her husband Barney...static, that sort of thing. I was very nervous that night listening to it and imagining my phone would ring. Imagine my shock when it did ring. This must have been around 9 PM at night. And, all I could hear was static!! Like I say, I was heavily into reading anything about UFOs, Bermuda Triangle, etc. and I think my fear triggered the call.

(Nick Redfern) Beware of the spies of Ufology: The Men in Black

And here's a third example: In the latter part of the 1970s, the late Graham Birdsall - editor of the now-closed-down U.K.-based UFO Magazine - and his brother, Mark, pursued a major UFO sighting near to Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, that involved a number of witnesses who had viewed strange, aerial objects in the vicinity of Menwith Hill – a vast “listening-post” controlled by the American National Security Agency. The Birdsall brothers duly approached the staff at Menwith Hill for comment and, at one point, were actually allowed on base. This led to a curious series of events. Soon after visiting the base, Graham received a telephone call from a Mr. Mills, the senior NSA security officer at the base, who had just taken up his post at Menwith Hill and was keen to cement good, local relations. Graham engaged the NSA official in conversation for approximately one hour – something that few civilians can claim. Within a short space of time the Birdsall family began to notice an “awful lot” of interference on the telephone that Graham had used to speak to Mills. This continued for days, then weeks. On one occasion, Graham was speaking with Mark when several clicking noises were heard on the line, followed by their voices repeating back the very same words which they had spoken only minutes before.

I have quite literally hundreds of cases that demonstrate that the UFO research community is being watched. Be careful, but don't let the paranoia get to you.

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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