Jun 30, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Aliens, Area 51 and UFOs: Are We Being Told the Truth?

Back in the 1970s, Paul Bennewitz - who died in 2003, in Albuquerque, New Mexico – had his own company that stood adjacent to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Its name: Thunder Scientific. All was good, as Bennewitz had a number of good contracts with the military. And living and working so close to the base made things comfortable and handy for Bennewitz. It was the perfect relationship. Until, that is, it wasn’t. In shockingly quick time, Bennewitz’s life began to fragment in chaotic fashion. But, how and why did such a thing happen? It’s important to note that by the late 1970s Bennewitz had been interested in UFOs not just for years but for decades. He had a large library of books on the subject and subscribed to a number of newsletters and magazines on the subject. On occasion, Bennewitz had seen – late at night and in the early hours of the morning – strange, unidentified objects flying over Kirtland Air Force Base and the nearby, huge Manzano Mountains. They could have been early drone-like craft being tested secretly. But, for Bennewitz they were alien craft. Bennewitz’s head spun: he came to believe that aliens were in league with the U.S. Air Force, and that much of the secret program was run out of Kirtland. And he shared his views with staff at Kirtland, the CIA, the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, his Senator, his Congressman, and just about anyone and everyone in a position of power and influence. It was all but inevitable that by firing off lengthy letters about a secret alien-human operation at Kirtland someone would take notice. That’s exactly what they did.

(Nick Redfern) The grave of Paul Bennewitz

While one school of thought suggests that Bennewitz was indeed tracking the movements of UFOs in the skies over Kirtland, another suggests that Bennewitz had actually stumbled on test-flights of new and radical aircraft, of the aforementioned drone kind. In the latter scenario, the government (as a collective term for all of those agencies and individuals that Bennewitz approached) decided to first politely, but quietly, request that Bennewitz bring his research to a halt. This was like a red rag to a bull. Bennewitz would hear none of it. He was primed and ready to go after the U.S. Government and to confirm what he saw as the dark and sinister truth of Uncle Sam’s liaisons with aliens. One man against the government? It was clear who was going to win; although Bennewitz couldn’t envisage such a thing at all. In ingenious fashion – but from the perspective of Bennewitz, in terrible fashion – a plot was initiated to, in essence, give Bennewitz exactly what he wanted to hear. Well-placed government agents, intelligence operatives, and experts in the fields of counterintelligence and disinformation, all fed Bennewitz fictitious tales of dangerous ETs, of thousands of people abducted and mind-controlled in slave-like fashion by the aliens, of terrible experiments undertaken on people held below the alleged Dulce, New Mexico "underground alien base," and of a looming confrontation between the human race and the supposed deadly creatures from another galaxy.

That the data was all coming to Bennewitz from verifiable insider sources impressed Bennewitz and led him to believe their every word – which is precisely what the government was gambling on. The government then tightened the noose even tighter around Bennewitz’s neck: they fed him more and more horror-stories of the alien variety. And, slowly and bit by bit, Bennewitz’s paranoia grew. If anyone walked casually past the family home, they just had to be government agents. If the phone rang out, but stopped ringing before he had a chance to get to it, then that was a sign of intimidation, from them. He couldn’t sleep, he became stressed to the point where he required medication, and eventually had a nervous collapse and was hospitalized. The result: he walked away from UFOs, secret projects, and cosmic conspiracies as a crushed man. That may well have been the intent of the government, anyway. A skilled case of directed disinformation and to disable the target (in this case Bennewitz). Of course, this begs the question: how many times has something like this happened before? Maybe on many occasions. Now, let's take a trip to Area 51, so to speak.

There are those who believe Bob Lazar's words and his claims at having briefly worked out at Area 51's S-4 facility. And there are those who don't buy the story. But, there is a different angle, too: that Lazar was used by disinformation experts - but for reasons that are still not completely clear. For example, consider this: Jacques Vallee noted something that was almost certainly connected to a drugs / hypnosis issue. Vallee, speaking on KLAS-TV’s show, UFOs: The Best Evidence, said he asked Lazar “if he felt that his memory might have been tampered with.” A very intriguing thought. And, yes, Lazar did have missing time. Now, let's take a look at one of the most famous UFO events of all time: In the final days of December 1980, strange encounters and bizarre incidents occurred in the heart of Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England. Based upon their personal encounters, many of the military personnel who were present at the time believed that something extraterrestrial came down in those dark woods. What if, however, there was another explanation for what happened four decades ago? What if that explanation, if revealed, proved to be even more controversial than the theory that aliens arrived from a faraway world? The ramifications for the field of Ufology would be immense. In my 2020 book, The Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy, I revealed that one of the most famous UFO cases of all time was really a series of top secret experiments using holograms, mind-control programs, deception, disinformation, conspiracies and cover-ups. Of course, there are numerous people who disagree with me, but the story of the disinformation program still stands up.

(Nick Redfern) The Rendlesham Forest "UFO" affair: A secret experiment and a fabricated scenario. And no aliens.

Now, let's go further back in time. From the National Security Agency obtained a translation of a 1960s Russian media article on the UFO subject. Contained within the article, I was interested to see, was a passing reference to an alleged UFO crash at Spitsbergen, Norway in 1952 incident, that stated: "An abandoned silvery disc was found in the deep rock-coal seams in Norwegian coalmines on Spitsbergen. It was pierced and marked by micro-meteor impacts and bore all traces of having performed a long space voyage. It was sent for analysis to the Pentagon and disappeared there." This was certainly a new slant on the case; but what really caught my eye was the National Security Agency’s reaction to the mention of Spitsbergen. Instead of dismissing the matter as a hoax, a still-unidentified NSA agent circled the paragraph of the article referencing Spitsbergen, and wrote in the margin the intriguing word “PLANT” in bold capitals.

Had the NSA been exposed to data that could conclusively lay the legend of Spitsbergen to rest, once and for all? If that was the case, the NSA weren’t saying, and no further evidence pertaining to National Security Agency involvement in the Spitsbergen incident came to light. And yet, that curious one-word note, scrawled many years previous by an anonymous NSA employee, continues to puzzle me. Rather than indicating an outright hoax, the “PLANT” reference suggested that the Spitsbergen story (even if bogus) had been disseminated officially, possibly to cloud and confuse the rumors surrounding crashed-UFO incidents in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Of course, this begs the questions: (A) How many more "UFO crash"-related stories may have had their origins in the world of government/intelligence-orchestrated programs of disinformation and psychological warfare; and (B) why the need for such actions? Maybe during the Cold War someone in government wanted the U.S. to have the Russians believe we had crashed UFOs, advanced alien technology, and dead aliens on ice. When the reality was that the whole thing was just a case of psychological warfare.

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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