Aug 08, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Viruses of the Extraterrestrial Kind: Are They Real? And, if so, Are They Dangerous?

Sinister questions that need answering: are there dangerous viruses of the extraterrestrial type out there? Could we, one day, be in deep peril? Let's see. It was halfway through the summer of 1947 when J. Edgar Hoover's Federal Bureau of Investigation got into the matter of Flying Saucers and on what became termed as "germ bombs." The FBI was alerted by a man named by Edwin M. Bailey of Stamford, Connecticut. In a memo for Hoover, one of his agents prepared the following: “Bailey prefaced his remarks by stating that he is a scientist by occupation and is currently employed at the American Cyanamid Research Laboratories on West Main Street in Stamford, Connecticut, in the Physics Division. Bailey further indicated that during the war he was employed at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the Radiation Laboratory which Laboratory is connected with the Manhattan Project. Bailey advised that he is thirty years of age and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.”

Bailey was nowhere near over: “Bailey stated that the topic of ‘flying saucers’ in 1947 had caused considerable comment and concern to the present day scientists and indicated that he himself had a personal theory concerning the ‘flying saucers.’ Prior to advancing his own theory, Bailey remarked that immediately after the conclusion of World War II, a friend of his, [Deleted], allegedly observed the ‘flying saucers’ from an observatory in Milan and Bologna, Italy. He stated that apparently at the time the ‘flying saucers’ had caused a little comment in Italy but that after some little publicity they immediately died out as public interest. Bailey stated that it is quite possible that actually the ‘flying saucers’ could be radio controlled germ bombs or atom bombs which are circling the orbit of the earth and which could be controlled by radio and directed to land on any designated target at the specific desire of the agency or country operating the bombs.” It's interesting, and also intriguing that the full report is not available at the FBI's website. Now, onto another issue of the potentially dangerous kind.

(Nick Redfern) The U.K. National Archives, where the UFO-biological warfare documents can be found.

In July 1949, something else of a disturbing nature surfaced, as you'll see. Special Investigations Agent Elbert W. Farris of Scott Air Force Base, Illinois,put together a document taht was for the attention of the Director of Technical Intelligence at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, a facility tied near inextricably to the UFO phenomenon for decades. Agent Farris' document read as follows: “Dr. and Mrs. [blacked-out] of Decatur, Indiana, were interviewed on August 15, 1949, and stated that they had seen an unidentified aerial object which they thought to be a flying saucer. The sighting took place July 1, 1949 on Highway 70 about 50–70 miles north of Ft. Francis, Ontario, Canada, and near the east side of Lake of the Woods, Canada."

The document continues: “The object was described as silvery gray in color, flying in a westerly direction and was in sight for about 5 seconds. No vapor trails or protruding objects were noted. The object pursued a straight path of flight with an erratic motion comparable to that of an oblong object being thrown through the air. The aerial anomaly appeared to be faster than an airplane. It did not hover…and was likened to a small aircraft at two thousand feet. Dr. [blacked-out] observed no fins, no vapor trail and heard no sound. After passing across his line of vision, the object was lost from view behind the trees. The day was bright and sunny, and Dr. [blacked-out] emphasized that he had definitely observed an object in the air unlike any other known to him. Mrs. [blacked-out] corroborated her husband’s statements.” The FBI paperwork informed Hoover that the doctor "...found himself in the midst of a polio epidemic and that as a result he had read as much literature as possible with respect to polio, its symptoms, diagnosis, etc. Dr. [blacked-out] told that in his opinion, the cases which were thought to be polio in the vicinity of Decatur, Indiana, were not polio, but possibly the result of uranium poisoning and that he felt the presence of flying saucers had direct bearing on the polio epidemic.”

Hoover was further informed that “[blacked-out] pointed out that flying saucers were observed in the Carolinas in 1948 and there was a polio epidemic in the vicinity at that time. Dr. [blacked-out] stated he had consulted one of the physicians at the Benjamin Harrison Air Base and had also checked the records with reference to allegations concerning the sighting of flying saucers and had done a little research with respect to correlating the presence of flying saucers and any polio epidemic.” Certainly, there was some concern on the parts of the team that there might have been a polio-Flying Saucer angle. Yet again, though, not everything has been placed into the public domain. Now let's move on: it was in 1999 that I was able to secure from the British National Archives at Kew, a copy of a lengthy file, titled Unorthodox Aircraft. One part of the document is very important.

(Nick Redfern) From the U.S. to the USSR and alien viruses

A quote from one of the entries (picked entirely at random) from the National Archive-originated material reads: “Subject: Bacteriological Warfare Article. Forwarded herewith is a further installment of a series of articles at present appearing in the publication Kristall by Dr. Stubenbauer. Your attention is also drawn to the article on ‘Flying Saucers’ appearing in the same publication.” Of course, this begs the question: why was the Unorthodox team addressing both Flying Saucers and "Bacterial warfare?" The questions are many. The answers are, quite predictably, few. Now, let's focus on a real weird part of this story: namely, that the Russians, during the Cold War, may have created bogus stories of aliens and deadly extraterrestrial viruses to freak the United States government. At the same time that ufologists were salivating over the Majestic 12 papers in the eighties, the Russians were working to convince Americans that the U.S. government had secretly created the AIDS virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Or, HIV. The purpose? To use the virus as the definitive doomsday weapon. It’s a strange and controversy-filled story that, in a very odd way, has a link to a second set of Majestic 12 documents; the new ones surfaced in the 1990s. This second set would provoke even more controversy than the original ones ever could. 

We have to turn our attentions to a U.S. Department of State document titled AIDS as a Biological Weapon, and which I obtained thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.  I’ll present it to you without interruption: "When the AIDS disease was first recognized in the early 1980s, its origins were a mystery. A deadly new disease had suddenly appeared, with no obvious explanation of what had caused it. In such a situation, false rumors and misinformation naturally arose, and Soviet disinformation specialists exploited this situation as well as the musings of conspiracy theorists to help shape their brief but highly effective disinformation campaign on this issue. In March 1992, then-Russian intelligence chief and later Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov admitted that the disinformation service of the Soviet KGB had concocted the false story that the AIDS virus had been created in a U.S. military laboratory as a biological weapon. The Russian newspaper Izvestiya reported on March 19, 1992: “[Primakov] mentioned the well-known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories.” According to Yevgeny Primakov, the articles exposing U.S. scientists’ “crafty” plots were fabricated in KGB offices. The Soviets eventually abandoned the AIDS disinformation campaign in their media under pressure from the U.S. government in August 1987.

In my 2017 book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy, I wrote the following, which will demonstrate how I personally became so embroiled in the matter of the Cooper-era papers: “It’s a little known fact that in late 2001 [UFO researcher]Tim Cooper sold all of his voluminous UFO files to Dr. Robert M. Wood. Bob is the author of Alien Viruses and the father of Ryan Wood, who has spent years researching alleged crashed UFO incidents – all detailed in his book, Majic Eyes Only. It is even less well-known that in the early days of 2002, Bob hired me to spend a week in an Orange County, California-based motel-room, surrounded by all of the thousands upon thousands of pages of Cooper’s voluminous collection of the cosmic sort. The plan was for me to catalog all of the material, to compile each and every piece of it into chronological order, and to summarize the content of each document, every letter, and every Freedom of Information request that Cooper had submitted to government agencies – which is precisely what I did. It was a week in which I most definitely earned my loot. It was also a week that paralleled the infamous story told by Hunter S. Thompson in his classic gonzo saga, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Whereas Thompson was hunkered down with his whisky, margaritas and shrimp cocktails, for me it was cases of cold beer and club sandwiches.” 

I could not fail to note just how much of the material which existed in Cooper’s files was relative to stories of manufactured viruses, biological weaponry, and bizarre, medical conspiracies. And UFOs, too. Contained in Cooper’s vast collection was a 1999 edition of Edward T. Haslam’s book, Mary, Ferrie & the Monkey Virus (“Mary” being Mary Sherman, a cancer researcher who died under very strange, fiery circumstances in New Orleans in 1964, and “Ferrie” being David Ferrie, a man that New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison concluded was a conspirator in the death of JFK). Haslam’s story is a controversial one. It mixes biological warfare and deadly viruses with a ruthless murder – and much more, too. And, as the back-cover of the book reveals, the story addresses “questions concerning the origins of the AIDS epidemic.” Trying to solve this issue is not easy! It's one I'll continue to pursue.

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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