Dec 29, 2022 I Nick Redfern

An Area 51 Whistleblower: Truth or Deception? Or Double-Deception?

To demonstrate that the connection between Area 51 and UFOs goes back a significant number of years – and long before Bob Lazar was on the scene - we have to go back to the dawning of the 1970s. The story comes from a man I’ll call John, and who I met back in the mid-2000s. It’s a story of incredible proportions and which clearly demonstrates that when it comes to the matter of aliens and the legendary secret base, nothing is as it seems to be. In fact, it’s much weirder. From the latter part of the 1940s to the end of the fifties, John was employed by the New York Police Department. The work was exactly what one would expect in a packed, bustling city like the Big Apple. There was, however, one unusual aspect to John’s career. It was in late 1957 that John and a couple of his colleagues were brought into a program to assist the FBI in uncovering a Russian spy-ring which was afoot in the city. The belief was that the Soviets were trying to infiltrate a certain company that worked in the field of weapons-development for the U.S. Government. They may indeed have infiltrated it – period. The reason why John was brought in was because there was a suspicion that the Russians had recruited Mafia figures – and they were Mafia figures who John had crossed paths with on previous investigations. 

 (Nick Redfern) We all know those two numbers!

By all accounts, the operation ran as smoothly as these things can: a number of Soviet operatives were rounded up and arrested, as were a couple of Americans. John found himself in another operation involving the Feds just two years later. Again, John did a good job and impressed the higher-ups in the Bureau. In 1970, John was contacted by an old friend in the police who said that a prestigious job was coming up that John might find of interest. Intrigued, John asked his friend what the gig was. The response was a job with Wackenhut. It’s a company that was established in 1954 and which provides security to numerous companies that undertake contract work for the U.S. military, government and the intelligence community. Wackenhut also had the contract, in 1964, to provide all of the security for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. In other words, Wackenhut was involved in matters relative to national security on a daily basis. And, John would have a significant position in the field of security – if he chose to take the job.

According to John’s friend, the job that was coming up would be at a highly sensitive facility in the Nevada desert. Since its classified name was definitely not in the public domain at the time, John had no idea that it was named nothing less than Area 51. John’s friend informed him that the pay would be very good, that the job would guarantee John a lot of new contacts in his working career, and that it was definitely not an opportunity to be missed. John was sold on the idea. Little did he know at the time just how strange his life and world were about to become. John had a definitively cloak-and-dagger-type initial interview in New York, which was followed by a second one in Las Vegas. On top of that, an extensive background check followed. Both the FBI and the NSA were involved in the investigation of John’s life, career and background. Everyone was pleased with the results – and especially John. He would soon find himself working at one of the most mysterious locales on the entire planet. 

John stated that one of the primary reasons why he got the job was because, at the time, he was a single man: he had never married; although he did later in life. This was seen as a good thing, as John was expected to work approximately three weeks on and one week off. Yes, the hours were much a bit torturous, but – as a former police officer – John was accustomed to working odd and long hours. He had no major problem with that. Things ran smoothly: John spent his days off in Las Vegas, playing the slots and getting to know the ladies of Sin City. Then, when his time away from the base was over, he would be flown aboard a Cessna aircraft to Area 51 – with the window blinds permanently down. On each occasion, the other passengers were always the same: three men who he got to know over the course of the following year.

(Nick Redfern) History might not be what it seems to be.

Indeed, they all became good friends, and looked forward to their time off in the big city. Weirdest of all, on each occasion when the team arrived at the base – which was only a short flight from Las Vegas – they were all ordered to put on pairs of goggles. These were not ordinary goggles, however. Far from it. They had split lenses, the top part being so thick and distorted that it was only possible to see anything out of the lower part. There was clearly method to this seeming madness. By preventing the men from seeing out of the top portion of the goggles, they were forced to look down – pretty much at their feet. This was obviously orchestrated to ensure that the men would not be able to get a good look at the surface portions of Area 51. In single-file, awkward, shuffling fashion they would follow their supervisor to a bus with blacked-out windows. 

As they exited the bus – after about a three minute drive – they would always enter a small, square building made of concrete. At that point they were permitted to remove the goggles. The room was comprised of a staircase and an elevator. How far down both went John never found out. For all he knew, John said, it could have been to the center of the Earth. With all the strange security going on, it would hardly have surprised him. John worked two-floors down. The security there was beyond stringent: armed guards were constantly patrolling and prowling around, and ID cards had to be on show all of the time. Incredibly long corridors extended all across the facility, suggesting that the below-surfaces portions of Area 51 were gigantic. On John’s first experience of life in the heart of Area 51, he was taken to one particular office – known, in slang terms, as the History Department - and received a briefing from a trio of men in black suits, who all flashed NASA ID cards. They may have been dressed in black, but they weren’t the deadly Men in Black of UFO lore. The greeting and meeting went well, and John was formally introduced to his fellow workers. It would be John’s task to ensure that certain, highly-classified files were carefully looked after, and kept under lock and key – except for when they might be needed by the employees of the facility.  Two other men and one woman worked in the same area, all with broadly the same jobs as John. In simple terms, John was being groomed as an archivist.

The documentation that John and his colleagues were to oversee dealt with four different issues: the history of advanced weapons-systems, chemical and biological warfare, secret aircraft test-flown at the base, and what was initially – and intriguingly – referred to as “something else.” That something else, John learned to his complete and utter amazement and shock, was directly linked to extraterrestrial life and UFOs. John was about to be exposed to Area 51’s greatest and biggest secret of all. Before John got the briefing of a lifetime, however, he was given the lowdown on the process of how the documentation he was to look after could be handled. If base employees needed to review any of the historical documents, that same review had to be done in the room, with John there at all times, and overseeing the handling of the files. It was okay for employees to take notes from the files, providing they were made on what was always – rather curiously – bright orange paper and using a pencil, and a pencil only. John wondered – but admittedly had no proof – if perhaps the paper could have been detected if anyone had tried to smuggle it out of the base. Of all the four areas of historical files that the group had access to, those which fell under the “something else” category were the most interesting – which is surely putting things mildly.

(Nick Redfern) John said there were files concerning Roswell while he was out at Area 51.

John said that the vast amounts of documentation ran from 1943 to 1968 and were focused on the history of the U.S. Government’s knowledge of – and even interaction with - alien entities who were not just visiting us, but clandestinely living on Earth among us. John had heard of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, a low-level operation established by the Air Force to investigate UFO sightings, but, clearly this was something far more significant than anything Blue Book was involved in. John read – with his jaw practically dropping to the floor – numerous documents which revealed that the remains of a number of crashed UFOs were stored at the base, as were a handful of bodies of dead aliens – some in good condition and two in very poor states, as if they had been in a violent accident, which John soon learned was the case. John was keen and careful to explain to me that although he read an endless amount of material, he never personally saw a UFO or an alien – dead or alive. Nor did he ever see a space vehicle from another world. All of his knowledge came from the classified records. That is an important issue we will return to shortly.

John recalled that in 1947, the files stated, the U.S. Government created a secret group to oversee the growing perceived threat posed by what was seen as an outright extraterrestrial menace. John never knew the name of the group, since it was blacked-out in the pages of the documents he was given access to. At some point in 1960, the group created a splinter organization which worked closely with a highly secret arm of NASA, to try and understand the nature of the alien technology and, in the process, to hopefully duplicate it. By all accounts, not a great deal of advancement had been made. And that, apparently, was also the case by 1970: the technology was so bizarre and beyond most peoples’ comprehension that there was little that the scientists on the program could do than scratch their heads and stare at it. Then, in the late 1960s a radical decision was made. Up until then – the files John read stated – various top secret UFO programs existed and were situated all across the country. Some of the work was done at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Other research was undertaken at the Utah-based Dugway Proving Ground, which is shrouded in just about as much secrecy as is Area 51. Alien bodies were stored at various different facilities around the United States. So, a decision was made to consolidate all of this material into one location; a highly secure, incredibly well-guarded facility that was practically a fortress. We are, of course, talking about Area 51, something which was overseen by a group within the Atomic Energy Commission.

According to what John learned, up until the end of the 1960s Area 51 was only involved in classified issues relative to the likes of the U-2 spy-plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, and various other spy-planes of a prototype nature. As well as work in the field of chemical warfare, biological warfare, surveillance technologies, and advanced weapons-systems. That all changed, though, when Area 51 became the numero uno locale for all things alien. And it wasn’t just the extraterrestrial technology and the bodies that were secretly transported to Area 51: it was all of the people who had worked on those earlier, separate projects around the country. Now, everyone who had ever worked on such a program would do their work from Area 51 and from nowhere else at all. And, this was one of the primary reasons why John was brought on board: there was a pressing need to ensure that all of the massive amounts of alien-oriented documentation transferred to Area 51 were looked after and stored under the absolute strictest regimes possible. Area 51 was now akin to a real-life Aladdin’s Cave – but the treasures it held were born and created on faraway worlds. Perhaps even in the heart of a faraway galaxy. And John was going to be one of the key figures who would look after this incredible body of material – material which 99.999 percent of the world’s population had absolutely no knowledge of. For John, it was both incredible, but a little intimidating – frightening, even, at times. But, it was the offer of a lifetime and John was not about to turn that offer down.

One of the most sinister aspects of the whole story came to John within just a few days of working at Area 51. He was told by fellow personnel at the secret facility that many of those who were allied to the original program – and when the highly classified files were held at the likes of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Utah’s Dugway Proving Ground – had gone “rogue.” That’s to say, and according to what John was told, more than a few senior personnel in the UFO programs had taken highly controversial steps to try and reveal the secret truths of alien evidence held by the U.S. Government. This, reportedly, resulted in the government taking just about the most extreme actions possible to ensure that certain talkative figures didn’t talk again – as in ever. That’s right: we are talking about the termination of people who were perceived as potential, untrustworthy whistleblowers. John was told of deaths on the programs involving car accidents, suicides, heart-attacks and much more – all made to look innocent, but which, in reality, were carefully orchestrated murders. Other people in the programs vanished and were never seen again. For John, as a retired police-officer, this was deeply disturbing: murder due to fears of exposure of the UFO secrets? John seriously begun to wonder what he had got himself into. On top of that, top secret files vanished too – documents which included some of the original, raw intelligence material on the Roswell affair of July 1947. Masses of papers were reportedly destroyed – chiefly to hide the controversial acts which had been committed to silence certain people. 

(Nick Redfern) UFOs and the desert.

As for the specific files that John oversaw, he recalled that the earliest UFO-themed he had the opportunity to read dated from 1944, which is three years before the Flying Saucer phenomenon exploded on the world stage in the summer of 1947, and in spectacular fashion. The document was prepared by a medical operative in the employ of the New Mexico-based Los Alamos Laboratory, where much of the top secret work on the atomic bomb program went ahead – and which led to the atomic destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945. The letter in question was sent to a senior officer in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was a forerunner of what would ultimately become the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to the letter, it was in the final stages of the Second World War that a team from Los Alamos was ordered, by the OSS, to undertake extensive tests on a group of “people” who were brought into the facility under careful, secret circumstances. The man in question was deeply concerned on two fronts: first, the people were substantially different to the average human, and second, the man had significant suspicions that he and his team had been lied to regarding where the people came from. So the story went, in the latter part of 1943 seventeen people were taken to Los Alamos – reportedly from various hospitals and asylums in the United States, to be used in controversial experimentation. The staff at Los Alamos, however, were no fools and they were sure that the story told to them was nonsense. The main reason was because of the physical appearances of this strange band of individuals. They were all short in size: none of them, male or female, exceeded five-feet in height. They were all completely hairless and had huge, staring eyes. Not the eyes of people with thyroid conditions, which causes the eyes to bulge, but eyes that looked normal, expect for their size. Similarly, the heads of the people were oversized, too. And, all of them were brought into Los Alamos naked, which none of the staff could understand.

For three to four months, the team was directed to learn all they could about the odd-looking band of seventeen. Tests were undertaken on them to try and figure out what had caused almost a dozen and a half people all to display near-identical symptoms of a condition that no-one could understand. Yes, there were some superficial similarities between the people and those affected by a very rare condition called progeria. It’s a condition which causes rapid aging – usually leading to those with the condition to die in their teens. But, that was where the similarities ended. This was not progeria, as much as the team had tried to convince themselves that this was the answer. And, of course, there was the fact that with progeria being such a rare condition, how on earth had the Office of Strategic Services managed to get their hands on so many sufferers? None of it made any sense. There were other issues which deeply disturbed the Los Alamos team, too. The group walked in odd ways: their legs moved in robotic, jerky fashions. Plus, they never spoke – only ever making odd, barking-like noises which scared the staff, even though they were trained to deal with just about any and all medical conditions under the Sun. The people were generally quiet, sitting together in the large room which had been prepared for them. When the time came for them to be separated, though – when various experiments were undertaken – the people became highly aggressive and made high-pitched wailing noises that were ear-splitting. The only way to prevent problems was to heavily sedate them.

As for what the people lived on, everything had to be mashed and condensed, and which included numerous types of fruit, oatmeal, and very occasionally meat. As for liquids, it was water and, very occasionally, milk – the latter, though, causing some of them to vomit. The Los Alamos staff became more and more suspicious as time went by and they started doing a little detective work of their own. Several of the security personnel, whose job it was to restrain the people when they turned violent, said that the tale about the group coming from hospitals and asylums was garbage. The guards said that, in reality, no-one – at all – had any idea where the people came from or what they really were. All the guards knew was that they were found, by a terrified rancher, in one of the wilder parts of Arizona – wandering around in confused and anxious states. Although the people soon ate well and were, for the most part, looked after, they were all dead by the end of 1943. No-one knew why. Autopsies revealed nothing about the nature of their deaths. Although, those same autopsies did demonstrate that their internal organs were not like ours. Yes, there were organs which clearly mirrored the heart and the stomach, but they were markedly different.

Then, shortly after the new year of 1944 began, a team of personnel from the government descended on Los Alamos, and collected the remains of the seventeen people – the bodies of whom had all been carefully preserved. All of the relevant paperwork was taken, too. And, all this with stern warnings never to talk about what they had seen. Nevertheless, John learned, the senior doctor had put all of the relevant facts into a journal – unknowingly to anyone at Los Alamos or within the OSS. That is, until it was revealed in a regular security check at the Los Alamos facility. The doctor was shipped out – for where, no-one knew. And, as for the journal, it was confiscated, never to be seen or heard of again. It was a chilling way for John to be exposed to the massive stash of materials he now oversaw.  And there was even more intrigue to follow. One of the files, which John distinctly remembers the name of, was titled “Autopsies – Bodies Unknown Origin 47,” words which had been written on a piece of paper stapled to the more formal document below it. It was a report on the autopsies of eight humanoids found in the New Mexico desert, but which, rather oddly, made no mention of an alien spacecraft – or a craft of any kind – having also been found close to the border with Arizona. It was quite literally a case of the bodies being found by a local man who had the fear of God put in him, after he reported his astonishing find to the nearest military base. Physically, they looked very much like the strange people taken to Los Alamos back in 1943.

And, notably, these new arrivals were also secretly transported to Los Alamos. Four of the bodies were found intact, whereas the remains of the other four were extremely damaged – but under what specific circumstances was something that was never resolved. John saw, for the first time, photos of the creatures – they were photos which showed human-like creatures, but which were clearly not Homo sapiens in nature. They had two eyes, a nose, a mouth and low set ears. Their heads were hairless (as were their entire bodies) and their bodies were muscular. As for their skin, it was a whitish gray. John also read a very similarly titled document, “Autopsies – Bodies Unknown Origin 47, Biological Problems and Deaths.” Once again, the title was handwritten on a stapled piece of paper – suggesting that a newer title had been added to what was clearly a much older, original document. John found this part of the story particularly nightmarish in nature. It dealt with an entire team of medical personnel at Los Alamos who had examined several strange dead bodies. The team died alarmingly quickly from what was suspected of being some form of alien virus. It was a virus to which the creatures were completely impervious, but which proved fatal to any and all of the people who were exposed to it. This was made all the more worrying because all of the team was dressed in what, today, we would call hazmat outfits, which suggests the virus must have been incredibly invasive – perhaps even unstoppable if it could penetrate such a suit. In what may have been a hasty state of fear and emergency, all of the bodies – the aliens and the humans – were quickly burned to ashes, the remains placed in sealed, metal canisters. 

The strangest file of all, John stated, was titled “Suit Study 48 Armageddon.” This was a very long document which was directed towards addressing the nature of the clothing found on at least some of the strange aviators who had lost their lives and who came from who knows where. The location: Nebraska, which is also where the study secretly went ahead, the files on which having later reached Area 51. In these particular cases, the outfits worn by large-headed, humanoid creatures were of a bright yellow color and somewhat resembled the outfits worn by military pilots. The biggest problem of all was removing the clothing. There were no zips, no buttons, no nothing. It took the team tasked with examining the clothes several hours to remove them – but, when they understood the process, it all became relatively simply. It turns out that the suits were held together by something that vaguely resembled today’s Velcro. But, with one amazing difference: it was as if the fibers were alive and bonded according to the particular wearer. An intelligent, self-aware outfit? As incredible as it sounded, that’s exactly what the files John read suggested.

On one occasion, one of the team volunteered to try on one of the suits; as a six-footer he just about managed to squeeze himself in. It was something he sorely regretted in rapid-fire fashion. When the man climbed into the one-piece uniform, the fibers seemingly recognized that the man was taller than the average alien and the suit altered – size-wise – accordingly. Things got even more bizarre – and terrifying, too. Within seconds, the man revealed later, his mind was filled with imagery of worldwide destruction, of countless cities in ruins, of billions of dead, and the Earth in an Armageddon-like state. The man started to panic, to the degree that he started to hyperventilate to a major degree. His colleagues and friends quickly tore the suit off him. After recovering, the man was extensively debriefed by an out-of-state team of Intelligence personnel. He told them that he felt – or speculated - the alien outfit somehow retained the memories and thoughts of its previous wearer. The result was that when the man put the suit on, he had picked up on the apocalyptic images which flooded his mind. This led one and all to suspect that the aliens were deceptive, dangerous entities that wanted us, the human race, gone – hence the images of what looked like a worldwide nuclear war designed to wipe us out. Personnel from both NASA and the CIA expressed a deep interest in the suits, but John was unable to remember any specifics as to what the outcome of that angle may have been. Notably, though, the one thing that really stayed in John’s mind was the revelation that the suits were deemed to be somehow alive. As a result, they were locked away, with clearance limited to only a very small group of people who knew how to handle them and who knew the potential dangers and hazards they promised.

John also recalled a large number of files that were focused on events in the summer of 1947 in New Mexico, and which revolved around crashed UFOs, the remains of dead aliens, and much more. Although, John could not recall ever hearing the term “Roswell” used. Notably, John said that there were a couple of files which addressed the theory that all of this could have been the result of a series of ingenious hoaxes engineered by the Soviets – which, as we will see later, is extremely similar to the data provided to author Annie Jacobsen by a source named Alfred O’Donnell, while she was writing her 2011 book, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base. John continued his work out at Area 51 for a pre-planned period of one year, after which he moved into the world of private security, specifically doing background checks on people who were seen as useful for the works of highly classified programs at Area 51 and within NASA. John continued with such work until 1981, when he retired. Rather notably, despite being exposed to a truly astonishing wealth of material out at Area 51, John slowly began to wonder if his whole time spent there was nothing but a ruse. 

(Nick Redfern) Finding ways to mess with the Soviets in the Cold War - and use the UFO phenomenon.

He speculated on the possibility that this was all some sort of intricate mind-game: to flood John’s mind with bizarre tales and documents relative to dead extraterrestrials, alien autopsies, and spacecraft from other worlds. Maybe, John suggested, it was a loyalty test: to see if he ran to the Washington Post or to the New York Times. John did neither: he stayed quiet (at least until the 2000s, when he was well into his old age), and as a result of his silence he was offered prestigious positions for another decade. John also speculated on another possibility, a possibility which involved the Soviets. Although he was somewhat reluctant to address the matter in-depth – which is intriguing – John said he heard a few snippets of data suggesting that there was a small program which was trying to convince the Russians that the United States Government had not just alien bodies in their hands, but extraterrestrial technology; even highly advanced, powerful alien weaponry. John wondered if all of this was a game – one designed to scare the Russians into thinking we had something that we never really did, but which the staff at Area 51 were hoping the Russians would come to believe. And to fear.

John died in 2013. His widow stated that in his final years John came to believe more and more that what he saw and read out at Area 51 in the early 1970s was indeed a huge mind-game; a fabrication to have the Russians running around like headless chickens, wasting their time on lies dressed up as incredible truths. Ingenious, Cold War-era disinformation, in other words. For me, that's the most likely scenario: planting bizarre stories to freak-out the Soviets in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

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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