Feb 24, 2023 I Nick Redfern

The Mysterious SERPO Affair: I Keep Getting Questions

I'm not sure why, but over the last eleven days I've been asked about the Serpo controversy. If you aren't aware of it, or if you want to know more about it, hopefully this article will put the whole thing to bed. The fact is that Serpo is a hoax. But, definitely not the real deal. Note:  the letters in capitals are not mine. They appear that way in the various Serpo documents. Many people with an interest in Ufology will recall how, beginning in November 2005, a controversial stash of UFO-themed papers surfaced that collectively became known as “The Serpo Documents.” The source of the documents, to this day, remains unknown. He, she, or even them, chose to use the very appropriate alias of “Anonymous.” For some saucer-sleuths, the papers are leaked, highly secret files. For others, the entire thing is nothing but a big joke that has spun wildly out of control. Others suggest disinformation to muddy the ufological waters. The Serpo papers cover a huge amount of ground, but the primary focus is on controversial claims of an “exchange program” between us and the representatives of an alien race, one which began in the 1960s. And it all ties in with none other than the Nevada Test and Training Range. Anonymous said: 

(Nick Redfern) Secret history might be faked history. Think of that.

“I am a retired employee of the U.S. Government. I won’t go into any great details about my past, but I was involved in a special program. As for Roswell, it occurred, but not like the story books tell. There were two crash sites: one southwest of Corona, New Mexico and the second site at Pelona Peak, south of Datil, New Mexico. The crash involved two extraterrestrial aircraft. The Corona site was found a day later by an archaeological team. This team reported the crash site to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s department. A deputy arrived the next day and summoned a state police officer. One live entity was found hiding behind a rock. The entity was given water but declined food. The entity was later transferred to Los Alamos. The information eventually went to Roswell Army Air Field. The site was examined and all evidence was removed. The bodies were taken to Los Alamos National Laboratory because they had a freezing system that allowed the bodies to remain frozen for research. The craft was taken to Roswell and then onto Wright Field, Ohio."

Moving on, the document states: “The second site was not discovered until August 1949 by two ranchers. They reported their findings several days later to the sheriff of Catron County, New Mexico. Because of the remote location, it took the sheriff several days to make his way to the crash site. Once at the site, the sheriff took photographs and then drove back to Datil. Sandia Army Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico was then notified. A recovery team from Sandia took custody of all evidence, including six bodies. The bodies were taken to Sandia Base, but later transferred to Los Alamos.

(Nick Redfern) Is the Serpo saga the real deal? Or, was it created as a Cold War plot?

"The live entity established communications with us and provided us with a location of his home planet. The entity remained alive until 1952, when he died. But before his death, he provided us with a full explanation of the items found inside the two crafts. One item was a communication device. The entity was allowed to make contact with his planet. Somehow, I never knew this information, but a meeting date was set for April 1964 near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Aliens landed and retrieved the bodies of their dead comrades. Information was exchanged. Communication was in English. The aliens had a translation device." Well, that's quite a story, but it's certainly not over yet. In 1965, we had an exchange program with the aliens. We carefully selected 12 military personnel; ten men and two women.

They were trained, vetted and carefully removed from the military system. The 12 were skilled in various specialties.“Near the northern part of the Nevada Test Site, the aliens landed and the 12 Americans left. One entity was left on Earth. The original plan was for our 12 people to stay 10 years and then return to Earth. “But something went wrong. The 12 remained until 1978, when they were returned to the same location in Nevada. Seven men and one woman returned. Two died on the alien’s home planet. Four others decided to remain, according to the returnees. Of the eight that returned, all have died. The last survivor died in 2002.The returnees were isolated from 1978 until 1984 at various military installations. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) was responsible for their security and safety. AFOSI also conducted debriefing sessions with the returnees.”

(Central Intelligence Agency) This CIA document has been declassified under the terms of the U.S. Government. It is now in the public domain.

Whoever put all of this together knew their stories. But, stories were all that they were: despite the outrageous and unlikely tale that the documents told, Serpo very quickly became a sensation within certain ufological quarters and provoked massive debate – in magazines and journals, on radio shows, and at online forums. There is, however, one issue that has, for the most part, been overlooked and forgotten. In early 2006, a source that used the named “Chapman,” and who maintained they had a background with the British Ministry of Defense, claimed to know all about the Serpo files and what they really represented. Chapman explained: “Interesting reading. However, these are NOT real events that are being described here, although the document they come from IS REAL. I saw this information in 1969 or ’70 in Whitehall. Originally it was a CIA document authored by a lady named Alice Bradley Sheldon. Its main purpose, if you will pardon the phrase, was to ‘scare the crap out of the Soviets’ in response to them scaring the crap out of us.

“In the ‘60s, during the warmer part of the Cold War, the KGB successfully led the U.S. Government to believe that a number of nuclear devices had been concealed in disused mines and caves close to four (4) large American cities. These bombs could be detonated by sleeper agents at any time Moscow wished. It was not completely disproved that this was fake until 1980. The ‘Project SERPO’ report was part of the CIA’s riposte to this and an attempt to trump the Soviets. Its aim was to make them believe that we had acquired lethal extraterrestrial energy devices and that we had a cozy friendship with these all-powerful EBENs [Note: EBEN is allegedly a classified term used by American Intelligence to describe aliens. It is said to derive from the term Extraterrestrial Biological Entity] who would be very unhappy if Moscow attempted to harm the United States in any way. To a degree I believe this effort was effective to begin with. However, it came unstuck when the CIA tried to overreach the information by ADDING PHOTOGRAPHS and also trying to spook allies such as ourselves who were better equipped to analyze the information and bugged to the hilt by the KGB."

(Nick Redfern) Serpo: a KGB/Russian plot of the 1960s?

Chapman said: “Why this information is being released again now I do not know. Possibly in the past the DIA could have BEEN FOOLED BY THE CIA into believing that ‘Project SERPO’ was a real event and the ANONYMOUS source may genuinely want to release this information. Alternatively the DIA may have got it direct from the KGB most likely with a few choice modifications added by them.The Russians had, apparently, seeded stories to British and U.S. intelligence, suggesting that, in the 1950s and 1960s, a number of atomic bombs were smuggled into the United States and were to be detonated in major cities. It was, fortunately for the Western world, a case of the Soviets and their allies trying to instill fear and confusion via the creation of a totally bogus claim.

There were no smuggled bombs – at all. And as a result, Chapman maintained, Serpo was the CIA’s way of trying to hit back at the Soviets, and have them running around like headless chickens and rendered into states of paranoia and anxiety. True or not, the insertion into the Serpo story of Alice Bradley Sheldon is notable – specifically, for who she was and what she did. She was born Alice Hastings Bradley, in 1915, and had an interesting career. When the terrible December 1941 events at Pearl Harbor occurred, Bradley was keen to do what she could to help defeat crazy Hitler and his goose-stepping cronies. She took a position with military Intelligence and ultimately reached the rank of major. In 1945, Alice Hastings Bradley became Alice Bradley Sheldon, as a result of her marriage to Huntington D. Sheldon. The pair moved to Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s, after being “invited” to join none other than the CIA. While many aspects of her work with the agency remain hidden to this very day, it is known that until she resigned in 1955, Alice was involved in espionage missions in the Near East and worked on photo-analysis-themed cases. As for Huntington, he was the Director of the Office of Current Intelligence of the CIA from 1951 to 1961.

In 1967, Alice Bradley Sheldon’s life took a radical, new change in direction. She decided to turn her hand to a favorite topic of hers: science-fiction. In 1973, a collection of her short stories was published. Its title: Ten Thousand Light Years from Home. Two years later, Warm World and Otherwise hit the bookstores. Very few people knew that Sheldon was the author, however, as her sci-fi output was published under the male alias of James Tiptree, Jr. Two more titles surfaced: 1981’s Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions and 1985’s Brightness Falls from the Air. Tragedy was looming on the horizon, however: on May 19, 1987, Alice killed her 84-year-old, blind, bedridden and ailing husband, and then took her own life – with a bullet to the head.

It so happens that May 1987 was the very month that one of the most notorious of all the many and questionable UFO documents surfaced: the MJ12 papers, which told of a secret group – the MJ12 or the Majestic 12 – that oversaw the secrets of the Roswell crash of July 1947.  Did Alice Bradley Sheldon write the Serpo documents – or, perhaps, some of them? Maybe. Maybe not. What we can say for sure, however, is that as a highly regarded writer of science fiction, and someone who worked for both Air Intelligence and the CIA, she would have been the absolutely ideal candidate to conjure up a wild sci-fi story (in the form of bogus-but-genuine-looking documents) and to try and terrify the Russians into thinking the West was making top secret deals with extraterrestrials. Is there far more to the Serpo affair than many suspect?

Was Alice Bradley Sheldon the original brains behind Serpo? Or was “Chapman” simply some Walter Mitty-type, stirring up the already-churning waters even more? They are questions that, right now, we can only wonder upon. However, I think Chapman's story was far more plausible than any other I've heard. After all, what's more likely: A vast, Top Secret, UFO program involving aliens? Or a carefully crafted hoaxed document to cause concern during the Cold War? I know that many people won't want to hear any of that. Not at all. But, the simplest scenario is, as I see it, the most probable one. It will be intriguing if anyone else comes forward and gives their thoughts on the Alice Bradley Sheldon affair. Of course, most people won't want to hear my thoughts, or those of Chapman. Why not? I'll tell you why. Because the Serpo story is exciting. And, excitement reels people in. And, just maybe, the whole game was to reel in Russian agents.

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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