Sunday, August 23, 2015

Put Your Science Where Your Money Is

After feeling extremely irritated after watching yet another UFO mockumentary on cable, my frustrated mind began to ponder how long this travesty of truth would endure. I then glanced over at my Facebook feed as it scrolled through the normal litany of paranormal garbage …”Proof that the moon is artificial” …”Russia warns US to reveal the truth about UFOs or it will”… “UFO video is proof positive that we are not alone”, etc. - further putting me into a foul mood.

I thought of taking the mental self-preservation action of simply tuning out these sources…but that made me just more irritated as I realized that UFO information permeates every orifice of our society…social media, cable shows, news radio, email, websites, etc…and trying to avoid all of this noise in my daily life would be next to impossible.

As I enumerated just the cable shows alone that mock truth with their pseudoscientific lineups, I wondered to myself…why aren’t the alleged skeptics raising hell about this poisoning of the American mind? Surely an organization like the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) must be foaming at the mouth with this blatant saturation of the American airwaves with all of this bad UFO information. What does CSI have to say about all of the mockumentary non-history on the History Channel or the unscientific-discovery on the Discovery Channel?

I searched online for the CSI website and oddly enough one of the first results I clicked on lead me to their 2013 IRS nonprofit tax filing form 990 I decided to take a look out of curiosity. The first thing I noticed was that CSI revenue dropped from $2,751,545.00 in 2012 to $1,329,689.00 in 2013 with expenses of $1.9 million remaining the same for each year, meaning that in 2013, CSI experienced a significant net loss of over -$600,000.00.

The world’s largest UFO organization MUFON is also a nonprofit and has to file the same form 990 each year. I found their 2013 tax filing here: Oddly enough, MUFON shows zero revenue for 2012 and $265,309.00 for 2013. Total expenses for 2013 were $288,890.00, meaning a net loss for MUFON that year of -$23,581.00, not as severe as CSI’s loss but not promising either.

I compared the histories of both organizations: CSI (originally known as CSICOP) was established April 30, 1976 and MUFON was established on May 31, 1969, making the UFO organization only seven years older than its skeptical rival. After decades in existence, both organizations appear by all accounting to be walking a precarious financial line.

Comparing the mission statements of each organization, we can see that CSI’s is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims while MUFON’s is the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity. Both organizations promote themselves as champions of science while at the same time claiming to have impressive lists of consultants/supporters with advanced educational degrees, who are willing to do the work necessary in support of these mission statements.

Two allegedly scientific organizations, one who believes UFOs to be real and the other that believes no such thing, but who in the process of their own style of inquiry end up doing a disservice to science by not working together to settle the UFO question once and for all.

If we can conceive of  a spectrum of belief where on one extreme lies the UFO believer who knows UFOs are real, or extraterrestrial, or interdimensional, or your own label here, you will also find that diametrically opposed to the believer on the other extreme is the UFO debunker who knows that UFOs are not “the believer’s label”. What these two extremists share is a sincere belief that they are right; which means their minds are already made up and nothing can dissuade them otherwise. In the middle of these two extremes lies the true skeptic who can be persuaded towards one end of the spectrum or the other by unequivocal scientific evidence.

I will venture that MUFON finds itself closer to the believer extreme than it likes to admit and CSI finds itself closer to the debunker extreme than it likes to admit. So here’s my challenge to MUFON and CSI, both who claim the use of the scientific method in the pursuit of their mission – a publically funded challenge that will pit one against the other – and which will put the winner on a more secure financial footing in the process.

 MUFON will present the best UFO evidence ever that it has accumulated in its over 40 year existence that proves UFOs are a real phenomenon that represent something beyond terrestrial technology and the known laws of science.  This could be photographic, video, Radar, or physical evidence and should be vetted by MUFON’s academic consultants. CSI will then have the opportunity to employ its own consultants to explain away this best evidence, in the process creating an analytical report that will be presented to a panel of scientist judges – acceptable to both sides as an impartial third party (a jury of peers of sorts) who will declare who the winner of the challenge is. MUFON will win if their best evidence cannot be plausibly explained away by CSI and CSI will win if they can.

The challenge will begin when crowdfunding has reached the $100,000.00 mark. MUFON will have a four month period to present its best evidence and CSI will have a four  month period to produce its analytical report. The panel of judges will have two weeks to deliberate before presenting a winner with a check for $100,000.00.

After MUFON and CSI have publicly accepted the challenge I will set up a crowdfunding website for donations at The cool thing about this crowdfunding site is that those who pledge will not be charged unless the $100,000.00 level is first met. So if the whole $100,000.00 cannot be publicly raised than no one loses a dime.

The question is will MUFON and CSI take the UFO Best Evidence Challenge, or will they just pay lip service to their mission statements? The gauntlet has been thrown and I sincerely hope MUFON and CSI pick it up and embrace their raison d'être as nonprofits and more importantly allow the public to see real science at work – not the mockery of science that we are fed by the media machine. In the process may the best science win!

Friday, May 8, 2015

UFO Perps

The outcry from the UFO community over the new deflategate – the unveiling of the Roswell slides – just accentuates what is wrong at the heart of Ufology today. Namely, that Ufology is run by UFO perps – not perpetrators in the criminal sense – but perpetuators in the mythological sense.

While there are many in the community who have a genuine interest in truth – there are far more who have a vested interest in perpetuating myth, whether it be those who frequent the UFO talk circuit - self-promoting their books and wares, or the UFO organizations and clubs that simply want to keep their membership doors open. Money may be the lead motivation, but ego and “do anything for my belief” motives do not trail far behind.

UFO perps simply have no shame – they will lie and embellish with a face worthy of a professional poker player; they will make the most outlandish claims and sadly a willing audience receives it as gospel; they will sell themselves as “truth champions”, many leaning on their former credentials as scientists, journalists, members of the military or public servants - to give weight and credibility to their claims, but in the end they have hitched themselves to a UFO bandwagon that they hope never stops at truth.

In a field that lacks a professional code of ethics, standards of investigation and evidence and no clear leadership focused on weeding out myths, hoaxes, self-promoters, charlatans and human deception specialists, the sad effect is a culture where the UFO perps have become the dominant voice. And as long as the wider community endures these shameful perpetuating sideshows, the truth of the UFO phenomenon will slip further away.

As long as UFO conferences are attended, books are purchased and pay per view events are sold, UFO perps will flourish. And as long as accountability is not demanded, the perps will continue to push UFO mythology - adding layer upon layer to the UFO dung hill. While the UFO mythology is piled fast and deep, the truth remains hidden within, as elusive and undiscoverable as it has been since the dawn of the modern UFO era.

If you have an interest in the UFO subject that is more than cursory and a desire to look deeper into the subject, you will at some point on your journey down this long and dark road have to ask yourself – do I want to solve this mystery or do I want to perpetuate it? Be careful though - many who started the journey with good intentions, have become intoxicated with its mystery once on the bandwagon, and when the allure of that mystery becomes more enticing than solving the mystery, you will find you have become a UFO perp.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What’s next MUFON? Book Burning?

Well I had the most interesting of experiences today on Facebook. I joined the Official MUFON Facebook page and proceeded to post the following:

From MUFON's Website:
"The study of a phenomenon commonly known as unidentified flying objects is a random observational event that makes it difficult to use all aspects of the scientific method but at the same time it is an area where it is very important to use scientific procedures and techniques. The UFO phenomenon does not lend itself to experimentation that allows one to examine the phenomenon in a controlled manner."

The closest that MUFON has come to using the scientific method was with the AMP project, and years after the data was collected, there are still no published findings.

MUFON has been in existence since 1969...and has had scientific consultants that entire time. Where are all of the scientific research studies it has been conducting? You won't find them on its website or hiding away in Hangar 1, because they simply do not exist.

MUFON is not scientifically studying UFOs, it is collecting data and has been doing so for over 40 years with nothing concrete to show for it. No hypotheses, no conclusions, so in a nutshell - no science. Collecting data for the sake of collecting data is not science, it is a landfill.

As all of the MUFON Facebook page posts go into a pending status and have to be approved before actually publicly posted, I patiently waited for the moderator to take action, and within a reasonable period of time, my posting was approved. The only one to comment on my post just happened to be MUFON’s Director of Investigations, Steve Hudgeons. Here’s the exact conversation word for word:

             Steve:  “I am guessing book sales are down...”

Me:        “Yes Steve, they are down, given that my book is available for free at In fact, book sales are non-existent. Go figure.”

Steve:   “as I expected.....he is looking for a fight”

Me:        “Hmmm... you throw the money angle card at me and accuse me of a fight. How magnanimous of you. As MUFON's Director of Investigations, perhaps you would care to comment on the substance of my post instead of trying to make this a personal attack?”

Steve:   “you make a comment about MUFON on a MUFON page....and you are saying ‘I’ am being personal??? You walked into this room.....I didn’t walk into yours”

Me:        “I am sorry. Is that your official MUFON response? Is MUFON now publicly censoring its own membership? Perhaps you were not aware that I am a MUFON lifetime member.”

Steve:   “see what I mean?”

Me:        “Actually I don't. Healthy debate is a hallmark of any healthy organization.”

Steve:   “we do not debate in here”

Me:        “Is that another official MUFON response? What is the purpose of this Facebook page than? Are only those who toe the party line allowed to comment and any criticism of the organization rejected outright?

I then decided to look at the MUFON page posting rules and was in the process of submitting the following, when an error message from Facebook popped up on my screen stating that the post could not be submitted:

Me:        “No need to answer...I found the answer in the ‘rules and guidelines’ - This is a page where we discuss and share opinions about anything pertaining to the study, investigation, discovery and science of the UFO phenomena.’ I didn't see the part that said just MUFON opinions.”

Incredulously, faster than I could hit the enter key, the page moderator removed the entire post. So fast was their response, it would have made a WW2 censorship official proud.

If an organization that claims to champion the search for truth cannot take the least bit of criticism and has no qualms about censoring its own membership, including a former International Director who not only contributed a pretty financial penny to the organization as a MUFON lifetime member, but also contributed thousands of sweat and blood unpaid volunteer hours, what does that really say about this organization and its leadership?

What it tells me is that an organization that resorts to such tactics is not to be trusted with anyone’s opinion or data as the bonfires of censorship are antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge. What will you burn next MUFON?  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ufology, There’s a Hole in Your Bucket

When offered a rational and irrefutable down-to-earth explanation of a UFO event, the believer will often counter as last resort with the UFO bucket argument of “well what about this case” - citing any number of anomalous airborne experiences documented throughout history. Their bucket is filled with stories of ancient astronauts, strange humanoid petroglyphs, aerial objects in medieval paintings, crashed saucers spirited away by sinister supra-governmental forces, decades old scientific studies, and of course the myriad of anecdotal stories faithfully recorded by an army of UFO investigators. The UFO faithful do not fret when one case is irrefutably explained away and pulled out of their UFO bucket– there are a million more left.

But when a whole historical wave of sightings like the 1946 Ghost Rockets is emptied from the UFO bucket - events from the very start of the modern UFO era, well then that is one big orifice that cannot be ignored. Such a huge hole in the UFO bucket that deflates the ET hypothesis in favor of a terrestrial one, makes even the so-called open-minded UFO investigator hold on to their bucket a little tighter less their own pet theory or case fall out and splatter on the ground.

After showing conclusively that the 1946 wave of sightings over northern and southern Europe has more to do with cold war intrigue than extraterrestrial visitation – the wider UFO community has countered my research with complete and utter silence. Sure, the boisterous and outspoken Stanton Friedman briefly tried to debunk my findings through proclamation, stating publicly that my book The Rosetta Deception was disinformation before he even turned over the first page, but when challenged to a real debate to discuss the evidence, his proclamations diffused away like flatulent hot air.

And therein lies the problem with Ufology and Ufologists, they race after every case, every witness, every shred of evidence regardless of provenance that will help prove what remains in their bucket but will ignore all evidence to the contrary. If we examine what the UFO bucket really is, it is an egocentric belief that we humans are so interesting and our planet so alluring that other civilizations for any number of reasons can’t help to visit us – in the past and the present. We are as the UFO bucket reveals - the Las Vegas of the Milky Way galaxy, a must-not-miss destination in the Universe’s cosmic tour book.

Ironically, UFO believers who tend to think of themselves as cosmically aware are actually selling themselves short by holding on so tightly to their alien terrestrial visitation bucket. There exists a much larger bucket that should satisfy their penchant for the mysterious - a cosmic bucket that encompasses the whole of the Universe, and which contains not just one, but millions of alien civilizations, proof of which is based on the laws of statistics and probabilities. Yes Virginia, there is life in the Universe outside the confines of Planet Earth, but Ufology has made it its quest to answer just one question – has some of that life visited us? In fact it has been at this quest since the late 1940s and what does it have to show for over 70 years of serious inquiry? A big bucket of stories that Hollywood salivates over but science rejects as undeserving of its attention.

Sure, we can try to blame the serious lack of scientific attention, as Ufology has over all those same years, on a grandiose conspiracy of silence, a purposeful cosmic Watergate, a sinister cover-up by the powers to be, but when push really does come to shove, the cover-up argument is just a sorry excuse for investigative laziness and cherry-picking of evidence and even worse the failure to adopt the scientific method and adhere to scientific standards of investigation.  

Today, Ufology finds itself in a state of utter chaos and Ufologists, those who consider it their profession to seriously investigate UFOs, have no one to blame but themselves. For too long, even allegedly scientific-minded UFO organizations like MUFON have adopted a double standard of searching for truth while pandering to outside interests who have no interest in truth. Interests like billionaire Robert Bigelow who showers cash of questionable sources on UFO organizations for less than transparent reasons or media interest from the myth-spewing television cable channels who have no qualms about sacrificing truth in favor of ratings.

MUFON, has plain and simple, sold out its role as a non-profit public service for cold hard cash and advertising presence. Case in point is MUFON’s Hangar 1 show, its recent illicit love affair with Hollywood, which has created a shameful and monstrous offspring that is so antithetical to the word science, that MUFON should change its motto from the Scientific Study of UFOs for the Benefit of Humanity to the Pseudo-scientific study of UFOs for the Benefit of Hollywood.

Simultaneously, other “serious” UFO investigator are losing the battle for discovering truth by competing for public hearts and minds with hoaxers, self-promoters, dis-informers, human deception specialists (aka, the intelligence agencies) and other human ilk whose agendas are not as lofty as “for the benefit of humanity”. Who cares about a genuine strange light in the sky videoed or photographed by a smartphone camera when ultra-professional special effects artists are churning out mega-slick, close-up, alien craft fly-bys that generate hundreds of thousands of YouTube views?

The failure of Ufology to weed out these side-show carnival acts means that Ufology has itself become a traveling carnival, complete with psychics and conjurers who excel at preying on the human mind. And we all know that no one goes to a carnival expecting to see a real paranormal act, as the real cannot be distinguished from the sleight of hand performance.

Meanwhile the “serious” media ignores the UFO bucket and only draws from it when it is a slow news day or their audience needs a good laugh, while the “entertainment” media scoops up large chunks from the bucket to feed their docu-tainment machine that frustratingly leaves viewers with more questions than answers.

So where does that leave us today? Well, with a lot of soul-searching and introspection. What do we humans really want to leave as a legacy to future generations? Do we want our children growing up, watching on cable TV or the Internet, UFO documentaries that are really just mythology, falsely promoted as history, and which serves to only poison their minds with conspiracy and distrust of authority? Do we really want our history being written by the myth makers? Or are we going to stand up for truth, no matter what that that truth may be? In all honesty, each of us has to make a decision – do we want to solve this mystery, or do we want to perpetuate it?

Solving the mystery does not mean abandoning the ET hypothesis of terrestrial alien visitation. It is completely within the realm of possibilities that we have been visited either in the past or the present, but when one’s desire to prove this causes them to lose objectivity and to forsake science in favor of a race to the “evidence”, the results are ultimately disastrous.

My research into the 1946 Ghost Rockets should not be shunned but embraced by the UFO community, as it puts to bed one UFO myth so that investigative time could be more properly focused on other cases from the UFO bucket. Unfortunately, the human ego is not that altruistic and historically when Ufology has felt threatened by the loss of a pivotal case to the ET argument, rather than accept and embrace, the tendency has been to shun and close ranks. But this time the hole is too big and will only grow bigger over time as once-ignored and poorly investigated evidence comes to the light of day. Ufology be warned, there is a hole in your bucket, and ignoring that hole will not make it go away.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The UFO Spy Who Came in from the Cold

If you have more than just a passing interest in UFOs, then you have probably heard many times, the historical spectrum of events that make up the whole of UFO mythology. It began as many believe, in days past with extraterrestrial visitation to the great civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, supplemented by periodic revisits through the millennia until the World War 2 era when the foo fighters arrived on the scene, followed by the 1946 Ghost Rockets and the 1947 Maury Island incident, Kenneth Arnold’s sighting, and the universally known, Roswell incident.

But the story I am about to tell you focuses on just one of these events – the 1946 ghost rockets and their inextricable link to a man who chose to engage in the second oldest profession in the world, espionage.  That man’s name is Stig Wennerström, and in 1963 he was arrested in his native Sweden, accused of being a Soviet spy. Indeed, Mr. Wennerström, a well-known and liked Swedish Air Force officer, had been working as a Soviet spy since 1948, selling some of his country’s most valuable secrets to the Russians. When he was finally caught, the shock waves of his betrayal reverberated throughout Sweden and all the way to the United States as Mr. Wennerström had been posted during his traitorous tenure as the Swedish military attaché in both Moscow and Washington.

I am not going to recount Mr. Wennerström’s spying exploits on behalf of the Soviets, but instead on some spying that he did for the Americans, starting with a mission he was sent on in 1946.
The mission is detailed in a couple of books, one originally written in Swedish before being translated into English. In the book A Spy without a Country by H. K. Ronblom, the author details Wennerström’s mission on behalf of the Americans:

In 1946, the (Swedish) Air Force received an invitation-the first of its kind-to send its own representative to a Russian air display outside Moscow at which the new Russian jet aircraft would be demonstrated. Wennerström had had something to do with this business in its initial stages-it was his good friend, Lieutenant Colonel Rybachenkov of the Soviet Embassy who arranged the invitation-and it was he who was picked to attend on behalf of the (Swedish) Air Force.

Sometime in the summer of 1946, before he attended the air display in Moscow, Wennerström was invited (in Stockholm) to his friend’s the American air attaché. Among the guests was someone in civilian clothes whom Wennerström did not know, but this was soon put right when the man in civilian clothes introduced himself as an American intelligence service man and started telling Wennerström what the Gehlen’s organizational papers said about him.

The Gehlen organization was made up of remnants of Nazi intelligence that in the postwar period the Americans put to work spying against the new enemy – the Soviet Union. Wennerström was identified by the Gehlen organization as a “valuable contact” who during WW2 spied on occasion on behalf of Germany.

The American gave it as his opinion that anyone who had helped Germany might as well help the United States, since in both cases it was the Soviet Union the whole thing was about. The end of the conversation was that Wennerström was given a mission to carry out, of what nature does not appear from the published records.

In another book, An Agent in Place, author Thomas Whiteside fills in the gaps on this mission Wennerström was sent on by the mysterious American intelligence agent:

Next, the agent, by Wennerström’s account obviously aware of his coming trip to the Soviet Union, remarked on the opportunity he would have, as a neutral, to move about with comparative freedom, and proposed that he agree to mail a certain parcel in Leningrad on his way to Moscow. Wennerström told his interrogators that he accepted the assignment and mailed the parcel – which he understood to contain radio tubes, or some sort of equipment that might be used in a clandestine radio transmitter – without difficulty. On his return to Stockholm, he said, he had no further contact with the presumed American agent, and his close relations with both the American and the Soviet embassies continued pretty much as before.

Wennerström’s tale of delivering a package in Leningrad was considered implausible by author Whiteside who commented:

In any case, most sources, inside and outside the Pentagon, agree that, whether or not Wennerström actually was approached by an American agent in Stockholm in 1946, his story of his American Intelligence mission to Leningrad is, at best, a dubious one, and may very well have been part of an attempt to throw dust in the eyes of his interrogators. Such a mission, these sources say, would have been contrary to every security practice of American Intelligence.

Although Wennerström was hiding the real nature of his mission to Moscow, the details came spilling out in declassified American documents. On August 19, 1946, a Top Secret message from the US military attaché Moscow, Robert C. Macon to General Chamberlin of the War Department revealed that a Swedish Air Officer, Major S. Wennerström, was in Moscow on a 3 day official visit for a Soviet airshow and had information to share on the (ghost) rockets.

Wennerström revealed that 200 flying bombs had passed over Swedish territory traveling south to north, some on a zig zag course. Radar plotting indicated that most came from Peenemünde, but some from the Soviet Baltic coastal area. Only one curved east towards Norway while all others curved west. The missiles are not V1 but similar and slightly larger, are radio controlled, with no warhead except to self-destruct. They have been seen as high as 1000 and as low as 15 meters, travelling at 400 to 600 kilometers per hour and appeared to be under good control. The max plotted course was 1000 kilometers and could have been longer but there was no Swedish plotting station in the far north. No reports of missiles over Finland and have probably fallen in the Bothnia Gulf.

Extensive work in Murmansk for some launching project and Soviet wide-spread aerial mapping of the Kola Peninsula for possible mining of Uranium. The Soviets restored and are operating German underground experimental facility in the Hartz Mountains near Nordhausen.

On its face, this memorandum portrays Wennerström collegially just passing on information he gleaned from official Swedish sources to the US military attaché, but as it turned out, that was not the case. In another Secret memorandum dated August 23, 1946 from the U.S. naval attaché at Stockholm, William D. Wright, subject: Sweden Guided Missiles, the following very interesting observations are made about Wennerström’s trip to Moscow:

Swedish intelligence officers have passed information to U.S. intelligence officers both in Stockholm and in Moscow (Wennerström) which indicate an attempt to ‘plant’ the impression that large numbers of Russian-launched rockets have passed over Sweden, giving detail to infer that they are extremely efficient guided missile. The Swedish intelligence officer who ‘planted’ this information in Moscow (Wennerström) also intimated that Russian uranium mining activities and launching sites were being developed, giving the implication of atomic warfare with radio-controlled guided missiles. A Swedish intelligence officer also ‘planted’ a similar report of Russian rockets with the S.S.U (CIG, then CIA) in Stockholm.

What is most interesting about this memorandum is the repeated use of the word ‘planted’ by the very astute and experienced-in-intelligence-matters attaché who could see right through what Wennerström and his Swedish colleagues were up to – what other Secret memorandum would reveal was the wholesale spreading of unsubstantiated rumors about the Ghost Rockets. What attaché Wright could not know at that time was that the true hand that was being played here was not Swedish but American.

But why would some elements of American intelligence entice Swedish intelligence to deceive other American intelligence personnel?  Welcome to 1946, the Wild West era of US intelligence history, where the American intelligence community was in a state of flux while fears of Soviet infiltration of all aspects of American life was rampant. If there was ever a time when the maxim “Trust no one” was most relevant, 1946 was that year.

By planting rumors of Russian missiles over Scandinavia that appeared to originate from Swedish intelligence but was ultimately directed by elements of American and quite probably British intelligence, the Soviet Union was blamed for flagrant violations of the sovereign airspace of its neighbors, creating a media storm and backlash of world opinion that has since been immortalized as unexplained UFO events.

So as not to muddy the story any further of what is a complex intelligence operation, I have left out many details that confirm the dangerous deception game that was being played out by Wennerström and others in 1946 Sweden, details that will be included in the rewrite of my book The Rosetta Deception, freely available online at .

After sifting through all of the evidence related to the 1946 Ghost Rockets, especially the official declassified documents that have come out of US and British Government archives, only one conclusion can be drawn from the data – 1946 had zero to do with alien visitation and 100 percent to do with cold war intrigue and deception of the human kind, but it took a spy coming in from the cold for the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle to fall into place. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Smoking Gun of the Rosetta Deception

After writing the book the Rosetta Deception (available for free at ), I have been in a constant search for corroborating information to bolster the theory that the Ghost Rockets over northern and southern Europe in 1946 were the product of a strategic deception operation by the US and UK against the Soviets with the endgame being the breaking of the Soviet diplomatic code. I have now uncovered the smoking gun evidence for the deception.

I didn’t have to dig through Government archives - those records are for sure still classified and will remain so despite any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests - I simply had to examine the open source evidence that the deception planners could not hide away in locked file cabinets marked Top Secret - the New York Times online newspaper archive for 1946 providing the necessary clues.

At the same time the Ghost Rockets were flying over Europe, another geopolitical event of enormous importance - the Paris Peace Conference was being held July 29, 1946 to October 15, 1946 – also playing a role in the Rosetta Deception. The Paris Peace Conference involved the victorious WW2 powers of the US, UK, France and the Soviet Union negotiating war reparations and the redrawn borders of Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland. But it is how these two events played out in the US news media that reveals the inner workings of the Rosetta Deception.

If you have taken the time to read the book, you will understand how complicated the deception operation was and how important the timing of each step was to pull off a successful operation. In Chapter 53 of the book, titled appropriately “Timing is Everything” I explained the chronological rationale for the events that took place. I will reiterate some of that here but first let me recap for the reader who has not had the chance to read the book or who maybe started and never finished it, the crux of the deception operation. To break the Soviet diplomatic code, this was the blueprint followed:

         1.     Create anxiety on the part of the Soviets that some country was experimenting with advanced missile technology first over northern Europe in Scandinavia and later over southern Europe. The Soviets knew they were not involved but would be desperate to find out who was.

2.       Influence the Scandinavian countries to declare a news blackout on the Ghost Rockets at the end of July 1946 but keep the stories alive in the American Press.

3.       Because of heavy FBI surveillance, Soviet agents in the United States were operating at reduced capacity with most of the intelligence gleaned coming from the American Press. Any sensitive intelligence that a Soviet agent wanted to communicate to Moscow was done through Soviet diplomatic channels. Since the Soviets could only use radio in the event of an emergency, they relied on US commercial telegraph carriers to transmit encrypted messages back to Moscow.

4.       Known as Operation Shamrock, the major US telegraph companies were making copies of encrypted Soviet messages and sending these to the Army Security Agency (ASA), the predecessor of the NSA. The attempted breaking of these Soviet messages is what became later known as the Venona Project.

5.       The ASA had two major challenges to deal with to break the Soviet diplomatic code as the code was double encrypted – first by a code book and second by a one-time pad. The ASA had already discovered at this point a tedious method to break the second layer of encryption based on a Soviet screw up in their cryptographic practices as each one-time pad had been manufactured more than once and was essentially a two-time pad. The code book however had to be rebuilt completely from scratch.

6.       To speed up the whole process, the US/UK used a technique known as gardening – planting text that the Soviets would unknowingly encrypt as intelligence and send back to Moscow. The intercepted traffic could then be decrypted by exploiting the Soviet screw up in pad manufacture. Through comparative analysis the second layer of encryption could be removed revealing the first layer of encryption that required a code book to read.

7.       To reconstruct the Soviet code book – the first level of encryption would be examined for tell- tale “cartouches”, code groups that contained Anglicized names that literally had to be spelled out character by character from a spell table that represented the Latin characters. Once these Anglicized names were isolated, the surrounding code groups that represented Russian words from the code book could be guessed based on knowledge of the planted text. This would allow the code book of 10,000 Russia words to be reconstructed out of thin air. The more plain text that could be planted and communicated by the Soviets through diplomatic channel, the better the chances were of reconstructing the Soviet code book.

8.       Once the code book was reconstructed, it could be put to use decrypting all other Soviet diplomatic code messages hoping that the messages contained information about Soviet spies in the United States and other persons of interest to US/UK counterintelligence.

The wild card that the deception operators were most concerned with was how to force Soviet intelligence in the US to send planted text in the American press via encrypted Soviet diplomatic channels rather than through open non-encrypted channels. In other words, what was stopping the Soviet TASS news agency from sending US newspaper stories in the clear via standard wireless radio or telegraphic communication, and not via encrypted Soviet diplomatic channels? The answer? Using what the Soviets claimed their system of Communism championed – the rights of the common worker.

On August 7, 1946, a strike by 300 Press Wireless workers was called in New York, Washington and San Francisco by the American Communications Association (ACA). Press Wireless, Inc. supplied newspapers and press associations with news reports from abroad, not obtaining news but transmitting messages by radio between the United States and fourteen countries in Europe, Asia and South America. In its peak year, 1945, it handled 157,000,000 words or an average of over 430,000 daily. In 1946, communication from the US to Europe was sent either through standard radio communication, radio telegraph or transoceanic telegraph cable. The first voice over transoceanic cable was not functional until the 1950s.

The reason for the strike was the decision by Press Wireless to lay off or reduce the wages of 46 employees because of a sharp reduction in traffic since the end of WW2.  Despite a no-strike clause in the labor management contract, the Union refused to call off the strike until the employees were reinstated and the company refused to reinstate until after arbitration.

A week later, the ACA extended the strike, ordering its members in all other cable and wireless companies and foreign operations centers not to handle overseas press messages. The New York Newspaper Guild in turn told its members not to handle Press Wireless messages, prompting the New York Times to issue front page apologies from August 14 till the news embargo ended on August 19, stating that because of the strike, certain foreign news stories could not be published. The strike effectively curtailed most of the radio and cable transmission of international news to and from the US.

Affected by the expanded news embargo which began at 2 PM on August 12 was the Soviet TASS news agency. The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was the central news agency for the collection and distribution of internal and international news for all Soviet news media (newspaper, radio and television). It had a monopoly on official state information, most of which was not published in the Soviet Union but issued as information for Soviet officials. The agency was frequently infiltrated by the Soviet intelligence and security agencies and many of its employees also voluntarily served as information sources for the KGB.

So imagine you are a TASS/KGB agent and the method you have used for normally transmitting media reports of intelligence importance has suddenly been cut off. What do you do? You find a different channel of communication. The strike affected all news agency message traffic, but commercial traffic was exempted. Soviet diplomatic personnel relied on US commercial telegraph companies to transmit encrypted messages to Moscow, a communication channel which was also routinely used by the Soviet intelligence agencies.  In light of normal overt communication channels being cut off, the commercial channel could act as the backdoor for transmitting media articles on the Ghost Rockets and the Paris Peace Talks to Moscow - media articles that were planted by the deception planners with the full cooperation of newspapers like the New York Times.

Rosetta assets had considerable experience infiltrating labor unions, learning from the best of the best – British Intelligence in the guise of British Security Coordination (BSC), also based in New York City. For these experienced operatives, it was child’s play to kick off the strike and manipulate both sides until the deception planner’s goals were met.

The Rosetta deception planners created a bottleneck of information flow for the Soviet intelligence agencies in the US at a very crucial time – a time when Moscow desperately needed overt information to flow on the Ghost Rockets and what the US media was reporting on the Paris Peace Conference. That bottleneck forced transmission through the commercial telegraph carriers who were more than happy to transmit encrypted news media stories while rejecting all overt news media and simultaneously feeding these encrypted messages back to the ASA/GCCS where allied codebreakers would attempt to break the Soviet diplomatic code. Ingenious really – and the fact that this story has only come to light some seventy years later – attests to both the thorough detailed planning and execution of the deception and the extreme compartmentalized secrecy of the operation.  

From August 12 – 19, 1946, just one short week when TASS was forced to use the encrypted Soviet diplomatic channel to send US news media stories to Moscow, the US/UK deception planners completely controlled the information flow between Soviet Intelligence on American soil and Moscow Centre, a code breaking feat that even the Anglo code breakers of the enigma code and the Japanese cypher could not claim.

The US/UK governments have no reason to hide the details of this operation from the world. The events transpired almost 70 years ago and the methods used no longer apply in a world where information flows across the globe in fractions of a second. It is time for the truth to be told and the deception planners acknowledged for their ingenuity and resourcefulness. If the history books on the Cold War have to be revised accordingly, so be it.

It is time for the magicians of Rosetta to take a bow for their incredible performance.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hear Ye ...Hear Ye... Ghost Rocket Experts of the World

All of this listening to the self-proclaimed 1946 Ghost Rocket experts like Stanton Friedman and Don Berliner trash my book The Rosetta Deception, even though they never made it past reading the cover, got me to thinking. How about a good old fashioned, all American Town Hall Meeting to bring this to a public debate?

Not to discuss politics or the state of the economy but to just talk evidence and what really happened in 1946 in Northern and Southern Europe when rockets were flying over head and on to the front pages of newspapers all over the world. Heck, let's get all the Ghost Rocket experts together and have an evidence fest with everyone having equal time to present their case.

Now,of course we would have to lay down some ground rules for the debate in case anyone was keen on taking things off on some wild tangent and here is what I suggest.

1. Witness testimony or media reports can't be the sole evidence a speaker presents. Official documentation of known provenance must be included as well.

2. You have to present an actual theory for what caused the Ghost Rocket sensation. If you think Aliens were behind the rockets, then state it. If you think they were flying leprechauns, then state it. Presenting evidence without proposing a theory for what you're presenting evidence of is not acceptable.

3. Your presentation must not sound like an episode of Ancient Aliens...too many "What ifs" or "Is it possibles" or "Could it bes" is not a presentation. You must answer with evidence the questions you ask.

4. The word Roswell can not be used...different year and different subject..

Now I would love to have this debate in Sweden where the rocket stories originated but that would be prohibitively expensive unless some rich guy like Robert Bigelow wanted to foot the bill. Somehow I doubt that will happen.

MUFON could host the debate at their 2015 symposium as a possibility. Alternatively, we could just get a hotel conference room for the day and let the public attend at  no charge. Presenters would have to fund their own way to the town hall meeting...not unreasonable if they plan on hawking their wares at the debate to help defray the travel expenses.

I will foot my own bill since I don't plan on selling any books at the Town Hall - I am making the Rosetta Deception available free online at

It is time for the Ghost Rocket experts to put up or shut up ... let the debate begin!