Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm a Spy... According to Some

Well, it’s happened again. I’m a spy sent, in this case, to "investigate" the Center for UFO Studies and to dig up dirt. Those sending me were Jim and Coral Lorenzen who ran the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in Tucson, Arizona.

I have said before and I’ll probably say it again. You know you have arrived when you’re accused of being a spy for somebody. Years ago someone slung the allegation that I had worked with Hector Quintanilla on Project Blue Book. This is, of course, untrue.

Toward the end of Blue Book, I was still in high school. About a month after graduation I entered the Army for training as a helicopter pilot, which included basic training, pre-flight, and the various phases of flight school. That all lasted about thirteen months and upon graduation, I, along with every other member of my flight school class with a single exception, had orders for Vietnam.

Project Blue Book was officially closed in December 1969 while I was sill on active duty with the Army. Clearly I had no opportunity to participate in Blue Book investigations. I suspect that someone learned of my later association with the Air Force and just made an assumption... because no one would just have an interest in UFOs without some motivation such as an investigation assignment with the Air Force.

Back in the mid-1980s Bill Moore said that he had been spying on APRO for the Air Force and that he suspected there was another two or three working on the same assignment. He said this because the Air Force, according to him, was getting more information on APRO that he was supplying. He suggested that I was one of those others spying on APRO.

Again, I suspect he said this simply because, by that time, I had served on active duty with the Air Force and was a member of the Air Force Reserve. Of course his allegation was untrue and I say this so people will know that I deny it without getting lost in "weasel" words.

What is more interesting is Moore’s claim that he was spying on his fellow researchers. No, I don’t really think he was, though he might have believed that. I just don’t think the Air Force cared that much by that time.

And now the latest, slung by an anonymous source, who claimed that in 1984, at a MUFON function in San Antonio, she heard that I had been sent, in the mid-1970s by APRO to dig up dirt on Hynek. This too is untrue.

I did receive some assignments from APRO. One was for me to learn what I could about cattle mutilations in Minnesota. With Robert Cornett, I spent a week in the Minneapolis area talking to all sorts of people about the mutilations. What we learned then was that UFOs had nothing to do with those particular mutilations. There were terrestrial explanations for all the alleged mutilations we encountered, which is not to say, of course, that this investigation solved the entire mystery. It solved this one small part of it, and we sent our conclusions onto APRO headquarters.
The issue with the Hynek Story
I believe that this latest allegation is an outgrowth of an article and editorial published in Official UFO, volume 1, number 8, in May 1976. At the time Official UFO was one of several UFO related magazines including UFO Report, Argosy’s UFO and True’s UFOs and Flying Saucers Quarterly.

For those keeping score at home, one of the editors of one of those magazines warned me that if I wrote for Official UFO I would not be published again in his pages. I ignored his warning simply because I was a freelance writer and was attempting to make a living as a freelance writer. I wasn’t going to have a market closed on the say-so of some junior editor at another magazine, unless that magazine would pay me a retainer of some sort.

So, I was writing many articles for the many magazines and making a good enough living at it, even with the sporadic nature of payment, which seemed to be at the whim of the magazine.
The editor of Official UFO at the time was Bernard O’Connor who was a good guy and a good editor. He once sent a check for payment to Robert Cornett that was a dollar over the agreed on fee... the extra dollar was for a beer.

Artwork that accompanied
the story.
Anyway, O’Connor had a story called, "Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the Pied Piper of UFOLOG'Y," by Dick Ruhl. O’Connor wanted to use the story but it lacked something and it needed editing. O’Connor put Ruhl in touch with me and he asked me some questions about Hynek and the Center for UFO Studies. The one thing that stands out in my mind, at the time, was Hynek had been saying that the Center was on the stairs of his home... meaning they had not yet acquired offices. Later, they would have an office in the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago. When Hynek showed a slide of the building where the office was, there were those who thought CUFOS occupied the entire building... but I digress.

Dick Ruhl interviewed me about my experiences and one of those related specifically to the cattle mutilations. I was given the name of a federal agent who had investigated the claims of one or two federal prisoners about their involvement in those mutilations. I took that as far as I could, but in the end was blocked by Hynek’s suggestion that there were too many people involved and too much information was flowing in too many directions. He suggested that some of us back off... or to be blunt, cut out of the loop. I continued on in another direction, eventually learning what I wanted to know. I related this to Dick Ruhl who included it in his article. I will note here because some seem to have missed it, those statements were in quotation marks which means I didn’t write that section, I told the story to Ruhl who put in it the article.

There was another event covered as well, but the same thing applies there. I related my experiences to Ruhl who included them in the article. When it was finished and submitted, O’Conner asked me to review it as would any editor. I think of is as looking at the grammar, syntax, sentence structure and flow. I might even have done some fact checking.

In the end, I was surprised to find my name on the story. I hadn’t really had a hand in writing it, other than the editorial work I had done. In the same issue there is a story that I did write about the Green Fireballs and Project Twinkle.

I did notice that O’Connor had something of an editorial in that issue and he talked about a UFO investigator at Hynek’s home. He talked about asking the secretary there to find a specific case file but after a search was unable to locate it. This investigator suggested that the files were on the stairs (which is where I learned this fact) and on the grand piano in Hynek’s home. For those interested, that was not me. I don’t know who it was and O’Connor does not identify him. I can see why some might have assumed that I was that investigator and that he operated as a "spy" to learn more about the operation of the Center as it existed in 1976. But, as I say, that was not me.

There is another aspect to all this that probably should be addressed. I have, for way over twenty years, been associated with CUFOS. I have been listed on the masthead of their publication for twenty years as a contributing writer and was a special investigator for them. In 1988, as they were gearing up their Roswell investigation, they approached me to assist them. They believed that my background as a military officer would be of some assistance in talking with those who were retired military.

I was asked then about the article that Dick Ruhl and I were listed as writing. I told them how it came about... besides, it really didn’t say anything all that nasty about Hynek, just suggested that, at the time, CUFOS was a black hole. Information went in but nothing came out. That changed later with the establishment of their magazine.

The bottom line is this. I didn’t spy on CUFOS for APRO and I didn’t spy on APRO for the USAF (I thought I’d keep that acronym thing going). I have not been a government agent reporting on the activities of the UFO community but I have reported (in magazines and books and not to any official, or unofficial agency, for those who read way to much into things)on what I learned during my investigations, which was sometimes not what others wanted to hear. I have reported on what I believe to be the important issues in the UFO field, and while I have used pen names on articles, I have not introduced myself using a fake name or misrepresented what I was doing. Yes, there have been allegations, but I am able to refute them with evidence. (I think of J. Bond Johnson and his associated nonsense here as he claimed to be the "Roswell Photographer").

I also realize that there are those who will not believe this because they simply have their minds made up about these spying allegations. Evidence means nothing to them and to them I say, "I don’t care." For the rest of you, these are the events as they happened (which sounds like a great line to start a movie).


Paul Kimball said...


My all-time favourite spy accusation was the one I heard two Billy Meier devotees level at Nick Redfern when I was at the Aztec UFO Conference in 2004. Their reason for thinking Nick was in with the "bad guys"? Because he always wears black.



jeff thompson said...

I believe you, Kevin. Whatever else you may be, you are not a liar.

Kandinsky said...

Spy Vs Spy?

Moore claimed Hynek was a USAF agent you were accused of spying on a colleague.

@ Paul - I think the bad guys wear black to avoid mix-ups like the above happening. Fedoras were more discreet...

Paul Kimball said...

As Morrissey famously wrote:

"I wear black on the outside, because black is how I feel on the inside."

Or, in Nick's case, because the Ramones wore black, and he thinks the Ramones are cool. ;-)

I think UFO true believers have a very hard time connecting with the real world of pop culture.


cda said...

Ufology is full of paranoids. Anyone or anybody who ever had the slightest connection with the CIA, the DoD, the AEC, Los Alamos, or maybe even as a postman at, say, Area 51 is a 'suspect' in some peoples' eyes.

And once they are a suspect their word can NEVER be trusted on anything re UFOs. They are always a closet person 'on the other side', spy, counter-spy, etc. Look at Karl Pflock. Hillenkoetter was in NICAP purely as a spy, wasn't he? Hynek is another natural 'suspect'. As for Menzel, well....

Where is that supposed list of 205, or whatever, subversives that Joe McCarthy claimed to have in his pocket? Ufology has its own version of 'McCarthyism'.

I once worked in the UK on guided missiles and signed the Official Secrets Act. Once you sign that, you are committed to keeping your knowledge secret for life. So now anyone who is sufficiently paranoid can say that whatever I write on UFOs is an obvious lie or disinformation.

So yes, Kevin, I do symapthise with you. You chose to get deeply involved in a subject that attracts idiots who spread gossip, rumor, and outright lies about others.

Oh, by the way, I shall not be making any deathbed confessions.

Curt Collins said...

"What is more interesting is Moore’s claim that he was spying on his fellow researchers. No, I don’t really think he was, though he might have believed that. I just don’t think the Air Force cared that much by that time."

Kevin, very interesting piece- I'd like to see more on these Moore accusations. I thought Moore came up with this scenario after being caught lying and confronted with it by CAUS and Robt. Hastings. The double-agent fable was Moore's way to explain away his antics, and the claims of other spies was another diversionary tactic. From what I hear, APRO already had some paranoia in this area, and Moore just chose to exploit it.

Also, i forget- did Moore specify that his secret spy masters were the Air Force?