Why the Carlos Allende tale?
J - Was it not the two letters sent by Carl Allen - or Carlos Allende - to [M.] Jessup that got this thing started?
W - Yes, they were the leak that concentrated all the legends - but who knows what prompted them? They perplexed Jessup, that's for sure - but he was nearly ready to drop the matter when Commander [G.W.] Hooper and Capt. [S.] Sherby called him over [in 1957] to the ONR, in Washington. Had they not printed the Varo edition with Carl's extra-terrestrial voices annotated in color...
J - So what are you telling me? - that there are only two possibilities? - that either Carl Allen was disturbed and he sent the letters to Jessup and then the annotated copy of Jessup's book to the ONR, or that he was some kind of a disinformation agent?
W - I imagine it's far more complicated than that. Allen was definitely disturbed - by megalomaniac fears. This fact alone predisposes any sane person to immediately view the entire story as a hoax that he perpetrated. That would be the case if his neurosis or psychosis simply latched on to rumors that he'd run across - you know, sailors' stories. You see, following the failure of RAINBOW and then, nine months later, the explosion of [P.] Abelson's uranium purification plant in the Philadelphia Yard (14), the veils of secrecy over the NRL were thicker than ever before. Tales of great dangers, fantastic events and dark powers were frequently employed to dissuade the incautious or attract potential spies. They were planted by plainclothesmen in bars and meeting halls along every important waterfront. If you know the marine milieus, merchant and naval, you know how fast tales travel and how they're spun.
J - Hmm, I can imagine.
W - But Allen could have been disturbed because of events connected to RAINBOW - either because he'd lived through some of them, and this caused his disturbance, or because he was able, somehow, to find out about these occurrences. In the latter case, we still have several possibilities - he could have found out about these events because of proximity, or through a third party, or he was given access to knowledge of those events while being 'handled'.
J - O.K., I see there's a lot of possibilities. But what's your hunch?
W - I don't need one. Franklin Reno was real enough, and he clearly was in touch with Carl Allen long after RAINBOW was buried. So, I have little doubt that Allen was being 'handled'.
J - By Gebhardt?
W - Precisely. The question is why. He might have been handled because he was, in fact, some kind of a human guinea pig in one of RAINBOW's experiments - and so he was a risk and had to be shut up and made to appear delusional - or he might have been handled because of his potential to bring discredit to the emerging field of ufology and counteract the near-panic being caused by the sighting flaps, or to sow confusion and disinformation around a military black ops project that did involve Einstein, or as part of some rogue action. It's no coincidence that the Allende Letters are contemporary with an intense UFO flap and the emerging policy of denial.
J - Yes, Allen's first letter to Jessup dates from January 1956. The policy of denial comes in full force after the debunking carried out by the CIA [H.P.] Robertson- [D.]Menzies panel [in 1953] and just as [T.T.] Brown and [USMC Maj. D.] Keyhoe were preparing to create the Flying Saucer Discussion Group - which later, in October of that year, led to the National Investigative Committee on Aerial Phenomena, NICAP, supported by Rear Admiral [D.S.] Fahrney and Admiral [R.H.] Hillenkoetter, who ten years earlier had been the first Director of the CIA. I don't think that the USAF was happy with what all these Navy people had done - in creating NICAP...?
W - Yes, don't forget that other equally important events were afoot. Einstein died in early 1955 (15) and, though he left no unified field solution, he was hailed in the media as having had one since 1950! This notion of Einstein's success impacted the problem of the UFOs when it was at its most intense, on the brink of turning into a mass-panic nearly like that of [O.] Welles' ill-fated War of the Worlds radio experiment [In 1938]. [USAF Capt. E.] Ruppelt, who was in charge of the USAF project BLUE BOOK until 1953, had previously placed the Air Force on a collision course with the CIA's policy of denial. In fact, those years of '53 to '56 are crucial ones - remember that it's in '54 that Eisenhower creates a top-secret group to oversee the 'invisible government', as some have called it. It was known as the 54/12 Special Group and was supposed to centralize all intelligence, civil and military, and all major propaganda and disinformation efforts.
J - Is that the real MAJESTIC 12?
W - That's a different story, for another occasion... But don't forget the Special Report debunking UFOs, produced by Batelle in October of '55, which was severely criticized by Ruppelt and Keyhoe. In fact, the year of '56 saw a crescendo of important books on the subject of UFOs. One was The Truth About Flying Saucers, by the French mathematician Aimé Michel, which drew attention to the 'cosmic-ray' gravitational force- field hypothesis put forth a year earlier by French Air Force Lt. [J.] Plantier (16). The other was Keyhoe's The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, which concluded that UFOs flew in accordance with [H.] Oberth's hypothesis of a 'g-field', and then had a chapter entitled 'Redell explains a Riddle' in which the mysterious Redell tells Keyhoe that both Oberth and Plantier are only proving that Einstein's UFT is correct! The third was Ruppelt's honest account - The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects - which, though critical of Keyhoe, also concluded that UFO propulsion could only be explained by Einstein's UFT (17).
J - By all accounts, Einstein's UFT was seen as a stunning success -
W - ...at least amongst those seriously concerned with investigating UFO phenomena. So, this matter was very much in the air at the height of McCarthyism and the Cold War - which is to say, also, at the height of American paranoia and disinformation. A firm policy of denial was now in place. All governmental and military research into unknown aerial or maritime phenomena went deeply underground, and so did any research into esoteric technology that might be linked to it, even if just by mere similarity.
J - Like what?
W - There were too many to count - all the advanced research into flying platforms, coleopters, flying wings, stealth bombers and fighters, turbine suction aircraft, perforated skin suction, skin polarization, not to mention rocketry, satellites, and so on. It was a technological avalanche of experimentation. Many different things were tried and many things went wrong. Rockets, by then, were beginning to be mastered, but circular suction aircraft were every bit as bad in their crash rates. The saving grace was that they rarely exploded. The point is this - and it was made by [R.] Vesco in his Intercept UFO - circular- turbine craft and perforated-skin craft were the focus of a great effort of development by the US and by the Russians, the British and the French, right after the end of the war and until the early '90's. There were more crashes with these devices than with just about anything else. And all these projects were highly classified.
J - You forgot the Canadians --
W - Those were really joint Anglo-American projects - including Wilbert Smith's project MAGNET in Ottawa, supposedly under the Ministry of Transportation, and the AVRO car.
J - And out of all these efforts nothing ever materialized?
W - No, no - many things came from these highly classified projects. Including the caper of crashed UFOs to cover up the frequent crashes of experimental craft outside of their test ranges. But none of them involved anything remotely like a technology that permitted gravity control. None of them tested Einstein's unified field theories. None of them were follow-ups of project RAINBOW or further elaborations of it.
J - So, what could Allen's objective have been in writing his letters to Jessup - or the objective of his handler or handlers?
W - Allen's apparent fear was that Jessup's book, The Case for the UFO, would stimulate the US government to reopen the book on investigating unified field technologies. That's delusional - since the US never stopped investigating the possibility that such a field exists, even if it has never succeeded in finding one. Nor would the US government bother to listen to Jessup. It appears, at first, that Jessup's book must have been the problem. It wasn't a particularly good book, well written or researched. In fact, it was lousy, but it was written by an astronomer and read like a catalogue of horrors through the ages. Jessup appears as someone who is at least as deluded as Allen - with his race of higher men flying metal machines some 300,000 years back, or space intelligences that hide in 'big clouds', or falling 'live things' that are 'the inhabitants of celestial hydroponic tanks', or a master culture of Atlanteans, and so on, he was an ideal target for disinformation.
J - You mean someone gullible enough to be made to swallow a fabulous tale?
W - In the Special Section we had 'spotters' that picked people like this - in particular 'talkers' like Allen and 'targets' like Jessup. Jessup believed that some space beings were material, and others massless or ethereal - so, as you can imagine, this left many degrees of freedom to play him with - ha ha!
J - I can only imagine...but, if anything, this should have suggested the ONR stay away from Jessup...
W - Yes, except maybe for all the baits, and that's my point - and these were simply too many: they had been sent a book written by someone who could be handled and annotated by someone who was handled; the annotations explicitly refer to 1943-1944 experiments of the Navy with electromagnetic force-shields and the horrors that resulted from them; they alluded to Einstein's UFT efforts, stated that they succeeded but that the sudden and uncontrollable invisibility of those subjected to such fields had been so disturbing that Einstein had been forced to retract his solution; and the esoteric references in Jessup's interpretation of the history of religions are matched by even more exotic notes made by Allen that purport to explain ship and plane disappearances happening up to 1955.
J - They had to look into the matter, especially if it was a hoax designed to smoke them out -
W - ...at the NRL and ONR - yes, to make them tell the truth about RAINBOW, or to deny it and suddenly be put on the spot, but --
J - Hold on, so Jessup's book was really immaterial?
W - Yes, fundamentally. Allen could have picked up any of a variety of recent books about UFOs and made similar annotations. Perhaps not one that was so far off the wall - but still... Nor was Jessup the first to claim ship and plane disappearances, time freezes or human abductions. Jessup also argued that these space travel machines are not rockets, and are neither propelled by magnetic fields nor atomically powered. He talks of controlling 'gravitational field reactance', or propulsion by controlling gravitational fields - and is convinced that the Russians must have some form of exotic technology that they've been hiding. He calls repeatedly for the government to carry out research on gravitation, to create saucer patrols, and so on. But, as I told you, so had Plantier, Michel, Keyhoe and Ruppelt before him - and in much more cogent fashions. So, ONR's interest could only be due to Allen's annotations, because he alone had claimed that Einstein's UFT had been tested, and that this had been done by the Navy in '43 to '44. That was the new item, and that's the first giveaway.
J - This must have immediately prompted the question - how did Allen know about these experiments, no?
W - Certainly. But, you see, Allen - who seems to identify with 'Mr. A', one of the annotated voices - makes a reference to the magnetic levitation of paramagnetic substances (18), like aluminum, and this was Gebhardt's work.
J - 'Franklin Reno' left a mark...
W - In more ways than one. Allen explicitly suggests that Jessup is wrong - that Jessup doesn't know what he's talking about and refuses to admit that electromagnetic fields simply can't be employed to do what he wants them to do - to alter gravitational fields.
J - So it was Allen's contentions that tweaked the interest of the ONR?
W - In part, and Allen and Gebhardt had to know that this would be the case - sending Jessup's annotated book to the ONR would trigger something. The ONR's concern was that details about the real RAINBOW might be released - potentially causing both discredit for Einstein and public embarrassment for the NRL. But there is another twist to this. That's the second giveaway, and it's been well tucked away all these years. You see, back in '56, project RAINBOW was still going on - ha ha ha!!
J - I don't get you - what are you talking about?
W - I'm laughing because I think that this is the main reason why intelligence people got alarmed by the Allende tale. RAINBOW had become, in the meantime, a joint Navy, CIA and Air Force effort at radar camouflage. Remember the CIA/USAF flights of the Lockheed U-2's over the Soviet Union - SINGINT and ELINT missions they were called - - beginning August 1955?
J - Yes --??
W - That was part of operation Soft Touch. There was a problem with it, however - - it could not be implemented unless U-2's could be made invisible to Soviet radar. It seemed to be working in the beginning, but not too well because, as you may recall, Powell got shot down in November of 1956! (25) So, in great alarm, more resources were thrown into RAINBOW, when the 54/12 group met in early 1957 (19) with President Eisenhower, Chief of Staff USAF [Major] General [N.] Twining, CIA Director [A.F.] Dulles and his two sidekicks - his Deputy Director of Operations [USAF] Brigadier General [C.P.] Cabell who had earlier created the national UFO-tracking radar network, and his Deputy Director of Plans [R.] Bissell. Bissell was also placed directly in charge of managing the U-2 program. Anything that would have had to do with radar invisibility or RAINBOW would have highest priority and greatest sensitivity. It's been said that when Bissell despaired of getting more sophisticated electromagnetic camouflage for his U-2's, he came up with the notion that the right canvas --- he called it 'the right wallpaper' - would do the trick. So the Allende tale was sensitive also because of its timing with reference to the ongoing RAINBOW efforts to make the U-2 plane invisible. Officers at the ONR would be quite concerned with the possibility that the book, with its annotations, contained some sort of cipher that could pass highly classified information under the wire. They wouldn't want to be blamed for anything that could hinder what had by then become Bissell's pet project.
J - So you don't believe Allen was an ONR disinformation agent, or that the ONR was targeting Jessup?
W - No, not at all. They certainly must have weighed the pros and cons of calling Jessup in - but that's understandable, because they needed information on who had written the comments, and they had no other obvious lead but Jessup.
J - So the Allende letters cannot be an intelligence caper?
W - I didn't say that. There is obviously intelligence behind them - and they are a caper of some sort. Just what sort of caper is the problem, wouldn't you say?
J - I'm not seeing it --
W - If it was part of an organized caper, then it's pretty obvious that the caper has its analogies with the UFO capers themselves. In both cases, a subject deserving of scientific attention is released to the public under circumstances that stretch its credibility beyond any reasonable limit and thereby bring it squarely into disrepute. The public is confronted with hush-hush information that appears to be simultaneously very deep and totally imbecilic. And the public - including scientists - has no means to ascertain which is which, which regularly divides them into willing believers and militant skeptics. So everything is distorted by this dualistic lens. A test vehicle unexpectedly crashes - and no small numbers of U-2's crashed at landing! - that's bad, but if on demand it can be camouflaged as an ET saucer crash, then, with a public denial policy in place, no serious questions will ever be asked about what was really going on. On the other hand, if people come to believe that what crashed was an ET machine, they can rest assured that the US has the same technology and will protect them from any unforeseen ET horrors.
J - What if a real ET saucer or an enemy craft eventually crash lands?
W - No problem, one can always say it was a test-vehicle. It is a superb circular caper, whereby truth was afforded real invisibility. Likewise with RAINBOW. It would come out one day or another - and what better way than through someone who was handled and as disturbed as Allen? Except for those few in the know, no one would take him seriously; and those that would, would be stigmatized by his madness - and that itself would rub off on the opinions, all now in agreement with each other, expressed by Plantier, Michel, Keyhoe and Ruppelt about the UFO and Einstein's UFT. At worst, it went to Einstein's credit. At best, to their discredit.
J - Yes, but there's one snag with what you're saying - the horrors that went with it in the Allen(de) annotations and letters. Michel, Keyhoe and Ruppelt, even though they admitted that some strange events might be going on, didn't have the same opinion as Allen(de) or Jessup had about at least some of 'their' ETs, or the horrors that Allen(de) said were caused by Einstein's UFT in the context of the 'Philadelphia Experiment'.
W - That's the last possibility - that the caper wasn't organized by the ONR, or by some supersecret intelligence group that the ONR itself was not aware of, but that it was a rogue caper, a 'renegade come-on' from inside the NRL or from among its ex-members, some sort of dangerous provocation, given the times and the context. If it was an official caper that handled Allen, then clearly its objective can't be understood outside of the more general policy of denial - a policy that ran something like: "it's best to deny the validity of sightings and ridicule the reports --which permits suppression of all those unexpected events involving classified projects. If a minority of UFO sightings may be genuine unknowns, the majority certainly are our own experimental military craft. In either case, we don't want to panic the public, nor find ourselves in the awkward position of having to reveal advanced projects that have turned out badly. But while denying the validity of the sightings, it doesn't hurt to have a little mystique, an aura of astonishing achievement leak out --because if we're ever really confronted by an aerial enemy, terrestrial or otherwise, we can always turn around and say that we've had it all along, which will keep people from panicking". So, Allen could have been handled by the ONR to release disinformation that would ridicule the UFO field and at the same time glorify the Navy and Einstein who had supposedly discovered what space intelligence has known for millions of years. But just as likely, Gebhardt and others, working as a rogue group, could have created a caper to draw the Navy and the NRL out into the open about work that they had done during the war, work that was still going on and for which they were never recognized, and which would shed - in their minds - some light on the problems of a unified field.
J - Which is the right answer?
W - Look, it is obvious that in the following decades - until the early nineties - capers like these continued to be staged fairly frequently. So-called radicals in ufology are the greatest consumers of this stuff - and there are entire groups of imitators that follow. With the New Age movement, there is no end to belief - conspiratorial, gargantuan, paranormal, a permanent Paranoia Inc.
J - These events in the '50's sound like a road map for what was to come...
W - Yes, the Lazar caper and countless others, crashed saucers, abductions, crossbreeding, come to mind. These capers took on lives of their own, that's for sure. Now think for a moment - there's no doubt that Gebhardt handled Allen; but someone handled Moore too!
J - ...I follow, yes, and unless Moore lied about the year Gebhardt died, he couldn't have been handled by Gebhardt himself, but by someone impersonating him - is that it?
W - There you are! So, the caper had continuity beyond Gebhardt - and that's pretty unusual for a rogue caper - wouldn't you say? Someone who knew all about Gebhardt and RAINBOW continued what had been started by Gebhardt and Allen, well past Gebhardt's death.
J - Unless Gebhardt went dark for the last ten years of his life, and didn't die in '68, but much later - some ten years later to be exact.
W - Quite. What caught my attention back then, when I first heard about the ONR/Varo incident, was that so many of Allen's facts were right - about Einstein's involvement, the ships that were used, the dates, etc. It made me think that this was exactly like the camouflage strategies drummed up by the Special Developments Section.
J - That's how you knew Gebhardt was feeding this material to Carl(os) Allen(de)?
W - Yes, and if Allen was aboard one of the ships (20), he kept that contact with Gebhardt for at least 13 years.