THE HORRIFYING TRUE STORY OF A GOVERNMENT-AUTHORIZED CAMPAIGN OF DISINFORMATION THAT DEFINED AN ERA OF ALIEN PARANOIA AND DESTROYED ONE MAN'S LIFE. In 1978, Paul Bennewitz, an electrical physicist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, engaged in some aggressive radio monitoring of the nearby Sandia Labs, then managed by the Department of Defense. When he became convinced thaTHE HORRIFYING TRUE STORY OF A GOVERNMENT-AUTHORIZED CAMPAIGN OF DISINFORMATION THAT DEFINED AN ERA OF ALIEN PARANOIA AND DESTROYED ONE MAN'S LIFE. In 1978, Paul Bennewitz, an electrical physicist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, engaged in some aggressive radio monitoring of the nearby Sandia Labs, then managed by the Department of Defense. When he became convinced that the strange lights hovering over the labs and Kirtland Air Force Base signaled the vanguard of an extraterrestrial alien invasion, he began writing TV stations, newspapers, senators -- and even President Reagan -- to alert them. For the most part Bennewitz received form-letter replies, but Air Force investigators paid him a visit, as did Bill Moore, author of the first book on the Roswell incident. Before long Moore -- then a new force in civilian UFO research -- was tapped by a group of intelligence agents and a deal was struck: Moore was to keep tabs on Bennewitz while the Air Force ran a psychological profile and disinformation campaign on the unsuspecting physicist. In return, Air Force Intelligence would let Moore in on classified UFO material. This is Bennewitz's harrowing tale, told by fringe-culture historian Greg Bishop. It is the troubling account of the custom-made hall of smoke and mirrors that eventually drove Bennewitz to a mental institution, as well as the story of the explosive propagation of disinformation that began in 1979 and reverberates through the UFO community and pop culture to this day....
|Title||:||Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth|
|Number of Pages||:||288 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth Reviews
Closer to a 3.5.I forget what the conversation was that turned me onto this book, but considering the constant enjoyment I get from UFOs and first contact stuff as well a weird government conspiracies, this book is a nice little intersection for all of those things.In this book, though, it's about the federal government allegedly actively waging a disinformation campaign with one man who was seeing more than he should have near a military base. The lengths and the depth of the disinformation campaign are impressive on their own, and the end result is something both fascinating and infuriating, given the source of the disinformation.The book itself is a pretty quick, straightforward read, and that's probably where the flaw is. Little effort is made to make this an engaging read as much as a straightforward popcorn flick, and that's unfortunate because there are other books like it that make for a more compelling narrative with the description of the events. Still, there's a fair amount of meat here, and a fairly fascinating take on a piece of American lore that gets basically zero play. Worth a read if you like UFOs and such, but far from a necessary one.
I'm fairly certain the mythology laid out in the Bennewitz Affair is what put the final straw in the coffin of ufology. Because the narrative lives on today. It is no coincidence that the X-files, airing shortly after the events in this book played out, ran with the mythology and ingrained it into the public. No fault of Chris Carter and the team behind the X-files. But for those seeking information about UFOs, things that are unidentified in the skies that appear to be of intelligent control, the story the AFOSI and NSA fed to Paul Bennewitz is what first comes to mind. And it was a lie.The story that aliens came here in flying saucers in the 1940s, the story that a ship crashed in Roswell, NM, the story of abductions and cattle mutilations and underground bases and secret deals between alien invaders and government officials...this all solidifies with what some factions of the United States government decided to feed an inquisitive scientific genius who lived outside the Kirtland Air force base in the 1980s. The frayed ends made over decades before, were spliced together in a grand scheme to keep government secrets, secret.Paul Bennewitz was photographing strange aerial phenomena and picking up odd electronic signals from the area of Kirtland Air force base, which was literally across the street from his home. He approached the base in order to report his findings and his suspicion that ET was here. In order to keep an eye on Bennewitz and his "findings", and in order to divert his attention away from picking up secret military and government projects, members of the AFOSI and NSA decided to put tails on Bennewitz, decided to coddle him and feed into his suspicions. They gave him a computer that was rigged to make it look like he was getting messages from ET. They fed him stories that he was really on to something. They befriended him and acted like his findings were true. And then he went insane, literally ending up in a mental hospital.Paul Bennewitz's masterpiece, if you will, was a report he called Project Beta, which detailed his findings and offered it to the government for review. And they abused him for it, believing one man's psychological stability was worth destroying in order to keep government secrets, secret.The Bennewitz Affair is a must know for anyone interested in how far government is willing to go to forge stories, even in the most fantastic vein, to keep secrets. You're not killed off. You're toyed with and used to divert attention and sometimes, not made to look crazy. But actually become crazy.A must read for anyone interested in the history of UFOs because the narrative here, is a lie concocted by intelligence agents that this writer is certain, have no problem continuing with. It keeps very human secret technology seen in the skies from being taken seriously when someone reports it. After all, if it's crazy to believe in UFOs, no one will believe you. Hiding in plain site is the best strategy.
It's difficult to reach any profound conclusion about the volume of events discussed in PROJECT BETA: THE STORY OF PAUL BENNEWITZ, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND THE CREATION OF A MODERN UFO MYTH; much like the title alone, the information presented isn't necesssarily additive to any other result but "don't believe what you were just told." Of course, this fact goes hand-in-hand with the book's subject: Bennewitz, an inventor and businessman, discovers possibly 'irrefutable' scientific evidence that something 'alien' is taking place involving the DOD's Sandia Labs. Monitored and decoded radio transmissions give the appearance that the Earth is being considered ripe for invasion by an unseen alien force. Rather than find his efforts stymied by the military, Bennewitz finds himself a sort of confidante by a plethora of insiders, all whom poke and prod the man to continue his work in possibly fradulent avenues. For the next decade, he finds himself pushed to his psychological limit, believing that he has somehow been placed in a clandestine race to save mankind partnered with Air Force investigators unwilling to do anything about it. Of course, the principle problem with constructing an account about disinformation is that the author is showing you his cards at the poker table. Greg Bishop knows that the reader will understand the nature of disinformation as he's stripped the theory naked as part of the story he's telling. However, what he doesn't do very well is 'reconstruct' these events to any ultimate conclusion, despite Bennewitz's obvious mental abuse. Few of the details Bishop discusses can be substantiated because of the massive disinformation campaign, and any reasonably intelligent person can probably reach the midpoint of PROJECT BETA and have the revelation, "How am I to know for certain that I'm not the one being misinformed here?" Still, author Bishop manages to craft a novel that is equal parts intriguing, frustrating, and confusing. The reader cares for Bennewitz -- despite some reservations about the man's stability -- and any reader would genuinely hope that some of these players who confess to be 'good friends' with the man would break their patterns of deceit long enough to help the inventor keep his fragile sanity. Bishop appears to justify their continued abuse of Bennewitz by routinely underscoring how much these men and women cared about the kindly inventor, but that becomes an increasingly difficult 'reality' to accept given Bennewitz's eventual destination.
Required reading for anyone who's interested in UFOs as a social/historical phenomenon, the military-industrial complex, spycraft, and madness. Should be read in conjunction with Mark Pilkington's more recent "Mirage Men," which covers much of the same material, and a lot more, in a more readable style. These books will help you to begin thinking about UFOs in the same way we think about questions like "Why are we here?, "What is the meaning of life and the universe?," and "What are good and evil?" These are questions that really have no answer, or at least no single answer. "Do UFOs exist?" and "What are UFOs?" are questions that also belong in that category. Answers like "yes," "no," and even "maybe" don't begin to cut it.
I'm not sure if this is a good entry for the UFO initiate or not, but it's definitely an eye opener for anyone interested in going a little deeper, perhaps into the idea that the UFO tropes we have with us now may be rooted in cold war-era disinformation. Also, this serves as a good companion read to "Messengers of Deception" by Jacques Vallee, which focuses on UFO cultists (see the chapter "The Political Overtones" - the list of common themes encountered in contactee interviews is amazing, terrifying, and certainly worth the read).
This book sets out how military intelligence used UFO lore and credulity on the part of a particular believer to cover its own top secret research. It is proof a conspiracy not to cover up actual flying saucers and alien bodies, but to mislead believers and by extension, the public, into a new system of belief that can be conveniently employed by the authorities to manipulate the public and cover up their own tracks. The book also describes how the flying saucer mythology can grow from one man's "discoveries" to a phenomena of mass psychology and the spreading of "memes."
I've been meaning to read this book for some time. I knew some of the story from the movie Mirage Men. It was really impressive how much supporting information Greg was able to dig up. This is an important book in the study of Ufology.
disinfo within disinfo. in order to cover the truth, they use the truth to perpetuate another disinfo which in turn hides the initial truth. its like reverse psychology. this book outlines such campaigns to discredit otherwise credible/contributing people.
Project Beta is a fascinating look at how the UFO conspiracy community and the United States intelligence community cross pollinate and feed on each other. Highly recommended.