Monday, March 19, 2018

Deception and Fake Videos: It's Not Just for YouTubers

The majority in the UFO community are clueless about the depths that an intelligence agency can go to manage people of interest.”
- James Carrion, commenting in The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community 

People interested in UFOs often possess vast amounts of knowledge on popular cases and intricate details of happenings within the community. High profile ufology personalities and their followings know their UFO stuff. Unfortunately, we might sometimes be viewed as knowing a lot about a little, and those observations may at times have merit.

The genre is rather infamously notable for neglecting to give adequate study to topics often found less enthralling than saucer stories, yet nonetheless extremely relevant. Procedures of the intelligence community is one such relevant topic, among many. Let's take a relatively brief look at how better understanding the intelligence community might be important for those desiring to know more about events taking place within ufology.

The Pentagon spent over $500 million – half a billion bucks – to create fake videos, according to sources such as Independent and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. But it was much more than perception management. As a matter of fact, the videos were designed to appeal to Al-Qaeda members and sympathizers, not change their minds. This particular batch of propaganda consisted of fake terrorist vids that tracked the locations of viewers. The material was created by a UK-based public relations firm hired by the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Former video editor Martin Wells reportedly worked on the project, which took place between about 2006 and 2011. Requirements included specific format and code, he explained. Marines would leave copies of the completed videos, contained on compact discs, at the scenes of raids and ransacked houses in Iraq so that enemies would later find them. According to Independent, Wells further explained: 
If one if looked at in the middle of Baghdad… you know there’s a hit there,” Mr. Wells said. “If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one, and that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail.”

A former chairman of Bell Pottinger, the PR firm, reportedly confirmed the existence of its contract with the Pentagon. Likewise, the Pentagon also confirmed the contract, while insisting all material distributed was truthful. That may actually be the case while the videos nonetheless fall well under the definition of Al-Qaeda propaganda.

Bell Pottinger was first tasked by the interim Iraqi government in 2004 to promote democratic elections,” Independent reported. “They received $540m between May 2007 and December 2011, but could have earned as much as $120m from the US in 2006.”

Howard Hughes, 1938
We might also consider what history teaches us about relationships between intelligence agencies and wealthy eccentrics. The CIA recruited Howard Hughes to supply cover for Project Azorian, a multi-million dollar effort to secretly raise a sunken Russian submarine from the bottom of the ocean. The project took years to fully execute and involved Hughes announcing a fabricated plan to mine the seafloor. In actuality, sailors would work to raise the sub under the guise of mining, which, by the way, was reasonably successful. The CIA eventually released documents indicating about 40 feet of the over 300-foot vessel was retrieved.

We might be wise to familiarize ourselves with such operations and keep them in mind when contemplating the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program and its close relations to Robert Bigelow and To The Stars Academy. Every instance of career intelligence officials moonlighting as ufologists is certainly not the tip of a far reaching conspiracy. That stated, it is not unreasonable by any means to expect verification of evidence presented. The same can be said for claims asserted. That might particularly be considered the case when To The Stars claimed able to present a verifiable chain of custody of videos published, yet has failed to do so.

There is not a lot of wiggle room in the definition of a fact. It can be publicly reviewed and confirmed by third parties or it can't. When it can't, it simply shouldn't yet be accepted as a fact.

It's reasonable to be open-minded. It's also reasonable to be inquisitive and interested in what might be navigating the skies.

But don't be gullible. Don't be guilty of confirmation bias. Demand professionally presented evidence. The truth depends on it.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Who's Been Running MUFON?

The Mutual UFO Network recently announced a new Director of Research, Dr. Christopher Cogswell. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and "hopes to bring a seriousness and strong research focus to this field," according to the MUFON website.

While we wish the doctor the highest degree of success, we would be remiss if we failed to observe the organization where he chooses to volunteer has an infamous history of substantially obstructing the very efforts he claims to undertake. His predecessor, Robert Powell, bailed for reasons reportedly including the MUFON choices of speakers at its annual symposium in 2017. In a nutshell, the organization's mission statement of dedication to scientific study is miles apart from many of its actual activities. If Dr. Cogswell is going to help the situation a number of circumstances will need to be addressed, from employing hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool to endorsing psychic channeling, and those are just some of the problems.

A lack of transparency and public accountability has long plagued MUFON. We have explored it at length on The UFO Trail, including posts such as UFO Community Members Weigh in on Dubious MUFON Speakers. Long before Powell's concerns became more widely known, writers and researchers such as Nigel Watson, Frank Warren, Robert Sheaffer, and several more expressed relevant points about the quality of MUFON speakers and contributed to the 2015 post. 

Back in 2014 we attempted to obtain explanations of what MUFON termed a collaboration with a French government agency, GEIPAN, that investigates unexplained aerial phenomena. Statements from MUFON leadership arguably were embarrassingly vague, while, in stark contrast, the head of GEIPAN proved quite willing to discuss the circumstances when contacted.

Other posts, such as parts one and two of the 2013 offering, MUFON, Science and Deception, further demonstrated the leadership's lack of willingness to field questions. MUFON's Jan Harzan has been contacted numerous times, including for comment on how an org dedicated to scientific study could promote such entirely speculative notions as Barbara Lamb's claims surrounding ET-human hybrids, but did not respond. 

Likewise, Harzan failed to respond to inquiries about the criteria used to grant David Jacobs a lifetime achievement award. Jacobs is a historian who practices hypnosis as a memory enhancer, claimed to have been harassed by an ET-human hybrid that sent him instant messages, and suggested to Emma Woods to wear a chastity belt during a long distance telephone hypnosis session, among numerous other dubious actions.

In preparation for a 2013 article on a reported UFO crash in Casselberry, Florida, attempts were made to consult several MUFON personnel. Multiple emails inquiring about the case were sent to the Executive Director, Director of Investigations, Florida State Director, and a former Florida Chief Field Investigator. None responded. We could go on at length, but the issues run even deeper still than irresponsibly promoting unsubstantiated conjecture under the guise of science or failing to share information about investigations.

From where I sit, it is significant that the Pentagon indirectly admitted funneling funds to MUFON via Robert Bigelow. This was clearly done through Bigelow's now known receipt of funds and subsequent MUFON-BAASS initiative, yet it is virtually a non-story in UFO Land. Community members for years accused MUFON of acting as an arm of the federal government, and are now validated for all practical purposes, yet the wheels of sensationalism continue to turn with hardly a pause. You can't say we weren't warned.

After serving as MUFON International Director from 2006 to 2009, James Carrion wrote in a 2011 blog post that it was not Robert Bigelow who funded MUFON's work for Bigelow Aerospace, but "sponsors" Bigelow revealed to John Schuessler but not the rest of the MUFON Board of Directors. Carrion's statements have aged well (See my post, Pentagon-UFO Story Reflects Fundamental Problems, for further info and commentary).

The Pentagon acknowledges the Defense Intelligence Agency invested money in the UFO community. Up until that time, such interests and circumstances were officially denied. They were taboo, scandalous. It was out of bounds to so much as speculate the IC was in bed with UFO researchers and their organizations. Capital "S" Skeptics cried conspiracy and called for proof. Now it's confirmed and met with a shrug on both sides of the UFO community aisle.

I'd like to direct our attention for a while, please, to the fact the intelligence community has full on acknowledged involvement in the UFO community - this century, here and now. Others told us so and they are now validated, yet it's seemingly not a story, in lieu of analyzing film clips, exchanging opinions on inconclusive claims about alleged aliens, and minimizing its potential significance. In my opinion, if funding sources for one project are called into question, then funding sources for many projects are called into question, especially those involving the same individuals and organizations.

MUFON has a long way to go to gain any credibility, not to mention competently addressing who's been running its organization. Please join me in considering some of the circumstances that brought us to the point in which the Pentagon casually confirmed what amounts to funding the Mutual UFO Network.

Carpenter Affair

The Carpenter Affair. Let's start there. 

During the 1990's, the org's lead alien abduction researcher "confidentially," as he put it to me in a series of emails, provided Robert Bigelow - the guy who would later play point man on the DIA's Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program - with data from case files of alleged abductees in exchange for a reported $14,000. John Carpenter, a Missouri social worker and hypnosis advocate, defended his actions, which included choosing not to obtain consent from the 140 people prior to releasing their files to Bigelow and his National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). 

MUFON officials, including John Schuessler, who sat on a NIDS board, primarily chose the stance of silence on the topic. Col. John Alexander, a former employee of the Bigelow-founded NIDS, declined comment in 2013. Alexander was asked about any interest he may have had in the files; why he suspected his employer, Bigelow, may have desired to obtain them; if other alien abduction researchers also shared files with Bigelow as Carpenter claimed may have been the case; and if Alexander was at liberty to discuss any relationships between Bigelow corporations and intelligence agencies. Alexander, a man who has repeatedly presented himself as willing and able to talk inside baseball on UFOs and the intelligence community, didn't want to discuss it.

The above image is a copy of the second page of a 1996 letter apparently composed from Carpenter to Bigelow, discussing copying and sending 140 case files, as well as expressing thanks for payment. The image was obtained from researcher Gary Hart, who included the letter and other items in complaints filed to MUFON and the State of Missouri Division of Professional Registration. Read more in the 2013 blog post on the Carpenter Affair linked above.

NSA Memo

In 2017 I published a post about NSA largely releasing a document via my FOIA request about an NSA assignee's attendance at a UFO symposium. The existence of the document, though previously withheld, was long known to researchers such as Philip Klass. Although we did not previously know its specific contents, Klass confidently suspected it was authored by Tom Deuley. Klass was in all likelihood correct for reasons provided and linked in my 2017 post. The document proved to be a memo, titled Information request solicitation, in which its author informed NSA of events and actions of researchers at the 1978 MUFON Symposium. From the now mostly declassified memo:

Ambient Monitoring Project

In 2014 I did a blog post on the ill-fated Ambient Monitoring Project (AMP). The undertaking was initially titled the Abduction Monitoring Project, but was changed for reasons that reportedly included efforts to increase credibility and attract qualified researchers. The initiative involved placing instruments to measure environmental changes in the homes of individuals reporting alien abductions. It was headed up by long time ufology staple and career intelligence officer Tom Deuley, who likely composed the above NSA memo and served in leadership capacities of multiple UFO organizations, including MUFON. Funding sources for the AMP were not clearly disclosed and details of project results were never released. From the 2014 blog post:

Deuley wrote in the 2008 Journal article that the AMP was jointly proposed to MUFON, FUFOR [Fund for UFO Research] and the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). The collaboration reportedly resulted in the UFO Research Coalition, or the URC, as Deuley dubbed it. Exactly where the funding originated, however, was not clear, and Deuley did not at all address the amount and specific terms of project funding.
The proposal was given to the Fund for UFO Research, Deuley stated in the article, “with the intention that they in turn offer the idea to some prospective donors who might be interested in this project.”
“Over time,” he continued, “the Fund’s efforts led to sufficient funding for the work.”
“With a good prospect for a sponsor,” Deuley not so clearly explained further, “the URC continued to fine-tune the proposal. After several rounds of changes and negotiation with the prospective funding organization, the proposal for the Ambient Monitoring Project was accepted.”
Who ever the “prospective funding organization” of which Deuley may have been referring, how ever the proposal may specifically have been “accepted,” and where ever reported “sufficient funding” may have actually originated, Richard Hall told UFO Updates List the project was out of money. Hall informed them of that nine months before Deuley's July, 2008, article which suggested funding was in hand and data was in the process of being analyzed.
In 2008 I emailed inquiries about the project to various board members of the UFO organizations involved. An email was sent to Deuley, who I requested provide details that might be available for public release, particularly concerning such information as final analysis and project personnel. He replied August 2, 2008: 
The analysis is in progress and will include a full report when all of the cases have been analyzed. Until then we feel it is prudent to not publicize who is doing the analysis or where it is being conducted. The report is most likely to be printed in the MUFON Journal, and if extensive to be published for sale by the UFO Research Coalition.”
I sent a similar inquiry to David Boras of CUFOS, who briefly replied on August 3, 2008, “Statistical analyses are ongoing and not yet available.”
Astronomer Dr. John Carlson, also of FUFOR, and I exchanged some brief messages. Even after I made him aware Deuley had just days prior stated in an email to me that AMP data was in the process of being analyzed, Carlson wrote in an August 5, 2008 email there were no funds to analyze the data, so he believed the project was effectively dormant.

Such discrepancies and contradictions within MUFON and UFO orgs have now become common to the point of no longer attracting meaningful discussion. Inaccuracy and a lack of direct answers from leadership have come to be expected. 

UFO Research Coalition

Robert Bigelow
It was repeatedly stated by those familiar with and involved in the AMP that it was a collaboration of CUFOS, MUFON and FUFOR. Tom Deuley reported in his 2008 MUFON Journal article that the collaboration resulted in the forming of the UFO Research Coalition. The FUFOR website indicated the Coalition was formed at the suggestion of Robert Bigelow.

"Disagreement over control of the UFO Research Coalition lead to a complete break with Robert Bigelow," the website further stated, indicating the "disagreement" culminated in 1994. The conflict was apparently resolved by the time of the MUFON-BAASS venture of 2009, when many of the same organizational leaders were on deck, as can be explored in detail at the bottom of the 2014 blog post, What Happened to the Ambient Monitoring Project?


There may be some events of interest under the descriptions of high strangeness or things in the sky. I don't claim to know, and as regular readers are aware, my primary area of focus migrated into social aspects of the UFO community. While I don't profess to conclusively know much about what all is being reported and witnessed, I'm pretty confident you aren't going to get any substantial explanations from the latest crowd of self-proclaimed insiders, researchers, and disclosure activists. We simply have no reason to think so, barring extreme changes of operating procedures. It is more than reasonable at this point, if not arguably naive not to call into question the funding sources and agendas of those directing the UFO research community.

It is also reasonable to desire financial accountability from tax-funded projects, such as the AATIP, and nonprofit corporations, namely MUFON, that collect public financial support while enjoying tax benefits. You are entitled to expect accurate and reasonably transparent reporting of budgets and activities. We clearly have a long, long way to go to achieve such transparency in the UFO community. I am strongly of the opinion its obstruction and the related issues are much more worthy of attention than the unsubstantiated sensational claims promoted by the involved parties.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


In this post we'll take a look at some resources and tips for submitting Freedom of Information Act requests. You may send requests to virtually any type of government body or agency, and submissions are typically accepted via websites, email, fax or standard mail. 

First we'll consider where to send an FOIA request, then we'll explore how you might choose to compose your submission. Below are just a few potential sources. 

FOIA Sources

FOIA requests may be emailed to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at This is where you submit requests about the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. A current Pentagon spokesperson verified the existence of the former project and DIA was identified as responsible for it. You might therefore choose to cite such statements. Calls for proposals, project reports and budgets are all fair game. So are details of the modified buildings for storing alloys recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena, as well as physical examinations of UFO witnesses reported by the NYT. Learn more about the Agency's FOIA procedures at the DIA website

Requests to the National Security Agency (NSA) may be submitted online. While it is a simple and user-friendly set up, you might want to have the body of your request already composed on a word processing program for easy copy and paste to the NSA website form.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers a similar FOIA procedure as NSA. Most requests can be submitted online.

Learn about FOIA requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the Bureau website. Requests may be sent online.

You might choose to inquire to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) when seeking some older files. Read about the Admin's FOIA process at the NARA website and email your requests to You can check out my pending FOIA appeal to NARA about circumstances surrounding historical context of 1946-47 UFO reports and inspired by the work of James Carrion.

Composing a Request

Many government websites provide sample requests. Below is an outline of a somewhat typical request, followed by some brief explanations:

[Title and mailing address of agency]

[Your name, address, and contact info]


This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
[Description of files and documents sought]
A fee waiver is requested on the grounds I am a freelance writer, the requested information will be published in ways that are not primarily commercial, and the requested information stands to assist the public in understanding government operations. If fees are deemed applicable, please notify me before processing if costs are estimated to exceed $30.
I prefer the requested files be delivered electronically, but agree to other delivery means if considered more practical or efficient.
Thank you for your attention to my request.

[Your name]

Most of it is pretty self-explanatory, such as you'll want to be as clear as possible about files requested. More on that shortly.

If you desire to request a fee waiver, you might want to familiarize yourself with the related protocols and explain some grounds for the requested waiver. One way or the other, be sure to provide an amount you are willing to pay, specifying you want to be notified prior to processing if costs are estimated to exceed the amount. You might also choose to clarify how you prefer the files be delivered, such as emailed or saved on a disc and shipped. 


While you may compose your request around virtually any topic, you definitely want to form your query in a way that seeks documents. There are a number of ways to do this effectively. One is to cite an already public document that establishes the existence of another document, the file you seek.

For instance, I obtained a previously unreleased 1978 NSA memo on events occurring at the annual MUFON Symposium of the same year. This was achieved by citing the statements of NSA man Eugene F. Yeates, who, in a document known as the Yeates affidavit, referenced a document authored by an NSA assignee pertaining to a UFO symposium. Following an FOIA request to NSA for the specific doc mentioned by Yeates, NSA released the majority of the memo. You may view the memo and read more in a related blog post. Such documents as the Yeates affidavit may be excellent sources for FOIA topics. 

You might want to spend some time browsing the online reading rooms of such agencies as listed above. Then, when you find something that peaks your interest, file some FOIA requests around it, citing the related document. I include a web link to the cited doc in the request, along with identifiers such as its title and date, as well as the page number quoted.

Another option is to request what is known as a Mandatory Declassification Review, or MDR, of a fully or partially withheld document. A bit of success was achieved when I filed an FOIA request to NSA, asking it to conduct a declassification review of a partially withheld doc titled UFOs and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise and Deceptive Data. NSA subsequently released the item in full, and you can read more about it in my blog post on the topic. An MDR may be an effective way to get more information released.

As you compose requests and obtain files, let the community and other researchers know what's effective. You might blog about your work and upload files for public viewing to websites such as, among others. Read more about my efforts by clicking on the FOIA blog label

We must wade in and start filing to gain some experience, and, as is the case with anything, skills improve over time. Good luck. Post about how it goes, and, remember, we can't succeed if we don't try.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Updates on Paracast Host Gene Steinberg 'Emergency' Cash Solicitations

This is a follow up to a Jan. 2, 2018, blog post, Gene Steinberg Personal 'Emergency' Cash Solicitations Span Years, Hundreds of Emails. See the original post for information on Steinberg's years of repetitive cash solicitations framed as emergencies. This post will serve as a place to publish ongoing updates and developments. Check back for periodic updates.

For more info on Steinberg's email cash solicitations, follow @SchemeGeneRC on Twitter. You may also choose to keep an eye on a UFO Trail Twitter thread tracking a year to date total of Steinberg's email solicitations. 

Steinberg 2018 email solicitations, last updated March 1, 2018:

February (10)

The final days!                                                         Feb 27

Troubles are piling up!                                              Feb 27

A setback!                                                               Feb 24

They keep finding more things!                                 Feb 22

Still living in suspense!                                             Feb 21

Update on Barbara's medical issues!                          Feb 16

No answers yet!                                                       Feb 13

Maybe a problem!                                                    Feb 8

I'm still fighting for my future!                                   Feb 7

Early February Update!                                             Feb 2

January (10)

There is still time!                                                    Jan 29

Waiting for the constable!                                         Jan 25

It's panic time!                                                        Jan 24

The Assistant Property Manager Sets a Date!             Jan 22

It's down to just a few days once again!                    Jan 22

I may need a place to live soon!                               Jan 18

Living under a new threat!                                       Jan 16

Not a happy Tuesday!                                              Jan 9

Seeking a final solution!                                           Jan 8

An Early January Update!                                         Jan 2


Updated March 1, 2018

Gene Steinberg email blasts for cash continued to mount through February, including ten more with such subject lines as The final days!, Troubles are piling up!, and I'm fighting for my future!. The latest reports of poverty brought the 2018 total to 20 email solicitations distributed by the Paracast host. The circumstances, described by Steinberg as setbacks, chronically include costs of rent, utilities and groceries, as, according to the podcaster, he has been without for many years. His 2018 current average of ten per month put him on pace for a few less total email cash solicitations than the 139 sent in 2017. The emails consistently contain descriptions of situations framed as emergencies along with PayPal links for sending cash.

"I don't have enough cash for groceries and other needs, and the property manager needs the rent in full, through March, to allow us to live here," Steinberg wrote in his Feb. 24 email titled A setback!.

"Despite the setback," he continued, "I will get out of this nightmare - with your help."

The statements prompted one Twitter user to ponder the exact nature of the "setback." There's nothing to indicate any sort of setback, they observed, just that Steinberg is expected to pay his rent and bills like everybody else. 

"This truly has caught me off guard," another Twitter user responded sarcastically. "I sure hope rent won't be due next month or that we ever have to eat again."

The criticism results from Steinberg's very similar emails sent in January, at which time he was reportedly raising funds for rent and living expenses. The same was the case in December, as well as a seemingly never ending trail of cash requests before that: quite literally years of solicitations for rent, utilities, and miscellaneous bills. The theme is long recurring.

Meanwhile, Steinberg continued using his affiliation with the Paracast as a means to promote his personal fundraising activities, as pictured below.

The connection between the Paracast and Steinberg's cash requests became a bone of contention with current and former co-hosts. Steinberg claimed his soliciting is "not at all connected with the radio show, the Paracast newsletter or the forum," an assertion which proved patently false.

The longtime Paracast host has yet to describe how the e-list was otherwise compiled. Similarly, Steinberg's email solicitations continue to be noticeably absent specific details of his monthly living expenses, his monthly income, and explanations why potential donors should think it wise to contribute to what, by his own account, is perpetually a financial failure.


Posted Feb. 1, 2018

Following the initial UFO Trail blog post on Steinberg's email campaign, his Paracast co-host Christopher O'Brien weighed in. O'Brien expressed concerns surrounding the chronic cash requests and subsequent integrity of the show. Following up on his concerns, O'Brien stated in a Feb. 1 email, quoted with his permission:
I'm looking to shake some things up in my life, Jack. I've grown tired of being taken for granted by some folks in this field and I'm tired of being ignored by others in these so-called fields of "research." I'm leaving Arizona and am returning to the East Coast (where I lived for 16 years) for a few months to finish up several projects and to help out a longtime friend. I am also planning changes in my broadcasting pursuits and am considering some exciting potential opportunities. Also, very soon there will be an important announcement about the San Luis Valley Camera/Monitoring Project. 

Steinberg's stance, as demonstrated in public comments, was that his solicitations have nothing to do with Paracast, specifically stating his cash requests are "not at all connected with the radio show, the Paracast newsletter or the forum." No explanation was offered, however, of how the e-list used for solicitations was compiled if not from the Paracast following and the interest generated by its co-hosts and guests. Moreover, a review of facts directly and firmly contradicts Steinberg's assertion.

The cash requests, which number well into the hundreds, have been broadcast for several years from a email address. That continues to be the case in 2018. Steinberg emailed ten such solicitations during January, 2018, originating from a address. 

A Twitter account operated by Steinberg, titled @theparacast and displaying a Paracast logo, is commonly used to promote Steinberg's purported plight and subsequent cash requests. A couple 2018 tweets, dated Jan. 25 and Jan. 24:

Examples of Steinberg's similar use of the social media site and his Paracast affiliation from 2017:

The initial UFO Trail blog post, the very article where Steinberg left comments asserting his personal cash solicitations are "not at all connected with the radio show," contained a link to a Paracast web page on which Steinberg wrote about his purported plight at length. Descriptions of his financial challenges, rent, food costs and several more such items were outlined. Steinberg did not acknowledge in his comments the contradiction between the link contained in the post and his claim the Paracast is in no way connected to his ongoing cash requests. 

There are many such examples. At this writing, a Paracast web page contains a typical Steinberg email solicitation, this one titled, Here We Go Again!. In the Nov. 28, 2017, message Steinberg tells readers how a housing move decimated his finances. Cash donations were therefore needed for rent, as well as utilities, internet, "and other important bills" for which he "received shutoff notices," he wrote. No information was included on why such reported decimation remains a constant state. 

A thread currently exists on the Paracast forum titled, LET'S HELP GENE!. Readers are encouraged to donate cash to Steinberg for situations he describes as "complicated." The thread, started Dec. 26, 2015, includes a post by Steinberg in which he references the long recurring theme of rent problems.

"Still fighting the good fight," Steinberg informs Paracast forum members in a Feb. 28, 2016, post in the thread. "The creditor/landlord threats are still there, but I won't give up."

Comments submitted at The UFO Trail and emails received from a variety of individuals repeatedly further contradicted Steinberg's claim the Paracast is off limits to his solicitations. One comment explained how during the first ever email exchange between the person and who they termed the host of the Paracast, Steinberg asked for cash because "his wife had screwed up their checkbook for the weekend, there was no food in the house, and they had no access to money." Another comment indicated it was after signing up for the Paracast forum that the individual "started receiving the constant begging emails." 

The above narratives and examples are common. Further citations are available with a frequency making them repetitive. The claimed separation of Paracast and Steinberg's continuous calls for emergency funding is markedly inaccurate.

Steinberg's email solicitations so far in 2018 focus primarily upon his latest reported eviction, which is no less than the third time he has used an eviction to fuel a series of email solicitations since the 2016-17 turn of the year. It was also a common theme long before that. He sent 139 total email cash solicitations in 2017 (See the previously referenced post for more info). 

As suggested by the email subject lines, Steinberg tends to write of a "faceless corporation" attempting to collect rent he admittedly owes yet does not pay, all allegedly under the looming threat of a constable. His fate is in our hands, he often writes, adding, "The best way to help me keep a roof over my head is to send a PayPal donation." A PayPal link and related instructions are included in each email.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

NSA 'Glomars' FOIA Request on Boyd Bushman

The National Security Agency responded to an FOIA request on the late Boyd B. Bushman by neither confirming nor denying the existence of any such files. The request sought files in which Bushman was the subject of investigation or interviewed during the course of an investigation.

An appeal is in the works, requesting further consideration be given to the fact Bushman is now deceased. It will also be pointed out that, should such NSA files exist, it may very well be in the better public and national security interests to further reveal the manners attempts may be made to lure individuals holding security clearances into divulging classified information under the guise of advocating UFO disclosure.

Bushman & questionable photo
reportedly obtained from a contact 
Bushman was employed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, as explored in a previous post at The UFO Trail. According to a now declassified 1999 FBI memo, Bushman was a U.S. national who worked as a Senior Specialist in the Special Programs department, holding Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information/Special Access Program security clearances. The memo establishes Lockheed Martin was concerned of an ongoing attempt to elicit Lockheed Martin proprietary or U.S. government classified information from Bushman. Further documents released by the FBI revealed that investigation increased concerns over security of weapons projects and other classified information, as well as issues surrounding Bushman's contacts. Such contacts included an individual with a history of allegations of misconduct, violations of security and classified information handling procedures, and suspicious contact with foreign nationals, among other concerns listed.

Bushman became the subject of attention in the UFO community when he was interviewed in a 2014 video. The now-deceased scientist emphasized his belief in an extraterrestrial presence, described what he believed to be a government cover up, and suggested that he and his circles of associates desired to lift the veil of secrecy imposed by such hurdles as security oaths. Bushman claimed he and his personal contacts discussed such topics as aliens at Area 51 and related advances in technology. The declassified FBI files indicate the former Lockheed Martin specialist was networking with a variety of individuals.

During the 2014 interview, Bushman shared photos, apparently provided by a contact, allegedly portraying extraterrestrials. The photos are almost certainly inauthentic, as researchers demonstrated the images were much more likely figurines sold at WalMart than aliens.

In a three-page letter dated Jan. 11, 2018, Michael Shields of the NSA wrote in part: 
To the extent that you are seeking intelligence information on Boyd B. Bushman, please be advised that NSA collects and provides intelligence derived from foreign communications to policymakers, military commanders, and law enforcement officials. We do this to help these individuals protect the security of the United States, its allies, and their citizens from threats such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, foreign espionage, international organized crime, and other hostile activities. What we are authorized to do, and how we do it, is described in Executive Order 12333...
To respond to your request, NSA would have to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records on Boyd B. Bushman. Were we to do so in your case, we would have to do so for every other requester. This would enable, for example, a terrorist or other adversary to file a FOIA request with us in order to determine whether he or she was under surveillance or had evaded it. This in turn would allow that individual to better assess whether they could successfully act to damage the national security of the United States. For such reasons, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of the records you requested.
The FOIA exempts several categories of information from disclosure. Its first exemption indicates that it does not apply to matters that are authorized by Executive Order to be kept secret and properly classified in the interest of national defense or foreign relations. The fact of the existence or non-existence of intelligence records on any individual, including yourself, is an appropriately classified matter. Paragraph 3.6(a) of Executive Order 13526 ("Classified National Security Information") specifically authorizes this type of response, also known as a Glomar response, to such requests made under the FOIA.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

DIA: More Time Needed for UFO-Pentagon FOIA Requests

Shot from video published in conjunction with reports of AATIP,
a Pentagon UFO venture involving Robert Bigelow
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provided an interim response for an FOIA request seeking clarification about the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The DIA indicated more time is needed to process the request. A letter dated Jan. 10, 2018, and composed by FOIA and Declassification Services Office Chief Alesia Y. Williams, stated in part:
This is an interim response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated December 23, 2017, requesting copies of all contracts pertaining to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, (AATIP) this includes contracts undertaken and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace...
We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA's 20 day statutory time period due to unusual circumstances. These unusual circumstances could be: (a) the need to search for and collect records from a facility geographically separated from this office; (b) the potential volume of records responsive to your request; and (c) the need for consultation with one or more other agencies which have substantial interest in either the determination or the subject matter of the records. For these reasons, your request has been placed in our queue and will be worked in the order the request was received. Our current administrative workload is in excess of 1,139 requests.

The body of the original Dec. 23, 2017, FOIA request contained the following:
Please provide copies of all contracts pertaining to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. This includes contracts undertaken with and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace.
All paperwork is requested concerning the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, as recently reported by major news outlets to have operated no less than 2007 to 2012. Requested are all reports composed by personnel of the program, reports submitted by funding recipients of the program, lists of contractors and subcontractors, and any related files and information.

A second similar request was submitted, seeking "copies of all contracts undertaken with and funding provided to the National Institute for Discovery Science. Likely date ranges would include 1995 to 2004."

Chief Williams responded, indicating once again that more time was required for "unusual circumstances" listed the same as above. Both interim response letters were dated Jan. 10, 2018.


Further reading:

UFO-Pentagon Story Reflects Fundamental Problems

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Gene Steinberg Personal 'Emergency' Cash Solicitations Span Years, Hundreds of Emails

Gene Steinberg solicited cash donations from an e-list hundreds of times since 2014 and earlier, including 139 emails during 2017, for circumstances framed as financial emergencies. Screenshots of subject lines of many of the emails are posted below. A list of the 2017 emails by subject line and date is provided at the end of this post.

The dozens of 2017 messages continued what has become an ongoing story of financial destitution narrated for years by the host of The Paracast. The money, according to Steinberg's emails, was needed for such personal expenses as rent, utilities, and groceries, often described as crises and nightmares. The emails contained a PayPal link and instructions for sending funds, as has been the case in years past. 

Steinberg messages to the e-list from 2016, with December through July followed by June to January:

Steinberg 2015 personal cash solicitations, followed by dozens more from 2014:

According to several of the 139 Steinberg emails sent in 2017, he was unable to find a way to regularly pay rent throughout the year, reporting impending evictions on multiple occasions. He would then undertake fundraising drives for what was described to the e-list as either getting caught up on rent or relocating to another residence. The recurring scenarios included Steinberg's criticism of landlords and property managers, seemingly for expecting payments, which by his own accounts were owed yet delivered sporadically if at all. 

"I've pretty much run out of excuses to persuade the property manager to let us stay in this home," Steinberg wrote in an Aug. 15 message to the e-list, a typically provided description of the housing situations. 

Such narratives were recurring for years. It was not clear why Steinberg repeatedly enters into rental agreements he cannot afford, but emails from multiple years clarify the scenario is frequently reported.

Additional urgencies reported to the e-list during 2017 included a fall at a grocery store, automobile troubles, and his wife's health, among others. Steinberg's pleas for cash were in several instances accompanied by claims his bank account balance was so low he would have difficulty affording food if recipients did not act. 

Such assertions were common, as were claims of working more than ever and putting in extra hours. Exactly what was meant by such terms as "extra hours" was not clarified for email recipients. An accounting of how much income Steinberg earned per month - and how reportedly working more than ever chronically left him impoverished - were also not included in the ongoing emails.

The themes have been consistently repeated since years predating 2014. A sample of quotes from Steinberg cash solicitations since 2010 and sent to his e-list as provided by a contact:


Steinberg's perpetual personal fundraising has long drawn criticism. Some feel his credibility is strained. Others suggest even if his claims are to be accepted, his money-managing competency is drawn into question due to what has now become years of rationalizing his failure to take care of himself. Community members have questioned the practicality of contributing cash when years of cash solicitations to help him "get past this nightmare" only lead to more cash solicitations. Similarly, others question Steinberg's judgment about conducting such email activities within a genre with a history of being targeted for exploitation and a reputation for harboring charlatans. 

"Why must this be an issue?" Steinberg replied Dec. 27 when offered an opportunity to provide comment on his ongoing emails for inclusion in this blog post. A short time later in a second email he vaguely suggested "fake news" is circulating about him but did not directly address his perpetual cash solicitation campaign.

Christopher O'Brien, a writer, researcher, and longtime Steinberg co-host at Paracast, was offered an opportunity to comment on Steinberg's email cash solicitation activities. He did not immediately respond to a Dec. 27 email. 

The 2017 solicitations peaked in August, when 19 of the year's total 139 cash requests were sent to the e-list. The August total was followed by June with 17, while May and December had 14 email cash solicitations each. The messages contained descriptions of living conditions framed as dire and urgent, along with the PayPal link. The least active month was March, when Steinberg sent four emails, consisting of the subject lines Back to Zero!The Agony Continues!Monday Update!, and Please Help!.

In an undated post at Paracast Steinberg stated he first began requesting donations for reasons surrounding a relative's misfortune in 2003. According to Steinberg, the circumstances left his personal finances devastated.

"The 2007 recession made it difficult to find outside work for a while, but conditions are getting better," the podcaster attempted to further explain in the Paracast post.  

Whether one interprets such statements to help or hinder his efforts to defend his financial competency and integrity, in 2010 - now over seven years ago - Steinberg posted at the Binnall of America forum that his "financial shortfall is strictly temporary":

Such projections of improving finances were dramatically miscalculated if Steinberg's continuing claims of empty pockets are accurate. The reported expectations of future prosperity are nonetheless common within the ongoing narrative. 

"First of all, my long-term money situation is getting better. I'm not there yet, but I've made real progress," Steinberg wrote in an Apr. 26 email while requesting funds from recipients, his 30th such email of the year at that point. In spite of projecting a better money situation and claiming to be making progress, he proceeded to send the list well over 100 more solicitations for cash gifts before the end of the year.

In July I received an email from an individual suggesting Steinberg conducts additional email solicitations specifically tailored for past donors. The person explained they regretfully sent Steinberg money when they didn't know the claims of hardships had been going on for years. Now they receive requests for cash in addition to his financial pleas sent to the regular e-list, they wrote. The person added they had recently received the following and assume others who gave him money in the past get similar messages:

The use of such terms as "miracle" and "nightmare" were common throughout the years of emails.

In a Sep. 1 email titled, Paying it forward!, the podcaster and forum host described his life situation in the context of victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas who were "also suffering." In what appeared to be an effort to persuade the e-list to redirect donations to him that would otherwise be sent to support clean up and humanitarian relief efforts, Steinberg suggested to the email recipients he would "give back" to participating charities in the future if readers would send their money to him instead. 

"So I realize most of you would rather donate to the Red Cross and other charities trying to make a difference," Steinberg wrote.

"But I will do this: If you are able to set aside some money to help me with my situation, I'll make sure to give back on an ongoing basis to those in Texas who are also suffering."

No updates were offered to the e-list on the commitment. Neither were explanations forthcoming of how such ongoing giving would be possible in light of Steinberg's chronically claimed lack of money.

Subject lines and dates of Gene Steinberg's 139 email personal cash solicitations sent in 2017:

December (14)

New Year's Wishes!                                               Dec 31

Pins and Needles!                                                  Dec 27

Christmas Eve Update!t [sic]                                  Dec 24

A few more days!                                                  Dec 20

Waiting for the faceless corporation to act!              Dec 15

It's still possible to save me!                                  Dec 12

I fear it may be too late!                                        Dec 10

The last days...!                                                    Dec 8

Number of homeless people in U.S. increases           Dec 6

Help! (Update 3!)                                                   Dec 5

Help! (Update 2!)                                                   Dec 3

Help! (Update!)                                                      Dec 3

Help!                                                                     Dec 2

Is this my last weekend?                                         Dec 1

November (10)

Here we go again!                                                  Nov 28

Another frustrating weekend!                                  Nov 27

Nothing is working!                                                Nov 24

Expecting a grim Thanksgiving!                               Nov 21

Mid-November update!                                           Nov 17

Hoping for a new start!                                           Nov 15

Another weekend emergency!                                 Nov 11

A tiny bit of luck!                                                    Nov 10

Fighting for the Future!                                           Nov 7

Stuck on empty!                                                     Nov 2

October (12)

Monday update!                                                      Oct 30

About the stalkers!                                                  Oct 27

Playing the waiting game!                                        Oct 26

Up against another deadline!                                    Oct 23

Stuck in a holding pattern!                                       Oct 20

In dangerous waters!                                               Oct 18

The Impossible Mission!                                           Oct 15

Never a moment's peace!                                         Oct 13

Mid-October update!                                                Oct 11

Coping with a nightmare!                                         Oct 9

Maybe a problem?                                                   Oct 4

Running and running to catch up!                             Oct 2

September (11)

A Friday crisis!                                                        Sep 29

I'm making slow progress!                                       Sep 28

Is there a road back?                                               Sep 26

Mortal Thoughts!                                                     Sep 22

Health Update!                                                        Sep 20

Taking a fall!                                                           Sep 18

A progress report!                                                   Sep 14

Coping with the rest of my life!                                 Sep 11

Early September update!                                          Sep 7

Paying it forward!                                                     Sep 1

Looking for a future!                                                 Sep 1

August (19)

I'm still here - barely!                                               Aug 29 

Here are the stakes!                                                 Aug 27

There's still a little time!                                            Aug 26

It's down to the wire!                                                Aug 26

Crunch Time - Update!                                              Aug 25 

Please help me survive moving day!                           Aug 25

It's crunch time!                                                       Aug 25

Closer to the end!                                                     Aug 24

The end of the road!                                                  Aug 22

Believing in Miracles!                                                 Aug 22

Keeping a roof over my head: Another two days!         Aug 21  

A Quick Friday Update!                                              Aug 18

Urgent!                                                                    Aug 17

I fear the worst!                                                        Aug 15

I haven't made much progress!                                  Aug 13

I need some help - fast!                                             Aug 9

It's hard to stay optimistic!                                         Aug 7

I'm struggling to get my life back!                               Aug 3

I wonder how much time I have left!                           Aug 1

July (10)

Another terrible weekend!                                          July 31

So I'm broke again this weekend!                               July 22

Thursday's Update!                                                   July 20

I'm just out of ideas!                                                 July 19

The clock is ticking!                                                   July 18

A morning nightmare!                                                July 10

I'm at a stopping point!                                              July 6

I wonder how much time I have left!                           July 5

A stressful holiday weekend!                                       July 4

So the landlord cancelled my lease!                             July 2

June (17)

I hope I'm not done for!                                            June 27

What am I supposed to do?                                       June 26

Urgent update!                                                         June 25

I fear this is a losing cause!                                       June 25

Is this the last weekend with a roof over my head?      June 24

I'm losing hope!                                                        June 22

Accident Update!                                                       June 20

Now I'm an accident survivor!                                    June 19

I'm still coping with a possible emergency!                  June 18

I bought a little more time, but not a lot!                    June 15

There's still time for you to help!                                June 14

Facing life in the street!                                             June 13

I'm losing hope!                                                        June 11

I'm trying to remain optimistic,                                  June 9
but it's getting harder!

Its [sic] still hopeless!                                               June 8

I'm about to lose everything!                                     June 7

From Bad to Worse!                                                  June 5

May (14)

Emergency Rent Update!                                           May 31

My Last Day?                                                            May 31

Only a Few Days Left!                                                May 29

Forced Out!                                                              May 26

The Fastest Way to Help!                                           May 24

Down to the Wire Again!                                            May 23

My Golden Years                                                       May 18

Drowning                                                                 May 17

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back                             May 15

Very Slow Progress!                                                   May 10

Just to Clarify My Situation                                         May 8

A Really Bad Weekend!                                              May 7

Back to Zero!                                                            May 5

My Impossible Situation!                                            May 1

April (5)

The May 1st Deadline                                                Apr 30

My Wife is About to Lose Her Health Insurance            Apr 28

My End-of-Month Deadlines                                       Apr 26

Friday Update!                                                          Apr 7

An Update on Barbara@ [sic]                                     Apr 4

March (4)

Back to Zero!                                                           Mar 21

The Agony Continues!                                               Mar 7

Monday Update!                                                       Mar 6

Please Help!                                                             Mar 2

February (13)

A Huge March Emergency!                                        Feb 28

Old and Broke!                                                         Feb 27

By a Slender Thread!                                                Feb 21

$1,200 in 24 Hours!                                                  Feb 19

Another Critical Update!                                            Feb 18

There is Still Time!                                                    Feb 16

Landlord Update!                                                      Feb 15

Only a Few Days Left!                                               Feb 13

Preparing for Another Impossible Weekend!                Feb 10

Emergency Update!                                                   Feb 8

I'm Close to Failure!                                                  Feb 7

Still on the Brink!                                                      Feb 6

Living on the Brink!                                                   Feb 2

January (10)

Please Don't Let Me Lose This Battle!                          Jan 31

Another Bad Weekend!                                              Jan 29

Still struggling                                                          Jan 25

Another Barren Weekend!                                          Jan 23

A Few Dollars Less!                                                   Jan 16

Saturday...                                                               Jan 14

A Bad Start for the New Year!                                    Jan 12

Overwhelmed!                                                          Jan 9

Making Do in 2017                                                    Jan 6

My Goals for 2017                                                     Jan 2