A Plague of Aliens
Peter Brookesmith

of the Ufo Phenomenon

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Martin Kottmeyer has argued (and won a prize for saying) that UFO sighting reports increase in number during times of national paranoia and uncertainty. [1] I find Kottmeyer's thesis compelling, and noted that in the 12 months before the 1997 British general election, sighting reports and extravagant claims mushroomed in the UK. At the same time the number of apparently successful newsstand publications focusing on the paranormal, ufology and conspiracy theories soared. Some of this growth in public fascination with these themes can be ascribed to ufology's half-centenary - in particular that of the Roswell Incident - and some to the long slow rise of millennium fever, which complicate the analysis somewhat. But it will be interesting to see if sighting reports (and magazine circulations) in the UK fall away somewhat during 1998, as the media's ufological feedback loop begins to break up and any residual nervousness over the character of the new government settles into traditional quiet British desperation. If this happens, Kottmeyer's hypothesis will be borne out, as will my suspicion that by and large the Brits - unlike our American cousins - are neither enchanted nor mesmerized by the approach of the millennium.

At the same time, one has to bear in mind that only 30 per cent of theUK's enfranchised actually cast their votes for New Labour. From a recognition that the first-past-the-post system would often produce large majorities for parliamentary parties from a minority of voters, the British convention arose that members of parliament were not party delegates, but represented all their constituents, regardless of political affiliation. Among New Labour's many secret Bennite vices there is a proclivity to abandon this crucial check on administrative megalomania. So I may be being optimistic here, in suggesting that British politics will sink back into the stupor called consensus. It may yet dawn on the British that some of New Labour's bright ideas - such as fingerprinting and DNA-sampling children at birth (ostensibly to prevent welfare fraud in later life!), along with its civilian disarmament programme, its criminalization of rural traditions, the proposed introduction of national ID cards, regulation of the Internet, and probably unconstitutional extension of police powers of surveillance, search and arrest; to name but a few - are in the robust traditions of Stalinism and carry exactly the same implications of distrust of "the people". Not for nothing was Home Secretary Jack "Boot" Straw once a fervent Marxist revolutionary. The British have always been both complacent and ambivalent about their own liberties, and have sleepily colluded with politicians and the media in expunging the very word "liberty", and the concept with it, from the national political vocabulary.

This apparent rant is not beside the point in the context of contemporary vision and belief: the conspiracy industry has thrived in the USA precisely because of a widespread perception that government is no longer "by the people, and for the people", but embodies a surreptitious but radical assault on the US Constitution and citizenry. As US President Gerald Ford put it, "The American wage earner and the American housewife... know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." The new British government, in taking to its bosom the worst totalitarian tendencies of the ousted Tory regime, has all the potential to drive British subjects to the same realization. In that case, one might expect the indices of sullen resentment, popular bolshiness (an expanding black market, fiscal obstructionism, street and white-collar crime) and conspiratorial folklore alike to rise at roughly the same rate in the UK over the next five years. One may also expect government to provide repressive legislation in inverse proportion to its popularity, and to demonstrate the truth of Thomas Jefferson's dictum that a nation that trades liberty for control will neither get nor deserve either. We shall see.

Jefferson also famously remarked: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Whether Sarah Brady and Bill Clinton misconstrue it or like it or not, the cornerstone of the US Constitution is the Second Amendment: the right of the people to keep and bear arms (RKBA). That constitutional right was derived from British law and practice, most pithily expressed in Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries On The Laws of England (published 1765-9) as one of the five "auxiliary rights" of the people, without which their "natural" rights to personal security, personal liberty and private property would be "dead letters". Thus we expect, and duly find, that RKBA finds its way into ufological paranoia, [2] while it is a mainstay of American political paranoia - the militia or "patriot" movement - and even manifests itself in religious paranoia (of which more below).

UFO Secrecy and the Death of the American Republic

Readers may be forgiven for wondering if, in raising these points, the pretender (albeit so far unchallenged) to the title Best Pistol Shot In Ufology isn't finding a thin excuse for riding a hobbyhorse at the expense of relevant argument. My point here is that inherent in US political culture is a deep popular suspicion of government per se, and a deeply ingrained tradition that a wayward administration is always at the mercy of a populace that is armed. (In contrast, in the UK it is government that traditionally distrusts the governed. Both stances have their justifications, risks and pitfalls.) In any polity that - however abstractly - maintains the principle that any action or aspect of government is questionable and adjustable by force of arms if need be, there will always be fertile soil for paranoid imaginings. The price of liberty is rightly said to be eternal vigilance, but it is also eternal tolerance for the sensitive, the meddlesome and the malicious, and the dangerously deluded. All of whom are implicitly recognized and protected by the First Amendment.


Sometimes things really are as simple as they seem: and just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I long believed that the grandfather of conspiracy theories in ufology was Donald Keyhoe. By the end of this year two books bearing my name will be in print saying just that. Staying in Toronto earlier this year I spied upon my hosts' shelves none other than Frank Scully's The Saucers Have Landed. On one level the interest of this book is how it came to be written. [3] It has long been out of print, and I would guess that I am not alone in having pontificated about its significance without having read the work itself. For connoisseurs of ufological conspiracy theories, reading Scully is a revelation.

From his preface to his conclusion the man rages against the US Government. But Scully had every reason to be outraged, dismayed and alarmed. In his own mind, he could conclude that the civil and military authorities were lying about UFOs because he could see all about him the results of McCarthyism in Hollywood: if government could so abuse its trust and its power, it would follow that such moral corruption would have in train a refusal to admit the truth about the saucers. The logic is scarcely impeccable, but the strength of feeling is unmistakable and indubitably sincere. It's altogether plausible that his inherited, "natural" distrust of government and the stark reality of McCarthyism led Scully, plainly a liberal man, to presume that the baffled and confusing yet desperately "authoritative" pronouncements of the USAF á propos flying saucers were calculated to cover up the ufological truth as he believed he had uncovered it. It was this theme, shorn of its real political context, onto which Keyhoe latched, and about which he so profitably fantasized. Keyhoe organized the ideas of governmental conspiracies and cover-up, but he did not invent them. The differences between the two men may be characterized as a matter of gullible sincerity on the one hand and pulp-writer's opportunism on the other. [4] Despite the masses of documentation that contradicts it, Keyhoe's imaginary history of the USAF's engagement with UFOs is still, astonishingly, held by some in high regard. So we witness a curious condition of ufology-at-large, which is to prefer the certainties of the imagination to the ambiguities of reality.


The most complete and self-consistent conspiracy "theory" in ufology is probably the one that derives ultimately from the alleged abduction of Myra Hansen in May 1980, whose investigation was attended by Albuquerque businessman Paul Bennewitz. The Bennewitz affair has many ramifications, which are too convoluted to summarize here. [5] But in the early 1980s Bennewitz produced a stream of astounding claims about human-alien contact, most of it detrimental to humanity. In the late 1980s his contentions were taken up and elaborated by Bill English, John Lear and, most egregiously, William Milton Cooper - who, when asked about his sources, tended to respond in classic fashion, by accusing those who doubted his revelations of working for the CIA. Lear and Cooper in particular developed a conspiracy legend that combined Bennewitz's fables with the then newly-discovered MJ-12 operation.

In May 1989, Cooper posted on the Internet The Secret Government, which took the opening notion that "MJ-12 has total control over everything" to its logical, if unlikely, conclusion: the group really ran the country, and in a fashion that made nonsense of everything that everyone took for granted about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But MJ-12 and its international cronies in the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg group and other bodies were in turn the stooges of the aliens. Said Cooper: "Throughout our history the Aliens have manipulated and/or ruled the human race through various secret societies, religion, magic, witchcraft, and the occult." The secret government plans to exploit the alien and conventional technology in order for a select few to leave the earth and establish colonies in outer space. I am not able to either confirm or deny the existence of 'Batch Consignments' of human slaves which would be used for manual labor in the effort as part of the plan. The Moon, code named 'Adam', would be the object of primary interest followed by the planet Mars, code named 'Eve'. As a delaying action, [the plan] included birth control, sterilization, and the introduction of deadly microbes to control or slow the growth of the Earth's population. AIDS is only ONE result of these plans..

Connoisseurs will recognize how much of this borrows from the famous spoof TV documentary Alternative 3, as if it had been the real McCoy. There was much more, about the self-destruction of Earth "by or shortly after the year 2000", plant life flourishing on the "dark side of the Moon", and the assertion that in the 1960s future US president George Bush established the international drugs trade as part of a scheme to encourage street violence, generate revulsion against guns, and thereby disarm the American people. Thus, at the level of satire, gun-control campaigner Sarah Brady becomes the stooge of spacemen; but at the level of myth the foundations of the USA are being shaken.

Cooper also maintained that one in every 40 people carries an alien implant, that the US space program is a gigantic hoax. When President John F. Kennedy announced the plan to put a man on the Moon, Cooper wrote,

In fact a joint alien, United States, and Soviet Union base already existed on the moon at the very moment Kennedy spoke the words. ... A public charade of antagonism between the Soviet Union and the United States has been maintained over all these years in order to fund projects in the name of National Defense when in fact we are the closest allies.

In this Cooper sets up his ufological audience for the ultimate bogey of both the patriot movement (the "constitutional militias") and American Christian fundamentalists - the New World Order (NWO), a catchphrase of "drug baron" George Bush and, incidentally, of Freemasonry. [*6] The patriots view this composite mythical beast in political terms: its agent is the United Nations, and its aim is the destruction of national identities, most especially the identity of the USA - not least through gun control, but mind control, credit cards, federal income tax and the liberal education system rank pretty high too. Fundamentalists see the NWO as the secular arm of the Devil's grand plan, as part of the End Times that are (always!) imminently upon us. Both David Koresh's and Marshall Hepplewhite's religious cults stockpiled weapons of all descriptions to protect themselves against official assault; and to judge by their own publications many militia groups have blurred any distinction between religious and secular apocalypse and the need for arms for self-defence. All are alarmed at the sight of black helicopters, those scouts of the UFO Cover-Up Organization, the NWO and Satan alike. The Men In Black have taken wing. [7]


Naturally Cooper had to find someone to be responsible for all this. Rather unimaginatively, he chose the Jews to carry the can. In his book [8] he went so far as to reproduce the entire text of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious document that pretends to reveal a hideous Jewish plot to dominate the world. It was exposed as a fake in the early 1920s, but was enormously popular in antisemitic circles in Russia and Germany before World War II. However, the accusation, mad as it is, is a good illustration of how ufology has essentially consisted of a limited number of ideas that rise and fall from fashion only to be resurrected in a fresh mutation after a few years. Cooper was only the latest in a series of unsavoury characters in ufology who have fastened on antisemitic mythology to "explain" human inadequacy in the face of the aliens, or even in the face of life's irremediable difficulties.

George Hunt Williamson, a so-called "psychic" channeller and longtime associate of George Adamski, wrote as early as 1953 of "negative space intelligences" that were controlled by both evil aliens and the "International Bankers" a code word, like "cosmopolitans", among antisemites for the Jews. Said Williamson:

These secret world rulers will never allow official UFO announcements to be made to the public. If they did allow it, it would spell their doom. If the technology of the space visitors is revealed it will immediately limit the need for... practically everything... that... keeps every family in America on a credit-buying spree....

Williamson also explained that the "Silence Group" identified by Donald Keyhoe was an "ancient, hideous conspiracy that is nothing but the spirit of the anti-Christ". This more or less completes the circle that links Williamson's batty splutterings with those of the Internet entity "Branton", whose mythopeic ramblings bring a lashing of rococo to the baroque fantasies of Bennewitz, Lear and Cooper.

But the reality of the Darksiders' claims is not really the issue here. What is revealed in the long link between George Hunt Williamson, George Adamski and the present-day Darksiders is how much they have in common with the likes of George King, Ruth Norman, Gordon Creighton and Billy Meier (who has unashamedly anti-semitic followers as well as his own apocalyptic vision), whose perception of "flying saucers" is overtly religious. Consciously or not, much of the structure of the conspiracy buffs' thinking derives unmistakably from the Christian tradition and the New Testament's Book of Revelation - which is sufficiently obscure, and violent, to support almost any destructive belief. For many ufologists of the late 1990s, UFOs and ufonauts were either demonic or harbingers of fundamental, revelatory or creative change. Their inductive justifications for their beliefs is identical in structure, and often in metaphorical detail, to those of the patriots and fundamentalists. At the apex of conspiracy beliefs, the ufological, political and religious aspects become indistinguishable. If that tends to support the notion that ufology is at heart a religious pursuit (and skeptics are not immune to this snare or excluded from the analysis), it also reminds us that ufology has a political dimension, and of a nature that it would be unwise to ignore. Today Cooper embodies the point: he has espoused the patriot movement and disclaims his ufological writings.


Those who are so susceptible to the lure of conspiracy theories seem to be unaware that they are following an age-old pattern in their response to an intractable mystery. The history of disease provides some telling parallels.

When the people of 14th-century Europe found themselves reeling before the onslaught of the Black Death (which they called the "Great Dying"), their religion-drenched culture led them either to blame themselves and their sins for the catastrophe visited on them by a vengeful God, or to lash out at the Jews, strangers in their midst who in Christian thinking were also estranged from God. From there it was not difficult to believe Jewish people were devil-worshipers intent on destroying good Christians. Finicky questions as to how, exactly, anyone at all could possibly control and direct such an indiscriminate disease, were brushed aside or ascribed to demonic, magical powers. (A favorite explanation was that Jews were poisoning the wells of Christians.) Countless innocents were murdered as a consequence of this kind of thinking, if "thinking" it can be called; but it is alive and well in Darkside ufology.

When cholera raged throughout Europe in the 19th century, those at the bottom of the social heap inevitably suffered more than did the rich from the effects of such crude defences against the disease as quarantines and cordons sanitaires. Resentment at rocketing food prices brought about by quarantine regulations turned soon enough among the poor to a search for someone to blame. Rumours flourished that cholera was caused by a poison put about by the rich to rid themselves of a troublesome underclass. Bear in mind that this was the era - the late 1840s and early 1850s - that saw half the nations in Europe seized by revolutionary fervor: 1848 saw uprisings and insurrections across the whole continent, as well as the first publication of Marx and Engels Communist Manifesto. The conspiracy theories about cholera fastened onto a pre-existent social tension, just as did those about ufology over a century later.

The focus of the poor's discontent and fear over cholera became the medical profession. Measures intended to protect communities from cholera provoked riots in Russia and Hungary, where physicians, army officers, magistrates and nobles were killed. In Prussia, a rumor spread that physicians were being paid three silver thalers for every death from cholera among people under their care. Doctors were stoned in Paris, France. In India, cholera was said to be not a disease at all, but a campaign of poisoning rebellious subjects of British rule. In Britain itself it was believed doctors were using the disease as a cover to murder patients and sell their bodies for dissection in medical schools. As the epidemics retreated, so did the conspiracy theories, if not the state of mind that produced them.

The USA and Europe in the 1980s and '90s saw the rise of AIDS conspiracy theories. British doctor John Seale published an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1985 that claimed the US Army had concocted HIV out of genetic material from viruses causing bovine leukemia, visna in sheep, lentiviruses from horses and goats, and human T-cell leukemia-lymphocyte virus. The recipe had been cooked up at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in 1977. Lying behind Seale's thesis were two articles that appeared the same year in Literaturnaya Gazeta, the journal of the Soviet Writer's Union, and told much the same story. According to Professor S. Drozdov of the Research Institute of Poliomyelitis and Encephalitis in Moscow, the CIA had let the virus loose by testing it on federal prisoners in the USA and in the field in Africa.

By the late 1980s, the claim that AIDS was a product of biological warfare experiments in Africa had metamorphosed itself to haunt the imagination as home-grown folklore. By this time the threat of AIDS to heterosexuals was widely recognized, along with the disproportionate spread of AIDS among young black people - and among many African Americans the legend grew that AIDS was a genocidal attack on them. Stephen Thomas and Sandra Quinn, from the University of Maryland, polled black Americans in seven states between 1988 and 1990 on attitudes to the disease. Nearly 40 per cent of the black college students surveyed in Washington, DC, agreed with the statement: "I believe there is some truth in reports that the AIDS virus was produced in a germ-warfare laborator", while of a representative sample of black churchgoers, one in three agreed strongly with the statement: "I believe AIDS is a form of genocide against the black race."

In 1996 Dr Leonard G. Horowitz, a dental health expert and former faculty member of Tufts and Harvard Universities, published (at his own expense) a 592-page hardcover "exposé" - Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola: Nature, Accident or Intentional? - of the links between AIDS, the National Institutes of Health, US biological warfare research establishments and a list of several favorite targets of conspiracy addicts, such as the Rockeller family, the CIA, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Nixon administrations of 1968-74. According to Dr Horowitz's book, AIDS researcher Dr Robert Gallo did not discover HIV in 1984, but had already invented it by 1971. The virus was deployed in Africa as a means of population control, and the whole plot was originally put together by Dr Henry Kissinger as early as 1969.

Dr Horowitz also claims that "the world's most feared and deadly viruses" - Marburg and Ebola - were likewise man-made, and "share the dubious distinction of breaking out in or around areas of CIA/NATO operations" in Africa (where, incidentally, NATO does not operate), and were put to good use in diplomatic blackmail.


Ebola and other hemorrhagic viruses have a later provenance according to Captain Joyce Riley, a former US Air Force flight nurse, but are nonetheless man-made. In a lecture in Houston, Texas, on 15 January 1996, she asked:

Have you been seeing anything in the newspaper about Dengue fever in South America, or about these 'strange' viral hemorrhagic diseases that are 'suddenly attacking us' from 'nowhere'? Guess what. They came out of the Gulf War! And, they are now calling it 'emerging viruses'. Hemorrhagic fever viruses are among the most dangerous biological agents known. The Ebola virus. You didn't hear about that before the Gulf War, did you?

Captain Riley blames hemorrhagic fevers and Gulf War Syndrome on an international cartel of drug companies who, she says, are deliberately wiping out the armed forces of the USA and those of other members of the Desert Storm coalition. She does not explain why anyone should regard this as a good idea. As presented on one Website, her essay is laced with comments by Val Valerian (a.k.a. John Grace, an associate of William Cooper and John Lear) a sample of which illustrates how far-reaching, as well as far-fetched, current paranoia about the US government has become, and the kind of company people like Captain Riley can find themselves. Says Valerian/Grace:

The reason for the Gulf War, upon analysis, was threefold. It was to infect the U.S. military and subsequently the U.S. and world population, and secondly to reacquire Kuwait oil fields, which are owned by a well-known family in London [This is code for HM Queen Elizabeth II, in conspiracy-speak], and thirdly to test weaponry on Iraq, to whom factions sold weapons to be used against our own troops. . Do you understand, yet? Other reasons for securing the area involved control of vital earth grid points in Southern Iraq. Interestingly, there are also large underground facilities in the Middle East, some of them of rather ancient, and alien, origin, which still today contain high-tech equipment.

So here we have politics, the arms industry, the British monarchy, earth magic and mysticism, and aliens and UFOs (and their fabled underground bases) all bubbling together in one horrendous stew along with emergent viruses. As usual, no explanation is offered as to why whoever is supposedly behind these machinations wants or needs to infect "the world population". But the point of conspiracy theories is less to satisfy logic than to articulate and dramatize emotions - often ones, it would appear, that the purveyors of these convoluted schemes are unaware of enduring. [9]

In a joint essay, [10] Professors Dorothy Nelkin of New York University and Sander L. Gilman of Cornell University have pointed out that in this context "blaming" and conspiracy theories are "a means to make mysterious and devastating diseases comprehensible and therefore possibly controllable". (And so Dr Horowitz invokes the hope of redress by appealing to his readers to "make a difference by contacting their congressional representatives" to demand appropriate investigations.) Even when plagues were deemed to be the work of a wrathful God, the ultimate cause was believed to be human wickedness, which did lie within human power to control. "But diseases are never fully understood," say Nelkin and Gilman and, despite our medical science, "we still make moral judgments for misfortune. .If responsibility can be fixed, perhaps something - discipline, prudence, isolation - can be done." When confronted by incurable, invisible and potentially universal afflictions like AIDS,

These are situations where medical science has failed to serve as a source of definitive understanding and control, so people try to create their own order and to reduce their own sense of vulnerability. In effect, placing blame defines the normal, establishes the boundaries of healthy behavior and appropriate social relationships, and distinguishes the observer from the cause of fear.

As the antisemitic outbreaks during the Great Dying illustrate, this does not mean that the perceptions of what is "normal", "healthy" or "appropriate" are necessarily humane, urbane or morally defensible. Blame for disease is most often poured on those who are feared, powerful or, simply by being unconventional, are a threat to social cohesion. Fear of intrusive, over-mighty and uncontrollable "big government" and big business is clear enough in the outbursts of Dr Horowitz and Captain Riley, as it is in the rage of ufological conspiracists. It is hardly insignificant that Horowitz reserves his greatest venom for members of the Nixon administrations, whose betrayals of trust remain in the popular mind beyond all attempts at rehabilitation.

Sooner or later conspiracy theorists from ufology, the "patriot" movement and elsewhere were bound to conscript AIDS and emerging diseases to their cause. One can substitute the one word "science" for "medical science" in the passage quoted above and apply it to ufology without disturbing its truth. Scientists have largely ignored UFOs, especially since their skepticism was endorsed by the Condon Report, and so have governments. In the eyes of believers, this has been a betrayal; and so scientists and governments are demonized, made part of the psychodrama in which "the aliens", who seem so powerful, pose an uncontrollable and unfathomable threat to all that is ordered and peaceful - as if they were a kind of chronic, irremediable disease of the night skies. The aliens are also intrusive, according to the abduction scenario, coming upon you unawares, reading your mind and, like an incurable plague, able to defeat any protective measures you take against them.

The emergence of AIDS occurred at almost the same time as the popularity of abduction accounts and the birth of the latest rash of conspiracy theories in ufology. AIDS and its attendant mythologies, the abduction scenario, the New World Order and the machinations of Satan all strike at a sense of identity and the integrity and authenticity of the appearance of things. The matter of sexual identity - or more particularly, invisible and terrifying threats to it - are at the heart of the AIDS and abduction myths. UFO and political conspiracy theories address the void that opens when social identities are denatured by remote yet intrusive government, and both participation in and control of political life move out of individual reach. Both these aspects of identity are fundamental to a sense of meaningful existence, which has always been the domain of religion, the great defence against the nihilism implicit in mortality. Small wonder they have mingled and bred.

This essay has been developed from material taken from two books due for publication later in 1997: Future Plagues (Barnes & Noble, USA; Blandford, UK) by Peter Brookesmith, and UFOs and Ufology (Blandford, UK) by Paul Devereux and Peter Brookesmith


1 Martin Kottmeyer, "UFO Flaps", The Anomalist No 3 (1996), pages 64-89.

2 And true to form we find that the RKBA has been usurped in the UK by the paranoia of the authorities in successive pieces of legislation since 1920. In that year the British Government entertained a real (if groundless) fear of a Bolshevik uprising and instituted the first step in a continuing programme of civilian/victim disarmament. As an aside, it's worthy of note that Blackstone's third "natural" right is private property; for the revolutionaries of the American colonies, it was the pursuit of happiness. In heaven - to recall T.S. Eliot - I shall not only "have talk with Coriolanus / And other heroes of that kidney", but invite Blackstone and Jefferson for chocolate, and politely raise the question of this difference.

3 See Andy Roberts's illuminating essay "Saucerful of Secrets" in Hilary Evans and John Spencer (eds), UFOs 1947-87, Fortean Tomes 1987

4 A devastating expos‚ of Donald Keyhoe's intellectual dishonesty can be found in Curtis Peebles, Watch The Skies!, Berkely 1995, passim.

5 Jerome Clark's invaluable 3-volume UFO Encyclopedia addresses various aspects of the case under several entries (see the Cumulative Index in Volume 3). The chapter 'Beyond Dreamland' in Peter Brookesmith, UFO: The Government Files, Barnes & Noble (USA)/Blandford (UK) 1996, outlines the evolution of the case into the Darkside Hypothesis and points to some of its antecedents and its significance in ufology.

6 A reliable enough guide to the thinking of the religious right on the NWO is Pat Robertson, The New World Order, World Books 1991. No mention of black helicopters in this one though.

7 As Hilary Evans pointed out in Visions ù Apparitions ù Alien Visitors (Aquarian Press, 1984), the MIB have forebears in religious as well as ufological imagery; and the latter derives from political imagery - the G-men of Hollywood B-movies.

8 William Milton Cooper, Behold A Pale Horse, IllumiNet Press, 1989.

9 For the record I had better note that none of these claims bears much relation to scientific facts or history. The earliest identified AIDS cases date back to 1959, when the concept of genetic coding was unknown. Reverse transcriptase was discovered in 1970, and retroviruses were discovered in people in 1978. But it was not until 1983 that the technique of polymerase chain reaction, which revolutionized research into and manipulation of DNA, was invented. Essentially the cloning technology that the "invention" of HIV requires did not exist in 1977, let alone in 1969. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the Soviet Academy of Sciences apologized for suggesting AIDS was a deliberate invention, a move it admitted had been inspired by the KGB. The US State Department had already concluded as much, and believed the accusations were designed to discredit the USA in developing countries. Of the hemorrhagic fevers, Ebola fever first emerged in Zaire in 1976, Lassa fever in Nigeria in 1969, and Marburg fever in Germany (although it originated in Uganda) in 1967 - all well before the biotechnology existed to engineer them into existence, and vastly in advance of Operation Desert Storm. Facts have never stood in the way of a tasty conspiracy theory, however.

10 Dorothy Nelkin and Sander L. Gilman, "Placing the Blame for Devastating Disease", in Arien Mack (ed.), In Time of Plague, NY University Press 1991