I’ve often referred to the Bennewitz affair in conversation about how certain U.S. government agencies and personnel are not above using UFO believes as tools to perpetuate a UFO narrative they find useful (read: a useful myth designed to misdirect away from something that isn’t mythical). What is the Bennewitz Affair, you ask? Well, I recommend reading Greg Bishop’s excellent book on the whole thing (Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth). The story was also part of Mark Pilkington’s book, Mirage Men: An Adventure into Paranoia, Espionage, Psychological Warfare, and UFOs, which was also produced in a fascinating movie of the same name.
But for those to whom the story is new, Jack Brewer posted a succinct overview of the sinister saga. He writes in part:
Paul Bennewitz became convinced during the 1980’s he was uncovering an alien plot to invade the planet. His suspicions were further cultivated by Richard Doty of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), as well as William Moore, a high profile ufology writer and researcher of the era. The circumstances, which included tales of alien underground bases and circulation of inauthentic documents . . . Doty claims he was acting on official orders while gaslighting Bennewitz, who was eventually involuntarily admitted to a residential mental health facility.
I just started Jack’s book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community. The title says it all, though I’m beginning to wonder if he should have written “of” for “in” in the subtitle. I’ll review it once I’m through.