The Dangers Of Being A UFO Researcher? Strange Deaths And Sudden Illness!

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
September 14, 2021
Last Updated
September 22, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
28 min read
Posted in
Conspiracy Theory Analysis, Government

We should point out right here that much of what follows is mere speculation on very real (and often tragic) deaths of prominent figures within the UFO community. However, according to some researchers, many UFO investigators and whistleblowers have details surrounding their often-untimely demise that require scrutinizing, at the very least.

A superimposed picture of an alien over a tunnel with two people

Are there dangers in being a UFO researcher?

As we shall see, in some cases, these suspicions may be well-founded. There are several cases where things don’t appear to be what they seem once we delve deeper into these respective tragic circumstances. Was it a coincidence that these people who met apparent suspicious ends had an active interest in UFO and alien encounters?

As we will also examine, there is very good reason to suspect that the world of UFO research can be a dangerous place, whether through coincidence or more calculated means. Of course, this forces us to ask why might that be? Are the secrets of UFOs and alien visitors really worth killing for? Or might those who investigate and research such subjects find themselves among secrets much more terrestrial although no less dangerous?

Is It Really Dangerous Being A UFO Investigator?

OK, so are there real dangers to those who choose to research and investigate UFOs? Most people would tell you those kinds of claims belong in the science-fiction section of the DVD store, or in an episode of The X-Files. As we shall see, though, there are some very grey areas surrounding some UFO investigators’ deaths.

So, if we accept that at least some people who have poked their nose into UFO sightings might have come up against unnatural ends, then what might the reasons be for this?

A picture of a tunnel with a figure at the other end

Have some UFO researchers been assassinated?

Of course, the first possibility is that they were correct. There is a UFO secret to be kept and it must be kept at all costs. However, even if this were true, what would make the idea of alien life and visitation to our planet so secretive that it would be, speculatively, remember, worth killing for?

Might it be that it wasn’t UFOs and alien life that many investigators stumbled onto, but another intriguing and deadly secret altogether? One that perhaps uses claims of UFOs and aliens to mask what is essentially criminal activity. At this point, it is worth briefly examining the death, and research of Danny Casolaro, someone whose work, on the surface, had little to do with UFOs, but later research suggests a fatal connection.

Might UFOs And Alien Encounters Be Hiding Other Activities?

In the book Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind: Suspicious Deaths, Mysterious Murders, and Bizarre Disappearances in UFO History, Nick Redfern examines several suspicious deaths of those in UFO circles. [1] One particularly suspicious death he examines is that of Danny Casolaro, who along with his claims of The Octopus that reached into the positions of power and influence around the world, also highlighted Dulce, a place that is rampant with UFO and alien conspiracies.

According to Redfern’s research, Casolaro had uncovered evidence of a secret project that this Octopus organization was financing named Yellow Lodge. This ultra-secret project concerned itself with “new”, exotic”, and “lethal” viruses that could be then used for assassination and even warfare. Even more intriguing to us here, Casolaro’s sources claimed that much of this research took place in an underground facility deep under Dulce, New Mexico.

As we will move onto shortly, many UFO researchers suggest that there is not only an underground facility in Dulce but that it has an extraterrestrial presence. According to Casolaro’s files, though, these rumors and claims of alien abduction were merely an intentional smokescreen designed and put into action by those overseeing the program so that they could “deflect interest from what was really afoot deep below the surface of Dulce”.

For outlines of figures over a binary screen

Are UFOs and alien abductions merely masking other activities?

What is perhaps interesting here is not only does this resonate with many other of Casolaro’s claims – many of which have been proven convincingly accurate by subsequent researchers – but some researchers in the UFO community suggest that at least some alien abductions are the result of human-led abductions that are carried out using mind-altering drugs to distort perception, while also using mind control techniques. If we accept for a moment that some secret, behind-the-scenes organization might be able to control such key events, then they would likely use similar techniques to their own ends. Essentially, having seen how useful using alien abduction false memories in their experiments with mind control in the 1950s and 1960s was, they realized they could use it in the local population around Dulce in order to carry out their activities right under their collective noses.

What we should also consider when we are looking at some UFO investigators and researchers and whether they met their ends due to their research, is that perhaps they stumbled not onto UFOs and alien bodies, but actual criminal activity that reached into the echelons of government, and it was for this, as speculative as this is, that they met their ends as opposed to gaining knowledge of visitors to our planet from another world.

What is perhaps interesting about these apparent connections is that another whistleblower, Phil Schneider, also made claims of strange goings-on in Dulce, although he was more decisive in that there was a very definite and real alien connection. And while we will return to Redfern’s research on the Casolaro case later, it is to the very controversial late Phil Schneider, who we will turn our attention to next.

Phil Schneider – Controversial, Even In UFO Circles!

Without a doubt, one of the most controversial researchers and apparent whistleblowers, even within the UFO community, was Phil Schneider.

Just to give Schneider some background, his father, Oscar Schneider, had been a captain in the United States Navy, even taking part in such programs as Operation Crossroads during the many nuclear weapons tests of the time. Schneider would also state that his father was a part of much more secret projects, just one being the Philadelphia Experiment.

What’s more, he would state he had worked as a structural engineer on many top-secret government bases, usually involving underground facilities. Indeed, Schneider made some intriguing, if, at least to some, outlandish claims. For example, he would claim there were in excess of 100 underground bases and facilities in the United States, many of which contained active extraterrestrial entities, and that he had personally worked on 13 of these top-secret locations.

Phil Schneider

Phil Schneider

Construction began, according to Schneider’s research, in the early 1940s but accelerated in the years following the Second World War. It certainly hasn’t been lost on some researchers that the Roswell crash occurred in 1947 around the same time.

Schneider claimed that it was his responsibility to “evaluate rock strata” [2] under the ground to locate any natural formations or caverns that existed, and essentially, where would be the best location to begin construction on such a facility. He, along with other engineers serving in such a capacity, would be lowered deep under the ground in shafts to gather their data for determinations on whether explosives should be used to quarry or whether high-heat technology would be better to melt the rock.

The more projects he worked on, the more Schneider claimed to become increasingly aware of the “sinister” nature of these top-secret facilities (that Schneider himself was forbidden from speaking about), as well the notion that “someone else” appeared to be working secretly with the military – someone he believed lived deep under the ground.

Perhaps of all the bases he allegedly gave information about, the one he claimed was under the ground at Dulce was the most thought-provoking. And it is there we will turn our attention to next.

The Alleged Battle At Dulce

According to the widely accepted version of events (as told by Schneider himself in many talks and lectures) it was during an engineering operation at an underground facility in Dulce, New Mexico, where Schneider’s life would change forever.

Schneider would claim the battle unfolded “quite by accident”. He claimed that the project he was involved in at that particular time was to build an additional building on the already existing underground base. He would claim this base goes down around seven levels and is approximately two and a half miles under the ground. However, while monitoring the rocks and testing ways to remove it, they discovered an open cavern that was “full of outer-space aliens, otherwise known as large Greys”.

He would further claim that there was a human response unit consisting of around 30 people down there shortly after they stumbled onto the situation. What’s more, they were actively engaged in a firefight with these alien entities. A further unit arrived a short time after. Most of them were killed in the fight, with Schneider claiming he also fired his weapon, hitting two of the alien beings. He claimed their work had exposed an underground alien base – a base that had existed for “millions of years”.

Artist's impression of the Battle at Dulce

Artist’s impression of the Battle at Dulce

In his talks of the incident, he would state that he was one of only three survivors of the firefight people would ever likely hear speak of the incident, adding “how long I will be able to do this, is anybody’s guess”. He would further add that the “two other survivors” were under “closer guard”. In total, he would claim that over 60 secret service and FBI agents lost their lives in the battle.

He would further state that the origins of this intertwining between humans and aliens went back to an alleged agreement signed under the Eisenhower administration in 1954 – a treaty said to be called the 1954 Greada Treaty. Schneider claimed this Treaty, in exchange for technology, would give these aliens access to “a few cows and (to) test their implanting techniques on a few human beings”, although they had to “give details about the people involved”. Over the decades, this bargain was altered increasingly in the aliens’ favor.

Intriguingly, during his talks of the incident, you can clearly see the damage done to three of his fingers (which he claimed were partially severed with a laser-like weapon) and a large scar on his chest, another wound he claimed to sustain in the fight.

Of the wound, he would state that he was shot in the chest “with one of their weapons”, a weapon he would describe as a “box on their body” that shot out a blue beam. When he instinctively rose his hand, three of the fingers were severed and it struck him in the chest. What’s more, he would receive a “dose of cobalt radiation” poisoning as a result of the wound. The weapon forced Schneider backward and to the ground. It was only because a Green Beret soldier dragged and then hoisted him from the scene that he didn’t die there.

A Secret War “Going On Under Our Feet And Over Our Heads!”

Schneider would go on to state that the United States was “at war with a subterranean enemy”. And this enemy were “alien invaders who had apparently been on the planet for centuries”. Indeed many of these claims are similar to many of the New World Order conspiracies.

It wasn’t just at Dulce where Schneider claimed there were unknown goings-on taking place. Along with researcher, Alex Christopher, he claimed to have gained access to the secret underground facility that many people insist resides under Denver International Airport. What’s more, they would claim that there was a similar extraterrestrial presence under the airport much the same as there was at Dulce.

An impression of an underground base

Is there an underground base under Dulce?

However, they would make some even more remarkable claims. According to several workers who they claimed to have befriended, there was an increase among of slave human labor used in various construction projects at the facility, with a lot of the workers being young teenagers (which is perhaps interested when we note the vast amount of missing people there are in the United States). Even more harrowing, when these “slaves” are worked to the brink of death, they are literally “consumed” by the alien entities that all but rule the facility.

They also claimed, once more, that there was a “war going on under our feet and above our heads” that most of the world’s population is completely unaware of. And what’s more, this war not only involves humans and Grey aliens but reptilian entities.

Many Strange, Intriguing Claims

There were many other claims made by Schneider, some of which are particularly intriguing. He would speak, for example, of the many discoveries by miners of ancient chambers and rooms.

He would also speak of the fossil discoveries of archeologists that would leave them “puzzled” against what mainstream thought in their field stated.

Schneider would further claim in the months leading up to his death that several attempts had been made on his life. And it is his belief that these attempts were purely a reaction to his public revelations of secret government and intelligence activity. And furthermore, he claimed it was his belief that several of his close friends and contacts had actually been murdered.

We might wish to remind ourselves of some of the core claims of Schneider. Aside from the secret deal between the Eisenhower administration and Grey aliens, he also claimed that many of the secret technology and aircraft the United States had was the result of “back-engineering crashed extraterrestrial technology”.

Schneider demonstrating scars suffered during the Dulce battle

Schneider demonstrating scars suffered during the Dulce battle

He would further claim that technology was also in the hands of the intelligence agencies to create earthquakes with “no pulse wave” and that several alleged terrorist incidents were, in fact, were the results of actions of this secretive behind-the-scenes agency.

Whatever the truth, on the 17th January 1996, Schneider was discovered dead, with a piece of wire flex wrapped several times around his neck, with a ruling of suicide being the cause of death. He had spent the previous weeks and months delivering lectures and talks on what he knew of secret underground bases. Incidentally, many people, including several members of this own family, didn’t believe the suicide ruling, instead insisting he had been silenced due to the nature of his talks and research.

Perhaps of even more interest are the claims of his widow, who stated that following her husband’s death, a thorough search of the property was undertaken by both the CIA and the FBI, with several photographs and other items confiscated.

The video below features Schneider speaking.

A Pause, And A Note Of Caution

We should perhaps note before we move on that many are dubious of not only the claims of Phil Schneider, as well as the apparent suspicion surrounding his death. And it isn’t just Schneider either – as we will see there are many other UFO researchers who many see as controversial.

The idea of an elite and a New World Order is a notion that many researchers suggest is nothing but paranoid ramblings. However, and while it is perhaps the subject of another article, that several influential people, albeit to a lesser extent, can work their way into such positions of power and influence is not that much of a stretch to the imagination.

It is perhaps important for those of us that research these claims and assertions from the middle to attempt to pick out whatever partial truths there might be as opposed to simply throwing a blanket over them all and dismissing them entirely. Perhaps a good example of that is the apparent tentative links between the aforementioned Schneider and Danny Casolaro that we highlighted earlier.

A computer tablet with holograms over the top

Are UFO researchers being silenced?

What is clear – and perhaps has been made abundantly so in the year and a half of the Pandemic – is that blindly accepted conspiracies of hoax viruses and the idea that vaccines are a way to control people, ironically enough, allow those in control to get a tighter grip on information. If there was some kind of secret organization influencing world events then it would be harder for researchers to get to the potential truth of such conspiracies when they are lumped in with such groups who blindly believe any anti-elite conspiracy just because of the message as opposed to the depth of content.

In short, while we perhaps do need to remain vigilant to persons and groups who have shared interests in positions of influence and power, we must be equally vigilant in our collective research and sharing thereof.  This perhaps goes against the grain of those who subscribe to the notion of truths being revealed to the majority of the world’s population, if there are indeed any truths in such assertions then it will be a long game we must play.

With that note of caution in mind, then, we will turn our attention to several other cases that have seen some UFO researchers meet sudden, and to some, suspicious ends.

Are There More “Suspicious” Deaths To Consider?

It isn’t just Phil Schneider whose death many look at as suspicious. For example, we might look at the tragic hit-and-run death of John Mack in 2004. Although there is no evidence to support it, some looked at the tragic incident with a raised eyebrow.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean several decades earlier in February 1969 in California John Murphy, a reporter who claimed to have had audiotapes and photographs of the Kecksburg UFO crash (that were eventually confiscated by government officials), was killed in a hit-and-run incident.

There are other deaths of UFO researchers that some in the UFO community believe require a second look. For example, the late UK researcher, Tony Dodd, who lost his life to a brain tumor is potentially intriguing. Some people questioned – as outlandish as it is to many, and perhaps rightly so – if the tumor had been somehow intentionally planted or “activated”.

There are others who have suffered similar tragic deaths to cancer or sudden heart attacks. [3] And while we will not examine each and every one of these, we know from the New York Times investigations into their activities, such organizations as the CIA had done tests with a so-called “heart attack gun” – a weapon that would fire a toxin encased in extremely sharp ice which when entering the body would dissolve and not even show (unless it was being purposely looked for) an entry wound. The toxin would then, it was claimed, cause the person to go into cardiac arrest.

Apparent Suicides And “Induced” Illness

Perhaps another sudden death worth noting is that of Ron Rummel, the publisher of Alien Digest and one-time Air Force intelligence agent, who in August 1993 shot himself in the mouth. However, there were some who were close to Rummel who stated that there was no blood discovered on the barrel of the pistol, nor were there any fingerprints on the weapon’s handle. There were also question marks about the suicide note left by Rummel, with some claiming it had clearly been written by someone who was left-handed (Rummel was right).

Much of the content of Alien Digest looked at ideas of aliens preying on humans and even having plans to use them as a food source. And while many – even in the UFO community – dismissed these claims, there were some who asserted that Rummel was “getting close to the truth”. Incidentally, one of the people Rummel worked closely with in the years before his death was one Phil Schneider.

It is also worth looking briefly at the very sudden death of one-time Deputy Director of Investigations at MUFON, Ron Johnson. At the time of his death in June 1994, Johnson was only 43 years old and, according to his most recent medical examination, fit and healthy. However, while attending the Society of Scientific Exploration meeting in Texas, he suddenly let out a sharp gasp and slumped over in his chair. By the time the other people present had turned to him, blood was oozing from his nose and his face was a disturbing purple color.

A tunnel with a dark figure walking along it

Can some technologies “trigger” illness!

It is believed that Johnson suffered a fatal and sudden stroke. However, when people noticed he had been drinking from a soda can in the moments before his death, some began to wonder if he had, in fact, been poisoned with something that would bring on an immediate allergic reaction.

Whatever, the truth, when you examine Johnson’s background, it is not a stretch of the imagination that he would have been privy to sensitive information given that he worked on highly technologically advanced products at such places as the Institute of Advanced Studies and Earth Tech Inc.

Another MUFON member, Ann Livingstone tragically died of an aggressive form of ovarian cancer in early 1994. When those close to her, as well as other UFO investigators, examined Livingston’s own claims of UFO sightings and apparent encounters with the Men In Black, they began to ask if the fatal disease might have a connection to these events.

The events concerned began on 29th December 1992 at a little after 7 am when a “silver-white flash” lit up here apartment which was close to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Even stranger, later that same day, five “faceless” figures who wore attire similar to typical Men In Black. They also carried with them long black flashlight-like objects. Soon after the accosting, she lost consciousness. What happened after that is unknown.

The Fatal Fall Of Jim Keith

We mentioned the research of Nick Redfern earlier, who in his book Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind examined some of the mystery surrounding the Danny Casolaro case. Within that research, Redfern points to the bizarre fates of two writers who reexamined the case in their book The Octopus in 1996. Neither Thomas or Keith were strangers to UFO encounters, having been involved in several books on the subject.

Keith was also involved in a number of other book projects, including one that, as Redfern writes, “very much picked up from where Casolaro’s research came to a sudden, fatal, and irreversible halt in August 1991” in the book Saucers of the Illuminati: The Octopus, as well as an investigation in 1999 into the death of Princess Diana and that she might have been pregnant at the time of her death to Dodi Fayed (this has been investigated several times with no proof to back up the claims). Keith had even prepared an in-depth article on his investigation for Nitro News as well as a follow-up piece.

However, events would take a drastic and fatal turn.

While attending the annual Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Keith fell from a stage and ultimately fractured his tibia. What’s more, examination of this injury showed that he would require surgery to correct it properly. According to those around him, it was following this diagnosis that Keith began to appear paranoid. He would even tell his nephew, Chris Davis, that he feared the operation because he felt he would never wake up. Tragically, Jim Keith would die on the operating table, officially due to a blood clot becoming dislodged when he broke his shin and making its way into his lung.

A dark figure working through a tunnel

Is the UFO world a dagnerous place?

While Keith’s tragic death is most likely as the official report suggests, some have drawn attention to the apparent immediate insistence that his death was a tragic twist of nature and that no further investigation would take place. Others would point to the fact that the media outlet, Nitro News, completely disappeared from the internet for several weeks – remember, they already had the copy of Keith’s apparent article on the claims of Princess Diana.

In fact, according to Redfern’s research, email conversations between Keith and another conspiracy and paranormal researcher, Greg Bishop in the days before Keith’s death are of interest. They would discuss how each of them had suffered apparent “hacking” of their respective computers. And, perhaps another twist to the whole affair is the sudden death of the owner of one of the publishers of Keith’s work, Ron Bonds, who would die from acute food poisoning on the 8th April 2001. Interestingly or not, in one of Keith’s books that Bonds had published – Biowarfare in America – some of the content specifically referred to toxins favored by military and intelligence departments that could cause death under the guise of food poisoning, or even blood clots on the lung (which was the official cause of Keith’s death).

The First Mysterious Death Of The Modern UFO Era?

Perhaps one of the earliest mysterious deaths connected to the UFO and alien question would be that of James Forrestal, the very first Secretary of Defense, and who, officially at least, threw himself from the 13th floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland just before 2 am on 22nd May 1949 (some sources state it was the 16th floor). According to some who have researched Forrestal and his death, that he took his own life might not be such a solid conclusion.

Although he was clinically recorded as being depressed – essentially, at least in part, the reason he was at the facility in the first place – it would appear there are several sticking points as to the notion that he died from his own intentional actions, details we shall we return to shortly.

Of course, to some, at least some of those top-level government secrets were those revolving around UFOs, and perhaps specifically at the time, the events at Roswell less than two years earlier.

James Forrestal

James Forrestal

Several researchers and authors have documented Forrestal and potential connections to the UFO question at the time. Perhaps some of the most extensive work can be found in Richard Dolan’s UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup 1941-1973. He writes how not only did he likely have knowledge of the UFO cover-up but also of the inner workings of what eventually became the CIA, including (but not least) of cable-intercepting missions that continued, illegally after the war very much with agencies’ and Forrestal’s knowledge. [4]

By the time he had been appointed the first Secretary of Defense in July 1947, according to Dolan’s research, “much of America’s ‘invisible government’ was already in place”. And part of that invisible influence was undoubtedly the unchecked powers and goals of the newly established Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Forrestal, of course, it would be alleged with the apparent MJ12 documents unleashed to the public in the mid-1980s by filmmaker Jaime Shandera, a group established only months after his becoming Secretary of Defense, in September 1947. In fact, an apparent memorandum was discovered in the documents directly from President Truman to Forrestal himself. It read that Forrestal was “authorized to proceed” with the subject of their “recent conversation” and that the matter “shall be referred to as Operation Majestic Twelve”.

“Unstable” And A “National Security Risk”

Whether it was knowledge of such things as UFOs and recovered alien vehicles, by early 1949 there were many who had apparent legitimate concerns about Forrestal’s mental state, believing the pressures of the job had resulted in him slipping into a severe depression. Ultimately, he was considered “unstable” and possibly a “national security risk” due to his increasingly erratic behavior. He was eventually removed from the position.

Many close to him claimed that he began to speak of being watched by dark, ominous government agents, believing in many instances that he was being followed about his daily business. According to some researchers, whatever the reasons might have been, intelligence agencies were very much interested in the general movements of Forrestal. Eventually, on 2nd April 1949, he was admitted to the Bethesda Naval Hospital so he could recuperate.

What is perhaps interesting, as Redfern documents, is that his mental state appeared to improve over the following weeks. So much so, that only days before his apparent suicide he was witnessed talking happily with the facility’s staff and also had appeared to have had the return of his usual appetite. In short, he didn’t have the demeanor of someone contemplating taking their own life. And while the signs, unfortunately, are not there in such tragic cases, it is certainly worth noting. We might further note the recall of Richard Dolan, who notes that Forrestal’s brother, Henry, commented that his brother was “acting and talking as sanely and intelligently as any man I’ve ever known”.

Several Things That Don’t Add Up!

After retiring to bed on the evening of 21st going into the 22nd May, Forrestal still found himself reading at around 1:45 am. In fact, when the guard entered his room to check on him, he declined a sedative as he intended on reading a little while longer. The guard would have to inform the on-duty psychiatrist of his refusal of a sedative, which he duly did. When he returned with the said psychiatrist several minutes later, the room was empty.

According to Dolan’s relaying of the incident, the official version of events stated that as soon as the guard had left, he had walked to the kitchen across the hall, tied one of his bathrobe belts to his neck and the other to the radiator before removing a covering at the window. He then flung himself out. The belt gave way under the weight of his body, and he plummeted to the ground and to his instant death.

There were, however, several things that didn’t add up, perhaps not least, the bathrobe belt Forrestal had appeared to use in an attempt to hang himself. It appeared that it wouldn’t have been long enough to reach from the radiator to the window, much less anywhere outside of it.

Richard Dolan highlights a biographer of Forrestal from the early 1960s, only a little over a decade after his death, who stated that there was, at least according to some, good reason to believe his death was “very much desired by individuals and groups who, in 1949, held great power in the United States”.

Just one person who refused to believe his brother took his own life and, in fact, actively believed he was murdered, was his brother, Henry. And, as Nick Redfern points out, it very well could have been Henry’s actions in the days before his brother’s death, as well-intentioned as they might have been, that inadvertently set things in motion.

A Well-Intentioned Ill-Fated Decision?

By the third week in May, Forrestal’s brother was becoming increasingly angry with the Navy’s treatment of his brother, particularly that he had access to only certain preapproved people. So much so, he decided he would ultimately arrange to have him released from the facility into his care.

Perhaps unfortunately for Forrestal, Henry also notified the hospital of his plans to remove his brother from their care. He essentially gave them a full 24 hours’ notice. As Redfern writes, “if there was one time, more than any other, that some may have wanted Forrestal dead, it was surely when it seemed likely he was due to leave Bethesda and be totally free of the Navy’s careful watch and control”.

Perhaps even stranger was another detail highlighted by Richard Dolan, who claimed that one of the people who Forrestal wished to see, Father Sheehy, attended the hospital on the morning of his death. As he was leaving the facility, one of the hospital staff discreetly approached him and stated to him bluntly, “Father, you know Mr. Forrestal didn’t kill himself, don’t you?” The man then disappeared behind the crowd of reporters.

Shadowy figures in a room

Is there a dark side to UFO research?

Dolan also points out that the guard on duty that night, Robert Harrison Jr., had not been seen before, and was brought in to replace the usual guard who, according to what was detailed at the time, had gotten obscenely drunk the night before. Whatever the truth of the matter, Harrison, as Dolan writes, “was the only person to have had direct contact with Forrestal in the moments before his death, and it was on his world only that the official account rested”.

If we return to the bathrobe belt and the radiator for a moment, not only were there questions regarding whether the belt would have even reached to allow Forrestal to even attempt to jump from the window with it tied around the radiator and his neck, there was no actual evidence (in terms of fibers) that it had ever been tied to the radiator in the first place.

Perhaps most damning of all, though, were what very much appeared to be scratch marks on the ledge of the window that Forrestal was supposed to have jumped from – markings that very much suggested that someone had scratched to remain hanging from the ledge as if they had fought against someone forcing them out of it.

Almost Certain There Was An Awareness Of UFOs

There were other details too. Forrestal had been in the middle of copying out a poem seemingly in the moments before he decided to take his own life. However, not only did he not finish the poem, but he stopped in the middle of a word. While this certainly doesn’t prove that he was murdered, but it is a little suspicious, even to those without suspicious minds. Even the fact that he had been placed so high up at the facility went against recommended procedures (those suspected of being suicidal were almost always placed on the first floor).

Even the fact that the hospital had already labeled his death a suicide before any kind of investigation had taken place, and even before the coroner had viewed the scene was indicative of some kind of suppression of evidence taking place. And what’s more, because the death occurred on what was United States Navy ground, the local police had no authority to investigate. The Navy was “absolutely certain” that Forrestal’s death was a suicide.

Whether James Forrestal did take his own life or whether he met his end as a result of foul play remains a point for debate.

A secret underground base

Would some people kill to maintain UFO secrecy?

There are certainly many reasons to suspect something amiss, as we have highlighted above. If Forrestal’s death was the result of a premeditated assassination, he is quite possibly one of the first such people to be silenced due to the UFO and alien question. In fact, it is almost certain that if there was any information to be known regarding UFOs (and we know from declassified documents that there was certainly an interest in such matters), Forrestal would certainly have known about it.

We might also note, as other researchers have suggested, of Forrestal’s certainty that he was being followed by ominous and shadowy people, although he wasn’t certain of which agency they worked if they were American or Soviet. Might it be possible that they were, in fact, an early encounter of the Men In Black who were keeping discreet tabs on Forrestal?

Dolan, quite convincingly, writes that, if we assume that Forrestal was murdered, what could have been at the heart of the matter that made a person or group of people in the “national security apparatus to plan the death of the former Secretary of Defense? The budget issue? Hardly”. There were those who blamed his death on “communist agents” in the US government. It was true that Forrestal was very much anti-communist, and he planned to release his diaries which likely had much anti-communist sentiment in it. However, we might also imagine that such a reaction from any potential Soviet agents would have been overkill in the extreme, not least as it risked giving away their position.

Might, then, the subject of UFOs make more sense than most to have Forrestal permanently silenced? As Dolan asks, did he “learn a truth about UFOs that contributed to his breakdown?” Might there have been a fear that his apparent unstable mental state presented a risk that he might reveal what he knew? Or might those pulling the strings of the apparent “invisible government” had an inkling that he was going to purposely blow the lid on what he knew? Might the contents of his diaries have contained much more than anti-communist sentiment?

Tactics Of The Intelligence Agencies?

It is perhaps quickly worth mentioning the very questionable death of Frank Olsen who “fell” from a New York building only four years later in 1953, after expressing opposition to the CIA’s MK Ultra experiments. In the early 1990s, his body was exhumed. There was extensive scarring to his skull indicating he had been attacked and then thrown from the building. In short, he was likely murdered. Several years later in 1993, ex-CIA Director, William Colby, was subpoenaed to testify in the investigation to Olsen’s death. Coincidentally or not, he drowned days later.

It is also worth keeping in mind further details highlighted by researcher Nick Redfern. He would state that released CIA documents stated clearly that throwing someone from a building or bridge and making it look like suicide. The document that Redfern highlights is perhaps abruptly called A Study of Assassination and was put into circulation in 1951. It would eventually enter the public arena courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act in 1997.

A shadowy figure in a tunnel

Just how far would some organizations go to suppress information?

In the document, there was extensive coverage of how to throw someone to their deaths from a height and have it look like suicide or an accident, stating “the contrived accident is the most effective technique”, adding that when this is carried out successfully “it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated”. It would continue that the most “efficient accident” was a “fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface”. It would add that “elevator shafts, stairwells, unscreened windows and bridges” were particularly good locations. Going into even more detail, the document states that “the act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [deleted] of the ankles, (and) tipping the subject over the edge”. Even more cunning, the document states that “if the assassin immediately sets up an outcry, playing the ‘horrified witness’, no alibi or surreptitious withdrawal is necessary”.

It has to be said, the death of James Forrestal could quite easily fit the above brief, if only speculatively. Someone, essentially overpowered him immediately after the guard left, tied the belt around his neck, and then forced him out of the window, an act of which he fought against (judging from the scratch marks on the ledge) until he was forced to plummet to his death.

There is, though, more to examine regarding Forrestal’s death. Although, this particular document was “unofficially” released and so can’t be treated as authoritative as we might wish. The document was provided to the father-and-son research team Robert and Ryan Wood by Timothy Cooper. However, Cooper’s source was anonymous, which means we must treat the document with at least a slight pinch of salt.

However, the document read that in order to protect the “security operations of MAJESTIC it has been necessary to [deleted] individuals who would compromise the intelligence efforts”. It would continue that while these actions were “distasteful, at times the use of [deleted] measure have been executed”. Perhaps most intriguing of all, if we accept even the possibility that the document is genuine for a moment, the document concludes that “the untimely death of Secretary Forrestal was deemed necessary and regrettable”.

There is much debate as to whether the document is genuine or pure disinformation. We might ultimately one day find it is a combination of both, with certain truths hidden within.

The Equally Mysterious Death Of Morris K. Jessop

Perhaps one of the most suspicious deaths of a UFO researcher is that of Morris K. Jessup, who researched not only UFO sightings in the modern era of the 1950s but also the mysteries of the ancient past, specifically, how many of the huge monuments had been built.

His research would result in the 1955 book The Case for the UFO, a book that would take Jessup on a twisted journey that would, whether directly or indirectly, result in the researcher’s death. [5]

Shortly after the book’s publication, Jessop began receiving strange letters, all of which were concerned with the contents of his book. They would come from a man calling himself Carlos Allende (sometimes referred to as Carl Allen) and he was particularly interested in Jessup’s assertions that Einstein’s Unified Field Theory should be subject to further study. According to the claims made in Allende’s letters, this was something that had already been studied by the US Navy (Allende was ultimately referring to the alleged Philadelphia Experiment, which Jessup would begin investigating).

As this was taking place, however, and without Jessup’s knowledge, Allende had made multiple notes in the margins of his copy of Jessop’s book. He then sent it to the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In response to receiving the unofficially updated book, they sent an invite for Jessup to attend their offices. Despite his worry as to why the Navy was taking such an interest in his work, he duly attended the meeting a short time later.

They would speak to Jessup about many of the subjects in his book, as well as his correspondence with Allende. However, despite how uncomfortable he felt during the questioning, the officers were nothing but gracious and polite with him. When he learned that they had arranged for a batch of his book with Allende’s notes to be printed, he suddenly began to feel positively uneasy. And following the meeting, things changed for Jessup, and not for the better.

A Drastically Changing Existence

As Nick Redfern points out, many of Jessup’s own notes suggest that the situation surrounding him changed drastically following his meeting with the ONR. He would, for example, receive strange and often ominous phone calls, often speaking words that appeared to be in a foreign language that he didn’t understand. These calls would always end with a sudden hang-up leaving Jessup confused and more than unnerved.

Despite this, Jessup continued with his research, although he was much more guarded. According to some sources, the day before his death on 19th April, he made arrangements to meet with Dr. J. Manson Valentine concerning a “breakthrough” of sorts in his work. However, it was a meeting that would never take place.

On the evening of 20th April 1959, at around 7 pm, a security guard, John Goode, was driving around the Matheson Hammock Park in Miami, Florida. Just as he was about the close the park down for the evening, he spotted a parked car near a quiet picnic area. Of even more concern, he could clearly see a hosepipe running from the exhaust and into the vehicle through a slightly open window, with wet towels around the gap to ensure no oxygen leaked in.

When approached the car and opened the car door, the body of Morris Jessup sat in the front seat, staring blankly out of the front windscreen, clearly dead. Needless to say, as straightforward as his death was to most, many who knew him, and specifically his work, were at least a little suspicious.

If we return to the words of Dr. Valentine for a moment, both he and his wife expressed a certain amount of concern regarding the manner of Jessup’s death. He would state that Jessup had informed them that he was “on to something big” and that he appeared genuinely worried about what he was involved with.

Even stranger, in the weeks and months after Jessup’s death, Allende would come forward and claim he had made up everything he had told the researcher. Adding yet another twist, he would U-turn on this admission, instead claiming that it should be disregarded, and he was telling the truth after all.

To many, Jessup’s death, as unfortunate as it was, was clearly a suicide. And what’s more, it would appear that Allende was also a fraud who had perhaps led the researcher, indirectly, down the dark path he took. However, some believe there was a darker force at work.

A Case That Still Divides Opinion

Many people have researched the life and death of Morris Jessup, and all have highlighted areas of concern regarding the conclusion. For example, perhaps the most concerning is that no autopsy was carried out. The determination of suicide was based solely on how his body was when it was discovered.

We have already mentioned the arrangements he had made with Dr. Valentine about a “breakthrough” in his work. He was far from the only one who had trouble believing Jessup was suicidal.

There was also a detail regarding the towels wrapped around the hose, specifically, they did not belong to the Jessups and had not come from his home. It would appear if we believe the official version of events, that he purchased the towels used specifically for use on his suicide.

There were even questions as to how the towels were soaked. There was no container with water found in the car or nearby, nor was there any evidence of lake water from the park in the car or anywhere near it.

Over a decade and a half following his death, with even many in the UFO community having resigned themselves to the fact that Jessup had indeed taken his own life, new details emerged into the public arena courtesy of a woman named Anna Lykins Genzlinger, who would claim to researcher and author, Gray Barker, that she knew for certain that Jessup had not “willingly” committed suicide. However, when Barker insinuated that he didn’t buy her claims, she would conduct her own research. After initially rejecting her claims, Barker eventually published her book on the subject, The Jessup Dimension (although opinion is divided at best as to her claims that Jessup was murdered).

A Definite Grey Area

As we have seen, then, whether coincidentally or not, several UFO investigators and researchers have met unfortunate and suspicious ends. Certainly enough for even the most skeptical of people to raise an eyebrow or two at. And while it is important to remember that these are very real people and very real and tragic deaths we are contemplating, if there is a chance that they met their end due to the predetermined actions of a dark, unsavory organization or another, then those suspicions should surely be examined.

Of course, we might also contemplate that not all of the people who we have examined here did die as the result of foul play and only some of them might. Like the UFO and alien question, in general, the waters are beyond murky. Might some of those we have examined above have died by their own hands or in line with official findings and others have met untimely ends?

Who would these apparent victims be and what would make their deaths that much more suspicious? Perhaps, intentionally or not, some of the alleged deaths we have examined here be akin to disinformation – that we might spend so much time examining the suspicious nature of one death that the focus is taken away from a genuinely unsavory death.

While they may differ from person to person, one thing we can perhaps all agree on is that at least some of those that we have examined above have genuine question marks surrounding them. And because of that, deserve reexamination from time to time lest something new comes to light.

Just to throw another level of the nuance over the notion of strange deaths of some UFO investigators and researchers is the date highlighted by Nick Redfern – that of 24th June – that he relayed from the research files of Otto Binder. According to the files, there was a “wealth of UFO-related deaths” that occurred on that particular date. And given that arguably the first official UFO report of Kenneth Arnold occurred on 24th June 1947, we might indeed take note.

For example, one of the earliest UFO investigators and researchers, Frank Scully, died suddenly on 24th June 1964. Three years later on the exact same date was the death of Edward Bryant. On that same day yet another UFO researcher, Richard Church died suddenly and without warning. French researcher and author, Robert Charroux died on 24th June 1978. And we have also examined the apparent encounter of Jackie Gleason who was alleged to have been shown an alien body courtesy of President Nixon in the mid-1970s. He died on 24th June 1987. Make of those deaths and that particular date what you will.

The video below examines the idea that at least some UFO researchers and investigators might have reached questionable ends.


1  Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind: Suspicious Deaths, Mysterious Murders, and Bizarre Disappearances in UFO History, Nick Redfern, ISBN 978160 1633118
2 The Bizarre Fate of Phil Schneider, Doc Vega, UFO Digest, December 6th, 2012
3 Suspicious Deaths of UFO Investigators, Prof G. Cope Schellhorn, UFO Universe Magazine, Fall 1997 
4 UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Cover-up 1941-1973, Richard Dolan, ISBN 15171 743170 (page 186-196)
5 UFO researcher Morris Jessup: Murdered For What He Knew? Mysterious Universe, Nick Redfern January 13th, 2021

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • ÖZCAN özdal says:

    ben 202 öncesi Gerede Bolu Da Ankaradan karabük e gelirken ufo gördüm kimseye gösteremedi çok aşırı hızlı gidiyorduk otobanda Arabayla beni izleyenler nereye bakıyorsun yirmi dakikadır dediler ve açıkladım ufo gördüm diye sonra daha sağ tarafa bulutlu bölgede kayboldu daha sonra o bölgeden biriyle yolculuk sırasında şehirler arası yolculukta yanıma oturan kişi köylerinde uçaktan düşen bir şeyi herkese arattıklarını söyledi o bölge Bolu kongrede ilçesi İlaca köyleri civarı olduğunu söylemişti bu o gün gördüğüm yere inmeye çalışan Ufkuyla ilgiliydi kimseyi inanamadım isterim Beni ABD ‘nin yalan makinasına bağladılar gerçeği anlasınlar ÖZCAN ÖZDAL KARABÜK.11.11.2021

  • Thomas says:

    I have had more than one odd encounter since I have been an experiencer for 46 years. The thing about deaths in the UFO field, we would all like to believe that there is a rhyme or a reason why. I can tell you the people who you are seeing on all the various shows as experts are just actors. They are bought and paid for. The people who are actually murdered, are the ones who stumbled on a truth or got a little too close to going public.

    While there are maybe one or two legitimately real investigators in the mainstream, I can assure you that they are harmless enough to where they pose no threat to the powers that be.

  • Trevor says:

    I belong to a few ufo sights and in 2 of them I posted the same question. For members to post their ufo experiences. 2 people, 1 from each group told me the same story. They said that after they had reported their ufo experiences they were approached by I Dont know who and their lives and that of their family’s were threatened if they ever repeated what they had seen. They even came to the one guys work to threaten him. Both cases were in USA

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