UFO Researchers' Mysterious Deaths
UFO Researchers’ Mysterious Deaths
Whether it is a fatal visit from the Men in Black or a secret government agency, some UFO researchers have found that investigating flying saucers can be a dangerous business.
With all the paranoia about secret military cover-ups of the UFO mystery and whispered fears about the Men in Black (MIB), some researchers have claimed that a number of UFO witnesses and investigators actually have met their demise at the hands of unknown and mysterious assailants. In 1971 the author-researcher Otto Binder wrote an article for Saga magazine’s “Special UFO Report” titled “Liquidation of the UFO Investigators.” Binder claimed to have researched the deaths of 137 flying saucer researchers, writers, scientists, and witnesses who had died in the previous ten years—many, Binder emphasized, under the most mysterious circumstances.
UFO researcher-author G. Cope Schellhorn has been tabulating the deaths of UFOlogists from “unusual cancers, heart attacks, questionable suicides, and all manner of strange happenings” since 1997. Admittedly, some of the researchers on Schellhorn’s and other investigators’ lists were getting up in years, or were, by the testimony of family and friends, ill or depressed or suicidal. Still, where there is smoke, there may be a MIB. Here are some of the names on the UFO researchers death list:
M. K. Jessup, 1959: Astronomer and archaeologist M. K. Jessup, well-known author of such influential works as The Case for the UFO and The Expanding Case for the UFO, allegedly committed suicide in Dade County Park, Florida, in 1959. Certain facts about the case have long troubled researchers:
- Contrary to Florida law, no autopsy was performed.
- Police sergeant Obenclain, who was on the scene shortly after Jessup’s body was discovered, said that everything about the setup seemed too professional.
- Jessup died at rush hour, with more than the usual amount of traffic passing by.
- The author had been visited by Carlos Allende, the mysterious letter writer of the famous Philadelphia Experiment investigation, three days before his death and, according to his wife, had been receiving strange phone calls. Jessup was investigating the alleged Navy experiment in invisibility at the time of his death.
Frank Edwards, 1967: Frank Edwards, the noted news commentator, died of an alleged heart attack on June 24, 1967, on the twentieth anniversary of the Kenneth Arnold sighting. The “World UFO Conference” was being held in New York City at the Commodore hotel on that same day in June, chaired by UFO publisher and author Gray Barker. Barker stated that he had received two letters and a telephone call threatening that Frank Edwards would not be alive by the conference’s end.
Dr. James McDonald, 1971: McDonald, senior physicist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, professor in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Arizona, died purportedly of a gunshot wound to the head. McDonald had worked hard in the 1960s to convince Congress to hold serious, substantial subcommittee meetings to explore the UFO reality.
Ivan T. Sanderson, 1973: Well-known naturalist, zoologist, UFO investigator, and author of all things mysterious, died of a rapidly spreading cancer.
Philip K. Dick, 1982: Cult science-fiction author (Bladerunner and Minority Report), was a silent contactee of some higher intelligence for many years. At the time he died of a stroke under somewhat mysterious circumstances, Dick was writing a nonfiction book about his experiences with alien contact. It has never been published, and the manuscript has allegedly disappeared.
Capt. Don Elkin, 1984: A professor of physics and mechanical engineering, as well as an Eastern Airlines pilot, Capt. Don Elkin had been investigating UFOs since 1948. He was deep into the study of the Ra material, alleged extraterrestrial communications channeled by Carla Rueckert, at the time of his suicide.
Dr. Allen J. Hynek, 1986: Although he was no longer a young man, the death of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the famous astronomer and consultant to Project Blue Book—the U.S. Air Force’s official UFO investigation—due to a brain tumor seemed suspicious to many. Supposedly in the hospital for prostate surgery, Hynek’s death seems all the stranger when one considers the high number of UFO investigators who have died of brain tumors or cancer. Those who knew Hynek well recall that he seemed troubled over some recently acquired data shortly before his fatal hospital stay.
Mae Brussell, 1988: Mae Brussell, a gutsy, no-holds-barred investigative radio host, who was acutely interested in UFOs as well as the dangers of the New World Order, died of a fast-acting cancer.
Deke Slayton, 1993: Deke Slayton, the astronaut, was purportedly ready to talk about his UFO experiences, but cancer also intervened.
Ron Rummel, 1993: Ron Rummel, former air force intelligence agent and publisher of Alien Digest, allegedly shot himself in the mouth with a pistol on August 6, 1993.
Ann Livingston, 1994: Ann Livingston made her living as an accountant, but she was also a MUFON investigator. On December 29, 1992, Livingston claimed to have been accosted by five MIB whom she described as being almost faceless and carrying long, flashlight-like black objects. In early 1994 she died of a fast-acting form of ovarian cancer.
Karla Turner, 1996: Karla Turner, author of Masquerade of Angels, Taken, and Into the Fringe suspected that the breast cancer that preceded her death was due to alien retaliation for statements she made in print.
Ron Johnson, 1994: At the time of his death, Ron Johnson, Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) deputy director of investigations, was forty-three years old and in excellent health. On June 9, 1994, while attending a Society of Scientific Exploration meeting in Austin, Texas, Johnson died quickly and amid very strange circumstances. When the lights were turned back on after a slide presentation, Johnson was slumped over in his chair, his face purple, blood oozing from his nose. A soda can, from which he had been sipping, was sitting on the chair next to him.
Phil Schneider, 1996: Phil Schneider died on January 17, 1996, allegedly strangled by a catheter found wrapped around his neck. Schneider claimed to have worked in 13 of the 129 deep underground facilities the U.S. government constructed after World War II. One of these bases was the bioengineering facility at Dulce, New Mexico, where according to Schneider, humanoid extraterrestrials worked side by side with American technicians.
Jim Keith, 1999: Author of many books including Mind Control, World Control, Jim Keith died in hospital during surgery to repair a broken leg he suffered while attending the infamous Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Allegedly, a blood clot was released during the surgery and traveled to the heart, causing a pulmonary edema.
William Cooper, 2001: Author of the classic book Behold a Pale Horse, shortwave radio talk show host, UFO researcher, and political activist, William Cooper was shot dead during a gun battle with sheriff’s deputies at his home in Eagar, Arizona.
Ron Bonds, 2001: Ron Bonds of IllumiNet Press published books on unsolved mysteries and unexplained phenomena, from the Kennedy assassination to the ominous black helicopters of the New World Order. In April 2001, fifteen hours after eating a meal with warm beef from a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta, Bonds was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died. His death was attributed to a bacterium that figures in 250,000 cases of food poisoning a year—of which, according to the Center for Disease Control, only seven result in death.