"The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community" explores the ways deception, sensationalism and questionable ethics characterize the UFO genre and distort public perception of the UFO phenomenon. Activities of credulous investigators of alleged alien abduction are considered, as are the roles of intelligence agencies in the theatrics, including thought provocative relationships and similarities between the UFO and intelligence communities. With interviews and insights from James Carrion, Leah Haley, Dr. Tyler Kokjohn, Simone Mendez, Carol Rainey, Emma Woods and others, "The Greys Have Been Framed" takes readers through the exploitation of ufology as perpetrated by charlatans, intelligence officials and researchers harboring unclear motives. The circumstances, existing from the very outset of the modern day UFO phenomenon, prove relevant no matter what personal opinion one may hold on the mystery of UFOs and their alleged occupants.
Jack Brewer writes "The UFO Trail", a blog dedicated to publishing credible info on incredible topics. Brewer's research interests include alleged alien abduction, the intelligence community and related social dynamics. He is the author of the nonfiction book, "The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community".
After I read and reviewed Richard Dolan's “UFOs for the 21st Century”, I concluded it would be my last review of a general overview of the UFO phenomena. It was time to start drilling down. Over and over the same stories get passed around and some books promise brand new, never before evidence and revelatory proof of alien contact. They never deliver but to anyone not critically thinking during the read, they appear to. They're usually just brand new speculations and/or dubious witnesses with anecdotal testimonies after the fact. In essence, they keep spinning the same yarn.
(Full disclosure. The author, Jack Brewer, was kind enough to provide me with a courtesy copy of “The Greys Have Been Framed” for review. Now on to the review.)
“If you poke a sacred cow then you become anathema to the community...” - James Carrion.
Jack Brewer's, “The Greys Have Been Framed” is probably the most honest book on UFO alien abduction I've ever seen since the likes of Philip Klass. Brewer makes it clear from the beginning of the book, this is a most dangerous game (as Philip Klass titled his own on the subject). Whereas so many other books I've read on the subject work from a conclusion backwards and looking to cash in on X-Files fame, the present volume is really about getting at the truth. This is really where modern UFO research needs to be at present.
Most UFO books exist to promote the ET hypothesis. Not just books but most media on the subject works the same way. On page 256, Brewer remarks, “Websites, radio shows, and those featured on them often present sensational material with little regard for either accuracy or the consequences of failing to prioritize it.” And also, page 9, “Among the many challenges awaiting those who wade into the UFO community, particularly in the United States, is identifying reliable, evidence based information.”
That is exactly what's refreshing about the present volume. It puts a crushing blow, no apologies on the sacred cows. It works with the evidence and goes forward. Not the other way around, which plagues the UFO community to no end.
Beginning with UFO cults and individuals who got caught up in wild speculations and becoming victims with disastrous endings, Brewer notes that bad beliefs can lead to deadly decisions. Then we get in to the topic of using hypnosis for memory recovery and how that fraud of a claim should have been retired a long time ago. Hypnosis doesn't retrieve memories, at best, it makes up new ones!
This leads us into the works of David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins. You can't discuss alien abductions without discussing these two. They practically invented it as we know it today. And Brewer pulls no punches showing it is, in fact, an invention. There is a real trauma and experience but all too often exploited by those in the UFO community bent on the ET hypothesis. The deception, fraud, irresponsibility and (in the case of Jacobs) almost predatory sexual conduct with one particular “victim”, Jacobs and Hopkins used people who were already traumatized for reasons unknown, to steer them into narratives of alien abduction. In essence, they have their own alien agenda and probably caused irreparable harm to those who sought their help. Untrained in the methods they used, Jacobs and Hopkins should have been dismissed by the UFO community a long time ago. But, such is the nature of extraordinary claims and the wish to believe them.
The second part of the book covers the Intelligence Community and its use of UFOs for Cold War disinformation and even, as it appears, to mess with people to see what happens. Starting with Ghost Rockets, the remainder of the present volume discusses the probability that the discs we've been reporting in the sky, aren't from outer space. They're from our own government tricksters (and hoaxes, misunderstandings of aerial phenomena, fraudulent memories, con-men, etc). The only problem I have with concluding much (most?) of the UFO era of the 1940s to the present is a big disinformation campaign is that it doesn't address the UFO era before it. Many works have shown UFOs have been with mankind since mankind has been with itself. One only need peruse Jacque Vallee's book, “Wonders in the Sky” to see how far back the phenomena goes.
With that said, Vallee also wrote about government disinformation campaigns launched at, not only the UFO community, but at the world at large in his book, “Revelations”. So what seems to be taking place is a genuine phenomenon, strange things in the sky, and a group of people bent on exploiting it. What do I mean by genuine phenomenon? I mean people see things and don't always know what they are. That's it. And that's a UFO. This doesn't rule out completely man-made hoaxes, psy-ops, etc. I think there's room for lots of things going on. Each case must be addressed on its own.
While the last half of the book was conclusive on Intelligence Community meddling in one form or another, I wondered what the point is messing with people in the UFO community? The Intelligence Community is doing it. But why? Brewer doesn't have the answer either. On page 223 he makes some educated guesses, all or none of which could be correct.
Question: Is the Intelligence Community involved in the New Age movement as well? Are they doing this to, say, astrologers? I don't know. Is it to keep those of us off the trail of experimental aircraft and aerial programs? Drugging, preparing and passing “secret” dossiers, late night phone calls and long courtships of people to what end? It seems like an awful lot of work when simple denial could work. And, what is interesting to me is that the Intelligence Community seems bent on spreading fake confirmation, not denial, of the ET hypothesis. Those with an interest in UFOs seem to get passed bogus information confirming ET, not denying it. For what reason? Why not tons of documents with all kinds of speculations ranging from underground Nazis and killer robots just to see how far they can go? My own thought is the possibility of a Secret Space Program and the ET hypothesis works nicely to make all of us looking for it look ridiculous. I've no proof of this. It's an interesting theory.
Maybe, just maybe, we're easy fruit. Hey, if you're attending UFO conferences and entertaining the idea of little grey men, maybe half the work is already done for the Intelligence Community. Maybe it is a psy-op.
The only reason I can think of why the Intelligence Community is involved is for the same reason they've gotten into every fringe group in the past. Dissent is not in the interest of the power structure. And the UFO field began for all intents and purposes in the 1940s with alleged cover-ups. Maybe they're there to monitor for possible acts of aggression. Maybe they're there to throw people off the trail of whatever it is they got close to. Or before they do.
My two favorite parts of the present volume were the interviews of Dr. Tyler Kokjohn and James Carrion. Dr. Kokjohn says everything you need to know about alien abductions and how easy, yes easy, it would be to confirm such stories and yet, the likes of Jacobs (and now the late Hopkins) won't bother. Carrion is a must read on what happens in the UFO community when the ET hypothesis is found to be wrong and what happens to the messenger.
The present volume should be read by anyone interested in hypnosis, from paranormal investigators to law enforcement. It should be read by everyone interested in UFOs and alien abductions. It should be read by anyone to understand human experimentation didn't stop after Auschwitz was liberated. It continues today. It should be read by anyone interested in the harm of beliefs without evidence and how important it is for the UFO community to demand of itself to do better.
I liked this book. It's a bit of a survey of some of the chicanery around UFO/abduction research. Most of it pertains to David Jacobs and his victims. He also gets into some instances of government agencies pushing the ETH for their own purposes.
What's really good is that Brewer documented all his sources with end notes for each chapter. It makes it easy to follow up on the stories.
The author doesn't come out as a complete debunker, but he is a hard, rational skeptic. He is critical of the user of hypnosis as a method, particularly the use of regression hypnotherapy and the use of hypnosis by unskilled practitioners. He is particular critical of some of the luminaries in ufology including Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs who all to often were more interested in supporting their agenda than addressing the emotional trauma of victims/experiencers. Much of the book also focuses on the government's (particularly the CIA's) role in disinformation campaigns.
All in all, a good book that die-hard UFO fan boys will find hard to swallow. It even questions some of the sacred cows in the field such as the Betty and Barney Hill incident. I found it to be a sobering, cautionary tale. It doesn't completely discredit all of UFO research as much as it argues for cold, hard, scientific facts and conclusions — and what could be wrong with that!
Researcher Jack Brewer is not overly concerned with the UFO mystery. Instead, on his blog The UFO Trail and in this new book, The Greys Have Been Framed: Exploitation in the UFO Community, Brewer's focus is on how UFOs and ufology are exploited by certain researchers, government agents and agencies, and other charlatans to manipulate, defraud, and deceive, and to further traumatize the already traumatized or mentally unstable.
Following a brief discussion of how certain personality types are susceptible to the manipulations of insane yet charismatic leaders (the Heaven's Gate cult, the Seekers) who use the UFO myth to propagate eschatologies meant to subjugate their followers, Brewer turns his attention to the questionable use of hypnotic regression in abduction research, recounting in painful detail Budd Hopkins's and David Jacobs's controversial methods. Rather than assist their subjects to heal from traumatizing experiences, these researchers’ methodologies, Brewer argues, are essentially a means of extracting repressed memories (the result of screens installed by aliens ostensibly to cover their tracks) -- often fabricated -- that support confirmation of their own pre-conceived biases concerning the alien abduction narrative.
Hypnotic regression is now largely dismissed as an ineffective means of memory recovery, as views concerning the intricacies of memory have evolved considerably over the past few decades; currently, most experts discount the "recording tape" view of memory acquisition and retention. As for claims by abduction researchers that the aliens are undertaking extensive breeding programs in order to produce alien/human hybrids, Brewer readily offers that advances in genetic testing would easily detect any alleged alien manipulation of the human genome.
In detailing these researchers’ unethical, and now outdated, practices, Brewer draws on Jacobs's indefensible treatment of his subject "Emma Woods", and Hopkins's ex-collaborator (and ex-wife) Carol Rainey's observations of Hopkins's abundance of credulity, coupled with his decided lack of concern for his subjects' well-being. Brewer notes the tendency among abduction researchers to respond to critics by labeling their critics "debunkers" (as Hopkins did Rainey) that, much like Trump with his "fake news" soundbyte, represents a transparent attempt to silence opposition rather than responsibly address their legitimate criticisms. Researcher Tyler Kokjohn, in a brief interview with Brewer included here, provides a sober -- and damning -- analysis of alien abduction research and its capacity for self-deception, bad science, and lack of ethics.
In the second half of the book Brewer, drawing largely on the previous researches of Nick Redfern and Mark Pilkington, addresses the storied history of government involvement with UFO phenomenon, and the various forms of chicanery perpetrated by officialdom. Government infiltration into UFO groups and among independent researchers, Brewer contends, was undertaken in order to create confusion and disarray and to protect top secret espionage and spy efforts, including advanced weaponry and equipment (essentially spy planes and satellites). Moreover, in 1947 the FBI believed that UFO sightings -- including those spotted on radar -- were hoaxed in order to cause mass hysteria. According to Brewer, two years later, the CIA got in on the action, utilizing the UFO as a method of psychological manipulation. By 1952 they were manufacturing saucers utilizing electronic counter-measures technology to create false radar blips (as in the 1952 Washington DC flap).
Special focus is here paid to James Carrion's research on the 1940s "ghost rocket" phenomenon as an example of government deception program, and the Betty and Barney Hill abduction, inexplicably regarded by Brewer as an example of manipulation by the intelligence community. More recent examples include Area 51-stationed Airman Simone Mendez's experience with a fraudulent government document that allegedly concerned NORAD tracking of UFOs, and the Leah Haley abduction case and Carpenter Affair, a strange admixture of the classic abduction narrative of missing time, repressed memories, and unexplained body markings, coupled with the familiar conspiracy narrative of intimidating and unusual visits from unidentified military personnel, as well as the subsequent exploitation of her story by researchers in the ufological establishment, namely MUFON.
Brewer in fact considers many UFO-related events to be the result of government deception (including, according to Brewer, much of the UFO mythology as we now know it, everything from Roswell to Rendlesham, from the Flatwoods Monster to the Villas Boas abduction and beyond), a continuation and expansion of Cold War-era mind control and propaganda efforts of various individuals and institutions involved in the intelligence community. Brewer's claim is bold, and indeed something of a stretch, for, apart from some definite examples of government shenanigans (e.g. the Bennewitz affair and Serpo, among others), much of the mythology government actors perpetrated in fact drew from civilian experience and literature, itself deriving in part from pulp fiction and horror and science fiction films, in what amounts to a kind of modern-day folklore. Many of these high strangeness events simply defy comprehension and cannot be accounted for by the various sciences -- including consciousness studies or indeed current physics -- let alone the result of something as prosaic as mere government manipulation.
Brewer provides adequate citations (interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, his references are entirely limited to various websites, perhaps a sign of the times but also betraying the oddly limited scope of Brewer's researches) and a passable, if limited, index. The sections detailing government-perpetrated human experimentation past and present, while illustrative of the extent to which certain publically funded agencies -- primarily the CIA -- would engage in unethical, illegal, and harmful activities, seem a little beside the point.
The Greys Have Been Framed (the title is a bit odd, given the subject matter) is nevertheless an enlightening and disturbing, if ultimately frustratingly flawed, look at the use of the UFO phenomenon by professionals in and out of government for decidedly non-altruistic purposes. For those interested in pursuing a more nuanced understanding of UFO phenomena, Brewer provides a cautionary tale, warning against the tendency of government agencies and certain individuals in the ufological community to use experiencers and researchers as means to an end. Brewer may not be interested in the UFOs themselves, yet his efforts at identifying these manipulative efforts helps to clear away much of the smoke that continues to cloud the field. - Eric Hoffman, Fortean Times
I'll preface my review by stating that I have had a long time, heavy interest in this field, mostly leaning towards the ideas of Vallee, Whitley Strieber & Carl Jung. I find the philosophy behind the spiritual aspect of the phenomenon fascinating. That said, Jack Brewer's research here has flat out destroyed the credibility of most alien abduction accounts, since pretty much the entirety of the phenomena in popular cases are rooted in hypnotic regression. The book covers in detail how well known researchers/authors have lead research subjects into the co-creation of abduction memories through hypnosis, to the end of furthering the researcher's own theories for future books, lectures, etc... basically making their career out of this practice. This all amounts to the severe exploitation and abuse of these research subjects, creating actual trauma that rips their lives apart. I'm actually quite furious to learn of these abuses and the fact that the bulk of the UFO community has turned a blind eye, still supporting these figures. David Jacobs remains one of the top tier researchers/authors and his work is still widely referenced by the likes of Richard Dolan, someone who is regularly touted as a highly rational & respected name in this field. There's also recently been a popular documentary made called "The Seeding" which is all about the theories of these abusive, fraudulent hypno-researchers. I'm quite dismayed that much of the material about Emma Woods seems to no longer be publicly available, and that nothing much ever came of it. The UFO community must come to terms with and acknowledge these issues which have shaped modern ufology.
I enjoyed reading this a lot more than Wayward Sons. This book is mainly about the exploitation of the UFO community by intelligence agencies. Jack meticulously leads the reader through most of the memorable, noteworthy cases and the characters involved , highlighting questionable unethical by practitioners; detailed analysis of Regression Hypnosis and the differences between different types of hypnosis and their uses. Chap.14 was a real surprise; very graphic detailing the torture in Gitmo & Abu Grahib, gleaned from government reports. He surmised the same technique of perception management and tactics were used on UFO subjects minus the torture & drugs. As usual Jack’s voluminous resource links at the end of every chapter provide the inquisitive reader with easily accessible further reading.