Interview with William Birnes of UFO Hunters and UFO Magazine.
1. What lead and inspired you to create a companion series for your television show UFO Hunters and what can we expect from "UFO Hunters: Book One"?
The idea for a companion two-book series for UFO Hunters came out of a meeting between the publisher and A&E during the first season of UFO Hunters to talk about the background stories of the cases we covered, the episodes themselves, and the behind-the-scenes set up of the episodes.
2. Would you share some details about the chapter The Episode That Wasn't: The Las Vegas UFO?
That episode started with an email from a person who described himself as Colonel X, and Air Force officer who said that in an area near the national forest outside of Las Vegas there was a reverse-enginered UFO being test flown. He offered to help UFO Magazine film it and provided some information about its anti-gravity technology. He said that it was developed from research done at Area 51. We covered his story in issue 22.9 (#138). When we were setting up for the first episode of UFO Huntes, I received a call fromDowning of TWA Flight 800 author Jim Sanders saying that there was s strange very bright light above Las Vegas that was not the moon, not Venus, and not any star that he could identify. So we paid a visit to Sanders house to see what he was describing and we brought along a high resolution telephoto lens to capture the object on video. It was so bright and we were so intrigued by the sight, we traveled up to the national forest to get a better look from a position outside the light pollution of the Las Vegas strip. We had interfaced the telephoto lens and camera to a star map on the computer so that we could determine whether we were looking at a star. But the map showed no visible stars in that position in the sky. And we identified the International Space Station in another location in the sky. From the object's stationary position, we knew it couldn't be a falling meteor or comet. It was not a plane or helicopter because it was not moving. It just seemed suspended. When I texted back to UFO Magazine that we had found and photographed the object, suddenly its lights went out and it seemed to sink below the horizon. We had already videotaped the object so we packed up and headed back to Sanders' house to see if the object was visible from his driveway. It wasn't. Worse, he said he actually watched the object sink below the horizon. However, when we left his house, he phoned me, saying that as soon as we drove off, the object came back up again. Finally, I asked our aviation expert consultant, Bill Scott of Aviation Week what that object might have been. He said it was a government surveillance platform that was scrubbing all photo and electronic data and was able to read our license plates and tap in to my text messages. When it saw our convoy leave Sanders' house, it came back up. Scott said they were funning with us. When we realized we had videotaped a top-secret surveillance platform, we scrubbed the episode.
3. Could you share some fascinating details about Before Roswell: The Maury Island Incident?
First of all, we knew that the most prominent feature of our investigation into Maury Island wasn't really about a UFO because all the players in that story from 1947, except for Kenneth Arnold, had other agendas. This was really a conspiracy story with one key mystery: what caused the crash of the B-25, allegedly carrying UFO slag, over Kelso, Washington and why was the plane dispatched to investigate and bring back the slag in the first place? But as we set up the episode, we were met with immediate hostile resistance from a group that was planning to write its own book on the case and sought to prevent us from going to Kelso to search for parts of the downed B-25. We had to comply with various Washington State archeological regulations to even get onto the crash site even though it was privately owned and the other researchers had no exclusive rights to the property.
The investigation into Maury Island was straightforward enough, working with UFO historian George Early and collecting slag samples from the Maury Island beach and from underwater in Puget Sound. There was nothing anomalous about any of the samples except that we determined that they were very heavily ferrous. When we reached Kelso, however, things began to pop. We found the wreckage and inspected the crash site, but were paid a hostile visit by a next door neighbor who came over to challenge our pressence. He was packing a handgun in a holster on his belt. When we explained that we weren't leaving, had state permits to film on the property, and had permission from the property owner, the neighbor left. Shortly thereafter, we heard gunshots and it seemed he was firing his weapon over our heads. Next visit was from the County Sheriff, who asked to see our permits, was satisfied that we were fully credentialed to be n the site, and left. Pat and I then did some historical research on the personalities involved in the plane crash and found that two Army Air Force technical sergeants were passengers on the plane and had been ordered to jump out by the plane's pilots as the plane was going down. The pilots stayed aboard to navigate the plane away from inhabited areas and into the dense woods of Kelso. But the two technical sergeants filed crash reports with the Air Force and described how a fire broke out in the plane's bomb bay, which spread to the wing and brought the plane down. The pilots were the heroes who stayed with the plane and died in the crash.
We wanted to know why the Army Air Force sent the B-25 in the first place and why did they agree to take some of the iron slag back to their home base? Turns out that co-pilot Lt. Frank Brown had investigated the Kenneth Arnold case and determined that Arnold was an upright straight-shooter who did not fabricate his story of sighting a small fleet of strange craft over Mount Ranier just a few days after the Maury Island sighting. Arnold's credibility led Frank Brown to become rely on Arnold's investigative involvement in the Harold Dahl, Fred Crissman Maury Island story even though Arnold was being paid by Crissman for his services. Thus, when Crissman persuaded Brown to carry the slag reportedly collected by Dahl back to California, Brown agreed and stored the box of slag in the B-25's bomb bay. Our issue then was why did the plane catch fire? Was the material that the pilots were carrying some strange UFO material? That was our science segment. Our science producer and Ted Acworth assembled a mockup of a circuit breaker similar to the one in the B-25's bomb bay. Then we placed the slag we had collected near the circuit breaker. The breaker was overloaded, did not trip the circuit as it was supposed to and caught fire. That provided us with a plausible explanation for the fire that eventually spread to the rest of the plane and comported with the descriptions of the two tech sergeants.
We then located one of Frank Brown's descendants and showed him his great uncle's comments about Kenneth Arnold's integrity which explained the reason for Brown's involvement. We provided closure into Frank Brown's death and what happened to the plane. So no UFO, but a great story and final closure for two hero pilots, the first fatalities of the newly formed United States Air Force which had separated from the Army inAugust 1947.
4. When it comes to USOs aka Unidentified Submerged Objects what is a fascinating case you can share with us?
I've always been fascinated by 911 calls to the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station in Malibu from witnesses who saw craft exiting the water from Santa Monica Bay and then flying away. The other case involved a USO sighting and encounter on Coronado Island off San Diego when a USO appeared over land and frightened some campers there, which encounter might have involved missing time.
5. What can you share with us about Jeff Harvey's regression session plus the object that was extracted from his thigh? Which of course is from the abductions chapter?
Jeff Harvey had said that he had a UFO sighting when he was a child, which sighting his father also had. He said that he believed he had had subsequent encounters and said he had an implant on the upper inside area of his thigh. We were able to locate the subcutaneous object, found that it was responsive to a heavy magnet, found that was generating a radio frequency, surgically extracted it, and took it to Seal Labs for metallic testing and a chemical analysis. What we found was staggering. The object was a metal shard but human flesh and tissue were actually growing out of it. It wasn't just that flesh adhered to the object. Flesh was actually part of the object, something that is impossible under ordinary circumstances.
When Yvonne Smith regressed Jeff, he described an encounter that occurred when he was a child in which his mother was sent to another room in his house, his grandmother could not protect him from a threat, and the entity threatening him was creating a screen memory to prevent him from ever finding out what had actually taken place. Yvonne explained that she wouldn't attempt to force a recovered memory during the first regression session. It would take a few more sessions before Jeff's mind would accept what had been a clear threat to his person and to his psyche.
6. Would you tell us about the two young men spoke of in the book who claimed ET ancestry?
Both Michael Lee Hill of Ohio and Terrell Copeland had had numerous UFO sightings and had taken very compelling video of UFOs in their respective locations. Both said they had actual psychic communication with the UFOs, which had seemed to announce their presence in advance. In Terrell's case, he said that he had psychic abilities since he was a child and described an incident in which strange people told him that he had to study his "star seed." Michael Hill said that he was also instructed to study his connection with ETs. After Terrell told us that he had been discharged from the Marines because of an unidentified blood disorder, we decided to investigate by setting up blood work at Massachusetts General Hospital. We also had Michael Lee Hill tested as well. What we found out was that both experiencers had a blood anomaly, a secretion of protein from their muscles into their blood which did not seem to be environmental in origin, but because Michael and Terrell were as culturally diverse as any two people could be, having that blood disorder was a very strange occurrence. Maybe their UFO encounters experiences had done more than simply impressed themselves upon their memories. Maybe their relationship with UFOs went far deeper and involved some sort of hybridization between humans and aliens.
7. What can you tell us about the wreckage of a private plane the military buried in the Mexican Desert?
This was one of our most productive episodes because we were working from a document called the Deneb Report that authors/researchers Rubin Uriarte and Noe Torres wrote in their book about Mexico's Roswell. It was a report of a crash between a private plane and a UFO, spotted by US radar, over the Coyame desert just over the border with Texas. Although the Deneb Report, written by an unknown person to an unknown group, was very specific about the crash and retrieval of the UFO by a Mexican Army unit and their transport of the object back to their base and the sudden radio silence of the group, which was later discovered by US surveillance to have died along the road, there was no other confirmation of the crash itself or of attempts by the US Army, which entered Mexican territory to collect the crash debris and bury and burn some of it in the desert. Our goal was to locate the crash site and see if we could determine what had actually happened to the material.
We found the crash site and found that debris had been stuffed into a mine shaft and burned with a highly volatile accelerant whose residue was spread around the mine shaft. We even recovered US Army petroleum tanks as well as airplane parts and other debris. In other words, insofar as the crash and disposal of the airplane debris was concerned, we confirmed what the Deneb Report described.
8. Would you tell us about the UFO photographed over Area 51?
One of the first things Ted Acworth did when we arrived at Area 51 was to set up an array of surveillance camera to cover the airspace over the base. We captured a strange light over the base, which at first seemed to be a falling meteorite because of its brightness and flight pattern. However, when Ted and photo analyst Terrence Masson did a frame-by-frame analysis of the video they found that the object was traveling in a straight line and not falling but in what looked like a controlled descent. What made the video even stranger was that what we thought was the object disappearing behind a mountain was really the object turning off its lights before it went behind the mountain. In other words, there was something artificial about the object. It was self illuminating and was in a controlled flight and both Terrence and Ted said that, absent any other identifiable information, it was a UFO by definition.
9. How about the 1000 year old skull that had been discovered in a cave in Northern Mexico that had no human DNA in it?
This discovery was made by a teenage girl early in the 20th century, whose family eventually have it to a neonatal nurse for evaluation, assuming that it was the skull of a child who had died from water on the brain. It was a 900 year-old- skull. However, when the nurse examined the skull she found that it was not from a hydroencephalitic child because all the bones had knit in a symmetrical pattern. But there were real anomalies. She handed the skull to Lloyd Pye for testing and he found that the eye sockets were in the wrong place, too shallow to be human eye sockets. Also the way the skull would have been balanced on the spinal chord was all wrong for a human being and there was a strange red type of ribbon running through the skull bone. The skull was very thin, too thin for a human skull, but so dense that when Lloyd tried to cut through it for a sample, it wouldn't cut. Genetic testing at first showed that the skull had nucleic DNA that did match any DNA in the NIS database. So it was not identifiably human. However, analysts thought that it might have human mitochondrial DNA. If so, it would have been a clue to a form of invitro fertilization, something that would have been impossible 900 years ago. Nor could a hydroencephalitic child have survived 900 years ago. It turned out upon a preliminary sequence of the skull's genome that there was no human DNA match in the skull's cell mitochondria either. This was a true anomaly, which is where the research is today.
10. What can we expect from BOOK TWO and do you have any links or parting words you'd like to share with our readers? Thanks.
Describing giant triangles, the strange mutilated cow embryo from Dulce, the Phoenix Lights, the Aurora mystery aircraft, and James McDonald's lost UFO files and the conspiracy surrounding his death.
This interview is brought to you by TOR Books
This book can be purchased at Amazon.com
Jeffery Pritchett is the host of the paranormal and esoteric radio show The Church of Mabus and also writes for New Dawn Magazine and Before Its News.