In the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1977, an alien spaceship lands, by prearrangement with the U.S. government, on a high mesa called The Devil’s Tower in a remote corner of Wyoming and an ambassadorial exchange takes place. A single alien disembarks and is escorted away, presumably to a secret site. Then, twelve American astronauts in orange jumpsuits and industrial strength sunglasses, with duffel bags slung over their shoulders, ten men and two women, march into the spacecraft to be whisked away to the alien home planet. In the previous scene, they are blessed by a clergyman, who refers to them as “pilgrims.”
Was this just some inventive touch conceived by Spielberg, or did he base it on something real? Since it is now widely believed in UFO circles that a pre-arranged alien landing did take place at or near Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in April of 1964, it seems not unreasonable, to true believers, to suspect that Spielberg may have had an inside track on classified information, and that the ambassadorial exchange with an alien race may also have been a real event.
Now, in what could be an unprecedented break with government secrecy policy, a few former military insiders have come forward to say that the exchange was indeed real, and actually took place almost exactly as depicted in the movie. Under the auspices of a Defense Intelligence Agency program referred to as Operation Crystal Knight, or what is now being called “Project Serpo,” it has been claimed that twelve astronauts left the earth in July of 1965, and were taken to the planet Serpo in the constellation Zeta Reticuli aboard an alien spaceship, as part of an exchange program. The bulk of the information about this program is said to have been dribbled out to the world via 21 e-mails from an individual referred to only as “Anonymous” to a closed circle of high-level UFO insiders beginning on November 2, 2005. Anonymous says that he was formerly a senior officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and is now the official spokesman for a group of six DIA personnel, three retired and three still currently employed there. It was decided by the group, and agreed to by Anonymous, that a web site should be created to publish all the e-mails on the Internet. One of the researchers in the group, Bill Ryan from England, volunteered for the job, and so began www.serpo.org , what has now developed into the official source for all Serpo-related information, including updates from Ryan, a link to a public forum, and supporting e-mails from other insiders who had knowledge of the Serpo project.
For the UFO community at least, the site has become something of a sensation. For what it’s worth this is the story offered on the site.
A Presidential Decree
The tale told by Anonymous is indeed amazing. If it is true, then, at a minimum, the entire history of the government pretense of ignorance about UFOs and extraterrestrials is completely blown away. Not surprisingly, it all begins with Roswell.
Anonymous says that the Roswell crash did occur, but that it involved two alien craft. The first was found relatively intact, embedded into a hillside southwest of Corona, New Mexico on July 5, 1947 by a university archaeology team. This site is about 75 miles northwest of Roswell, and is famously referred to as the “Roswell crash” because all the remnants of the crash were brought to the Roswell Army Air Force base, where the military took control of the information. The second crash site wasn’t discovered until August, 1949. Another downed craft, it is said, was found almost completely intact at a remote place outside of Datil, New Mexico by two ranchers. Evidently, the two spacecraft had collided somewhere near the Brazel ranch, thus accounting for the debris field, but the second craft, before hitting the ground itself, had limped on to the vicinity of Datil, about 80 miles west of Corona. Four dead aliens, the account goes on, were found at the Corona site, and six at the Datil site. However, one alien survived the Corona crash and was found hiding behind a rock. He was taken to Los Alamos, and became known as EBE #1 (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity #1). Although he “spoke” in tonal variations, just as in Close Encounters, the scientists at Los Alamos found a way to communicate with him, and he informed them that he was from a planet in the constellation Zeta Reticuli, about 40 light years from earth. The constellation was also referenced in the famous 1966 UFO abduction account of Betty and Barney Hill.
EBE #1 also provided researchers with a complete explanation of all the devices found in the crashed spacecraft, one of which was a piece of equipment for communicating with his home planet that survived the impact. However, the Los Alamos scientists could not get it to work until they discovered how to hook it up to the energy source on the crashed Corona disc. That was in the early summer of 1952. However EBE#1 died later that summer after sending six unanswered messages to his planet.
After the death of EBE#1, says Anonymous, the Los Alamos scientists figured out how to use the device correctly to communicate with the extraterrestrial race they had now named the “Ebens,” and they received the first reply around December, 1952. Eventually, they were able to converse in rough English. Over the next nine years, the communications wrinkles were slowly ironed out, mostly by trial and error. Finally, in 1962, it was arranged that the Ebens would send another mission to earth in April of 1964, and that we would meet the craft at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. By this time President Kennedy was in office. Then, according to Anonymous, “Several months into the planning process, President Kennedy decided to approve a plan to exchange a special military team. The USAF was tasked as the lead agency. The USAF officials picked special civilian scientists to assist in planning and crew selection.” It was arranged that we would send twelve astronauts to Serpo, and they would leave one Eben here in the custody of the U.S. government.
As might be imagined, the selection and training of the twelve astronaut-ambassadors was an extraordinary undertaking. After months of discussion it was ultimately decided that they be career military, single with no children and preferably orphans themselves, and with multiple special skills. Originally, about 56,000 files were screened of which 158 were picked by the selection committee. The final twelve, ten men and two women, plus four alternates, were chosen based on complex psychological, medical and other tests. All the team members were “sheep-dipped,” i.e., all identification records were purged, including social security, IRS, medical, military et al, and they were all listed as “missing” and discharged, so that no connection with their former identities remained. They were then assigned three digit numbers as new identities. They went through very difficult training for six months, mostly at Camp Perry in Virginia. Anonymous says, “Each team member had to endure extreme psychological and physical training. In one training test, each team member was locked inside a 5' x 7' box buried seven feet underground for five days, with just food and water, no contact with anyone else and in total darkness.” Four of the team members who were pilots were taught to fly an Eben craft back to earth, using for training the space ship recovered in 1949, in case it was necessary to escape from Serpo. In addition to the four pilots, the team consisted of two linguists, one biologist, two scientists, two doctors, and one security man. They were all given suicide pills and the team was assigned four 45 Colt revolvers and eight M2 carbine rifles.
The 1964 rendezvous occurred almost exactly as planned. Two Eben craft entered our atmosphere during the afternoon of April 24, 1964. After an initial mix-up, one landed just west of Holloman Air Force Base near the southern entrance to the White Sands Army Base, precisely at the designated location. The alien visitors were greeted by 16 senior U.S. government officials. It is not known whether or not President Johnson was among them. The Ebens brought electronic translating devices with them to facilitate communications. The remains of the eleven dead aliens were taken on board. Anonymous does not give the agenda of the meeting, but it is believed they presented us with the “Yellow Book,” a complete history of planet earth. The twelve astronauts were ready to board at that meeting and waited on a bus, but the aliens decided then that the exchange should wait until 1965. Then, in July, 1965, an alien craft returned, this time to the Nevada Atomic Test Site. Very much like the scene in Close Encounters, this was a simple, unceremonious, working meeting. The twelve courageous astronauts boarded the Eben craft along with 40 tons of supplies, for an intended stay of ten years. Four of them would never see Mother Earth again. Two would die, and two would choose to remain on Serpo. The others would not return until thirteen years later.
“We See Two Suns”
The trip to Serpo took ten months, during which the astronauts experienced considerable discomfort. They were offered Eben food, but all agreed that it tasted like paper, and they stuck with the C-Rations they had brought along. The diary of the team commander recounts the second day on board: “We sat in the chairs and a clear container was placed over us and the chair. We were isolated in this bubble or sphere. We could breath (sic) OK and could see out, but we really felt dizzy and confused. I think I fell asleep or fainted. I think this is another day, but my watch says one hour since we sat.” They used small metal containers for elimination, which the Ebens emptied for them. Eventually, they were able and allowed to wander freely around the enormous ship. The team was able to communicate with earth HQ at Kirtland AFB, using the alien device, for the entire trip. Prior to reaching Serpo, the team member known as 308 had some sort of accident and died of a pulmonary embolism. The Ebens were respectful of the funerary rites of the astronauts, but they took possession of the body.
The team commander’s account of the landing is vivid. “We see the planet for the first time. We walk down the ramp. Large number of Ebens waiting for us. We see a large Eben, largest one we have seen yet…I guess this guy is the leader. About one foot taller than the others. The leader tells us we are welcome to planet…we are lead (sic) to an open arena. Looks like a parade field. The ground is dirt. Looking up, I see blue skies. The sky is very clear. We see two suns. One brighter than the other. The landscape looks like a desert, Arizona or New Mexico. No vegetation that we can see. There are rolling hills but nothing but dirt…The brightness is almost too much for our eyes without sunglasses. What a planet.” They were quartered in four huts that appeared to be adobe-like, and all their gear was stored in an underground facility. The temperature was 107. The buildings all had lights and electricity generated by a small box. They were able to plug their electrical devices into the box, and they all worked.
The one they called Ebe2 was a female and spoke English well. The team commander asked her for the body of 308. They were taken to a large building where they met an Eben doctor who spoke English. The commander’s diary describes the confrontation: “This doctor told us that 308’s body was not inside the container. The Ebens have done experiments with 308’s body because they considered it an honor to have such a specimen to work with. The doctor told us they have used 308’s body to create a type of cloned human being. I stopped the doctor at this point. I told the doctor that the body of my teammate was the property of the United States of America, planet Earth. The body did not belong to the Ebens. I did not authorized (sic) any experiments on the body of 308.” It was a tense situation. The Ebens were upset with the team’s reaction, and Ebe2 told them that “everyone should be nice,” and repeated it several times. The astronauts had to back off to prevent a major escalation of the incident.
The commander and the scientists (700 and 754) were given permission to view what was left of the body of 308. This brought them into a building where biological experiments were being carried out. They were shocked by what they saw. The commander says they viewed “Strange looking bodies. Not human bodies, at least not all of them” from other planets being grown and maintained in tubs. The Eben doctor tried to explain the science behind their work, but the earthlings didn’t comprehend because they didn’t really understand DNA bio-technology in 1965. The team commander concluded that it was all evil stuff. He says, “I saw the dark side of this civilization.”
The population of Serpo is about 650,000. Anonymous says that the Eben civilization is about 10,000 years old originating on another planet which they were forced to leave 5,000 years ago due to volcanic destruction. The Ebens fought a devastating interplanetary war about 3,000 years ago, and wiped out their enemies using particle beam weapons. The war lasted about 100 years. The Ebens have a “Council of Governors,” which is in complete control of the population, with membership for life. The astronauts observed no crime, but there is an army, which also acts as a police force. But no guns or weapons of any type were seen by the team. There is one large community, which is the center of the civilization. All the industry is concentrated there. The Ebens do not use any type of currency—they are all issued whatever they need from central distribution centers. All adult Ebens do some type of work.
A 3,000-Page Book
Timekeeping was a problem for the astronauts, since the batteries controlling the timepieces brought by the team eventually ran out. This meant they could not keep track of the calendar, so they eventually relied on Serpo time, which was governed by the movement of their suns. So they lost track of earth time and ended up staying thirteen years instead of ten. It was determined by earth scientists that Kepler’s Law of planetary motion did not apply to Serpo. Carl Sagan was consulted on this, and wrote about 60 pages of opinion on the subject, but ultimately had to acknowledge that earthly laws of physics do not necessarily apply out of this solar system.
The eight astronauts returned in 1978, and were debriefed for a solid year by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, which resulted in a 3,000-page book. Anonymous claims to have a copy of this book. They were then released into civilian life. The last survivor of this brave and historic band of pioneers passed away in 2002. They had all absorbed large doses of radiation while on Serpo, and it is believed that this shortened their lives. In retrospect, it seems a shame that President Kennedy didn’t live to see his initiative become a reality. He was assassinated only five months before the first landing. Would he have used the occasion to reveal the extraterrestrial connection, perhaps with worldwide TV coverage? Could that have been his plan from the beginning? Perhaps some powerful insiders didn’t want that to happen. In any case, thanks to Steven Spielberg, maybe we got to see it after all.