Monday, May 20, 2013

Howard Hughes and Robert Bigelow: Men of Mystery

At my other blog ( Intangible Materiality) I had written several pieces about Robert Bigelow's substantial, personal investment in the creation of his now publically defunct NIDS (National Institute of Discovery Science)  to scientifically study the paranormal, as well as atmospheric anomalies. All of these organised studies seemingly culminated with the strange events at Skinwalker ( Sherman) Ranch. At the time of the formal disbanding of NIDS  he said that they had no impetus to investigate any anomalies "for 2 1/2 years" which struck me an explanation that defied common sense. Nothing to investigate?
Nonetheless, let's continue  to explore whether the bone of NIDS was buried rather than being tossed. One of several themes in this story is one of public access to information and the disparity between disclosing the inner workings of a corporation ( where there is no recourse for disclosure) and that of a government agency
When a private corporation becomes a contractor for the government, some interesting bone may be buried away from prying noses. Then there is another player in this play..

"When you have a field like ufology, where there’s so many layers of deception already, and the waters are constantly stirred and muddied by any number of people, whether for personal gain or whether its an intelligence agency that needs to put their fingers around everything........If MUFON is to be deemed beyond reproach and not having outside influence or manipulation, you can’t hide behind non-disclosure agreements and you can’t hide behind “No comment.” You have to be open and you have to lay all your cards on the table and state exactly what your position is. So I find it very interesting John Schuessler has refused to comment on whether he received a security clearance in connection with his association with Robert Bigelow"
— James Carrion , former International Director, MUFON

Bigelow has always reminded me of another entrepreneur who had both close ties to the CIA and the federal government as well as the development of experimental aircraft. They both have their fingers in several pies and both heavily involve themselves in what could be generically could be described as intelligence gathering.
From an obituary in the Las Vegas Sun of Robert Maheu Hughes's Chief Operating Officer;

 "Robert A. Maheu, a former Howard Hughes confidant and  chief trouble shooter for the operational wing of Hughes empire was a documented  CIA operative once involved in a failed plot to poison Fidel Castro, has died in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 90. Maheu died Monday evening of congestive heart failure at Desert Springs Hospital, according to his son, Peter Maheu. Maheu was the public face of Hughes' massive corporate empire in the 1960s, a period in which the troubled aviator and one-time Hollywood playboy was increasingly reclusive and dogged by phobias. Hughes spent the later part of the decade holed up in his Las Vegas hotel suite, directing Maheu and his casino and development interests via memo. Maheu worked for the FBI in the early 1950s and later as a private investigator who counted the CIA among his clients."

More here on the CIA connection from the Washington Post:

 Hughes and Bigelow as the preeminent inside operators. They even somewhat look like one another. Both are and were enfolded into government activities. The resemblance between Hughes Version .1 and Hughes Version.2 is, in more ways than one, remarkable.

 Long after his organisational structure to undertake these studies was disbanded ( or reorganized in a more covert manner) Bigelow held onto the title to the ranch. During this transitional reorganization to a very close relationship between Bigelow Aerospace and NASA  , it further evolved as his firm now developed into becoming a private contractor for NASA.
An interesting transition of private and public purpose.
Of course we are all familiar with the endless string of testimony from NASA' s own astronauts concerning strange things seen in orbit that remain mysteries.

Also, at that time, his firm was developing inflatable orbital space vehicles that were successfully launched. One highly strange aspect of this vehicle was it was equipped with a very large projection capability, much like a television, that could broadcast images to...the void of uninhabited near earth space At the time, I thought this may be an attempt at communication with space anomalies that do not officially exist as all the other possible uses of this seemed absurd in relation to the amount of capital it took to design, fabricate and launch a television into earth orbit. I seemed to be the only one at the time who thought this was odd. Truth is stranger than fictions. In the back of my mind arose the misdirection of attention achieved by Hughes and the Glomar Explorer. Why would someone with a huge ego project their image when there was no one to see it?
The idea seems ludicrous. However when you think of projecting non verbal images or messages to someone or something already there as a form of communication, it's a nifty concept.
Below is the actual image used on the Bigelow website:

Shortly, in the same timeframe a February 11, 2010 directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to the FAA Air Traffic Organization setting out how pilots and all individuals should report sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) sightings and appearing now on the FAA website specifically mentions an organization controlled by Bigelow, stating in part that “Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/ unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS)…, the National UFO Reporting Center, etc..” 

From airplanes to aerospace..the prerogative of the lone wolf visionary with a penchant for privacy whether it was Hughes and now Bigelow who largely speak through emissaries, if at all, largely to conceal the shape of things to come. Then again, I recall the infiltration of UFO research groups by the CIA and now it seems it simply easier to pay for what you want as in politics or the Mafia. Hughes knew this all too well and so does Bigelow.

Then MUFON was also folded into this reporting structure that funneled reports directly to Bigelow. Some of us recall the brouhaha following James Carrion's resignation and in his own words, in bullet point fashion he expands the reasons behind his resignation. 

  • "John Schuessler, MUFON Board Member and former International Director was offered a U.S. government security clearance allegedly related to his consulting work for Mr. Bigelow. Now whether John was actually given that clearance, I can’t say for sure, but I was one of the people interviewed as part of his background investigation.
  • Mr. Bigelow did not fund MUFON’s work for BAASS, instead “sponsors” that Bigelow revealed to John Schuessler but not to the other MUFON Board Members put up the money.
  • Mr. Bigelow invalidated his own legal contract with MUFON by refusing to abide by the original deal struck with MUFON and instead changed the terms mid-stream, something the MUFON Board of Directors acquiesced to despite my protests.
  • During the project, MUFON provided both historical MUFON files as well as current MUFON case files (including witness information) to BAASS. To cover MUFON legally, the MUFON UFO reporting form was modified to collect the witness’ permission to offer their sighting data to a third party, the only third party being BAASS
  • When I uncovered some very damaging information about the Skinwalker Ranch (also owned by Mr. Bigelow) and provided that information to the MUFON Board along with my doubts about the true agenda of the BAASS-MUFON relationship, the MUFON Board unethically bypassed me and communicated in secret with BAASS in an attempt to continue the project. When I found out about this unethical behavior, initiated by my former friend and current International Director Clifford Clift and MUFON Board member Jan Harzan (probably the next International Director after Cliff retires), I resigned immediately from the MUFON Board and the International Director position
  • Rather than reveal the truth of why I resigned to the MUFON membership, Cliff decided to whitewash the unfortunate events while he swept his broom around MUFON, portraying me as an inept leader who brought MUFON to financial ruin and presenting himself as the savior of the organization. His betrayal stung me to my very core, as I considered him a friend for fourteen years until he revealed who he truly was. At the 2010 MUFON Symposium he told the MUFON State Directors that I left MUFON because the “truth” I was seeking was not the same “truth” the MUFON Board of Directors sought."
NASA now also has joined the anomalies direct report club and I may be the only one who thinks that a government who disallows the existence of them, now has a private contractor in their employ who is analysing what does not exist. 

Does anyone else consider this more than a bit schizophrenic?

An enterprising young man captures nervous laughter and some carefully crafted responses at a conference that Bigelows firm participated in..

 .Some hide in hotels some hide with corporate representations...and some secrets hide in plain view. Some lead advances from the forefront and some lead from behind, pushing from a less prominent position in the rear, driving the rest of us toward some imagined goal while they themselves are mysteries, as mysterious as the goals they pursue much like material anomalies.

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