Alternate Perceptions Magazine, May 2020
Review of Intimate Alien
by: David Halperin
April 8, 2020
A new book by David Halperin, Intimate Alien came to my attention when Bill Chalker, an Australian UFO researcher and author of Hair of the Alien: DNA and Other Forensic Evidence of Alien Abduction contacted me for my evaluation of Chapter 3 “The Abductions Begin”. It would have been impossible for me to comment on the book without reading it, so I reluctantly made the purchase. I do not make a habit of writing critical comments on debunkers and disinformants because it requires time and effort that I can ill afford. My time is better spent on productive endeavors seeking answers to a myriad of questions on the possibility of a non-human presence on planet Earth. I often ruminate over what my friend and coauthor Stanton Friedman could have accomplished if he had not wasted his time on the negativity generated by so called debunkers. My preferred terms are deniers or disinformants because most of the so-called debunkers are not removing nonsense, they are perpetrating a false mythology by ignoring evidence and focusing on speculation. David Halperin is no exception.
His book begins with a short biographical history of his early life as a social outcast living with a debilitated mother and distant father. Marginalized by his peers, he turned to the tales of some of the early, sensational UFO genre authors, whose heyday played out at a time before respected scientists began the open study of UFO evidence (as opposed to covert studies being carried out by the US government). An uncomfortable family environment led to his search for intellectual stimulation outside his home and peer group. At age 12, nearly 13, filled with guilt over his own birth and the stroke and heart attack his mother suffered, he sought an escape in the New Jersey Association on Aerial Phenomena. His sense of social isolation and early intellectual prowess propelled him toward this taboo. Yet, he did not comprehend the magnitude of his folly. When his friend went off to college, he stepped in as director and writer of three newsletters to two dozen members. He states that he wasn’t a kook; he was merely caught up in a delusional system. He doesn’t inform us of a date when his delusions lifted, and he withdrew his curiosity in the great taboo.
He found his niche in academia earning a doctorate and becoming a professor of religious studies. Now retired, he has returned to his teenage interest but from a different perspective. He now believes that he is fettering out the nonsense of the delusional belief that UFOs are real. But to researchers who have studied the evidence in US Government files and archival records UFOs are real. One example is the largest study of UFOs ever conducted by the US Government, Blue Book Special Report No. 14. The study was carried out in 1955, at the prestigious Battelle Memorial Institute on 3201 UFO reports in Project Blue Book files. Each report was evaluated on several criteria and assigned to one of the following categories: Balloon, Astronomical, Aircraft, Miscellaneous, Psychological, Insufficient Information and Unknown. The case could only be designated “Unknown” when all evaluators agreed that the craft defied conventional explanation. In the end, a significant 21.5% of the cases were deemed “Unknown”. A chi square analysis added additional weight to the scientific conclusions.
Turning to Intimate Alien we find a less than scientific analysis of the evidence. The reader learns of a multiple witness UFO sighting in Philadelphia on January 15, 1974 and investigated by Matthew Graeber. Mr. Halperin places too much weight on the location, a psychiatric hospital, near where 23-year-old mechanic and student pilot, “Tim” observes a craft less than 100 feet in the distance. The young man phones his pregnant girlfriend and her parents, with whom he lives. They join him and have their own observation of a double convex disc-shaped craft joined at the center by a revolving rim with a cupola at the top. By the time they arrive it is about 150 feet away, flying slowly and hovering in the air. The car’s high beams illuminate it.
Mr. Graeber, the UFO investigator, drives to the site but is delayed by inclement weather. When he arrives, the craft is no longer visible, and the witnesses cannot be located. He interviews them the following day and they sketch pictures of the craft. The young man’s drawing does not match that of the other three witnesses. He has sketched a curvilinear roughly cigar shaped object that dips in the center and rises on both ends. The investigator labeled it a finger shaped UFO. It has three illuminated glasslike features: one on the posterior end, a hatch or window on the underside, and an unlighted oval window on the anterior section of the craft. Red and green blinking lights and a steady bright, white spotlight are observed. It is beige or tan, silent, and the size of a small jet. (Additional details were not accessible because the links on Mr. Halperin’s various webpages are inoperable and search engines lead back to his webpages.)
Mr. Halperin does not believe the witnesses. He sees the apparent discrepancy in the aerial vehicle’s shape as a Jungian psycho-social projection. He assumes that the young man is in a state of turmoil, agonizing over his girlfriend’s socially unacceptable pregnancy. His sketch is a representation of his inner turbulence. It is not a UFO. It is an erect, ejaculating penis encased in a broken condom, the assumed cause of his girlfriend’s pregnancy. Some of his fans agree with this rather sophomoric assessment.
“Intimate Alien” includes a chapter on the September 19, 1961 UFO sighting and abduction of Betty and Barney Hill, in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. His presentation of the case is replete with tenuous conjecture. He suggests that somehow Barney carried deep seated memories of the trauma experienced by the black victims of America’s dark history of slavery that played out in an imaginary abduction by non-humans. He argues that Betty’s abduction is derived from a different but similar psychological source, one that can be traced to her family’s roots. She was white.
Regardless of Mr. Halperin’s imaginings, the fact is that the Hills were advocates of civil rights and social justice. It was their mutual interest and intellectual endeavors that attracted them to one another. Both were involved in the US Civil Rights Movement and the US Government’s Anti-Poverty Program. Barney was appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights State Advisory Board and received an award from Sargent Shriver for his work as an executive board member of the Rockingham County Poverty Program. Betty was a powerful advocate of their mutual aspirations. Their work in this arena appears to be unrelated to their UFO event.
Through a convoluted psychological dance, Mr. Halpern believes that his highly speculative supposition, ancestral trauma and guilt, are more certain than the compelling evidence that Betty and Barney Hill did indeed have a close encounter with an unconventional aerial vehicle on September 19, 1961. However, a careful examination of his statements reveal that he made many invalid assertions. Let us examine the evidence vis a vis his false statements.
He begins with the blatantly false allegation that the Hill’s couldn’t afford to spend the night in a motel, so they had no choice but to drive all night. The fact is that Barney intended to stay at a motel in Montreal and take in the nightlife but changes his mind when he discovers that he is on the outskirts of the city on the route toward New Hampshire. He drives on, knowing that he can stop at a motel if he becomes tired. He states to Dr. Benjamin Simon, on February 29, 1964, “I felt in good spirits. I felt in high spirits. I was well rested from the night before, and we had spent a delightful day...I plan to travel as far as I can, and if I'm too tired, we'll stop in New Hampshire in the mountains.” Mr. Halperin refers to the couple’s great fatigue, but ignores Barney’s statement, “I knew I could drive on from the White Mountains down to Portsmouth. So, I didn't stop. I didn't feel too tired.” It appears that Mr. Halperin has placed too much weight on a false statement constructed by disinformants. He believes lies, not Barney.
Later, Mr. Halperin touts one family’s drive along the Hill’s route. The husband believes that he has made an astute discovery: The Hills had not observed an unidentified disk-shaped object. They had mistaken a 35-foot observation tower at the top of Cannon Mountain for the UFO. He fails to comprehend that investigators have driven the route repeatedly as part of their own investigations. In fact, my husband and I drove the entire route from Niagara Falls to the Hills home in Portsmouth, NH, making the same stops, on the same roads. We saw the tower illuminating Cannon Mountain. It didn’t hover or rotate, nor did it move rapidly in a zig zag motion as reported by the Hills. We couldn’t see it from the field, seven and a half miles south of the tower, where the unconventional craft swooped down and hovered only a two hundred feet above the Hill’s car.
The family, whose statements Mr. Halperin accepted without doubt, did not have the knowledge contained within the hypnosis tapes and archival records. Nor had they driven the route with Betty Hill. The family apparently ended their investigation at Cannon Mountain, feeling satisfied that they had solved a great enigma. They did not know that countless investigators had traveled the same route and failed to unravel the mystery.
This shoddy, so-called investigation supports Mr. Halperin’s preconceived notion that the Hill’s event never happened. The documented evidence can be easily found in my book with nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, M.Sc. (1936-2019) Captured! The Betty and Barney UFO Experience. However, Mr. Halperin prefers to focus on emotional reactions that were elicited through deep trance hypnosis in the office of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Simon, rather than the facts in the archival records. The documented conscious account is as follows:
As Barney stood, binoculars held to his eyes, staring at the silent hovering disk, he observed figures whom he described to Walter Webb, an astronomer and scientific investigator for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. Webb wrote on October 26, 1961, “Now the UFO had filled up the entire field of the binoculars. The leader at the window held a special attraction for the witness and frightened him terribly. The witness said he could almost feel the figure’s intense concentration to do something, to carry out a plan. Mr. Hill believed that he was going to be captured like ‘a bug in a net.’ That is when he realized it was no conventional aircraft he was observing, but something alien and unearthly, beings of a superior type, beings that were somehow not human.” This was 26 months before Barney’s first appointment with Dr. Benjamin Simon, who treated his UFO related trauma through deep trance hypnoanalysis.
It is the psychological overlay, generated by Barney’s denial and conflict with Betty that shrouds reality, a moment of cognitive dissonance as he stands in the close encounter field. He is a confirmed skeptic regarding UFOs. He knows that unconventional craft carrying non-human entities are a product of weak minds and imaginary tales (much like Mr. Halperin knows this). But regardless of how many times he pulls down his binoculars and blinks his eyes, the craft remains looming overhead.
Mr. Halperin asks, “Why should he have tried so desperately to free himself from the (binocular) strap?” He ignores the evidence, the real severed binocular strap, and postulates that ancestral trauma, not Barney’s impending UFO capture, has generated the violent thrust of Barney’s arms. Barney pulls the straps away, he believes, because African captives were fastened together at the neck.
He’ll find the truth in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. Barney sees a figure at the window and crewmembers carrying out a plan of action. Their arms go up and something begins to drop down from the craft’s underside. He immediately senses that he must take flight, or he will be captured. Breathless, he dashes to his running car, shifts it into gear, and tears down the highway. The craft takes position above his vehicle and he and Betty hear a series of codelike buzzing sounds striking the car’s trunk. This is part of their conscious recall.
The car vibrates and a tingling sensation passes through Betty and Barney’s bodies. They hear a second series of buzzing tones and discover that they are some thirty to thirty-five miles south of their previous location. The aerial vehicle is no longer overhead. They share distant memories of a roadblock, a dirt road, and a red-orange orb resting on the ground. They drive on, arriving at their home at least two hours later than they should have, even accounting for their stops.
Mr. Halperin dismisses the time differential stating that Barney was “driving sleep deprived down narrow, winding, unfamiliar mountain roads in pitch darkness.” He assumes that he has great insight beyond and in opposition to the Hill’s own statements and the astronomer’s and meteorologist’s scientific data. Barney states that he had been to the area previously, so he know where he is. It is a bright, light night, not pitch black. Route 3 through northern NH is a US Highway and Route 93 is an Interstate, not narrow winding mountain roads. I’m not going to say that Mr. Halperin is delusional. But I suspect that he believes false information propagated by the disinformant Philip Klass (1919-2005), a deceptive man whom he apparently admires. (Read Fact, Fiction, and Flying Saucers, by Friedman and Marden, for a documented expose’ on Philip Klass.)
When they arrived home, the Hills took long showers to wash away possible contamination (the craft had been so close) and rested uncomfortably. Barney recounted their day to Dr. Simon as follows: “We decided we would not ever tell anyone, and we would only talk about it to each other. And I said, ‘But Betty will you draw a picture of what you think you saw? And I will.’ And we drew pictures and they were identical, and Betty called her sister and told her sister.”
Hill’s separate sketches of craft
Are we to believe that Barney’s sketch of the craft, drawn within hours of his sighting, is an example of a delusion created by ancestral trauma? Could its shape resemble the yoke that binds slaves at the neck? It is surprising that Mr. Halperin did not make this analogy. He simply assumes that Barney suffered a delusion brought on by fatigue, but we already know that Barney felt “well rested” and “not too tired”. It appears that he believes that he knows more about Barney than Barney himself.
That afternoon, the Hills discover new shiny spots on their car’s trunk that had not been there the previous day. A compass indicates the presence of a magnetic field around the spots. It is an inconvenient fact for those, such as Mr. Halperin, who are in denial.
He fails to mention Betty and Barney Hill’s Project Blue Book report to Pease Air Force Base on the day after they arrived home. It provides a bare outline of their sighting. Five days later, Betty writes of Barney’s close encounter and his description of figures that seem to be dressed in some type of shiny black uniform, in a letter to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. Part of Betty’s letter appears in Mr. Halperin’s book. He omitted Betty’s sketch of the erratic flight pattern and six paragraphs concerning the craft’s very large size, their report to the USAF, their urge to return to the site, and their interest in finding a competent psychiatrist who uses hypnosis.
The Project Blue Book report reads, “They report that the object was travelling north very fast. They report it changed direction rather abruptly and then headed south. Shortly thereafter, it stopped and hovered in the air…They report that while the object was above them after it ‘swooped down’ they heard a series of short, loud “buzzes” which they described as sounding like someone had dropped a tuning fork. They report they could feel these buzzing sounds in their auto…the flight pattern of the object to be erratic; it changed directions rapidly, and during its flight it ascended and descended numerous times very rapidly. Its flight was described as jerky and not smooth.”
It is important for readers to know that the report was registered nine days before Betty had her first of five dreams. Her dreams have been exaggerated and promoted by deniers. My comparative analysis of the Hill’s statements under hypnosis vis a vis Betty’s dreams, indicate that some of her hypnotic memories are consistent with her dreams but others stand in sharp contrast to her dream account. Furthermore, Betty and Barney made statements about their abduction memories that matched in detail but were not in Betty’s dreams.
Mr. Halperin chooses to ignore the two radar reports on the night of the Hill’s experience and the statements made by two US Air Force officers, at the Maxwell AFB Air Command and Staff College on May 17, 1974. The thesis by William E. Brummet USAF Major and Ernest R. Zuick, Jr, UFAF Captain posed the question “Should the USAF Reopen Project Blue Book? In their investigation of Air Force policy, they evaluated Project Blue Book’s handling of Betty and Barney Hills’ 1961 UFO sighting and abduction.
The Air Force officers wrote, “There is no indication that the Hills were ever contacted by the Air Force after this report was filed. This is particularly strange since Project Blue Book files show that a UFO was spotted and tracked by Air Force radar operators at nearby Concord AFS, Vermont less than seven hours prior to the Hills' sighting. Another UFO was sighted by Pease AFB precision approach radar only two hours following the Hills’ visual sighting.” (p. 52) Non-availability of observers for early interrogation precluded electrical transmission of report…This is a particularly puzzling statement, since the Hills were readily available for interrogation at any time…” (p. 53)
They continue, “Project Blue Book ended their investigation of the Barney and Betty Hill sighting and the corresponding radar sightings at this point without ever re-contacting the Hills. This is a particularly disturbing aspect of this sighting… (p. 58) The official Air Force explanation regarding the Hills' UFO sighting turned out to be almost as erratic as the radar and visual sightings themselves… No attempt was made at drawing a possible correlation between the visual and radar UFO reports even though former Project Blue Book Director, Captain E.J. Ruppelt admitted as early as January 24, 1953, that visual reports that supposedly correlate with erratic radar tracks warrant a detailed investigation… (p. 59) The radar ‘shimmering’ originally reported to the press was much more than a shimmer indicating an air mass. It was a bonafide sighting. It is not clear why Project Blue Book purposely withheld information to the press regarding the Pease AFB radar sighting, but it certainly supported the Government's attitude that UFOs did not exist.” (pp. 71-72) My question to Mr. Halperin is, can a delusion register on a radar screen as a bonafide sighting?
The USAF officers state, “The time that the Hills spent aboard the spacecraft could very well explain the two hours of their trip which were previously unaccounted for. Assuming the examinations did take two hours, and the UFO left shortly after releasing the Hills, an eerie time correlation can be drawn between the Hills' reported midnight sighting and the UFO tracked by Pease AFB radar at 2:14 a.m.…” (p. 63) Mr. Halperin, did the USAF officers suffer from ancestral trauma? Are they delusional? Why do their records support the belief that the Hills had a real sighting and probable abduction? Why do deniers refuse to acknowledge the truth?
The USAF officers quote Dr. Simon’s statement on the reliability of statements the Hills made under hypnosis: “Neither patient is psychotic, and both consciously and under hypnosis told what they believed to be absolute truth… The truth is what he believes to be the truth, and this may not be consonant with the ultimate and nonpersonal truth. Most frequently it is.” (p. 69) (emphasis added) Yet in contrast to the honest military and scientific investigators, Mr. Halperin’s truth echoes the false statements and shoddy speculative arguments lodged by deniers who refuse to accept the documented facts. He imagines not an abduction after the close encounter, relived independently by Betty and Barney, but horrific ancestral trauma and guilt that the Hills somehow conjured up independent of one another. Dismissive doubters claim that Betty’s dreams were the source of Barney’s delusion. But his statements to Dr. Simon demolish this allegation.
I have not yet mentioned the 12-14 witnesses that Boston Traveler reporter John Luttrell interviewed after Betty’s friend violated confidentiality. On July 7, 1976, Luttrell wrote to Stanton Friedman, “I recall interviewing between 12 and 14 different people from different communities surrounding Franconia Notch, NH, none of whom knew one another but all of whom remembered experiencing the same sighting at the same time the Hills did in the same location.”
Mr. Halperin fails to mention the physical evidence in the Hill case although he cites my book with Stanton Friedman Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. Betty’s dress was torn in several places and later coated in a pink dust that penetrated it in the areas where the non-human entities touched her. Scientists have conducted forensic, chemical and DNA analyses on Betty’s dress. Captured! has an entire chapter on Betty’s dress.
The toes of Barney’s best dress shoes were so deeply scraped that he was forced to purchase new ones. Under hypnosis he stated, “I felt very weak, but I wasn't afraid, and I can't even think. I am not bewildered. I can't even think of questioning what is happening to me, and I am being assisted. I think my feet are dragging. I think I am going up a slight incline, and my feet are not bumping on the rocks. That's funny, I thought of my feet bumping on the rocks. And they are going up smoothly.” How can a delusion resulting from ancestral trauma damage a man’s shoes? I wonder how Mr. Halperin will reconcile this with his flimsy conjecture?
There was additional evidence and an academic study has been carried out on the alleged symbols that abductees remember observing in an alien environment. Betty sketched the symbols she remembered, and they were stored in a locked file cabinet until they were printed in Captured! You’ll find the scientific analysis of these symbols in an update on Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience scheduled to be released in September 2021.
I cannot help but entertain the thought that Mr. Halperin is perpetrating a spoof on the UFO topic in general and through his absurd statements in Intimate Alien. I half expect him to admit that it was a joke to elicit laughter from his puerile followers.
Recently, the US Navy has admitted that radar footage of someone else’s craft belongs to them, but they didn’t release it. Naval officers have testified that the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena can hover for hours at 80,000 feet and drop vertically in seconds to 50 feet above the ocean’s surface. The water underneath it appears to boil as it appears to communicate with an identical submerged object. The UAPs execute maneuvers that are inconsistent with current principles of aerodynamics. The human body cannot tolerate abrupt starts and stops. A Navy official states on CNN “Those incursions present a safety hazard to the safe flight of our aviators and the security of our operations.” The descriptions are like those described in military archival records dating back to 1947. I hope that Mr. Halperin will do a thorough search of the evidence.
Brummet,William E. USAF Major and Ernest R. Zuick, Jr, UFAF Captain. Maxwell AFB Air
Command and Staff College. Submitted to the graduate faculty at Auburn University, in
partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Public Administration. May 17,
Friedman, Stanton and Kathleen Marden. Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience.
Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books. 2007.
_____. Fact, Fiction and Flying Saucers. Wayne, NJ: New Page Books. 2016.
Klass, Philip. UFOs Identified. New York: Random House. 1968.
_____, UFOs Explained. Vintage. 1976.
_____, UFOs, The Public Deceived. Buffalo: Prometheus Books. 1983.
Marden, Kathleen. “Betty and Barney Hill: Where the Debunkers Went Wrong.” 1/13/2013.
Ruppelt, Edward J. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Garden City, New York,
Doubleday and Co, Inc. 1956.
Swords, Michael, Robert Powell, et al. UFOs and the Government: A Historical Inquiry.
Anomalist Books: San Antonio. 2012.
Twining, Nathan F. “AMC Opinion Concerning Flying Disks.” September 23, 1947.
www.nicap.org/twining_letter_docs.htm. Original document provided by Keith Chester.
Webb, Walter. “A Dramatic UFO Encounter in the White Mountains, NH”. Confidential NICAP
Report, October 26, 1961.