Before examining the document, let’s look at the people and agencies involved. In the foreword to the 2014 edition of The Invisible College, Jacques Vallee talked about a group formed as a byproduct of his UFO research with Dr. J. Allen Hynek in the early 1960s:
“…a small cadre of dedicated researchers... began exchanging data and analysis on a regular basis.... Dr. Hynek called this informal network “the Invisible College”… In later years the movement started by this group became integrated in a larger, multi-nation volunteer research effort joined by many individuals... the questions we had raised have remained current: What is the nature of unidentified aerial phenomena?”
The Intelligence Community
In September 1972, Jacques Vallee was working as a computer scientist at the Stanford Research Institute in California. His journals (Forbidden Science Vol. II) reveal how Vallee met Dr. Harold “Hal” E. Puthoff, who also worked at SRI, and “invited me to visit his lab. He told me about paranormal experiments he was starting under government sponsorship…” Puthoff was a theoretical physicist with a background including engineering work and three years active duty as a Naval Intelligence officer with NSA. He and Russell Targ were developing a project to use psychics in intelligence gathering, later designated “remote viewing.”
The next day, “Over lunch at SRI I found out that both Ingo [Swann] and Hal were keenly interested in UFOs and the secrecy attached to the subject.” In November, Puthoff introduced Vallee to a psychic he was testing, Uri Geller. Vallee was supportive of the parapsychology research, but was not convinced when, “Uri told me he himself had no power, everything came from the saucers.”
|SRI: Puthoff and Geller appear in the first minute of this video clip.|
Puthoff continued to introduce Vallee to government contacts. In October, Vallee met Howell McConnell, who shared some similar interests (psychic phenomena, mysticism, UFOs) and monitored the SRI psychic project for the National Security Agency. McConnell told Vallee about the NSA’s skeptical approach. “I work for a bunch of bureaucrats… But an Agency like ours can take no risks. So we keep an eye on things. If something does happen, they'll be able to say they were aware of the situation, that one of their analysts was informed, his documentation up to date..."
In Nov. 1973, Puthoff told Vallee that he’d found “the leader of the CIA group that monitors the UFO field.” Recently, “a biologist, was put in charge. Hal says the new man doesn't want to see me yet.” In Feb. 1974, Puthoff called to “tell me that his main Intelligence contact was at his house... that I meet him…” Thus,
Vallee met, “Dr. Christopher Green nicknamed Kit, a dynamic bespectacled young man of medium build with alert brown eyes. … Green had counterparts in every branch of the Executive. Like Howell McConnell they mainly operated ‘out of personal interest,’ with the blessing of higher-level managers. They occasionally exchanged data, but he claimed little was done with it.”
Green worked for the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence, and a small part of his duties involved keeping an eye on reports of paranormal claims that might be of government interest. They met again in May 1974, and frequently discussed the UFO topic, but Vallee was frustrated that Green could provide no evidence of a cover-up of alien bodies and saucers. Meanwhile, Green was quietly making connections in the field. In an April 1975 entry, Vallee wrote, “Kit is now talking to every ufologist worth his salt.” (Despite this, Kit Green managed to keep his name out of print in ufology until the early 1990s). Two of Green’s 1970s contacts were in a team based in Houston, Texas.
Kit Green established friendly sources in two ufologists, Richard Niemtzow, M.D., and John F. Schuessler, a McDonnell Douglas employee contracted by NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Schuessler was a founding member and deputy director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), but he also launched his own elite organization in 1976. Schuessler’s Project VISIT (Vehicle Internal Systems Investigative Team) consisted of “professional members, doctors, aerospace engineers and scientists” focused “on the scientific and engineering study of the internal systems of Unidentified Space Vehicles (USV) and of the physiology of the beings which occupy these vehicles." (In plain language, flying saucers and aliens.)
VISIT was stated to be an informal private effort, not associated with Schuessler’s employer or the U.S. Government. Vallee heard something to the contrary, that Dr. Green was tasked by the CIA to check on their UFO work:
October 15, 1978: “Kit has a friend [Dr. Richard Niemtzow] in Houston… McDonnell Douglas is continuing their quiet but well-funded study with John Schuessler, also monitored by the agency. They seem to be looking for exotic alloys.” In an early 1979 entry, Vallee said he and Green had discussed the notion of a secret U.S. UFO program. Green told him he’d recently had a “conversation with John Schuessler, who thinks the secret project isn't at CIA but at NRO…”
The CIA had told Green the government was no longer interested in UFOs, but he continued his interest in the topic. Vallee wrote in May 1978, “Kit is in close contact with most of the UFO groups, so his interest is only confidential among the uninformed.”
In the spring of 1981, news coverage began about a major UFO case, an incident near Huffman, Texas. It took almost two months for it to surface, but two women and a boy, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum, and her grandson Colby, claimed to have been injured by a massive fiery object on Dec. 29, 1980. Their evening drive had been blocked by the terrifying UFO, and when it flew away it was followed by a flock of military helicopters. Cash became ill afterwards and spent much of the following weeks in the hospital. Their UFO report was not made until Feb. 2, 1981, but then the investigation was delayed until the end of the month, when John Schuessler started by interviewing the witnesses.
The C-L case received national publicity, and it was given a credibility boost due to the involvement of Schuessler, whom the witnesses and media regarded as a scientist from NASA. Since it was the most dramatic case in several years, ufologists found it fascinating. So did Dr. Kit Green, who was intrigued by the medical aspect, the reported physiological effects. There was nothing published at the time to document his interest, but Jacques Vallee’s, Forbidden Science Vol. III had an entry from 26 September 1981 that gives us an indication:
“Kit… spoke of the Cash-Landrum case in Texas that John Schuessler keeps studying: Three witnesses were exposed to radiation from a hovering object. For the first time a real medical study has been conducted. Kit is afraid two of the witnesses may die from the experience.”
1982-1983: The Army Investigation and the Lawsuit
In 1982, Department of the Army Inspector General (DAIG) ordered Lt. Col. George Sarran to determine whether Army helicopters were involved in the C-L incident, but his mission was not to investigate the UFO report. To be thorough, Sarran contacted several ufologists, John Schuessler, the primary investigator; his former VISIT colleague Capt. Richard C. Niemtzow; M.D., USAF; and Dr. Peter Rank, Radiologist. Although not named in the documentation, John B. Alexander says that both he and his friend U.S. Navy Captain Paul Tyler (medical consultant for the Remote Viewing program) were also consulted. In his report, Sarran eliminated the Army as a suspect, and he found no evidence of helicopters flying by any other U.S. government entity - or by anyone else. However, Sarran had interviewed both Mrs. Cash and Landrum, and he explicitly described them as “credible.”
In December of 1982, the legal effort by the witnesses against the U.S. government began. They still insisted military helicopters were involved in the UFO, and felt their medical problems were the result of it. Their attorney filed a damage claim against the Air Force for a total of 20 million dollars.
|Tabloid coverage of the C-L legal effort.|
1983 was a busy year for the case, with much media coverage of the incident, and of the $20,000,000 claim and potential lawsuit. Ufology was aggressively covering it as well, in newsletters and club magazines. But there was some U.S. government-related discussion of the C-L case that wasn’t revealed until about 30 years later. In 2011, the Central Intelligence Agency declassified a document about its remote viewing program. It contained handwritten notes about government-related ufologists involved in the investigation of a UFO case, and of sending a doctor associated with the program to examine the witnesses.
The “Star Gate” UFO Document
Few UFO-related documents were produced by the U.S. government in the 1980s. However, one surfaced when the CIA declassified some papers on December 1, 2011, as part of their “STARGATE” (Remote Viewing program) collection. It was an undated NSA document, 6-page long, handwritten, no author indicated, apparently notes during a conference. The topic for the first few pages was on people in the timeline of “Soviet Parapsychology Research. Halfway down page 5, the topic abruptly changed, recording the discussion of a UFO case in Texas, as if it were breaking news. The rushed notes are ungrammatical sentence fragments, and many of the words are illegible. Below is a transcription of some of the key excerpts:
Hot activity UF[O]
CE3 Texas much medical Data so good will go to Houston to see patient.
… low level radiation… 52 yr old [woman] neighbor & grandson…
Object… light… got out & 15 or 20 mins stopped…
Fleet of helicopters… Object so bright… becomes very ill burns blisters form…
talked to Vallee… GM [grandmother] retinal burn cataracts…
John Schuessler VISIT team investigating… hair on woman fell out…
Kit has permission to talk to her Dr & one of his physicians consultants.
Woman not getting better worse…
Kit is calling Dr look for blood - low level ionizing radiation.
lot of [screwy theory?] about this -
Kit offered to take [case if?] Schuessler can get $…
|To view the document itself, see the PDF at the CIA FOIA Reading Room:|
Handwritten Notes on Soviet Parapsychology Research (1930s – 1970s) and on Remote Viewing Research in the U.S.
The NSA notes unquestionably refer to the Cash-Landrum UFO incident of 1980. The author of these notes has been identified as Howell McConnell of the NSA, based on comparison with his other documents in the Stargate collection. His notes were probably made during a Remote Viewing meeting where Hal Puthoff or an associate read or summarized a Cash-Landrum report to the program participants. In the discussion, Jacques Vallee was referenced, but the central figure was “Kit,” who was interested in the medical aspect and might personally investigate. That was Dr. Christopher “Kit” Green.
What prompted a discussion of the C-L case in 1983, and why was there a sense of urgency? Aside from the mainstream media, possibly the most important items were by John Schuessler, and one by Richard C. Niemtzow, M.D. in the MUFON UFO Journal, January 1983, “Radiation UFO Injuries.” There’s no indication of any government follow-up to the NSA notes. What little official documentation relating to the C-L case all pertains to the (ill-fated) legal case.
There’s no direct evidence that Dr. Kit Green became involved in investigating the case due to the discussion recorded in this NSA note. However, it documents the strong interest by Green, Puthoff, and other players in the Remote Viewing story, people who continued to discuss and examine the Cash-Landrum case from then on.
Further Studies, 1985 to Present
The connection Hal Puthoff made with Jacques Vallee back in 1972 blossomed into a permanent expansion of the Invisible College, uniting an elite set of proponents of Remote Viewing, UFO studies, and the paranormal. They regarded the Cash-Landrum incident as not only genuine, but as the premier UFO injury case, and worthy of further study.
1985-88: The Advanced Theoretical Physics Project
In 1985, John B. Alexander put together the Advanced Theoretical Physics project. Dr. Hal Puthoff was a key member of ATP, and he kept his colleague Jacques Vallee informed of the group’s activities. Vallee called ATP, "the Secret Onion," and Forbidden Science Volume III (2016), has his entry for July 24, 1985:
"There was a meeting on frontier subjects in Washington recently. When Hal [Puthoff] arrived he discovered the topic was UFOs, and the overall project was structured in multiple layers, like an onion. The meeting was classified above top secret, under a codeword. Fifteen attendees reviewed cases like Kirtland AFB, Cash-Landrum and Tehran. They included Howell McConnell and [Paul] Tyler. Kit [Green] had been invited but couldn't attend.”
|The Advanced Theoretical Physics project.|
Alexander wrote in UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities, “We explored the Cash-Landrum case in depth because of lawsuits initiated against the U.S. Government under the assumption that the incident was caused by an experimental craft of ours that had caused the serious injuries.”
McConnell, the author of the NSA C-L document was part of the group, and several other players had ties to the psychic spy program. Ed Dames was a relative newcomer. Alexander intended to use remote viewing in the ATP’s UFO investigations.
While not officially related, the Star Gate files have a document dated 26 January 1988, on the remote viewing session of “GP,” Gabrielle Pettingell. The interviewer was “ED,” Ed Dames and their target was the “Cash-Landrum Object." It produced a vague drawing and description of a black glossy object in a hangar - somewhere.
Around the same time, Kit Green and John Schuessler reviewed the medical data on the witnesses in the C-L case. They co-wrote a paper, later referenced by Dr. Green as: “Green & Schuessler, unpublished findings of a pair of well-documented human cases…Cash-Landrum 1987.”
In 1995, Robert Bigelow created the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), “a privately funded science institute engaged in research of aerial phenomena, animal mutilations, and other related anomalous phenomena.” Under chairman Dr. Kit Green, their all-star science advisory board included Colm Kelleher, Hal Puthoff, John B. Alexander, Jacques Vallee, and John Schuessler.
1997: The Sturrock Panel
In 1997, Physicist Peter A. Sturrock of Stanford University directed an independent scientific review of UFO cases conducted by an international panel of scientists. Three of “the usual suspects” participated, Hal Puthoff, John Schuessler, and Jacques Vallee. Sturrock published a paper on it in 1998: “Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports: The Proceedings of a Workshop Held at the Pocantico Conference Center, Tarrytown, New York, September 29 – October 4, 1997.” The Cash-Landrum case was presented in “Physiological Effects on Witnesses,” which was later presented as chapter 15 (pp. 100-104.) of Peter Sturrock’s 1999 book on the study, The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence.
Getting back to NIDS, they undoubtedly discussed the Cash-Landrum case, as Schuessler published his book on it in 1998. Additionally, their website hosted two papers mentioning the case, and the NIDS-associated 2005 Knapp-Kelleher Hunt for the Skinwalker book included a review of the C-L story. NIDS came to an end when Robert Bigelow announced that NIDS was being deactivated in Oct. 2004. As we shall see, history suggests instead that it was closed for remodeling.
2007-2012 BAASS - AAWSAP - AATIP
In 2007, Robert Bigelow’s NIDS was reborn as Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), evidently created to secure the contract for the Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program (AAWSAP), known better today by the nickname AATIP. In their 2021 book, Skinwalkers at the Pentagon, the authors “acknowledge the extraordinary intelligence, vision, and decades of knowledge of UAP history that Christopher Green, Hal Puthoff, Jacques Vallee, Eric Davis, and John Schuessler contributed by advising both BAASS and DIA on designing the multiple projects that constituted AAWSAP.”
|Puthoff, Vallee, and Schuessler in Jan. 2009, working on AAWSAP subcontracting.|
The BAASS-AAWSP contract was camouflaged as conventional aerospace research using vague language also applicable to UFO studies, including: “propulsion… power generation…human effects… armament (RF [radio frequency]) and DEW [directed energy weapons]). BAASS was contracted to produce scientific papers in 12 technical subjects for use as Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs).
Puthoff contracted Dr. Kit Green, who delivered, “Anomalous Acute and Subacute Field Effects on Human Biological Tissues” in 2009. When later disclosed, the paper became infamous for being the only DIRD to specifically reference UFOs. It mentioned the Cash-Landrum encounter on 7 occasions, and was treated as a benchmark case for UFO injury studies. John Schuessler’s 1996 booklet, UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects, was a key reference for Green's paper. The 2009 “BAASS Ten Month Report” for AAWSAP reportedly cited the Cash-Landrum case in its discussion of key historical cases, and their plans to create a “medical physiological UAP effects program.”
AAWSAP was terminated in 2012 after the government funding to Bigelow was not renewed. Exactly how the DIRD relating to the C-L case was used has not been disclosed.
2018-Present: UAPTF – AARO and NASA?
The current U.S. investigation of UFOs began as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Tack Force (UAPTF) in 2018 but has evolved into the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). Participants are said to include “representatives with all relevant and appropriate security clearances from" across branches and agencies, including the CIA and NSA. To date, the program has only indicated an interest solely in contemporary military cases. However, NASA is also conducting an independent study of their own, which will include significant historical cases in their review of “data gathered by civilian government entities, commercial data, and data from other sources.” Though they are not tasked to investigate, their study will surely include the Cash-Landrum UFO case.
. . .
For additional information, see my previous Blue Blurry Lines articles on these topics:
For further information on the players and events, see the epic examination by Isaac Koi:
Thanks to the friend who pointed the NSA document to me, then helped identify its author. Best wishes to you in your related research.