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Due to the graphic nature of this episode, listener discretion is advised this conspiracy theory contains descriptions of animal mutilation. Extreme caution is advised for listeners under 13. The sun rose in the spring of 1976, leaving the nighttime chill of the New Mexico desert behind that morning, rancher Manuel Gomez was performing his routine check of the grounds when he came across an unusual sight.


One of his prized heifers was killed over in the dust. As Gomez neared the body, a terrifying chill raced down his spine. The cow was mutilated. It had surgically precise lacerations on its side. Even worse, a gaping hole lay where its genitals should have been.


The gruesome tableau convinced Gomez that this wasn't the work of a wild animal. It was a deliberate attack. The next day, Highway Patrol Officer Gabe Valdez met Gomez at his ranch to analyze the carcass to Valdez. The scene appeared much more surreal in real life than the rancher described over the phone.


Despite the gashes covering the cows body, there was no trace of blood, no signs of a scuffle, no tracks leading to or from the animal's body. It was as though the cow had been lifted from somewhere else and dropped there from the sky.


Overwhelmed, Gomez left the carcass there. He deal with it in the morning.


However, when Gomez returned to the same spot the next day, he saw that the attacker had struck again. Now the cows, left ear, utter random and tongue were gone. It was as if someone or something had returned to the night to finish the job. Gomez was terrified. What if the mystery attacker came back? Welcome to Conspiracy Theories, a Spotify original from podcast, every Monday and Wednesday, we dig into the complicated stories behind the world's most controversial events and search for the truth.


I'm Carter Roy.


And I'm Molly Brandenberg. And neither of us are conspiracy theorists, but we are open minded, skeptical and curious. Don't get us wrong.


Sometimes the official version is the truth, but sometimes it's not. You can find episodes of conspiracy theories and all other Spotify originals from Park Cast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.


This is our first episode on UFO investigator Paul Benowitz and his report on UFOs titled Project Beita. Today, we'll explore whether cattle mutilations during the 1970s and 80s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, were linked to floating lights over Kirkland. Air Force Base will also unravel the disinformation campaign used by the Air Force and will investigate whether they fabricated fake signs of alien life to cover up their own advanced technologies.


Next time, we'll talk about some of the stranger conspiracy theories surrounding the Benowitz affair, like the existence of MJ 12, the top secret government group responsible for all contact with extraterrestrials. We'll also explore whether the U.S. military possesses alien technology. And finally, we'll see if extraterrestrials are experimenting on humans to better understand our way of life.


We have all that and more coming up. Stay with us. This podcast is not affiliated with Podcast Network. If you're a fan of paranormal and true crime stories, you're going to love the outstanding podcast. And that's why we drink every Sunday. Hosts Christine and Emme dive deep into some of the most chilling ghost stories. And wild is true crime cases. You can also be a part of the show by sending in your own experiences for listener stories, which are monthly bonus episodes where Christine and Emme share your real life spooky stories from black eyed kids to math man and John Wayne Gacy to Jeffrey Dahmer.


The world is scary and that's why they drink. Listen to and that's why we drink on Spotify or your favorite listening platform today.


Kirtland Air Force Base lies on the southwest border of Albuquerque, New Mexico, since its founding in 1942. It's been host to a variety of government secrets and cover ups.


In 1945, it served as a transportation center for scientists who are testing the world's first atomic bomb and the Jornada del Morto desert. And from 1946 through 1949, German scientists were granted asylum in the U.S. after World War Two lived and worked near Kirtland in secret. But it wasn't just government intrigue that made Kirtland a complex and sinister place. Between 1948 and 1950, the Cold War's chill settled over the nation.


It was around the same time that the military noticed something strange happening over Kirtland Air Force Base. People saw glowing green balls of light falling from the sky. These luminescent orbs would zip around the base after dark, sometimes disappearing.


As soon as they'd arrived, officers felt certain that these lights were some sort of Russian technology. They feared that Soviets were testing the aim of long range weapons or maybe even spycraft in a bid to record advances in American defense technology. This would make sense because by the 1970s and 80s, Kirtland Air Force Base was home to Phillips and Sandia Labs.


The scientists at Phillips and Sandia developed some of the most advanced weapons and defense technologies in the world. Things like laser guided telescopes were the norm at the base, making it a potential target for Soviet espionage.


Then at the heart of the facility was the Manzano Mountains, a ridge honeycombed with tunnels.


Officially, this was where the military supposedly stored their stockpile of nuclear materials and weaponry that were developed in Kirtland Labs.


But some ex Air Force members and military contractors suggested there were other technologies hiding in those secret tunnels, things so advanced that if uncovered, they could lead to World War Three.


They thought there might be alien spacecrafts hidden in the mountains. However, in 1976, Highway Patrol Officer Gabe Valdez wasn't worried about any of this.


Sure, he heard reports of strange floating lights in the desert sky, but Valdez was focused on a more urgent matter. All his attention was on the cattle mutilations plaguing ranchers in the area.


However, after failing to find the cause behind the gruesome animal slayings, Officer Valdez began suspecting there was a direct connection between them and the floating lights.


Since the late 1960s, Valdez had heard of thousands of reports of cattle mutilations throughout the central and south western states. So far, they cost ranchers an estimated 2.5 million dollars in damages. That's over 20 million dollars today. The majority of these incidents happened in Valdez's jurisdiction in northern New Mexico, and there were beginning to monopolise his time. Of course, some of these cases were misidentifications of natural deaths caused by illness or predators, but Valdes found that most of the reports were just as disturbing as the one on Manuel Gomez's ranch by 1979.


Gomez experienced 16 cases of cattle mutilations on his ranch alone. They'd become such a scourge that New Mexico Senator Harrison Schmitt held a conference to decide on a course of action among the speakers that the event was Officer Valdez. He'd become an authority on the topic over the last few years.


Another important person in the audience was Paul Benowitz. The 52 year old electrical engineer was the founder and president of a company called Thunder Scientific. They specialized in temperature and humidity instruments for NASA, the U.S. Air Force and Sandia Labs. But Bennewitz, his real passion was ufology.


Like many ufologists, the unexplained cattle mutilations fascinated Benowitz. He listened with rapt interest as Officer Valdez told him his belief that the floating multicolored lights were connected to the cattle deaths. Valdés couldn't have found a better audience since Benowitz himself had seen the lights.


Seeing Benowitz his fascination, Valdés took his business card and promised to call if anything new came to light. But it was Bennewitz who receive the next clue to the mystery.


Benowitz lived in Albuquerque in a terrace facing the Kirtland Air Force Base one September night in 1979. Five months after meeting Valdez Benowitz was at home when he noticed strange lights in the sky yet again. Only this time they were hovering right over Kirtland.


This didn't just happen once. On a nightly basis, Benowitz watched as the multicolored light swooped over. Kirtland then skirted the ridges, the Manzano Mountains, where the Air Force was known to have secret tunnels.


It's not clear if Benowitz shared this info with Officer Valdez right away, but in May of 1980, Valdez got a call that added to the puzzle. A member of the New Mexico State Police had just received a strange report. The witness was a 27 year old bank teller named Myrna Hansen in shock.


Hansen described to the officer what she had seen a blinding light, herds of cattle screaming for their lives and strange people operating a craft. Upon hearing this disturbing story, Valdés immediately phoned Paul Benowitz. Perhaps he could make sense of Mrs. Hanson's tale. Benowitz was eager to oblige. He invited Hanson and her young son to his house.


It was there that Hansen's whole tale came pouring out. She remembered that on the evening of May 5th, 1980, she and her son had been driving home to Eagle Nest, New Mexico. They expected to arrive around nine p.m., but that didn't happen. Instead, a few miles from home, they encountered a brilliant light on the road. But Hansen had no clear memory of what happened next.


All she knew was that they didn't reach their driveway until one a.m. This was disturbing. Both Benowitz and Hansen knew that bright lights accompanied by missing time were symptoms of an extraterrestrial encounter. But that wasn't all. Hansen believed the aliens placed an implant at the base of her skull.


If this were true, Benowitz surmised that the implant could receive alien rays, beams that could control Hansen's mind and thoughts. He theorized that the implant was what kept her from recalling memories between when she saw the light and when she and her son reached home.


Searching for more answers, Benowitz, phone psychologist and professor Dr. Leo Sprinkel from the University of Wyoming. He asked if he would meet with the woman as well. Dr. Sprinkel had been researching cases of human extraterrestrial contact for the past decade. He believed he could help Hansen recall her experience in explicit detail by hypnotizing her to keep any sort of extraterrestrial signal from interfering with their session.


Bennewitz suggested they perform the hypnosis in his Lincoln town car. He also lined the vehicle with. Three layers of industrial ply tin foil for extra precaution once the reinforcements were in place, Hansen laid down in the back seat and allowed Sprinkel to lull her into a hypnotic trance. Suddenly, Hansen's memories from May 5th, 1980, came rushing back with more clarity than before. She described herself driving through the desert at night. Her son was next to her rambling on about something, but she wasn't listening.


She was mesmerized by a bright light descending on the road. Before then, it was calling to her like a moth to a flame.


Next thing she knew, she was getting out of the car. Then Hanson remembered being undressed and physically examined by some unseen force right there on the road. Meanwhile, she noticed a struggling, screaming heifer getting pulled towards the craft. She watched as it was beamed up into the ship.


Then Hanson was taken aboard the vessel. The details got a bit fuzzy, but she recalled entering some kind of underground base. She knew it was on Earth, but she wasn't sure where. Inside this fortress, she saw human organs floating in preservatives. She vaguely remembered her captors explaining their objective, but she couldn't recall what they said. She could only focus on the implant. There were injecting into the back of her neck. The next thing she knew, Hanson was back in her car with her son driving home.


After hearing Hansen's testimony, Dr. Sprinkel revealed to Benowitz that she was not an anomaly. Sprinkel had heard a disturbingly similar abduction case just two months prior. The victim was a woman named Judy Doretti. She'd been driving to her home outside of Houston, Texas, when she encountered a bright light. And just like Hansen, she got out for a closer look. Sprinkel had hypnotized Doretti back in March 1980, where he was able to extract more details about her experience.


Like Hanson, she recalled an animal writhing in fear as it was lifted into the craft. Dorte was then forced to watch as it was dissected and dropped back to the earth below to Benowitz.


These stories seemed like infallible proof that aliens were responsible for both the lights and the mutilations.


In the weeks following this meeting with Sprinkel and Hansen, Benowitz also grew obsessed over Hansen's implant. He hoped it would provide more answers or at least proof that aliens had visited New Mexico.


He asked Hanson to get an X-ray when she did. Doctors did find something at the base of her neck like she claimed, but they wrote it off as a benign growth.


Benowitz was not as convinced. He felt that Hanson was living proof that UFOs not only visited Earth, but were a malevolent force that needed to be stopped. And he was hell bent on proving it. Coming up, the U.S. Air Force perceives Benowitz as a threat. Hi, listeners, Carter here with a quick but special announcement, the newest Spotify original from PA cast is unlocking the mysteries of superstitions. If you've ever broken a mirror or walked under a ladder, you know the feeling you've just doomed yourself to bad luck.


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Now back to the story. In 1980, strange cattle mutilations plagued New Mexico and a woman named Myrna Hanson experienced a firsthand alien encounter that suggested that extraterrestrials were responsible and potentially dangerous.


Ufologist Paul Benowitz thought it was strange that these cattle mutilations and alien sightings were so prevalent in New Mexico, especially around Kirtland Air Force Base.


He felt confident the military facility and the UFOs were connected in some way, but he wasn't sure how.


Over the next few months, Benowitz gathered as much UFO evidence as he could from his Albuquerque home. He photographed and videotaped the balls of light that were still hovering over Kirtland. He even built a lab pointing High-Tech Antennas directly at the lights over the base, hoping to catch a signal.


The more he monitored the area, the more a pattern emerged. Soon, Benowitz believed that he had discovered a code. He tried to make sense of the alien message. Once he was able to, he realized that they confirmed his worst fears.


We aren't sure what the code was, how Benowitz cracked it, or how he reached his conclusion. But we do know that he became convinced that aliens were preparing for some sort of global domination. Benowitz couldn't waste any more time. He phoned Kirtland Air Force Base to warn of a grave security threat, one that was happening in their own backyard.


Crinolines Operator patched Benowitz through to the base security commander, Major Ernest Edwards. As an Air Force contractor, Benowitz had a reputation as a brilliant mind. So Major Edwards took his call seriously. He then passed the message on to Agent Richard Doty from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, or Ossi.


Ossi was responsible for all security issues regarding Air Force facilities like Kirtland. Benowitz told Agent Dhoti that the base was in danger of a security breach and that someone was spying on their activities. He left out his theory of alien world domination as he wanted to build credibility before discussing it.


When Dhoti asked how he came across this information, Benowitz told him about his home set up.


Then Dhoti arranged a meeting with Benowitz to see exactly what the engineer was operating with and if Benowitz himself was the real threat. On October 26th, 1980, Dhody and Air Force physicist Lou Miles arrived at Benowitz, his home. After walking the visitors through his sophisticated machinery, Benowitz pulled out clear photographs of the UFOs he'd captured above the base. He also shared the decoded recordings that he believed signaled an alien invasion. But Dhody and Miles weren't worried about extraterrestrials.


Benowitz had a forest of antenna pointed directly at Kirtland. They quickly determined that what he was hearing wasn't aliens. It was the military dhoti knew.


The research at Sandia and Phillips Labs, as well as the Monsanto storage complex, was highly sensitive. Benowitz was probably picking up signals emitted by top secret technologies in development.


Keep in mind, this was at the height of the Cold War. The military didn't want anyone, even someone as harmless as Benowitz, eavesdropping on their base. So the Air Force made it their mission to find out exactly what Benowitz had heard. In November 1980, Benowitz was invited to Kirtland to brief the senior personnel on his UFO findings, Benowitz believed he'd finally gotten the government to recognize this alien threat.


So he brought his best photographs, audio and video recordings to the meeting.


In a Kirtland conference room, Benowitz met the base commander, General William Brookshaw, along with four colonels to OSA officers and several scientists from the Air Force weapons labs.


Their Benowitz presented the pure, unadulterated facts he told the officers about his work with Myrna Hansen, the abduction, the cattle mutilations and the implant.


He mentioned how he deciphered the signals from the aliens, proving that they were planning an imminent attack. After this announcement, the tension in the room eased, some of the men trickled out after hearing his outlandish claims. However, a few interested parties remained like major chair, the head of security investigations, Dr. Lehman, the head of the weapons lab, and a few officers with the NSA.


Ultimately, they were entertaining him because they had a bigger problem on their hands. Benowitz wasn't going to stop monitoring Kirtland, even if they asked him to. He was too tenacious, too paranoid. But Major had an idea. For years, the military had used UFO stories to cover up their own technological developments.


Perhaps Benowitz, his theories could be used to distract and misinform the public from what was really going on at Kirtland.


Majorcan told Benowitz that while the Air Force couldn't contribute materially, Bennewitz should continue his research by encouraging his work. Benowitz would believe that he was actually on to something real, thus distracting him from whatever was actually going on at Kirtland. Benowitz left copies of his evidence with the Air Force, the military was eager to learn more about which classified projects Benowitz was picking up on and how he was getting around their security, even if he was misinformed. Benowitz was still a security risk.


That's because UFO researchers often came across military equipment in their investigations, mistaking it for extraterrestrial technology.


For that reason, Soviet nations were known to monitor UFOlogists searching for government technologies they may have unknowingly revealed, meaning Benowitz would have been a prime Soviet target. So Special Agent Richard Doty was tasked with keeping track of Benowitz research and misleading him.


It was around this time that another ufologist named Bill Moore received an unexpected phone call.


Moore was a rising star in the UFO community. His latest work, the Roswell Incident, alleged that a UFO had crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, leading to a massive U.S. government cover up. The person on the other end of the line identified himself as a colonel at Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base. He suggested they have coffee to discuss more UFO research. In closing, the colonel claimed, you're the only one we've found who seems to know what he's talking about at the time.


More thought, little of it. He was consumed with his book tour for the Roswell incident, which had just been released. However, when his tour took him to Albuquerque, New Mexico, he received yet another call.


Again, the colonel said, you're the only one who knows what he's talking about.


The second time Moore was intrigued, he agreed to meet up with the caller in an isolated booth at the back of an Albuquerque eatery.


There more learned that his mystery caller was a defense intelligence agent. Moore referred to him as Falcon at that same meeting. The two men were also joined by Agent Richard Doty. The agents told Moore they were unhappy with the government secrecy around UFOs. They wanted to release more accurate information to the public through a reputable researcher like himself. They promised to give more pieces the whole story over time, leaving it to his discretion when and how he released the information to the public.


In exchange, they only asked that Moore act as their spy.


He'd have to make contact with certain UFO researchers and report back about their discoveries. Eager to get his hands on the promised information, Moore agreed.


In February 1981, he was tasked with his first assignment. Doty gave him an edited copy of a document titled Project Aquarius. He was told to give it to a fellow ufologist, Paul Benowitz.


Doty's hope was that Bennewitz would release the document to the press, then the Air Force would denounce it as a forgery, therefore ruining Benowitz credibility within the UFO community.


Moore wasn't happy about this assignment. He didn't know Benowitz at the time. But tricking a fellow UFO researcher still felt like betrayal for months.


Moore sat on his hands until the summer of 1981, when a phone call from Dhoti reminded him what was at stake. Doty warned that if he didn't play along, then the truth about UFOs would never get out. That was inspiration enough. Moore called Benowitz to set up the meeting.


Benowitz had heard nothing from the Air Force for months in regards to his findings. He was starting to worry that they hadn't taken his warnings seriously. After all, in an act of desperation, he wrote to senators and congressmen about the extraterrestrial threat, urging them to take retaliatory action. In response, Benowitz heard crickets until the summer of 1981, when Bill Moore finally reached out. Moore told Benowitz there was something he needed to see intrigued, Benowitz agreed. Days later, Moore arrived at the offices of Benowitz, his company, Thunder Scientific.


They needed to speak somewhere they couldn't be overheard. Benowitz suggested the lab supply closet inside. Moore turned up a radio to foil any listening devices that might be planted nearby.


Moore then pulled out a document with the word secret scrawled across. The report was titled Project Aquarius. Inside those pages was a detailed analysis on every piece of evidence Benowitz had collected.


More told him that the report was conducted by the 76 Second Air Intelligence Group in Virginia, an organization tasked with investigating UFOs. Even more promising, the document indicated legitimate unidentified aerial objects in Benowitz as images that Ufologist was thrilled the Air Force had been listening to him in.


This report gave credence to what he had been saying all along.


Especially exciting was a line at the bottom of the report, it read. The official U.S. government policy and results of Project Aquarius is still classified top secret with no dissemination outside official intelligence channels and with restricted access to MJ 12.


This was the first time Benowitz had seen the U.S. officially mention the shadowy high ranking government organization MJ 12. It was the same group Benowitz believed was responsible for contact between the U.S. government and alien life. Coming up, Dhoti tells Benowitz about a secret underground base. Now back to our story. In 1980, Benowitz aggressively monitored the mysterious lights over Kirtland Air Force Base. He then presented his findings to Courtland's wing command, insisting that the lights were the vanguard of an alien invasion.


But the Air Force was worried that Bennewitz may have been picking up on their own technologies. And if they wanted to keep them hidden from the Soviets, they had to throw Benowitz off the scent.


Later that year, the government's fears over Benowitz were validated after they intercepted a Soviet signal. It said that the Russians might be using Paul Benowitz signal interceptions as a source for U.S. military information at that dhoti, move the Benowitz disinformation campaign into high gear.


He had to direct the researchers attention away from Kirtland altogether.


And fast to that end, Dhoti baited Benowitz into believing there was, in fact, a secret underground base in New Mexico, one that aliens may have been using for their abductions.


On the Archuleta Mesa, a nearly four hour drive from Kirtland, the Air Force built a fake base to play into the lie. If they refocussed Benowitz his attention, perhaps they could throw off the Soviets as well.


To that end, the Air Force quietly improved the dirt roads that led up to the masr. By night, they airlifted defunct equipment onto the plateau. Then they arranged dead jeeps and small storage buildings atop the hill. Next, they built a helicopter pad amidst the brush in the pines. They even created fake air ventilation shafts in the earth to signify an underground base.


Finally, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations reached out to the Fort Carson base in southern Colorado for help. They asked if their men could conduct exercises around the area, explaining that the whole gambit was part of a counterintelligence campaign. Carson agreed with that.


The facade was ready in 1981. It was only then that Dhoti invited Benowitz on an aerial tour of the secret base as they flew over the location. Dhoti told Bennewitz it was an area of growing concern for Ossi, indicating that the Air Force had no idea what was happening there.


He then asked Benowitz if he'd look into it to further convince him to redirect his attention.


The Air Force took Benowitz on two more helicopter tours of the area. By the third ride, Doty's plan was finally starting to work. He listened, relieved, as Benowitz pointed out, concerning features in the landscape, locating the air vents in jeeps that hadn't been there just days before.


Benowitz became fully convinced that there was a base beneath the mesa and that the Air Force had no part of it. He began referring to it as Dulci base named after the nearby town.


Bennewitz also kept his old friend, Officer Valdés, informed about his reconnaissance missions. Thrilled by the breakthrough, Valdés arranged for a local news crew to capture aerial footage of the Dulci base.


Benowitz even joined Valdés and the reporters as a guide.


However, midway through their trip, three Black Hawk helicopters came roaring over the pines. They quickly closed in on the news chopper.


Recognizing the Black Hawks as military, Valdés told the crew to turn back despite their retreat.


The Black Hawks chase the news chopper all the way back to the heliport landing.


At that point, armed soldiers stepped out of the helicopters and formed a wall. Officer Valdés recognized them as Delta Force, the Army's elite special operations unit. But this was his jurisdiction, and he wanted answers. Why was a special ops unit chasing civilians out of the desert?


In response, soldiers raised their weapons and took aim. The commander told Valdez this was his one and only warning to back off terrified.


Valdez gave in afterwards.


Valdez and Benowitz weren't sure what they'd found on that mesa, but both of them agree that it was clearly something the military did not want them to see. It's not clear whether these soldiers and Blackhawks were also hired by dhoti to misinform Benowitz or if they were actually protecting something of value.


Either way, Benowitz was confident that the Dulci base was some sort of alien complex and the appearance of the Black Hawk helicopters helped convince them that it was also being run by the military. He began wondering if the two entities were collaborating. Over the next few weeks, Benowitz compiled every bit of research from the last two years. He named his file Project Beda once he was done putting it together. He decided that it was time to tell the world about the Doce base project.


Beda proposed that the U.S. military was working with aliens in exchange for their technologies. But according to Benowitz, the aliens were untrustworthy. They began secretly using implants to manipulate military members to bend to their will.


Benowitz File also described the alien psychology, weaponry and social order inclosing. He laid out an in-depth plan for how to defeat each alien race.


Benowitz mailed Project Beda to the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, the Mutual UFO Network and other prominent investigators like Bill Moore, he sent copies to representatives and government, to the senators of New Mexico, even to President Ronald Reagan himself.


But nothing happened. After months of waiting, Benowitz received a stock reply from the Reagan administration's office. It explained that the U.S. government had stopped looking into UFOs in the late 1960s.


But Benowitz was stubborn as a mule. He continued the investigation on his own. Luckly, his own company, Thunder Scientific, had considerable resources. With that funding in place, Benowitz began flying his own reconnaissance missions over Dulci base.


On one of those trips, he noticed an area in the forest where the branches had been broken. In a strange way, it looked as if something had slammed through them at high speed.


That's when Benowitz discovered something that changed the game entirely beneath those broken trees, he saw a black flat triangular craft. It was unlike anything Benowitz had ever seen before.


He decided that it had to be a downed UFO.


Benowitz immediately called Dhoti to tell him what he'd found. Then he insisted Dhoti accompany him on a recovery mission.


Dhody was shocked as far as he knew, the Air Force hadn't put this craft there as part of their disinformation campaign. But if it was top secret military technology as opposed to an alien aircraft, then Dhoti didn't want Benowitz anywhere near it.


So he warned Benowitz that the craft was probably nuclear powered and they shouldn't get too close.


This checked out with stories Benowitz had heard about UFO encounters, many of which resulted in radiation poisoning. As a result, he begrudgingly told Dhoti that he'd stay away from the crash.


Still, Benowitz wanted answers. He wrote to an NSA operative he'd been friends with for years. The NSA official responded with a theory.


He told Benowitz that what he saw was likely a man made craft constructed with 30 year old alien technology. Benowitz was ecstatic.


Finally, someone had admitted to the fact that aliens and the U.S. government were working together.


Unfortunately, after this breakthrough, Benowitz hit a wall.


He was unable to find any more answers or get anyone else to return his calls. And he was at a loss.


He'd done everything he could to stop the inevitable alien takeover, and it felt like it wasn't enough.


Having failed at every turn, Benowitz succumb to a steep mental decline. He lost weight, smoked incessantly and abandoned his personal hygiene. He even slept with a pistol under his pillow. Benowitz told his fellow Ufologist, Bill Moore, that aliens were coming into his house each night through the bathroom walls. He said they injected him with drugs and forced him to drive out into the desert, although he never really revealed why.


Around this time, more noted track marks on Benowitz, his right arm. He feared the engineer was using drugs to relieve his anxiety.


Finally, in August 1988, Bennewitz, his family, hospitalized him for nervous exhaustion after his release.


A month later, Benowitz stopped pursuing the Dulci base. He continued to have a relationship with Dhoti, who, despite the disinformation campaign he'd waged against Benowitz, considered him a friend as the 20th century drew to a close dhoti admitted to Benowitz that the entire Dulci base was a ruse.


But Benowitz didn't believe him.


Meanwhile, Moore was wracked with guilt over the Benowitz affair. In 1989, he came clean about the Benowitz story at a UFO conference. He wanted to warn his fellow UFO researchers and explain to them just how far the government was willing to go to keep their secrets.


But some weren't sure more was telling the truth. They suspected his tale of being yet another plant, a cover up of a cover up.


All in all, the official story leaves much to be desired.


The strange hovering lights over Kirtland have still never been explained, nor of the cattle mutilations that swept the area during the 1970s and 80s, and the undoubtedly expensive disinformation campaign the government undertook doesn't quite make sense.


It all seems like an elaborate way to prevent the Soviets from accessing American intelligence.


Next time we'll look at exactly what Benowitz reported in Project Baida. To that end, the conspiracy theories will cover are theory number one. The MJ 12, a shadowy government organization, really did exist and they were responsible for UFO contacts and cover ups.


Theory number two, the United States government conspired with aliens in order to gain access to their technologies.


Finally, in theory number three, we'll explore if aliens actually are experimenting on humans and livestock to understand life on Earth.


If so, perhaps Paul Bennewitz was on to something after all.


Maybe we do need to prepare for extraterrestrial domination, especially if the U.S. government has no intention of taking the threat of an alien invasion seriously.


Thanks for tuning into conspiracy theories. We'll be back Wednesday with Part two of Project Beta. For more information on Project Beta, we found Project Beta, the story of Paul Benowitz, National Security and the Making of a Modern UFO Myth by Greg Bishop. Helpful to our research.


You can find all episodes of conspiracy theories and all other Spotify originals from Parker asked for free on Spotify.


Until then, remember, the truth isn't always the best story, and the official story isn't always the truth.


Conspiracy Theories was created by Max Cutler and is a Spotify original from past. Executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Anthony Vasic with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Travis Clark. This episode of Conspiracy Theories was written by Ma Doyle with the writing assistants by Ali Whicker and stars Molly Brandenberg and Carter Roy.


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