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This weeks exciting edition brings you such brain-boggling stories as:
- Some UFO Tapes are “Missing” Claims Navy Pilot -
- Can Ghosts Speak To Alexa? -
- The Werewolf Panic of the 1970s -
- 'Witch Bottle' Discovered in English Chimney -
AND: The Supermodel Brainwashed into Becoming a CIA Spy
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
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- QUIET, DON'T TELL DEPARTMENT -
Some UFO Tapes are “Missing” Claims Navy Pilot
By Jazz Shaw
Another interesting tidbit has surfaced in the story of U.S. Navy Cmdr David Fravor (Ret), the pilot who engaged in the now-infamous encounter with the “tic-tac” UFO in 2004. While flying his F/A-18F Super Hornet, he was sent to observe unidentified craft showing up on radar, flying from the USS Nimitz carrier battle group, leading to the bizarre run-in with the tic-tac. This encounter produced one of the three Navy UFO videos that have been making the rounds in the media for the past couple of years.- STRANGE BEDFELLOWS DEPARTMENT -
During an interview earlier this year, however, Fravor indicated that there were more tapes, including video and radar tracking information, that simply “disappeared” after the event. And so, the mystery deepens further. (Daily Star)
One of the first US Navy pilots to have encountered the famed tic-tac UFO off the coast of San Diego has said there are tapes “missing”.
Commander David Fravor was flying one of the two F/A-18E/F Super Hornets that had taken off from the USS Nimitz, during a combat exercise on November 14, 2004…
“All the radar tapes from the Princeton are missing and they can’t find,” Fravor told host and former US Navy pilot Vincent Aiello.
“I was chatting to someone at the archives and they’ve said someone has taken that page from the logbook.”
The conversation comes from this episode of the Fighter Pilot Podcast where Fravor was a guest. (It’s also where we learn that his pilot call sign in the Navy was “Sex”. You’ll have to listen to the last few minutes of the interview to learn where it came from, but it’s not as salacious as you might guess.) This interview is revealing and enjoyable because the host is another fighter pilot who actually served with Fravor back in the day. The lingo gets a little technical for the layman here and there, but they really dig into the details.
An interesting takeaway from this interview as to how Fravor got the tapes originally is revealed. After landing, he went down to CVIC (Carrier Information Center) and told them to give him the tapes. And if they refused he was going to “tear this place apart.” He told them to go get their boss and he would tell him the same thing. They gave him the tapes.
Fravor goes on to say that he made copies of the tapes which were kept in a safe on the USS Princeton. He said the tapes were still there when they returned from the cruise, but when he checked on them later they had simply “disappeared.”
This testimony is in keeping with what we’ve heard from other sailors. Two of them from the Princeton who provided video interviews to The Nimitz Encounters described how the “cleanup” after this cruise was taken care of. Shortly after the exercise and long before they returned to port, some men in either civilian clothes or jumpsuits with no military insignia showed up and collected data recorders, radar and video records from the days when the tic-tacs were being seen.
The odd part is that many of those devices and recordings were regularly not even looked at unless the airplane or radar manufacturers wanted test data for product development. Most commonly, planes’ recorders were locked in a safe after use for a time and then wiped and reinstalled for another mission. But after the tic-tac encounters, officers came around and collected them all with or without the unnamed civilians who arrived.
With that in mind, it’s probably not at all surprising that Fravor’s tapes would have gone “missing” as well. The real question is, what was on those recordings and would it provide the public with a better view and understanding of what these objects looked like and what they might have been up to. Unless Uncle Sam is feeling generous and cares to release any more of them to the media, we may not get those answers, but it would be extremely helpful if they would agree to do so.
Source: Hot Air
Why the Army Has Partnered With Tom DeLonge's UFO Group
By MJ Banias
The US Army has explained more about why it partnered with former Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge’s UFO research organization to study exotic materials. The Army described it as a “low risk” partnership that is of “significant interest” to the military.
Last month, DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy joined forces with the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command, a research and development body. According to the contract, the government is interested in studying some pretty exotic science such as active camouflage, inertial mass reduction, and quantum communication. Even stranger, it turns out that the US government approached To the Stars for this deal.
In particular, the government is interested in the group’s ADAM Project, which Doug Halleaux, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center described as “a global dragnet for the collection and evaluation of novel materials.” Last year, TTSA put out a call for individuals and organizations to submit materials from alleged exotic sources as part of the project.
“If materials represented in the TTSA ADAM project are scientifically evaluated and presented with supporting data as having military utility by the TTSA, it makes sense to look deeper here,” Halleaux said, adding that it’s also interested in a cooperative project between TTSA and a company called TruClear Global.
In August of 2019, To the Stars signed a “cooperative marketing agreement” with TruClear Global to “cooperate on joint development projects as well as to provide advanced technology solutions to United States Government clientele.” TruClear essentially creates custom video screens that can be put on the side of buildings for marketing and events purposes.
To the Stars has generally made news for its UFO research, but this partnership with the U.S. Army may mean that it fancies itself as a military contractor.
“None of us at TTSA consider ourselves ‘Ufologists’ or part of the ‘Ufology culture,’ in fact, most of us come from a U.S. Government background (both Defense and Intelligence) and consider it our patriotic duty to work alongside our friends in Government should they see an advantage to improving our national security and protecting our people,” Luis Elizondo, a former Pentagon staffer and TTSA’s Director of Global Security and Special Programs, said in an interview.
While members of TTSA have spoken at UFO conferences and the recent Anomalous Aerospace Phenomena Conference, and DeLonge has co-authored two non-fiction books on extraterrestrial visitation and the UFO phenomenon, there seems to be a sort of ideological polarization within the organization which swings between being contenders for military contracts and a UFO research organization.
Now armed with a five year deal, TTSA and the government will work together on research and development for future military technology. Halleaux explained that the government believes the “key technologies or capabilities that [the Army] is investigating with TTSA are certainly on the leading edge of the realm of the possible” and comes at a low cost for the government.
To the Stars seems to be banking on the idea that the ‘exotic’ materials in their possession and outside-the-box science will lead to the development of some actual technology.
“If all goes as planned, the next year will lead to additional opportunities to cooperate with the government and conduct a more detailed analysis and product development,” Elizondo said.
The government has had a decades long sordid history with the UFO narrative, and UFO mogul Tom DeLonge’s latest deal with the US Army is definitely raising a few eyebrows. This agreement, as well as the recent announcements by the Navy that they will make it easier for personnel to report UFO sightings and the Navy’s confirmation that objects seen in recently released videos are unknown aerial phenomena, have become a hot topic of debate among UFO researchers. Some believe that something nefarious is afoot as branches of the military begin a contemporary campaign to become more friendly with the UFO topic.
Others remain optimistic. Author and popular UFO historian Richard Dolan told Motherboard that it is irresponsible to “throw cold water” on this before any results come in.
“True skepticism doesn’t equate into reflexive debunking, but an honest inquiry into the data,” Dolan stated. “What is obvious is that this announcement would have been considered astonishing as little as two years ago. The fact that the U.S. military is interested in this should cause us to become more attentive to what exactly is going on. Therefore, I'd say ‘close attention’ rather than caution is the order of the day.”
Halleaux could not comment on the specifics regarding the types of research and technology the Army is after in this deal, but he did express that camouflaging and keeping ground vehicles and personnel safe are always “a priority.”
“The USG sees an opportunity to improve the survivability of our brave men and women in uniform, and perhaps improve the chances of them returning home safely back to their loved ones,” stated Elizondo. “It seems to me to be an obvious and worthwhile pursuit.”
- SPEAKING TO A DIFFERENT REALM DEPARTMENT -
Can Ghosts Speak To Alexa?
By Rob Schwarz
Throughout the history of spirit communication, people have used a variety of unique tools and methods to contact the deceased.
From automatic writing using planchettes, to mediums channeling the other side during late night seances, we’ve managed to develop quite the number of alleged ways to speak to the dead. The Ouija board, too, is an immensely popular form of attempted communication. In modern times, paranormal investigators have turned to radios and recording devices, like so-called Ghost Boxes, to capture electronic voice phenomena.
Perhaps there’s something else we can add to that list of tools in our supernatural toolbox: Alexa.
Amazon’s plucky virtual assistant inhabits nearly everything they make. Their Echo smart speakers, their TV sticks, their Fire tablets. Personally, I’ve never used Alexa, but apparently Amazon has sold over 100 million of these devices as of January 2019. That means Alexa can be found in many, many households, fielding many, many spoken commands.
But here’s a question: Can ghosts also speak to Alexa?
If we are to believe that they can speak through recording devices and radios, as they allegedly did with Konstantins Raudive in the 1960s, there’s no particular reason ghosts can’t also speak through modern smart speakers. I’d imagine any spectral transmitting stations are already well-equipped to handle such technologies, wouldn’t you?
After all, Alexa’s no stranger to strange things. For example, in 2018, there were several reports of Alexa spontaneously laughing, which Amazon dubbed a simple “malfunction,” though a creepy one.
That said, can everything be explained away as simply a glitch or a misheard command?
One Echo user experienced a number of odd activities surrounding their device. On one day in particular, after the passing of their grandmother, they truly began to wonder if spirits beyond were conversing with Alexa:
“My grandma passed away around that time. A couple of days after her passing, the Echo turned on (when I was alone) and started playing ‘Mandy,’ by Boston. I had never heard that song before and had never played it on the Echo. My grandma was the only one who called me Mandy.”
Is it possible that ghosts might be giving Alexa commands? In another case, a user’s recently deceased grandfather may have asked Alexa to play a song:
“My grandpa passed away a few months back, leaving my grandma to live by herself. She has an Amazon echo. One night when she was alone getting ready for bed, she heard a song start playing in the living room, in a house that was completely silent. Alexa was playing the song Lucille by Kenny Rogers (a song she shares a name with). The song was my grandparents’ favorite song to dance to together.”
Perhaps it’s an odd coincidence, but I stumbled across multiple instances, including the above, of Echo users hearing very specific songs playing after the passing of a loved one, almost as if their ghosts were trying to send messages through these devices.
One Redditor shared an account of an Amazon Dot randomly playing a song that had helped them deal with the loss of their father. Another report of paranormal activity after a recent death also involved Alexa playing a specific song over and over again.
Is there anything to the idea that ghosts are reaching out to certain individuals through Alexa and other smart devices? In one final example, an Alexa command seemed a bit more specific:
“Today my mom was on her house phone with my grandmother (my mom left her cellphone at work, an hour away). While she was talking, her Alexa came on, lit up green, and said “Dad wants to talk. Dad wants to talk” and she repeated it again two more times. My grandfather/moms father, passed away last Christmas.”
Of course, none of this proves anything supernatural. These are, after all, just anecdotes, and sometimes weird things just happen.
But consider this: Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people who sift through thousands of Alexa conversations every day to improve its voice recognition. That’s a lot of data. Now, if otherworldly entities can communicate through recording devices, including Alexa, just how many of those conversations may have been with ghosts? Is it possible that some Amazon employees have actually listened to EVPs captured by these devices?
They’d probably never even notice.
How about you? Has your smart device, if you have one, ever done anything you’d consider unnatural?
Source: Stranger Dimensions
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- EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE AT HEART DEPARTMENT -
The Werewolf Panic of the 1970s
By Tommy Kuusela, PhD
In the autumn of 1972, numerous Swedish newspapers described how werewolves were causing a panic in a town in southern Sweden. According to the articles, fearsome werewolf attacks caused a “werewolf panic”, children were “paralysed with fear”, and one article even gave the alarming statement: “three school children killed! A teacher attacked and a woman beaten senseless in her cellar” (Kuusela 2016, 94). The happening took place in the otherwise quiet and peaceful town Trelleborg, at the time home to approximately 23,000 people.
The topic of werewolves was considered interesting for a couple of days, before the journalists pursued other matters. After that, the whole thing faded, and became a distant memory in Trelleborg – just a good story. Nevertheless, a couple of weeks later, newspapers reported a second outburst of werewolf attacks roughly 411 miles north of Trelleborg, in Jakobsberg, a suburb of Stockholm. This time, adults were calling the police claiming that a werewolf was roaming the rooftops at night, smashing windows and biting people to death! Like the first alarm, public interest in the second wave of werewolf attacks was brief and died out after a couple of days. The following year, one of Sweden’s biggest daily newspapers, Aftonbladet, reported that a mummy roamed in Sätra, a suburb of Stockholm. According to the article, the mummy killed cats, panicked horses, and “howled like a werewolf”. So, if werewolves were biting people to death and a mummy was roaming the streets of Stockholm, then this would have been shocking, even global news, and not something that could die out after a couple of days of circulation in local or national newspapers.
The first article on werewolves in Trelleborg had the following caption: “‘Werewolf’ scared children. Police took action at school”. It appeared in a local newspaper, Trelleborgs Allehanda, on 16 November 1972. This encouraged and inspired other journalists, who travelled to Trelleborg in hunt of a scoop. They interviewed children and teachers at the school, and contacted both police officers and locals. Different newspapers tried to come up with the most sensational news. That the journalists considered the werewolf a mere rumour becomes evident from reading the articles, written with a tongue-in-cheek fashion. Frightened schoolchildren said that they had seen a “man with hairy face, large protruding teeth and claws on his fingers”, they told other children who in turn started looking for a werewolf. Rumours started circulating in town and quickly became more and more sensational.
Many children claimed to have seen a werewolf; they said that he had a beard, long hair, and horns on his forehead. Other children showed the reporters werewolf teeth (tree branches), werewolf footprints (prints from horse hooves) or showed markings on walls supposed to be scratches from werewolf claws. Some children did not speak of a werewolf; instead, they claimed that a vampire haunted Trelleborg. One rumour said that two elderly women were just about to leave a laundry room – in Sweden this is usually a separate building or in a cellar, shared by tenants of the same house or a housing cooperative – when a large, unpleasant man appeared in front of them. He attacked them and tried to claw their faces, but one of the women fainted and the man suddenly disappeared. Different articles published in local and national newspapers, based on interviews and rumours, led to more rumours and increasing fear among children and parents. Two days after the first newspaper article, several children were so terrified that they stayed home from school. Both teachers and the school principal repeatedly had to calm the situation. Even the police had to respond to different alarms of alleged werewolf sightings – but never found any reliable physical evidence. Younger schoolchildren were most afraid, while many of the older children thought the situation ridiculous; some even took advantage of the situation to frighten the younger children even more. Many distressed parents thought it might be a crazy person who dressed up as a werewolf. All kinds of rumours circulated. One thing was certain, werewolf or not, the horror that many children, and some of their parents, felt was genuine. It took a couple of days for the whole thing to die out, something that happened naturally when the newspapers stopped writing about the situation.
The second werewolf alarm is comparable to the first. The rumour was at first concentrated in one area and reported in the press by different newspapers, but died out after only a couple of days of circulation. The explanation for the second alarm is probably also due to the horror movies (see below), combined with an event. According to one article, a group of children had met a strange man with long hair and big beard in a big public garage; he shouted at them and the children interpreted this as a roar or a howl. Apparently, this strange encounter in the large, shadowy garage was enough for the children to associate the man with a werewolf. The children’s reaction and response was with upsetting narratives that quickly spread and grew in intensity among parents and other children.
The third case, the mummy alarm, originated when an eleven-year-old boy claimed to have encountered the mummy late one night in March in 1973. He was shaken by what he think he saw, and he quickly told other kids, who told parents, who called the police, which led to reporters writing about it in newspapers. The rumour spread and grew in proportions. Other children organised expeditions were they hunted for the mummy at night and spooked each other. The police was soon hunting the mummy, but never found anything.
According to police reports from Trelleborg and Jakobsberg, the werewolf in both cases was really the town oddball, who in both cases was a well-known eccentric man with long hair and a big beard (Kuusela 2016, 85). It seems clear that the werewolf (and mummy) alarms were just rumours, encouraged by older schoolchildren who scared younger kids, who in turn worried parents. The police officers seems to have been annoyed at the whole situation, especially the fact that many seemed to take the rumours seriously. One police officer, who worked on this case, said to a reporter, “Nowadays many people look more or less like werewolves, with long hair and beard” (Kuusela 2016: 93). This is clearly his opinion of a new hippie generation with long hair, sideburns and beard.
Is it possible to compare the 1972 Swedish werewolf panic, or rather alarm, to similar cases in other countries? Yes. One similar happening took place in England in the 1950s. In the Gorbals district of Glasgow in 1954, hundreds of children stormed a local cemetery. This was at first reported in the now obsolete Glasgow morning paper, The Bulletin on 24 September 1954. Other papers followed and wrote about the same happening with different angles during the following days. Apparently, the children were looking for something they referred to as a vampire with iron teeth. The press had just reported that this vampire had killed and eaten “two wee boys”. At first, the alarm was thought to be directly linked to horror films shown locally, but was later reinterpreted as being due to horror comics. But, as shown in a study by two folklorists, the monster with iron teeth can also be traced to local legends. Above all to bogeymen and the children’s responses to legends and frightening, particularly about a certain “Jenny wi’ the airn teeth” that was used to frighten children in the area (see Hobbs & Cornwell 1988).
When it comes to the werewolf scares, from the grown-ups perspective, it seems to be a fear that children are in danger or victims of some crazy person. Why werewolves? I will quote my own article, and add that what I say applies to other horrors that circulates and pops up now and again:
“But, notions of the werewolf, both in folklore and popular culture, have one thing in common; it is fear of the unknown and suspicion against strange and unfamiliar people. The savage image of the werewolf, being uncivilized and nocturnal, fits well: it is a way of expressing fears of what is believed to be wrong with society […] werewolves reveal our fear of what lurks inside, the beast hidden in us all that has the potential to change a rational and moral person, leaving only dreaded animal behaviour and appetites of lust, hunger, and rage” (”An American Werewolf in Trelleborg: Representation of the Werewolf in Swedish Folk Belief and Popular Culture”).
Source: Folklore Thursday
- WITH THE PRICKING OF MY THUMB DEPARTMENT -
'Witch Bottle' Discovered in English Chimney
By Jason Daley
Contractors demolishing the chimney of a former inn and pub in Watford, England, recently chanced upon a creepy surprise: namely, a bottle full of fish hooks, human teeth, shards of glass and an unidentified liquid. As BBC News reports, the 19th-century vessel is likely a witch bottle, or talisman intentionally placed in a building to ward off witchcraft.
The newly discovered bottle is one of more than 100 recovered from old buildings, churchyards and riverbanks across Great Britain to date. Most specimens trace their origins to the 1600s, when continental Europe was in the grips of a major witch panic. Common contents found in witch bottles include pins, nails, thorns, urine, fingernail clippings and hair.
According to BBC News, the Watford property—now a private residence but formerly known as the Star and Garter inn—is best known as the birthplace of Angeline Tubbs, a woman later nicknamed the Witch of Saratoga. Born in 1761, Tubbs emigrated to the United States during her teenage years. She settled down in Saratoga Springs, New York, and made a living telling fortunes.
The type of torpedo-shaped glass bottle found in Watford was first manufactured during the 1830s, meaning the find is probably not directly connected with Tubbs. Still, the witch bottle’s presence does suggest the building’s residents practiced anti-witchcraft traditions much longer than most.
“It’s certainly later than most witch bottles, so sadly not contemporary with Angeline Tubbs,” Ceri Houlbrook, a historian and folklorist at the University of Hertfordshire, tells BBC News, “but still a fascinating find.”
The home’s current owner does not plan on displaying the bottle. Instead, the anonymous individual says they “will probably hide it away again for someone to find in another 100 years or so.”
So, how exactly did witch bottles work? Per JSTOR Daily’s Allison C. Meier, practitioners filled the vessels with an assortment of items, but most commonly urine and bent pins. The urine was believed to lure witches traveling through a supernatural “otherworld” into the bottle, where they would then be trapped on the pins’ sharp points. Would-be witchcraft victims often embedded the protective bottles under hearths or near chimneys; as anthropologist Christopher C. Fennell explained in a 2000 study, people at the time thought witches “gained access to homes through deviant paths such as the chimney stack.”
Witch bottles are more than just curiosities. Researchers at the Museum of London Archaeology (including Houlbrook) are currently working on a three-year project, “Witch Bottles Concealed and Revealed,” dedicated to analyzing examples held in public and private collections. The team’s goal is to learn more about the tradition’s origins, as well as its relationship with beliefs regarding magic and early modern medicine.
Interestingly enough, Geoff Manaugh reports for the New Yorker, the project has led MOLA’s ceramics specialist, Nigel Jeffries, to suspect that witch bottles were primarily created for medical purposes. As Jeffries tells Manaugh, the vessels may have been thought to act as “curatives that could bring a home’s residents longevity and health.”
The Salem Witch Trials are the most famous example of witchcraft hysteria in the U.S., but the scare also took root in many other places—including the Hudson Valley, where contractors and archaeologists have found witch bottles, eerie symbols and other forms of magical protection dating as far back as the 1600s.
By the time Angeline Tubbs arrived in the U.S., witches were treated as creepy curiosities rather than criminals. According to a Saratogian article by Wilton Town historian Jeannie Woutersz, Tubbs traveled to New York with a British officer during the Revolutionary War but was left behind following the conflict’s end. Eventually, she moved to a hut on a nearby mountain range, where she made a living begging and telling fortunes. Perhaps she was a woman who just preferred isolation—or maybe witch bottles kept her from ever moving into town.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
- JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES DEPARTMENT -
The Story of the Supermodel Brainwashed into Becoming a CIA Spy
In the movie Salt, Angelina Jolie plays a double-agent who is mind-controlled by scary remnants of the USSR secret service. And in real life, the 1940s bombshell Candy Jones was apparently brainwashed with drugs and used as a CIA covert operative.
Candy Jones was a successful model, author, and modeling agency owner who had married Long John Nebel, a popular late-night talk show host on New York radio station WOR. Candy told Nebel that years earlier, the FBI had asked to use her office as a mail drop and that she had agreed to deliver mail for the FBI when traveling on business.
Candy was prone to insomnia and suffered from abrupt changes in her normally congenial disposition, Nebel, an amateur hypnotist, offered to hypnotize her. During their first session, Jones easily fell into a hypnotic trance and began speaking in another voice who identified herself as Arlene Grant. This second personality revealed that Jones had once delivered a package for the FBI to a man in San Francisco while she was on business there. The man was Dr Gilbert Jensen, a doctor she knew from her USO days.
Candy had dinner with Jensen on November 16, 1960. Jensen said that he now worked for the CIA and had an office in Oakland, across Bay Bridge. He said that if Candy wanted to, she could get far deeper into the covert Intelligence business, adding that it could prove lucrative for her. With three sons at private schools, Candy was short of cash and accepted.
The first thing Jensen did was to hypnotise Candy. Under hypnosis, Jensen told Candy that she was to be a messenger for a secret CIA unit and as she would sometimes be required to travel abroad, that she would be given a passport under the assumed name of Arlene Grant. Using mind-altering drugs, Jensen reinforced the Arlene personality so that she could take Candy over almost completely when triggered by a telephone call that played a recording of particular sounds.
This done, he was able to send Candy (with Arlene's voice and manner) on various experimental missions at home and abroad. Candy would change into Arlene in appearance too, wearing a wig and using a different make-up style. Jensen aimed to create a ‘perfect messenger', one who could not reveal – even under torture – anything about the message she carried, where she came from or who had sent her.
Jones was then supposedly sent to a CIA training camp where she was trained to kill and learned how to hide code numbers under her fingernail polish.
After each mission was completed, Candy would remember nothing.
Jensen's pièce de résistance was to demonstrate that his conditioning was so deep that Arlene would kill herself on command. As a means of demonstrating the psychiatrist's control over her, Candy was once supposedly even tortured in front of 24 doctors in an auditorium at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Candy Jones' story sounds like the wild fabrications of a deranged mind. However, there is some evidence that this bizarre tale is true.
Candy told Joe Vergara, her book editor at Harper and Row, that she sometimes worked for a government agency as a courier and might disappear occasionally for weeks at a time.
She also wrote a letter to her attorney William Williams instructing him that if she were to die or vanish under unusual circumstances that he was not to reveal the details of the event to anyone, especially the press.
Also, when writer Donald Bain was talking to Candy about publishing a book on the story of her life, she showed him a passport issued in the name of Arlene Grant bearing a photo of Candy in a dark wig. Freedom of Information requests have also revealed that the CIA does have a substantial file on Jones, but refuses to release it.
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