Paul Bennewitz: The Albuquerque Businessman Turned UFO Investigator

Paul Bennewitz was convinced that he had uncovered evidence of extraterrestrials controlling humans through electromagnetic devices, he claimed to have regularly witnessed UFOs flying near Kirtland Air Force Base, and after becoming involved with the alleged alien abduction of Myrna Hansen, his conviction on the subject grew even stronger.

Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz (left) Leo Sprinkle (right), and Kirtland Air Force Base

In the late 1970s Paul Bennewitz, an Albuquerque businessman trained as a physicist, became convinced that he was monitoring electromagnetic signals that extraterrestrials were using to control persons they had abducted. Bennewitz believed he had succeeded at decoding these signals. At the same time, he began to see what he thought were UFOs maneuvering around the Manzano Nuclear Weapons Storage Facility and the Coyote Canyon test area, located near Kirtland Air Force Base.


Bennewitz reported all this to the Tucson-based Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), whose directors judged him to be deluded. But at Kirtland, Bennewitz's claims, or at least some of them, were being taken more seriously. On October 24, 1980, Bennewitz contacted AFOSI agent Sergeant Richard Doty, and related that he had evidence of something potentially threatening in the Manzano Weapons Storage Area.



A "Multipurpose Internal OSI Form," signed by Major Thomas A Cseh (Commander of the Base Investigative Detachment), dated October 28, 1980, and subsequently released under the Freedom of Information Act, states:

On 26 Oct 80, SA (Special Agent) Doty, with the assistance of Jerry Miller, GS-15, Chief, Scientific Advisor for Air Force Test and Evaluation Center, KAFB, interviewed Dr Bennewitz at his home in the Four Hills section of Albuquerque, which is adjacent to the northern boundary of Manzano base. (Note: Miller is a former Project Blue Book USAF Investigator who was assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB (W-PAFB), OH, with FTD [Foreign Technology Division]. Mr Miller is one of the most knowledgeable and impartial investigators of Aerial Objects in the southwest.) Dr Bennewtiz has been conducting independent research into Aerial Phenomena for the last 15 months. Dr Bennewitz also produced several electronic recording tapes, allegedly showing high periods of electrical magnetism being emitted from Manzano/Coyote Canyon area. Dr Bennewitz also produced several photographs of flying objects taken over the general Albuquerque area. He has several pieces of electronic surveillance equipment pointed at Manzano and is attempting to record high-frequency electrical beam pulses. Dr Bennewitz claims these Aerial Objects produce these pulses. After analyzing the data collected by Dr Bennewitz, Mr Miller related the evidence clearly shows that some type of unidentified aerial objects were caught on film; however, no conclusions could be made whether these objects pose a threat to Manzano/Coyote Canyon areas. Mr Miller felt the electronical recording tapes were inconclusive and could have been gathered from several conventional sources. No sightings, other than these, have been reported in the area.

On November 10 Bennewitz was invited to the base to present his findings to a small group of officers and scientists. Exactly one week later, Doty informed Bennewitz that AFOSI had decided against further consideration of the matter. Subsequently, Doty reported receiving a call from then-New Mexico Senator Harrison Schmitt, who wanted to know what AFOSI was planning to do about Bennewitz's allegations. When informed that no investigation was planned, Schmitt spoke with Brigadier General William Brooksher of base security. The following July, New Mexico's other senator, Pete Domenici, looked into the matter, meeting briefly with Doty before dashing off to talk with Bennewitz personally. Domenici lost interest and dropped the matter.

Bennewitz was also aware of supposed animal mutilations being reported in the western United States. He met with a young mother, Myrna Hansen, who told him that one evening in May 1980, after she and her six-year-old son saw several UFOs in a field and one approached them, they suffered confusion and disorientation, then a period of amnesia that lasted as long as four hours.


Bennewitz brought the two to University of Wyoming psychologist R Leo Sprinkle, who hypnotized them and got a detailed abduction story from the mother and a sketchy one from the little boy. Early in the course of the abduction story, they claimed to observe aliens take a calf aboard the UFO and mutilate it while it was still alive, removing the animal's genitals.


At one point during the alleged experience, the mother said, they were taken via UFO into an underground area that she believed was in New Mexico. She briefly escaped her captors and fled to an area where there were tanks of water. She looked into one of them and saw body parts such as tongues, hearts, and internal organs, apparently from cattle. But she also claimed to observe a human arm with a hand attached. The objects in the tank, she said, "horrified me and made me sick and frightened me to death". She wondered about the other tanks and about their contents.

Already Bennewitz was in the grips of fear and paranoia, to the degree that he had begun to suspect Sprinkle himself was a CIA agent and ordered him to leave before the latter could conduct further hypnotic sessions with Hansen.


According to Sprinkle, Bennewitz "had rifle in hand and pistol on hip" to protect himself against menacing aliens.

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