The following interview was originally published at the Open Minds Forum. It has been reproduced here by permission of the Open Minds Forum Staff.
November 26, 2007
Brian Roy: I recently got a chance to interview Gary S. Bekkum, founder of STARstream Research, via email. Gary, and STARstream Research (SSR) are very prominent in the world of UFOs, quantum physics, and uncovering Government secrets, so getting a chance to ask him a few questions that I’ve always wanted to — was really an honor and very interesting. What you will read in the interview is someone who is not in the business to have petty arguments about whether or not SERPO was real or not, rather Mr. Bekkum is a very serious and respected researcher, and a well known figure in the world of physics. I have been a STARstream fan for over a year now, and Gary et al have kept me on the edge of my seat, week in and week out, with new information that they uncover. I truly believe that Gary and STARstream Research are the preeminent place for uncovering Government secrets. I am anxious to see what prominence STARstream will play in our future, because with people as respected and thorough as Gary at the helm, I’m sure there will be many stories in our near future that come out of the STARstream factory that will have us all thanking them for their contribution.
[Note: The interview was slightly edited from the original for clarity.]
Brian Roy: Mr. Bekkum, what is your background?
Gary S. Bekkum: I was born in 1957 — at the start of the space age — and vividly recall watching the first Mercury space missions on an old black and white TV. The idea of space travel fascinated me from an early age. I saw the first-ever broadcast of Star Trek on September 8th, 1966, when I was nine years old. I was immediately hooked, even though I thought the transporter idea was too far out.
When I was about ten years old I read a book by Carl Sagan and the Russian astrophysicist I.S. Shklovskii called Intelligent Life in the Universe. I was intrigued by the suggestion that aliens might have actually visited the Earth and interacted with human beings.
When I was eleven, I was placed into an accelerated program, which exposed young minds to emerging new technologies, including trips to a particle accelerator and to observe experimental open heart surgery. My best friend at the time was a voracious reader and extremely knowledgeable. We discussed Andrei Sakharov’s theory of gravity, which has become the basis of many modern theories of UFO propulsion. The idea of bending space-time seemed very unrealistic due to the enormous energy densities involved. I was more interested in the idea of traveling into the future using Special Relativity. Over the next few years we spent a lot of time at the University of Minnesota.
[Then] I saw Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was something of a religious experience, and kindled a brief interest in film production, which I passed to my younger brother who teaches film studies at the University of Utah.
My grandparents knew Dr.Stanley Krippner, the noted parapsychologist who had studied dream telepathy — they were close friends of his parents — and Dr. Krippner’s mother placed his book in my hands and told me how proud she was of her son. I didn’t know that Dr. Krippner had returned from the Soviet Union to learn from Russian researchers, and that the CIA had been interested in what he had found. To the best of my knowledge, this was the only contact I had with anyone associated with SRI’s research into the paranormal.
All of this was tucked away in my subconscious by the time I was a teenager and, shortly after I was made aware of what are best described as “phenomenological sources.” I was informed I would be put in contact with physicists involved in paranormal research for the government, which was a secret in the mid-1970’s, assuming this referred to the CIA funding of SRI.
Flash ahead about twenty years, to the mid 1990’s.
I can’t recall the details — but somewhere on the Internet I was introduced to numerous scientists interested in mind-to-mind communication, including former SRI physicist Hal Puthoff, thanks to alternative physicist Dr. Jack Sarfatti. Jack was excited about his idea of a post-quantum theory that allowed for mind-like qualities to interact across space and time. This was before Joe Firmage arrived on the scene, and Jack’s attention turned towards exotic propulsion theory. It was an exciting time because of the impact of quantum information theory for theories of consciousness, like the Penrose-Hameroff theory.
BR: When did you found STARstream Research?
GSB: In 2004. The idea behind STARstream Research slowly evolved over several years, following the publication of Nick Cook’s book, The Hunt for Zero Point. Nick had been handed a Boeing document about Podkletnov’s antigravity research, and I had uncovered an obscure budget document proving military funding for Ning Li’s antigravity work. I wanted to create an outlet to publish some of our results.
BR: How and why did you get into this area (UFOs and other phenomenology type subjects) of research?
GSB: I’ll be honest and tell you there are parts of this story that will not be revealed at this time. I can tell you that I have a compelling motivation to pursue the truth behind the mystery. The idea of a Spacetime Threat Assessment Report — a STAR report — is based on the assumption that future events can influence the present moment, even if those future events are not a part of our reality.
We were interested in the possibility of using anomalous mental phenomena to accelerate human knowledge. By 2004, I had surveyed the results of hundreds of papers posted at the physics archive. It turned out I was more familiar with some of the work than the alternative scientists, who were focused on the results of their own efforts but often ignorant of the overall picture.
BR: Why the name STARstream Research?
GSB: The long-term goal is to combine STAR — Spacetime Threat Assessment Reports — with steaming media.
BR: Do you have a regular job outside of running STARstream Research?
GSB: Developing STARstream Research has been my primary focus for the past two years. The idea is to split the research in two directions: STARpod.org will focus on stories for the general public, and STARstream Research will focus on developing enhanced open-source intelligence.
BR: I know you deal with Ufology a bit, but it is not your main focus. What is the goal of STARstream Research?
GSB: SSR really started in the late 1990’s when I first contacted Nick Cook, from Jane’s Information Group. This was before Nick wrote The Hunt for Zero Point, but a few years after he was featured in a TLC Special called “Billion Dollar Secret” about UFOs and the U.S. Government’s secret black budget programs. I thought that Nick might be interested in research being funded by Joe Firmage at the International Space Sciences Organization. Firmage had an interesting experience that inspired him to take the idea of contact with higher-intelligence seriously.
Technically what happened to Joe is called an hynopompic experience; it takes place between sleeping and being fully awake. I think there is more to the story, but that will have to wait for another time. Firmage was financially successful at an early age, so he decided to invest in research to prove UFOs were spaceships visiting Earth. The best way to prove something like hypothetical extraterrestrial UFO propulsion is to duplicate the technology. At ISSO, they examined a lot of ideas that proved to be false leads. At the time the main source of information came through private email discussion groups, American and European researchers — ISSO, Project Greenglow sponsored by BAE Systems, and others, including scientists from the FSU — the Former Soviet Union. I didn’t know Nick was in the process of writing his book, but I contacted him and shared notes.
Some of the material ended up in The Hunt for Zero Point, and he continued to follow the story of antigravity research for a few years after the book was published. There was a huge volume of material that never saw the light of day — a lot of clues and questions were left over — creating a need for an outlet to bring behind-the-scenes stories to the public. That was the first goal of SSR. Tim Ventura saw a similar need and created an excellent website called American Antigravity. Tim’s focus is on propulsion technology. Our interest is more general; we want to anticipate developments that threaten human survival. For example, research into advanced propulsion might lead to new kinds of weapons of mass destruction. The turning point arrived when Pravda published my dark matters story, spinning the headline as “American Military is Pursuing New Types of Exotic Weapons.” That’s when I decided to create STARstream Research.
And that evolved to STARpod.org.
[Editor's note: STARpod.org was moved to the new STARpod.us website.]
BR: What is the “main” area that you (STARstream Research) are concentrating on right now? (I know that sounds ambiguous, but I’m just wondering what, or who, or what idea, or what science you are concentrating on now?)
GSB: One of the main areas we have been looking at is the future of the human mind in a world where technology allows small groups or even individuals to inflict massive damage to persons and property, both material and psychological damage. One resource comes from the CIA’s STAR GATE files. Although the files are incomplete, they are useful on several levels, as historical documentation of spy agency methods, and scientific research. And there is a great deal of overlap between the phenomena of physics, UFOs, and parapsychology. It’s a rich area to study. We are asking what resources might be accessed to anticipate the next major crisis. Britain’s Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees gives us a 50/50 chance of surviving to the end of the century.
BR: We’re all familiar with Project SERPO. What are your thoughts on it? Real? Disinformation? Hoax?
GSB: I have no specific information about SERPO, but the whole story seems contrived. I seriously doubt there is any truth behind it. One of our contacts suggested involvement by the private intelligence community. Our focus was on the intelligence officials, as explained in the “Real X-Files” story by Gus Russo.
BR: The Drones are the new big topic right now on a lot of forums. Thoughts? Real? Disinformation? Hoax?
GSB: In my opinion think they are probably fakes. We’ve seen what can be done in the recent Haiti UFO video, which was impressive enough to elicit a comment from an official at DIA. I think the message is we’re entering a new era where simulations will be in direct competition with what we call reality. Extrapolate that idea to technology thousands or millions of years beyond today and you begin to grasp the depth of the problem we face in studying anomalous phenomena.
BR: Dan Smith is a member and moderator at our forum, and is someone who garners a lot of criticism as well as support. I’m curious as to your position on Mr. Smith?
GSB: I think that Dan showed up on Jack Sarfatti’s email discussion list in early 2000, when Joe Firmage was funding UFO propulsion research at the International Space Sciences Organization. Dan and I disagree on many points — I prefer the Many Worlds interpretation to Dan’s Best Possible World — so we have a fundamental philosophical divide, which keeps the discussion interesting. We also share an interest in secret activities of the government’s phenomenologists, which were partly exposed with the release of the CIA STAR GATE files.
Dan is largely responsible for over-exposing CIA’s Ron Pandolfi.
BR: Speaking of Dan Smith and his BPWH Blog, do you believe his story is accurate when he says we are on the verge of disclosure?
GSB: The material is intriguing, given some of Dan’s sources, but I have yet to read anything that would convince me the government is about to make a major announcement. In 1983, an acquaintance from the USAF told me if I knew the truth about the UFOs I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I don’t know the source of his information, but the evidence suggests a counter-intelligence operation was in place at USAF bases.
BR: Speaking of Ron Pandolfi, what’s your take on him?
GSB: I have a lot of respect for Ron’s position. I suspect he is curious about what is going on in the alternative science field, for reasons of national security. I usually hear from Ron when I publish something he wants retracted. I have been careful to use open-sources where Ron is concerned. Ron has requested that we avoid revealing sources and, more importantly, methods used by the Intelligence Community.
BR: Dan Smith talks at length about his, somewhat curious, relationship to Ron Pandolfi (The R & D Show), what is your take on their relationship, as described by Dan Smith?
GSB: Well, that is what makes Ron of interest. Dan leaks a lot of interesting information into the UFO community, once you strip away his personal interpretation. The government has a long, well documented history of investigating phenomenology, like psychic phenomena and UFOs. If you check the declassified record, that interest involves tracking the network of major players and information leaked to journalists. One obvious method is to input specific data to the community and Dan appears to be one of the nodes on the network.
BR: Can you tell us about any relationships that you have with any higher ups in either the military and/or CIA, FBI, DoD, DIA?
GSB: We have been very open about the fact that we are fishing for information. Part of that strategy involves baiting the hook with open-source intelligence — like some of the material already published at Dan’s blog. As a result we have been contacted by members of the intelligence community. Some sources only provide information on “deep background,” which means they give us information intended to help move our investigation forward, but we are not allowed to name sources or publish the information they provide.
BR: I understand that you cannot give us names of your sources, but what areas are some of them in? I’m assuming that you have sources in our government organizations, and I’m interested in how high up are we talking? And, if you can, where they work and what are their expertise in?
GSB: When it comes to serious interest in phenomenology, it’s a fairly small world, where most of the key people know or are known to each other. It’s also a dubious area for serious researchers, due in large part to the giggle factor. Most sources are on the public record about their research: physicists like Hal Puthoff and Eric Davis, independent creative minds like Jack Sarfatti. Some are retired from official government duty but remain active consultants, like Colonel John B. Alexander. Others are involved at a level that makes disclosure a risky prospect. They want to avoid anything that might affect their security clearance.
How high up? Let’s just say high enough to have briefed several sitting Presidents of the United States. Some high-level sources are still working for the government, others retired but remain active in some capacity. That’s really as much as I’m comfortable revealing here. You can get a pretty good idea using Google and an open-source search. We also have non-government sources here, and in several other countries, that provide us with open-source information on their research.
BR: Is there any other investigators, or ufologists, out there that you either share information with or that you go to for clarification/assistance? If so, who?
GSB: Caryn Anscomb, UK-based author of the Trickster Tales, has been our main investigative source since early 2006.
Caryn and I have a shared interest in phenomenology that is sometimes associated with UFOs. We also have our deep background sources, but there are many scientists world-wide who are willing to discuss their opinions about the UFO phenomena, including contact experiences.
BR: With forums like Open Minds Forum, ATS, Reality Uncovered all dedicated to the topic of UFOs and other fringe subjects. Do think that these forums have changed the way Ufology is handled nowadays?
GSB: I think one of the most important roles played by UFO forums is taking down the fakers and hoaxers. A good example is the fake Haiti UFO video. At the same time forums disseminate bogus information that helps to perpetuate UFO myths. It’s a mixed bag.
BR: It seems to me that there are more stories coming out in the mainstream news about UFOs, do you think there has been an increase in acceptance by the media and by the population?
GSB: In the 1940’s my father was chastised for predicting that men would one day walk on the moon. There is always a great deal of resistance to new ideas that challenge the prevailing world view. As the general population is made aware of the scale of the universe, actually the multiverse of parallel worlds around us, they become more accepting of the possibility of extraterrestrial life. We are also seeing a convergence of religious tradition and scientific speculation centered on the idea of intelligent intervention in human affairs. All of this is happening at a time when the information paradigm has moved to center stage.
BR: France, Great Britain, and Mexico have all released information regarding UFOs, in one form or another. Do you think this is of significance, or do you think it is a ploy to distract us from real disclosure?
GSB: I think it proves that there are anomalies around us, and that the governments of the world are paying attention to that fact. Acknowledging the existence of anomalous phenomena does not tell us anything about the nature of the reality behind the data.
Your question implies information is still being withheld from the public. That is certainly a possibility. For example, why is the government withholding about 50,000 pages of STAR GATE documents if anomalous mental phenomena are useless for intelligence? We can only assume that there are operational details, perhaps involving methods and sources that remain sensitive. I would expect the same to be true for UFO files.
BR: How important do you think are the recent appointments of Admiral Mike McConnell, and “friends”, to the higher positions in the intelligence community?
GSB: There’s been a lot of shuffling in the intelligence community following 9/11. The creation of an Office of the Director of National Intelligence was intended to facilitate communication between agencies, and provide overall direction. One thing we’ve been told about transitory high-level positions, including the President, is short-term in office translates into NO-need-to-know. The deep secrets are probably held by life-long career personnel in the military.
BR: What are your opinions of a “secret government”? Do you think one exists?
GSB: Nick Cook came up with a rough estimate of the annual black budget, in the tens of billions of dollars. That’s a lot of money hidden from oversight. Our ‘by the people, for the people’ government withholds enormous amounts of information from public scrutiny. There is liberal use of ‘black highlighter’ on FOIA documents released to the public. I’m not a conspiracy buff, there’s plenty of room for abuse, but ultimately we are interested in open-source information. We also entertain the occasional rumor, like the secret NSA remote viewing program revealed by a source to Gus Russo.
BR: What do you think the biggest secret is that our government is keeping from us?
GSB: If you ask Dan Smith, it probably has something to do with the so-called “core story” — our government experienced contact with a higher intelligence. We have a high-level source who claims there is some truth to this, on a physical, material contact level. Again, if true, that is classified and will remain so until the powers that be decide otherwise.
BR: You spoke earlier of the ‘Multiverse Theory’, which has been brought to the forefront more recently by Stephen Hawking. Do you believe acceptance in this theory could facilitate more belief in other phenomenological ideas? UFOs, PSI, etc.?
GSB: The multiverse idea opens a lot of possibilities, some which might be realized this century, like the quantum computer. Theory tells us some of these ideas might be possible. Future theory and observations might allow for others.
Let me be clear about this: theory dictates the direction and the interpretation of experiment, so even if the theory says yes, that should work, it still comes down to someone funding the experiment. Improved methods of observation have allowed scientists to consider the observable universe as a giant experiment. Some surprising discoveries, like dark energy, are challenging long-cherished ideas and sending physicists back to the drawing board.
BR: What opinions or thoughts do you have on time travel? Does it exist?
GSB: Time travel is an active area of research. It’s taken more seriously on the theoretical level than it used to be. If time travel is possible then the best bet is to hitch a ride on someone else’s time machine, because theory says you can’t travel into the past before the time machine was created. If we want to travel into our own past, we will have to borrow a time machine that already existed during the period we wish to visit. In the many worlds of parallel universes, of the multiverse theory, time machines are how you move between different universes. Maybe some UFOs are time machines; if so, and you catch a ride, the multiverse theory of parallel worlds says you will arrive in the past of a different universe. You can never come home again.
Some former government remote viewers, like Lyn Buchanan, claim to have been taken aboard alien spacecraft. If Mr. Buchanan’s alien spacecraft was also a time machine, then he could be an ‘alien’ visitor to our universe from a parallel world. That would be disturbing, since we would be left wondering what happened to the original copy of Mr. Buchanan in our universe.
Even more disturbing are claims of time-travel in remote viewing, which imply some aspect of the human mind is moving from universe to universe as it probes other times. Free will is preserved, since information from the future would arrive in a different universe than it came from. For example, if a time machine sent images of planes crashing into buildings to the CIA on September 10th, 2001, and agents prevented the hijackers from boarding the planes the following day, there would be no paradox involved, since the 9/11 events still took place in the other universe. If remote viewing allows for future events to be determined in advance, then something of that nature must be involved.
BR: Back to UFOs. Is there a chance, in your opinion, that we will see disclosure by our government in the near future? (next 25 years)?
GSB: I think we will see accelerating change in all aspects of society and technology in the next twenty-five years. As a result, the government will play an increasing role in the private lives of citizens. The ever-increasing need for national security will drive an increasing need for government secrecy. I am afraid my answer is no, I don’t think we’ll see disclosure.
BR: Do you believe that Religion and the existence of UFOs are interrelated?
GSB: I think that as soon as you are willing to accept higher powers, higher intelligence than the human mind, then you have to be very careful. Are UFOs angels? Are they demons? Are they psychological in nature? Are they built from hardware, or software running in a simulation? Is your mind living in a simulation? Will you be ‘uploaded’ from this level of the simulation when you die? Ultimately religion is based on faith, on a belief that will determine how you interpret phenomena like UFOs — at least until there is hard scientific evidence about UFOs or we are able to build our own.
BR: Gary, I really want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I was hoping that maybe you can just give us some sort of status where you think Ufology is and what role you believe our government is playing.
GSB: Over the past year we more or less came to the same conclusion as investigative author Gus Russo. The intelligence community has a real interest in the activities and networking of UFO researchers, but we concluded that their interest lies primarily in earthly matters involving national security. That said, there remains a body of evidence found in declassified documents that proves the government used anomalous phenomena for military and intelligence applications, even when the nature of the phenomena is not understood.
Ultimately, anecdotal evidence for phenomena will give way to technological developments capable of reproducing the claims of ufologists. An example is the Many Worlds Theory of parallel universes. David Deutsch at Oxford believes that someday we will build a quantum computer that will provide evidence for the existence of those unseen worlds, when the information processing capacity of the quantum computer exceeds the information processing capacity of our entire observable universe.
Since all information requires physical representation, Deutsch asks the question, “Where did that information processing take place?” The simple answer will be that it took place in other unseen, parallel universes.
Once we have built a working starship, or a time machine, or traversable wormhole, we will have a much better understanding of the reality behind some of the anomalous phenomena.
[A special thank you for Brian Roy and his thought provoking questions, and for the staff of the Open Minds Forum for permission to re-publish this interview at STARpod.org]
Interview Copyright (c) 2007 Brian Roy and the Open Minds Forum. All rights reserved.