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Paul Frederic Bennewitz, Jr. (September 29, 1927 - June 23, 2003) was an American businessman and UFO investigator who originated UFO conspiracy theories in the 1980s. He was the son of Stella A. Sharp and Paul Frederic Bennewitz, Sr. (1900-1949).
Bennewitz claimed the existence of a plot involving an extensive network of UFO bases tied to an alien colonization and control scheme to subjugate the human race. After he saw the hypnosis sessions of Myrna Hansen, who claimed to have UFO experiences, he became convinced that cattle mutilations were due to aliens. As a result, Bennewitz claimed to have uncovered evidence of aliens controlling humans through electromagnetic devices, and furthermore claimed that UFOs were regularly flying near Kirtland and the nearby Manzano Nuclear Weapons Storage Facility and Coyote Canyon Test Area.
Convinced that he was intercepting electronic communications originating from alien spacecraft located outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bennewitz soon believed that he had located a secret alien facility that he called Dulce Base. By 1982, Bennewitz began to spread his ideas regarding Dulce Base to others in the UFOlogy community. In 1988 he wrote a paper entitled "Project Beta" detailing how the base might be successfully attacked.
Bennewitz detailed his assertions to the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, who regarded him as a deluded paranoid. UFOlogist William Moore claims that he tried to push Bennewitz, who had been in a mental health facility on three occasions after suffering severe delusional paranoia, into a mental breakdown by feeding him false information about aliens. Former special agent for the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations Richard Doty claimed that in the 1980s he was tasked with hoaxing documents and feeding false information to UFO researchers, including Bennewitz.
- Barna William Donovan (24 July 2011). Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3901-0. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Michael Barkun (4 May 2006). A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America. University of California Press. pp. 111–. ISBN 978-0-520-24812-0. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Rojas, Alejandro. "Ex-Air Force Law Enforcement Agent Says He Hoaxed Major UFO Mythologies Posted: 05/13/2014 7:48 pm EDT". Huffington Post. Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Greg Bishop, Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth, Paraview Pocket Books, 2005; ISBN 0-7434-7092-3
- Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, Volume 3: High Strangeness, UFO’s from 1960 through 1979; Omnigraphics, 1996; ISBN 1-55888-742-3
- Jerome Clark, The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial, Visible Ink, 1998, ISBN 1-57859-029-9