Project Serpo: Fact or Fiction?

by Tim Swartz
“First let me introduce myself. I am a retired employee of the U.S. government. I won’t go into any great details about my past, but I was involved in a special program.” This was the opening statement sent by an anonymous source in November, 2005, to a UFO email discussion group, coordinated by former U.S. government employee Victor Martinez. The emails revealed the existence of Project Serpo, an alleged exchange program between the U.S. government and extraterrestrials from Serpo, a planet in the Zeta Reticuli star system.
  The origins of the program supposedly started after two UFOs crashed in Roswell and Corona, NM in 1947. The one surviving extraterrestrial recovered from the Corona crash supposedly assisted the U.S. military in establishing contact with the Ebens, his fellow beings on Serpo. This communication eventually led to a 1965 exchange program, where 12 specially trained U.S. military personnel went to Serpo aboard one of the Eben’s spacecraft as part of a 12-year mission to learn more about Serpo’s geology and biology, as well as learning more about the Ebens.
  During the mission, it was learned that Serpo is approximately 37 light years away from Earth, has two suns, is slightly smaller than Earth, and has a similar atmosphere. However, the radiation levels on Serpo were higher than on Eart, so the team had to keep their bodies covered at all times. The Ebens had leaders but no real form of government and they lived in small communities with one large city which acted as the central point of the civilization. The total population on the planet was around 650,000.
  The 12-man team remained on Serpo until 1978, when seven men and one woman returned to Earth. Two team members died on Serpo while two others decided to remain behind. Upon returning to Earth, the team was isolated until 1984 for debriefing. Of the eight who returned, all have since passed away of illnesses caused by the excess radiation from Serpo’s dual suns. Nothing is known about the four who remained behind on Serpo.
  These reports originated from a highly placed anonymous source that reportedly had access to audio tapes of the debriefing of the returning Project Serpo crew (the written form comprises the 3,000-page Project Serpo report, of which portions can be read at www.serpo.org)
  It is a good story, a tale that seems to have a ring of truth to it, and one that has been circulating among UFO researchers for more than 20 years. But knowing what we do about past UFO hoaxes, can we accept Project Serpo at face value?

An Old Story Made New
Author and filmmaker Linda Moulton-Howe was first told about an Earth/alien exchange program in 1983, when doing research for UFOs: The ET Factor, a documentary for HBO. At the time, she was approached by Air Force Sergeant Richard C. Doty who said that he had been given approval to allow her to air secret Air Force information and video footage in her documentary.
  Some of this information he said involved an alleged exchange program of humans who left Holloman Air Force Base in 1964, for Zeta Reticuli. Howe was told that three humans went but one died on the alien planet; one went insane (but there was no information on his fate); and one returned to Earth and was then living in a U.S. government safe house on an undisclosed island.
  Doty promised to supply Howe with material that would confirm the existence of an estraterrestrial race, including official government and military documents, film, and photographs. However, he continued to string Howe along until he finally told her that his superiors had decided against releasing any further information. Without Doty’s evidence, HBO gave up on the documentary in 1984.
  Since that time, Doty’s name has surfaced in connection with other alleged UFO/government secrets, such as the MJ-12 papers, so it is no surprise to find out that Doty (now a civilian) is also connected with the release of the Project Serpo story. And this fact alone makes the story suspect.
  Other UFO researchers over the years have also been told similar stories about a secret exchange program between the U.S. and an alien race, but the recent Serpo revelations contain more information than has been released to date. As to why earlier stories vary considerably on details (such as the number of team members sent to Serpo), it has been suggested that information has been deliberately leaked out in bits and pieces by those on the inside who feel that such secrets should not be kept from the public, and that errors were intentionally inserted in order to disguise the identities of the whistleblowers.
  There has been talk of the eventual release of photographs taken on Serpo by the exchange team, but so far, nothing has emerged to lend credence to this baffling story. Until the time when actual, physical evidence about Project Serpo is released, this story unfortunately has to be treated as just another unverifiable UFO tale, albeit an intriguing one. 

from issue #15