Research, investigations & commentary from Bill Chalker, author of "The OZ Files - the Australian UFO Story" (1996), "Hair of the Alien - DNA and Other Forensic Evidence for Alien Abductions" (2005) and Australian chapter author of the UFO History Group's foundational reference work "UFOs and Government" (2012)
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Peter Khoury and the "Hair of the Alien" - 20 years on
The past week marked a fascinating anniversary of an extraordinary experience which drew me into a groundbreaking investigation and a potential breakthrough research direction.
Peter Khoury had a bizarre experience on July 23, 1992, in Sydney, Australia. He had a shattering experience on July 12, 1988, which he was ultimately able to understand as an alien abduction. It changed his life. He would go on to help others who had similar experiences by establishing the UFO Experience Support Association (UFOESA). But nothing prepared him for the July 1992 episode. It was so shocking that Peter would only share the experience with his wife and a few close associates.
The July 1992 incident had yielded a remarkable piece of evidence - a hair sample apparently from a blonde "nordic" entity. I was able to work with a biochemistry team which would provide the world's first DNA analysis of a biological sample implicated in an alien abduction experience. The team wanted to see if the sample provided forensic DNA evidence that might support the extraordinary story. It did far more than that.
The biochemistry team leader Dr. Horace Drew a leading DNA expert & co-author of "Understanding DNA"
Dr. Drew with researcher Bill Chalker
The evidence secured by Peter Khoury with his July 1992 experience enabled breakthrough research which has led to a focus on research into the hypothesis of intelligent alien intervention in the evolution of human DNA - the Alien DNA paradigm.
An image based tour through this extraordinary case, its investigation, and its amazing implications is provided here to mark the 20 year anniversary of Peter Khoury's shocking, controversial and unprecedented experience.
remarkable clue supporting the enduring idea that UFOs and alien abduction
claims might represent credible evidence for alien intervention into human
affairs, at an extraordinary and deep level, may have been found in the UFO
haunted southern Chinese province of Yunnan.
As part of a developing hypothesis I call the alien DNA paradigm, a form
of intelligent alien intervention may have occurred in us as humans on planet
Earth. We are very primitively tinkering
with modifying life forms through transgenics and the like, therefore the idea
that someone out there might already have been doing it elsewhere, maybe even
here, may not seem so far out.
for this may also be found in human DNA signatures, particularly among those
indigenous cultures that have potent claims of "sky being" lore and
land rich in long historical focuses of UFO activity. An extraordinary breakthrough alien abduction
case from the other side of the world – right here in the middle of Sydney –
had me to pursuing some very strange clues through Asia to Yunnan, China,
leading to the hypothesis of the alien DNA paradigm through a long and complex 4
Phase 1: STRANGE EVIDENCE - 1999
Phase 1 centred on an alien abduction experience by a Sydney man Peter Khoury
in 1992. This was not his first experience.
July 12, 1988 he experienced a frightening
and life changing alien abduction experience. Khoury had lay on a bed and was
overwhelmed by paralysis. A number of beings became apparent around him. One of
them, a tall thin golden yellow coloured being, with large black eyes, inserted
a long needle like object into the side of his head. Khoury blacked out. He
regained consciousness with a start and rushed into the adjoining room where he
found other family members in a "switched-off" state. Rousing them,
Khoury found that while they thought only some 10 minutes had passed, in
reality it seemed between 1 to 2 hours had passed. An injury to his head was
At that time Peter Khoury had no real context to
anchor his disturbing experience. Eventually he became aware of the alien
abduction controversy and tried to understand what was happening. Strange experiences continued, the most
striking, and ultimately the most revealing, occurred on July 23, 1992.
At about 7 am, having returned to his Sydney suburban
home from a train station, after dropping off his wife, Khoury felt unwell and
lay down on the bed to sleep. He awoke with a start sometime later, becoming
aware of something alighting on the bed. He was shocked to see two strange
women kneeling on the end of his bed.Both were naked.One appeared Nordic and the other Asian.
of theirappearance were quite odd.
The Nordic female had a very elongated face and a sharply point chin. Her eyes
appeared to be blue and 2 to 3 times larger than normal. She had very fine
wispy blonde hair that seemed to be oddly blown up. Her skin colour was quite
light. The dark brown skinned Asian looking woman seemed to have almost completely
black eyes. Her hair was black and set in a firm page-boy style.
Although no normal communication occurred, the Nordic
woman seemed to be in charge and Khoury got the impression she was giving the
Asian looking woman some sort of instruction.
What followed was quite disorientating for Khoury.
The Nordic woman, who seemed to be over 6 feet tall and apparently very strong,
reached forward and pulled Khoury's head to her breast. He resisted, trying to
pull away.She did this 3 times. Finally Khoury, trying to cope
with the shock and disorientating nature of this experience, bit on her nipple
apparently swallowing a piece from it. Although
seemingly confused, she did not react with any pain and nor was there any sign
of blood. She seemed to convey to the other woman, seemingly through a form of telepathy,
that this was not the way things were supposed to happen. Khoury was overcome
with a coughing fit. Moments later, looking up again, he found that both women
The coughing caused Khoury to go to the bathroom to
get a drink of water. When he went to urinate he found it very painful to do
so, due to, it turned out, some very fine blonde hair wrapped tightly under his
foreskin. Khoury removed the hair and had the foresight to place it in a plastic
sachet bag with a seal. He did that because he felt there was no way it should
have been there. It was unlike his wife's hair.
Khoury concluded that something extraordinarily
bizarre had just occurred and linked the blonde thin hair to the strange tall,
blonde haired Nordic looking woman.
I undertook a very detailed investigation. Born in 1964, in Lebanon, Peter Khoury
migrated to Australia in 1973. He met his future wife, Vivian in 1981, marrying
in 1990. They have 2 children. What might be Peter's first encounter with a UFO
occurred in Lebanon in the summer of 1971 at age 7. He and seven other children
had gone up onto the flat rooftop of his neighbour's house to play. Peter was
the last to walked through a heavy door that leads onto the roof. He then saw
all his friends "frozen" like statues in front of him, while a silent
egg-shaped craft hovered above. All eight children later found themselves on
the ground floor after some time had elapsed, with no memory of the intervening
By 1998, I began an investigation into the hair
sample, when biochemical colleagues agreed to undertake what was the world's
first PCR (polymerase Chain Reaction) DNA profiling of biological material
implicated in an alien abduction experience. The analysis confirmed the hair
came from someone who was biologically close to normal human genetics, but of
an unusual racial type - a rare Chinese Mongoloid type - one of the rarest
human lineages known, that lies further from the human mainstream than any
other except for African pygmies and aboriginals.
There was the strange anomaly of it being blonde to
clear instead of black, as would be expected from the Asian type mitochondrial
DNA. The study concluded, "The most probable donor of the hair must
therefore be as (Khoury) claims: a tall blonde female who does not need much
colour in her hair or skin, as a form of protection against the sun, perhaps
because she does not require it." The detailed results were published in 1999
in an article entitled “Strange Evidence” in the “International UFO Reporter,”
a publication of the Chicago based Center for UFO Studies, which was originally
formed by Dr. J. Allen Hynek. The
investigation at that point was limited to the shaft of the hair sample, and
led us to important Chinese connections.
Phase 2: "HAIR of the ALIEN" - 2005
2 was focused on replication of the shaft result and on the root of the Khoury
hair sample. This work revealed the
breakthrough complexity that supported the apparent “hybrid” nature of the DNA
profile of the “alien” donor – the blonde “Nordic” female – namely that we had
a donor with very unusual hybrid DNA profiles – the rare Asian mongoloid
(Chinese) DNA in the hair shaft and the rare Basque/Gaelic type DNA in the hair
root, along with the indications of the provocative CCR5 gene deletion factor –
which would allow such beings to carry out intrusive activities amongst humans
without concern for diseases such as HIV & smallpox. This phase gave us
real insights into the possible nature of these beings and their activities.
These aspects, along with the Phase 1 work, were reported in detail in my 2005 book
“Hair of the Alien” published in New York by Paraview Pocket Books, a division
of Simon and Schuster.
Phase 3: The Lahu connection (Thailand/China) -
Phase 3 allowed a focus on the genetic connections at a very specific and
detailed level, because of the unusual nature of the rare Asian mongoloid
sequence, revealed in the Khoury sample.
We found they occurred in the DNA signatures of an isolated group of
people – the Lahu who are limited to the region of the southern Chinese
province of Yunnan, and the immediate regions bordering that locality –
northern Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos. The areas of Yunnan and northern
Thailand yielded considerable data and research, particularly with fascinating UFO
and unusual light phenomena connections in both regions.
light phenomena and possible UFO connections are found in the shamanic type
elements of Lahu society. Dr. Anthony Walker’s
907 page Lahu study “Merit and the Millenium – Routine and Crisis in
the Ritual Lives of the Lahu People”, revealsone of the more
fascinating Lahu shaman-like contact experiences involving a leading Lahu
figure Ca Nu who claimed the Sky beings/spirits visited him and gave him a
mysterious glowing stone with inscriptions.
He also reported seeing strange “hole” shapes crossing the sun, along
with anomalous “stars”. Ca Nu connects his experiences with spiritual prophecy,
a dynamic revealed on numerous occasions in not only shaman lore but in many
contact and abduction situations.
(Centre: Poster for the Thai film "FullMoon Mekong Party";
right: some of the Lahu "shaman" material (ex Anthony Walker);
lower left: my Thai guide Noi)
of light was encountered by dissident Chinese writer Ma Jian in 1986 in Lahu
territory in southern Yunnan China. Escaping
from custody, he was trying to find his way through dangerous terrain. Suddenly“a light appeared in the
darkness. It was neither a torch nor a candle, nor a glow-worm shaking in the
breeze. It seemed to come from another realm. It rose from a stream and floated
through the trees then stopped by some branches ten meters away and slowly
dropped to my eye level… I walked forward and the ball of fire followed me
through the branches, guiding my way for twenty kilometers until the sky turned
white.” He described the encounter in his book “Red Dust.” I met Ma Jian during the 2003 Sydney Writers
Festival. He confirmed to me that his
account was not a literary metaphor for his sense of alienation with
contemporary China. It was a real experience with a ball of light about the
size of a rockmelon. This Lahu region phenomena near the Lancang (the Mekong)
River echoes the intriguing Naga light phenomena that most prominently plays
out near Nong Khai, Thailand, on the Mekong.
I witnessed and filmed the Naga light balls coming out of the Mekong in
2006. My investigations resisted the
easy explanation of hoaxing for tourism purposes.
Zheng of the Kunming UFO Research Association indicated his “most dramatic
case” occurred in November 2006 (the month after my visit to Yunnan) when
thousands of villagers in Zhenyuan Yi, Hani and Lahu Autonomous County of
Yunnan Province witnessed 7 white hemispherical shaped objects hovering
directly above the property of a local CPC (Chinese Communist Party) cadre for
nearly two hours. The objects appeared
to keep changing shape. As it was a
small village word soon spread and many villagers arrived to witness the
sighting. They started pursuing the
objects but the UFOs soon disappeared. I
had been in the Lahu territory a few weeks earlier. This seemed a compelling confirmation
of the potential breakthrough research focus.
Lahu people, via the DNA clue from the Khoury hair sample, may be connected
with the apparent “Nordic hybrid” being, both through their DNA and their
locality, which we found to be rich in UFO and unusual light phenomena. These
investigations dramatically consolidated valuable UFO data from China, particularly
in the province of Yunnan.
Phase 4: the global alien DNA nexus
This phase focuses on
evidence for alien genetic “intelligent intervention” in various cultures
(particularly indigenous cultures) around the world, and has been driven by: • Locations with high
strangeness/breakthrough activities with UFOs, light phenomena, alien
abductions • cultures that feature “sky
being” claims, diverse UFO phenomena • possible unusual DNA markers
within these cultures or present selectively or generically in human DNA • locations or regions which bring
together each of these factors (UFO “haunted” location, alien mediated culture,
preliminary focus on the Lahu addressed in Phase 3 suggested that the “alien
DNA paradigm” hypothesis could be evaluated and tested in terms of a long term
focus on groups of people like the Lahu in Thailand & China, the Kayapo and
their Bep Kororoti tradition in Brazil, the
Zulu connection (per Credo Mutwa) in Africa and other peoples whose traditions
and localities seem steeped in alien lore.
Should all of the highlighted factors, particularly possible unusual DNA
markers, become well established, we will have compelling evidence for the
possibility of “intelligent intervention” by possible aliens.
THE YUNNAN UFO CONNECTION
has a rich legacy of UFO reports. One of
the strangest occurred in the autumn of 1975, when two soldiers of a Chinese
People’s Liberation Army unit stationed in Jian-Shui County in the Province of
Yunnan encountered a huge saucer-shaped flying object. It circled around above their heads and
emitted beams of soft orange-colored light. One of the men raced to the nearby army
camp. Within minutes the Camp Commandant and about a dozen armed men raced to
the location of the encounter. The soldier, who had stayed behind, could not be
found. Four soldiers took over sentry duty.
After a few hours they heard a moaning sound behind them. There they found the missing man in an
unconscious state. His facial hair had grown extremely long. When he had
recovered consciousness the soldier found his memory was totally gone. His
wristwatch indicated it had been stopped for a considerable time. The soldier’s
weapons and watch were found to be slightly magnetized.
2009 and 2010 China experienced a large wave of UFO sightings many supported by
photographs and videos, much of it in Yunnan province. Professor Zhang Yifang of the Yunnan University
physics department and president of the Kunming UFO Research Association spoke
out publicly on the reality of UFOs and aliens in China., convinced that
“extraterrestrials exist”, adding, “I am convinced, because I am a physicist
and an astronomer.” He reported that
UFO sightings “are mostly in Yunnan, Xinjiang, and Heilongjiang. The history
of UFOs in Kunming (the capital of Yunnan) is great. Sightings are commonplace.” Professor Zhang’s statements were reported
widely in China. I met him in Kunming in
Yunnan in 2006 and made a detailed presentation to university faculty members
and Yunnan UFO researchers.
SCIENCE DANCES WITH ALIENS
science has regularly rejected the idea of possible “intelligent intervention”
by aliens. However some interesting
cracks in the wall of science have appeared.
One of the pillars of biochemistry, Francis Crick, who won the Nobel
Prize in 1962 for his part in unravelling the double helix structure of DNA,
argued for a radical form of the panspermia idea – we were seeded naturally
from space – namely that we were the results of “directed panspermia” – that
life on Earth was the result of intelligent intervention by a superior alien intelligence
out there millions of years ago.
Paul Davies, has speculated that some sort of alien pattern might be encoded in
our "junk DNA". While this sounds like science fiction, particularly
if mathematical or symbolic codes are being sort, the idea is not as wild as it
sounds. I briefly discussed this speculation with Paul Davies during a
Macquarie University post graduate open day on campus on April 12 2005. He
indicated his "junk DNA - ET evidence" speculations were meant to be
serious. He felt the idea was no less serious than the idea of seeking out ET
"radio signals," so why not try something that is far easier to do
and is potentially well within our current technological reach - searching for
coded clues within our own DNA.
of my “alien DNA paradigm” approach involves examining DNA for evidence of
"non-Darwinian patterns", which might reflect extraterrestrial or
intelligent influence - a sign of artificial evolution or intervention. My
specialist group, the Anomaly Physical
Evidence Group (APEG), have been examining this intriguing area focusing in
part on unusual mutations, polymorphisms, our "junk" DNA (or perhaps
more appropriately "regulatory" DNA) and other aspects. Some
intriguing areas are being looked at.
25-26 2010 – London, UK – an extraordinary discussion meeting takes place. Its subject? “The detection of
extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society” – the
first organised by the Royal Society in its 350th anniversary
many, including me, it is one of the most important subjects in mankind’s history.
Are we alone? And more specifically are we being visited? The former question was the focus of the
Royal Society meeting, but there were some winks and nudges at the more
interesting question – Are we being visited? Or have we been visited? While people
like Simon Conway Morris and Paul Davies were participants in the discussion,
as expected, there were no really dramatic revelations, but there were plenty
of fascinating signposts of a degree of expanding horizons. SETI or the search for Extraterrestrial Life
was a focus. Previous conservatism gave way to some intriguing directions of
Davies lectured on “The eerie silence: are we alone in the universe?” arguing
for a new approach to SETI, one that made room for even an inward approach,
looking for evidence of alien life here on Earth. Davies wasn’t referring to aliens as we
research them in the UFO question; instead he is arguing we look for evidence
of a “shadow biosphere”, a completely separate tree of life. If we could establish this he argues, even if
it was probably going to be microbial in nature, turning up in isolated and
adverse ecological niches on Earth, then it would powerfully endorse the idea
that life is everywhere in the Universe.
Morris, one of the world’s leading evolutionary paleobiologists, argued
intelligent extraterrestrial life, if it existed at all, would most likely look
like us, that is human in appearance, and that it would possibly share our
propensity for exploitation of other life, for violence and greed. He still thinks it is awfully quite out there,
that ETs should have been evident by now, and wasn’t bringing UFO aliens into
science examining if ETs are here on Earth!
Aliens likely to look human! Both
points are against the traditional positions of science. But things are clearly changing. I could argue I told you so.
my 2005 book “HAIR of the ALIEN"I
focused on a DNA forensic approach to alien abduction evidence. While
prominence is given to the Peter Khoury "alien hair" case from Sydney
Australia, other cases and experiences from around the world are also examined.
Myprimary focus was to promote a forensic scientific approach to
examining the alien abduction controversy, concentrating on the DNA approach
where compelling biological evidence was available.
Simon Conway Morris ... in (his book) Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a
Lonely Universe (using) our best evidence for life, our own on planet Earth,
(argues) against the prevailing scientific evolutionary paradigm, he states
that because of the ubiquity of evolutionary convergence, not only does life
have an extraordinary propensity for navigating multiple pathways to precise
biological solutions, but that it repeatedly reprises the same evolutionary
solution, mediated powerfully by "the weirdest molecule in the
Universe" - DNA. In short, Morris contends that on suitable planets out
there the genetic tape of life will play out into more "inevitable humans."
But, contends Morris, the rarity of Earth-like planets means that we are most
likely living in a lonely universe. Others argue, however, that life is
everywhere, driven by a "life principle" that favors the spread of
life through the universe.”
Fermi Paradox looms large here. If
aliens exist where are they! The
simplest answer is they are already here, have been here, still are, and the
ultimate answer awaits mainstream science’s serious open minded embrace with
the UFO question rather than the litany of lost opportunities the sorry history
of UFOs and science has revealed up till now.
A potent and well funded serious science of ufology which focuses on
UFOs, alien encounters and alien abduction accounts would be a powerful change
to the unscientific approach that has been the way of mainstream science’s
nervous dance with the subject up till now.
DNA found in the strange hair sample implicated in the alien abduction
experience of Peter Khoury had a striking array of DNA anomalies. Until the “Hair of the Alien” evidence came
along the claims that alien abductions might involve hybrid beings was just
unsubstantiated speculation. Now
evidence had been revealed that may support such a bizarre scenario. Its not conclusive evidence, but it is enough
of a potent breakthrough to argue that the research direction it inspired is a
very worthwhile hypothesis to pursue. I
have created a blog site that focuses on this fascinating area. I have put an introductory essay up on the
site – “The Alien DNA Paradigm – an introduction” at http://aliendnaparadigm.blogspot.com You can assist this long term effort with
information and material that may support the work. It may just help define our place in the
During 2010 Peter Khoury was subject to a lie detector test, despite my efforts to advise him that polygraph testing was scientifically unreliable. Since such testing has popular kudos I have also included the context of that testing, which Peter passed:
polygraph examiner Gavin Wilson, on camera,
reported to Mary Rodwell, Chris Rodwell, and Peter Khoury (I was at the same
table out of camera shot), “Peter passed the test.” Peter laconically responded, “Great, I’m
happy.” Gavin added, “So far as I’m
concerned, what he witnessed, there has to be some merit in that.”
from my UFO History Keys column in the Australian magazine "Ufologist"
Belief, Polygraphs and alien abductions
the SBS “My Mum Talks to Aliens” documentary examined.
by Bill Chalker
On November 30 2010 the documentary “My Mum
talks to Aliens” was aired on the SBS TV network. It has been repeated a number of times since
then. While the lurid title may have
seemed off putting, the content was interesting and made a contribution to the debate
about UFOs and alien abductions.
The primary and most engaging aspect of the
documentary was the relationship between alien abduction counselor Mary Rodwell
and her son Chris, a veterinarian. A
kind of road trip through the alien landscape was played out, with Chris looking
for credible scientific evidence that his mother’s obsession with matters alien
are not an indication she has lost her marbles.
Mary sets about showing him a range of things that might persuade him
that the UFO and alien abduction field is a serious area of enquiry and that
she has a credible approach within it.
While some apparently intriguing areas were
touched on by the documentary, each had their own “devil in the detail” aspects
– issues and problems which were not addressed, in part due to the limitations
of the format of the programme. It
seemed to be up to Mary to present the case for each item and for Chris to see
if it resonated well with his scientific sensibilities.
The credibility of each segment really
depended on how engaged and well informed Mary and Chris were with them. This varied a lot through the programme. For example, some interesting elements
described in the abduction narrative of Greg Le Noel, one of Mary Rodwell’s
clients, was overshadowed by issues associated with polygraph testing. In a
Gosford UFO meeting Chris feels completely done with the strange world of UFO
belief, which in the piece aired in the documentary seemed dominated by “alien
The Australian Academy of Sciences debate
between Mary Rodwell and Dr. Charlie Lineweaver, with an audience weighted
heavily with his students, was never going to take seriously Mary’s Exopolitics
mediated litany of uncritical claims about the strange nature of UFO
reality. Confusing Paul Hellyer, former
Canadian Defence minister for Colonel Corso was a stumble for Mary, and not
having an appropriate response for Lineweaver’s slander of Dr. Brian
Josephenson was disappointing. Lineweaver
was apparently hung up on a physics Nobel laureate lurching into non-scientific
mainstream areas such as telepathy, an aspect that could have been soundly
argued against, given Lineweaver’s close mind about such matters. Lineweaver got some free hits, but his
arrogance worked against him, in the context of the documentary. It also understandably raised the ire of
Mary’s son, Chris, who saw it as a personalised attack on his mother.
The photo evidence Mary presented to Chris
impressed him, but that was because he was inexperienced with the video
anomalies that occur with night time filming of distant light sources. He even went as far to suggest Mary should
have led with this Silbury Hill footage in the science debate. Luckily that didn’t occur, as I suspect Dr.
Lineweaver may have jumped on what Chris saw as “crystal clarity”, with the
exotic looking diamond shapes being nothing more than the defocused images – a
lens effect - of distant point light sources. An examination of the full
footage on the SBS web site confirms this and supports the idea these light
sources were probably prosaic sources, such as possible flares. While such analysis can be debated the idea
that they represented compelling alien UFO imagery was not sustained by the
Mary’s “ace card”, abductee Peter Khoury,
was filmed in a very limited way focusing on an all too brief recounting of
only part of the DNA evidence related to his 1992 experience and then filming
an unguarded moment which Peter would have wished wasn’t used. It was pretty clear than both, Mary and Chris,
were not well aware of the totality of the DNA evidence in Peter Khoury’s case,
and if they were, they didn’t understand it or its implications. Despite Mary’s preoccupations with matters
DNA related in her claims of “new humans” she seems to prefer poorly documented
“evidence” rather than well presented and detailed evidence such as in the
Khoury “Hair of the Alien” case. Neither,
Peter or I, are aware of any occasion, other than the documentary, where she
has highlighted the case in any significant way in her lectures or
publications. Indeed I was advised it
was the producers that led Mary into choosing Peter Khoury’s case as her
belated “ace card”, as stronger and more compelling material was needed, than
the material she had already presented.
Some other “ace cards” had fallen along the
way and were not used. The interview
with a Woomera witness, who seemed to change her mind at the last minute, saying
her observation and filming during a rocket test probably wasn’t an alien UFO,
was not used. The detour to Wycliffe
Well was possibly not used because of the way it was filmed, with the segment
seemingly more about UFO theatre rather than solid facts. The visit to the National Archives did not
focus on compelling material and so was cut out of the documentary. A more detailed examination of the files
would have revealed more compelling data.
My own last minute reluctant agreement to
be filmed talking very briefly about the DNA work, despite laboring with flu
recovery, did not give a coherent or detailed account of that work, which had
already been briefly covered by Peter talking about part of the research. As I had been something of a pest re the
polygraph testing I wasn’t surprised to see my brief DNA piece cut out of the
documentary. Beside it required a much
more detailed presentation to present this evidence in a serious and acceptable
way. Later, Chris seemed hung up on the
idea that it seemed to him unscientific to have part of the remaining hair
sample on a broken slide, giving me no opportunity to highlight that the sample
was secure and that it would have been scientifically irresponsible to risk
another sample transfer just for the sake of a TV documentary. In any event there is another segment of the
hair sample held in a secure manner.
Once again it was a mellowed form of polygraph
testing entrapment that overshadowed the very limited and skewed presentation
of this case, and the polygraph testing was limited to his 1988 experience
rather than the 1992 experience, in which evidence led to DNA testing. The programme had not engaged with this 1988
experience, so it was probably confusing for the viewer. The polygraph was
used, almost without question, as a way of discriminating between fact and
fiction. There was a brief narration
comment that Mary had some issues about the use of lie detection, while in the
background I had been waging a campaign against its use in general and more
specifically in Peter Khoury’s case. It
was a campaign I waged with the producers and Peter, and my arguments were
based on science, not vague popular perceptions of the utility of polygraph testing. There was a huge debate that could be had
here, but it was left unstated in the documentary, despite the history of the
controversial use of polygraphs in both the wider community and its rather sorry
history of use in the UFO controversy.
I will limit my further comments here to
where the documentary addressed alien abductions. It did this by examining two different
abductees, Greg Le Noel, the client of Mary’s ACERN practice, and Peter Khoury,
who had not been a client of Mary, nor had she been involved in any of the
research about his abduction experiences.
In both cases Chris organised polygraph testing via Gavin Wilson,
forensic polygraph examiner for Australian Polygraph Services. Greg failed his test, while Peter Khoury
passed his. Mary Rodwell attempted to
rationalise Greg’s failure as being due to his abduction “memories” being
recovered via subconscious or trance recall, in other words, his abduction
narrative came from the hypnotic regressions Mary carried out with Greg. Peter Khoury’s abduction “memories” are
clearly anchored in conscious recollection.
So the documentary’s “smoking gun” was
Peter Khoury’s successful lie detector test, which had focused on his conscious
recollection of witnessing 5 aliens in 1988. Peter Khoury has always wanted to
have a lie detector test, to help validate his claims of alien abductions. Of course Peter was pleased to have passed
the polygraph test, but the documentary failed to reveal the background drama
on this particular aspect of the programme.
Nor did it engage with the deeper issue of the use of hypnosis in
validating alien abduction stories.
There is a rich and potent debate to be had there. But it was not going to happen in this
context, perhaps in part because so much of Mary’s evidence has been gained
through the extensive use of hypnosis.
I was a direct participant in this part of
the story. When Peter Khoury told me he
had agreed to do a polygraph test I did my best to try to get him not to do
The answer was simple. While
popular perceptions and polygraph providers argue that lie detector tests are
strong evidence of proving or disproving deception, there is no scientific
evidence to back this claim up. Indeed
there is plenty of evidence which shows that such tests are unreliable and can
give both false positive and negative results.
For example read about the sorry case of Wen Ho Lee, described in the
book “A Convenient Spy – Wen Ho Lee and the politics of Nuclear Espionage” by
Dan Stober and Ian Hoffman.
Contradictory FBI interpretations of the same polygraph results
overwhelmed this affair. It was not an
isolated case. Further, I had
previously on a number of occasions reviewed the scientific evidence for
polygraph testing, to see if they should be utilised as a research tool in the
investigation of alien abduction claims.
I had concluded on each of these occasions that there was not sufficient
evidence to support polygraph testing as an appropriate tool in researching
alien abduction reports. In fact there
was compelling evidence arguing that such testing should be avoided as it
potentially put abductees in the hands of an unreliable tool for determining
truth about such matters. See also New
Scientist, 25 June 2011, “The truth about lies – Easy to tell, hard to detect”
for a recent assessment of the issue.
Polygraphs remain in their scientific limbo, as unproven devices for the
assessment of truth.
If the evidence for polygraph accuracy had
been strong and scientifically validated, I would not have hesitated in
encouraging Peter Khoury to do polygraph testing. Instead my own research meant I would not be
protecting Peter Khoury’s best interests if I remained silent about his
decision to eagerly embrace such testing.
In fact I became a thorn in the side of the documentary producers, who
were intent on using the polygraph testing as a dramatic element in the
show. I was asked by Peter Khoury to be
present when the documentary team, Gavin Wilson, the Polygraph examiner, and
Mary & Chris Rodwell visited Peter’s home for the test on September 1st,
2010. As I was getting over a bout of
the flu this was a draining experience, but a necessary one. I had a debate with Gavin about the validity
of polygraph testing. He accepted that I
had compelling evidence, but obviously stood by his profession. I was also alarmed when I overheard the
producer trying to encourage the polygraph examiner to ask Peter Khoury
questions about whether he had had sex with aliens. As Peter himself was not even certain about
this, such a question was not appropriate to ask in a polygraph setting. Gavin Wilson was a professional in his
approach. After questioning Peter at
length he had decided not to address this, but rather focus on the 1988
experience. Still, I was surprised, that
despite all my arguments against the validity of polygraph testing, and
potential risks to his career, Peter Khoury ultimately did the test. I think that says a lot about his sense of
truth and his integrity. He was willing
to put everything on the line. A line
though I felt was not a good line to cross, given it was defined by an
Despite all this, polygraph examiner Gavin
Wilson, on camera, reported to Mary Rodwell, Chris Rodwell, and Peter Khoury (I
was at the same table out of camera shot), “Peter passed the test.” Peter laconically responded, “Great, I’m
happy.” Gavin added, “So far as I’m
concerned, what he witnessed, there has to be some merit in that.”
Despite Chris Rodwell being impressed that
Peter had originally promptly agreed to his request to do the polygraph testing,
and that he also passed it, Chris was less than forthright in his
acknowledgement of this. Instead we got
from him, “I’m open-minded with Peter’s story.” Further he said referring to
the material he found “most credible”, “A guy who says he was abducted by
aliens and he passed a lie detector test.
You can’t deny that. It swayed
me, but I’m not a believer.” Moving goal
posts, it seemed to me.
Polygraph examiner Gavin Wilson assessing Peter Khoury
Had Chris actually deeply engaged with the
UFO data, rather than the light touch provided by this road trip down the UFO
highway, he may have more deeply understood the intensity of his mother’s
troubling UFO obsession. Despite this,
Chris had at least walked some distance into his mother’s alien world, and had
developed some respect for her efforts, even if they didn’t always sit well
with his scientific sensibilities. The
process had the benefit of deepening the bonds between a mother and a son.
Mary often says she honors all
realities. Personally I don’t agree with
such an approach, since some “realities” turn out to be false. Everyone is entitled to hold their own UFO
beliefs, but I for one, prefer to anchor my beliefs in verifiable UFO
realities. In areas, were certainty is not possible, I am open to such matters,
without incorporating them as matters of belief, but rather as matters for
consideration and deep thought, and serious investigation where possible. UFO
belief, often intense belief, is shared by many people, in many different
ways. We can all learn from examining
other people’s beliefs and experienced realities. I have an enduring UFO
obsession of sorts, but it is anchored in scientific perspectives, with an open
mind to other approaches. There are many
paths to engage with the UFO reality, not just with UFO belief - the devil in
Coordinator of the Sydney based UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) & the Anomaly Physical Evidence Group (APEG). Information about sightings and research are most welcome.
Author of "The OZ Files - the Australian UFO Story" (1996), "Hair of the Alien - DNA and other forensic evidence of alien abduction" (2005), and "UFO History Keys - Examining the UFO controversy from a historical perspective" (2011). Enquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 42, West Pennant Hills, NSW, 2125, AUSTRALIA. In "HAIR of the ALIEN" (order via www.amazon.com) my primary focus is promoting a forensic scientific approach to examining the alien abduction controversy, concentrating on the DNA approach where compelling biological evidence is available.