A UFO Program at DARPA?

The Hermetic Penetrator
4 min readSep 6, 2022


The 1980s were a time of intense technological advance and saw much speculation about frontier scientific topics, ranging from parapsychology and virtual reality devices to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the nature of unidentified flying objects. The U.S. Government was involved, or rumored to be involved, in many of these explorations; and in the context of these projects one name kept coming up, that of Dr. John Alexander.

— Jacques Vallée, San Francisco, August 10, 2010

Earlier today, the UAP Studies Podcast published their interview with Jim Semivan, former CIA agent and co-founder of To the Stars. During the conversation Semivan revealed intriguing new details regarding the experiencer study he is a part of, including the fact that The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) may be involved.

Here is the relevant quote:

I think, as I explained before, on a couple other podcasts, I always had a deep interest in the esoteric. My older brother, who passed away recently, was a big influence on my life. And I got very interested in Western mysticism and then later on Eastern mysticism. And then Romanticism. German Romanticism, actually, at the time, and I started studying Emerson, Thoreau, and Western Mystery Schools, Greek Mystery Schools, Roman Mystery Schools; things along those lines.

But about 92, my wife and I aren’t 100% sure the exact date, but it’s probably around 91–92, we had an experience that happened to us and I don’t really talk about it in any great detail. I did a full presentation on it at a think tank with a group of scholars about six months ago. We were all sharing our experiences together. But I’m not ready to talk about it. I don’t call it an abduction experience. I just call it really what it is, I think it’s an experience. I don’t I don’t know what it is.

So that got me more interested in UAPs and this whole concept around it. A friend of mine at work found out about what happened to me and my wife and recommended books by Jacques Vallée. I read those. And then it wasn’t until 2014 that I ran into … this is sort of the shortened version… John Alexander, who’s just a wonderful man. And he was sort of AATIP before AATIP, okay. He was the guy at the pentagon, right. He’s a wonderful guy and a dear friend. And I ran into him… my wife and I ran into him at an energy conference, a healing energy conference up in New York. And we became friends and he… we had some material from the experience. He came down to our house, interviewed my wife and myself and took it back to a DARPA lab and the experience and the videotape. And then a couple of weeks later that’s when sort of all hell broke loose. You know, Jacques Vallée came out to my house and you know, spent the day with us… truly wonderful man.

And then we had people come over to our house and, like I said, these people now are very well known in the community… and took blood samples and things along those lines, took our medical records. And I happen to have kept them all then and then not too long after that I had briefings on a classified level by, again, people that you would know, at CIA.

…that sort of changed everything. So that’s when I became convinced that… totally 110% convinced and assured that… not what I had experienced, but what was being experienced by other people, and particularly by the military was real — very real. And then at that point, I was introduced to Lou Elizondo at the Pentagon. Met with him numerous times and his staff to discuss this and then one thing led to another…

Most students of the UFO phenomenon will be aware that Jacques Vallée’s links to DARPA go back to the early 1970s when he was one of the senior researchers on their ARPANET project. An interesting historical detail in light of Semivan’s remarks, is that during the same period Vallée also worked for the remote viewing program at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), on an informal and “strictly confidential basis”, to document the many UFO experiences of its remote viewers.

Chris Bledsoe with John B. Alexander after their 2015 UFO sighting

As for Col. John B. Alexander, his involvement with The Advanced Theoretical Physics Group (ATP) and The National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) is well known. However, as far as the author knows, this is the first time anyone has tied him directly to what appears to be an official Government UFO program. For additional context, it is also worth mentioning that Alexander recounts a similar story to the one told by Semivan — this time involving Chris Bledsoe — in his own book Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen — But Did from 2017. There, Alexander explains how he personally conducted a filmed interview with Bledsoe “at a friend’s home in Pennsylvania” before visiting him in October 2015. Did Col. Alexander send this video to DARPA, too? And was he tasked by them to visit Chris Bledsoe?


  • UAP Studies Podcast, Episode 94: Interview with Jim Semivan
  • Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen — But Did by Col. John B. Alexander
  • UFOs : Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities by Col. John B. Alexander
  • Interview with Jacques Vallée by Brent Raynes