“It was a cold, dark night when the screaming headless man came bounding around the corner, carrying his own bloody head in one hand and his trusty sword in the other...”

The sentence you just read is the only piece of fiction contained within this book. This is a non-fiction book. As such, it is not written to entertain but to inform.


Please don’t expect this book to be a Pulitzer Prize winner either. I’m not a writer by trade. What I am is a regular person who has undergone an extremely unusual and somewhat fascinating experience which most people will find compelling and worth the read.

Regardless of how it’s written, however, some people will naturally be skeptical. Others may be able to put two and two together and slowly see the light based on what they may already know. Regardless of where you stand, it doesn’t make this story any less true. If you’re skeptical, you simply must take the seemingly fantastical leap of faith it takes to believe this story in its entirety.

The people who choose to take that leap will be most affected by what I have shared about my experiences. For it is only when you open your mind to the unbelievable, and catch a glimmer of that certain something that just may be the missing light of truth, will you finally believe. Then, and only then, will the knowledge you’ve gained from the act of believing be allowed to make an impact on your life.

Ready or not, though, be prepared to make some room in your comfort zone regarding your pre-conceived notions about mankind’s existence. It may make you uncomfortable to do so, but being comfortable has never been fertile ground for growth.


Believe and you will have no choice but to grow.
Dan Sherman                    

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A great deal of soul searching on my part was necessary in making the decision to write this book. As you can readily imagine, it’s a subject wide open for ridicule and ostracizing. Indeed, I’m sure this is one of the biggest reasons why more people have not made their experiences known.

As far as I’m concerned, the information I know relating to Project Preserve Destiny (PPD) specifically, has absolutely no impact on national security. Perhaps if they had been more forthcoming with the truth and made me aware of a greater goal that did impact national security, I wouldn’t be coming forward today. But they didn’t, so here we are.

The story I’ve documented in this book is an authentic first level account of the existence of aliens. It is a story of my personal experiences as an intuitive communicator with the United States Air Force (USAF), while working for the National Security Agency (NSA). My going public with this story will hopefully be considered by historians of the future as the catalyst that opened the gate to the flow of relevant and concrete information regarding the government’s role in the cover-up of alien related information.

I think one of the numerous reasons more people have not come forward is obvious; fear of prosecution. Another reason why someone would think twice about revealing any information is that there is no physical evidence readily accessible that would enable someone to verify the validity of their story. So in coming forward with my story I risk not being believed and outright ridicule as well. I have decided to take that chance because I believe the story should be told and someone from the first level must take that first step to get the avalanche of information started.

Actually, the release of alien information into the public domain has been a gradual process. I’m convinced that by going public with what I know I will help turn what has been a trickle of information up until now into an avalanche of other first level accounts. At least, that is my hope.

What do I mean by “first level account”? This is explained in more detail within the context of my experience. For now, it’s a system designed so that the guardians of information can exert control over, and keep hidden, certain levels of information...i.e., projects dealing with alien contact and technology.

When someone is assigned to an alien project they are also assigned to the collateral black mission (cover mission). One of the reasons for this is if someone were to reveal any alien information, by extension, they would most likely reveal something about the cover project and it would be on this basis that someone would be prosecuted for divulging classified information. By setting it up this way the government is able to effectively silence and discredit someone without ever having to acknowledge the existence of the alien project. Hopefully I will avoid this scenario by methodically unfolding my story.

So, while preparing this book for release, I had to take certain precautions regarding legitimately classified information. My regular Air Force job was as an Electronic Intelligence Specialist. The Air Force describes this career field as “analyzing electromagnetic energy for intelligence value.” In more simple terms, I would analyze the internal characteristics of energy emanating from a piece of equipment, such as a radar, to see what kind of transmission it emitted and determine exactly how the actual signal would operate so we could identify the radar’s function.


People in this career field are called “ELINT” specialists, or “ELINT’ers.” Some of what I did as an ELINT’er isn’t any more classified than the secret level, or below. However, some of the things I worked on would be considered in the “above top secret” realm. It is in this realm that I start treading on thin ice. This is heavily sensitive territory, for which the danger of unauthorized disclosure lurks around every corner.

The challenge I’ve been presented with has been to share with the reader information pertaining to the grey project without threatening the existence of the “above top secret” projects I may have been familiar with. “Careful” has become my middle name concerning my regular Air Force duties. So you’ll notice that few details regarding my regular job in the Air Force are present within the story.

Even though I feel I have brought the PPD aspects of my role in the USAF to light without revealing any other collateral information, I want it to always be known that my going public with this book is not, has not and never will be an attempt to undermine the security of our nation. Everything I say regarding my experiences is relevant only to my involvement with PPD. PPD has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with a government who feels the need to protect us from a particular area of alien gathered information. (Perhaps other alien projects are classified for good reasons; I don’t know.)

I also had difficulty relating the sequence of events in relation to where I was stationed. Even though the actual geographical locations of where I have been stationed are not classified, relating the bases to certain other information I write about is. Hence, the references to “PPD Base #1” and “PPD Base #2” within the story.

When I first learned of Project Preserve Destiny and my role in it, I was very proud. Imagine being in a position of knowing that aliens actually do exist!


However, to make matters practically unbearable, you knew you couldn’t tell anyone. More importantly, even if you did tell someone, you risked being thought of as crazy. Well, the time has come. I have finally decided to make this story known, regardless of what people will think of my sanity.

It will be interesting to learn what the world will do with this information, if they even listen. Finding out we are not alone in this universe is exciting, but the other things you’ll learn may not be so enchanting.


There is always a price to pay for knowledge.

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The Meeting

The clock on the wall of the visitor’s center said it was exactly 3 p.m. yet there was no sign of Captain White. Where was he? Was I at the wrong entrance? "Okay," I said to myself. “Be patient. You’re just a little nervous, that's all." As I waited for Captain White to arrive, my mind couldn’t help but search out a reason for this impromptu meeting.

The drive to Maryland had taken 18 long, grueling hours. So when the Holiday Inn came into sight it was not a moment too soon. I checked in and dragged myself up to the room. Without unpacking, I fell on the bed for some much needed rest. I had just fallen into a deep sleep when the phone rang.

"Hello." I was in that stage of sleep that, when awakened, you have no idea where you are or how you got there.
"Sergeant Sherman?" the caller asked. Still confused, I answered, "Uh, yeah, that’s me."
"This is Captain White, from the training group. I'd like for you to meet me at the main entrance to the NSA building at 1500 hrs. I need to go over some things with you."

I had come to the National Security Agency (NSA), outside of Washington DC, to attend an intermediate electronic intelligence class. It was a course needed in my development as an electronic intelligence (ELINT) analyst in the US Air Force. There were two of us from my base that were selected to attend this class so I assumed Captain White wanted to see us both.

"Would you like me to bring Sergeant Ham, Captain?"
"No," he said. "I'll only need to speak with you. Do you know which entrance I'm talking about?"
I had never been to the NSA complex so I told him I didn’t. I quickly grabbed a pen and wrote down the directions.
"I'll see you at 1500 hrs,” he said before he hung up.

I immediately looked at my watch and it was already 1300 hrs. I had been asleep for only three hours and my body was pleading for more. As I walked to the bathroom I started to wonder, “Why did the captain want to talk to me, and me only?” I thought about the possibilities; I was the highest ranking person attending the course from my base - maybe he just required a representative from each of the bases attending the school. But why the odd break in protocol?


Officers didn’t usually call enlisted personnel directly and ask to meet with them at their office.

"Oh well," I said out loud to myself as I stepped into the shower. "If the captain needs to see me, I guess I'll find out why soon enough.” I did.


As I sat in the visitor’s center waiting for Captain White, I couldn’t help but notice the guard at the customer service desk. When I pulled security duty earlier in my Air Force career, we always referred to the civilian guards as “rent-a-cops.” Looking at the guard sitting at the counter in front of me, I could see why. His blue shirt had what Air Force security police would call “summer creases,” meaning “sum’er here, sum’er there.” I guess proper ironing techniques weren’t included in the rent-a-cop’s how-to manual.

A tall black man attracted my attention as he walked through the visitor’s center glass door. He was about my own height, 6’2”, slender build and in his late 20’s. His black hair was cut “high and tight,” marine style, which suited his personality.


He was decisive in his actions, with no wasted energy.

As he stuck out his hand towards me he said, “Sergeant Sherman, I assume?”
Immediately intimidated by his presence, I grabbed his hand with all the strength I could muster and shook it. “Yes, Sir!”
“Have you been waiting long? I’ve been so busy, running around, I’m lucky I made it when I did.”
“No, Sir, I’ve only been here a few minutes,” I politely lied. I had actually been there for 15 minutes, not counting the 15 minutes it took me to find a parking space and then the correct entrance into the building. The NSA has a sprawling parking lot with spaces seemingly miles away from the building. In my hectic search for a parking space, I became confused, lost my bearings, and couldn’t find the entrance where Captain White had told me to meet him. It’s a wonder I wasn’t late as well.
“Great! Do you know if your security clearances are here yet?” he asked.
“I’m not sure, Sir. I just drove in today, so I don’t think so.”

When someone was sent away from their home base, for school or to work temporarily, you were said to be on “temporary duty” or just “TDY.” When you needed access to classified information while on TDY, proof of your security clearances had to be received by the TDY host base prior to being granted unescorted entry into any restricted areas. The military was notorious for not getting security clearances where they needed to be and/or not getting them there on time.

After checking for the status of my clearances at the visitor’s desk, the rent-a-cop confirmed that they hadn’t arrived. The captain would have to escort me into the building.

“Did you find a parking space okay?” the captain asked, making small talk as we waited for the guard to fill out the paperwork I needed to sign.
“Oh yeah, no problem,” I lied again, not wanting to create any more conversation than was necessary. I was getting more and more anxious. Why had he called me for a private meeting?

That question was weighing heavily on my mind as we left the visitor’s center and made our way through the turnstiles into the most formidable and secretive government agency ever to be formed; the National Security Agency.

I had heard many stories about the National Security Agency, dubbed the “Puzzle Palace” by many. When I found out I was going to attend classes there I read everything I could find on the subject. I learned that the National Security Agency was originated in response to a memorandum sent by President Harry Truman on October 24, 1952 to Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Defense Secretary Robert Lovatt.


This memo placed the NSA under the authority of the Secretary of Defense, and charged it with monitoring and decoding any signal transmission relevant to the security of the United States. In layman’s terms, the NSA eavesdropped on the world through all kinds of sources, overtly and covertly.


I also learned that, due to security concerns, the construction of any structures surrounding the main NSA building complex was restricted to a certain pre-determined height. The rationale for this construction regulation, it explained, was to prevent any adversarial agency from taking up residence in a location that would provide them a vantage point for audio and visual surveillance. For obvious reasons, this would make the world’s most prolific intelligence agency very uncomfortable. Many sources jokingly referred to it as “No Such Agency” because of the level of secrecy surrounding the organization itself.

As we walked down the stark hallways, my pre-conceived ideas of how the interior of the hallowed halls of the NSA complex would look fell far short of reality. The hallways were bland expanses of raised tile floors and painted walls. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but somehow it wasn’t what I was seeing.

We walked for miles, it seemed, down numerous hallways before we reached Captain White’s office. The sign next to the door, in small unassuming letters, read “Captain White/DO.”

“This is it,” he said as he swiped his card through the card reading device mounted on the wall below his name plate. He punched his personal code into the numbered keypad located on the face of the device. A green light and an audible click signaled the door had unlocked.

As we stepped through the door I could see another door in front of us. The captain made sure the door behind us was secured, then turned and placed his forehead against what appeared to be a visor. I immediately recognized it as a retina scanner. My understanding was that they were still experimental, but this one appeared to work fine. After a few seconds of scan time, we heard a tone. I was already full of questions about the security measures, but I bit my tongue not wanting to sound inexperienced. I had never come across such tight security procedures to get into an office within an already tightly secured building.


My mind was becoming more and more active with questions. I am a naturally curious person, so I had to actively suppress my curiosity and hold my questions for a more appropriate time.

We entered a room appointed with fine furnishings. The room was square, perhaps 20 feet by 20 feet. Along the right wall was a brown leather couch with a few chairs in the corner. The captain’s desk stood in the middle of the room.

On the left wall was a built-in sink with a miniature refrigerator set into the cabinetry.


Captain White motioned for me to sit in the chair facing his desk.

“Would you like something to drink, Sergeant Sherman?” he asked as I sat down.
“No thank you, Sir, I’m fine.” In reality I was dying of thirst, but I still wasn’t comfortable accepting any of his entreaties.
“Okay,” he said as he sat down behind his desk. “How was your trip out here; did you get to see any of the sights on the way out or did you drive straight through?”

I couldn’t help but wonder why he was dragging this meeting on with small talk. The longer he waited to share with me the reason for this meeting, the more nervous I became.

“I drove straight through, only stopping for gas,” I answered him.
“Well you must be pretty tired then. Let me get this out of the way so you can get back to the hotel and get some sleep.”
Yes! I could almost hear the sigh of relief escape my mouth. I was tired, and had been running on adrenaline for some time.
“You’ve probably surmised by now that this meeting is a little unusual.”
“Actually, my curiosity has been piqued,” I said as calmly as I could, not wanting to let him know how nervous I was.
“I can imagine. I’ve been in the position of telling people this a few times now, and there’s never been a way to put it lightly. As you know, you’ve been sent here to go through course EA280, but you will also be going through another school while you’re here.”
In one quick moment, all my anxieties vanished. He just wanted to tell me about another class. But no sooner had my anxieties disappeared than they reappeared, only ten-fold.
“To put it bluntly, Sergeant Sherman, in the summer of 1960 your mother was visited by what the world commonly refers to as aliens.”
“Sir?” was the only thing I could manage to say.
“Random tests were being conducted on the general populace at the time to determine compatibility.”

I was in a state of utter disbelief when I asked in a weak, cracking voice,

“Yes. Actually, it’s a long story. I’ll try to explain as much as I can but there’s much that I don’t even know. In a nutshell, you’ve been given an interesting ability through what we call genetic management.”

My mother, genetic management, compatibility, long story. My mind was reeling with all this new information. I came in here expecting to find out about a deployment for an exercise, or perhaps that I had incorrectly filled out my travel voucher, but not this!

As though the captain could sense how much shock I was experiencing he said,

“I know all this is going to be hard to swallow, but I can assure you it’s true.”

All at once I became overwrought with a sense of amazement and curiosity. Captain White sat in front of me, calm and relaxed, telling me that aliens existed as if he were merely sharing with me the topic of an obscure news item he read in yesterday’s paper.

If this was true, than all those years of boyhood wondering had just been validated, in one fell swoop. There was life elsewhere and we were not alone in this vast universe. Was I dreaming? Could this really be happening? I had heard rumors through the classified grapevine of alien craft experiments in Nevada, and the testing of new weapons based on alien technology. But this was no longer a rumor. This was reality - my reality.

All these things were going through my mind as the captain continued with his remarkable revelations.

“I mentioned you have a unique ability; we call it ‘intuitive communications.’ It’s an ability to communicate through the intuitive manipulation of your mind. There have been a handful of people since this ability was perfected that have utilized this skill within the military establishment. There are many others throughout the general world populace that currently have this ability, but until it is brought out by proper exercise methods it lays dormant.”

By this time, I had immersed myself into what the captain was telling me, soaking up every detail. I found myself from one moment to the next believing and then disbelieving what he was saying. How could all this be kept from the public so thoroughly? Even in the tabloids, where people routinely gave birth to three-headed aliens, you never once heard of “intuitive communicators.”

“I’m getting ahead of myself a little; let me show you some background on what I’m talking about.” He got up to pull down a screen from the ceiling above the refrigerator. As I shook my head in amazement Captain White looked at me with a slight smile on his face and continued with his story.

And what a story it was.

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Reality Check!

Captain White spoke slowly at first, as if to gently nudge the unbelievable truth in my direction.

“In 1947, the US government made contact with an alien species. Today, we commonly refer to them as ‘greys’. Because of this contact, we have learned many things. Some of the things we learned were good, and some not-so-good. And it’s one of those not-so-good things that has ultimately brought you here, Sergeant Sherman.”
My mind was still swimming as I asked, “So what am I doing here, Sir?”
The captain continued with the story as if he hadn’t heard me. “In 1960, an experiment was given a great deal of attention within Level 1 circles....”
“Excuse me sir,” I interrupted. “What is ‘Level 1’?”
“I was just getting there. Level 1 is a classification category that allows us to compartmentalize any and all grey information. You’ll hear more about this at your security indoctrination later.”
“I see.”
The captain went on. “The experiment that I’m referring to was, and still is, named ‘Project Preserve Destiny.’ It started in 1960 and was fully operational by 1963. It was a genetic management project with the sole purpose of cultivating human offspring so that they would have the ability to communicate with the greys. Your mother was initially abducted in 1960 for tests, then again in 1963 for the actual genetic procedure while you were in the womb.”

Each moment in Captain White’s office was more shocking than the last. In the seconds after each new revelation, my mind went through utter disbelief, followed by skepticism, then outright curiosity. How could this be happening to me? Aliens were the made-up fantasies of Hollywood film makers and science fiction book writers. They had no place within the concrete, tangible realm of the US Military. Yet, here I sat in front of a US Air Force captain with two connected silver bars on each shoulder, listening to what most people would recognize as a great little alien story.

At some point in our conversation, I can’t remember exactly when, I became a believer. First out of my own desire to believe, then ultimately in my inability to avoid the information being presented to me.

“Your abilities are a product of Project Preserve Destiny, Sergeant Sherman.”
I was about to ask a question when the captain directed my attention back to the screen, as if to say, “not yet, there’s more!”
I was expecting pictures of aliens and other science fiction type of stuff. Instead, I was treated to a healthy dose of facts and bullet statements.
“In January of 1963, the first successfully managed embryo was produced under PPD supervision. There were only a certain number of ‘intcomm’ capable personnel required, hence the genetic management phase of PPD was terminated in March of 1968.”
I accurately surmised that “intcomm” was a shortened name for intuitive communications. (I later learned that I would be referred to as an “IC”.)
“Because intcomm abilities really cannot be fully utilized, biologically, until the subject is approximately 25 years old or older, we have just recently begun the recruiting and training phase of PPD. Because the selection process in 1960 was based on carefully calculated statistical demographics, they were able to accurately predict that a certain percentage of those offspring would choose the military as a career.”

I had a million questions running through my mind by now, so I just grabbed one and spit it out. “Did my mother conceive me or was I implanted?” Even as I said the words, I couldn’t believe the conversation I was having. Several hours ago I was trying to get a non-smoking hotel room for my prolonged stay in Maryland and now I was inquiring as to whether I was naturally conceived or placed in my mother’s womb by an alien race. It was almost too much to process all at once.

Captain White responded in a reassuring tone, “Everyone I’ve had to tell this to has had the same concern at some point in the conversation. Rest assured, you are 100% human. Your conception was as normal as any other person’s.”
I distinctly remember being greatly relieved to find out I wasn’t part alien. In retrospect, it seems a little naive but a lot was happening at once, and my mind was racing with all kinds of possible scenarios.

I was slowly becoming more and more impatient as well. I wanted to know the “whys” of this project.

“Why have all these people been selected for this project? What’s the ultimate purpose?”
“That’s a good question. Unfortunately I have no answer for you. Most of us only know enough to do our assigned jobs. The long term goals are only known by a handful of Level 1 personnel of which I am not one. All that we’ve been told is that your abilities will be needed in the future when all electromagnetic communications will be rendered useless.”
“How will this happen?” I asked.
“Again, there are things that you have no need-to-know at this point and that is one of them. To tell you the truth, I do not know either. I have my suspicions, which I’m sure you will have as time goes on as well.
“I will be your PPD point of contact during your stay here in Maryland. It’s probably obvious, but I must address it anyway. You are not authorized to speak to anyone about PPD unless I direct you to do so. You will be going through a highly specialized school while you are here. This school is designed to teach you how to recognize and uncover your IC abilities. You will see another student during your classroom time as there are two of you here at present. Neither of you may speak to one another. Your transportation to and from the school will be provided. You’ll meet a blue van outside your hotel after your ELINT classes break for the day. You will be expected to be down at the van exactly 45 minutes from the time you arrive back to your room from your ELINT class. This will give you enough time to do any necessary tasks before departing for your PPD classes. Don’t worry, we’ll go over most of this again tomorrow. Do you have any other questions for me so far, Sergeant Sherman?”
I had plenty of questions but all I could say was, “Not right now, Sir.”
Captain White went on as if reading from a manual. “I realize this has been quite a shock and you may not even believe what I’m telling you right now; but I assure you, Sergeant Sherman, this is not a dream.”

The captain understood exactly what I was thinking. I was grasping for some sort of explanation. Even though I knew Captain White was telling me the truth, I kept expecting this to turn out to be an elaborate joke. Perhaps they were initiating my arrival to the ELINT school. I expected some joker to jump out of a closet laughing and pointing at me as if I were the biggest fool in the world for falling for this “alien” thing. Yet I couldn’t dispute what was being told to me. Everything was too elaborate, and the captain too convincing.


This was real!

“When you get back to your hotel all kinds of questions are going to come to you. Please make a mental note of them. I say mental note because you are not to write anything down at all concerning this subject. We’re seeing each other again tomorrow for your school indoctrination. You will be able to ask any follow-up questions at that time. Until then, you understand that you are not allowed to speak about this to anyone, correct?”
The military training in me stepped up to the vocal chords and announced automatically, “Yes, Sir!”
“Well, I think you’ve probably earned some much needed rest. You look pretty worn out. I’ll give you a call tomorrow to set up a time to meet at the same entrance we met at today.” Captain White started to rise and I followed his lead. Of course I had more questions but he appeared to have stopped taking them.

As I stepped out of the NSA building into the sunny but cold Maryland winter air, I realized everything that had been important to me before I stepped into this building earlier today had all of a sudden changed. I don’t remember the long walk back to my car. My mind was racing and churning over and over. There was absolutely life elsewhere.


No doubt, not fiction - they actually existed. I had always believed in the possibility of life elsewhere but it was difficult to comprehend. Even as I now knew, on a conscious level, that aliens existed, I still found myself resorting to rationalization. I was trying to deny the truth because it didn’t fit what I always thought was real. My previous beliefs about extraterrestrial life were always based on a distant possibility. Now that I was confronted with the reality of it head on, my mind had a hard time believing.

I drove back to the hotel. During the 15 minute trip I started becoming slightly paranoid. Every car I passed or that passed me, in my overly-heightened sense of awareness, could have been someone following me to make sure I didn’t tell anyone that aliens existed. Of course that was ludicrous! What if I did tell someone? Would I be found dead behind a country barn 50 miles from civilization? I began to wonder how they kept people who knew about this program from telling someone. I didn’t intend to find out, that was for sure!

Back at the hotel, as I lay in bed, all these questions began to surface. The main one being; if there was life elsewhere then where did God fit into the picture? Was God a fictional entity that we humans had dreamed up in order to make sense of our lives? There had to be a mastermind that made order out of chaos. Were the aliens God?

I drifted off to sleep questioning my own religious beliefs and wondering if I would ever get any answers.




The phone rang, awakening me once again. I knew it would be Captain White so I rushed to answer it.

“Hello,” I said a little too excitedly, like a kid answering the phone when he knew Santa would be calling.
“Good morning, Sergeant Sherman,” I heard the efficient voice of Captain White quickly say. “Meet me at the same entrance at 0900 hrs.”
“Yes, Sir. I’ll be there. Do I need to bring anything?”
“No. I’ll see you at nine.”

As I hung up the phone it occurred to me this wasn’t a dream. I sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing my eyes, as the questions I had gone to sleep thinking about came rushing back to me. I’d have to make a mental note of them like the captain said.

The captain was already at the visitor’s center when I got there. He met me with a smile which set aside my fear that he was mad because I was late.

“You’ll just need to sign these forms so that the guard can issue you your restricted area badge.” My clearances had arrived. I posed for a picture, signed the badge and waited for the guard to laminate it and attach a chain to it. While we waited, the captain was uncomfortably silent. I stole glances of him out of the corner of my eye. He seemed too calm for someone who knew aliens existed. I wasn’t sure how you were supposed to act, but calm didn’t seem to fit. This was all so new to me and I constantly felt nervous.
“Sergeant Sherman,” the rent-a-cop guard called out, interrupting my thoughts about the captain. I went up to the counter to retrieve my new, freshly laminated restricted area badge.
“Here is your PIN, Sergeant Sherman. Just swipe your card through the card reader, enter your PIN then press the pound key. You should get a green light and hear a click from the door or turnstile.”

This was the same system we had at my own base so I wasn’t paying much attention to the guard. My mind had too many other things to think about than to listen to the rent-a-cop.

In the midst of my mental wanderings I noticed the guard had stopped talking to me so I took that as my cue.

“Thank you,” I said, even though I hadn’t paid much attention to his instructions.
“All set?” the captain asked.
“I guess so,” I answered.

The captain led me out the visitor center’s doors. But instead of turning right to go through the building’s security turnstiles he turned left and headed for the doors that led outside. I almost questioned where he was going but consciously bit my tongue instead and continued to follow behind.

Waiting for us in front of the building in a no-parking zone was a blue Air Force van. My heart began to beat faster. My internal safety mechanisms were sounding. Where were they taking me? More importantly, would I return? Those were the two immediate concerns paramount in my mind as I climbed into the van ahead of the captain.

I was sitting in a van with blackout windows, traveling to an unknown location, when it hit me like a ton of bricks: my life was never going to be the same again. I was right.

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Intuitive Communicator

The van that I would end up spending a lot of time in over the next few months was interesting. You could not see anything through the windows, either looking inside or looking out. Because the cab part of the van where the driver sat was blocked from view as well, I never once was able to get a good look at the person driving the van. This was always amusing to me and I even had a nickname for him: Casper the friendly van driver. Not that I could share my sense of humor with anyone, as I was never able to talk to the driver nor anyone else while I was there except Captain White. And after our initial meetings I didn’t see him too often.

I asked Captain White where we were going a few minutes after we had boarded the van.

“The actual location of the site is not important. You’ll always be picked up by this van at your hotel and taken to school everyday.”

More silence. I wanted to know so much, but when was the proper time to ask questions?

The van appeared to be coming to a final stop but not quite. It crept forward for a few more seconds, went over a few bumps, then came to a halt. I could tell this was our destination because I heard the driver shift the transmission into park. A few seconds later the engine stopped. I heard the “thunk” of the locks unlocking and the captain opened the sliding door to the van and climbed out. I climbed out after him.


I didn’t look around too much because I didn’t want to appear nosy. There was no time to look around anyway as we headed straight for a metal door along the wall in front of us. I was able to notice we were in a concrete room the size of an oversized four car garage. The room had no exterior light sources - no windows at all. The ceiling looked to be about 12 to 14 feet high. The metal door we headed for was about ten feet from the van.

My mind was racing. Was I going to see an alien?

There were no card readers at the metal door we approached. Instead, the captain held his hand up to a metal hand-shaped plate mounted on the wall to the left of the door. Embedded into the ends of each metal finger were mini glass windows.

During the many times I entered this door I assumed the metal hand was a device to read a person’s fingerprints through the little glass windows at the fingertips. I gave some thought to the possibility that it could have been reading my heat signature as well. I never knew for sure. What I did know was that the security measures were advanced beyond any that I had seen before or have seen since.

After the captain placed his hand on the metal hand-shaped plate, I could hear the familiar click signaling that the door could be opened. We stepped into a vestibule area, similar in size to the vestibule outside the captain’s office. He placed his forehead on a black visor of the retina scanner mounted above a small glass window on the left wall. I heard a beep, then the captain placed his hand up to another metal hand-shaped plate, this time for the right hand, on the same wall to the lower right of the retina scanner visor.


This time the door in front of us clicked. The captain pulled the door opened. I was surprised to see that we were stepping into an elevator. Interestingly, the door opened directly into the elevator - no other doors, sliding or otherwise. I remember wondering how they had all this machinery serviced. I couldn’t help but picture little aliens running around with tool belts on.

Standing there in the elevator, I could see there was only one button and a little handle off to the right of the button. There were no markings on anything. I assumed there was only one button because there was only one choice of movement; up if you were at the bottom and down if you were at the top.

As the elevator moved, I could tell it was moving down. It took 15 seconds or so to arrive at its destination. On the way down, the captain turned to face the opposite wall of the elevator. I took this to mean that we would be exiting the elevator in the opposite direction we had entered. Indeed, as we came to a halt, double doors opened in front of us. The room we stepped out of the elevator into was approximately 25 feet by 15 feet. Straight ahead on the other side of the room, facing us, was a glass window that appeared to be as black as the windows in the van. The window was big, taking up most of the wall it occupied. I could see the captain and me reflected in it as we stepped out of the elevator.


On the left and right walls were identical workstations. To the immediate right of the workstation against the left wall was a door, narrower than a normal door would be. Two large computer monitors and a standard keyboard were at each workstation. I remember being impressed by the size of the computer monitor’s screens. They were at least 26” measured diagonally, if not more. The only other furnishings were two chairs at the workstations and a table in the middle of the room. On the table was a pitcher of water, two glasses, and a plate with two pills on it.

Captain White motioned for me to pull up to the table with one of the chairs. The captain sat at the head of the table and placed his briefcase down in front of him.

“This won’t take long, Sergeant Sherman. We just need to get some papers signed and go over some security issues.”
“Okay,” I said.
“You are already aware of the alien project. There are other programs that you’ll become involved with that serve as ‘cover’ or ‘black’ missions. The cover missions are designed to do just that: cover the existence of the alien program.”
It was at this time I asked the obvious question anyone would ask, “Why hide the alien program from the public to begin with?”
“That’s a good question, Sergeant Sherman. My guess is that the information being kept from the public, if released, would create instability to world markets and the global equilibrium of power that is so unstable anyway.”
I had read that this was one of the reasons the government kept alien information a secret. It seemed too much of a canned answer to me. Indeed, he said it like he had memorized the answer.
The captain went on. “I’m sure it’s not so much the specific knowledge that aliens exist that is the problem, it’s more like the information that we have gained from communicating with them that would create havoc if released.”
That seems a bit more believable, I thought to myself.
“Although, the mere fact that there is intelligent life other than us in the universe would most likely put a strain on the world’s religions, which would have a domino effect in global relations. Back to the point though, I’m not sure exactly why this information has not been released, but I do know that it is not our place to share it with anyone. This is the reason PPD has been hidden behind other classified projects. I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘blackprojects. The press loves to report on the black budget.”
“Yes, I’ve heard about them,” I answered.
“These are actual projects that are hidden from the general public because of national security reasons. Of course, it wouldn’t do any harm if the average American knew this stuff. But as we know, if Mr. Joe Public has access to information then so do any potential enemies who may use the information against us. There are many examples of black projects within the US military. You will be told about the specific projects you will be working with when you have a need-to-know in the future. There will be no need to indoctrinate you into the black project here. Any questions before we go any further?”
“No,” I said, as I sat back for my official PPD indoctrination.



After I had signed numerous forms promising I would not divulge any classified information for the next 75 years, or some ridiculous number, the captain went on with my indoctrination.

“As I said yesterday, PPD had its beginnings in 1960. The personnel in charge of the project, at the time, tried to figure out a better way to keep the program from the eyes of the increasingly aware public. Brute force and manipulation was intimidating but not an effective long term solution. In order to protect any future information leaks they instituted what they called the ‘onion’ effect.”
I was slightly confused by this time, so I asked, “When you say brute force and manipulation, what do you mean exactly? In what context are you talking about?”
“The personnel working with alien projects at the time were simply told not to tell any unauthorized person about anything they knew or they, a friend, or a family member would meet with an unfortunate situation. Of course, fear is a prime motivator but not the most effective. They still had people stealing documents with classified markings all over them as proof to others about what was going on. In order to hide information effectively back then, it took a great deal of resources and manpower to oversee everyone involved with alien programs. So when PPD was first formed, it was the model for the new onion effect. It was also around this time period that a new black project was just getting started so they decided to hide the newly formed PPD behind this new black project to keep curious Congressmen and other nosy officials away.
“How the onion effect works is similar to the actual layers of an onion. An onion has many different layers. So does the military. On the outside of the military onion, the side everyone can see, is the ‘unclassified’ layer. This is the layer that is typically portrayed to the public and may or may not have any bearing on the true mission of the organization, base or installation. At most government locations, the unclassified publicized mission of the base is perfectly accurate, and there is truly nothing to hide. But this is not true of every location.
“The next layer we uncover on our way to the center of the onion is called the ‘For Official Use Only’ (FOUO) layer, or Level 5. FOUO is mostly a formal way of keeping what is essentially unclassified information from being disseminated indiscriminately. If several FOUO bits of information were to be pieced together to form a more classified picture, the release of that information could inadvertently be as damaging as the release of a higher level of classified information.
“The next layer on the classified journey is ‘Secret’, or Level 4. The unauthorized release of Secret information and above has the potential of causing serious damage to national security.
“The next layer is ‘Top Secret’ (TS), or Level 3. Within the TS category there are code words that compartmentalize the release of information even further. These code words are used to protect many missions, including the ones referred to as black missions.
Black missions, which we call Level 2, are what the alien projects are effectively hidden behind. The existence of black missions is only known by a handful of Congressmen and the President. These black missions are the last line of defense for the alien projects. Wherever an alien project is located there must be a black mission to cover its existence from prying eyes. It creates a highly sophisticated shield designed to mask the grey project’s existence from high level officials who have no need-to-know. Otherwise, the alien project would eventually come under scrutiny by someone within official channels. As it stands under the current system, if a nosy Congressman starts looking where he has no need-to-know, he can be briefed on the black mission, be made to feel important and thereby squelching any further digging. It’s an extremely effective method of hiding alien missions and is the reason they have been hidden so effectively for so long.
“Last, but not least, on the trip through the onion, we come to the alien missions or Level 1; referred to as ‘grey’, ‘grey matter’ or ‘slant missions’. The center of the onion always contains the alien project. Not even the commander of a site is normally aware of the alien project residing beneath his nose.
“Anyone who is or has been part of an alien project is considered to be ‘first level’, or Level 1 personnel. Personnel who serve in a support function to the first level are considered ‘second level’ and are unaware of the link between their jobs and the alien project they are covering for. They work with the cover or black missions. In addition, the existence of the entire level system is only known by first level people.
“It gets even more complicated. Within Level 1 there are separate and distinct categories called ‘steps’ which directly correspond with your need-to-know.”
As he was explaining this onion effect, I remember being fascinated by the ingenuity of the system. It was obviously very effective in preventing information from being revealed.
Captain White finished explaining the onion effect. “Any questions, Sergeant Sherman?” he asked.
“Yes, Sir,” I replied. “You allude to the fact that there is more than one alien mission - is this true?”
“I only refer to there being more than one because I assume there are several. I am not personally aware of any others, but since we have been in contact with them since 1947, I can only assume there are now and have been others in the past.”
I thought that was a logical assumption. “Another question I’ve been meaning to ask is; how have they been communicating with us since 1947 if you’ve only recently been able to get people who can communicate with them? I’m a little confused about that.”
“That’s a good question, Sergeant Sherman. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. I can only venture to guess that we only have the ability to communicate with them now through traditional electromagnetic means. I’m not sure.”
“I see.”
“Now let’s talk about your school, Sergeant Sherman,” the captain said, moving on to another subject. “When the van lets you off upstairs you’ll do exactly what we just did to get down here. On the way out today, we’ll enter your identification parameters into the system. When you get down here, come straight to the table and take two of these pills using this water then sit down at your workstation, put on these headphones and await further instructions from your instructor. It’s as simple as that.”
Having heard nothing up to this point about taking any pills, I was understandably alarmed. “Why do I have to take these pills? What are they for?” I asked, somewhat defensively.
“They are to facilitate your abilities - they’re quite harmless,” the captain said nonchalantly.
Of course I wasn’t taking it so lightly, so I asked again. “But what are they?”
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. But you will have to take them to help you with your schooling,” he said.
I didn’t like the idea of eating an unknown substance, but I reluctantly agreed with a passive nod of my head.
The captain went on, “After you place your headphones on, you’ll hear all your instructions through them. If you need to ask a question of your instructor there will be a box to type the question out on your screen. Your instructor will tell you about this during your first lesson. That’s it. Any questions?”
I had none. I was too overwhelmed once again. This was becoming a prevalent feeling.
The captain went on. “As I mentioned yesterday, there will be another student learning at the other workstation. You will work at this one.” He pointed to the workstation on the left wall. “You will see each other every day but you may not talk to one another at all. It’s imperative that you understand this. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” I said. I wondered what the big deal was though.

On the way out of the classroom, we stopped in the vestibule upstairs before exiting the metal door to the waiting van. The captain entered a number on a numerical touchpad mounted on the wall, which I had not seen when we came in. After entering a number, he told me to place my hand on the metal hand-shaped plate. A tone sounded.


He punched a number into the keypad once again, and told me to place my forehead on the visor, look straight ahead and hold still. I did so. We heard a tone once again signaling that my parameters had been successfully entered. We stepped out of the vestibule back into the garage. The captain instructed me to place my hand on the other metal-shaped hand outside the door. We verified this parameter was entered correctly then headed for the blue van parked in front of us.

I was now officially entered into the system and was able to enter the vestibule and elevator unescorted. There was no turning back now, assuming of course I had that choice to begin with.

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