Friday, January 22, 2021

Bill Cooper's Conspiracies - Aliens, 9-11, and Q-Anon?

Conspiracy theorist Milton William Cooper (1943-2001) is well-known to longtime UFOlogists, although he might not be so well-known among relative newcomers. His significance extends out well beyond UFOlogy, into political conspiracy culture, where his influence is still felt today.

"Nearly 30 years after its [1991] publication,
“Behold a Pale Horse” remains a bestseller"

I was just recently made aware of a very important article published in the Arizona Republic last October 1, titled ‘Behold a Pale Horse’ planted seeds of QAnon conspiracy theory, by Richard Ruelas and Rob O'Dell. The article had been posted to Facebook by the longtime UFO researcher Norio Hayakawa, who lives near Albuqurque, New Mexico. Hayakawa used to be an associate of Cooper, when Cooper's conspiracies centered on UFOs and aliens, before Cooper moved on to 'secret Government' conspiracies. Hayakawa wrote,

Bill Cooper was also a troubled individual, deep inside. There was a dark side to his complex personality – – he was extremely short-tempered and had a problem with alcoholism. When he first started giving lectures at UFO meetings and conferences (beginning in 1989), he insisted that one day he had witnessed a sub-merged disc-shaped object rising out of the sea while on a Navy ship during the time he was in military service.

This claim has never been collaborated by any other witness except himself. But he had already included this story in the book. I am not saying that he did not see the disc-shaped object. He could have seen it. The bottom line is that by the time he wrote his book, he had long come to the conclusion that all UFOs are man-made objects created by the government.

I never met Cooper personally, but I heard him give several talks at UFO conferences. I clearly remember him telling that story about how a USO (Unidentified Submersible Object) allegedly rose up out of the water one night, in full view of everyone on his ship. In his book he says, "I had seen a flying saucer the size of an aircraft carrier come right out of the ocean and fly into the clouds" (p. 19).

Bill Cooper
I also witnessed Cooper in action, interacting with people in the lobby, and in small groups. I found him to be a most unpleasant character, who had an air of belligerence about him. Later I heard stories about how Cooper allegedly got into an actual fistfight at a conference with longtime paranormal Bigfoot advocate Erik Beckjord. (Each was something of a hothead.) I asked Beckjord if that was true; he confirmed that it was.  

Cooper was killed on November 6, 2001, when the Apache County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve him with a warrant for aggravated assault. Cooper allegedly pulled a gun on a neighbor. When the officers approached him, Cooper fired at them, gravely wounding one officer. The other officers returned fire, immediately killing Cooper. Authors Ruelas and O'Dell write,

When authorities killed William Cooper in a burst of gunfire outside his hilltop home in eastern Arizona, he was an author and radio host who had attracted a rabid following among UFO buffs, prisoners and the militia movement. For them, his book, “Behold a Pale Horse,” and nightly shortwave radio show lifted the veil on how the world actually works.

Through his death in 2001, Cooper’s legacy was cemented. He was seen as a sage and legend. His book would become a defining text for conspiracy-minded people. What might have otherwise been seen as an amateurish hodgepodge of ideas earned gravitas once its author was gunned down.... Nearly 30 years after its publication, “Behold a Pale Horse” remains a bestseller, finding new audiences for whom Cooper’s warnings — of a cashless society, a socialist order that devalues work, the confiscation of weapons, global leadership usurping the sovereignty of the United States — still resonate.

In another part of that article, written last year, Ruelas and O'Dell actually interviewed the now-famous "Buffalo Horn Man" who would later invade the U.S. Capitol on January 6, finding him to be a disciple of Bill Cooper:

Buffalo Horn Man is a disciple of Bill Cooper.
One adherent, Jake Angeli, has intentionally made a spectacle of himself by appearing at Arizona protests wearing a fur hat topped with horns and carrying a weathered sign that reads, “Q sent me.” Angeli said he has researched the secretive groups he believes control the world — Illuminati, Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg group, among others — and felt validated by finding Cooper mentioned them in his book.

Angeli said that the government needed to kill Cooper to silence him.

“When you really do enough research, it all ties together,” he said.


The authors make a good case that Cooper's ideas are a foundation for the currently-popular conspiracy theories that make up Q-Anon.

Nor is Q-Anon Cooper's only legacy. The authors point out that

In June 2001, Cooper would make a prediction that would earn him the legacy as the man who predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Cooper pulled on historical threads of tragic events and tied them to what he saw as the government and media colluding to make a boogeyman out of Osama bin Laden. Cooper predicted an awful event would soon occur in the United States and that the country’s leaders would blame it on bin Laden.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the day his prophecy was realized, Cooper stayed on air for 10 hours. According to audio archived on the Cooper tribute website, BeholdAMessenger, in the initial hours after the attack, Cooper theorized the towers of the World Trade Center came down by controlled demolition. That theory would become the center of future conspiracies suggesting the 9/11 terrorism attacks were an inside job by the U.S. government.
That would make Bill Cooper the Founding Father of the "9/11 Truth" movement, which posits a nefarious "false flag" operation behind the attacks. And Timothy McVeigh, the mastermind of the attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, was also apparently a disciple of Bill Cooper.

Cooper's 1991 book Behold a Pale Horse is a mishmash of absurdities. A few of these should give you the flavor of it. It is impossible for any thinking person to take it seriously:
  • UFOs apparently kidnapped an entire Vietnamese village during the Vietnam War (p. 25).
  • "Between January 1947 and December 1952 at least 16 crashed or downed alien craft, 65 alien bodies, and 1 live alien were recovered...a large number of human body parts [were] stored within both of these vehicles" (p. 196-7).
  • He names as CIA agents Stanton Friedman, John Lear, William Moore, John Keel, Charles Berlitz, Bruce Maccabee, Linda Moulton Howe, Philip J. Klass, James Moseley, Wendelle Stevens, J. Allen Hynek, Whitley Strieber, and Budd Hopkins, among others (p. 228-9). I feel slighted to have been left off this list, all the Best People are on it. 😩
  • "At some point, President Kennedy discovered portions of the truth concerning the drugs and the aliens...President John F. Kennedy was murdered by the Secret Service agent who drove his car in the motorcade and the act is plainly visible in the Zapruder film" (p. 215).
  • "We currently have, and fly, atomic-powered antigravity-type craft in Nevada." (p. 221).
  • "There are areas on the Moon where plant life grows and even changes color with the seasons. This seasonal effect is because the Moon does not, as claimed, always present the exact same side to the Earth, or to the Sun." (p. 221)
Much of the book is composed of material coming from somewhere or someone else. Chapter 15 of Behold a Pale Horse consists of a facsimile image of the notorious hoax document "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." However, in an introduction Cooper explains "any reference to "Jews" should be be replaced with the word "Illuminati"; and the word "goyim" should be replaced with the word "cattle". Nonetheless, he claims that "Every aspect of this plan to subjugate the world has already since become reality, validating the authenticity of conspiracy" (p. 267).

Chapter 11 is "Coup de Grace. High Crimes & Misdemeanors. Treason Committed by the Joint Chiefs. Phone Conversation with Randall Terpstra" (p. 183). I almost fell out of my chair when I first saw that, because I knew Randy Terpstra. Our paths had crossed when we both worked for what was then called IBM's ROLM Systems Division in Santa Clara, California, approximately 1986. After we met and I'd told him a little about my skeptical writings, especially UFOs, Terpstra began hinting at knowing a lot of things in terms of intelligence secrets and such. Of course he coldn't say much. I remember one time mentioning to him my interest in Numbers Stations, apparently used by governments to send messages to spies in 'deep cover' (or perhaps to spoof the adversary into believing that spies are embedded there?). He claimed to know all about them, what agencies use them, where they transmit from, etc. But he didn't say much.
Cooper recorded his phone call from Terpstra, and put a transcript of it in Behold a Pale Horse. He apparently also sometimes played the recording in his lectures or workshops. Terpstra told Cooper tales about "Identified Alien Craft" that the government was, of course, covering up (p. 186). I cannot imagine why he thought that Terpstra's phone call, with its unsupported claims, proved anything at all.

About 85 people attended Cooper's funeral, some having traveled a long way. One of the speakers there was Norio Hayakawa, who said,

The world will always remember Bill Cooper as an egotistic, paranoia monger.  Indeed, to many he was perhaps an arrogant, obnoxious, choleric, self-aggrandizing, rude, vitriolic and vengeful person.  Perhaps he was all of this and much more.  But no matter how negative his personality is described to be, we must admit the fact that he did indeed make a tremendous impact among hundreds, if not, thousands of his listeners, whether in front of his astounded lecture audiences or through his “shocking” radio programs....

Besides his other numerous negative traits, Bill had an uncontrollable alcoholic problem. But despite his eccentric, obnoxious personality, deep in his heart I believe that he wanted to be a good person.  Unfortunately he brought an end to his tumultuous life by his self-fulfilling prophecy through his violent act.  My heart goes out to Annie and the children.  (My heart also goes out to the young deputy who was seriously injured in that confrontation. Bill will have to answer to God for that.)  May God forgive and bless the soul of one Milton William “Bill” Cooper.”


  1. There's no doubt that Mr. Norio Hayakawa was and is a follower of Mr. Cooper and his wild ideas.. Norio is also a great friend of Leslie Kean, and her now, wild ideas that are given out, with no evidence. And he was and is a supporter of, To The Stars Academy. My point? He tends to believe in any UFO/UAP story that is presented and, that comes with no supporting evidence, but hearsay. Norio's creditability is low, and get's lower all the time.

  2. But you may have been left off his list, but you did get honoured in the X-Files episode, 'Jose Chung's From Outer Space'.

  3. I believe everything is time for the American people wake up stop letting the trolls whom troll the internet because its controlled by those in secret who also run the government.

  4. Bill Cooper was a hero and no amount of shit talk about him, even 30 years later will detract from his contributions to the truther movement. He was right about it all, the New Age, UN, World Government agenda. RIP William Milton Cooper.


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