January 26, 2009

A Breakthrough: The Dale Graff Interview

Air Force Given the clear indications that something was going on at Wright Air Force Base during the late 1970s, possibly in parallel with either the FTD remote viewing work, the Project Blue Book activities, or both (or neither).  One thing that the timeline and the appearance of that common MJ-12 "philosophy" tells us is that all of those stories were created much earlier than when the public first received them through Ufologists Moore, Pratt and others. 

In his efforts to bolster the information found in Collin’s Exempt From Disclosure ,  Bruce Maccabee lets slip a tiny detail – he received details directly from Kellerstrass that only a year later was finally made public in the form of the "MJ-12" disclosures, and provided by allegedly "anonymous" sources. 

In order to determine the truth of Ernie Kellerstrass’ claims, and to better understand potential connections with the FTD remote viewing research, we decided to make contact with the elusive "Dale Graff" – that "guy in the office" who was supposedly telling Ernie stories about EBE, a book that detailed aliens visiting during the time of Christ, and more.

Dale Graff’s Current Status

Dale Graff Prior to my discussions with him, Dale Graff had just recently moved, so it took a few email exchanges to hammer out a good day and time for a conversation.  However, Dale responded positively to my initial inquiry for a phone interview to discuss his remote viewing work at FTD in the 1970’s and his recent work and books on consciousness .  I hoped to learn more about this mysterious man who is often quoted as a source by Collins and the "Aviary" crew, but remains a silent background character who has virtually little (if any) involvement in the UFO arena.

The Dale Graff Interview

Dale Graff is currently retired, but actively working with a research group on consciousness studies and "dreams."  I contacted Dale on Sept 9, 2007 via email, and a few days later I received a polite and cordial response from Dale that he would be more than happy to discuss topics for a possible interview with us.

Upon calling Dale, I was struck by his soft-spoken nature, his enormous insight and intelligence, and his open willingness to talk about the phenomenon of psychic ability and the ufo phenomenon.He is very knowledgable about the entire paranormal field, including both the psychic phenomenon and the UFO phenomenon.  Dale had the pleasure of working under Tony (Anthony) Cacciopo, so Dale enjoyed access to many of the Blue Book investigations, and for a short period sat in the room where the "red phone" was while waiting for his clearances to pass for the remote viewing research.

During this phonecall, we spoke for about an hour regarding the history of the Remote Viewing program, and his part in it.  We discussed his hypothesis regarding the source of the psychic phenomenon, the success rates that were realized during the remote viewing program, and the subsequent fall-out toward the end of the Remote Viewing program related to his reasons for retiring. Dale now conducts his own private research in the area of psychic phenomenon as related to dreams, and more recently short-term precognition studies, which we hope to report on here at RU in the near future, if Dale is willing.

 Toward the end of our conversation, I asked Dale about his time at Wright Patterson working at FTD on the AF Remote Viewing research projects.  I asked  him specifically about the claims that were made by Ernie Kellerstrass in his interview with Bruce Maccabee (and his claims made to Bob Collins as well).  The following transcript is from my scribbled short-hand notes that I kept during the phone interview. 

Unfortunately, after I let it slip to Bob Collins, Kit Green, and Hal Puthoff that I was in contact with Dale Graff, Dale informed me that "someone" had warned him off from talking with us.  After a few more emails, I stopped hearing from Dale Graff completely.  This was unfortunate, because I personally liked Dale a great deal.  He was one of the first authentic and truly "nice" people that I’ve ever met in the course of my own investigations. I will greatly miss the potentially fascinating and interesting discussions we could have continued having.

I’ve highlighted a few of the critical points that took place at the end of our phone conversation below.

Ryan:   Dale – there was a book written in 2005 by Bob Collins called Exempt from Disclosure…

Dale: Yes – I know Bob and he did work at FTD when I was there.  I left FTD in 1981 and I’m almost certain I met him there and met him off and on a few times.  We’ve exchanged some letters at one time (during the time before emails).  I’ve talked to him and know a little bit about him but don’t know this latest book.

Ryan: Well, some of the latest information that is in there has some claims that go back to one of his core sources – Ernie Kellerstrass…

Dale: Ahh yes – I know Ernie quite well.  I used to work for him!  He was at one time, for about a year, he was my division chief (branch chief) so I had a professional working relationship with Colonel Ernie Kellerstrass.  

Ernie and I had some very long discussions over the years, usually after duty because we didn’t want anyone to know we were talking about any of this stuff.

Ryan: In Maccabee’s background paper on Collins sources, he did an interview with Ernie in 1985, and Ernie claimed you had told him certain information that you had seen a saucer and bodies, that you had seen a secret “yellow book”….

Dale (almost choking):   I have no idea where all that came from?!  That is absolutely not true!

Ryan: Right…that’s why I wanted to get in touch with you to see if any of those claims were at all true?

Dale : NO WAY [laugh]…I’ve always been open minded and have always had a strong interest in ET life and any evidence whatsoever of ufo’s and crafts and the real story behind Roswell, Hanger 18 and all that (notes are ineligible here)….but if somebody said that I told anybody that I ever said I have seen an alien craft at Wright Patterson AFB, or anywhere at all , that’s an incorrect statement.  I’ve NEVER made that statement to anyone.  I’ve never even seen a UFO!


Ryan: Why do you think they would make up these kinds of stories…?

Dale: One of the reasons Bob Collins and I departed ways a little bit – he was saying things, even back in the 80’s, that sounded like he was pushing our conversations in a direction which we weren’t even at, or making statements and I don’t know where he got any of that from…

There was a lot of speculation going on, and I think this thing about yellow book…there were always different colored documents going around that signified different levels of clearance, some blue, pink, yellow – content was usually some operational project that was very sensitive, but nothing to do with some secret files of a crashed UFO or whatever he’s talking about.  I don’t know what he’s talking about, but it’s certainly nothing that I’ve ever said!

Ryan: So most of these talks with Ernie were just hypothesizing what the phenomenon could possibly be?

Dale: Yeah – just “gee wiz” kind of talk.


Ryan: Do you think there’s any reason Ernie would make up any of this about you?

[Removed some private comments about Ernie at Dale’s request]

Dale:   …I was always guarded with our discussions.  He (Ernie) was a very helpful individual and very supportive, but it wasn’t really well known in the organization that I was involved in the Remote Viewing research.  I happened to be assigned to his group for a certain time…it was classified so some of the stuff I couldn’t even share with him.

Because it was such a political hot potato – only a few people in the organization were allowed to be read into the project, and I think at one point I had a lot of meetings, about once a month, with the chief scientist (Dr. Cacciopo).  He came in mostly from the psychological side – he was very interested in the topic and just wanted personal updates, and there were times I’d be in his office late at night and we were just shooting the breeze discussing the phenomenon of remote viewing – the source of it – the kind of things we’re discussing here.  I don’t even remember having any discussions with Cacciopo about UFO’s!

Ryan: If anyone had ever said you and Cacciopo had gone to a number of high level classified meetings, would those meetings most likely have been related to the Remote Viewing research that you were involved with at the time?

Dale: Yes, absolutely.

Analysis and Summary

Based on some of the descriptions about Ernie, the odds aren’t looking too good for Kellerstrass. 

From Bob Collins:

"Ernie was a short pudgy type of person who always seemed to have a menacing, intimidating attitude typical of AF Colonels of the time, yet full of fear and paranoia when talking about UFOs, MJ-12 and aliens, always saying that someone else had told him those stories."

Hal Puthoff (in an email to me in 2007 after already learning about our interview):

"Met him only once, in the ’80’s, so memory is vague.  Friendly host  for our mtg.  Certainly convinced of the ET presence because of firsthand exposure to at least one event.  Bruce Maccabee’s "Hawk Tales" captures his  claims in detail.  Difficulty in assessing his viewpoints is that Dale  Graff, whose opinion I value after having known him as my contract monitor for ~  a decade, first at FTD, then DIA, claimed Ernie exaggerates.  Don’t know if  this is the truth, or if Dale is dissembling."

Dr. Kit Green:  


Bob Collins tells a number of amazing tales in his book, Exempt From Disclosure, regarding Ernie’s valliant efforts throughout the MJ-12 affair and throughout the 1980’s to impress upon certain producers the "legitimacy" of sources and to create intrigue surrounding the story.

Who is the mysteriouis Ernie Kellerstrass? Why has he gotten away with hiding in the shadows behind Bob Collins and Rick Doty for so many years – never taking the fall when the story falls apart?  Does the story really start with Ernie?  Or is Ernie just another believer – whose mind became captured by the stories that he was "fed" back in the late 1970’s?  If so – where did the stories actually come from, and who really created them?

Believers would probably answer with the age old stereotypical cliche – the Air Force.  However, those who’ve been following along with this plot and with the characters, behaviors, and ultimately the profits enjoyed by many of those who’ve hid in the background all of these years – the answer seems far less complicated and much less esoteric than certain people would like you to think. The answer lies right in front of our faces, yet so many folks still cling to long-standing new-age UFO beliefs strengthened and cemented by these fabricated stories, and they refuse to see the men behind the curtain…even as the curtain slides cleanly to the side.

Please check back often – in future updates we’ll be reviewing some of the fascinating stories Dale Graff provided earlier in the interview, about Project Blue Book and the nature of psychic phenomenon.


  1. avatar

    Great update Ryan, nicely done.

    Comment by Stephen Broadbent — January 26, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

  2. avatar

    [Comments sent via email to Stephen Broadbent]

    Hi Steve,
    Thank you for this fascinating collection of view and opinions concerning the Core Story. Here some thoughts on this subject.

    With Objectivity, you have not done what you have just done

    The trouble with such remarkable researchers of justified repute as Stanton Friedman and Bruce Maccabee is that they are trying to sort out the UFO problem purely mechanistically, as is their wont. They are trying to cast the received information in the standard Cartesian frame of reference.

    The reason why these gentlemen (and almost every other UFO party) are getting into difficulties is because the Cartesian frame in a media-soaked society no longer works as an absolute system of reference – or rather, it partly works, which adds to the confusion. Ed Mitchell, in a recent e-mail to me (and I quote) said that he believed “that Cartesian dualism is dead.” Therefore in the frame of a media-soaked society, absolute facts versus absolute fictions is replaced by a cosmology of media systems trying to out-advertise each other. Instead of a “hard” structure (metaphor) we have a tangled story-technology, as Reality Uncovered gives witness. In this sense, hoaxes and deliberate deceptions (such as SERPO) are low-energy memes, rather like rejected Darwinian forms, or like the strange forms of viral life that can be created by popular game SPORE now available over the counter.

    There is not time here to go into this in detail, but a typical cultural analogy would be that Newton’s pre-electric mechanical system continued (and continues) to work alongside quantum theory and the electrical atom. Truth, as always, works in different frames of reference simultaneously. If we see, say, Marilyn Monroe in terms of her molecules alone, then perhaps we are in as much trouble as the Cartesian “objective” mechanists. The problem with objectivity (a wonderful psycho-social conspiracy in itself), is that it cuts out the chattering sub-texts operating below the levels of the so-called mechanical “real.” Both Stanton and Bruce (who by the way, wrote a most remarkable post-modern novel), would no doubt call this mythological level “noise in the system.”

    But if we continue to try and focus the UFO story as a Holmes-type investigation, we must remember that the age of Victorian Station Masters running the trains on time in a clock-work universe is long gone.
    I have written of these matters in Did a Fishmonger Do It? my latest essay for (US) UFO Magazine out in late February, 2009, I do believe. I shall make this available to Reality Uncovered to see if they would like to run it. This feature expresses the idea that the Core Story is an active meme-generator. This perhaps might give us the smallest of hints as to how an “advanced” alien consciousness might work. One thing is certain: the alien mentality if and when encountered will be a super media-animal whose flesh and bones will be almost irrelevant, and even a deception in themselves.

    This means that should the hatch of a landed saucer open to reveal a human form with a row of pens in his top pocket ready to give us the “facts of the situation,” we should run for our very lives.

    Colin Bennett
    The New Fortean Times

    Comment by Colin Bennet — January 28, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  3. avatar

    There are many problems with the “core story”, as it has been called, which is based on the assumption that the US Government knows more about the UFO phenomenon then say any serious researcher.

    My question is why would they?

    You read many of the cases in Blue Book and you find that they are just as perplexed and puzzled by actual UFOs as anyone else.

    There is also this interesting linkage that has been made between psychic phenomena, ie. Remote Viewing and UFOs that I believe is unwarranted because they are mutually exclusive.

    Aside from that, there is a tendency to create this false dialectic known as “believers” and “skeptics”. A black and white ying and yang world where no shades of gray exist.

    The above make it difficult to view any new data or information objectively, because of the tendency to take sides.

    Whoa be it to any one who crosses the battle lines drawn.

    Take the controversy over MJ 12.

    Many have been tossed out of the “believers” camp because they didn’t have faith in their validity.

    On the other hand there are many “skeptics” who have been expatriated because they’ve merely entertained the possibility of the unexplained.

    The “core story” to me is like one of those ancient myths or legends. The fact is that many of these stories were based on to some degree on actual facts which have since the progress of time have become embellished with fiction.

    So one could ask how much of the “core story” is fact and how much of it is fiction.

    Thank you for allowing me to comment on this subject.

    Comment by Robin Adair — January 29, 2009 @ 2:46 am

  4. avatar

    Thank you for this wonderfully-written commentary. Few writers can express the enigma of this drama as well as you have here. Thanks again and I’m greatly looking forward to reading the latest essay.

    Comment by RyanDube — February 1, 2009 @ 1:07 am

  5. avatar

    Hi Robin,

    Thank you for the great comments. I agree with you that all too often people who are exploring these issues get lumped into either camp (believer/skeptic) simply because they’ve exposed a Ufology hoax, or on the flip side because they’re willing to entertain the notion that the UFO phenomenon has something real to it that can’t be entirely explained by the experimental craft hypothesis alone. Dale Graff described it best when he mentioned over the phone that the majority of the truly “interesting” UFO cases were more spiritual in nature than they were related to ET life or physical alien craft. That fact alone is significant if you consider the social effects that the phenomenon has on both individuals and groups. The question that we’re trying to explore here, however, isn’t the ultimate truth regarding Aliens and UFO’s (although we certainly would like to get there some day!) However, what we’re exploring here, right now, is a much smaller phenomenon – the actions of a group of humans who’ve decided to manipulate and influence the UFO community in an effort to understand it themselves. As we all look at the stars, they are watching us.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Comment by RyanDube — February 1, 2009 @ 1:20 am

  6. avatar

    […] eventually interviewed Dale Graff and learned that, at the time of those late-night "gee wiz" speculative conversations, […]

    Pingback by The Philosophy Within the MJ-12 Documents « Reality Uncovered — March 10, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

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