William Cooper, the man behind one of the most controversial books of our time

Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America is Mark Jacobson’s enthralling, claustrophobic biography of William Cooper, an influential conspiracist:

by Mark Jacobson – – September 28, 2018:



Cooper, who popularized the term sheeple, had a radio show The Hour of the Time and a bestselling book, Behold a Pale Horse, and found fans as diverse as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and rappers the Wu-Tang Clan:

Jacobson discusses who William Cooper was, and his impact on American conspiracy culture.

A recent Rolling Stone headline called Milton William (Bill) Cooper, author of the infamous bestseller Behold a Pale Horse and host of the 1990s short-wave radio show The Hour of the Time, “the Granddaddy of American Conspiracy Theorists.”

He has also been called, somewhat less charitably, the “Titan of the Tinfoil Hats.”

All that is true, especially from the neo-rationalist, liberal-leaning point of view, those who automatically associate “conspiracy” with neo-Neanderthal forces seeking to undermine the science and good grammar acquired over the 400 year stretch of the Enlightenment.

This isn’t to say that Cooper was not a hard-boiled Barnum of parapolitics, which is what many conspiracists call their no longer fringe discipline.

It takes balls to stand before a crowd night after night hawking fifth generation dupes of the Zapruder film, claiming the washed out images proved JFK was killed by the Secret Service agent driving the Presidential limousine, but Cooper did it for years.

He also said that on February 21, 1954, President Eisenhower met with ambassador O.H. Krill, emissary from the Pleiadian star system, to cut a deal that allowed aliens to abduct Americans in exchange for interplanetary weaponry that would keep the U.S. ahead of the Soviet Union.

(*However, it is of utmost importance to consider the fact that towards the end of his tumultuous “career” as a conspiracist, Bill Cooper began to totally disassociate himself from Ufology, even stating that UFOs and Aliens were nothing more than a giant government hoax to create fear and panic.  This was after his book BEHOLD A PALE HORSE became a bestseller among a segment of the population who were into UFOs and Conspiracies.  See the important link at the bottom of this page).

But to regard Bill Cooper, subject of my book, Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy and Fall of Trust in America, as merely a willful, if talented, fabulist does him a disservice.

The fact is, rather than some fear-mongering right-wing talk show of the Alex Jones stripe (Jones used to listen Cooper broadcasts as a boy in Austin, Texas), Bill Cooper was, and remains, a special breed of folk hero, part huckster, part prophet, all legitimate American seeker.

In contrast to the orthodoxies of so-called “Truth” movements, as well the divide-and-conquer techniques of the mass media propaganda cults like MSNBC and Fox News, Bill Cooper offered an individualized, auto-didactic path to knowledge.

It was in the “standard admonition,” his challenge (which all fans know by heart) “to read everything, listen to everyone, but believe nothing until you can prove it with your own research.”

According to Cooper, truth is not fixed, everyone is entitled to their own versions of it, as long as that truth conforms with the Creator-endowed rights as delineated in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

The problem, Cooper said, was that these personal truths were being subjugated by an overweening structure of hidden forces undermining the right of Americans to think for themselves.

He saw demons under every pillow, stitched into the saga of humankind dating back to the dawn of consciousness.  Every day was another episode in the endless battle between Good and Evil.

Bill Cooper did not plan to make his life into a harrowing saga of American despair, but that’s how it turned out.

Born in 1943 into a military family, Cooper never became an officer like his father and uncles. Instead, he wound up on a river boat patrolling the Cua Viet River only a few klicks from the DMZ.

As the North Vietnamese filled the skies with 122 missiles, it began to dawn on the hitherto gung-ho Cooper that he was fighting on the wrong side, that everything he’d been told about the nation he was willing to die for might be a lie.

Cooper landed in the VA PTSD ward for months at a time.

It was a malady that he never shook.

For all his Norman Rockwellesque celebration of home and hearth, he was married at least five times, abused the women who loved him and abandoned his children before finally finding a degree of domestic harmony in his final years with his last wife and young daughters.

But the die was cast.  As he offered his prediction of the 9/11 disaster (in June of 2001, he told listeners to expect a “major attack” that would be “blamed on Osama bin Laden”), Cooper also prophesized his own death.

The cops were going to come up to his home on a rural Arizona hilltop “in the middle of the night and shoot me dead on my doorstep,” Cooper said, which is exactly what happened around midnight on November 6, 2001.

Though the Pale Horse Rider story of rising conspiracy and declining trust in the American project is timely, Cooper’s tale does not quite fit into the tight drumbeat of the news cycle in these Trumpian times.

It is simply too much off-the-beaten path, too full of contradictions.

One of the questions the story raises is how, and why, Cooper’s slapdash book Behold a Pale Horse (current sales now approaching 300,000), a text pulled together by a white, allegedly right-wing guy became one of most read texts in the country’s prison systems, primarily among African-American inmates.

It was a trend that crossed over into the tunes of many early hip-hop stars like Tupac Shakur, Busta Rhymes and the Wu-Tang Clan.

The reason might be summed up in what the famous Wu-Tang member Ol’ Dirty Bastard once told me. “Everyone gets fucked,” the oft-arrested ODB said before his death at age 35.

“William Cooper tells you who fucking you.  When you’re someone like me that is valuable information.”

One last thing about Bill Cooper.

People belittle his analysis of the Cold War, which he said was one big distraction aimed at brain-washing the American public.

Yet if we examine the resume of John McCloy, the former head of CIA and one of the so-called “Wisemen” in charge of American foreign policy during the Iron Curtain years, another question arises.

Among other things, McCloy, the architect of the WWII Japanese internment camps, opposed the bombing of the Nazi train line to Auschwitz.

He was the President of the World Bank and the Chase Manhattan Bank.

He was the chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He was a highly influential member of Warren Commission, which said Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone.

McCloy was a prime arbiter of so-called “reality” for nearly half a century.

Yet the question remains, who would you rather buy a used car from, him or Bill Cooper?


*By the way, as I stated towards the beginning,  it is of utmost importance to remind everyone that Bill Cooper stated that “there are no aliens, no alien abductions and no alien cattle mutilations” 2 years before he was killed in a shootout in Arizona…..CLICK AND READ THE FOLLOWING:

“THERE ARE NO ALIENS, NO ALIEN ABDUCTIONS AND NO ALIEN CATTLE MUTILATIONS”, said the late William “Bill” Cooper, author of BEHOLD A PALE HORSE in this important 1999 interview which was held 2 years before he was killed in a shootout in Arizona



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Pale Horse Rider – – one of the most important books of our time, written by Mark Jacobson

I just got my copy of Pale Horse Rider, one of the most important books of our time written by journalist Mark Jacobson.  It’s now available at bookstores across the nation.

In this timely, provocative book, Jacobson tells the story of conspiracy theorist, the late William Milton ‘Bill’ Cooper‘s fascinating life and, in doing so, provides the social and political context for the paranoia that pervades modern American culture.

You can also get it on AMAZON!!


There are no aliens, no alien abductions and no alien cattle mutilations”, said the late William Milton ‘Bill’ Cooper, author of BEHOLD A PALE HORSE, 2 years before he was killed in a shootout in Arizona, and several years after his book became popular and after he totally departed from Ufology.





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Crashed UFOs – – Have There Been Any? – – excellent article by Nick Redfern, Part 1

by Nick Redfern, September 12, 2018, from the MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE Magazine:



Last week, here at MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE, I wrote a couple of articles on the Roswell affair of July 1947.  My position on Roswell is very clear:  I think that a highly-classified, and highly controversial, experiment was at the heart of the case, and not the crash of an extraterrestrial spacecraft and its crew.  For the vast majority of people in Ufology, Roswell is considered to be the most credible crashed UFO case of all.  But, if Roswell does collapse – as a UFO event, at least – then what does that say about the rest of the high-profile crashed UFO incidents on record?  The fact is that when we go digging, we do see solid reasons why we should be wary of the supposed credibility of these incidents, too.  We’ll start with the 1950s and a case that allegedly occurred less than a year after the Roswell event took place.

In March 1948, a UFO is alleged to have crashed at Hart Canyon, Aztec, New Mexico. As with Roswell, there are tales of dead aliens and a hasty cover-up of the facts. The story started to circulate in the late-1940s and arguably reached its peak in 1950, when the story was profiled significantly in Frank Scully’s book, BEHIND THE FLYING SAUCERS.  There’s no doubt that much of the story came from a shady (as in very shady) businessman named Silas Newton.  Indeed, Newton was shady to the point that the FBI opened a file on him and his shenanigans.  You can see the Newton file for yourself at this link at the FBI’s website, The Vault.

Of particular note is the fact that in the early 1950s, Newton was quietly approached by military-intelligence personnel.  In an astonishing state of affairs, the two men in question made it very clear to Newton that they knew his story of a crashed UFO at Hart Canyon was absolute bullshit, but they wanted him to continue to promote the story.  Was this a way for those same military-intelligence personnel to further bury the Roswell incident amid more and more tales of crashed UFOs, and far away from controversial experiments?  Almost certainly.  Whatever the answer, we can say with a high degree of certainty that Newton was used – by the military – to promote a bogus crashed UFO event.

In 1952, a story surfaced to the effect that a Flying Saucer had fallen on the island of Spitsbergen, off the coast of Norway.  The CIA took an interest in the saga and wrote the following: “Writing in the German magazine Der Fliger, Dr. Waldemar Beck says that a flying saucer which recently fell at Spitsbergen has been studied by eminent Norwegian and German rocket experts.  He writes that Dr. Norsal, a Norwegian expert in rocket construction, went to the place where the flying saucer had fallen a few hours after it had been discovered in the mountains of Spitsbergen by Norwegian jet planes.”

Agency staff had this to say, too: “In the wreck of the apparatus the expert is said to have discovered a radio piloting transmitter with a nucleus of plutonium transmitting on all wavelengths with 934 hertz, a measure that has been unknown so far.  The investigation has also shown that the flying saucer crashed because of a defect in its radio piloting system.  The saucer which carried no crew has a diameter of 47 meters.  The steel used in the construction is an unknown ally.  It consists of an exterior disc provided at its peripheral with 46 automatic jets.  This disc pivots around the central sphere which contains the measurement and remote control equipment. The measurement instructions have an inscription in Russian.”

What is particularly intriguing about all this is not the CIA’s response to it, but the reaction of the National Security Agency.  Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, several hundred UFO-themed documents have surfaced from the vaults of the NSA.  One of those documents tells the story of the Spitsbergen case, but notes that it was, and I quote, “a plant.”  Planted by who? The United States?  The Russians?  We still don’t have the answers to those questions.  But, yet again, we have what appears to be a fabricated story of a crashed UFO, disseminated for reasons that are not fully clear.

In May 1953, a UFO is alleged to have crashed outside of Kingman, Arizona.  A man named Arthur Stansel – but who went under the alias of “Fritz Werner” – claimed knowledge of the crash, and also of the recovery of a small, humanoid body at the crash-site.  It’s a classic case of its type.  But, again, we have good reasons to dismiss it as a UFO event.  At the time, Stansel worked on an atomic-bomb-based program called Operation Upshot-Knothole.  It was overseen by the Atomic Energy Commission and ran from mid-March 1953 to early June 1953.  The Kingman crash occurred in the middle of the tests.  Ufologists have suggested that the blast of one of the bombs caused a UFO to crash to the ground at Kingman, killing the pilot.  But, when we dig deeper we find a far more plausible story that offers a definitively down-to-earth explanation for the mystery of Kingman.

Early Cloud Penetration is an Atomic Energy Commission document that tells the story of something very intriguing.  Although it is dated January 27, 1956, its focus is on certain events that occurred back in 1953: “In the event of nuclear warfare the AF is confronted with two special problems.  First is the hazard to flight crews who may be forced to fly through an atomic cloud.  Second is the hazard to ground crews who maintain the aircraft after it has flown through the cloud…In the 1953 Upshot-Knothole tests, monkeys were used so that experiments could be conducted on larger animals nearer the size of man.  QF-80 drone aircraft were used, their speed more nearly approximating that of current operational aircraft.”

There are rumors that one of the QF-80 drone planes developed a problem and, as a result, crashed near Kingman.  The alien?  A charred monkey, found in the wreckage of the doomed plane.  To hide the extent to which the United States was researching the effects of radiation on military aircraft, amazing tales of a crashed UFO and a dead alien were encouraged to be spread.  And, let’s not forget that Stansel was himself working on the very same program that was using the monkeys.

I started this article with Roswell – which occurred in the 1940s.  Today’s article casts a great deal of doubt when it comes to some of the crashed UFO tales of the 1950s.  Next, I’ll turn my attentions to the 1960s, and the crashed UFOs that were actually nothing of the sort.



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