The Alien Digest (partially lost volumes of UFO research newsletter; 1991-1993)
The Alien Digest was a UFO phenomena research newsletter that ran from 1991 and ended before August 1993. Headed by former Air Force intelligence agent Ron Rummel, with additional collaborations including from prominent UFO researcher Phil Schneider, it discussed conspiracy theories concerning the relationship between humanity and extraterrestrial life, the latter's potentially hostile agenda, and the investigation of possible government cover-ups. Irrespective of whether the theories can be conclusively proven, the newsletter has garnered infamy among the UFO research community for the fates surrounding Rummel and Schneider. The first four issues are widely publicly available, but some sources claim three others were also released in limited quantities.
Details surrounding Ron Rummel are limited, with most sources regurgitating the same information. According to Project Camelot, Rummel previously worked in the United States Air Force as an intelligence agent. However, for more than a quarter century of his life, Rummel had developed a strong fascination for UFO phenomena. As detailed in volume 1 of the newsletter, Rummel, under the pseudonym of "Creston", explained that his devotion to all things alien and UFO-related had led him to become a full-time and self-proclaimed professional UFO researcher. He was therefore considerably unlike other notable UFO researchers of the era, who saw their studies as a part-time hobby. However, this led Rummel to greatly depend on friends to continue his studies, as he lacked any income sources after leaving the Air Force.
By the early 1990s, Rummel believed he had enough viable findings to produce a newsletter for like-minded individuals. Titled The Alien Digest, these newsletters were published by The Aquarian Church of Universal Service. It was a non-profit organisation founded by Paul Shockley, with its members holding the shared belief that the living universe has multiple dimensions containing entities linked to Christian interpretations. It was the Church's belief the "Absolute Truth" could be uncovered via the unification of religious and scientific approaches. Shockley also became the newsletter's editor. Each issue was sold individually for $10, though a subscription would enable one to obtain six issues for $27 per annum. Rummel stated in Volume 1 that The Alien Digest was targeted towards free-thinking UFO researchers who sought critical information that was being withheld from public view.
Aside from Rummel and Shockley, five others collaborated on the newsletter. Among them was Phil Schneider, a fellow UFO researcher and close friend of Rummel. The pair had previously embarked on a several-hour observation of supposed UFOs at Area 51 in early December 1989. Analysis of Volume 1 indicates the first issue was likely published in 1991. While it is unclear when the others were circulated, Volume 4 would have been published no earlier than 19th July 1992, as it discussed that year's Northwest UFO Group conference. Each issue consisted of 14 to 16 pages.
Analysis of available volumes indicates the first was centred around extraterrestrial motivations. Creston stated that while he was of sufficient confidence that malevolent alien life exists, Earth and humanity were under threat of hostile and desperate beings already inhabiting the planet. He cited that a grey species called the "Zeta Reticuli" had regressed into beings that could only reproduce via growingly inferior clones. It was therefore ruthlessly experimenting on human abductees and their tissue to potentially cross-breed and successfully restart their natural reproduction. Also discussed was the Strategic Defense Initiative aka Star Wars, and how its establishment was connected to a Secret Wars between humanity and a large planetoid the size of Jupiter nicknamed "Nemesis".
The second volume concerned the controversial history and theories regarding alien abductions, which Creston claims had regularly commenced for over five decades. One motive he raised pondered the idea a galactic black market exists which is farming and selling the meat of humans and other Earthlings. Creston also discussed the influence of UFOs in ancient human history, particularly on Aztec, Balinese, and Mayan cultures and the practice of sacrifice. The newsletter nevertheless also indicated "friendly" beings were also assisting the US and USSR in tackling rogue UFOs and their bases on the planet.
Volume 3 provided a deeper dive into UFOs, firstly by detailing the Roswell incident which occurred in July 1947. While mainstream sources state the accident site was merely caused by a military balloon, others believe crucial evidence of a wrecked UFO was recovered by military personnel. Creston, in particular, cited Charles Berlitz's claims the incident allowed the United States to begin meetings with aliens, allowing it to also gather useful information on the craft's origins and technology. The volume additionally discussed how Adolf Hitler may not have actually committed suicide, but instead faked his and his wife Eva Braun's deaths. He instead supposedly began plans with UFO research team ULTRA on spacecraft to be produced in an area of Antarctica nicknamed "Neuschwabenland". Near the end of this volume, it brings up the Southern Television broadcast intrusion though does not expand on whether the hijacker was a real alien or merely a hoax.
The fourth volume again tackled abductions, particularly suspicious disappearances of ship crews. It began by summarising Christopher Columbus' accounts of unusual sea activity and the disappearance of three ships from "whirlwinds", in addition to listing missing ships near the infamous Bermuda Triangle. It links such disappearances and the unexplained deaths of crews from other sea vessels to UFO activity. It also speculates that the Third and even Fourth World Wars may be contended between humanity and aliens, potentially fighting a "network" of worlds. The Western Bigfoot Society Newsletter's Bigfoot reports are harnessed in order to establish a possible connection between Sasquatch and UFOs. The proposed fifth volume promised to delve further into Bigfoot, other malevolent extraterrestrials, and how some may have created underground bases on Earth.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a large majority of theories discussed in The Alien Digest have never been fully verified, with some being especially obscure and controversial among the UFO research community. A particular issue concerns the extensive classification of UFO documentation by the United States compared to other countries, making it difficult to validate or debunk allegations. Therefore, all content within the newsletter should be viewed with discretion.
Deaths of Rummel and Schneider
Rummel continued his extensive UFO research into 1993, boosted by a growing subscription base for The Alien Digest. He focused on the Strategic Defense Initiative and planned to publish a book that detailed its supposedly true motives, as well as the suspicious deaths of over 30 British scientists connected to classified defense projects. However, on 6th August 1993, his lifeless body was discovered in the Macleay Park in Portland, Oregon. Upon examining the scene, the official detective's report concluded Rummel had committed suicide. They found a suicide note apparently written by the author and determined he had killed himself through a pistol shot to the mouth. Following this conclusion, the police and FBI firmly closed the official investigation into his death. Ultimately, no sources detail what was written in the suicide note.
Schneider and other UFO researchers were shocked by Rummel's death. In a 2nd June 1995 interview with FOX, Schneider claimed Rummel and other supposed suicide victims involved in conspiracies actually enjoyed relatively stable lives, enhanced through loving families and bright futures. Thus, the UFO research community began to speculate Rummel's passing was not self-inflicted, but an act of murder. After viewing the detective's report, which has also become difficult to locate, friends and relatives identified some discrepancies. Rummel was known to have been right-handed and was not ambidextrous, but a left-handed individual was identified as having written the suicide note. It was also determined the pistol contained neither blood nor fingerprints, but Rummel's right hand contained blow-back blood. These revelations appeared especially suspicious, as Rummel obviously could not have cleared the blood himself. Additionally, traces of sodium pentothal, also known as sodium thiopental, were found at the scene, with thiopental commonly used in executions.
Some, including Schneider, Schneider's former wife Cynthia Drayer, and some of Rummel's relatives, believe he was murdered and that his assailant is still at large. They allege The Alien Digest's viewership numbers and topics discussed provided ample motivation for Rummel's killing. Project Camelot cited the discussion of alien predators and allegations they were harnessing humans for recyclable and edible body parts as being significantly sensitive for the time period. His friend's death convinced Schneider, a former structural engineer who worked on projects like the Dulce underground base, to start conducting public lectures detailing his knowledge and experience of UFOs and government cover-ups. He claimed that in 1954, the Greada treaty was signed by the federal US government and the Grey aliens/Zeta Reticuli, enabling the latter to conduct implanting experiments on humans and cows, in exchange for providing full details of their experiments. Alas, negotiations broke down in 1979, which intensified when construction of Dulce base revealed a previously unlocated alien settlement, which in turn triggered a battle also involving Schneider.
Schneider managed to kill two of them but was shot in the chest, suffering dangerous exposure to cobalt radiation that triggered battles with cancer. The Zeta Reticuli was apparently eradicated at this base, with later analysis alleging they had been operating on Earth for around a million years. Only he and two others survived the battle. From 1994 to 1996, Schneider continued publicly discussing UFO conspiracies, including about the Star Wars project, how AIDs may well have been a biological weapon invented to wipe out the United States, and that a New World Order was being planned. Again, discretion must be taken concerning these otherwise unverified claims. By May 1995, Schneider was suffering from terminal cancer, which he blamed on his sensitive federal government work. He threatened to upload 140,000 pages of sensitive documents should attempts on his life be made. In January 1996, Schneider's body was found, having passed away aged 48.
An official report initially determined Schneider had suffered a stroke, but later changed its verdict to suicide after discovering that a rubber catheter hose may have been wrapped around the man's neck. However, Drayer contested that her former husband's death was an act of murder, having cited the theft of all UFO-related materials in his home yet valuables were left untouched. She also alleged the case was mishandled by the police and medical examiners who flat-out insisted the death was a suicide and refused to investigate other possibilities. Further, Schneider had frequently told relatives that any "suicide" verdict should be a sign he was murdered. Even if he did commit suicide, the usage of a hose was deemed suspicious as he had obtained a 9mm pistol and pills that would have ended his life instantly and less painfully. A possible suspect in the case was a blonde woman who had been found chatting to Schneider into the weeks leading to his death. Rummel and Schneider's deaths have since been frequently listed as among the most suspicious within the UFO and wider conspiracy communities.
Following the deaths of Rummel and Schneider, The Alien Digest ceased publication and has become relatively obscure ever since. While subscription levels were rising in the months leading to Rummel's demise, it still only received limited circulation. Thus, physical copies of any issue are now considered exceptionally rare. Nevertheless, Project Camelot and Archives for the Unexplained have since uploaded PDF versions of the first four volumes, the former having made the newsletters available since at least 11th October 2007. However, some websites, including Project Camelot, state seven volumes were published before Rummel's death. Based on a search by UFO researcher Isaac Koi, whereas the first four issues are frequently circulated by various websites, no prominent archives appear to have stored the final three. Thus, these volumes, if they even existed at all, remain as lost media.
- Volume 1 of The Alien Digest.
- Volume 2 of The Alien Digest.
- Volume 3 of The Alien Digest.
- Volume 4 of The Alien Digest.
- Isaac Koi - New Uploads summarising The Alien Digest, the suspicious deaths of Rummel and Schneider, and how no archives appear to have stored the final three issues. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Project Camelot summarising the death of Rummel and the "seven limited issues" of The Alien Digest. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Volume 1 of The Alien Digest. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Burlington News detaling the life of Schneider and his former wife's comments surrounding his and Rummel's activities and suspicious deaths. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Volume 2 of The Alien Digest Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Volume 3 of The Alien Digest Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Volume 4 of The Alien Digest Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Archived Astronomy detailing the Zeta Reticuli. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Atomic Heritage Foundation detailing the Strategic Defense Initiative. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Space summarising Nemesis. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- History summarising the Roswell incident. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- The Los Angeles Times' Berlitz obituary. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Cool Antarctica summarising Neuschwabenland. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Transdiffusion documenting the Southern Television broadcast intrusion. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- History detailing the Bermuda Triangle and the legends surrounding it. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Bigfoot 101 summarising the Western Bigfoot Society. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- The Washington Post detailing the issues surrounding America's extensive classification of UFO documentation. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Martyrs of the Underground Resistance summarising Rummel's plans prior to his death and a FOX report on 2nd June 1995. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- The Guardian summarising sodium thiopental and its various uses. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Archived UFO Data detailing the life and suspicious death of Schneider. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Exo News reporting on an upcoming documentary on Schneider and summarising his work on UFO conspiracies. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Project Camelot summarising Schneider's work and accusations. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Archived UFO Alien Data detailing the 1954 Greada Treaty. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Earliest archived capture of Project Camelot providing PDFs of the first four volumes of The Alien Digest. Retrieved 8th Oct '23
- Archives for the Unexplained providing the first four volumes of The Alien Digest. Retrieved 8th Oct '23