This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
Biographical details on Martin Cannon are sparse, but some details of his life can be inferred from his online writing. Whilst the field of conspiracy theory is often skewed to the political right, there’s no monopoly on the field and Cannon had little use for right-wing scaremongering about harmless occult eccentrics, and was eager to call out racist, homophobic, and other abuses by those in power such as COINTELPRO. His primary concern seems to have been authoritarian abuses by government forces, particularly in relation to scandals such as MKULTRA, and he was quick to point out links between fringe groups and political extremists, or the bigoted motivations of less-than-ethical psychiatric researchers of yesteryear.
What seems to have most characterised his work, however, was his willingness to go against the grain even within the contrarian world of conspiracy speculation. This is most evident in his most substantial publication – the monograph The Controllers, widely available online, which like Project Beta manages to hit a Very Specific Level of Scepticism.
Cannon’s theory is as follows: alien abduction is not a thing, but at least a portion of alien abductees have actually experienced something real. Specifically, they’ve been subjected to dubious mind control experiments by the government, with their recollections of alien abduction (either directly recalled or recovered via hypnosis) being implanted memories intended to cover up the awful truth.