CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE: Redgate, The Small Montana Town That Hides A Big Secret

Source –

The new documentary by Lynda Cowen and Jim Marrs, The Secret of Redgate, is a remarkable project that seamlessly integrates eye-witness testimony, hypnotherapy, polygraph tests, and remote viewing into a riveting description of what many believe is an entire community’s long-term interaction with extraterrestrial life: 

The Secret of Redgate is much more than a documentary of a possible encounter with a UFO. This new project produced by Lynda Cowen and directed by Jim Marrs is the first major effort on film to integrate four primary approaches to gathering corroborating evidence regarding the esoteric topic of alien encounters. Ms. Cowen’s approach the topic is sufficiently serious with respect to the incorporation of each of these approaches that equally special care needs to be given in this review to describing her meticulous efforts. Her broad-spectrum approach to her documentary study is further enhanced by the interesting contributions made by Lyn Buchanan, a well-know and highly-respected remote viewing authority, and Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, a college professor and recognized authority of the UFO phenomenon more generally.

Encounters with aliens is by its nature an esoteric topic. As is typical of virtually all esoteric topics, whether or not such encounters actually occurred must be considered speculative by those who have not personally encountered these aliens until either the aliens reveal themselves to the major public media in an irrefutable way (assuming the media would be willing to report it), or until the government publicly acknowledges that it has irrefutable evidence that such encounters have occurred (assuming the government would ever want to do this). Given the fickleness of the media and the truth-shy attitude of the government when it comes to revealing information that might affect public opinion in unpredictable ways, UFO investigators are in a particularly difficult situation. How does one investigate a possible encounter with extraterrestrial life without the support of either the mainstream media or the government?

In the past, many UFO documentarians have relied on eye-witness testimony as the basis for developing a general storyline of the reported events. Who saw what, when, and how become grist for speculation regarding an interpretation of what might have actually happened. The interpretation, of course, can go anywhere since eye-witness accounts can be presented as factual or delusional, depending on the slant of the documentary creators. Rarely are eye-witness accounts reported in the mainstream media without significant spin, since most reporters and documentarians do not want to be accused of blatantly supporting an idea as unconventional as the existence of advanced extraterrestrial life. Thus, the question often boils down to whether or not the eye-witnesses will be presented as either liars or mental cases.

Lynda Cowen carefully avoids this pitfall in the use of eye-witness testimony. She does this in three interesting ways. First, she presents the testimony directly, without an accompanying spin. Nowhere in the documentary is there a narrator telling the viewer to consider the possibility that the eye-witnesses may be either delusional or falsifying their stories. Second, she interviews a significantly large number of individuals from an entire community in Montana to obtain corroborating testimony. From all of this it is clear that essentially an entire town has been witness to highly unusual set of events that have taken place over a great many years. It is also clear that these events are typically independent of one another, in the sense that everyone’s story does not ultimately depend on a pyramid of information traceable to one individual. Third, a number of the eye-witnesses are given polygraph tests to see whether or not they are lying.

The next question then becomes how much is known about what actually occurred. Eye-witness testimony can only go so far. Many of these experiences occurred years ago, and memories are partial at best. There is also the possibility that some of these eye-witnesses may not be able to remember everything consciously due to either trauma or mental suggestions to forget. To resolve this, Ms. Cowen utilizes hypnotherapy to help the experiencers remember what may only be found in their deep memories. It is noteworthy that the hypnotherapy sessions were all conducted by licensed practioners, and that a medical doctor was also present during all of the sessions. Care was given not to lead the experiencers, but rather to elicit from them their true emotions and recollections regarding these mysterious events.

To further extend the investigation, Ms. Cowen incorporated the efforts of trained remote viewers. These viewers have accomplished records in perceiving psychically mediated information using processes comparable with those that the U.S. government has acknowledged it used operationally for many years with great success, until the existence of the program was reported to the public and then abandoned. It is important to note that remote-viewing data can never prove that something exists. Thus, remote-viewing data must always be considered speculative until positive verification of its accuracy is obtained through normal physical means. Nonetheless, remote-viewing information can be exceptionally useful in many situations in which one is looking for information that is used to independently corroborate evidence that is obtained through other means. In the case of The Secret of Redgate, this is exactly what Ms. Cowen has done. Nowhere in this documentary does an announcer state or imply that the UFO encounters must be real because these remote viewers have witnessed them. Rather, the remote-viewing data are sensitively presented to add both corroboration and interpretation to the eye-witness accounts.

It is particularly important to emphasize how the remote-viewing data were collected in this project. Remote-viewing data are collected “blind” when the remote viewer has no prior knowledge of the target. Thus, if the target is whatever happened at a certain location and at a particular time, then the remote viewer must not know any of this. The remote viewer must only be told that there is a target. The remote viewer must not even be told that the target for a particular session is connected with a certain project. The viewer must also be given targets that are not associated with a given project at the same time that the project’s sessions are being tasked so that the viewer will not know the source of any given target for any given session. For all of the remote-viewing sessions conducted for this study, none of the remote viewers knew anything about the targets until after the sessions were completed, and in most cases, the time of disclosure came only after the entire collection of sessions for the project was completed.

In many situations, a monitor is used while collecting remote-viewing data. The monitor’s job is to assist the remote-viewer by suggesting nonleading perceptual-movement exercises that help to focus the viewer on important target aspects. When the monitor does not know anything about the target, the session is called “double-blind.” In practice it is often difficult to use a monitor in double-blind studies since the monitor’s job of guiding the viewer is made easier if he or she knows something about the target. But having the monitor know something about the target can also result in leading the viewer unless great care is taken to avoid this.

For all of the studies in this project, a “graduated double-blind remote-monitoring process” was utilized. The process was “remote” since telephone connections were used for all communications between the viewers and the monitors, thereby preventing any unconscious visual leading. “Gradual” double-blind monitoring processes mean that each session was split into three parts, and the monitors were given a script to guide the viewers within each of the three parts. The first part was the longest, and it occupied about 75% of each remote-viewing session. Remote-viewing sessions must demonstrate solid target contact within this first section in order to be acceptable for analysis within the overall project. As is typical of all such sessions, the monitors never examined the script for the next part of the session until the prior part was completed. The script for the first part contains no information about the target and instructs the monitors to offer movement exercises to nonleading focal points, such as “to the center of the target.” The script for the second part of the session added minimal information about the target within the context of generic movement exercises, such as to have the viewer’s perception move to the “primary target subjects.” Only during the final third of the session was the monitor given a script that contained more detailed information about the target, none of which was conveyed to the viewer. This allowed the monitor to suggest generic movement exercises that might help the viewer focus on aspects of the target that might otherwise have been overlooked, such as to have the viewer observe the target area or environment. In all cases, data for all sessions using a graduated double-blind monitoring process need to be examined to insure that such data are consistent across all three parts of each session.

Again, the remote-viewing data collected for this study are never used to “prove” that the reported encounters with aliens actually occurred. Rather, the data are used to add corroboration the eye-witness accounts, as well as to supplement the hypnotherapy and polygraph results. The entire package of investigative tools are about as complete as one can achieve in such circumstances, and Ms. Cowen’s documentary offers itself as a new benchmark on how to conduct such comprehensive studies.

I suspect that many people will find this documentary to be a highly rewarding visual experience. The technical skills of the editor, David Hickey, are remarkable, especially given the relatively low-budget for this production. This is perhaps the best documentary to date on the subject of alien encounters. Nowhere is there a heavy-handed presentation that demands that the viewer accept that there were aliens and UFOs in the hills of Montana. The data are presented for only what they are, interesting, and indeed intriguing. Viewers will find much to respect in this documentary, and much over which to ponder.


Film claims town attracts alien visitors

By MARTIN J. KIDSTON – Helena, Montana Independent Record Feature Writer – 04/14/05

DEER LODGE — Stories in this dusty cow town come a dime a dozen, hardly a surprise given its hold on the old prison, the new state prison, its historic cattle ranch, and its fabled car museum. But here, 50 miles southwest of Helena, stories of a different sort have become the talk of the town — stories exposed by a former Deer Lodge resident and her new docudrama, “The Secret of Redgate.”

From her Texas home, Lynda Cowen, a 1963 graduate of Powell County High School, attributed the making of her new film to her brother’s own UFO encounters as a kid. The results have propelled Deer Lodge to the front of Montana’s most mysterious destinations.

“My brother consciously remembers having a lot of encounters with aliens as a child — playing with them as a child,” Cowen explained. “We didn’t know anything about them growing up.”

The stories came out years later, grabbing Cowen’s interest. She met writer Jim Marrs through her “remote viewing” classes in Texas, and together, the two decided to investigate the stories.

Cowen returned to her old stomping ground, surprised at how many Deer Lodge residents were willing to come forward with their experiences. She soon had more stories than she could use in her movie.

“We went back to Deer Lodge for two weeks and found out there were a lot of people with this experience, all the way from young high-school kids to people in their 80s,” Cowen said. “No one ever talked about this stuff growing up.”

Throughout the Deer Lodge Valley, stories of close encounters aren’t hard to come by. Over the last 20 years, Cowen said, there have been hundreds of sightings within a 150-mile radius of the town.

Some say there’s a vortex nearby while others say it’s the area’s rural nature. Some even believe that “lay lines,” or energy bands, sit close beneath the earth. The water has been suggested, and the Clark Fork River has been blamed.

Whatever it is, the stories have become widely known, but they’re not so easy to explain.

Louie Menicucci, a retired Deer Lodge baker, recalled several events that took place down the valley at Sunnyside near Anaconda.

“When I lived in Sunnyside we had some things go on,” Menicucci said. “There was stuff landing up there. I’m not sure if it was the Air Force or UFOs, but they left big circles in the grass.”

One morning at the bakery, a man saw a Polaroid photo of the mysterious rings left in the grass. Amazed, he told Menicucci he had never seen such large tipi rings. Menicucci informed him — those weren’t tipi rings he was looking at.

The rings, Menicucci said, matched the UFOs he had seen, and the strange lights pulsating underneath.

“They were like big round circles that had a light underneath and it flashed, like red, yellow, blue,” he said. “The light went in circles. I heard the same thing was going on over in Boulder at the same time.”

Menicucci thinks back, recalling how his neighbor woke up one snowy morning to find two of his horses mutilated, their ears, eyes and lips missing. Strangely, he said, there weren’t any tracks in the snow.

“My neighbor raised Ginny hens, poodles and peacocks, and he never heard a thing that night,” Menicucci said. “I don’t even know if it goes on anymore. But they were landing up in that basin and there’s a lot of rose quartz up there.”

Gene Hughes of D&L Auto Supply in Deer Lodge hasn’t experienced anything firsthand, but he’s heard the stories from others.

“My aunt saw some things years and years ago,” Hughes admitted. “She’s since passed away, but she knew what she saw and I believed her. I don’t question her in the least.”

Hughes also heard stories from his sister, whose own experiences took place at the nearby ranch. Hughes doesn’t doubt the accounts.

“You just don’t know about those things,” he said. “I think it very well could be happening. I don’t know that I could truly say there’s nothing going on out there.”

Ron Kelly, a local banker, attended high school with Cowen in the 1960s. Like much of the town, he’s also heard the stories, many coming from inside the family.

A scene in the film recounts how Kelly’s brothers were returning from a late-night dance in 1962. That night, they were pursued and overcome by a bright light. The light filled their car, surrounding them. Then it vanished as quickly as it came.

“I remember them talking about it — being chased by the light, the light coming around,” Kelly said. “There are a handful of people who knew about it. At that time, that’s what was going on and you didn’t think much of it.”

Kelly knows where the fabled red gate lies and he’s acquainted with the stories surrounding it. Back in the ’60s, the events split the community’s opinion down the middle. Some accepted the stories as fact. Others passed them off as juvenile pranks — kids out driving around and drinking beer.

“It began to feed off itself,” Kelly said. “I believe there are people who see things all the time. There are things that take place. What significance does it have? I don’t know. I haven’t had lunch with any little green people, I can tell you that. But I’m one of those who think something took place.”

Cowen graduated from Powell County High School in 1963 before enrolling in Montana State University’s nursing program. Years later she found herself in Texas where she became interested in remote viewing.

“I’ve been involved in remote viewing for years,” Cowen said. “I really believe in UFOs because of that.”

Remote viewing is a technique once used by the military, Cowen claimed. Often called psychic spying, the skill allows one to transfer his or her mind to any place at any time to retrieve information.

For the film, Cowen employed the services of Lyn Buchanan, a professional remote viewer, as well as several others. The viewers were asked to look at Bill Kelly’s account, but were given no clues.

Cowen explained the process, how a person sent a target code representing the UFO encounter to a monitor. Not knowing what the target code represented, the monitor passed the code to the remote viewer. Cowen called it a “double blind” session in which neither the viewer nor the monitor knows the target.

The results impressed even Cowen.

“Three male subjects driving at night in a rural area,” the viewers concluded. “The target seemed to be an actual event involving a vehicle and a blindingly bright light. The event involved transporting subjects. The subjects were frightened, shocked and awed… It seemed like an alien abduction by means of a bright light beam.”

Those who shared their encounters for the film also underwent hypnosis and polygraph tests, Cowen said.

“The Secret of Redgate” won the People’s Choice Award at the 2004 UFO Congress in Texas, selected from 15 films by more than 700 participants.

“You can find people here that have heard these stories,” Kelly said. “But not everybody has heard of them. They’re not a secret.”

Not anymore at least.

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 447-4086, or at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s