In Episode #3 of Season Three of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, Jesse and his investigative team examine a conspiracy theory torn right from the pages of science fiction literature: the “time travel” conspiracy.
There are various forms of the time travel conspiracy theory, but, in general, the theory contends that the U.S. government has been experimenting with time travel research for decades, and that they may have already successfully developed technologies that circumvent the rules of the space-time continuum.
Jesse begins his investigation by meeting with Alfred Webre (also known as Alfred Labremont Webre), a man Jesse describes as “an Ivy League lawyer, a former white house advisor, a real insider.” According to Webre, the time travel conspiracy is “the deepest darkest state secret that the United States possesses.” Though Jesse seems to have a past with Webre, and treats him with credibility, he seems skeptical that such a conspiracy could exist. “Wait a minute now. Wait, wait, wait, time out… wait. You’re talking to me here like H.G. Wells and the Time Machine? That’s what you’re saying to me? That the US government is involved in time travel or a time machine?”
Jesse also wonders why such technology, if it exists, would be kept secret. Webre believes that this is because the technology is dangerous, and that over decades of research, thousands of participants have died as a result. “And they use them in the experiments knowing that a lot of them are going to be killed, they can mind control you, they can capture you, and they can send you, and you just disappear,” says Webre. When Jesse asks Webre why the government would be willing to kill to keep this secret, Webre responds “because dead men tell no tales.”
According to Webre, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the CIA have controlled the development of time travel technologies. Webre also contends that the technology has been weaponized, and possibly used by the government against the United States, itself, during the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 9/11. Webre tells Jesse that he knows this because, according to his sources, the U.S. government had pictures from the attacks on 9/11/2001 all the way back in 1972. Webre illustrates the connection between 9/11 and time travel technology, by pointing out that, according to allegations made by proponents of the theory, that Donald Rumsfeld, then the Secretary of Defense on 9/11, was the Pentagon liason to the time travel program during its existence. “And is that a conflict of interest or not?” asks Webre.
“Yeah, it’s right out of HG Wells, alright. Using time travel to plan wars, to knock off dissidents, and for something I didn’t expect,” says Jesse, in a voice-over. What Jesse didn’t expect is that Webre also claims that since time travel technology has been operational, future U.S. president have been pre-identified 20-30 years in advance, informed of their destinies and trained, and that presidential races are a mockery. “Come on! This is sounding like one of those cheesy old sci-fi movies I like to watch. I’m about ready to write this all off when he comes up with something solid,” says Jesse.
Webre mentions a “chrononaut whisteblower,” whom he claims was present as a child at the beginning of the program, and will be able to “blow it wide open.” This whistleblower has travelled to the past, and claims to have proof. “So he’s got a guy who travelled through time and a photograph to prove it. This might be worth a look after all,” says Jesse. “If there’s a person that can make this a game changer, which I think it is, it’s yourself governor,” says Webre. “Or they’re going to lock me up” retorts Jesse.
Jesse returns to headquarters and discusses his conversation with Webre with his team: June Sarpong, Braverman, Sean Stone, and Tyrel Ventura. Jesse tells them he’s been told there’s an “insider” that says time travel is real, and that the its existence is being covered up. “It’s the ultimate weapon that any government can hold,” says Sean. Tyrel, Jesse’s son, however, thinks the whole discussion is “ludicrous.” June points to the CERN reactor in Switzerland, and says that a lot of scientists worry that it could affect the time-space continuum. Sean points out if you travel faster than the speed of light you can go forward in time. June adds that she thinks it’s strange that the Chinese government has banned all mention of time travel on TV. “So they don’t like ‘Back to the Future” movies,” quips Tyrel. “Oh no, governments don’t do it for that reason, Ty. Governments do it with an ulterior motive,” believes Jesse. Tyrel seems worried about his dad’s credibility being affected by investigating something that seems so far-fetched. “Okay. But credibility goes the other way too- if we investigate it and expose it as a fraud, that also gives us credibility. This guy Webre says there’s a whistleblower out there- let’s get out there and find him.” Of course, if they simply did an internet search for “time travel whisteblower” or “alfred webre time travel” they would find their whistleblower quite easily.
Tyrel and Sean meet up with Dr. Franklin Ruehl, “a nuclear physicist who just happens to be a time travel expert” according to the show’s narrator. “There is at least a 70 year, perhaps an 80 year paper trail of evidence suggesting our government has been engaged in time travel experimentation,” explains Ruehl. Dr. Ruehl says that research began back to the 1930’s at institutions like the University of Chicago and Princeton University, where Albert Einstein was then a researcher. Ruehl goes on to describe the legend of “The Philadelphia Experiment” an alleged incident from 1943 that has been conspiracy fodder for over 50 years. According to the legend, a top secret attempt was made to make the U.S. Naval ship the USS Eldridge invisible. Some theorists say it did disappear, but it also travelled in time from the Philadelphia Shipyard it was docked in to Norfolk, Virginia. 33 men were aboard the craft, and some stories suggest that some of the men disappeared during the teleportation. Sean asks Ruehl “where’s the proof?” Ruehl talks about Morris Jessup, a “serious researcher” from the 1950’s and author of the landmark ufology book The Case for the UFO, who believed that the Philadelphia Experiment was a time travel experiment. Unfortunately, he committed suicide in 1959. Sean adds that some theorists believe that he didn’t commit suicide, but was killed for getting too close to the truth. (To read more about the Philadelphia Experiment, click here.)
Dr. Ruehl continues his timeline of time travel research with what he believes was the next major phase: “The Montauk Project.” Ruehl says the Montauk Project grew out of the experiments and discoveries made from the Philadelphia Experiment,” and that further time travel experiments were conducting at Camp Hero, a military base located at the end of Long Island, NY. “The Montauk Project was a study attempting to use electro-magnetics to put thought into people’s heads and then transmit it out to the old RADAR transmitter, at huge amounts of power.” Ruehl continues: “At one point the equipment got powerful enough where it was literally precipitating time travel.”
Ruehl next tells Ty and Sean about inventor Steven Gibbs, a man who claims time travelers from the future gave him a time travel device, which he has enhanced and now sells as time travel machines called “Hyperdimensional Resonators.” Ruehl explains that the efficacy of the machine is enhanced by using it near an “energy vortexes”, which are described as “swirling centers of concentrated electromagnetic energy, scattered and mapped around the globe.” Ruehl adds, “Theoretically, with the right equipment, they can rotate faster than the speed of light and open a hole in the time.”
Next, team member June Sarpong heads to New York, to meet with a man who claims to be a scientist who worked on the Montauk Project: Preston Nichols. Nichols describes a piece of equipment known as the “Montauk Chair,” a lounge chair-like device that participants would sit in that could harness their thoughts and possibly allow them to time travel. According to Nichols, participants would sit in the chair, stark naked, while neurological censors and an array of antennae would pick up the electromagnetic radiation from the participants neurological system. From there, a computer would decode the participant’s thoughts, and depending on the individual, their thoughts could then be used to send them through time. June asks Nichols who it was tested on, and if any of those people died during experimentation. Nichols claims that, yes, a lot of people died, but virtually no documentation exists to prove it. However, he does know the name of the whistleblower Jesse’s team is looking for. June calls the governor to tell him the news. “There is a whistleblower. I’ve got his name: Basiago.”
Meanwhile, Sean Stone meets with his friend, psychic medium Anya Briggs, who claims to have studied time travel with Montauk survivors. “It’s real. That’s the first thing you need to know about it. The second thing you need to know, it’s extremely dangerous. And the third thing is that it goes far, far deeper than you could possibly imagine. All bets are off when you talk about time travel technology. You have to leave A+B=C logic at the door.”
Next, the team reassembles at headquarters to discuss their findings, and Tyrel has brought something with him. “Well, Jesse, as crazy as it is, I’ve found a guy, Mr. Gibbs, who actually claims to have made a time machine,” says Tyrel. “I mean, the radar detector in my Porsche is more expensive looking than this,” jokes Jesse. “Hell, man, I say we do it right now. I say we strap it to Sean and see if we can send you through time, buddy,” jokes Tyrel. “You up for that, Sean?” asks Jesse.
June heads back out in an effort to track down Basiago, and goes to one of her conspiracy contacts, a black ops veteran, known simply as “the man in the white van.” He claims he has done a lot of research on the time travel conspiracy, and describes a DARPA-run program known as “Project Pegasus.” He also claims to know the name of the whistleblower they’ve been looking for, and that he can put her in touch with him.
Meanwhile, Jesse, Tyrel and Sean arrive in Las Vegas to test out the time machine Tyrel purchased from Steven Gibbs at a hotel room at the “pyramid hotel”, which is supposedly built on a natural vortex. They meet with Stewart Swerdlow, a man who claims to be a time travel expert and able to help them use the Hyperdimensional Resonator. Swerdlow claims to be a veteran of the Montauk project, and was recruited as a teenager to participate in all sorts of time travel experiments. Tyrel shows Swerdlow the Resonator, but Swerdlow is hesitant to use the machine. “Well, I’ll tell you what, this thing is dangerous and I wouldn’t use it,” warns Swerdlow. “I came all the way here so this guy can chicken out? He’s gonna time travel, alright- right onto Las Vegas Boulevard,” quips Jesse. Swerdlow explains, “This is a modified radionics machine. This modified version generates a powerful EM field that can damage and enter into your personal energy field, it can damage your chakra system, your internal organs, it can change the energy in this room. It’s not a very good idea.” “Right, wouldn’t want to hurt the ol’ chakra now, would we?” says Jesse. Swerdlow then claims he will help them travel to the past, but he will do it his way. “So, In this particular time travel experiment, I’m going to teach mentally to go back down, through the DNA, to the very beginning, where it was formed, and then you can see what you were.” “Mentally? That’s not time travel. That’s day dreaming!” says Jesse. Tyrel asks, “What’s the difference between what you’re doing and hypnotism?” “Come on, I want to see somebody disappear. So does Tyrel,” insists Jesse. Swerdlow says time and space is an illusion, that it doesn’t really exist. “Yeah, but none of this rings true for me. None of this rings true to me,” says Tyrel. Swerdlow says that Tyrel didn’t complete the task properly, and that “it’s simply a question of where you’re focused.” “Well, my focus is walking out of the room,” laughs Tyrel. “Huh, I didn’t expect that. We pushed Swerdlow to show us physical time travel, but he can’t,” states Jesse.
Then, Jesse gets a call from June- she’s found the whistleblower, and his name is Basiago. Jesse sends Tyrel and Sean to go see him. Basiago, hiding out in a “no tell motel,” is “the world’s only, self-proclaimed, physical time traveler,” according to the narrator. When Tyrel and Sean meet up with Basiago, they first ask him about his background. Basiago explains that he’s a lawyer from Washington State, and in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, he was one of 140 of American schoolchildren, ages 7-11, that participated in “Project Pegasus.” According to Basiago, project scientists had figured out how to open vortal tunnels in time-space, and that they needed small, cooperative, intelligence human beings to test the technology. Basiago describes that one would jump through a field of radiant energy, find themselves in a time-space tunnel for 5-10 seconds, and when it closed they’d find themselves elsewhere. Basiago claims his dad, a DARPA scientist, recruited him, and that Basiago would “jump” from a facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey to the Baton Memorial in Santa Fe New Mexico, a distance of 2005 miles, in just a few seconds. Basiago says that he and other participants were sent into the past and future to gather useful intelligence information and change the course of different historical events. “We were literally in George Washington’s encampment to advise him to retreat from New York Harbor,” claims Basiago. “We explained that we were time travelers from the future, we informed him of what we were instructed to tell him, which was that he was going to win the Revolutionary War, become the first president of the United States, be regarded, essentially, as the father of this country. But that all those things depended on him taking our advice to retreat and move his 2000 or more troops from New York Harbor. And which they did, in the middle of the night, there.”
Along with his father, Basiago claims that were several important political figures who participated in the program, including Donald Rumsfeld. Basiago also offers another name: Barack Obama. “Barack Obama was one of the 140 school children involved in Project Pegasus. Yes, I met Barack Obama. He was clearly identified as a future American president. Actually, one of the things that was going on is that the project was briefing future presidents, so I met George H.W. Bush, I met his son George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton in Albuquerque in those years shortly after they were informed that their personal destinies involved them becoming president of the United States.” In previous articles and interviews, Basiago claimed Obama was involved with the CIA’s Mars Visitation Program of the early 1980’s, but seems to have now amended his story regarding the President.
Next, Basiago claims to have a photo that proves he’s telling the truth. Basiago shows Sean and Tyrel a photo a from the Gettysburg Address of a young boy in floppy shoes and an oversized coat, standing by himself in the middle of a muddy field. Basiago claims that the boy in the picture is him.
Tyrel and Sean report back to Jesse to tell him about their meeting with Basiago. “I really feel that you need to meet this guy, Andy Basiago,” says Tyrel. “I mean, this guy shows you a picture, some old photo, and says that’s him?” asks Jesse. “Hey, Basiago said that he would take us to Santa Fe, New Mexico and take us to Sandia Laboratories, which is on Kirtland Air Force Base.”
Jesse heads to Albuquerque with Tyrel and Sean to meet up with Basiago. “Okay, well you’ve got to convince me, I’m a bit of a skeptic,” warns Jesse. Basiago takes Jesse’s skepticism in stride, and tries to explain to Jesse the nature and purpose of Project Pegasus. “There was a decision made in the context of Project Pegasus that we would primarily use time travel technology to get information about the past and future, to engage in better contingency planning.” “That’s hard for me to grasp” says Jesse. “When you say teleport, talk to me like I’m a 6 year old. You’re talking Star Trek here to me.” “Actually, I’m talking the opposite of Star Trek,” says Basiago. “In Star Trek you disintegrate the teleportee at the point of embarkation and then reassemble them at the destination. We were jumping through, literally, a hole in fabric of time-space.”
Basiago and the team leads around the base, but his recollections are hazy. “Let’s Just keep circling the base. Eventually, we’ll come out, hopefully, unless we teleported, we should come out where we started. Now, if we end up in New Jersey, then I know we’re in trouble,” jokes Jesse. “The U.S. defense technical community has spent trillions of dollars developing secret technologies for the US government, itself. And this was one of them. And all I’m doing is sharing my experiences of what happened. It may sound crazy, but I’m telling the truth.”
According to the narrator, “after an hour circling the base, Jesse’s just about had enough.” Jesse asks Tyrel to pull over for a second so he can stretch his legs out and clear his head a little. Jesse and Tyrel get out and talk. “I’ve been walking around with this guy and he’s riding around. He’s not ******* (fucking) labeling a ****** (god damn)thing. But I still think that something had to have happened to this guy for him to come up with this, because he is so ****** (fucking) knowledgeable.” Jesse agrees to continue on. “Yeah, I want to follow through- let’s go to Santa Fe,” he says.
The team travels 60 miles to Santa Fe and the Bataan Memorial Building, where Basiago claims to have been teleported to during his missions. Basiago tells a story of him appearing into view at the Bataan Memorial and startling an old man, his pipe falling out of his mouth. “Jesse’s not buying it. Children appearing from out of nowhere? In the middle of a public plaza? No way,” says the narrator.
Jesse then asks, “How do you feel about someone who would say to you- ‘Andy, this is all made up. This is a childhood fantasy, that’s come into your adult life and taken over your head’?” Basiago responds, “I would tell them that they’re going to see that I’ve come up with the names, the dates, the places of my project experience, and that those facts are both too complex and too deeply inter-nested and inter-related to each other to have been made up fraudulently. “
Basiago then takes them to a house in White Rock, New Mexico where he claims to have lived with his father in the summers of 1973, and then 1972, in that order. Soon, a woman named Lesley Olsher comes out of the house to see what’s going on. Initially, she also seems skeptical when hearing of Basiago’s story. “How could you do that if you didn’t have a security clearance? You were a child with a security clearance?” she asks. Judging by the nature of her comments, Tyrel observes that she seems to have some knowledge of these kind of black ops programs. When Project Pegasus is mentioned, she says she may have heard of it, but doesn’t have any idea what it was.
Basiago then begins to describe the site plan of the house, as he remembers from his youth, and she confirms that his descriptions are correct. Andy confirms with her that they’ve never met and that, at least to her knowledge, he had never been in the house since she’s lived there. “Pretty damn interesting, though, isn’t it?” Jesse says to Lesley. “Oh, it’s interesting. That’s the thing about Los Alamos- everything is classified. It’s like a little pie with a nice thick crust on the top and everything is nice and Mayberry-ish , and underneath we have lots of things going on,” she says.
Basiago then shows Jesse the Gettysburg photo. He claims to be the boy wearing the big shoes, and points out that he’s holding a cylinder with instructions to then Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, to assist him if he got in trouble. “Photo analysts have taken my 6th grade portrait from the fall of 1970, which would have been about 6 months after this photograph was taken, and there’s a direct correlation between the shape of the head and shoulders and so forth of this child here. That’s me in 1863. And so this is not only the only photograph to show Lincoln at Gettysburg, but it’s the first photograph to show a time traveler from the future. And Governor, I am that time traveler.” (To read an in-depth profile of Andrew Basiago, click here.)
At the end of their investigation, Jesse doesn’t seem to believe any more in the time travel conspiracy then he did when they began their research, but doesn’t completely close the door such a possibility. “Do I believe Andrew Basiago really traveled back in time to Gettysburg? Do I believe he showed up in George Washington’s tent? Come on! I’ll tell you one thing, though- I think Andrew Basiago believes it. And from the evidence we uncovered, I think he was used as a guinea pig in some kind of government black ops program, whether it was time travel or whether his memories were implanted. He’s another victim of the covert operations we pay for, even when it’s used against us. Time travel? Yeah, we found out the government experimented with it- it’s a conspiracy that reaches back years. And if they were successful, into the future too. I’m Jesse Ventura, and this is Conspiracy Theory.” Tune in later this week for Episode #4: The Ozarks.