Mark Bennett: Spy from the Future

The late Mark Bennett – filmmaker, inventor, and editor of Black Ice Magazine – spent his life uncovering what is hidden, and all his spare money on metal detectors, underwater drones, Czech translators, and psychics. He died in 2021, leaving a remarkable collection of ephemera that has been turned into an ‘installation event’ – Spy from the Future – by close friends.

For a single night this wealth of physical, video, and other evidence will be gathered in one building. You are invited to enter through the displays of 3D photography, Cold War spy equipment, and home-brewed absinthe. You are welcome to find a table in the basement and listen to the sound made by Nazi UFOs (recorded by the last person to see one); to see the tunnels where those UFOs were built, and the 1960s toy gun based on their jet nozzles that was withdrawn from sale. You’ll learn the science behind the Ark of the Covenant; the abuse of Victorian magic; the secrets of the 1990s fetish scene; the spell-breaking powers of autism, and inventions based on suppressed medical knowledge.

Experts in various fields, and the people who knew Mark, will perform the exegesis at The Latest Bar, Brighton, on May 29, 2022. Doors open at 6pm and the talks begin at 7pm.

One of those people is David Burke, ROSA’s technical director. He interviewed Mark last year to help publicise his late friend’s documentary Nazi Flying Saucers: Hunting Hitler’s Secret UFOs. Here’s the piece he subsequently wrote.

Underground Miracle Weapons

David Burke interviews Mark Bennett

The Wham-O Air Blaster toy gun was removed from stores in 1965 because, aside from knocking over a house of cards from across a room, you could stick it in your sister’s ear and give her permanent hearing damage. But the across-the-room bit worked because the gun’s big blue funnel shot out a rotating column of air. Its design was based on jet nozzles invented by the Nazis at the end of World War II in their last, desperate attempts to create Wunderwaffe – ‘miracle weapons’ that would stop the Allies.

The man who tells me this is Mark Bennett, a Canadian filmmaker based in the UK. He is recently back from a forest in the Czech Republic where he was filming a grassy clearing sinking into a large rectangular pit. In the undergrowth sits the opening of a large concrete tube. If you shine a light into the metal grate on top, you see the rungs of a ladder disappearing into metres of blackness. It’s an entrance, or an air shaft. Bennett has explored it with CCTV. Next he is going back with an underwater drone.

Just as the Americans and Russians in 1945 sent teams of special forces into Hitler’s collapsing regime to seize jets, rockets and the thousands of scientists who had invented them, today teams of cameramen and amateur historians scour the countryside of central Europe looking for the laboratories they left behind. Bennett was interviewing the last of the locals who can remember disc-shaped craft hovering over the secret airfields. “This guy saw them three times,” he says.  “Not only was he able to draw them, he was able to reproduce the sound they made.”

What did it sound like?

“It matched the sound made by a Viktor Schauberger vortex engine,” says Bennett. 

And that’s all he’d tell me.

These days conspiracy theory is a dangerous kids’ game, like the Air Blaster. Anyone with a mobile can uncover or join a worldwide conspiracy invented by bored office workers in St. Petersburg. Like the trading cards we used to dig for at the bottom of cereal boxes we can all now collect clues about who ‘really’ controls everything. But when Q-Anon tell you to ‘do your own research’, and you Google around, you only find memes created by other Q-Anon players. What else did you expect?

Bennett is old school. His apartment is filled with parts of movie equipment, spy cameras, two centuries of 3D image viewers and books on telekenesis. More than once he has spent his rent money on a ground radar machine, a psychic expert or a Czech translator. He’s looking through maps and yellowing street directories. In the early 90s his magazine Black Ice reported on the first computer hackers and virtual reality pornography. Today he is experimenting with electro-medicine that has been deliberately ignored since the 1920s.

“Conspiracy doesn’t mean anything,” says Bennett. “The people involved usually have no idea they are participating. A better term is ‘aligned interests'”.  

So, is he an ‘aligned interests theorist’?  “I prefer the term ‘spell breaker’. People are controlled by their lack of imagination. So what’s hidden is usually right in front of us.”

And of course below us. Bennett has employed a mix of straightforward journalism, archeology and psychic dowsing to find the historic origins of the systems that power huge, triangular aircraft spotted above Phoenix Arizona and the town of Liege in Belgium. “The allies and the Nazis all had pieces of this. And all their scientists ended up working for NASA or the Pentagon. When people said technology was ‘alien’, perhaps they just meant foreign, and incredibly advanced.”

So he’s not looking for extra-terrestrials?

“No. We didn’t need spacemen to make these things. A world war and a cold war were enough. Nothing forces you to think outside the box like the threat of annihilation.”

But what is the point of all this, if he’s not looking for spacemen?  “This tech is said to be more advanced than anything we had in 1972. Ask anyone about quad copters, which are basically naked UFOs, and they’ll tell you the same thing: ‘They’re fun for about 20 minutes, and then the battery runs out’. These things flew for hours, at incredible speed. If you can multiply thrust by 17 times without adding fuel you’ve got a real breakthrough. We need this technology now.”

And why the psychic dowsing?  “Ask the CIA,” says Bennett. “They’ve been using it since the 1950s. The interest in these subjects is not limited to people like me. Everyone is looking for miracle weapons.”

Mark Bennett: Spy from the Future is on at The Latest Bar, Brighton, on May 29, 2022