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Candy Jones was an attractive, statuesque young woman who was very tall, about 6 ft 4 inches. Changing her name, she pursued a career as a fashion model. She was a quick success, becoming a runner up for Miss New Jersey in the Miss America contest. She was one of the leading pin-up girls of the World War II era: in one month in 1943, she appeared on 11 different magazine covers.

Jones opened a modeling school, and she also began appearing regularly on NBC’s weekend radio news program Monitor.

On December 31, 1972, Jones married radio host Long John Nebel after a one-month courtship; they had briefly met decades earlier when Nebel was a photographer. Jones was soon the regular co-host of Nebel’s popular overnight radio talk show, which usually discussed various paranormal topics.

Shortly after their marriage, Nebel said, he noted that Jones exhibited violent mood swings, and, at times, seemed to display a different personality.

Colin Bennett writes, “A few weeks after their marriage, [Jones] did tell Nebel that she had worked for the FBI for some time, adding mysteriously that she might have to go out of town on occasion without giving a reason. This left Nebel wondering whether there was a connection between the ‘other’ personality within Candy and the strange trips she said she made for the FBI.”

Nebel began hypnotising Jones, and uncovered an alternate personality named “Arlene”. Under hypnosis, Jones related a lengthy, elaborate account of her being trained in a CIA mind-control program, often at west coast colleges and universities. Jones and Nebel eventually recorded hundreds of hours of these hypnotic sessions.

Jones said she had some conscious memories of her involvement in the mind-control program: it began in 1960, she said, when an old USO acquaintance (an unnamed retired army general) asked to use Jones’ modeling school as a mailing address to receive some letters and packages. Jones agreed, she said, out of a sense of patriotism.

Eventually, said Jones, she was asked to deliver a letter to Oakland, California on a business trip she had scheduled. Again, Jones reported she agreed, and was surprised to discover the letter was delivered to the same Dr. Jensen who had treated her in the Philippines nearly two decades earlier. Jones said that Jensen and his associate, Dr. “Marshall Burger” (another pseudonym) offered hefty amounts of cash if she was willing to engage in further plans; in their earlier meetings, Jensen had noted that Jones was an ideal subject for hypnosis. Jones agreed, she said, because her modeling school was faltering, and she wanted to keep her sons in their costly private schools.

During hypnosis sessions, an alternate personality called “Arlene” was reportedly groomed by Jensen, so that Jones would have no memory of Arlene’s activities. Jones allegedly made trips to locations as far away as Taiwan. While hypnotized, Jones claimed that she was subjected to painful tortures in order to test the effectiveness of the alternate personality. Donald Bain writes, “[Jones] would be a messenger for the agency in conjunction with her normal business trips.”

Again with the USO, Jones visited South Vietnam in 1970; she later suspected her visit had some connection to a disastrous attempt to free American prisoners of war from North Vietnam.

Jones’s and Nebel’s claims were first made public in 1976 (in Donald Bain’s The Control of Candy Jones, published by Playboy Press). Nebel apparently accepted his wife’s claims, and openly discussed killing Dr. Jensen in revenge. However, Nebel was a prankster and a hoaxer of long standing and as he was not above hoaxing his radio audience, some of whom doubted the recovered memories of Candy Jones’s past were genuine. Later skeptics would argue that an alleged false memory syndrome was a more plausible explanation.

Several years later, Jones’ story gained more notice after the public disclosure of MK-ULTRA in 1977.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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