UFO Hacker – The Gary Mckinnon Story

A computer hacker searches the networks of 5 U.S. government agencies for UFO evidence
UFO hacker Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon "hacks" the computer networks of NASA and finds unusual files in their possession...

Gary McKinnon is a part-time I.T. technician and hacking enthusiast living in the United Kingdom whose search for evidence of UFOs within the computers of U.S. government agencies landed him in big trouble. After his activities were discovered in March of 2002, U.S. intelligence agencies traced the breach and accused him for executing “the biggest military computer hack of all time.”4

Fascinated with the topic of UFO secrecy, McKinnon suspected the U.S. government was withholding pertinent information about transformative technologies derived from UFO science. During his investigation hacking into an impressive count of 97 computers within 5 U.S. government agencies, he allegedly had the opportunity to witness some incredible visual evidence to validate his suspicions.

Hacking NASA

Much like the plot of any sci-fi adventure film, McKinnon solely compromised the computer networks of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Pentagon and NASA offices in the search for proof of UFOs. But just as alarming as his discoveries, was how easy it was to do it.

“I had 5,000 machines all with blank administrator passwords.”5

Inspired by the first edition of The Hackers Handbook by Hugo Cornwall, McKinnon felt that an intrusive investigation was justified as a way to possibly help many people in need. He was looking for any information regarding free-energy, anti-gravity, or any technology derived from UFO related science and back-engineering.

NASA’s computer network at the time utilized a common I.T. solution for providing an operating system to a large amount of computers at once. Instead of installing Microsoft Windows on every machine with a CD individually, an ‘image’ of the operating system was created within the network and shared with every computer in the facility.

Gary McKinnon UFO hacker

Gary McKinnon

In this particular case, McKinnon stumbled onto the fact that an image had been created with a blank administrator password, giving him full administrative authority over NASA’s computer network without the effort of traditional password hacking.

NASA’s cyber security was virtually non-existent.

Though he had the power to search the files of 5,000 NASA machines simultaneously, the sheer amount of information to sift through was overwhelming, and McKinnon was losing motivation. Searching files of the various agencies was a mostly fruitless endeavor and after a year of disappointment he grew bored.

But in his self described obsession with UFO secrecy, he stumbled upon new information through the recorded witness accounts collected by Dr. Stephen Greer that reinvigorated his efforts.

UFO Search

Prompted by a testimony within Stephen Greer’s book, The Disclosure Project, McKinnon was drawn to the detailed accounts given by Donna Hare, a photographic expert employed by NASA in the 1970’s. Her testimony exposed the existence of a strange protocol within “building 8” of Johnson Space Center to airbrush regularly occurring UFOs from NASA satellite imagery before being made available to the public.

With this information, McKinnon dramatically narrowed his search and focused his attention toward the computers within building 8. Using network commands he was able to identify what machines belonged to that department and immediately started to snoop through their files.

“…The very first one I was on literally had what she [Donna Hare] said. I can’t remember if it was “Filtered” and “Raw”, “Processed” and “Unprocessed,” but there were definitely folders whereby there was a transformation in the data taking place between one and the other.”5

The difference in time zones had been the perfect cover to ensure his search was unnoticed by agency staff, and over a 56k dial-up connection, the precursor to the much faster modern ‘broadband’ network, he slowly was able to inspect the relatively massive high-resolution images within building 8. With remote control of the desktop, he adjusted the color and screen resolution to their lowest settings in an attempt to speed up the process.

To his amazement he discovered evidence of a bizarre craft hovering above Earth’s atmosphere.

“I was able to briefly see one of these pictures. It was a silvery, cigar-shaped object with geodesic spheres on either side. There were no visible seams or riveting. There was no reference to the size of the object and the picture was taken presumably by a satellite looking down on it. The object didn’t look man-made or anything like what we have created.”¹

Gary McKinnon_cigar shaped ufo

An unidentified object is seen over earths atmosphere, 2013

Space Marines?

Among the files he recalls finding, McKinnon was also able to inspect some strangely named spreadsheet files during his time aboard hijacked computers.

“I also got access to Excel spreadsheets. One was titled “Non-Terrestrial Officers.” It contained names and ranks of U.S. Air Force personnel who are not registered anywhere else. It also contained information about ship-to-ship transfers, but I’ve never seen the names of these ships noted anywhere else.”¹

Unable to recall any specific names of the officers or the ships printed on the document, the find unfortunately remains just a claim. In his uncertainty he does concede that what he found could have been the remnants of a hypothetical simulation, or military strategy game.

However, McKinnon also related the discovery to alleged publications he’d witnessed from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and their focus on ‘military space dominance’. DARPA’s announcements concerning interests in space have only just started to come out in early 2016, disclosing their ambitions for their rapid deployment space-jet under the name “XS-1“.

Could it be possible that McKinnon stumbled upon the agenda for this project over a decade before DARPA’s public statement?

Caught in the Act

After a little more than a year McKinnon finally had evidence of a UFO cover-up within the Space Administration’s digital files, but it was also in that moment that it would slip from his grasp.

The chap that actually caught me was in NASA when this photograph was about ¾ of the way down on the screen. He sees the mouse move, he right-clicks the local area network connection icon, [and] chooses disconnect… And that’s why it was such a strange moment. It was triumphant in a way. I had completely corroborated what Donna Hare had said on my own, but then got caught at the very same moment. 5

It was at this time that NASA was subsequently alerted of the intrusion and began to review their security. In his time probing government networks McKinnon had become arrogant, neglecting to cover his tracks and leaving clues to his infringement. He had left a trail of messages on the desktops he’d “hacked” all signed under the username “SOLO”.

“I was amazed at the lack of security and the reason I left not just one note but multiple notes on multiple desktops was to say, “Look, this is ridiculous.”²

The messages were generally related to the information he discovered within the unsecured networks he was browsing. Criticizing the U.S. government’s foreign policy, its overzealous anti-terrorism efforts, and warning the agencies of their laughable lack of security.

Tracing a pattern in the programs used to breach their systems, the agencies coordinated an internal investigation and found McKinnon’s location in the United Kingdom. A few months later he found himself in custody of the British National Hi Tech Crimes Unit, and all the computers in his home ceased for evidence.

Most of the computers were returned with the exception of the hard drive containing snap shots of his discoveries. The hard drive was sent to the U.S., and in November 2002 the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began efforts to extradite McKinnon to stand trial in America.


The discovery of McKinnon’s covert explorations came at the worst possible time in recent history. Exposed only months after the horrifying events of 9/11 the United States was on extremely high alert regarding home security, and in the hysteria assumed McKinnon’s efforts as an act of terrorism.

In June of 2005 the U.S. officially requested the extradition of Gary McKinnon, indicting him on 14 computer-related crimes each with a 10 year maximum sentence, and an estimated $2 million dollars in damage. McKinnon fought and appealed the extradition for 5 long years attempting to waive the extradition in exchange for a fair trial in the U.K. with little success.

What I did was illegal and wrong, and I accept I should be punished. But I am not a member of Al Qaeda. I believe my case is being treated so seriously because they’re scared of what I’ve seen. I’m living in a surreal, nutter’s film. ²

Becoming an international celebrity following news coverage of his case, he gained mass support erecting the freegary.org.uk campaign to help stop the extradition and bring to the forefront of his trials the non-malicious nature of his crimes. The attempts to apprehend McKinnon by the DOJ was just as unproductive as the struggle to appeal the charges for the McKinnon party, leaving him in a restless place of uncertainty regarding his continued freedom.

UFO Hacker_Gary McKinnon

Poster in support of the “free Gary” campaign

The extradition charge was finally dropped in October 2012, following more than ten years of trial. After being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2008, the courts ruled in his favor  pleading his incarceration would violate human rights laws and end in his eventual suicide. The U.K. declined to pursue a further criminal investigation concluding the arduous pursuit and granting him and his family long awaited peace of mind.

McKinnon still regrets his actions to this day, but remains one of the very few people to have accessed insider information regarding the existence of an ongoing UFO cover-up. His story has become a cautionary tale for capable and like minded individuals seeking a closer look at the unbelievable evidence hidden behind closed doors.

We unfortunately may never get to see the evidence that McKinnon was witness to inside government networks, but the earnest efforts by the Department of Justice to seize Gary McKinnon in spite of the usual contempt held by government agencies on the topic of UFOs is not to be overlooked.

Do you think Gary McKinnon found evidence of an ongoing UFO cover-up? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: This publication does not endorse the illegal activities reported in this article.  

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    1. Watson, Niel. “‘UFO Hacker’ Tells What He Found.Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 21 June 2006. Web. 29 May 2016.
    2. Sears, Niel. “British UFO Fan in ‘biggest US Military Hack of All Time’ Faces 60 Years in Jail after Losing Extradition Fight.Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 30 July 2008. Web. 29 May 2016.
    3. Casciani, Dominic. “Gary McKinnon Extradition to US Blocked by Theresa May.BBC News. N.p., 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 May 2016.
    4. Boyd, Clark. “Profile: Gary McKinnon.BBC News. BBC, 30 July 2008. Web. 30 May 2016.
    5. McKinnon, Gary. “Project Camelot | Gary McKinnon Transcript.” Interview by Kerry Cassidy. Gary McKinnon Transcript. Project Camelot, June 2006. Web. 30 May 2016.
    6. Batty, David. “Timeline: Gary McKinnon’s Fight against Extradition to the US.The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 26 Nov. 2009. Web. 03 June 2016.
    7. Sharp, Janis. “My Son Gary McKinnon Has Won Justice at Last | Janis Sharp.The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 03 June 2016.
    8. Atherton, Kelsey D. “DARPA Urgently Wants A Space Plane It Can Fly Day After Day.Popular Science. N.p., 27 May 2016. Web. 09 June 2016.
    9. The NASA Conspiracy.YouTube. Sirius Disclosure, 29 Nov. 2013. Web. 29 May 2016.

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Joel is a professional visual effects artist with work in game, television, and film. He is an enthusiastic researcher of the mysterious and paranormal, and the founder of FourthKind.com. His favorite topics are history, pop culture, UFOs, extraterrestrial lore, and the spirituality that sometimes accompanies them.
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