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Project Serpo is an alleged top-secret exchange program between the United States government and an alien planet called Serpo in the Zeta Reticuli star system. Details of the alleged exchange program have appeared in several UFO conspiracy stories, including one incident in 1983—in which a man identifying himself as United States Air Force Sergeant Richard C. Doty contacted investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe claiming to be able to supply her Air Force records of the exchange for her HBO documentary The ET Factor, only to pull out without providing any evidence to substantiate his story—and one incident in 2005 when a series of emails were sent to a UFO discussion group run by Victor Martinez claiming that the project was real.[1] Some variations on the conspiracy story state that the name Serpo is the nickname of the extrasolar planet.[1] Other versions state that it is a mispronunciation of either Serponia or Seinu by authorities involved in the project.


The first mention of a 'Project Serpo' was in a UFO email list maintained by enthusiast Victor Martinez. Various versions of the conspiracy theory circulated and were later detailed on a website. According to the most common version of the story, an alien survived a crash near Roswell in the later 1940s (see Roswell UFO incident). This alien was detained but treated well by American military forces, contacted its home planet and eventually repatriated. The story continues by claiming that this led to the establishment of some sort of relationship between the American government and the people of its home world, said to be a planet of the binary star system Zeta Reticuli.[1]

Zeta Reticuli has a history in ufology (including the Betty and Barney Hill abduction and the Bob Lazar story), having been claimed as the home system of an alien race called the Greys.

The story finally claims that twelve American military personnel visited the planet between 1965 and 1978 and that all of the party have since died, from "after effects of high radiation levels from the binary stars".[1] Another version of the story claims that "Eight (8) Team Members returned on the seven (7) month trek home.

Team Member #308 (Team Pilot #2) died of a pulmonary embolism en route to SERPO on the 9-month journey; 11 arrived safely. One (1) died on the planet – and both of their bodies were returned to Earth – while two (2) others decided to remain on the ALIEN homeworld of SERPO." (


One criticism of Project Serpo stems from the lack of veracity of one of its alleged witnesses, Sergeant Richard Doty. Doty has been involved in other alleged UFO-related activities (see Majestic 12 and Paul Bennewitz), and thus is a discredited source (or a purposeful provider of disinformation).[1] Additionally, there is no physical evidence supporting the project's existence.[1] According to Tim Swartz of Mysteries Magazine, Doty, who promised evidence to Moulton Howe before backing out, has been involved in circulating several other UFO conspiracy stories.[1] Swartz also expressed that the details of Project Serpo have varied considerably with different accounts.[1] It has been alleged that the entire series of posts were designed to be viral marketing for a new book by Doty.[2]

Bill Ryan[]

Bill Ryan, a chief proponent of publicizing the Project Serpo claims, announced on March 5, 2007 that he was stepping down from his role as webmaster for the Serpo material. Ryan nevertheless maintains his belief that an extraterrestrial exchange program did occur, although he states that the Serpo releases definitely contained disinformation.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Project Serpo: Fact or Fiction?, Mysteries Magazine, Issue #15, Tim Swartz, November 2006, Archived at Wayback Machine
  2. serpo. reality uncovered. URL consultato in data 2010-03-01.
  3. A Final Update from Bill Ryan: 5 March 2007


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