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Milton William Cooper (1943—2001) was the conspiracy theorist other conspiracy theorists wish they could be. Getting his start in radio in the 1980s, Cooper was the first to mix New World Order conspiracy theories with New Age nonsense like UFOs. His book, Behold a Pale Horse, can still be found in the New Age section of many book stores. You can also thank him for popularizing the term "sheeple" (though he didn't coin it).
Although he was swimming in the same waters as Alex Jones many years before Jones appeared on the scene, Cooper had a reputation for denouncing most of his rival conspiracy theorists as being part of the conspiracy themselves, leaving him an outsider too paranoid even among the terminally paranoid. In particular, he accused the New Ager David Icke of teaching the doctrines of mystery religions and fear-mongering Alex Jones of inflicting hysteria among people with his rants.
Cooper died in 2001 in a shootout with police, after successfully avoiding an arrest warrant for tax evasion and bank fraud for three years. Militia and conspiracy folklore subsequently enshrined Cooper as a martyr who was brutally beaten and murdered for "telling the truth" about a vast NWO conspiracy plot to disarm the populace in order to better subjugate them.
Cooper was born in 1943.
He claims to have been in the U.S. Air Force (like fellow conspiracy theorist Texe Marrs) as well as Naval Intelligence, where he supposedly saw top secret documents detailing U.S. involvement with evil space aliens.[Note 1] However, all that can be confirmed by public records is that he was in the Navy with a rating of E5, served a tour of duty in Vietnam, and received two service medals in 1969.
Cooper started out believing that the UFO people were controlling the world, and that UFO technology had been used in Vietnam. He became one of the stars on the UFO lecture circuit, writing books that alleged that space aliens were part of the New World Order. He later claimed that the secret papers he had supposedly read while allegedly in "Naval Intelligence" were fake and he had in fact been deliberately tricked into believing in aliens (although he did claim he witnessed the emergence of a UFO from the ocean), and it was all part of an Illuminati plot, including the JFK assassination and faked Moon landings. Or maybe the goat did it. Who knows?
His book, Behold a Pale Horse, contained the text of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which he prefaced by claiming the text didn't refer to Jews, but to the evil Illuminati (supposedly connected with the Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar) and their master plan to control the great unwashed masses of "cattle."
If you've heard of him at all, you've probably seen his book, or you heard of the radio show he had on shortwave, Hour of the Time, delivering his "Mystery Babylon Series" of lectures. He encouraged pirate radio (late in life he openly operated a low power FM pirate radio station in his hometown of Eager, Arizona) and free speech. In the early 1990s his radio show was broadcast via satellite.[Note 2] He bought air time on such stations as WRNO, WWCR, and WBCQ. Listeners occasionally called into his show on WBCQ complaining that the Voice of America was jamming the station.[Note 3]
Several thousand hours of recordings of Cooper's radio show from 1993 to 2001 have been posted on the internet. The collection shows how Cooper covered nearly all "speculative" topics on his show, including a mammoth series about a massive conspiracy of conspiracies entitled Mystery Babylon.
The popularity of his 1991 book Behold a Pale Horse in New Age bookstores marked the first real penetration of classic Illuminati conspiracy theorizing into New Age circles, where it had previously not been a factor. David Icke and several others soon made a cash cow out of this market, and, no thanks to Cooper and Icke, conspiracy and UFO theories are now a staple of the smorgasbord of ideas making up the New Age. Ironically, Cooper opposed the New Age movement as a "satanic cult."
The 9/11 prediction myth
Cooper's followers claim that he predicted the 9/11 attacks on his June 28, 2001 radio show. Transcripts of the show indicate that Cooper made reference to a CNN news item widely released a few days earlier on June 24th reporting that Osama Bin Laden had vowed to attack U.S. and Israeli interests in the next two weeks. Cooper added his own spin to this report, saying that an attack would come (no date specified), it would be orchestrated by (you guessed it) the New World Order, and "Bin Laden would be blamed for it."
Cooper openly refused to pay taxes, and the IRS charged him with income tax evasion. According to the Feds, Cooper spent years trying to avoid capture on a 1998 arrest warrant for tax evasion and "vowed that he would not be taken alive." Convinced that Bill Clinton was personally targeting him, Cooper made it known that any attempt to arrest him for such minor things as assaulting a local man with a wrench and not paying taxes would be met with "armed resistance." He had broadcast threats to "kill any law enforcement officers that tried to take him" and police suspected he had a large quantity of weapons and possibly explosives in his home.
On November 5, 2001, the Apache County, Arizona sheriff's department, perhaps fearing another Waco, cautiously drew Cooper away from his ostensibly weapon-filled house using a car parked nearby playing loud music. According to police accounts, Cooper emerged from his house, and when police officers confronted him, he shot at them with a handgun and wounded one of them in the head. The police, not liking people shooting at them, returned fire and Cooper was killed.
- William Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse, ISBN 0929385225
- Hour of the Time
- The Mystery Babylon Series also here (talks by Cooper)
- Do I think that President Kennedy was assassinated solely because he was asking questions about UFOs? Yes, I do.
- We'd love to believe his self-published military records, but we note he's also published "authentic" documents revealing the U.S. Army's connection to Satanism, the existence of Moon Bases, and aliens at Area 51.
- Extant recordings of some early Cooper radio shows feature a station identification "You are listening to the Hour of the Time on the Becker Satellite Network, Spacenet 2, channel 7, 7.5 audio."
- Considering Allan Weiner's (the owner of WBCQ) past trouble with the US government, this may not be so far-fetched, but it's unlikely that Cooper's show was the reason why it was jammed. Before starting a commercial shortwave station, he had operated a number of unlicensed (pirate) radio stations in his youth. He wrote a book about it: Access to the Airwaves, ISBN-13: 978-1559501637.
- Conspiracy Theorist Slain in Police Shootout. Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2002.
- Cooper's fans say autopsy reports show foul play.
- William Cooper. Behold a Pale Horse. Light Technology Publishing, 1991.
- Complete Cooper MP3 Collection. hott.com. Retrieved on 22 December 2016.
- Milton William “Bill” Cooper predicts 9/11 and MORE on June 28, 2001 Before It's News
- Taliban dismiss bin Laden threat reports, CNN.com, June 24, 2001
- Arizona Militia Figure Is Shot to Death Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2001