As Vance Davis, Ken Beason, Bill Setterberg, Kris Perlock, Anna Foster, and Diana Gautier sat around the kitchen table on July 14th, they discussed the unfortunate fact that Mike Hueckstaedt did not arrive home after taking the group’s van to get gas on the night prior. While the group was trying to remain hopeful, there was a knock at the door. Foster went to answer it and was promptly yanked outside by an FBI agent. The back door was busted open, and the Foster/Gautier residence was swarmed with FBI agents, SWAT officers, and Gulf Breeze police. The authorities made quick work of restraining all group members present and forced Foster, her daughter, and Gautier into handcuffs as well. No one put up a fight.
Davis would later claim that the cops and Naval Intelligence officers who arrested them complained about not being able to shoot them—supposedly the FBI said in a briefing to the other agencies that the group consisted of “armed and dangerous terrorists mixed in with Earth First terror squads.”
Further giving the impression that the Gulf Breeze police were lied to about the nature of the group, several of the officers thought they had brought in terrorists and were going to receive a promotion for their work. The four AWOL soldiers, Gautier, and the two Fosters were taken to the Gulf Breeze police station to join Hueckstaedt. The FBI, according to Davis, also brought along a psychic reader posing as another prisoner in their holding cell. Once Foster had gathered that this fake prisoner was a psychic, “(K)ris (Perlock) was sitting there concentrating real hard, going mentally to the guy, ‘you’re an asshole, you’re an asshole…’ and the guy kept looking back and forth between (K)ris and Anna and me.” With the tables turned on him, this psychic FBI agent lashed out and told the silent group to shut up. “He totally blew his cover,” Davis said. “We all got a great laugh out of it and it was (K)ris that kept our spirits up when things were pretty bleak.”
Annette Eccleston, who had been staying at the group’s Ft. Pickens campsite with her children, was tracked down later on that same Saturday morning. Wanting to keep her children safe, she turned herself in without incident—although “her two boys” gave the officers “quite a chase all over Ft. Pickens before they were caught.”
While Eccleston saw her children briefly while in custody, she did not know these moments would be the last time: “The government had authorized custody of her (…) boys without her knowledge or permission, to her ex-husband, who had left her for another woman and who had physically abused her during the marriage.” Eccleston and Hueckstaedt were both put in cells separate from the rest of the group at the police station. While most of the group was not questioned at Gulf Breeze, Foster, Gautier, and Eccleston all recall being questioned by Police Chief Jerry Brown. This begs the question, why them but not the other five? Jacques Vallee wrote later that, specifically in the case of Hueckstaedt, “a higher authority” had told the police to hold him but not question him. Even after being allowed to return to their home, Foster and Gautier dealt with a constant FBI visits and interrogations. Foster wrote that she sent her daughter, Lotus, to the home of her school friend’s mother: Frances Hanson. Little remarked upon, but definitely of interest, is the fact that Frances Hanson was the wife of Ed Walters, the catalyst for the Gulf Breeze UFO craze explored in Pt. 2 of this series. Foster writes:
In the two days that followed, I went through a grueling interrogation by the FBI, whose psychological and emotional methods of interrogation leave little doubt as to their lack of respect and moral conduct. When Counter Intelligence Division (CID), the investigative division of the army, arrived, I was relieved to see that he (the officer) was an expert at being a gentleman while asking questions. During his interrogation, I was relaxed and heard a voice that told me to show him a book on my shelf about government coverup, called “Top Secret.” I showed it to him and his face lit up, because the same book had been left in Augsburg by Ken, with part of it underlined. He left and I dealt with the FBI again. They tried to convince me that the soldiers had been planning to kill us when they left, and that Ken had a string of women around the country who were sending me money. (…) The emotional abuse I suffered was matched only by the psychological cruelty that I experienced at the hands of the lead investigator.
Of note in this passage is the book that was apparently latched onto by investigators as a cause for the group’s exit from Augsburg. I assume that this book is Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up, a 1989 book by Timothy Good that was one of the first publications to include reproductions of the fabricated MJ-12 documents.
Also somewhat curious is the constant molestation of the FBI at Foster’s home. After getting a lawyer on advice from Pensacola News Journal military reporter Chris Clausen (and against the wishes of investigators), Foster’s “phone was tapped” and she “was harassed at (her) job and constantly bothered by abrupt arrivals of the FBI at (her) home.” Gautier also reported that “Chief Brown had prevented the FBI from whisking us away to the Pentagon, or even worse, off the face of the Earth.” While Foster and Gautier were receiving this treatment, the group of soldiers actually wound up being treated relatively well—all things considered.
Five of the GB6 were moved to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola and Eccleston was moved to the county jail as the NAS did not have facilities for women prisoners. Soon after, they were transferred to Ft. Benning for further processing and interrogation by Army Intelligence, the CIA, and the NSA.
They had all expected to be sent back to Augsburg to be court-martialed, but this never occurred. While the six awaited further direction in the Ft. Benning holding cells, Davis recalls: “The guards were ordered not to talk to us but they couldn’t resist. One of the guards finally told us that we were all over the news and famous already.” He laughed off the claims that they were “devil worshippers” or “going to meet Jesus in Gulf Breeze.” The group members were finally allowed to make phone calls. An Army Captain informed them that they were granted this privilege because they had “friends in very high places.” Indeed, Davis’ father had talked to Kansas Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole and other GB6 parents undoubtedly lobbied on their children’s behalf.
Davis describes his interrogation as being done by two men in cheap suits and a professional-looking woman who he pegged as a psychic. One of the men was supposedly the man who interviewed him for Top Secret security clearance two years prior. While the interrogation was somewhat intense and Davis was grilled for an explanation as to why the group left, he would later say: “All in all, the experience wasn’t that bad. (…) After a while, my questioners seemed to actually be sympathetic to what I had to say.”
The interrogators seemed primarily concerned with whether or not the group had stolen classified documents, which they all answered in the negative. Davis somewhat contradicts this in his interview with Sean David Morton, as I have noted in other parts, when he expresses relief that the cop who pulled over Hueckstaedt did not notice the paperwork on the van floor and also did not report it after the arrest. So did they have classified documents or not? Did they think they had classified documents, but they really were innocuous or hoaxed documents? If they bought into MJ-12 and the Cooper Report, it seems like a real possibility. Regardless, back at Ft. Benning, each GB6 member was interviewed and gave statements affirming that they did not engage in espionage. While Unbroken Promises only reprints three of the six statements, Davis, Beason, and Eccleston’s individual statements all stress the religious motivations behind their decision to go AWOL and the fact that none of them had stolen documents from Augsburg.
Suddenly, in the midst of the second round of questioning, Davis recounts a captain informing the chief investigator that he had a call “from the White House.” After taking this call, the investigation was officially closed. He writes: “(Perlock’s) mom had evidently mobilized a formidable force of Senators and Congresspersons and, as we understood it, our release had been ordered by none other than the President himself.”
Davis would later reiterate the role that President George H.W. Bush and Senator Bob Dole played in the group’s release on a Coast to Coast AM appearance in 1993. Writing in Unbroken Promises, Davis says: “Our Colonel in Augsburg had been insisting on our Court Martial, but had been told that the Army had been relieved of their control of our case. We were no longer the military’s problem.” Indeed, they were scheduled to soon leave Ft. Benning for Ft. Knox to receive discharges. An astounding turn of events, to say the least.
Thank you for reading Getting Spooked. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, consider a paid subscription which will get you access to soon-to-be archived posts. Articles from the series “The Bosco in Brazil” will start being archived in April. You may also do a one-time donation through Ko-fi to support the continuation of this research. Reach out to me on Twitter at @TannerFBoyle1 for any questions, comments, or recommendations. Until next time, stay spooked.
(A correction from the Wendelle Stevens article: Steven Cambian and Kal Korff’s The CIA’s CONspiracy Against Wendelle Stevens is presented as a work supportive of Stevens in the article, but this is not the case. The authors are very much in agreement that Stevens is a child molester. My apologies. Now I actually will buy the book as opposed to reading the Amazon description. Thanks to Weird Reads with Emily Louise, a YouTube channel I highly recommend, for pointing this out.)