On 31 December 1972, in the lavish apartment suite of a New York lawyer friend, the well-known 61Ã‚Âyear-old radio personality Long John Nebel married Candy Jones, 47, an internationally famous fashion model. John Nebel was the Art Bell of his day with his spooky theme radio show and an audience of several millions. His bride Candy Jones was America’s most successful model and pin-up girl of the 1940’s. She was also very likely a subject in Project MK-ULTRA, the CIA’s mind control program.
She was born Jessica Wilcox in Atlantic City, NJ. At sixteen she entered and won the 1941 Miss Atlantic City contest, which led to a job as official hostess at the Miss America pageant, and lots of publicity. She subsequently became Candy Jones, America’s most famous model during the forties, and in 1944-1945 toured with the USO in the South Pacific.
In April 1945, in the Phillipines, she became ill with undulant fever and malaria, and was put in a special hospital. It is at this point things get weird. Within six weeks she was feeling well enough to travel. In 1946 Candy married Harry Conover, creator of the ‘cover girl’ concept. But the marriage was not a happy one and they divorced in 1959.
It was at this time that she met a retired army general she knew from South Pacific, and within a few days she was approached by an FBI agent. A month later the same man returned with two others and asked to use her office as a mail drop for the government. Thinking it the patriotic thing to do she agreed, but little did she know that this was the beginning of something much bigger, and much more sinister, than she could ever imagine.
On December 31, 1972, Jones married radio host Long John Nebel after a one-month courtship. Jones was soon the regular co-host of Nebel’s popular all-night 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 evidence of a different or “other” personality.
A few weeks after their marriage Jones told 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 at length an elaborate account of her being trained in a CIA mind-control program, often at west-coast universities. Jones and Nebel eventually recorded hundreds of hours of these hypnotic sessions. From the many tapes played back over a number of years, author Donald Bain skilfully constructed a complex story for a book that he was to write 1n 1974 called “The Control of Candy Jones”.
To this day Bain’s work remains a cult book fueling the cause of critics of the CIA, and further defining the now proven thesis that certain people, in the wrong hands can be manipulated and controlled for evil purposes. Questions about the original book continue to surface. Such as why did 20th Century Fox buy the rights to the story without making the movie? Accordingly, the CIA attempted to surpress the book, as did one of the doctors involved, and another physician who spearheaded the intelligence agency’s mind control experimentation.
Few programs were sheltered with more secrecy than the CIA’s mind control experiments, identified together with the code-name MKULTRA. Concerned about rumors of communist brainwashing of POWs during the Korean war, in April 1953 CIA Director Allen Dulles authorized the MKULTRA program, which would later become notorious for the unusual and sometimes inhumane tests that the CIA financed. These tests included hypnosis and adminstering hard drugs including LSD to its subjects. The Agency was looking for weapons that would give the United States the upper hand in the mind wars. Toward that objective, the Agency poured millions of dollars into studies probing literally dozens of methods of influencing and controlling the mind.
In the 30 years or so since The Control of Candy Jones was first published, the controversy surrounding this wrenching tale of how one of America’s most famous models was used by the CIA as a human guinea pig in its infamous mind control experiments, has never completely vanished. So if you want to know why the Candy Jones story never made it to the big screen, ask the CIA and maybe they will let you take a peek into their files.
For the record investigative efforts into CIA programs on mind control have been made more difficult by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKULTRA files destroyed in 1973.