From the Space Command to Pendragon

A Story of Murder and Intrigue

Jo Ann and Mark Richards of the Earth Defense Headquarters (EDH) present a story that reaches back generations.  Mark Richards is serving a life sentence without parole for a murder that became known as the "Pendragon Plot."  Years after the crime, he again came to public attention with claims to have been a space command pilot who led an attack against aliens to reclaim a secret base at Dulce, New Mexico.  He cited a remarkable family history that includes numerous covert activities affecting global interests and top level alien contact.  

Richards's story has been told on youtube videos, blogs, web sites, and conferences.  Mark has been interviewed several times by Kerry Cassidy (Project Camelot).  Indeed, Cassidy calls Richards a "classic case of the government framing someone who they feel may be turning against them from within the military."  That alone might warrant our attention if it were true.  

Ultimately, the story challenges fundamental notions of history, science, and culture.  Carl Sagan once observed that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  Certainly we should not accept extraordinary claims on face value and require that it be proven to the fullest extent.  As former MUFON director James Carrion warned, "Make sure that you check their sources. Make sure you check every single fact. You better be a fact checker, because if you're not a fact checker, you're gonna be at the recipient end of disinformation, hoaxes and just being led down the primrose path that a lot of ufologists find themselves."

Most of Mark's claims, of course, are simply assertions.   Does Val Thor really come from Venus, which is said to be a great place in 65 other dimensions apart from our own?  Do the reptilians back ISIS and meet in grottos under the Vatican?  (Cassidy, Third Interview). Was there really a 1952 "ambassadorial visit by Prince Nagadraconis, whose reptilian species was from Earth" at Hamilton AFB? (2009 conference notes, cited below). But the focus of this article is on Mark himself.  Although it is up to Richards to prove his claims, it is helpful to check parts of the story that can be confirmed. Therefore, we start from the beginning with his family history.

We are first introduced to Mark’s grandfather, Ellis Richards, Sr.   The 2009 conference notes state:

Ellis Loyd Richards, Sr., was a brilliant electronics engineer, and authored books on the subject.  He worked with Tesla and on the Manhattan Project and the Philadelphia Experiment. He was a superintendent of Coyne Electrical Institute. He was also a leading expert in the early push for space flight.  He worked at several think-tanks that conducted ‘underground’ research for the US. He invented the Richards Anti-Matter (RAM) Drive in the late '30s. 

The 1930 Census Records document that Mr. Richards was a school superintendent and other material establishes that he worked at Coyne Electrical Institute (now called Coyne College).  The college specializes in practical training in electrical systems.  Today it offers programs in electrical systems and electrical construction and maintenance, as it appears to have done when Mr. Richards was there.

Mr. Richards wrote Diesel Engines and Diesel Electric Power,  "a complete practical book of instruction on diesel engines, their construction, principles, operation, care and adjustment."  (Chicago, F.J. Drake & Co., 1939.)   No other title is listed in the world catalog of libraries (Melvyl).  The cover page is shown on google books - although difficult to read it appears that his affiliations included the Electrical Association.

The public record indicates that Richards’s work was directed toward practical applications.   He obtained no patents. I have not found any records showing that he was a leading expert on space flight or worked with Tesla.   It might be said that if he was inventing anti-matter drives, then his work would have been kept secret, but much of the work of Tesla and other researchers is well known.  Thomas Townsend Brown's research on anti-gravity, for instance, was very public and he obtained a number of patents.  In contrast, the EDH claims about Mr. Richards stand alone.

It should also be noted that various claims are made regarding Mark Richards's maternal grandfather, Bert Sparks Taylor:

Taylor was involved]in the construction of an advanced airship, powered by Tesla’s electric engines. The airship was seen in late 1896 and early 1897 from California to the Midwestern United States. He was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish American War, and one of the original "Men in Black." He also managed to be in England and Germany in the early 1900s when there had been mysterious airship sightings. He was friendly with Tesla for many years. Bert was murdered in 1929, The secret airship plans were passed down in Bert’s family to Mark’s mother and then to Mark.

The EDH offers no documentation to support this story.  He is not listed in the roster of the Rough Riders.  It is true that there were reports of mysterious airships from the 1880s to 1913, but nothing links those sightings to Taylor.  These sightings have been attributed to various phenomenon, so if the plans exist, Mark could provide a valuable historical service and make them available for evaluation.   As to the Men in Black, even assuming that such an organization exists, their first reported appearance was in 1947 and they are usually regarded as being sinister or part of a strange phenomenon.  The assertion is somewhat surprising, especially in light of claims that the MIB attacked Mark in 1962 ( see below).


Ellis Richards, Jr., Mark's father, is referred to in the EDH's Dulce Report as the “infamous Dutchman” who was involved in any number of top level intelligence projects.   The claims involving Ellis are too numerous to fully recount here.  As a young man, it is said that he worked with Tesla and tested the Death Ray.   It is stated that he was an accomplished pilot who became a Major.  He spoke several languages and had degrees in business and law. The 2009 conference notes state that he “was the first man to pilot the RAND atomic rocket of the late '40s, German disc-craft and captured alien saucers.”   He was a high level intelligence officer who took part in the Operation Highjump in Antarctica (1947), met with aliens, served 12 months off-world, helped the Dalai Lama escape China in 1960 and remained in contact with him over the years.  ("Knights of the Cold War," linked below.)

According to the EDH, Ellis was part of a "fighter Mafia" group at Hamilton AFB who flew for International Security and Majestic-12.   Although Majestic-12 is regarded by most researchers as a hoax,  Richards goes on to claim that the group piloted flying saucers built by Avro in Canada.  In actuality, two disc-shaped craft were built by AVRO, but the project was a failure. The craft never flew faster than 35mph and destabilized above three feet. 

Major Richards is said to have been one of the important figures in the 1961 "Exeter Interstellar Treaty Conference" in England. He brought his family on this trip, which included visits with Peter Ustinov, Ian Fleming, Douglas Fairbanks, Aristotle Onassis, and dinner at Buckingham Palace.  Lady Jane helped take care of the children and they soul-traveled through dimensional gates.  The conference itself brought together some of the top figures from this world and others.  Various factions tried to advance their own agendas.   Richards provided valuable insight and worked with Admiral Nimitz to try to stop all further human abductions.   Other species argued that humans should surrender the planet.  

It is claimed that Major Richards was the intelligence officer who met with aliens at Holloman (Air Force Base) in 1964.   He is said to have been one of the co-founders of the National Reconnaissance Office and was involved with many of its projects for 20 years.  He was the military intelligence liaison to President Kennedy, as well as his personal friend.  Ellis "officially retired" from the air force in 1966, but continued to work in various operations and took over as head of International Security after the death of Admiral Nimitz. 

As such, Ellis is reported to have directed many operations and covert battles.  The USS Hornet was his command ship during the "Battle of China Gates" against aliens in space.  The major ordered a 1979 fight to take control from aliens of underground operations at Dulce, New Mexico. 

Military records available online (National Archive, WWII Enlistments) document that Ellis joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 as a private.  At the time, he had a high school education and electrical manufacturing skills.   Veterans records indicate that he retired in 1965.   According to the conference notes, his "cover" was that of a procurement officer. 

It has been noted that both Ellis and Mark Richards are enshrined in the Wall of Honor at the National Air and Space Museum.  There is no doubt that Major Richards was a pilot in at least some stages of his career since aviation records list him as being involved with four accidents between 1943 and 1952.  However, the wall includes anyone who chooses to honor themselves or another, without requiring documentation, as long as a financial contribution is made to the museum.  No special credence can be ascribed to this.

The National Reconnaissance Office does not mention Ellis Richards as either a co-founder or "pioneer."  I can find no independent documentation to show that he was a military liaison and a close friend of either President Kennedy or the Dalai Lama.   Presumably, there would be some record of his service and perhaps even a private photograph that could be released to verify his friendships.   Similarly, the 1961 trip included many activities that might be documented.

Jo Ann Richards states that both Mark and Ellis Richards were part of the USAF Space Command.  (Cassidy Interview, 2012; EDH Dulce Report.) The Command was not activated until 1982, after the events in question.  

There is no official record of the Hornet being used after it was decommissioned in 1970. It raises the question of whether any movement of a ship like this from the mothball fleet could have been conducted without attention.  It can be asked if a retired major would have been given command of the earth’s defense after Admiral Nimitz died; if an “infamous” character known as the “Dutchman” with various public roles would have escaped attention; why his name is not mentioned with many of events that have been reported; and, why there is no other corroboration for the claims involving more public activity. 

James Casbolt states that Ellis Richards was assassinated in 1997.  Jo Ann Richards suggests that Ellis may have been poisoned.  (Cassidy Interview, 2012.)  Veterans Death Records simply indicate that he died of natural causes.

The EDH claims a long lineage for the Richards family, that they are "blooded and would still be titled had the family not left Germany. They are members of the German/Dutch House of Nassau/Orange whose family tree is said to wind back to the Norse God Odin and the House of David. They are distantly related to many of the royal families in Europe."   It is claimed that "a number of sources" state that Mark's father was the youngest member of the Knight's Templar in the 20th Century and turned down many offers of knighthood.  Mark states that "men like Father lived with a different set of rules."   Mark describes Ellis as a "Germanic prince ready to ride with the heroes of Valhalla, at Odin’s side, against any and all evil."  While there are obvious factual problems with these undocumented claims, perhaps they are more important for the way that they shed light upon Mark and the events in his life that led to his arrest and conviction.


The primary source for the EDH information is Mark Richards. Mark is now serving a sentence of life without parole in the California state prisons.  The story of his the crime and the events around his trial are interesting, but it is his "other life" that first draws our attention.

Mark states that he met aliens at various times growing up, including a 9 foot reptilian prince who was at the 1961 conference.  In 1962, “Mark and his babysitter were attacked by human and non-human [Men in Black], engaging Mark in a fierce gun battle with the enemy. He held his own, defending himself and his babysitter who’d been immobilized by a sonic weapon, until his Father and his men could come to his aid." 

The EDH maintains that even as a teen, Mark served as an officer in the armed forces of the United States:

Mark began his military career as a teenager.  At the age of 13, he was on active duty in the Navy due to his high security clearance and participated in several training courses.    While in high school he was working on a top-secret project at Lockheed and was also a consultant in Vietnam.  Mark joined the army after high school, and was a lieutenant during the Vietnam War flying helicopters.  In 1973, he went to Chile pretending to be just a student while acting as a courier for his father.  Unfortunately, he got caught up in the fighting as the military coup occurred.  In April 1975, Mark was involved with the evacuation of Saigon
Mark is said to have achieved the rank of Captain.   Mark graduated from high school in 1972 and attended a Dominican college until 1976.   To suggest he was on active duty at the age of 13 stretches all credibility.   He was not an officer after high school.  There is no record of him being in the military.  It appears to be another case of stolen valor.

Mark states that his most active period as a space captain was from 1976-1982.  News reports documented that in 1976, while majoring in history, Mark tried to produce a screen play that was based upon the romantic ventures of Tristan in 6th Century England.   The old stone castle-like buildings of the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo apparently fascinated him.  The Marin Independent Journal also reported that in 1977 he tried to start a school for future studies there and dreamed of having William Shatner and George Lucas on faculty.  It was to be called "Futurecastle" and offer "innovative academic community dedicated to the origins of a new renaissance."  The plan fell through when could not pay the rent.

According to one person who states that he knew Richards from childhood, Mark always had "bigger than life" tales about various adventures - from car racing to serving as a bodyguard to a Colombia "businessman."  He is said to have "borrowed" money to try to produce his screenplay and narrowly avoided arrest for other matters.  

In August, 1979, Mark was married in Marin County where he had a contracting business.  This is the same month that Mark states he fought in the space battle of the asteroid Vesta and was off world while commanding an Orion battleship.  Soon after he was wounded at Dulce.  He would have been a busy man.  

As part of this period of activity, Mark allegedly flew various craft, including the SR-71 and alien ships, as well as operating naval vessels.  He claims to have served off-planet, taken part in several important space battles with aliens, such as the battle of China Gates, described in a report linked below.   Richards also claims to have headed "Operation Moon Dust" which was charged with retrieval of alien crashes. (Cassidy Interview, 2012)  

His story of the underground battle at Dulce, NM, is of interest to many.   Under the command of his father, he states he led a 1979 assault that retook the base from aliens who had violated a treaty and had abducted humans for experimentation.   Ross Perot funded the mission and various others from Marin County were among those who participated in it (none of whom are still alive).  The EDH has released a report on the mission that claims to have been prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2001, but nothing confirms any part of his story.

During this period, however, Richards faced pressing financial difficulties.  He was 29 years old on July 6, 1982, when Richard Baldwin was murdered.  
Most of the public record concerning Richards has to do with this event, which became famous as the Pendragon Plot.  

Mark is currently a political prisoner in the California State Prison system.  He was arrested in 1982 and convicted in 1984 of a murder he had nothing to do with.  It’s a convenient way for the government to keep him quiet, as he knows way too many secrets and would fight against the New World Order with all his might if given the chance.

The prosecution alleged that Mark first approached an employee about killing Baldwin, stating that he needed money fast.   When that did not work out, he convinced two other teens that he employed to rob and kill Baldwin.  Mark was said to have met regularly with them and developed a plot to take over Marin and turn it into an Arthurian kingdom called Pendragon.  Richards would be the King, his workers would be Knights. The theological seminary was to be the headquarters; prisoners would be released from San Quentin, laser weapons would defend the area from Angel Island and Mount Tamalpais.   The prosecution did not contend that Richards intended to carry out the plot --  the basic theory was a simple murder for financial gain.  However, the state maintained that the plot was used to manipulate the teens to carry out Mark's directives.  

Andrew, one of the teens, testified against Richards in exchange for immunity.  He stated that he went to Baldwin's house to carry out a theft while Richards and the other teen, Crossan Hoover, met with Baldwin in the garage to look at his classic cars.  Upon a prearranged signal from Mark, Hoover committed murder.  The murder took place while Andrew was searching Baldwin's house.   Mark told him that the murder had been “bloody” and that he wanted to get things out of the house quickly.  Mark bought a boat with proceeds from the crime and they used that to dump the body.   

Hoover began to talk about the crime and after Baldwin's body was found the investigators received a tip that led them to Mark and the two teens. The group was arrested as they left Mark's house in his pickup truck. Cable and plastic sheeting were found in the truck that matched what was used to dispose of the body.  Richards used Baldein's credit cards.  Other items associated with Baldwin - including guns stolen from the victim - were found in Mark's possession.  

Both Mark's wife and a former employee were surprised when Mark bought the boat and gifts of jewelry because of his financial problems.  Richards first told the investigators that he had used Baldwin's credit cards with his consent, as a way for Baldwin to start to pay off a debt.  He hoped that the deputies would regard the break in as a frustrated creditor's last resort.  When it was clear that he could not deny possessing fruits of the crime, Mark told the detectives that Hoover had confessed to the murder. 

At trial, Mark was represented by two highly respected attorneys, among the best in the region if not the state (Carl Shapiro and Dennis Riordan).   The defense attacked the prosecutor's chronology and the credibility of the teen who testified against Richards.  Richards maintained that he had nothing to do with the crime before it was committed and that the Pendragon material was simply part of a fantasy book.   Mark's former wife backed his defense that he was working on a book - Imperial Marin - that can be bought through the EDH web site, but that does not rule out the prosecutor's allegations that Mark used the Pendragon material to recruit the teens and carry out a murder for financial gain.   

Mark's attorneys dismissed the importance of Pendragon: "Mark's role-model was King Arthur. Pendragon was the dream of a young man who wanted to be King Arthur.  Is that evidence of a crime?  He has a creative imagination."  The defense argued that although Richards participated in an attempted coverup of Baldwin's murder, he had done so only out of misguided loyalty to his employees.  The jury deliberated four days before convicting Mark of first degree murder with special circumstances.   The prosecutor did not seek the death penalty, leaving Richards with a sentence of life without parole.

Crossan Hoover was tried after Mark.  During his trial, he alleged that Mark had promised him money from the crime and an eventual Dukedom.  Hoover also stated that Richards told him that Baldwin was a homosexual and rapist, which enraged him.   Hoover was convicted after the jury rejected an insanity defense.  

The length of the deliberations in the Richards case indicates that the verdict was a close one.  Yet, there was no question that Mark was involved with the crime – the only issue at trial was whether he was the mastermind or an accessory who tried to cover up the crime.  There is a substantial difference between the two in legal terms, but neither one squares with Mark's claim of having been a high level operative –  the type of character, skills, knowledge, and connections that the latter would possess is at odds with the events surrounding the Baldwin murder.  At the very least, his defense at the time is not consistent with the current claim that he had nothing to do with the crime.  

Jo Ann maintains that Mark was convicted even though he was somewhere else at the time of the crime, yet an alibi was not presented at trial.  Did Mark allege in the state post-conviction proceedings that there was any other evidence?

Cassidy believes that Mark was off-planet.  If this is true, why does all the physical evidence - from his fingerprints at the crime scene to the items belonging to Baldwin and the boat that Mark purchased and used - establish that he was very much a part of the events on earth?

The newspapers at the time were very interested in learning about Richards and investigating his background.  There was apparently no suggestion that he had lived a double life or that there had been unexplained absences.  Some might say that since Mark was deep into secret covert operations, his story remained hidden, yet there are things that now could be documented.  For instance, Jo Ann Richards states that Mark has several degrees in history, science, and quantum physics.  (Cassidy Interview, 2012.)   That could easily be substantiated. His military record and other matters noted on this page could be easily documented.  

Mark Richards is now said to be a political prisoner who was framed to keep him quiet or prevent him from fighting against the New World Order.   It is surprising that his father and the various high level contacts
 could not do a better job of protecting him or rally to his defense.  Would honorable people - including an astronaut-scientist and an insurance agent who were named as participating in the Dulce operation - remain silent while Mark was framed?  If the space command participated in framing Mark to keep him quiet, would that make his father part of the New World Order that Mark was against?   If the goal was to keep Mark quiet, that clearly has not worked. 

Mark's revelations about current events present a further question. In 2018, he claimed to Kerry Cassidy that California's forest fires covered up a battle with alien forces.   One has to wonder how he knew this from prison, given that he has been there since he was sentenced it could not have been from personal knowledge.   If he is to be believed, someone would have had to commit a major security breach to keep him informed about space battles. A personal visit would be logged and mail or phones would be subject to monitoring. Either way, it is unlikely that anyone involved in a secret program would risk contact with Richards.   Mark maintains that he reports to a secret part of the military, but why would a prisoner who was framed to keep him quiet be reporting to anyone other than writers or podcasters?

At this point, the only source of information for the claims regarding the Richards family is Mark himself.  Judging by comments that appear on various web pages, many are willing to accept what he has to say because it has "the ring of truth."  Yet, it may also be true that "the more incredible the lie the more people will believe it." (As attributed to Bob Lazar.) In any event, when claims are based entirely upon personal credibility, then it is important to measure that credibility and to request documentation to support the parts of the story that could be corroborated. There is no reason to regard Richards as anything but just another prisoner with a bent toward fantasy and science fiction.  


There are numerous videos and internet radio programs that present the basic story, as well as information from Richards on secret bases, dimensional portals, and the like.  

Knights of the Cold War: An account of the many claims relating to the Richards family, This appears to repeat the 2009 Conference Notes.  The characterization of the Ellis family as "knights" is interesting in light of how Mark was alleged to have regarded himself and his workers before the Baldwin murder.

EDH Dulce Report: Edited EDH Information   It is claimed that the Report was written for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and presented to them in 2001.

China Gates: Richards and Naga fighting together to defeat an interdimensional invasion force. 

Dulce Commentary: Branton accuses Richards of spreading disinformation.   I think there are other things in play here -- and am not certain about how much information there actually is to "disinform" about, but he noted a few of the problems that are discussed in this article. 

Project Camelot / Kerry Cassidy Interview: June, 2012.  Much of the discussion centers around the Dulce events, but some family history is presented.   There also was some discussion about why Richards may have been "framed."  In 2017, Cassidy stated that she was attacked by dark forces with a "scaler weapon" in part to prevent another interview.   As of October, 2018, she has conducted nine interviews.  The excellent blog, The Emoluments of Mars, critiqued the latter interview.

Kevin Moore is making a video documentary about Richards. (September 2018 update)

Legal Documents and Articles Pertaining to Richards and the Pendragon Case

The appellate and post-conviction cases upholding the judgment against Richards were not published.  

Richards v. Superior Court:  Decision on a pretrial 1983 appellate writ filed by Richards to dismiss special circumstances, summarizing evidence presented at the preliminary hearing.   
People v. Crossan Hoover: The original California appellate decision summarizing the facts from the record in that case, referring to Richards's role in the murder.  Hoover's conviction was later overturned by a federal district court, who wrote about how the prosecutor portrayed Richards' "pernicious influence" over the teens in Mark's trial.  The decision was later overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and Hoover's conviction was reinstated.

Murderpedia: Article on Crossan Hoover, taken largely from the story cited below.
Murder in Camelot: Linked through the wayback machine, this article is based upon news reports that covered the trial. It may be the most complete account of the trial that was ever published. 

One of the more interesting gems is that the prosecution unsuccessfully moved for Mark's bail to be revoked after a woman Mark
dated stated that he had a gun.   Richards introduced himself to Linda, telling her he was a South American consular official.  He introduced his mother, Lois, as an aunt.  He told Linda that a cousin named Mark Richards was in trouble with the law and that he needed a gun for "political reasons."  Richards took the stand and admitted that what Linda said was true, but that the gun was in the glove compartment of the car, which he had borrowed from his father without knowing that it was there.  When the prosecutor asked about his political reasons, Mark said, "I see this trial as political. You and [the detective] are trying to save your necks from a bad bust." 

Does this incident take on new meaning in light of what was later claimed?  

Given the story at the time, and what has since been stated, it is somewhat surprising that a book has not been written.  There seems to be ample material.

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