Close Encounters: A Discussion on UFOs and the Law with The Paranormal Lawyer

UFO flies over the forest and scans the house

Michael W. Hall didn’t get to go to Woodstock, but he made it to Area 51.

But that was more the pleasure rather than business side of things; his terrestrial interests lie in his roles as certified mediator, founding partner of the Hall Law Firm, P.S., and former superior court judge pro tem, to name a few. Hall has been a WSBA member since 1988, but his non-lawyering time is where things gets more interesting—literally out of this world—earning him the moniker “The Paranormal Lawyer.”

Hall says he’s not the only lawyer who dabbles in paranormal pro bono work, but Google “paranormal lawyer” and his name dominates the search results. Born in Walla Walla and raised in Edmonds, Hall got his undergrad in broadcast journalism from Washington State University, then headed south with his costume-designer brother to Los Angeles. Before he earned his J.D. on a fast-track program at Southwestern Law School, he worked such gigs as a costumed character in Disneyland, tram tour guide at Universal Studios, and green-room host at the Universal Amphitheatre, where the hours sucked, the work was hard, but he got to literally rub elbows with musical icons like Frank Sinatra (about which Hall has since self-published the book, Hot Soup for Ole’ Blue Eyes’ on Amazon).

But Hall has always had an interest in the paranormal. The more he got involved with the boots-on-the-ground side of things, particularly in UFO research—or ufology, pronounced “yoo-fall-o-gee”—the more he saw that his legal skillset could help friends and serious researchers in the community. Hall began providing pro bono assistance: advising on contracts, establishing and reorganizing corporate entities, and even advising the National UFO Reporting Center’s purchase of an abandoned Eastern Washington missile site to house its database of “quite rare UFO sightings.”

“Washington state is quite a vortex for UFO activity, all the way back to Kenneth Arnold and the Mt. Rainier sightings in 1947 that started the modern era of UFOs,” Hall said. “I ended up volunteering and getting involved with local research groups studying UFOs, and found that most of them needed general legal work done.”

Recently, when a goof on Facebook exploded into an actual event, “Storm Area 51,” Hall saw a chance to attend something big, since he was too young to see Woodstock and always regretted missing it. So back in September, Hall journeyed the 1,000 miles to the bone-dry deserts of Rachel, Nevada: mythologized as ground zero for UFO activity and U.S. Government cover-ups at the notorious Area 51 military base. Only about 100 people gathered for the actual storming of the gate in the early-morning hours, but it wasn’t a total loss.

“It turned out to be a massive party with the camo dudes taking selfies with everyone,” Hall said, “It was like a cosmic Woodstock out in the middle of nowhere.”

If you ask Hall to sum up ufology as he sees it, he says the turning point was Dec. 16, 2017, when theories of government-UFO programs got a legitimacy boost via the New York Times article “Glowing Auras and ʻBlack Moneyʼ: The Pentagonʼs Mysterious U.F.O. Program.” Hall’s goal, he said referencing The Matrix, “is to red pill the public on what’s really going on out there.”

Below is a brief interview with Hall to get a better look at his unique intersection of lawyer and ufologist.

Has your legal background affected how you approach UFO research? Conversely, has your UFO research affected how you view and practice law?

The critical-and-analytical-thinking training that law school teaches you certainly provides for a better, more scientific approach to UFO/paranormal research. Additionally, my experience on the Superior Court bench, as well as being a certified mediator and a settlement judge, has allowed me to better discern and interpret any direct witness testimony concerning the unconventional topics that are reported by seemingly credible UFO and paranormal experiencers.

Conversely, my over three decades of paranormal research has substantially broadened my once-limited perspective as to the potentialities that may exist in our interpretation and application of the black letter law.

What areas of law come into play for a paranormal lawyer?

Almost every aspect of codified law can be extrapolated into various areas of UFO/paranormal investigation and research. For example, a working knowledge of real property law is quite handy when it comes to research done on private, public, or tribal lands, including how to read metes and bounds legal descriptions for real estate boundaries. Additionally, knowing the various local, state, and federal codes, laws, and statutes is essential in keeping client-investigators from running afoul of certain illegalities during their fact-finding processes. Also, periodic trademark and copyright issues, and potential defamation claims, arise from time to time that need to be addressed or dealt with.

What are the biggest challenges for a paranormal lawyer? What are your proudest accomplishments?

As in all legal-representative capacities, the balancing of confidentiality, advice, and bringing the truth to light are all issues that hold attorneys to a very high standard of professional responsibility, whether they are shepherding a client through a divorce, a claimed UFO abduction experience, or your “run of the mill” haunting. The challenge is to balance your professional knowledge of the law against what your client is subjectively experiencing, claiming, and/or requesting.

Perhaps my proudest accomplishment to date, would be the small, but significant role I was privileged to play in what has been termed by many well-respected ufologists and researchers as the uncovering and release of the so called … “Core Secrets” transcript,” (“UFO Leak of the Century,” as termed by UFO Historian, Richard Dolan), in which Adm. Thomas Ray Wilson (Joint Chiefs of Staff/Pentagon, J-2), in 2002, purports to confirm: 1) the existence of the crash and retrieval of an extraterrestrial alien craft (along with extraterrestrial bodies; both dead and alive) at Roswell, New Mexico, in July of 1947; 2) the existence of U.S. Military/Government reverse engineering of alien technology “Not of this world, not made by human hands;” 3) and the fact that certain deep-state “‘Special Access Programs’ run by various civilian contractors have in their possession working craft that can travel through interstellar space, our own atmosphere, underwater, and through dimensions.”

Are there any similarities between your work in conflict management, legal and estate planning, and nonprofit organization counsel, and your work in paranormal and UFO research?

All of my experience in alternative dispute resolution, estate planning (wills and trusts), and my representation of various nonprofit corporate entities over the past three decades has prepared me for my ongoing involvement in the UFO and paranormal fields. One example would be the pioneering work I have been able to accomplish in the conception and development of what has become known as the whistleblower “disclosure trust.” This private and discreet estate planning document provides my clients with a confidential tool to preserve, disclose, and disseminate certain valuable information, proof, and/or artifacts that they wish to publish, either at a later date or upon their passing. The “disclosure trust” has become a viable alternative for certain highly placed corporate insiders, government whistleblowers, and/or enlightened individuals, as they attempt to speed up the historically slow and tentative process of disclosure and getting “the truth” “out there.”

How do you differentiate between fact and fiction when so many paranormal facts are difficult to verify?

Research, research, and more research—that, and bringing a good sense of analytical discernment to each unique investigation. Being “incredible” does not equate to being “false” or “impossible.”