Candy Jones and the Project Mkultra
Image 1: Candy Jones and the Project Mkultra | Artistic illustration showing the human experiment of the Project MkUltra.

Candy Jones, Real name Jessica Arline Wilcox, was a beautiful American fashion model, pinup girl, writer, and radio talk show hostess, of the World War II era who claimed to be a secret agent of the CIA mind-control program for the U.S. intelligence services during the Cold War.

In 1972, Soon after her second marriage, she became the co-host of her husband’s all-night talk show on WMCA in New York City. The show dealt with paranormal, UFO and conspiracy theory claims. A few weeks after her marriage, she claimed to be a secret agent of the FBI and told her husband that she had worked for the FBI for some time.

She also claimed to be a victim of Project MKULTRA, the CIA mind-control program. Her claims created controversy in the 1960s. So how did all that happen? How did a beautiful fashion model become a secret agent of the CIA mind-control program? Learn in this article.

The early life of Candy Jones

Candy Jones was born on December 31, 1925, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Northeastern United States, as Jessica Arline Wilcox. Although Candy Jones was born and raised in a wealthy family, her childhood was horrible and like an unpleasant dream. In her youth, her parents divorced, and her mother took Jones to live with her grandmother in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Her parents often fought, and Jones’s parents physically abused her. On a home visit, her father crushed her fingers in a nutmeg grater, and her manic-depressive mother beat her on the legs so severely that Jones had to wear thick stockings to conceal the welts. Her mother often locked her in dark rooms and did not allow her to bring friends home from school.

Inside these dark rooms, the defenseless little Jones developed a fictional family to keep her company and help her through her lonely days. She visualized her friends appearing in the dawn shadows of a large wall mirror. All the people of this imaginary world faded away after Jones’s childhood, except one, “Arlene,” an imaginary friend named to help through her lonely experiences.” Arlene’s personality was the reverse of Jones’s and had some of her mother’s properties. Arlene was brutal, cruel, and sarcastic, had a domineering personality with a low, grating voice, and was always trying to run things.

During her youth, Jones reported lucid, conscious thoughts of physical harm by her parents and dark memories of physical abuse. These things affected her childhood as well as her youth. When her grandmother died, she and her mother returned to Atlantic City, The hometown where she was born, where the young girl’s life was uneventful, sheltered, physically harmed, protected, and closely controlled by her father and mother.


After graduating from high school, she won the Miss Atlantic City contest and pursued a career as a fashion model. As Jones grew into an attractive, statuesque young woman, her long blond hair, perfect features, and towering height of about 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) made it easy for her to become a successful model. She finally changed her name to “Candy Jones.” She was a quick success, becoming a runner-up for Miss New Jersey in the Miss America contest. Jones was able to parlay this into a hostess job at the primary Miss America contest and a successful career, and in the 1940s and 1950s, she was a famous model and one of the leading pinup girls. In 1943, within a month, she appeared on 11 magazine covers; her face graced the covers of eleven major national magazines in a single month.

When Candy Jones met Dr. Gilbert Jensen

In 1945, during the Pacific campaign of World War II, while touring military bases with the United Service Organizations (USO), Jones fell ill with waving fever and malaria and was treated by a doctor in a particular hospital in the Philippines, a doctor who treated Jones told her that his name was Dr. Gilbert Jensen and claimed to be a young medical officer. However, he was Dr. William S. Kroger, a psychologist at UCLA, and was still alive when Candy publicized her mind-control claims. This experience was crucial for her life, with almost unfavorable consequences.

Donald Bain, an American author, and ghostwriter, also gave this doctor the alias “Gilbert Jensen” in his book. According to researcher Martin Cannon, who interviewed Candy Jones before she died in 1990, the “Marshall Burger” alias in Bain’s book who worked with Jensen on the Jones case was Dr. William S. Kroger, a psychologist at one time associated with UCLA.

Jones’s first marriage

In 1946, Jones married fashion czar Harry Conover, creator of the “cover girl” concept and one of the first model agents. They had three sons, and she continued modeling and opened her modeling school next to her husband’s office. She began appearing regularly on NBC’s weekend radio news program “Monitor.” She also published books about glamour and fashion and her experiences touring for the USO during World War II. However, her marriage is not happy and destined to fail due to Conover’s being gay.

In late 1958, Conover disappeared without any note. Jones notified police about the disappearance, and Conover’s absence made the news. In 1959, when he returned after a long binge, Jones demanded a divorce. After the divorce, she started living with their three sons and $36 and considerable debts. She says she was in debt because when her husband disappeared, he withdrew all the money from their bank accounts.

Jones’s life after the divorce, In the 1960s

In the 1960s, Jones started working for NBC Radio which assisted her in securing enough money to enroll her sons in a boarding school. During her work for NBC, through her news interviews, she met people in the entertainment business, politics, and the military, many of whom she’d already known from touring with the USO.

During this time, an old associate, a retired army general she knew from the South Pacific, dropped into her modeling agency and, in the course of casual conversation, asked Jones if she would allow the FBI to use her office as a mail drop location. At the time, she considered this arrangement a simple patriotic undertaking, so she agreed to deliver mail for the FBI when traveling on business.

Shortly after that, she contacted an old associate, Dr. Jensen (the same person who had treated her in the Philippines when she fell ill nearly two decades earlier), who was performing and leading a unit of secret agents for the CIA through mind-control experiments. He noticed Jones as an excellent candidate for recruitment.

Jones was a celebrity, a patriot, single, traveled for business, in need of money, and most of all, she was estimated to be sensitive to hypnosis. Moreover, she already had an imaginary childhood friend, “Arlene,” whom she could build into a different character, tough enough to endure physical pain and vicious enough to kill with her bare hands. Jones eventually joined Dr. Jensen’s “unit,” becoming one of the thousands of CIA employees not listed in headquarters’ records.

Dr. Jensen became Jones’s control agent, and while he submitted Jones to hypnosis, using hypnotic methods and intravenous injections of highly experimental drugs, he found “Arlene” and developed her. He succeeded in bringing Arlene forward in Jones’s mind so that she could take Jones over almost entirely and send her on various experimental missions at home and abroad. This way, he created a “perfect messenger” who could not reveal anything about the mission, even under torture. As Arlene, she visited training camps, military bases, and secret medical facilities across America.

Her second marriage and the Rediscovering of Arlene

After one month of dating, Jones married radio host Long John Nebel on December 31, 1972. They met decades earlier when Nebel was a photographer. Jones soon became the regular co-host of Nebel’s popular overnight radio talk show, which usually discussed paranormal topics.

Rediscovering of Arlene by Long John Nebel

Nebel was the first person who noticed her strange behavior; according to Nebel, he saw that Jones showed a violent mood and seemed to display a different personality at times. Nebel called this a few moments of rudeness. ‘Her Voice’ usually vanished rather quickly, but the change was so severe from Jones’s usually polite behavior. One night she even tried to kill him in a military style. One moment his wife is the most loving, friendly, and charming woman, and the next, she becomes wicked and cruel. By seeing Jones’s different personality, Nebel was frightened and distressed.

According to Nebel, she didn’t remember anything about her violent and strange behaviors once she came to her original personality. When Jones claimed about her travels and said, she worked for the U.S. government, this uncertain behavior of his wife made him even more doubtful.

Nebel thought Jones was cheating on him, so he proposed to help Jones treat her chronic insomnia through hypnosis to find out what was going on throughout her secret travels. Nebel began hypnotizing Jones but did not find another man in her life. Instead, he uncovered an alternate personality of Jones named “Arlene.” 

During hypnosis, Jones described a lengthy, complex story of her as a trainee in a CIA mind-control program, often at West Coast colleges and universities. She also said she had some conscious memories of her involvement in the mind-control program that began in 1960, she said, about the old USO associate (an unnamed retired army general) who asked her to allow the FBI to use her office as a mailing address to receive some letters and packages.

Finally, she said, she was asked to deliver a letter to Oakland, California, on a business trip scheduled and agreed. She was surprised to discover that the note was given to the same Dr. Jensen who had treated her when she fell ill in the Philippines nearly two decades earlier.

Jones said that Dr. Jensen and his associate, Dr. Marshall Burger (another alias), offered hefty amounts of cash if she was willing to engage in further plans; in their earlier meetings, Jensen had noted that Jones was an ideal subject for hypnosis. Jones agreed, she said, because her modeling school was faltering, and she wanted to keep her sons in their costly schools.

She also talked about the hypnosis sessions done by Dr. Jensen and how an alternate personality called “Arlene” was reportedly refined by Jensen so that Jones would have no memory of Arlene’s activities. She also talked about her trips to locations as far away as Taiwan. While hypnotized, Jones claimed that she was subjected to painful torture to test the effectiveness of the alternate personality.

Again with the USO, Jones visited South Vietnam in 1970; she later doubted her visit had some connection to a destructive attempt to free American prisoners of war from North Vietnam.

From the audiotapes of Jones speaking under hypnosis by Nebel

From the audiotapes of Jones speaking under hypnosis, Nebel stated all the details mentioned above, which Jones didn’t recall. During her work with the CIA, Jones had the impression that she had occasionally delivered mail for her government, but she was unaware of her alter ego, Arlene. After some time, her occasional employment with the government was no longer satisfactory, and she decided to leave.

However, the only proof of her involvement in the CIA mind-control program was the audiotaped conversations recorded in Nebel’s hypnosis. This led many experts to conclude that the whole thing was just a hoax by Nebel, who was quite famous for such acts on radio. At the same time, several psychiatrists claimed that Jones suffered from “alleged false memory syndrome.” 

How did Nebel and Jones’ claims gain notice and credibility?

A few years later, in 1977, Nebel and Jones’ claims obtained more notice and credibility when it was discovered that the CIA had been running extensive mind-control tests and experiments under a program named Project MKUltra. The project was directed by the Office of Scientific Intelligence of the CIA and coordinated with the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories.

For over 20 years, Project MKUltra aimed to “develop a capability in the secret use of biological and chemical materials.” The motivation was also defensive, as the American government was worried during the Cold War that the Russians and Chinese had already developed weapons in this area.

As the project’s proponents said,

“The development of a comprehensive capability in this field of secret chemical and biological warfare gives us a thorough knowledge of the enemy’s theoretical potential, thus enabling us to defend ourselves against an enemy who might not be as self-controlled in the use of these techniques as we are.”

However, it is still a fact that many theorists excuse each claim of Nebel and Jones at any point made, But there’s no uncertainty that the Cold War between the two extraordinary superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, may not have been the commonplace war yet at the same time had countless victims, with Candy Jones conceivably and possibly being one of them.

Colin Bennett writes

A few weeks after their marriage, Jones did tell 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.

According to Donald Bain’s book

According to Donald Bain’s book, The Control of Candy JonesArlene was qualified to use explosives, fight in close combat with improvised weaponry such as a hatpin, and be taught about cover-ups and communications. In addition, she learned how to kill with her bare hands, resist pain, and deal with investigation methods. Arlene claimed to have visited many training camps, military bases, and secret medical facilities across America. In contrast, her visit to South Vietnam in 1970 with the USO would later make her suspect that it had some connection to a failed attempt to free American prisoners of war from North Vietnam.

Bain also mentions in his book that another piece of evidence comes up when “Jones accidentally held onto a passport of Arlene Grant: Jones in a dark wig and dark makeup.” Jones, however, claimed no recollection of posing for the passport. Arlene always carried lipstick containing poison, which could be used to commit suicide if captured. According to Bain’s book, Dr. Jensen put a lit candle inside Candy’s private organs to demonstrate his work on Arlene without her registering pain or fear in front of a packed auditorium at CIA headquarters.

Bain reported that associates in Jones’ modeling schools asserted that Jones had some puzzling absences – supposed business trips where little or no business seemed to be conducted. Bain also claimed that a tape-recorded message on an answering machine was left on Jones and Nebel’s home telephone number on July 3, 1973:

This is Japan Airlines calling on oh! Three July at 4.10 p.m. … Please have Miss Grant call 759-9100 … she is holding a reservation on Japan Airlines Flight 5 for July 6, Kennedy to Tokyo, with an option on to Taipei. This is per Cynthia that we are calling.

When Jones telephoned the number and asked for Cynthia, she was told that no one of that name worked at the reservations desk. Additionally, Brian Haughton notes that:

There was also a letter Jones wrote to her attorney, William Williams, to cover herself in case she died or disappeared suddenly or under unusual circumstances; she told him she was not at liberty to reveal exactly what she was involved in. Bain wrote to Williams, who confirmed this fact.

Bain also notes that in 1971, an article by hypnosis expert George Estabrooks was published in Science Digest, wherein Estabrooks openly discussed the successful creation of amnesiac couriers of the type Jones claimed to have been.

Dr. Herbert Spiegel, a nationally recognized hypnosis expert, wrote the foreword to The Control of Candy Jones. Candy Jones is the subject of the Exit Clov song “MK ULTRA.” Donald Bain also writes, “Jones would be a messenger for the agency in conjunction with her normal business trips.”

Later Life of Jones and death

In the 1980s, Jones started living in Manhattan. She died of cancer on January 18, 1990, at Lenox Hill Hospital when she was 64.

Also Read:


FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, please Contact us.

DISCLOSURE: This Article may contain affiliate links and Sponsored ads, to know more please read our Privacy Policy.

Stay Updated: Follow our WhatsApp Channel and Telegram Channel.


  1. One of the major characteristics the CIA look for when deciding who to use for their mind control experiments are people that have had an abusive or traumatic childhood. IOW damaged people. Which they then can exploit and abuse in the same way their victim was abused when they were younger. Makes them easy targets for their mind control apparatuses.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here