The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released additional records responsive to “ManyOne” and pertaining to interviews conducted during the course of its 2016-17 investigation of the corporation operated by Joseph Firmage. The material was released in the wake of a successful FOIA appeal submitted by Expanding Frontiers Research (EFR) and includes records of the existence of two more planned interviews, in addition to the one previously reported.
In the most recently revealed interview, a witness who described them self as an investor and advisor repeatedly told the SEC of some $59 million reportedly gone through by ManyOne. The witness indicated he interpreted the company had interests in internet services and “focusing on a spaceship.”
In the second of the newly discovered interviews that were scheduled, SEC documented how a witness, whose name is redacted, failed to show up to a 2016 interview. When SEC promptly contacted them by phone, the person claimed they had just experienced a massive sewer line break and “everything” was flooded in their house, adding that the mishap was reported and a work crew was on its way. However, SEC investigation revealed no such situations were detected or reported to local authorities as described by the witness, either at the address in question or elsewhere in the water district.
Joseph Firmage did not respond to multiple attempts to discuss the records obtained and provide him opportunities to comment for potential inclusion in this series of blogposts.
As previously reported, records obtained thus far from the SEC include a 2017 interview conducted with a former employee of ManyOne, a company known in the UFO subculture as having solicited investors to purportedly create an anti-gravity device. A relatively well-known cast of characters including Ron Pandolfi, Brandon Fugal and Hal Puthoff are associated with the saga. The witness interviewed by the SEC described over-committing on investment returns, quoting figures off the cuff, and failing to pay bills and investors as ManyOne standard operations. The elusive anti-gravity device was never produced.
EFR submitted a FOIA appeal after receiving records from the SEC. The appeal sought further release of redacted information along with previously withheld records. Some examples of material further released is shown below, before appeal on the left, after appeal on the right:
Records newly obtained include dozens of pages of another 2017 interview with a redacted witness who told the SEC they first heard about ManyOne from the owner of a gym. The gym owner told them they invested in the venture, hoped the witness would look into it for them, and suggested they might choose to invest as well.
The witness proceeded to invest in ManyOne but explained they became increasingly reluctant to release additional funding due to concern about the company's failure to produce financial records as requested. “They were trying to get me more involved,” the witness told the SEC, “and I said – I can't get involved or recommend this to anybody unless I complete due diligence.”
What was it the witness wanted?
“I wanted to see all the financial information in the past. I wanted to see the debt – all the debt that was – because it was very nebulous who invested what, who owned what, and what they were told when they bought the investment.”
“That's what I want to know,” the SEC interviewer interjected.
“I know you do,” the witness replied. “I wanted to know it [too].”
Circumstances described by the witness include testimony of sympathy felt for ManyOne personnel, unaccounted for tens of thousands of dollars, and investors believed to have gone to prison for how they originally obtained funds they gave ManyOne. The witness ultimately grew intolerant that ManyOne personnel could not – or would not – account for expenses. He made it clear they were to only allocate funds to items he approved, under certain conditions as agreed. His expectations were not met.
The witness described one individual who he believed invested and lost a million dollars in Firmage's corporation. “[He] spent his entire estate putting money into ManyOne.”
The witness indicated he believed some $20 million was invested in ManyOne, Inc. before it filed bankruptcy and reformed as Many One, LLC. At one point thereafter, he reportedly could account for $59 million that had gone out the door.
The witness told the interviewer he never recovered his investment. To the best of his knowledge, the gym owner lost his money as well.
The records most recently obtained from the SEC: