Recruitment was the responsibility of the head of the Unit. Recruits were sometimes taken straight from the Academy. Others were culled from the Bureau based on strong relationships with Unit allies or an affinity for UFO cases. Training was strictly internal and usually involved a strong focus on surveillance as well as special combat skills. Outside relationships and friendships were discouraged as was frequent contact with family. Agents were never to reveal their connection with the Unit, and cover positions were appointed. In the Special Unit loyalty was a necessity. In fact, the unofficial motto of the Unit in recent years was "Unity Without Departure."
As mentioned, a hierarchy existed within the Unit that had been firmly upheld since the its inception. The head of the Unit reported in confidence with the handful of governmental officials who kept the Unit alive. No action was committed without first conferring with these officials. However, this process seemed to dissolve under the leadership of Daniel Pierce. Agent Pierce was the de facto head of the Special Unit for most of 2000. His command of the Unit followed what could be described as a coup of power. The official head, Agent Stephens, was more or less ousted by Pierce and his cohorts. Agent Stephens suffered a brutal death several months later not consistent with the deaths of previous Unit heads, suggesting involvement from Pierce. Once in command, Pierce ran the Unit with boldness and brutality. A protegee of Agent Sommers, he chose to forgo the few small guidelines and standards established by his predecessors. Perhaps his rogue techniques were the beginning of the end for the Special Unit, drawing unnecessary attention to its brash and lethal actions.
The first documented head of the Special Unit was Agent Malcolm Lewis. In 1962, in Delta, Colorado, after seventeen years of service with the Bureau, he was found dead. The autopsy report (pg. 5a) indicates the temperature of his internal organs was measured at 118 degrees Fahrenheit when the body was found. Photos of the body show a silver handprint covering his chest (figure 1, photo). Speculation has the handprint as the point of entry for whatever weapon was used to decimate the organs. While much of this death still remains unexplained, I suggest it was the start of a startling conspiracy that would span fifty years and lead to over 32 deaths.