Who is John Mark Dougan? Conspiracy theorist and fugitive heads to Ukraine to expose 'secret US biolabs'
Russia has justified its war on Ukraine with a large number of fake claims, and it seems Russians aren't the only ones swallowing them up. One American man is now on a quest to prove the Kremlin's claims aren't propaganda and has actually made his way to Ukraine. John Mark Dougan, a notorious conspiracy theorist is reportedly attempting to expose secret US biolabs in Ukraine, after living in Russia for years.
The Kremlin's propaganda has found its home on Fox News and other far-right outlets in recent weeks, as the increasingly desperate Vladimir Putin tries to keep the momentum going for his war. Most recently, Russia claimed that Ukraine was using migratory birds to spread biological weapons, from its secret biolabs. On March 7, the Russians claimed the US was destroying all its dangerous samples, so Russian troops would not find them.
The claims have been fed by the Kremlin to Russian state media, and are now taking over the airwaves in the US as well. Both USA and Ukraine have categorically denied that any such biolabs exist, but Putin keeps the claims undeterred, as a justification for his war. Dougan's move to go search for these labs is a good example of how propaganda can be effective, which Putin surely sees as a big win.
Who is John Mark Dougan?
The Florida native has been living in Moscow since 2016, where he fled after being named in a fake news operation. Dougan is a former Marine gunner and police officer, who quit policing in 2009. Before that, he infamously racked up a record for writing more traffic tickets than 11 other officers combined while serving in Mangonia Park. From there, he moved to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and finally to Belle Glade.
But those aren't the only things on his resume. Dougan also has a history of odd jobs like horse transportation, database design, and even as a licensed pilot. However, it was as a cop he became most famous, especially after facing multiple disciplinary charges including for once pepper-spraying an off-duty deputy in the face. However, he also attempted to do some good, most famously attempting to expose the violence and blatant disregard for protocol at Belle Glade.
When tips to attorneys and the press did nothing, Dougan quit the force in 2008. On his way out, he fired a flurry of emails to senior officials, exposing the actions of Brent Raban and Michael Woodside. Eventually, both men were punished, and Dougan himself landed in hot water for sexual harassment. He was fired in 2009 from the Windham police force, which is when he turned into a fugitive, of sorts.
The rise of BadVolf
After being fired in 2009, Dougan used his IT skills to launch a web forum targeting Windham and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. From exposing corruption to sex scandals, both departments soon found all their dirty laundry in the public thanks to Dougan. From there, it quickly escalated to disinformation and fake news, with Dougan creating several fake stories to keep his projects going.
Then in 2015, Dougan turned to catfishing after learning he was being monitored by the FBI. That led to him targeting federal agents, judges, local cops, and intelligence agency workers all over Florida, and posting their home addresses on the web. He used the name 'BadVolf' and claimed to be an IT worker in Moscow. Eventually, though, the FBI found him out and bust into his home on March 14, 2016.
Before he could be charged though, Dougan drove up to Canada and from there flew to Moscow. In 2017, he won asylum in the country and has been there ever since. He's also been working on spreading more lies and misinformation since then, most famously around slain DNC staffer Seth Rich.
Hunt for secret biolabs
"I have visited three locations where there were biolabs, and the buildings have been destroyed," Dougan told The Daily Beast. In mid-March, he claimed to have hopped on a Russian military transport and made his way to Ukraine. He has since been posting regular updates across all his social channels, including Telegram, and Rumble. On March 11, he even uploaded a 188-page Russian-language document supporting the claim of secret biolabs.
He has since been repeating Kremlin talking points, once claiming that the labs are built "with the express purpose of designing biological weapons that could then be used against the Russian people." But perhaps the most stunning part is that Dougan is actually in Ukraine, posting photos in a press vest. He has also uploaded videos asking Ukrainians about the labs while claiming "I'm in no way associated with the Russian military."
The stunning efforts Dougan is putting through, shows just how effective Russian propaganda has been. So far, he's yet to find any proof of biolabs, because they don't exist. However, there are plenty of bombed residential buildings, hospitals, and schools he has conveniently ignored.