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Lifting the Veil of Secrecy

In last month's article, we revealed what may finally be the "smoking gun" needed to confirm a cover-up of the Roswell crash. This month we'll look at one of the more elaborate examples of apparent disinformation involving ostensible government documents.

In 1984 several documents emerged among the UFO community: one dated 18 November 1952, another dated 24 September 1947. The first was an apparent briefing addressed to President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower by Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, each page stamped TOP SECRET / MAJIC EYES ONLY. The other, an attachment to this, Special Classified Executive Order #092447, was signed by President Harry S. Truman to Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, authorizing him to establish a board of suitably qualified persons to be answerable directly and only to the President, to be known as "Majestic-12." Their job was to investigate a crashed UFO that had been recovered near Roswell, New Mexico, in July of 1947.

The initial members of this august gathering included Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal, Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, Dr. Vannevar Bush, General Nathan F. Twining, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, General Robert M. Montague, Dr. Detlev Bronk, Dr. Jerome Hunsaker, Mr. Sidney W. Sauers, Mr. Gordon Gray, Dr. Donald Menzel, and Dr. Lloyd V. Berkner. (After the death of Secretary Forrestal on May 22, 1949, General Walter B. Smith replaced him.)

None of these were elected officials, but all were extremely important people. Three of the original members were the first three Directors of Central Intelligence. The Central Intelligence Group was the post-war successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency. One was the Secretary of Defense, five others were top scientists in aviation, research and development, and astronomy. All held the highest security clearances.

Rear Admiral Hillenkoetter had not been simply a Navy man: he was the first Director of the CIA, which was also established in September 1947. (He retired from the U.S. Navy in June 1957 and soon afterward joined the Board of Governors of NICAP, considered the most influential UFO organization of the 1950s and 1960s.)

Dr. Vannevar Bush was a world-renowned research scientist and head of MIT between the World Wars. As head of the OSRD, he led the development of the atomic bomb, the proximity fuse, radar, and a hundred other high-tech systems with military applications. And the list of his achievements and involvements goes on. But what is also interesting is that Bush was well known for the compartmentalization of classified work. Contrary to the normally wide-ranging access permitted in most research settings, Bush insisted that working scientists be permitted access only to the classified information they needed to do their well-defined jobs. More on this later.

The MJ-12 papers soon began to take a severe battering from the skeptics. The typewriter that was used to type the Truman "Executive Order" of 1947 was deemed a Smith-Corona model that had not been manufactured until 1963. The signature on the memorandum had apparently been photocopied from an unrelated letter from Truman to Vannevar Bush written on 1 October 1947. And other anomalies were noted and published in the various media. The documents, apparently, were fakes.

The uproar and subsequent disappointment that the MJ-12 affair had created among the UFO community of investigators, writers, and protagonists had substantially settled by the mid-1990s. There were then two kinds of people within the community: those who had never heard of "MJ-12" and those who "knew" that it was simply a very elaborate hoax. But why? This was not a casual effort: it took a great deal of work and, it turns out, a surprising amount of "inside" information to have contrived this ruse.

Debunking the Disinformation?

Each of the twelve had very distinguished careers and their backgrounds have been thoroughly researched by Stanton T. Friedman.1 Friedman, a nuclear physicist, spent over a decade painstakingly probing 15 libraries and archives, and he has now cast significant doubts upon the doubters. Beyond refuting many of the documentation quibbles raised by the skeptics, he compiled dossiers on each of the distinguished twelve and made some intriguing discoveries. By collecting personal details on each of the ostensible members, some very significant corroboration emerged. Here is a sampling:

General Nathan Twining had been scheduled to fly to Seattle on July 16, 1947 to review the new B-50 bomber being built by Boeing and to do some fishing with old friends. Suddenly he canceled his Seattle trip and headed for New Mexico on July 7. Billed as a "routine inspection," this doesn't jibe with the apparent urgency. It is also interesting that President Truman met with New Mexico Senator Chavez on July 9 with no reason given.

Perhaps most surprising was the discovery that Donald Menzel had led a double life-as a UFO debunker and distinguished astronomer in public, and yet also as a linguist, cryptographer and consultant to the NSA and DIA for more than 30 years, holding a TOP SECRET ULTRA clearance, all of which was not known to the general public. What is disturbing is that in some of his debunking episodes, his technical explanations disputing UFO incidents were not scientifically defendable, which is not only surprising for this highly competent technologist, but is also strongly suggestive of a private agenda of disinformation.

What emerges from the extensive details of Stanton Friedman's diligence on each of the twelve members is that MJ-12 may very well be real after all, and that the documents betray real inside information of the individuals and events involved. But why the elaborate - but faulty - fraud? And why would these documents make their appearance three months after the last member of the original twelve had died?

The Anatomy of Secrecy

It may be instructive at this point to include some brief remarks about security classification. Obviously, the content of a government contract can be classified "SECRET" or "TOP SECRET," depending upon the gravity of any disclosure of the work beyond those to whom it is intended. Everyone involved in the work is required to hold a clearance to the level required, and there are installed procedural safeguards for the documents involved, etc.

However, in those cases where it is deemed appropriate to assure a higher level of safeguard, it is common to "compartmentalize" a program: the very existence of the contract can be deemed classified. Such contracts usually involve the intelligence community and thus are often referred to as "Black" programs. (They are usually sole-source procurements and therefore are considered highly desirable because your competitors usually don't know they even exist!)

I had been in the strategic defense community for over 30 years - and served as chairman and chief executive officer of four publicly traded defense contractors - and it was only in my later years that I discovered that there is an even deeper level of classification and compartmentalization: where the existence of the customer is classified! There exist agencies that are unknown - even to those within the defense community - and there are procurement procedures, cost adjudication arrangements, etc., all uniquely tailored to serve this deep level of security. (I have been involved in just such arrangements. We were contractors for electronic subsystems for the B-2 Stealth Bomber 18 months before it was ultimately transferred to Northrop.)

Disinformation Strategy

One of the proactive methods of protecting a secret is to also cloak it with disinformation: cleverly crafted stories and staged events to hide a project's existence or real purpose. This is a standard approach to situations that warrant the effort. This was used to hide the Manhattan Project during World War II, and these methods are also in wide use today. What better way to mask the existence of "MJ-12" than to reveal some imperfect documents or other deliberately flawed evidence to the UFO community, and when diligent inspection ultimately reveals their fraudulent character, the existence of the subject enterprise becomes an "urban legend" and is summarily dismissed in any subsequent discussions!

From Stanton Friedman's persistent diligence, and from some other experiences that will go without mention, I personally suspect that "MJ-12" - and any successor organization - is, in fact, real. Furthermore, I can easily imagine, given an initial authority and budget, that this kind of entity could grow in power and burrow ever deeper into the federal administrative quagmires that would preclude any real accountability.

After over 50 years, why does the topic of UFOs and related issues still enjoy the protection of a security classification higher than our W88 thermonuclear warheads? An inquiry through the Canadian Embassy was rebuffed in Washington with the disclosure that the topic of UFOs enjoys a classification higher than our most secret warheads.2 (This very disclosure would apparently itself be an inadvertent breach of security.) At least four congressmen and two presidents have failed in their attempts to penetrate the security curtains that surround this mysterious topic! With the rising tide of awareness of the validity of these issues, more disclosures can be expected - real or contrived.

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Next month we'll conclude with a review of the Biblical basis for what may be lying behind the deceptions and abuses. It is clear that it is time for serious homework in this difficult area. It certainly appears that the classic Biblical scenario is about to unfold on our near horizon, and these strange elements may have an increasing role.

This article has been excerpted from our book, Alien Encounters, which by popular demand has been expanded and reprinted. This information is also in our updated briefing package, Return of the Nephilim, which also give a detailed account of Genesis 6.


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