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The Klass Files Volume 49


Philip J. Corso’s Roswell Book Is Riddled With Factual Errors As Well As Ridiculous Claim That Army Couldn't Figure Out How To Exploit (Alleged) ET Technology For 14 Years Until Corso Was Given The Task

“The Day After Roswell,” by former Lt. Col. Philip J. Corso (USA, Ret.), co-authored by William J. Birnes, which has been strongly endorsed by MUFON’s director of research and briefly made the best-seller list of the New York Times last summer, is the most factually flawed and self-contradictory book on the subject ever published—in SUN’s opinion. The many factual errors might be attributed to the aging recollections of the 80-plus-year-old Corso. But in the book’s acknowledgements, Corso thanks “eighteen various U.S. Army installations from which I requested historical and background information on details of projects and studies in which I participated.” Yet the book is riddled with factual errors, many of which are inexcusable.

For example, Corso states that the Roswell debris was “shipped to Fort Bliss, Texas, headquarters of the 8th Army Air Force...” [p. 23, 56] [Emphasis added.] Every other book ever published on the Roswell Incident has correctly located the 8th Air Force headquarters at the Fort Worth Army Air Field; Fort Bliss is located more than 500 miles to the west, near El Paso, as Corso should know since he was based there in late 1956. All other Roswell books correctly report that Lt. Walter Haut distributed his press release announcing recovery of a flying disk around noon on July 8 and that Gen. Ramey’s balloon-borne radar target explanation was not made until that evening. But according to Corso: “By the next morning, July 8, the suppression of the crash story was in full operation.” [Emphasis added.]

Even on military matters with which Corso should have had firsthand knowledge he goofs badly. For example, on page 234 he wrote that the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency “was founded in 1958.” On the facing page Corso wrote: “In 1958, when it was developing the concepts behind the particle-beam weapon, ARPA was only a year old. It was formed in 1957.” On page 197, Corso—who served as a commander of an Army anti-aircraft missile contingent in Germany—says that the Army’s Hawk anti-aircraft weapon is a “heat-seeking missile” for its terminal guidance. The Hawk is a radar-guided missile. The book claims that “the American public first heard about the existence of Stealth [aircraft] technology in President Jimmy Carter’s campaign against President Ford in 1976.” The first limited disclosure of the new B-2 stealth bomber did not come until four years later during the Carter-Reagan campaign.

Corso Claims U-2 Flights Over USSR Were To Test Air Defenses And To Spot Crashed UFOs

Corso’s book says that during the mid-1950s, he served as an Army intelligence officer for the White House’s National Security Council. He claims that Top Secret photos of the USSR taken by high-flying U-2 aircraft routinely crossed his desk but the very first U-2 flight over the USSR occurred on July 4, 1956, and Corso was transferred to Ft. Bliss less than four months later. Corso makes the ridiculous claim that the U-2 overflights had other objectives beyond monitoring the Soviet’s missile program progress. “We wanted to know how accurately their radars could track the U-2 and whether any of their missiles could bring it down. So we deliberately provoked them by making our presence known when we wanted them to fire at us.” Corso also claims, the U-2 flights were intended to “search for any evidence of extraterrestrial spacecraft landings or crashes....We also wanted to see whether the Soviets were harvesting any of the alien aircraft [sic] technology for themselves.” [Emphasis added.]

Corso erroneously claims that the Discover satellite program, which served to develop techniques for recovering film capsules from reconnaissance satellites, originally was a NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) program. From its inception in the late 1950s, the Discover program was a joint CIA/USAF effort which operated under the then Top Secret code name of Project Corona.

Corso Claims Army Revealed Top Secret Satellites To Soviets

According to Corso, “We knew that the Soviets would very quickly find out about the [U.S. reconnaissance satellite] program... given the CIA’s penetration by the KGB....We added an additional incentive for the Soviets to discourage them from getting their friends in the CIA to leak the story to friendly journalists and blow the cover on the whole operation. We encouraged them [Soviets] to participate with us in the hidden agenda of Corona: surveillance of potential alien crash landings. Army Intelligence, upon Eisenhower’s and NSC’s express approval, let it be known to their counterparts in the Soviet military that any aerial intelligence... that revealed the presence of aliens on Soviet territory would be shared with their military....Our incentive worked and the KGB encouraged the CIA...not to leak the story."

If Corso had spent a few minutes reading my book “Secret Sentries In Space,” published in 1971, he could have learned that the “cat was out of the bag” by the late 1950s although the CIA did not reveal any details on the Corona program until 1995.

  • The Oct. 14, 1957, issue of Aviation Week magazine carried a feature article reporting that Lockheed had been selected to develop a photo reconnaissance satellite.
  • During open Senate hearings in early February of 1958, USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas Powers predicted that photo reconnaissance would be one of the first applications for military satellites. This and related testimony by USAF officials was contained in proceedings published by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
  • On Aug. 11, 1960, after many earlier unsuccessful attempts, the capsule from Discover 13 was recovered. Photos showing President Eisenhower and top USAF officials examining the capsule in the White House were widely published.
  • During 1961-62, Soviet representatives at the United Nations publicly urged the UN to ban the use of “spy satellites.” By mid-1963, when the USSR had succeeded in developing its own reconnaissance satellites, the USSR terminated its call for a ban. Premier Nikita Khrushchev, in an interview with a New York Times reporter published July 15, 1963, said that reconnaissance satellites had eliminated the need for on-site inspection for strategic arms control. Khrushchev added: “Maybe I’ll let you see my photographs." Seemingly, the USSR had decided to conduct its own search for crashed saucers rather than depend on the U.S. Corso’s “Genius” Solves Army’s 14-Year Dilemma

The cornerstone of Corso’s book is his ridiculous claim that debris recovered from the Roswell crashed saucer included such advanced extraterrestrial technology as semiconductor microcircuits, lasers, fiber-optics, night-vision devices and even particle-beam accelerator weapons, which the Army stored in a Pentagon file cabinet for 14 years because it didn’t know how to exploit them without revealing the Roswell secret, until Corso was given the task.

This despite the fact that Corso endorses the claim—now rejected by most UFO researchers—that President Truman had created a special top-level working group (MJ-12) in September of 1947 to investigate and exploit the Roswell technology. However Corso claims that MJ-12 was handicapped because "the group didn’t have the one thing most government committees had, the ability to draw upon other areas of the government for more resources.”

Shortly after Corso returned from duty in Germany, he was assigned to the staff of the Army’s director of research and development (R&D), Lt. Gen. Arthur Trudeau, in the Pentagon. Corso claims [p. 1] that “for two incredible years...[he was] heading up the Foreign Technology desk.” This claim is challenged by Corso’s military record which shows that he served only one year in the Foreign Technology div. (July 20, 1961 until July 18, 1962) and headed that operation only for the last three months before being transferred to another assignment. Corso retired less than a year later, on Mar. 1, 1963, with the rank of Lt. Colonel—a rank he had held for approximately 10 years. In view of Corso’s claim in the closing pages of his book that "what General Trudeau and I did helped change the course of history,” it is surprising that Corso’s military career ended so soon after his Roswell debris effort and without any increase in rank.

Although Corso had not previously worked directly for Trudeau, Corso claims that on his first day in the Pentagon Trudeau called him to come to his office where Trudeau (allegedly) revealed the “Army’s deepest and most closely guarded secret: the Roswell files” containing debris recovered from the Roswell crashed saucer [p. 2]. Corso claims that for nearly 14 years, the debris with its advanced ET technology had been sitting in an Army file cabinet in the Pentagon because the Army could not figure out how to exploit the ET technology without revealing that its source was an ET craft that had been recovered near Roswell. According to Corso, Trudeau said: “I need a plan from you. Not simply what this property [Roswell debris] is, but what we can do with it. Something that keeps it out of play until we know what we have and what use we can make of it” [p. 43].

Trudeau’s (alleged) choice of Corso for this task is surprising because Corso did not have even a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. (He had majored in Industrial Arts at a teachers college prior to being drafted in 1942.) One would expect Trudeau, or one of his predecessors, to have thought of turning the Roswell debris over to some of the many very competent scientists with Top Secret clearances then employed in Army research and development laboratories.

Corso said Trudeau warned him: “The Air Force wants it [the Roswell debris] because they think it belongs to them. The Navy wants it because they want anything the Air Force wants. The CIA wants it so they can give it to the Russians.” [p. 43] Corso offers another motivation for Navy interest on p. 54: “The Navy was struggling with its own problem of figuring out what to do about USOs—Unidentified Submerged Objects...[which] could plunge right into the ocean...and surface half way around the world without leaving so much as an underwater signature we could pick up. Were these UFOs building bases on the oceanic basins?” According to Corso, each of the services had been extremely secretive about its own cache of Roswell crash debris [p. 51] while actively seeking to enlarge its cache. Trudeau promptly arranged for the four-drawer file cabinet of Roswell debris to be transferred to Corso’s office. On p. 40 of the book, Corso says the transfer was accomplished by “four enlisted men,” but on p. 64 Corso claims the file cabinet was brought to his office by “two of the biggest enlisted men I’d ever seen.” [Emphasis added.]

Corso’s Ingenious Strategy To Covertly Exploit ET Technology

After approximately a month of study of the Roswell debris and deep contemplation, Corso came up with an ingenious plan to exploit the ET technology without revealing the Roswell crashed-saucer secret: covertly provide pieces of the Roswell debris to defense contractors’ scientists or to Army laboratories for analysis and “reverse-engineering,” under the guise that the material was “Foreign Technology” which had been covertly obtained from the USSR or other countries—including our NATO allies. Curiously, Corso claims that 14 years earlier a similar strategy had been proposed by Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining and adopted by the USAF as a cover for its exploitation of ET technology. As a result, according to Corso, “by the late 1950s at Norton Air Force Base, at least two prototypes of alien craft had been fabricated, but neither had the power source of the craft that had crashed.” [p. 107] If true, the USAF had been rapidly exploiting its Roswell debris while the Army’s sat in a Pentagon file cabinet.

To assist in selecting companies capable of analyzing and reverse-engineering different pieces of Roswell debris, Corso came up with another ingenius idea: consult with top scientists, “like the rocket scientists from Germany then still working at Alamogordo and White Sands.” [p. 105] Corso’s list included Hermann Oberth and Werner von Braun. [Neither was then at either of the New Mexico facilities: Oberth had since returned to Germany and von Braun was now based in Huntsville, Ala., as director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Corso claims that “von Braun had gone on record in 1959 by announcing that the U.S. military had acquired a new technology as a result of top-secret research in unidentified flying objects,” but Corso offers no references to substantiate this claim.]

The (Alleged) Roswell Semiconductor Microcircuit

One piece of ET technology which Corso claims he found in the Roswell debris file cabinet was a 2-inch-diameter wafer containing a mass of conductors etched on its surface. “It was a circuit—anyone could figure that out by 1961, especially when you put it under a magnifying glass—but from the way these wafers were stacked on each other, this was a circuitry unlike any other I’d ever seen.” [p. 45] Corso claimed he learned from rocket scientist Oberth that he and von Braun had first seen the wafers in July of 1947 when they had flown to Roswell to examine the crash debris. Corso claims that von Braun promptly recognized the wafer to be a semicon-ductor device and suggested it be shown to Bell Laboratories scientists. In mid-1947 Bell Labs’ solid-state research was still under wraps for patent protection and the first successful operation of a transistor would not occur until Dec. 23, 1947.

“In effect, the reverse-engineering of solid-state integrated circuitry began in the weeks and months after the crash....In the summer of 1947, the scientists at Alamogordo were only aware of the solid-state research under way at Bell Labs and Motorola,” according to Corso. In reality, Motorola would not enter the semiconductor field until the early 1950s. More importantly, neither Bell Labs nor Motorola were pioneers in developing an integrated circuit chip. The pioneers were Texas Instruments, which filed for a patent on Feb. 6, 1959, and Fairchild Semiconductor, whose patent application was filed on July 30, 1959. These patent applications were filed two years before Corso claims he introduced the Roswell microchip to industry.

Corso’s Dubious Account Of His “Non-Roswell Debris” Pentagon Duties

After Corso was transferred out of the Army’s Foreign Technology division, he served as a staff officer in Trudeau’s Plans div. for eight months until he retired. There his responsibilities included monitoring the Nike Zeus anti-ballistic missile (ABM) program then under development by Bell Laboratories. In Corso’s book he quotes from a memo he allegedly wrote to Gen. Trudeau—no date given—which cited alleged deficiencies in the Zeus design.

“In recent months it has come to our attention that the Soviets can change the trajectory of an ICBM after launch once it is on its way to a target....Therefore a technical proposal must be drawn up as soon as possible for an antimissile missile [ABM] that will be able to lock onto an incoming ICBM and stay locked on through all evasive maneuvers and destroy it before it reaches its target.... Present systems cannot remain locked onto an incoming ICBM or find the target to destroy if it changes trajectory.... Our spy satellites will be able to locate the Soviet warheads once they are launched but the Soviets are also developing the capability to disable our surveillance satellites...”

Corso was dead wrong in claiming that our photo reconnaissance or early warning satellites, then under development, could “locate Soviet warheads once they are launched.” Corso also erred in claiming that the Nike Zeus radar could not track a Soviet maneuvering ICBM war-head. More than a year earlier, on Dec. 14, 1961, a versatile new phased-array radar had demonstrated such capability at the Army’s White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico.

Corso also claims he recommended a major redesign of the guidance systems used in our own ICBMs—apparently forgetting that responsibility for all ICBMs and their guidance systems had earlier been assigned to the USAF. Corso proposed that the ICBM guidance computer be divided into two halves, each performing a different guidance function, and that the two be connected via a low-frequency radio link instead of being “hard-wired” together. If Corso’s proposed design had been adopted, it would have made our ICBMs vulnerable to being jammed by high-power radio signals.

Corso claims [p. 127, 268] that in May of 1974 the U.S. shot down “an alien craft over Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany,” using an anti-aircraft missile. “The craft was retrieved and flown back to Nellis Air Force base in Nevada.” Corso offers no further details. Although such an act could be expected to trigger a hostile ET response, it was not until nine years later that President Reagan launched his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)—whose major objective was to defend against UFO attack, not Soviet ICBM attack—according to Corso. He claims [p. 273] that “we can knock these guys [ETs] down tomorrow with high-energy lasers [HELs] and directed particle-beam weapons....These missile-launched HELs...are a direct result of President Reagan’s courage in pushing for the Strategic Defense Initiative....And that SDI was a direct result of the work General Trudeau and I did at Army R&D in 1962.” [Emphasis added.] CONTRARY TO CORSO'S CLAIM, THE U.S. HAS NO MISSILE-LAUNCHED HIGH-ENERGY LASERS NOR ANY DIRECTED PARTICLE-BEAM WEAPONS.


The source of Corso’s strong dislike for the CIA, which is quite evident from his book, is not known. Beyond his frequent claims that the CIA had been infiltrated by Soviet “moles” and that CIA officials knowingly cooperated with the Soviet KGB, Corso claims that CIA agents monitored his movements during his four-year assignment in the mid-1950s on the National Security Council, and did the same when he returned to the Pentagon during the early 1960s. He offers no possible reason for this (alleged) CIA monitoring. But on p. 70 of his book, Corso briefly mentions his friendship with a Soviet KGB agent—a strange relationship for an Army officer dealing with highly classified matters.

Instead of reporting the (alleged) CIA “tailing” to Gen. Trudeau and requesting top level Pentagon intervention, Corso says he visited the CIA’s director of covert operations—Frank Wiesner, whom Corso characterized as “one of the best friends the KGB ever had.” Corso says he threw a pistol on Wiesner’s desk and said that unless CIA agents stopped tailing him “they'd find him [the agent] in the Potomac the next day with two bloody holes for eyes.” (Corso says Wiesner subsequently committed suicide.) Corso claims one of Wiesner’s associates later explained that the tailing was “part of an elaborate recruitment process to get me into the CIA after I retired from the Army.” Instead, Corso went to work on the staff of Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC).

(At Corso’s request, Thurmond agreed to write an introduction for Corso’s new book, which was tentatively titled “I Walk With Giants.” When his book was published last June, Thurmond’s office issued a harsh denunciation of the book and withdrew permission to use Thurmond’s foreward in subsequent printings. Thurmond said that in the original outline for the book’s contents submitted by Corso, “there was absolutely no mention, suggestion, or indication that any of the chapters and subjects listed dealt with Unidentified Flying Objects and government conspiracies to cover-up the existence of such space vehicles.”) [SUN #47/Sept. 1997]

Despite the foregoing—which cites but a few of many factual flaws in Corso’s book—Dr. Robert M. Wood, MUFON’s director of research, strongly endorsed the book in his review published in the August 1997 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. Wood’s lengthy review concluded: “I predict this book will wind its way into the list of very important books on UFOs in the next few years. No U.S. history or UFO library should be without it, since it is the first to describe a very believable reverse engineering process for alien parts.” (Emphasis added.)

Leading Japanese UFOlogist, Who Discovered More EvidenceThat MJ-12 Document Was Typed By Bill Moore, Dies

Jun-Ichi Takanashi, director of the Japan UFO Science Society and whose rigorous investigations often turned up prosaic explanations—most recently for home-video camera shots of UFOs—died on Oct. 18 at the age of 74. SUN’s editor spent several interesting hours with Takanashi in Osaka during our lecture trip to Japan last April. One of Takanashi’s little-known contributions to UFOlogy was his eagle-eyed discovery of additional evidence that the “Eisenhower Briefing Document” of the MJ-12 papers—released in mid-1987 by William L. Moore, Stanton Friedman and Jaime Shandera—had been typed by Moore himself.

The very unusual format of dates used in the MJ-12 Eisenhower Briefing Document (EBD) was first brought to my attention by British UFOlogist Christoper Allan shortly after the documents were made public. While the traditional civil format, for example, is “June 24, 1947,” the standard military format is "24 June 1947.” Because the day of the month is separated from the year, no comma is needed or used. But EVERY date that appeared in the EBD has an unsual hybrid combination of civil-military with a "superfluous comma"—"24 June, 1947.” Allan’s letter prompted me to recall that this unusual civil-military date format was one I had seen in numerous letters from Moore which were retained in my files.

Another unusual aspect of the format used in EBD, which allegedly had been written in late 1952, was that a zero was used with every single-digit date—"07 July, 1947.” My Exam-ination of numerous military and CIA documents of the 1950s era revealed that it was not then the practice (as it is today) to precede a single-digit date with a zero. Turning to my file of letters received from Moore, I discovered that he had started adding the zero before a single digit date in late 1983—roughly a year before he claims that Shandera received the MJ-12 papers on a roll of undeveloped film. This “curious coincidence” was reported by me in late 1987 in an article in Skeptical Inquirer, published by the Committee for the

Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). However, the article did not flatly accuse Moore of typing the document himself.

If someone else had typed EBD and used Moore’s unusual date format style in an effort to try to incriminate him, Moore could be expected to write and thank me for calling this to his attention. Moore did not. But he did promptly change the date format he used in his letters, eliminating the superfluous comma or at other times he used the traditional civil format.

Moore Unwittingly Provides More Incriminating Evidence

In 1983, Moore offered for sale a lengthy report entitled “The Mystery of The Green Fireballs,” containing declassified documents dealing with the many unusual fireballs reported in the southwest in the late 1940s. Because some documents were poor-quality carbon copies, Moore retyped portions for improved legibility. Takanashi, who purchased a copy of the report and had read my Skeptical Inquirer

article about EBD’s unusual date format, noted that the same unusual date format appeared in several of the Moore-retyped documents. Takanashi was curious to know whether this unusual date format had been used in the originals.

Takanashi wrote to Barry Greenwood, editor of the Just Cause UFO newsletter on May 8, 1990, enclosing photocopies of the Moore-retyped documents. Greenwood painstakingly searched his microfilm copy of all of the USAF’s Project Blue Book UFO files to finally locate the original documents. As Greenwood later reported in the June 1990 issue of his newletter: “In all four cases where the documents were retyped, Moore had changed dates from the proper standard format to his own style by adding not only an extra comma to the dates but, in the case of the 9 February 1949 memo, a preceding zero before a single digit date where none had existed before!” [Emphasis added.] Takanashi will be sorely missed.

UFO Group Leader, Accused Of Plan To Kill Local Government Officials, Sent To Mental Institution After His Two Partners Plead Guilty

John Ford, the 49-year-old founder of the Long Island (N.Y.) UFO Network (LIUFON), who in mid-1996 was charged with plotting to kill several local government officials because he believed they were covering up three crashed-saucer incidents on Long Island, has been found to be “delusional” and has been sent to a New York state psychiatric center. If/when Ford is judged competent to stand trial, he faces the prospect of a 25-75 year jail term. Two of Ford’s partners in the plot to poison Suffolk county officials by inserting radium into their food and toothpaste earlier pleaded guilty to participating in the plan. Joseph Mazzuchelli was sentenced to 3-9 years. Edward Zabo, a Defense Dept. employee who obtained the radium, is slated to be sentenced in early March [SUN #40/July 1996]. The evidence included a tape recording of Ford and associates discussing their plan which was covertly recorded by a person who had been asked to participate but who instead gave the tape to law enforcement officials.

Ford claimed that in 1989, the U.S. had forced down and recovered an ET craft near Moriches Bay, L.I., that in 1992 an alien craft had crashed in Southaven Park, and that a third had crashed later near the Pine Barrens area. He publicly accused local government officials of collaborating with the federal government to cover up the incidents.

In an article in the November 1996 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal, Ms. Elaine Douglas charged that Ford was the “first UFO investigator to be seriously persecuted by the authorities.” (Douglas is MUFON’s state director for the District of Columbia and co-director of “Operation Right To Know.” The latter, which periodically stages public demonstrations, describes itself as “the only UFO organization with guts.” It has scheduled a march on the White House to “End UFO Secrecy” for July 5, 1999.) In her MUFON article, Douglas announced the formation of the John Ford Defense Committee and sought contributions. SUN eagerly awaits the reactions of Douglas and MUFON to recent events.

Some of Ford’s own comments, contained in a 102-page handwritten “Statement to the Media,” were quoted in a lengthy feature article recently published in the Jan. 11 issue of The Washington Post. Ford claims he had been a CIA agent for the last 30 years, but was not paid so there would be no record of his employment in the agency’s files. Further, that Mazzuchelli was an officer of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. Another Ford claim is that the AIDS and Ebola viruses were brought by ETs to kill off peoples of sub-Sahara Africa. In a letter to LIUFON vice president Steve Iavarone, Ford predicted that after a few months at the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center he would return and that all charges against him would be dropped. Ford concluded his letter with UFOlogy’s popular slogan: “THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE....”

Book By President’s Friend Makes Dubious Claim About UFO Request

The recent book by Webb Hubbell, long-time friend of President Bill Clinton, who recently emerged from jail after pleading guilty to bilking his Arkansas law clients out of $482,000 and resigning from his high post in the Justic Department, claims that when Clinton earlier named him Associate Attorney General he asked Hubbell to find out the truth about UFOs and the assassination of President Kennedy. Hubbell claims the President said he had “looked into both but wasn’t satisfied with the answers [he] was getting."

Hubbell’s claim is very dubious. It may have been suggested by his publisher as a means of attracting media attention to an otherwise rather dull book. If there were an ultra-top-secret government UFO cover-up—so covert that even the President could not be informed—the Justice Dept. would have no need-to-know. If the President was really seeking “the truth” about UFOs, he should have given the task to Deputy Defense Secretary John Deutch when

Clinton appointed him Director of Central Intelligence in 1995. Deutch was in the unique position of having access both to Pentagon secrets and those of all U.S. intelligence agencies.

If Hubbell’s claim is true, Roswell researcher Kent Jeffrey provided the President with a great "window of opportunity” last July—on the 50th anniversary of the “UFO era.” Jeffrey delivered to the White House his International Roswell Initiative document, signed by more than 20,000 persons. It called on the President to issue “an Executive Order declassifying any information regarding UFOs or extraterrestrial intelligence.” If Clinton had done so he could have resolved the UFO question as well as greatly boosted his popularity. BUT CLINTON DID NOT, PERHAPS FEARFUL THAT HE WOULD BE ASSASSINATED BY AGENTS OF MJ-12.

Short Shrift:

  • Philip Corso And Son Sued By Hollywood Film Producer: A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in November in behalf of producer Neil Russell alleges that Philip Corso, Jr. “demanded extraordinary amounts of money” from Russell for rights to produce a movie based on his father’s book, “The Day After Roswell,” shortly before it was published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in June. Russell claims he had acquired film rights to Corso’s story in 1992. Russell alleges that Corso’s son “interfered with interviews, assaulted Russell and a Simon & Schuster publicist, and threatened Russell’s life—all at the colonel’s behest,” according to an article published in the Nov. 16 edition of the Los Angeles Times. The article said that Russell is seeking unspecified damages as well as a restraining order “preventing the Corsos from calling or threatening Russell and his family.” Recent SUN efforts to obtain an update on the situation from attornies representing Russell and the Corsos were unsuccessful but we'll keep trying.
  • Guess What Recently Landed Near The Brazel Ranch In New Mexico: Dick Rutan and Dave Melton—seeking to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in a high-flying balloon—opted to parachute down shortly after taking off from Albuquerque, N.M., when their balloon developed a serious tear. Ironically, Rutan and Melton landed not far from where rancher Brazel discovered unusual debris some 50 years earlier that inspired the famous “Roswell Incident.” The Rutan/Melton balloon later touched down, knocking off some of its payload, and then became airborne, finally crash-landing in some trees near Dallas, Tex. A similar thing is believed to have occurred in 1947 when a Project Mogul train of 23 weather balloons and several radar targets touched down on the Brazel ranch, with cactus tearing off one or two of the radar targets and balloons. Balloonist Rutan suffered severe cactus wounds on his face.
  • “The Best UFO Video On The Planet": Several frames from a videotape, which seems to show a giant saucer-shaped craft in broad daylight flying near and then disappearing behind tall apartment buildings in Mexico City, were featured in the November issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. Although Tom King, director of Arizona Skywatch, was quoted as characterizing the video as the “Best UFO video on the planet,” outgoing Journal editor Dennis Stacy included words of caution. SUN predicts that the Mexico City UFO video will turn out to be a hoax, created to show how easily such videotapes can be produced with today’s PCs and software. The Mexico City video may have been inspired by a Fox TV network show entitled UFOs—The Best Evidence Ever (Caught on Tape),” broadcast nine days earlier. It was produced by Robert Kiviat, who achieved UFO-fame with his “Alien Autopsy” TV show in 1995. His most recent show carried a curious disclaimer: “The following program is based on speculation and conjecture. Viewers should explore all sources of information before reaching their own conclusions.”

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 50


Walton Claims He Is Afraid To Recall What Occurred Aboard UFO

If you had long wanted to go aboard a flying saucer and then one night you were taken aboard a UFO, were returned safely without any physical injury but could only remember what had transpired during roughly two hours of the five days you were aboard the UFO, would you be curious to recall more details of your exciting adventure? Especially since you (allegedly) recalled being transported to a large hangar where you saw three flying saucers. Many persons who only suspect they might be “abductees” are willing to “risk” undergoing many hypnosis sessions to try to recall what happened. But NOT TRAVIS WALTON, who claims he is still AFRAID to do so—more than 20 years after he (allegedly) was abducted by a UFO.

Walton’s (alleged) fears were revealed in 1978 in his first book, “The Walton Experience,” which concluded: “Someday, I may get up enough nerve to try hypnosis again....That missing time bothers me, and [hypnotic] regression may be the only way to get rid of that feeling.” Travis had undergone regressive hypnosis shortly after he reappeared, administered by James Harder, a long-time pro-UFO researcher. But under hypnosis Travis provided no more details than he had given without hypnosis. When Harder probed for more depth, Travis declined—expressing fear for his life. Walton has never claimed any subsequent UFO abductions or ET visits to warn him against revealing any more details. But he says these fears persist, according to his more recent book "Fire In The Sky” (FITS), published in late 1996. (The book’s title comes from the Paramount movie on the Walton case which had its debut in March of 1993 [SUN #21/May 1993]). In Walton’s new book [p. 181] he writes: “I once thought that someday I might get up enough nerve to try hypnosis again....But after all these years I have never felt sufficiently moved to go under again.”


Interest in the Walton case has been sparked by the strong, unqualified endorsement given by Jerome Clark, editor of the International UFO Reporter (IUR), published by the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). In the Fall 1997 issue of IUR, in a review of Walton’s recent book, Clark concluded that “after more than two decades, Walton’s credibility survives intact. No shred of evidence yet brought forth against it withstands skeptical scrutiny.” Clark characterizes FITS as “the best book ever written by a UFO witness” and predicts that “few [skeptics] will dare to read this book.” (It is rumored that Clark helped Walton write his first book and there is evidence that he served as “ghostwriter” for much of the new material in Walton’s recent book.)

If the incident is a hoax, as indicated by my many-month investigation in 1976, there is a logical explanation for the meager details in Travis’ original account and for why he has refused to undergo hypnosis again. In 1975 there were only a tiny handful of “UFO-abduction” cases whose “victims” claimed to have been aboard a UFO for only a short time. The best known was the Betty/Barney Hill case which was featured in a two-hour movie shown on NBC-TV on Oct. 20, 1975—roughly two weeks before the Walton incident. Travis claims that he did not see the NBC-TV movie but his detailed description of the faces of his bald ETs closely resembles the ETs shown in the TV movie and differs significantly from the “new-look” ET descriptions which have typically been reported since the late 1980s, following publication of Whitley Streiber’s book “Communion” and Budd Hopkins’ book “Intruders.”

For example, the “new-look” ETs are reported to have no eyelids. But in Walton’s books

he wrote: “Their huge lids slide quickly down over the glassy bubbles of their eyes, then flipped open again like the release of roll-up window shades.” The ETs in the NBC-TV movie had large eyelids and in one scene they moved exactly as Walton described. Walton said his ETs had “miniature rounded noses [with] small oval nostrils.” This description matches the appearances of the noses of ETs in the NBC-TV movie. “New-look” ETs are reported to have no well-defined nose, only two holes for breathing. Walton said the ears of his ETs had “tiny crinkled lobes” as did the ETs in the NBC-TV movie. The “new-look” ETs have no discernible ear lobes. Walton said his ETs had “thin-lipped mouths,” as did the ETs on NBC-TV. The “new-look” ETs are reported to have no mouth or simply a thin slit with NO lips [SUN #24/Nov. 1993].

Tracy Torme, who convinced Paramount to produce the “Fire In The Sky” movie and authored its script, admitted that “it doesn't fit any of the other [abduction case] patterns,” when he appeared on a radio talk show to promote the movie in early 1993. As examples of the major differences in Walton’s tale and the “new-look” abduction reports, Torme noted that “Walton was gone for five days and six hours instead of a couple of hours. When he awakened [in the UFO] he was not paralyzed. He was not naked. He was not being experimented on medically.” He has not had any experiences since then. He didn’t seem to have any in childhood. He didn’t come back with a lot of scars or anything.” (Inasmuch as Betty/Barney Hill never reported that they had been paralyzed, awakened naked in the UFO, had permanent scars, or previous childhood abductions, such “new-look” details were not in the NBC-TV movie—which Travis claims he didn’t see.)


According to Walton’s books, a team of timber cutters headed by Mike Rogers, who had been working in the Turkey Springs area of Sitgreaves National Park under U.S. Forest Service contract, were driving back home around dusk when they spotted a UFO hovering over a nearby clearing. Although the truck was moving, Travis (allegedly) opened the door, jumped out and ran toward the UFO—ignoring the warnings of his teammates. Suddenly, according to Walton’s account, “a tremendously bright, blue-green ray shot out of the bottom of the craft. I saw and heard nothing. All I felt was the numbing force of a blow that felt like a high voltage electrocution....The stunning concussion of the foot-wide beam struck me full in the head and chest.... From the instant I felt that paralyzing blow, I did not see, hear or feel anything more....I was hurled backward through the air for 10 feet. My right shoulder collided with the hard rocky earth of the ridgetop. Landing simply spread out on the cold ground, my body lay motionless.” (Emphasis added.)

Walton’s teammates (allegedly) panicked and Rogers drove off leaving Travis behind. A few minutes later, after they saw the UFO depart, they drove back and found that Travis had disappeared. Travis would be "missing” for more than five days until around midnight on Nov. 11, when he called his sister’s house from a pay-phone in the village of Heber—roughly 10 miles from where the incident (allegedly) had occurred. Travis’ older brother Duane, who lived in Phoenix but had driven to Snowflake (where Travis resided) after being informed of the incident, then drove to pick up Travis. Very early the next morning (Nov. 12) the two men drove to Phoenix. Later that same day—less than 24 hours after Travis’ return and less than six days after he (allegedly) had been zapped by the powerful UFO beam, he was given a physical examination by two medical doctors, Dr. Howard Kandell and Dr. Joseph Saults, who were members of APRO—then a large pro-UFO group with headquarters in Tucson. Despite the claim that Travis had been struck on the face and chest by the intense blue-green beam, there was not a single burn-mark anywhere on Travis’ body. Despite the claim that the beam had knocked Travis unconscious and sent him flying through the air to impact on the hard, rocky earth, there was not a single bruise mark anywhere on his body. The only thing observed was a tiny puncture-wound scab on Travis’ right elbow. This could have resulted from a thorn or a hypodermic needle, Dr. Kandell told me during my 1976 investigation. The doctors had brought along a camera and a tape recorder, but Duane would not allow them to use either and insisted they not question Travis about his UFO experience.

Rogers had reported the incident to the local Sheriff’s office, which had launched a limited, unsuccessful search for Travis that night. When Travis’ mother, who had spent the hot summer months living in a small cabin not far from Turkey Springs—and who was still living there in early November—was informed around midnight of what had occurred, she took the news calmly. The next morning a party of roughly 50 persons had assembled to search for Walton and for physical evidence to support the UFO-zapping story because law enforcement officers had begun to suspect that the crew might have killed Travis and concocted the UFO story as a cover. Careful inspection of the site failed to find any physical evidence to support the “zapping.” The “slash-pile” of timber near where Travis had been standing and pine needles on the ground showed no signs of intense heat or disturbance from the beam that allegedly had lifted Travis off his feet. That afternoon, Travis’ mother requested the search be ended.

Walton Claims Scant Interest In UFOs Prior To The Incident

Travis denies [p.124] that he and his family had a long-time interest in UFOs. “I have a very wide set of interests and many are keen interests, but UFOs aren’t one of the keen ones, even now!” (Emphasis added.) Travis acknowledged that his brother Duane had had a UFO sighting some years earlier, but added: “I have talked with him on a couple occasions about the subject since then, but we've never had a disproportionate interest in the topic.” (Emphasis added.)

The veracity of these Walton claims is challenged by a tape-recorded interview with Duane Walton and Mike Rogers, conducted by UFOlogist Fred Sylvanus on Nov. 8, 1975, while Travis was still “missing.” At one point Duane said: “Travis and I discussed this many, many times at great length and we both said that [if either saw a UFO nearby] we would immediately get as directly under the object as physically possible....We discussed this time and time again...” Duane went on to explain that if only one of them was taken aboard a UFO, he would “try to convince whoever was in the craft to come back and get the other one.” During the closing moments of the interview, Duane said he believed that Travis was “having the experience of a lifetime. I don’t think he’s in any danger at all. He'll turn up. All I can say is that I wish I was with him.”

If Duane truly believed that Travis had been abducted by a UFO, he could not be so sanguine. Unlike other “abductees” who (allegedly) were held for only an hour or two, Travis had now been gone for nearly three days. Perhaps the ETs were taking Travis back to their native planet to be stuffed and placed in an ET museum. (Travis tries to explain his brother’s statements [p. 125] by saying that Duane’s comments were “directed partially to bolster my mother’s morale.” Nonsense. Their mother was not present during the interview and its contents would not be made public until many months later after I received a copy of the tape from William Spaulding, head of a small pro-UFO group in Phoenix called Ground Saucer Watch.)

Walton’s Lack Of Candor Sometimes “Flirts With Falsehoods"

Walton’s new book offers many examples in which he is not completely honest with the reader. For example, in the book’s preface Travis admits that he was a bit wild during his teen years: “I had a few isolated brushes with the law, mostly traffic offenses, but nothing that left me with any record.” (Emphasis added.) This is literally true, but very misleading. On May 5, 1971—roughly four years prior to the UFO incident—Travis Walton and Charles Rogers, Mike Rogers’ younger brother, pleaded guilty in the Navajo County Superior Court to the following charge: “On or about the night of February 18, 1971, they broke into the office of the Western Molding Co., with intent to steal and did steal therefrom a quantity of Western Molding checks and on the 19th day of February filled out said checks payable to a fictitious person and signed the name of Robert W. Gonsalves, thereby to cheat and defraud.” After Walton and Rogers agreed to make restitution of the funds, they were placed on two-year probation. On Aug. 3, 1973, having lived up to the terms of their probation, they were allowed under Arizona law to “cleanse the record” by appearing in court and pleading “not guilty” to the original charge. Thus, Travis is legally correct when he says his “few isolated brushes with the law” did not leave him with “any record.”

Walton Flunks His First (Secret) Polygraph (Lie Detector) Test

On Feb. 6, 1976, APRO announced that Travis and Duane Walton had taken and passed polygraph tests administered by George Pfeifer, an employee of Tom Ezell & Associates. When I called on March 13 to talk to Pfeifer, Mr. Ezell told me that Pfeifer had left to go into business for himself. Ezell said he had been out of town when the Walton tests had been administered, but he volunteered to examine the polygraph charts to evaluate Pfeifer’s assessment. Near the end of our conversation, Ezell said: “Let me give you a little information that might help you. Walton was given another examination before George gave him one.” When I asked who had given Walton this heretofore secret polygraph test, Ezell replied: “I believe by a Jack McCarthy, who I would say is one helluva good examiner—in Phoenix.” Considering that McCarthy was Ezell’s competitor, this was an impressive compliment. Ezell had learned of the McCarthy test from Pfeifer, who had learned of it from APRO officials.

Two days later I called McCarthy and said that Ezell had told me that McCarthy had tested Travis Walton prior to the Pfeifer test. McCarthy acknowledged that was true. When I asked for McCarthy’s assessment of his polygraph test on Travis, he responded with two words: “Gross deception.” McCarthy explained that sometimes Travis would hold his breath, in an effort to “beat the machine.” McCarthy told me that he had been hired by APRO director Jim Lorenzen and the National Enquirer, which had sent in a team of reporters after Travis had reappeared. The tests had been administered in a suburban hotel. When McCarthy re-ported his conclusions, a National Enquirer reporter hastily typed up a “secrecy agreement” which McCarthy signed constraining him from publicly revealing the tests or their results. When I later telephoned McCarthy and said that I had learned of the tests from Ezell, McCarthy faced a difficult decision: he could resort to falsehood by denying the Walton tests or confirm what Ezell had told me.McCarthy opted for the truth.

(When I visited McCarthy on Nov. 3, 1977, he showed me some of the charts from the Travis test. When Travis was asked “Were you actually in a spacecraft from the 5th of November to the 10th of November,” the chart showed a dramatic increase in Travis’ blood pressure with the polygraph pen hitting its retaining stop. The charts showed that in response to some questions, Travis held his breath for 10-15 seconds before responding “yes” or “no.” In Walton’s recent book, he tries to explain this away [p. 325] as only a “respiratory quirk.”)

On Mar. 22, 1976, I called Ezell back to get the results of his analysis of the polygraph charts of Pfeifer’s tests on Travis and Duane. Ezell told me that in his opinion it was impossible to tell whether Travis and Duane had responded truthfully to the test questions. In other words, the tests were inconclusive. Later, when the charts were examined by another Phoenix polygraph examiner, Cy Gilson, he agreed that the Pfeifer tests were “inconclusive.”

On July 19, 1976, Rogers proposed new polygraph tests for Walton, himself, other crew members, Travis’ mother and brother. If they passed, I would pay for the tests; if they failed, APRO would pay. I agreed to new tests for Walton, Rogers and the other five crew members, but negotiations broke down when I discovered that APRO’s Lorenzen and Rogers were resort-ing to deception to get me to accept their choice of a polygraph examiner. This particular examiner (then living in San Diego) claimed that his polygraph tests showed that household plants have “feelings” and can tell whether they are “loved.” (Attempts by several scientists to replicate his test results failed.) When I declined to have the new tests performed by this particular polygraph examiner, Rogers refused to use any other.

Walton, Rogers Resists New Tests, Suddenly Change Their Minds And Pass

In early 1992 as the filming was getting underway on Paramount’s FITS movie, Tracy Torme received a phone call from Ohio UFOlogist Jerry Black who proposed that Walton and Rogers undergo a new set of polygraph tests at Black’s expense because of doubts about the

Pfeifer tests. Later, when Black talked with Travis to propose a new polygraph, Walton questioned the need, as he explained [p. 145-46] in his recent book: “I asked him why I should take another test when I’d already passed one. He [Black] criticized the validity of the Pfeifer test; I defended it....A new test would amount to an admission that the test I had already passed had been somehow insufficient.... Mike [Rogers] at first resisted on grounds similar to mine.”

Then, curiously, Rogers and Walton changed their minds. Travis explains that an important factor in his change of heart was that the new tests would be given by Cy Gilson, a Phoenix examiner, who “had expressed his opinion that both the McCarthy test and the Pfeifer test were inconclusive for the same reason—their same obsolete technology.” Gilson would use newer polygraph techniques, which included computer analysis, developed by professor David Raskin of the University of Utah.

On Feb. 1, 1993, Gilson first tested Allen Dalis—who had been a member of the crew at Turkey Springs—and then Rogers. Both passed with flying colors. In a letter to test-sponsor Black, Gilson reported that his test of Dalis yielded a “computer-based analysis [which] returned a posterior probability of truthfulness [score] of 0.993, indicating that charts like these produced by Mr. Dalis are produced by truthful examinees 99% of the time.” Gilson reported that Rogers had also scored 99%. Three days later Gilson tested Travis and reported he had scored well but with a slightly lower 96%.

SUN first learned about the new polygraph tests in early April of 1993 and talked with test-sponsor Black, and then with Gilson, to try to learn more about the test and the new computer analysis techniques used. Gilson referred me to professor Raskin at the University of Utah. Fortunately, I knew an Arizona attorney who had employed Raskin as a polygraph expert and she agreed to arrange for Raskin to talk with me about his polygraph technique. I had hoped that Raskin would be interested in reviewing Gilson’s polygraph charts, and Black had agreed to make them available for Raskin’s analysis. When I called Raskin on April 10, I learned that he was aware of the Gilson tests, but he showed no interest in the results or in reviewing Gilson’s charts. Shortly before our conversation ended, Raskin emphatically stated: “I have enough important battles to deal with....I do not want to get involved in this."

Possibly one of the “important battles” of greater concern to Raskin was the then-recent discovery that a high CIA official, Aldrich H. Ames, was a covert Russian agent. Ames had successfully passed two polygraph tests given by the agency. SUN has been told that the CIA uses Raskin’s polygraph techniques but this is not known with certainty. The Feb. 27, 1994, edition of The Washington Post, which carried a feature article on Ames and the two polygraph tests he managed to pass, noted that “there are various ways to defeat it [the polygraph]. Taking 400 milligrams of meprobamate will do the trick nicely, studies show."

New “Mystery Witness” Appears, Uses Tricks In Polygraph Test

What SUN did not know until we obtained a copy of Walton’s recent book in May of 1997 was that shortly before the FITS movie made its debut, Travis received a telephone call from a man who claimed he and his wife had been in the Turkey Springs area on the night of Nov. 5, 1975, and had seen the UFO and its blue beam. According to Travis [p. 276], the man (whom SUN will refer to as “X”) “seemed rational and sincere....The man said he had been in military intelligence and had been advised by his superior officer to keep quiet unless my crewmates were on the verge of being convicted of murder. I was very cautious and questioned him in detail but he gave the right answers, including topography of the surrounding terrain....The man said he had confided what he had seen right after the incident to a friend, a known public official who would attest to that.” Travis said he had “X” call Torme and claims “we agreed he sounded genuine.” (Torme’s recent recollections differ slightly.) Paramount had “X” fly out to Los Angeles for an interview which Torme recently told me had prompted his own suspicions. When “X” agreed to take a polygraph test, arrangements were made with Gilson to conduct the test.

Gilson tested “X” on Mar. 11, 1993—the day before the FITS movie made its debut. The results, according to Walton’s book [p. 277], “were very strange—with some truly sinister implica-tions....Things came to light which gave indications of deceit and suggested possible intrigue from high levels in our government.” According to Walton’s account, the first test series included the following issues, with “X’s” answers shown in brackets:

  1. Had “X” been present at Turkey Springs on Nov. 5, 1975? [YES]
  2. Had “X” seen aerial lights there in the trees? [YES]
  3. Had “X” seen the blue beam? [YES]
  4. Was “X” then in Army intelligence with a top security clearance? [YES]

According to Walton, Gilson’s analysis indicated that “X” had answered TRUTHFULLY, with a computer probability score of 93%—almost as high as Walton, Rogers and Dalis had achieved. The second test series dealt with the following:

  1. Had “X” had any prior communications or correspondence with PJK (Philip J. Klass) or the head of CSICOP (an organization of skeptics with which I am affiliated)? [NO]
  2. Had “X” conspired with anyone to discredit Walton and his UFO story? [NO]
  3. Was “X” currently working for any branch of the U.S. military? [NO]
  4. Had “X” been advised by a military supervisor to keep quiet about what he had seen on the night of Nov. 5, 1975? [YES]

Gilson’s analysis of the second test series indicated a probability of DECEPTION of 89%, according to Walton. Curiously, “X’s” charts showed the greatest deception for questions (5) and (8). “X’s” deception on (5) prompts Walton to suggest that I recruited “X” to try to fool Paramount and embarrass Gilson by having "X” later confess that his tale was a hoax.

A Ridiculous Accusation, A More Logical Explanation

I WOULD NEVER ENGAGE IN SUCH TRICKERY, KNOWING THAT IF IT WERE EXPOSED THIS WOULD RUIN MY REPUTATION AS A TECHNICAL JOURNALIST AND AS A UFO RESEARCHER. Nor would CSICOP. But IF I had, surely I would never have selected “X” for the job if Gilson’s analysis was correct that "X” was being truthful when he said he was in the Turkey Springs area on Nov. 5, 1975, and saw a UFO and its blue beam.

IF Walton or Rogers really suspected that “X” was an agent of PJK or CSICOP, after “X” failed Gilson’s tests, they would surely have devoted some effort to try to get “X” to confess—knowing that such an admission would utterly destroy the reputation of their major critic. Seemingly a marvelous opportunity—which they never pursued!

Another quite different scenario emerges because Gilson said he caught “X” in “a deliberate attempt to produce countermeasures” (i.e., tricks) when “X” was told to intentionally lie to provide a “benchmark” to enable Gilson to assess when “X” later was lying. If “X” was resorting to tricks, perhaps there were others that Gilson failed to detect. Where might “X” have learned such tricks? One possibility is via Allen Dalis, who could have learned them from other inmates in the Arizona State Penitentiary. (Dalis had been sentenced in 1976 to three five-year concurrent terms for armed robbery—committed to support his hard-drug habit.) Dalis could have offered to demonstrate the effectiveness of the techniques by being the first to undergo tests by Gilson in 1993. If Dalis passed, as he did, Rogers and Walton would use the same techniques. If Dalis failed, Rogers and Walton could find some excuse to renege. Their success could then have prompted Rogers to conceive of the idea of a new “mystery witness” who would emerge as the FITS movie was making its debut. This would enhance the popularity of the movie and the credibility of the Walton abduction tale. “X” would be briefed by Dalis or Rogers on the techniques. If “X” goofed in trying to use the techniques and failed the test, I could be accused of being “X’s” sponsor. For Rogers, it would be a tempting “no-lose” scenario.

Another possibility is that “X” acted entirely on his own in concocting his tale, hoping to pocket some money and gain personal publicity.

Walton Reveals PJK’s (Alleged) Evil Character And Misdeeds

My book “UFOs: The Public Deceived,” published in 1983, devoted 61 pages (17% of the total) to the Walton incident and the results of my many-month investigation of the case. Wal-ton’s recent 370-page book contains an 86-page appendix titled: “PJK: Propaganda Job Krumbles, or, Perfidus Janus Kalumnior.” It is largely devoted to revealing my evil modus operandi and character and also to challenging the expertise and ethics of polygraph examiner McCarthy. Walton, after characterizing me as his principal critic, comments: “PJK’s ties to military/aerospace sources—as editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology [I was one of several senior editors], his Washington D.C. address, his prosecutorial, muckraker approach, and his extensive use of propagandist techniques—have led people in the UFO community for many years to speculate that he is a paid operative of some covert agency interested in promulgating disinformation about UFOs. As one would expect, whether it’s true or not, he’s always denied it.” Walton adds: “If some high-level agency were going to choose someone for such a purpose, it would seem they would pick someone more able.” (Emphasis added.) Later, Walton says: “PJK’s likeliest motivation seems to me to be fanatical disbelief—obsessive, overzealous, monomanical disbelief” [p.288]. Travis adds: “He [PJK] is neither thorough nor accurate. He deals not in hard facts but in distortion, supposition, innuendo, and assumption, reaching one unjustified conclusion after another. He is as far from [being] scientific as one can get” [p. 291.]

Walton Accuses PJK Of Ignoring Physical Evidence

Walton charges [p. 300] that PJK “entirely ignored every bit of physical evidence in support of the case. In his many white papers and in his two books...there was not a single mention of the recorded magnetic anomalies, ozone traces, Geiger counter readings, or strange ‘metal’ fragments found at the very site of the incident! Not a peep about the reports of outages of power and television reception in the nearest towns at the time of the incident. He was well aware of those reports, yet not a word about them.” (Emphasis added.)

The “magnetic anomalies” measurements were made by William Spaulding, head of Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), who initially believed the Walton tale. A week later when he repeated the test he found no magnetic anomalies, prompting him to conclude that his earlier measurements were flawed. Detection of "ozone traces,” also attributed to Spaulding, were never mentioned by him in our numerous telephone and letter exchanges. When Spaulding wrote a report on the Walton case in mid-1976 for his GSW members, he made NO mention of any ozone traces.

When the area near the “zapping site” was checked for radiation by a Forest Service employee using a Geiger-counter, it showed a normal background level [p. 61]. When Mike Rogers suggested checking his “hard hat” and that of Allen Dalis, the Geiger-counter showed increased radiation. But neither Rogers nor Dalis had gotten close to the (alleged) UFO.

Travis claims that “strange metal fragments” were found by Spaulding at the site, but he did not visit the site until several days after it had been searched by law enforcement officers who had found nothing. Spaulding never mentioned any such fragments to me. In Travis’ recent book [p. 138] he claims that Spaulding gave them fragments to his brother Duane. While Travis now claims these fragments were important physical evidence, we can not find any mention of them in his first book. There was no mention of power outages in nearby towns in any of the many articles in Arizona newspapers at the time. Nor did Travis mention the alleged power outages in his first book, so far as we can find. (Neither book contains an index.)

When Duane Walton underwent a polygraph test by Pfeifer in early 1976, one of the test questions was: "Would you lie to help Travis in this matter.” Duane replied “No,” and Pfeifer concluded he was being truthful. In late April of 1976, before I publicly disclosed the “secret” McCarthy test that Travis flunked, I interviewed Duane by phone. During our conversation, I asked: “When did Travis first take a polygraph, or lie-detector, test?” Duane replied: “I don’t know. I don’t have the foggiest notion.” Duane was present during McCarthy’s test. Walton justifies Duane’s falsehood [p. 337]: “Duane had learned prior to the call of PJK’s reputation for being rabidly anti-UFO, unfair, devious, prone to twisting people’s words to suit his purposes....However surveys show that when confronted with a person one considers shady, or believes intends on harm, most honest people consider themselves justified in speaking at odds with the facts...” (Emphasis added.)

Walton ends his book as follows: “While PJK deliberately hid favorable data and ducked confrontation with my strongest points, I have openly confronted his best....not one point in his prosecutorial campaign can stand up to rational analysis, to weigh objectively against the incident’s authenticity.” Travis predicts: "He'll completely sidestep my examples of how he conducted his campaign, my exposure of his falsehoods, deceptive omissions, and distortions. He'll continue to beg the question of the strongest evidence: physical traces, consistent testimony from seven eyewitnesses, unassailable polygraph tests.” (Emphasis added.)

Travis’ Actions Speak Louder Than His (and Jerry Clark’s) Words

If Travis was really abducted by a UFO, and even if he previously had no interest in the subject, UFOs should have become the focal point of his interest. He should certainly have joined APRO, whose leaders endorsed his abduction tale, to participate in its efforts to “solve the UFO mystery.” But he did not. If he had not previously read any UFO books, as he claims, surely he would be eager to read the book "Interrupted Journey,” recounting the (alleged) UFO abduction of Betty/Barney Hill. But Travis did not. In 1987, when tales of UFO abductions achieved national prominence with publication of the Budd Hopkins and Whitley Strieber books, surely Travis would want to read their books—and the many similar-theme books that followed—to learn about the experiences of other “abductees.” Surely he would want to attend UFO conferences and “support group” meetings to talk to other “abductees.” But the only UFO conferences Walton attends—always with Rogers—are those where they are invited speakers. On Nov. 5, 1975, Travis claims he was so very curious about UFOs that he ran under a hovering UFO. Now, having been paid generously by Paramount and having enjoyed trips to Europe and Australia to promote the movie, Travis shows scant curiosity about UFOs. He says [p. 193] he only wants “to get on with my life and live it as normally as possible."

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 51


“UFO Lawyer” Gersten Takes Over CAUS (UFO Group), Seeks Funds To Send Rocket To The Moon To Photograph (Alleged) ET Structures

Attorney Peter Gersten, who first achieved fame in UFO circles in the late 1970s by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to get the Central Intelligence Agency to release its UFO-related documents, and who later headed a small group called Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) before becoming inactive in UFOlogy in the mid-1980s, has recently reasserted his control over CAUS and has launched an ambitious agenda for the organization. Gersten’s announced agenda includes:

  • “Project Destination Moon: Verification.” Gersten hopes to launch a rocket to take photos of (alleged) ET structures on the moon, including a cable car, which were “discovered” by Richard Hoagland in photos taken by Apollo astronauts. Hoagland earlier “discovered” what he claimed was a giant “Face on Mars” created by ETs in the Cydonia region of the planet, based on photos taken by the Viking spacecraft in 1976. (Recent photo taken by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, with 10 times the resolution of the original Viking photos, shows the "Face” to be only a natural rock formation, as NASA had claimed.) Gersten says a private rocket company estimates that it can send a rocket to the moon to photograph Hoagland’s (alleged) structures for $12-million. Gersten seeks to raise $30,000 for a video to promote CAUS’s rocket-to-the-moon project. [SUN predicts that the recent Cydonia photo will not prompt Hoagland to admit he was wrong, nor deter Gersten from his fund-raising effort.]
  • Formation of a “scientific committee to study the continuing formation of crop circles” which Gersten believes “are communications from an extraterrestrial intelligence.”
  • Filing of an FOIA lawsuit against the Army in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Az., based on claims made by retired Army Lt. Col. Philip J. Corso in his book “The Day After Roswell” that he personally saw ET bodies recovered from near Roswell, N.M. (Numerous gross errors of fact in Corso’s other claims, which can easily be verified, were cited in SUN #49/Jan. 1998.)

Curiously, when SUN interviewed Gersten by telephone last Oct. 11, he said that since moving to Scottsdale, Ariz., about three years ago, his primary interest has shifted from UFOs to ASTROLOGY. Gersten said his interest in UFOs had been rekindled when he met Corso at last summer’s Roswell celebration and had read Corso’s book.

Gersten Pioneered Use Of FOIA To Obtain Once Classified UFO Documents

When Congress passed the Freedom Of Information Act in early 1975, Gersten was a young attorney with a longstanding interest in UFOs, then a junior member of a New York City (Bronx) law firm. Gersten wrote to several UFO organizations proposing to use the FOIA to obtain CIA documents dealing with UFOs, without charge for his services, if the UFO group would underwrite other legal expenses. A small UFO group called Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), headed by William Spaulding of Phoenix, Az., responded to Gersten’s offer. On Sept. 11, 1977, Gersten filed an FOIA suit in Federal Court against the CIA in GSW’s name. In addition to requesting a “true copy” of the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel report of early 1953, Gersten also sought any CIA papers dealing with 600 specific UFO incidents.To Gersten’s surprise, the CIA responded on Aug. 17, 1978, asking that Gersten modify

his FOIA request to ask the CIA to conduct “a reasonable search” of its files and to release ALL UFO-related documents—not just those which Gersten had requested. Gersten agreed and the Court ordered the CIA to conduct “a reasonable search” within 90 days and release all UFO documents it found, which was done on Dec. 15, 1978.

A one-page press release announcing “CIA RELEASES UFO DOCUMENTS” was distributed to the news media not by GSW, but in the name of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), which had been created in early 1978 by a Wisconsin UFOlogist named W. Todd Zechel, who had earlier been associated with GSW. The CAUS press release said the “documents are dated from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, demonstrating continuous interest on the part of the agency despite frequent public denials. The significance of the information contained in the documents will not be known until after they have been fully analyzed.” A few weeks later, after SUN’s editor had had an opportunity to study the CIA documents, we called Gersten on Feb. 5, 1979, to obtain his assessment. Gersten responded: “As far as a coverup—coverup meaning they are not volunteering documents—I would think that the documents they have released seriously damages the theory of a coverup."

In fact, the once-highly classified CIA documents showed that the agency had become briefly involved with the UFO issue in mid-1952, at the request of the White House after seemingly mysterious radar blips appeared on the radar at Washington National Airport. But after the Robertson Panel studied the USAF’s best cases and concluded that all had prosaic explanations, the CIA decided in early 1953 NOT to launch its own UFO investigation. From that time, the agency had not been involved in investigating UFOs.

CAUS Founder Zechel Departs After False Claims Are Exposed

Zechel quickly zoomed to fame in UFO circles as a result of his newly created Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) and his claim that, as a result of having been employed for 10 years by “two civilian intelligence agencies,” he had hard evidence of a government UFO coverup. For example, in an article published in the August 1978 issue of UFO Reports, UFO historian Jerome Clark offered the following appraisal: “At this moment in history, it’s distinctly possible that Todd Zechel is UFOlogy’s major figure.” (Emphasis added.)

My brief investigation into Zechel’s claims revealed him to be a spinner of tall tales. During most of the 10 years he claimed to have been employed by “two civilian intelligence agencies” he was actually employed as a carpenter, a fireman, and later managed a “sex shop.” The results of my investigation, reported in a brief White Paper dated Sept. 1, 1978, were sent to Clark and other UFOlogists. Clark sharply criticized me for doing so, saying that he had gotten to know Zechel very well and that he was a person of "uncompromising integrity.” Within a year, Clark would admit that he had been wrong about Zechel’s integrity and would later write me to say: “If I’d listened to you, I’d have saved myself a hell of a lot of heartache.” By mid-1979, Zechel abandoned CAUS for Hollywood, hoping to sell a script for a UFO-coverup movie.

Gersten, who had worked with Zechel during the CIA litigation, took over as Director of CAUS. In the early 1980s, having failed to find any “smoking gun” in the CIA’s UFO documents, Gersten/CAUS filed an FOIA request to obtain UFO documents from the National Security Agency. But NSA refused to release most of the documents because they would have revealed that NSA was covertly evesdropping on communications of Soviet air-defense centers. (In late 1996, NSA released the documents whose highlights were first reported in SUN #43/Jan. 1997.) By 1984, Gersten had lost interest and CAUS was essentially defunct.

Barry Greenwood and Larry Fawcett, who had authored a book accusing the government of UFO coverup, obtained Gersten’s approval to publish a quarterly newsletter in CAUS’s name, with Greenwood as editor. Their first issue of Just Cause was published in the fall of 1984.

For the past 13 years, Just Cause has been the voice of CAUS, and reason, and in recent years Greenwood has played the dominant role. More importantly, Greenwood has become more skeptical, questioning the authenticity of the MJ-12 papers and claims of a Roswell crashed saucer. Increasingly, Just Cause has focused on obtaining once-classified UFO documents dating back to the 1940s and 1950s.

Gersten Stages “Coup D'etat"

Several months ago—on Jan. 18—Greenwood first learned from UFOlogist Jan Aldrich that Gersten had announced that he was taking over as Director of CAUS to make it “an effective and viable activist organization dedicated to ending all secrecy about extraterrestrial contact....” Ten days later, after learning more about Gersten’s new associates, Greenwood announced that he had resigned as editor of Just Cause and from CAUS. Greenwood will launch a new publication called UFO Historical Review.

Possibly the first clue that Gersten might return the UFO field came a year ago when he was a featured speaker at a conference sponsored by the Connecticut chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). The title of Gersten’s talk was: “Government Secrecy, UFOs and the Nazi Connection.” In an interview published in the May 17, 1997, edition of the Connecticut Post, Gersten was quoted as saying that he did not think UFOs “come from some other planet, but from the frozen south. He said it has been long established that Nazi scientists were testing flying-saucer-like craft during World War II, and after the war it’s possible that some fled to Antarctica to continue the experiments. If not, the technology was likely stolen after the war by another country, perhaps the U.S., he said. But that’s not to say the aliens aren’t here or coming, he cautioned. Those mysterious circles that appear in European crops are definite alien messages, he said, and it could be proven there are ancient artifacts on Mars and its moon [sic] if only scientists would point the Hubble space telescope in that direction.”

Gersten told SUN last October: “I don’t get excited any more about lights-in-the-sky type of UFOs. I think most, if not all, of the things we see are earthly technology.” Gersten added: “I believe this planet is in connection with another form of intelligence but I don’t think UFOs [sightings] are the best evidence. I think that crop circles are the best evidence...”

California Revokes Another UFO-Abduction Therapist’s License

Prominent psychotherapist Dr. Edith Fiore of Saratoga, Calif., one of the earliest to embrace the reality of UFO abductions and other far-out ideas, agreed to surrender her license on Aug. 10 after the California State Board of Psychology charged her with “being grossly negligent” in the treatment of a female patient—identified as JH. In 1989, Fiore authored a book “Encounter: A Psychologist Reveals Case Studies of Abductions by Extraterrestrials.” This is the second time that the California Board has revoked the license of a psychotherapist who attempted to convince patients they had suffered UFO abductions. Two years ago, the Board revoked the license of Dr. Richard Boylan of Sacramento, who also specialized in treating patients he believed had been abducted by UFOs [SUN #37/Jan. 1996].

According to an article in the Aug. 20 edition of the Saratoga News, one of the charges against Fiore was that she used an unusual treatment procedure without obtaining patient JH’s consent. According to JH, by means of hypnosis, Fiore claimed to have removed “90 entities, comprised of dead persons,” from JH’s body. Then, JH said that Fiore told her that "they should explore whether JH may have been abducted by Unidentified Flying Objects [UFOs].” The article noted that after three years Fiore can request reinstatement of her license. But if granted, Fiore would have to pay the cost of the Board’s investigation: $10,706. (SUN wonders when other states will follow California’s lead. And when persons without psychotherapist training will be prosecuted for using hypnosis to “treat” UFO-abduction “experiencers.”)

Another “Top Secret” Document Indicates No Roswell Crashed Saucer

Because not one of the many hundreds of formerly “SECRET” CIA or USAF documents provides any evidence that any agency of the U.S. government has ever recovered a crashed saucer, those who promote the Roswell crashed-saucer-coverup myth “invent” the explanation that such information would be classified “TOP SECRET.” This explains why books and articles promoting the Roswell crashed-saucer myth typically avoid any mention of the TOP SECRET Air Intelligence Report No. 100-203-79, dated 10 December 1948, titled “Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the U.S.” This report, declassified in early 1985, concludes that “it would be most logical to consider that they [UFOs] are from a Soviet source.”

Another pertinent “TOP SECRET” document has recently been discovered by UFO researcher Jan Aldrich, and a copy was obtained by Robert Todd, who provided a copy to SUN. The document, dated 20 April 1949, is a report by the USAF’s Director of Intelligence for the Joint Intelligence Committee. The report briefly summarizes the Air Force’s efforts to determine what UFOs really were, including the following:

“Inasmuch as various surmises have been advanced that some of the reported [UFO] observations may have represented ‘space ships’ or satellite vehicles, a special study has been initiated with the RAND Corporation, under the RAND Project, to provide an analysis from this standpoint and also to provide fundamental information pertaining to the basic design and performance characteristics that might distinguish a possible ‘space ship.’ [NOTE: RAND was then the center of U.S. research on man-made satellites and had issued several highly classified reports on the design of earth satellites and their potential benefits for different military applications.] RAND Corporation has also informed AMC [Air Materiel Command] that their analysis of all incidents leads them to the conclusion that there is nothing in any reported incidents which would go against a rational [i.e., prosaic] explanation.” (Emphasis added.)

The report notes: “Members of the [Air Force] Advisory Board to the Chief of Staff, USAF, who have provided consultant services to Project Grudge [the USAF’s UFO investigation effort], include Dr. Irving Langmuir, chief, General Electric Research and Dr. G.E. Valley of MIT.” (Dr. Valley had recently been named to lead a Massachusetts Institute of Technology effort to develop an effective defense against Soviet bomber attack.]

The report adds that AMC had contracted with nearby Ohio State University for the services of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist, to assist in analyzing UFO reports. “Preliminary report of Dr. Hynek indicates that 30 percent of the first 200 [UFO] incidents are positively attributable to astronomical phenomena...” Also: “The Air Weather Service has reviewed incident data and has provided information that 24 of the first 172 [UFO reports], both with respect to location and time, coincide with the release of weather balloons.”


  • “In spite of the lack of accurate data provided by witnesses, the majority of the reported incidents have been caused by misidentification of weather balloons, high altitude balloons with lights and/or electronic equipment, meteors, bolides, and the planet Venus
  • “There are numerous reports from reliable and competent observers for which a conclusive explanation has not been made. Some of these involve descriptions which would place them in the category of new manifestations of probably natural phenomena but others involve configurations and described performance which might conceivably represent an advanced aerodynamical development. A few unexplained incidents surpass these limits of credibility.”

Travis Walton Book Reveals Break With Mike Rogers

A previously unknown rift between “UFO abductee” Travis Walton and his crew chief, Mike Rogers, is revealed in Walton’s book “Fire In The Sky” [SUN #50/March 1998]. Although Travis had been a long-time friend of Rogers and was happily married to his sister Dana, Travis admits “there was a blowup. We hardly spoke to each other for a number of years” [p. 191]. Walton tries to blame the rift on the fact that Rogers was often criticized for having driven off after Travis (allegedly) was zapped by a blue beam from the UFO, leaving Travis behind to be abducted. Travis denies that he himself ever leveled such criticism at Rogers but adds: "Certain members of my family made known their strong feelings about it."

Yet neither Travis’ mother or older brother Duane criticized Rogers for his (alleged) action during the time when Travis was “missing” and his fate (seemingly) was unknown. When Travis’ mother was first informed by Rogers and deputy sheriff Ken Coplan that her son seemingly had been abducted by a UFO, she took the news very calmly, according to Coplan. She did NOT then criticize Rogers for his actions. Three days later, when Travis was still “missing,” Rogers and Travis’ older brother Duane were interviewed by UFOlogist Fred Sylvanus. Not once during the hour-long tape-recorded interview did Duane criticize Rogers for having abandoned Travis to his fate. At one point, Duane said: “I don’t think he’s in any danger at all....I wish I was with him” [SUN #50/March 1998].

When Travis reappeared five days later and was promptly examined by two physicians, there were no burn or bruise marks on his body or any other evidence of injury. When the Walton incident was selected by the National Enquirer as the best UFO case of 1975, Travis received $2,500 as his share—as much as he earned in many months cutting timber for Rogers.

The Unforeseen, Unhappy Impact On Travis’s Life

If the incident were a hoax concocted by Rogers, in the hope that it might provide an excuse for Rogers’ default on his seriously delinquent Forest Service contract, and that they might win the $100,000 grand prize offered by the National Enquirer for positive proof that some UFOs were ET craft, the unforeseen, unpleasant consequences could prompt Travis and his family to blame Rogers. Travis briefly mentions a few of these in his book [p. 189-191]:

  • “One joke made the rounds: ‘You hear they proved Travis was telling the truth? When he came back they found a Mars bar in his pocket'....School kids chanted a singsong on the playground: ‘Flying saucers, UFO, where did Travis Walton go?’ That was embellished to: ‘Travis Walton, UFO. Where did all the spaceships go? Travis ate ‘em, now he’s back. Now he has to take a spaceship crap.'”
  • “...particularly disappointing was how some people who treated us with normal friendliness and respect in private, became cool and distant (if they didn’t pretend not to see us altogether) when we encountered them in public.”
  • “Then there were those who, in the normal day-to-day course of human interactions, would occasionally perceive themselves at odds with me over some unrelated issue. So, of course, they would immediately bring up the UFO incident as their ad hominem trump card, behind my back of course.”

Rogers experienced a similar aftermath for which he might blame Travis for agreeing to participate in a hoax. Rogers’ marriage ended in divorce, as did those of several other crew members. (Travis says he doubts whether any of the divorces “were directly caused by the incident.”) According to Travis, “Mike started to withdraw, to become an emotional hermit....Mike was hired [as a logger]. During one of his seasons up there he lived alone in a cabin."

Travis comments that “Writing this book makes me look back over the years for perspective on all the changes that have occurred, both personal and global.” If Travis was really abducted by a UFO one might then expect him to comment in the closing chapters of his book something like the following: “But all these irritations are a small price to pay for having experienced a UFO abduction, being taken to a hangar somewhere on earth or on their planet where I saw three flying saucers, and being returned safely without any injury. It’s an adventure that I will treasure for my entire life. I am eager to devote my life to helping resolve the UFO controversy and preventing UFOs from abducting innocent citizens."

BUT NOWHERE IN THE BOOK DOES TRAVIS EXPRESS ANY SUCH VIEW. Instead, he writes: “One community might have welcomed me with open arms: The UFO community. I was repeatedly invited to attend their gatherings, but I rarely accepted. That wasn’t a put-down of those people. It’s just that I’d had enough of the controversy, the reaction, the subject. My best coping strategy was simply to try to get on with my life and live it as normally as possible.”

Prospect Of Hollywood Movie Heals Rift Between Travis And Rogers

Travis does not disclose what prompted a reconcilation with Rogers or when it occurred. On Nov. 5, 1985—exactly 10 years after the UFO incident—Tracy Torme arrived in Snowflake, Az., to meet with Travis and Mike. Torme sought their cooperation for a movie on the Walton incident which he hoped to sell to a Hollywood producer. The prospect of a movie and payment for their assistance healed the rift. Mike and Travis have been close buddies ever since.

At first, Travis writes, he told Torme he was not interested: “What could a movie bring to my life? Stir up all the old controversies, animosities, and ridicule?” [p. 211]. While sitting in a doughnut shop and watching local traffic, Travis remarked to Torme “how few of these people seemed to base their opinions concerning the incident on the facts; their opinions seemed to be mostly derived from their prejudices and emotions. Tracy responded that a movie would induce people to experience the sighting and its aftermath for themselves and open up their thinking about it. That viewpoint immediately clicked for me.” (Emphasis added.) Under the agreement which Travis signed, he would assist Torme in obtaining the written permission of other members of the Rogers crew to being portrayed in the movie. But “Ken Peterson simply refused to sign. It wasn’t the money. He felt some personal principle would be violated by his signing. We never figured out what it was, but his decision was final.” [SUN Comment: If Peterson knew the incident were a hoax, this could explain his refusal to be portrayed by name in the movie.]

More than five years would elapse before Torme was able to get a firm commitment from Paramount Pictures to buy his script, and there would be many changes in Torme’s script before “Fire In The Sky” made its debut in March of 1993 [SUN #21/May 1993].

Clark Denies He Served As Ghostwriter For Any Part Of Walton’s Book But Admits He Provided Anti-PJK Articles At Walton’s Request

The last issue of SUN noted the strong endorsement of the Walton UFO incident, and of Walton’s recent book, by Jerome Clark (editor of International UFO Reporter, published by the Center for UFO Studies/CUFOS). We then reported: “It is rumored that Clark helped Walton write his first book and there is evidence that he served as ‘ghostwriter’ for much of the new material in Walton’s recent book.” The “evidence” included harsh criticism similar to that voiced in some of Clark’s articles and in our personal correspondence. Clark has responded that he “ghostwrote not a word of either book. I did supply Walton, at his request, with copies of a few pieces [articles] I’d written on Klass and CSICOP [a skeptics organization with which I am affiliated] for the second book, and Walton indicates as much in his coverage of debunking treatments of his story.” In only one instance that we can find (p. 290) is criticism of “PJK” or CSICOP credited to a Clark article. (The Walton book does not contain an Index.)

On page 366 of the Walton book he writes: “I've been told that he [PJK] owns an apartment complex, a big oceangoing boat, and makes frequent trips to places like the Bahamas.” Travis does not say who told him, but when Clark visited me in 1980, I mentioned that the bank and I owned two other small studio apartments in our condominium complex. And I would later invite Clark to go sailing on my 27-ft. sailboat, based near the Chesapeake Bay. On April 8, 1984, at a time when our relations were more cordial, I concluded my letter to Clark as follows: “If business or pleasure should bring you to the D.C. area, I invite you to join me aboard the ‘Hanky Pank,’ but warn you of the dangers of the mysterious Chesapeake Quadrangle in which many UFOPs (UFO Promoters) have disappeared mysteriously. A few have been found with their bodies riddled with bullet holes. Some who are anxious to keep the Cosmic Watergate under cover, will stop at absolutely nothing."

Clark responded in friendly fashion, indicating that he recognized the foregoing was intended as a joke. So my May 14, 1984, letter to Clark concluded: “The yacht Hanky Pank made her maiden voyage of 1984 and all systems including the marine toilet were A-OK....Perhaps you will join us some day (and your body will be found floating in the Chesapeake).” Clark replied on May 21, saying that he considered my May 14 letter to be a “death threat,” and not a joke. “Unless you make a full, immediate and unqualified apology, all communication between us will cease and I will have nothing further to do with you.” I replied on May 25: "If you honestly believe that my letter of May 14 contained a serious ‘death threat,’ then I would urge you to immediately bring it to the attention of the FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard—the latter because the foul deed would be performed in its waters. However, if you fear that the FBI and USCG might think you a dum-dum and a kook, then perhaps you may not wish to do so. The choice is yours and I will not venture any advice...” If Clark reported my “death threat” to the FBI, the agency did not pursue it with me. And Clark terminated our correspondence.

Clark Admits Walton Case Might Be A Hoax, But Not Like PJK Scenario

In “The UFO Book,” authored by Clark, he offers the following evaluation of the Walton case: “Nearly all the available evidence would lead one to the conclusion that Walton, his family, and the logging crew are not hoaxers. If there is compelling evidence to the contrary, it has yet to emerge. In the end, Klass’ case rests on a single dubious polygraph result and a mass of lurid but apparently baseless speculations. Should the Walton episode turn out to be a hoax, we may be confident that it will not be the kind of hoax Klass says it was...” (Emphasis added.)


Short Shrift

  • One Of Many False Walton Charges: Travis claims, p. 360, that “PJK scratched deep in efforts to dig up dirt on those he attacked. I learned that he telephoned all the bars in town, looking for bad stories about me, but when they told him I never went in there, PJK hid this fact.” (Emphasis added.) The truth: I have never in my life telephoned, or in any way communicated with, any bar in the state of Arizona or in any state west of the Mississippi.
  • Congressman Steven H. Schiff (R.-NM), who prompted the GAO’s Roswell crashed-saucer investigation in 1994-95, died of cancer on March 25, at the age of 51.
  • “The Threat"—David Jacobs’ New UFO-Abduction Book: In his new book, Jacobs attempts to explain why some UFO-abduction researchers, such as Dr. John Mack, Leo Sprinkle, and Richard Boylan (whom Jacobs refers to as “Positives”) interpret the tales of their subjects as indicating that ETs have benevolet objectives, while Jacobs and Hopkins believe ETs are malevolent. Jacobs explains the sharply divergent views of UFO-abduction experts as follows: “A primary reason for the Positive attitude is that most of these abductees have not undergone competent hypnosis to help them understand what has happened to them.” He adds: “The inadequate hypnotist engages in a mutual confirmational fantasy; the abductee reports the fantasy; the hypnotist assumes that the abductee’s narrative is objective reality.” [SUN Comment: Jacobs erroneously presumes that he is much too intelligent to mistake fantasy for reality.]
  • Attention David Jacobs, Budd Hopkins, Dr. John Mack, et al: A report on a study commissioned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, slated for publication in the April edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry, warns that “any memory recovered through hypnosis, dream interpretation or regression therapy is almost certainly false.” [SUN Comment: Unless hypnosis is administered by David Jacobs.]
  • “How To Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction” is title of a new “How To” book slated to make its debut this summer. Its author is Ann Druffel, long-time pro-UFOlogist, whose research indicates that UFO abductions can be avoided by means of “will power and spoken commands to ‘go away.'” Druffel first reported her research in the March 1992 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal [SUN #18/July 1992]. The book will be published by the Harmony Book division of Crown Publishers. In Jacobs’ book he notes that “in recent years abductees have reported a marked increase in the frequency of their abductions....Curtailing
  • abductions—and their consequences—does not seem feasible at present.” [SUN recommends that Jacobs encourage his “abductees” to read Druffel’s new book.]
  • Curious Omission In Jacobs’ New Book: Although Budd Hopkins has characterized the Linda "Cortile” (Napolitano) case—in which she claims she was beamed up to a hovering UFO from her 12th floor Manhattan apartment—as the most impressive UFO-abduction case of all time [SUN #42/Nov. 1996], the case is not even briefly discussed in the new Jacobs book. However, Hopkins’ book on the case, “Witnessed: The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions,” is cited in Jacobs’ Appendix notes. Although Jacobs previously seemed content to “play second fiddle” to his close friend Hopkins, the “About The Author” page in his new book says he “is considered the world’s foremost academic scholar on the UFO and abduction phenomenon.” (Jacobs is a history professor at Temple University.)
  • SUN’s Prediction Comes True—So Far: More than a year has passed since the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS)—created by Las Vegas millionaire Robert Bigelow—spent more than $200,000 to buy a ranch in Utah whose previous owner (Terry Sherman) claimed that UFOs often visited the ranch to mutilate cattle and create crop circles. NIDS constructed an observation facility on the ranch, which was operated around the clock to record future UFO activities. SUN correctly predicted that UFOs would no longer visit the ranch [SUN #44/March 1997]. Our prediction was based on the fact that UFOs (seemingly) often visited Ed Walters’ home in Gulf Breeze, Fla., until he built a new house and sold the old one to Mr./Mrs. Robert Menzer. UFOs quickly learned that the house was now occupied by the Menzers and the UFOs never returned, according to the Menzers. Seemingly, the UFOs were unable to locate Ed’s new address and never again hovered over his yard to provide close-up photo opportunities.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 52


“Spaceships or Mirages Over Washington National Airport, 1952?” Report By Fund For UFO Research Distorts, Omits Key Facts

The error-ridden introduction to a 75-page report recently offered for sale by the Fund for UFO Research was written by FUFOR’s new chairman, Don Berliner. He confuses “temperature-inversion” effects which create spurious targets on radar with spurious visual images, called “mirages.” (Berliner coauthored with Stanton Friedman the Roswell crashed-saucer book “Crash At Corona.”) The FUFOR chairman’s introduction to the report begins as follows: “One of the flimsier excuses/explanations used by the U.S. Air Force’s unforgettable Project Blue Book was ‘temperature inversion.’ This meant that what the witness thought he saw flying through the sky was actually something on the ground. A mirage had allegedly distorted the location of the image of the ground object to make it look like it was high in the sky....

“The most memorable misuse of this explanation was in connection with the localized wave of [UFO] sightings over Washington D.C [July 19-20 and July 26-27, 1952]....When the rash of UFO sightings tracked simultaneously by radars at Washington National Airport, Bolling AFB and Andrews AFB drew enormous press interest by showing UFOs cavorting freely over the White House, the Capitol and the Pentagon....The Air Force explanation was that the expert radar operators had been tracking images misplaced by a temperature inversion. And that visual confirming observations from the ground and from airliners over Washington were similarly the result of mirages created by temperature inversions. There was absolutely no scientific basis for this claim,” according to Berliner. (Emphasis added.)

The first half of the FUFOR report contains a transcript of a Pentagon press conference held on July 29, 1952, in the wake of the UFO incidents, which was presided over by Maj. Gen. John A. Stamford, the USAF’s Director of Intelligence. The transcript reveals the distortions in Berliner’s introduction. During the conference, Gen. Stamford said the USAF then suspected that the anomalous radar blips were the result of temperature inversion. This would later be confirmed by an investigation conducted by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), now the Federal Aviation Administration. The transcript shows that the USAF did not offer a mirage explanation for the visual UFO reports. The other half of the FUFOR report is an unclassified technical paper by USAF 1st Lt. Frederick V. Menkello, written in early 1969, which challenged the mirage explanation for some visual UFO reports that had been offered by Dr. Donald Menzel—a noted astronomer and UFO skeptic. During the press conference, in response to a question, Stamford expressed some reservations about Menzel’s theory.

Berliner omits any mention of the investigation conducted by Richard C. Borden and Tirey K. Vickers of the CAA’s Technical Development and Evaluation Center. Their April 1953 report concluded: “It was determined that targets which are known to operating personnel by various terminologies such as ‘ghosts,’ ‘angels,’ or ‘pixies’ do not represent new phenomena, nor are they peculiar to the Washington area. Correlation of controllers’ reports with U.S. Weather Bureau records indicated that a surface temperature inversion was almost always noted when such targets appeared on the radar.” CAA investigators reported that at Chicago’s Midway Airport “unidentified targets have been seen on many occasions, particularly when temperature inversions have been in effect...” And at Cleveland’s Municipal Airport, they reported, "Unidentified radar targets have been observed many times.” (Emphasis added.) CAA investigators found that anomalous radar targets had been spotted on Washington National Airport radar long before the July 19-20 and July 26-27 incidents during temperature-inversion conditions.

During temperature-inversion conditions, some of the energy from the radar’s transmitted pulses is reflected back to earth. If this energy illuminates a hard object, such as a concrete building or automobile, it can be reflected back to the radar via the patch of temperature-inverted air which is moving in the direction of the prevailing winds at that altitude. Conditions most conducive to temperature inversions occur during hot, humid weather which is often experienced in Washington during the summer months.

CAA Investigators Spot Many “RADAR UFOs” and Monitor Their Movements

The CAA’s 1953 report noted that on the night of Aug. 13-14, 1952, its investigators monitored the scope of the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center’s radar. “Suddenly, at approximately 19:57 Eastern Standard Time, a group of seven strong stationary targets became visible about 15 miles north-northeast of the radar antenna. During the next two or three antenna revolutions, the area on the scope between Washington and Baltimore became heavily sprinkled with stationary targets in a belt about six miles wide. A group of additional targets became visible in an area approximately 10 to 15 miles south of the radar antenna. This was evidence of the beginning of a temperature inversion. Within the next minute, at approximately 19:58 EST, four unidentified moving targets showed up five miles southeast of the radar antenna and moved in a southerly direction away from it....Targets were uniformly small and usually had a weak, fuzzy appearance. However, the target intensity varied from sweep to sweep. Occasionally one or two very strong returns would be received in succession, followed by almost total blanking."

During the next four hours, many more anomalous blips showed up. CAA investigators plotted their paths and timing so they could later calculate their speed and direction. Subsequent analysis showed that all of the "radar UFOs” were moving in the direction of the prevailing wind and all but one was moving at twice the known wind velocity, as theory predicts. [If these radar-UFOs were ET craft, seemingly their remarkable propulsion systems had failed, forcing them to depend upon the winds aloft.]

USAF Pilot Sent To Intercept Washington “RADAR UFOs” Saw Nothing

In early 1978, I received a letter from John W. McHugo, former USAF pilot of one of two F-94 interceptors which had been dispatched to the Washington area on the night of July 26, 1952, to investigate the "radar UFOs” that had been spotted again by National Airport controllers. When the two F-94s arrived, they were directed to the locations of the unidentified blips on the airport radar scopes. McHugo wrote: “We saw nothing visually or on [the F-94’s] airborne radar,” which was designed to detect small enemy fighter aircraft. The second F-94 pilot, 1st Lt. William Patterson, who was flying at only 1,000 ft. altitude, reported seeing two or three lights that appeared to be at his level, but he reported they suddenly disappeared. McHugo said: “We were quite certain that Patterson simply confused lights from a ground vehicle with an airborne light. This is most easy to do when at low altitude. Lights from a vehicle climbing a gentle hill will get a pilot’s attention...” Patterson’s radar operator saw no airborne targets.

Ironically, one of the officials present at the July 29, 1952, press conference was Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey, then the USAF’s Director of Operations. Five years earlier Ramey was head of the 8th Air Force, based in Ft. Worth, Tex., where he had identified the Roswell/Brazel-ranch “crashed saucer” as the debris from a weather balloon and its kite-like radar target. If, as some claim, Ramey knew the Roswell debris really was from an extrater-restrial craft and might be the precursor of an ET attack, then the July 20 report of UFOs near the nation’s capital should have prompted Ramey to quickly mobilize dozens of interceptors to move in quickly to defend Washington if the UFOs returned. Yet a week later, on the evening of July 26, when “UFOs” again appeared on the National Airport radar scope, three hours would elapse before the first two F-94s arrived, and another two hours elapsed before a second pair of interceptors arrived. If Gen. Ramey knew UFOs were ET craft, then he was grossly derelict in failing to take appropriate measures to defend the nation’s capital.


Nearly five years after the Washington “radar-UFO” incident, the USAF’s Airways and Air Communications Service issued a lengthy report to technicians responsible for maintaining its then-new CPN-18 long-range surveillance radars. The report, dated 9 April 1957, began: “The number of reported difficulties with ‘Angels,’ ‘Pipsqueaks,’ ‘Anomalous Propagation’ and just plain false targets seem to be on the increase within this command. These phenomena are confusing our operators, increasing workload on radar mechanics, and in a few cases have become so serious that ATC [air traffic control] facilities have been NOTAMED out of operation [i.e., shut down]. When and if this condition occurs at your location, a lot of worried people are going to want to know where the targets are coming from and what is causing them to appear. We do not have the final answer to give. There have been a number of studies conducted on the cause and effect of these targets and to the best of our knowledge no one answer has been found that applies to all cases.” (Emphasis added.) But the report indicated that temperature inversion was a major cause.

The 1957 report cited a number of specific instances of spurious targets at a number of different locations. One USAF radar, located north of San Francisco, encountered so many spurious targets one month that it was shut down 15 times for a total of 84.7 hours. Based on a survey of USAF radar operators, the 1957 report concluded: “It is now clear that not all operators understood the phenomenon that was being investigated.” Reports of an unknown target that appeared to be traveling at extremely high speed were attributed to a radar operator’s erroneous “assumption that unrelated single returns [blips] appearing on the PPI [radar display] come from the same target.” [For example, during anomalous propagation conditions a blip might appear 10 miles east of the radar, then disappears on the next antenna scan 10 seconds later when a new blip appears 10 miles west of the radar. If a radar operator fails to recognize that these blips are the result of anomalous propagation and erroneously assumes that both blips were generated by a single target, then he can readily conclude that the target was flying at 7,200 miles/hour.] To familiarize radar operators and technicians with the problem, the USAF had produced a one-hour movie and the report told how to obtain a copy.

This spurious-target problem began to ease two decades ago when new military and civil radars began to use digital computers (processors) to perform “smart filtering.” As the use of this much-improved radar technology expanded, the number of “radar-UFO” reports has declined dramatically in recent years.


Some years ago, after an interview with an official of a major avionics company for an article on electronic warfare that I would write for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, he said he had read one of my UFO books and commented: “I used to create radar-UFOs when I was in the Air Force.” When I sought an explanation, he insisted on anonymity both for himself and his company, and I agreed. Mr. “X” explained that in his younger years he had been a radar technician/maintenance man in the USAF, assigned to air defense centers. Sometimes he would be assigned to the “graveyard shift,” from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., when there was scant civil or military air traffic to keep the radar operators occupied.

“The operators would be practically falling asleep in their chairs. If I had nothing better to do, I would slip into the room where the radar receiver and transmitter were located and incorrectly set the gain control of the MTI [moving target indicator]. This would generate spurious targets and send them zipping across several radar displays. When I returned to the operations room, it had come alive and operators were screaming about high-speed UFOs. I’d offer to check the radar and would then reset the MTI. Then when I returned I would report that I had checked and the radar seemed to be functioning properly. The next morning when the day-shift radar technician came in, he also would check the radar and report that it seemed to be OK.” I was so amused by Mr. “X’s” account that I forgot to ask him how many times he had created such "radar UFOs.”

UFO (Reportedly) “Swallows” Small Ultralight Craft In Flight

A small Ultralight-type aircraft and its pilot, flying low over a Burlington, Iowa, residential area in broad daylight, were reportedly gobbled up by a large cylindrical-shaped UFO, according to the lead story in the May issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. The case was investigated by Ms. Beverly Trout, MUFON’s state director for Iowa, assisted by two field investigator trainees. The incident reportedly occurred on Aug. 12, 1996, and the principal “witness” told Ms. Trout that he called the local newspaper the next morning to report the incident. But because he refused to provide his name, the reporter was not interested. The (alleged) witness—who is referred to as “John"—explained that he needed to remain anonymous because he was trying to get a job “with a sensitive installation in his area.”

It was not until more than a year later, on Nov. 24, 1997, that “John” reported the incident to Ms. Trout—four months after learning her name from an article published in the Des Moines Register. By this time “John” said he had accepted another job, but still did not want his name used in her MUFON report because he still hoped to obtain a position “with a sensitive installation.” Ms. Trout’s report does not indicate whether MUFON’s investigators tried to verify that “John” had applied for a position at a “sensitive installation.” Presumably no Ultralight pilot had been reported missing, but he could have been "regurgitated” by the UFO without any conscious memory of what had caused his “missing time.” According to Trout, a “major concern” was whether an Ultralight craft “could fit into a 20 ft. diameter cylinder,” which was “John’s” estimate of the UFO size. MUFON investigators concluded that it was possible.

“John” claimed that after seeing the UFO open its jaws-like nose section and swallow the small craft, he went into his house to get his son, who briefly watched the UFO before it had departed. When MUFON investigators asked to talk to the son, they were told that he was shy and did not want to be interviewed. Later, when the son was interviewed, he explained that his reluctance was due to his fear of the “Men in Black.” The witness’s “wife had also been very reluctant to have him report this incident.” Curiously, Trout said that "John” recently had again reported the incident to the Burlington newspaper and did give his name. But the incident has not been reported by the newspaper. However, MUFON’s state director concludes: “We believe, at this point in our assessment, that the primary witness and his son are credible.”

SUN Comment: If your next airline flight arrives late ("missing time”), conceivably your airliner was swallowed, and later regurgitated, by a giant UFO. We urge you to be skeptical if your pilot tries to blame the “missing time” on traffic congestion or bad weather.

Strieber’s New Book Focuses On “Alien Implants”

Whitley Strieber’s new book, “Confirmation,” reveals that he has adopted a different strategy to gain scientific credibility for UFOs since he published “Communion” in 1987 and its sequels, such as “Transformation” and “Breakthrough.” These previous books featured Strieber’s claims of his own wild encounters with “aliens” (ETs). For example, in “Breakthrough,” Strieber claimed that in mid-1993, he was visited by an ET who stayed for several months and slept in the guest room. Further, that the ET would awaken him several times during the night for joint “meditation sessions” [SUN #34/July 1995]. In that book, Strieber characterized these (alleged) personal experiences as “proof” and claimed it was “quite sufficient to pass the ‘reasonable man’ test.” In Strieber’s new book, most (but not all) of the weird experiences are attributed to others. He claims to have received more than 250,000 letters, including 30,000 which reported abduction-type experiences.

Strieber’s new book, subtitled “The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us,” indicates that he is most impressed with “alien implants.” In “Communion,” Strieber told of ETs having insert-ed something into his brain—one of the first reports of an “alien implant.” In 1986, Strieber’s

psychiatrist, Dr. Donald Klein, suggested that Strieber undergo tests to determine if he was suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy, which can generate weird hallucinations. When the MRI (magnetic resonance imagery) showed white objects in temporal lobe, Strieber suspected they might be alien implants but, understandably, was unwilling to undergo surgery to have them removed for examination. In “Confirmation,” Strieber cites others whose tales are as exotic as those he reported in earlier books whose MRIs also showed white spots in the temporal lobe region of the brain.

Strieber details the “implant surgery” of Dr. Roger Leir, a California podiatrist, who on Aug. 19, 1995, removed two tiny objects from a woman’s big toe and an associate who removed a small object from the hand of a male subject. (Strieber concedes that “it isn’t all that uncommon for foreign objects to become embedded in feet and hands. So maybe these were just innocuous objects.”) On May 18, 1966, Dr. Leir and an unnamed surgeon removed BB-size objects from the legs of two women and a tiny triangular-shaped metal object from the jaw of a man. (When Dr. Leir reported on these “implant” surgeries at the 1996 MUFON conference in Greensboro, N.C., he said that rigorous analysis of the objects was expected shortly and the results would be reported promptly in respected scientific journals [SUN #41/Sept. 1996]. Two years have since elapsed without Leir’s promised publication. Strieber admits that “So far, none of the objects removed has appeared to be particularly unusual. All are made of known materials." More important, in SUN’s opinion, is the fact that not one of the “implants” ever recovered by Dr. Leir or anyone else has shown any evidence that it was fabricated by intelligent creatures for any useful purpose. Nor is there any pattern of “implant” locations. They range from toes to nostrils, and one man claims an implant in his penis.


Two years ago Strieber learned of an “abductee,” named Jesse Long, who claimed that he had been abducted as a young child in 1957—four years before the Betty/Barney Hill ab-duction incident. Jesse claimed that he and his brother had been abducted by “a tall man, very thin but human looking with large but otherwise normal eyes.” Jesse recalled experiencing pain in his left leg and a photo of young Jesse in Strieber’s book shows a scar on his left shin. In May of 1989, after reading Budd Hopkins’ book “Intruders,” Jesse became interested in “UFO abductions.” This, reportedly, prompted him to undergo surgery on his leg, which he had videotaped.

On June 18, 1996, Long visited Strieber in San Antonio and turned over to him what he said was the object that had been removed from his leg seven years earlier. Strieber admits: “When I first saw it, I was quite disappointed....It looked like nothing more than a sliver of glass.” The object was subjected to a variety of tests by Dr. William Mallow of the Southwest Research Institute, who reported that its composition was 99.3% silica. Strieber reports that Mallow was puzzled because the glass was electrically conductive, but provides no technical details.


On May 24, 1995, around 3:15 a.m., while Whitley and his wife Ann were sleeping in their cabin in upper-state New York, he reports being awakened by “the distinctive sound of car tires crunching on our gravel driveway outside....There was a locked gate halfway down the drive, well away from the house. But this car was here....Then I heard the garage door going up, which couldn’t happen without the alarm going off. But it was happening. As I opened my eyes, I heard a voice behind the house, on the opposite side of the driveway, say, quite clearly in the silence, ‘Condition Red.'” Shortly afterwards, Strieber reports, “two people moved into the room, a young woman in black, featureless clothing, and behind her a man, taller, with a full beard....They came close to the bed. The woman looked perfectly human....Somebody began doing something to my [left] ear, and all the while there was a voice speaking in a sort of singsong.”

The next day, Whitley noted that his left ear was sore and his wife noted it was red. Although there was no incision mark or scab, Strieber says: “I thought: implant.” However, it would be more than two years later, on Oct. 9, 1997, before Strieber opted for surgery. Two objects removed from his ear lobe were analyzed by Dr. Mallow. He reported that one of the objects was ordinary cartilage while the other appeared to be collagen with microscopic crystals. Strieber comments: “I could not conclude from my surgery and the analysis of the material removed if it was all natural and explainable or if it was really something unknown.” Less than three weeks after Strieber’s ear surgery, his surgeon underwent surgery to remove a lump from his back. Strieber said his surgeon subsequently informed him that the “small gray inclusion was unlike anything that the dermatologist had ever seen before.” Strieber was disappointed that the surgeon had not saved the “lump” for further analysis that might have revealed it to be an “alien implant.”


No UFO Tale Is Too Wild For Dr. Steven Greer, CSETI’s Director

Even those who support Dr. Steven Greer, the medical doctor whose Center for the Study of Exterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) offers training courses in how to communicate with ETs [SUN #45/May 1997], are embarrassed by his wild claims and try to keep them under cover. For example, in late February CSETI’s Website carried the following item: “A recent attack by covert [U.S.] forces with a deadly Sarin-like nerve gas on the ET spaceport under 14,345 ft. Mount Blanca, Colorado, ended in disaster when the attacking forces were overcome by gas and a quarter of the personnel involved had to be medically evacuated.... According to Greer, around ‘30 people [in the CSETI group] saw ET craft flying nearby.’ Greer, and late-director Shari Adamiak, went up the trail alone, and ‘remote viewed the ETs inside the mountain.’ Came back down the trail to get the group and all went back up to spot where they had remote-viewed on the trail. People in the group saw Greer disappear in a ‘gold light’ which seemed to be coming from above them. Then, a ‘semi-circle of a dozen ET elders, all different sized,’ that were visible with the naked eye, surrounded Greer who seemed to then disappear. ETs ‘communed’ with Greer. They [ETs] said they were ‘under attack in the mountain by covert military forces.'”

One of Greer’s admirers—Steve Moreno—recognized that these claims would damage Greer’s credibility and communicated with Greer, who agreed to withdraw this report from CSETI’s Web-Site. Moreno then requested that anyone who had downloaded Greer’s wild report not distribute it. Moreno explained: “While there are tangents of truth to this incredible report, it is premature at this time for Dr. Greer to release such information...” Moreno expressed concern that Greer’s tale might jeopardize his effort to get Congress to hold an open hearing on Greer’s claim that the government is engaged in a UFO coverup.

Santilli Controversial Autopsy Movie (SCAM) Lawsuit Terminated

Kiviat Productions and Trimark Corp., who had acquired U.S. rights to Ray Santilli’s “Alien Autopsy” movie, have withdrawn their $60 million lawsuit against talk-show host Chuck Harder for selling a video which contained a few brief scenes from the TV show produced by Kiviat and shown on the Fox TV network in mid-1995. Their action avoided a Federal court decision on the validity of Santilli’s claimed copyright on film which he claims was shot by a U.S. Air Force cameraman, which would make it the property of the U.S. government.

Harder’s attorney, Robert Persante, also challenged the $60-million in damages which Kiviat and Trimark claimed they suffered, because Harder sold fewer than 6,000 copies of his video while Trimark sold 100,000 of its videos. After Harder/Persante filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the Kiviat/Trimark case and require Kiviat and Trimark to underwrite Harder’s $150,000 legal expenses, attorneys for Kiviat and Trimark asked the court to dismiss their case with prejudice, meaning they could never refile their complaint. The court agreed to dismiss the Kiviat-Trimark case but suggested the two sides negotiate Harder’s request to be reimbursed for legal expenses.

Bob Shell, editor of Shutterbug magazine, who made his debut in the UFO field three years ago as an appraiser of Santilli’s Controversial Autopsy Movie (SCAM)—and who then said he was 95% confident that the movie was authentic—is now “leaning toward the conclusion that the Alien Autopsy movie is an elaborate hoax.” Shell told SUN that his current view “is based on Santilli’s behavior—not the film itself.” In mid-1995, according to Shell, Santilli agreed to provide him with a small film sample for analysis by Eastman Kodak [SUN #38/Mar. 1996], but has never done so. Also for several years Santilli has been promising to arrange an interview for Shell with the (alleged) SCAM cameraman, but it has never materialized. Shell says that Santilli refuses to accept his telephone calls and does not answer Shell’s E-mail messages. One of the first UFO researchers to denounce “Alien Autopsy” as a hoax was Kent Jeffrey, who coined the acronym SCAM (Santilli’s Controversial Autopsy Movie).

Lt. Col. Corso Agrees To Aid UFO-Lawyer Gersten In FOIA Litigation

UFO lawyer Peter Gersten says that former Lt. Col. Philip Corso has signed an affidavit attesting to the truth of claims made in his book, “The Day After Roswell,” to help Gersten press his recently filed Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Army. Corso’s affidavit affirms that he not only saw ET bodies in 1947, but that he saw their autopsy reports in 1961 while he worked in the Pentagon. Corso’s affidavit could result in his being called to testify under oath in Federal Court, subject to legal consequences for perjury.

Numerous false claims in Corso’s book which involve non-UFO matters were detailed in SUN #49/Jan. 1998, a copy of which we provided to Gersten. Another critical review of Corso’s claims, authored by UFO researcher Karl T. Pflock, was published in the July 1997 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. It included a statement released by Sen. Strom Thurmond, saying Corso had misled him into writing an introduction for the book. Thurmond said: “I did not and would not [knowingly] pen the forward to a book about, or containing, a suggestion that the success of the United States in the Cold War is attributable to the technology found on a crashed UFO. I do not believe in UFOs, do not believe that the U.S. is in possession of such a vehicle, and do not believe that there has been any government cover-up of a UFO crash.”

If Gersten took time to read the once “SECRET” documents that the Central Intelligence Agency declassified and released in late 1979, in response to his FOIA request, Gersten should know that as a result of the July 1952 radar-UFO incidents near the nation’s capital, the White House asked the Director of the CIA to conduct an independent analysis of the UFO issue. (If an ET craft had been recovered in 1947 near Roswell, surely the President would have been promptly informed. And it is unlikely that the President would forget such an incident and request the CIA’s assessment of UFOs.) On Aug. 14-15, 1952, the CIA’s top officials were briefed on the results of the agency’s analysis of the USAF’s UFO data. The briefing offered several possible explanations for what UFOs might be, including the following: “The third theory is the man from Mars—space ships—interplanetary travelers. Even though we might admit that intelligent life may exist elsewhere and that space travel is possible, there is no shred of evidence to support this theory at present.” (Emphasis added.) Other once “SECRET” and “TOP SECRET” documents—some of which have been declassified for more than a decade—offer additional evidence that Corso’s Roswell claims are hogwash.

Short Shrift:

  • CIA, NSA Get Many UFO Requests Under Freedom of Information Act: Roughly 15% of all FOIA requests received by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seek information on UFOs, while approximately one-third of those received by the National Security Agency (NSA) since early 1997 involve UFO data, according to an article in the April 25 edition of The Baltimore Sun. Ironically, when the USAF was responsible for investigating UFOs, NSA was not directly involved. NSA’s primary task is to covertly intercept foreign government communications and to decipher encrypted messages. Thus, any “UFO secrets” obtained by NSA would come from intercepted messages of foreign governments.
  • SUN may be partially responsible for at least some of the more than 250 FOIA requests received by the NSA last year. In early 1997, in response to SUN’s request, NSA released 156 partially declassified “TOP SECRET—UMBRA” communication intercepts from Soviet air defense centers from 1958 to 1979, which referred to “UFO” and which NSA had refused to release in 1980 in response to an FOIA request by Peter Gersten [SUN #43/Jan. 1997]. Most of these involved balloon-borne radar targets used to train Soviet radar operators and assess radar surveillance which the NSA translator-analyst referred to as “UFOs.” Since Gersten’s 1979 FOIA request for all of NSA’s “UFO documents,” the agency’s translator-analysts no longer refer to Russian balloon-borne radar targets as “UFOs.”
  • Roswell Museum To Expand: Roswell’s International UFO Museum and Research Center, which currently occupies a former theatre, hopes to raise $15-million to build a much larger facility on a 25-acre plot west of the city. The new facility is to include a children’s museum and, eventually, a large auditorium. The museum says it expects 300,000 visitors this year—a more than 50% increase over last year when Roswell held a week-long 50th anniversary celebration. Speakers at Roswell’s upcoming 4-day (July 2-5) anniversary festival include: Philip Corso, Peter Gersten, Stanton Friedman and Robert Dean. Dean, a retired Army master sergeant, claims a 100-ft. diameter UFO crashed in West Germany in the early 1960s and was recovered—along with 12 ET bodies—by a British army battalion [SUN #48/Nov. 1997].
  • A usually UNreliable source reports that President Clinton is considering ending the government’s UFO cover-up, to divert media attention from “Lewinsky-Gate” and assure himself of being acclaimed one of the greatest American Presidents of all time. A further benefit would be to prompt nations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East to forget their traditional concerns about regional threats and join a global alliance of nations to protect their citizens from the despicable “UFO abductions.” Some White House advisors reportedly are urging the President to claim that he was abducted by ETs, encountered Lewinsky in the UFO and assumed that she was an ET who wanted sperm to create a hybrid baby.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank DR. GARY POSNER for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 53


Best UFO Cases Fail To Provide Credible Evidence Of ET Visitors, According To Scientific Review Panel Convened By Pro-UFO Physicist

After a four-day briefing last fall by eight leading pro-UFO investigators on the cases which they believed offered the best physical evidence that UFOs are a phenomenon that defies prosaic explanation, a panel of nine leading physical scientists concluded that they were “not convinced that any of the evidence involved currently unknown physical processes or pointed to the involvement of an extraterrestrial intelligence.” The Scientific Review Panel also concluded that “It appears that most current UFO investigations are carried out at a level of rigor which is not consistent with prevailing standards of scientific research.” (Emphasis added.) SUN subsequently interviewed three of the panel scientists and two UFO investigators who briefed them.

The reactions of the Scientific Review Panel (SRP) reportedly surprised Dr. Peter Sturrock, president of the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE), which arranged the workshop, and Laurance S. Rockefeller, who funded the effort. Sturrock, a professor of applied physics at Stanford University, and Rockefeller both have had a long-standing interest in UFOs. For example, on May 27, 1977, Sturrock was the guest lecturer at NASA’s Goddard Space

Flight Center (near Washington D.C.) speaking on “Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life.” The first three-quarters of his lecture were devoted to traditional issues. The last quarter was devoted to UFOs and Sturrock’s earlier survey of members of the American Astronomical Society to assess their interest in UFOs and to obtain their UFO-sighting reports. Sturrock concluded his lecture by saying that UFOs “probably deserve some degree of scientific study.” Rockefeller has funded efforts to promote UFOs, including trying to interest President Clinton.


In 1981, Sturrock created his Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE), whose stated objective was to encourage the “scientific community” to study “anomalous phenomena” such as UFOs and “psychic phenomena.” The first issue of SSE’s Journal of Scientific Exploration, published in 1987, included an article by Sturrock criticizing Dr. Edward Condon for his comments on the University of Colorado UFO study, conducted 1966-68. Sturrock challenged Condon’s view that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby.” (The same issue of the SSE journal carried an article criticizing those who question the existence of “Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.”)

SSE’s annual conferences typically feature several pro-UFO speakers, but no UFO-skeptics. For example, at SSE’s 1996 conference—held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, which SUN’s editor attended—there were four pro-UFO speakers, but no skeptics: Dr. David Jacobs, who spoke on UFO abductions; Stanton Friedman, whose remarks covered crashed saucers and the MJ-12 papers; Dr. Bruce Maccabee, who showed videos of UFOs, including one by Ed Walters (famous Gulf Breeze, Fla., UFO photographer) which seemingly showed a UFO’s ability to stop and reverse direction in a fraction of a second; and a talk by Mark Rodeghier, director of the Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS).

However, when Sturrock and his advisors selected those who would brief the panel on UFO cases which offered the strongest physical evidence, JACOBS, FRIEDMAN AND MACCABEE WERE NOT INCLUDED. Dr. David E. Pritchard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist who has analyzed a number of (alleged) “alien implants,” served as one of two moderators for the panel briefings, but did not cite any “implants” as ET evidence.


If Sturrock had followed the tradition of scientific controversy, he would have invited roughly equal numbers of skeptics and pro-UFOlogists to brief the panel. But in fact the eight persons invited to brief the panel did not include a single experienced UFO skeptic, depriving panel members of the opportunity to hear and evaluate possible prosaic explanations. For example, one of the “impressive” UFO cases presented by Dr. Michael Swords, which occurred near Mansfield, Ohio, on the night of Oct. 18, 1973 involved an Army helicopter’s seemingly close encounter with a UFO. According to Swords’ account, the UFO seemingly turned on a mysterious suction force to prevent the helicopter from crashing into the ground. The panel concluded that such reports “if true, are difficult to understand in terms of our familiar concepts of gravity and inertia.” (A summary of the panel briefings and its consensus conclusions were published in the summer 1998 edition of the Journal of Scientific Exploration.)

Swords withheld from the panel the fact that SUN’s editor had spent many weeks investigating that case and had come up with prosaic explanations for the many seemingly mysterious effects reported by the crew. (My findings were detailed in my book UFOs Explained, published in 1975.) The panel’s report says: “According to Swords, there was one item of physical evidence that could have been investigated but apparently was not. The commander [Capt. Coyne] reported that the magnetic compass began to spin during the event. The compass continued to spin after the event and it was subsequently removed...” During my several telephone interviews with Coyne shortly after the incident, he had never even mentioned any compass anomaly. Nor did he mention the compass in his official incident report to his Army superior, written only a month later—on Nov. 23, 1973. Several years later, when another investigator interviewed copilot Jezzi, he said that the compass had performed erratically prior to the UFO incident.

The Sturrock panel report states: “The Mansfield helicopter case is a particularly puzzling event since it involved not only the testimony of the helicopter crew but that of independent ground witnesses.” The panel was not informed that these alleged witnesses did not come forward with their story until three years later, after a feature story in the Mansfield newspaper said local UFO investigators were looking for eyewitnesses to the 1973 incident. My investigation into these eyewitness claims showed that their tale was spurious. The helicopter was several miles away from where they claimed they had seen it, and their account sharply conflicted with that of the crew, as reported in my book, “UFOs: The Public Deceived,” published in 1983.


Coyne claimed that the UFO had caused the helicopter’s radio to become inoperative for several minutes, making it impossible to contact airports at Cleveland, Columbus and Akron. My investigation indicated a more prosaic explanation: that at the helicopter’s then-low-altitude it was beyond line-of-sight range to these airports. I suggested that Coyne conduct an experiment during his next flight to Columbus—that near Mansfield he descend to the same low altitude and try to make radio contact with these same airports. Coyne ran such a test and later informed me that he was unable to reach any of the three airports, as I had predicted.

My investigation suggested that the UFO was a meteor-fireball from the annual Orionids meteor shower which was near its peak activity on Oct. 18. When I suggested this to Coyne during an early telephone interview he responded: “Well, that would sound like a logical explanation.” And that after the "UFO” had departed, Coyne himself had instinctively acted to prevent the helicopter from crashing into the ground, but in the excitement of the moment he forgot having done so. Coyne’s views changed when the incident was selected as the best UFO case of 1973 by the National Enquirer, which awarded Coyne and his crew a $5,000 prize. Coyne soon became a “UFO celebrity” and a featured speaker at UFO conferences.

I sent a copy of my analysis to the Army Agency for Aviation Safety whose deputy commander, Col. Samuel P. Kalagian replied: “I thought your analysis was accomplished in a sound, logical manner.” Subsequently, Kalagian requested permission to reprint highlights of my analysis in the agency’s safety publication, The Army Flier.

However, Swords denied the Sturrock’s panel of scientists access to the results of my lengthy investigation. Thus, it is not surprising that the panel commented: “The panel finds reports of this type quite interesting.” But the panel wisely added: “Without the existence of any solid physical evidence (such as analysis of the magnetic compass might have provided), it is difficult for a panel composed of physical scientists to draw any conclusions."


MUFON official John Schuessler presented a detailed report on an incident that (allegedly) occurred on the night of Dec. 29, 1980, not far from Houston, Tex., involving Betty Cash, Vicki Landrum and her seven-year-old grandson, Colby. According to Schuessler, the three were driving home around 9 p.m. when they saw a giant diamond-shaped object which descended and hovered over the highway only roughly 150 ft. ahead of their car, belching flames and illuminating the area as if it were daylight. Betty reportedly stopped the car, but instead of remaining inside or turning around and driving away, the three of them got out for a closer look. Betty Cash, who reportedly spent up to 8-10 minutes outside viewing the UFO, even walked toward the fiery object—despite the intense heat the UFO was radiating. When Vicki and Colby decided to get back in the car, Vicki claimed the car’s roof was so hot that it burned her hand. And when Betty finally decided to get back in the car, she said she burned her hand touching the door handle. (But when Schuessler later inspected the car, he was unable to find any damage to the car’s paint finish, external plastic parts or its tires.)

According to the principals, the diamond-shaped UFO was accompanied by many large twin-rotor helicopters. Despite their fright, they reportedly took time to count the number of helicopters several times: Betty reported the total was 23 while Vicki said the total was 20 to 25. According to Betty, the UFO emitted a shrill beeping sound, but Colby said he did not hear any such beeping. (UFO-lawyer Peter Gersten subsequently sued the U.S. government for $20 million, on the grounds that the government knew that UFOs were dangerous and the Army helicopters should have protected Betty, Vicki and Colby. The Federal court was not impressed by Gersten’s claims and dismissed the case—prompting Schuessler’s harsh criticism.)

As reported in SSE’s journal, “Schuessler listed the following medical problems developed by the three witnesses: Eyes swollen, painful and watery; permanent damage to the eyes; stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea; sores and scarring of skin, with loss of pigmentation; excessive hair loss over a several-week period, the new hair having a different texture from the old; loss of appetite, energy and weight; damage to fingernails and shedding of fingernails; increased susceptibility to disease; and cancer.” (Apparently Schuessler forgot to mention another UFO-aftermath medical problem experienced by young Colby: an increase in dental cavities.)

In reality, it was only Betty Cash who encountered serious medical problems in the wake of the (alleged) UFO incident which she did not even mention to physicians trying to diagnose her illness—until Colby mentioned the incident. Shortly after Schuessler became involved in the Cash-Landrum case in early 1981, he began to suspect that the reported medical problems might be the result of gamma rays emitted by the UFO, and this has emerged as his current theory. (Seemingly, a U.S. atomic weapon being transported by air or a nuclear-powered ET craft accidentally exploded in the vicinity of Houston.) But when Schuessler inspected Betty’s car in early 1981 and used a geiger counter to check for radioactivity, he found none. Presum-ably he also checked for radioactivity when he visited the site of the (alleged) incident, and found no abnormal radiation.

Schuessler’s recent book, “The Cash-Landrum UFO Incident” (1998), devotes many pages to doctors’ reports on their efforts to determine the cause and possible prosaic diagnoses of Betty Cash’s medical problems. But he provides NO medical data on Betty’s health PRIOR to the UFO incident. Nor does he provide any medical data on the prior health of Vicki or Colby. (In 1981, shortly after Schuessler’s first article on the Cash-Landrum case was published in the MUFON UFO Journal, SUN’s editor wrote Schuessler seeking medical data on the pre-UFO health of the three principals. Schuessler declined to provide same, saying that such information would be an “invasion of privacy.”) Schuessler’s book claims that “Betty Cash, Vicki Landrum and Colby Landrum were in reasonably good health before the incident.” (Emphasis added.) Elsewhere in the book Schuessler briefly mentions that four years before the UFO incident, at the age of 47, Betty underwent heart bypass surgery. And that in early 1983, when lumps were found in her right breast, it was removed on March 29. Two months later Betty suffered a heart attack, and on June 23 she underwent removal of her left breast. Despite these serious (pre-UFO) health problems, Betty is still alive 17 years after being “irradiated” by the UFO. And the medical problems initially reported by Vicki and Colby have disappeared.

The panel commented: “The Cash-Landrum case seems to be unique in that there is detailed documentation of the injuries (photographs, etc.), and of the subsequent medical treatment.” The panel report offers no indication that Schuessler provided any medical documentation as to the state of their health prior to the UFO incident. Conceivably, the panel accepted Schuessler’s claim that the principals’ health had been “reasonably good” prior to the incident.


Sturrock’s panel was very impressed by what it was told about the French government funded UFO investigatory office GEPAN and its “scientific approach” to investigating ground traces (allegedly) created by UFOs—especially the Trans-en-Provence incident. GEPAN was created in 1977 and assigned to the highly respected French space agency, CNES. France’s Gendarmerie are responsible for reporting UFO incidents to GEPAN. In 1988, GEPAN’s name was changed to SEPRA and its mission was broadened to include collection and analysis of reentering satellites, rocket boosters and meteors. During the more than two decades of

GEPAN/SEPRA’s operation, it has received about 3,000 UFO reports from the Gendarmerie. Of this number, GEPAN/SEPRA has investigated about 100 incidents of which only a few cases remain unexplained, according to Jean-Jacques Velasco, who heads SEPRA.

The most famous of these few unexplained UFO incidents is the one that occurred in Trans-en-Provence on Jan. 8, 1981, when a man named Renato Niccolai claimed he had seen a small disc-shaped craft land about 150 ft. away on his patio. After a few seconds, Niccolai said the UFO flew away. When he walked over to inspect the landing site, he reported finding skid marks. The next day his neighbor heard about the incident and reported it to the Gendarmerie who visited the site and took samples of the nearby soil and vegetation. It was not until 40 days later that a team from GEPAN visited the site and took additional soil and vegetation samples. These and earlier soil and vegetation samples were submitted to laboratories for analysis. According to Velasco, analysis of the vegetation samples by Prof. Michael E.L. Bounias of Avignon University’s Biochemistry Laboratory seemed to show biochemical change proportional to the vegetation’s distance from the UFO landing site.


Not surprisingly, considering that the Trans-en-Provence is one of GEPAN/SEPRA’s most impressive cases, Velasco did not inform Sturrock’s panel that Bounias’ findings have been sharply challenged by French UFO-researcher Eric Maillot and a Belgian plant pathologist who is a member of SOBEPS—a large Belgian UFO group. (The July 1997 issue of SUN (#47) cited highlights of Maillot’s critique which was contained in the book “UFOs: 1947-1997,” published in Britain early last year.)

The most significant scientific appraisal of GEPAN’s investigation of the Trans-en-Provence case came from the highly respected French space agency, CNES. If the Trans-en-Provence case offered the slightest credible evidence of ET visitors, top CNES officials and scientists would have presented papers on GEPAN’s findings at international space conferences. But they have not. And CNES would surely have increased GEPAN’s budget and staff. Instead, within several years, although GEPAN’s responsibilities were broadened its budget was drastically cut forcing a reduction in its UFO activities. THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE.


One member of the panel told SUN that he believes Sturrock was surprised at the panel’s reactions to the “best UFO evidence” offered by the presenters. “I think Peter expected the presentations would impress panel members more than they did. I think he was disappointed. But I think he was happy with the panel’s willingness to say that UFOs are not something that should be totally ignored by mainstream science.” SUN was told that when the panel met in San Francisco over the Thanksgiving weekend to draft a consensus report, there was some spread of opinion among panel members—but no serious disagreements. The panel’s consensus conclusions were:

  • “Concerning the case material presented by the investigators, the panel concluded that a few reported incidents may have involved rare but significant phenomena such as electrical activity, but there was no convincing evidence pointing to unknown physical processes or to the involvement of extraterrestrial intelligence. (Emphasis added.)
  • “The panel nevertheless concluded that it would be valuable to carefully evaluate UFO reports since, whenever there are unexplained observations, there is the possibility that scientists will learn something new by studying these observations.
  • “However, to be credible, such evaluations must take place with a spirit of objectivity and a willingness to evaluate rival hypotheses. (Emphasis added.)
  • “The best prospect for achieving meaningful evaluation of relevant hypotheses is likely to come from the examination of physical evidence.
  • “The chances of a significant advance are considered to be greater now than at the time of the Colorado Project that led to the Condon Report 30 years ago, because of advances in scientific knowledge and technical capabilities, and in view of the example of a modest but effective UFO research project provided by the French space agency CNES.” (Emphasis added.)

In view of the one-sided data which were presented to the panel, its basic skepticism is commendable and its slight naivte is understandable, except perhaps for its last (fifth) conclusion. If GEPAN’s 11 years of UFO research had yielded any significant new scientific knowledge, CNES would have increased its then very modest budget instead of slashing it. During the last decade the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR) has spent more than $700,000 for “UFO research” without contributing one iota to our scientific knowledge.

Three decades ago, when SUN’s editor first entered the field, UFO researchers focused their efforts on “nuts-and-bolts” reports whose investigation might shed some light on radar propagation, mirages, or ball lightning. Today most UFO investigators are primarily interested in “UFO-abductions” and “crashed-saucer coverup.” But Sturrock avoided presenting any reports of UFO abductions or crashed saucers to his panel or showing them any of Ed Walters UFO videos or still photos, which have been so strongly endorsed by physicist Maccabee.

Because Sturrock has been one of Dr. Condon’s toughest critics, it is ironic that the conclusion of Sturrock’s panel about UFOs and ETs so closely matches Condon’s 1968 assessment: “No direct evidence whatever of a convincing nature now exists for the claim that any UFOs represent spacecraft visiting Earth from another civilization.” Condon predicted that “future extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby.” The past 30 years of UFO research by scientists such as Sturrock, Maccabee, Schuessler and Friedman have have demonstrated the wisdom of Condon’s prediction.

Dr. Carl Sagan Learned While Dr. Peter Sturrock Has Not

It is not widely known that the late Dr. Carl Sagan, who in his later years was an outspoken critic of belief in UFOs, was open-minded in the mid-1960s to the possibility that some UFOs might be ET craft. For example, when Congressman Ed Rousch (D.-Ind.) held a “symposium” on UFOs on July 29, 1968, the six persons who were invited to testify were all pro-UFO, and Sagan was one of the six. During Sagan’s testimony he said: “I might mention that on this symposium there are no individuals who strongly disbelieve in the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs and therefore there is a certain view—not necessarily one I strongly agree with—but there is a certain view this committee is not hearing today along those lines.”

At that time Sagan—like Sturrock today—sought to interest more scientists in UFOs. To that end, Sagan and the late astronomer Dr. Thornton Page managed to convince officials of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to allow them to hold a session on UFOs at AAAS’s annual meeting in Boston in early 1970. (SUN’s editor was not invited to speak.) Within a few years, as Sagan learned more about UFOlogy, he became more and more skeptical. Clearly Sturrock has shown that he is a much slower learner than Sagan.

Philip Corso Dies Of Heart Attack

Former Lt. Col. Philip Corso, whose book “The Day After Roswell” claims that the transistor, the microchip, the laser and other modern technologies were “reverse engineered” from ET debris recovered near Roswell, died of a heart attack on July 18 at the age of 83. The “Grim Reaper” spared Corso from having to testify under oath in Federal Court as to the veracity of his claims in support of a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) litigation brought by Peter Gersten and Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) [SUN #52/July 1998].

According to Corso’s son, Philip Jr., a memorial plaque will be placed at the “true [UFO] crash site” near Roswell. In Corso’s book (p. 3) he wrote: “I've read military reports about different crashes in different locations in some proximity to the army air field at Roswell, like San Agustin and Corona, and even different sites close to the town. All of the reports were classified and I did not copy them for my own records after I left the Army.” Judging from the foregoing, either there were SEVERAL flying-saucer crashes in New Mexico in 1947, or even top Pentagon officials did not know the true “crash site.” (But now Philip Jr. claims he knows.) Because the International Roswell Museum is serving as a collection center for persons who want to contribute to the Corso memorial, SUN is betting that Philip Jr. will select the museum’s endorsed “crash site,” located 55 miles west of Roswell, based on the tale told by the late Jim Ragsdale. Kevin Randle and his former partner Don Schmitt insist the “crash site” is 35 miles north of Roswell, based on the claims of Frank Kaufmann.

No word from CAUS director Gersten as to whether he is continuing to seek funds to send a rocket to the moon to verify that there are ET-created structures there as claimed by Richard Hoagland, who promoted the “Face on Mars.” Hoagland’s Mars claims have been demolished by recent high-resolution photos taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, which show that the “Face On Mars” is simply a natural rock formation [SUN #51/May 1998].

Gersten’s Changing Views On Crashed Saucers

Barely a decade before Gersten embraced Corso’s wild crashed-saucer claims, he released the following statement on Nov. 10, 1987, debunking the then-recently released MJ-12 papers which claimed a crashed saucer had been recovered in New Mexico in 1947 and another in 1950 near the Texas-Mexican border: “While some UFO researchers and so called investigators follow a path strewn with fraudulent documents and disinformation by both military personnel and private individuals, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) continues to pursue the truth and obtain legitimate documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Pursuant to this endeavor, CAUS is pleased to share with you a recent FOIA release entitled ‘German Flying Wings Designed By Horton Brothers'....I personally believe this document is the first step in explaining the nature and origin of the strange and unusual objects seen in the skies from 1948 through 1952....The UFO field has been divided over the MJ-12/Project Aquarius documents and whether William Moore is merely an innocent dupe or actively involved in this fiasco. It is my opinion that the MJ-12/Project Aquarius documents are obviously and undoubtedly fakes; that no extraterrestrial craft crashed in New Mexico in 1947, but rather an aerial device from a Top Secret project located in Sandia; that William Moore, rather than being an innocent dupe, was and still is actively and intentionally engaged in a continuing program of disinformation involving fraudulent documents.” (Emphasis added.) Those were Gersten’s views BC (Before Corso).

British Expose UFOlogist Dean’s Phony Tales And Documents

The spurious nature of claims made by UFOlogist Robert O. Dean, first revealed by SUN [Nov. 1997], has been confirmed by two pro-UFO British researchers—Timothy Good and Lord/Admiral Hill-Norton, former Chief of Defence Staff, according to an article in the summer 1998 issue of The Unopened Files, authored by Mark Ian Birdsall. Their investigation of a photograph provided to them by Dean, which seemingly showed the cover sheet of a NATO “Cosmic Top Secret” document dealing with UFOs, revealed it to be bogus. Another document provided by Dean, which seemingly confirmed Dean’s claim that he had been assigned to NATO’s intelligence section, also turned out to be phony. (SUN #48 reported that

examination of Dean’s military record showed that he never received any training in military intelligence nor had he ever served as an intelligence analyst during his 20-plus years in the Army.)

Birdsall’s article reports that Good began his investigation in 1991 shortly after Dean went public with his claim that NATO had conducted a three-year UFO investigation in 1961, and published its findings in a 1964 report entitled “AN ASSESSMENT (An Evaluation of a Possibile Military Threat to Allied Forces in Europe),” which was classified “Cosmic Top Secret.” (Good, who authored the book “Above Top Secret,” published in mid-1987, was researching its sequel, “Alien Liaison: The Ultimate Secret,” published in 1995.) Initially, the investigation focused on former NATO officials—many of them friends of Hill-Norton—who should have been familiar with the “Assessment” document. But none of them had ever heard of such a UFO investigation or report.

On July 31, 1993, after Dean was informed of the negative results of the investigation, he provided Good with a fuzzy color photo which seemingly showed the cover page of the English language version of the NATO UFO report. (Dean claimed he had been given the photo by a friend at NATO.) When Dean’s photo was submitted to NATO for analysis, numerous technical errors were discovered. For example, the document was marked “NATO COSMIC TOP SECRET,” a format never used by NATO. In early 1994, Good wrote Dean to report that NATO’s analysis of Dean’s photo indicated that it was bogus. Dean replied: “I never said that I knew they were accurate and legitimate.” (Dean and Peter Gersten were two of the featured speakers at this year’s Roswell crashed-saucer anniversary celebration.)

Short Shrift:

  • MUFON Conference Attendance Down: Attendance at MUFON’s annual conference in Denver barely exceeded 300 persons—little more than half the number who usually attend this most prestigious UFO conference. One possible explanation is the growing number of local/regional UFO conferences. A decade ago, the MUFON conference had no competition. Now there are several dozen UFO conferences around the country every year. (Roswell’s recent crashed-saucer anniversary celebration reportedly attracted about 10,000 visitors, about one-quarter the number who attended last year’s highly publicized 50th anniversary.)
  • “How To Think Clearly About The UFO Abduction Phenomenon” was the title of Dr. David Jacobs’ recent MUFON conference talk. Jacobs admitted that he and other researchers erred initially in thinking that UFO abductions “were extremely rare....We now know that the abduction phenomenon is extremely common. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of abductees in the world....We have very strong evidence that the abduction phenomenon is intergenerational....We can date the phenomenon back to the late 1890s....Abductees have a lifetime of abductions. I have found people who consciously remembered [without hypnosis] bits and pieces of over 300 abductions by age 40. I have worked with people whose abduction activity intensified to an average of once every three nights for several months....If it continues long enough...everyone in America, or in the world, will be an abductee.” (Emphasis added.) [SUN Comment: The fact that Betty Hill and Travis Walton only report having been abducted once would seem to indicate that their ova/sperm were not up to the ETs’ high standards for their “hybrids.”)
  • Jacobs questions whether U.S. military are aiding ETs with abductions: Jacobs reported that “many abductees have said that the American military has either been working with aliens in a program of abduction, or they have their own abduction program in which they can accomplish things that the aliens do. The people who say this are genuinely sincere....I have investigated several of these ‘military’ cases. In each case, the abductors turned out to be adult [ET] hybrids wearing uniforms and engaged in behavior that could easily be mistaken for American military activity. They ‘look’ the part—young, short hair, athletic. They sometimes appear to travel in helicopters or in military-style vans. They abduct people to abandoned buildings, offices, and even to unused military installations. They may even abduct soldiers in uniform to do their bidding,” according to Jacobs. (Emphasis added.) [SUN Comment: Jacobs is one of several Associate Book Review Editors for the Sturrock Society’s Journal of Scientific Exploration. This might explain why the journal does not publish reviews of books which are skeptical of UFO-abduction claims.]
  • Lindemann’s MUFON prediction pleases some UFOlogists, pains others: Michael Lindemann, who produces “CNI News” on the Internet, predicted to MUFON attendees that “the day is fast approaching when, by one means or another, the humans of earth will come to recognize and accept the fact of extraterrestrial visitation. In this sense, the 50-year struggle of UFO researchers to bring this fact to light will suddenly be over and won. But will Ufology, and the Ufologists of the world, be ready for this victory? As things now stand, I strongly doubt it. Taken as a whole, present-day Ufology is a house divided—undisciplined, disorganized, demoralized and internally contradictory—with a relatively small minority of serious, scientifically minded investigators and a much larger number of pseudo-religious believers who are at best indifferent, and at worst derisively hostile, not only to science but even to rational thought.” Lindemann predicted universal recognition of UFOs as ET visitors would occur “within the next five to ten years.” [SUN Comment: If Lindemann is correct, he will no longer be able to earn his livelihood from UFO lectures and CNI News.]

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank DR. GARY POSNER for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 54


Sturrock UFO Panel’s (Alleged) Findings Praised By CUFOS Official

Mark Rodeghier, scientific director of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and one of the pro-UFO investigators selected by Dr. Peter Sturrock to brief his nine-man “independent” panel of scientists, praises what he calls “the panel’s generally positive conclusions,” in the Fall issue of CUFOS’s International UFO Reporter (IUR). The favorable comments of another of the panel’s pro-UFO briefers, Michael Swords, also appeared in IUR. Swords is a former editor of the Journal of UFO Studies, published by CUFOS.

Rodeghier wrote: “The UFO community has been fighting for years to gain just the simple recognition from science that the UFO phenomenon is worthy of scientific study....The panel might have concluded that UFO sightings are not worthy of scientific study....So the panel’s generally positive conclusions are gratifying...” In reality, the panel’s conclusion on this issue, as reported in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (Summer 1998), published by Sturrock’s Society for Scientific Exploration was the following: “Whenever there are unexplained observations, there is a possibility that scientists will learn something new by studying those observations.” No experienced skeptics were allowed to brief the panel on possible prosaic explanations for these cases [SUN #53/Sept. 1998].

The press release issued June 23 by Stanford University (for publication June 29) was misleadingly headlined: “SCIENTIFIC PANEL CONCLUDES SOME UFO EVIDENCE WORTHY OF STUDY.” This resulted in a front-page story in June 29 edition of The Washington Post which bore the headline: “PANEL URGES STUDY OF UFO REPORTS.” The subhead read: “Unexplained Phenomena Need Scrutiny, Science Group Says."


Rodeghier believes the cases presented to Sturrock’s panel provided “the best evidence for UFOs,” and the briefers “were among the best and brightest,” with most having advanced degrees. Not surprisingly, neither Rodeghier nor Swords in their IUR articles reported the Sturrock panel’s most significant conclusion—that it was “NOT CONVINCED THAT ANY OF THE EVIDENCE INVOLVED CURRENTLY UNKNOWN PHYSICAL PROCESSES OR POINTED TO THE INVOLVEMENT OF AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE.” (Emphasis added.)

Swords and Rodeghier, like Sturrock and many pro-UFOlogists, blame the lack of progress in “solving the UFO mystery” on disinterest of the “scientific community,” which in turn they partially blame on the conclusions of Dr. Edward U. Condon, a respected scientist who headed the University of Colorado’s UFO investigation in the late 1960s. This “neglect” could be overcome quickly if the past 50 years had yielded any scientifically credible evidence that even one UFO might be an extraterrestrial craft.

Both Swords and Rodeghier strongly endorse the idea that an ET craft crashed near Roswell in mid-1947, and challenge the alternative Project Mogul balloon explanation for the debris found on the Brazel ranch. IUR editor Jerome Clark has strongly endorsed the claim that Travis Walton was abducted by a UFO for five days in 1975. If either one of these cases is as strong as they claim, it seemingly offers impressive evidence of ET visitations. YET NEITHER CASE WAS PRESENTED TO STURROCK'S PANEL FOR ITS JUDGEMENT.



Sturrock’s UFO Workshop was the result of his meeting in December 1996 with the very wealthy Laurance S. Rockefeller, who has had a long-standing interest in UFOs. Sturrock expressed the view that “this [UFO] problem will be resolved only by extensive and open professional scientific investigation, and that an essential prerequisite of such research is that more scientists acquire an interest in this topic.” Rockefeller not only agreed to fund a UFO Workshop but proposed that it be held at his estate near Tarrytown, N.Y. Hired limousines picked up attendees at New York airports and brought them to the huge Rockefeller estate, where they enjoyed luxurious quarters and meals during the four-day workshop which began Sept. 30, 1997.

According to the original plan, the panel of nine scientists would have two months to weigh the evidence they had heard and study written reports prepared by the briefers, and would then meet with Sturrock in San Francisco—as they subsequently did—to render a panel report. However, on the last day of the workshop in Tarrytown, according to Swords’ account in IUR, “Sturrock announced that the verdict was in: The press release and the final meeting report would state that the opinion of the panel, based on their readings and our discussions, was that the UFO phenomenon was a subject of legitimate scientific interest and research.” By a happy coincidence, the “independent” panel of scientists—two of whom are members of Sturrock’s society—quickly reached the conclusion that Sturrock and generous host Rockefeller hoped the panel would reach.

According to Rodeghier’s assessment in IUR, “Conceivably, the most significant observation of the panel was that ‘it is desirable that there be institutional support for research in this area.'” Rodeghier commented: “Even a modest level of funding would have an immense effect on our research.” (The Fund for UFO Research [FUFOR] says it has raised and spent some $700,000 for UFO research. Wealthy Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow reportedly contributed $100,000 for UFO research to FUFOR, CUFOS and MUFON—with the prospect of larger future contributions. But he terminated the funding after one year because of disappointment over the results. Rockefeller has made generous contributions to promote UFOs.)

Sturrock Ignores Own Advice To Other Scientists To Investigate UFOs

Although Sturrock has long urged physical scientists to investigate UFO cases and has himself been interested in UFOs for more than 20 years, so far as is known Sturrock himself has investigated only one UFO case—the Ubatuba, Brazil, incident involving pieces of magnesium reportedly dropped by a UFO. (The magnesium fragments underwent extensive laboratory analysis for the University of Colorado, which found no evidence of ET origin. SUN suspects the magnesium fragments came from burning flares dropped by a Brazilian aircraft.)

If “institutional support” is needed for effective UFO research, SUN suggests that Sturrock propose that Stanford University—where he is a professor of physics—create a UFO Research Center and that he seek Rockefeller’s financial support for such a center. To help convince Stanford University to create a UFO Research Center, Sturrock can show them the conclusions of his “independent panel of leading scientists.” If Sturrock is unsuccessful at Stanford, perhaps some of the other panel members will try to get their universities to do so. Even if Rockefeller were to generously agree to underwrite the total cost, SUN doubts that any major university will be willing to create a UFO Research Center.

If any members of the Sturrock panel truly believe that UFO research might yield new scientific knowledge, we should expect them to enter the field—at least as a spare-time hobby. Based on SUN’s earlier conversations with three panel members, we seriously doubt that they intend to engage in UFO research. French panel member Francois Louange previously has worked with GEPAN/SEPRA—France’s small UFO investigation agency—to evaluate UFO photos.

The Truth Isn't Out There

This was the headline of an editorial commenting on the Sturrock Workshop panel report which appeared in the July 1 edition of the New York Post. Highlights of the editorial follow:

“Panel Urges Study of UFO Reports” ran the front-page headline in Monday’s Washington Post. According to that Post, an independent scientific review directed by a Stanford physicist said that UFO sightings need serious study. The implication: The UFO industry has now received intellectual backing of serious scientists. But the sad fact is that The Washington Post has been taken for a good long ride by one of the more superficially respectable organizations....the “Society for Scientific Exploration” [SSE]. The group has put out [i.e., published] papers on “Atlantis and the Earth’s Shifting Crust,” “The Message of the Sphinx," "Reincarnation and...Birthmarks,” and one of our favorites, “Severe Birth Defects Possibly Due to Cursing"....The SSE’s UFO platform is based on a big lie. That lie is that scientists have never taken UFO claims seriously for fear of ridicule—or because of a government conspiracy right out of “The X-Files.” The truth is exactly the opposite....And despite the successful efforts of the UFO industry to convince millions of people otherwise, there is no—repeat no—credible evidence of space aliens visiting the Earth in suspiciously Hollywoodesque flying saucers....

Misleading Headlines For Sturrock’s 1977 Astronomers-UFO Survey

More than two decades earlier, Sturrock and Stanford University obtained similarly misleading headlines for the results of his survey of members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) on their interest in UFOs. The Christian Science Monitor headlined its April 27, 1977 story: “PROBE UFO RIDDLE, SAY ASTRONOMERS.” The New York Times headlined its article: “FURTHER STUDY OF UFOs ENDORSED IN A SURVEY.” The National Enquirer headlined is April 27 story: “ASTONISHING 80% OF ASTRONOMERS BELIEVE UFOs SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED.”

Although 52% of the 2,611 AAS members polled by Sturrock responded, 48% were not sufficiently interested to spend five minutes filling out the two-page survey. The key question, which was the cornerstone of the press release issued by Stanford University, was the following:"Do you think the UFO problem (check one): (A) Certainly deserves scientific study; (B) Probably deserves scientific study; (C) Possibly deserves scientific study; (D) Probably does not deserve scientific study; (E) Certainly does not deserve scientific study.” (Emphasis added.) Three of the five choices seemingly indicated that the respondent believed the UFO problem deserves scientific study. But if a respondent checked “Possibly deserves scientific study,” they believed that “possibly” the UFO problem did NOT deserve scientific study.

According to Sturrock, 23% checked “certainly deserves,” and another 29% checked “probably deserves,” while another 27% selected “possibly deserves.” But the press release approved by Sturrock and issued by Stanford University began as follows: “A survey of trained observers of the skies, all members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), indicates that most of them feel UFOs (unidentified flying objects) deserve further scientific study....four fifths feel that the UFO problem ‘certainly...probably...or possibly...deserves scientific study'...” This statement prompted the misleading headlines. Although the press release reported that 53 of the respondents indicated that they themselves had had a “UFO sighting,” the press release did not mention that only seven of the AAS members (including Sturrock and Dr. J. Allen Hynek) indicated that they were actively engaged in UFO research. The significant “bottom line” of the Sturrock survey was that barely one quarter of one percent (0.27%) of the AAS members believed the “UFO problem” was of sufficient importance to justify their devoting their personal time to try to resolve the issue. Although the AAS has held several dozen national conferences since Sturrock’s survey, AAS has never scheduled even a single session on UFOs.

When Dr. J. Allen Hynek created CUFOS in 1973, he cited “a growing number of scientists, engineers and other professionals generally associated with universities, laboratories and industry,” whom he claimed were interested in UFOs. Hynek said that CUFOS would provide “an avenue whereby the interests and talents of these scientists and other professionals can be focused and brought to bear on this challenging problem. A significant number of them have become actively associated with the Center [for UFO Studies] and have volunteered their talents and facilities.” One of those scientists was Dr. Peter Sturrock. But nearly a decade later, in the spring of 1982, Sturrock announced the formation of his Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) of anomalous phenomena. One rationale Sturrock offered for creating SSE: “If anybody wanted to know the facts about the UFO phenomena....there’s nowhere that you can go for reputable information.” (Seemingly, Sturrock did not believe that CUFOS qualified.)

Sturrock’s SSE has now had 15 years to correct this “deficiency,” but has it done so? The Spring 1997 issue of SSE’s Journal of Scientific Exploration carried a very favorable review of “Top Secret/Majic,” Stanton Friedman’s book proclaiming the authenticity of the MJ-12 papers. This endorsement of Friedman’s book was authored by Dr. Robert Wood, a member of SSE’s Council.

In 1983, in my book “UFOs: The Public Deceived,” I ventured the following assessment: “I predict that Sturrock will be no more successful than Hynek in his efforts to arouse the interest of truly outstanding scientists in UFOs. Sturrock assumes that they have ignored UFOs because the subject has not been treated in respectable scientific journals. Sturrock, like Hynek, will discover that it is not where, or how, the UFO evidence is presented. It is the intrinsic lack of scientific credibility of the evidence itself.” SUN predicts that Sturrock’s most recent “independent” scientific panel report will be no more successful than SSE’s efforts during the last 15 years.

Giant UFO Over Mexico City: Proof Of ET Visitors Or A Clever Hoax?

The dramatic 30-second video of a giant saucer-shaped craft in broad daylight on Aug. 6, 1997, flying low over a western suburb of Mexico City, was first shown to the U.S. public on April 6, 1998, in a cable TV program titled “Danger In The Skies: The New UFO Threat.” If authentic, this single video offered incontrovertible proof that we are being visited by ET craft. Small wonder that a still photo from the video was featured on the cover of the November 1997 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal, and several frames were printed inside with a very brief account about the genesis of the video. Tom King, director of Arizona Skywatch, was quoted as characterizing it as the “Best UFO video on the planet,” but a footnote by associate editor Dennis Stacy cautioned that the video had not been authenticated. The April 1998 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal carried a lengthy article by Dr. Bruce S. Maccabee, describing his analysis of the video, with ambivalent views as to its authenticity.

The date that appears on the UFO video is Aug. 6, 1997, but it was not until nearly two months later, on Sept. 28, that the video was made public when it was broadcast two days after being received by Jaime Maussan, a well-known Mexican TV anchorman who produces TV shows on UFOs telecast in many Latin American countries. The video tape was accompanied by a letter by the cameraman who said he wished to remain anonymous because he was an illegal immigrant. Moussan asked viewers to help him locate the site at which the video was shot, which they did based on several tall apartment buildings visible in the video.

When Moussan visited the highly populated area, he was able to find more than a dozen persons who claimed that they had seen the giant UFO on Aug. 6—although there had been no UFO reports prior to Moussan’s TV program showing the video. One woman claimed that she had suffered skin-burns caused by the UFO, Maussan reported in a paper given June 28 at the 1998 MUFON conference in Denver. Another witness reported that cats and dogs “went crazy” in the UFO’s presence and that “a parrot that had never talked before started talking."

Maussan admitted that some of these witness tales might have been “contaminated” by seeing his TV show. However, Maussan’s star witness was a 13-year-old girl named Cassandra whose description of the giant UFO matched what appeared on the video. When Maussan asked if she had seen his TV show, she said she had not. Maussan said that he is confident that “she told me the truth.” Maussan’s on-site investigation enabled him to determine that the UFO video had been shot from the fourth floor balcony of an office occupied by an American company that provides counsel to other American companies which plan to operate in Mexico. During an interview with Maussan immediately following his MUFON conference talk, SUN asked if he had contacted the American company office to try to learn the identity of the UFO video cameraman whose letter said he had used the office manager’s camera. Maussan replied that the office manager refused and threatened to call the police unless Maussan left immediately. Maussan sought to explain this action by saying that even if the video were authentic he believed that “many American companies don’t want to get involved with the UFO phenomenon.”

Maussan’s attempted explanation did not make sense to SUN. IF the video were authentic it would solve the 50-year-old UFO mystery and could bring in millions of dollars in revenue. So we asked Maussan for the name of the American company, explaining that we would contact the company’s president to seek his aid in identifying the cameraman. Maussan said he did not remember the name but would supply same when he returned to Mexico City. On July 4, shortly after returning home, I wrote Maussan to remind him of my Denver request. When more than a month elapsed without any reply, I wrote Maussan again on Aug. 11. More than two months have since elapsed without any reply from Maussan.

Sainio’s Analysis Shows Mexico City UFO Video Is A Hoax

Jeff Sainio, a former Wisconsin state director of MUFON, has applied his expertise in computer graphics to the analysis of UFO photos and videos—often in collaboration with Bruce Maccabee. Although Sainio’s analysis of the many Polaroid UFO photos taken by Ed Walters in the late 1980s, like that of Maccabee, failed to find any evidence of a hoax, Sainio’s analysis of the Carp, Canada, UFO video challenged Maccabee’s endorsement [SUN #20/Mar. 1993]. Both men had tackled the Mexico City UFO video, but only Sainio “hit paydirt.”

Sainio details the results of his painstaking analysis which revealed that the Mexico City video is a clever "double exposure” hoax created by computer, in an article published in the October issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. One indication of a hoax: because the camera was hand-held, as the cameraman panned (seemingly) to follow the motion of the UFO there was expected smearing of the imagery of the apartment buildings in the foreground. But there was no corresponding smearing of the UFO imagery. “This indicates the UFO wasn’t in the video when the camera was shaking, but was added later,” according to Sainio. Another indication: as the camera pans, the viewing (aspect) angle to the buildings changes slightly (1.6 deg.) and should change similarly with respect to the UFO, but it does not, according to Sainio. This is difficult to detect because of the wobbling motion of the UFO. A third indication of a hoax: the altitude of the UFO, measured relative to protuberances of the nearby building, changes differently than it should if caused solely by camera “bounce” during panning.

Sainio acknowledges that considerable effort was required by the hoaxer to superimpose the UFO imagery on the background. The hoaxer may have expected the UFO’s pronounced wobbling motion would obscure the subtle flaws detected by Sainio. His article concludes with the following sage advice for UFO investigators: “Be suspicious of anonymous reports. Note oddities in the case; here, a daylight sighting of a huge craft in one of the most crowded cities in the world, but no witnesses until after televising the video. ‘Expert’ opinions are meaningless unless they can give repeatable, measurable procedures by which they reached their opinions." (Maussan said the authenticity of the Mexico City video had been endorsed by Jim Diletosso, Phoenix, Az., who claims expertise in photo analysis.)

UFO-Lawyer’s FOIA Suit Seeks Government Info On UFO-Abductions

“UFO-lawyer” Peter Gersten, director of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request in mid-September seeking information on “UFO-abductions” from four federal agencies: Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Defense (DoD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the FOIA action, Gersten makes the following claims: “During the past 30 years, thousands of American citizens have openly stated they have been abducted, unlawfully imprisoned, and physical (sic) and sexual (sic) assaulted by strange and similar

appearing ‘creatures.’ These unusual perpetrators have been described by the victims as small, white or grayish appearing humanoids with no hair, almond-shaped eyes and a small nose and mouth. [Gersten fails to mention that some of the ETs are reported to resemble giant insects or lizards.]

“The sheer volume of such remarkably similar reports is alarming evidence of a continuing conspiracy involving a threat to our national security as well as an obvious violation of human rights...both of which come within your agency’s purview and jurisdiction. CAUS is interested in obtaining all information your agency possesses on this extraordinary subject. CAUS is particularly interested in the nature, origin, purpose and extent of these unlawful activities as well as the identification of the perpetrators. CAUS is in the process of obtaining hundreds of affidavits from eyewitnesses and intends to obtain judicial review if it believes its request is being unlawfully denied.”


SUN suggests that the FBI remind Gersten that because kidnapping is a federal crime, it is responsible for investigating claims of abduction and taking appropriate legal action. Further, that not one of the “thousands of American citizens” claimed by CAUS has filed a formal complaint with the FBI seeking the agency’s intervention. Further, that if CAUS’s abductees will formally file such a complaint, the FBI will carefully and thoroughly investigate the alleged incident. But the FBI should remind Gersten to inform his “abductees” that if FBI investigation shows their claim to be false, the person making the false claim can be fined up to $10,000 and sent to prision for up to five years, according to federal statute. (More than a decade ago, SUN offered to pay $10,000 to each and every “UFO abductee” who formally filed such a claim with the FBI if subsequent FBI investigation confirmed the claim. When we last checked, no “UFO abductions” had been reported to the FBI.)

Last spring Gersten/CAUS filed an FOIA suit against the U.S. Army, seeking information that could confirm the (wild) claims made by former Lt. Col. Philip J. Corso in his book “The Day After Roswell” [SUN #49/Jan. 1998; SUN #52/July 1998]. On Sept. 15, the Asst. U.S. District Attorney, Richard Patrick, filed a motion to dismiss the Gersten suit, with Gersten subsequently filing a dissenting motion. U.S. District Court in Phoenix has scheduled oral arguments for May 10, 1999. Gersten hopes to fill the courtroom with supporters and perhaps have a demonstration of pro-UFOlogists outside prior to the hearing. While this could bring Gersten the publicity he seeks, SUN doubts that it will have a favorable influence on the presiding judge. (Corso will not testify, having recently died of a heart attack at age 83.)


“Extraterrestrial Contact: Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt,” a video produced last summer by CAUS, does provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Peter Sturrock made a very wise decision NOT to invite Gersten to brief Sturrock’s panel of scientists. The CAUS video format is that of a mock trial in which "witnesses” present evidence to a jury. Gersten selected Travis Walton (who claims a UFO abduction in 1975) to play the role of the presiding judge. The video is available in two versions. One, 45-min. long, sells for $20. The more interesting “Director’s Cut” version, which SUN purchased for $25, is roughly two hours long.

Because Gersten believes that “crop circles” offer the strongest evidence of ET visitations, “crop-circle expert” Colin Andrews is the principal “witness.” Others included Bruce Maccabee and Richard Hoagland, who describes what he claims are ET-built structures on the moon. In the Director’s Cut version, Andrews resists repeated pressure from Gersten to characterize crop circles as the creation of ETs. In discussing a British video which shows a ball of light over a crop circle, Andrews emphasizes that he suspects the video might be a hoax. This prompted Gersten to say: “I don’t believe Corso, if anybody asks my personal opinion. But I don’t feel an obligation that I have to go out [indistinct]. I’ll put Corso on the [witness] stand. I’ll bring a lawsuit.” At the May 10 hearing, SUN suggests that Gersten be called as a witness and asked under oath if he himself believes Corso’s crashed-saucer claims.

Gersten is trying to expand CAUS from essentially a one-man operation into a national, perhaps even international, network by absorbing local UFO groups and UFOlogists who have “dis-affiliated” from MUFON (Mutual UFO Network). (During the last several years MUFON’s membership has declined nearly 20% to around 3,500.) Gersten’s stated objective is to build a network whose members can investigate UFO reports in their area but some observers suspect that he hopes to exploit discontent within MUFON.

MJ-12 Refuses To Allow Clinton To Reveal The Truth About Lewinsky

From a highly placed usually UNreliable source, SUN has learned that President Clinton was being truthful when he testified under oath that he could not remember ever having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. MJ-12 would not allow the President to reveal that the incidents occurred on a UFO and that ETs had erased his recollections. MJ-12 reportedly rejected Clinton’s impassioned pleas because it would reveal the government’s long-time UFO coverup and its knowledge that UFO abductions really do occur.

According to SUN’s usually UNreliable source (SUUS), ETs decided to upgrade the capabilities of their hybrids by obtaining sperm and ova from leading world figures. President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham were their first choice. At the time of the President’s first abduction, Ms. Lewinsky chanced to be in the President’s Oval Office, so the ETs mistook her for Hillary Rodham and beamed both of them up to the UFO hovering over the White House.

ETs later discovered their mistake and were about to return Ms. Lewinsky when they also discovered that their sperm-extraction machine was broken. Ms. Lewinsky offered to “fill the void” and did so. Later, the ETs followed their traditional practice of erasing all recollections of the incidentfrom the memories of the President and Ms. Lewinsky. The ETs were so pleased with the hybrids created with the President’s sperm that they decided to repeat his abductions.

Although ETs had since repaired their sperm-extraction machine, they felt that Ms. Lewinsky was achieving such a “bountiful return” that she should continue in that role, so she was abducted again also. Because ETs erased all memories of the incident, both the President and Ms. Lewinsky could honestly testify under oath that they did not recall having any sexual relations. Later, when their memories returned, the President requested MJ-12’s permission to reveal the truth rather than admit he had lied under oath. But MJ-12 rejected the President’s request and he was powerless to overturn their decision. (Rumor has it that Clinton has asked the ETs to abduct his nemesis—Independent Counsel Ken Starr—together with Ms. Lewinsky.)

NBC-TV Network To Air Two-Hour Pro-UFO Show

Useful insight into the “slant” of a two-hour TV show on UFOs which will be aired next year on the NBC network, and the “bottom-line strategy” that motivates the company producing the show, comes from pro-UFO researcher Bob Durant via his recent filing on the Internet. Durant, a recently retired airline pilot, was approached early this year because the TV show producer hoped that he might help to arrange a TV interview with the pilot of a Swissair 747 who had reported a near collision with a “UFO.” The incident occurred on Aug. 9, 1997, shortly after 5 p.m., while the airliner was flying at 23,000 ft. near New York City, enroute to Boston. The TV show producer contacted Durant who had been in contact with the Swissair pilot, Capt. Phil Bobet. Capt. Bobet said the UFO was moving very fast and he described it as being long, cylindrical, and white in color. The incident occurred near the peak of the Perseids meteor shower. Meteor-fireballs invariably are reported to be very much closer than they really are. For example, on June 5, 1969, two airline crews and a military pilot reported that they had nearly collided with several UFOs near St. Louis. Thanks to an alert photographer in Peoria who managed to get a photo, the objects were identified as meteor fragments whose flight path was roughly 125 miles north of St. Louis [SUN #46/July 1997].

In response to Durant’s query about the thrust of the TV show, he reports the following: “The working title is something like ‘UFOs—Confirmed.’ The general editorial slant is reflected in the title, meaning that they intend to take a positive position on the issue of UFOs as a serious topic. What I [Durant] found interesting was the insistence that this was being done because of marketing studies that showed (1) great success with UFO topic programming in terms of drawing audiences, and (2) an understanding that the public already believes in UFOs and wants that belief reinforced. Consequently, from the television entertainment business vantage, putting on a skeptical show did not make sense to the producers or to the ultimate authority, NBC....This is intended for prime time viewing, and will almost certainly be preceded by much advertising. Because of the belief that it will draw a very large audience, it will be run during a special ‘sweeps’ rating period....I was told that the Sturrock Panel would be covered.” (Emphasis added.)


  • A giant interstellar spacecraft from the planet Myton in the Pleiades, carrying 1,000 ET scientists, will land on Earth by the year 200l, according to the Unarius Academy of Science, El Cajon, Calif. (UNARIUS = UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science) A featured speaker at a recent Unarius Academy of Science conference was Jerome Clark, editor of CUFOS’s IUR. Clark recounted the early history of belief that earth is being visited by ETs, but offered no opinion on the Unarius prediction.
  • Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: Nearly three years have elapsed since a UFO reportedly crashed near Varginha, Brazil, and two of its occupants reportedly were captured by the Brazilian army. Details of the alleged incident were reported at MUFON’s mid-1996 conference by A.J. Gevaerd, head of Brazil’s largest UFO organization. The incident was endorsed by several major UFOlogists. Stanton Friedman: “The case looks very good indeed...” John S. Carpenter: “It’s a darned good case. I’d say it may be equal to Roswell.” Dr. John Mack: “It is an extraordinary case.” In mid-1996, Gevaerd predicted “fantastic surprises” before year end [SUN #41/Sept. 1996]. But there have been no surprises, fantastic or otherwise.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank DR. GARY POSNER for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 55


Dr. Robert Wood Emerges As New Promoter Of MJ-12 Authenticity, Endorses Recent Batch Of Flawed Documents From Secretive Source

Dr. Robert M. Wood, a respected, long-time engineer/scientist with McDonnell Douglas until his retirement in 1993, has emerged as a new promoter of MJ-12—an (alleged) super-Top-Secret U.S. government UFO agency. He and son Ryan—a computer specialist—strongly endorsed the authenticity of the original MJ-12 papers released in 1987 by William L. Moore, Jaime Shandera and Stanton Friedman as well as a new batch of obviously flawed MJ-12 documents. Their endorsement came in their paper titled "Cosmic Watergate: New Evidence of Retrieved UFOs,” presented at a UFO conference held in North Haven, Conn., on Oct. 10-11. Their conference paper focused on about 10 “Top Secret” documents obtained from a little-known California researcher named Timothy Cooper. Cooper claims the “new” MJ-12 papers were left in his mailbox by a secretive source named Thomas Cantwheel.

On Nov. 30, these Cooper/Cantwheel/Wood MJ-12 documents were hailed by a respected Silicon Valley businessman—Joseph P. Firmage—in a two-page press release on the Internet which carried the headline: "STUNNING TOP SECRET MILITARY DOCUMENTS PUBLISHED ON INTERNET REVEALING RECOVERY OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL VEHICLES AND BODIES DURING TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION.” Copies of the new (and original) MJ-12 papers, which Firmage said had been authenticated by Dr. Robert M. Wood, were being sent to major U.S. news media organizations. According to Firmage, “Scientists and the media who reject this claim, particularly in the face of this most recent evidence, are ignoring the single most important event to confront humanity in perhaps 2,000 years.” There was no mention of the fact that Stanton Friedman had earlier investigated some of Cooper’s MJ-12 documents and concluded that they were COUNTERFEIT, and that this was known to Dr. Wood.

In late 1992, Friedman received a call from Cooper, who claimed to have found three “new” MJ-12 documents in his mailbox. Friedman, who lives in Eastern Canada, suggested that Cooper show the documents to his good friend Robert Wood, who lives in Southern California. Cooper subsequently provided copies of the three new documents to Friedman for his analysis, as Friedman reports in his book “Top Secret/MAJIC,” p. 144: “The appearance of the documents was exciting because they were the first Majestic-related documents to surface since the Cutler-Twining memo [which Moore and Shandera claim they found in the National Archives] in 1985.” Friedman said he received two more documents from Cooper several weeks later.

One of the documents—whose authenticity Friedman set out to investigate—purports to be a memo to President Truman from Rear Adm. Hillenkoetter (who allegedly headed MJ-12), dated “February 1948.” Friedman noted in his book that this “document was extremely poorly reproduced, and Tim [Cooper] was initially reluctant to pass it on for fear he would be accused of forging it.” (Emphasis added.) Friedman (seemingly) was not disturbed by the fact that the memo did not cite a specific date in February, but indicated that he was mildly suspicious initially about some of the memo’s contents.

There were several other details which should have aroused Friedman’s suspicions, but did not. For example, the centerpiece of the MJ-12 papers made public in 1987 was what purported to be a November 1952 briefing document for President-elect Eisenhower—presumably prepared by Hillenkoetter—which listed the members of MJ-12. Skeptics earlier pointed out that the list showed “Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter” which falsely indicated he was a four-star

admiral. Additionally, as SUN’s editor pointed out to Friedman, Hillenkoetter did not use his first name (Roscoe) in his business letters but instead used his initials—"R.H.” Both of these “flaws” in the Eisenhower briefing document released in 1987 were not repeated in the “Hillenkoetter memo” that Friedman later received from Cooper. It showed “R.H. Hillenkoetter, Rear Adm. USN.”

However, the hoaxer who wrote the “February 1948 memo” unwittingly committed a significant error. In the lower-left corner the memo listed the agencies which (allegedly) received copies of the memo. This list included “USAFOSI.” In February 1948, when the memo allegedly was written, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations DID NOT EXIST. It was not created until Aug. 1, 1948, and was never called USAFOSI.

One of the documents which Cooper later sent to Friedman, and which Robert Wood endorsed, purported to be a Top Secret/Eyes Only memo, signed by President Truman on July 9, 1947, which directed Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining to “proceed to the White Sands Proving Ground Command Center without delay for the purpose of making an appraisal of the reported unidentified objects being kept there....Before going to White Sands you will communicate with General Eisenhower to ascertain whether he desires you to proceed via Kirtland AAF.” On July 9, Twining already was at Kirtland AAF, attending a course on nuclear weapons for General Officers.

Wood Claims Discrepancies Show Cooper Documents Are Authentic

During Dr. Wood’s talk in Connecticut he admitted that there are factual discrepancies in Cooper’s documents but he claimed that these “tend to indicate authenticity instead of lack of authenticity. Hoaxers generally try to make sure they are perfect.” One of the several discrepancies mentioned by Wood between the original (alleged) Nov. 18, 1952, briefing document for President-elect Eisenhower and the contents of the documents from Cooper was that the Eisenhower briefing document said that four ET bodies had been recovered from the crashed saucer while two of Cooper’s documents said there were five bodies. Wood offered the following possible explanation: “The people who wrote the document didn’t necessarily put in everything that was factually true. There might have been five recovered aliens and one of them was still alive and they didn’t want to tell Eisenhower...that we really had an alive guy [ET].”

An even more significant discrepancy is that the Eisenhower Briefing Document, allegedly written on Nov. 18, 1952, states that “On 07 July, 1947, a secret operation was begun to assure recovery of the wreckage of this object [singular] for scientific study.” According to the Eisenhower briefing document, “On 06 December, 1950, a second object, probably of similar origin, impacted the earth at high speed in the El Indio-Guerrero area of the Texas-Mexican border...” (Emphasis added.)

However, one of the Cooper/Cantwheel documents purports to be a July 9, 1947, report by the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit [IPU] which (allegedly) had been dispatched to New Mexico to recover the two crashed UFOs. This document reports “The extraordinary recovery of fallen airborne objects [plural] in the state of New Mexico, between 4 July - 6 July 1947...” Contemporary media accounts show that rancher Mac Brazel did not come to Roswell to report finding the unusual debris until July 7. The Cooper document claims that “radar stations in east Texas and White Sands Proving Ground, N.M. tracked two unidentified aircraft unitl (sic) both dropped off radar. Two crash sites have been located....Site LZ-1 was located at a ranch near Corona, approximately 75 miles northwest of the town of Roswell. Site LZ-2 was located approximately 20 miles southwest of the town of Socorro...[near] Oscura Peak.” This July 9, 1947, document does not mention any other crashed-saucer recovery in New Mexico at that time. However, another of the Cooper/Cantwheel documents, allegedly written by Hillenkoetter on Sept. 19, 1947, refers to "a subsequent capture of another similar craft 30 miles east of the Army’s Alamogordo Army Air Field on 5 July 1947...”

IPU’s July 9 report said: “Personnel were mainly interested in LZ-2 [Oscura Peak] as this site contained the majority of structural detail of the craft’s airframe, propulsion and navigation technology. The recovery of five bodies in a damaged escape cylinder, precluded (sic) an investi-gation at LZ-1 [Corona]....First reports indicated the first crash investigators from Roswell AAF [thought] that LZ-1 was the remains of a AAF top secret MOGUL balloon project. When scientists from Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory arrived to inspect LZ-2, it became apparent to all concerned that what had crashed in the desert was something out of this world.” (Emphasis added.)


  • For a document counterfeiter, the first public mention that the debris discovered by rancher Brazel was related to the once Top Secret Project Mogul balloon program came in mid-1994 with publication of Karl Pflock’s report “Roswell In Perspective.” The USAF’s initial Roswell report, issued and widely publicized in Sept. 1994, confirmed the Project Mogul connection. According to a Cooper-written notation on this IPU document, he (allegedly) received it on July 16, 1995, more than a year after Pflock first disclosed Project Mogul.
  • If the IPU document were authentic, it shows that as of July 9, 1947, the IPU, headed by Lt. Gen. Twining, which had recovered the crashed saucer from the vicinity of Socorro and the five bodies in an escape capsule near Corona, recognized that they were extraterrestrial. Yet more than two months later, the (alleged) Hillenkoetter memo states that the Army, Navy and Air Force conclude only that “the craft and wreckage are not of U.S. manufacture.”
  • The Cooper/Cantwheel document titled “1st Annual Report” on the “Majestic Twelve Project” bears no date but refers to events that occurred as late as May, 1951. Seemingly, more than three years elapsed after MJ-12 was created before it got around to writing its “1st Annual Report.” According to this document, MJ-12 was headed by Dr. Vanevar Bush, not Hillenkoetter, and there were 14 members including Bush—not twelve. One page of the report is not only stamped “Top Secret” and “For Official Use Only,” but also bears an odd stamp: “NOT FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION” which is enclosed in quotation marks.

Wood Withholds Friedman-Discovered Evidence Of A Hoax

Friedman, understandably, hoped that Tim Cooper’s “new” documents would support the authenticity of the original MJ-12 papers. The IPU document which reported recovery of a crashed saucer in the vicinity of Oscura Peak seemed to confirm the Plains of San Agustin crashed-saucer tale of Barney Barnett, which Friedman has long endorsed. However, when his investigation showed obvious evidence that some of the documents were counterfeit, Friedman did not withhold such information from his readers. For example, one of Cooper’s letters purportedly written by Secretary of State George C. Marshall turned out to be a slightly revised version of a letter that Marshall had sent to Presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey during the 1944 campaign. The authentic Marshall letter sought Dewey’s cooperation in keeping secret the fact that the U.S. had cracked the Japanese military encryption code. In Friedman’s book he wrote: “With this unambiguous fraud as background, I became convinced that several other items [Cooper documents] were retyped and slightly changed versions of old memos or letters.”

Dr. Wood presumably read Friedman’s book because he wrote a very favorable review of the book in the Spring 1997 issue of the journal published by Peter Sturrock’s Society for Scientific Exploration. In Wood’s review, he mentioned “three documents from Timothy Cooper, a California researcher who has been sending Friedman material from unknown sources. These three documents are supportive of the existence of an MJ-12 Majic project.” (Emphasis added.) Wood’s claim is challenged on p. 159 of Friedman’s book where he wrote that he now believed that the “Hillenkoetter memo [February 1948]—the first document that Tim Cooper had sent me—was really a doctored version of a memo...sent to President Roosevelt during World War II.”

If Friedman’s book showed that he suspected that some of Cooper’s MJ-12 documents were counterfeit, one should expect Dr. Wood and son Ryan to be at least cautious in endorsing their authenticity. But in Dr. Wood’s closing comments at the recent UFO conference in Connecticut he said: "THESE DOCUMENTS ARE GENUINE. NOBODY SHOULD LEAVE THIS ROOM FEELING THAT THESE DOCUMENTS ARE ANYTHING BUT GENUINE!”

“MJ-12 Special Operations Manual,” Which Surfaced In Early 1994, Also Is Endorsed By Dr. Wood Despite Its Many Flaws

Another “MJ-12 document” surfaced on March 14, 1994, when long-time UFOlogist Don Berliner received a roll of undeveloped 35 mm. black/white film which had been mailed from La Crosse, Wisc., by an anonymous source. When the film was developed on March 22, it contained photos of 21 pages from a 31-plus-page document titled “MAJESTIC-12 GROUP SPECIAL OPERATIONS MANUAL (SOM-101): EXTRATERRESTRIAL ENTITIES AND TECHNOLOGY RECOVERY AND DISPOSAL.” The document, dated April 7, 1954, carried the classification “TOP SECRET/MAJIC EYES ONLY.” Berliner, co-author with Friedman of the 1992 book “Crash At Corona,” promptly gave a copy to the General Accounting Office (GAO) which had just launched its investigation into crashed-saucer claims [SUN #25/Jan. 1994].

Curiously, more than eight months would elapse before Berliner decided to inform his co-author/partner about SOM 1-01, which Friedman later characterized as “the mother of all Majestic-12 documents” in his book “Top Secret/MAJIC” (p. 161). Friedman devotes a chapter of the book to SOM 1-01 and reproduces much of its contents. Friedman says he later provided a copy of the SOM 1-01 to his friend Dr. Robert Wood for analysis and authentication, explaining that “I trust [Wood] completely; excellent technical background, sound judgment, very knowledgeable about UFOs and high security.” (During Wood’s employment by McDonnell Douglas he held a “Top Secret” security clearance.)

Friedman’s chapter on SOM 1-01 suggests that when the book was published in 1996, he had ambivalent views on the authenticity of SOM 1-01: “A detailed proposal to validate this document by investigating internal references, the appropriateness of the procedures enumerated, the relationship to other MJ-12 documents, and the occurrences of any possible anachronisms has been made by myself, Dr. Wood, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, and another researcher, and it awaits funding. Based upon past experience, authentication will be no easy task...” Authentication, or “de-authenti-cation,” would be easier if Friedman and Wood were more rigorous and less credulous.

The alleged objective of SOM 1-01, as stated on p. 4, is: “This operations manual is published for the information and guidance of all concerned. It contains information on determination, documentation, collection, and disposition of debris, devices, craft, and occupants of such craft as defined as Extraterrestrial Technology or Extraterrestrial Biological Entities (EBEs) in Section II of this chapter.” But the contents of SOM 1-01 reveal it was written to provide useful “evidence” for those who promote the myth of crashed-saucer recovery and government coverup. Much of the information in SOM 1-01 would not be needed by UFO-recovery teams.


On p. 4, SOM 1-01 instructs MJ-12 UFO-recovery units on how to keep the press and the public from learning that any UFOs are ET craft by falsely explaining UFO sightings and crashed saucers as “meteors, downed satellites, weather balloons and military aircraft...” (Emphasis added.) But as of April 1954, no man-made earth satellite had ever been launched and more than three years would elapse before the first satellite was launched by the USSR on Oct. 4, 1957. It reentered on Jan. 4, 1958. Thus, if prior to late 1957 an MJ-12 unit followed SOM 1-01’s instructions and tried to explain a crashed UFO as being a "downed satellite,” it would be an obviously ridiculous explanation. Dr. Wood sought to counter this discrepancy by claiming

that “in 1954 there were references in open literature talking about our plans for satellites.” (Emphasis added.) Wood did not cite a single specific to back up his claim. He couldn’t. It was not until April 26, 1955, that the USSR became the first to announce plans to build and launch an earth satellite. And it was not until July 29, 1955, that President Eisenhower announced that the U.S. would also build and launch a satellite.

Some of the discrepancies are a bit subtle. For example, a “Current Situation” status report on p. 3 states that as of early 1954, “Several dead entities have been recovered along with a substantial amount of wreckage and devices from downed craft....One of the crashes was the result of direct military action” (but no details are provided). The Eisenhower briefing document states that four dead ETs were recovered in New Mexico in mid-1947, while two of the Cooper documents report five ET bodies. But nearly seven years later, only "several dead” ETs have been recovered?? SOM 1-01 reports two types of ETs:

  • Very skinny humanoid, 41-50 in. tall, which weigh only 25-50 lb. Skin is bluish-gray in color. Very large heads, extremely large wrap-around eyes, slits for nose and mouth. Webbed feet. SOM 1-01 states: “Creatures do not appear to be mammalian.”
  • Humanoid, 60-64 in. tall, which weigh 80-100 lb. Eyes are small, almond-shaped, very wide mouth, skin color is pale, chalky-yellow. SOM 1-01 says: “Might be mistaken for human beings of the Oriental race if seen from a distance.” [SUN Comment: “UFO abductees” do not offer similar descriptions. Perhaps this type of ET does not engage in abductions.]


SOM 1-01 contains a chart purportedly showing where recovered ET technology should be sent. Seven of the ll categories, including “aircraft” and “powerplant,” were to be sent to “Area 51 S4,” rather than to Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio where the USAF’s aeronautical and propulsion experts were then located. (Thus SOM 1-01 seems to confirm recent-vintage claims that Area 51, located in Nevada and part of Nellis Air Force Base, is used to test and reverse-engineer captured UFOs.) But in 1954, when SOM 1-01 allegedly was printed, that site was known as “Watertown.” The “Site 51” terminology was first used in 1958. In Dr. Wood’s October UFO talk, he said that SOM 1-01 critics “claim that Area 51 did not exist in 1954.” He quoted a Jan. 1951 newspaper article which said “Indian Springs Project Keyed To Defense Plans,” but it made no mention of “Area 51.”

SOM 1-01’s Table of Contents lists “Photographs” on p. 31, but that page was one of those missing from the film received by Berliner. Dr. Wood said that “all those photographs were removed by order of MJ-12 on the 12th of April, 1955,” but he did not disclose the source of this information. Wood speculated that the photos showed ETs which MJ-12 officials considered far too sensitive to be included in a document even so highly classified as “TOP SECRET/MAJIC EYES ONLY.”

One SOM 1-01 page showed sketches of four predominant UFO configurations. At the time SOM 1-01 (allegedly) was written, the Battelle Memorial Institute (under Project Blue Book contract) was analyzing 1,700 UFO reports which had been submitted to the USAF from 1947 to 1952. When the Battelle report was published in 1955, it cited four different UFO shapes which seemed to defy prosaic explanation. NONE of the four was triangular shaped. But one of the four UFO shapes cited in SOM 1-01 which attracted SUN’s attention was triangular in shape with lights at each apex, which closely resembled the triangular-shaped “UFO” photo taken in Belgium in April 1990. Prior to the Belgian UFO photo, which achieved international fame (and the counterfeiter’s attention), reports of triangular-shaped UFOs were extremely rare. Another of the UFO configurations cited in SOM 1-01 was shaped like an ice-cream cone, which Wood admitted was unfamiliar to him.

Ryan Wood, in his closing comments at the Connecticut conference, claimed that the U.S. government has mastered the remarkable propulsion technology used by UFOs but that MJ-12 has “kept it cloistered for 50 years and haven't let modern scientists and the academic open-science process discover how to apply it.” Robert Wood’s concluding remarks claimed that MJ-12 “tightly controls” the news media on the subject of UFOs and that “we're really not getting the facts from the media because of that control.” (If true, clearly President Clinton should have turned to MJ-12 to help suppress media coverage of the Monica Lewinsky affair.)

During the question/answer session, a member of the audience asked what the Woods had done to "authenticate” Tim Cooper. Ryan Wood responded: “We've talked to him. We've looked him in the eye and checked out his statements. He’s made a sworn affidavit. He’s written a lot of material about his experience with ‘Cantwheel'—this leaker who drops stuff in his mailbox.” If SUN had had the opportunity, we would have asked: “Why did ‘Cantwheel’ select Tim Cooper—who is an ‘unknown’ in the UFO field—to leak MJ-12 documents to instead of mailing them anonymously to the well-known Stanton Friedman?” Friedman has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows talking about his belief in the authenticity of MJ-12. And he invites persons with sensitive UFO material to contact him, with the promise that he will protect their identity.

When SUN learned from Friedman’s book that he had found at least some of the Cooper documents to be counterfeit, we found it strange that Friedman (seemingly) showed no interest in investigating the source of the bogus documents. So SUN wrote to Dr. Wood 15 months ago (Oct. 23, 1997) seeking information about Cooper and the circumstances of his receiving the “new MJ-12 documents.” When nearly five months elapsed without any response from Wood, we wrote him again on March 8, 1998, to request Cooper’s address or telephone number. The letter also sought to learn more about Wood’s relations with Cooper. When nearly four months had elapsed without a reply, we wrote Wood again on July 1. Another six months now have elapsed without any reply. And Wood has the “chutzpah” to accuse the government of coverup. At the UFO conference, THE WOODS REVEALED THAT THEY ARE WRITING A BOOK which will feature Cooper’s “new” MJ-12-related documents and SOM 1-01. In their partner Firmage’s recent press release, he claimed: “The plausibility of many seminal religious events recounted in world history is dramatically reaffirmed by the reality of this phenomenon. Based on private information available to the authors but not yet in print, I stand firmly behind the essential structure of the astonishing hypothesis contained in this work.”


As earlier noted, Friedman has had a long, close friendship with Dr. Wood, who hired Friedman in the late 1960s to try “to back-engineer flying saucers using...funds available through the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program at McDonnell [Douglas],” as Friedman reveals in his book (p. 12). Friedman is one of the very few prominent UFOlogists who still endorses the validity of MJ-12 and welcomes support for the claim of MJ-12’s existence. But having challenged the authenticity of Cooper’s seriously flawed documents in his book, it will be difficult for him to change his appraisal. Additionally, Friedman, who succeeded Bill Moore as the chief promoter for MJ-12, is not likely to want to “play second fiddle” to Dr. Wood—supported by a wealthy backer, i.e., Joe Firmage. SUN will be surprised if Friedman publicly rebukes Wood for his credulity in endorsing the Cooper documents.

Meet UFO-Lawyer Peter Gersten: Director of CAUS

Several SUN subscribers have requested more information about Peter Gersten, who reassumed control of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) earlier this year and has quickly emerged as one of the UFO Movement’s most colorful leaders. The following is in Gersten’s own words, from the Introduction to his booklet titled: “The Ultimate Secret.”

“From 1971 to 1994, I was a criminal defense trial attorney in New York City with a very interesting hobby: UFOs. Pursuant to this hobby, in 1977, I brought suit in the US District Court of the District of Columbia on behalf of Ground Saucer Watch, an Arizona-based UFO organization. The lawsuit was against the Central Intelligence Agency pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. I demanded the release of classified UFO-related documents. Following the lawsuit, the CIA, in 1979, released over 900 pages of documents relating to the UFO phenomenon. But they refused to release 57 documents, claiming national security considerations.

“On June 24, 1980, I brought suit in the same District Court against the National Security Agency, but this time on behalf of my own recently formed organization, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS). My objective was 135 UFO-related documents the NSA had refused to release. On Nov. 18, 1980, based upon a NSA top secret affidavit which I was not allowed to see, US DistrictCourt Judge Gerhard A Gesell dismissed the lawsuit stating that ‘the continued need for secrecy far outweighed the public’s right to know.’ After my appeal to the US Court of Appeals was denied in 1981, I brought a Writ of Certiorari to the US Supreme Court. On Mar. 8, 1982, four and one-half years after the first lawsuit, the Supreme Court refused to entertain the Writ, thereby precluding me from obtaining the documents through legal channels.” [SUN Comment: The documents, which would have revealed that NSA was covertly eavesdropping on radio and telephone communications of Soviet air defense centers, were released in early 1997 in response to a SUN request. Highlights of the NSA documents were reported in SUN #43/Jan. 1997.]

“A few months after the Supreme Court’s decision, I [Gersten] began to receive messages involving a plan to get the truth out about this planet’s contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence. The messages lasted about three months and would come during the day as very concentrated thoughts and at night as vivid dreams. The messages involved a plan to kidnap a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The messages stopped as abruptly as they had begun and it wasn’t until March 1996 that they began again...and this time with a force that was totally consuming. During a 14-day period, I continually and constantly received messages similar in nature to the ones in 1982...but this time clearer and more detailed. I took notes...copious notes and formulated an outline for the story I call The Ultimate Secret....In December 1996, the messages became clearer and some of the fictionalized people and places became real. For example, the Supreme Court Justice was a fictionalized person in the story until I received a message that the Justice is Sandra Day O'Connor. (Emphasis added.)

“...beginning on March 18, 1997, and every third day thereafter, I sent another episode of my story to a list of people on the Internet with an interest in UFOs....On June 24, 1997, the day The Ultimate Secret [story] begins, two alleged Associated Press messages were sent to my readers....The first stated the FBI had prevented a plot to kidnap Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the second stated that the FBI had obtained a warrant for my arrest. Later that day I was visited by several FBI agents who told me they had evidence that I actually planned to kidnap the Justice....They suggested, under threat of prosecution, that I leave Phoenix and cease to publish The Ultimate Secret or be involved with the UFO subject....On August 1, 1997, I left Phoenix...but still continue to send out a new episode about every three days. And I am now more than ever involved in Ufological matters, speaking to UFO groups and collecting evidence for another FOIA lawsuit. So when you are not reading my story or watching the sky...look out your window because you just might see my Jeep with the license plate that reads, ‘I ALIEN.'”

Gersten Endorses Hoagland Prediction: ET Craft To Land Dec. 7

A recent prediction that an ET spacecraft would land north of Phoenix, Az., on Dec. 7, made by Richard Hoagland who earlier promoted the now-discredited “Face on Mars,” was endorsed by Peter Gersten in a memo filed Nov. 8 on the Internet. Gersten’s memo said: “CAUS believes we must assume Dick Hoagland’s information, based upon his experience, expertise and intuition and corroborated by his calculations and Pentagon sources, is reliable and accurate.”

Hoagland also claims to see ET-built structures on the Moon in photos taken by Apollo astronauts, which earlier prompted Gersten to announce plans to raise money to send a rocket to the Moon to take photos of these structures [SUN #51/May 1998].

According to Gersten’s memo, “Hoagland has stated that, according to his Pentagon sources, the military’s retrieval of the interstellar craft is referred to as ‘Project Samson'....Hoagland has refused to identify the exact location north of Phoenix where the craft will land. Richard has stated that military troops will be moving into the area soon and has even speculated that Phoenix and the surrounding areas will be placed under Martial Law.”

SUN has learned from its usually UNreliable source that when the White House learned from Hoagland of the pending ET visit, President Clinton was delighted—confident that the historic event would divert Congress’ focus from its current impeachment inquiry. So the President ordered the Pentagon, NASA and the CIA to try to communicate with the ETs and convince them to land on the White House lawn for maximum TV and media coverage, instead of north of Phoenix. To that end, U.S. Weather Service scientists arranged for mild spring-like weather in Washington and an extremely heavy snowstorm in central Arizona on Dec. 6-7. But at the last minute, the ETs decided that a landing on the White House lawn might be interpreted as political partisanship. By this time, central Arizona was enveloped in a heavy snowstorm which made landing there risky. So the ETs returned home and will reschedule their visit. Hoagland suspects “hyperdimensional” interference. He says the snowstorm is “unprecedented” and claims the snow was “falling horizontally despite the nearly complete absence of wind.”

In Retrospect: Words Of Wisdom

On June 24, 1977, the 30th anniversary of Kenneth Arnold’s historic UFO sighting, prominent pro-UFOlogists met in Chicago to participate in the First International UFO Conference, sponsored by Fate magazine. A few of their 1977 comments from the published proceedings provide a basis for assessing what has changed in the last 21 years, and what has not:

  • Jim Lorenzen, APRO International Director: “One thing we have learned when we have gone into the background of persons who claim to have been abducted by UFOs, to have had contact with UFOs, or to have received messages from space people, is that for the most part they have a history of being battered children or have had sad histories in other ways....This suggests that contactees may be people who...are looking for ways to bolster their self images.”
  • Dr. David Jacobs, (then) UFO historian: “One of the serious problems in UFO research is that we constantly encounter grand theories devised from lack of knowledge....I think that the psychic field is definitely one of those areas we should give more attention to.”
  • Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Center for UFO Studies Director: “Over the last 30 years UFO research organizations have recorded thousands and thousands of sightings. But I sometimes wonder what good it will do....What we should aim for...is a dozen or two dozen cases which simply cannot be torn down. Presenting even a handful of truly solid cases to a Congressional committee would convince the Phil Klasses of this world.”
  • Stanton Friedman, UFO lecturer: “But absence of evidence is not evidence for the absence of evidence (sic).”

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse— We thank DR. GARY POSNER for help in proofreading.

The Klass Files Volume 56


Millionaire Software Expert Joe Firmage Sees Link Between UFO/ET Technology, Biblical Miracles, And Today’s “Psychic Phenomena”

IF Joe Firmage, the 28-year-old Silicon Valley Internet expert and multi-millionaire is correct—that UFOs and their ET occupants have been visiting earth for thousands of years (possibly appearing as angels) and that ET advanced technology can explain “miracles” reported in the Bible—Firmage could have the greatest impact on religion since Jesus and Mohammed. (If Jesus was a “hybrid,” created with ET sperm, this could explain the “virgin birth” and advanced ET technology could explain the “miracles” Jesus reportedly performed.) Firmage’s views on the relationship between UFOs, religion and “psychic phenomena,” are detailed in a 240-page report he posted on the Internet in late November, (modestly) titled “The Truth.”

In “The Truth,” Firmage reveals his belief that a crashed saucer was recovered near Roswell in 1947, that the U.S. government is engaged in a massive UFO coverup and that an MJ-12 group exists. He believes that if the “new MJ-12 papers” recently made public by Dr. Robert Wood and his son Ryan are bogus, then the papers were intentionally created with factual errors by a U.S. or Soviet intelligence agency to discredit belief in the reality of MJ-12. [Some of the many flaws in these papers were detailed in SUN #55/Jan. 1999.] Firmage reportedly has spent 2-3 million dollars in promoting “The Truth,” including advertising in major newspapers and on radio. Firmage may see himself as the “New Messiah of UFOlogy." Firmage was raised in Salt Lake City and had a keen youthful interest in science fiction, space travel, UFOs and computers. He entered the University of Utah as a physics major but left at the age of 19 (before graduating) to create the Serius Co. to develop object-based programming tools. Three years later, Serius was bought by the Novell Corp. for $24 million and Firmage joined Novell as vice president of strategic planning. He left Novell in 1995 and formed USWeb Corp., a Silicon Valley company which develops Internet web sites for clients. During the next two years USWeb acquired 30 companies and most recently agreed to merge with CKS Group, an advertising agency. Firmage was slated to head USWeb/CKS when they merged in December with a total of nearly 2,000 employees. But last fall Firmage began to more openly discuss his UFO-religious views and to show the “new MJ-12 papers” as proof. As a result, by Nov. 30 when he posted the MJ-12 papers on the Internet and issued a press release about them to the national media, he had been pressured to give up the post of CEO and become the company’s “chief strategist.” Then, on Jan. 8, Firmage announced that he had resigned from the company he had founded, to pursue his personal interests.

Highlights of Firmage’s views were reported in a lengthy feature article by Michael Learmonth in the Dec. 10-16 edition of Metro (Silicon Valley’s weekly newspaper), which carried the headline: "SILICON VALLEY CEO MEETS THE ALIENS!” The article provided a few details about Firmage’s youth and religious training which offer insights into the genesis of his current views: “Firmage was raised...as a Mormon but he abandoned the faith as a teenager when he ‘began to have questions about the more dogmatic aspects of the religion.’ Mormonism, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, requires followers to believe in direct human-angel contact. According to Mormon doctrine, the founder of the sect, Joseph Smith, was contacted by the angel Mormoni in 1827 and guided to the sacred golden tablets from which the Book of Mormon was written.” When Firmage briefly recounts the tale of Mormonism’s genesis, he comments that Smith’s “encounters with brilliant, white-clothed beings are almost indistinguishable from many modern-day accounts of first-hand encounters with ‘Visitors,'” i.e., ETs. (Emphasis added.)

Firmage Reports His Own Weird Encounter With “Visitor”

In the fall of 1997, Firmage says he awakened in the morning to see “a remarkable being, clothed in brilliant white light hovering over my bed.” According to Firmage’s account, the visitor asked: “Why have you called me here?” Firmage replied: “I want to travel in space.” When the visitor asked why he should grant Firmage’s wish, he replied: “Because I’m willing to die for it.” Then, according to Firmage, “out of him emerged an electric blue sphere, just smaller than a basketball....It left his body, floated down and entered me. Instantly I was overcome by the most unimaginable ectasy I have ever experienced, a pleasure vastly beyond orgasm....Something had been given to me.” (Emphasis added.) Seemingly, the Visitor’s glowing blue ball had given Firmage the great vision and wisdom he would set forth a year later in “The Truth."

Shortly after this experience—on Nov. 25, 1997—Firmage created the prestigous-sounding International Space Science Organization (ISSO) to carry out what he calls Project Kairos. (Kairos is a Greek word that means “the right moment.”) Judging from “The Truth,” Firmage has many objectives. One is to convince the “scientific establishment” of the reality of UFOs and to interest more scientists in researching advanced ET technology. This, he believes, can provide an unlimited energy supply from the vacuum of space (Zero Point Energy) and “gravitational propulsion” for space travel at greater-than-light velocities. Another objective is to overturn the U.S. government’s UFO coverup and to educate religious leaders on the relationship of ET visitations to Biblical history. And most important, to apply the ET knowledge for the benefit of our planet’s ecology and the earth’s peoples.


Firmage does not disclose how he learned of the “new MJ-12 papers” and made contact with Dr. Wood. Possibly the link was provided by the quarterly journal published by Dr. Peter Sturrock’s Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE), which devotes considerable coverage to UFOs and which Firmage praises as a "mind-expanding and rigorous publication.” (Sturrock has long been interested in UFOs and SSE conducted the recent nine-man scientist panel evaluation of the best UFO evidence [SUN #53/Sept. 1998].) The spring 1997 issue of SSE’s journal carried a very favorable review by Dr. Wood of Stanton Friedman’s book on MJ-12: “Top Secret/Majic.” In Wood’s review, he refers to Friedman’s chapter dealing with “three [new MJ-12] documents from Timothy Cooper...who has been sending Friedman material from unknown sources. These three documents are supportive of the existence of an MJ-12 Majic project.” (Emphasis added.)

In fact, Friedman’s book reports that his investigation showed at least several of the first and subsequent Cooper-supplied papers to be counterfeit, and he was suspicious of others. Several Letters-to-the-Editor commenting on Wood’s review were published in the next issue of SSE’s journal, including one from Friedman. However, Friedman did not correct, or even mention, Wood’s significant error about Cooper’s “new MJ-12” papers being “supportive of the existence of an MJ-12 Majic project.” (Wood is a long-time friend of Friedman and once arranged for McDonnell Douglas to hire Friedman briefly in the late 1960s where his covert assignment from Wood was to try to “reverse-engineer” UFO propulsion systems.)

When reporter Learmonth sought an appraisal of Firmage’s views on UFOs, MJ-12 et al. from the editor-in-chief of SSE’s journal, Dr.Bernhard Haisch (an astrophysicist employed by Lockheed Martin), for the article in Metro, Haisch was in an awkward situation. Dr. Wood is a member of SSE’s nine-person executive council and wealthy Firmage reportedly contributes funds to support SSE. Learmonth’s article quoted Haisch as saying that Firmage is “one of the brighter people I've ever met. He’s quite capable of

carrying on sophisticated conversations in areas where he’s not a trained researcher.” The Metro article added: “While Haisch is open to compelling evidence of a UFO coverup—including the new Majestic 12 documents contained in The Truth—he has a hard time going where Firmage went with his analysis.”


In Firmage’s “The Truth,” he admits that one or more of the MJ-12 documents may be “partial or complete forgeries.” In Firmage’s opinion the question of “whether every single MJ-12 document is completely accurate in historical detail, genuine authorship or pristine in authenticity is not the issue.... It is really only critical to validate any one of the principal documents. If only a single major document is validated, then MJ-12 was factual...” SUN Comment: But if one or more counterfeit “MJ-12 documents” have emerged from

anonymous sources, then every such document requires rigorous investigation to search for flaws indicating it is a counterfeit.

For example, consider one of the original MJ-12 documents that has been endorsed both by Friedman and Wood—President Truman’s (alleged) memo of Sept. 24, 1947, to Defense Secretary Forrestal, which (allegedly) created Majestic Twelve—nearly three months after the reported Roswell crashed-saucer incident. When the memo was analyzed by Peter Tytell’s Document Laboratory in New York City, he concluded that it had been typed on a Smith Corona typewriter which was not introduced until 1963—more than 15 years after the Truman memo seemingly was typed. Although Friedman was informed of this key discrepancy, he never revealed this fatal flaw in any of his papers or in his book “Top Secret/MAJIC.”


In a Friedman article published in the Sept./Oct. 1987 edition of International UFO Reporter (IUR), he claimed the Truman MJ-12 memo was authentic because its signature “matches that on an October 1947 letter from Truman to [Vannevar] Bush.” When SUN’s editor visited the Library of Congress to examine a copy of this Truman letter, dated Oct. 1, 1947, we found that the signatures matched perfectly—including accidental ink marks made by the President on one portion of the “H” in “Harry.” Rather than authenticating the MJ-12 memo as Friedman claimed, the striking similarity suggested that the Truman signature on the MJ-12 document was a photocopy of the authentic signature on the Oct. 1 letter.

When we sent a photocopy of the Oct. 1 letter to document examiner Tytell for analysis, he responded that the MJ-12 Truman memo was a “classic signature transplant.” His sharp eye noted other evidence. In the authentic Oct. 1 letter, the horizontal portion of the “T” (in Truman) had barely touched the end of “yours,” in the closing “Sincerely yours.” Because the typewriter used by the counterfeiter differed from the one used for the Oct. 1 letter, the counterfeiter had to delete the “Sincerely yours,” and used “white-out” to remove it. In so doing, Tytell noted this had “thinned” down that part of the “T.” (See arrow, below.)

Tytell noted that the MJ-12 Truman signature was slightly larger, elongated and a bit darker than the Oct. 1 original, as would be expected if it were a photocopy. He explained that photocopy machines enlarge material by roughly 1.2% to avoid reproducing ragged edges or material not precisely centered on the machine. Tytell told me that he had called Friedman to inform him of the results of his analysis of the two Truman signatures and had recommended that Friedman “should just wash his hands of this.” Friedman ignored Tytell’s advice. The next week, when Friedman spoke at a MUFON regional conference near St. Louis, he repeated his strong endorsement of the MJ-12 papers.


Not surprisingly, Friedman has continued to deny that the two Truman signatures are the same. Dr. Wood disagrees. “If you lay them on top of one another, they are absolutely identical,” Wood said in his talk at the UFO conference in Connecticut last October. This, he admitted, prompts handwriting experts to conclude that the MJ-12 signature is a photocopy. But Wood offered an alternative explanation. He showed a photo of the President using an “auto-pen,” a device which enabled Truman to use a “master pen” to cause four “slave pens” to simultaneously sign four other documents. This, Wood said, could explain the identical signatures on the Sept. 24 MJ-12 memo and the Oct. 1 Truman letter to Dr. Vannevar Bush.

SUN Comment: A ridiculous explanation. If the memo creating MJ-12 were authentic, why would Truman not take a few seconds to sign the vitally important document on Sept. 24 instead of letting it sit around for a week until Oct. 1 when he signed the letter to Dr. Bush. If Truman’s hand was too tired on Sept. 24, surely he would have been able to sign it the next day, or the following day, without letting it sit around unsigned for a week to use the “auto-pen.”


The original MJ-12 documents were made public by William L. Moore, in partnership with Jaime H. Shandera and Friedman in the late spring of 1987, and initially all three staunchly defended their authenticity. In 1990, Moore and Shandera published a lengthy “analytical report” which generally defended MJ-12’s authenticity. However, near the end of the report [p. 70], they admitted that the signature on the Sept. 24 Truman memo “bears a coincidentally close (indeed very close) resemblence to a known-to-be-authentic document.” As a result, Moore and Shandera offered only a 35-40% probability that the MJ-12 Truman memo was authentic. However, they added that if the memo was bogus, it “very probably” had been fabricated by the U.S. government—a theory which Joe Firmage would also offer nearly a decade later.


In “The Truth,” Firmage claims: “I have personally sat across the table from top leaders and brilliant minds of the military and science, on multiple occasions, who have confirmed the basic truth of the UFO phenomenon....Based upon what these leaders have told me, I do not believe that most elected officials or military intelligence officials have much more knowledge than the general public on the subject of UFOs....The organization responsible for managing the domain is com-prised of less than 1,000 people and was long ago privatized and pulled entirely outside of the machinery of political and military command structure. It reports to no publicly elected or appointed leader, but rather a self-selected governing body which today is composed of a larger number of industrialists than military or civil officials.” (Emphasis added.) Firmage does not discuss how such a group could obtain the cooperation of unfriendly governments, such as Iraq, North Korea and the Soviet Union, which would be needed to maintain a global UFO coverup.


Although Robert Wood and son Ryan are identified by Firmage as his “authentication experts” on the MJ-12 papers, he does not identify by name two other persons whose “UFO expertise” helps shape his views. He claims they are “two of the most reputable investigative reporters of various anomalies in recent history.” SUN has learned that one of Firmage’s UFO experts is Linda Moulton Howe, who is the leading promoter of the idea that ETs are responsible for “cattle mutilations” and who more recently has expanded into the field of “UFO abductions.” SUN believes that Firmage’s second anonymous UFO expert is Michael Lindemann who operates a subscription-type Internet service on UFOs called CNINews.


“The Truth” includes two (partially redundant) chronologies of important UFO cases beginning with the Kenneth Arnold June 24, 1947, incident—each authored by one of Firmage’s two UFO experts. Those provided by Howe are the more “colorful.” For example:

  • The egg-shaped UFO that policeman Lonnie Zamora reported seeing land on the outskirts of Socorro, N.M., on April 24, 1964, “was an extraterrestrial vehicle on its way to an official meeting arranged through the MJ-12 group...” which mistakenly landed near Socorro when its intended destination was Holloman AFB, N.M. Howe said she later learned that when U.S. officials met with ETs, one of them “had a very large Arabic-style nose, wore Egyptian-looking armor and had a high-peaked helmet...holding a rod in its left hand.” The ETs reportedly gave a rod/wand to the U.S. commander. When an ET spoke into its wand, its words were auto-matically translated into English and emerged from the U.S. commander’s wand, and vice versa.
  • In describing the UFO incidents that (allegedly) occurred at the USAF air base at Bentwaters, England, in late December of 1980, Howe reported as fact the claims made by Sgt. James Penniston. According to Penniston, as he approached a disc-shaped craft he saw sym-bols. When he reached out and touched them he “received binary coded information in his mind. The essence of the communications was that the intelligence behind the craft and the binary code were time-travelers from the Earth’s future. Their mission was to gather chromosomes, genetic materials from humans and animals and return to their time-line several thousand years in the future where their civilization’s ability to reproduce has a serious problem and faced extinction." Two other examples of the many inaccurate claims made in “The Truth” include:
  • In reporting the “Top Secret” UFO Estimate of the Situation submitted to USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg in 1948 which said that some UFOs might be ET craft, Firmage quotes Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt as saying: “Vandenberg squelched the report, saying he just couldn’t accept the idea of interplanetary spaceships.” FALSE. Ruppelt wrote on page 45 of his book that Vandenberg rejected the ET hypothesis because: “The report lacked proof.”
  • Firmage quotes portions of Lt. Gen. Twining’s “Secret” letter of Sept. 23, 1947, which provided the Air Force’s Air Materiel Command’s then-current assessment of what UFOs might be, including: “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Omitted was Twining’s statement in the same letter, written more than two months after the “Roswell incident,” which referred to “the lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash-recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects.” (Emphasis added.)

    “The Truth” challenges UFO skeptics: “Step forward and comprehensively refute all the evidence: the millions of sightings, the thousands of reported landings, the thousands of abduction experiences, and the countless highly strange accompanying phenomena for which no one yet has a clear explanation: crop circles, cattle mutilations, etc....The evidence spans far more than 50 years. It goes back thousands of years, peppered throughout the ancient books and scriptures of our ancestors.” (Emphasis added.) Firmage concludes: “In this time of great moment, more and more of us are turning again to these books for guidance. But from a scientific point of view, if any one of the great books of scripture truthfully retells of human interaction with great beings from above, then at least a few other such books are almost surely grounded in history as well...”

    SUN Comment: It remains to be seen whether Firmage’s philosophy will be widely embraced by UFOlogists and/or those who follow traditional religions, including Jews and Muslims. We doubt that it will have any effect on the scientific community’s interest in UFOs. SUN looks forward to reading Sturrock’s and/or Wood’s assessment of “The Truth” in SSE’s journal.

    Clinton’s Plan To Avoid Impeachment: Reveal The Truth About UFOs

    According to SUN’s usually UNreliable source (SUUS), President Clinton’s top advisors devised a sure-fire strategy to not only avoid Congressional impeachment and/or censure but to also win Clinton worldwide acclaim as one of world’s greatest leaders. SUUS has provided SUN with an early draft of the speech that Clinton was to

    deliver on TV:

    “My fellow Americans and all the citizens of planet Earth. Earlier I confessed that I did not tell the truth about my relations with Monica Lewinsky. But this is of scant import compared to the failure of nine previous Presidents to tell the truth about Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs. Every American President since Truman and Eisenhower has known that our planet is being visited by extraterrestrial craft, but they have used falsehood and disinformation to withhold the truth from you. Every American President since John F. Kennedy has known that ETs began to abduct the innocent citizens of our planet in the fall of 1961. And the pace of these horrible abductions has increased dramatically in the last decade, as reported by Whitley Strieber, Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs and others. Instead of revealing the truth about UFOs and focusing our defense expenditures on the real threat, most of our past Presidents created an imaginary threat of an expansionist Soviet Union and Communism. Ronald Reagan was the first President to try to devise a defense against UFOs via his “Star Wars” program. However, Reagan falsely claimed that the program was intended to protect against a Soviet missile attack.

    “I have today informed Defense Secretary Cohen that the Pentagon should deploy high-energy lasers on hundreds of satellites, regardless of cost, to destroy ET craft. The world’s leaders, including even Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, have all agreed to forget our past regional conflicts and join with us to protect the people of this planet against the ET threat. Also, I have today instructed the director of the FBI to assign half of its agents to protect UFO abductees against further ET indignities. We will not tolerate ET abductions of innocent persons, and mutilation of our cattle and horses. And I plan to designate the city of Roswell, N.M., as a National Monument.

    “I realize that my revelations tonight will make some persons unhappy. For example, Stanton Friedman will have to try to get a job as a nuclear physicist—which won’t be easy. The TV networks will be unhappy that they can no longer use UFO-coverup shows to attract large audiences. UFO groups such as MUFON will go out of business. My fellow citizens, let the record show that I was the first President in more than 50 years to reveal the TRUTH about UFOs and—even more important—the first President to commit the Defense Dept. and FBI to protect every citizen against ET abduction. Good night, and God bless you.”


    “Alien Autopsy” Called A Hoax By TV Producer Who Once Promoted It

    Robert Kiviat, whose hour-long “Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?” TV show in mid-1995 purported to show the autopsy of an ET recovered from the Roswell crashed saucer, now admits the film is bogus—according to Kiviat’s recent TV show “The World’s Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed,” which aired on the Fox TV network on Dec. 28. Not surprisingly, the recent Kiviat expose did not mention his earlier role in promoting “Alien Autopsy.” Ray Santilli, a British film distributor, claimed he had acquired the film from an aging American cameraman who had filmed the autopsy. But there were many discrepancies in Santilli’s tale and he refused to provide a few frames to Eastman Kodak to verify its alleged 1947 vintage [SUN #35/Sept. 1995; SUN #36/Nov. 1995; SUN #37/Jan. 1996]. One brief segment which Santilli showed to a few British UFOlogists, but which he opted not to sell for TV broadcast because

    of its very poor quality, appeared to have been filmed in a poorly illuminated tent. Seemingly, the two “doctors” were operating in a tent that had been hastily erected near the crash site to try to save the ET’s life. But the footage showed one of the “doctors” pulling out the ET’s innards like a butcher. If the ET were already dead, it would have been transported to much better illuminated medical facilities for the first-ever autopsy of an ET, such as those used for the “Alien Autopsy.” Its two “pathologists” wore protective face masks (which hid their identity), whereas the two “doctors” in the tent sequence wore no face masks.

    Through the use of image-enhancement techniques on the tent sequence, Kiviat was able to more clearly show the faces of the two “doctors,” one of whom was interviewed on the recent TV show. His name was Elliot Willis, a technician who reportedly formerly was employed by AK Music, a British film production company. According to Willis, AK Music had made the tent sequence for Santilli. The man who played the second doctor was “a local butcher,” according to Willis, which explains the way he pulled out the innards. Willis said AK Music did not produce the more professional “Alien Autopsy” film which Santilli later sold to TV stations around the globe, but said he had heard it was produced by a German company.

    Betty Cash Dies 18 Years After Cash-Landrum UFO Incident

    Betty Cash, one of three persons (allegedly) irradiated by a giant diamond-shaped UFO which was being escorted by 23 twin-rotor helicopters near Huffman, Tex., on the night of Dec. 29, 1980, died at the age of 71 on the 18th anniversary of the incident. Her photo was featured on the cover of the MUFON UFO Journal’s February issue which contained a full-page article on Betty by MUFON official John Schuessler, the principal investigator of the incident. Schuessler’s article claimed that “Betty died of health problems associated with the injuries that were caused by her close encounter with a UFO exactly 18 years earlier....Never a year passed that she wasn’t hospitalized and treated for complications arising from that initial extensive radiation exposure.” (Emphasis added.)

    SUN suspects that Betty’s death certificate shows that her demise resulted from “heart failure.” Schuessler’s MUFON article made no mention of a few key facts about Betty Cash’s health problems. For example, four years before the UFO incident, Betty underwent heart bypass surgery at the age of 47. Barely two years after the UFO incident, cancerous lumps were discovered in Betty’s right breast and it was removed. Two months later, Betty suffered a heart attack and a month later she underwent surgery to remove her left breast. In early 1997, Betty suffered still another heart attack. So far as is known Betty never suffered from or was treated for leukemia or other radiation-induced health problems. (Shortly after the UFO incident, Schuessler used a geiger counter to check for the presence of radiation in Betty’s car but found none.) Vickie Landrum—now age 77—and her grandson Colby seemingly have not suffered any long-term adverse health effects.

    NBC-TV’s “Hard Evidence of Aliens” Shows How To Deceive The Public

    The first 15 minutes of NBC-TV’s two-hour prime-time UFO show, which aired Feb. 17, were cleverly designed to mislead viewers into thinking the program would offer a reasonably balanced treatment of the issues—despite the show’s title: “Confirmation: Hard Evidence of Aliens Among US?” and the fact that Whitley Strieber, world-famous promoter of UFO abduc-tion claims, was one of the show’s two executive producers. Initially, UFO skeptics (including SUN’s editor) were given almost as much airtime as UFO promoters. For example, the first segment on the 1997 Mexico City UFO video [SUN # 54/Nov. 1998] raised serious doubts about its authenticity. The next segment dealt with two UFO photos taken in McMinnvile, Ore., in 1951 by Paul Trent, which SUN’s editor called a hoax made with an object suspended from overhead electric wires. They were endorsed by a photo analyst who could find no suspension string but who did not assess whether the Trent’s cheap camera had sufficient resolution to show same.

    Next was a segment showing the video of a UFO taken by NASA’s STS-48 Shuttle crew. A majority of the "experts” who appeared rejected a prosaic explanation. As the TV show progressed, airtime for UFO skeptics declined sharply. All but one of the “experts” interviewed on the “Roswell incident” claimed it involved a crashed ET craft and a government coverup. As fewer and fewer skeptics appeared to rebut UFO-promoter claims, viewers might logically conclude that the skeptics were unable to offer any rebuttal. None of the once Secret and Top Secret CIA/USAF documents of the 1947-1952 period—which contained no evidence of any crashed saucer coverup—were shown to viewers or even mentioned.

    Approximately one third of the show (not counting commercials) was devoted to “UFO abductions” and "alien implants.” Featured promoters included Dr. John Mack, Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs, Whitley Strieber, and “implant experts” Dr. Roger Leir and Derrel Simms. During this 30-minute segment, skeptics (including psychologist Dr. William Cone, Joe Nickell and SUN’s editor) received a combined total airtime of less than three minutes. Strieber interviewed his “most impressive” abductee, Jesse Long, who had a small shard of glass removed from his left shin in 1991. Long claims it was implanted by aliens in 1957 when ETs abducted him at the age of five. Long also claims frequent abductions and that a UFO lifted his car up from a highway near Albuquerque and took him aboard to see nine of his hybrid children. The final segment featured a “lights in the night sky” type UFO incident involving police in a small Ohio town, which occurred in the fall of 1994. To impress viewers, the program moderator said: “For many, there is no such thing as a credible UFO sighting. But what if the UFO was seen by policemen?” This segment lasted for 14 minutes, with less than two minutes available for skeptic James McGaha to offer a possible prosaic explanation.

    In reality, more UFOs reported to the Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) in the mid-1970s by law-enforcement personnal turned out to have prosaic explanations than for any other occupation. According to Allan Hendry’s analysis on p. 102 of “The UFO Handbook,” investigations showed that while 89% of all UFO reports submitted to CUFOS turned out to have prosaic explanations, the misidentification rate for law enforcement personnel was 94%. The NBC-TV moderator’s concluding comment was: “Skeptics and believers will continue to debate the question: Are we really alone? Now, we leave it up to you to decide.” Based on the “evidence” offered by NBC-TV (and most TV shows on UFOs), obviously we have ET visitors.


    “UFO-Lawyer” Gersten plans class-action suit for abductees: Attorney Peter Gersten, director of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), has revealed plans to bring class-action suit against the U.S. government in behalf of “UFO-abductees.” If Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs are correct that several million Americans have suffered UFO abductions, and if Gersten tries to collect a modest $100,000 per victim, the total sought could be several hundred billion dollars. If Gersten succeeds, this will demolish the projected budget surplus.

    Skeptical assessment of UFO abductions from long-time pro-UFOlogist: Richard Hall, who served as deputy director of NICAP in the 1960s when it was the nation’s largest, most respected pro-UFO organization, offered the following assessment of UFO-abduction claims in his monthly column in the MUFON UFO Journal’s February issue: “The more I have studied the abduction phenomenon, the more I have come to the conclusion that even our top, highly regarded investigators in this field have gradually slipped past the facts and evidence into areas of very questionable speculation...” [Will NBC-TV’s “hard evidence” prompt Hall to change his views?]

    NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated. We thank DR. GARY POSNER for his help in proofreading.

    The Klass Files Volume 57


    “Doctored” CIA Letter Hailed As New Proof That MJ-12 Exists

    “The hunt for a genuine U.S. Government document that shows the use of MJ-12 is over. The breakthrough comes from the FOIA [Freedom Of Information Act] effort of Tim Cooper,” according to a feature article in the March issue of the MUFON UFO Journal, authored by Dr. Robert Wood and his son Ryan. At a UFO conference last October in Connecticut, the Woods first reported and endorsed a batch of “new” MJ-12 documents obtained from Cooper—some of which had earlier been exposed as counterfeit by Stanton Friedman in his book “Top Secret/MAJIC” [SUN #55/Jan. 1999].

    According to the Woods’ MUFON article, “This document, released by the CIA, is from the [Project] Paperclip files, Record Group 330, JIOA files, released Nov. 7, 1985. It is a memo from [CIA Director] Hillenkoetter on [dated] 12 April 1949 to the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) that, while otherwise unclassified, shows file distribution to a CIA Top Secret control file and to MJ-12. This is unambiguous evidence that there was such a project. To our knowledge, this is the first and only FOIA-released document designating MJ-12.” (Emphasis added.) In their MUFON article, the Woods also defend the authenticity of the three original MJ-12 documents, released in mid-1987 by William L. Moore, Jaime Shandera, and Friedman, as well as the more recent SOM 1-01 Special Operations Manual, some of whose counterfeiter “goofs” were exposed in SUN #55.


    The “breakthrough” Hillenkoetter memo is reproduced in very small, difficult-to-read size in the MUFON article. The Woods—understandably—do not inform readers of its content or explain why a copy would be sent to MJ-12—if such a group existed. The Hillenkoetter memo of April 12, 1949, is in response to a JIOA memorandum written nearly a year earlier, on May 25, 1948. Considering the urgency of MJ-12’s (alleged) mission, and the fact that Hillenkoetter allegedly headed MJ-12, one should expect him to have responded much more promptly! The content of the memo is shown below:

    “In connection with Paragraph I of reference [JIOA Memorandum No. 902 dated 25 May 1948], the Central Intelligence Agency does not believe that any further action by CINCEUR [Commander in Chief, Europe] will be necessary. Pertinent information from reference and its attachments has been given to the Bureau of Mines, Department of Interior, and to the National Bureau of Standards, Department of Commerce for their information, and Central Intelligence Agency has asked to be advised of action or information obtained by those agencies as a result.” (Emphasis added.)

    If the JIOA memorandum of May 25, 1948, discussed crashed saucers and other Top Secret MJ-12 matters, why would the Bureau of Mines have a “need-to-know” for such sensitive information? So far as is known, neither Cooper nor the Woods have ever obtained a copy of the JIOA memo to which the Hillenkoetter memo refers.

    This 1949 Hillenkoetter memo is believed by SUN to be an authentic document which has been “doctored” by a counterfeiter who added “FILE DIST:/CIA Top Secret/MJ-12” at the lower left. The left-hand margin of this segment is slightly smaller than the margin of the rest of the memo, which indicates that it was added after the original memo was typed.

    Meet Tim Cooper, Who Provided The “New MJ-12 Documents”

    Tim Cooper, who supplied the Woods with more than a dozen of the “new MJ-12 documents,” including the recent Hillenkoetter 1949 memo, has a long-standing interest in claims of crashed saucers and government coverup. Cooper claims he received the “new” MJ-12 documents from a Thomas Cantwheel and that the MJ-12 papers were found in his Post Office box (in Big Bear Lake, Calif.) without any envelopes. Earlier, Cooper was a major source of crashed-saucer tales for Leonard H. Stringfield, a pioneer researcher in that field who first reported on his findings at the 1978 MUFON conference.

    Stringfield’s updated Status Report #6, published in July 1991, included several crashed-saucer tales provided by Cooper, who claimed they came from anonymous former military personnel who seemingly allowed him to tape record the interview, judging from verbatim transcripts which Cooper provided. In one of these interviews, which allegedly occurred on Feb. 10, 1991, Cooper reported asking his unidentified source: “Did you know of the IPU (Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit)?” SUN had never before heard the term “Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit,” nor since reading Stringfield’s report, until we saw one of Cooper’s MJ-12 documents which was titled: “INTERPLANETARY PHENOMENON UNIT SUMMARY.”


    There are more “curious coincidence” similarities that link information which Cooper previously supplied to Stringfield and the contents of the “MJ-12 documents” which Cooper later provided to the Woods. For example, according to one of Cooper’s (alleged) sources the U.S. government consulted with the Vatican and Cardinal Francis Spellman about the possible implications for the Catholic church if ET visits were made public. One of the Cooper provided documents purports to be the “First Annual Report” of the “Majestic Twelve Project.” It contains the following: “At the request of Panel member [sic], Cardinal Francis Spellman met with the President to discuss the containment within the Catholic Church and its heirchy [sic] of religious speculation if mass [UFO] sightings occur.” (Emphasis added.)

    According to the Cooper-provided document, one member of the 15-person MJ-12 panel was the chief chaplain of the Army, Maj. Gen. Luther D. Miller. He would seem an unlikely choice considering the MJ-12 panel’s stated objective: “To investigate the capture of unidentified planform (sic) space vehicles by U.S. Armed Forces and Agencies.” But the inclusion of the Army’s chief chaplain would seem to confirm Cooper’s earlier claim to Stringfield that President Truman was concerned about the effect of public knowledge of ET visits on traditional religions.

    Another Cooper-supplied MJ-12 document, dated 19 Sept. 1947 and purportedly written by Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining, provides another suspicious link to Stringfield’s 1991 report. This (alleged) Twining report cites a crashed-saucer recovered in Missouri in 1941—more than six years before the Roswell incident. The Twining report states: “Based on all available evidence collected from [1947] recovered exhibits currently under study...[they] are deemed extraterrestrial in nature. This conclusion was reached as a result of comparisons of artifacts from the Missouri discovery in 1941.” Two pages later the Twining report again mentions “the recovery case of 1941.” Stringfield’s 1991 report (a copy of which he provided to Cooper) contains an account by a Texas woman of her grandfather’s tale that a strange craft had crashed near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in the spring of 1941 and three small, “not-human” bodies had been recovered. MJ-12 REPORT OF 1952 CITES “UFO MYTH” OF 1960s-1970s AS FACT

    Alhough the Cooper-supplied “First Annual Report” by MJ-12 carries no date, it contains references which indicate it was prepared in the fall of 1952—roughly five years after MJ-12 (allegedly) was created. The report cites a few authentic UFO sightings by military aircraft which would be readily available to a counterfeiter. But it also cites spurious incidents which did not emerge into “UFO mythology” until the 1960s and 1970s. For example, the (alleged) MJ-12’s “First Annual Report” describes the incident involving five Navy TBM-3 torpedo bombers that “disappeared” during a training flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Dec. 5, 1945. The Cooper-supplied document claims, “It is believed that Flight 19 encountered a phenomenon of a celestial nature. The last known radio transmission from the instructor pilot was heard by a ham operator, ‘Don't come after me...they look like they're from outer space....The Naval Board of Inquiry said, ‘we were not able to make even a good guess as to what happened.'” (Emphasis added.) In reality, no such radio message was ever reported during the lengthy Navy Board of Inquiry investigation. (During the late 1960s, SUN’s editor spent several days in the Navy archives reviewing the lengthy transcript of the investigation.)

    The first mention of the alleged radio message—“they look like they are from outer space”— did not occur until the late 1960s—more than a decade after the MJ-12 report (allegedly) was written—when several articles and books were published which promoted the “Bermuda/Devil’s Triangle.” Contrary to the Cooper-supplied MJ-12 report claim that the Navy Board of Inquiry was “not able to make even a good guess as to what happened,” the Board concluded: “The disappearance was caused by temporary mental confusion resulting from faulty judgement on the part of the flight leader and instructor of Flight 19, Lt. Charles C. Taylor, in permitting himself to lose knowledge of his general position relative to the peninsula of Florida...” (The last radio messages indicated that the five aircraft were running out of fuel and would try to “ditch” [land] in darkness on stormy seas.)


    The “First Annual Report of MJ-12” includes many ridiculous claims and statements. For example:

    • “It is believed that the debris discovered on 2 July 1947 [actually June 14] by a local rancher [Brazel] was the result of a mid-air collision with an X-plane from HAFB [Hollomon AF Base], another unidentified object, or possibly collided with both.” (Emphasis added.) [SUN Comment: Although the incident occurred five years earlier, MJ-12 seemingly had not been able to determine if one of our own experimental (X-
    • plane) aircraft was missing or was involved.]

    • “From 1949 to late 1950s, there have been several crashes of B-36 bombers on routine artic (sic) patrol that bear all the earmarks of the [Capt. Thomas] Mantell incident. None of the crews were found. The atomic bombs were not recovered, thus creating a serious problem for the Air Force when nuclear weapons are lost over friendly countries.” (Emphasis added.] [SUN Comment: Ridiculous claim. There is no evidence that even a single, giant B-36 carrying atomic bombs ever crashed in the Arctic and was never found.

      When typewriters are not cleaned/serviced periodically, “crud” from their ribbons accumulates in the circular portions of their typeface—typically the smaller, lower-case letters. By a “curious coincidence,” some of the Cooper-supplied MJ-12 documents—which if authentic would have been typed in geographically separated offices using different typewriters— seemingly were typed using the same machine, judging from the “crud” that fills the circular portion of same letters. For example, in both The First Annual MJ-12 Report (1952) and the 1947 Twining report “crud” fills the circular portions of the same lower-case letters: “p” “e” “d” and “o.” And in both the Einstein/Oppenheimer report and the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit Field Order of July 4, 1947, the circular portion of the lower-case “p” is filled with “crud.”

      Cooper’s Sworn Statement Denies He Created “New” MJ-12 Documents

      In a two-page notarized statement dated March 8, 1999, Tim Cooper says that he “is not, and never has been, a document hoaxer, forger, or fabricator.” Further, the notarized statement says that Cooper “did not, with immoral intentions or pretext solicit, suggest, manipulate or encourage DR. ROBERT M. WOOD and RYAN S. WOOD, to make public the existence of the alleged Majestic documents through the electronic, radio, and print media for the purpose of monetary gain, profit, or extortion.” (Emphasis added.)

      In a second two-page notarized statement of March 8, Cooper states that “he did not create or fabricate the person known to him as THOMAS CANTWHEEL [who reportedly provided the MJ-12 documents to Cooper]. That he did not create or fabricate a meeting with the person known as THOMAS CANTWHEEL that occurred on the night of July 16, 1995, at his place of employment known as Pine Knot Landing located at 439 Pine Knot Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. That he did not hoax, forge, and fabricate any letters allegedly written by THOMAS CANTWHEEL and a person described as SALINA....That he and others have performed and are now performing due diligence to locate, identify, and bring forward the person AKA THOMAS CANTWHEEL or establish his true identity and credentials. That he can provide correspondence in the form of letters from other individuals chronicling THOMAS CANTWHEEL and the alleged Majestic documents.” (Emphasis added.)

      Cooper’s second notarized statement concludes with the following: “That he is willing to submit to vetting and polygraph examination to establish his character and truthfulness in matters pertaining to allegations that he is a hoaxer, forger and fabricator of documents and signatures. And, that he is prepared to appear in court, if need be, to proclaim his innocence regarding unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations that he is behind the whole Majestic hoax and wishes to face his accusers face-to-face under penalty of perjury.” (Emphasis added.)

      What Maj. Marcel Really Said In Gen. Ramey’s Office On July 8, 1947

      Although Maj. Jesse Marcel played a key role in the “Roswell incident,” essentially every statement attributed to him in most books and articles is based on his 30+ year-old recollections when he was interviewed in the late 1970s by UFOlogists such as Stanton Friedman and Bob Pratt, then a reporter for the National Enquirer. Fortuitously, Pratt tape recorded his interview with Marcel, and its transcript was published in Karl Pflock’s “Roswell In Per-spective” (RIP) report. “The Roswell Incident,” co-authored by William L. Moore and Charles Berlitz, contains direct quotes attributed to Marcel, but Moore has never released a complete transcript of the interview(s) with Marcel.

      Thanks to J. Bond Johnson, the then-young reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram who visited Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey’s office on July 8, 1947, and took pictures of Marcel, Ramey and Col. DuBose as well as debris Marcel brought to Fort Worth, it is possible to learn key facts about the Roswell incident in Marcel’s own words, based on his then-fresh recollections. Johnson recently provided SUN with a copy of the longer article which appeared in the later edition of the Star-Telegram on July 9. It included more direct quotations of statements made by Marcel in Ramey’s office than the early edition story in SUN’s files. Major portions of the later/longer edition article are reproduced below.


      “A New Mexico rancher’s discovery which for several hours Tuesday rocked the disc-conscious nation was identified at Fort Worth Army Air Field Tuesday night as a weather balloon-kite, exploding a rumor that a flying disk finally had been captured. The contraption, of tinfoil, narrow

      wooden beams and synthetic rubber that once had been an Army Air Forces Rawin-machine used to determine direction and velocity of winds at high altitudes, was flown to FWAAF from Roswell, N.M. Army Air Field by B-29 Tuesday morning.

      “Here, Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commanding officer of the 8th Air Force, and Col. Thomas J. Dubose (sic), his chief of staff, both identified the discovery as a ‘weather device’ used by the AAF. Warrant Officer Irving Newton of Medford, Miss., a forecaster at the FWAAF weather station, positively listed the object as a ray wind (sic) target. When rigged up, Newton stated, the device is six-pointed and looks very much like a star. He said it was silvery in appearance as a result of tinfoil and rose in the air like a kite, mounted to a 100-gram balloon. ‘We use them because they can go so much higher than the eye can see,’ Newton explained. A radar set is employed to follow the device, which gives off radar impressions [i.e., reflects radar energy] through the tinfoil, he added. Through a process of triangulation the winds aloft are then charted....

      “The remains of the weather device were flown here at the command of General Ramey, after their discovery by W.W. Brazell (sic) on his ranch....Brazell, whose ranch is 30 miles from the nearest telephone and has no radio, knew nothing about flying disks when he found the remains of the weather device scattered over a square mile of his property three weeks ago [i.e., mid-June]. He bundled together the large pile of tinfoil and broken wooden beams about one-fourth of an inch thick and a half-inch wide and torn mass of synthetic rubber that had been the balloon and rolled it under some brush, according to Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of Houma, La., 509th Bomb Group intelligence officer at Roswell, who brought the device to FWAAF. On a trip to town Saturday night to Corona, N.M., Brazell heard the first reference to the ‘silver flying disks,’ Major Marcel related at General Ramey’s headquarters here. (Emphasis added.)

      ‘Brazell then hurried home, and bright and early Sunday, dug up the remnants of the kite and balloon,’ Marcel continued, ‘and on Monday headed for Roswell to report his find to the sheriff.’ [Many Roswell incident books claim Brazel came to Roswell on Sunday.] This resulted in a call to Roswell Army Air Field by the sheriff and to Marcel’s being assigned the case. Marcel and Brazell then journeyed back to the ranch, where the major took the discovery into the custody of the Army. ‘The ranch is out in the middle of nowhere,’ Marcel declared, ‘and we spent a couple of hours Monday afternoon looking for any more parts of the weather device. We found a few more patches of tinfoil and rubber.’ (Emphasis added.)

      “Marcel brought back the discovery to Roswell Army Air Field early Tuesday morning, and at 8 a.m. reported to his commanding officer, Col. William H. Blanchard, 509th Bomb Group chief. Blanchard, in turn, reported to General Ramey, who ordered the find flown to Fort Worth immediately. About that time, word broke from Roswell that a flying disk finally had been found. [Lt. Walter Haut distributed his press release around noon.] In a matter of minutes, wire services across the nation were screaming the news of the discovery and the airwaves were full of the story. As soon as the ‘disk’ was brought into General Ramey’s office, he and Colonel Dubose tabbed it as a weather device. The weather officer on duty at the time, Warrant Officer Newton, merely made the identification positive. Previously, General Ramey in a phone conversation with the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, Ohio, had been ordered to fly the ‘disk’ there immediately for observation. When it was positively identified as a Rawin machine, the flight to Wright Field was cancelled.” (Emphasis added.)

      Brazel’s July 8 Account Confirms Marcel’s July 8 Account; Both Corroborated By Photos Of Debris In Ramey’s Office

      Maj. Marcel’s account, given in Forth Worth during the late afternoon of July 8, and the photos taken by J. Bond Johnson in Ramey’s office, closely match the description given several hours later by rancher Brazel in the offices of the Roswell Daily Record, as reported in that newspaper’s July 9 edition. Highlight portions of that article are quoted below:

      “...Brazel related that on June 14 he and an 8-year-old son, Vernon, were about 7 or 8 miles from the ranch house of the J.B. Foster ranch, which he operates, when they came upon a large area of bright wreckage made up on (sic) rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks. At the time Brazel was in a hurry to get his round made and he did not pay much attention to it. But he did remark about what he had seen and on July 4 he, his wife, Vernon and a daughter Betty, age 14, went back to the spot and gathered up quite a bit of the debris. The next day he first heard about the flying disks, and he wondered if what he had found might be the remnants of one of these. (Emphasis added.)

      “Monday [July 7] he came to town [Roswell] to sell some wool and while here he went to see sheriff George Wilcox and ‘whispered kinda confidential like’ that he might have found a flying disk. Wilcox got in touch with the Roswell Army Air Field and Maj Jesse A. Marcel and a man in plain clothes accompanied him home, where they picked up the rest of the pieces of the ‘disk’ and went to his home to try to reconstruct it. According to Brazel they simply could not reconstruct it at all....Then Major Marcel brought it to Roswell... (Emphasis added.)

      “Brazel said he did not see it fall from the sky and did not see it before it was torn up, so he did not know the size or shape it might have been, but he thought it might have been about as large as a table top. The balloon which held it up, if that was how it worked, must have been about 12 feet long, he felt....The rubber was smoky gray in color and scattered over an area about 200 yards in diameter. When the debris was gathered up the tinfoil, paper, tape, and sticks made a bundle about three feet long and 7 or 8 inches thick, while the rubber made a bundle about 18 or 20 inches long and about 8 inches thick. In all, he estimated, the entire lot would have weighed maybe five pounds. (Emphasis added.)

      “There was no sign of any metal in the area which might have been used for an engine and no sign of any propellers of any kind although at least one paper fin had been glued onto some of the tinfoil. There were no words to be found anywhere on the instrument although there were letters on some of the parts. Considerable scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed on it had been used in the construction. No strings or wire were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachments may have been used.” (Emphasis added.)

      Ridiculous Explanations Offered To Counter Brazel’s Statements

      Those who promote the crashed-saucer/government-coverup theory resort to a variety of explanations for the corroborative statements made by rancher Brazel in Roswell and Maj. Marcel in Fort Worth, and the debris photos taken in Ramey’s office. One explanation offered is that Brazel was bribed or threatened to support the balloon-borne radar-target explanation given by Gen. Ramey. But Brazel failed to confirm Ramey’s explanation, as reported in the closing portion of the July 9 article in the Roswell Daily Record: “Brazel said that he had previously found two weather observation balloons on the ranch, but that what he found this time did not in any way resemble either of these. ‘I am sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon,’ he said.” [In 1947, ordinary weather balloons did not carry radar-targets.]

      Another claim, that Brazel was held “incommunicado” for several days at the Roswell Army Air Field to prevent him from talking to the media, is shown to be false by the Roswell Daily Record article. It reports that “Brazel was brought here [to the Daily Record offices] late yesterday by W. E. Whitmore of radio station KGFL, had his picture taken and gave an interview to the Record and Jason Kellahin, sent here from the Albuquerque bureau of the Associated Press to cover the story.” Brazel then returned with Whitmore to his home where he was an overnight guest, according to Whitmore’s son. Prior to Whitmore bringing Brazel to the newspaper, he had been interviewed using a wire-recorder for a later radio station broadcast. Because of these several interviews and because the news media lost interest in the story after Ramey’s explanation, there would have been no possible reason to hold Brazel “incommunicado.”

      Recent Effort To “Decipher” Message On Paper Held By Gen. Ramey

      Some UFOlogists who believe the government recovered a crashed ET craft in New Mexico are trying to “decipher” a faintly visible, out-of-focus message on a piece of paper being held by Gen. Ramey in photos taken in his office on July 8, 1947. The USAF made a similar effort during its 1994 Roswell investigation using the expertise and technology of the CIA’s National Photo Interpretation Center (NPIC). Although NPIC’s advanced technology enables it to read auto-license-plate numbers on photos taken by 200-mile-high satellites, it was unable to read enough letters to reliably reconstruct the message on Ramey’s sheet of paper.

      The new effort to read the message using the latest commercial PC image-enhancement software was launched last summer by a group of UFOlogists in the U.S., England and Russia, which calls itself “Roswell Photo Interpretation Team” (RPIT). The effort is headed by California pro-UFOlogist Ron Regehr. Another independent researcher, Dr. Donald R. Burleson, a computer specialist at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell who says he has spent hundreds of hours trying to “read” the message, illustrated the difficulties in a letter published in the Jan. 1999 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. Whereas one RPIT analyst inter-preted a critical letter to be an “A,” Burleson concluded it might really be an “M.” Whereas RPIT interpreted one numeral to be an “8,” Burleson is certain it is really a “4.” In a subsequent letter in the March issue of the MUFON UFO Journal, Burleson reports that what he previously thought to be “MAJ??” might be “WAJ?K” or “WRECK.” Despite many such uncertainties, Burleson predicts: “We are on the threshold of announcing that the cover-up is over.”

      “UFO Messiah” Firmage Plans 20-City Lecture Tour

      Joe Firmage, the brilliant, 28-year-old multi-millionaire software expert who believes he has discovered a link between UFOs, Biblical miracles and esoteric scientific hypotheses, plans a 20-city lecture tour to promote his new book “The Truth” [SUN #56/Mar. 1999]. Firmage will privately fund the printing of 100,000 hardcover copies of “The Truth,” earlier made available on the Internet, “so he'll have total editorial control,” according to a feature article in the Mar. 31 edition of The Washington Post, written by Joel Achenbach. During this summer’s tour, according to Achenbach, Firmage “won’t do ordinary book signings

      but will speak, he vows, in auditoriums and other large venues. He’s thinking big all the way.”

      The Feb. 19 edition of USA TODAY newspaper, with nationwide readership, carried a full-page advertisement, sponsored by Firmage’s International Space Sciences Organization, promoting UFOs and “The Truth.” The ad, which reportedly cost $81,250, featured out-of-context statements by Presidents Truman, Carter and Reagan and UFO-promoters such as Lt. Col. Philip Corso [SUN #49/Jan. 1998]. Firmage’s ad offered the following quote from Gen. Twining’s letter of Sept. 23, 1947: “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.” The same Twining letter, written more than two months after the Roswell incident, stated: “Due consideration must be given to the following: The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects.” FIRMAGE DID NOT INCLUDE THIS PART OF TWINING’s LETTER IN HIS AD.

      Also quoted was Hillenkoetter who was identified as the CIA’s first director: “Unknown objects are operating under intelligent control....It is imperative that we learn where UFOs come from and what their purpose is.” This 1960 statement was made after he had retired from the Navy and had joined the Board of Directors of NICAP—then the nation’s largest pro-UFO group. But three years later, on Sept. 19, 1963, after he had resigned from NICAP’s Board and had read the new book by famous astronomer and UFO-skeptic Dr. Donald Menzel, Hillenkoetter wrote Menzel and said: “...you have effectively put to rest all surmises about flying saucers being from ‘outer space.’ You have done a thorough and praiseworthy job.”


      • “UFO Messiah” Joe Firmage to speak at MUFON conference: A recent addition to the impressive list of pro-UFO speakers who are scheduled to appear at MUFON’s 1999 conference July 2-4 in Alexandria, Va., is Joe Firmage. SUN, which plans to attend, will be interested to hear the reactions to Firmage’s views by more traditional leaders of the UFO Movement, such as Budd Hopkins, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, Eddie Bullard, Richard Hall and Stanton Friedman—who are also scheduled speakers. The reaction of the audience also will be of interest in assessing whether Firmage is likely to emerge as a new leader in the UFO Movement.
      • Will Friedman comment on “new” MJ-12 documents at MUFON conference? Stanton Friedman, a staunch supporter of the reality of MJ-12, has been publicly silent in commenting on Dr. Robert Wood’s endorsement of the “new” MJ-12 documents provided by Tim Cooper. In Friedman’s book “Top Secret/MAJIC,” he reported that his own investigation of some of Cooper’s MJ-12 paper documents indicated they were counterfeit [SUN #55/Jan. 1999]. However, Friedman and Wood have been close friends for many years. Friedman’s comments will reveal whether he believes “candor” is more important than “friendship.”
      • Long-time UFOlogist Richard Hall is skeptical about “new” MJ-12 documents: In Hall’s commentary in the April issue of the MUFON UFO Journal, he said he applauded the Woods for what he called “their conscientious effort to determine the authenticity of the [new] MJ-12 documents [but] I am bothered that they have stated their conclusions...before allowing time for adequate peer review.” Hall added: “Having seen the skeptical objections by some very knowledgable people, I am on record as being highly skeptical of all the MJ-12 documents.” (Emphasis added.)
      • NBC-TV’s UFO special attracted 11 million viewers: “Confirmation: Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us?” the two-hour NBC-TV special broadcast on Feb. 17, attracted slightly more than 11 million viewers, according to the Nielsen audience assessment, putting the show in second place for that time-slot that night. Nielsen projects that the first half hour attracted 11.0 million viewers, which increased to 11.9 million for the second half hour. The audience then dropped slightly during the last hour, which was largely devoted to “UFO abductions.”
      • Watch out for an asteroid named “Klass”: Asteroid 7277, which was discovered on Sept. 4, 1983, has been named “Klass,” in honor of SUN’s editor, by the Minor Planet Center Committee. Asteroid Klass has a diameter of about 7 miles and a period of 4.24 years. The honor was recommended by James McGaha, a Tucson, Az., astronomer who is also a skeptical UFO investigator.
      • Back copies of SUN available at bargain price: If you'd like to supplement your collection of Skeptics UFO Newsletters by obtaining older issues, a limited supply is available for $1 per copy, i.e., $6 per year. Please specify year of interest or subject.

      NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its editor—unless otherwise noted—and do NOT necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated. We thank DR. GARY POSNER for his help in proofreading.

      The New Bogus Majestic-12 Documents


      The new crashed-saucer documents, like their 1987 predecessors, are riddled with flaws.

      “Majestic Twelve"-better known as “MJ-12"-first achieved international fame in the world of UFOlogy in mid-1987. It was then that UFOlogist William L. Moore and two associates made public three (purportedly) “Top Secret” documents which indicated that President Harry Truman had created a super-secret MJ-12 group forty years earlier to deal with extraterrestrial (ET) visitors. Truman’s (alleged) action was prompted by an alleged crashed-ET craft that had been covertly recovered near Roswell in mid-1947.

      The Roswell crashed-saucer claim had been the centerpiece of a book published seven years earlier (1980) which Moore had coauthored with Charles Berlitz. (Berlitz previously authored a book describing the “mysterious dangers” of the Bermuda Triangle.)

      Recently, a large batch of additional “Top Secret Majestic Documents” have emerged, provided by another UFOlogist named Tim Cooper, who claims he obtained them from several covert sources. Their authenticity has been endorsed by Robert Wood, a respected, retired McDonnell Douglas scientist and his son Ryan. (Wood is a member of the nine-person Executive Council of Peter Sturrock’s Society for Scientific Exploration.) Based on the Woods’ assessment, wealthy Silicon Valley software expert Joe Firmage, who recently revealed his conviction that some UFOs are extraterrestrial visitors, also endorsed Cooper’s documents in mid-1999.

      However, on November 25 the International Space Sciences Organization (ISSO), which Firmage recently created to pursue his UFO interests, issued a statement that “ongoing research indicates that many, possibly all, the so-called MJ-12 UFO documents were officially fabricated as instruments of U.S. covert psychological warfare . . .” (emphasis added). This is ridiculous! The new Cooper documents, like their 1987 predecessors, are so riddled with flaws that they could never fool Soviet or Chinese intelligence experts. Even some long-time pro-UFOlogists have denounced them as obvious counterfeits.

      One of the original MJ-12 documents released by Moore and his two partners (UFO lecturer Stanton Friedman and TV producer Jaime Shandera) purported to be a memo from President Truman to Defense Secretary James Forrestal, dated September 24, 1947, which authorized the creation of the MJ-12 group. My investigation revealed that the Truman signature was a pasted-on photocopy of a genuine signature-including accidental scratch marks-from a memo that Truman wrote to Vannevar Bush on October 1, 1947 (see “New evidence of MJ-12 hoax,” SI 14[2], Winter 1990).

      A second MJ-12 document released by Moore et al. purported to be a November 18, 1952, briefing for President-elect Eisenhower, prepared by Rear Admiral R.H. Hillenkoetter, who had been director of the CIA and, purportedly, was now head of MJ-12. There were numerous flaws in the “Eisenhower Briefing Document” (EBD), the most obvious being its reference to the (bogus) Truman memo of September 24, 1947.

      Further, the EBD repeatedly used a very unusual date-format-a hybrid combination of civil and military formats with a superfluous comma, i.e., 18 November, 1952. This unusual hybrid date-format was one repeatedly used by William L. Moore in his personal letters - until I pointed out this “curious coincidence” in my first article debunking the original MJ-12 papers (see SI 12[2], Winter 1987-1988). The third of the MJ-12 documents made public by Moore et al. in mid-1987 purported to be a brief memo, dated July 14, 1954, from Robert Cutler to USAF Chief of Staff General Twining informing him of change of date to brief the President on the "MJ-12 Special Studies Project.” Investigation revealed that on the date that Cutler allegedly wrote the memo, he was out of the country. Moore claimed that he and Shandera had found the Cutler memo in an unlikely location when they visited the National Archives. The memo, which had been double-folded, could easily have been carried into the Archives in Moore’s or Shandera’s coat pocket. Less than two years before Moore made public the initial MJ-12 papers-on April 16, 1983-he had confided to then-close friend and UFOlogist Brad Sparks that he was contemplating creating and releasing some hoax Top Secret documents-as first revealed in the March 1997 issue of my Skeptics UFO Newsletter. Moore explained to Sparks that he hoped such bogus documents would encourage former military and intelligence officials who knew about the government’s (alleged) UFO coverup to break their oaths of secrecy. Sparks strongly recommended against the idea.

      It was not until nearly seven years after release of the original MJ-12 documents that a new “MJ-12 document” surfaced on March 14, 1994. On that date, Don Berliner, a long-time pro-UFOlogist, received in the mail an undeveloped roll of 35 mm film from an anonymous source. When the film was processed, Berliner found photos of what purported to be copies of pages from a “Top Secret/MAJIC/Eyes Only” special operations manual (SOM 1-01) intended to inform military crews how to recover crashed saucers and their ET crews. SOM 1-01, purportedly printed in April 1954, contains many flaws. For example, it stated that crashed ET craft should be sent to “Area 51 S-4” in Nevada. But that portion of Nellis Air Force Base was not given the name “Area 51” until several years after SOM 1-01 allegedly was printed.

      As a result of numerous flaws in SOM 1-01, a statement denouncing it as counterfeit was released on March 14, 1999. It was signed by Berliner and several other prominent pro-UFOlogists. By this time, a new batch of more than a dozen Majestic documents obtained from Tim Cooper had recently been made public by Robert Wood and his son Ryan at a UFO conference in Connecticut. They had strongly endorsed the authenticity of the documents, although Wood admitted that there were flaws in them. But he claimed that these anomalies “tend to indicate authenticity. . . . [Document] hoaxers generally try to make sure they are perfect.”

      No mention was made by Wood that his long-time good friend, UFO lecturer Friedman - who remains one of the staunchest supporters of the original MJ-12 documents - had earlier investigated several of Cooper’s documents and concluded that at least one was counterfeit. Friedman had reported his findings and suspicions about other Cooper documents in his book Top Secret/MAJIC, published three years earlier.

      British UFOlogist Timothy Good, who in 1987 had strongly endorsed the authenticity of the original MJ-12 documents in his best-selling pro-UFO book Above Top Secret, has more recently characterized them as bogus, largely on the basis of the phony signature on the Truman memo of September 24, 1947. But in the early 1990s, prior to Good’s disavowal of the original MJ-12 papers, he began to receive some of the “new” Majestic documents from Cooper.

      Good’s suspicions about the new Cooper documents were aroused by some factual anomalies in their content. More important, Good noted that mechanical flaws in the typewriter Cooper had used to write two letters on October 4 and October 7, 1991, resembled those of the typewriter used for one of his Majestic documents, allegedly typed in 1952. At my request, Good provided me with copies of Cooper’s two letters for analysis.

      Cooper’s two 1991 letters to Good not only had the same typeface as the (purported) 1952 Top Secret MJ-12 Annual Report, but more importantly the upper-case (capital) G and N were slightly elevated relative to the adjacent lower-case letters. However, an experienced questioned document examiner informed me that it was conceivable, though unlikely, that both Cooper and the 1952 document typist might have failed to depress the “shift key” to its lowest possible position when typing G and N.

      Figure 1. “Elevated 8” in Cooper’s letters and in one of his “MJ-12 documents.”

      Top: Cooper’s letters of October 4 and 7, 1991 (enlarged slightly)

      Bottom: From Cooper’s “MJ-12 Annual Report" rdquo; (enlarged slightly)

      However, both Cooper’s letters and the 1952 document also have an “elevated 8"-which does not require the use of the typewriter’s shift-key (see figure 1). This curious coincidence was reported in the November 1999 issue of Skeptics UFO Newsletter, a copy of which was provided to Wood. His response of December 13 (via e-mail) was: “The question is whether that ["elevated-8"] is a characteristic of that typewriter design as distinguished from any particular machine serial number. We need other examples from the same typewriter design and I would hope to find some.”

      In other words, Wood suggests that this mechanical flaw was a possible uncorrected characteristic of all of the typewriters produced by this manufacturer for at least several decades. Nothing further has been heard from Wood on this key issue since mid-December 1999.

      Meanwhile, Tim Cooper posted a lengthy treatise on the Internet on December 30, offering his assessment of his “new Majestic documents.” Highlights of Cooper’s views are quoted below:

      The question of whether they [Cooper’s documents] are genuine, authentic, or real is not the issue here. The important point . . . is the information contained in the documents themselves. . . . In my own humble opinion, the Majestic documents are basically reliable as far as content is concerned with the exception of the questionable hypothesis that there are other intelligent, thinking, machine building cultures visiting planet earth on a regular, day to day basis [emphasis added].

      Yet the opening page of the Web site that the Woods have created to promote MJ-12 states: “The Majestic Documents: Evidence That We Are Not Alone. Curious about the documentary record of military and government participation with UFOs, wreckage retrieval, and extraterrestrials? This site is all about it! The documents, the forensics, the military and intelligence history, and stunning validating evidence. Join us on a journey into the beyond Top Secret world that a government cabal has been hiding since 1941." rdquo; (One of Cooper’s documents claims a crashed saucer was recovered in the spring of 1941 near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, six years before the alleged Roswell Incident. If true, the Eisenhower Briefing Document completely forgot to mention this historic event.)

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