Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Real Reason Gen. Smith Met Truman on 1 August 1950

In Top Secret / Majic, Stan Friedman writes that, when he saw the August 1, 1950 date for the supposed appointment of Walter B. Smith as a permanent member of MJ-12, it was "difficult to imagine what was special about it." He did some research, and discovered that it was the first time that Smith had met with Truman in eight months, that it was off the record, in an area where they were unlikely to be seen, and with no press present.

To Stan, this was confirmation of the 1 August 1950 date given in the EBD when Smith was supposedly appointed the permanent replacement for James Forrestal on the alleged MJ-12 group. After all - what else could it have been for?

Er...

A quick look at the newspapers of August 1950 tells us that the meeting was undoubtedly held to confirm that Smith would accept the post of CIA Director.

On 18 August, 1950, the White House released this information to the public. For example, here is a portion of the front page article from the 19 August 1950 New York Times (below)announcing that Smith had agreed to accept the post. The next week contained further articles and editorials in the Times about Smith's appointment, including a cover article in the New York Times Magazine on 27 August 1950, and coverage of his confirmation hearing in the Senate, which went off without a hitch later that month.



Indeed, as the Times article on the 19th makes clear, Smith's appointment had been rumoured since at least late May. However, Smith had been very ill in the Spring and early summer, which explains why he wasn't appointed earlier, and why he had not met with Truman in the preceding months. The article also noted that Rear Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter, the DCI Smith replaced, had been asking "for months" to be relieved of the post and returned to sea duty. Truman clearly waited for Smith to recover from his health problems (as he had by 1 August 1950), and then made the move.

Stan makes much of the fact that the meeting on the 1st of August was secret - well, of course it was! All Presidents seek to control the release of information from the White House, particularly on a matter as sensitive as the nomination of a new DCI at a time when the CIA was under intense Congressional scrutiny for perceived intelligence failures in the months leading up to North Korea's surprise attack on South Korea. Indeed, Hillenkoetter had been called before the Senate Appropriations Committee within a few hours of the attack, and had been getting hammered, to the point of being a lame duck, ever since.

Anyone forging the MJ-12 documents could have easily accessed this information from their local library, just as I did. Smith had already been identified publicly by Stan and others as a logical choice to be on any committee dealing with a crashed flying saucer (see Top Secret / Majic, pp. 24 - 25). All a hoaxer had to do was to check the papers to find the proper time frame. Then, if that hoaxer had access to government records (like, say, an AFOSI agent would), it would have been easy to pin down the 1 August 1950 date, and insert it in the Eisenhower Briefing Document.

Despite what Stan has suggested, there was never any big mystery here. It is clear that this brief meeting had nothing to do with crashed flying saucers, and everything to do with the extremely important matter of Smith's nomination as DCI.

Paul Kimball

10 comments:

RRRGroup said...

But is it possible, just possible, that the August 1st meeting contained more than the CIA discussion and subsequent appointment of Smith to CIA and MJ-12?

(Your evaluation, as always, is logical and sensible, but it doesn't take into account a few possibilities that aren't farfetched by a longshot.)

I'm still giving Friedman the benefit of the doubt, because he's Friedman.

Rich Reynolds

Paul Kimball said...

Rich:

No, it's not possible, in any meaningful, evidentiary sense (anything is always "possible" - it's possible that they talked about their favourite cheeses for 15 minutes).

Besides, the question is whether it was PROBABLE, and the answer is clearly NO, no matter what the believers want to, er, believe.

This is a key point that the UFO believers (as opposed to those who really want to find out the truth, no matter which way the truth goes), just cannot, or will not, understand - including, when it comes to MJ-12, Stan.

As for giving him the "benefit of the doubt," why? I like Stan, and have known him far longer than most people, but he's human, and he makes mistakes like the rest of us. When the evidence overwhelmingly shows he's wrong, giving him "the benefit of the doubt" is the equivalent of saying that the truth doesn't matter.

Paul

josh said...

Alot of these little coincidental things seem almost too coincidental for there not to be a Majestic 12. Also, as Stan says quite a bit, if for some reason there wasn't a 'Majestic 12', there certainly had to have been a group like it. The government DOES have a secret agency that studies Aliens and their spacecraft. It is relatively obvious to most people that these things exist, and the government would have to have been studying it, as it would be a matter of national security. I've always been about 85% on the Majestic 12 documents, but I still side with the believers. There is no reason to believe that these are all hoaxed, and who are the hoaxers? It cannot be proven that SOM 1-01 is a hoaxed manual.

Paul Kimball said...

Josh:

Thanks for stopping by...

The burden of proof is not on the people who are convinced that the MJ-12 documents are fraudulent. The burden of proof is on those trying to demonstrate that they are real. It is a burden that, by any objective standard, they have totally failed to meet.

As for the government having a secret agency that studies aliens and spacecraft, that's another question entirely. There is no substantive evidence for that allegation. Even, however, accepting that there is such a "secret agency" studying "aliens and their spacecraft" (as opposed, say, to the Air Force doing it), how does continuing to defend the fraudulent MJ-12 documents help what I would presume to be your goal - discovering the truth about what you would call the "real secret agency?"

The answer should be obvious - it doesn't. In fact, it undermines those efforts - just as, from my point of view, it detracts from the resources that could be spent studing the phenomenon itself.

Paul

RRRGroup said...

Paul, you say...

The burden of proof is not on the people who are convinced that the MJ-12 documents are fraudulent. The burden of proof is on those trying to demonstrate that they are real.

In a protracted exchange at Joe McGonagle's ufologyinuk forum, I went round and round with Joe and Isaac Koi about the canard that the requirement of proof resides with those who make a claim.

Those who challenge a concept or event, even the MJ-12 documents, have the requirement to state their disbelief with proof, as you are so ably doing in the MJ-12 debate.

But there is no such thing as a requirement by progenitors of an idea -- in this case that MJ-12 existed or is real -- to prove their conjecture.

They say that they believe. Those who disagree either accept that view (senselessly) or challenge it with counter-proofs.

The MJ-12 proponents need do nothing if they don't want to. What requires them to make their case at all?

If they offend with their belief and the offended ones think they need to correct the record, for whatever existential reason, it's incumbent upon them to do so, without any help from the proponents of the idea that irks them.

(This is Jesuitical reasoning, and applies, always....)

Rich Reynolds

Paul Kimball said...

Rich:

Sorry, but that's simply wrong (although it's how Stan has tried to spin the MJ-12 debate over the years). The burden is ALWAYS on those asserting a claim to prove it, unless, of course, they're just happy stating that they can't, but they believe it anyway. But that's not what Stan and the MJ-12 proponents (well, the more intelligent ones, at any rate) have done.

The alternative you suggest forces people like me to basically prove a negative, which is ridiculous.

Paul

Paul Kimball said...

Rich:

Incidentally, I can understand why you had that go-round with Isaac. Good lawyer that he is, he no doubt understands the burden of proof concept for evidentiary matters like MJ-12!

Your Jesuitical reasoning is best kept for areas - like religion - where it really is a matter of belief.

:-)

PK

RRRGroup said...

Now you know that when a guy commits a murder, it's up to the coppers to prove he did so.

It's not up to him to prove he didn't....the negative you cite.

Stan thinks that MJ-12 is real, and cites his circumstantial evidence.

You think he's wrong, and keep insisting he go further with his proof.

He's made his case and now you want him to help you make yours.

You think Stan's mistaken. Prove it, which you're attempting to do.

But he doesn't have to do anything.

He's asserted his belief and bolstered it with his reasoning and supporting materials. That's enough already.

To keep pushing him for more is academic insistence gone mad.

Disprove him, if you can. You're making a case, but it's not solid, yet.

I lean toward the idea that MJ-12 is a massively effective hoax. But, again, Stan provides enough "supporting" material to keep the MJ-12 "truth" alive.

This is exactly a Jesuitical (quasi-theological) argument: God exists. You say prove it. I say you disprove it.

If you say that's too hard to do, illogical, et cetera, I say tough cookies.

We're not talking science here. We're talking about UFOs and an adjunct, MJ-12 -- all of it as ephemeral as God.

To keep tryin to concretize the argument is foolhardy. Science and logic (nor the law) applies when it comes to UFOs and MJ-12. Sorry my barrister friend...

Rich

Paul Kimball said...

Rich:

Sorry, pal o' mine, but I just disagree. You're trying to turn the study of the UFO phenomenon into some quasi-religious endeavour, whereas I am convinced that it is the hard evidence, and the proper examination of it, that holds the key.

The truth is knowable, but not if we continue to insist in the kind of evidentiary relativism that you advocate.

Paul

RRRGroup said...

It's the Jacques Vallee in me that causes the evidentiary relativism.

RR