Thursday, March 10, 2005

My MJ-12 Mea Culpa

Lately, I’ve criticised Michael Salla and other Exo-politics types for being far too credulous in their acceptance of alleged “whistleblower” testimony, and being less than rigorous in their investigation and their methodology. I was right to do so. However, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In the case of MJ-12, the gander, alas, is me.

In my film Do You Believe in Majic (2004, Redstar Films Limited), I examined the ongoing controversy over the Majestic-12 documents, and came to the conclusion that “on the balance of probabilities, if not quite beyond a reasonable doubt, I have been persuaded that the original documents (Eisenhower Briefing Document, Truman – Forrestal memo, and Cutler – Twining Memo) are genuine.”

If I were to make the documentary today (or, perhaps, re-edit it for the extended “Director’s Cut”), I would reverse that conclusion; on the balance of probabilities, if not quite beyond a reasonable doubt, I am now persuaded that the documents are fraudulent (whether they were a hoax by UFO researchers, or government disinformation, or a bit of both, is another question).

There is much about them that seems genuine. But the burden of proof is not on the critics of the documents to prove that they are frauds (ie. to prove a negative) – it is on the remaining proponents to prove that they are genuine. In a court case, if you wanted to tender the documents into evidence, you would have to establish their authenticity – it would not be the responsibility of the other side to prove that they were not authentic. The proponents of the original MJ-12 documents have not done this, even though they have answered a number of particular questions raised over the years by sceptics.

Here, however, are a number of other questions that have not been answered (or even asked), that go beyond relatively petty things like date formats and ranks.

1. Why has no in-depth investigation been conducted by MJ-12 proponents into the second alleged crash referred to in the EBD, the El Indio – Guerrero incident? In fact, why is that alleged incident not discussed – at all – by Stan Friedman in either his paper “Final Report on Operation Majestic 12” or his later book Top Secret / Majic ? Investigators Tom Deuley and Dennis Stacy have offered a decidedly terrestrial explanation for this incident (a 1944 crash of a USAAF spotter plane in the same area). I’m not convinced that their explanation is the right one, but I have not seen any refutation of it by MJ-12 proponents, or even a real discussion of it;

2. Why is no mention made of the rapid decline of Vannevar Bush’s role in government after World War II, and the unlikelihood that he would have been appointed to such a super secret project as MJ-12 by President Truman – see my post "Oh Canada - Wilbert Smith & UFOs".

3. Why is there no mention in the MJ-12 documents of a second crash on the Plains of San Augustin, which Stan Friedman maintains happened (see Crash at Corona)? How can this inconsistency be reconciled? The argument that this was a preliminary briefing, and that San Augustin would not need to be mentioned (the only explanation I have heard), makes no logical sense, particularly as the author of the EBD saw fit to mention the alleged El Indio crash. For proponents of both MJ-12 and the Aztec incident, such as William Steinman, the same question must be asked and answered.

4. James Forrestal suffered his mental breakdown and resigned as Secretary of Defence in late March, 1949. Yet, according to the EBD, he remained a member of MJ-12 until his death on 22 May, 1949. Why would he not have been immediately replaced, as he no longer held the President’s confidence, he was no longer Secretary of Defence, and, most important, he was psychologically unbalanced? If not then, why was he not immediately replaced after his death? This was the most important subject in the United States, after all, and yet, here was MJ-12, down to MJ-11, for well over a year, until the supposed appointment of new CIA director Walter B. Smith on 1 August, 1950. Why not just replace Forrestal with his successor at Defence, Louis Johnson, a man Truman trusted (he had served as his chief fundraiser in the 1948 election) and who had a solid background in government (Roosevelt’s representative to India in 1942, Assistant Secretary of War 1937 – 1940). Or why not replace him with Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington, a logical choice considering the Air Force was supposedly on the front-lines of the UFO problem? Could it be that a hoaxer used Smith because he / she / they could use the date 1 August 1950, the only time in a several month period that Smith met Truman, which, If a researcher discovered it, would seem to authenticate the document? Which makes more sense? MJ-11 for well over a year, for no reason, or Smith getting the nod in August 1950?

These are four significant questions that I should have asked when making Do You Believe in Majic, but did not. We all make mistakes - as a UFO Yoda might say, the "will to believe is strong, young ufology Jedi."

So - I’m asking them now. Until satisfactory answers can be provided – answers that address the questions and that make sense, as opposed to rhetoric or dodges - I am of the opinion that the MJ-12 documents have not been proved to be genuine. Indeed, in the absence of such proof, with significant questions outstanding, and with no provenance, they must be considered fraudulent (or, at best, unproved).

Paul Kimball

1 comment:

RRRGroup said...


The MJ-12 "documents" have the same interspersed flaws that haunt Bob Lazar's background.

Both should be avoided on the grounds that the provenance for things cited is just not there.

There are some things that intrigue, but the over all patina reeks...

Rich Reynolds