Monday, June 06, 2005

Majestic 12 - R.I.P.

Back on March 10th I posed four critical questions for the remaining MJ-12 advocates, Stan Friedman in particular, to answer. They can be found at A failure to do so, I indicated, would serve as confirmation that the MJ-12 proponents, despite their many proclamations to have proved the original documents genuine, had done nothing of the sort (note - when I refer to the "original documents" I mean the Eisenhower Briefing Document, Truman-Forrestal Memo, and the Cutler-Twining Memo). Indeed, I am convinced that a failure to answer any one of these four questions is, in and of itself, sufficient to prove the opposite - that the MJ-12 documents are not genuine.

In his most recent MUFON Journal column (May, 2005), Stan has presented his "answers" to these questions.

I admire his tenacity, just as I have always admired Stan (and still do). Anyone who doubts that should look at my film Stanton T. Friedman is Real. That said, however, Stan's "answers" are no answers at all. Rather, they are a mixture of very selective evidence, double-standards, faulty conclusions, and wishful thinking. Unfortunately, this is all that the MJ-12 defenders have left.

So, here is my response to Stan's article. I quote in full from Stan's responses in the MUFON Journal, I reference my four original questions, and then I provide my rebuttal to Stan's points(in some cases, also referring to previously published posts here at The Other Side of Truth).

Question #1

Original Question: 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?

Stan's Response: "Paul asked why I had not investigated the crash noted on page 5 of the EBD on 06 December, 1950, in the El Indio-Guerrero area of the Texas - Mexican border. The reasons are simple: I live a long way from there and had nothing to work with, neither names of people nor a specific location. The EBD says "what remained of the object had been almost totally incinerated. Such material as could be recovered was transported to the A.E.C. facility at Sandia, New Mexico." I have been to Sandia. The chance of getting any information from this high security nuclear weapons lab would be nil. Furthermore, I was well aware that some investigation was being done by two Texans, Dennis Stacey and Tom Deuley, of MUFON. They had some leads which didn't pan out. I do note that there had been a National Red alert called on that date because of something flying towards the Southwest as noted by Dr. Bruce Maccabee in his book about The FBI and UFOs. I had my hands full with my Roswell Investigations, where there was a lot to work with."

My Rebuttal: Simply put, Stan has not explained the inclusion of this supposed incident in the MJ-12 documents, when there is no evidence that it ever happened (read carefully – he presents none). His answer is no answer at all. This is a glaring error in the EBD which Stan, because he cannot explain it, chooses to ignore. Stan had plenty of time (and money, thanks to a $16,000 FUFOR grant) to check up on Donald Menzel’s “secret life” – one would think that he would have checked into such an obvious problem with the MJ-12 documents as El Indio.

Further, his contention that the research by Stacey and Deuley "didn't pan out" is simply false. The conclusions that they reached are not ones that Stan, as an MJ-12 proponent, wants to hear, but they exist nonetheless. Their initial conclusions can be found at: This was followed by a presentation at the 1999 NUFOC Conference which solidified their case.

Stan also likes to ignore the fact that the entire El Indio story comes to ufology from discredited researcher Todd Zechel. Karl Pflock tells an interesting story about a conversation he had with Stan a couple of years ago (which mirrors some that I've had with Stan on this subject):

"In the course of [our] conversation, MJ-12 came up (surprise!), and I mentioned the second saucer crash referred to in the MJ-12 Eisenhower Briefing Document: 'On 06 December, 1950, a second object, probably of similar origin, impacted the the El Indio - Guerrero area of the Texas - Mexican boder (sic)...' I asked Stan how he could continue to argue for the authenticity of the EBD and the reality of MJ-12 with this little clinker in the mix. Puzzled, Stan asked what I meant. I reminded him that this alleged event was introduced to saucerdom by the long-since discredited W. Todd Zechel. I reviewed the years-long investigation by top MUFON official Tom Deuley and Dennis Stacy that had established the tale was the product of fragmentary recollections of a real event (the accidental shootdown of a Civil Air Patrol plane) and Zechel's fevered imagination and ambition, about which both Tom and Dennis had written and publicly spoken. 'El Indio?...', Stan said. 'Well, I...' Then, with a worried look, he changed the subject. It was as if he'd completely forgotten that the Texas-Mexico 'boder' incident was mentioned in his favorite Cosmic Watergate evidence. I had the distinct impression that Stan had been so wrapped up for so long in touting Menzel's 'secret life' and debating date formats, presidential signatures, and classification markings that he'd completely neglected this little red flag flapping in the ufological breeze. Well, Stan??"

Karl raised these questions in the May 2002 issue of Saucer Smear, which Stan receives, and to which he often writes in response to something he has read there. Stan offered no response this time, however. See

Finally, note that Stan only responded to half of my question, about the investigation of the alleged El Indio incident. Apropos of Karl's comments above, Stan avoided answering my question as to why he did not mention the alleged El Indio crash in either his MJ-12 report or his MJ-12 book. The answer, to me, is obvious - he does not address it because, at the very least, it casts doubt on the authenticity of documents which he maintains are "Real!"

Question #2

Original Question: 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?

Stan's Response: [Note: Stan's response in the article is blended with a defence of Wilbert Smith, which I'll deal with in a later post as a separate topic. I will exclude the Smith material here, except as it may be relevant to the question about Bush, above]. "According to the Truman-Forrestal memo of Sept. 24, 1947, Truman authorized Forrestal (not Bush) to proceed with operation Majestic 12, but did say, 'It continues to be my feeling that any future considerations relative to the ultimate disposition of this matter should rest solely with the Office of the President following appropriate discussions with yourself, Dr. Bush, and the Director of Central Intelligence...

On Sept. 24, 1947, Bush had been named head of the US Research and Development Board, a successor to the Joint Research and Development Board, which had succeeded the OSRD. This was the date of the infamous Truman-Forrestal memo establishing MJ-12, and the only date in a period of several months when Bush, Truman, and Secretary Forrestal were all together at the White House. Obviously Truman did NOT appoint Bush to head MJ-12. Truman said to Forrestal, 'You are hereby authorized...'

Furthermore, in Bush's notes on the meeting we find this statement: '... certainly in the new post, I would be rather frequently in contact and that if there was an impression [in the scientific community] that I did not have his confidence he felt that impression would soon be corrected by future relations.' If Truman had no faith in Bush, why would he have named him head of the R & DB? His MJ-12 activities would be in total secrecy and not a matter for public debate.

In a TOP SECRET memo of 16 December, 1947, Forrestal's special assistant, John Ohly, sent a memo to Bush noting that he had been appointed by The War Council as chairman of a special committee to deal with 'Preparations against a sneak attack,' and loads of resources were available to him. (No indication fo whether this attack would be from RUssia or aliens or...) General Hoyt Vandenberg, also an MJ-12 member and USAF Chief of Staff, was a member of this committee. TOP SECRET minutes of a later War Council meeting note that all members had received a copy of a TOP SECRET item from Bush, and should be prepared to discuss it. There is no clue as to what it was about.

This committee and MJ-12 were not public groups wherein political considerations might have been very important, but were highly classified Black Budget groups. It seems to me that Bush's advice and knowledge would have been sought because of his long history of massive contribution to the military effort via his earlier chairmanship of the NACA, the OSRD and JRDB. Nobody was more knowledgeable concerning who had what capabilities at what installation for top-notch, highly-classified research - such as trying to determine the Modus Operandi of flying saucers.

Truman certainly had strong views about how research grants might be distributed, etc, and zealously guarded control. Bush had been allowed much leeway under Roosevelt. A book strongly contributing to Paul's feelings about Bush vs. Truman is G. Pascal Zachary's Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century (The Free Press, 1997). I note with dismay that Vandenberg and War Council are not even listed in the index. I had a conversation with Zachary, a Wall Street Journal reporter, years ago, and at that time felt he was not very familiar with Bush's classified activties."

My Rebuttal: There are so many distortions, deliberate exclusions of critical evidence (I say deliberate because I know Stan is aware of this evidence, having brought it to his attention myself), and red herrings, in Stan's response, that it is difficult to know where to begin.

Perhaps the first thing I should do is refer the reader to my previous posts on Bush (which, again, I know Stan has read, because we have discussed them). Read them first, and then return here - they can be found at:

Welcome back!

Now, if you've read those two posts, you'll notice a few key things about Stan's response.

First, he mentions the 24 September 1947 meeting, and provides a portion of a quote from Bush's memo of that meeting which seems to indicate that Truman had expressed his complete confidence in him. This is selective evidence at its worst, folks. Stan implies that Bush was at this meeting to talk about MJ-12; nothing is further from the truth. Bush makes it clear that he was at the meeting to discuss taking the RDB position (which, as Zachary pointed out, was NOT the job that Bush had wanted - he wanted Secretary of Defence). Bush expressed his willingness to take the RDB position for a year or so, but only on one condition - the scientists in the country had to feel that he had the confidence of the President. According to Bush, Truman replied that he did not see how they could think otherwise, and that "Bush certainly had his confidence." This was not enough for Bush, however, who knew better. He told Truman, in a section of the memo that Stan conveniently omits (because it shows the true nature of their relationship), that "inasmuch as he had not called me in for anything for a year, and since the last report was made on the future of science in this country was made by someone else, scientists naturally gathered that I was not in his confidence." [Emphasis added - PK]

It is only after this extraordinary SECOND request for a vote of confidence that Truman utters the statement that Stan DOES quote.

Stan also fails to mention some other key facts. Most important, Stan OMITS, even though he is well aware of it, that in 1950 Bush met with William Golden, Truman's science policy adviser, and bemoaned how out of the loop he was. In a memo of the meeting, Golden wrote, "Bush is now on the outside so far as Government scientific matters are concerned, a position of which he is very conscious and to which he referred time and time again." [Emphasis added just so there can be no further, er, confusion]

Stan also FAILS to mention that none of this was news to Bush, who discovered early on that his relationship with Truman would be much different than the one he had enjoyed with Roosevelt. In a 15 minute meeting on 14 June, 1945, Bush met with Truman, who told Bush that he "liked" Bush's "Endless Frontier" report, which was of fundamental importance to Bush, who saw it as providing the blueprint for the future of science in the United States (a future that would have Bush at the helm). It was eerily similar to Truman's forced expression of confidence at the September 24, 1947 meeting with Bush about the RDB post. Bush left the 1945 meeting feeling good about his prospects. Later that day, a presidential aide told him that Truman had rejected "Endless Frontier." Not the president, even though he had met with Bush earlier that day about that very subject - but an aide!

As I state in my blog The End of the Frontier: Vannevar Bush & Harry S. Truman (see link above), this snub was "indicative of what Truman really thought of Vannevar Bush, a man who, as he got the news, must have realised that he had reached the beginning of the end of his own, once seemingly endless, frontier in government service."

Stan mentions that Pascal Zachary's biography of Bush, Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century (New York: The Free Press, 1997), strongly contributed to my "feelings" about the nature of the relationship between Bush and Truman. While it is true that I utilised Zachary's book in reaching my "conclusions," I conducted other independent research as well (such as the Golden memo, noted above).

Stan also brushes aside Zachary's knowledge of Bush's classified activities, and, in doing so, seeks to undermine Zachary's book as a valuable source of information. Unfortunately for Stan, he's flat out wrong about this. The Zachary book is extensively footnoted and referenced, and those notes and references indicate that Zachary was well aware of Bush's classified work. With respect, Zachary, who spent TEN YEARS researching the book, has done far more research into Bush's life and work than Stan has, and crafted the definitive biography of Bush.

Don't take my word for it, however. Look to the reviews. For example, The New Scientist called the book a "fascinating biography [that] will probably become the standard work on Bush." The New York Times Book Review called it "deeply informed and insightful," and stated that "Zachary has thoroughly captured the spirit of Bush and his times." The MIT Press called it a "balanced and gracefully written biography," and assessment echoed by, which found it "eloquent." Richard Herman, in a review vetted by Erich Bloch, former director of the National Science Foundation, wrote "Zachary has written a compelling and well-researched chronicle of the career of Vannevar Bush... [that] describes in (sometimes painful) detail not just Bush's successes but his failures as well - if you will, his rise to and descent from power." Cliff Barney in Upside wrote, "This book provides a framework for understanding the incredible changes wrought in U.S. Society by the power and influence of govenment-backed scientific technological research... This is an important book... Zachary tells [Bush's] story with stylistic grace and attention to detail." The Library Journal wrote "Zachary uses extensive detail to create an apotheosis of a hero who brought modern science and the centralized organization to bear on winning the war and establishing the modern public-private partnership. With over 70 pages of end notes, bibliography, abbreviations and index; recommended for academic and large public libraries." Finally, Kirkus Reviews wrote "Disproving Vannevar Bush's claim that any biography of him would be terrible, Zachary deftly follows the life and career of the single most important scientist working for the U.S, during WW II. Zachary relies heavily on Bush's writings as well as on interviews with coworkers and family to construct a portrait of the genius who helped create the military-industrial complex when he served as director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during the war." [Emphasis added]

How many of those writings did Stan read, exactly? How many co-workers and family members did he interview, exactly?

Stan doesn't like Zachary's book because it presents an accurate picture of the Bush -Truman relationship (as Bush's own writings, and Golden's memo, cited above, confirm), and therefore blows a huge hole in his MJ-12 theory.

That is "research by proclamation."

Now - about those red herrings.

The biggest one is the War Council memo to which Stan attaches such importance (in a classic case of missing the forest while looking at a tree).

Stan is correct about one thing - it was Top Secret (which should come as no surprise). After that... well, read on.

The fact that Bush, who was the head of the RDB at the time, would be appointed to a committee of the War Council should not come as a surprise. The RDB was put in place, after all, for the specific purpose of providing advice to groups like the War Council. Further, it was not Truman who appointed him to this committee (indeed, Truman may not even have been aware that Bush was on it), so this tells us nothing about the nature of his relationship with Truman.

Stan also overstates the importance of the memo. For example, he writes that "loads of resources were available" to the committee, as if this was a major, special undertaking. However, as the memo makes clear, there was nothing exceptional about this. As Ohly wrote, "As in the case of all committees of the War Council, your committee will be authorized to call on all agencies under the Secretary of Defense for such assistance as the committee may from time to time require." [Emphasis added]

Also, Stan fails to note that, although the committee was given the broad topic of preparation for a sneak attack, it was struck to deal "particularly" with the question of civil defense in case of a sneak attack (one wonders if this committee is the one that came up with the "bright" idea that students should "duck and cover" under their desks in case of nuclear attack?). Further, Stan implies -in what is perhaps the most wild-eyed piece of speculation I have ever heard from a serious UFO researcher - that the "sneak attack" may have referred to an extraterrestrial threat! Of course, there is NO evidence to support this speculation, which, I suspect, is either designed to draw attention from the real issue here, making it another huge red herring, or evidence that Stan has gone way overboard on the whole "Cosmic Watergate" thing.

The mention of John Ohly did get me thinking, however - surely if Bush was such a Big Shot in 1947 and 1948, he would feature prominently in any oral histories given by people who would have been in a position to know at that time? So I checked at the Truman Library website ( where they maintain a very large on-line selection of oral history interviews conducted over the years with various members of the Truman administration (it's a great place to go if you want to see examples of how oral research should be conducted). I read through the oral histories given by three key advisers to Secretary of Defence James Forrestal -Ohly, who was Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from 1947 to 1949; Wilfrid McNeil, another Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense; and Max Leva, General Counsel to the Secretary of Defense from 1947 to 1949 (he also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1949 to 1951). None of them mention Vannevar Bush.

This makes sense, because at the time the RDB, despite what Stan would have you believe, was relatively small potatos, and a mess. Dr. James Conant, for example, told William Golden in December 1950 that while Bush was an "industrious person," he had "failed to make much of a go of it [the RDB]." This is an understatement, as even a cursory read through Zachary's book, for example, makes clear.

Stan also ignores the clear evidence that can be obtained from Bush's obituaries that his star had waned by 1947. Take, for example, the New York Times obituary for Bush (30 June, 1974, pp. 1 and 36), which devoted six columns to his life, but only two short paragraphs to his work after World War II. Similarly, Physics Today (September 1974, pp. 71 - 72) observed, correctly, that Bush would be "chiefly remembered for his leadership of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II" and the twenty years prior to 1938, when he "attained great distinction as a professor of electrical engineering at MIT." Not his work after the war, which was not mentioned.

There is also the matter of Bush's opposition to guided missiles and, later, the space program. I asked veteran UFO researcher Brad Sparks about this (he knows more about it than I do). Like me, Brad is a friend of Stan's. His response?

"This reminds me very much of Stan’s selective omission about my early arguments against Bush ever being selected to head a Top Secret investigation of space visitation when he was such an outspoken enemy of rocketry and space travel. He was responsible for helping kill the first ICBM program with his scornful US Senate testimony on Dec 5, 1945, and his opposition to rockets and space travel continued for the rest of his life. Stan takes one isolated bit of info from my argument, where I cite Bush’s 1960 letter to the NY Times opposing manned space travel, and ignores the killing of ICBM’s, and Bush’s 1949 book that continued to heap scorn and ridicule on rockets and space, etc. In the 1989 MUFON Symposium Proceedings (p. 91) Stan addressed this with just one short quote followed by his rebuttal: 'Brad Sparks, a very knowledgeable California UFO researcher, had raised the serious objection (from his viewpoint) that Van Bush could not have been part of such a team because Bush was against manned space flight.' Notice how there is no mention of Bush’s LIFELONG OPPOSITION, nothing about Bush’s damaging attacks in 1945-49, nothing about Bush publicly riducling AAF Gen. Hap Arnold’s visionary 1945 blueprint for future air warfare using advanced technology such as long-range missiles, and so forth. Stan even tries to suggest Bush opposed dangerous chemical rockets only because he was in on the secret Roswell saucer propulsion systems which would be much better than our primitive rockets (see p. 92). How does that explain Bush’s vicious attacks on space in 1945 before Roswell ever occurred???"

The simple answer, Brad, is that it doesn't. Yet another red herring from Stan.

And so on.

Bush was clearly "Yesterday's Man" after Roosevelt's death. There is simply nothing in the record to support Stan's contention that Bush would have been a logical choice for a project like MJ-12 during the Truman administration. Indeed, there is overwhelming evidence, which Stan continues to ignore (and which he won't tell you about), that demonstrates convincingly that Bush would not have been selected for, and / or retained in, such a position.

Question #3

Original Question: Why is there no mention in the MJ-12 documents of a second crash on the Plains of San Agustin, 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 Agustin would not need to be mentioned (the only explanation that I have heard), makes no logical sense, particularly as the author of the EBD saw fit to mention the El Indio crash. For proponents of both MJ-12 and the Aztec incident, the same question must be answered.

Stan's response:

My Rebuttal: Er, there was no response from Stan, actually, although I will note that he did refer to the alleged Aztec incident and stated that there was "probably a saucer crash near Aztec, NM, in 1948," which puts him in the even more uncomfortable position of having to reconcile TWO supposed crashes NOT referenced in the EBD. The interesting thing is that Stan has always recognized this major difficulty, but has never been able to come up with a satisfactory explanation - instead, he just ignores it, or tosses up pure speculation (and not very good speculation, at that). For example, in Crash at Corona, at p. 70, he and Don Berliner wrote:

"One of the arguments for the doubtful character of the Eisenhower briefing paper is its lack of reference to the crash at the Plains of San Agustin. One possible explanation for this is that the briefing paper could be a copy of most of the original, with the copier omitting any reference to the second crash because, at the time, this had been given only limited credence. In this way, the briefing paper could be both genuine and fake: genuine in its content but a copy made any time after 1947. Admittedly, this is pure speculation."

Not only is this explanation "pure speculation," as Berliner and Friedman admitted; it is also patently ridiculous, as the EBD was supposedly written in 1952 for the specific purpose of briefing President-elect Dwight Eisenhower. The reference to 1947, therefore, is a red herring of the worst kind. Further, if one reads the EBD, it is clear from its language and structure that it is the entire document. One paragraph follows naturally from the next. This would explain why this "explanation" was never mentioned by Stan again.

This is the single most difficult problem for Stan, now a proponent of both San Agustin and Aztec. He has no answer, not even speculation anymore (and he's plenty willing to speculate about other things, as we've seen). As a result, he simply ignores it. That isn't research, and it isn't an answer, obviously. It is enough, in and of itself, to call into question the authenticity of the documents if one believes in San Agustin and Aztec, as Stan and a few others do. When you read Stan's claim at the end of his MUFON Journal article that the original MJ-12 documents are "Real as described!" remember that he has NO answer for this critical question.

Question #4

Original Question: 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?

Stan's Response: "Why was Forrestal not replaced on Majestic 12 until 01 August, 1950, even though he left office as Secretary of Defence in January of 1949 and died on May 22, 1949? Was it MJ-11 for awhile? Obviously, I am not a psychic. However, let us notice that the Eisenhower Briefing Document (EBD) states that Forrestal's 'death created a vacancy which remained unfilled until 01 August, 1950, upon which date Gen. Walter B. Smith was designated as permanent replacement.' We have no way of knowing whether he may have been a temporary member, and then was made permanent member when Truman named him the new Director of Central Intelligence. The first three DCIs were already MJ-12 members."

My Rebuttal: What Stan doesn't tell the reader is that his answer – that Truman waited for Smith to become DCI - runs counter to Stan’s assertion in his book, Top Secret / Majic, that people were appointed to MJ-12 not because of the positions they held, but because of who they were, and their various types of expertise. He wrote in Top Secret / Majic, at pp. 123 -124, ironically in response to Phil Klass's assertion that members of a group like MJ-12 would have been appointed because of the positions that they held:

"A much more intensive investigation of the people involved and of the Washington scene leads to the notion that the members would have been chosen for their skills, competence, background, and demonstrated capabilities, not for transitory titles. I have read many recommendations for government positions, including some from the MJ-12 people. The focus was always on capabilities, not job titles. " [Emphasis added]

So, either Stan was right then, in which case Smith's appointment as DCI is irrelevant to the question of the delay in appointing a successor to Forrestal, or Klass was right then (and Stan now agrees with him, which may mark some kind of ufological "Hell has frozen over" moment), in which case Stan's answer to Klass's original criticism of the MJ-12 membership is flawed. Unfortunately, however, Stan can't have it both ways.

When Stan offers up the explanation that Smith may have been a "temporary member" of MJ-12, he is clearly grasping at straws. This makes no sense whatsoever. The fact is that there is simply no logical reason why Truman would have waited until Smith was DCI to appoint a replacement for such an allegedly important group as MJ-12, particularly when there were plenty of qualified candidates who could have been tapped for the job. Indeed, this explanation not only contradicts Stan's long-held position as to why people were appointed to MJ-12, but also assumes that Truman was a psychic who knew that Smith would become DCI over a year later!

What about the "1 Aug 1950" date however? As I said in my original question, it makes perfect sense for a hoaxer to include Smith and that date. They knew about the date (which indicates that they worked for the government, possibly in intelligence - such as, perhaps, AFOSI - and would have been able to easily access that information), and knew that a researcher who went looking for it would eventually find it - just as Stan did - which would appear to that researcher as "authenticating information."

Doubt that this is what happened? Well, here's Stan's description, in Top Secret / Majic, of how he discovered the significance of "1 Aug 1950":

"When I first considered this date, it was difficult to imagine what was special about it. But as I dug into the role of General Walter Bedell Smith, I learned something that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody else knew previously. I checked appointments for Truman on that date and then asked for all the dates on which Smith met with Truman. If the two met regularly once a week during that period, then the session on August 1 could have been about normal administrative matters, and as such would not corroborate the briefing. What I discovered was intriguing. Whereas Hillenkoeter, Smith's predecessor at the CIA, did not meet very often with Truman, Smith did, once he was fully settled in as head of the CIA by the end of 1950. But August 1 was the only day prior to November 1950 when Smith met with Truman! It was a brief meeting, scheduled for less than 15 minutes at the West Door of the White House, off the record and no subject given. This is an area where they were not likely to be seen, and there was certainly no press coverage. None of the other meetings on Truman's calendar that day were identified by location... Therefore, although there is no record of what transpired between Truman and Smith on August 1, 1950, we know that they met then and that it was their only meeting for a 10-month period. The Truman Library archivist told me that nobody else had ever asked him about the dates of meetings between Smith and Truman. It would be an incredible coincidence for a forger to pull such a date out of the air, unless he were an insider." [Emphases added]

Let's consider this for a moment. Stan is asking us to believe that this is when Truman told Smith about MJ-12 and tapped him as permanent replacement. Wow. That must have been quite the conversation - "Walter, I've got some big news for you..." All in 15 minutes!

Note as well the various sentences I have italicised (except for the last one, which I'll get to in a moment). Each one shows exactly the kind of reaction that a hoaxer would have known this "discovery" to have elicited from someone like Stan, who was already well known for his belief in the "Cosmic Watergate."

Finally, note the final sentence, and the part I have italicised - "unless he were an insider."

Even Stan admits that an insider - oh, say, an AFOSI agent or agents - could have had this information in advance! I agree with Stan that it is unlikely a civilian could have pulled this off. This is irrelevant, however, when the most obvious suspects are not civilians at all, but insiders - such as, say, AFOSI agents (a future post will discuss this in more detail).


Stan has worked long and hard to get people to take the investigation of the UFO phenomenon seriously, and he has gotten many things right over his long and storied career as a ufologist. However, MJ-12 is not one of them. He has failed to hold the original MJ-12 documents up to the same level of scrutiny that he has recently, and correctly, demanded from Dr. Michael Salla with respect to Bob Lazar, Phil Corso, and other alleged “whistleblowers.”

I hope Stan can come to face the truth about the MJ-12 documents, because his ongoing defence of them continues to undermine his decades-long quest for the real truth behind the UFO phenomenon.

Which may have been the original purpose of the MJ-12 documents all along.

Paul Kimball


RRRGroup said...


This is an extensive overlay of the MJ-12 controversy, and Stanton Friedman's obsession with the documents.

Your refutation of the material is interesting, to say the least.


I can see enough ambivalence in everything you cite to allow Stan his continued acceptance of the MJ-12 scenario.

El Indio is still open, to some small extent I grant you, but the alleged episode isn't as easliy dismissed, as it would seem.

The Vannevar Bush incidents remain murky, despite your fine exegesis of his sojourn under the derelict and neurotic Truman.

The whole southwest was infused with strange activity in the 1947-1950 time-frame. More investigation of a serious kind has yet to be done about the events that occurred then.

(My own cursory look at government projects for that time -- despite your and Brad Sparks' dismissal of anything further to be gleaned therefrom -- indicates somethings took place that remain classified and intriguing, and there are hints of those things in NASA and military documents extant.)

The Forrestal death and his part in MJ-12 remains an open question.

I'm not an MJ-12 advocate by any means, but I can see how there reamins enough intriguing links and unswered questions to keep Stan involved and a believer.

Rich Reynolds

Paul Kimball said...


The problem is that Stan continues to plug the MJ-12 as 100% proved. Here is his concluding line from the MUFON Journal article:

"In short then, I can find no reason in the face of these challenges to change my mind about MJ-12, the documents, or the group. Real as described!"

That isn't a logical conclusion, drawn after a thorough review of the evidence. That is belief.

The question is whether Stan et al have proved the MJ-12 DOCUMENTS are real, and whether, as a result, they have shown that the group was real. Clearly, they have not. For them to tell people they have is, as Stan once said about some of Kevin Randle's work, a "false claim."

Indeed, take this case into a court of law, or a graduate level history class, and give the judge / jury or the students the materials (they can read Stan's books and papers on one side, and my paper - I'd work one up for the occasion - on the other, as prep work), and I have NO DOUBT what the verdict would be.

MJ-12 is a HUGE wild goose (or pelican, if you prefer) chase.

There will be more to come on this over the next week or so that will hopefully finish MJ-12 once and for all.


P.S. Brad and I don't dismiss
everything from the 1947 - 1950 period, and it's simply wrong of you to suggest that we do. We PROVED that one particular contention of yours - that Project Moby Dick was in some way responsible for the Roswell incident - was not the case. To extrapolate from that one debate a general position on our part (and Brad and I don't agree on everything anyway) is inaccurate.

RRRGroup said...


There are just enough intriguing elements in the MJ-12 documents to keep them alive for Stan.

And there are enough elements in the 1947-48 Roswell area to indicate that something more happened, besides the "flying saucer" crash.

But then what good does it do to rehash and re-examine any of this?

It's moot, and fun perhaps to squash old ideas, but that doesn't move UFOs out of the mystery column in any significant way.

We're all debating, tilting at windmills, and spending time to no real avail on the UFO issue.

Once the great Friedman is make to look like a fool in the MJ-12 arena, then what?

And although Moby Dick seems to be defunct -- it isn't actually -- then where do I need to go to make the point that the original Roswell investigation was mucked up, abetted by U.S. military lies and disinformation?

And when I prove that to be the case, what do I have? A blue ribbon? Kudos from Clark and Rudiak?

The UFO mystery would still remain.

And disenfranchising Friedman's MJ-12 obsession is just mean. What will Stan do if MJ-12 turns out to be nothing at all but smoke?

You and Sparks have made me feel bad, very bad, so I can guess how Stan feels...(I empathize, and I haven't even come within in a mile of accomplishing what Stan has.)


Paul Kimball said...


Er, where to begin.

First, it's not "mean" to debate Stan on MJ-12, and to prove him wrong, anymore than it's "mean" for Stan to debate, and prove wrong, as he has, Michael Salla on the question of Bob Lazar.

My goal is to try and help Stan see the light, because it would be good for him, and good for ufology. Given my relationship with him, I'm in a unique position - he knows it isn't personal.

What will he do if he ever realises it was a hoax / disinformation? I hope he does what I would do - get really angry at the guys who pulled the stunt, and work even harder to get at the real truth, as opposed to the fake one that they had offered up.

Exposing cons and hoaxes and disinformation is important work - consider it a ufological enema. It cleans the system of the muck, and frees up resources better spent looking into other areas.

Believe me, despite what someone like Lehmberg thinks, I take no pleasure in proving Stan wrong, or anyone else for that matter. It isn't fun. It just is what it is - necessary.


RRRGroup said...

You know, Paul, that I'm having my way with you.

You're a truth-seeker, and the chips have to fall where they may.

I love that Friedman guy, as do you.

I wish that he were right about MJ-12, and everything else, but that may not be how it will end up.

But as far as I'm concerned, and as far as you are concerned, Stan will always be The Man.

He's done more for the UFO cause than anyone else as far as I'm concerned.

Seeing him, again, on the History Channel this weekend (where 6 hours of their UFO shows were repeated), I see a brilliant, articulate, lovely man, who knows his stuff -- and more.

Your refutation above is exemplary, not altogther convincing to me, but a real labor of love in the pursuit of truth.

Rich Reynolds

Mac said...

Like you, I'm a Stan Friedman fan. But I agree with you re. his evident will to believe in MJ-12; it's his ufological Achilles' heel.

That said, his dogged pursuit of the documents' provenance (regardless if one accepts his conclusions) has been not a little inspiring.

Keep up the great blog.