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Who Wrote the Majestic 12 Papers?

by Brian Dunning, Sep 10 2009

Majestic 12” is one of the seminal hoaxes of UFO lore. It was supposedly the name of a group of Illuminati who were “in” on the “fact” that UFOs were alien spacecraft, well known to the United States government. A typed letter (established up, down, and sideways as a hoax) purportedly written by President Truman, created the Majestic 12 committee by secret Presidential order. Since then, many “classified” government documents have “appeared” acknowledging the government’s full knowledge of alien visitation. The story of Majestic 12 was broken to the world in 1987 by UFOlogist William Moore, which casts immediate suspicion upon him as the perpetrator; but there are other possible suspects as well.

The late Philip Klass, perhaps the best known of the skeptical UFO investigators, once tried to flush out the author. One of the papers, known as the Cutler/Twining Memo, was in a certain unusual typeface, and Klass reasoned that whoever wrote it probably had authentic government documents from the same period to use as a style guide. He offered a cash reward for any extant examples. Who sprang forward with handy documents to claim the prize? None other than Stanton Friedman. Klass paid him $1000 (probably considering it a bargain), and Friedman’s reputation was permanently stained as a result. Tip to paranormal hoaxers hoping to make a career out of it: Don’t take the bait if you don’t want to be hooked.

Do you have a theory on who was behind the Majestic 12 hoax? I welcome your nominations. Let’s hear it!

85 Responses to “Who Wrote the Majestic 12 Papers?”

  1. Jim Shaver says:

    Brian, oh no you didn’t! You couldn’t! You wouldn’t! Then again, maybe it was just an innocent college prank that got out of hand. You didn’t know this would happen. Back then, how could you have predicted so many supposedly smart people would be dumb enough to fall for it? It’s not your fault.

    It’s time to come clean, buddy.

  2. John Powell says:

    OBVIOUSLY the Grays wanted folks to waste time investigating a fake government connection, so that they could continue their anal probes unabated. :roll:

  3. Neal says:

    If I confess, do I get $1000 too?

  4. Beelzebud says:

    But… But… Stanton Friedman is a Nuclear Physicist, he wouldn’t lie about things! :D

  5. Jeremy Veiny of UFO Magazine suggests that Stanton Friedman (or people quite close to him) had the bright idea of smoking out more Roswell-style witnesses by publishing forged documents that would make people with “UFO knowledge” come forward. In other words, the well of public documentation on UFOs had run dry, and the theory was that if you could generate something false, it would draw out some true information (and new witnesses) as well. Anyway, that is how the forgers might have rationalized what they were doing.

    And that, of course, is a very generous rendering of the forgers’ motives. The forgers might just as well have been jerks who delight in spoofing gullible people. But whatever is true about the motives of the forgers, the UFO movement is in rather bad shape when its most visible characters (like Friedman) have their ethos damaged by suspicions of fraud.

    And I regard this as a bit of a shame because I don’t think it is irrational to think that there MIGHT be a bit more to some reported UFO phenomenon than “it’s all nonsense.”


  6. Bryan says:

    We have a person who has faked his own “Government” documents.
    If you know about the Stan Romanek-UFO case, you might have heard about the document from the Air Force that he “found in his mailbox”.
    Well it seems that the head of MUFON has even called him out on it. The document ( has the same spelling error that Stan’s documents do. He also points out that the reports Stan’s friends and family have turned into the National U.F.O. Reporting Center all seem to have the same spelling error. Even some of the anonomys reports that were submitted about his case have the same spelling problems.
    The spelling error he has is using the word fallow instead of the word follow. This is just a small part of the fabrications that have been in “The worlds most documented case of Extraterrestrial contact”.

  7. SecularDad says:

    Somebody with some wiki savvy needs to fix his article, then. It clearly has some problems with the controversy section.

  8. MadScientist says:

    I never even heard of the Majestic 12 (is that a joke on the Magnificent 7?) The aliens must have made me forget by shoving things up my butt. Then again I could be one of the government conspirators.

  9. Max says:

    Is it legal to forge a former president’s signature?

  10. Brian M says:

    I think it was James Randi, and he is just biding his time to reveal it to the world as a hoax, much like project alpha, or the Carlos hoax.

  11. Bryan says:

    If you want to read the FBI info on the case you can see it at:

  12. Karla Sofen says:

    Whitley Strieber once claimed to be the author of the Majestic 12 papers. He said it was a chapter in a book of fiction he was writing and showing around to other UFO people. This was on the Art Bell “Coast to Coast” radio program many years back. I have no idea how to search for the exact program date, but Art Bell is probably still around and Streiber will probably repeat the claim for you if contacted.

  13. Whitley Steiber will repeat any claim for you if contacted.

  14. Courtney Franklin says:

    That link has nothing to do with Majestic 12, then again you wouldn’t have a clue on what the post is about.

  15. Kitty says:

    not sure whom…

    but planting a document into the National ARchives isn’t much harder than planting a document into the Paris National Library.

  16. Or maybe somebody pissed in thier Wheaties. Yeah that’s more like it. Why is the goofball above so upset?

  17. Somebody is trying to drive up hits at there cute little website. That’s sooooo funny. Good job little man.

  18. Only the full of shit defecate all over.

  19. Richard Smith says:

    Obviously, the papers were forged by dave mabus. The MJ12 documents are complete fiction, and dave mabus’s documents are complete fiction. QED.

  20. Henk van der Gaast says:

    MJ12 – UFO’s????? damn have I misread things… I have been growing organic lizard monsters on my farm

  21. xx says:

    Any real evidence that friedman hoaxed the documents?

  22. I have published a great deal about the MJ 12 documents as a result of intensive research, visits to 20 archives etc.If one is interested in the facts (which I seriously doubt based on the nonsense above) try my book “TOP/SECRET/MAJIC” and my 1990 “Final Report on Operation Majestic 12″,107p.It includes the correspondence between Klass and myself and a copy of his check to me for $1000. for providing 10 documents using the same size and style Pica type as on the CT memo.He did not make a general offer. And told nobody about paying me. I also have shown that many supposed MJ-12 documents are frauds..based on serious research not false proclamations. Stan Friedman
    His check is also in my 2008 book “Flying Saucers and Science”

    • I’m not sure what you’re saying here, Stan; you’re arguing the same points I made in my blog.

      • You need to do your homework.You flat out lied. Read the data instead of proclaiming.It has been published. Klass challenged me(only me) by letter about the Cutler Twining memo Pica Typeface and offered $100 Each for genuine NSC items using the same size and style type (up to max of 10). I went to the Ike Lib, dug out 14; sent him them and an invoice for 1K and he paid.He told nobody about paying and threatened a legal suit because I published a copy of his check.I claim that 3 documents are certainly genuine and one likely and the rest fraudulent. You have made false claims and libeled me.Hardly telling lies like you.STF

      • Paul Hatchman says:

        This interview seems to back up Mr Friedman’s version of the events.

        Extract below:

        But another suspicious aspect to me was that it had been typed in “pica” typeface rather than the smaller “elite” typeface that was used in all the Cutler office letters that I had obtained from the Eisenhower Library archives. So, thinking I had a sure hand, I offered to pay Friedman $100 for every genuine Cutler letter that he could find that was written on a pica-face typewriter — up to a total of $1,000. To my surprise, Friedman was able to find about 20 such letters, and I promptly sent him my check.

    • Max says:

      I’m glad that you have shown that many supposed MJ-12 documents are frauds. What kind of person would forge top secret documents with signatures of former presidents, and why would he do such an awful thing?

  23. Observer says:

    Ah, you skeptibunkers and pseudo-skeptics (ala Truzzi)! In your stridently aggressive efforts to supposedly defend science and reason, you often descend into your own form of faith-based presumption and faux analytical processes. “You don’t know what you don’t know” without facts or via verifiable proof.

    You generally seem to suffer from a believers syndrome or almost religious fixation of some kind, based on ignorance, lack of objectivity and research, inadequate knowledge of history, and a hard-wired attitude that if _you_ don’t think something is true, it can’t _possibly_ be. But in many cases, you would be quite wrong. Not that you’d usually be constitutionally capable of admitting it, due to your faith in your own pseudo-skepticism. Which is a form of false belief, when you examine it closely. I really wonder sometimes how many here who would describe themselves as “skeptics” of the CSICOPian ilk can truly either see or understand that fact.

    You see, like faith and belief, without facts or proof, denialism or ultra-skeptical viewpoints, which are the flip side of belief, are like atheisim vs. religious faith—both are assumptions, or beliefs. Disbelief is also a form of faith or belief as it asserts, without absolute proof, a particular attitude or philosophical perspective, which when based on less than proper scholarship, research, or objective means, becomes an opinion or speculation, and is less than the truth, fact, or essential proof. In this area, a form of “scientific agnosticism” is most appropriate.

    Let me show you a little reality—bear with me, it won’t hurt. Much.

    First, the origins of the Majestic 12 or MJ-12 story and related papers are actually quite complex and go back nearly 30 years at this point. I consider myself a kind of “UFO agnostic,” neither a believer nor uber-skeptic, and pride myself on an objective, scientific, and empirical viewpoint and approach to these kinds of esoteric subjects. I occupy the excluded middle, as opposed to the extreme fringes of UFO believers and CSI-type pseudo-skeptics.

    Second, some history: if you actually take the time to read a paper presented at the MUFON symposium in 2007 by Brad Sparks and Barry Greenwood (two of the more serious, objective UFO researchers around), entitled “An Estimate Of The Situation: The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis” [] you will be treated to an exhaustive research effort regarding how the MJ-12 myth originated, by whom, and how the story was embellished and extended throughout the last three decades. I dare you to read it, all 70+ pages. You might end up a bit more educated and semi-enlightened. One can hope. I don’t agree with all of this papers contentions, and even Sparks and Greenwood disagree about some of the conclusions, which were largely written by Sparks.

    I don’t personally accept Stanton Friedman’s belief that, while much of the MJ-12 story is bogus, that some documents are in turn legitimate. MJ-12 originated as an attempted (and quite successful, in some ways) hoax by a USAF Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) NCO named Richard C. Doty. He was assisted by William Moore. Others were also involved, including ranking command officers within the hierarchy of AFOSI, and possibly command officers at or above the rank of colonel within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). There may have been a kind of higher echelon group or organization in control of national security related UFO research and data, similar to what MJ-12 was purported to be, but MJ-12 itself was a psychological warfare operation, originated within the US government, possibly as a means to draw out Soviet sleeper agents by promoting a false story about the Roswell incident. The operation took on a life of it’s own via Doty and Moore. But MJ-12’s real origins preceded their involvement, which is a still untold story, regardless of their later self-created fabrications of documents and promotion and involvement in the story. They were both users and were used by others to help create and spread this “black propaganda” (a psyop term of art).

    Many others, like Stanton Friedman, came upon the MJ-12 story and were covertly provided related documents later, and have exacerbated and continued the myth or hoax, unfortunately. The military intelligence agencies and other elements of the US government, employing well-established “psyops” techniques of faked documents, planted stories, induced psychological manipulation of civilian targets, such as Paul Bennewitz (see Greg Bishop’s book, “Project Beta”) have used the UFO issue many, many times before for several different reasons, primarily to cover-up other operations and projects, to attempt to uncover hostile Soviet and other agents, and to manipulate belief about UFOS, both pro and con, depending on their specific purposes and intent at various times, for their own ends.

    It is quite wrong, and factually dubious, to say the least, for anyone to claim Friedman was responsible for fabricating any of the known MJ-12 documents—however, I think he was predisposed, via some of the psyop techniques outlined in Sparks and Greenwood’s paper, and as noted in “Project Beta,” to believe in the authenticity of some MJ-12 documents, and his relative gullibility was played upon to his detriment as a UFO researcher. Some, like Moore and Tim Cooper, were also involved in both fabrication and manipulation of the MJ-12 story for their own purposes, and got played by some of the same USG military and intelligence elements involved in the origins of the Majestic myth.

    Third, I should add that something like MJ-12 may have actually existed at some point, and may even be operating today, in regard to manipulating and controlling USG UFO research and data, and that MJ-12 may have been, in part, deliberately floated to function as a plausibly deniable “doppelganger,” to create a kind of funky “parallel” story whose function would also effectively cover for any such genuine operation by putting out a version that, over time, was revealed as “poorly constructed” in the inevitable knowledge that it would be exposed and broken down by objective researchers. However, that does not eliminate the possibility that this kind of project, or such a “control group,” may have and might still exist. No adequate public documentation or proof, however, that I’m aware of, exists to prove that possibility, but on the other hand, it cannot be dismissed either, based on the military and intelligence elements involved in the past in such ops and manipulation of the facts related to UFO phenomenology for their own purposes. See there? I neither believe, or disbelive. At present, due to national security issues and high levels of classification, or ongoing government secrecy surrounding and using these issues, it currently remains an unknown. It still remains to be determined, one way or the other. This is an example of what I mean by “scientific agnosticism.”

    Finally, MJ-12 is an interesting tale and valuable object lesson for those who can parse the myriad details of this hoax, whether skeptic or believer, and there is far too much information to further detail here, but if you skeptical types wish to really learn some facts about this matter, as opposed to superficial, factually incorrect, and laughably inadequate little two-paragraph blurbs like Dunning above has presented, I think I’ve provided an effective starting point for you to begin with. It’s up to you, however, to pursue the research, examine the history, and decide for yourself what’s true, of course. Or, you can choose to ignore and deny what I’ve noted here, as most uneducated and blithely ignorant and arrogantly skeptical naifs will do. Which will you do, and which are you? It’s your choice.

    • I marvel at the claims that these documents were mysteriously delivered anonymously to any of these sources who claim to have discovered them. If I were a Man in Black and wanted to blow the whistle on the government’s knowledge of aliens, I would deliver the papers to 60 Minutes or to a newspaper. I certainly would not give them to paranormal researchers who already had goofball reputations among mainstream scientists & researchers.

      • Greg says:

        Brian wrote:

        “I marvel at the claims…”

        And in doing so you show your complete ignorance of both the MJ12 case, and the history of government psy-ops on UFO groups (hint: you’re not understanding the reasons for the hoax in the first place, which has been detailed a number of times in the UFO literature – which is more to do with counter-espionage and ‘message-marking’, rather than making the story “big” and believed by the general public).

        Seriously, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, MJ12 is a load of hogwash. But your blog here is up with it. Your accusations against Stanton Friedman are made with what is obviously a minimum of education on this particular topic, and considering your past posts involving Friedman, thus look more like spite than skepticism.

        Really, a blog better deleted than promoted, if this is supposed to be “critical thinking”.

      • Travis Roy says:

        Typical stuff. Because you’re mind isn’t open to my brand of woo, despite the evidence, you are no longer a “critical thinker”.

        There’s the old saying. You should have an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.

      • Max says:

        What’s “message-marking”?

      • Greg, if you honestly believe the government is conducting “psy-ops” against you, you have clinically crossed the line to a diagnosable, treatable mental illness.

      • Leander says:

        In this post and the following comments you wrote a lot of things that are silly beyond measure, but there’s other people more qualified to call you on that doing so already.

        But seriously – where the hell did “Greg” claim psy-ops were being conducted against him ? All he did was point out the flaws of your comment to his, which show a frightenig lack of understanding of psy-ops tactics on your side (a lack of understanding that you still haven’t addressed, rather opting to accuse “Greg” of mental illness instead of admitting you failed to comprehend a fairly easy point).

        1) You distorted (some would call it flat-out lying, or stumpingly, stupidly uninformed) the whole affair between Klass and Friedman to suit your argument – as Friedman pointed out and anyone who can read, look up sources and is intellectually honest will attest

        2)Someone (“Greg”) explained to you the workings of psy-ops in this case, and you (again, either it’s just beyond your comprehension or you maliciously choose to distort it) completely, mind-boggingly fail to understand and address that correctly

        It might be fair at this point to point out that this is not just about you, you’re embarrassing the “skeptologists” as well. It’s time to take a deep breath, read up on what happened between Friedman and Klass, read “Greg”‘s comment on psy-ops, try really hard to comprehend both, and man up to the fact that either you had a temporary lapse of comprehension or maliciously distorted facts.

      • Greg says:

        I don’t believe I said anything about “psy-ops” being conducted against myself – in fact, I’m not even sure how you managed to vault to that distant non-sequitur. To be clear: I don’t claim the government is doing anything of the sort to me.

        However, I’m not sure why, if I did claim such a thing, that would automatically classify me as having a mental illness. Government psy-ops happen, there’s whole units dedicated to it. Are you saying that anybody targeted by those units should be classified as having a mental illness?

        I can only assume you read the word as ‘psi-ops’ rather than ‘psy-ops’ and the skeptical alarms within your brain started wailing, causing you to stop thinking rationally. (I know it’s dangerous to assume, but I’m trying my best to justify the farrago of nonsense you’ve posted thus far.)

        I’m hoping you’re at least familiar with AFOSI. That might be a start, rather than targeting Friedman. If you haven’t heard of AFOSI, then I don’t know why you’re even posting about MJ12.

    • karl says:

      Wait. We have a couple possibilities on the table:

      1) Some saucertard just faked the stuff for fame/profit or thinking “ah hah, this will prime the pump and soon people with the real documents will no longer be afraid to step forward”

      2) It’s some massive psy-op play by the US government for some nebulous reason.

      Well. You’re welcome to believe #2 but #1 seems as reasonable, if not more so. Sure. Maybe #2 is correct. But I’ll be convinced when you can offer evidence that there exists this new UFO psy-op entity working hard to fool saucertards.

  24. Dear @Observer – you took ten paragraphs to say “read this PDF” and “MJ12 might be real even if part is a hoax.”

    Oh, and that PDF link keeps exploding Acrobat. MUFON conspiracy?


    Try reading Hemmingway, or reading a USA Today every now and then. You could learn something about brevity.

    Seriously, though – why do so many UFOology fans think that if people haven’t read ALL of the UFOology literature then they’re not qualified to say there is insufficient evidence to support the “extraterrestrial hypothesis?”

    Stanton uses this tired claim ALL the time. The entire body of UFO literature (in print or PDF) isn’t worth one piece of wreckage definitively of ET orgin, or one corpse of non-terrestrial origin. And just like we need a body to prove Bigfoot, we need an ET to prove there are ET’s visiting us.

  25. As the person responsible for first exposing Bill Moore’s participation in the MJ-12 hoax, in March 1989, I offer the following information:

    My recently-published article, “Operation Bird Droppings”, provides a wealth of background information on the MJ-12 controversy. It is posted at:

    The article contains links to:

    1) My 1989 exposé–later published in the June 1989 MUFON UFO Journal–which resulted in Moore’s public confession regarding his involvment in an Air Force disinformation scheme operated by the Kirtland AFB Office of Special Investigations.

    2) The excellent Brad Sparks article on MJ-12 referenced earlier in this thread.

    3) In-depth research by the Reality Uncovered folks, relating to the continuing disinformation/lies still being spread around by others who participated in the 1980s-era Kirtland operation, including then-OSI agent Richard Doty and retired Air Force Captain Bob Collins. (The birds, dubbed “Falcon” and “Condor” by Bill Moore.)

    With all due respect to Stan Friedman’s excellent work on Roswell, and other aspects of the UFO phenomenon, the available evidence indicates that he was misled about MJ-12, along with lots of other folks.

    –Robert Hastings

  26. Gigas says:

    The joke is on everyone who beleives reality is, well reality. Aliens are real but do not belong in our beleif system since they are occult in nature to simply come and go at their will. Every thing and anything can be fabricated to be genuine to our senses since reality is manufactured by occult instrumentality supporting our interpretation of a reality. In other words, the world around you is nothing more than a smoke and mirrors side show hiding the real facts over another under reality.

    Nothing is real but a sensual stimuli projected over the real you.

  27. Marksman says:

    So called ‘skeptics’ you just got owned.

  28. BTW, Brian Dunning, you failed to respond to my post on another Skepticblog thread, regarding your attempted debunking of the Rendlesham Forest/RAF Bentwaters UFO incidents of December 1980.

    I wrote:

    Hello, Brian,

    Your Bentwaters post overlooks many now-available facts. As someone who has interviewed several of the former/retired USAF personnel who were involved in the series of UFO incidents, I can assure you that prosaic explanations fall far short.

    A summary of my investigation is posted at:

    Among other things, I succeeded in coaxing on-the-record the two U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers who were on duty at the RAF Bentwaters tower during the week in question, and they variously confirmed tracking on radar a UFO that covered 120 miles in 12 seconds, did a sharp right-angle turn and, finally, hovered outside their window. It was spherical and dull orange in color.

    Moreover, I interviewed one former Air Force security guard who had been posted at the (nuclear) Weapons Storage Area, who reported seeing the same, or a similar object near his position, moving slowly over the forest. He told me it appeared “as large as a cantelope” held at arm’s length.

    I have been investigating UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites since 1973 and have interviewed over 100 USAF “missileers” and missile guards about their experiences.

    Since 1981, I have lectured at over 500 U.S. colleges and universities about the UFO-Nukes Connection.

    My website is On my Articles page, “UFO Sightings at ICBM Sites and Nuclear Weapons Storage Areas,” provides an intro to my research.

    –Robert Hastings

    Robert Hastings, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    May 01, 2009 8:18pm


    Future posts here will pertain, chiefly, to MJ-12. Has anyone read/skimmed my “Operation Bird Droppings” article yet?

  29. “Ufology” is not a science, but a business franchise, one depending on an at least static and hopefully growing set of believers willing to spend $$$ on all its trappings: books, magazines, websites, conventions, paid appearances, TV schlockumentaries, etc. Niche businesses require injecting occasional sales-intensifying marketing events. Hoaxes serve nicely. If this be the case, predictions may be made. Is there an identifiable arc of increasingly substantive claims?

    It began with simple disk sightings, evolved through the ‘close encounters’ hierarchy, added space ship crashes, and eventually ran full speed into alien abductions. The arc is identifiable, as are all the $$$ trappings that accompanied.

    Having taken it as far as even ufological credulity may absorb, the business franchise of ufology stagnated in the 1990s and is now moribund, having all but run its course. It will die without a new marketing event.

    My prediction? Somebody somewhere will convince ‘ufologists’ that he or she is an actual alien, and the franchise will enjoy another brief spurt of financial ascendancy.

    As for the science of it, that remains precisely where it was when it began in mass media in the 1950s – the totally unfulfilled burden of proof held by claimants.

  30. And, now, from one of the very few scientists to have studied UFOs (unlike our uninformed, pontificating cynic above):

    “From time to time in the history of science, situations have arisen in which a problem of ultimately enormous importance went begging for adequate attention simply because that problem appeared to involve phenomena so far outside the current bounds of scientific knowledge that it was not even regarded as a legitimate subject of serious scientific concern. That is precisely the situation in which the UFO problem now lies. One of the principal results of my own recent intensive study of the UFO enigma is this: I have become convinced that the scientific community, not only in this country but throughout the world, has been casually ignoring as nonsense a matter of extraordinary scientific importance.” 1

    —Dr. James E. McDonald
    Senior Physicist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics
    Professor of Meteorology, University of Arizona

    Sad to say, some 40 years after Dr. McDonald’s lament, the same smug, dismissive attitude toward the phenomenon remains firmly entrenched in scientific circles, resulting in a pervasive, self-imposed ignorance about UFOs among those who supposedly seek the truth. At the beginning of the 21st century, it remains true that the overwhelming majority of scientists, if they consider UFOs at all, consider them to be beneath their dignity, and worthy of outright derision. With this self-righteous stance, they have effectively abdicated their collective professional responsibility in the most unscientific manner. This is not so much an accusation as it is an objective statement of fact.

    Scientists universally profess allegiance to the lofty principles comprising the Scientific Method, both in the pursuit of their own research, as well as when reviewing the work of their peers. Therefore, one might predict that they will indignantly dismiss the suggestion that, on occasion, they have temporarily abandoned those cherished principles. Nevertheless, as regards the subject of UFOs, very few scientists actually practice what they preach.

    In essence, to engage in science is to search for knowledge. This exploration is conducted through the systematic collection and objective analysis of facts. If one aspires to understand the nature of an unexplained phenomenon, one must first assemble and evaluate data—or, at least, impartially examine the data gathered by others—before drawing conclusions.

    Unfortunately, most scientists reject outright the validity of UFO research, refuse to engage in it, and deliberately ignore the intriguing data compiled by a handful of their more inquisitive, less-biased peers. If this were not enough, despite their profound unfamiliarity with the subject, many of these same intransigent individuals pontificate about UFOs in the most shameless and presumptuous manner. If they were to apply this same “methodology” to their own research, their colleagues might justifiably consider their conduct incompetent, if not fraudulent. Nevertheless, it is rare to hear a scientist speak or write knowledgeably about the UFO phenomenon, and rarer still to find one who has actually studied it.

    1. McDonald, Dr. James E. “Prepared Statement before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics”, July 29, 1968

    –Robert Hastings

  31. To finish a thought:

    Fortunately, despite the collective disinterest in UFOs exhibited by the scientific community as a whole, there have been a few brave pioneers. In the mid-1960s, Dr. James McDonald was well ahead of the curve, with his repeated, plaintive calls for a legitimate investigation of the UFO phenomenon. Seeking to review the available data for himself, he persistently demanded an opportunity to review the Air Force’s UFO files—at least those held by Project Blue Book—and was ultimately granted repeated access to the ones that were not classified.

    Following those reviews, McDonald wrote, “…There are hundreds of good cases in the Air Force files that should have led to top-level scientific scrutiny of [UFOs] years ago, yet these cases have been swept under the rug in a most disturbing way by Project Blue Book investigators and their consultants.” 2

    Despite, or perhaps because of, the Air Force’s ongoing attempts to suppress the frequently high-quality data on UFOs it collected, McDonald began to investigate the phenomenon on his own time and at his own expense, while ignoring the very real risk to his scientific reputation. This diligence paid off and, by 1968, McDonald was widely regarded—although not among his still-dubious peers—as one of the world’s leading scientific experts on UFOs. Consequently, he was invited to address congress on the subject, during hearings held that year. McDonald’s full statement before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, presented on July 29th, may be found in the U.S. Congressional Record, as well as on the Internet.

    While acknowledging that the overwhelming majority of UFO sightings undoubtedly had prosaic explanations, and that a great many questions about the phenomenon remained unanswered, McDonald succinctly summarized his conclusions regarding the most credible of the unexplained cases: “My own present opinion, based on two years of careful study, is that UFOs are probably extraterrestrial devices engaged in something that might very tentatively be termed ‘surveillance’.” 3

    Although this was merely an opinion, it was after all an informed opinion on UFOs, something very few other scientists could offer, then or now. Many of McDonald’s published papers, private research notes, and personal letters relating to his investigations of the UFO phenomenon are now accessible online, providing insight into the cautious, rational reasoning underlying his dramatic conclusions.

    2. [Tucson] Daily Citizen, March 1, 1967
    3. McDonald, Dr. James E. “Prepared Statement before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics”, July 29, 1968

    –Robert Hastings

  32. It doesn’t require eleven paragraphs over two posts to construct an argument from ignorance, and if acknowledging ufology’s 50+ year history of failure to produce tangible, credible evidence makes one a cynic, cynic I am.

    Or maybe I’m an alien, one who doesn’t want The Truth to come out.

  33. You’re the ignorant one, Yalie Boy, although you seem oblivious to that fact. So tell us: What data have you personally reviewed? Which declassified documents? Which military eyewitnesses have you interviewed?

    Your specialty seems to be shooting-from-the-lip. Self-appointed UFO experts in academia are a dime a dozen. I meet them everywhere I speak. As a rule, the more vocal they are, the less knowledgeable they seem to be on the subject. Thanks for proving the point.

  34. Only in ufology is credit given and expert standing assigned because one has reviewed more poor evidence than another. This is a sign of a moribund and barren field of ‘science’.

  35. We all get that you are trying to weasel out of answering my questions, Oh Wise One.

    So, again: What UFO-related data have you personally reviewed? Which declassified documents? Which military eyewitnesses have you interviewed? (I might add, what empircal evidence have you evaluated? Yes, it does exist despite your ignorance of it.)

    No one, including persons with huge egos, are capable of evaluating data they have not yet reviewed. So, upon which material do you base your dismissive stance?

  36. Well, I rushed through that one too quickly. Take Two:

    We all get that you are trying to weasel out of answering my questions, Oh Wise One.

    So, again: What UFO-related data have you personally reviewed? Which declassified documents? Which military eyewitnesses have you interviewed? (I might add, what empirical evidence have you evaluated? Yes, it does exist, despite your ignorance of it.)

    No one, including persons with huge egos, is capable of evaluating data they have not yet reviewed. So, upon which material do you base your dismissive stance? We are all eagerly awaiting your reply.

  37. “We”?

    I’ve been following UFOs since the early 1970s. It is very likely I’ve read everything you’ve read. It is not impressive.

  38. UFOer says:

    Advocate said:
    “It is very likely I’ve read everything you’ve read. It is noit impressive”.

    Advocate must be a psychic! In order to know what Hastings did read! Funny to confirm that skeptics “believe” they know too much. By the way, Asvocate did not respond the already made questions:

    “What UFO-related data have you personally reviewed? Which declassified documents? Which military eyewitnesses have you interviewed? (I might add, what empirical evidence have you evaluated?”

  39. Kevin says:

    Leander wrote:

    “It might be fair at this point to point out that this is not just about you, you’re embarrassing the “skeptologists” as well. It’s time to take a deep breath, read up on what happened between Friedman and Klass, read “Greg”’s comment on psy-ops, try really hard to comprehend both, and man up to the fact that either you had a temporary lapse of comprehension or maliciously distorted facts.”

    I have to agree with Leander on this one. As Skeptics we need to make sure we are doing our homework before offering the “Skeptical” position on topics and research. Otherwise, are we not guilty of the same lazy scientific approach we often see from the believer camp? Where’s the point by point scientific debate?



  40. Ufool gambit: Demand the impossible, declare ‘victory’ when the impossible cannot be satisfied.

    Do you seriously expect me to list everything UFO-related I’ve read since 1973, including my time with MUFON and with CSICOP?

    Let’s look at it this way: We could say the modern era of ufology began just after WWII. Going in we had no idea what caused UFOs, how they might be powered, if they were ‘powered’ at all, or whether aliens were involved, or… well, we just didn’t know anything. Now it’s a good 60 years later and we find that…. we have no idea what causes UFOs, how they might be powered, whether they are ‘powered’ at all, or whether aliens are involved or… well, we don’t know anything.

    The good news for ufology is that we’ve multiplied our knowledge base one thousand-fold, maybe even more. The bad news for ufology is that 1,000 X 0 = 0.

    Having a good memory for reams of poorly researched and poorly evidenced claims of sightings is not expertise, it’s eccentricity, and it’s damn sure not science. It’s like having an intimate familiarity of everything there is to know about fairy biology.

  41. Devil wrote: “Do you seriously expect me to list everything UFO-related I’ve read since 1973, including my time with MUFON and with CSICOP?”

    Still shamelessly weaseling, I see. I know that you can not be this incompetent in your own field, otherwise you would not be teaching at Yale. It’s a pity that you are determined to make a fool of yourself here, by attempting to pass yourself off as an expert on a subject about which you obviously know very little.

    Okay, I’ll make it easier for you. Let’s narrow down my original list of questions a bit: 1) Which UFO-related declassified documents have you reviewed? 2) Which military eyewitnesses have you personally interviewed?

    I’ll wager that you can not even *identify* any of the key declassified UFO analyses or *name* any of those ex-military personnel, without first googling a bit.

    As noted in my first post on this thread, one of the very few scientists to have had access to some of the U.S. Air Force’s documents and witnesses, physicist James E. McDonald, once wrote: “…There are hundreds of good cases in the Air Force files that should have led to top-level scientific scrutiny of [UFOs] years ago, yet these cases have been swept under the rug in a most disturbing way by Project Blue Book investigators and their consultants.”

    McDonald later addressed Congress and told the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that the available evidence suggested that, once the eyewitness reports involving misidentified manmade aircraft or natural phenomena were weeded out, the bona fide sighting cases strongly suggested that UFOs were extraterrestrial probes.

    Devil claims that we don’t know that much about UFOs, e.g. whether they are powered or not, even today. Well, in one of the now-declassified documents that he would not be able to name, unless I helped him out and identified it for him, the newly-created U.S. Air Force concluded otherwise.

    In the late summer of 1947, after a three-month, nationwide sighting wave, Air Intelligence at the Pentagon urgently requested a report on the “Flying Discs,” as the military called them at the time.

    In response, Air Force Lt. General Nathan F. Twining, Commander of the Air Materiel Command (AMC), based at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, held a conference with personnel assigned to the Air Institute of Technology, the Office of the Chief of Engineering Division, various aeronautical laboratories within the Engineering Division designated T-3, as well as Technical Intelligence officers.

    For raw data, these groups used in their evaluations interrogation reports supplied by the Pentagon, containing statements by military sighting witnesses.

    Summarizing the input he received from his engineering and intelligence staff, Twining sent a memorandum—dated September 23, 1947 and classified Secret—to Brigadier General George Schulgen, Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division, in which he presented AMC’s initial assessment of UFOs. The key portions of the memo are as follows:

    1. At the request of AC/AS-2 there is presented below the considered opinion of this command concerning the so-called “Flying Discs”…

    2. It is the opinion that:
    a. The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.
    b. There are objects probably approximating the shape of a disc, of such appreciable size as to appear to be as large as man-made aircraft.
    c. There is a possibility that some of the incidents may be caused by natural phenomena, such as meteors.
    d. The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.
    e. The apparent common description of the objects is as follows:
    (1) Metallic or light reflecting surface.
    (2) Absence of trail, except in a few instances when the object apparently was operating under high performance conditions.
    (3) Circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and domed on top.
    (4) Several reports of well kept formation flights varying from three to nine objects.
    (5) Normally no associated sound, except in three instances a substantial rumbling roar was noted.
    (6) Level flight speeds normally above 300 knots are estimated.
    f. It is possible within the present U.S. knowledge—provided extensive detailed development is undertaken—to construct a piloted aircraft which has the general description of the object in subparagraph (e) above which would be capable of an approximate range of 7,000 miles at subsonic speeds.
    g. Any development in this country along the lines indicated would be extremely expensive, time consuming and at the considerable expense of current projects and therefore, if directed, should be set up independently of existing projects.
    h. Due consideration must be given to the following:
    (1) The possibility that these objects are of domestic origin—the product of some high security project not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
    (2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects.
    (3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form of propulsion, possibly nuclear, which is outside of our domestic knowledge.

    Now, I know that Devil is incapable of benefiting from this information but, given the posts of others on this thread, I know that a few of you will.

    BTW, as early as December 1948, according to declassified Air Force, FBI and CIA files, the disc-shaped craft, as described in the Twining memo above, began a systematic surveillance of U.S. atomic weapons sites. Those incidents–at nuclear labs, test sites, ICBM sites, and Weapons Storage Areas–contined decade after decade. A few of the documents relating to them will be posted here soon.

    Oh, Devil, given that you mentioned CSICOP: The editor of CSICOP’s (now CSI’s) house organ, Skeptical Inquirer magazine, is Kendrick C. Frazier. Many years ago, I discovered that Frazier was employed—beginning in the early 1980s—as a Public Relations Specialist at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yes, the same Sandia Labs that has been instrumental to the success of America’s nuclear weapons program since the late 1940s, through its “ordinance engineering” of components for bomb and missile warhead systems.

    In my opinion, Frazier’s affiliation with Sandia Labs—he recently retired after working there for over two decades—is highly significant, given the hundreds of references in declassified government documents, and in the many statements by former military personnel, which address ongoing UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites over the past six decades.

    Considering these disclosures—which clearly establish a link between UFOs and nukes—I find it interesting, to say the least, that the longtime editor of the leading debunking magazine—whose pages routinely feature articles discrediting UFOs and those who report them—worked for over 20 years as a public relations spokesman for one of the leading nuclear weapons labs in the United States.

    Interestingly, Skeptical Inquirer’s publisher’s statement, or “masthead”, which appears at the beginning of each issue, never once mentioned Frazier’s employment at the highly-secretive, government-funded laboratory. Instead, the magazine merely listed, and continues to list, his profession as “Science Writer”—a reference to his having written several books and articles on various scientific subjects. Also curious is the fact that various online biographies on Frazier—including one written by himself—also fail to mention his two-decade tenure at Sandia Labs. An odd omission indeed.

    –Robert Hastings

  42. The astute reader will notice that the end result is nothing more is known about UFOs here in 2009 than was known in 1947. All you’ll get is oodles of meaningless assumptive trivia such as is offered above. But, if you know that meaningless trivia well, by golly you’re a UFO expert.

    As for me teaching at Yale, lol… I’ve never taught at Yale, never been there, never taught in any university setting at any time. Shall we take that as evidence of your comprehension and research prowess?

    UFO Expert: Someone who knows everything there is to know about UFOs …except what they are, where they come from, what they’re made of, etc.

    Repeat: Having a good memory for reams of poorly researched and poorly evidenced claims of sightings is not expertise, it’s eccentricity, and it’s damn sure not science. It’s like having an intimate familiarity of everything there is to know about fairy biology.

  43. Max says:

    Robert, do you believe in ghosts and demons? If not, how many ghost hunts and exorcisms have you personally participated in?

  44. I have no connection to Steve Novella beyond being a fan of his Neurologica blog (which helps me shore up an area of skeptical weakness, the medical field). I do think his ability to write clearly and to the point is greatly underrated and under appreciated.

  45. Mea culpa on the Yale thingy. Yup, I misread the reference. (Actually, this clarification is rather comforting. I was wondering how someone like Devil could actually be hired to teach there.)

    See, unlike some folks, I can readily admit it when I am wrong about something.

    Now, more importantly:

    In my last post I referenced U.S. government documents, declassified via the Freedom of Information Act, describing UFO activity at American atomic (later thermonuclear) weapons sites. One such FBI memorandum may be found at The memo was directed to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover; the sender was the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) in the FBI’s San Antonio field office.

    The memo’s first paragraph reads: “At recent Weekly Intelligence Conferences of G-2, ONI, OSI and F.B.I., in the Fourth Army Area, Officers of G-2, Fourth Army, have discussed the matter of ‘Unidentified Flying Aircraft’ or ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ otherwise known as ‘Flying Discs,’ ‘Flying Saucers,’ and ‘Balls of Fire.’ This matter is considered top secret by Intelligence Officers of both the Army and the Air Forces.” (The last sentence was underlined for emphasis.)

    And why was the subject of “Flying Discs” considered top secret? The memo continues, “During the past two months various sightings of unexplained phenomena have been reported in the vicinity of the A.E.C [Atomic Energy Commission] Installation at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where these phenomena now appear to be concentrated. During December 1948 on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 13[th], 14th, 20th and 25th sightings of unexplained phenomena were made near Los Alamos by Special Agents of the Office of Special Investigation; Airline Pilots; Military Pilots; Los Alamos Security Inspectors, and private citizens. On January 6, 1949, another similar object was sighted in the same area.”

    This flurry of nukes-related UFO activity was just the tip of the iceberg and, as we shall see in future posts, UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites became an intermittent but ongoing development, continuing to as recently as December 2006, so far as is known by researchers.

    So, while the uninformed but nevertheless opinionated skeptics—persons not in the intelligence loop—have continued to smugly dismiss the UFO reality, the U.S. Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency have—according to the documents—been engaged in a behind-the-scenes battle to monitor, react to, and suppress public knowledge of these startling and unwanted events.

    In my last post I also referenced the prominent UFO-debunking group CSICOP (now CSI) and its magazine Skeptical Inquirer. As noted, the longtime editor of SI, Kendrick C. Frazier, worked for over 20 years as a U.S. government PR guy, at Sandia National Laboratories, a leading nuclear weapons facility—although one will fail to find any mention of that fact in the magazine’s publisher’s statement, or in Frazier’s self-published online bio.


    But the CSICOP-Nukes Connection does not end with Kendrick Frazier. James Oberg, one of CSICOP’s leading UFO debunkers, once did classified work relating to nuclear weapons at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, located on Kirtland AFB, less than a mile from Sandia Labs. From 1970-72, Oberg was an Air Force officer whose assignments with the Battle Environments Branch at the weapons lab involved the development and utilization of computer codes related to the modeling of laser and nuclear weapons—according to one of Oberg’s own online resumes.

    Oberg had also been a “Security Officer” while at the weapons lab, meaning that he was responsible for monitoring the security procedures used to safeguard the classified documents generated by his group.

    At my website,, there is a well-documented article on the “Big Sur” UFO Incident, an extremely dramatic case of nuclear weapons-related UFO activity. After college professor Dr. Robert Jacobs—one of the former Air Force officers involved in the incident—leaked the amazing but still-classified story, Oberg wrote to Jacobs to chastise him for releasing “top secret UFO information” relating to the case. Once a security officer, always a security officer, I guess.

    Officially, of course, Oberg doesn’t believe in UFOs. However, his self-incriminating comments to Jacobs, in a letter obviously never meant for public view, tells an entirely different story. Unfortunately for Oberg, Jacobs later published excerpts from that letter. Oops!

    Another CSICOPer, the late Philip J. Klass, soon piled on, attacking Dr. Jacobs in a series of rebuking letters. Klass went so far as to contact Jacobs’ department chairman at the University of Maine, to allege that the communications professor was behaving in an inappropriate manner for an academician.

    In response, Jacobs circulated a strongly-worded retort, Low Klass: A Rejoinder. At one point, wrote Jacobs, Klass had told him in a letter that if he was uneasy about communicating with the debunker, Klass would provide as references Admiral Bobby R. Inman—the former Director of the National Security Agency, who also held Deputy Director positions at both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency—and Lt. General Daniel O. Graham, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Klass not only provided Jacobs with their names, but home addresses as well, and told him, “Both men have worked with me and gotten to know me in my efforts for Aviation Week.” Jacobs, viewing this offer as a veiled threat and suspecting that Klass was attempting to set him up for a security violation, consulted an attorney, who told him not to respond directly to the debunker.

    Klass was often accused of being a disinformation agent for the U.S. government—a charge he always vehemently denied. And yet, in a private letter to Jacobs, the longtime CSICOP/CSI UFO-debunker openly bragged about his high-powered intelligence community friends, presumably because he never thought that Jacobs would actually publish portions of that letter. Oops!

    So, to recap, among CSICOP/CSI’s top UFO “skeptics” we have a long-time PR Specialist (Frazier), who worked for the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons program for over two decades; a journalist (Klass) who worked for decades for an intelligence community-friendly publication, Aviation Week, and who privately cited as personal references two of the top figures in the NSA and CIA; and a former Air Force officer (Oberg) whose job it was to protect nuclear weapons-related secrets. And, supposedly, all three of these individuals objected to Dr. Jacobs’ revelations about a nuclear weapons-related UFO incident only because they were “skeptical” that the mysterious “objects” actually exist.


    All of the references to the material above may be found in my Big Sur article.

    –Robert Hastings

    • Max says:

      Aviation Week is intelligence community-friendly like the Washington Post is Washington-friendly.
      The press loves controversy, screw-ups, and leaks.

      I can see how Frazier’s PR position can be a conflict of interest, but a journalist like Klass isn’t obligated by NDA to protect government secrets.

  46. Max wrote: “Which makes me wonder how [Hastings] discovered that Frazier worked at Sandia.”

    His own brother spilled the beans and added that the CSICOP crew were “a vicious bunch.”

    If you care to confirm Frazier’s former employment there, call (505) 845-0011. Ask for Public Relations.

  47. Lance M. says:

    I subscribe to Klass’s later theory that William Moore is almost certainly the author of the MJ-12 documents.

    Klass pointed out an unusual and anachronistic style in the presentation of the dates in the MJ-12 stuff (including a leading zero, something that only came into widespread use after computers) that matched the same idiosyncratic way Moore dated his non-hoax documents.


  48. Lance wrote, “I subscribe to Klass’s later theory that William Moore is almost certainly the author of the MJ-12 documents.”

    This is the only subject upon which Klass and I ever agreed. Once again, as noted in an earlier post here, I first broke the story of Moore’s participation in the MJ-12 farce in March 1989, with my paper “The MJ-12 Affair: Facts, Questions, Comments.”

    After first denying my findings, Moore openly confessed to most of them during his imfamous “confession” speech at the July 1989 MUFON convention in Las Vegas.

    However, the information associated with the “hoax” was initially part of an officially-sanctioned disinformation operation being run out of Kirtland AFB OSI. My May 2009 paper “Operation Bird Droppings” (now online) summarizes how the op morphed into a multi-faceted hoax in the 1990s, involving some of the old OSI players, as well as new frauds.

    Speaking of frauds–including persons who attempt to pass themselves off as an expert in a field they know nothing about–my next post will further expose Devil’s bogus claims. While he will undoubtedly find the revelations boring (“Zzzzzzzzzzz”) others reading this thread probably will not.

  49. To finish a thought about Frazier, Klass and Oberg, the question being asked here is whether or not CSICOP/CSI has had within its ranks a few persons who have a hidden agenda on UFOs, which has nothing to do with genuine scientific skepticism. While I don’t know the answer to this question, given the extreme, unscientific anti-UFO track-record of the organization, I think it needs to be asked. Regardless, whatever these debunkers’ affiliations and motives may be, the reader doesn’t need what they have to offer unless, of course, you actually enjoy being misled by pseudoscientific propaganda, government-inspired or not.

    It goes without saying that the statements above do not apply to the CSICOP/CSI membership in general. It’s only natural and to be expected that an organization which bills itself as “skeptical” in orientation will attract persons with a similar philosophical outlook. CSICOP/CSI counts among its membership many world-renowned scientists and other respected intellectuals. There is no question that a great many of these persons share a sincerely incredulous outlook on various subjects classified as “paranormal”, including UFOs.

    Therefore, the fact that many of CSICOP/CSI members have rejected the validity of the UFO phenomenon—a subject about which they know little or nothing, and are not qualified to discuss authoritatively—certainly does not mean that they are secretly working for the CIA. Bias and presumption, rather than ulterior motives, account for these self-appointed UFO experts’ flawed perspective on the phenomenon. Consequently, if they have been misled by CSICOP’s (now CSI’s) top UFO debunkers, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    (Wake up, Devil, we’re talking about you again…)

  50. The History of UFO Activity at Nuclear Weapons Sites (Part 2):

    In an earlier post, I excerpted from an FBI memo concerning UFO activity at the Los Alamos laboratory in December 1948. Another FBI memorandum, dated August 23, 1950, discusses those, and other UFO sightings near atomic weapons sites, during the previous twenty months. The full text may be found at:

    Directed to FBI Assistant Director D. M. Ladd, and titled “SUMMARY OF AERIAL PHENOMENA IN NEW MEXICO”, the memo states,

    Observations of aerial phenomena occurring within the vicinity of sensitive installations have been recorded by the Air Force since December 1948. The phenomena have been classified into 3 general types which are identified as follows:

    1) Green fireballs, objects moving at high speed in shapes resembling half moons, circles and discs emitting green light.

    2) Discs, round flat shaped objects or phenomena moving at fast velocity and emitting a brilliant white light or reflected light.

    3) Meteors, aerial phenomena resembling meteoric material moving at high velocity and varying in color.

    The memo continues, “…Since 1948, approximately 150 observations of aerial phenomena referred to above have been recorded in the vicinity of installations in New Mexico. A number of observations have been reported by different reliable individuals at approximately the same time.”

    In response to these unsettling developments, the Air Force had earlier approached Dr. Lincoln La Paz, director of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, and persuaded him to undertake a classified study of these aerial phenomena, in particular the green fireballs. At the time, La Paz was widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on meteors and meteorites.

    A short time later, on December 12, 1948, Dr. La Paz had his own green fireball sighting as the object “passed almost centrally across the Los Alamos reservation.” Eight days later, another fireball essentially repeated the feat, prompting one witness, an Atomic Energy Commission security agent, to muse, “It might damage some of our atomic installations eventually, if it is not a natural thing [but rather] man-controlled.”

    The FBI memo cited above summarizes the professor’s findings: “[La Paz] concluded, as a result of his investigation, that approximately half of the phenomena recorded were of meteoric origin. The other phenomena commonly referred to as green fireballs or discs he believed to be U.S. guided missiles being tested in the neighborhood of the installations. La Paz pointed out that if he were wrong…a systematic investigation of the observations should be made immediately. La Paz pointed out that missiles moving with the velocities of the order of those found for the green fireballs and discs could travel from the Ural region of the [Soviet Union] to New Mexico in less than 15 minutes. He suggested that the observations might be of guided missiles launched from bases in the Urals…On the basis of the investigations made by Dr. La Paz and the Air Force, it was concluded that the occurrence of the unexplained phenomena in the vicinity of sensitive installations was a cause [for] concern.”

    Despite La Paz’ theories about the nature of the UFOs (secret U.S. government craft or Soviet-based craft) no evidence has ever surfaced to support either explanation.

    –Robert Hastings

  51. The History of UFO Activity at Nuclear Weapons Sites (Part 3):

    UFOs over the Hanford Plutonium Production Facility near Richland, WA

    The U.S. Army memorandum reads:


    SUBJECT: Flying Discs

    The following information was furnished Major Curlen by Lt Colonel Mildren on 4 August 1950:

    Since 30 July 1950 objects, round in form, have been sighted over the Hanford AEC plant. These objects reportedly were above 15,000 feet in altitude. Air Force jets attempted interception with negative results. All units including the anti-aircraft battalion, radar units, Air Force fighter squadrons, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been alerted for further observation. The Atomic Energy Commission states that the investigation is continuing and complete details will be forwarded later.


    U.G. CARLAN Major, GSC Survey Section


    Note the mention of the failed aerial intercept by Air Force fighters. Apparently, that was not the first such attempt at the Top Secret site. Anecdotal evidence suggests that UFO activity at Hanford first took place during World War II, in January or February 1945, months before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which occurred on August 6th and 9th, respectively. (The fissile material used in the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki was produced at Hanford.)

    Earlier this year, I interviewed a former U.S. Navy pilot, Clarence R. “Bud” Clem, whose F6F Hellcat squadron, Air Group 50, was based at Pasco Naval Air Station in Janurary-February 1945. The base was located a few miles SE of Hanford.

    Then a Lieutenant Junior Grade (Lt. jg) in the U.S. Naval Reserves, Clem told me,

    ”One night, shortly after the evening meal, the officers were gathered at the Officers Club for relaxation when the duty officer at the tower called our commander with a request. Lt. Commander Richard Brown took the call, as the Captain was in conference. Ensign C.T. Neal and I were with Brown and he asked us if we would volunteer to go with him to the flight line for possible duty. We both agreed and a jeep was waiting at the door to take us to the flight line. We learned that an unknown ‘bogey’ was over the Hanford Ordnance Works, according to the radar operator located on an auxiliary field just across the Columbia River from Hanford reservation.”

    Clem continued, “We had been instructed upon arrival that the Hanford Ordnance Works was Top Secret and NO flights over any part were permitted…We did not know about the radar, but the duty officer stated that something was in the sky over the area and wanted someone to investigate. A plane was [already] armed and warmed-up on the tarmac. Brown stated he would go and Neal was to stand-by in another plane, in case of trouble. I was to join the [controller] in the tower and communicate info from radar to the pilots.”

    Clem concluded, “Brown quickly found the object, a bright ball of fire, and took chase. But he could not close, even with water injection that gave a quick boost in speed. The object headed out NW towards Seattle and was quickly lost by radar. Brown returned to base and we three retired to the club, still shaking and wondering what we had encountered.”

    I asked Clem if the pilot, Lt. Commander Brown, had described the object in detail, either over the radio or back at the Officers Club. Clem replied, “He just said it was so bright that you could hardly look directly at it. As he closed on it, it took off to the northwest at a high rate of speed. No maneuvers really, just a straight-line course.”

    Just the tip of the iceberg…

    –Robert Hastings

  52. The History of UFO Activity at Nuclear Weapons Sites (Part 4):

    CIA Alarmed About UFO Activity at Nuclear Weapons Sites

    Air Force and FBI investigators were not the only members the U.S. government worried by these developments. At least one high-level CIA analyst also expressed concern over UFO sightings at sensitive government installations.

    On December 2, 1952, Dr. H. Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence, wrote a Secret memorandum to CIA Director Walter B. Smith, titled, “Unidentified Flying Objects.” The memo noted repeated UFO sightings at important, but unspecified U.S. “defense” sites and stated, “At this time, the reports of incidents convince us that there is something going on that must have immediate attention…Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.”

    While Dr. Chadwell did not identify the “major” defense sites at which the sightings had occurred, it is almost certain that he was referring to the plants at which nuclear weapons materials were being produced. Within the previous seven months, UFOs had been reported by military personnel or civilians near Oak Ridge, Savannah River and Hanford. (Another military UFO sighting and radar tracking occurred at the Hanford plant eight days after Chadwell wrote his memorandum.)

    Dr. Chadwell concluded his memo to the CIA director by stating, “Attached hereto is a draft memorandum to the NSC (National Security Council) and a simple draft NSC Directive establishing this matter as a priority project throughout the intelligence and the defense research and development community.”

    Clearly, Chadwell considered UFO sightings at nuclear weapons sites to be of great concern and, therefore, urged that they be brought to the attention of the highest levels of the U.S. government. By the time he wrote his memo, the mysterious aerial objects had been intermittently observed near installations associated with atomic, or the new thermonuclear weapons for a full four years—their origin, and the intentions of their presumed pilots still unknown.

    So, Devil, wazzup? Cat got you tongue? Cat-napping again? We miss your wisdom. Surely, you can explain all of this to us.

  53. Max says:

    Robert, you’ve certainly learned a lot about the Air Force and about CSICOP and its members, but what have you learned about UFOs?
    Were the ones resembling meteors in fact meteors?
    Are sightings at nuclear weapons sites more frequent than at other sites with 24-hour security?
    What factors affect their appearance?

  54. Max wrote, “Robert, you’ve certainly learned a lot about the Air Force and about CSICOP and its members, but what have you learned about UFOs? Were the ones resembling meteors in fact meteors?”

    I have referenced my website several times. But, given that you apparently haven’t taken the hint, see:


    This article is a good starting point. I might also suggest my “Big Sur” article, also previously referenced. It may be found on my Articles page.

    Regarding the FBI memo to which you alluded, the full text (which I already linked) includes the passage,

    “[Dr. La Paz] concluded, as a result of his investigation, that approximately half of the phenomena recorded were of meteoric origin. The other phenomena commonly referred to as green fireballs or discs he believed to be U.S. guided missiles being tested in the neighborhood of the installations.”

    Regarding the frequency of nukes-related UFO activity vs. that at other high-security military sites, it is impossible to *quantify* the data for a meaningful comparison, given that it has been gathered on a catch-as-catch-can basis, with my tracking down former/retired military personnel, verifying their service records, getting them to go on-the-record, etc. Indeed, it has taken me 36 years just to find and interview ~120 ex-Air Force personnel who were involved in one case or another.

    In short, there are many pieces still missing from the puzzle.

    –Robert Hastings

  55. Unknown says:

    The document is 100% authentic.

  56. Unknown says: “The document is 100% authentic.”

    Which document? The FBI memo mentioned above, or the so-called MJ-12 documents? (There are now hundreds of those.) If you are referring to the latter group, Unknown, please provide evidence to support your claim.

  57. Well, it seems that Devil and the other uninformed know-it-alls who pooh pooh UFOs have bailed. A wise move. Meanwhile, for those of you interested in my research into nuclear weapons-related UFO cases, inserted below is a synopsis of my interview with a former USAF Security Policeman who worked at the Nevada Test Site in the mid-1950s. Declassified U.S. government documents and military eyewitness testimony confirm ongoing UFO activity at the test site throughout that decade.

    Moderators note:
    content deleted

    We don’t allow the cutting and pasting of multi-part full length articles into the comment section. Rather – provide a link to the article if you can.

    • Max says:

      Have you figured out why UFOs emit light?

      Your story sounds similar to Brian Dunning’s encounter.
      “Two lights, dull gray or orange, appeared in the sky instantaneously. One was above the other and slightly to the left. They wavered for perhaps five long seconds, just slowly moved side to side ever so slightly, in perfect unison. And then, before I had a chance to study them, they shot to the left, like they were launched from a sling, and were out of sight in probably half a second.”

      We solved the mystery. Can you?

  58. Max says:

    Hey, did you follow the recent coverage of a boy who was reported missing in a flying saucer-shaped balloon?
    Wonder how many UFO reports that triggered.

  59. Max says:

    Messages with too many links are mistaken for spam (even though real spammers usually post many messages with few links).
    Instead of posting links, like, just say

  60. Engineer Paul Hill and Chemist Kenneth Behrendt have independently developed plausible theories regarding the UFO self-illumination phenomenon, involving the ionization of the atmosphere around them. Google their published work, if you are truly curious.

    Re: Dunning’s report, mentioned above by you, I’m just not interested in solving every mysterious light-in-the-sky sighting, thank you. The number of cases involving prosaic phenomena are probably 98% of the total. So what? It’s the 2% residue that will change the current paradigm.

    I am far more interested in the cases where radar confirms the presence of objects traveling thousands of miles per hour, which then perform instantaneous 90-degree turns or even 180-degree complete reversals of flight. Many of those cases have a visual component in that ground-based observers confirm the maneuvers. Google the July 1952 Washington D.C. sightings, or the Bentwaters sightings, as written up in my online article “Beams of Light.” (To name two such cases, out of hundreds now on record.)

    In the latter case, two retired USAF air traffic controllers who were at RAF Bentwaters in the UK, in Dec. 1980, confirm tracking a UFO that traveled 120 miles in 8-12 seconds, did a right-angle turn, then hovered outside their window. It was an orange sphere. That incident occurred during the period when UFOs were sighted hovering over the base’s nuclear Weapons Storage Area (WSA) according to ex-USAF Security Police I have interviewed. Their testimony also appears in the article.

    The Bentwaters case is an excellent example of an uninformed skeptic (Dunning, as noted in an earlier post of mine on this thread) using unsubstantiated claims and flawed theories to explain away a solid UFO case. I note that he has yet to respond to my challenge, posted months ago, to address the data I have uncovered.

    –Robert Hastings

  61. Former U.S. Military Personnel to Discuss UFO Incursions at Nuclear Weapons Sites at the National Press Club

    By Robert Hastings


    Former U.S. Air Force Captain Robert Salas and UFO-Nukes Connection researcher Robert Hastings are currently organizing a press conference to be held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. in the fall of 2010. At least a dozen former or retired U.S. military personnel who witnessed one or more UFO incursions at U.S. nuclear weapons sites will participate and discuss their experiences.

    This formal announcement of the upcoming press conference has been posted a year in advance in the hope that other former/retired U.S. military personnel who have experienced UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites will come forward and support this disclosure effort, either by participating directly or by submitting a written statement relating to their encounter(s) for presentation during the event.

    Salas and Hastings hope to draw worldwide media attention to the reality of UFO-initiated nuclear missile malfunctions and activations, which occurred at several U.S. Air Force bases during the Cold War era, as reported by various missile launch officers, targeting and maintenance personnel, security police, and others with knowledge of these incidents.

    The situation is ongoing: Recent reports from active duty USAF personnel, as well as from civilians residing in the vicinity of nuclear missile sites, strongly suggest that UFO incursions at these facilities continue to occur. Similar reports have been received from persons living near installations at which the U.S. Navy’s nuclear missile-carrying submarines are based.

    Robert Salas is the co-author (with Jim Klotz) of Faded Giant which details Salas’ involvement in a UFO-initiated mass missile shutdown at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, in March 1967. Robert Hastings is the author of UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites which summarizes his 36-year investigation of such cases. Those who wish to provide information to Salas and/or Hastings may contact them at or

  62. Bim Jeam says:

    Majestic – Whitley Strieber (Futura Publications.)

    get it, read it, remain open-minded.