Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

STANTON T. FRIEDMAN NUCLEAR PHYSICIST - LECTURER COMMENTS ON CSICOP STATEMENT ABOUT OPERATION MAJESTIC 12 DOCUMENTS August 26, 1987 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE There is no basis whatsoever for the claims by CSICOP members Philip Klass and Paul Kurtz that the Operation Majestic 12 documents are "bogus" or "clumsy counterfeits" or represent "one of the most deliberate acts of deception ever perpetrated against the news media and the public." I am dismayed but not surprised by these irrational attempts to discredit some of the most important documents ever released. Mr. Klass and Mr. Kurtz do a disservice to science which they supposedly serve, though not scientists themselves, and to journalism with their inadequate research and their totally incomprehensible failure to deal with the relevant information with regard to these documents. It is very easy to claim any documents are bogus. It is a very different matter to establish the validity of those claims. The trivial discrepancies to which they refer as noted by the National Archives with regard to these documents are easily explained. For example, Klass has said his research showed that a brief memo from General Robert Cutler at the White House to General Nathan Twining at the Pentagon pointing out that there would be a slight change of plans with regard to a meeting two days later is phony because Cutler had left the country 11 days earlier. This is absurd. Cutler was gone, but he had two full-time heavy duty assistants! He had instructed them to keep material moving out of his in-basket. A trivial matter such as the slight change in a classified briefing would certainly have been handled by them in response to any request from Eisenhower. The memo is *not* signed by Mr. Cutler. Anybody faking such a memo would presumably have attempted to make it clear that it was Operation Majestic 12 rather than MJ-12 and would also have made clear that MJ-12 or Majestic 12 dealt with flying discs or flying saucers. It would be silly to go through the work to fake such a memo using old typewriters and old paper and yet not make it totally supportive. Two other brief TOP SECRET memos from Cutler to Twining located at the Library of Congress in 1981 also have no registration numbers. One contains identical language. Mr. Klass claims the September 24, 1947 memo from Truman to Secretary Forrestal is a forgery created by superimposing a fake message on a photograph of an authentic Truman letter. There is no evidence to support this claim. A print made from the original negative of the briefing document which included this very brief memo as attachment A, shows no signs of any superimposition. Klass further makes much of the fact that it did not have Forrestal's address on the lower left hand corner. Considering that it was an EYES ONLY memo, not a letter, and that September 24 was the date of the only meeting in the last eight months of 1947 between President Truman, James Forrestal and Doctor Vannevar Bush, who was also named in the memo, it would seem reasonable that it would have been written while Forrestal was present. Memos, as opposed to letters, do NOT include recipient addresses. The third item which Klass attempts to explain away is the entire TOP SECRET/EYES ONLY briefing paper. Klass claims that it describes the 1947 flying saucer crash in New Mexico as if Eisenhower never heard of it. That judgement cannot be reached on the basis of the data in the document especially if, as was the case, the primary custody of these materials resided with the Office of the President. Even if Eisenhower had been informed of the crash, he would not have known all the details. Eisenhower had already made a public announcement, with presidential approval, in June of 1947, *prior* to the crash retrieval, stating that he would assume the presidency of Columbia University around the end of the year. The other members of Majestic 12 are clearly high ranking scientists and intelligence officers and technology experts. There is no reason at all why General Eisenhower, despite his military achievements, would have been considered for membership in such a group. To suggest that the document is phony on this basis instead of on the basis of any mistaken information in it (there is none) certainly violates all the rules of science and journalism. It is interesting that the CSICOP document makes no mention whatsoever of the detailed investigation conducted well *before* this document was either received, December, 1984, or released. This effort by Stanton Friedman and William L. Moore, clearly established, on the basis of interviews with 92 different people and extensive travel, documentation, etc. that indeed a saucer had crashed outside Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947; that an announcement to this effect was made by the government; that a cover-up was instigated within 24 hours of that announcement; that alien bodies were found; that material was sent to Wright field for analysis; that civilians were debriefed with strong persuasion to change their stories as appropriate. Mr. Klass makes no mention of the fact that five people had been found who described strange symbols seen on portions of the crashed saucer. Strange symbols are mentioned in the document. Mr. Klass makes no mention of the fact that the twelve people named as being members of Operation Majestic 12 all had a very high level security clearances [sic] and close interlocking of past activities. Of special importance in this regard is the inclusion of Doctor Donald Menzel. Menzel was a famous astrophysicist at Harvard University and, beginning in 1953, wrote three strongly anti-UFO books. It would have seemed totally illogical for Dr. Menzel to be named as a member of the MJ- 12 team. However, detailed research by Friedman, clearly established that Menzel had the right levels of security clearances, close association with various intelligence agencies especially the NSA and the CIA, and a close association with Doctor Vannevar Bush, Doctor Lloyd Berkner, Doctor Detlev Bronk, all named as being members of Majestic 12. Doctor Menzel was known for his discretion with regard to classified manners; was an expert on crypt-analysis; had learned Japanese; and would have been an appropriate person to look at the symbols. A close friend in his later years, a psychiatrist, has indicated that Menzel certainly would have been called to work on such a project. He doesn't think Menzel was because the friend felt that there would be no reason for keeping security past the first few months. That notion is equally absurd. Clearly if there were two crash retrievals in three years, there may have been more later. Clearly there was no way to learn all the technological secrets of a very advanced vehicle and strange beings in just a few years. Clearly there were national security implications with regards to the possibility of duplicating the technology, of the Soviets duplicating the technology, of learning that the investigation by the aliens was not necessarily to the benefit of mankind. There was also a great concern expressed in the memo with public panic as a result of any disclosures that might be made. Mr. Klass has focused on the Cutler Twining memo, making it seem much more important by calling it a "report" and a "document" when in fact it is a brief two paragraph relatively-informal memo notifying the Chief of Staff of the Air Force of a slight change in plans for a briefing. To expect the staff assistant doing that under the pressures of time and a very busy office with the boss out of town, to be greatly concerned about details of handling of classified matters other than to make sure it doesn't fall into outside hands, surely is irrational. It should further be noted that the 1954 Atomic Energy Act provided for the use of the new nomenclature Secret Restricted Data and Top Secret Restricted Data. Twining in a September 23, 1947 letter about flying saucers had clearly indicated a nuclear connection. Thus Top Secret Restricted Security Information typed in, apparently in the absence of a new rubber stamp hardly constitutes evidence of fraud.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank