In 1984, Jaime Shandera, UFO researcher and Hollywood movie producer, received a mysterious package. Its contents were a single roll of undeveloped film. No note, no return address, no clues as to the package origin apart from the postmark: Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Mr Shandera had the roll of film developed and found that the film contained negatives of what appeared to be an eight page briefing paper, prepared for president Eisenhower on 18th November 1952. Warnings on the cover page state "This is a TOP SECRET EYES ONLY document", page two contained names of key scientists, high ranking military officials and intelligence officers. It was soon clear to Mr Shandera that the document contained information on the recovery of alien bodies in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
The twelve people listed in the document form a group called Majestic 12 (also known as MJ-12, or MAJIC). These people are named as follows:
- Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter - First Director of Central Intelligence (1947-50)
- Dr Vannevar Bush - Chairman of the Joint Research and Development Board (1945-49). Advisor to the President, and key player in atomic bomb development.
- James Forrestal - First US Secretary Of Defence. In 1949 he had a mental breakdown and committed suicide (some conspiracy theorists believe he was murdered) replaced by General Walter Beddell Smith.
- Nathan Twining - Commander of Air Materiel Command at Wright Field and later, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US's highest military position.
- General Hoyt Vandenberg - Chief of Military Intelligence during World War II and second Director of Central Intelligence (1946-47).
- Dr Detlev Bronk - Biophysicist. Head of the National Academy of Science, and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Atomic Energy Committee.
- Dr Jerome Hunsaker - Renowned aircraft designer and Chairman of the National Advisory Committe on Aeronautics.
- Rear Admiral Sidney Souers - First Director of Central Intelligence (1946). Appointed first Executive Secretary of National Security Council in 1947.
- Gordon Gray - Assistant Secretary of the Army. Became the National Security Advisor and Director of CIA's Psychological Strategy Board.
- Dr Donald Menzel - Harvard Professor of Astrophysics, and debunker of UFOs. Held a Top Secret Ultra clearance and was a security advisor to several presidents.
- Major General Robert Montague - Head of the Special Weapons Project at the Atomic Energy Commission at Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Dr Lloyd Berkener - Executive Secretary of the Joint Research and Development Board. Member of the CIA-funded UFO Committee in 1950s.
Documents also contain the names of other scientists that have been involved with Majestic 12: Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Karl Compton, Edward Teller, John von Neumann, and Wernher von Braun.
Since the original package, several more packages have been sent to other UFO investigators, some identified as hoaxes, others unverified.
Verifying the Authenticity
Since the documents were delivered on film, it is not possible to analyse the ink and paper, a technique which would determine when the document was written. Instead, investigators have had to rely on the language used, factual information, background checks on the names, signature comparisons etc...
All of the people named are known to have high level security clearance, apart from one. Because of this many investigators believed that the documents were a hoax, somebody has just compiled a list of high security clearance personnel. The one person who didn't have clearance was the key.
Dr Donald Menzel, an astronomer at the University of Harvard has written several books debunking UFO's and possessed no security clearance. He has also written many anti-UFO papers.
In April 1986, Stanton Friedman (one of the leading investigators) was given access to Dr Menzel's papers in the archives, and found out that Menzel had a 30-year association with the National Security Agency and that he did also possess Top-Secret Ultra clearance with the CIA. Friedman also proved that Menzel had numerous trips to New Mexico between 1947 and 1949, all paid for by the government.
Majestic 12 Projects
The documents also outline various projects that the group were involved in. Here is a sample from the documents.
PROJECT SIGN (PROWORD) MAJIC The first project under MAJESTIC TWELVE. The mission of project sign was essentially the same as that which PROJECT AQUARIUS evolved into. PROJECT SIGN referred to aliens as Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. The reasons for the absorbtion of PROJECT SIGN by PROJECT AQUARIUS were mainly of a political and security nature. PROJECT AQUARIUS stripped the Air Force and Army Generals of their historic control of the UFO/IAC projects and placed most of it under the Intelligence umbrella.
PROJECT AQUARIUS (PROWORD) MAJIC Established in 1953 by President Eisenhower under control of MJ-12 and PROJECT SIGN. The Project contains all information collected by the United States since it began investigating UFO's (Unidentified Flying Objects) and IAC's (Identified Alien Craft). At the time we saw this information it existed in approximately 15 or 16 volumes. This project became an independent project when PROJECT SIGN was eliminated in 1960. PROJECT AQUARIUS referred to aliens as Alien Life Forms. The mission of PROJECT AQUARIUS was to gather all scientific, technological, medical, and intelligence information from UFO & IAC sightings and contacts with Alien Life Forms. The information was to be used in the space program.
PROJECT PLATO (PROWORD) AQUARIUS Established in 1960 after the United States established communications with the aliens. The mission of PROJECT PLATO was to establ ish diplomatic relations with the aliens. Project Plato made agreements in order to prevent hostilitys between the United States and the aliens. An agreement was made with the MALEVOLENT aliens whereby they could abduct humans. The purpose of these abductions were to provide blood and other biological fluids as food for the aliens. The aliens agreed to furnish a list periodically to MJ-12 of the names of those abducted. PROJECT PLATO took whatever steps neccessary to prevent public disclosure.
PROJECT PLUTO (PROWORD) AQUARIUS Established in 1947 after the Roswell incident. The mission of PROJECT PLUTO was to recover all crashed or downed alien craft, to recover all evidence of alien presence or technology, and to recover all alien bodies (alive or dead). PROJECT PLUTO developed cover stories to satisfy press and civilian curiosity. PROJECT PLUTO was authorized use of deadly force and/or relocation to ensure secrecy. PROJECT PLUTO was responsible for and biological intelligence of the Alien Life Forms.
There are many more projects outlined, some of which involve recovery of spacecraft (PROJECT REDLIGHT), test flights on alien spacecraft (PROJECT SNOWBIRD), development of weapons (UNKNOWN PROJECT, PROJECT EXCALIBUR, PROJECT POUNCE) and many more.
Are these documents part of a well organised hoax, or are they genuine leaks from within the group? Without the original documents or an official confirmation (which is unlikely) we may never know. I'll let you decide for yourself.