By Stanton FriedmanPaul Kimball has, for reasons unknown, become very upset about my claiming that he got things wrong about Wilbert Smith, Van Bush, MJ-12 in “Flying Saucers and Science”. He claims in various blogs that I have said that Wilbert Smith headed a major Canadian UFO group, that President Truman would never have appointed Dr. Vannevar Bush to head the MJ-12 project had there been one; that Smith was basically an individual not to be respected, a kind of nobody, that Truman didn’t like Bush., etc. Paul spent 6 hours at the Dalhousie University Library looking up comments in the Canadian Hansard (unclassified record of Parliamentary testimony)made about UFOs back in the 1950s. He apparently spent no time with Smith’s papers in an archive in Ottawa. He apparently didn’t look into Defense Research Board Materials at the National Archives in Ottawa. The 300+ page formerly classified DRB UFO file has been available for a number of years. He totally neglected what I have said about the comments made by George Elsey, who had responsible positions at the White House as noted below during Truman’s entire tenure there.
Nowhere did I,or anybody else besides Paul, claim Truman had appointed V. Bush to head Operation Majestic 12. The proof is the statement in the Truman Forrestal memo. It clearly authorized James Forrestal, the new and first Secretary of Defense, to proceed with Operation Majestic 12. He did not authorize Bush to proceed with Majestic 12. He did say “It continues to be my feeling that 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.”
Yes, Bush would be consulted. There was nobody more knowledgeable about developing new technology with national security implications. Bush had been head of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics pre-war, During the war he had directed the Office of Scientific Research and Development which covered such major areas as the development of the atomic bomb, the proximity fuse, radar, and many dozens of other devices. Literally billions of dollars were spent at a wide variety of Labs. There was nobody who knew more about who the best practitioners of advanced science and technology having security clearances were. On September 24, 1947.(The date of the Truman Forrestal memo) Bush and Forrestal were with Truman at the White House. He appointed VB to be head of the new Research and Development Board which had replaced the Joint Research and Development Board which had replaced OSRD.. all headed by Bush. We have unclassified notes made by Bush after the meeting. We furthermore know that Bush was also later appointed by Bush to head a classified committee to review data that might indicate the Soviets had exploded their first atomic Bomb. We know that he continued to be a member of the high security War Council, that he was in charge of another high security committee concerned with a possible Surprise Attack.. though the attackers were unspecified .To suggest that Truman would not have used him to look into Modus Operandi for saucers is absurd.
Furthermore the crucial statement in the Smith memo so disliked by Paul, is 3.
“Their Modus Operandi is unknown, but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush” Modus Operandi means manner of working. Note “small group”.
There is no suggestion anywhere that Bush was in charge of all aspects of effort dealing with UFOs or Majestic 12.Just working on technological aspects. Obviously the US government was also concerned with the origin and purpose of alien visitation, their interaction with other countries. There was nobody better equipped than was Bush to do look into “Modus Operandi”. Of course Truman and Forrestal would have picked him. Bush and Forestal had a long and close relationship even playing tennis together. There were six military and intelligence people and 5 scientific people on MJ-12. Forrestal as head of DOD would have been on top and report directly to Truman.
After sending Elsey, with his permission, a copy of the3 primary MJ-12 documents. I had specifically asked him, as I have reported, if he saw any reason to believe that the Eisenhower Briefing Document or Truman Forrestal or Cutler Twining memos were fraudulent. He said No. I asked if he had any reason, knowing all the people, to believe that, if a saucer had crashed, Truman would not have picked any of the 12 to be a member of an over-group. No. They were all people he trusted. I asked if the TF memo could have been typed elsewhere than at Truman’s office. He said more than 80% of what a President signs is prepared elsewhere. I noted that the numerical portion of the date is offset from the month and that there is a period after the date and that Bush’s office always put a period after the date. Could it have been typed in Bush’s office (or Forrestal’s?). He said certainly. Truman certainly trusted them. He also noted that often documents had to be put in a typewriter twice to put the right date on them as to when directives etc went into effect. I have examples from the National Security Council where the date and text are typed in 2 different fonts.
In case people are wondering why I place much reliance on Elsey,. here is some background: He was a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and the duty officer at the White House map room from 1941 until 1946, that is the entire 2nd World War. He was assistant to the Special Counsel to the President (Clark Clifford) 1947-1949; Administrative Assistant to the President 1949-1951 and assistant to the Director, Mutual Security Agency 1951-1953.
He also filled me in on the close connection between James Lay, Executive Secretary to Eisenhower’s National Security Council, and Robert Cutler, Ike’s National Security advisor. This helped very much in evaluation of the Cutler Twining memo. The evidence strongly indicates this is also a genuine document despite the attacks of noisy negativists, armchair theorists. This is not only because Phil Klass paid me $1000. for proving him wrong about the type face on the memo.
Paul doesn’t mention that the public Hansard Question Period comments could not be classified. The Canadian Defense Research Board for some time was denying to anybody who asked that it had any concerns with UFOs, even though they had a committee meeting often to deal with them. There was no Access to Information act (Like FOIA) in Canada then. In the USA, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote many letters, to people who had asked, saying the FBI is not now and never has been involved with the question of UFOs. He also lied. Dr. Bruce Maccabee obtained over 1500 pages of FBI UFO material using FOIA, There were many other government UFO lies as noted in a piece by that name at my website www.stantonfriedman.com.
Another point of the Smith memo helps explain the lies: “ The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States government rating higher even than the H-Bomb.” I believe that this explains why Canada’s sort of equivalent to Bush, Omond Solandt, was so negative about Smith.. long after Smith was no longer around to defend himself. Solandt was very careful in what he said to me at his home in the manner of someone who is dealing with classified material and must be very careful. He knew I had had a clearance. He did admit that if the effort had been accountable only to the President, that he wouldn’t have been privy to details.
Paul is also unhappy with the role of Dr.Robert Sarbacher who supplied the info to Smith noted in his Classified memo of 1950. He suggested that Sarbacher, whose meeting with Smith was arranged by the Canadian Embassy, was passing on false information about alien technology to have it move up through channels, by some very mysterious means, and be passed on to the Soviets to get them to think, falsely, that the US had learned about alien technology. He calls Sarbacher a young scientist. He was 43 in 1950 and already had many major contributions to the US national security technology working on various high tech projects. He was featured in a Saturday Evening Post article ,as a boy genius. He was not some wet behind the years youth. It is an insult to Smith to suggest that he was a disloyal Canadian and would have passed on classified information (True or untrue)to the Soviets. What possible basis is there for this damning remark? Paul provides none. Sarbacher was concerned with advanced technology, not intelligence as such..
I should mention that I had visited Sarbacher and had phone and letter communication with him as well. I was very favorably impressed. He said the accounts given in the Smith memo sounded right to him. He appreciated that I had found an old R and DB colleague with whom he had lost touch.
Paul could have benefited from reading Chapter 16 of “Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience “ by myself and Kathleen Marden, Betty’s niece. It discussed Smith and Sarbacher and Solandt. Paul condemns Smith for being a contactee. The chapter covers others interested in contact including US Navy Admiral Knowles who, along with various CIA personnel, was also interested in contactees such as a Mrs. Swan. They were impressed when she told them to look out the window and they saw 3 UFOs.
Paul also, for reasons unknown, belittles Smith by showing a Canadian Government Organization chart and showing what a small fraction f of the budget Smith controlled and suggesting he would never have been let in on the most classified Information in the US. Funny there isn’t the slightest suggestion that he was. He certainly knew that the military, especially the Canadian Air Force was heavily involved in monitoring UFOs. Neither he nor Sarbacher said Smith was given the secret details, only told that there was some very classified material…. which is very different.
Of course, Paul has also insisted that I am really hurting ufology by championing MJ-12, The Flatwoods Monster work of Frank Feschino ( as shown in “Shoot Them Down”) by standing behind the Aztec crash and the 1947 Plains of San Agustin saucer crash. Art Campbell has added greatly to my early work on the Plains. I am very familiar with the outstanding research on Aztec done by Scott and Suzanne Ramsey. Paul isn’t, nor is he familiar with the work done by Frank. Clearly he is also not well versed about the Plains. He, of course, is free to believe whatever he wants to, regardless of the evidence or lack there of.