Although the story of the Majestic-12 (MJ - Twelve, MJ-12) is often reported to have started in December 1984,1 it seems that the first comprehensive description of it came years earlier and was in the context of an unpublished novel rather than a government report.2 The first public mention of MJ-12 with the names of the original members attached was in an issue of Just Cause in December 1985.3 That information came from Lee Graham, a California a technician4 at Aerojet ElectroSystems Division in the aerospace industry and a UFO researcher. He said that his information had come from a military source.5
Tracing the history of the first mention has become difficult with most of those still researching MJ-12 forgetting about or ignoring the Aquarius Telex.6 This was a single page document that was allegedly classified as secret and was a “request for photo imagery interpretation your msg [message] 292030Z Oct 80 [meaning 29 Oct 80 at 8:30 in the evening, Greenwich Mean Time].”7 There is a single line in this official looking document that said, “Results of Project Aquarius is still classified Top Secret with no dissemination outside official Intelligence channels and with restricted access to MJ- Twelve.”8
This provided, according to the various researchers, the first hint of some sort of secret project, handled at the highest levels of both the civilian government and military commands. It was designed to exploit the find of the alien craft outside of Roswell and has operated in secrecy until documents about it began to leak into the public area. The original documents are now thought of as the Eisenhower Briefing Document, the Truman Memo and the Cutler-Twining memo. These documents are wrapped in controversy and a complete examination of the history of them, how they entered into the public arena, and what steps have been taken to authentic them will provide the answers about the reality of them.
The History of the Aquarius Telex – An Early Form of MJ-12
According to William Moore, he had been handed the Aquarius Telex in February, 1981 with the intention that he would give it to a New Mexico businessman and trained physicist, Paul Bennewitz. Bennewitz was convinced that he had detected electromagnetic signals which extraterrestrials were using to control and monitor the humans they abducted.9 He was also seeing, and filming, what he believed to be alien spacecraft over the Manzano Nuclear Weapons Storage Facility and the Coyote Canyon test area near Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico.10
Bennewitz contacted the Air Force at Kirtland AFB, and was taken seriously. On October 24, 1980, he contacted Richard Doty of the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, suggesting that he had evidence that something might be threatening the Manzano Storage Facility. His information was taken down, and eventually resulted in a report signed by Major Thomas A. Cseh, who commanded the base investigative detachment.11 His report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) said:
On 26 Oct 80, SA Doty, with the assistance of JERRY MILLER, GS-15, Chief, Scientific Advisor for Air Force Test and Evaluation Center, KAFB, interviewed Dr. BENNEWITZ12 at his home in the Four Hills section of Albuquerque, which is adjacent to the northern boundary of Manzano Base. Mr. MILLER is one of the most knowledgeable and impartial investigators of Aerial Objects in the southwest. Dr. BENNEWITZ has been conducting independent research into Aerial Phenomena for the last 15 months. Dr. BENNEWITZ also produced several electronic recording tapes, allegedly showing high periods of electrical magnetism being emitted from Manzano/Coyote Canyon area. Dr. BENNEWITZ also produced several photographs of flying objects taken over the general Albuquerque area. He has several pieces of electronic surveillance equipment pointed at Manzano and is attempting to record high frequency electrical beam pulses. Dr. BENNEWITZ claims these Aerial Objects produce these pulses… After analyzing the data collected by Dr. BENNEWITZ, Mr. MILLER related the evidence clearly shows some type of unidentified aerial objects were caught on film; however, no conclusions could be made whether these objects posed a threat to Manzano/Coyote Canyon areas. Mr. MILLER felt the electronical [sic] recording tapes were inconclusive and could have been gathered from several conventional sources. No sightings, other than these, have been reported in the area.13All this is important because it put Bennewitz into touch with Doty. As it would play out later, Doty seemed to be the conduit from the military to Bennewitz, acting through Moore. The Aquarius Telex with its early mention of MJ-12 according to Moore was given to him so that he would pass it along to Bennewitz with the hope that Bennewitz would take it to the media. Once he had done that, then the Air Force could denounce it as a hoax, ending any credibility that Bennewitz had.14
The Aquarius Telex then, and according to Moore, was a disinformation ploy to damage Bennewitz. Bennewitz never used the document and didn’t reveal it to anyone and didn’t take it to the media. If it was truly a disinformation ploy by the Air Force, it failed.
Moore did circulate the memo inside the UFO community.15 Or it was through his carelessness that it entered into the mainstream media. Some of the information that Moore had was passed to Tracy Torme, who in turn passed it along to members of the Canadian UFO Research Network (CUFORN) who published it in a report they called, “Information For Those With A ‘Need To Know’ Clearance Only”.16
According to the CUFORN report, “Bill Moore told us that when he left his briefcase unlocked for a minute or so in San Francisco International Airport in early 1983, a copy of the stolen teletype mentioning Aquarius was taken from the briefcase. Peter Gersten, the attorney representing Citizen’s [sic] Against UFO Secrecy [CAUS], must have taken it from the case, because only a few days later, Gersten was on ABC-TV’s ‘Good Morning, America’ show and showed the teletype on camera in a brief interview…”17
Moore himself had a different version of this, according to what he wrote. He said, “In September of 1982, insofar as I was aware, there were only three copies of this document in existence. One of these I had passed on to Bennewitz, a second was in safekeeping, and a third was in my briefcase during a trip I had made to San Francisco. While there, I had a morning meeting with a man who turned out later to be an associate of UFOlogist Peter Gersten of New York. That same afternoon, my car was broken into and my briefcase was stolen. Four months later, a copy of that same document, complete with notations I had penciled on it, turned up in the hands of none other than Gersten himself. To this day I have never received a satisfactory explanation of how he received that document.”18
The controversy didn’t stop there. Moore had suggested, in his later explanations about the Aquarius Telex, that he had seen another AFOSI telex about the same event. An Air Force officer, only identified at the time as “Falcon” showed Moore the original. Moore wrote, “At a meeting with ‘Falcon’ on that date [March 2, 1981]19 Moore was shown the original ‘AD’ [Aquarius Document], which appeared to be a typical government telex on thin computer paper with perforated edges. After examining it, Moore asked if he could keep it. ‘Falcon’ said no, that Moore was only being given the opportunity to read it; at which point Moore proceeded to re-read it while making a conscious effort to imprint as much of it as possible upon his memory in the process. Immediately following that meeting, he wrote out some notes on a legal pad. (For the record, Moore had already been told of the alleged existence of Project Aquarius during an earlier meeting with ‘Falcon’ in December, 1980 and had filed a FOIA request on it with HQ/USAF dated 29 December, 1980…”20
That wasn’t the last time that Moore would see a version of the document. According to him, at a meeting with both Falcon and Doty in Albuquerque weeks later, Moore was given a different and what he called, “a retyped” version. He noticed that it had some differences in it and pointed those out. He was told this was to “sanitize” it and then was told that he could keep that copy and that perhaps Bennewitz might like to see it.21
Moore claimed that he knew that the version he now held had been retyped and he didn’t give it to Bennewitz for a number of months. He marked up a copy so that he could identify it later and then, with a caveat to Bennewitz that the document might not be authentic, handed it over. Bennewitz never did publicize the document.22
The story takes another turn here. Since Bennewitz didn’t use it, no one had heard about it until Gersten began to circulate a copy inside the UFO community. Moore said that his briefcase was stolen on September 13, 1982 and that the crime was reported to the San Francisco police.23 Now Moore suggests that Gersten became a target because of the various FOIA requests he had made and that those on the inside might have targeted him in the same way that they had targeted Bennewitz. Gersten, however, didn’t do anything to make the document public, so his credibility remained intact.24 This, of course, suggests that Zechel’s claim that Gersten showed the document on national television is not true.
There is a corollary to this story, however, and that revolves around who retyped the original AFOSI document and inserted the line, “Results of Project Aquarius is still classified Top Secret with no dissemination outside official Intelligence channels and with restricted access to MJ-12.” Dick Hall, in a letter dated March 20, 1989, wrote, “Unfortunately, I think Bill [Moore] has engaged in some minor ‘manipulations’ of his own which may be coming back to haunt him ( e.g., censoring the uncensored MJ-12 document without saying so; retyping the AFOSI document without saying so)…”25
Hall was describing a meeting held by the Fund for UFO Research in which Moore had said that the original copy of the telex was very poor and difficult to read. He had retyped it and pasted on the headings to that it had the appearance of the original message. Hall wrote, “My recollection is that the original simply was of poor quality for reproduction and so he re-typed it, the ‘cut and paste’ job referring to various rubber stamps and symbols from the original document.”26
Hall would modify this later. He would write that he didn’t remember if Moore had actually said that he had re-typed it, or if the version he had had been retyped by someone else. It was clear, however, that the document that was being circulated inside the UFO community was an actual AFOSI telex that had been modified to include the statement about Project Aquarius and the Majestic Twelve.
The important fact in this is that Moore said that he received the altered memo on March 2, 1981, some three years before the MJ-12 documents that included the Eisenhower Briefing and the Truman memo arrived at Shandera’s home. It resets the clock on these matters and suggests that Moore, Shandera and Doty all had seen a reference to MJ-12 in 1981. And it is something that has now disappeared from the discussions of the MJ-12 documents.
Project Aquarius (MAJIK 12) – The Novel
Bob Pratt had been on the National Enquirer UFO beat for a number of years. He was a careful researcher and though he had once worked for a grocery store tabloid, he was careful about what he published, verifying the information before writing.27 His expertise about UFOs ranged far beyond the six years he worked for the National Enquirer, and saw him author books with J. Allen Hynek, and with Brazilian UFO researchers. Pratt was respected throughout the UFO field.
According to Pratt in a letter to UFO researcher Robert Todd, “The original idea behind the book was Project Aquarius. In January 1982, I happened to be in Houston and flew out to Phoenix to visit Bill at his request. He wanted to talk to me about something he couldn’t discuss on the phone… I sat in a chair and took notes as he told me about Project Aquarius, MJ-12 and a number of other things.”28
Pratt wrote, “My working title was MAJIK 12, but I wanted to call it I. A. C., for identified alien craft, supposedly the name government insiders use for UFOs. However, when I got the finished manuscript back from Bill, he had put The Aquarius Project on the title page.”
Ironically, Pratt wrote, “When this MJ-12 business broke in 1987 or whenever, I wrote to Bill saying that if there was anything to it, we ought to dust off our manuscript and try to sell it again. He never answered.”29
Pratt described, in some detail for Todd, the plot of the book, which was going to be a novel because they couldn’t prove Moore’s claims about the reality of the information. Pratt wrote:
Our “hero” was an AFOSI agent who scoffed at UFO reports, etc., but comes to believe because he has to investigate what you [Todd] call the “infamous Ellsworth AFB incident”30 and later has his own UFO encounter. Because he realizes UFOs are real – knowledge that most AFOSI agents don’t have – he is assigned to keep tabs on people and things in the UFO world from his new posting at Kirtland. To give him a thorough understandings of the phenomenon, the Air Force sends him to Bolling Field in Washington, DC, where he is given access to a number of secret UFO files, and it is there he first learns about Project Aquarius.All of this sounds suspiciously like that tales that Moore would be telling over the next few years as he chased the insider information he was promised for his cooperation with the AFOSI. But Project Aquarius was about to move from fiction into nonfiction. In early 1983, Moore would have an opportunity to photograph documents that were consistent with Aquarius. In April 1983, Linda Moulton Howe, a documentary film maker and UFO researcher would see something similar to that shown to Moore, which she would attempt to authenticate.
Hero goes back to Kirtland and in carrying out his job he does a number on a number of people, making sure some people, including ex-military types, don’t talk about their experiences, masterminding disinformation plots, and so on. Somewhere in doing all of his dirty deeds, the hero’s conscience takes over and he finds himself rebelling against official policies (“the people have a right to know…”). He winds up a dead hero, his body shipped off to planets unknown on a UFO operated by aliens in cahoots with the government.31
Project Aquarius – The Presidential Briefing
Bill Moore would say that in early March, 1983, he received a telephone call telling him that he would have an opportunity to see some important information, but that he would have to travel to get it. He was told that he would receive instructions and that he had to follow them carefully or there would be no revelation.32
According to Moore, he made his way across the United States until he ended up in a motel in up-state New York. At 5:00 p.m., a person, Moore didn’t reveal the gender of the “courier,” came to his door and handed him a manila envelope. He was given nineteen minutes to examine the contents. He could do anything he wanted with them, but at the end of the time he was required to return the material to the person who had brought it to him.33
There were eleven pages in the envelope and the document was labeled “Executive Briefing, Subject: Project Aquarius.” It was dated July 14, 1977. Moore took photographs of the pages, using a quarter at the bottom of each page to provide perspective. When he finished that, he began to read the document into his tape recorder, saying “line” at the end of each line, and verbally noting each punctuation symbol.34 When the time was up, the courier collected all the pages, counted them, stuffed them back into the envelope, and left.35
Moore reported, “The documents themselves seem to be transcription of notes either intended for use in preparing a briefing, or taken down during one and typed later. Much of the information therein is highly controversial in nature and is of such esoteric quality there seems to be no real way to verify much of it.”36
Portions of the documents have been released and have appeared in a number of books and articles.37 These have been identified as the Carter Briefing and suggests that Aquarius Project began in 1953 “by order of President Eisenhower, and was under the control of MJ-12. … The purpose of Project Aquarius was to collect all scientific, technological, medical and intelligence information from UFO/IAC sightings and contact with alien life forms. This orderly file of collected information has been used to advance the United States Space Program.”38
Within weeks, Linda Moulton Howe, who had a contract with HBO to produce a documentary on UFOs, would have a chance to review the handwritten notes of what was clearly the Carter Briefing.39 While in New York to sign the HBO contract, Howe met with Gersten and Patrick Huyghe, a science writer and publisher of The Anomalist, for dinner. Gersten mentioned an AFOSI special agent named Doty who claimed some very interesting things about UFOs and said that Doty might say some of them on camera. Gersten said that he would attempt to set up a meeting between Howe and Doty.40
Howe and Doty met on April 9, 1983 and they drove out to Kirtland AFB, to a small building that Doty described as his boss’ office. Inside, he asked her to sit in a specific chair because “eyes can see through windows.”41
He then said to her, “My superiors have asked me to show you this.” He took an envelope from a drawer, opened it, and handed Howe several sheets of paper. He told her that she couldn’t copy them, she couldn’t take notes, but she could read them.
The document was called, “A Briefing for the President of the United States on the Subject of Unidentified Flying Vehicles.” There was no date on the report, and the president wasn’t named. Howe didn’t know for which president it had been prepared, though later information from others, would suggest that this was part of the Carter Briefing.42
The documents read by Howe confirmed the Roswell UFO crash in 194743 and it suggested that one of the extraterrestrial crew had survived to be taken to a “safe house” at Los Alamos National Laboratory. According to this document, the alien bodies were those of small, gray humanoids about three and a half to four feet tall, with oversized heads, large eyes and no nose. The survivor was befriended by an Air Force officer and the creature died on June 18, 1952.44
Howe, in her descriptions of what she saw, mentioned other projects such as Snowbird,45 Sigma,46 and Aquarius, which were the same projects that Moore had mentioned in his partial release of information later, and, of course, were part of the documents that have since been printed.47
There was also a mention of Project Garnet which had been created to investigate alien influences on human evolution. Unnamed government sources suggested that the “grays,” aliens from a nearby solar system had manipulated the DNA of primates at various intervals including 25,000; 15,000; 5,000 and 2500 years ago. It was also claimed that the aliens had created an individual some two thousand years ago to teach humanity about love and nonviolence. In other words, according to these documents, Jesus Christ had been created by the aliens.48
According to the documents seen by Howe, Project Blue Book had been a public relations operation that was supposed to divert attention from the real investigative projects. Doty, in his conversations with Howe at that time, mentioned MJ-12 but suggested that “MJ” stood for “Majority” rather than “Majestic.” Whatever the real name, it was a committee of twelve high-ranking government officials, military leaders, and top scientists who set policy for the exploitation, cover-up, and dissemination of UFO information and the government interest in UFOs. They were also responsible for the disinformation about UFOs that was circulating through the media and the UFO community.49
All of this could be seen as corroboration for Moore’s tale of his clandestine meeting with the stranger in a hotel room in New York. If Moore had been inventing a tale, complete with a briefing in an envelope, surely Howe wouldn’t invent a similar tale. It is clear from the timing of events that Howe didn’t know about Moore’s meeting or what Moore had learned. Moore’s meeting had taken place only a couple of weeks earlier, at least, according to what Moore had reported.
But there is a link. Moore, of course, knew Doty. They had been working together for some time. Although Moore claimed that Falcon was an Air Force colonel, he said that Doty, known as sparrow, was his go-between to the colonel. Doty, as Ronald L. Davis, was a silent partner in the book that Moore was writing with Bob Pratt about the AFOSI agent and UFOs. Doty was mentioned by Pratt as a silent third partner, so that even if Doty wasn’t Davis, there is a connection.50 Much of what Doty was giving to Howe was part of the novel about Project Aquarius. Since both Moore and Howe knew Doty, that is the connection that suggests the information wasn’t corroborative, but simply the same information from the same source given to two different people.51
All of this suggests that the Carter Briefing as shown to Moore, the presidential briefing shown to Howe, and Project Aquarius, is nothing more than a hoax. Some have argued that it was all part of a government disinformation scheme to lead UFO investigators away from the truth.
That was where everything stood for a long time. Howe, promised many things for her documentary, was unable to obtain any of them. Inside the UFO community there were was little talk of MJ-12, and attempts to prove this with documentation, such as the Aquarius Telex, failed to gain any sort of public release.
But there were many indications that someone knew about it long before the Eisenhower Briefing Document arrived. As early as 1981, there were mentions of both Aquarius and MJ-12. It wouldn’t be until the end of 1984 that the critical document allegedly arrived, and it would be some three years before the documents themselves would be released, though rumors would circulate as early as 1983.
The Eisenhower Briefing Document
On December 11, 1984, Shandera, whose association with UFOs was through Bill Moore, received a taped, manila envelope that had no return address, but was post marked in Albuquerque on December 8.52 Inside that envelope was a second that was heavily taped, and when that was opened there was a third envelope with the Marriott Hotel logo on it. Inside that was a canister of undeveloped Kodak Tri-X, black and white, 35 mm film. When developed, the film showed eight pages of a document that would become known as the Eisenhower Briefing Document and a one page memo on White House stationery, now known as the Truman memo. All the documents were duplicated a second time and the rest of the roll was blank.53 They took the negatives to a photo lab to be printed and both Moore and Shandera were there, in the darkroom when the prints were made.54
There is a second version of this story. As Howard Blum told it, Shandera was at home shortly after noon, when he heard the mail arrive. He found the package, as described, and opened the three envelopes until he came to the plastic container that held the film cartridge. Since he was supposed to meet Moore for lunch, he took the canister with him. When he showed it to Moore, they left the restaurant without eating.55
“Bill Moore used a kitchen glass to measure the developer,” according to Blum. “He [Moore] didn’t have much photographic flair, but when the two friends left the restaurant, it was agreed that it would be quicker – and more secure – if he developed the film himself.”56
Moore, with Shandera’s help, then made contact sheets for the negatives.57 Apparently they didn’t know how long to expose the photographic paper or how long to leave it in the fixer so that they had to make guesses. Once they had washed them, they took them into another room and using clothes pins, hung them up to dry.58
Once they had examined what they had, they called Stan Friedman to tell him. They all agreed that they couldn’t release the documents immediately because they didn’t know if they were legitimate. They would have to search for confirmation, and that was something that could take years.59
Moore, it seems might have had some advance knowledge of the Eisenhower Briefing Document. Moore wrote that:
“More recently (1984) a confidential informant who is still in government employ, has stated that there were four bodies recovered at Roswell, but that all were badly decomposed and had been attacked by predators before their discovery. According to this source, who claims to have seen the bodies, the occupants of the craft apparently ejected just before it exploded, and were killed when they struck the ground. (The assumption being that the ejection apparatus failed to operate properly.) There were discovered by aerial reconnaissance several miles southeast of the Brazel ranch crash site, and were recovered in a somewhat separate operation. This individual has also stated that the propulsion and control systems of the craft were almost totally destroyed by the explosion.”60The MJ-12 document, which would allegedly arrive at the end of 1984, said, “During the course of this operation, aerial reconnaissance discovered that four small human-like beings had apparently ejected from the craft at some point before it exploded. These had fallen to earth about two miles east of the wreckage site. All four were dead and badly decomposed due to action by predators and exposure to the elements during the approximately one week time period which had elapsed before their discovery.”61
Although Moore refused to name the source for the revelation about the four alien creatures killed, it is clear that he had the information prior to the receipt of the Eisenhower Briefing document. The two paragraphs, while not an exact match, contain the same information. The timing is such, based on what Moore claimed, he had the information months before the EBD arrived, in the worst case.
Moore continued this, though it can be said that he was now sharing information that came through the EBD. He began to hint to others about those involved in the exploitation of the find. According to Barry Greenwood, just a year after Shandera had received the undeveloped film, Moore was told by Lee Graham about some of it, and Graham began to make inquiries into MJ-12, which had been mentioned on the Aquarius Telex.62
Greenwood noted that as the final stages were completed on Clear Intent, the book he wrote with Larry Fawcett, they had collected documents relating to UFO sightings around Kirtland AFB. Greenwood wrote:
What wasn’t inserted in to the book was a document, allegedly a government document, which had made the rounds in the so-called UFO grapevine. It told of an analysis performed by the Air Force of the “Dr. Bennewitz” photographic data, which had been part of the subject matter in the confirmed AFOSI file release on Kirtland. It concluded that some of the photos were “Legitimate negatives of unidentified aerial objects”. The document went on to discuss, very briefly, a top-secret “Project Aquarius” and something called “MJ12”. These terms meant little to us at the time so inquiries were launched to determine the origin of the terms and the document.63Greenwood also mentioned that during the summer of 1985, Graham was also doing some research into MJ-12. Greenwood, “… California UFO researcher Lee Graham was conducting inquiries into MJ12, apparently based on specific information from an unknown individual in the government.”65
No government agency had any knowledge of the matter and the alleged originator, AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations), said that the document was a “fabrication”. Since we had no evidence to prove otherwise and since the document came from a source other than the FOIA I chose not to use it in CI [Clear Intent]. My copy of the “Aquarius” document contained several misspellings and irregularities in format, further adding to my suspicions but I did not rule out the possibility of this perhaps being a retyped version of the original, legitimate document by a “mole” in the military. The piece was filed and remained in limbo for a time.64
Friedman later identified Graham’s source as Moore. He wrote, “Graham… claimed he had been given Just Cause the MJ-12 list, which had been shown by a source in the military. He had not been allowed to copy the list but he had taken notes. (As far as I know, the source was actually Bill Moore, who was not in the military and does not work for the government, but has a fondness for playing games. As a joke Bill once pulled out a MUFON identification card, flashed it at Lee, and indicated that he was working for the government. Lee bought it.”66
It wasn’t until 1987 that the Eisenhower Briefing Document began to circulate throughout the UFO community. In the spring of 1987, Moore and Shandera learned that they document was about to be published in Europe.67 According to Friedman, one of the insiders who warned Moore was Doty. On May 31, 1987, Martin Bailey, wrote an article, “Close Encounters of an Alien Kind – And Now if You’ve Read Enough About the Election, Here’s News from Another World.”68 It showed some of the Eisenhower Briefing Document.
When Moore learned that the documents had been released in Europe, with the story having been picked up by Reuters and then published in North American newspapers, he reacted. Using Focus, his publication of the Fair Witness Project, he published the documents, but these were heavily censored, including black markings through the security classifications on each page. He would later suggest that the markings were made based on instructions from his inside contacts.69
Apparently it was British author and UFO researcher Timothy Good who was responsible for the leak. He showed a copy of the Eisenhower Briefing Document to the press which resulted in the Observer article.70 He wrote, “My copy of the document was sent to me by an intelligence source in the United States in March 1987, specifically for inclusion in Above Top Secret. I published the document in the conviction that it was probably authentic.”71
Good clarified this in his book, The UFO Report – 1990. He said that the source was CIA.72 That would mean that Good had received the documents from someone other than Moore, and that there were two sources leaking material into the civilian world.
Barry Greenwood, however, believed that the source of Good’s copy was Bill Moore. Greenwood noticed what he called a “telltale fingerprint” on the copies of the Eisenhower Briefing Document. These are markings left by the copy machine when it duplicates documents. The machine Moore used left a characteristic smudge on the page and since the smudge “floated” it can be deduced that it was an artifact of the machine and not something on the original copy. Greenwood identified the smudge on the copies used by Good and that meant the Good’s copies came from Moore… or someone who used the same machine as Moore.73
The problem then, was that there was no provenance for the Eisenhower Briefing Document. It had arrived, anonymously in the mail with only a postmark to indicate the source. Because it arrived on film, rather than as direct copies, or even original documents, there wasn’t much in the way of forensic evidence available. The film was ubiquitous, and had nothing distinguishing about it. The wrappings, meaning the sealing of all the flaps on the envelopes was typical of the way classified information was sent through the mail, but provided no hint as to who had sent it. Without a provenance, any attempt to authentic it was greatly reduced. Without a live source to be questioned, without original documents, with nothing but the photographs of the documents, there was nothing to be learned.
Friedman thought that the lack of provenance was not a big issue. On February 13, 2001, he wrote, “Lack of provenance is bothersome, but understandable. Whoever filmed the EBD and/or planted the CT [Cutler-Twining memo] was violating security by the filming and the release. Having a classified document is not against the law. Being an authorized recipient who leaks it to uncleared personnel is very much a violation. One might suggest that the lack of provenance is an indication of genuineness.”74
John Alexander, a retired Army colonel who worked with classified material and on classified projects disagreed with this assessment. He wrote:
Begin with the source. As far as is publically available today, the source of the documents remains unknown to everyone, including the people who released them. Rather than meeting under a bridge late at night, the perpetrator sent an anonymous envelope, not even indicating what the film related to, even the general topic. There have been no face-to-face meetings between the reporters [Moore, Shandera and Friedman] and their confidential source, nor was there any way to vet him or her.75This lack of provenance might have led directly to the next document in the MJ-12 mystery. This was the Cutler-Twining memo that had been found in a box of declassified documents held by the National Archives. That would be an attempt to end one avenue of discussion.
1 Stan Friedman, Top Secret/Majic, 1996 p.20, Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, Second Edition, 1998, p. 310, Philip Klass, “The MJ12 Crashed-Saucer Documents,” Skeptical Inquirer, Winter 1987-88, p. 38; Stan Friedman, “MJ-12: The Evidence So Far,” International UFO Report, Sept/Oct 1987, p.14; Jacques Vallee, Revelations, 1991, p. 38
2Brad Sparks and Barry Greenwood, “The Secret Pratt Tapes and the Origin of MJ-12” in 2007 MUFON Symposium Proceedings, p. 95 – 100; Kevin Randle, Case MJ-12, 2002, p. 207, Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, 1998, p. 308, Linda Moulton Howe, An Alien Harvest, 1989.
3Larry Fawcett (publisher) and Barry Greenwood (editor), “MJ-12: Myth or Reality, Just Cause, December, 1985, p. 1-2.
4He has been described by various sources as an employee, technician and an engineer working in the aerospace industry including Philip Klass’ SUN Newsletter available at: www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/klass_files_volume_44.
5Stan Friedman in Top Secret/Majic, p. 57, reported that, “As far as I know, the source was actually Bill Moore, who was not in the military and does not work for the government, but has a fondness for playing games.” See also, Dolan, Cover-Up, p. 407
6There is no mention of either the Aquarius Telex or Project Aquarius in Friedman’s Top Secret/Majic, Ryan Woods Majic:Eyes Only or Friedman’s 1991 report on Mj12, Final Report on Operation Majestic-12 published by the Fund for UFO Research in April 1990. In a February 2001 letter, Friedman wrote, “I am not sure what you mean by the Aquarius Telex and don’t even mention it in Top Secret/Majic or Final Report…”
7For copies of the document, see William Steinman and Wendelle Stevens, 70, 1986, p.625: William Moore and Jaime Shandera, The MJ-12 Documents: An Analytical Report, 1990, Appendix C.
9Jerome Clark, 70, Second Edition, 1998, p. 303; Vallee, Revelations, pp. 78 – 82; Richard Dolan, UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973 – 1991, 2009 pp. 225 - 231.
10Timothy Good, 70, 1988, p. 406
11Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, 1998, p. 303
12Although addressed throughout as “doctor” and Bennewitz studied physics, he never completed the work for his doctoral degree according to Jim Campbell who interviewed Bennewitz. The interview is published online at:
13Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, p. 303
14Moore and Shandera, MJ-12: An Analytical Report, p. 8
15W. Todd Zechel, “The MJ-12/Aquarius Hoax,” privately published, 1989, p. 4. It is in this document that Zechel claims that Bennewitz came up with the term, “Extraterrestrial Biological Entity” (EBE), which would figure prominently later in the Eisenhower Briefing Document.
16Zechel, MJ-12/Aquarius, p. 8
17Zechel, “MJ-12/Aquarius,” p. 9.
18Moore and Shandera, 70, p. 9
19Although it was widely reported that this meeting took place in February 1981, Moore claimed that he found the correct date in his notes. In his MJ-12 Analytical Report, page 10, he wrote it was March 2, 1981.
20Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, p. 10
21Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, p. 10
22Ibid. pp 10 – 11.
23Ibid., p. 11
24Ibid. p. 11
25Letter in the files of Kevin Randle.
26Ibid. See also, Robert Hastings, “The MJ-12 Affair: facts, Questions, Comments,” The MUFON Journal No. 254, June 1989, p. 8.
27Richard Dolan, UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover Up Exposed, 2009, p. 146; Pratt had also served as the editor of the MUFON UFO Journal. See also: http://www.mufon.com/bob_pratt/obit.html.
28Letter from Pratt to Robert Todd, February 20, 1989, copy in Randle’s files. See also, Sparks, “The Secret Pratt Tapes and the Origins of MJ-12,” MUFON UFO Journal, September 2007, p 6.
30This is a reference to a carbon copy of an alleged official Air Force incident report that was sent to the National Enquirer and eventually to Bob Pratt about an event at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. Pratt noted in his letter to Todd, “As for the Ellsworth incident, it never happened (although I understand Doty claims it really did – which I take to be more disinformation on somebody’s part). See also, Bob Pratt, “Truth about the Ellsworth Affair,” MUFON UFO Journal, January 1984, pp. 6 – 9
31Pratt Letter, February 20, 1989
32Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, p. 31; Randle, Case MJ-12, pp 205 – 207.
34Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, p. 31
35This is a ridiculous scenario. It is more appropriate in a movie than in real life. Moore was left with nothing that could be verified as authentic and he had no provenance for the documents because he didn’t know who the courier was or where the documents originated. In other cases of leaked classified documents, there is enough information available for an independent review of the authenticity. With MJ-12, the trail stops before any of the insiders are identified and the documents authenticated.
36Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, pp. 31 – 32.
37See, for example, Steinman and Stevens, UFO Crash at Aztec, pp. 612 – 618.
38Quote from both Moore and Shandera’s released documents, and from example of documents circulated in the UFO field, including a representation in Steinman and Stevens, UFO Crash at Aztec, pp. 616 – 618. Also see Just Cause, June 1987, p. 3
39Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, pp. 307 – 310; Randle Case MJ-12, pp. 208 – 212, Linda Moulton Howe, letters dated May 10, 1983, November 15, 1987, March 16, 1988; Robert Hastings, “The MJ-12 Affair: Facts, Questions, Comments,” March 1, 1989
40Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, pp. 307 – 310.
41Randle, Case MJ-12, p. 209; Timothy Good, Alien Contact, Top-Secret UFO Files Revealed, 1993, p. 114 – 115; Vallee, Revelations, pp. 41 - 43
42Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, pp. 307 -310; Dolan, Cover-Up Exposed, 299 - 309.
43This doesn’t mean there is documentation for the Roswell crash because it is clear that the document is fraudulent. Roswell was mentioned with other crashes known to be hoaxes including the December 6, 1950 El Indio – Guerrero crash, the Aztec crash of March, 1948 and the Kingman, Arizona crash of May, 1953.
44Clark, UFO Encyclopedia. p. 308; Randle, Case MJ-12, pp. 207 – 209; Vallee, Revelations, pp. 41 -43; See also, UFO Crash at Aztec, July 1998, p. 21.
45Snowbird was an actual project and has been described by Barry Greenwood as a “Joint Army/Air Force peacetime military exercise in the sub-arctic region in 1955, according to Gale Research’s Code Name Dictionary, 1963.” See MUFON UFO Journal Number 236, December 1987, p. 12
46Project Sigma, according to Greenwood in MUFON UFO Journal Number 236, December 1987, p. 12, had nothing to do with UFOs, but was a top secret project, by the Air Force in conjunction with Rockwell International.
47Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, pp 32 – 34, Steinman and Stevens, UFO Crash at Aztec, pp. 612 – 618.
48Howe, Linda Moulton, An Alien Harvest: Further Evidence Linking Animal Mutilations and Human Abductions to Alien Life Forms, 1989. Also mentioned in November 15, 1987 letter from Howe.
49Vallee, Revelations, 63 – 75; Randle, Case MJ-12, p. 211
50Letter from Bob Pratt to Robert Todd, February 20, 1989, p. 1
51For a comprehensive analysis of the disinformation theory, see Sparks, “The Secret Pratt Tapes and the Origins of MJ-12, MUFON UFO Journal, September 2007, pp. 3 – 10, and MUFON UFO Journal, October 2007, pp. 3 – 11.
52Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, p. 43; Timothy Good, Above Top Secret, 1988, p. 257; Good, Alien Contact Top-Secret Files Revealed, 1993, p. 124; John Alexander, UFOs Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities, 2011, pp. 122 – 123, Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, p. 310; Vallee, Revelations, pp. 38 - 39.
53Stan Friedman, “Final Report on Operation Majestic 12”, Fund for UFO Research, April 1990, p. 2, Friedman, “MJ-12: The Evidence so far, International UFO Reporter, September/October 1987, pp. 13 – 20.
54Moore and Shandera, MJ-12 Analytical Report, p. 44. It should be noted that this makes no logical sense. The danger is in developing the negatives. If an error is made, there is no way to recover. If a print is ruined, another can be made from the negative. It would be more logical to have the film developed professionally and then make the prints at home.
55Howard Blum, Out There, 1990, pp. 239 -241.
56Ibid., p. 241
57Friedman, in a letter to Joe Nickell on October 9, 1987, wrote, “To the best of my knowledge there is no set of contact prints anywhere. What purpose?”
59Friedman, Top Secret/Majic, p. 56
60Bill Moore, “Crashed Saucers: Evidence in the Search for Proof,” in Crashed UFOs: Evidence in the Search for Proof, William Moore Publications; June 1985, June 1986, June 1987, pp. 50 –
61From the Eisenhower Briefing document, p. 1
62Greenwood, “Just Cause,” December 1985, p. 2
63At last, at least according to the various accounts of the Aquarius Telex and the mention of MJ-12, someone thought enough of it to make some inquiries. Prior to Greenwood pointing it out in 1985, it seemed that everything revolved around the authenticity of the document and no one seemed to see the other avenue for investigation, that is, to find out if there was a Project Aquarius and an MJ-12.
64Greenwood, Just Cause, December 1985, p. 2
66Friedman, Top Secret/Majic, pp. 56 – 57
68Martin Bailey, “Close Encounters of an Alien Kind – And Now if You’ve Read Enough About the Election, Here’s News from Another World,” London Observer, May 3, 1987, p. 1
69Friedman, Top Secret/Majic, pp. 58 – 59
70Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, p. 310.
71Good, Alien Contact, p. 123
72Barry Greenwood, “On Timothy Good’s Source of the MJ-12 Briefing Paper,” dated February 18, 1990; see also, Timothy Good, The UFO Report – 1990, 1990.
73Letter from Barry Greenwood to Kevin Randle, 1993, including copies of Eisenhower Briefing Document. Greenwood explained that the “large format copies are from Moore’s Apr 87 Focus and the small format from Good’s book.”
74Randle, Case MJ-12, pp. 170 – 171; Letter from Friedman to Randle, February 13, 2001.
75Alexander, UFOs: Myths, pp. 125 – 126
The Myth of MJ-12: Appendix A –Pt 2
The Myth of MJ-12: Appendix A –Pt 3
"Appendix A: The Myth of MJ-12" An Annotated Commentary By Barry Greenwood
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