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Majestic 12

Majestic 12

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Majestic 12 is the alleged code name
Code name
A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. Code names are often used for military purposes, or in espionage...

 of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

. The alleged purpose of the committee was to investigate UFO
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

 activity in the aftermath of the Roswell incident
Roswell UFO incident
The Roswell UFO Incident was the recovery of an object that crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of...

—the supposed crash of the alien spaceship near Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is a city in and the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also...

, in July 1947. The Majestic 12 is an important part of the UFO conspiracy theory
UFO conspiracy theory
A UFO conspiracy theory is any one of many often overlapping conspiracy theories which argue that evidence of the reality of unidentified flying objects is being suppressed by various governments around the world...

 of an ongoing government cover up of UFO information. The FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 has declared that the documents associated with the Majestic 12 committee are "completely bogus".

Overview


The primary evidence for the existence of a group named Majestic 12 is a collection of documents that first emerged in 1984.
The original MJ-12 documents state that:


The Majestic 12 group... was established by order of President Truman on 24 September, [sic - see discussion] 1947, upon recommendation by Dr. Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush was an American engineer and science administrator known for his work on analog computing, his political role in the development of the atomic bomb as a primary organizer of the Manhattan Project, the founding of Raytheon, and the idea of the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer...

 and Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 James Forrestal
James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

.


The FBI investigated the documents, and concluded they were forgeries, based primarily on an opinion rendered by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Errors in formatting and chronology have also divided UFO researchers over their authenticity.

In 1985, another document mentioning MJ-12 and dating to 1954 was found in a search at the National Archives
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

. Its authenticity is also highly controversial. The documents in question are rather widely available on the Internet, for example on the FBI website, where it is concluded they are fraudulent (linked below).

Since the first MJ-12 documents, thousands of pages of other supposedly leaked government documents mentioning MJ-12 and a government coverup of UFO reality have also appeared, sometimes collectively referred to as the "Majestic Documents."
All of them are controversial, with many disputing their authenticity. A few have been proven to be unquestionably fraudulent, usually retyped rewrites of unrelated government documents. The primary new MJ-12 document is a lengthy, Linotype
Linotype machine
The Linotype typesetting machine is a "line casting" machine used in printing. The name of the machine comes from the fact that it produces an entire line of metal type at once, hence a line-o'-type, a significant improvement over manual typesetting....

-set manual allegedly dating from 1954, called the MJ-12 "Special Operations Manual (SOM)". It deals primarily with the handling of crash debris and alien bodies. Objections to its authenticity usually center on questions of style and some historical anachronism
Anachronism
An anachronism—from the Greek ανά and χρόνος — is an inconsistency in some chronological arrangement, especially a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other...

s.

The documents date from 1942 to 1997 and have been hotly debated in the UFO community. The documents include such matters as the conduct to be used when meeting an alien, diagrams and records of tests on UFOs, memos on measures to prevent leakage of information, and descriptions of the President's statements about UFO-related issues. The documents contain supposed signatures of important people such as Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, creating a major debate in the conspiracy
Conspiracy theory
A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.-Usage:The term "conspiracy...

 and UFO communities. No more documents have been leaked or released since 1997. Their authenticity remains uncertain, and some claim them to be entirely fake.

However, before the appearance of the various dubious MJ-12 documents, Canadian documents dating from 1950 and 1951 were uncovered in 1978. These documents mention the existence of a similar, highly classified UFO study group operating within the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

's Research & Development Board (RDB) and headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush was an American engineer and science administrator known for his work on analog computing, his political role in the development of the atomic bomb as a primary organizer of the Manhattan Project, the founding of Raytheon, and the idea of the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer...

. Although the name of the group is not given, proponents argue that these documents remain the most compelling evidence that such a group did exist. There is also some testimony (see Arguments for below) from a few government scientists involved with this project confirming its existence.

Other theories of the MJ-12 group


MJ-12 is sometimes associated in recent UFO conspiracy literature with the more historically verifiable but also deeply secretive NSC 5412/2 Special Group
NSC 5412/2 Special Group
The NSC 5412/2 Special Group, often referred simply as the Special Group, was an initially secret, but later public, subcommittee of the United States National Security Council responsible for coordinating government covert operations...

, created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 in 1954. Although the Special Group was not specifically concerned with UFOs, and post-dates the alleged creation of MJ-12 in 1947, the commonality of the number '12' in the names of the two groups is cited as intriguing, as is the first chairman, Gordon Gray, being one of the alleged MJ-12 members. As the highest body of central intelligence experts in the early Cold War era (according to the documents, the group included the President but not the Vice President), the Special Group certainly would have had both clearance and interest in all matters of national security, including UFO sightings if they were considered a real threat .

Another government group recently associated with MJ-12 was the CIA's Office of National Estimates or ONE, a forerunner of the current National Intelligence Council
National Intelligence Council
The National Intelligence Council is the center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking within the United States Intelligence Community . It was formed in 1979...

 (NIC). ONE was created in 1950 by CIA director Gen. Walter Bedell Smith
Walter Bedell Smith
Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith was a senior United States Army general who served as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff at Allied Forces Headquarters during the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy...

, alleged to have replaced Secretary of Defense James Forrestal
James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

 on MJ-12 after his death. A history of the NIC states that ONE was a type of super branch of the CIA "whose sole task was to produce coordinated 'National Intelligence Estimates.'" Besides Smith, it apparently consisted of 11 other members. A recent article on the history of the CIA's involvement in UFO investigations states that ONE received a UFO intelligence briefing on January 30, 1953, immediately after the end of the CIA's UFO debunking study known as the Robertson Panel
Robertson Panel
The Robertson Panel was a committee commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 in response to widespread reports of unidentified flying objects, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. The panel was briefed on U.S...

. Members of ONE at that time included FBI director J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

, William Bundy
William Bundy
William Putnam "Bill" Bundy was a member of the CIA and foreign affairs advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He had a key role in planning the Vietnam War. After leaving government service he became a historian.-Early years:Raised in Boston, Massachusetts he came from a...

, President Eisenhower's chief of staff Admiral B. Bieri, and William Langer, a Harvard historian, who was chairman. Referring to ONE as "super think tank" within the CIA, the article states, "ONE is as close as we get to a documented version of the rumoured Majestic-12 group."

Connection to the secret Pratt documents


At the Mutual UFO Network
Mutual UFO Network
The Mutual UFO Network is an American non-profit organization that investigates cases of reported UFO sightings. It is one of the oldest and largest UFO-investigative organizations in the United States....

 (MUFON) 2007 Symposium in Denver, Colorado, UFO researcher Brad Sparks presented a paper that describes the MJ12 documents as an elaborate disinformation campaign perpetrated by William Moore, Richard C. Doty, and other Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) personnel. The sources for this information are files dating from 1981 (3 years before the first alleged MJ12 documents surfaced) that UFO researcher Bob Pratt gave MUFON before his death in 2005. The information lay hidden in MUFON's archives until they were digitized as part of MUFON's Pandora Project and made available to UFO researchers. The paper can be downloaded from the MUFON website. Of interest will be the paragraph that has a handwritten date of 1/02/82 and states:
"3. UFO project is Aquarius, classified Top Secret with access
restricted to MJ 12. (MJ may be "magic"). This project begun
about 1966, but apparently inherited files of earlier project."

Membership


All the alleged original members of MJ-12 were notable for their military, government, and/or scientific achievements, and all were deceased when the documents first surfaced (the last to die was Jerome Hunsaker
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker was an American airman born in Creston, Iowa, and educated at the Naval Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.-Life:...

, only a few months before the MJ-12 papers first appeared).

The original composition was six civilians (mostly scientists), and six high-ranking military officers, two from each major military service. Three (Souers, Vandenberg, and Hillenkoetter) had been the first three heads of central intelligence. The Moore/Shandera documents did not make clear who was the director of MJ-12, or if there was any organizational hierarchy.

The named members of MJ-12 were:
  • Rear Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
    Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
    Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter , born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the third director of the post-World War II U.S. Central Intelligence Group , the third Director of Central Intelligence , and the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency created by the National Security Act of 1947...

    : first CIA director
  • Dr. Vannevar Bush
    Vannevar Bush
    Vannevar Bush was an American engineer and science administrator known for his work on analog computing, his political role in the development of the atomic bomb as a primary organizer of the Manhattan Project, the founding of Raytheon, and the idea of the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer...

    : chaired wartime Office of Scientific Research and Development
    Office of Scientific Research and Development
    The Office of Scientific Research and Development was an agency of the United States federal government created to coordinate scientific research for military purposes during World War II. Arrangements were made for its creation during May 1941, and it was created formally by on June 28, 1941...

     and predecessor National Defense Research Committee
    National Defense Research Committee
    The National Defense Research Committee was an organization created "to coordinate, supervise, and conduct scientific research on the problems underlying the development, production, and use of mechanisms and devices of warfare" in the United States from June 27, 1940 until June 28, 1941...

    ; set up and chaired postwar Joint Research and Development Board (JRDB) and then the Research and Development Board (RDB); chaired NACA
    National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
    The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958 the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and...

    ; President of Carnegie Institute, Washington D.C.
  • James Forrestal
    James Forrestal
    James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

    : Secretary of the Navy; first Secretary of Defense (replaced after his death on MJ-12 by Gen. Walter Bedell Smith
    Walter Bedell Smith
    Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith was a senior United States Army general who served as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff at Allied Forces Headquarters during the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy...

    , 2nd CIA director)
  • Gen. Nathan Twining: headed Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB; Air Force Chief of Staff (1953–1957); Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (1957–1961)
  • Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg
    Hoyt Vandenberg
    Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg was a U.S. Air Force general, its second Chief of Staff, and second Director of Central Intelligence....

    : Directed Central Intelligence Group (1946–1947); Air Force Chief of Staff (1948–1953)
  • Gen. Robert M. Montague
    Robert Miller Montague
    Robert Miller Montague was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. He achieved prominence as the deputy commander of Fort Bliss, Texas and commander of the Sandia Missile Base in New Mexico during the start of modern ufology and head of the U.S. Caribbean Command.-Early life:Montague was...

    : Guided missile expert; 1947 commander of Fort Bliss
    Fort Bliss
    Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. With an area of about , it is the Army's second-largest installation behind the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. It is FORSCOM's largest installation, and has the Army's largest Maneuver Area behind the...

    ; headed nuclear Armed Forces Special Weapons Center, Sandia Base
    Sandia Base
    Sandia Base was, from 1946 to 1971, the principal nuclear weapons installation of the United States Department of Defense. It was located on the southeastern edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico...

  • Dr. Jerome Hunsaker
    Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
    Jerome Clarke Hunsaker was an American airman born in Creston, Iowa, and educated at the Naval Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.-Life:...

    : Aeronautical engineer, MIT; chaired NACA after Bush
  • Rear Adm. Sidney Souers
    Sidney Souers
    Sidney William Souers was an American admiral and intelligence expert. He held the posts of:* Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Group, 1946* Executive Secretary, National Security Council, 1947–1950...

    : first director of Central Intelligence Group, first executive secretary of National Security Council
    United States National Security Council
    The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

     (NSC)
  • Gordon Gray: Secretary of the Army; intelligence and national security expert; CIA psychological strategy board (1951–1953); Chairman of NSC 5412 Committee (1954–1958); National Security Advisor
    National Security Advisor (United States)
    The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

     (1958–1961)
  • Dr. Donald Menzel: Astronomer, Harvard; cryptologist during war; security consultant to CIA and NSA
  • Dr. Detlev Bronk
    Detlev Bronk
    Detlev Wulf Bronk was President of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1949 to 1953 and President of the National Academy of Sciences from 1950 to 1962. Bronk is credited with reshaping the postwar university environment at Hopkins...

    : Medical physicist; aviation physiologist; chair, National Academy of Sciences
    United States National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

    , National Research Council
    United States National Research Council
    The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academies, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.The National Academies include:* National Academy of Sciences...

    ; president Johns Hopkins
    Johns Hopkins University
    The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

     & Rockefeller University
    Rockefeller University
    The Rockefeller University is a private university offering postgraduate and postdoctoral education. It has a strong concentration in the biological sciences. It is also known for producing numerous Nobel laureates...

  • Dr. Lloyd Berkner
    Lloyd Berkner
    Lloyd Viel Berkner was an American physicist and engineer. He is notable as the first person to measure the height and density of the ionosphere. This permitted the first complete theory of short wave radio propagation.Later he investigated the development of the Earth's atmosphere...

    : Physicist; radio expert; executive secretary of Bush's JRDB


According to other sources and MJ-12 papers to emerge later, famous scientists like Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Oppenheimer
Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with Enrico Fermi, he is often called the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first...

, Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

, Karl Compton, Edward Teller
Edward Teller
Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy , and surface physics...

, John von Neumann
John von Neumann
John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician and polymath who made major contributions to a vast number of fields, including set theory, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, ergodic theory, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics and game theory, computer science, numerical analysis,...

, and Wernher von Braun
Wernher von Braun
Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun was a German rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and in the United States after that.A former member of the Nazi party,...

 were also allegedly involved with MJ-12.(see also Arguments for below, particularly statements by Dr. Robert Sarbacher)

Reliably-documented UFO activities by purported MJ-12 members


Many of these men had reliably documented activities related to UFOs:
  • Vandenberg, as Director of Central Intelligence in 1946, had overseen investigations into the so-called Ghost rockets
    Ghost rockets
    Ghost Rockets Danish Spøgelsesraketter were mysterious rocket- or missile-shaped unidentified flying objects sighted in 1946, mostly in Sweden and nearby countries....

     in Europe and wrote intelligence memos about the phenomena. Later as Air Force Chief of Staff, both Vandenberg and Twining oversaw early U.S. Air Force UFO investigations, like Project Sign
    Project Sign
    Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

     and Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

     and made some public statements on UFOs.
  • Twining had previously written a famous Secret memo on September 23, 1947 (the day before Truman allegedly set up MJ-12) stating that flying saucers were real and urged formal investigation by multiple government organizations such as the AEC
    United States Atomic Energy Commission
    The United States Atomic Energy Commission was an agency of the United States government established after World War II by Congress to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. President Harry S...

    , NACA
    National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
    The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958 the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and...

    , NEPA
    Convair X-6
    -See also:*Project Pluto*Project Rover*NERVA*WS-125Comparable aircraft* Tupolev Tu-119-External links:* original published on Aviation History, March 1995.* Section devoted to NB-36H...

    , Bush's JRDB, and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. This led directly to the creation of Project Sign
    Project Sign
    Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

     in late 1947.
  • Vandenberg met with Bush's JRDB in a suddenly called meeting on the morning of the Roswell UFO incident
    Roswell UFO incident
    The Roswell UFO Incident was the recovery of an object that crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of...

     (July 8, 1947) and was reported in the press as handling the later public relations crises.
  • Bush was directly implicated in 1950-51 Canadian documents heading a highly secret UFO investigation within the Research and Development Board (RDB); this assertion was confirmed by Canadian scientist Wilbert B. Smith Immediately after the Roswell UFO incident, Bush made public statements denying any knowledge of UFOs or any relation they might have to secret government projects.
  • Berkner was on the 1953 CIA-organized Robertson Panel
    Robertson Panel
    The Robertson Panel was a committee commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 in response to widespread reports of unidentified flying objects, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. The panel was briefed on U.S...

     debunking UFOs and helped establish Project Ozma
    Project Ozma
    Project Ozma was a pioneering SETI experiment started in 1960 by Cornell University astronomer Frank Drake, at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia. The object of the experiment was to search for signs of life in distant solar systems through interstellar radio waves...

    , the first radio telescope
    Radio telescope
    A radio telescope is a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy. The same types of antennas are also used in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes...

     search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • Menzel filed a UFO report in 1949, later wrote several UFO debunking books, and was the most prominent public UFO debunker of his time. Many conspiracy theorists see this as a "cover-up" for alleged MJ12 - alien connections.
  • Hillenkoetter was on the board of directors of the powerful civilian UFO organization NICAP and made public statements to Congress about UFO reality in 1960.
  • The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
    National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
    The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958 the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and...

     (NACA), which Hunsaker chaired from 1941–1958, is also known from documents to have occasionally delved into UFO cases. Other members of NACA were Bush (1938–1948), Compton (1948–1949), Vandenberg (1948–1953), Twining (1953–1957), and Bronk (1948–1958).
  • Teller was a member of a scientific panel in 1949 at Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Los Alamos National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security , located in Los Alamos, New Mexico...

     looking into the UFO phenomenon known as the green fireballs
    Green Fireballs
    Green fireballs are a type of unidentified flying object which have been sighted in the sky since the late 1940s . Early sightings primarily occurred in the southwestern United States, particularly in New Mexico...


Professional and social connections among purported MJ-12 members


Research has also shown that there were many social and professional connections among many of the alleged members of MJ-12. For example, Bush, Hunsaker, Bronk, and Berkner all sat on the oversight committee of the Research and Development Board (RDB), which Bush had established and initially chaired. Other notables on the RDB oversight committee were Karl Compton, Robert Oppenheimer, and Dr. H. P. Robertson
Howard Percy Robertson
Howard Percy Robertson was an American mathematician and physicist known for contributions related to physical cosmology and the uncertainty principle...

, who headed up the debunking Robertson Panel
Robertson Panel
The Robertson Panel was a committee commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 in response to widespread reports of unidentified flying objects, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. The panel was briefed on U.S...

, of which Berkner was a member. As mentioned, 1950 Canadian documents indicated that Bush headed up a small, highly secret UFO study group within the RDB. (See also Arguments for below)

Various alleged MJ-12 members or participants would also naturally be part of the Presidential office's National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

, created in 1947. This would include (depending on NSC composition, which evolved) various NSC permanent members: Executive Secretary (Souers, Cutler), the Secretary of Defense (Forrestal), the Secretary of the Army (Gray), National Security Advisor (Gray), and the Air Force Chief of Staff (Vandenberg, Twining). Other nonpermanent members who would attend NSC meetings as advisors and implement policy would be the CIA director (Hillenkoetter, Smith), the head of the Research and Development Board (Bush, Compton), the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Cutler, Gray), and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Twining).

Therefore the supposed members and participating personnel of MJ-12 would have served on many other high government agencies and could conceivably have influenced government policy at many levels. (See also list of supposed current MJ-12 members below, again indicating various individuals who have served in high government positions.)

The purported members were trusted, high-ranking officials who were often involved in important government projects—they possessed diverse skills and high security clearances. However, they were not so recognizable that they would be missed if they were to be called upon in a secret emergency. If such a group existed, these individuals would make plausible members.

Arthur Bray's discovery (1978)


In 1978, Canadian researcher Arthur Bray uncovered previously classified Canadian UFO documents naming Dr. Vannevar Bush as heading a highly secret UFO investigation group within the U.S. Research and Development Board. No name for the group was given. Bray published excerpts of the documents in his 1979 book, The UFO Connection.

Aquarius document and Paul Bennewitz connection (1980)


The earliest citation of the term "MJ Twelve" originally surfaced in a purported U.S. Air Force Teletype
Teleprinter
A teleprinter is a electromechanical typewriter that can be used to communicate typed messages from point to point and point to multipoint over a variety of communication channels that range from a simple electrical connection, such as a pair of wires, to the use of radio and microwave as the...

 message dated November 17, 1980. This so-called "Project Aquarius" Teletype message had been given to Albuquerque physicist and businessman Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz was an American businessman who played a major role in shaping the development of UFO Conspiracies since the 1980s. After uncovering secret U.S...

 in November, 1980, by U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations counterintelligence officer Richard C. Doty as part of a disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

 campaign to discredit Bennewitz. Bennewitz had photographed and recorded electronic data of what he believed to be UFO activity over and nearby Kirtland AFB, a sensitive nuclear facility. Bennewitz reported his findings to officials at Kirtland, including Doty. Later it was discovered the Aquarius document was phony and had been prepared by Doty.

One sentence in the lengthy Teletype message read:


The official US Government policy and results of Project Aquarius is [sic] still classified TOP SECRET with no dissemination outside channels and with access restricted to "MJ TWELVE."


As Greg Bishop writes, "Here, near the bottom of this wordy message in late 1980, was the very first time anyone had seen a reference to the idea of a suspected government group called 'MJ Twelve' that controlled UFO information. Of course, no one suspected at the time the colossal role that this idea would play in 1980s and '90s UFOlogy, and it eventually spread beyond its confines to become a cultural mainstay."

As Bennewitz was the subject of a disinformation campaign, many investigators are automatically suspicious of any documents or claims made in association with the Bennewitz affair. Because the entire MJ-12 affair made its appearance only a year after Bray had made public the incriminating Canadian documents about the secret UFO committee, one theory is that the Project Aquarius Teletype message was part of a counterintelligence hoax to discredit the information in the just-revealed Canadian documents. Thus the various MJ-12 documents could be fake, but the secret committee described in the verified Canadian documents could still have been real. (See Arguments for below)

The Moore/Shandera documents (1984)


What came to be known as the "MJ-12 papers" – detailing a secret UFO committee allegedly involving Vannevar Bush – first appeared on a roll of film in late 1984 in the mailbox of television documentary producer (and amateur ufologist
Ufology
Ufology is a neologism coined to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects . UFOs have been subject to various investigations over the years by governments, independent groups, and scientists...

) Jaime Shandera. Shandera had been collaborating with Roswell
Roswell UFO incident
The Roswell UFO Incident was the recovery of an object that crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of...

 researcher William Moore since 1982.

Just prior to Bennewitz and the Aquarius document, Moore had been contacted in September 1980 by Doty, who described himself as representing a shadowy group of 10 military intelligence insiders who claimed to be opposed to UFO secrecy. Moore called them "The Aviary".

In January 1981, Doty provided Moore with a copy of the phony Aquarius document with mention of MJ Twelve. Moore would later claim in 1989 that he began collaborating with AFOSI in spying on fellow researchers such as Bennewitz, and dispensing disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

, ostensibly to gain the trust of the military officers, but reality to learn whatever UFO truth they might have, and also to learn how the military manipulated UFO researchers. In return, Doty and others were to leak information to him.

Later it would turn out that some of the UFO documents given Moore were forged by Doty and compatriots, or were retyped and altered from the originals. Furthermore, the film mailed to Shandera with the MJ-12 documents was postmarked "Albuquerque," raising the obvious suspicion that the MJ-12 documents were more bogus documents arising from Doty and AFOSI in Albuquerque.

In 1983, Doty also targeted UFO researcher and journalist Linda Moulton Howe
Linda Moulton Howe
Linda Moulton Howe, born January 20, 1942, is an American investigative journalist and documentary producer-writer-director-editor who is currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.-Early life and education:She was born as Linda Moulton in Boise, Idaho...

, revealing alleged high-level UFO documents, including those describing crashed alien flying saucers and recovery of aliens. Doty again mentioned MJ-12, explaining that “MJ” stood for “Majority” (not “Majestic”)

Moore soon showed a copy of the Aquarius/MJ 12 Teletype
Teletype Corporation
The Teletype Corporation, a part of American Telephone and Telegraph Company's Western Electric manufacturing arm since 1930, came into being in 1928 when the Morkrum-Kleinschmidt Company changed its name to the name of its trademark equipment...

 message given him by Doty to researchers Brad Sparks and Kal Korff. In 1983, Moore also sought Sparks' reaction to a plan to create counterfeit government UFO documents, hoping to induce former military officers to speak out. Sparks strongly urged Moore not do this. The previous year Moore had similarly approached nuclear physicist and UFO researcher Stanton T. Friedman
Stanton T. Friedman
Stanton Terry Friedman is a professional Ufologist, currently residing in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is the original civilian investigator of the Roswell incident. He studied physics at the University of Chicago and worked as a nuclear physicist on research and development projects for...

 about creating bogus Roswell documents, again with the idea of encouraging witnesses to come forward. Also, in early 1982, Moore had approached former National Enquirer reporter Bob Pratt (who had first published a story on Roswell in the Enquirer in 1980). Moore asked Pratt to collaborate on a novel called MAJIK-12. As a result, Pratt always believed that the Majestic-12 papers were a hoax, either perpetrated personally by Moore or perhaps by AFOSI, with Doty using Moore as a willing target. Moore, however, flatly denied creating the documents, but eventually thought that maybe he had been set up. Noted UFO skeptic Philip J. Klass
Philip J. Klass
Philip Julian Klass was an American journalist and UFO researcher, known for his skepticism regarding UFOs. In the ufological and skeptical communities, Klass tends to inspire strongly polarized appraisals. Klass has been called the "Sherlock Holmes of UFOlogy"...

 would also argue that Moore was the most likely hoaxer of the initial batch of MJ-12 documents.

Unlike Pratt, who was convinced they were a hoax, Friedman would investigate the historical and technical details in the MJ-12 documents and become their staunchest defender.

The Eisenhower briefing document


The film allegedly received by Shandera in 1984 consisted of two MJ-12 documents. The main document, dated November 18, 1952, was supposedly prepared by Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the first CIA director, to brief incoming president Dwight Eisenhower on the committee's progress. The document lists all the MJ-12 members and discusses United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 investigations and concealment of a crashed alien spacecraft near Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is a city in and the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also...

, plus another crash in northern Mexico in December 1950.

Eisenhower did indeed receive extensive briefings November 18, 1952, including a briefing at the Pentagon by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which would have included alleged MJ-12 members Twining and Vandenberg. However, Eisenhower’s Pentagon briefing is still classified and thus the subject matter discussed remains speculative.

The Cutler/Twining memo (1985)


In 1985, Shandera and Moore began receiving post cards postmarked “New Zealand” with a return address of "Box 189, Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

." The cards contained a series of cryptic messages referring to "Reeses [sic] Pieces" and "Suitland" (among other terms) that Shandera and Moore assumed were a code; however, they were unable to "decode" the seeming message.

A few months later, a happenstance request from Friedman unlocked the mystery: busy due to previous obligations, Friedman asked Moore and Shandera to examine newly declassified Air Force documents at the National Archives
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

 (NARA) repository in Suitland, Maryland; the head archivist there was named Ed Reese.

After a few days in Suitland, Shandera and Moore discovered yet another MJ-12 document, the so-called Cutler/Twining memo, dated July 14, 1954. Interestingly enough, the memo turned up in "Box 189" of the record group. In this memo, NSC Executive Secretary and Eisenhower’s National Security Advisor Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler was a U.S. government official. He was the first person appointed to the newly created position of National Security Advisor during the Eisenhower Administration, serving between 1953 and 1955, and again from 1957 to 1958...

 informed Air Force Chief of Staff (and alleged MJ-12 member) Nathan Twining of a change of plans in a scheduled MJ-12 briefing.

The Cutler-Twining memo lacked a distinctive catalog number, leading many to suspect that whether hoaxed or genuine, the memo was almost certainly planted in the archives.

Moore and Shandera have been accused of hoaxing the memo and then planting it in the archives. However, Friedman notes that the memo, unlike the other early MJ-12 papers which were available only as photos, is on original onionskin
Onionskin
Onionskin or onion skin is a thin, light-weight, strong, often translucent paper. It was usually used with carbon paper for typing duplicates in a typewriter, for permanent records where low bulk was important, or for airmail correspondence...

 paper widely used by the government at that time (1953 - early 70's) and unavailable in stationery stores. The document also has some subtle historical and other details that a civilian hoaxer would be unlikely to know, such as a red pencil declassification marking also found with the other declassified files. Furthermore, NARA security procedures would make it difficult for a visitor to the Archives to plant such a document; even the skeptical Klass argued that NARA security procedures made it highly unlikely that Shandera and Moore could have planted the Cutler-Twining memo in the archives. Instead, Friedman has argued that one of the many Air Force personnel involved in declassifying NARA documents could easily have planted the Cutler/Twining memo in with other unrelated documents.

However, most researchers have argued that various subtle details point to a forgery (see #Arguments against for some). For example, the date of the alleged MJ-12 meeting does not correspond to any known meeting of import. However, this doesn’t negate Friedman’s point that the memo could have been planted by someone in the Air Force.

The FBI investigation (1988)


The MJ-12 documents were first made public in 1987 by Shandera, Moore, and Friedman. Another copy of the same documents Shandera received in 1984 was mailed to British researcher Timothy Good in 1987, again from an anonymous source. Good first reproduced them in his book Above Top Secret (1988), but later judged the documents as likely fraudulent.

After the documents became widely known with the publication of Good’s book, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 then began its own investigation, urged on by debunker Philip J. Klass
Philip J. Klass
Philip Julian Klass was an American journalist and UFO researcher, known for his skepticism regarding UFOs. In the ufological and skeptical communities, Klass tends to inspire strongly polarized appraisals. Klass has been called the "Sherlock Holmes of UFOlogy"...

. The MJ-12 documents were supposedly classified as "Top Secret
Top Secret
Top Secret generally refers to the highest acknowledged level of classified information.Top Secret may also refer to:- Film and television :* Top Secret , a British comedy directed by Mario Zampi...

", and the FBI's initial concern was that someone within the U.S. government had illegally leaked highly classified information.

The FBI quickly formed doubts as to the documents' authenticity. FBI personnel contacted the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations
Air Force Office of Special Investigations
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations , is a Field Operating Agency of the United States Air Force that provides professional investigative services to commanders throughout the Air Force...

 (counterintelligence), asking if MJ-12 had ever existed. AFOSI claimed that no such committee had ever been authorized or formed, and that the documents were “bogus.” The FBI adopted the AFOSI opinion and declared the MJ-12 documents to be "completely bogus.”

However, when Stanton Friedman contacted the AFOSI officer, Col. Richard Weaver, who had rendered this opinion, Friedman said Weaver refused to document his assertion. Friedman also noted that Weaver had taught disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

 and propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 courses for AFOSI and was principal author of the Air Force’s debunking Roswell report in 1994. (Friedman, 110-115)

Timothy Good in Beyond Top Secret also noted that Weaver in 1994 was the Director of Security and Special Programs Oversight of AFOSI’s Pentagon office, a very high level organization within the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. Good commented that AFOSI is “an agency whose work involves counterintelligence and deception, and which has a long record of deep involvement in the UFO problem.” Within Weaver’s office were “special planners.” According to Good, “In Air Force parlance, the term ‘special plans’ is a euphemism for deception as well as for ‘perception management
Perception management
Perception management is a term originated by the US military. The US Department of Defense gives this definition:Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems...

’ plans and operations.” Conducting an interview with one Roswell witness, Weaver himself admitted, “We’re the people who keep the secrets.” It is difficult to tell from interviews such as these, as the cold war
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 tactics of deceptions within deceptions are intentionally vague as to where the disinformation and coverup of espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 ends and the government's actual investigation into UFOs begins.

William Moore would later reveal that the whole New Mexico UFO disinformation scheme was run out of the Pentagon by a Colonel Barry Hennessey of AFOSI. When the Defense Department phone directory was checked, Hennessey was listed under the "Dept. of Special Techniques." Working under him at the time was the same Col. Weaver.

Friedman therefore raised the question as to whether Weaver rendered an objective intelligence opinion about the authenticity of the MJ-12 papers or was deliberately misleading the FBI as a counterintelligence and disinformation agent, much like Doty had done with Moore and Howe earlier.

Journalist Howard Blum
Howard Blum
Howard Blum is an American author and journalist.In 1986, Blum began working as a reporter for the New York Times, where he earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations. Since 1994, Blum has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair....

 in his book Out There (1990) further described the FBI’s difficulty in getting at the truth of the matter. One frustrated FBI agent told Blum, “All we’re finding out is that the government doesn’t know what it knows. There are too many secret levels. You can’t get a straight story. It wouldn’t surprise me if we never know if the papers are genuine or not.”

Arguments for

  • The National Archives
    National Archives and Records Administration
    The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

     contain one document relating to MJ-12, found in 1985, which has been interpreted as corroborative evidence for the MJ-12 documents being genuine:

"Memorandum for General Twining, from Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler was a U.S. government official. He was the first person appointed to the newly created position of National Security Advisor during the Eisenhower Administration, serving between 1953 and 1955, and again from 1957 to 1958...

, Special Assistant to the President, Subject: "NSC/MJ-12 Special Studies Project" dated July 14, 1954. The memos advised Twining of a change of scheduling for a planned briefing following an already scheduled, unspecified "White House meeting" on July 16. Cutler was Eisenhower's National Security Adviser. The memorandum does not identify MJ-12 or the purpose of the briefing (see links). However, arguments have been made against this document's authenticity; see below.

  • Regarding the Cutler memo, Jim Speiser writes, "The alleged maker of the memo, Robert Cutler, was out of the country when it was typed. Researchers counter that Cutler's assistants, James Lay and Patrick Coyne, routinely sent out memos under Cutler's name, and they point to the fact that the memo (extant now in carbon copy only) is unsigned." Stanton Friedman has argued that if the memo had the absent Cutler's signature on it, it would have proven that it was a hoax.

  • Nuclear physicist and UFO researcher Stanton Friedman has offered other rebuttals of many arguments against the documents' authenticity. For example, Philip J. Klass
    Philip J. Klass
    Philip Julian Klass was an American journalist and UFO researcher, known for his skepticism regarding UFOs. In the ufological and skeptical communities, Klass tends to inspire strongly polarized appraisals. Klass has been called the "Sherlock Holmes of UFOlogy"...

     suggested that the Cutler/Twining memo was fraudulent, because it was typed on a typewriter set for pica spacing (10 characters per inch), while Klass insisted that genuine White House documents of that era were only typed using elite spacing (12 characters per inch). Klass offered $100 for every example of genuine pica type that could be presented. Friedman responded, as Speiser wrote in the same article cited above, "Friedman provides no fewer than 20 such exemplars, more than enough to win the maximum prize." (Klass paid him $1000, though Speiser suggests the challenge might more accurately be called a draw: "Klass' letter specifically called for 'letters' and 'memoranda'; Friedman provides only headings and dates in his initial response.) Some other Friedman objections to Klass' arguments are provided further below.

  • Citing work by Timothy Good, C.D.B. Bryan notes the existence of a secret memorandum written by Canadian
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     radio engineer Wilbert B. Smith, who had long worked for the Canadian Department of Transportation. Dated November 21, 1950, the memo recommended that the Canadian government establish a formal investigation of UFOs (Project Magnet
    Project Magnet
    Project Magnet was an unidentified flying object study programme established by the Canadian Department of Transport on December 2, 1950, under the direction of Wilbert B. Smith, senior radio engineer for the DOT's Broadcast and Measurements Section...

     was this study). In part, Smith wrote that his own "discreet inquiries" through the Canadian embassy in Washington D.C. had uncovered the fact that "flying saucers exist", "the matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb", and that "concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush" into their "modus operandi
    Modus operandi
    Modus operandi is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as "mode of operation". The term is used to describe someone's habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning...

    " (Bryan, 186;) Smith's memo was authenticated by the Canadian government. Good concluded that this document is a major argument in favor of MJ-12's reality. Additional documents from Smith and the Canadian embassy named Bush and the Research and Development Board (RDB) as being needed to clear a magazine article being written by Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Edward Keyhoe was an American Marine Corps naval aviator, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.In the 1950s he became well-known as an UFO researcher,...

     on Smith's flying saucer theories. Smith also made some public statements about being loaned UFO crash material for metallurgical analysis by some "highly classified group" which he would not name, but indicated it was not the Air Force or CIA. In a 2002 interview, James Smith revealed that his father on his deathbed confessed to being shown actual craft and bodies by the U.S. government.

  • In a letter from 1983, Dr. Omond Solandt
    Omond Solandt
    Omond McKillop Solandt, CC, OBE, CD, FRSC was an important Canadian scientist who was the first Chairman of the Canadian Defence Research Board.-Career:...

    , director of the Canadian Defence Research Board (DRB), who had approved Smith's initial UFO study and lent support from the DRB (according to Smith's memo), confirmed meeting with Bush on a regular but "informal" basis to discuss flying saucers and Smith's UFO work.

  • Smith's primary source in 1950 was Dr. Robert Sarbacher, a missile and electronics expert and a consultant for the RDB's guided missile committee. When contacted again in 1983 by William Steinman, Sarbacher in a letter confirmed having the 1950 meeting, reconfirmed that Bush and the RDB were definitely involved, added that mathematician John von Neumann
    John von Neumann
    John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician and polymath who made major contributions to a vast number of fields, including set theory, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, ergodic theory, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics and game theory, computer science, numerical analysis,...

     was also definitely involved and he thought Dr. Robert Oppenheimer
    Robert Oppenheimer
    Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with Enrico Fermi, he is often called the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first...

     as well. He also reconfirmed that there had been flying saucer crashes and being told that the material recovered was extremely lightweight and strong. He was told about small alien bodies.

  • In later interviews, Sarbacher would also implicate electrical engineer Dr. Eric A. Walker
    Eric A. Walker
    Eric Arthur Walker born April 29, 1910 in Long Eaton, England, died February 17, 1995 was president of Penn State University from 1956 to 1970 and founding member of the National Academy of Engineering.Dr...

    , the executive secretary of the RDB from 1950–1951 and later President of Penn State University. Walker was contacted by phone in 1987 by Steinman. He was asked first whether he had attended meetings at Wright-Patterson AFB concerning the military recovery of flying saucers and bodies of occupants. According to Steinman, he responded, "Yes, I attended meetings concerning that subject matter." When asked as to whether he knew about MJ-12, he responded, "Yes, I know of MJ-12. I have known of them for 40 years." In subsequent interviews and correspondence by other researchers, Walker became much more evasive. But in two interviews from 1990, Walker, while saying he thought the MJ-12 documents were not authentic, also admitted he had had nothing to do with MJ-12 "for a long time" but they still existed and were "a handful of elite", no longer military, and no longer all American. "We have learnt so much, and we are not working with them, only contact. The technology is far beyond what is known in ordinary terms of physics."

  • Another person to implicate Bush and Walker as likely being involved was Dr. Fred Darwin, who had been Executive Director for the Guided Missile Committee for the RDB from 1949 to 1954, to which both Sarbacher and Walker acted as consultants. Like Sarbacher, Darwin also suggested John von Neumann
    John von Neumann
    John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician and polymath who made major contributions to a vast number of fields, including set theory, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, ergodic theory, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics and game theory, computer science, numerical analysis,...

    , and added alleged MJ-12 member Lloyd Berkner
    Lloyd Berkner
    Lloyd Viel Berkner was an American physicist and engineer. He is notable as the first person to measure the height and density of the ionosphere. This permitted the first complete theory of short wave radio propagation.Later he investigated the development of the Earth's atmosphere...

     and physicist Dr. Karl Compton.

  • Following a famous close encounter with a 300-foot flying saucer while flying from Iceland to Newfoundland on February 10, 1951 , Naval Reserve pilot Commander Graham Bethune relates that he and the entire crew were immediately debriefed by USAF and Naval intelligence. In May 1951, Bethune was again questioned by a Naval intelligence officer. Bethune says he then asked the officer where such reports ended up. He responded that they first went to "a committee of twelve men" screening them for "national security impact". If deemed to have such impact, it would never be sent elsewhere. Otherwise, they would be sent to USAF or Naval offices handling ordinary UFO cases.

  • Although he never used the name "MJ 12", Air Force Brig. Gen. Arthur E. Exon (Commanding Officer of Wright Patterson Air Force Base from 1964–1966) reported that a secret group of mostly high-ranking Pentagon officers were somehow involved with UFO studies; he nicknamed this group the "Unholy Thirteen". However, this does not necessarily mean Exon's "Unholy 13" and "MJ 12" were the same group. When Stanton Friedman sent Exon a copy of his 1990 "Final Report on Operation Majestic 12," he reported Exon "strongly approved" the contents and that the names of the "Unholy 13" group "were those of high-level personnel he thought would know about what was happening, not of people he knew to be involved in a control group."

  • Author Whitley Strieber
    Whitley Strieber
    Louis Whitley Strieber is an American writer best known for his horror novels The Wolfen and The Hunger and for Communion, a non-fiction account of his perceived experiences with non-human entities. Strieber also co-authored The Coming Global Superstorm with Art Bell, which inspired the film about...

     in his books Breakthrough (1995) and Confirmation (1998) claimed his uncle Colonel Edward Strieber, who had spent much of his career at Wright-Patterson AFB, knew of MJ-12: "My uncle informed me that he had knowledge of the Majestic project. He spoke of the delivery of alien materials, artifacts, and biological remains to Wright Field from the Roswell Army Air Base in the summer of 1947. He felt sure that the existence of these materials and what to do about them had been debated at the highest levels of the government. ...In 1991, after I had written Majestic [a partly fictionalized account of the Roswell incident], my uncle put me into contact with a general [Arthur Exon] – an old and trusted friend of his..." Strieber said Exon told him that everybody "from Truman on down" had known about the Roswell incident from the day it happened, and that it was known to be an alien spacecraft "almost as soon as we got on the scene."

  • Edward J. Ruppelt
    Edward J. Ruppelt
    Edward J. Ruppelt was a United States Air Force officer probably best-known for his involvement in Project Blue Book, a formal governmental study of unidentified flying objects...

    , the director of the Air Force's public UFO investigation Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

    , several times in his 1956 book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects hinted that there was another highly secretive UFO government group (or groups) operating parallel UFO investigations outside the public eye. For example, in discussing the demoralization of Project Sign
    Project Sign
    Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

     personnel following the rejection by Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg
    Hoyt Vandenberg
    Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg was a U.S. Air Force general, its second Chief of Staff, and second Director of Central Intelligence....

     of their 1948 Estimate of the Situation
    Estimate of the Situation
    The Estimate of the Situation was a document supposedly written in 1948 by the personnel of United States Air Force's Project Sign -including the project’s director, Captain Robert R. Sneider - which explained their reasons for concluding that the extraterrestrial hypothesis was the best...

     that UFOs were extraterrestrial, Ruppelt wrote that Sign personnel hardly investigated UFO sightings anymore and instead "More and more work was being pushed off onto the other investigative organization that was helping ATIC [Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB]." Regarding the 1950 investigation of the so-called Lubbock Lights
    Lubbock Lights
    The Lubbock Lights were an unusual formation of lights seen over the city of Lubbock, Texas, from August-September 1951. The Lubbock Lights incident received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great UFO cases in the United States....

    , Ruppelt wrote, “The only other people outside Project Blue Book who have studied the complete case of the Lubbock Lights were a group who, due to their associations with the government, had complete access to our files. ...they were scientists—rocket experts, nuclear physicists, and intelligence experts. They had banded together to study our UFO reports because they were convinced that some of the UFO’s that were being reported were interplanetary spaceships...”

  • UFO researcher and MJ-12 skeptic Brad Sparks, however, says evidence points to the group described by Ruppelt investigating the "Lubbock Lights" as being the CIA's Office of Scientific Investigation (OS/I), not "MJ-12". However, Sparks has also found evidence that the CIA OS/I division (today called the Directorate of Science and Technology) became the primary investigative group for the DOD's Research and Development Board (RDB) starting in January 1949. Researcher David Rudiak has pointed out that the 1950-51 Canadian documents mentioning an MJ-12-type group under Vannevar Bush's direction has them operating precisely out of the RDB, which would again directly link "MJ-12" to the secret group investigating the Lubbock Lights, as described by Ruppelt. Furthermore, MJ-12 was supposed to be the control group, and it would be very much in Bush's management style to assign investigative responsibility to others rather than MJ-12 conducting the detailed investigations themselves.

  • UFO and paranormal researcher Ethan A. Blight has presented refutation of many of the arguments put forth by critics of the documents, especially those of UFO debunker Philip J. Klass, which are used in the "Arguments against" section below. Stanton Friedman has likewise presented arguments that many of Klass' and other objections are either weak or completely bogus. Both Blight and Friedman argue that there exists no conclusive evidence against the authenticity of the documents, which, while not proving the documents' authenticity, removes much doubt. Both also argue that such false or misleading arguments are in fact characteristic of UFO debunkers in general.

Arguments against


Below are a number of arguments against the authenticity of various MJ-12 documents:
  • The FBI investigated the matter, and quickly formed doubts as to the documents' authenticity. FBI personnel contacted the U.S. Air Force, asking if MJ-12 had ever existed. The Air Force reported that no such committee had ever been authorized, and had never been formed. The FBI presently declares that "The investigation was closed after it was learned that the document was completely bogus."

  • Critics note that the documents are of suspicious provenance
    Provenance
    Provenance, from the French provenir, "to come from", refers to the chronology of the ownership or location of an historical object. The term was originally mostly used for works of art, but is now used in similar senses in a wide range of fields, including science and computing...

    . Shandera and Good both claimed to have received documents from anonymous senders, and most subsequent MJ-12 documents have surfaced under equally questionable circumstances.

  • Though Good initially thought the documents were genuine, he has since, according to Philip Klass, expressed "suspicions about the new ... documents" due to "some factual anomalies in their content."

  • UFO researcher Jerome Clark
    Jerome Clark
    Jerome Clark is an American researcher and writer, specializing in unidentified flying objects and other anomalous phenomena; he is also a songwriter of some note....

     discusses the MJ-12 documents in the "Hoaxes" section of his The UFO Book, and strongly favors a hoax
    Hoax
    A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, or rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences or April Fools' Day events that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes.-Definition:The British...

     interpretation. He notes that , a mere "handful" of ufologists support the documents' authenticity.

  • Another bit of evidence—which perhaps argues against Menzel's membership, at least—is that in 1949, he reported a UFO encounter to the U.S. Air Force. It is argued Menzel would have no reason to send a "confidential" UFO report to the Air Force two years later when he witnessed two aerial lights he described as "exceptional." Furthermore, Menzel's 1949 report makes no mention of any such group as MJ-12. See the main Donald Menzel page for more information and a counterargument.

  • Scientific forensic linguistic testing was applied to select Majestic Documents in 2007 by Dr. Carol Chaski and evidence was found to disprove attributed authorship. Dr. Chaski is the founder of The Institute for Linguistic Evidence (ILE), a research organization that validates reliable document authentication techniques and provides assistance to investigators and attorneys in criminal and civil trials whenever the authorship of any document is questioned or suspicious.."

  • The format of the Majestic-12 Documents, with justification
    Justification (typesetting)
    In typesetting, justification is the typographic alignment setting of text or images within a column or "measure" to align along both the left and right margin...

     and different fonts and type-sizes, generates some doubts: the first typewriter with IBM typeballs (selector compensator), and with it replaceable fonts, was the IBM 72, built from 1961 — and only the successors of this machine also had the memory necessary for justification.

  • Page 11 of the Special Operations Manual SOM1-01 refers to "Area 51 S4", which is the same nomenclature and location referenced by R. Lazar 35 years later in 1989. Lazar's unproven background and claims shouldn't have any credibility in this discussion.

Briefing document and Truman letter



Skeptics argue there is strong evidence that the briefing document and Truman letter are fake.
  • The typewriter used
  • The typewriter used for the Truman letter was a Smith Corona
    Smith Corona
    Smith Corona or the SCM Corporation is a US typewriter and calculator company. Once a large U.S. manufacturer, the company experienced sales declines in typewriters in the mid-1980s due to the introduction of PC-based word processing...

     model which did not exist until 1962 — fifteen years after the document was allegedly written.
  • The typewriter ribbon was worn and the keys were dirty. Truman documents from the period which are known to be authentic used fresh ribbons and clean keys.

  • The Truman signature
  • The signature of Harry Truman on the alleged letter to Forrestal is identical to the one known to be authentic on a letter to Vannevar Bush on October 1, 1947. The one on the briefing document is 3 to 4 percent larger and bolder, but this is explained by the fact that photocopiers do not reproduce things at exactly the same size. They match when the size is corrected and one is laid over the other.
  • Both signatures show a unique slip of the pen when starting the "H".
  • The "T" in the October 1, 1947 signature intersected the final "s" in "Sincerely yours". The same point on the Forrestal letter is slightly thinner, as if the intersection with the "s" had been modified with liquid paper
    Liquid Paper
    Liquid Paper is a brand of the Newell Rubbermaid company that sells correction fluid, correction pen and correction tape. Mainly used to correct typewriting in the past, correction products now mostly cover handwriting mistakes.- Brand history :...

     or the like before photocopying.
  • Since two different signatures from one person will always differ, this shows that the authentic Truman signature from the letter to Bush was copied onto the bogus letter to Forrestal, which was then photocopied.

  • Date format and name format in the briefing document
  • The dates have a superfluous comma after the month, e.g. "18 November, 1952". A comma is not used after the month in this date format. Every date in the briefing document has this error.
  • No known authentic letters or memos from Hillenkoetter has the error of the superfluous comma and none used the prepended zero.
  • All known authentic Hillenkoetter letters and memos use "R. H. Hillenkoetter" as the author's name, whereas the briefing document uses "Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter".

  • Other issues
  • The "TOP SECRET/MAJIC EYES ONLY" stamped on the document used a rubber stamp with movable letters, unlike actual classification stamps. The "I" was raised slightly.
  • Authentic Top Secret documents have a page count and page numbering: "Page __ of __ pages". The briefing document does not have this.
  • The warnings against copying do not match the wording of actual documents from the period of 1952.
  • The document uses "media" instead of "press", "extra-terrestrial" instead of "alien
    Extraterrestrial life
    Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

    ", and uses "impacted" as a verb—these words were not in common use until the 1960s.
  • James Mosley, who personally knew alleged MJ-12 member Menzel found evidence that Menzel and alleged co-member Hillenkoetter did not know each other.

  • Record searches. Other than the questioned Cutler memo, no other document mentioning MJ-12 has been found (not even the original briefing document).
  • The National Archives found no record of an NSC meeting on July 16, 1954. A search of all NSC meetings for July 1954 did not find any mention of MJ-12 or Majestic.
  • A branch of the National Archives searched NSC records for any listing of MJ-12 or Majestic and found none.

The Cutler Memo

  • The NARA
    Nara
    Nara can refer to:Geography* Nara, Attock, a village in Attock, Pakistan* Nara, Jhelum, a village in Jhelum, Pakistan* Nara, NWFP, Union Council of Abbottabad, Pakistan* Nara, Nara, capital city of Nara Prefecture, Japan...

     has issued a detailed list of problems which calls the Cutler memo's authenticity into question:

  1. The document was located in Record Group 341, entry 267. The series is filed by a Top Secret register number. This document does not bear such a number.
  2. The document is filed in the folder T4-1846. There are no other documents in the folder regarding "NSC/MJ-12."
  3. Researchers on the staff of the National Archives have searched in the records of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    Joint Chiefs of Staff
    The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

    , Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and in other related files. No further information has been found on this subject.
  4. Inquiries to the U.S. Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council
    United States National Security Council
    The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

     failed to produce further information.
  5. The Freedom of Information Office of the National Security Council informed the National Archives that "Top Secret Restricted Information" is a marking which did not come into use at the National Security Council until the Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

     Administration. The Eisenhower Presidential Library also confirms that this particular marking was not used during the Eisenhower Administration.
  6. The document in question does not bear an official government letterhead
    Letterhead
    A letterhead is the heading at the top of a sheet of letter paper . That heading usually consists of a name and an address, and a logo or corporate design, and sometimes a background pattern...

     or watermark
    Watermark
    A watermark is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light , caused by thickness or density variations in the paper...

    . The NARA conservation specialist examined the paper and determined it was a ribbon copy (i.e. not a carbon copy) prepared on "dictation onionskin
    Onionskin
    Onionskin or onion skin is a thin, light-weight, strong, often translucent paper. It was usually used with carbon paper for typing duplicates in a typewriter, for permanent records where low bulk was important, or for airmail correspondence...

    ." The Eisenhower Library has examined a representative sample of the documents in its collection of the Cutler papers. All documents in the sample, created by Mr. Cutler while he served on the NSC staff, have an eagle watermark in the bond paper. The onionskin carbon copies have either an eagle watermark or no watermark at all. However, Stanton Friedman has found other onionskin copies in Cutler's files that contain different or no watermarks. Most documents sent out by the NSC were prepared on White House letterhead paper. For the brief period when Cutler left the NSC, his carbon copies
    Carbon copy
    Carbon copying, abbreviated cc or c.c., is the technique of using carbon paper to produce one or more copies simultaneously during the creation of paper documents...

     were prepared on "prestige onionskin."
  7. The National Archives searched the Official Meeting Minute Files of the National Security Council and found no record of an NSC meeting on July 16, 1954. A search of all NSC Meeting Minutes for July 1954 found no mention of MJ-12 nor Majestic.
  8. The Judicial, Fiscal and Social Branch searched the indices of the NSC records and found no listing for: MJ-12, Majestic, unidentified flying objects, UFO, flying saucers, or flying discs.
  9. NAJA found a memo in a folder titled "Special Meeting July 16, 1956" which indicated that NSC members would be called to a civil defense
    Civil defense
    Civil defense, civil defence or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state from military attack. It uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation, and recovery...

     exercise on July 16, 1956.
  10. The Eisenhower Library states, in a letter to the Military Reference Branch, dated July 16, 1987:
"president Eisenhower's Appointment Books contain no entry for a special meeting on July 16, 1954 which might have included a briefing on MJ-12. Even when the President had 'off the record' meetings, the Appointment Books contain entries indicating the time of the meeting and the participants ...

"The Declassification office of the National Security Council has informed us that it has no record of any declassification action having been taken on this memorandum or any other documents on this alleged project ..."

Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler was a U.S. government official. He was the first person appointed to the newly created position of National Security Advisor during the Eisenhower Administration, serving between 1953 and 1955, and again from 1957 to 1958...

, at the direction of President Eisenhower, was visiting overseas military installations on the day he supposedly issued this memorandum − July 14, 1954. The Administration Series in Eisenhower's Papers as President contains Cutler's memorandum and report to the President upon his return from the trip. The memorandum is dated July 20, 1954 and refers to Cutler's visits to installations in Europe and North Africa between July 3 and 15. Also, within the NSC Staff Papers is a memorandum dated July 3, 1954, from Cutler to his two subordinates, James S. Lay and J. Patrick Cone, explaining how they should handle NSC administrative matters during his absence; one would assume that if the memorandum to Twining were genuine, Lay or Cone would have signed it."


In addition, although the Cutler memo was supposedly a carbon copy
Carbon copy
Carbon copying, abbreviated cc or c.c., is the technique of using carbon paper to produce one or more copies simultaneously during the creation of paper documents...

, it was folded as if it had been in a shirt pocket, which would be unusual for a carbon copy put in a file. The memo is in the National Archives; the question is how it got there, and if it is authentic.

A document entitled "SOM1-01: Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal" (ref. http://209.132.68.98/pdf/som101_part1.pdf) and found on www.majesticdocuments.com contains paragraphs with subheads set in the sans serif "Helvetica" typeface. The document purports to be from 1954, yet the typeface in question was first designed in 1957 by the Swiss graphic designer, Max Miedinger. The capitalized sans serif letter "R" (and others) found on many pages confirms that this typeface is not the much earlier Akzidenz Grotesk
Akzidenz Grotesk
Akzidenz-Grotesk is a grotesque typeface originally released by the Berthold Type Foundry in 1896 under the name Accidenz-Grotesk...

 sans serif typeface. This evidence seems to strongly suggest that this document is a fabrication.

Popular Media


In the video game Deus Ex
Deus Ex
Deus Ex is an action role-playing game developed by Ion Storm Inc. and published by Eidos Interactive in 2000, which combines gameplay elements of first-person shooters with those of role-playing video games...

the main antagonist of the game later on is revealed to be the secretive group Majestic 12. In the game's storyline, Majestic 12 is boosted by a private military force, bent on destroying those who know their true intentions of taking over the world, while covertly controlling the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and FEMA in the process. The player's goal is to remove Majestic 12's influence from the world by attacking their headquarters at Area 51
Area 51
Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield...

.

In the video game Destroy All Humans!
Destroy All Humans!
Destroy All Humans! is a video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by THQ. It was released for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 on June 21, 2005. The game is set in the late 1950s in the U.S. and parodies the lifestyles, pop culture, and politics of this time period...

, the Majestic organization is led by Silhouette, the main antagonist in the game.

In the roleplaying game Delta Green
Delta Green
Delta Green is a setting for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game created by Adam Scott Glancy, Dennis Detwiller, and John Tynes, aka the Delta Green Partnership, of the Seattle gaming house Pagan Publishing...

, which combines modern conspiracy theories with the works of H. P. Lovecraft
H. P. Lovecraft
Howard Phillips Lovecraft --often credited as H.P. Lovecraft — was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction....

, the Majestic-12 organisation is one of the major antagonists, having cut a deal with the Mi-Go
Mi-go
The Mi-go are a race of extraterrestrials in the Cthulhu Mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft and others. The name was first applied to the creatures in Lovecraft's short story "The Whisperer in Darkness" , taking up a reference to 'What fungi sprout in Yuggoth' in his sonnet cycle Fungi from Yuggoth...

 in the belief that they are the Greys.

The blink 182 song Aliens Exist contains "12 Majestic lies" as the last line to the song.

Majestic 12 is a major antagonist and sometimes ally in the television show Dark Skies
Dark Skies
Dark Skies is an American UFO conspiracy theory-based sci-fi television series that aired from the 1996 to 1997 season for 18 episodes, plus a two-hour pilot episode. The success of The X-Files on Fox proved there was an audience for science fiction shows, resulting in NBC commissioning this...

.

Majestic 12, among a few other conspiracy theories and scientific ideas, is mentioned in the episode "Protocol" of the avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series, Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is an anime series directed by Ryutaro Nakamura, original character design by Yoshitoshi ABe, screenplay written by Chiaki J. Konaka, and produced by Yasuyuki Ueda for Triangle Staff. It was broadcast on TV Tokyo from July to September 1998...

.

During the novel Scarecrow
Scarecrow
A scarecrow is, essentially, a decoy, though traditionally, a human figure dressed in old clothes and placed in fields by farmers to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.-History:In Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan...

by Matthew Reilly, Majestic 12 is shown as a secretive group of corrupt officials and executives that plot to control the world with stolen nuclear weapons.

External links