Sunday, January 31, 2010

MJ-12 is Bogus?

This is not the promised new information about MJ-12, but it is something that I came across not all that long ago, which is not to say that it wasn’t published several years ago. Nick Redfern, in his anti-alien Roswell book (he proposes a terrestrial explanation), noted that the FBI investigation hadn’t turned up any evidence for the authenticity of the MJ-12 documents.

Redfern quoted an FBI headquarters message that apparently was sent to the Dallas field office. It said, "The Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Air Force advised on November 30, 1988, that the document was fabricated. Copies of that document have been distributed to various parts of the United States. The document is completely bogus."

Apparently Redfern talked to a former OSI agent who told him there were no records found pertaining to MJ-12 or any investigation of the documents. Some seem to think that proves the documents were disinformation because there was no OSI investigation. The thinking goes if OSI had a hand in faking them, then, of course they wouldn’t have to investigate because they already knew the source.

Here’s what’s important here. The FBI investigated the documents and found them to be bogus. If there had been a hint of a security breach, if there had been any evidence that authentic classified documents had been leaked into the public arena, then the FBI would have followed up. The FBI would have been interested in finding the guilty parties and having them prosecuted... and, since this would be a matter of national security, those arrested could be tried without revealing the nature of the information that had been leaked.

Oh sure, we all would have been able to figure it out, but those responsible would have suffered consequences because if they didn’t, then others would feel safe leaking classified material... to the Russians (Soviets at the time), the Chinese, the Israelis, to our enemies and our friends. They might do it because of ideology or for money or just because their bosses had pissed them off. The point is, others would be encouraged to breach national security for whatever reason tripped their trigger.

The significance here is that the FBI did investigate and they reported that the documents are bogus. No one has uncovered a document that mentions MJ-12 that is from an official government agency (yes, I know about the Cutler-Twining memo and will deal with that later) or from anywhere else that validates the authenticity of MJ-12.

There has been absolutely no confirmation of the existence of MJ-12 in all the years that researchers have attempted to do that. All we have are a couple of documents without a provenance, that are riddled with the sorts of errors you wouldn’t expect in documents created at the highest level, and an official investigation that concluded they were bogus. Do we really need to go on?


Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

I think UFO supporters use the term "disinformation" because it sounds better and more mysterious than "transparent hoax.

For my money, the initial MJ-12 documents are almost certainly the work of Bill Moore (all the later ones come from much stupider hoaxers).

At least Moore knows how to play to his audience. He must have laughed his ass off at how the rubes ate up his disinformation agent story and how it became part of the UFO mythology/religion.

Lance Moody

cda said...

I agree with Lance Moody. There was no disinformation of any kind. They are purely the work of a forger or forgers. The MJ-12 papers are bogus for one very good reason: the events described in them never took place. Anyone who believes otherwise should provide hard evidence that the said events did take place.

cda said...

Just to add a little to my previous post, I am not persuaded that the FBI did much in the way of investigation. If they did, why did they not try to finger the culprit(s)? Had they taken this document the least bit seriously they would surely have done a bit more in tracing its origins. Phil Klass tried to get the FBI interested in 1987 but his view was that they gave it low priority.

Don't forget that the GAO did a similar brief investigation and added a note on it to their 1995 Report on their Roswell documentation searches.

I am curious what you expect to add re the Cutler-Twining memo, i.e. what has not been discussed at length 20 or so years ago. Have you got anything new to add?

Nick Redfern said...

Hey Kevin

Yes, I did indeed have a number of exchanges with OSI people, and USAF people too - some by letter, some by phone - on the matter of the MJ12 docs circa 1993 to 95.

Here's what we know for certain: a meeting occurred in DC on Nov 30, 1988 between agents of the FBI and agents of the AFOSI, in which the FBI was told the documents were a "fabricated hoax."

Both the FBI and OSI stated to me in writing that the meeting occurred, and both also said that they have no documentation on file relative to this meeting - either in relation to setting up the meeting or in relation to the meeting itself and its content, or in relation to what the AF told the FBI, beyond that the documents were bogus.

Some might say that if the AF merely said "forget it, the papers are fakes" and that was it, then there would have been no need to document it.

Others who sre supportive of MJ12 might argue that the lack of generating any paper-trail (at all) was a deliberate act to prevent anything relative to the meeting surfacing via FOIA.

Frank Batten at OSI told me in 1993 that the OSI was not holding any data on MJ12, nor had ever held any data on MJ12, and had conducted no investigation of the docs.

However, it was largely on the word of OSI that the FBI ceased its investigation. I'm hardly a pro-MJ12 person, but for the FBI to have closed its investigation on the word of an agency that openly admits it didn't investigate the documents is a little bit odd. But, then, bureaucracy is a little odd at times!

During this same period, I also had a number of interesting exchanges with Col. Richard Weaver. He too confirmed to me that the AF considered MJ12 (both the documents and the group) to be bogus, but admitted that there were "no documents respsonsive" to how such a determination was made at all.

As an aside, in addition to sending me copies of the MJ12 papers with an AF stamp on them which said something like "Not an official Air Force document" (I'll have to dig them out to see if this is the exact wording, but it's pretty close), he also sent me the 8 or 9 page Project Aquarius document (not to be confused with the one-page Bennewitz doc that mentions Aquarius) with the same "Not an official..." stamp on each page.

The last exchange I had with Col Weaver was when, quite out of the blue he mailed me right at the time it was published, a copy of the mammoth 1,000-page-plus AF report on Roswell and Mogul.

One additional thing I was able to confirm with the FBI was that the FBI people who spoke with the AFOSI in 1988 were from the FBI's counter-intelligence section, not just regular agents sent from the nearest field-office.

In fact, another issue I was able to clarify is the official name of the FBI's file on the MJ12 documents, which is "Operation MJ12: Espionage," and which is now in closed status.


Nick Redfern said...

One other matter: less well known is the fact that the FBI was tasked with looking into MJ12 again - in 1991.

The 1991 files reveal that, somewhat oddly, on the morning of 18 October 1991 a man (whose name is deleted from the relevant FBI documents that have been declassified via the terms of the Freedom of Information Act) who lived and worked in Salt Lake City, Utah had been walking "through the lobby of his place of employment" when he found copies of the MJ12 documents "lying on the lobby floor."

His response: he contacted the FBI.

As was the case in 1988, the FBI began asking questions - on this occasion, with the Department of Defense - as it sought to get the answers. As in 1988, the FBI was informed that the documents were utterly bogus.

Rather tellingly, a comment on one of the internal FBI documents (that is now declassified) states: "The fact that this Airtel is dated on Halloween day is purely coincidental; it could have been worse and dated on the first of April."

I have much more (no smoking guns, I stress) on the FBI and MJ12 and will probably do a full paper on this one day as there's some genuinely intriguing snippets of data there that do (I have to admit) suggest a deeper investigation of the documents

stardad9591 said...

Okay, your take is opposite of what Stanton Friedman espouses and it seems he has documentation to back up his position.

The commonality is that both of you cite various government documentation that backs up your position(s).

This is the crux of the matter, "government documentation" of differing types.

Anything that is "government" should be suspect. Period.

IMHO I smell CIA scent trails that lead to candles burning toward the middle.

Sarge said...

It would appear that ever since we first started work on the first U-2, there has existed an office deep in the Pentagon that has at its purpose the identification of, and possible interdiction of, like crafts of other governments.
I'm sure that even today they labor away at how to track satelites, and obscure objects they don't want seen.
One wonders what nickname,or code name, they might use. The military are fond of such things you know. A simple sguad of clerks could become the Majestic 12 or UnHoly 13 easiely enough around the coffee pot.
And if it were a group of high level officers or analysts the term may have started among the enlisted, and not even reflect much respect.
The phrase may have its roots in the government, but I for one doubt the documents relate to the same thing.

KRandle said...

Just a couple of quick responses because I'm caught in a bit of a dust up with my publisher and he wins because he controls the purse strings...

CDA --

I mentioned Cutler-Twining only because I knew someone would cite that assuming that I had somehow missed it. I didn't want to go into the details of how it was planted at the National Archives.

starda9591 --

Please cite any government document that suggests the Eisenhower Briefing Document and those other, related documents are authentic... They have no provenance and there have been no supporting documents found.

goldfive said...

I used to be a staunch believer in MJ-12, but I've become a fence-sitter in recent years on the matter. That being said, playing devil's advocate here-- I firmly believe the need deny information about the "ultimate secret" trumps the need to prosecute people for revealing classified info. IF the documents were indeed genuine, then the FBI or AFOSI arresting and prosecuting an individual or group would indirectly validate the information in the documents.

If they went through all that trouble to punish the responsible parties, it must be because the information is real.

So, IF they are genuine, once leaked it was better to let it go for fear of giving credence to them. Most people, and certainly the mainstream media would NOT believe the extraordinary claims in the documents, and of course skeptics came out of the woodwork to denounce them, so there was no need for the government authorities to step in and--pardon the pun- make a federal case out of it. Of course the FBI was going to do a token investigation, not because they were "in on" the secret, but because it's their job to look into security breaches like that. And AFOSI? Does anyone seriously believe a word that comes out of their mouths? They are in the counterintelligence business (Sheridan Cavitt's Roswell testimony comes to mind here. To put it bluntly, the FBI don't know AFOSI like we know AFOSI. So if the Air Force says the docs are bogus, the Feds are inclined to believe them. And again, does anyone seriously think the G-men investigating the docs believed that an alien ship crashed in 1947? I am quite certain the FBI was skeptical of the claims in the docs, and so when AFOSI echoed that skepticism, they dropped the matter. Tear apart the MJ-12 docs on the typo errors, Menzel being involved, stylistic elements-- fine-- but don't discount them because "AFOSI told the FBI their fake so they must indeed be fake".

By this logic, the Roswell crash did not involve an alien ship because the Air Force has told us three times now that it was nothing more than a weather balloon.

Joseph Capp said...

To be honest I am skeptical about MJ12 myself. But I ask Stanton Friedman about what he thought of your article. He said it was ok to post it. Here it is.
Joe UFO Media Matters

Thanks much. I would like to suggest that anybody with a serious interest in the MJ-12 documents read the 2005 edition of my book “TOP SECRET/MAJIC” and also read my review of Kevin’s book “Case MJ-12” which is on my website None of his arguments or any other I have been able to find stand up under scrutiny.Kevin is a good writer. His arguments sound good until one examins them carefully. One should also note that Weaver sent Nick a copy of the EBD with the handwritten word BOGUS in big print on it. It is exactly the same as what is on the FBI website. No substantiation at all. There is also an update on MJ-12 in a chapter in my 2008 book “Flying Saucers and Science”.. and a number of MUFON and other papers. Nothing like ignoring the destruction of the false claims made by the MJ-12 debunkers.. Hide with rhetoric instead of dealing with facts. .There are also many facts not known by Bill Moore or anybody else prior to the receipt of the documents but that turned up much later. How did the hoaxer know about them? Time travel with mental telepathy?
You have my permission to post and disseminate this anywhere. Especially Kevin’s blog.

Stan Friedman

Paul Kimball said...

I'd love it if Stan could name one fact not known to Bill Moore, or more to the point one of his friends in AFOSI (or their many channels of information within government), prior to the documents being released?

Just one.


KRandle said...

Joe -

I'm not sure that I'm delighted to have Stan's opinions on this, as well as his commercials about MJ-12here. He and I have debated this on several occasions and I find many of his arguments to be under whelming.

Contrary to what he says, he had not answered the many questions about MJ-12 nor has he been able to supply a provenance for them... a very key issue.

That said, you will note that I have not removed his statement, which, of course is my choice. Unless the arguments turn nasty, or insulting, I tend to leave them as written.

I will note here that there is a major problem with the EBD, which, as soon as I can get it written, I will post here.

Lance said...


I think one of the reasons that your blog seems so much more popular (based on the number of comments and the quality of the participants) than most of the other UFO sites is that you don't censor opinions that you disagree with (even mine!).

Some of the other sites (ufo iconoclast, the paracast, for instance) actually remove comments or ban users that disagree with their viewpoint.

I think you are doing something right. But maybe that's just because you haven't banned or censored me yet!

Lance Moody

BoyintheMachine said...

What amazes me is that nobody, to my knowledge, has addressed the suspicious fact that the MJ12 documents contain info on nearly everything associated with the Roswell Crash, from the retrieval of the wreckage, the autopsies of the "EBEs" (And I'm sick of people using this term), and to the resulting cover-up.

Why would we expect documents to be this informative, when in reality we should only expect just the barest of documents pointing to the existance of such a secre group instead of the whole kit-and=kaboodle that was dumped on researchers?

Any remember the MK-ULTRA program, with the only documents initially found concerning it being the accounting records which proved the existance of the program? We didn't get any intimate details of the program in the beginning, and more importantly, such documents only came to light from an instense search for them. They weren't just dropped into anyone's lap.

Also, has anybody questioned how curious it would be for the big-wigs in the army to even form such a secret organization as MJ12? I mean, if the purpose is to keep it secret, then why create an organization of men dedicated to keeping it secret, when such only allows the spilling of such secret when the group is outed.

INHO, if there ever was such a group in charge of the cover-up, then it would not be a seperate group unto itself, but rather would be a pre-existing group that had duties updated with dealing with the Roswell incident.

So my suggesting is this:

Ignore MJ12, just drop it. It's not even an issue anymore.


Stop looking for a seperate group of men who were charged with handling Roswell and other crashes. Instead focus on groups that were known to be around at the time of the event who could have been charged with the cover-up.

Just my opinions,


BoyintheMachine said... spelling/grammar is atrocious in the above comment.
Forgiveness, please.

For some strange reason I like to reply to blogs/comments when I'm dead tired and can hardly type, let alone keep my eyes open.


starman said...


"Some of the other sites....the paracast for instance....actually remove comments or ban members that disagree with their viewpoint."

Not true. Biedny actually thought you made good points about Roswell; he just couldn't stand the tone of your posts. In contrast, he disagreed with me but said he couldn't ban me just for that.

Lance said...

I know from the believer aspect, you would certainly feel that way. My tone was certainly no more outrageous than those I was debating. And I think it was several notches below that pompous, childish, petulant gasbag, Biedny.

Of course admitting something like that would take integrity and I'm not expecting much of that in this field.

Along with others in the congregation, I hope you rejoiced (as a righteous searcher for "truth") when David made the bad man who said bad things about the religion go away.

Biedny wisely once brought on a skeptic on his show who knew little about UFO's (and even with the deck stacked, Biedny still made some huge and easy to expose mistakes). I would love to debate him on the topic!


cda said...

'Boy-in-the-Machine' raises a pertinent point about EBEs. The Eisenhower paper tells us that the term 'EBE' was invented by Dr Detlev Bronk during their autopsies on the bodies sometime before November 30, 1947.

Presumably Stan Friedman, in his exhaustive researches among the MJ-12 members' archives, has never come across 'EBE' in Bronk's writings, or he would have shouted it from the rooftops years ago.

So where did 'EBE' come from? Did Bronk ever use this term, or was it coined in c. 1980 by a certain Paul Bennewitz?

Kevin: you say "there is a major problem with the EBD". Agreed! But this is nothing new. Are you going to offer us something new on MJ-12 soon, or will it be a rehash of the old stuff?

starman said...


"My tone was certainly no more outrageous than those I was debating."

"And it was certainly several notches below that pompous, childish, petulant gasbag, Biedny."

Your tendency to insult others and the whole field makes his action understandable.

stardad9591 said...

Well, my point was "beware of all government documents", but hey, if it's your opinion your sources are better than Stanton's, I don't think your stand is any more credible than his, just a different opinion is all.

I'm glad you let Joe post Stan's response, but you're right about it being more advertisement than pith.

Such is ufology.

Lance said...

"Your tendency to insult others and the whole field makes his action understandable."

Fair enough.

Thanks also for being sure to use believer-fairness by not admitting that Biedny does all the same things you accuse me of.

Oh, but he is on your side, no?

Lance Moody

KRandle said...

Lance and All -

Let's keep the discussion on track here. I don't really care about personal issues with those in other arenas.

starda9591 -

On the question of MJ-12, to what sources of Stan do you refer. The documents arrived with no provenance and so far no one has been able to find any reference to them in any other government repository, file or office...

Unlike Moon Dust, which was also classified, which was inadvertantly leaked into the public arena and to which we can find references in many government
documents, all with a known provenance.

CDA --

No, the stuff is new and should be up in a coule of days.

rekaazyh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.