There is a flaw in the Eisenhower Briefing Document (EBD) that has gone unnoticed since the MJ-12 controversy first erupted more than two decades ago. It is one that gives us a time frame for the thinking in the early 1980s and tells us that the document is a hoax. It goes beyond the misspellings, beyond the grammatical errors and beyond the flawed history. It tells us that the document is not authentic and even points a finger at one of those who might have had a hand in creating it... and no, it wasn’t the US government, the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI) or any other official agency.
First, however, one question that has not been answered. If the document is authentic and if there were UFO crashes on the Plains of San Agustin and at Aztec, New Mexico, why is there no mention of either event in this briefing? It covers the Roswell crash and references one near Del Rio, Texas. It would seem that if a briefing was prepared to advise the President-elect, in this case Dwight Eisenhower, it would cover everything on the subject. That those two events were left out seem to indicate some kind of fraud somewhere.
That, however, is not the main point in this discussion. What I’m looking at is the case from Del Rio, Texas, as reported in the EBD. It said, "On 06 December, 1950, (sic) a second object, probably of similar origin, impacted the earth at high speed in the El-Indio – Guerrero area of the Texas – Mexican boder [sic] after following a long trajectory through the atmosphere. By the time a search team arrived, what remained of the object had been almost totally (sic) incinerated. Such material as could be recovered was transported to the A.E.C. facility at Sandia, New Mexico, for study."
The only report I know of that talks of a crash in December 1950 and on the Texas – Mexican border came from a man who said that he was a retired Air Force colonel. He originally told the story, in the late 1960s, to a reporter in Pennsylvania who was asking Civil Air Patrol (CAP) pilots about UFO sightings. Robert B. Willingham (seen here in his "Air Force" uniform) said that he had seen something fall close to the border. That story was sent on to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) in Washington, D.C., where it sat unnoticed for more than a decade. I now wonder if those making the original report about the story might have gotten the organization wrong. This will become clear later.
W. Todd Zechel, a researcher of mediocre ability, found the story and tracked down Willingham. He got an affidavit from Willingham, signed in 1977, giving additional the details of the crash. At the same time, Zechel was talking to William Moore about the case, hoping to write a book about it.
In fact, in The Roswell Incident, Moore wrote, "Then a second group, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) was formed in 1978 under the directorship of W. T. Zechel, former research director of GSW [Ground Saucer Watch] and a one-time radio-telegraph operator for the Army Security Agency. CAUS’s announced aim was nothing less than an ‘attempt to reestablish that the USAF (or elements thereof) recovered a crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft’ in the Texas – New Mexico – Mexico border area sometime in the late 1940s emphasis added)."
According to the work done by Len Stringfield, the original crash story was of an event in 1948, but it was after Zechel entered the case that the date shifted to December 6, 1950. The best evidence was the affidavit signed by Willingham, who was the witness and who, as a retired, high-ranking officer, gave credibility to the report.
But it seems that no one had bothered to check Willingham’s military record. I asked a number of people about it and they all assumed that Zechel had done so. I saw nothing to verify this, so I attempted to do it.
Robert B. Willingham, according to the Air Force Records Center in St. Louis, entered the Army in December 1945 (which technically makes him a veteran of World War II) and left the Army as an E-4 in January 1947. That is all the military service that I have been able to verify and we all now know how accurate that information is (see National Personnel Records Center and UFO Witnesses from February 6, 2010).
I did learn that he had a long association with the Civil Air Patrol and I have seen a plaque given to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Willingham for his years of service to the CAP. It is dated 1948 to 1973 and was from the Pennsylvania Wing, meaning he was in Pennsylvania at that time, which is in conflict for some of his claims of lengthy military service.
For those who don’t know, the CAP is an official auxiliary of the Air Force, but the members are all volunteers who have no real standing in the Air Force. Twenty years of service to the CAP doesn’t qualify one for a retirement pension from the military. Those who serve perform a valuable service in search and rescue and during times of local emergency. They just aren’t Air Force officers even though they wear modified Air Force uniforms and are addressed by military rank.
And if all that is true, then Willingham’s story, of seeing a UFO crash falls apart because he wasn’t an Air Force fighter pilot as he claimed, is not a retired military officer as he claimed, and wouldn’t have been in a position to see what he claimed to have seen when he claimed to have seen it.
But even if Willingham was less than candid about his military service, he now claims that the crash didn’t take place in 1950. That had been Zechel’s influence. According to Willingham he had seen the crash in 1954, or 1955, or maybe in 1957. He is no longer sure of the date. He only knows that it wasn’t in 1950... and even if Willingham is telling the truth now, it suggests that the information about Del Rio as it appears in the EBD is inaccurate which undermines the validity of MJ-12.
Of course, nothing is that simple in the world of the UFO. I had searched for the original article because I wanted to know what it said, in relation to what the 1977 affidavit implied and what Willingham has said over the last five or six years. While I have been unable to locate the newspaper article, I have found the next best thing.
In the February/March 1968 issue of Skylook, once the official publication of MUFON, I found a single paragraph that causes even more trouble for the Del Rio crash, and tells us something more about Robert B. Willingham. That article said:
Col. R. B. Willingham, CAP squadron commander, has had an avid interest in UFO’s for years, dating back to 1948 when he was leading a squadron of F-94 jets near the Mexican border in Texas and was advised by radio that three UFO’s "flying formation" were near. He picked them up on his plane radar and was informed one of the UFO’s had crashed a few miles away from him in Mexico. He went to the scene of the crash but was prevented by the Mexican authorities from making an investigation or coming any closer than 60 feet. From that vantage point the wreckage seemed to consist of "numerous pieces of metal polished on the outside, very rough on the inner sides."
So, let’s connect the dots. We know that Willingham told his story to a reporter in the late 1960s and that article may have gone to NICAP but certainly found its way to MUFON. Zechel allegedly discovered the article in the NICAP files and tracked down Willingham who confirmed what he had said and even signed an affidavit about it in 1977. Zechel, in communication with Bill Moore, told him about the Del Rio crash and provided details, which is verified, to an extent by the paragraph in The Roswell Incident. Bill Moore’s friend, Jaime Shandera received, in the mail, the film on which, when developed, he and Moore found the EBD. That document contains the information about Del Rio that we all now know is inaccurate, to put it kindly.
Now, if there was no Del Rio crash, then there is no reason for it to be mentioned in the EBD... and if it is, then the document must be a fake. Even if you accept the last dates provided by Willingham, the crash happened years after the document was written and couldn’t have been included unless the writer was clairvoyant or wrote the document sometime after 1952.
There is no other evidence of a crash at Del Rio. There are no hints in other documents, no other witnesses contrary to Willingham’s claims, and nothing to support the idea. Eliminate it completely, and the EBD falls with it. Change the dates because of what Willingham has said and the EBD fails again. This might be the final proof that the document is a fake... especially when all the other evidence is added in. This should put the whole thing to rest (though I now expect the vilification to begin).