My plan had been to hold off on this until later, but with some suggesting there is still life in MJ-12, I thought I would attempt to drive a nail into this particular coffin. It is clear, based on some early research, that MJ-12 is a hoax created in the early 1980s, probably by Bill Moore and Richard Doty.
Here’s what we all seem to know. The information contained in the Eisenhower Briefing Document (EBD) reflects the state of UFO crash research in the early 1980s. Bill Moore told a number of people, and you can find their names on the Internet, that he was thinking of creating a "Roswell-style document" in an attempt to smoke out additional witnesses. Moore had said that he had taken the investigation as far as he could.
By this time it was clear to many that the Barney Barnett (who died in 1969 long before he was interviewed) connection to Roswell was weak at best. Barnett, who told his tale of seeing a crashed UFO on the Plains of San Agustin, did not have a date associated with it. Barnett was important to the earliest Roswell investigations because he mentioned seeing alien bodies and that was the only mention of bodies. That made it clear the event was extraterrestrial in nature.
The connection was drawn by J. F. "Fleck" Danley who had been Barnett’s boss in 1947, and Danley said that he had heard the tale directly from Barnett. Pushed by Moore, Danley thought the date of this story might have been 1947, and based on sighting in Roswell on July 2, Moore and others assumed the crash to have happened on July 2. This sighting, by Dan Wilmot, has little relevance to the Roswell case other than Wilmot lived in Roswell and it happened on July 2, 1947. There is no reason to connect the sighting to the crash.
When I talked to Danley it was clear that he had no real idea of when Barnett had mentioned the UFO crash. It could have been 1947, but if I pushed, I could have gotten him to come up with another date. Moore knew of the shaky nature of the Danley date.
To make it worse, I learned, in the 1990s, from Alice Knight, that Ruth Barnett had kept a diary for 1947. It is clear from that document that the crash could not have taken place on July 2, if Barnett was there. In fact, there is nothing in the diary to suggest he had seen anything extraordinary or had been involved in anything that would have been upsetting. In other words, the only document about Barney Barnett that we could find suggested that if he had seen a UFO crash, it didn’t happen in 1947.
Of course, in the early 1980s, Moore wouldn’t have known about the diary, but he did know how he had gotten Danley to give him the 1947 date. He would have known that it wasn’t true and that the Barnett story had nothing to do with the Roswell UFO crash.
This is important because it explains why there was no mention of the Plains crash in the Eisenhower Briefing Document. Moore knew that those on the inside would know that the Barnett story did not fit into the scenario. Moore left it out because it would expose the MJ-12 hoax for what it was to those who knew the truth.
And now we come to the other crash mentioned in the EBD. This is the Del Rio crash that was dated in the EBD as 1950. This is the story being told by Robert B. Willingham, who it was claimed, was a retired Air Force colonel who had seen the crash. Because he was a retired colonel, his story had credibility with those in the UFO community. I believed it for that very reason. A retired Air Force colonel would not be making up something like this.
W. Todd Zechel, a UFO researcher of limited ability, in pawing through the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena files, found a newspaper clipping about Willingham and his alleged UFO crash. Back in the mid-1970s, when Zechel found the clipping, no one was taking much notice of such stories. They were considered, at best, to be mistakes and at worst, to be hoaxes. But Zechel believed the tale, and tracked down Willingham. At Zechel’s insistence, Willingham signed an affidavit about the crash, proving to many that this was a solid case. Even the Center for UFO Studies included the Willingham story on the LP (vinyl) record they produced of interesting UFO sightings.
Moore knew of this story because Zechel had told him. In Moore’s book, The Roswell Incident, he devotes a brief mention to the case which establishes the link between Zechel, Willingham and Moore. More to the point, Moore believed the story for the same reason that the rest of us did. Willingham was a retired colonel.
The thinking is easy to follow. Del Rio is a real crash, but Moore didn’t have all the details. Those belonged to Zechel and what he had learned from Willingham. But Moore believed this to be real and if those on the inside were going to believe MJ-12, he had to mention this crash. Without the details, he simply added a single paragraph to the EBD that suggested the craft had been nearly incinerated upon impact, which, in reality, wasn’t that far from what Willingham originally said.
So, the MJ-12 document, using the information developed by Zechel and supplied by Willingham, 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 situation, then, in the early 1980s was that Roswell was a real crash, the Plains might be but the date was wrong, Aztec was a hoax, as proven in repeated investigations, and Del Rio was real because there was an Air Force officer who said so. Which, of course, explains why both the Plains and Aztec were left out and Del Rio was included.
I learned, as I was working on Crash – When UFOs Fall from the Sky, that no one had checked on Willingham’s credentials. I became suspicious when the date of the crash shifted from 1950 to 1955. I asked, but no one had ever looked into Willingham’s background. Apparently everyone thought someone else had done it, most believing that Zechel had conducted that research. The whole case hinged on the credibility of Willingham.
But Willingham had not been an officer, had not been in the Air Force, had not been a fighter pilot and had not been in a position to see a UFO crash. In fact, though I didn’t find the newspaper clipping, I did find a one paragraph report in the February/March 1968 issue of Skylook that gave the crash date as 1948, and suggested that there had been three objects. Nearly everything about that original case had changed, some times more than once. It was clear that Willingham had invented his Air Force career, was not a retired colonel, and had served just 13 or 14 months from December 1945 to January 1948 as a low-ranking enlisted soldier.
If Willingham, as the sole witness to the crash had invented the tale, then there was no Del Rio crash and the MJ-12 documents, or rather the EBD, was a fake. But in the early 1980s, Moore didn’t know this, most of the UFO community didn’t know this, and Willingham was still talking about the 1950 date.
Yes, I know what the answer to this will be. What relevance does Willingham have to MJ-12? Two separate issues. Except, they aren’t. There is no other witness, document, indication, suggestion, or mention of the Del Rio case without Willingham. If not for his discussion about the case in 1968, if not for Zechel’s interview of him in the 1970s, there would be no mention of a Del Rio UFO crash anywhere. That it is mentioned in the MJ-12 EBD, and we can draw a line from Willingham to Zechel to Moore, that suggests all we need to know about this. There was no Del Rio UFO crash and if there was none, then it shouldn’t have been mentioned in the Eisenhower Briefing Document.
If we look at the state of UFO research today, we realize that much of what was said in the EBD about Roswell was not quite right and the information about Del Rio completely wrong. The more we learn about the events in Roswell, and the more we learn about the lack of detail for Del Rio, the better the case against MJ-12 becomes.
Couple the other problems to this, the lack of provenance, the typographical errors, the incorrect dating format, and the anachronistic information, then the only conclusion possible is that there is no MJ-12. There never was, except for a 1980 unpublished novel written by the late Bob Pratt with the assistance of Bill Moore and Richard Doty. The only question left is how long are we going to have to listen to the nonsense that is MJ-12.