Friday, February 17, 2012

Wilbert Smith and Project Magnet

For some bizarre reason, the Wilbert Smith documents have gained new life and I’m not sure why. Smith was a Canadian radio engineer who worked with, or for the government and was well thought of. He was, for example, the Senior Engineer at the Canadian Department of Transport. He also, according to researcher Grant Cameron, was responsible for “Radio Ottawa” where the Canadian “spies” reported in and which also monitored Soviet communications. Yes, I wondered about Canadian spies as well, but that something for another time.

According to the latest information, this memo, written by Smith on November 21, 1950, has just been recovered from the Archives of the University of Ottawa. I guess that means that the document was found in their collection, but it has been available for a long time. Though originally classified as “Top Secret,” it has been downgraded over the years so that it is no longer classified (which means only that its classification was downgraded and says nothing about the importance of the information included in it.) The complete text says:

TOP SECRET -------------- (downgraded to CONFIDENTIAL 15/9/69)


Intra-departmental Correspondence OTTAWA, Ontario, November 21, 1950 Place date
File Subject Our file Geo-Magnetics (R.ST.)


For the past several years we have been engaged in the study of various aspects of radio wave propagation. The vagaries of this phenomenon have led us into the fields of aurora, cosmic radiation, atmospheric radio-activity and geo-magnetism. In the case of geo-magnetics our investigations have contributed little to our knowledge of radio wave propagation as yet, but nevertheless have indicated several avenues of investigation which may well be explored with profit. For example, we are on the track of a means whereby the potential energy of the earth's magnetic field may be abstracted and used.

On the basis of theoretical considerations a small and very crude experimental unit was constructed approximately a year ago and tested in our Standards Laboratory. The tests were essentially successful in that sufficient energy was abstracted from the earth's field to operate a voltmeter, approximately 50 milliwatts. Although this unit was far from being self-sustaining, it nevertheless demonstrated the soundness of the basic principles in a qualitative manner and provided useful data for the design of a better unit.

The design has now been completed for a unit which should be self- sustaining and in addition provide a small surplus of power. Such a unit, in addition to functioning as a 'pilot power plant' should be large enough to permit the study of the various reaction forces which are expected to develop.

We believe that we are on the track of something which may well prove to be the introduction to a new technology. The existence of a different technology is borne out by the investigations which are being carried on at the present time in relation to flying saucers.

While in Washington attending the NARB Conference, two books were released one titled "Behind the Flying Saucer" by Frank Scully, and the other "The Flying Saucers are Real" by Donald Keyhoe. Both books dealt mostly with the sightings of unidentified objects and both books claim that flying objects were of extra-terrestrial origin and might well be space ships from another planet. Scully claimed that the preliminary studies of one saucer which fell into the hands of the United States Government indicated that they operated on some hitherto unknown magnetic pinciples. It appeared to me that our own work in geo-magnetics might well be the linkage between our technology and the technology by which the saucers are designed and operated. If it is assumed that our geo-magnetic investigations are in the right direction, the theory of operation of the saucers becomes quite straightforward, with all observed features explained qualitatively and quantitatively.

I made discreet enquiries through the Canadian Embassy staff in Washington who were able to obtain for me the following information:

a. The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb.

b. Flying saucers exist.

c. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush.

d. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.

I was further informed that the United States authorities are investigating along quite a number of lines which might possibly be related to the saucers such as mental phenomena and I gather that they are not doing too well since they indicated that if Canada is doing anything at all in geo-magnetics they would welcome a discussion with suitably accredited Canadians.

While I am not yet in a position to say that we have solved even the first problems in geo-magnetic energy release, I feel that the correlation between our basic theory and the available information on saucers checks too closely to be mere coincidence. It is my honest opinion that we are on the right track and are fairly close to at least some of the answers.

Mr. Wright, Defence Research Board liaison officer at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, was extremely anxious for me to get in touch with Doctor Solandt, Chairman of the Defence Research Board, to discuss with him future investigations along the line of geo-magnetic energy release.

I do not feel that we have as yet sufficient data to place before Defence Research Board which would enable a program to be initiated within that organization, but I do feel that further research is necessary and I would prefer to see it done within the frame work of our own organization with, of course, full co-operation and exchange of information with other interested bodies.

I discussed this matter fully with Doctor Solandt, Chairman of Defence Research Board, on November 20th and placed before him as much information as I have been able to gather to date. Doctor Solandt agreed that work on geo-magnetic energy should go forward as rapidly as possible and offered full co-operation of his Board inproviding laboratory facilities. Acquisition of necessary items of equipment, and specialized personnel for incidental work in the project. I indicated to Doctor Solandt that we would prefer to keep the project within the Department of Transport for the time being until we have obtained sufficient information to permit a complete assessment of the value of the work.

It is therefore recommended that a PROJECT be set up within the frame work of this Section to study this problem and that the work be carried on a part time basis until such time as sufficient tangible results can be seen to warrant more definitive action. Cost of the program in its initial stages are expected to be less than a few hundred dollars and can be carried by our Radio Standards Lab appropriation. Attached hereto is a draft of terms of reference for such a project which, if authorized, will enable us to proceed with this research work within our own organization.

(signed) W B S M I T H
(W.B. Smith) Senior Radio Engineer

That is the full text of the document and it is clearly a document that was held at a high level of classification by the Canadian government. But there are some things that we can say about it.

First, this is a report by one man telling of his meetings with others and some of their discussions. For the parts that interest us, which is, of course, the material relating to UFOs, there is no outside corroboration of the facts as he stated. It is clear that he is reporting what he believes to be the truth, as told to him by others, but that doesn’t get us to a point where there is an official confirmation of the data by either the Canadian government or by the United States.

In that respect, this is similar to the FBI document that generated all that interest last year. Yes, that document referred to UFO crashes, and yes it was an official FBI document, but that report seemed to be generated by the Frank Scully book and not by anything official. This seems to be some of the same thing.

Might I relate a bit of personal experience here. I had appeared on a national television program in 1991 and before I could get home, some fellow had attempted to contact me with important information and with evidence in the form of classified documents. He had received them from an inside government source who was credible, but who, because of his government position wanted to remain anonymous.

What did he have?

The Eisenhower Briefing and the Truman memo from MJ-12. I don’t know where he got his copies, but by 1991, they were floating all over the place. If the man had truly gotten them from an inside source, and had we had the name of the source so that we could verify his government connections, that would have been one thing. But we didn’t, so that information was as useless as the rest of the MJ-12 documents.

This document created by Smith is a report by a member of the Canadian government about several issues, including the flying saucers. He does make reference to two books, one, Behind the Flying Saucers has been discredited, and the other, by Major Don Keyhoe does not talk of crashes and bodies, but of the cover up by the Air Force. Smith doesn’t mention any other sources of information and that seems to be a critical point here.

What we have to do is see it in the context of the time and the context with which it was written. It wasn’t an official government study approved up and down the chain. It wasn’t designed to prove anything about UFOs one way or another. It was simply a report by one man about a conference he attended and he mentioned the UFOs as part of the discussions that took place there, unofficially.

In other words, it is interesting, but it doesn’t provide the evidence of either flying saucers or government cover ups. It is a document composed of rumor without foundation, and unfortunately, that is all that can be said for it.


Nick Rossi said...

Hi Kevin,

Does it make your head hurt every time the same old stuff gets barfed up over and over?

I was wondering if it is possible that Mr. Moore had some sort of legitimate "in the know" contact in the government and that portions of the MJ12 documents may be true?



cda said...

As you say, the Smith memo is 'old hat'. Of interest is the fact that it launched the infamous MJ-12 papers. It did so by the mention of the name of Vannevar Bush. Moore, Friedman & Shandera then began a systematic search of Bush's papers at the National Archives. Lo and behold they discovered all of the MJ-12 names within those papers. Surprise!

There is a lot that I could say about this grossly overrated Smith memo, but space forbids and it is generally well known now anyway, and of limited interest.

Needless to say, it still fascinates portions of the pro-ET lobby and always will. This despite the fact that Mr Smith had no 'need to know' at all (about Roswell or anything else), and was a Canadian citizen, not a US one.

Kurt Peters said...

...thank you for your service, Kevin.

...I just wanted to contact you to say that I have absolutely NOTHING to add to your blogpost....

cda said...

On looking again at a photocopy of the original memo, I see that two brief handwritten notes appear at the end - from the recipient (C.P.Edwards) and a colleague. Neither thought it important enough to write Smith a formal reply authorising Project Magnet; they merely handwrote a very brief acknowledgement at the end of the memo. And this in response to a supposed official top secret memo.

Strange indeed. But then Smith was a strange (very strange) guy.

Smith had met Keyhoe in Washington in September of that year and they had a long discourse on saucers and their mode of propulsion, as well as cover-ups, etc.

Daniel Transit said...

Observations I made of the flight of UFOs over London on at least two evenings, 1983 & 1985, are entirely consistent with certain statements about flying saucers made by Frank Scully in his book. To merely dismiss the entire book as 'discredited' is - at best - to only see the content of the book you want to see. I know from what I saw that Frank Scully had some important knowledge about the subject in 1950, and this knowledge is just as valid now as it was then.

Frank Warren said...

Hi Kevin,

Just to be clear: although the FBI doc cited was certainly referencing Aztec minutiae, it was dated March 22, 1950; Scully's book came out 6 months later.


Randel Smith said...

Hi Kevin,

I don't understand Frank (Warren)'s note as to the publication dates being in disagreement between Scully's book and the FBI document, perhaps he or someone can elaborate?

The Scully book came out Sept. of 1950, before the FBI doc date in November. At least according to what I have been able to look up in a few minutes. I have a first edition of the book, which does not give the month, but Wiki says September 1950 is when it came out. Scully's forward says he wrote that opening on 'Decoration Day', i.e. Memorial Day, being in late May of 1950. Ideas, anyone? It all seems to fit date wise to me.

What got my attention in Mr. Smith's note is the main theme about drawing power from the Earth's magnetic field. I've always thought the way to end our energy troubles was to find a way to use the power of the Earth itself, in some way. Does this idea excite anyone else?

Randel Smith

cda said...

To Randel Smith

The dates you require are:

March 22, 1950: FBI (Guy Hottel) memo written.

June 1950: Keyhoe's first book published.

Sept 1950: Scully's book published

Sept 1950: Smith goes to Washington for the NARB conference, where he meets various people at the Canadian Embassy. (Scully's book had been out for about a week). He also sees Keyhoe, privately, for discourse on the UFO situation and UFO propulsion.

Nov 21, 1950: Smith memorandum written, requesting authorisation for Project Magnet.

Although the Scully book was published in Sept '50, there had been earlier articles by him in Variety magazine, on the same topic, in late 1949.

Randel Smith said...



cda said...


Have just seen your battle of words with STF on the Updates. I will now slightly revise my original claim that Moore, Shandera & Friedman got all the MJ-12 names from Bush's papers at the National Archives.

Please place the word "almost" in front of "all" in the above to keep STF happy (or unhappy?). Their archival research was done several years before the infamous MJ-12 stuff appeared, as I am sure you were aware of.

Long live the name of Wilbert Smith, the unwitting instigator of an outstanding UFO forgery, one that even deceived a prominent nuclear physicist.

Larry said...

Unless I’m missing something, there are at least three facts about the Smith memo that seem to be true, independent of anybody’s hunches, suspicions, or speculation:

First, it is an official Canadian government document with a provenance. That means it’s real. Second, it unquestionably was a classified document with an original Top Secret designation. That means it was serious (at the time). Third, the memo actually resulted in the establishment of the project Smith requested. That means that the Canadian government believed his claims to be truthful (at the time).

I’m curious to know if any skeptic has any actual facts or evidence that would refute any of these 3 conclusions?

David Rudiak said...

To add to Larry's list:
1. The memo mentions the endorsement and support of Dr. Omandt Solandt, head of Canada's Defence Research Board, the equivalent of the U.S. DOD's Research & Development Board, first headed up by Dr. Vannevar Bush. The main difference is that Solandt's DRB had Cabinet status. So the information was indeed taken VERY seriously.

2. Smith obtained his information through inquiries by the Canadian embassy in Washington. As I write further on my website:

"Among Canadian embassy personnel named in Smith's collection of correspondence are Gordon Cox, Lt. Col. Bremner, a military attache, and Dr. Arnauld Wright, Canadian Defence Research Board (DRB) Liaison Officer. Another name to pop up frequently was Dr. Omand Solandt, Chairman of the Canadian DRB. Wright was the liaison with Solandt."

It was Bremner who arranged the interview with Dr. Robert Sarbarcher. Smith had handwritten notes of the meeting, which formed much (but not all) of Smith's eventual memo.

A very significant fact not mentioned in Kevin's essay is that Smith's papers didn't end with his famous memo. There was additional correspondence concerning an article Donald Keyhoe wanted to write for TRUE magazine concerning Smith's theories of how flying saucers utilized Earth's magnetic field for energy and propulsion. The correspondence deals with how the article had to undergo review and clearance from Solandt, the Canadian RDB, the U.S. RDB, and Vannevar Bush. It also mentions further Canadian embassy involvement and the need

This should beg the obvious question, why did a stupid magazine article by Keyhoe on Smith's flying saucer ideas require such high level clearance from the agencies and heads of two different national research and development agencies and their heads?

The summary of these various documents,again from my website (with links to the documents):

Nov. 21, 1950: Smith's Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport:
First document to name Bush as heading highly secret UFO group. States flying saucers exist and subject is classified higher than the H-bomb. Also mentions U.S. looking into "mental phenomena" associated with saucers. Discusses conversations with Dr. Solandt of the Canadian DRB giving the green light to Smith's proposed research and promising DRB help and cooperation...

Sept. 15, 1950: Smith's handwritten notes of meeting with Sarbarcher:
Smith says they were written down from memory immediately following interview. The major difference from Smith's later memo, where he doesn't identify source, is that Sarbarcher when asked about Frank Scully's book states that the "facts reported in the book are substantially correct." Sarbarcher mentions nothing about "mental phenomena" or Dr. Vannevar Bush being in charge of secret group, as in above memo, so Smith must have gotten this information from another source or sources.

(continued part 2)

David Rudiak said...

Part 2:

Nov. 24, 1950: Smith's memo to Dr. Solandt about Keyhoe's proposed article:
Mentions permission was required first by the U.S. RDB before it could be published. Also requests review by Solandt and others at the DRB of latest revision.

Jan. 3, 1951: Letter from Smith to Gordon Cox at the Canadian embassy:
Smith inquires as to what has become of the Keyhoe article. Says the article was first to be returned to the embassy, after which "Keyhoe was to take it to Dr. Bush for clearance." Again mentions that Solandt and the DRB were to review latest revisions and make changes "which they might consider in Canadian interests."

Jan. 6, 1951: Gordon Cox reply to Smith:
Tells Smith that Keyhoe's article was returned to Keyhoe by Dr. Wright. Wright hadn't heard further from Bush or what Bush did. Cox wanted to get in contact with Keyhoe to learn more, with Lt. Col. Bremner arranging contact. Smith would probably hear more via the Wright/Solandt channel. Official position was that nobody at the embassy knew anything. By the Canadian ambassador's instruction, only Cox and Wright were to discuss the matter with anyone.

In addition, when William Steinman wrote Solandt in 1983, Solandt was less than candid about his involvement. When Steinman then sent him various Smith documents fingering Bush as heading up the highly secret RDB flying saucer research group, Smith telling Solandt about, and Solandt officially backing Smith's research, Solandt finally admitted to discussing flying saucer research with both Smith and Bush "informally" (but also denigrating Smith's ideas and research).

Again, despite Solandt's use of weasel words like "informally", why the heck was he discussing flying saucers with Bush at all if there was nothing to Smith's memo and his interview with Sarbacher? And why would he officially back Smith with his department's support if he personally believed there was nothing to it? Project Magnet was real, and so was the parallel Project Second Story. Both were official Canadian UFO inquiries backed by the DRB and the Canadian government, with Smith playing the primary role in both. There is no denying these facts.

David Rudiak said...

I wrote:
"...There was additional correspondence concerning an article Donald Keyhoe wanted to write for TRUE magazine concerning Smith's theories of how flying saucers utilized Earth's magnetic field for energy and propulsion. The correspondence deals with how the article had to undergo review and clearance from Solandt, the Canadian RDB, the U.S. RDB, and Vannevar Bush."

I then wrote (but didn't complete):

"It also mentions further Canadian embassy involvement and the need"

This should have read "...and the need for secrecy from those involved at the Canadian embassy."

Again, the point is that the information was considered very important and sensitive.

cda said...

In response to Larry, the copy I have of Smith's memo only has "Top Secret" typed on the first page, together with a very faded rubber stamp. It has nothing on pages 2 and 3. I believe it is the practice to either stamp or write "Top Secret" on every page of an official document, for obvious reasons.

This leads me to believe that Smith was either very careless or, more likely, merely put "Top secret" on it himself (without official approval) as a means of keeping the contents, i.e. the Project Magnet request, private from prying eyes.

A letter I have from Dr Solandt confirms this. Also, he gave me this information WITHOUT me requesting it. According to Solandt, Smith had no clearance to put 'Top secret' on anything.

cda said...

In response to David Rudiak:

One reason Solandt and Bush, and maybe Sarbacher, might have discussed UFOs in the 1950 period is that both were interested in what was a hot topic at the time. The Scully and Keyhoe books were best-sellers that year. There were loads of interested scientists in those early days; no surprises in that.

As to Project Magnet and Second Storey, the latter was official, the former was not. At least that is the (authoritative?) statement of Edward Condon on p.554 of the Condon Report. Smith was head of Magnet but only a 'bystander' on Second Storey.

Lance said...

I don't suppose that it will matter much that most skeptics agree that governments took saucers very seriously in this period.

So what?

It was after the dull and dreary parade of crappy disconfirming evidence that official entities began to allow their interest in the topic to wane slowly.

That believers make anything out of the systematic efforts of the government to get to the bottom of UFOs is self defeating. Yes, it was taken seriously at first. But rationality and science indicated that the topic was much much less than the believers wanted it to be.

Since then, since 1947, it has maintained itself as exactly the same as ever: a fringe mythology with NO supporting convincing evidence, just sad anecdotes and worthless pious conjecture from self-appointed experts.



KRandle said...

All -

Here's the deal... I thought you all would be able to figure it out for yourselves.

Yes, Smith was a smart guy and worked for the Canadian government in some important places. Yes, the document has a provenance and no one is disputing that. Yes, he talks about crashed saucers, but not as part of the conference he was at... it seems it was part of the ancillary discussions prompted by the release of two UFO books including Behind the Flying Saucers.

However, his report is one man's opinion and does not reflect either an official opinion by the US or Canada. Yes, he talked with some Canadian officials at the embassy who told him that the US was worried about UFOs, but we really don't know if that was confirmation of UFO crashes... We have no names associated with the discussions though we can deduce some of it from later documents.

So, all I was saying was that the memo, itself, does not prove that there were UFO crashes, that it seemed to be based on unofficial discussions, and that it had been around for a long time...

Now please return to the arguments. Thank you.

cda said...


I have dealt with these points and fully agree with you on the value of the Smith memo to crashed saucers and to ufology in general.

As you say, Smith was not a mouthpiece for the Canadian government and his project was unofficial. But his memo, for crash/cover-up believers, contains two matters of interest:

1. Vannevar Bush's name
2. The "two points higher than the H-bomb" statement.

Both of these assume great import to some, but not all, ETHers. But they are based on hearsay not direct evidence. Sarbacher, Solandt and others were interested in saucers in those early days. Smith was a bit 'over the top' then and became much more so in future years (with him being a contactee). See his stuff in FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, for example, during 1958-62.

The only significance of this memo from a skeptic's point of view is that it undoubtedly was the starting point for the MJ-12 forgery. And I make no apologies for repeating this.

Smith, writing in late 1950, unknowingly sent several researchers, and counterfeiters, off on a massive wild goose chase 30-35 years later, which ended up with a monumental con trick being foisted upon the public, which endures to this day (as you admit).

That is the Smith memo's real legacy to ufology, although he himself was an entirely innocent man.

As you say, it does not prove there were any UFO crashes. But, as an ETHer, perhaps you would like to comment on the "two points higher than the H-bomb" remark, supposedly related by Dr Robert I. Sarbacher to Smith (via an intermediary) in Sept. 1950.

David Rudiak said...

(part 1)
I think you are taking the memo in isolation and not considering other documents and circumstances directly associated with it.

Who supplied the information? We know Sarbacher was the primary source because Smith had handwritten notes naming him, and most of the information in the memo is also in the notes.

Sarbacher also confirmed the briefing with the Canadian embassy military attache, Bremner, 30+ years later.

Who's opinion was it? The memo was NOT Smith's mere opinion, but the result of the information obtained through a briefing or briefings arranged by the Canadian embassy. Nor was the memo the result of Canadian embassy officials saying the U.S. was concerned about flying saucers. It was because Smith contacted them so that they could use their channels to discover whether flying saucers were real or not. Smith was not going to ask the Canadian government to commit to any research project unless there was some sort of official U.S. confirmation that they were real, regardless of what his personal opinion might be. (In fact, even within Smith's memo, he indicated he thought the research should be kept small and cheap, unless tangible experimental evidence turned up that they were on the right track.)

There was no official confirmation of crashed saucers: Well, not exactly. Interviewed later, though he denied direct knowledge, Sarbacher did say he was invited to attend the meetings of the Research and Development Board at Wright-Patterson on crashed saucers but turned them down because he didn't have the time. So he didn't learn of the crashed saucer/saucers directly but did know of them indirectly. Further he said he spoke to people who were directly involved. In addition, as discussed below, a number of high-level people in the U.S. and Canada were required to put their seal of approval on various aspects of this. Whether one calls this official acknowledgement or not, is a matter of semantics.

We don't know of the names of the people involved? Well no, we know the names of the Canadian embassy officials involved (they're named by Smith in his original memo and later documents), that Omand Solandt, head of the Canadian Defence Research Board was informed, not only by Smith, but also by the Canadian embassy official, Arnauld Wright, who was the liaison officer with the DRB. Further we know Solandt approved the research project, which became Project Magnet, and pledged DRB support. Further, William Steinman got Solandt to admit to having "regular" meetings with Vannevar Bush in which the subject of flying saucers and Smith's propulsion work were discussed "informally" (hedge word).

(Another name to come out of the interviews with Sarbacher was Dr. Eric Walker, who Steinman says he initially got Walker to admit to attending the crashed saucer meetings at Wright--he was executive secretary of the RDB at the time--and also admitting to the existence of--here it comes--"MJ-12" since 1947. Likewise, Armen Azadehdel--AKA Henry Victorian--who in multiple interviews got Walker to admit to MJ-12 and knowledge of the saucers and ETs. But the Walker angle is another long discussion in itself.)

David Rudiak said...

(part 2)
Finally, OTHER official documents show that Solandt, the DRB, Vannevar Bush, and the supersecret group (mentioned specifically in the Smith memo) Bush headed within the RDB looking into the "modus operandii" of the saucers, were all supposed to review and clear an article Donald Keyhoe was writing for TRUE magazine on Smith's saucer propulsion theories.

So again I rhetorically ask, why would such a magazine article need any sort of two-country review and clearance, much less at such a high level? To me, it certainly DOES sound like the top military R&D agencies of the U.S. & Canadian governments were very much putting their official stamp of approval on the reality of flying saucers.

I honestly don't understand how Smith memo can be so easily dismissed as not being of high importance and extremely incriminating, given the surrounding facts that led to it and what happened as a direct result of this. In NO way was the Smith memo and what came out of it the result of the mere opinion of a lone "strange (very strange) guy", as cda tries to denigrate Smith as being.

Full context is everything here.

cda said...

The other documents associated with Smith's memo that I have do not say anything about Bush serving on a secret UFO committee. Nor do they mention any such committee, although Bush's name appears in another context.

Keyhoe's article never appeared in TRUE because Smith informed him that the project (Magnet) had become classified, and he could discuss it no further. At this time Smith hoped to have a model of a flying disc in his lab.

Other matters: Two supplemental pages that are an addendum to the Smith memo were given me by Grant Cameron. There is no "Top secret" on either of them. Why not, considering that it is part of the Project? Did Smith forget?

Also, two other papers DR talks about (one from Gordon Cox to Smith, the other from Smith to Cox) have "secret" typed at the top. The rest of them have no security markings at all. Again, why not?

My conjecture, and it is only this, is that Smith's memo originally had NO security markings on it; it went to those above him who returned it with very brief handwritten comments, whereupon Smith typed "Top Secret" on the first page then filed it away from prying eyes.

Likewise the only reason Keyhoe never published his article is that Smith decided he wanted the project to be his and his alone. Hence his desire for secrecy and the misleading impression he gave to Keyhoe that the Canadian government had imposed the secrecy.

There is also the little matter of Stan Friedman's insistence that a "top secret" project can never be mentioned in another document of lower classification. Perhaps he, or someone else, can explain why, if Magnet was indeed a top secret project, it got referred to in other, only "secret" or even unclassified, documents at the time.

What it amounts to is that Kevin is right and that Smith's memo is grossly overrated in its import.

David Rudiak said...

Gee, the original Smith memo had a top-secret classification and cda just can't understand why. Perhaps it had something to do with the wording:

"a. The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb.
b. Flying saucers exist.
c. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush.
d. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.
I was further informed that the United States authorities are investigating along quite a number of lines which might possibly be related to the saucers such as mental phenomena..."

Let's see: U.S. "authorities" confirm that the flying saucers are not only "real" but of such "tremendous significance" that they are classified "higher even than the H-bomb". They have a special group under Vannevar Bush (later IDed in further correspondence as being within the DOD Research and Development Board) trying to figure out what makes them tick, including associated "mental phenomena".

Vannevar Bush was merely the head of all military R&D during WWII and afterward for several years in the JRDB and RDB. His counterpart in Canada was Omand Solandt, a man with Cabinet status, whom Smith says he has discussed all of this with and has his blessing and support for a small exploratory research project within the Department of Transport to see if Smith's ideas on flying saucers and magnetics panned out.

But cda, can't figure out why in the world a memo about U.S. officials confirming saucers real, of high significance, and classified up the wazoo to be of any import or why it would be classified "top secret."

If you cast the net a little wider, Smith's _private_ notes of the interview with Sarbacher has Sarbacher saying that not only were the saucers real, they clearly weren't from planet Earth, and the facts in the Scully book were "substantially correct". What was the bulk of Scully's book about? U.S. recovery of crashed flying saucers and alien bodies. So this was indirect confirmation by Sarbacher that crashed saucers/alien bodies were quite real.

The later correspondence between Smith and Canadian embassy officials who assisted him in his inquiries brings up the subject of Donald Keyhoe and his planned article on Smith's theories requiring clearance from Bush, Solandt, the RDB and DRB. It also mentions that the Canadian embassy should keep this all hush-hush.

But no mention of U.S. authorities confirming flying saucers are real, highest classification, secret saucer research group, mental phenomena, etc., etc. Thus no need for a "top secret" classification.

What exactly is so hard to figure out here?