Saturday, August 16, 2014

MJ-12, The Unholy Thirteen and Roswell

Since it has come up recently on Facebook, I thought that I would revisit the “Unholy Thirteen,” as named by Brigadier General Arthur Exon about two decades ago. It was Exon who brought this up in my first interview with him, it was he who described the committee, and it was he who linked it specifically to UFOs.

First, though, a little bit of background. Back in the late 1970s, when cattle mutilations were all the rage, I did an article about my investigations into them and the fact that I had found terrestrial explanations for these seemingly inexplicable events. I wrote an article for one of the half dozen magazines devoted to UFOs but the editor sent it back with a note that he, or the magazine, wasn’t interested in another discussion of cattle mutilations. Imagine my surprise when the next issue contained a long story about cattle mutilations. It seems he was not interested in solving the mystery, but rather in keeping it alive.

My lesson might not have been what he wanted it to be. I learned that if I was going to write an article explaining something, I had better find an alternative mystery. Or, if I was going to expose MJ-12, I had better find another mysterious committee to replace it. Exon provided that for me with his discussion of the “Unholy Thirteen.”

According to Exon, he had run into this committee while assigned to the Pentagon in the mid-1950s. He said that he was not a part of it, but he did know who some of the members were. He linked it to Roswell, but in today’s world, given what we know about the history of UFOs, the creation of this committee might have preceded the Roswell crash. The information about the debris was sent up the chain of command, and this oversight committee, whoever they were, would have been about the last stop on the journey. Exon didn’t know their official name and called them the “Unholy Thirteen.”

Exon said that the information about Roswell would have gone to Brigadier General Roger Ramey in Fort Worth because he was the next level of command. It would have been passed farther up the chain of command to Strategic Command Headquarters (Kenny) which was in Washington, D.C., to the Chief of Staff of the Army for Air (Spaatz), the Chief of Staff of the Armies (Eisenhower), to the Secretary of War for Air (Stuart Symington), the Secretary of War (Patterson, I believe) and finally to the President (Truman, if I need to point that out). Remember, this would have been the first word of the discovery, and today it doesn’t matter what you believe fell at Roswell, this protocol would have been followed because in July1947, these top people were worried about the identity of the flying saucers. They wanted to know what they were, who made them and if they were hostile… which is not the situation we find ourselves in today.

Exon also said, “I just know there was a top intelligence echelon represented (here I think he is referring to Colonel Howard McCoy who had been studying these things since the Foo Fighters of WW II and for more about McCoy see Government UFO Files: The Conspiracy of Cover-up which is a plug for my book but would provide the details of this for those who want it) and the President’s office was represented and the Secretary of Defense’s office [at the time, July 1947, Secretary of War] was represented and these people stayed on it in the key positions even though they might have moved out [Symington, for example, becoming a US senator].”

This is important because these guys who Exon named were not mentioned in MJ-12 document, but given who they were and what they were doing, they would have been tapped for this kind of committee… but then, if Eisenhower was on the committee, he already knew about Roswell and there would be no reason for the briefing given to him in 1952. Given the structure of the government in 1947, these are guys who would have been involved and that they are not mentioned in MJ-12 is just another indication that MJ-12 is not legitimate.

We know that this was going on because Edward Ruppelt, one time chief of Project Blue Book wrote, in his book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, (page 109 in hardback, 147 in Ace paperback), “The only 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 [emphasis added]. And these people were not pulp writers or wide-eyed fanatics; they were scientists – rocket experts, nuclear physicists, and intelligence experts [emphasis added]. They had banded together to study our UFO reports because they were convinced that some of the UFOs that were being reported were interplanetary space ships and the Lubbock Lights were one of these reports.”

Now, none of this proves that anything extraordinary fell at Roswell but it does suggest that there was some kind of high power committee of mixed civilian and military that oversaw the collection of UFO information. Given the situation in 1947, and what we have learned about interest in UFOs that began with the Foo Fighters, continued to the Ghost Rockets and then to the flying disks, there is no question about this. The motivation for the formation of the committee seems to have begun before the Roswell crash (for a detailed look into this again see Government UFO Files: The Conspiracy of Cover-up).

Stan Friedman, to counter this “assault” on MJ-12, wrote that I had misquoted Exon in the magazine article and UFO Crash at Roswell. I sent transcripts, as well as tapes, of Exon’s comments to Don Schmitt and to me, on to him along with a copy of the book and asked what I had misquoted. He acknowledged that the quotes were accurate and then complained that I had given more emphasis to his words than they warranted… well, that’s sort of my job, deciding what was important in the interview. The important point is that the quotes were accurate.

So, where are we then? Well, the committee existed and we have documents other than Exon’s claims to back that up. Their purpose was to answer questions about UFOs. Exon tended to link them to Roswell, but given what we know it seems the committee was formed prior to anything happening at Roswell. It was very high level, it contained those you would expect to be on it, and this information tends to negate MJ-12, which was the purpose of my article published in the Spring, 1992. The point is, there is evidence for a high level committee, it was not MJ-12, and the documentation proves it.

Or maybe the point here is to show that the name, “Unholy Thirteen,” was just something Exon invented because he didn’t know the official name of the committee and to him it was a useful way to discuss them. He knew they existed and that they were charged with determining the national security threat of the flying saucers… especially in 1947 when no one knew much of anything about them... and that was about all he knew about that.


Don Maor said...

Thanks for this interesting post Kevin.

However, and I will resume my defense of MJ-12 documents here (call it devil's advocacy if you wish), the so called "Unholy Thirteen" story cannot not negate the MJ-12 list of people, as it was written in the EBD. Teams of people DO change with time. Do you have the exact date of the team members as listed by Exon? As far as I can read from your post, Exon was making some assumptions about some names.

I can draw from your interview with Exon that some secret group existed, most probably relating to recovered UFO technology, and it was composed by ABOUT 13 people, which can mean that other members could have increased or decreased the number in the team in the following years, yet being 12 the original number.

If something, Exon's interview comes to confirm the existence of the MJ-12 group, not the opposite.

KRandle said...

Don -

First, the name, Unholy Thirteen is not a reference to the number of participants on this committee. Exon's information was about the make up of the team in 1947 and i say this because of Stuart Symington and the position in government he held in 1947.

Second, if the list of names was the only problem with MJ-12, I would agree with you. However, there are other, fatal flaws in that document that prove it is faked.

The question I would have is at what point to you give up the defense of MJ-12. Just what evidence must we present to take it out of the picture and reduce it to the footnote it should be?

cda said...

The high level group that Ruppelt talks about, and that you refer to, was the CIA Office of Scientific Intelligence, consisting of H. Marshall Chadwell, Fred C. Durant, Howard P. Robertson plus a few others. Some of these people were pro-ETH.

I believe Brad Sparks solved this one, but don't remember the source.

So I think your conundrum (if you want to call it that) is solved.

It had nothing to do with any "unholy 13" committee Exon was talking about. Presumably Exon got the idea from reading Ruppelt's book, which was published around the time Exon claims he was told about its existence, i.e. in the mid-1950s.

Lance said...

Kevin, have you ever given any consideration to publishing the unedited transcripts of the many interviews you have done?

That would be a UFO book(s) that I would love to purchase.

Your early work at locating witnesses was important.


P.S. Don's comments above are meant as satire, right?

Don Maor said...

Sorry Lance, not satire. My point is still that the Unholy Thirteen tale does not negate the MJ-12 list, in logical grounds.

And yes...CDA puts on the table another alternative scenario...

cda said...


I fear Don's comments were serious.


My view is that Exon has made a bit of a mish-mash of things. He most likely has taken some of the MJ-12 names, then assumed that the 'high-up' group of people mentioned by Ruppelt was comprised of these MJ-12 members and invented a new name for them (Unholy 13) and thereby confused matters.

Do you still trust, for accuracy, what he told you? Are you familiar with his previous readings on, and familiarity with, the UFO topic?

Larry said...

CDA wrote:

The high level group that Ruppelt talks about, and that you refer to, was the CIA Office of Scientific Intelligence, consisting of H. Marshall Chadwell, Fred C. Durant, Howard P. Robertson plus a few others. ….”

The CIA had not yet come in to existence at the time of the Roswell event.

“…Presumably Exon got the idea from reading Ruppelt's book, which was published around the time Exon claims he was told about its existence, i.e. in the mid-1950s.”

This presumes that Exon could not tell the difference between a real memory he had and a suggestion implanted by reading Ruppeltt’s book. This also presumes that Exon (a general) would not have known about the subject except for Ruppelt’s (a captain at the time) telling him about it. At the time of the Roswell event, Exon was high in the chain of command of the exact organization (Army Air Force) that would have had primary responsibility for dealing with the situation.

CDA just making a bunch of stuff up, again.

cda said...

Kevin talks about a high level group, and then says it probably was the same group that Ruppelt mentioned in his book, i.e. the CIA/OSI group (according to Brad Sparks).

The 'Unholy 13' group Kevin talks about (as told to him by Gen. Exon) was a specific Roswell oversight group, if we are to believe what Exon says.

Why should anyone, including Kevin, assume the two groups were one and the same? The 'Unholy 13' group, if it existed, was obviously formed in July '47. The CIA/OSI group was formed at an unknown date, but certainly after the CIA was formed. There is no indication that this group had ever heard of Roswell.

So who is making up stuff? Is it Kevin or Gen Exon? Or has Brad Sparks got it wrong about the CIA/OSI?

Have you any bright ideas, Larry?

I have one bright idea: the 'Unholy 13' never existed. It is a total fiction like MJ-12.

KRandle said...


I didn't say it was the same group, but showing that high level groups that were not in the "public" record existed. Exon spoke of a group that was in existence in 1947... he used that date.

Exon was not influenced by the MJ-12 nonsense, but was talking about what his experience was in relation to these groups. In fact, Exon, as the base commander at Wright-Pat in the 1960s, mentioned a group coming into Dayton and then sent out from there to investigate UFOs.

If you look at the names that Exon supplied, you see that there are not the MJ-12 guys... and by the 1950s, when Ruppelt was in charge, the situation had changed radically. No one is making anything up... though, I suppose that they were.

It might also be that the "Unholy Thirteen" which, again, was Exon's name for those who were overseeing the UFO stuff, was not an organized group but more of an ad hoc committee, operating in an environment in which there was quite a bit concern about the national security issues.

Your analysis that suggests that Exon made a "mish mash" of the MJ-12 and the CIA is in error.

Lance -

There is nothing in the whole transcripts that would be of great interest to anyone... I have, in the past, provided to interested parties, not only transcripts but the copies of the tapes. And in one case I was accused of editing the tapes because I had left a single word out of the transcript... that word? "And"

Terry the Censor said...

> This presumes that Exon could not tell the difference between a real memory he had and a suggestion implanted by reading Ruppelt’s book.

I cannot say if it applies in this case, but such errors are common.

In my reading, I have come across two varieties of this phenomenon:

"Source amnesia is not a rare phenomenon – everybody experiences it on a near daily basis as, for much of our knowledge, it is important to remember the knowledge itself, rather than its source."

source-monitoring error

There are fascinating studies of how, over time, subjects misremembered where they had heard about the OJ Simpson verdict and the Challenger disaster. Usually, stories they heard from others, or facts they saw in later news reports and documentaries, were blended with their personal experiences.

Anthony Mugan said...

The suggestion that OSI were the other group referred to by Ruppelt is an interesting one, but doesn't stand up to scrutiny. To quote from Chp 8 of Ruppelt's 'Report':

"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.
And these people were not pulp writers or wide-eyed fanatics, 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 and the Lubbock series was one of
these reports. The fact that the formations of lights were in
different shapes didn't bother them; in fact, it convinced them all the more that their ideas of how a spaceship might operate were

This group of scientists believed that the spaceships, or at least
the part of the spaceship that came relatively close to the earth, would have to have a highly swept-back wing configuration. And they
believed that for propulsion and control the craft had a series of
small jet orifices all around its edge. Various combinations of these small jets would be turned on to get various flight attitudes. The lights that the various observers saw differed in arrangement because the craft was flying in different flight attitudes..."

Now, leaving aside that Ruppelt refers to this group in connection to the Lubbock Lights, almost a year before the OSI study began (as they would have looked at historical cases) the detailed description of the thinking of this group is in no way consistent with the documentation we have for the thought processes going on in OSI.

OK - by December 1952 Chadwell had come to the conclusion that this situation was serious and deserved urgent attention, but that reads as a 'blip' in an otherwise fairly smooth trajectory towards the Robertson panel conclusions, which were very effective in calming worries within the Services post 1952.

There is absolutely nowhere in the documentation on the OSI study / Robertson panel any reference whatsoever to theories of propulsion etc. If we postulate a second set of still classified OSI documents taking the whole matter more seriously than those in the public domain, that would suggest then we are back at the 'second tier study' / secret group - but that seems a rather strained hypothesis as there was clearly a lot of activity within OSI etc in the second half of 1952 / early 53 on this subject- but as a response to the impact of the 1952 wave.

Either way - this group was a different group to the one in OSI we have documentation on...

TBC as I may be close to word limits

Anthony Mugan said...

Every time I re-read Ruppelt I am amazed at how much information he got away with including behind that homespun style. He seems to have been factual, where possible to check (e.g. Twining memo etc).

The passage quoted above contains some quite specific information about a model of UFO operation - not the bit about the part of the spaceship which comes near to what data was that based on, one wonders. Obviously they weren't on the right lines in their overall hypothesis at that time, but it would have been a credible possibility at that time.

Another very interesting clue that Ruppelt leaves us is his description of the reporting lines in the Pentagon from BB in 1952. His breifings were attended by AF intelligence officers, as expected and following the chain of command. They were also usually attended by a Major General from Research and Development.

In his notes on characters in his book Ruppelt is generally precise and clear but becomes vague about this Major Genera;, saying he thinks his name was White...

There was an army Major General Jerry White attached to Research and Development in 1950 (based on a simple internet search) but that seems a little early to be the same person in 1952, although not impossible.

We need to be careful about we know and what we suspect with greater or lesser confidence. That such a group existed seems clear cut based on Ruppelt, Smith and Sarbacher quotes. That it was based in Research and Development seems highly likely based on the same sources.
The nature of the group described and their focus on understanding technical capability would be consistent with R&D. That would imply this was not an overall policy group - I find it hard to believe that overall policy direction was anywhere other than where it should have been - with the President and other senior officials.

I would like to know more about Major Generals linked to R&D in 1952 (called White or otherwise) and if any of them can be linked to the attendee at the BB meetings. It's in the R&D group that I strongly suspect that this second group can be found but we will be very lucky indeed if documentation will ever be released. The best we can hope for is mistakes such as travel documentation or diaries etc that link people and times and places etc.

cda said...


Have a look at "UFOS AND GOVERNMENT" by Michael Swords & Robert Powell, particularly chapter 9. This sheds quite a lot of light on the CIA connection of the early 1950s period, including photos of the personalities involved.

Anthony Mugan said...

Yes, I know, I have the book and have also read all the CIA files that are the public domain from that period.
Those documents don't connect up with the group Ruppelt was describing. Nowhere in the CIA documents that we have is there a conclusion that they are dealing with interplanetary spaceships and nowhere is there the slightest speculation on propulsion technology, motherships or details of design etc.

The OSI concerns seem to have been largely in relation to how the phenomenon interacted with Cold War concerns...the problem of positive identification and associated radar issues, psy-ops issues and the need to calm things down. All the above mixed in with a fair bit of inter-agency politics, inevitably.

Are you saying OSI believed they were dealing with spaceships?

David Rudiak said...

From the quotes of Exon I've seen (and have at my website at, I'm not aware that Exon spoke of knowing about an actual control group operating in 1947, instead running into them in the 1950s when he was at the Pentagon (the "Unholy 13").

Exon's group sounded like a bunch of Pentagon generals. On the other hand, the Smith/Sarbacher/Eric Walker testimony indicates a control group within the DOD's Research and Development Board (headed by Vannevar Bush) operating in 1950 and probably before (Walker allegedly said he was aware of it since 1947).

The two are not necessarily exclusive and there could even have been some overlap, one group more R&D oriented (the RDB) and the other more military.

When Brad Sparks was speculating that the CIA's OSI branch was the group of rocket scientists, etc. mentioned by Ruppelt investigating the Lubbock Lights in 1951, he also mentioned that CIA's OSI was doing a lot of the RDB's scientific research since 1949, thus again no real conflict between Smith/Sarbacher RDB special group and the other support investigations. As I commented back in 2001 when debating Brad on this:

I would like to thank you for again pointing out the very close
association between Bush's RDB and the CIA's OSI (Office of Scientific Investigation), which you describe as starting in Jan. 1949 (a fact I was previously unaware of). If I understand this right, the CIA became the primary intelligence arm of Bush and the RDB at that time.

In a very recent post, you seem to feel that the RDB divesting itself of its intelligence responsibilities by passing them off
to the CIA was evidence that there was no "MJ-12"-type organization within RDB under Bush's direction. Furthermore, you used this to dismiss the 1950/51 Sarbacher/Smith briefing/memos which state exactly that.

I see it completely differently. An MJ-12-type panel's primary responsibility would be executive oversight of the UFO problem. They would probably not be the one's to conduct the actual scientific research or collect the in-field UFO intelligence or maintain a high-level security or seal off any leaks. All of the nitty-gritty would be much better handled by under the auspices of other government agencies.

Casting off such responsibilities so that he could instead concentrate on decision-making and coordination was very much the management style employed by Bush when he was Director of the OSRD (Office of Scientific Research and Development) during WWII...

Larry said...

Kevin, what's behind the statement: "....given what we know it seems the committee was formed prior to anything happening at Roswell. ..."?

You state that Exon gave the example of Symington staying on the UH-13 committee even after he resigned as Secretary of USAF in 1950, in order to run for the Senate. OK, that indicates that the UH-13 committee was in existence as late as 1952, when Symington became a Senator.

Also you state that Exon used his words to say that the group was in existence in 1947. According to Wikipedia, Symington was the Assistant Secretary of War for Air from 1946 to 1947 and then was the first Secretary of the Air Force when the Air Force was created in September, 1947. In either position, he would have been a logical candidate to be on a committee such as Exon described. However, I don't see anything in that sequence of events that would suggest the UH-13 was in existence prior to the Roswell event. Hypothetically, Truman could have set up UH-13 in response to Roswell. Specifically, what leads you to hypothesize that it was in existence in early 1947, instead of late 1947?

Also, if the number 13 in "Unholy 13" does not refer to the number of memebers, what does it refer to?

Anthony Mugan said...

To follow on from David R's comment above

That OSI and JRDB/ RDB would work closely on a wide range of issues isn't really in doubt. RDB's role was to oversee scientific and technical research and development within a national security context. They had a need to know of relevant intelligence concerning foreign developments. The CIA's role, and OSI in particular, was to provide that intelligence.

The late 1940s was a period of rapid change in the US intelligence community, so the practicalities of this arrangement no doubt evolved. The RDB would not have been directly running intelligence operations. Although OSI did try to get in on R&D areas more traditionally led by the military they lost that inter-agency turf war.

I very much doubt that OSI were deeply immersed in the UFO question prior to July 1952 however.

If we read the OSI documents in the July 1952-Jan 53 period they do not come across as a group already deeply knowledgeable about UFOs at the start of that time period. There is a reference to CIA having kept a watching brief on the subject prior to that but in July-August 1952 they were still asking questions regarding the possibility of these things being a covert US programme, worrying about Russia and puzzling about cases where they run out of 'blue yonder' explanations. In other words in July 1952 they were about four years behind the curve of where SIGN got to in 1948. They were nowhere near where the group Ruppelt describes had got to.

By December 1952 Chadwell - head of OSI - had got to the point where he was seriously concerned and recommending a significant programme to get to the bottom of it, including the question of positive identification. This didn't happen - The Robertson panel was perfunctory, debunking in tone and focused on psychological aspects aimed at reducing domestic concern (including within the Services). In other words Chadwell didn't have enough clout to get his recommendations implemented. The OSI study was part of preparing the ground for the Robertson panel recommendations, and was back 'on message' between December 52 and January 53.

What we have is reasonably good evidence (Smith. Sarbacher, Ruppelt) for the link to RDB, including the reporting line for intelligence from BB into RDB. The Walker interview may or may not be relevant.

TBC re Exon and UH-13

Anthony Mugan said...

To continue...

In terms of Exon - he appears a credible witness and was commenting on a somewhat later time period, so it may be relevant. At the moment though the UH-13 is a single testimony claim. We don't have the interlocking evidence that supports an RDB focus for a serious attempt to understand the modus operandi of these things in the early 50s.

That doesn't mean UH-13 is wrong (although of course it wouldn't be by that name). Overall it could be said to support the overall thesis, but it's all a bit too tenuous at the moment for my liking.

MJ-12 appeared shortly after the evidence about RDB began to build up. Probably co-incidence but that has been a phenomenal distraction. Of course there may be elements of reality in MJ-12 by chance or design - but it simply can't be used to support or falsify other evidence one way or the other.

When you look at the documentation from that period in detail one aspect that is intriguing is less what is in the documentation as what isn't.
a) Nothing (apart from Smith etc) about the JRDB/RDB role
b) Gaps around the OSI study - no record of the actual project initiation - was this totally verbal? Also how did it go from Chadwell's Dec 52 IAC recommendations to what actually happened a month later?
c) Top level policy. There is nothing in the documentary record about co-ordination of policy across agencies. The record goes up to head of agency level / chief of staff level and then stops. (We have Landy's remark about verbal briefings to the President of course, but did he sit in silence through these etc...?)

To go any further we would need someone to have made a mistake and left something in the public domain that can join up the dots a bit more around the inner workings of the RDB on this subject at this time.

Larry said...


When you write: “….the Smith/Sarbacher/Eric Walker testimony indicates a control group within the DOD's Research and Development Board (headed by Vannevar Bush) operating in 1950 and probably before (Walker allegedly said he was aware of it since 1947)….”

I’m guessing you might be making the assumption that because Sarbacher mentioned Vannevar Bush by name, and because Bush was known to be the head of the RDB when it first came into existence, that the Flying Disk problem must have been part of the RDB’s responsibility. I strongly question that assumption.

Given the composition of the group that Exon described (1) it could only have been formed at the direction of the President and (2) it included participation from, but was above, the military. My reading of history says this is the same generic pattern that the US followed in dealing with all the other national security technological challenges that emerged in the period of time around WWII which were big enough to have multi-agency or even societal importance. This list would include large scale decryption/code breaking, invention and exploitation of the millimeter wave magnetron for radar, discovery of Uranium fission, electronic warfare, strategic rocketry, low-observables (or “stealth”), and overhead reconnaissance. In all these cases, once the strategic importance of a particular technological reality was accepted, an oversight committee would be formed, including representation from, but higher than, all the affected communities. The oversight committee would have responsibility for setting overall strategy, assigning sub-tasks to individual agencies and services, coordinating budget decisions, etc.

In my opinion, if a president was persuaded that the Flying Disks were real—and especially if pieces of them had been recovered and could be reverse engineered—there is no question that that fact would have national level strategic importance. I don’t see any way that finding would have been allowed to be monopolized by any one specific agency or military branch. For this reason, I think the efforts of UFO researchers to locate the “control group” within the DOD or within the CIA or within the Air Force, or any other pre-existing organization are misguided. I think a Special Access program office would have been formed with the authority and responsibility to coordinate a national level response to the challenge. Membership within that tiny and exclusive club would have been determined by an individual’s ability to contribute and their demonstrated trustworthiness with high level state secrets. Once an individual is read into a Special Access community, they can stay active in it even if their “day job” changes (as Symington changed from Secretary of Air Force to Senator).

Van Bush would definitely have been the logical choice to be involved in or lead, such an office, but its responsibility would have been much broader than that of the RDB. And we should keep in mind that it’s even possible that Van Bush could have been read into the program years earlier, in the FDR administration.

cda said...


"I’m guessing you might be making the assumption that because Sarbacher mentioned Vannevar Bush by name,....."

Sarbacher did NOT mention Bush by name, to Wilbert Smith anyway. Look at Smith's handwritten notes again. Bush's name does not appear therein.

Smith obtained Bush's name from an unknown informant. Nobody has ever established who this was.

Keyhoe maybe?

Don Maor said...


Any evidence to support the belief that Keyhoe and Smith conversed and suspected about Vannevar Bush?

Does Keyhoe mentions V. Bush in his 1950 or 1953 books?

Larry said...

I stand corrected about it not being Sarbacher who mentioned Bush's name.

Don Maor said...

Sarbacher confirmed the involvement of V. Bush with UFOs in a letter to Steinman. Thus, the likely source for Smith's info on Bush is still Sarbacher.

Steve Sawyer said...
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Steve Sawyer said...
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Anthony Mugan said...

Larry you make a good point abouttge way the most significant programmes were managed and I think you are on the right lines. My interest in the RDB side if things is that's were what little firm or almost firm data we have leads there...but I agree overall policy control would have to be above that.

Larry said...

Anthony: If the US national security apparatus really did come into possession of crashed flying disk parts in 1947 (or, as I think likely, a few years earlier) I think it is self-evident they would have used the same game plan that had proven so effective in developing nuclear weapons, at about the same time. This is because the strategic considerations would have been about the same. As soon as Uranium nuclear fission was announced in late 1938-early 1939, it was evident to those with the appropriate intelligence, that a door was opened to a new reality. It was widely thought that the first party to get through the door would very likely possess an unanswerable military advantage that could terminate the war in favor of whichever side possessed it and impose a new world order of political power. (And I would say that judgment was basically correct.) From that consideration it immediately followed that it was necessary to not only develop the weapon, but do so before anyone else. So, heroic expenditures of the highest class scientific and engineering effort were justified. Once it was realized that the development path of a bomb had to go through certain technological gates (e.g., Uranium isotope separation; Plutonium production in breeder reactors) it was self-evident that those gates were actually high value targets for sabotage. So extreme secrecy of operations was justified in order to avoid such sabotage while at the same time, attempted sabotage of the opponent’s critical targets was highly incentivized (as happened, for example at the Norsk Hydro plant in Telemark, Norway).

All of those considerations would have applied equally as well to the serendipitous recovery of an unconventional flying disk in 1947 as to the serendipitous discovery of Uranium fission in 1938 and, to me, explains the intensity and duration of the secrecy around the subject.

There is one crucial difference, however. When Uranium fission was discovered, its functioning was entirely inside the bounds of scientific knowledge of the time and the ability to experiment with it was entirely inside the bounds of the technology of the time. Within six months after the discovery of Uranium fission was published, Enrico Fermi was already designing his first reactor capable of sustaining a controlled chain reaction, and Robert Oppenheimer had convened an informal summer study group at his Berkeley lab in which they worked out all the basic parameters involved in building a bomb (how much Uranium was needed, how fast it had to be assembled, how much energy it would yield, etc.) As we have discussed before, in the context of the Roswell “memory foil” I think a flying disk utilizing General Relativity (if that’s what they’re doing) would be at least one and possibly two or more scientific and technology revolutions ahead of where we were in 1947. Immediate results would not be, and probably were not expected.

Over the years I have developed my own set of private informants whose identities I protect. One of them recently told me he worked on an experiment connected to the Large Hadron Collider, and has come upon specific and concrete indications leading him to believe that his project is covertly receiving deep black funding in order to help understand the theoretical basis for how UFOs work. I have no particular reason to disbelieve him and this would indicate that—70 years later—we are still trying to fill in the scientific understanding, and still making progress.

Anthony Mugan said...

Larry...I think we are in complete agreement on this ( with a minor proviso that I'm much less sure about pre 1947 than Roswell itself).

cda said...


Re your anonymous friend who is working on an experiment connected to the Large Hadron Collider. Why should he believe that his project is receiving 'deep black funding' to enable his project to understand how UFOs work?

Does he know of any connection between UFOs and nuclear physics or particle physics? Perhaps I should reword the question: Has this anonymous friend read any of the papers by Stanton Friedman, aka the UFO physicist? Has he, by any chance, also been reading the numerous books by Timothy Good, and others, on conspiracy-related stuff?

And where is this 'black funding' coming from, i.e. which country or countries?

Larry said...


My friend gave me this information in a short conversation very recently, and the conversation got interrupted. Then he moved out of the area, from the West Coast to the East Coast. I have not been able to resume the conversation yet, but I am trying to set up a time with him as soon as I can.

My understanding is that all his beliefs around this are based on information he was given explicitly, but informally by his employer. He is not a "UFO person" by any definition of the word. No Stan Friedman, no Timothy Good, no "conspiracy community" connection at all. I would be surprised if he ever read a UFO book in his life.

He is a mechanical technician type, hired to build high energy physics experimental detectors, by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. His educational background is such that he never would have made a connection between UFOs and high energy physics unless someone with a superior educational background made the connection for him. Since I have worked on nuclear and high energy physics projects in the past that's actually one of the reasons he contacted me.

Funding was from USA, flowing through (I believe) Department of Energy. All the member nations of the LHC make contributions to the overall project based on a no-exchange-of-funds basis. So, if France, for example, contributes a hardware element to LHC, they pay for it. In this case, the US is contributing a detector array, so the US is paying for it. This gives someone--behind the curtain--the opportunity to make sure the detectors are designed in such a way as to return the desired data.

Dave said...


Interesting discussion about the LHC since my mention of micro black holes possibly being involved with the ufo phenomenon in my last post. The LHC has the capacity to create them and this fact has created a stir relating to what happens after they're created--do they fall through the planet, oscillating to the center of the Earth and begin consuming it from the inside out?

I was going to mention this as a follow-up to my last post but the discussion veered into a different direction. In the Robert Schroeder book, "Solving the UFO Enigma", he theorizes that the propulsion of ufos involves the creation and control of micro black holes and that a device similar to the LHC is in fact the mechanism.

If so, all we have to do is 1) miniaturize an LHC to the size of a large saucer, and 2) devise and engineer an appropriate power plant.

While this may seem a nigh impossible task, let's remember how quickly computer technology evolved in the last 60 years. Perhaps the bigger obstacle would be engineering the power necessary to operate it.

Reports of Faraday rings around craft (Stanford, Meessen) in the atmosphere indicate extremely powerful magnetic fields and these might only be by-products of the source. Other indications from Ray Stanford's early instrumented data shows that the light output alone from a cigar-type object exceeded the electric output of major cities, again these may only be by-products of the propulsion devices.

I note that in the Socorro and the Rendlesham events, the trace evidence of the landing pods indicated a very heavy device.

These observations of high energy output clues point in the direction of nuclear or fusion power at least.

Larry, Does any of this make any sense to you based on your friend's remarks?

Steve Sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry said...

Part 1
My friend's remarks were not specific enough for me to draw any conclusions about micro black holes, vs. some other subatomic entity being involved. The implication was simply that some experiments that are possible to do using the LHC would create some knowledge base that would allow someone to make an inference about how UFOs might work. Micro black holes are one speculative phenomenon that might have that characteristic, but necessarily the only one.

In general, the apparent fact that some UFOs that leave traces (Socorro, Rendlesham) are very much heavier than normal flight vehicles was noted by the NASA aerospace scientist, Paul Hill, in his book "Unconventional Flying Objects: a Scientific Analysis". To put this in concrete terms, Paul estimated that the Socorro object weighed as much as if it were a balloon filled with water (a density of 1.0). By contrast, aircraft typically have an average mass density of around 0.1--about one tenth the density of water. This is why an aircraft that ditches into the water will actually float quite high as long as it does not break apart on impact and until it fills up with water. Submarines have a density of around 1.0--some times a little more and some times a little less--that's why they can submerge and then re-surface.

Paul used this analysis to conclude that UFOs were built more like submarines than like airplanes or spacecraft. Paul was a very intelligent and knowledgeable aerospace engineer and he knew that there is no combination of conventional aerodynamics and propulsion that can make a submarine fly. This is why he specifically used the term "unconventional" in the title of his book. His fundamental and most important single conclusion was that UFOs are not simply someone else's airplanes or spacecraft--they must operate on some principle other than those embodied in conventional aerospace engineering.

His second observation (not unique to him) was that a lot of observational data indicate that UFOs interact with their environment through one or more fields. They can create detectable effects on objects at a distance--tree branches, water, clouds, etc.--without directly touching them.

Like Newton, he figured that if UFOs were surrounded by one or more fields that could affect visible objects, those fields should also affect invisible objects, like air molecules. He constructed a reduced-order mathematical model of a radially symmetric "acceleration field" arrayed along an axis of symmetry extending in front of and behind a UFO and showed that this field would interact with the fluid surrounding the UFO in a totally inviscid manner. A body in motion with this type of field around it it would predict a number of phenomena that have been observed around UFOs, such as no aerodynamic noise from turbulence, suppression of sonic shock waves, suppression of aerodynamic heating, and resonant humming.

Larry said...

Part 2
I personally now consider Paul's book foundational for the physical understanding of UFOs.

Paul used the term "acceleration field" to describe the kind of interaction that UFOs would have to have with their environment in order to produce the observed effects. Paul was educated before the modern era in which Einstein's General Relativity (GR) is taught in undergraduate Physics curricula, otherwise I think he would have recognized that his "acceleration field" is an attempt to interpret in Newtonian terms what Einstein was describing as the warping of the space/time metric.

Puthoff (for example) has shown that the array of bizarre effects that one would expect to observe in the vicinity of a GR object corresponds to a large extent with what has been reported by UFO witnesses.

So, much of the phenomenology reported in the vicinity of UFOs can be explained by the idea that whoever builds them has figured out how to do space/time warping on a human scale and with mass/energy concentrations small enough to fit into a 30 meter diameter disc. The mass/energy concentration required could still easily be at nuclear or thermonuclear levels, however. I've been considering whether the presence of a space/time warp might not enable the production of nuclear levels of energy in a very concentrated volume. In other words, if you've figured out how to warp space/time, that very ability might make controlled thermonuclear reactions easier to achieve and maintain.

In any case, I have come to believe that UFOs are basically very highly mobile high-energy physics experiments. One could easily imagine that they contain high powered magnets, accelerators, and such, but who knows? They may operate on the basis of an interaction yet to be discovered, and that could be LHC connection.

Dave said...

We still have to consider the apparent cancellation of gravity/inertia in the way at least some of these objects move and perform 90 deg turns and instant accelerations, often at very steep angles.

Paul Hill's book is one of my first in my modest collection, which includes Sturrock, Hynek, Haines, Vallee, Hastings, Keyhoe, Sanderson, etc.; mostly researchers with a scientific background.

Puthoff may be on the right track with the Zero Point Fluctuation model. It's going to be a while to iron out theory, before engineering an application.

Larry said...

The apparent "cancellation of gravity/inertia" is intrinsic to a GR explanation. In other words, if space/time is locally curved, objects move along that curvature without experiencing any inertial forces, the same way--by analogy--that a satellite moving in an orbit around a planet is in "free fall".

In other words, accepting the GR explanation for UFOs gives you all of these non-Newtonian phenomena for free.

Exactly what causes the space/time, GR warping is where the debate is. The ZPF model is one proposed explanation, but not the only one.

Anthony Mugan said...

I agree with your comments regarding Hill's work and more recent GR approaches to UFO propulsion. This does seem the most likely avenue to explore.
The GR related theories for UFO propulsion are pretty dominant in the English speaking world whilst the French seem much more inclined to build on work in the 1980s by Petit which argued for a MHD approach. In a more modern form this has turned into models based on the idea of vacuum thrusters.
One thing I've noticed is that if you restrict the study to only very high reliability cases only a very few show the sort of effects that might be suggestive of spacetime modification. The effects show up in close encounter cases and can be taken as consistent with many of the overall performance characteristics of UFO as Hill and later Puthoff show ( e.g the 2010 paper in JBIS by Puthoff, also available from the EarthTec website), but there isn't much of the bending trees and pushed cars etc in the very high reliability cases.
Interestingly both spacetime modification and vacuum thrusters are under active investigation at this time so we may learn more. Alas the former depends on a model that uses M theory and SUSY models seem to be having a hard time at the moment, but we shall see.

Larry said...


I too am puzzled by the very large dynamic range of remote effects reported by UFOs. Sometimes they affect objects (such as the surfaces of bodies of water 100s of meters below) and sometimes they show no effect on an object 1 meter away.

I surmise that the spacetime warping may be taking place essentially at the surface of the UFO. There appear to be cases such as the forestry workers in Oregon who reported an Elk stuck to the underside of a UFO, where the "acceleration field" operated over a spatial scale of centimeters.

Anthony Mugan said...

Larry -yes, a very tightly controlled field could well be an explanation. I'd feel more comfortable with a specific testable prediction though. I was looking at cases to see if I could find any evidence of optical refraction around the UFO, for example. There are some such as Malmstrom, but not many. A very small spatial extent to the field could be a factor in that.
I guess I'm just thinking it's best to keep an eye on other options too.

Larry said...


There is, of course the famous 1966 Burkes Flat case, from Australia, in which the car's headlight beams were bent and a classic rainbow spectrum was seen beneath the craft. This was discussed back in May at Rich Reynold's blog.

I wrote:

".....all the reported optical effects can be explained by localized changes in the index of refraction of light in the space surrounding the object or objects.

Taking for example, the bending of the headlight beams toward the object: this implies that the index of refraction in the space surrounding the object is increasing in the radial-inward direction. The amount of bending is predicted by Snell’s law and is proportional to the ratio of the index of refraction in the near vicinity of the object to the index of refraction in air (far away from the object). That the witness reported the bending of the headlight beams becoming greater as his car drew closer to the object says that the gradient in the index of refraction increases significantly on the spatial scale of the car and the object (≈ 20 ft).

Next considering the light show in the region of space between the two ovals: it is significant that the witness reported seeing the “light tubes” as having all the colors of the rainbow (i.e., a complete spectrum). In other words, the region between the two ovals acts like a prism and disperses any light in this region, into its component wavelengths. This requires the index of refraction in the region to be constant and numerically greater than that of the surrounding region.

So, light rays that originate from outside the region between the two ovals are bent around the region by a radial gradient in the index of refraction while light that either originates from inside the region or manages to traverse it is dispersed into its constituent colors by a constant index of refraction (as in raindrops creating a rainbow).

Now consider the reported behavior in which one oval seems to descend on the other and the two merge into one. This sounds suspiciously like a mirage which, again, is dependent on there existing a strong gradient in the index of refraction, but this time the gradient is symmetric about a horizontal plane of reflection. I suggest that there was actually only one object with its mirror image and that the apparent motion of the two objects merging was actually an illusion caused by a time-changing index of refraction gradient.

So the model emerging here is of an oval object (which could have been a lenticular disk seen in profile) creating a field around itself that is both radially symmetric and symmetric about a plane of reflection. The field, which has been proposed to be identical to Paul Hill’s “acceleration field” used for propulsion is identical to Puthoff’s “Polarizable Vacuum” method of engineering the space-time matrix of Einstein’s General Relativity theory ("

Anthony Mugan said...

Thanks Larry

Larry said...

Anthony, one last thought.

Since I originally wrote that last posting, it has occurred to me that the radial symmetry I was describing may be more simply described as a classic dipole field.

John's Space said...

One aspect of the Roswell incident that is often overlooked is that the memo of General Twinning in September 23, 1947 to the commanding general of the Army Air Force, he specifically states in paragraph h (2) that one of the considerations that mitigates against the evidence of the reality of the flying disks is “The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these subjects.”

It seem clear to me that of the time of this memo the position Gen. Twinning was that he had no crash recovered evidence. Since this was two hand a half months after Roswell it seems to me that clearly contradicts the reality of a spacecraft crash at Roswell. Or, at a minimum that the commander at Wright-Patterson was not cleared for that information or that he lied to the commander of the Air Force to protect the compartmentalization of a recovery project. On the face of all of the other facts this seems absurd.

Another reason that I tend to disbelieve the reality of a spacecraft crash at Roswell is that ever since that UFO researchers has focused on Roswell, the Air Force disinformation campaign Richard Doty and associates, have played up the Roswell crash. It seem unlikely they would do so if it was real but rather it was a great way to lead UFO researchers down a blind alley if they know it wasn’t.

Now this doesn’t mean that that have been no crashes since that time. The Sarbacher and Walker statements would lead one to believe that there had been a crash recovery by 1950. Perhaps this recovery was conducted by another agency of the government than the Air Force. Vandenberg shut down SIGN for some unknown reason and the Air Force went into a major UFO denial mode until the radar incident in 1951 which led to the Ruppelt phase of Gudge/Blue Book. Note that Vandenberg had been DCI before becoming Chief of Staff of the Air Force. It could be that the CIA and the DoD R&D types had the physical evidence of the implied crash and wanted the Wright-Patterson types out of it because their activities were giving the subject credibility.