Thursday, October 02, 2014

Colonel Howard McCoy and MJ-12

There is another aspect to this MJ-12 nonsense that hasn’t been mentioned and that is Colonel Howard McCoy. Here’s the situation we find ourselves in. In the early 1940s, McCoy was involved in the investigation of the Foo Fighters. In 1946, McCoy was pulling records and observing the Ghost Rockets in Scandinavia and in late 1946, he was tasked with setting up an unofficial investigation into these “aerial phenomena.” And finally, in September 1947, McCoy was the man who drafted the letter signed by Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining in which it was concluded that the phenomenon was something real and not illusionary. In other words, McCoy had been heavily involved in the investigations from the very beginning and he was the subject matter expert.

So, you might ask, “What does this have to with MJ-12?”

When this committee was organized, it involved people who were at the top of their fields and who could bring specific expertise to the research. Twining is on the list but Twining wasn’t all that familiar with the situation as it had been delegated to subordinates. He relied on one man and that man was Colonel Howard McCoy. He was the top officer involved in the research, he had the files, he had the resources and he was running the unofficial investigation into what had become the flying saucers.

McCoy should have been on the list. He probably knew more about any of these things than any other officer in the United States military. He held the highest of security clearances, and he would have been involved in the investigation of the crash at Roswell. There would have been no reason to exclude him, especially when some of the other members of the MJ-12 had no real knowledge of the situation and whose expertise wasn’t all that relevant to the research.

For those studying the situation in 1947, meaning here, looking at who was where in the government and the military, and what would be said about MJ-12, there are some names that are absent. Where was General Eisenhower, for example? He was the Chief of Staff of the Army. And where was Carl Spaatz? He was the Chief of Staff for the Army Air Forces in 1947.

These two would have been involved simply because the information about the Roswell crash would have worked its way up the chain of command. They would know what happened and both controlled assets that would have been valuable to the research to be conducted.

But again, the man they would have asked was McCoy. He had been involved for four or five years when these aerial phenomena were considered an enemy weapon and the need to learn more about them was critical. While the situation had changed with the end of the war, it became critical again with discovery of the craft at Roswell and McCoy was the man who would have been in charge of exploiting the find. His role would have been the most important and yet there is no indication of McCoy on any of the MJ-12 documents or anywhere near it.

Again, you might ask, “Why not?”

And the answer is that no one had realized what his role had been until I was able to outline this in Government UFO Secrets. McCoy had been in the background of the investigations and wasn’t as high profile as those named. Those who created the Eisenhower Briefing Document didn’t know him and therefore couldn’t name him. Had they had that information and included McCoy, it would have gone a long way to establish the authenticity of the documents.

But, this is just one more problem with the original MJ-12 documents. They didn’t have the right names included on it and that might be the result of those who created it being unaware of high level chains of command, especially in Intelligence community. Their research was good, but not great. They missed a big opportunity because they didn’t know about McCoy and this is just one more example of the problems with MJ-12.


Anonymous said...

Though I now accept that the whole MJ-12 thing is a hoax,we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I expect it's a fictional equivalent to an actual group of some of the scientific and military heavyweights of the late 40's. If a disc really was recovered at Roswell, then you can only presume that putting together a research group of top boffins would have been high on Truman's "to do" list.

I wonder if any of the men in the fictional group where actually in the real McCoy!

cda said...

Did McCoy know anything about Roswell? There is nothing to show that he did, is there?

In fact McCoy specifically wrote in 1948 (two classified memos I believe) that despite all the UFO reports, no UFO hardware, such as 'crashed discs' had ever been recovered, at least up to then.

But you insist McCoy knew all about Roswell and was involved in the investigation into it.

So what is the answer: did McCoy tell a lie to Twining? Did he tell the truth (about Roswell) but Twining lied to the Washington generals? Or were both ignorant of this great truth?

What is your answer? You have a bit of a conundrum here.

Yes I know what Stan Friedman would say. He always uses his favorite 'get out', which I won't bother you with here.

So what is your answer, please?

David Rudiak said...

Why not include Eisenhower and Hap Arnold? It was well-known Eisenhower was retiring in a few months. Arnold was no longer AAF C/S, replaced by Carl Spaatz in early 1946. Spaatz, like Eisenhower, was also retiring in a few months. For continuity sake, it would make more sense to appoint high military officers who might be around for a few years, rising stars like Vandenberg and Twining, e.g.

Yes, Arnold was still semi-active in an advisory role regarding aviation, but usually in a temporary, unofficial capacity. It was well-known he had a bad ticker. He had four attacks during WWII and had already been relegated to light duty even before he retired. His next heart attack was Jan. 1948. This was a man who probably wouldn't be around much longer and wouldn't need the stress of a post like MJ-12, besides not having any active post in the military.

Spaatz's heir apparent as chief of staff, Vandenberg, would be an obvious choice. He had also been the acting AAF C/S at the Pentagon during Roswell and the great flying saucer wave of 1947. He had been the second director of central intelligence after Sidney Souers. Souers might also be an obvious choice. So might Hillenkoetter, a “mere” rear admiral, but also the new CIA director.

Why Twining and not McCoy? For one, Twining was the general; McCoy a "mere" colonel. Besides badly outranking McCoy, Twining was McCoy's boss at Wright Field in 1947 as head of the Air Materiel Command and had also been in the thick of it during the saucer wave. He was quoted then saying they were already investigating (Vandenberg was likewise quoted). Of course, when Gen. Schulgen formally asked Twining for more information after his own investigation in July 1947, Twining would necessarily respond, hence the investigation leading to the Twining memo. As a typical executive, Twining might not involve himself in the nitty-gritty details of research and operations, but pass that off to expert subordinates like McCoy, with expectations of being briefed from time to time. That is the way most heirarchical organizations work. It doesn't mean Twining knew nothing. Likewise for other names on the MJ-12 list.

Twining was also no dummy and another fast-rising star, like Vandenberg. He was Vandenberg’s successor in 1953 as AF C/S and then became chair of the Joint Chiefs in 1957. He was probably already being groomed for the C/S position in 1947.

On the military side, one would expect only generals and admirals to show up on a group like MJ. A group like MJ-12 was presumably an oversight committee setting overall policy, but probably not responsible for carrying it out. Usually that is left to subordinates. Same with the Joint Chiefs. They are supposed to carry out policy set by the President and Congress, but don’t need to be experts themselves in every single facet of military operation, just as the President and Congress are not. They are executives who order others to carry out specifics of policy, who delegate responsiblity to specialists, etc., etc., again the heirarchy in operation. When they need more information, they get briefings and have advisors who know more than they do about the specifics.

As for what McCoy might have known or didn't know about Roswell, all I know about this is what Wendy Connors told me from interviewing two surviving Project Sign employees. McCoy had heard of Roswell but was denied direct access to the materials and documentation, a source of immense frustration to him. (Don’t ask me why this might have been.) This may also be related to the anecdote Kevin had in his UFO Casebook of running into a colonel in the 1980s who had been with Sign as a young lieutenant, and told him they had heard of the strange metal recovered in N.M. and had included mention of it in the first draft of Sign's infamous Estimate of the Situation at the end of the summer of 1948. But Vandenberg ordered this removed from the report, and then used the absence of physical evidence as a rationale for killing the report.

KRandle said...


If you look at the history of the Twining letter, you see that it was a response to a specific request from Schulgen and that had contained specific cases. None of those cases were Roswell, and since none of the cases mentioned crash recovered debris, it was not mentioned in the letter. Those documents were classified secret.

No, McCoy didn't lie to Twining. He had no reason to and if Twining asked specific questions he would have answered them. And, no, Twining didn't lie to his superiors. They already knew...

The letter was designed for subordinates who were not in on the "big" secret. They could accomplish the mission... setting up Project Sign, without being told about Roswell. The mission was to gather flying saucer data while others exploited the Roswell find.

There is no conundrum here, just the compartmentalization of highly classified material and who had the need to know.

As for the membership of the mythical MJ-12 committee, I will note that Exon told me that high ranking officers involved with Intelligence were on it (meaning this "Unholy Thirteen" as opposed to MJ-12, and McCoy fits the bill. In fact there would be no real reason to exclude McCoy even with Twining on the list. As I mentioned, the subject matter expert does sometimes fill the seat that might have been reserved for his boss.

cda said...

Kevin & DR:

So we now have, from Wendy Connors, that two surviving Project Sign staff told her that McCoy knew about Roswell but was prohibited from handling the hardware or the documentation thereon.

But Roswell was so highly top secret that knowledge of it was confined to only a select few at the top; at least that is what the pro-ET writers keep telling us.

It was supposedly so secret that even Project Sign was kept in the dark. Yet these two Sign employees somehow not only found out about it but even learned that Colonel McCoy knew about it (except that he was not allowed to see the real evidence of it; poor fellow).

Then McCoy tells lies, both in his own memos and even to Gen. Twining. Even Twining has to lie about it. Then Vandenberg excises all mention of Roswell in the (in)famous 'Estimate of the Situation' before destroying the whole report.

A 'Comedy of Errors', perhaps?

But fear not. Someone somewhere can, I am certain, unravel this comedy.

The "Unholy 13"? This fits perfectly with MJ-12 anyway, since we know, from Stan Friedman's intricate analysis, that Walter Bedell Smith was the 13th man! He took over from Forrestal, so it is said.

David Rudiak said...


I don't see why Exon's "Unholy 13" and "MJ-12" have to be mutually exclusive. The Pentagon could have had it's own group of generals and admirals (and maybe the AF, Navy, and Army Secretaries) concerned with mainly the military and national security aspects, whereas "MJ-12" might be more concerned with R&D and back-engineering.

The 1950-51 Wilbert Smith, Canadian Embassy documents and Robert Sarbarcher/Eric Walker's later testimony, indicate there WAS a high level research group looking into the "modus operandi" of the saucers, acting within the Pentagon Research and Development Board, meeting at Wright-Patterson, not the Pentagon. That to me would probably be "MJ-12", whatever it was actually called.

As is often the case in government, there could have been some overlap in personnel, e.g., Vandenberg and Twining being in both groups. Since in 1952 during the big wave both Ramey and Samford were called the AF's top two saucer experts, a good guess would place them on Exon's "Unholy 13" as well, along with whomever was a member of the Joint Chiefs, representing all the military branches.

David Rudiak said...


As usual you mock. The two Sign sources Wendy Connors interviewed who said they knew about Roswell were Major Victor H. Bilek, Asst. Chief of the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) and Assistant Chief, analysis division, of T-2 (intelligence) in 1947.

According to Bilek, civilian George W. Towles was an engineer at Wright Field ordered to Roswell to investigate the crash materials and knew everything. In addition, Bilek said he was made aware at the time of the recovery of at least one body.

Better still, Wendy says she had a signed letter from Towles himself, saying he was ordered out to Roswell by McCoy and he cataloged the debris and crash materials and helped prepare it for shipment back to Wright.

Besides Bilek, Towles worked closely with McCoy (his boss at T-2) and with civilian aviation engineer Alfred Loedding, also with Project Sign. Loedding and McCoy were both heavily involved in writing the Estimate of the Situation, which Kevin's "UFO Casebook" source (who also said he was also with Sign at the time) said had mention of the crash materials from N.M. in the original draft before Gen. Vandenberg ordered mention of it expunged.

Now exactly what Towles may or may not have told McCoy and Loedding and Bilek about Roswell is anybody's guess, but it would seem they all probably knew about the Roswell crash as an event, even if Towles was sworn to such secrecy he couldn't tell them anything specific after he got back.

How things get compartmentalized and who is "in" and who is "out" don't always make sense to outsiders like me. It would seemingly make sense that superiors to Towles, such as McCoy and Loedding, obviously both experts, should also be on the inside, but whoever was calling the shots may have felt otherwise, maybe thinking they were potential loose cannons, e.g.

Kurt Peters said...


once again a useful observational blogpost, thanks

Some Observations:

...the basic McCoy research was, I recall, done by that History PhD, M. Swords (who has always implied he's a scientist in his many UFO 'papers'...)

...somewhat similar, of course, to the 'work' of the Optical Engineering Wannabe (eyeglass tech in reality) 'Rudiak', who attempts to bury us with techno B$...

cda said...

To be serious, I refer both Kevin and DR to Karl Pflock's article in the "Fortean Times" Sept 1998, where he goes into McCoy's post-war UFO involvement, his various 1948 memos, his briefing to the AF Scientific Advisory Board on March 17, and so on. In every case McCoy said, unequivocally, that there was NO physical evidence, NO concrete evidence and NO crashed recovery material from UFOs.

What could be clearer than that?

So you have several choices:
Either McCoy was telling lies, or he was ignorant of the real truth. Another possibility (much more a probability in fact) is that George Towles is telling lies or has faulty memories of what transpired decades earlier. Still another is that Gen Twining was told lies to put in his Sept 1947 memo, or even that he lied himself about no crashed exhibits. And of course Vandenberg also lied and covered it up.

The possibilities are endless.

As I said before, a real "Comedy of Errors". And you do not have to bring MJ-12 or the 'Unholy 13' into it at all.

John's Space said...

I’m glad to see the discussion has got around (back) to the paradox between the Twinning memo and the Roswell crash. I tend to agree with CDA on this. It seems clear that Twinning didn’t know about UFO crash at Roswell. While it is possible that it was classified at a higher level than then memo in question it doesn’t make sense to include false statements in it. While McCoy might not have been cleared are we assuming that Twinning didn’t read/edit it?

Another reason that supports the anti-Roswell line of thinking is that the government disinformation campaign that led to the creation of the fake MJ-12 document points directly at Roswell. MJ-12 was intended to prove it in the minds of UFO researchers and in my opinion lead them down a blind alley. Since the people leading this effort knew that it would eventually lead to the Mogul Project it was a good setup.

We know that the government was dealing in fake documents of this sort given the experiences of Linda Moulton Howe with Richard Doty of AFOSI who was shown a version of the Project Aquarius document in 1983. He denies being the source of MJ-12 and I assume the Aquarius and that he was acting under order from superiors. So if a group within the Intel community was in the business of playing up Roswell that is a good sign that one should look elsewhere.

One conjecture that would be consistent with the Sarbacher and Walker evidence and pro-UFO reality is that a crash did happen some time in late 1948 or early 1949 at another location. The debits could have even been recovered by another government entity than the USAF. General Vandenberg who had been DCI might have been told that he need to shut down project Sign as it was putting too much publicity (in the form of field investigations of UFOs are real subjects) on a subject that his now of the greatest seriousness. This explains his cavalier actions ending Sign and replacing it with the Grudge disinformation effort. The Estimate of the Situation was too close to the truth to be allowed to exist outside the real compartmented group.

Bob Koford said...

CDA et al:

There is one bit of evidence that would tend to infer, at least, that the Twining Memo, and others that tended to play down crash exhibits, were purposeful dis-information pieces. This evidence resides within the Ghost Rocket documents.

In some of these documents, including the CIG memo published in Kevin's book, authored by Wright, make it clear that some of these GR incidences remained unexplained, even though crash exhibits were indeed recovered and studied. In other words, even AFTER they examined the debris, of these certain recoveries, they STILL couldn't say for sure what they were from.

This is a mystery, as it should have just confirmed that they were V-rockets being tested by the USSR, and it also proved that we had indeed recovered crashed UFO material. McCoy, nor Twining say anything about this, but we know it happened.

Bob Koford said...
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Bob Koford said...
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Larry said...


Your statement: “Why Twining and not McCoy? For one, Twining was the general; McCoy a "mere" colonel rank".... resonates with me.

I will share some information I’ve had for a while that may independently relate to this question. I have to keep identities anonymous.

In some ways my story parallels that of John Alexander. We both entered government service careers in scientific/technical fields at the PhD-equivalent level, both have had security clearances for many decades, both have had a long-standing interest in the UFO problem, and both have used our positions to develop professional contacts in the government who may have had some contact with or knowledge of a classified official UFO program. Neither of us (to my knowledge) has ever been given any official information about nor been a part of any such program. If we were, we couldn’t talk about it. For my part, however, I’ve come across about 5 or 6 individuals over the years who convincingly claimed they were part of such a program and have informally imparted some information to me. These individuals’ names and indentities have not appeared publicly, to my knowledge.

In his book John says that when he was active duty Army, he was in the loop for reviewing deep black Special Access Programs (SAPs). Every military branch has committees for this purpose, and these are the places where priorities and budgets for clandestine activities are hashed out. His point is that if there was one or more SAPs related to the UFO problem, he would have been aware of it when he was on one of these committees. Since he wasn’t aware of any such program, this is the basis for his claim that the government doesn’t have one.

In about 2005 my job assignment brought me into close contact with a recently retired military officer. I will call him “Officer A”. Like me, Officer A had had a long-standing intellectual curiosity about the UFO problem and had also used his contacts to try to quietly sniff out the existence of any official, classified program. In fact, in the mid-1990s, Officer A had been a Colonel and was a junior member of a SAP review committee, in much the same way that John Alexander was. Officer A related to me exactly the same statement as John: “I had the highest clearances available and I was in the right place to know about it; if there had been a SAP on this topic, I would have known about it; I never heard about one, so there must not be one.”

Now fast forward another couple of years, when I was made aware of “Officer B” who was also willing to talk informally and privately about the UFO topic. When pressed on the issue, Officer B admitted that back in the mid 1990s when he had one star on his shoulder, he had been the chairman of the SAP review committee for his branch of the military and one of the really special, Special Access Projects under his purview was the UFO reverse-engineering project. After hearing these pieces of the puzzle, I researched the official records. Officers A and B were where they said they were when their parts of the story occurred. Officers A and B had, in fact, been on the same SAP review committee in the mid-1990s. Officer A was a Colonel at the time and Officer B was his superior--a one-star. There’s quite a bit more to this story that I can’t go into, but the moral of this story seems to be that rank has its priveleges; I don’t think anyone necessarily gets the whole picture without one or more stars on their shoulderboards.

Anthony Mugan said...

Larry and David
I agree that rank is a factor. McCoy was a very able individual (Ph.D and an outstanding track record) but policy level decisions require awareness and sensitivity to a wide range of contextual factors that an officer of that rank would not normally be expected to have.
He was however a specialist in a very relevant discipline and the limited evidence for any involvement of his group in analysing Roswell at first sight sounds like a paradox.
As I am now confident that something unusual involving 'victims' and described as a 'disc' crashed at Roswell this poses an interesting question.

I will need to continue this later but I suspect we need to consider both the mindset of the key decision makers, the information they had on or about 7th July ( rather than what we now know or suspect) and the available resources and geography to arrive at a best estimate...


cda said...


Your third paragraph says it all. Neither you or your colleague were given any official information re a classified UFO program, but even if you had been, you couldn't talk about it.

So, yet again, the military guys have these SAPs which may, or may not, be connected with researching whether ETs are visiting the earth, but the scientific world as a whole is not being told about it and is ignored. It is, after nearly 7 decades, still top secret and, presumably, confined to just one country.

Marvellous, isn't it? For those who want to believe it, that is.

cda said...


Re ranks, I am reminded of the Canadian Wilbert Smith, who had no stars, no rank and was not even in the military. He wasn't even a US citizen. Yet he, so he claimed, was told all sorts of official UFO secrets while on an official visit to Washington in Sept 1950, and later was even allowed to examine pieces of a crashed UFO!

Judge this for yourself. Yes, ranks do matter on many things in the military. But re UFOs, ranks do not seem to matter at all. People just say and repeat whatever they want.

But that's ufology.

John's Space said...

Larry and CDA both have good points about the role of rank. On the one hand “need to know” and not rank is the criteria for access to a SAP. A secretary may have access and senior officer or manager many not because she needs to type the documents (no work processor software in the 1940s). One the other hand SAP structures typically many have sub-compartments and the higher ranking person within that organization might have access to all of them because he manages all while a lower ranking person might not if they didn’t have a “need to know” for all of them.

In the case in question here it seems unlikely that Col. McCoy wouldn’t have clearance for the information that a saucer had crashed near Roswell if in fact one had. He seems to be Gen. Twining’s point man on flying disk studies and it would be strange not let him know that they had positive proof that they were something other than Soviet vehicles if in fact that was at hand. Certainly we believe that Gen. Twining was cleared? If he reviewed the memo before it went out, why sign a memo with incorrect statements about not having physical evidence? There was no need to raise that issue at all.

Also, why even have a project SIGN if Twining already knew the answer and it was stored on his base? Having investigators traveling around the country seriously checking up on random UFO sightings would tend to compromise the big secret. A Grudge style disinformation effort would be much more appropriate. This leads me to the logical conclusion the Project Mogol explanation for Roswell is in fact true.

As I pointed out before this doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a crash recovery at a later date. But if MJ-12 is government disinformation effort then why point directly at a real recovery event? Why not point at something that was no longer sensitive and was certain to lead Ufology down the wrong path?

starman said...

John's Space:

Project "Mogol" (MOGUL) has already been effectively disposed of by KDR and others (see earlier posts and comments, no need to rehash them here).

As for SIGN "would tend to compromise the big secret" that's absurd. Roswell was not among the cases investigated. They had nothing to do with crash retrievals. Twining had plenty of answers but it did no harm to seek additional information, from still intact craft (while maintaining the coverup of course).

Anthony Mugan said...

To continue
Information available would have increased in steps in the period 6th to 8th July. On the 6th communication from the 509th to 8thAF would have been of interesting debris and a rancher's tale. Not clear if that information would go further up the chain of command. By the 8th they had a second site with the main body of the craft and 'victims'. Somewhere in between the situation switched from curious to crisis.
Information would go rapidly up the chain if command to Vandenburg and Eisenhower and thence into the political leadership (e.g Vandenburg's meeting with Symington).
There are then many strands of strategic significance but step 1 is containment. Bits of debris can be flown anywhere but a large craft...that requires land transport and I would suggest a need to get it into a secure location ASAP.
The south west USA is full of possible locations. White Sands might be the simplest from a logistical point of view.
Interestingly Twining spent several days around these bases in the days following....

TBC ( bit rushed today)

cda said...


Where did you get the info that Col McCoy was a PhD? I am not doubting the possibility, but I have never seen this mentioned anywhere. Does Kevin know this, I wonder?

Also, I believe that Twining's visit to the White Sands area in the days following Roswell has been explained long ago, by Robert Todd. Nothing whatever to do with that saucer crash either.

Anthony Mugan said...

To continue.
The initial containment operations may not have been simple, depending on the difficulty of transporting the disc. Twining's return from New Mexico ( was that the 12th) may indicate a conclusion of this initial containment phase, along with press management and witness intimidation.
Senior policy makers would be faced with a need for information on a variety of fronts. As I am assuming all this followed correct constitutional procedures the President would be discussing this with senior political, military and intelligence leaders. I would strongly argue the Bush would have been brought in at this point.
Two elements of specific relevance
a) what is the intent and capability of the ETs?
b) can we understand and reverse engineer the craft?
( I will leave the various political, geopolitical and sociological aspects for now)
Issue (a) is a straight air intelligence job. It requires analysis of data on UFO operations and their behavioural characteristics. In other words it needed SIGN. The intel could be fed in semi-raw condition into a higher level group if needed.
Issue b would need very high level R&D scientists and engineers. The disc was almost certainly conveniently located in the SW for this.

John's Space said...


There are clear reasons why those in charge of the “real saucer project” that is those analyzing a true crash recovery would not want project SIGN to continue its activities. SIGN had investigators out talking to various people taking the flying saucer sighings seriously. They weren’t laughing the people off or anything like that. Once it became clear that it really was an alien spacecraft and it was decided to keep it secret that sort of official behavior is counter productive to a policy of denial. Then SIGN produced the Estimate of the Situation that concluded that the fly saucers were most likely of “interplanetary” origin and was putting this forward through channels within the DoD that were no cleared for the real project. This had to be stopped.

The press was sniffing around this thing, i.e. people like Keyhoe. In fact they were trying to talking him out of going public. If the Estimate of the Situation leaked that would have really stoked the fire. So it needed to be suppressed. The issue I raise if Twining actually had a saucer in hand in July of 1947, why even do a project like SIGN? But, if it was for general data collection on activities and capabilities wouldn’t it make since to clear key people for the truth so they didn’t come to the ET hypothesis. It makes more sense if the real crash was later probably in late 1948 or early 1949 exactly when SIGN was summarily terminated. It would still match up with the Simth/Sarbacher evidence and explain the 1949 Air Force clam up.

Anthony Mugan said...

To conclude ( and in partial response to some of the comments above).
I think it was therefore entirely logical that Air technical Intelligence did not get read in on the debris. They were very able people but reverse engineering a UFO would involve challenges well beyond studying a Mig-15 or captured German equipment. It would need cutting edge physicists, material scientists, and probably linguists ( and would probably be beyond even them). Air Intelligence were well equipped to assess patterns in UFO operations that might reveal, for example, a reconnaissance pattern.
Twining and Bush seem to have the interface between the strategic leadership and operational delivery of different strands of the overall work programme.

In true Managatten Project tradition information would be heavily compartmentalised and we can only see glimpses if the deeper RDB based programme and almost nothing of the overall strategic direction.

Hope that answer's CDA on civilian involvement and John on why SUGN was needed. Its a messy world though an unintended consequences are legion.

cda said...

"Hope that answer's CDA on civilian involvement".

No it does not.

You seem to be trying your utmost to find ways to surmount the difficulties with this subject, but in the end getting nowhere.

It would be perfectly logical for SIGN to examine a crashed UFO, or to at least know about it from the start. They could, if necessary, co-opt all sorts of civilian or military scientists to assist them in their activities, and in fact did so (see Ruppelt's book for this).

Had they wanted to back-engineer a captured UFO, SIGN could, and would, have done precisely this, with suitable external expertise.

And there would be literally volumes of documentation extant to show this. Where is it?

Where is all the paperwork of Twining, McCoy, Bush or any of the multitude of others involved in this activity? And what about that civilian Wilbert Smith? Did he handle a real fragment from a crashed saucer or not? (It was c. 1952, several years after Roswell).

All still top secret I suppose.

KRandle said...

All -

Let's remember that rank isn't always the driving force in the military. The csptsin of a ship is the ultimate authority on his ship even if there is a superior officer on board.

In aviation, I know that as a warrant officer assigned as an aircraft commander, I was the authority over the co-pilot who might be a first lieutenant or a captain. It all has to do with things that sometimes trump rank.

McCoy, because of his long involvement with these things was the subject matter expert. It could be that he would have been appointed to the MJ-12 committee because of that. It's all I'm suggesting...

Oh, and of course, that MJ-12 is a hoax so we could say that some sergeant E-5 was assigned and we could be right because this committee as constituted here never existed.

KRandle said...

All -

Since someone sort of asked, here is McCoy's obit:

Dec. 4, 1907
McKean County
Pennsylvania, USA

Oct. 12, 1976
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

Colonel, US Air Force. Graduated USMA 1930. Army Air Corps pilot from 1931 to 1935 with detached service as an air mail pilot during the Air Mail Emergency of 1934. Chief of the Propeller Laboratory, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio from 1938 to 1944. During World War ll he planned and directed Operation Lusty (Luftwaffe Secret Technology), and after the War, organized and was Director of the Air Documents Research Center, now the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). From 1946 to 1949 he was Chief of Intelligence, Air Material Command, Wright Field, now the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). He organized and was Director of the Physical Security Equipment Agency (PSEA), Department of Defense (DoD), from 1951 to 1954, which developed the first electronic ID Badge for the Pentagon and the DoD. Colonel McCoy retired in 1954 and consulted in the fields of information retrieval and technology transfer.

David Rudiak said...

In the case in question here it seems unlikely that Col. McCoy wouldn’t have clearance for the information that a saucer had crashed near Roswell if in fact one had. He seems to be Gen. Twining’s point man on flying disk studies and it would be strange not let him know that they had positive proof that they were something other than Soviet vehicles if in fact that was at hand.

According to Wendy Connors two SIGN sources (George Towles, who admitted to being sent to Roswell by McCoy, the other Major Victor Bilek, saying Towles cataloged the debris and prepared it for shipment back to Wright Field), and to an unknown colonel who told Kevin before he investigated Roswell that Sign personnel DID know about Roswell because the first draft of the Estimate of the Situation included mention of flying saucer material recovered there, but Gen. Vandenberg ordered that part removed from later drafts.

What SIGN people weren't told were the specifics. They seemed to be cut out of it (except for Towles, who had been there).

Certainly we believe that Gen. Twining was cleared?

Yes, I and others presume so. In fact he WAS in N.M. July 7-11 at exactly the same time this was happening. We know he was at Sandia base in Albuquerque and in Alamogordo. The official story was that he and other officers were there on a prearranged trip to attend a "bomb commanders' course" at Sandia arranged a month earlier.

Against this, we also know of a letter from Twining on July 17 to Boeing Aircraft apologizing for cancelling a scheduled July 8 trip to the Boeing factory in Seattle, "...due to very important and sudden matters that developed here."

This begs two questions: 1) What was the important, sudden matter that forced cancellation? 2) How could Twining SIMULTANEOUSLY be at a prearranged tour in Seattle July 8 AND be at Sandia attending a "prearranged" bomber course from July 7-9?

If he reviewed the memo before it went out, why sign a memo with incorrect statements about not having physical evidence? There was no need to raise that issue at all.

If you look at the end of Twining's memo, there is a long list of agencies that Twining wanted briefed and in involved in a saucer investigation, many of them obviously being involved with back-engineering or understanding the principles of propulsion and/or energy (hence the inclusion of the AEC, NEPA, RAND, AF Scientific Advisory Board, Vannevar Bush' DOD group, the Joint Research and Development Board (brought up again by later Wilbert Smith, Robert Sarbacher, Eric Walker documents and testimony as being the group involved in figuring out the "modus operandi" of the saucers, or back-engineering).

My point is you can't tell everybody EVERYTHING you might know,only what they need to know. There might be rumors about a saucer crash you might want to kill. So you deny the existence of any physical evidence, with the intention that this will be passed into briefing material. Anybody who needs to know otherwise, can be so informed later.

I see Twining's memo as being carefully worded to get other agencies to take saucers seriously ("the phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictiously"), but not so that they know too much. You try to compartmentalize the most important information to prevent leaks.

So would Twining tell a white lie? I don't see why not, unless someone can explain to me why there are two sets of military documents saying Twining was supposed to be in two places at once during Roswell. One of those documents has to be a white lie, or a cover story if you prefer.

Fred Milton said...

Something named the "physical equipment security agency (PSEA)" is mentioned in the obit provided by Kevin.

I'm surprised no one tried to look it up.

Cursory internet searches on DuckDuckGo and Google don't turn up anything. Must have been a mighty secret agency.

cda said...


Thanks for the career notes about Col. McCoy. Unless the US Military Academy awards PhDs I assume that McCoy never had a PhD, and therefore Anthony Mugan was wrong.

Does, or did, The USMA award doctorates?


Where is all the documentation relating to the 'back engineering' that was done on the Roswell crashed saucer? With all these high powered military and civilian people involved you would expect a huge volume of stuff to be produced. So I ask you the same question I put to Anthony. WHERE IS IT? Have you, or anyone else, seen it? Surely it cannot STILL be top secret.

Anthony Mugan said...

In terms of McCoy and a Ph.D. I could have sworn I'd seen that in something I was reading when we were all discussing T-forces and who was involved in Foo fighter investigations a while back. t lodged in my brain as I hadn't seen that before. Can I find it again...inevitably not so perhaps I merged him with someone else but I 'll keep having a look for it.
Anyway, it wasn't a fundamental point...McCoy was a bright guy but his job didn't require awareness of the broad policy context and it wouldn't be reasonable to expect him to make decisions at that level.

Twining's odd diary commitments...and visiting various bases in the SW whilst on this commanders course is, as David points out, curious to say the least.

That is a key piece of data which points to those bases. We all know the evidence that points to the JRDB as the focal point for the study of the 'modus operandi' of these things.

No...air Technical Intelligence were not the right group to try to reverse engineer it. They were good but not at that level. They also had another important job to do...intelligence work rather that fundamental science.

As for things still bring classified. The decision on classification depends on if an issue needs to be classified at a moment in time. How long something has been classified for is irrelevant. Many of the concerns will be the same now as they were in the 1950s. Only the initial fear if possible invasion will have significantly changed. In some ways it is probably better for society not to have to formally deal with this for as long as possible.

Larry said...

The following is an excerpt from the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy Project (


Most of the national security agencies in the executive branch have now been granted approval to exempt certain 50 year old classified information from automatic declassification.

The national security classification system normally requires declassification of classified documents as they become 25 years old, with several specified exemptions to allow continued classification up to 50 years.

Only "in extraordinary cases" may agency heads propose to exempt information from declassification when it is 50 years old, says President Obama's 2009 executive order 13526. They must request and receive approval from the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).

So it was somewhat disconcerting to see an updated Notice from the Information Security Oversight Office last week indicating that dozens of executive branch agencies have now been granted exemptions from declassification for 50 year old information, including all of the major national security agencies.

It appeared that the extraordinary had become quite ordinary...."

John's Space said...


This only makes sense. For example 50 years ago is 1964 and nuclear weapons design was very advanced by that time. I’m sure that many of the lesser nuclear powers would like detail design and other nuclear data on those weapons. Similarly, details of the production of V-gases and bio-weapons that were designed in that period should also be kept secret as well. I’m sure a lot of dangerous countries and non-national groups would love to get some of those documents. There probably other things that reasonable people would agree shouldn’t be released.


I’m sure that any data on UFO recoveries (if they occurred) will remain top secret. Also, if the policy changes it won’t be due to a mandatory down grade date.

David Rudiak said...

CDA cluelessly wrote:
Where is all the documentation relating to the 'back engineering' that was done on the Roswell crashed saucer? With all these high powered military and civilian people involved you would expect a huge volume of stuff to be produced. So I ask you the same question I put to Anthony. WHERE IS IT? Have you, or anyone else, seen it? Surely it cannot STILL be top secret.

Believe it or not, the CIA fought the declassification of INVISIBLE INK secrets from World War Freaking One, claiming they were still being used. They only ended their opposition in 2011, or nearly ONE HUNDRED YEARS of secrecy.

The back-engineering of crashed alien craft most of us would assume would be on a slightly higher level of security than invisible inks. No doubt, CDA will disagree.

We also still await all that documentation that proves Mogul Flight #4 ever existed, and thus could possibly explain Roswell. How many years have I been asking CDA for it? I forget.

Nitram said...


"I’m sure that any data on UFO recoveries (if they occurred) will remain top secret. Also, if the policy changes it won’t be due to a mandatory down grade date."

Brilliant quote - absolutely brilliant! CDA frame this on your wall and remember it carefully before you mention anything about "7 decade old coverups again"

David R

Can't resist leading with my chin and posting this....

"The reason that there is no documentation regarding flight #4 is the flight itself was not top secret - so if it's top secret we hide the paperwork and if it's mundane we don't have any paperwork to hide... a win win for everyone!"

cda said...

Nitram (or Martin):

I don't follow you. The quote in your first paragraph was by someone calling himself "John's space". Who is he, and why would I want to frame anything of his on my wall? If you, or anyone else, want to believe that UFO recoveries (e.g. see Stringfield's 'Status reports') will remain top secret forever and a day, then go ahead and do so.

After all, when we earthlings eventually land on another planet, the official bodies of that planet will keep our landings secret forever from their citizens, won't they? This is because these citizens will be too stupid to understand our real intentions and thus cannot be told the truth.

John's Space said...


It is a really good quote though.

Nitram said...

cda confesses...

"I don't follow you. The quote in your first paragraph was by someone calling himself "John's space". Who is he, and why would I want to frame anything of his on my wall?"

Maybe a better option is to put the quote under your pillow before bed.

I agree with John Space (whoever he is) - it is a good quote.

Mr. Sweepy said...


I have finding a series of documents on the net regard Wight-Pat and some historical documents. There is nothing directly pertaining to the Roswell crash but does give some background.

Here is the first: WADC/WADD Digital Collection at the Galvin Library, IIT