The cover of this issue was an irresistible combination of sultry sex and saucers.

It shows a dreamy...or is it sleepy?...Marilyn Monroe with her eyes half open and her luxuriously loose dress slid well down below her shoulders. 

She was the “talk of Hollywood,” the cover asserted. For those who could remove their eyes from her provocative appearance there was, in the upper right hand corner of the cover, a statement which must have come as a shock to many people:

There is a case for interplanetary saucers


The American magazine LIFE is well known and serious and does not publish anything without great care. The article below made quite a fuss at the time of its publication in 1952 when the public interest for the "flying saucers" had strongly decreased, and before the flying saucers were again a hot topic for the media when they flew over Washington on several occasions at the end of the year.

In addition to the fact that LIFE concludes frankly that the flying saucers are extraterrestrial crafts, the article indicates the remarkable and astonishing fact that US Air Force found nothing there to argue with, on the contrary, they actively collaborated and maybe even prompted the article. This is something that will never happen anymore in the future: after the UFO flap over Washington, US Air Force adopted a policy of denial and debunking, which they still hold today.


This issue became a rather difficult to locate collector's item, collectors often tore off the cover page in libraries copies.

"Have We Visitors from Space?"
by H. B. Darrach Jr. and Robert Ginna

The Air Force is now ready to concede that many saucer and fireball sightings still defy explanation; here LIFE offers some scientific evidence that there is a real case for interplanetary saucers.

For four years the U.S. public has wondered, worried or smirked over the strange and insistent tales of eerie objects streaking across American skies. Generally the tales have provoked only chills or titters, only rarely, reflection or analysis.

Last week the U.S. Air Force made known to LIFE the following facts::

  • As a result of continuing flying saucer reports the Air Force maintains constant intelligence investigation and study of unidentified aerial objects.
  • A policy of positive action has been adopted to find out, as soon as possible, what is responsible for observations that have been made. As a part of this study, military aircraft are alerted to attempt interception, and radar and photographic equipment will be used in an attempt to obtain factual data. If opportunity offers, attempts will be made to recover such unidentified objects.
  • Already all operational units of the Air Force have been alerted to report in detail any sightings of unidentified aerial objects. Other groups – scientists, private and commercial pilots, weather observers – all trained observers whose work in any way concerns the sky, and what happens in it, are urged to make immediate reports to Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio of any unidentified aerial objects they sight.
  • Further, for the first time since 'Project "Saucer' was changed from a special-type project to a standard intelligence function, in December 1949, the Air Force invites all citizens to report their sightings to the nearest Air Force installation. All reports will be given expert consideration and those of special interest will be thoroughly investigated. The identity of those making such reports will be kept in confidence; no one will be ridiculed for making one.
  • There is no reason as yet to believe that any of the aerial phenomena commonly described as flying saucers are caused by a foreign power or constitute a clear and present danger to the U.S. or its citizens.

These disclosures, sharply amending past Air Force policy, climaxed a review by LIFE, with Air Force officials, of all facts known in the case.

This review has resulted from more than a year of sifting and weighting all reports of unexplained aerial phenomena - from the so-called flying saucers to the mysterious green fireballs so often sighted in the Southwest. This inquiry has included scrutiny of hundreds of reported sightings, interviews with eyewitnesses across the country and careful reviews of the facts with some of the world's ablest physicists, astronomers, and experts on guided missiles. For the first time the Air Force [while in no way identifying itself with any particular conclusions] has opened its files for study. Out of this exhaustive inquiry these propositions seem firmly shaped by the evidence:

• Disks, cylinders and similar objects of geometrical form, luminous quality and solid nature for several years have been, and may be now, actually present in the atmosphere of the earth.
• Globes of green fire also, of brightness more intense than the full moon's, have frequently passed through the skies.
• These objects cannot be explained by present science as natural phenomena - but solely as artificial devices, created and operated by a high intelligence.
• Finally, no power plant known or projected on earth could account for the performance of these devices.

Let us first review some widely known facts:

The shapes and inscrutable portents of the flying disks first broke upon the skies of the world in the early months of 1947, with several sightings reported to the Air Force. The story first reached the nation on 24 June 1947, when a private pilot named Kenneth Arnold was flying from Chehalis to Yakima, Wash. Some 25 miles away, Arnold saw nine "saucer like things ... flying like geese in a diagonal chainlike line," approaching Mount Rainier. They swerved in and out of the high peaks at a speed Arnold estimated to be 1,200 mph.

Arnold told the whole story to his hometown newspaper, and like summer lightning it flashed across the country. Within a month, saucers had been reported by people in 40 states. For the public [as LIFE itself merrily reported in its issue of 21 July 1947] the saucers provided the biggest game of hey-diddle-diddle in history. Any man, woman, or child with talent enough to see spots before his eyes could get his name in the newspaper.

Nevertheless in serious moments most people were a little worried by all the "chromium hubcaps," "flying washtubs" and "whirling doughnuts" in the sky. Buried in the heap of hysterical reports were some sobering cases. One was the calamity that befell Air Force Captain Thomas F. Mantell on 7 January 1948. That afternoon Mantell and two other F-51 fighter pilots sighted an object that looked like "an ice-cream cone topped with red" over Godman Air Force Base and Fort Knox, Ky. Mantell followed the strange object up to 20,000 feet and disappeared. Later in the day his body was found in a nearby field, the wreckage of his plane scattered for a half mile around. It now seems possible that Mantell was one of the very few sighters who actually were deceived by a Skyhook balloon, but the incident is still listed as unsolved by the Air Force files.

There was no such easy explanation for the strange phenomenon observed at 2:45 a.m. on 24 July 1948 by two Eastern Air Lines pilots. Captain Clarence S. Chiles and Copilot John B. Whitted were flying in bright moonlight near Montgomery, Ala. when they suddenly saw "a bright glow" and a "long rocketlike ship" veer past them. They subsequently agreed that it was a "wingless aircraft, 100 feet long, cigar-shaped and about twice the diameter of a B-29, with no protruding surfaces, and two rows of windows ... From the sides of the craft came an intense, fairly dark blue glow ... like a fluorescent factory light". They said the weird craft "pulled up with tremendous burst of flame from the rear and zoomed into the clouds at about 800 miles an hour," rocking their DC-3 with its "prop or jet wash".

Just as inexplicable was the experience of Lieut. George Gorman of the North Dakota Air National Guard. On 1 October 1948 Gorman was coming in at dusk to land his F-51 at Fargo, when he saw an intense, bright light pass 1,000 yards away. Curious, Gorman followed the light and saw that it seemed to be attached to nothing. For 27 hair-raising minutes Gorman pursued the light through a series of intricate manoeuvres. He said it was about 6 inches in diameter and going faster than his F-51 (300-400 mph). It made no sound and left no exhaust trail. After Gorman landed, the light having suddenly flashed away in the upper air, he found support for his story - the chief of the control tower had followed the fantastic "combat" with binoculars.

The occurrences, jarring though they must have been to the participants, left the official calm of the Air Force unruffled. The project set up to investigate the saucers ['Project Sign,' known to the press as 'Project Saucer'] seemed to have been fashioned more as a sedative to public controversy than as a serious inquiry into the facts. On 27 December 1949, after two years of operation, Project Saucer wrote off all reports of unidentified aerial phenomena as hoaxes, hallucinations or misinterpretations of familiar objects - that is, all but 34. These stubborn 34, seemingly unexplainable, were briskly dismissed as psychological aberrations.

While these assurances appeased most of the press and pacified the public, some elements in the Air Force just about this time began to worry a bit more seriously. Saucer reports continued to come in a rate of about one a day and were handled under the code name of "Project Grudge". Officers at policy level began to show concern. "The higher you go in the Air Force," conceded one Intelligence officer, "the more seriously they take the flying saucers".

There was good reason to be serious. As review of all records has shown, these years have produced literally dozens of incidents defying simple explanation - and provoking the most incredible questions.

WHAT THEY ARE NOT – AND WHAT THEY MAY BE

What are the flying saucers, the luminous fuselages, the foo fighters and the green fireballs? The answer – if any answer at this time is possible – lies in the field of logic rather than of evidence. What the things are may be adduced partially by reviewing what they are not.

THEY ARE NOT PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA.   Although the Air Force cheerily wrote off its 34 unexplained incidents with this pat theory, the explanation does not hold up. There is no evidence, beyond textbook speculation, for such a supposition, and there is the direct evidence already cited against it. To doubt the observers is to doubt the ability of every human being to know a hawk from a handsaw.

THEY ARE NOT THE PRODUCT OF U.S. RESEARCH.   LIFE investigated this possibility to exhaustion. Not fully satisfied by the public denials of President Truman, Secretary Johnson and others, the investigators put the question directly to Gordon Dean, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He said: "There's nothing in our shop that could account for these things, and there's nothing going on that I know of that could explain them". Still unconvinced, LIFE checked the whereabouts and present business of every scientist who might have anything to do with the development of superaircraft. All were accounted for in other ways. Careful feelers through the business and labor world encountered no submerged projects of the immensity necessary to build a fleet of flying disks. And there is still the conclusive fact: U.S. science has at its command no source of power that could put a flying machine through such paces as the saucers perform.

THEY ARE NOT A RUSSIAN DEVELOPMENT.   It is inconceivable that the Russians would risk the loss of such a precious military weapon by flying a saucer over enemy territory. No man-made machine is foolproof; sooner or later one would crash in the U.S. and the secret would be out. Nor is there any reason to believe that Russian science, even with German help, has moved beyond not only the practical but the THEORETICAL horizons of U.S. research.

THEY ARE NOT DISTORTIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERE RESULTING FROM ATOMIC ACTIVITY.   To quote the answer David Lilienthal, former AEC commissioner, once made to that suggestion: "I can't prevent anyone from saying foolish things". Nor are they aberrations of the northern lights. Magnetic disturbances cannot account for them and neither can a notion (recently fathered by Dr. Urner Liddel, the Navy physicist) that they are "vertical mirages" – reflections from a vertical (instead of a horizontal) layer of heated air.

THEY ARE NOT SKYHOOK BALLOONS.   This was the original Liddel explanation, and in a few instances it may have been correct. But not many. They could scarcely be "fireflies in the cockpit," as one Air Force colonel suggested, since most of the observers were not in a cockpit when they saw their saucers. And it is hard to believe that saucers could be the reflections of automobile headlights on clouds, when they are seen in daylight under cloudless skies. These being the dead-end alleys of negative evidence, is there hope of an explanation on the open avenues of scientific theory? The answer is yes.

The rank of science has taken the saucers far more seriously than the file of laymen and, after five years of close watch on all reports, a number of scientists were ready with some conclusions. One of these was Dr. Walther Riedel, once chief designer and research director at the German rocket center in Peenemunde, now engaged on secret work for the U.S. Dr. Riedel has never seen a saucer himself, but for several years he has kept records of saucer sightings all over the world. He told LIFE: "I am completely convinced that they have an out-of-world basis".

Dr. Riedel has four points to his argument:

"First, the skin temperatures of structures operating under the observed conditions would make it impossible for any terrestrial structure to survive. The skin friction of the missile at those speeds at those altitudes would melt any metals or nonmetals available.

"Second, consider the high acceleration at which they fly and maneuver ... In some descriptions the beast spirals straight up. If you think of the fact that the centrifugal force in a few minutes of such a maneuver would press the crew against the outside, and do likewise to the blood, you see what I mean.

"Third.... There are many occurrences where they have done things that only a pilot could perform but that no human pilot could stand.

"Fourth, in most of the reports there is a lack of visible jet. Most observers report units without visible flame...and no trail. If it would be any known type of jet, rocket, piston engine, or chain-reaction motor, there would be a very clear trail at high altitude. It is from no power unit we know of..."

Dr. Riedel's arguments are reinforced by those of Dr. Maurice A. Biot, one of the leading aerodynamicists in the U.S. and a prominent mathematical physicist. From an aerodynamical viewpoint, says Dr. Biot, the saucer shape makes very little sense if the machine is to travel in the atmosphere. A disk has a high drag and is a poor airfoil unless stabilized; when whirled at high speed through the air, it "wobbles" distressingly – a movement observed in several of the saucers sighted. However, for space travel, where there is no atmosphere to oppose, the disk has significant advantages. The sphere, theoretically better, presents several difficult problems of construction and utilization. The disk, easier to build, has almost all the virtues of the sphere and some of its own. Reviewing the evidence presented here, Dr. Biot said: "The least improbable explanation is that these things are artificial and controlled. . .My opinion for some time has been that they have an extraterrestrial origin".

WHO? WHAT? AND WHEN?

There, at least, is a plausible explanation of the disk shape.

The Saucer Error
By Martin Kottmeyer

Ufologists from time to time express the sentiment that UFOs just can't be a myth. Look at them. That shape. How do you explain where it came from. Space travel was supposed to involve rockets, not these disc-shaped marvels. The whole phenomenon is just so, well, alien from what you'd expect. 

J. Allen Hynek, one of the leading ufologists of his time, put it this way:

"Why flying saucers? Why not flying cubes or flying pyramids, or for that matter, why not flying pink elephants or even flying buildings, reported from a hundred different countries? Indeed if UFO reports were entirely the result of excited imaginations, why not hundreds, possibly thousands, of totally and radically different types of reports as people of different cultures let their locally conditioned imaginations loose?"

-- Hynek "UFO Report", Dell, 1977

John Prytz, who has defended the extraterrestrial hypothesis against psychosocial interpretations of the UFO phenomenon in a fascinating series of articles, devoted a whole article ['UFO Genesis"' - "MUFON UFO Journal", September 1982] to exploring this conundrum. There weren't any "sci-fi films" playing in 1947 and the serials before that date, "The Purple Monster Strikes" and "Flash Gordon", only involved rockets. He checked the newspapers of the period and couldn't find anything in the cultural environment which could have stimulated the saucer phenomenon. The period was boring. He concluded:

The timing of the genesis of the modern UFO phenomenon, which cannot be logically accounted for, is yet another forceful argument for the external nature of, and external intelligence behind, the UFO, and yet another nail in the coffin of the pro-internal- intelligence advocates.

UFO historian David Jacobs has echoed Prytz in his paper ['The New Era of UFO Research' - "Pursuit", #78, 1987) and more recently in "Secret Life" and asserted there was no precedent for the saucer configuration in popular science fiction films, popular science fiction, or popular culture in general. The objects seemed "well beyond that produced by the technology of 1947 and it became immediately apparent that the witnesses were seeing something that could be entirely unique".

There is a trivial sense in which Prytz and Jacobs are simply wrong. Disc-shaped spacecraft have a number of precedents in popular culture. They appear in the well- known and widely distributed "Buck Rogers" comic strip as early as 1930. Flash Gordon was battling a squadron of deadly "space-gyros" in 1934 in his strip. Even better, they can be seen dangling around, thanks to the gloriously crude special effects of 1938 Hollywood, in the Flash Gordon movie serial, "Rocketship" based on that strip. Science fiction illustrator Frank R. Paul repeatedly used disc-shaped space vehicles in his art for the early pulps. Others followed his example. I regard these as trivial however because I accept them as coincidences inevitable in a large body of artistic creativity. Artists utilized every geometric form they could think of and when imagination failed them they preferred to fall back on the convention of the rocket. If the images of science fiction were the determinant of what people should have been imagining in 1947 we should have had a wave of ghost rockets, not flying saucers. So what was the determinant?

Oddly enough, we got flying saucers because of a journalist's error. 1947 was an exciting time in aviation history. New advances and innovations were turning up regularly and speed records were being broken as pilots aimed to break the sound barrier. Chuck Yeager would win that prize on 14 October 1947. Four months earlier, on 24 June 1947, Kenneth Arnold surprised the world by reporting nine objects flying by Mount Rainier at the incredible speed of 1,200 miles per hour. It was an incredible mystery and was such a sensation that it made front page news across the nation. Soon everyone was looking for these new aircraft which according to the papers were saucer-like in shape. Within weeks hundreds of reports of these flying saucers were made across the nation. While people presumably thought they were seeing the same things that Kenneth Arnold saw, there was a major irony that nobody at the time realized.

Kenneth Arnold hadn't reported seeing flying saucers.

In a memoir of the incident for the First International UFO Congress in 1977 Arnold revealed the flying saucer label arose because of a "great deal of misunderstanding" on the part of the reporter who wrote the story up for the "United Press". Bill Bequette asked him how the objects flew and Arnold answered that, "Well, they flew erratic, like a saucer if you skip it across the water". The intent of the metaphor was to describe the motion of the objects not their shape. Arnold stated the objects "were not circular." A look at the drawing he did for his report to the Air Force shortly after the incident confirms the truth of that statement. It is hard to describe in a word or two; beetle-shaped is the best I can come up with. However you describe it, one thing is clear. It is not the elegant alien geometric perfection we have come to know and mystify ourselves over.
We can from these facts derive the answers to Hynek's questions. The reason excited imaginations didn't come up with hundreds of radically different variations is that they were constrained by Bequette's description of the objects. The phrase "flying saucers" provided the mold which shaped the UFO myth at its beginning. As time progressed people would draw them, looking as they sound like they look. They in turn shaped hoax photos and the imagery of films like "The Flying Saucer" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and dozens of alien invasion films and TV shows in the decades that followed. It remains the stereotype to the present day. By one tally 82% of the craft descriptions in alien abduction reports fall into the flying saucer category. It can be found in nearly all the well-known cases: Betty and Barney Hill's interrupted journey, Herb Schirmer, Travis Walton, the Andreasson affair, Whitley Strieber.  
Prytz's and Jacobs' arguments miss the mark because one doesn't need to look beyond Bequette's error to understand the unambiguously cultural genesis of the saucer mystery. Arnold's report was itself the source of excitement in the otherwise almost boring period of 1947. The speed of the objects caught everyone's attention and guaranteed that the whole world would add the phrase "flying saucers" to their vocabulary within a matter of days. Science fiction had nothing to do with this; the interest in fast planes was the determinant.

Bequette's error may not prove to be the ultimate refutation of the extraterrestrial theory for everyone. But it does leave their advocates in one helluva paradox: Why would extraterrestrials redesign their craft to conform to Bequette's mistake?

But the real depths of the saucer mystery bemuse penetration, as the night sky swallows up a flashlight beam. What of the other shapes? Why do the things make no sound? How to explain their eerie luminosity? What power urges them at such terrible speeds through the sky? Who, or what, is aboard? Where do they come from? Why are they here? What are the intentions of the beings who control them?

Before these awesome questions, science – and mankind – can yet only halt in wonder. Answers may come in a generation – or tomorrow. Somewhere in the dark skies there may be those who know.

The case for interplanetary saucers was made in an article written by H. B. Darrach, Jr. and Robert Ginna. The title: “Have We Visitors from Space?” Next to the title was the attention-grabbing answer to this question:

The Air Force is now ready to concede that many saucer and fireball sightings still defy explanation; here Life offers some scientific evidence that there is a real case for interplanetary flying saucers.

The article, based on a year long investigation by Ginna, included information directly from the Air Force file. Ginna had visited ATIC on 3 March 1952,  and, with the complete cooperation of Captain Edward J. Ruppelt and the 'Project Blue Book' staff, he had reviewed sighting reports and analyses, some of which were declassified at his request. The authors also interviewed high level Air Force officials at the Pentagon. They were told that the Air Force was carrying on a "constant intelligence investigation" and would attempt to get radar and photographic data and that "attempts will be made to recover such unidentified objects". They were also told that the Air Force was, for the first time, since December, 1949, inviting "all citizens to report their sightings to the nearest Air Force installation".

According to the authors, "These disclosures, sharply amending past Air Force policy, climaxed a review by LIFE with Air Force officials of all facts known...." and "The Air Force is now ready to concede that many saucer and fireball sightings still defy explanation". Furthermore, they quoted Dr. Walther Riedel, a German rocket scientist, as saying that, in his opinion, these objects "have an out-of-this world basis". To top it off, the authors quoted an intelligence officer (Ruppelt?) as saying that "The higher you go in the Air Force the more seriously they take the flying saucers". A reader of the article might well have gotten the idea that top Air Force officers were thinking "interplanetary". [This is, in fact, what Air Force Intelligence told the FBI several months and many hundreds of sightings later]

The UFO / FBI Connection: "The REAL X-Files"

Fact 1

On 10 July 1947, Air Force Intelligence asked the FBI to interview witnesses. The Air Force was worried that some sighting reports might come from communist sympathizers.

Fact 2

The FBI officially investigated during the late summer of 1947. The FBI interviewed a dozen and a half or so witnesses and found no evidence of communist sympathizers, but did find unexplainable sightings. Many of these interviews and sighting reports were filed under "Security Matter - X"..... so these are the "Real X Files."

Fact 3

Air Force Intelligence supplied the FBI with secret UFO-related information from the summer of 1947 until the middle of the 1950's. Some of this information did not appear in the files of Project Blue Book (1952- 1969) which include the files of Project Sign (1948) and Project Grudge (1949-1951), or in the Air Force. 

Fact 4

Information supplied to the FBI during the years 1949-1950 indicated that the Air Force treated the subject seriously even though the Air Force publicly stated that the sightings could all be explained and that there was no threat to the United States.

Fact 5

In January 1949 an Air Force Colonel at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who directed the project to create and atomic powered aircraft, told the FBI that saucers were real and were weapons of the Soviet Union.

Fact 6

In 1949 and 1950 the FBI was told by the Air Force intelligence that the saucer project had been ended. But then the FBI received further requests for sighting information which proved that the Air Force was still investigating. The confusion of the Air Force investigators over whether or not saucers were weapons of another nation or something else is evident in the FBI file.

Fact 7

During 1949 and 1950 numerous "green fireballs" were observed flying over restricted military installations in New Mexico and Texas. These military installations were associated with the construction and storage of atomic weapons. The security agencies were very worried that these "fireballs" were Soviet missiles. The Air Force reports also indicate a "disc shaped variation" also reported by Air Force security personnel. The local FBI agents reported numerous times to headquarters (Hoover) about these sightings. In 1950 the AF project set up to investigate these sightings (Project Twinkle) obtained **photographic proof** of saucer reality. This proof is presented publicly for the first time in this book.

Fact 8

On 29 July 1952, a week after saucers appeared over Washington, DC, the FBI was told by Air Force Intelligence that roughly 3% of the sightings COULD NOT BE EXPLAINED and that it was "not entirely impossible" that some saucers were "ships from another planet. On the SAME DAY the General in charge of Air Force Intelligence [General John A. Samford] held a press conference and told the American public that sightings were all explainable as natural phenomena such as mirages and "temperature inversions" [affecting radar].

Fact 9

In October, 1952, the FBI was told that some AF officers were "seriously considering the possibility of interplanetary ships".

Fact 10

In 1956 an FBI employee and an employee of the National Security agency saw and reported to the FBI a UFO

Fact 11

The FBI file contains several reports by the agent who investigated the Lonnie Zamorra/Socorro, New Mexico case of 24 April 1964.

Fact 12

The FBI file has a memorandum which indicates that when Jimmy Carter became President he did query government agencies about their UFO activities, as he had promised before the election.

Fact 13

The FBI does not now investigate sightings

Fact 14

In the spring of 1998 the FBI placed on the web the roughly 1600 pages of UFO files 

The article ended with a series of questions which pointed toward the interplanetary answer: "What power urges them at such terrible speeds through the sky? Who, or what, is aboard? Where do they come from? Why are they here? What are the intentions of the beings who control them?......Somewhere in the dark skies there may be those who know!"

The LIFE magazine statement that the Air Force was taking saucers seriously was diametrically opposed to many previous, public AF statements but, of course, the LIFE did not say that the AF had endorsed the interplanetary hypothesis. Even in private at ATIC there was no endorsement of the interplanetary hypothesis.

In a Secret monthly Status Report on the activities of Project Blue Book, dated 30 April 1952, Captain Ruppelt wrote:

"It should be noted here that the conclusions reached by LIFE are not those of the Air Force. No proof exists that these objects are from outer space".

Actually Ruppelt should have been more specific in saying that the ATIC/PBB staff did not endorse the LIFE conclusion because, as he admitted in his 1956 book, "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects", other, high level Air Force officers did endorse that conclusion. According to Ruppelt, some "high ranking officers in the Pentagon - so high that their personal opinion was almost policy" did believe the saucers were extraterrestrial and expressed that opinion to Mr. Ginna. At least one of these high ranking officers was none other than Brigadier General William M. Garland. [Ruppelt, in his personal papers, noted that Garland had seen a UFO while he was stationed in Sacremento, CA.]

Ruppelt also wrote the following:

"Garland was the inspiration behind the LIFE article by Ginna. He gave Ginna his ideas and prompted LIFE to stick their necks out".

According to PBB records, the LIFE article was mentioned in more than 350 newspapers across the United States and ATIC received 110 letters concerning the article. LIFE itself received more than 700 letters. The letters discussed old sightings and theories about sightings. Blue Book braced for an onslaught of new sightings that did not come....at least not for several weeks. On the day after the magazine hit the stands Blue Book received 9 sightings, but then only a couple on the next day. [There was an increase in the sighting rate in Canada in April and there were also reports from Europe and quite a few from the Korean war zone].

In the following days other publications disputed the LIFE article. In the 12 April issue, "The New York Times" criticized Darrach and Ginna for being "uncritical". "The New York Times" author claimed that the PROJECT GRUDGE report of two years proved that all sightings could be explained. Of course he did not know that General Charles P. Cabell, Deputy Director of the CIA,  had described the Grudge report as worthless.  

 

Book Excerpt from "Extraterrestrial Contact The Evidence and Implications"
Dr. Steven Greer
Director of the CSETI
(Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence)
Disclosure Project group

The 'Marilyn Monroe Document' came to me by way of a contact with access to NSA officials. It has been authenticated by the best document researcher in the world - a man who for years sat outside General William Odom's door as his senior aide when Odom was NSA head. It is a smoking gun, especially when put together with the other documents. The reader will note that the document is signed by James Angleton, one of the main CIA counter-intelligence figures of the 1960s and fanatical "mole hunter" who ruthlessly tried to stop any leaks of sensitive intelligence. Note that the document, which has very important project code names and numbers on it, is a summary of CIA wiretaps of Marilyn Monroe. After the Kennedy brothers distanced themselves from her she felt hurt and began to call Bobby Kennedy and some of her friends, threatening to hold a press conference to tell the world what President Kennedy had privately told her about some very sensitive matters.

The most sensitive of these matters was the ET issue. Note the section of the document which refers to telling all regarding what President Kennedy told her about "the visit by the President at a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space". Later, the document refers to "secret effort by the US and UK governments to identify the origins of crashed spacecraft and dead bodies" and that Dorothy Kilgallen believed the story may have come from the New Mexico crash in the late forties..."a clear reference to a Roswell-type incident". The document also refers to Monroe's "secret diaries and what the newspapers would do with such disclosures".

Dorothy Kilgallen had been told by Marilyn Monroe, three days before Monroe died, that "she was about to call a press conference to reveal that she had proof of what JFK had told her about a UFO crash in New Mexico from which some of the dead alien bodies were recovered".

In fact the CIA document dated 3 August 1962 states that during Marilyn Monroe's phone tapping Howard Rothberg [a close friend] discussed with Kilgallen that Monroe had secrets to tell. These included the presidents visit to a "secret air base" to inspect "things from outer space". Kilgallen during this discussion thought she may know the source of the visit, and the document states that Kilgallen said she had heard in the mid-fifties that there was a secret effort by US and UK governments to identify the origins of the crashed craft in New Mexico. The document doesn't state there was any proof of Monroe's "stories".

Kilgallen had previously published the following report on 22 May 1955:

"British scientists and airmen, after examining the wreckage of one mysterious flying ship, are convinced these strange aerial objects are not optical illusions or Soviet inventions, but are flying saucers which originate on another planet. The source of my information is a British official of Cabinet rank who prefers to remain unidentified: 'We believe, on the basis of our inquiry thus far, that the saucers were staffed by small men - probably under four feet tall. It's frightening, but there is no denying the flying saucers come from another planet'. The official quoted scientists as saying a flying ship of this type could not possibly have been constructed on earth. The British Government, I learned, is withholding an official report on the 'flying saucer' examination at this time, possibly because it does not wish to frighten the public".

 
This document is dated 3 August 1962 - around the time of Marilyn Monroe's mysterious death [4 August 1962].

Actor Burl Ives, a personal friend and CSETI life time member, told me at his home in Anacortes, Washington, that he had been friends with Marilyn Monroe before her death. He told me quite clearly that he and all her close friends knew she had been murdered. But they did not know why.

Perhaps now we do...

UFOs and the Murder of Marilyn Monroe

Donald Burleson, Ph.D.has been fascinated with the death of Marilyn Monroe for many years. In fact, as a certified UFO field investigator, research consultant, and New Mexico State Director for MUFON (Mutual UFO Network), he had heard rumors of a UFO connection with Marilyn's death.

One of the linchpin's of Dr. Burleson's hypothesis is a CIA document, that has come to be known as the Marilyn Monroe document, which mysteriously surfaced in 1994. The document has a subject line "Marilyn Monroe" and a project line "Moon Dust". According to Burleson, "Project Moon Dust" had existed since 1953 and whose purpose was the recovering of debris from fallen space vehicles, certainly to include UFO crash depris.

According to "UFOs and the Murder of Marilyn Monroe," the document has an apparent reference, in the routing data at the bottom of the page to MJ-12. This reference to MJ-12 further associates the Marilyn Monroe document with the whole question of governmental secrecy about unindentified flying objects.

Dr. Burleson's work involves computer image enhancement. He is a director of a computer lab at Eastern New Mexico University. One day, when the Marilyn Monroe document was being displayed, a student noticed "a sort of smudge or shadow" to the left of the TOP SECRET stamp. When enhanced the imprint contained the name "Schulgen". This proved to be another invaluable piece of UFO evidence. Brigadier General George Schulgen was the Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division of Army Air Corps Intelligence. His job basically was to investigate UFOs! How did his name get on the document?

Marilyn was murdered on a Saturday night, she was prepared and had told friends, that she planned to hold a news conference on the following Monday. Several months before her death Marilyn had met Jose Bolanos, a Mexican film director and screenwriter. In fact Jose accompanied Marilyn to the 1962 Golden Globe Awards. Jose phoned and spoke to Marilyn around 10:00pm the night of her death and according to Jose she would tell the media something that "will one day shock the whole world". One can only speculate as to what the something was. We can be confident it didn't concern her affairs with Bobby or John Kennedy. Both of their wives were aware of their infidelity. She also probably knew of the plot to kill Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs, but would this be reason enough to silence her?

RFK Was At Scene of Marilyn's Death

Dr. Burleson believes that there is undisputed proof that Bobby Kennedy was at the scene of Marilyn's death. Norman Jeffries who worked with Marilyn's housekeeper Eunice Murray and helped around the house, said that some men came to Marilyn's house around 10:00 pm the night of her death. One man recognized by Mr. Jeffries was Robert Kennedy, who was accompanied by two men he didn't know. Elizabeth Pllard, who lived right next door to Marilyn and held bridge parties every Saturday night states that she saw Bobby Kennedy and two other men walk right past the window, headed for Marilyn's house, and one of the men was carrying a small black bag of the sort that a doctor would carry.

According to Norman Jeffries, Bobby and the two mystery men entered the house and ordered Norman and Eunice to leave. Marilyn Munroe biographer Donald Wolfe quotes Norman as saying, "I mean they made it clear we were to be gone". This was the second time in one day that Bobby Kennedy had ordered them out of Marilyn's house.

Norman was waiting at a neighbor's until Kennedy and the others left the house, which he says was about 10:30 pm. Eunice and Norman, feeling the "coast was clear", returned to the house and discovered Marilyn sprawled face down, nude, across the day bed in the guest cottage. She was alive, but she was dying.

Dr. Burleson believes that "between the time Bobby Kennedy and his two cohorts entered Marilyn Monroe's house around 10:00 pm. and the time they left it around 10:30 p.m., a loathsome crime was committed. Marilyn was clearly not expected to survive.

Marilyn's Little Red Diary

If you believe in the UFO conspiracy or not, it is apparent that Marilyn Monroe's death was due in part to information she knew about the Kennedy brothers and tragically recorded in her "little red" diary!

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) audio recordings taped Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Munroe having a violent argument which went something like this: "Where is it? Where the f___ is it? and things to that effect, "My family must have it," and "We'll make any arrangements you want," and "We'll pay you for it." In retrospect, it's obvious that Bobby was looking for Marilyn's diary.

Marilyn had been a diary-keeper all her life, and her most recent one was a little red book in which she was known to have scribbled, among other things, notes on things she and Bobby Kennedy had talked about, including political matters and foreign affairs. Jeanne Carmen has recalled seeing Bobby grab up Marilyn's red diary in her living room one day and hurl it across the room, shouting "Get rid of this!"

Dr. Steven Greer came into possession of a CIA document that dealt with Marilyn and Bobby Kennedy. A synopsis of the document stated that: The subject (Marilyn) would hold a press conference and would tell all; and the subject (Marilyn) made reference to her "diary of secrets" and what the newspapers would do with such disclosures.

Lionel Grandison, from the Los Angles County Coroner's Office, was the last person recorded to have seen and examined Marilyn's red diary. He had sent his driver to Marilyn's house in the hopes of recovering an address book so that relatives could be notified of Marilyn's death. Marilyn's housekeeper Eunice Murray gave the driver an address book and a little red diary! He stated that the diary contained interesting references to the Kennedys and other people (notably Fidel Castro), (but) it contained no addresses.

Grandison before leaving his office for the day locked the diary away in the Coroner's office safe. When he returned to work on Tuesday, 7 August, the safe was still locked but the little red diary was gone. Marilyn's diary was never seen again.


Are Flying Saucers Connected to the Assassination of JFK?

The intelligence connection to the UFO controversy plunge us ever deeper into mystery and intrigue,  the possibility of disinformation looms large.  Nevertheless, as the scope and depth of the study  conveys, the stunning linkages between the many astonishing issues seems, on their own account, to lend credibility to the conclusions offered.  For how can the coincidences be accidental when there are so many to mention and they reinforce one another?

Nowhere is this more evident than the links between the alleged conspirators portrayed in Oliver Stone’s award-winning movie, "JFK" [1991] and America’s "first episode in its ongoing UFO adventure series". 

To pick up on this story line, we turn to author Alex Constantine’s discussion on CIA intelligence operations surrounding UFOs and their connection to John F. Kennedy’s destiny in Dallas ["Virtual Government, CIA Mind Control Operations in America", quoting Paris Flammonde in "The Kennedy Conspiracy"].

Moviegoers will remember the odd and sometimes reprehensible characters portrayed in Stone’s telling of the story.  There was Clay Shaw, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who was indicted by New Orleans District Attorney James Garrison, played by Kevin Costner.  Shaw was the focus of Garrison’s "conspiracy to commit murder" case.  There was also the "former FBI agent" Guy Banister portrayed by Ed Asner, who supervised Lee Harvey Oswald during his New Orleans’ anti-communist activist days, the summer before the assassination. And of course, Oscar-nominated actor Gary Oldman’s Oswald captured that "deer-in-the-headlights"’ moment when Oswald realized that he, at least in Stone’s account, was set up to be the fall guy in the assassination plot.

According to another researcher Constantine cites [author Paris Flammonde, in "The Kennedy Conspiracy"], a fateful meeting transpired years before Dallas, during World War II between this same Clay Shaw (who had been the wartime aide de camp to General Charles Thrasher) and two prominent Nazi-cum-American scientists.  After his service to Thrasher, Shaw became deputy chief of staff at a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp.  It was there Shaw met Wernher von Braun and Walter Dornberger [who led the German V-2 program working with von Braun] along with 150 other Germany scientists who would soon be ushered out of Germany in the Nazi scientist migration scheme known as "Operation Paperclip".

Shaw maintained this relationship over the years "through their mutual connection with the Defense Industrial Security Command, or D.I.S.C., an operational arm of the counterespionage division of the FBI".  And then we learn of the UFO connection when we least expect it.

When Shaw was arrested by District Attorney Garrison years later in New Orleans, who should Shaw call but one infamous fellow named Fred Crisman, who is associated with the UFO sightings barely predating the Roswell incident of 1947 in the so-called "Maury Island Affair" near Tacoma, Washington [Crisman would later be subpoenaed by the 1979 Congressional Committee investigating the Kennedy Assassination].  

"Why was Shaw calling Crisman?  What relationship could they possibly have?  Is it just coincidental Shaw knew von Braun, Dornberger, the details of Operation Paperclip, and regarded Crisman [the UFO observer] as a friend who could help when a federal prosecutor was hot on his trail?"

The story surrounding the Maurey Island UFO affair alleges that Crisman found "slag fragments" of supposed downed saucers which he handed off to two intelligence officers from Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the Ohio military base at the heart of the Air Force’s investigation of the entire UFO episode.  Unfortunately, these officers were killed when their plane crashed; giving rise to speculation the aircraft had been sabotaged.  Additionally, the speculation never culminated in any satisfactory resolution to the story.

Kenn Thomas, the conspiracy theorist and author of the book "The Crisman Conspiracy", said once about the Maury Island incident of June 1947:

"Maury Island UFO - It was the first UFO sighting of the modern era, predating Kenneth Arnold's famous 1947 event by three days. Often dismissed as a hoax, the Maury Island case involved figures who later re-emerged as part of Jim Garrison's 1968 investigation of the JFK assassination, and in between had a long, peculiar history. It involved the earliest "Men In Black" experiences, the sudden deaths of Air Force investigators, a weird interaction between the covert intelligence world and the Ufological community, and conspiracy connections that lead to the present day".

According to Constantine, quoting Anthony Kimery an investigative reporter from Washington D.C., Crisman "knew a lot more about the aircraft 'witnesses' saw than he acknowledged—aircraft some intelligence sources believe were hybrids of those designed early that decade by Nazi engineers who were brought to the U.S. under Project Paperclip.

"UFO Magazine" carried an article in its Vol.6, No.5 issue, titled "The Secret Life of Fred L. Crisman", by veteran writer on financial conspiracy, Anthony L. Kimery.  

The article dealt with Fred Crisman's connection with "Project Paperclip"-- a top-secret operation which brought Nazi scientists to America as part of a program to duplicate Nazi flying discs, and to develop other revolutionary technologies. This operation was not actually carried out by the U.S. Constitutional government as we know it, but by a branch of Bavarian Intelligence which had infiltrated American Intelligence and later took control of the government through an internal fascist coup d'etat which involved the death of President John F. Kennedy. James Garrison, the Louisiana attorney depicted in the movie "JFK" -- who investigated the John F. Kennedy assassination -- reportedly discovered the connection between Crisman and Paperclip.

The Project reportedly sent elite teams of scientists and investigators, known as "T-Forces", into Europe to confiscate all documents, files, hardware in German labs, and even scientific personnel who were involved in the Nazi aerospace research, an operation which led to the great European "brain drain" following WWII. The plan was to develop UFO-type craft similar to those which the Nazis had experimented with. The Army, Navy, Army Air Force, CIA and OSS reportedly assisted in the "T-Forces" and "Paperclip" Projects, according to Kimery. Several high-ranking Nazis who assisted in the "atrocities" were brought to America also, and their crimes suppressed. Many of these worked at the Peenemünde Aerodynamics Institute, which built the V-2 rockets, German fighter jets, etc., using forced slave labor from the Karlshagen concentration camp.

Peenemünde scientists, under Project Paperclip, according to Kimery, have controlled the U.S. rocketry, aerospace and space projects for over 20 years, with the majority of those at NASA being oblivious of the fact. Kimery claims that Wernher von Braun and Kurt Davis, heads of Marshall Space Flight Center and Kennedy Space center were both Nazi S.S. agents brought into America with the help of Nazi infiltrators or sympathizers in U.S. Intelligence.

Garrison arrested Clay Shaw on conspiracy to murder JFK, linking him with the CIA. However, when Garrison's star witness David Ferrie was found dead only a few days before Clay Shaw's trial, Garrison did not have enough against Shaw to make a conviction. It was later discovered in a FOIA document in 1977 that Clay Shaw had been in the CIA since 1949. Garrison also linked Crisman to Shaw, and in fact sources indicate that Crisman was the first one Clay Shaw called when Shaw learned that he was in trouble. Is was discovered that Shaw was in business with European Nazis and fascists who were involved in covert operations sponsored by the CIA, according to the article. Shaw was also allegedly tied-in with the O.S.S. Crisman, who worked as a go-between in the Military-Industrial establishment (especially the aerospace companies which were the major beneficiaries of Project Paperclip) was believed by Garrison to be a "middle man" within a deep-level intelligence network, working in-between those who gave the orders (which included assassinations) and those who carried them out.

Garrison also believed that Crisman was involved with the men who carried out the JFK assassination, and Crisman had also made several trips to Dallas just prior to JFK's death, which is why Garrison subpoenaed him. Crisman was also involved with a government program to "help Gypsies" [It may be coincidental, but some scientists brought to the U.S. via Paperclip had used Gypsies for experimentation], was tied-in with the O.S.S., and was a member of a secret fraternity of former Intelligence officers, and was also involved with organized crime, according to Garrison's investigations.

Of course the strangest aspect of the Crisman connection was that it was Fred L. Crisman himself who handed over "metal-slag" samples that were reportedly found after a UFO dropped the substance over the Maurey Island area near Tacoma, Washington in 1947. Crisman handed the samples to two Army G-2 Intelligence officers, Capt. William L. Davidson and Lt. Frank M. Brown. On their way to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio [where several German Peenemünde scientists reportedly worked] with the "classified" material their plane crashed and both were killed. News reports of the time mentioned that the plane MAY have been sabotaged.

Frank Brown's widow did in fact state her conviction that her husband was murdered. In addition to this, a particularly persistent reporter into the Maury Island episode died shortly after the investigation, and Kenneth Arnold (who had his Mt. Rainier sighting and almost fatal engine failure only a few days later) reported that his room, where he often discussed the Maury Island case with United Airlines Captain E. J. Smith, had been bugged. Kimery suggests that the Maury Island UFO may have been a "hybrid" of the Nazi UFO designs developed by the Military-Industrial Establishment and Project Paperclip which might explain the mystery.

In the summer of 1968, when New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested prominent city socialite Clay Shaw, he may or may not have been on the trail of the assassins he believed were responsible for killing John F. Kennedy. But what Garrison did undeniably get close to exposing were the identities and activities of intelligence agents who not only harbored a deep hatred of Kennedy, but were willing participants in one of the government's more shameful episodes.

Had these men been exposed, Garrison would have unsealed the Pandora's Box on flying saucers, which, if it had occurred, would have forever ripped away the then nearly 20-year-old mythic fabric wrapping the UFO mystery--a veil since used to great benefit by the military to conceal the testing of classified aircraft.

As bizarre as it sounds, Kennedy's assassination and "flying saucers" share common ground.

Project Paperclip

As the central figure in Garrison's conspiracy, Clay Shaw appears to have been involved in Project Paperclip, a top-secret intelligence operation that began in 1945 with the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. It was a deeply covert program to bring Hitler's secret weapons and their designers to America. Among the aeroforms the Nazis had developed were strangely configured jet-propelled aircraft the likes of which had never been seen.

Then two years later, in late June, 1947, a number of aircraft that looked very similar to some that had been on the Nazi drawing boards were seen flying in and around Washington state, the location of several aerospace defense contractors which were benefiting from the secret Paperclip operation Shaw was a part of.

Civilian sightings

Among the civilians who saw these aircraft was U.S. Deputy Marshall Kenneth Arnold, who watched a formation streak past in front of his plane while flying near Mt. Rainier on 24 June.

"I was fascinated by this formation of aircraft. They didn't fly like any aircraft I had ever seen before. In the first place, their echelon formation was backward from that practiced by our Air Force. The elevation of the first craft was greater than that of the last. They flew in a definite formation, but erratically. As I described them at the time, their flight was like speed boats on rough water or similar to the tail of a Chinese kite that I once saw blowing in the wind. Or maybe it would be best to describe their flight characteristics as very similar to a formation of geese, in a rather diagonal chain-like line, as if they were linked together. As I put it to newsmen in Pendleton, Oregon, they flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water".

-- Kenneth Arnold

Not only was this later remark misconstrued by the media and responsible for the mythology of "saucer shaped" objects, as opposed to the "bat-like" shape Arnold actually described, there's also been a misunderstanding that this simile related to each individual object.

It is pretty clear, in retrospect, that Kenneth Arnold actually saw was a formation of recently U.S.-acquired Horten flying wings, designs that lay somewhere between models HO IX and HO XVIII. This specially equipped flight of Horten "boomerang-shaped" ships was described as like a "saucer skipping over the water". From this description the term "flying saucer" was coined. And this is ironic, as these ships were not the traditional "saucer" shape at all.

The erratic (non-conventional) movement would have been induced by the gravity-field suppression coils surrounding the pilot's cockpit enclosures. Subsequent flying wing designs tended to crash a lot because the center of gravity in flying wings needs to be far forward to be stabile. Perhaps the lightening of the front end of these ships by the effect of these coils made them rather unstable in turbulent air. However, at 1200 mph these ships outstripped anything that the United States or its allies had conceived of, let alone built.

Certainly no American civilian had ever seen anything so fast. Hence, Ken and a lot of other uninformed Americans latched onto the next best theory....ships from "outer space." And the government let them go on believing it, this was a perfect way to cover-up the truth. This "alien" cover-up proved to be so successful that it became the next best ploy; the best after the weather balloon and meteor and Venus excuses, that is.

The Maury Island sighting allegedly happened three days before Arnold's own rendezvous with destiny. The craft, initially reported by Harold Dahl, was said to have spewed "slag-like" material over a wide area. Crisman, a pivotal player in the ensuing investigation, was ostensibly an official of the Puget Sound Harbor Patrol and Dahl's supervisor.

Twenty years later, Garrison intimately linked Crisman to Clay Shaw. Government records indicate Crisman was much more than a lowly harbor patrol officer. Available evidence also suggests he knew a lot more about the aircraft Dahl saw than he admitted--aircraft some intelligence sources believe were hybrids of those designed early that decade by Nazi engineers who were brought to the U.S. under Project Paperclip.

In 1967, when Garrison launched his investigation of Shaw-- whose intelligence background was not yet documented--Paperclip had been secret for nearly two decades. It continued to be a secret for the next six years. But even when it did begin to unravel in 1973, the government successfully continued to promote the lie that it was a short-lived operation limited to just a few post-war raids on Hitler's hoard of scientific talent. In 1985, the U.S. General Accounting Office--typically not an office known for apologizing for government wrongdoing and bungling--even claimed the operation ended in 1947.

"T-Forces"

The Paperclip operation got underway even before American soldiers laid down their rifles. Attached to special military units called "T-Forces," scientific teams comprised of the Army, Navy, Army Air Force and intelligence agents from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the forerunner of the CIA) fanned out across Europe to capture and interrogate Hitler's brain trust, locate and microfilm documents and confiscate all useful equipment found in the Third Reich's factories and laboratories.

T-Force teams secured Hitler's most secret aerospace technologies. Among the information that these teams captured were plans for fast, disc-shaped aircraft which the Nazis never got into full-scale production.

Through Paperclip, America secured some top-notch scientific and research specialists, including many involved in Nazi atrocities. The most important of these ex-Nazis ran the Peenemünde Aerodynamics Institute, the installation where Hitler's V-2 rocket and jet aircraft were developed using forced slave labor from the concentration camp at Karlshagen. Peenemünde was a gold mine for the military and its contractors. Under the cloak of Paperclip, the Peenemünde scientists secretly controlled America's rocketry, aerospace and space programs for the next 20 years.

War crimes "papered over"

Peenemünde scientists serving U.S. interests--including Werner Von Braun and Kurt Debus, who were installed as the first directors of the Marshall Space Flight Center and Kennedy Space Center--had come a long way from being members of Hitler's elite SS. Their war crimes had been papered over and withheld from NASA officials.

Garrison, some suspect, came very close to compromising this and other secrets when he arrested Clay Shaw on charges of conspiracy to murder John Kennedy. But without hard evidence of Shaw's ties to the CIA (clearly established later), and having lost his star witness David Ferrie, who was found dead just before Shaw's trial, Garrison had little to take to court. Consequently, Shaw was acquitted. He died on 14 August 1974--mysteriously, Garrison believed.

Shaw's CIA background

Documents surfaced in 1977 showing that Shaw had worked for the CIA since 1949. He had also been in business with former Nazis and European fascists involved in several CIA-supported covert operations throughout Europe, and there is strong evidence he had been a member of the OSS; he certainly had worked for a top OSS officer who was involved in Operation Paperclip.

But did Crisman know Shaw from those days? It's possible. Crisman is said to have been attached to the OSS. Intelligence sources say he was a member of a secret fraternity of former intelligence officials. Other sources swear he was involved in gunrunning and was closely tied to organized crime--two factions which certainly worked hand-in-glove at the time.

According to Garrison's information, Crisman knew Shaw well. One of Garrison's informants said Crisman was "the first man Clay called after being told he was in trouble". The same source added that Crisman "flies to New Orleans steadily. 1964, eleven times. 1965, 17 times, 1966, 32 times, 1967, 24 times . . . he seems to have no income and certainly spends a large sum of money on air travel".

Dahl's correspondence

In August, 1967, a year before Garrison announced his subpoena of Crisman, Dahl allegedly corresponded with UFO researcher Gary Lesley, in which he said Crisman "has been in the deep South for some time . . . certain government agencies are very interested in his movements at all times. He sometimes drops out of sight for months on end and returns just as quietly. I do not know how he supports his manner of living, but he never lacks for money".

When Garrison's office announced its subpoena of Crisman on 31 October 1968, the press release read:

"Our information indicates that since the early 1960s, [Crisman] has made many trips to the New Orleans and Dallas areas in connection with his undercover work for that part of the warfare industry engaged in the manufacture of what is termed, in military language, a 'hardware'--meaning those weapons sold to the U.S. government that are uniquely large and expensive.

According to FBI records on Crisman, disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and on file at the Assassination Archives & Research Center [AARC] in Washington, D.C., Crisman was a Captain in the Army Air Corps and had flown during World War II. From 20 March 1946 to 31 March 1947, he was employed as a "special investigator" on veterans' matters for the state of Washington.

Blank phase

What Crisman did between 31 March and 21 June when Harold Dahl encountered the six "doughnut-shaped" aircraft near Maury Island can't be determined, though presumably that's when he got the Harbor Patrol job. Then, on 21 August, the FBI began a security check of Crisman for an unspecified position with the Atomic Energy Commission, which Crisman did not end up taking, according to the files.

The FBI's background check, which includes details about Crisman's life prior to the war, disclose that the Seattle office had a file dealing with the UFO incident at Maury Island, including a sworn statement from Crisman and another individual (presumably Dahl), dated 7 August.

Crisman's life from that time until Garrison ordered him to New Orleans is a confusing puzzle, as he turned up in many different and bizarre occupations. He was involved in a government program to help Gypsies; he was listed as the president of a car lot and official of at least a half-dozen companies that had no offices; he was a rabid right-wing talk show host on KAYE Radio in Puyallup, WA, under the name of Jon Gold: he was an industrial psychologist for Boeing, and he was a bishop in the Universal Life Church, a murky organization which seems to have had ties to the CIA and whose members included old Bay of Pigs veterans like Ferrie.

Crime file

And there were Crisman's brushes with the law, including the early morning arrest the day after Garrison announced his subpoena of Crisman. He was arrested for what today would be considered drunk driving, in addition to carrying a concealed weapon--a loaded .38-caliber pistol.

The last of his legal troubles occurred a year before he died. At that time, Crisman was under investigation by the FBI for apparent stock fraud involving certificates of the Idaho First National Bank.

Until he died, Garrison strongly believed Crisman was connected in some crucial way to the men Garrison was trying to indict for President Kennedy's murder--all men he believed were tied to the CIA's ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation to oust Fidel Castro.

Crisman disappeared into obscurity after appearing before the New Orleans Grand Jury that was hearing Garrison's case. He died with little fanfare on 10 December 1975.

Mystery remains

Twenty-five years after Crisman failed to yield much value for Garrison, he remains much of a mystery. But what can be pieced together indicates Crisman was part and parcel of the seamy underworld of the intelligence community that flourished during the 1950s and '60s.

Garrison's conclusions

In a lengthy handwritten memo to Jonathan Blackmer, an investigator for the House select committee that re-investigated Kennedy's assassination in the late 1970s and had a keen interest in Crisman, Garrison spelled out what he had concluded about Crisman:

". . . I suggest the only reasonable conclusion is that he was (and probably is, if still around), an operative at a deep cover level in a long-range, clandestine, intelligence mission directly (in terms of our national intelligence paranoia) related to maintaining national security . . . Crisman emerges as an operative at a supervisory level . . . acquired by the apparatus to carry out the menial jobs that are needed to push a current mission forward, a middle man--in the final analysis--between the mechanics who eliminate, and the handy men, who otherwise support a termination mission, on one hand, and the distant, far removed, deeply submerged command level, on the other".

The events surrounding the Maury Island episode in 1947 involving Crisman were serious and raise further questions about Paperclip and Crisman's involvement in it: They include the deaths of two Army G-2 intelligence officers enroute to Wright Patterson Air Force Base with specimens of the "slag-like" substance one of the discs supposedly spewed out, given to them by Crisman; a persistent newsman's sudden death, and the bugging of Arnold's hotel room while he investigated the sighting with Capt. E.J. Smith of United Airlines, a friend of his.

Why G-2?

The two Army intelligence officers had become involved probing what Dahl saw after having already paid a visit to Arnold. Why G-2 was so interested in those early UFO sightings has always been somewhat of a mystery. But perhaps it's not when considering that it was G-2's responsibility to keep a lid on Paperclip, as well as to provide security for Paperclip activities.

-- Linda Hunt, "Secret Agenda", 1991

Another function of G-2 involved illegal surveillance of anyone whose activities put Paperclip security at risk. This illegal eavesdropping operation expanded into the notorious Army spying activities of the 1960s and 1970s.

When the two G-2 agents, Capt. William L. Davidson and Lt. Frank M. Brown were killed shortly after take-off, they were en-route to Wright-Patterson AFB, an installation that, if the objects Dahl saw were indeed Nazi hybrids that had malfunctioned, would have been the logical place for G-2 to escort the pieces. Wright Patterson was a major research and development center where many of the Peenemünde scientists had been gathered to continue their work.

Classified cargo

The Army reportedly admitted that "classified" material had been on board the flight. News accounts of the crash and statements by Army officials hinted that sabotage had brought down the B-25 on which Davidson and Brown were flying. Brown's wife Velma also spelled out her suspicions in a letter to Arnold. "I have never thought that Frank's death was an accident," she wrote.

The way U.S. intelligence agencies and the military treated UFO encounters in the late 1940s and early 1950s left similar bitter tastes. They were hiding something, that much is evident. The Maury Island incident was no exception. With this fresh look at Crisman, the theory that Operation Paperclip got a lot more than just rocket technology from the Third Reich becomes more credible.

If Maury Island was a hoax, as most Ufologists today assume, then Crisman's role in perpetrating it is equally as bizarre; more so considering his Intelligence connections.

What is clear is that the intelligence community was deeply immersed in the very events that launched contemporary Ufology. And because it was, using men like Crisman, it deserves much closer scrutiny than it has ever been given.

-- An award-winning investigative journalist, Anthony L. Kimery is an associated editor at "American Banker Newsletters", a major publisher of financial publications, and former Washington Bureau Chief of "Money Laundering Alert". His past reporting on intelligence community activities has appeared in a variety of national newspapers and magazines.

Then there is the appearance of Guy Banister in the same storyline. Constantine comments:

"In 1947, Banister reported the discovery of a 'flying disk' in Twin Falls, Idaho, according to a 11 July 1947 "Associated Press" report.  The saucer measured roughly 30.5’ across, and "appeared to have been turned out by a machine," possibly as a prototype [according to Banister].

Suspects in the John Kennedy assassination had a pronounced knack for stumbling onto the "unexplained" flying disks.

It is a commentary on the UFO/mind control/intelligence connection that the counterterrorist unit of the FBI already tied to Shaw and Crisman, Division Five—"the Nazi division"—also employed Guy Banister, and has been largely responsible for the development of a form of remote brain manipulation known as Ultrasonic Intra-Cerebral Control.

So once again, the plot thickens. Now the subject of mind control surfaces.  There seems to be no obvious correlation amongst these amazing stories and their surprising facts. But can we connect the dots?  Or is this just another fantasy offered up by hyper-active minds fond of conspiracy theories?  On the other hand, could these astounding connections be better explained as evidence of "disinformation" spun by master intelligence officers with a checkered past?

Roswell and the Reich

Connecting the timing of Banister’s story to the Roswell incident—the seminal UFO incident raging in the press commenced a mere three days earlier—it seems extraordinary to contemplate that the only connection between these incidents is purely an "alien UFO encounter".  As alternative science and history researcher, Joseph P. Farrell, points out convincingly in his book "Roswell and the Reich: The Nazi Connection", when the facts are painstakingly evaluated, the evidence for a "spacecraft" manned by extraterrestrials is choosing the least likely explanation. This may be the story officials want us to believe.  However, it remains unwedded to almost all of the best-known facts.

Even Nick Redfern, a noted UFologist and author, recommends Farrell’s carefully written work by citing the "publishers blurb" in his blog on 10 February 2010.

In "Roswell and the Reich," Farrell presents a very different scenario of what crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947, and why the U.S. military has continued its cover-up to this day. By means of a meticulous review of the best-known Roswell research from both UFO-ET advocates and skeptics alike, as well as some not-so-well known Roswell research, Farrell presents a fascinating case sure to disturb both ET believer and skeptic alike, namely, that what crashed may have been representative of an independent postwar Nazi power, an extraterritorial Reich monitoring its old enemy, America, and its continuing developments of the very technologies it confiscated from Germany at the end of the war.

Farrell’s book is not bed-time reading, and this one is particularly difficult because it reads like a detailed legal brief, examining the testimony meticulously, invalidating witnesses, and ruling out evidence with the precision of a scalpel.  Nevertheless, after one has plodded through it, the conclusion is compelling.  There are no reasons to postulate an extraterrestrial event at all.  There were no bodies—and even if there were, there are no logical arguments to suppose them extraterrestrial.  While there were undeniable sightings and even extraordinary artifacts (various metals with no similitude to anything experimental in western laboratories, let alone in use), there was no solid rationale to suppose anything other than a terrestrial explanation. Furthermore, the probability of infiltration by military intelligence personnel into the Roswell research community was undeniable.  The most significant and credible authors all had intelligence backgrounds!  Was this a case of the foxes being left to guard the hen house?  If so, perhaps they knew where the bodies were buried—except the alien bodies so it seems.

There are consequently two datasets that any theory of the Roswell Incident must seek to rationalize:  (1) the debris, the description of which is consistent across time and various witnesses as has been seen in the previous pages, and (2) the bodies, the description of which is not consistent over time nor over several witnesses in spite of claims to the contrary, and moreover whose witnesses have in turn either been impeached, or shown to be based upon second-hand-and-dead man’s testimony in many instances, or whom other data has revealed were unlikely to have been in the area in order actually to see such bodies.

In summary, any theory that seeks to explain Roswell must answer two incontrovertible facts:  There were extraordinary, unknown metals with mysterious properties discovered on 8 July 1947 at Roswell that absolutely originate from a source outside of America. Secondly, the evidence Farrell recounts argues that no bodies were found at the crash site.  If intelligent beings were flying these crafts, they were guiding them remotely.  [Not exactly outlandish given that all of the V1 and V2 rockets that hit London suburbs were un-piloted aircraft].

Farrell progresses toward concluding the matter with this statement:

"By July of 1947, there were abundant clues that were beginning to be pieced together by American intelligence that Nazism had survived not only in isolated enclaves, but that it was an organized international force.  And by the mid-1950s, it was abundantly clear to the U.S. Air Force that those Nazis had continued to research independently their most extraordinary projects and sciences, and that they were making penetrations into the most sensitive areas of the American military-industrial-intelligence complex".

Likewise, from the first reactions of Roswell in 1947 to the Robertson Panel in 1953, not only Farrell but Constantine assures us that the experts had an agenda to keep these military secrets "under wraps".  It was their concerted opinion to educate the public in what the experts wanted it to believe—for the sake of national interests.  Keeping the public calm was best achieved by distributing the disinformation of outer space visitations—a position beginning in 1960 the government would reverse.  Meanwhile, better to keep the whole possibility of Nazis buried and control the masses however it could.  At the time, inventing an alien religion for the kooks was not a bad option. 

Therefore, The Robertson Panel concluded:

"This education could be accomplished by mass media, [especially] television, motion pictures and popular articles".  The panel advised that mental health professionals familiar with mob psychology should design the "education" program. It also recommended that UFO organizations should be surveilled "because of their potentially great influence on mass thinking if widespread sightings should occur.  The apparent irresponsibility and the possible use of such groups for subversive purposes should be kept in mind".

A
s a result of these recommendations UFO enthusiasts would be watched carefully.  Who knew how much trouble they might stir up?  After all, the Panel concluded that the so-called Foo-fighters experienced by Allied pilots toward the end of World War II were probably nothing more than an exotic form of technology developed by the Nazis and/or Japanese with no real risk to national security.  No less an authority than the famous combat pilot Jimmy Doolittle (known for the 1942 Tokyo raid) cited this conclusion in his report requested by the Panel.

So it was agreed then: It is best to keep the public in the dark while we play catch up with the Nazis—whoever they are and wherever they might be.

So is it that thousands of Nazis and their technologies escaped Europe and made their way to the Americas.  The argument that rogue German scientists found it advantageous to demonstrate their extraordinary new flying machines to frighten their American adversaries surely seems far-fetched.  But the depth of analysis provided by numerous researchers hints strongly otherwise. 

However, while the source of flying saucers in the U.S. may be debated—whether they were truly German in origin, came from beyond the stars, or didn’t exist at all—there is no doubt that dozens of the worst war criminals came to the United States as the special guests of the American government.  As a result, America would never be the same again.

Maury Island Incident

Most UFO cases are pretty simple. The witness, or witnesses, see an aerial object they cannot explain. They report it, and no mundane explanation is found. The result, to put it rather redundantly, is an unidentified Unidentified Flying Object. These sort of reports constitute the bulk of UFO data, and they don't really prove much one way or another.

Rarely a UFO case comes along that has too much data, too many entanglements, and far too many weird associations to be easily categorized or digested. Such is the case with the Maury Island affair, which occurred very early in the modern UFO era, on 21 June 1947.

Two men described as "harbor patrolmen," Fred L. Crisman and Harold A. Dahl, operated a boat in Puget Sound. On 21 June, Dahl was cruising near Maury Island. With him were two crewmen, Dahl's 15-year old son, and his son's dog. Around 2 p.m., six very large objects appeared overhead. They were identical round objects, with a hole in the center like an inner tube or donut. The outer rim seemed to be lined with large portholes. Five of the objects circled the sixth, which apparently was experiencing difficulty in staying aloft. It sank toward the boat.

Understandably excited, Dahl ran the motorboat ashore on Maury Island and started snapping photos of the UFOs. One of the objects descended and touched rims with the ailing object in the center of the formation. The men reported hearing a loud thud, after which the distressed object began spewing hot debris over a wide area. The ejecta was of two types: lightweight shards of white metal, and darker, rock-like slag. The stuff was very hot, and the cabin of the boat was damaged by it. Dahl's son was hit on the arm and burned, and the dog was killed by falling debris.

Once the object had relieved itself of several tons of slag, it rejoined its comrades and all six objects flew away west, out to sea. Dahl tried to use his radio to call for help, but while the objects were overhead, the radio would not work. With considerable debris on his boat, Dahl went back to Tacoma, where his son was treated for burns. Dahl reported the incident to his boss, Fred L. Crisman. Crisman did not at first believe the fantastic tale.

The next day, Dahl had a visitor. A man knocked on his door and asked if he could talk to Dahl about the UFO incident. Dahl described the man as very imposing, six foot two and 200 pounds, and wearing the not-yet stereotypical black suit... He drove a brand new 1947 Buick sedan. They went to breakfast together. While dining at a waterfront cafe, Dahl and the Man in Black had a strange conversation. Dahl was asked some curious "personal" questions: Stranger: "Are you happy at your job, and in your family?" Dahl: "What the blazes are you getting at?" The stranger then proceeded to described the events at Maury Island as if he'd been a witness himself, then told Dahl "if he loved his family and didn't want anything to happen to his general welfare, he would not discuss his experience with anyone".

"Mr Dahl," said the stranger, still smiling, "you had better forget what you have seen, and stop talking. Silence is the best thing for you and your family. You have seen what you ought not to have seen!"

The stranger then abruptly got up and left the hotel.

The first instance of the mysterious "Men In Black" appearing in the history and lore of UFOs happened in the Puget Sound region as part of a sighting known as the Maury island case. Three days before Kenneth Arnold's famous 1947 saucer sighting on Mount Rainier, a Washingtonian named Harold Dahl watched five flying saucers come to the aid of a sixth wobbling in the sky. The saucers spewed hot ash and slag that wounded Dahl's son and killed his dog. Shortly after Dahl began telling others about what had happened, he was visited by a Man In Black, who advised him not to say anything more to anyone. Dahl did not heed the warning. Soon, his logging business began to fail, his wife fell ill and his son disappeared, only to reappear in a distant state, waiting tables, with no memory of how his life circumstances had changed. After that, Dahl vowed to never again tell the tale of the Maury Island UFO and, if asked, he would claim henceforth that it was a hoax. These events preceded by five years the claims of UFO writer Al Bender, generally regarded as the first claim for the existence of Men in Black. Bender, the head of a group called the International Flying Saucer Bureau in Bridgeport, Connecticut, became physically ill after receiving a visit from three MIBs in 1952, who told him to remain quiet about his knowledge of UFOs.

--  Kenn Thomas, "Maury Island UFO Incident", Illuminet Press

The next day, 23 June, Fred Crisman as promised, visited Maury Island Beach, to check out Dahl's story by visiting the scene of the sighting. He found the beach on Maury Island strewn with slag,  glassy, dark material and some kind of shiny foil  -- he estimated there was twenty tons of the stuff -- and while he was puzzling over this confirmation of Dahl's story, a round, donut-shaped object swooped out of the clouds. Needless to say, Crisman became a firm believer in Dahl's story.

This of course is similar to the debris that what was found in the Roswell Crash, when an usual aerial object crashed on the J.B.Foster Ranch, south-east of Corona and about 75 miles north-west of Roswell, New Mexico in the first week of July 1947}.

"Most of it was a kind of double sided material, foil-like on one side...the foil more silvery.." in this way described the debris pieces, Bessie, Mac Brazel's daughter, who helped her father collect some of the debris. "...foil-like metal always returned to its original shape.."

--  Timothy Good, "Beyond Top Secret"

This was still two days before Kenneth Arnold had his seminal sighting of crescent shaped objects near Mount Ranier, which newspapers would christen "flying saucers". Crisman and Dahl did not notify the authorities. In July, Crisman wrote to Ray Palmer, then editor of the science fiction magazine "Amazing Stories", and told him the story. Palmer, who had previously made contact with Kenneth Arnold regarding his sighting, asked Arnold if he would investigate the Maury Island affair and write an article about it for Palmer. He advanced Arnold $200 expense money, and Arnold flew to Washington on 29 July in his private plane. En route he had another UFO sighting, this time spotting a formation of small, brass colored objects while flying over LaGrande valley. Arnold gamely tried to chase the mini-saucers (he described them as being only about four feet in diameter), but his light plane could not keep up with the speedy UFOs.

He eventually reached Tacoma without further incident and  tried to find a room in one of the town's hotels but without any lack. So finally he went to the best Tacoma's place - the Winthrop Hotel and surprisingly noticed that there was already a room reserved for his name and nobody could say who made this reservation. He phoned Harold Dahl and found him unwilling to talk about the Maury Island events. It could be caused by Dahl's experience with the stranger in black who visited him and threatened him. When Arnold explained he was the man everyone was talking about who'd spotted UFOs over the Cascades, Dahl relented.

Arnold described Dahl as "a great big burly lumberjack type," six foot six and 230 pounds. He recounted his experience to Arnold, explaining first that he was really a kind of marine junkman. He and Crisman salvaged floating lumber and other detritus of the sea from Puget Sound, keeping the waterways clear and earning a modest living by selling the salvaged materials.

Dahl said that he wanted to forget the whole thing, he had been having problems at work, he had almost lost his job, he nearly lost his son, and his wife was sick. He had also lost a log boom that meant a lot of money to him. Even if everything was just a coincidence, nothing more, but all his problems had started after 21 June  when the saw the unidentified flying objects. He made Arnold think his bad luck was somehow related to the UFO sighting.

Finally he agreed to be interviewed by Arnold, and he also provided him with samples of debris that - as he said - was found on the beach. But Arnold was not particularly impressed as the material presented by Dahl looked like volcanic rock nothing more.

Here is the original story, word for word, what he had to say to Kenneth Arnold on 29 July [To interview Dahl, Kenneth Arnold used one of the first portable recorders available. He also took movies of everything as he investigated] :

"On 21 June 1947 in the afternoon about two o'clock I was patrolling the East Bay of Maury Island close in to the shore. This practically uninhabited island lies directly opposite Tacoma about three miles from mainland. This day the sea was rather rough and there were numerous low hanging clouds. I, as captain, was steering my patrol boat close to the shore of a bay on Maury Island. On board were two crewmen, my fifteen-year-old son and his dog.

"As I looked up from the wheel on my boat I noticed six very large doughnut-shaped aircraft. I would judge they were at about 2,000 feet above the water and almost directly overhead. At first glance I thought them to be balloons as they seemed to be stationary. However, upon further observance, five of these strange aircraft were circling very slowly around the sixth one which was stationary in the center of the formation. It appeared to me that the center aircraft was in some kind of trouble as it was losing altitude fairly rapidly. The other aircraft stayed at a distance of about two hundred feet above the center one as if they were following the center one down. The center aircraft came to rest almost directly overhead at about five hundred feet above the water.

"All on board our boat were watching these aircraft with a great deal of interest as they apparently had no motors, propellers , or any visible signs of propulsion, and to the best of our hearing they made no sound. In describing the aircraft I would say they were at least one hundred feet in diameter. Each had a hole in the center, approximately twenty-five feet in diameter. They were all a sort shell-like gold and silver color. Their surface seemed of metal and appeared to be burled because when the light shone on them through the clouds they were brilliant, not all one brilliance, but many brilliance's, something like a Buick dashboard. All of the aircraft seemed to have large portholes equally spaced around the outside of their doughnut exterior. These portholes were from five to six feet in diameter and were round. They also appeared to have a dark, circular, continuous window on the inside and bottom of their doughnut shape as though it were an observation window.

"All of us aboard the boat were afraid this center balloon was going to crash in the bay, and just a little while before it stopped lowering, we had pulled our boat over to the beach and got out with our harbor patrol camera. I took three or four photographs of these balloons.

"The center balloon-like aircraft remained stationary at about five hundred feet from the water while the other five aircraft kept circling over it. After about five or six minutes one of the aircraft from the circling formation left its place in the formation and lowered itself down right next to the stationary aircraft. In fact, it appeared to touch it and stayed stationary next to the center aircraft as if it were giving some kind of assistance for about three or four minutes.

"It was then we heard a dull thud, like an underground explosion or a thud similar to a man stamping his heel on damp ground. Immediately following this sound the center aircraft began spewing forth what seemed like thousands of newspapers from somewhere on the inside of its center. These newspapers, which turned out to be a white type of very light metal, fluttered to earth, most of them lighting in the bay. Then it seemed to hail on us, in the bay and over the beach, black or darker type of metal which looked similar to lava rock. We did not know if this metal was coming from the aircraft but assumed it was, as it fell at the same time the white type metal was falling. However, since these fragments were of a darker color, we did not observe them until they started hitting the beach and the bay. All of these latter fragments seemed hot, almost molten. When they hit the bay, steam rose from the water.

"We ran for shelter under a cliff on the beach and behind logs to protect ourselves from the falling debris. In spite of our protection, my son's arm was injured by one of the falling fragments and our dog was hit and killed. We buried the dog at sea on our return trip to Tacoma.

"After this rain of metal seemed over, all of these strange aircraft lifted slowly and drifted out to the westward, which is out to sea. They rose and disappeared at a tremendous height. The center aircraft, which had spewed the debris, did not seem to be hindered in its flight and still remained in the center of the formation as they all rose and disappeared out to sea.

"We tried to pick up several pieces of the metal or fragments and found them very hot -- in fact, I almost burned my fingers -- but after some of them had cooled we loaded a considerable number of the pieces aboard the boat. We also picked up some of the metal which had looked like falling newspapers.

"My crew and I discussed this observance for awhile and I attempted to radio from my patrol boat back to my base. The static was so great it was impossible for me to reach my radio station. This I attributed to the presence of these aircraft, as my radio had been in perfect operating order and the weather would not have caused this amount of interference.

"The wheelhouse on our boat had been hit by falling debris and damaged. We immediately started our engines and went directly to Tacoma, where my boy was given first aid at the hospital there. Upon reaching the dock I had to tell my superior officer how the boat had been damaged and why the dog had not returned with us. I related our experience to Fred L. Crisman, my superior officer. I could plainly see that he did not believe it and I guess I don't blame him, but we gave him the camera with its film and fragments of metal we had loaded aboard as proof of our story. Fred L. Crisman decided he would at least go and investigate the beach where I judged at least twenty tons of debris had fallen. I might add that these strange aircraft appeared completely round, but seemed a little squashed on the top and on the bottom as if you placed a large board on an inner tube and squashed it slightly. The film from our camera, developed showed these strange aircraft, but the negatives were covered with spots similar to a negative that has been close to an X-ray room before it was exposed except that the spots printed white instead of black as in the usual case".

"This was the story that Harold A. Dahl related to me (Arnold) the evening of 29 July 1947 in Room 502 in the Winthrop Hotel in Tacoma, Washington".

--Kenneth Arnold, "The Coming of the Saucer" (which he and Raymond Palmer published themselves)

Fred Crisman also met with Arnold. He described Crisman as "short, stocky... dark-complexioned, with a happy-go-lucky, cheerful nature... he wanted to dominate the conversation". He told Arnold about finding tons of metal and slag on the beach at Maury Island, and assured Arnold he had a garage full of the stuff he'd collected.

Suspicious and dissatisfied with Crisman's version of the story, Arnold wanted to get some advice and help with the case that seemed to be a plot of some kind or a hoax.

Arnold was an experienced, private pilot from Boise, Idaho and part time Search and Rescue Mercy Flyer. He certainly tried to do his best in the case but he was not an investigator and he did not know much about the military or intelligence.

Therefore he contacted a friend, United Airlines Captain E. J. Smith and asked for help in the investigation that was not any easy piece of work.

As Arnold continued to investigate, odd things kept happening. Local newspapermen began calling him at the Winthrop, despite the fact he'd not told anyone but Dahl, Crisman, and Smith he was in Tacoma. It was obvious that someone was watching Arnold and Smith and knew about every step they made. However searching in their rooms for eventual bugs, gave nothing.

Arnold made a quick decision. He wanted military intelligence to be involved in the case. On the advice of his friend Smith, he called an Air Force A-2 (Intelligence) officer Lieutenant Frank M. Brown, who was stationed at Hamilton Field, California. He had met him once after reporting his own sighting.

Arnold's sincerity impressed Brown, and he made immediate plans to fly to Tacoma with another officer, Captain William Davidson. Arnold says in less than an hour after calling Brown the two Air Force officers were on their way to McChord Field, Washington, in a B-25 bomber. Soon after that, UP wire service reporter Ted Morello called Arnold to ask him why the Air Force was coming to see him. Somebody was talking about the Maury Island case, and the leaks were constant. Morello would only said that he received a steady stream of mysterious tips by phone about the progress of Arnold's investigation. The only people Arnold told about calling Lt. Brown were Harold Dahl and Fred Crisman.

Brown and Davidson arrived at the Winthrop Hotel late on the afternoon of 31 July. Dahl balked at meeting the Air Force men and did not show up for the arranged meeting. Crisman did come, and talked at length about the case. He also showed Brown and Davidson some of the metal and slag he'd collected, allegedly ejected from the malfunctioning UFO. He promised to return home and put together a box full of fragments for the Air Force men to take with them back to California.

When Crisman was gone, Arnold told Brown and Davidson he'd been to see Dahl's boat and found that while it was old and battered, it didn't really display the kind of damage from the falling slag Dahl claimed. That fact, and all the leaks to the press, made Arnold doubt the whole story. The Air Force officers were doubtful as well. The light metal fragments seemed to be ordinary aircraft aluminium. As Brown and Davidson prepared to leave at 11:30 p.m., they left Arnold with the distinct impression they thought the whole affair was a hoax.

Crisman returned just as Brown and Davidson were leaving. He put a large carton in the trunk of the military staff car that had come from McChord Field. Arnold said later: "We assumed it was the fragments". Davidson helped Crisman load the carton, and they departed.

The next day Arnold learned, to his horror, that the Air Force B-25 had crashed twenty minutes after takeoff. Lt. Brown and Captain Davidson were killed. The other crewman and another person managed to survive. This man was Master Sergeant Elmer Taff, who was only an accidental passenger on this plane. He just hopped a ride home on the B-25, and saw the officers Brown and Davidson load a large carton into the plane just before takeoff.  Fifteen minutes into the otherwise trouble-free flight, the left engine caught fire. Lt. Brown, acting as co-pilot, ordered the enlisted men to jump after an attempt to put out the fire with on-board extinguishers failed. Sgt. Taff and the flight engineer, Tech-4 Woodrow D. Mathews, promptly jumped. Neither Brown nor Davidson made it out. The B-25 crashed near Kelso, Washington.

Tech-4 Mathews later told investigators that from his parachute he saw "something" lift off the top of the plane. At the time he thought it was the parachute of Brown or Davidson, but neither man ever got out. The military cordoned off the site (Arnold says they secured an area of 150 acres around the point of impact) and did not allow civil aviation investigators near the wreck. The reason given was, the B-25 had been carrying classified material at the time of the crash.

After the crash of the B-25 Major Sanders from McCord Air Force Base met Kenneth Arnold met and took him to the Tacoma Smelting Company trying to convince him that the UFO debris was just slag taken from this place. Arnold said they weren't quite the same. They didn't feel alike.

Sanders wanted every piece of the material be turned over to him. Why? He earlier stated that the whole Maury Island story was nothing but a hoax….

"… We don't want to overlook even one piece…" he said.

Arnold and Smith turned over to him all pieces they had. Sanders put them in the back of his car and it was the last place they could see the debris.

It looked like the incident and the debris related to it was extremely important for Sanders after all.

One original cigar box of fragments was mailed by Dahl to Ray Palmer. This box was stolen from Palmer's office in Chicago.

However before it happened, Palmer sent it out for analysis. The results indicated it was neither slag nor natural rock.

Additional analysis showed that the metal was an usual alloy of calcium, iron, zinc, and titanium. Other metals were also present like magnesium, aluminum, manganese, copper, nickel, lead, silicon, strontium and chromium with traces of silver, tin and cadmium.

On 2 August Kenneth Arnold decided to leave Tacoma in his plane to fly back to Idaho. Before his departure he had wanted one last time to meet Dahl and Crisman. Unfortunately, it turned out that both men were simply … not available. They had disappeared.

Arnold was heartily sick of the Maury Island affair, and felt personally responsible for involving Davidson and Brown in an investigation which, one way or another, caused their deaths. Less than 200 feet off the ground, Arnold's engine suddenly quit, and only through skill and luck he set his dead-engined plane back down. When he checked the motor, he found the fuel line valve was closed. For years he insisted only he himself could have closed it.

The incident occurred somewhere in the vicinity of Maury Island.

The FBI investigated Dahl and Crisman. The reports they sent back had two basic stories, the one told to Arnold and one in which Dahl and his son found the strange debris in a gravel pit on Maury Island. The FBI investigated the whole story as told by Arnold including the "mystery phone calls" to the local papers and the crash of the B-25 with the A-2 agents aboard.

Two weeks later, Tacoma reporter Paul Lance, who'd covered the story of the Maury Island sighting and the deaths of two Air Force officers Lt. Brown and Captain Davidson, died suddenly … and the cause of his death was not clear... ...he lay on a slab in the morgue for about thirty-six hours while the pathologists apparently hemmed and hawed.

Although already confined to a wheelchair, he had seemed in good health otherwise.

A short time later, Ted Morello, The United Press UPI chief at Tacoma, also died.

Ray Palmer, Editor of eight Ziff Davis Publications, and who had increased circulation of "Amazing Stories" from 80,000 to 130,000 and initiated the Maury Island investigation was fired.

"The Tacoma Times", a newspaper in business over 40 years went out of business.  

The Army Air Corps intelligence officer at Hamilton Field made the following recommendation in regard to Fred Crisman:

"That in view of the reported statements made by Mr. Crisman that consideration be given to revoke his Air Reserve commission and flying status as an undesirable and unreliable officer...."

-- Lt. Colonel Donald Springer, Report of 18 August 1947

As it stands, the Maury Island case has all the hallmarks of a good "X Files" episode, complete with men in black, evidence going astray, and people being silenced to preserve a secret too heinous for the public to know. But things were not that simple, and the whole case began to come apart like a cheap wristwatch.

Neither Dahl nor Crisman were who they pretended to be. Rather than "harbor patrolmen," with quasi-official status, they were scroungers who made their living salvaging junk floating in the sound.

There is more about Crisman:

"According to CIA files, Crisman too was a member of the OSS during World War II, serving as a liaison officer with the British Royal Air Force. At the end of the war, Crisman, supposedly discharged from the military, entered a special OSS Internal Security School and was quietly transferred to the newly formed CIA (the CIA was chartered in 1947), where he operated as an 'extended agent', primarily as an internal security specialist in 'disruption' activities.

"The files show Crisman was involved in a highly classified subsection of Internal Security known as 1Sece, Easy Section, a disruption planning unit whose very existence was denied by the CIA The CIA documents detailed Crisman's activities over the years---including secret reports to the agency on military officers during the Korean War and company officials while working for Boeing in Seattle--but no mention of the Maury Island affair".

-- Jim Marrs, "Alien Agenda"

"..Fred Crisman was flying fighters in the Pacific until the end. Somehow he seems to have been connected with the OSS in World War II also; it may have been in his Air Commando group. In a link to Palmer he sent a letter to his magazine saying he was hit by a Ray Gun in a cave in Burma. Somehow this was linked to the "Shaver Mystery" and the underground world of the Deros. This does seem very strange and some would say Fred is a few bricks shy of a load but in my investigations I found the Japanese were working on a Ray Gun in World War II. It was in development for a long time and tested on animals. The microwave energy caused numerous problems for the researchers. Offically it was never used but offically the A-bomb didn't exist unitil it exploded above Hiroshima. When he got home they made him a liaison for Veteran Affairs. Fred ran for county coroner in 1945 but never won the seat.."

-- John Covington

Crisman had written to Ray Palmer before with a wild story to tell. In the June 1946 issue of "Amazing Stories" (which was then deeply into the "true" hollow earth stories of Richard S. Shaver) this letter was printed in the letters-to-the-editor column:

"Sirs:

"I flew my last combat mission on May 26 [1945] when I was shot up over Bassein and ditched my ship in Ramaree Roads off Chedubs Island. I was missing for five days. I requested leave at Kashmere. I and Capt. ---------- [deleted by request] left Srinagar and went to Rudok then through the Khese pass to the northern foothills of Karakoram. We found what we were searching for.

"For heaven's sake, drop the whole thing! You are playing with dynamite. My companion and I fought our way out of a cave with submachine guns. I have two 9" scars on my left arm that came from wounds given me in the cave when I was 50 feet from a moving object of any kind and in perfect silence. The muscles were nearly ripped out. How? I don't know. My friend had a hole the size of a dime in his right bicep. It was seared inside. How we don't know. But we both believe we know more about the Shaver Mystery than any other pair.

"You can imagine my fright when I picked up my first copy of "Amazing Stories" and see you splashing words about on the subject".

The "whole thing" Crisman is raving about is the 'Shaver Mystery', an outlandish literary fraud perpetrated by Ray Palmer in the mid-1940s. Shaver, a welder who'd spent time in a mental hospital because he heard voices coming out of his welding machine, wrote rambling letters to Palmer about his ideas about underground super civilizations of Deros ('detrimental robots') who plague mankind with weird rays. Palmer puffed up and polished Shaver's aberrant ramblings into the now-infamous 'Shaver Mystery'. Though wildly popular for a time, Palmer's obsession with Shaver subjects would eventually cost him his job as editor of "Amazing Stories". He went on, in 1948, to found FATE magazine with Curtis Fuller, and published some of the earliest accounts of UFO sightings, including Kenneth Arnold's "I Did See the Flying Disks!" in 1948.

In 1956, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt published his account of the early days of the Air Force's investigation of UFOs, "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects". Ruppelt says Dahl and Crisman confessed to Air Force investigators that the whole Maury Island story was a hoax:

"Both [Dahl and Crisman] admitted the that the rock fragments had nothing to do with flying saucers. The whole thing was a hoax. They had sent in the rock fragments [to Ray Palmer] as a joke. One of the patrolmen wrote to [Palmer] stating that the rock could have been part of a flying saucer. He said the rock came from a flying saucer because that's what [Palmer] wanted him to say".

Ruppelt added that the publisher who wanted Dahl and Crisman to say the rock came from a flying saucer was "the same one who paid [Kenneth Arnold] $200 to investigate the case".

Confused yet? Wait -- it gets even murkier.

The slag fragments were identified by experts as smelter refuse, simple furnace clinkers. The white metal was aircraft aluminum. Claims by Arnold and others that the slag returned by government analysts was not the same as the slag they sent were ignored. Ruppelt, quoting official Air Force reports, said Brown and Davidson were convinced when they left Tacoma that the whole thing was a fraud. The "classified material" on the plane were files being sent to Hamilton Field, not the Maury Island slag.

The U.S. government apparently considered prosecuting Dahl and Crisman for the hoax that led to the death of two Air Force officers, but in the end, they decided the B-25 crash was just an accident, and no one would convict Dahl and Crisman in connection with it. The story faded as more sensational UFO reports surfaced, and a consensus verdict of fraud settled over the whole affair. Most UFO books of the 1950s and 60s either ignored Maury Island, or dismissed it as a hoax perpetrated for money.

The strangeness continued, however. Fred Crisman had served in the Army Air Force in World War II, and in 1947 found himself recalled to active duty. The story is, he was assigned first to Alaska, then to Greenland. Harold Dahl dropped out of sight. Efforts to find him by civilian UFO investigators in the 50s failed. In the meantime, Fred Crisman moved on to new adventures.

Jim Garrison, Distract Attorney of New Orleans, began his controversial inquiry into the death of President John F. Kennedy. In 1968, during his investigation, he issued a subpoena to Fred Lee Crisman of Tacoma, Washington. What did the old Dero-fighter and UFO sighter have to do with the death of JFK?

The 1968 subpoena identified Crisman as a radio announcer in Tacoma, apparently with stated right-wing sympathies. Garrison's sources felt that Crisman might be one of the three "tramps" arrested on that November morning 1963 in Dallas, and Garrison called him before the grand jury to testify. Garrison's investigators further claimed that Crisman was either a member of the CIA, or was "engaged in undercover activity for a part of the industrial warfare complex". He allegedly worked under the cover occupation of preacher, and "was engaged in work to help Gypsies". Because of the erratic nature of the Garrison investigation, many DAs and police authorities around the country tacitly refused to honor his subpoenas. In 1978, Garrison told the House Select Committee on Assassinations that his staff had once spent four hours interviewing Fred Crisman, but he was never compelled to travel to New Orleans or testify on the record. His alleged role in the JFK assassination, like his alleged Dero and UFO sightings, remains purely speculative.

One last item. One of the oldest nuclear processing facilities in the country was the Hanford plant, located in Washington state. Here plutonium was manufactured for the Nagasaki "Fat Man" bomb, and for many years during the Cold War weapons-grade material was produced here for America's nuclear arsenal. When the plant was closed it was found to be in wretchedly contaminated condition.

Remember the slag and white metal Dahl and Crisman claimed fell from a UFO? Kenneth Arnold handled a piece of material supplied by the two men and described it thus:

"Someone suggested that these fragments could have been the lining of some kind of power tube. When we lined up all the pieces, following the curve of the smooth surface, we saw that they could have been a lining of a tube of some kind about six feet in diameter".

Of the other metal, Arnold and his friend Smith decided it was nothing but aircraft alloy, but one detail puzzled them:

"There was only one unusual thing about this white metal that made us stop and wonder. On one piece that Crisman handed us we could plainly see that two parts of it had been riveted. I had never seen that type of rivet used in aircraft manufacture, and I don't think Smithy had either".

The rivet in question was square. All aircraft rivets are round.

Here is what may have happened in 1947:

Dahl and Crisman found a dump of unusual looking metal and slag on Maury Island. There were an estimated 20 tons of the stuff lying around, far too much for just two men to have planted there. They concocted the flying donut UFO story for the benefit of Ray Palmer, thinking they could sell him their account of the sighting. The metal debris was a good circumstantial touch.

But there was a problem with the slag. Dahl complained that his pictures were fogged. Radiation does that. If Dahl took some phony UFO pictures, or even contemplated such a ploy, he was foiled when his film came out ruined. His son was burned on the arm and the boy's dog died -- from radiation? Maybe Dahl realized later what he and Crisman were fooling with, and this accounted for his reluctance to talk to Kenneth Arnold.

Arnold called in the Air Force. Brown and Davidson were curious about the report, then abruptly seemed to decide it was a hoax and hastily left Tacoma. They accepted a carton of fragments from Crisman; their plane crashed and the site was heavily cordoned off by the military. Because of secret files? Because of UFO debris? Or was it because the military was afraid of disclosing the fact that illegal radioactive waste from the Hanford Nuclear Plant had been dumped on Maury Island?

Dahl disappeared. Crisman was recalled to the Air Force and sent away to Greenland. Later, in a totally unrelated matter (Jim Garrison's JFK investigation), he's identified as a CIA agent or CIA asset. Was this his reward for dropping the Maury Island UFO story -- a lifelong stipend from the U.S. government?

According to Jenny Randles, two intelligence analysts who studied the case in 1980 said it had all the earmarks of an intelligence operation intended, perhaps, to discredit Arnold's original UFO sighting.

Not everyone believed it was a hoax.

J. Edgar Hoover didn't believe it was a hoax.

In a Teletype dated 14 August 1947, Hoover stated:

"It would also appear that Dahl and Crisman did not admit the hoax to the army officers..." and FBI special agent in charge from Seattle George Wilcox answered, "Please be advised that Dahl did not admit to Brown that his story was a hoax but only stated that if questioned by authorities he was going to say it was a hoax because he did not want any further trouble over the matter". Fred Crisman not only didn't admit it was a hoax but in the January 1950 issue of FATE he called those accusations a "bald-faced lie".

Ray Palmer didn't believe it was hoax, and published the case in FATE, vol 1, No. 1, 1948; "The Coming of the Saucers", 1952; and in "The Real UFO Invasion", 1967.

Kenneth Arnold didn't believe it was a hoax and at the First International UFO Congress in Chicago, discussed the Maury Island incident.

Harold A. Dahl died on Saturday, 30 January 1982

There are still people who believe the Maury Island Case was not a hoax.

References:

Paris Flammonde, UFO Exist! Ballantine, 1976.
Curtis Fuller, Proceedings of the First International UFO Congress, Warner, 1980.
John A. Keel, Our Haunted Planet, Fawcett, 1971.
Curtis Peebles, Watch the Skies! Berkley, 1995.
Edward J. Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Doubleday, 1956.
Ted Schultz, ed., The Fringes of Reason, Harmony Books, 1989.

 

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