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Click here for the New Majestic-12 Document

In December 1984, Jaime Shandera, a Hollywood movie producer and UFO researcher, received an unusual package through the post. Inside was just one roll of undeveloped 35mm black and white film. There were no accompanying letter or return address; the only clue to where the package came from was by the postmark which was Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Once developed, the film contained negatives of what appeared to be an eight-page briefing paper, prepared on 18th November, 1952, for president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower. A warning on the first page read, 'This is a TOP SECRET - EYES ONLY document containing compartmentalized information essential to the national security of the United States'. On page two was a list of 12 influential U.S. scientists, military leaders and intelligence advisors. It was not until viewing page three that the subject of the papers became clear, 'the recovery of a crashed flying saucer and alien bodies near Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947'.

Briefing Document for President-Elect Dwight D. Eisenhower
November 18, 1952

The final page of the briefing paper was a memorandum, dated 24th September, 1947, from President Harry Truman to his secretary of Defence, James Forrestal. In it, Truman instructs Forrestal to proceed with 'Operation Majestic-12', but gives no hint at what that might be.

The Truman-Forestal Memo

Alone, the Forrestal memo was meaningless. But when read next to the 1952 briefing paper, the story behind them became clear: in July 1947, a 'flying disc-shaped aircraft' crashed landed in Roswell, New Mexico, and 'extra-terrestrial biological entities' (EBEs) are recovered by the military. When President Truman is informed about the crash, he authorizes Defence Secretary Forrestal to set up a committee to investigate and deal with the situation.

In 1952, when Eisenhower becomes President-elect, he is briefed on Operation Majestic-12. The briefing paper lists the 12-man committee and gives details of the saucer crash. The final paragraph stresses the need to 'avoid public panic at all costs', confirming that the government is covering up the truth about UFOs.

Are these Documents Real?

In the UFO research community, the opinion is split. In one corner, Stanton T. Friedman, who has dedicated over 10 years of research to finding the truth, Bill Moore and Jaime Shandera believe the documents to be real. In the other corner are Kevin Randle, Armen Victorian and our old friend, the late Philip Klass, all of whom have reasons to believe they are fakes. To add to the mystery surrounding the Majestic-12 papers (also known as MJ-12, or MAJIC), a number of other similar packages have turned up over the last few years. The first was a postcard delivered to Bill Moore in 1985. Postmarked New Zealand, it suggested him to research newly declassified documents at the U.S. National Archives. Moore and Shandera did so, and found a memo confirming the existance of MJ-12, written by Eisenhower's Special Assistant for National Security, Robert Cutler, and addressed to Nathan Twining, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff.

The Cutler-Twining Memo and the Cutler Memo

Click here for the scanned slide of original onionskin memorandum with watermark


Between 1992 and 1996, another UFO researcher named Tim Cooper, received a number of MJ-12 documents, all of which he quietly shared with Friedman. Several were proved hoaxes but, according to Cooper and Friedman, two single-page documents appear to be genuine. The first is a brief instruction to General Nathan Twining (an alleged member of MJ-12) concerning his activities during a July 1947 trip to New Mexico, the site of the crashed saucer.

The Truman-Twining Directive


The second document is a memo to President Truman, dictated by U.S. Secretary of State, George C. Marshall to his Executive Secretary, R. H. Humelsine. While there is no direct mention of MJ-12 in the memo, the reference at the top reads 'MAJIC EO 092447 MJ-12.

The Truman-Marshall Memo

The most spectacular new MJ-12 document was posted in 1994 to Don Berliner, a long-time UFO investigator and science writer. The anonymous roll of film contained 23 pages of a 'Majestic-12 Group Special Operations Manual', dated April 1954. It was a detailed instruction manual entitled 'Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal'.



Hangar 1 takes a look into the discovery of a top-secret Special Operations Manual.

The Council Of Twelve

Because most of the MJ-12 documents are on film, the original paper or ink cannot be analysed. However, there are many factual details that can be checked, such as the background of the 12 members of the committee, the dates of meetings, the style and format of similar documents, and the validity of the signatures. Clearly, MJ-12 had an all-star cast, as well as Secretary of Defence Forrestal, there were the first three Directors of Central Intelligence, an Air Force General, an Army General, the Secretary of the Army and five of the US's most influential scientists. This was the cream of the US's military, scientific and intelligence communities. If there was to be a top-secret government group investigating UFOs, this would have been it.


The Twelve Members

Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter
First Director of Central Intelligence (1947-50). In 1960, he acknowledged there was a UFO cover-up.
Dr. Vannevar Bush
Chairman of the Joint Research and Development Board (1945-49). Advisor to the President, and key player in atomic bomb development.
James V. Forrestal
First U.S. Secretary Of Defence. In 1949, he had a mental breakdown and committed suicide (some conspiracy theorists believe he was murdered) replaced by General Walter Beddell Smith.
Nathan F. Twining
Commander of Air Materiel Command at Wright Field and later, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US's highest military position.
General Hoyt Vandenberg
Chief of Military Intelligence during World War II and second Director of Central Intelligence (1946-47).
Dr. Detlev Bronk
Biophysicist. Head of the National Academy of Science, and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Atomic Energy Committee.
Dr. Jerome Hunsaker
Renowned aircraft designer and Chairman of the National Advisory Committe on Aeronautics.
Rear Admiral Sidney Souers
First Director of Central Intelligence (1946). Appointed first Executive Secretary of National Security Council in 1947.
Gordon Gray
Assistant Secretary of the Army. Became the National Security Advisor and Director of CIA's Psychological Strategy Board.
Dr. Donald H. Menzel
Harvard Professor of Astrophysics, and debunker of UFOs. Held a Top Secret Ultra clearance and was a security advisor to several presidents.
Major General Robert Montague
Head of the Special Weapons Project at the Atomic Energy Commission at Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dr. Lloyd V. Berkener
Executive Secretary of the Joint Research and Development Board. Member of the CIA-funded UFO Committee in 1950s.

The only member in this list who seems out of place is Dr. Donald Menzel, a Harvard University Astronomer. He had written three anti-UFO books and many papers debunking flying saucers. All but Menzel were known to have a high-level security clearance, and because of this, many researchers were inclined to think that the MJ-12 documents were bogus. However, in April 1986, Stanton Friedman was allowed access to Menzel's papers at the Harvard University Archives. He learned that Menzel had a 30-year association with the National Secutiry Agency and that he also had a Top-Secret Ultra clearance with the CIA. It has also been proved that Menzel made numerous visits to New Mexico in 1947 and 1948, paid for by government expenses.

The earliest reference to Majestic is in the memo supposedly sent by Truman to Forrestal. The memo, which names the President's science advisor Vannevar Bush, is dated 24th September, 1947. This happens to be the only day between May and December on which Truman met with Bush. Forrestal also met Bush that day, and this date is also significant in that it was the day after Nathan Twining, Commanding General of the Air Materiel Command (AMC), sent a secret memo to the Pentagon relating to 'flying discs'. In it, Twining states, "The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious."

General Twining's Secret Memo

Also, a flight log from July 1947 shows that Twining had flown to New Mexico on 7th July, 1947. According to the briefing paper, this was the same day that 'a secret operation was began to assure recovery of the wreckage... for scientific study'. Could this be just coincidence?

Genuine or fake, the MJ-12 documents are certainly the most intriguing to have surfaced in the history of UFOlogy.

Draft Of Top Secret UFO Memo Now Public

Through the diligent research efforts of York University researcher Nick Balaskas, a draft of the original "Project Magnet" Top Secret Memo has been recovered from the Archives at the University of Ottawa. It adds important information to the Wilbert Smith UFO research efforts for the Canadian government.

The Balaskas discovery not only backs up the contents of what was found in the Project Magnet Top Secret document declassified by the Canadian government in 1979; it adds two new pages to the three researchers were already aware of.

Wilbert Smith, Senior Radio Engineer in the Canadian Department of Transport, wrote the original Top Secret memo to his superiors in November 1952. The memo was the beginning of the Canadian government official program (Project Magnet) to investigate flying saucers. Wilbert Smith headed up that investigation from December 1950 to August 1954.

The existence of the Top Secret draft in the Wilbert Smith UFO files is part of the reason that the Canadian government was forced to declassify the Top Secret Memo held in their files.

Wilbert Smith left the draft in the files to give future researchers the truth of what had actually happened in the early days of government investigation into flying saucers. Dying of cancer, Smith made arrangement with his wife to hide the files so they would survive his death. "They will be coming to recover them," he told his wife Murl.

As Smith predicted, the Canadians, Americans, and Soviets approached Mrs. Smith requesting the files for research purposes. Mrs. Smith told all callers she no longer had the files. After a number of break-ins that might have been linked to the search for the files, the files were passed on to Arthur Bray, a local Ottawa researcher, who held them quietly for over two decades.

Bray was aware of the Top Secret memo draft, but was unable to say anything because the copy in the Smith files was still marked Top Secret. Bray held a Navy security clearance and was forced to remain quiet.

Bray, aware of what was in the files, did however lead the charge to force the government to release all the "Project Magnet" files held by the government. He wrote letters to government ministers and officials telling them where the files would be found.

The "Project Magnet" Top Secret memo is the key document in the large Smith collection of UFO material, now stored in the archives at the University of Ottawa. In the memo, Smith outlined five key items about flying saucers that he had discovered while in discussions with top U.S. officials working on the flying saucer problem. These were:

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

2) Flying saucers exist.

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

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

5) The United States authorities are investigating along quite a number of lines, which might possibly be related to the saucers, such as mental phenomena.

Wilbert Smith's original draft

The members of MJ-12



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