The MJ-12 UFO Documents Hoax
by Jon Elliston
For decades, some UFO enthusiasts have been convinced that the U.S. government is perpetrating a massive cover-up of its knowledge of extraterrestrial visits to our planet. In the mid-1980s, the alleged discovery of official records detailing the Truman and Eisenhower administrations' hidden concern with UFOs gave the sky-watchers what seemed to be definitive proof of their suspicions, the long-sought smoking gun exposing the scandal of the century.
The purportedly genuine, top-secret "MJ-12" documents, distributed by ufologists and for a time viewed hopefully as confirmation of government contact with alien beings, were ultimately exposed as a master hoax. Believers and debunkers staged a heated debate over the documents' authenticity. The clash left most convinced that the papers were forgeries, but it also helped spread the notion that a shadowy cabal of officials conspired to conceal the government's contacts with UFOs and their otherworld occupants.
In May 1987, two popular UFO analysts, William Moore and Stanton Friedman, along with television producer Jamie Shandera, unveiled an eight-page memo, stamped with the classification "TOPIC SECRET/MAJIC - EYES ONLY." Under the heading "BRIEFING DOCUMENT: OPERATION MAJESTIC 12; PREPARED FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER: (EYES ONLY); 18 NOVEMBER, 1952," the document provides a startling description of a highly classified program, "Majestic-12" (with "Majic-12" used as an abbreviation), to manage government policies regarding an extraordinary subject: contact with alien ships and beings.
According to the memo, the program was initiated in 1947 by President Truman and directed by twelve individuals drawn from the highest ranks of the scientific, military and intelligence establishments of the United States. The MJ-12 project was launched, the document says, to deal with the implications of an amazing event that summer: the government's recovery of a wrecked alien craft near Roswell Army Air Base in New Mexico.
Following the UFO crash, on July 7 "a secret operation was begun to assure recovery of the wreckage of this object for scientific study." Reconnaissance flights over the area "discovered that four small human-like beings had apparently ejected from the craft at some point before it exploded." Once these beings were located by the authorities, "all four were dead and badly decomposed due to action by predators and exposure to the elements during the approximately one week time period which had elapsed before their discovery." The bodies, and the wreckage, were collected and transported to different facilities to be studied. To keep the shocking event secret, "news reporters were given the effective cover story that the object had been a misguided weather research balloon."
In regard to the craft's dead passengers, the men of Majestic 12 concluded that "although these creatures are human-like in appearance, the biological and evolutionary processes responsible for their development has apparently been quite different from those observed or postulated in homo-sapiens."
The experts of MJ-12 had only tentative guesses as to where the beings had come from: "Since it is virtually certain that these craft do not originate in any country on earth, considerable speculation has centered around what their point of origin might be and how they got here. Mars was and remains a possibility, although some scientists, most notably Dr. [Donald] Menzel, consider it more likely that we are dealing with beings from another solar system entirely."
The memo records another mysterious twist: "Numerous examples of what appear to be a form of writing were found in the wreckage. Efforts to decipher these have remained largely unsuccessful." Efforts "to determine the method of propulsion or the nature or method of transmission of the power source involved" were also unsuccessful. A secret Air Force operation, Project SIGN, was established to study the craft's "performance characteristics" and "purpose."
Though most of the MJ-12 briefing paper is devoted to discussion of the alleged UFO crash near Roswell, another fantastic event is mentioned. "On 06 December, 1950, a second object, probably of similar origin, impacted the earth at high speed in the El Indio - Guerrero area of the Texas - Mexican boder [sic]. ... By the time a search team arrived, what remained of the object had been almost totally incinerated."
The memo for Eisenhower closes with a grave statement warning the president-elect that the alien visits to earth warrant close attention, study, and absolute government secrecy:
"Implications for the National Security are of continuing importance in that the motives and ultimate intentions of these visitors remains completely unknown. In addition, a significant upsurge in the surveillance activity of these craft beginning in May and continuing through the autumn of this year has caused considerable concern that new developments may be imminent. It is for these reasons, as well as the obvious international and technological considerations and the ultimate need to avoid a public panic at all costs, that the Majestic-12 Group remains of the unanimous opinion that imposition of the strictest security precautions should continue without interruption into the new administration."
Following the MJ-12 memo's text is an index of eight attachments that supposedly accompanied the document. Only the first of these, however, is included with the memo. Attachment A is a one-page executive order, bearing President Truman's signature and establishing "Operation Majestic Twelve."
If the MJ-12 memo to Eisenhower is in fact a genuine government record, then it documents the origins of an enormous official cover-up. If, however, it is a carefully crafted forgery, the document's role in the debate over UFOs has merely been to confuse and mislead students of the extraterrestrial mystery.
Next: The authenticity of the MJ-12 documents comes under attack.
(c) Copyright 1996 ParaScope, Inc.
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