[On May 21, 1996, CNI News received the following statement from Paul Davids, producer and co-writer of the acclaimed 1994 film "Roswell."]
by Paul Davids
Following President Clinton's December, 1995, statement in Ireland about the Roswell Incident, I decided to contact the President on this issue. The President had said that, as far as he knows, there was no spaceship recovered at Roswell in 1947, but added that, if it did happen, and if alien bodies were recovered, "the Air Force didn't tell me about it, and I would like to know."
In response to his statement that he would like to know, I sent the President a two page letter urging a change of policy regarding the secrecy and classification of documents surrounding the UFO issue. I enclosed four videotapes: the movie, "Roswell" (of which I was Executive Producer and co-writer), and three documentaries I prepared that present UFO evidence: "Down in Roswell" (a compendium of news coverage through the years on the Roswell Incident), "Reply to the Air Force Report on the Roswell Incident" (an indictment of the Air Force "Mogul Balloon" report), and "Golden Anniversary UFO Briefing for the White Sands Missile Range Pioneers," based on a UFO presentation I was asked to make as keynote banquet speaker for the 50th anniversary of the founders of White Sands Missile Range and Proving Grounds -- a presentation that was attended by representatives of all branches of service, the Defense Department, and major military research labs.
In urging a change in the [UFO] policy, I cited President Clinton's much appreciated precedent in releasing documents, through the Department of Energy, that revealed details of secret radioactivity testing programs on civilians, as an example of disclosures his Administration initiated that greatly served the public benefit and the public's right to know.
I also cited the fact that in the President's recent document declassifications, documents were made available to the public going back to a 1917 troop deployment order from World War One. If such documents survived from that time period, one wonders why the crucial outgoing messages from the Roswell base of 1947 were all destroyed long ago, according to the findings of the recent GAO report about the Roswell Incident. I pointed out this discrepancy as a reason the public cannot take comfort in the Air Force's recent explanations. I rejected the Air Force Roswell Report as a self-serving effort to "spin" the issue rather than provide consistent and sensible answers, and I asked that the President consider following recommendations of men of stature such as astronaut Gordon Cooper and Lawrence Rockefeller, who have publicly decried the government's unwillingness to confirm publicly what is known and what remains classified relating to the so-called "ET issue."
On previous occasions, the President had answered two of my letters on other subjects, so I held out hope of a response -- especially after I was able to confirm that my correspondence and videotapes were received at the White House in January. My family has felt a deep respect and high regard for Bill Clinton for decades, going back to the 1960's when my father was one of his professors in U.S. Diplomatic History at Georgetown University, and I felt my inquiry, as the Executive Producer of a movie that called the government to task in a very serious way, would get his attention.
To my surprise, a brief reply was sent to me by the President immediately following the date of Richard Hoagland's Washington Press Conference (in which Hoagland cited lunar and Martian anomalies that support possible conclusions of ancient alien artifacts existing on those worlds.) The reply was sent by Priority Mail in a priority envelope. (Previous correspondence from Bill Clinton was always by standard first class mail.) My letter to the President had been marked Personal and Confidential. His signed reply was marked Personal.
The President expressed gratitude and appreciation for my having sent him the videocassettes, calling it both generous and thoughtful on my part, and he passed on Hillary's best wishes to me as well.
It did not surprise me that he did not discuss any of the issues in writing. It was gratifying that there was no denial expressed, no belittling of the issue or reference to check the findings of Blue Book or the Condon Committee Report, which have been staple government replies to UFO questions for decades. I also appreciated that the materials I sent, which were a firm and rather merciless frontal assault on what has seemed to be a longstanding, entrenched government position, were received with gratitude and were not in any sense taken as unacceptable or as an embarrassment or a problem.
The timing of the reply, which could have been a coincidence, seemed more likely to me to be a "wink" in my direction -- a strong hint that something related to this issue is in progress. It was not only the timing in regard to Hoagland's controversial Washington appearance; it was also interesting that just a few days later, papers across the country carried a front page story about how NASA was making its biggest priority the search for extraterrestrial life, not just in the universe but in our own solar system, right in our own backyard. It was as though Hoagland's gameplan (with no credit to Hoagland acknowledged by NASA) had suddenly moved to someone's "front burner."
All of this raises questions as to what developments we might see in a Clinton second term.
[Editor's note: Paul Davids has just completed producing and directing a feature documentary about the enigmatic Dr. Timothy Leary, called "Timothy Leary's Dead," after the words of the Moody Blues song that is included in the soundtrack. Davids says: "The film is in part an exploration of the way Leary was incarcerated by the government (spending about five years in prison) not so much for drug charges, which were an 'excuse,' but for his writings and philosophy, which attacked and threatened the Establishment in the 1960's and early 1970's. President Nixon called Leary 'the most dangerous man alive' -- and those who get a chance to see this intimate portrait of the former Harvard professor who fostered the 'psychedelic revolution' in the 1960's will form their own conclusions as to whether Leary's threat to the established order was like that of Charles Manson (he was put in a cell next to Manson at Folson for awhile) or whether it was more like that of Socrates in ancient Greece. Socrates, you'll recall, was forced to swallow the poison hemlock because he had been found guilty of 'corrupting the youth,' but his contributions as a philosopher have out-survived the contributions of any of his adversaries." Davids says he hopes "Timothy Leary's Dead" will be theatrically released like other recent documentaries such as "Crumb," "Unzipped," and "Hoop Dreams."]
Original file name: CNI - Clinton.Davids 5.23
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