Colonel Philip Corso, author of the controversial best-seller "The Day After Roswell," has responded to negative claims made by independent investigator Martin Cannon which appeared in the October 1, 1997 edition of CNI News. Corso spoke by telephone on October 15 with news editor Michael Lindemann.
Cannon criticized Corso as being "among that coterie of military intelligence staffers who considered the CIA ...most likely heavily infiltrated by the KGB." Corso told CNI News that he had been instrumental in gathering information from CIC (Counter-Intelligence Corps) operatives in Rome that proved that the intelligence group headed by former Nazi officer Reinhard Gehlen under CIA auspices was in fact penetrated by communist counter-agents. This is why "the plug was pulled" (in Cannon's words) on Gehlen's controversial operation, Corso said.
Cannon referred to General Charles Willoughby as "Corso's ally," implying that the two men worked closely together and shared the extreme right-wing views for which Willoughby was known. Cannon claimed that Corso maintained ties with Willoughby well into the 1960s. Corso insists, however, that he barely knew Willoughby and hasn't seen or heard from him since the Korean War, when they both served on General Douglas MacArthur's staff.
Cannon notes that Corso worked on the staff of Senator Strom Thurmond, "who helped lead the pro-segregation crusades of the 1960s." Corso did indeed work for Thurmond and still admires him, he says, but the focus of his work was strictly military defense. Corso says he never shared the Senator's views on segregation. "At one point, I had 220 black soldiers under my command," Corso told CNI News, "and I always said, 'When my men march by, I see only American soldiers in green uniforms. That's all.'"
According to Martin Cannon, Corso "also became a leading member of a bizarre organization called the Shickshinny Knights of Malta." But according to Corso, he's never even heard of the organization and certainly never joined.
"I had all kinds of groups come to me when I was in Washington," he told CNI News. "Mostly I just told them to go away." Lindemann asked Corso if he had ever learned of any such group using his name without authorization. "It could have happened," he said, "but I didn't know about it."
Cannon described a Polish defector named Michael Goliniewsky as "the darling of Corso's 'Knights.'" Goliniewsky provided some useful counter-intelligence information when he first defected, Cannon said, but soon began claiming that he was Prince Alexi, son of the last Russian Czar and heir to the throne. Cannon implied, again, that Corso's credibility was besmirched by a cozy relationship with this oddball character.
Corso told CNI News that he was well aware of Michael Goliniewsky. They met face to face shortly after Goliniewsky arrived in the United States. Corso says Goliniewsky had hoped to surrender to the FBI but wound up in CIA custody, where he soon learned that he was to be monitored by a Soviet agent working inside the CIA. Fearing for his life, Corso says, Goliniewsky decided to act crazy. "He wasn't crazy at all," Corso says. "He knew exactly what he was doing." Corso added that Goliniewsky provided some of the most useful information ever gotten from a defector.
CNI News has heard many allegations against Colonel Corso -- including the allegation that he is not a Colonel, but only attained the rank of Lt. Colonel. Asked about this, Corso said that he was promoted to Colonel in the Army Reserves but served as a Lt. Colonel in his last years of active duty.
It is clear that Colonel Corso served with distinction during an exceptionally complex and perilous time in U.S. history. Now, some thirty-five years after his military retirement, it may seem to some that he was overly suspicious of communists, or too forgiving of right-wing fanatics. CNI News has found Colonel Corso to be extremely gracious toward his accusers. We are pleased that he was willing to answer the accusations leveled by Martin Cannon.
Following recent surgery for a hernia, Corso says he has "never felt better." At the age of 82, he is energetic and determined to continue his efforts to disclose important information regarding government knowledge of the UFO subject.
Corso told CNI News that he has a great deal of additional information that did not appear in "The Day After Roswell," which he intends to disclose at a later date. He also said that he is eager to testify under oath before Congress regarding UFOs and alien technology as soon as hearings can be arranged.
Original file name: CNI - Corso rebuttal.final
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