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Monday, 15 August 2011 18:10

JFK and the Majestic Papers: The History of a Hoax, Preamble I

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Part 1 of a backdrop to scientist Leon Davidson, who made a number of alarming accusations against the CIA’s whipping up UFO mania which in turn created a powerful cultural phenomena, picked up by other agencies.



Doctor Feel Good & Alien Dulles

Introduction

To start I shall focus on Allen Dulles’ role in the creation of the modern day UFO phenomenon. This was born out of the Cold War, which have had far reaching and, dare I say, negative consequences on society and on research into the Kennedy assassination and other such areas. One person who consistently wrote about the problems of the CIA playing ‘God’ at the time was an important lower rung establishment figure by the name of Dr. Leon Davidson, who implicated Dulles all the way through his research career. Both parts of this essay are based largely on his commentaries. This focus on Dulles, flies in the face of the accusations that Jim Angleton was involved in running the asinine MJ-12 program to cover up UFOs; in this regard there’s little evidence that Angleton himself was part of a ‘disinformation campaign’. Individuals like Angleton may have pulled a shift or two in the alien palaver promoting bogus UFO stories, but not in the crucial period between the end of WWII and Dulles becoming DCI in 1953. It seems the core people behind Dulles pushing the original UFO agenda were Charles Cabell and CD Jackson, with important if indirect roles coming from Frank Wisner and Dulles’s brother John Foster upon Eisenhower’s election in 1952.


Dr. ‘Feel Good’ Notes a Diversion

“It should not come as a surprise that Davidson suffered persecution by the CIA. This is extremely telling when compared to the lack of action taken against other researchers who claim that the CIA and other agencies are engaged in a massive cover-up concerning alien contact. So it’s okay to say that the CIA is hiding little green men, but when you say the CIA has concocted the story of little green men, the CIA hunts you down…”

-Phil Coppens, A Lone Chemist’s Quest to Expose the UFO Cover-Up

“Over the next six decades, the UFO mythology, and those who engaged with it, would continue to be exploited, steered and shaped by America’s armed forces and intelligence agencies. Who knows how differently things would have evolved if the UFO community had paid more attention to Leon Davidson, ufology’s lost prophet.”

-Mark Pilkington, Weapons of Mass Deception

The fine work of Mark Pilkington and Phil Coppens concerning the studies of Los Alamos scientist and Manhattan Project participant Dr Leon Davidson have bought much needed clarity and scope to the UFO equation. Davidson, whom enjoyed some small fame as a commentator on the subject, had begun investigating and tabulating all manner of UFO interactions in 1949 (and researching those prior). He had grave suspicions about the CIA’s involvement with disinformation concerning UFOs and all manner of PSYOPs (Psychological Operations) well ahead of his time.

Indeed, Davidson, often without knowing it, seems to have passed comment on both Operation Mockingbird and a certain infamous CIA drug induced program, years before they ever came to light. Davidson appears to have been open to the possibility of alien UFOs, but seems to have always believed in their being man made. He campaigned to have the government release unpublished documents pertaining to projects in the fifties namely Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14. But what’s odd is that he soon felt that he had been a conduit for US intelligence passing off false data about the US military’s use of captured alien technology. When we consider that most ufologists of the time (represented by Davidson’s friend Col Don Keyhoe), would have considered this a major triumph (as many still do), we can see the difference in thinking that separated Davidson from his peers, then and now.

Phil Coppens has done a great job of straightening out Davidson’s seemingly hasty writing style which, though insightful, could sometimes come across as unintentionally kooky or specious due to his prose style. A case in point is a piece by Davidson from 1977 which can be seen in the article The CIA and the Saucer. Davidson’s interest in Dulles and the CIA’s involvement in a number of UFO related areas led him to make some seemingly odd calls concerning the Lonnie Zamora, Socorro, UFO incident years before in 1964. Namely that the ensign seen on the vessel spelled out ‘CIA’ and was also an anagram for Allen Dulles. Davidson notes that it was either the CIA having a joke, or another agency (like the DIA or the FBI) pulling a prank to try and draw attention to the CIA's nefarious dealings in the area. Now, while the famed Dr. J. Allen Hynek seems to be in agreement with Davidson concerning the logo, I personally agree with Phil Klass that anything could be made out of the name (no, I am not an advocate of Klass).

The FBI (whom he opined could have been in on the prank) as we know were busy elsewhere. Davidson fails to note that the famed Socorro sighting occurred at the same time as the Warren Commission was moving into high gear. Nor did he mention that his Public Enemy Number One, Allen Dulles, was in on that one as well. This omission aside, Davidson hits on a very real and important observation (even if he missed the point himself in this case). That being that the CIA seemed to be wheeling out and utilizing UFO stories as if on cue to divert the public’s gaze at certain opportune moments.

Thanks to this sort of sighting John McCone, whom had been head of the CIA since 1961, embarked upon an investigation of UFOs using the CIA’s, OSI (Office of Scientific Investigation) that year. The spate of UFO sightings in and around 1965-1967, caused a brand new UFO flap which resulted in the USAF commissioning the Condon Report (supposedly the final word on the issue). One year after Davidson wrote his article a well known civil case taken by a group led by journalist Ted Zechel released a number of documents from a number of agencies. Indeed Roswell resurfaced that year, 1978, thanks to the efforts of government disinformation agent Bill Moore whom was encouraged by Stanton Friedman to explore the long forgotten crash. Moore published his book The Roswell Incident in 1980. This renewed interest in the paranormal occurred in and around when the HSCA stated that there had been probable conspiracies in the JFK and MLK case. The following year, 1979, a Cuban exile in Miami, Filberto Cardenas, had a hilariously lame abduction tale which got big news.

Davidson was deeply affected by and interested in the Kennedy assassination. He was a passionate supporter of Richard E. Sprague’s People and the Pursuit of Truth publication. He also appears to be one of the first people to raise mention of the Chicago plot and a possible French connection to one of the assassins (Davidson, People and the Pursuit of Truth Vol. 2, No. 5 September, 1976, pg. 7.)


Alien Dulles, the original Martian

Coppens and an increasing chorus of others have pointed out that, in the early years of UFOs, most researchers believed them to be man-made objects. Those whom believed in their being of ‘alien’ origin were part of a ‘kooky’ minority. Yet, Davidson and those like him, who were open to yet sceptical of the ET answer to the equation, found themselves effectively swallowed up by the complex machinations of Allen Dulles. As we shall see, Dulles played all sides of the UFO angle. When he, without doubt the single most influential individual in the history of US intelligence, truly became involved in the espionage field is a veritable black hole and worthy of another study altogether. He worked for the fledgling US intelligence operation prior to and during WWI and again for the US under the banner of the more organised OSS (Office of Strategic Services) in WWII. In both conflicts, his base was Switzerland, an extremely important location in both conflicts. Dulles was therefore an integral part of both the OSS and the CIA from their inceptions and would go on to become the CIA’s longest serving DCI.

Prior to its establishment, the CIA had been the aforementioned OSS and briefly, the CIG (Central Intelligence Group). Little is actually known of the OSS and CIG’s interest in the examination of UFOs. However, it’s utterly inconceivable the OSS didn’t take notice of the now famed ‘foo fighter’ sightings by Axis and Allied pilots from the early forties onwards. Neal H. Petersen who studied and compiled highlights from Dulles’ wartime correspondence with various OSS officials, wrote on page 37 of From Hitlers Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allen Dulles that “OSS Bern reported frequently on the development of Secret Weapons by the Nazis.” Dulles wrote that the Germans were working on a “flying contraption perhaps in the form of an aerial torpedoin February of 1943, a year before the V1 and V2 rockets hit London. These intelligence reports came by way of a fellow called Fritz Kolbe codenamed ‘George Wood’. Kolbe, would also go on to furnish Dulles with plans for the Nazi ME 262 jet fighter. What is curious is that while Agency friendly writers have been quite prepared to discuss the V1 and 2 rockets, they barely raise an eyebrow about Dulles’ involvement in procuring this information. We all know of Dulles’ acquisition of the German military intelligence officer, General Reinhardt Gehlen. Not to mention those very rocket scientists Dulles had begun hearing about in early 1943, whisked away in Operation Paperclip. Let’s not forget the fact that there are documents detailing Nazi drug experimentation in places like the Dachau 'Hilton'. Experiments which documentation of became available almost immediately after the war, and which and play an interesting role in Part II of this essay.

But for all Dulles learned during the war, it likely pales in comparison to when he took control of intelligence in post war West Germany. The many Nazi secrets he then discovered, and precisely what he learned, we may never really know. What is apparent is that by the time the United States Army Air Force Intelligence started to hunt down all manner of abandoned top-secret German aircraft at the war’s end in 1945, Dulles and the OSS seem to have been one-step ahead.


Ken Arnold and How to Stiff the USAF

I just mentioned Project Paper Clip, and I really don’t want to. Why? Well I cannot overstate the amount of crazed disinformation there is in regards to a whole matter of uber-conspiracy authors on that subject. It is true the Nazis likely experimented with anti-gravity, but after over seventy years, we only have an inkling of what the US had and when they actually began test flights (Igor Wikowski & Nick Cook: UFOs The Secret Evidence, 2005). Also the Nazis have been given far too much credit by fantasist elements for the invention of what we would call UFO craft, as a number of individuals and companies had also begun making designs and prototypes of unconventional aircraft in the US prior to WWII.

Northrop’s own Flying Wing Bombers (whose ‘flying wing’ design would eventually evolve into the B-2 Stealth Fighter) had been in development since the 1930’s; around the same time as the German equivalent the Horten IX, which apparently became the first flying wing jet flight in late 1944 or early 1945. Therefore, there is an extensive history of unconventional aircraft and mankind’s experimentation with them, interest in them dating back years before the Kenneth Arnold incident. I am in agreement with Coppens, Pilkington, Davidson and an increasing amount of others, that what Arnold saw that fateful June day in 1947 was more than likely entirely man made (I feel much the same way about Roswell). Indeed, in 1947, the year the CIA came into being, there were numerous UFO sightings.

UFOs possess speed and agility that apparently outmatch anything we have. While speed can often only be estimated, its the uncanny agility of these aircraft operating at high speeds which have long been considered the ‘ET’ component of their flight. However, as we can see here, machines don’t bother about G-Forces like humans do. Of course the discussion in the previous link is based on 21st Century understandings and technology, yet Greg Bishop discusses that Nikolai Tesla himself operated a radio control boat in 1895. While Mark Pilkington notes that UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) had been in mainstream use since the 1930’s, and had started out being used as far back as WWI. It’s also interesting to note that Lt. Joe Kennedy Jr, President Kennedy’s older brother, was a WWII pilot who was tragically killed in a classified experiment with radio controlled craft in 1944.

Thus it wasn’t just many designs that had been tested, but technologies like radio control that were still relatively unknown to the post war public that had been explored for decades before the Arnold sightings on June the 24th, 1947. This started the modern day UFO phenomena. Whether the objects he saw that day were an alien entity, an infamous Vought ‘flying flap jack’ XF5U or a VI73, as Pilkington and Davidson say Arnold saw, some variation of the Northrop or a captured German Horten HO IX model, a prototype glider, or a UAV. All this is open to debate.

But there’s also a question that hasn’t been properly asked. Thus we return to Kenneth Arnold. Arnold himself was reluctant to go down the Extra Terrestrial avenue (except when dollar signs were shown it seems). He also has an interesting story to tell. When Arnold saw the UFOs he also saw a DC-4 in the same vicinity as the objects. Yet, no effort I know of has ever been made to track this plane down or interview it’s occupants. Arnold was a well respected businessman, search and rescue pilot, and was a Deputy Sheriff whom worked closely with his local police department, aided in prison transfers, was a part time Federal Marshall, by all accounts had a number of contacts in the US military, and was close friends with Colonel Paul Wieland with whom he investigated pollution of the Salmon fisheries.

Now no conversation about Kennedy and UFOs would be complete without mentioning this incident. After Kenneth Arnold’s sighting, he went on to investigate the Maury Island hoax which had occurred some three days before Arnold’s own encounter. Arnold was paid two hundred dollars to come and investigate the claims of Harold Dahl and Fred Crisman, by one Ray Palmer, editor of Amazing Stories and the man who invented the term ‘flying saucers’. I ask the reader to forget all the dross pitched over the Maury Island topic by the likes of Joseph Farrell, Kenn Thomas and Peter Levenda. I also advise the reader to tread carefully around references to the contentious ‘easy papers’. Just read Coppens’ breakdown of the topic, entitled “The Strangest UFO encounter,,,or a hoax?”. It’s far superior to anything pitched by this sad bunch concerning Maury Island.

According to Coppens, Davidson himself contacted Jim Garrison concerning the nefarious activities of Fred Lee Crisman and Ray Palmer. In the mid 40’s Crisman had written a letter to Palmer and got it published in his magazine concerning all manner of bizarre encounters concerning one Richard Sharpe Shavers's Lemuria and other fantastic stories. Palmer caught Davidson’s eye no less than five years before Garrison began digging around the case. In his ‘Open Letter to Saucer Researchers’ article on page 4 Davidson writes:

The June 1947 Maury Island (Tacoma, Washington) sighting did not become widely known until after the secret Grudge Report was released in 1949. (Released only to the Military and the AEC. It was not -- and is not yet -- available to the public.) The Maury Island incident was referred to by the Rand Corporation in its chapter of the Grudge Report. The Maury Island affair is fully described in the book by Kenneth Arnold and Ray Palmer. (And thus Palmer is associated with the earliest stages of the flying saucer story.)

One question the majority of people never ask in this case about Crisman and his companion Dahl is why they would both admit that the Maury Island incident was a hoax to an Air force investigation team. Now I do not know how things work in the United States, but were someone from say Canada to pull a prank on the local Air Force, let alone one which resulted in the deaths of two brave airmen in the area of Kelso nearby the sighting as a grown adult, they would likely be prosecuted, fined, and imprisoned. Furthermore, there is a high likelihood he would be publicly shamed in the press nationwide for doing so. Screwing with one’s military outside of the US is that big of a deal for the rest of us. In particular when this is on record as being the reconstituted USAF’s first ever fatal plane crash.

That Crisman, Dahl, and in particular Palmer (whom knew of Crisman’s predilection for tall stories yet still promoted the incident) all got off ‘Scot free’ for pulling this stunt, and then went on to cash in on this purportedly ‘childish’ prank, is shocking, but this seems to be how things are done in America. There is a curious cultural precedent for this type of weirdness. You may recall the US Marines once let an avowed Communist monitor their top-secret U-2 spy flights over Russia and let him return home after promising to divulge state secrets, and that a fellow by the name of Gordon Novel never faced prosecution for his running interference in Jim Garrison's trial. In the modern era, we have individuals falsifying government documents like MJ-12 then profiteering from them, yet not a finger has been raised against these people either. Don Ecker, one of the few UFO people to have written cautiously on the topic of Fred Crisman made this statement which I believe is very pertinent: “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.”

And what of Kenneth Arnold? If the UFO Hunters did anything well with their abjectly awful show it was getting hold of Barry Fisher the great nephew of one of the victim’s Lieutenant Frank Brown. Fisher explained his uncle was not just an investigator but was involved in ‘counter espionage’, and further, that they gave his uncle’s personal belongings and military ID to Mr. Arnold. A fact which no one has explained to my satisfaction


The Sound of PSYOPs

Let’s return now to our Dear Mr. Dulles. While Dulles was interested in the analysis and development of weapons like the ME 262 and the V1 and 2 rockets, it didn’t really float his boat. It was in the dark arts of covert and psychological operations that Allen’s heart really was. In Davidson’s March 1962 address “An Open Letter to Saucer Researchers” he quotes Captain Edward Ruppelt of Project Bluebook (and author of the 1956 “Report On Unidentified Flying Objects”) as having wrote that Allen Dulles had become interested in the use of flying saucers as ‘psychological weapons’ as early as 1950. While I could not find this mention of Dulles in Ruppelt’s book anywhere, Davidson was likely referring to comments made by Ruppelt in his personal correspondance with him. Either way, Ruppelt and Davidson were correct about Dulles growing interest, but as we have seen they were likely off by some 6 or 7 years.

No one should be surprised about Dulles’ proclivities. He’d had a well known lifelong fascination with mass psychology and was by all accounts an admirer and associate of the insidious Edward Bernays, and the man he inspired, Josef Goebbels. Dulles was also close friends with one of psychology’s most famous pioneers: Carl Jung, who became fascinated with the subject of UFOs and wrote the much vaunted Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies in 1959. However, in terms of the biggest influence on Dulles’ use of them, or more precisely how to use them one cannot overlook the highly influential writings of PSYOP specialist Paul Linebarger whose 1948 book Psychological Warfare is a classic in the intelligence field. It should be mentioned that Linebarger’s hobby was writing science fiction. Linebarger wrote under the pen name ‘Cordwainer Smith’ and his writings, which predate Jung’s, show a very real connection between UFOs and religious expression. Dulles was also fascinated by religion, and throughout his time in intelligence he infiltrated all manner of religious institutions and organisations (as noted here). We can see the potential for Dulles’ abuse of the idea and the creation of a cultural phenomena. Quite simply the CIA’s use of advanced studies into psychology and a vast black budget helped the CIA become the most successful and lethal advertising agency in the world.

Now, Walter Bedell-Smith is viewed as being the first person to envisage the CIA using UFOs as potential PSYOPs via this message he sent to Raymond Allen, head of the PSB (Psychological Strategy Board) in 1952:

I am today transmitting to the national security council a proposal in which it is concluded that the problems connected with the UFOs appear to have implications for psychological warfare as well as for intelligence and operations… I suggest that we discuss at an early board meeting the possible offensive and defensive utilization of these phenomena for psychological warfare purposes.

The reality is that the decision to utilize UFOs for psychological purposes likely happened sometime earlier than even Davidson suggested, and well before Bedell Smith ever cottoned on to the idea. It likely started in the bowels of the OSS immediately during the war with an increase in sightings of unidentifiable aircraft. C.D. Jackson of Time-Life was a man with an extensive PSYOPs background and had a major role in the formation of that organisation, not to mention that of it’s follow up group, the Operations Coordinating Board (OSB), in 1953. He was also involved with the dubious NICAP organisation that interviewed Betty and Barney Hill about their alien abduction story in 1961. (See the book The Interrupted Journey, which was adapted into the 1975 TV film The UFO Incident.)


Mockingbirds from Mars

In Davidson’s examination he clearly implies that a Life magazine issue that Marilyn Monroe appeared on the cover of and which contained numerous articles discussing bogus sightings from 1947 onwards (a reproduction of one of those articles can be found here) was part of what seemed to be a disinformation campaign. As we have discussed in the case of Ray Palmer, Davidson was clearly suspicious of a collusion between the media and the CIA, well before the revelations of Operation Mockingbird in the seventies and revelations of the intensely cosy relationship Dulles had with both C.D. Jackson editor/publisher of Time-Life, and and it's owner Henry Luce. A formidable figure in Mockingbird was Dulles’ earliest right hand man, Frank Wisner. It was Wisner, who formed the CIA satellite OPC (Office of Policy Coordination) in 1948. This became the CIA’s covert operations branch, and it was in and around the same time that Operation Mockingbird became a formalized series of media relationships.

The links between the Time-Life, publishing empire of Henry Luce, his closeness to the OPC, Dulles and the Kennedy assassination are well known. But there is more. For starters one of Dulles’ most loyal assets was Clare Booth Luce (Henry’s wife). While ambassador to Italy she saw a UFO but had no idea what it could be. (Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, pg 238). Ruth Paine, the woman at the centre of Oswald’s rise to infamy in Dallas, had ties to the CIA and Dulles through a series of family friendships. Allen was close friends with family friend Mary Bancroft whilst she was his employee in Switzerland during the war years. Michael Paine’s mother re-married ‘ace’ Bell Helicopter designer Arthur Young, who became Michael’s stepfather at 18. Young himself would become noted for embracing and promoting all manner of George Adamski type ‘touchy feely’ alien-astrology ideas.


Airforce + UFO + Investigations = CIA

With heavy PSYOP backing and loyal media assets in tow, not to mention key insiders placed within the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, it appears that Dulles and his cabal pulled of one of the greatest ongoing cons in the bureaucratic history of the time, and its cultural ramifications have been massive. The United States Airforce studies on the UFO phenomena officially began in 1948 with Project SIGN. However, it seems that SIGN really began in 1946 under its original name ‘Saucer’. SIGN was replaced by Project Grudge in 1948. What was significant about it was it showed a division between those in the Air Force who believed UFOs had to be of Russian manufacture or extra-terrestrial. Grudge changed under the encouragement of Lieutenant General Charles Cabell, the then head of the AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations), which was the Air Force’s in house intelligence arm. Cabell apparently wanted the extra-terrestrial aspect of the case to be taken more seriously. This happened and Project Bluebook enjoyed a successful transition under what ufologists describe as its most successful era under Captain Edward Ruppelt. He is the individual credited as coining the term ‘UFO’. Project Bluebook with Ruppelt at its helm ran from 1951-1953. Though Bluebook, would continue long after Ruppelt left, it became an ongoing joke as a debunking apparatus of the USAF until its dissolution in 1969.

Many ufologists put the death of Ruppelt’s Bluebook down to the CIA led Robertson Panel in January of 1952. The Panel essentially set out to discredit incidents on the periphery of Bluebook and Ruppelt’s investigations. But it is also true that since Kenneth Arnold’s sighting near Mount Rainier in Washington State, the public had gone saucer-crazy, not to mention that the CIA were indeed concerned about the use of saucers being used to create confusion in the face of a Soviet attack (pg. 25) “We cite as examples the clogging of channels of communication by irrelevant reports, the danger of being led by continued false alarms to ignore real indications of hostile action, and the cultivation of a morbid national psychology in which skilful hostile propaganda could induce hysterical behaviour and harmful distrust of duty constituted authority.”

It’s not a lie either that just a page earlier the CIA recommended civilian UFO groups be monitored for potentially subversive activities (ibid, 24):

The Panel took cognizance of the existence of such groups as the "Civilian Flying Saucer Investigators" (Los Angeles) and the "Aerial Phenomena Research Organization” (Wisconsin).  It was believed that such organizations should be watched 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. 

Pre 9/11 this sort of thing sounds extremely odious. However, it gets better before it gets worse. For the sake of effect, I omitted until now the Robertson Panel’s discussions on how to educate the public that UFOs were an explainable phenomena, i.e. utilizing Hollywood studios like the Jam Handy Co. (who made propaganda films for the military during WWII) and Disney, not to mention making broad comments like “This education could be accomplished by mass media such as television, motion pictures, and popular articles.” (ibid, 20-21).

While Ruppelt’s era is seen by many in the UFO field as some last gasp against secrecy, the reality is — and its one that many ufologists’ simply don’t want to entertain for the life of them — that Ruppelt himself later wrote in his book, and to Davidson, that he felt he had merely been the figurehead for an investigation and was being used as little more than a PR man. Davidson’s observations on the relocation of Washington’s jet air cover and Ruppelt’s humiliating story of trying to investigate the famous 1952 Washington UFO sightings are hilarious, as Coppens observes:

Davidson was working in Washington that year and saw classified photographs of a certain Navy guided missile which in itself disproved the Air Force denials that the US had no devices that looked like UFO sightings reported by the public. He also questioned several “incidents” that occurred during the “invasion”: jet interceptors were removed from Andrews Air Force (4 miles from Washington) to New Castle Delaware (90 miles) in the time framework of the sightings, so that no visual confirmation was possible. Did someone make use of this window to stage a UFO wave?

In his 1959 expose in a Saucer Scoop article ‘ECM+UFO=CIA’ Davidson explained that UFO identification with radars was fraught with all manner of problems (least of all the USAF had long been utilising Electromagnetic Counter Measures to train their own and swindle enemy radar operators). He quotes from an article in Aviation Research and Development circa 1957:

…paths, and velocities can … simulate … realistic flight paths… Speeds up to 10,000 knots (about 11,500 mph) are easily generated… The target can be made to turn left or right… For each target there is … adjustment to provide a realistic scope presentation.

Davidson also surmised that the “skilful hostile propaganda” which “could induce hysterical behaviour” and the irresponsibility of UFO organisations was due in large part to the very intensive disinformation, nay ‘education’ the CIA themselves had helped spread about UFOs existing, right throughout the media in a classic case of subterfuge or ‘paradox’, as Mark Pilkington explains here. By 1954 James Angleton had risen to become the head of counter intelligence and within two years some large civilian organisations emerged, the biggest of which was NICAP (National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena). Formed by supposedly reputable and balanced science types. But with Dulles, it should come as no surprise that the board was riddled with numerous individuals involved in CIA counter intelligence theatres. As all of whom seemed to have either pushed for ET answers to the UFO question or utterly ridiculed the notion. Laying the foundations for the modern day extremist debates between the two sides. Eventually voices excluded or marginalised from this sort of debate were people like our very own Dr. Leon Davidson.

Lamentations aside, the first head of the CIA, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkotter (1947-1950) himself joined NICAP in 1957. This is where it gets interesting, and I’ll reiterate this point later. What I feel Davidson and Coppens didn’t explain is that intelligence work is extremely compartmentalised. Only the very senior figures know what the overall plan of any operation actually is. It is precisely this lack of knowledge pertaining to this most basic of intelligence credos that have led many people, in particularly ufologists, to concoct grand conspiratorial narratives within which JFK-MJ-12 type fantasies abound, or are encouraged. Davidson and Coppens undoubtedly knew this, but their writing on this issue leads to the type of bogus conspiracy evangelist generalisations, namely the idea that practically ‘everyone’ is in on any given plot.

While Hillenkoetter’s tenure as DCI, is noted for his astute navigation of the bureaucratic minefields in Washington, and it was Hillenkotter who was also behind the CIA’s unmandated covert operations at the behest of then Secretary of Defense James Forrestal. Yet, Hillenkotter (whom had been deeply reluctant to take the position as DCI of the CIA), was ill at ease about the agency operating outside of it’s original mandate. Forrestal, who had worked with both the Dulles brothers in the formation of the aforementioned CIA satellite OPC, shared no such concern.

That annoying little detour aside, Hillenkoetter, much like John McCone some eleven years later, really had no idea of the rather lethal capabilities of the persons underneath him. But he got the picture pretty sharply. Major D.H. Berger’s study The Use of Covert Paramilitary Activity as a Policy Tool is a useful insight into the politics of covert operations of this era. As are Col Fletcher Prouty’s commentaries. Hillenkotter appears to have wanted the CIA to have more oversight and coordinate its activities with other agencies; he also struggled with the idea of the CIA operating outside it’s mandate.


Comrade Cabell, in the Cabal

Let us return to a key figure in the early days of UFO investigations, the aforementioned General Charles Cabell who had been the inspiration behind the creation of Grudge in 1949 and Bluebook in 1951. The signing of the 1947 National Security Act by Harry Truman made the United States Air Force independent from the army. However, the longhorns in the OSS and the CIA, knew how to take advantage of the situation when the AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) was formed in 1948. Thereupon, one Charles Cabell stepped up to bat. In addition, he did not just bat, he hit it out into, well, space. Cabell, you can recall, had caused a great stir about the existence of UFOs, according to Ruppelt, by calling a high-level meeting with all his top staff about the issue (Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, pgs. 92-94). However, in 1951 he had moved on to the position of director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. By 1953 at Dulles’ ascension to the top job in the agency seemingly out of the blue, Cabell became Allen Dulles’ DDCI, going on to become the longest serving deputy in the CIA’s history. Cabell, whom had become an associate of Dulles since WWII, and was intensely loyal to him, had absolutely no problem whatsoever with the CIA’s sticking the knife into the USAF over the very time wasting UFO investigations that he himself had called for. Cabell played Judas to perfection. and while most biographical sketches tout Cabell's organizational ability, this seems to be only one aspect of the man. He was part of a complex disinformation campaign designed to spread confusion about UFOs throughout the US power structure itself, and if we recall Davidson’s comment about being shown the 1952 Tremonton, Utah film, well that was hardly an exclusive, it was actually hocked around the Pentagon and other places by the CIA.


Keeping the Brakes On the Imagination

While one could wax lyrical about the sinister brilliance of the Dulles gang’s machinations in befuddling the state with UFOs, one has to really put the brakes on here. There are a myriad number of legitimate security reasons for the rather elaborate deceptions they pulled in governmental and citizen circles. Furthermore, all intelligence agencies were doing something dirty in and around the area. The CIA quite simply was well organised, had the media onside, and had lots more cash. Pilkington explains much of this in his excellent, “Weapons of Mass Deception” article.

For instance, here was much discussion of the US’s inability to see behind the Iron Curtain and from at least 1952 onwards the USAF had planned for a series of competing tenders to create a high tech super sonic surveillance aircraft. Cabell would have been well aware of these endeavours and aspirations at this time. He also would have been aware of Curtis LeMay, and of the SAC’s reluctance to cut the CIA in on any counter surveillance action. This would lessen in later years as Colonel Fletcher Prouty explains that a number of CIA men were able to infiltrate the higher ranks of military circles via Air Force General LeMay, with PSYOP king Ed Lansdale being the most prominent. Eventually, by 1955, the CIA, the USAF, and Lockheed Martin had agreed on a course of action from which one time Atomic Energy Commission land near Groom Lake, Nevada would be used and the infamous Area 51, not to mention the U2 spy plane, would emerge in 1955-1956. However much credit Richard Bissell takes for managing the U2 spy flights, the forgotten heroes of the interdepartmental dirty war from the late forties till the U2 flights began really seem to be General Charles Cabell’s quite brilliant ducking and diving in Pentagon circles. Allen Dulles, whom though initially reluctant about the flights, with help from his brother appears to have gotten Eisenhower onside and kept the U2 a civilian CIA operation.

The Dulles cabal played the Wurlitzer and created false stories for their own benefit. This eventually blew back to influence official policy or inflame civic concern, or manipulate either side of a debate (often over nothing at all). This was the epitome of what a PSYOP was like, and what Mockingbird was all about. With Dulles’s allies, whom had been well entrenched in the media and military circles for decades, combined with the influence of his brother John Foster Dulles and their other Eastern Establishment buddies, he simply took advantage of the disorganization and the governments fixation on the ‘red menace’ to create an additional often benevolent Alien one. It’s ramifications have been felt ever since as explained in the important "Alien Overlords” article by Coppens which provides a vitally important back drop for everything I am going to cover in the essay, and from which I quote the following statement.

UFO incidents, did not evolve around whether or not UFOs were alien spacecraft, or, whether or not, ET crashed in Roswell and the Air Force put his tiny, grey body on ice. The UFO psychological warfare was a display by a small group of people, who pretended to have a big secret; a big secret they pretended to have the power to shield from the public as a whole, and the President and his entourage in specific. It was a mechanism whereby even the President was led to believe there were men somewhere in his government whom he had to fear tremendously. The latter was true - but not because they were in possession of alien beings. In truth, it was — and is — nothing more than an exercise in power, in which a myth was created, then promoted, then apparently covered-up, even though each cover-up was a confirmation of the existence of the myth, so that we would believe. In truth, it was an empty secret.
Last modified on Sunday, 23 October 2016 17:43
Seamus Coogan

Seamus Coogan is one of a number of JFK assassination researchers hailing from New Zealand and Australia.  He has devoted considerable effort to ferreting out and exposing unfounded and sensationalistic or far-fetched conspiratorial hypotheses.  His most notable contributions include those on John Hankey's JFK II, on Alex Jones, and on the Majestic Papers.  He  has also reviewed numerous books for this site.

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