The Majestic-12 papers- ostensibly
"leaked" Top Secret memorandums- has long enjoyed substantial cachet
among some authors and proponents of the UFO Crash at Roswell
theory. They are proof, they say, not only that the Crash really
happened (which version of the Saga is hotly debated,
though), but that The Government is actively involved in a
conspiracy to hide the saucer and alien bodies from the public.
Since the first
appearance of the Majestic-12 documents, a small cottage
industry seems to have sprung up to "leak" more papers, including yearly
summaries, cryptic memos, and the Operations Manual detailing the engagement rules of
UFO/Alien crash sites. We look at the SOM-1 manual here.
There are many sites, both pro and con, dealing with the
Majestic-12 papers. One of the most complete is the
Majestic Documents site- a site
definitely of the opinion the the MJ-12 papers are authentic. For another skeptical
point of view, try About.com's
excellent three-part article or Tim
Printy's outstanding site.
What the conspiracy advocates fail to mention in their writings is
that the MJ-12 papers are a complete forgery!
The story of how the original MJ-12 papers came to light is an
interesting look into the mindset of some of the leading UFO
researchers, and an excellent example of the quality of UFO evidence
that is acceptable to some people,
The Majestic-12 papers first came to light in 1984, when a film
cassette with photographs of the papers were mailed to
Jaime Shandera. At the time, Shandera was not involved with UFO
research and was a little known producer of documentaries. So one
might be quite curious as why the papers were "leaked" to him,
unless you know that one of Shandera's good friends was UFO
researcher and author William Moore
(see below!). Together with
Stanton Friedman, they eventually released the papers some two
years later. These papers became cornerstones in several books about
Roswell, including Stanton Friedman's Crash at Corona and
TOP SECRET/ MAJIK.
The Majestic-12 documents consisted of an eight page briefing paper
to President Eisenhower detailing a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico
in 1947, another crash at El Indio, Texas in 1950, and listing the
members of the government's special Majestic-12 or "MJ-12" UFO
group. It was dated "18 November, 1952", and it named "Admiral"
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter as the briefing officer. There was also a
memo from President Harry S Truman to Secretary of Defense Forrestal
that authorized the creation of the MJ-12 group.
One would assume that the term Majestic-12, which
was the alleged code-name of a Very Top Secret panel of leading
government and military figures, would not be known outside of the
The term "MJ Twelve" was apparently first used on a one-page
"Secret" teletype message dated Nov. 17, 1980, which Richard Doty
provided to Moore in early 1981, who in turn, showed a copy of the
telegram to researchers Brad Sparks and Kal Korff on Jan. 17, 1980.
Doty at this time was an agent for Air Force Intelligence, who had
earlier admitted to forging other UFO documents (the Elsworth
Document). At the time the Shandera received the film canister, Doty
was stationed at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. The
envelope the film arrived in was postmarked Albuquerque, NM.
(Robert Todd, a very determined and competent UFO researcher,
investigated the teletype message, and showed that it was a hoax in
We next hear of the term when William Moore approached former
National Enquirer reporter Bob Pratt in January 1982. Pratt was
asked to collaborate on a novel by Moore. The working title of this
novel was to be MAJIK-12(!). Consider that the alleged MJ-12
documents would not be "leaked" to Shandera until 1984, and we see
the seeds of suspicion starting to grow.
Next, we have this: "According to Friedman, among others, Moore had
suggested as early as 1982 that he wanted to create Roswell
documents, thinking that it might open doors that were closed."
(The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell, Randle and Schmitt)
This was two years before the alleged MJ-12 documents were mailed
to Shandera (Moore’s good friend) in 1984!
Then in 1983, Moore sought Brad Sparks reaction to a plan of his to
create counterfeit government documents. Moore told Sparks he
believed that counterfeit documents could be used to induce former
military officers to speak out about what the gov’t really knew
about UFOs and the cover-up. Sparks suggested strongly that Moore
not do this. Sparks was so upset that he called Stanton Friedman and
found, to his shock, that Friedman thought that the hoaxing of such
documents was a good idea.
1983, a year before the alleged MJ-12 documents were mailed to
Shandera (Moore’s good friend) in 1984!
To anyone of a suspicious mind, this activity of Moore’s might look
Moore, Shandera, and Friedman altered the appearance of the MJ-12
documents in their first release of the Focus newsletter to give the
appearance of government censorship. They later had to admit that
they did it themselves.
At the ON UFO Symposium Proceedings, "MJ-12 and Phil Klass: What
are the facts?" by William L. Moore and Stanton T. Friedman: They
included a reproduction of the mail packet addressed to Jaime
Shandera. The bottoms of the postmarks were blackened out on all
three postmarks. This would have shown the state and city that the
mail packet was mailed in. In the presentation, Moore and Friedman
stated the package "bore no return address".
In reality, there was a return address. It was Albuquerque, NM!
Guess who lived in Albuquerque, NM. Richard Doty- associate of
William Moore! If the address had been shown, people might have
started checking more on Doty. But Moore and Friedman stated that
the package bore no return address.
Aside from the suspicious origins of the Majestic-12 papers, there
are several problems with the documents themselves.
The Date: Military documents were formatted using strict
guidelines, including the structure of dates. At the time the MJ-12
briefing was alleged to have been written, the format was day month
year. No commas, no place-holding zeros. But the date in the MJ-12
document used a day month (comma) year format. This brief was
supposedly generated at the very highest level of the military; a
level that would not have made such a fundamental error in format.
Hillenkoetter's Rank: The document refers to "Admiral"
Hillenkoetter, when his true rank was REAR Admiral. In casual speech
or among civilians this error might occur, but a military man would
never make such an error. It was the military that wrote the brief.
Verbiage: Two terms used in the document were not in use
during the 50's. The word "media" to refer to the Press did not
appear until the 70's. Likewise the term "impacted".
Security: The Cutler-Twining memo is stamped "Top Secret
Restricted Information". There was no such classification in 1954.
Not until the Nixon era was this classification used.
Code Word MAJIC: This appears to be the code name assigned
to this project. However, this would constitute a major violation of
the code naming scheme used by the military for well over a decade.
Secure projects are assigned code names from a one-time use list that
is shared by all parts of the military and civilian government
bodies. Just prior to WWII, the code name MAGIC was assigned to the
effort to break the high security Japanese diplomatic code. The
project was still under the wraps of Top Secret in the early 50's so
it could not be "re-used". Yet, here we have the term MAJIC being
applied to the Majestic-12, an assignment that clearly could not
MJ-12 proponents point to the different spelling, but the code list
was constructed to avoid phonetic similarities that could cause
confusion in oral communications. It would appear that the author(s)
of the Majestic briefing papers were conscious of the newly
de-classified story of the MAGIC operation when this was concocted.
There are several other points that one might accurately call
minor, but when you take all these errors together in one set of
documents, the coincidence level redlines.
So, are the Majestic-12 documents forgeries? Anyone who has looked
at the history and evaluations would have no choice but to be
suspicious. Stanton Friedman continues to be a staunch supporter,
but as much of his "proof" about the Roswell Incident would
disappear if he changed his mind, you have to wonder about his
motives. William Moore, on the other hand, has recently written that
he his now of the opinion that a saucer crash at Roswell never
happened. This would mean that the MJ-12 documents, which were
released as a result of his efforts, would have to be a forgery!
Phil Klass says no.
Kevin Randle says no. Carl Sagan said no. Curtis Peebles says
no. Jacques Vallee says no. The National Archives say no. The FBI
says no. The Air Force says no. When the
GAO was conducting its Roswell investigation for Congressman
Steven Schiff, it asked the same government agencies involved in
that investigation to also check their records for anything on
"MJ-12" or "Majestic". All of them reported that nothing could be
found that mentioned either term. The final analysis was that the
MJ-12 documents are forgeries.
If they were forged, then who did write them? The documents in the
original group all seem to be centered on Bill Moore and Richard
Doty. The Aquarius telex, the proposed novel, the proposal to
"create" government documents. Ultimately, it really does not matter
who did, so long as we understand that someone in the UFO movement
felt that it was vitally necessary to create "proof" where none