MJ-12 Documents

What the fuss is all about. Are they forgeries?

On December 11, 1984, TV Producer Jaime Shandera found two documents stamped TOP SECRET in his mailbox. One was dated September 24, 1947, the other November 18, 1952. The first was signed by President Harry Truman. The second was addressed to President Dwight Eisenhower from Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, a former director of CIA.

The document signed by Truman claimed to be a classified executive order to Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, authorizing him to establish a board of experts, answerable only to the President, and to be known as Majestic-12 (MJ-12). Their job was to investigate the crash of a Flying Saucer near Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947.

The documents appeared to be proof that the Roswell saucer, long the subject of rumor and speculation, had really happened. The second document supported the first and was a top secret briefing for the newly elected President on the members of MJ-12 and their progress in the investigation.

Shandera waited for over two years to make the documents public on May 29, 1987. His associates in the revelation were William Moore, coauthor of The Roswell Incident, and crashed saucer expert Stanton Friedman. Moore's and Friedman's theories stood to be vindicated if the documents were real!

The three claimed to have found further documentary backing for the existence of MJ-12 in the person of a "highly placed military intelligence operative" who could authenticate the story. The source was discredited when he turned out to be a USAF sergeant once found guilty of falsifying documents.

The documents, subjected to intense scrutiny, were soon shown to have been falsified as well when it was revealed that the 1947 document was actually written on a Smith Corona typewriter not manufactured until 1963. Hillenkoetter's memo was dated in an odd mixture of civilian and military styles and he had signed himself Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, which form was never used before or since on any of the volumes of surviving correspondence. A close inspection of Truman's signature revealed that it was a photocopy of a signature on a letter from Truman to nuclear scientist, Dr. Vannevar Bush, written on October 1, 1947. Since Hillenkoetter's memo refers specifically to Truman's "Classified Executive Order" of 1947, it follows that both are fakes.

The MJ-12 documents may be a case of someone conspiring to create a conspiracy. The clumsiness of the hoax suggests that it may have been intended to be exposed, thereby implicating the CIA or other intelligence agencies (who would have easy access to the signatures) in an attempt to discredit the pro-UFO groups and, in particular, Stanton Friedman, who has researched and documented the Roswell crash for many years.

But the evidence, if not planted by intelligence agencies, appears to indicate that one of the pro-UFO groups invented the evidence that they were convinced really existed somewhere. When all the evidence points to only one conclusion, you can bet the evidence has been planted. Anyone who produces such evidence, particularly if it irrefutably supports their theory will, with good reason, be first to fall under suspicion. That does not mean, however, that they perpetrated the hoax!

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