MJ12: Myth or Reality?
Did a secret government panel once intensively study a crashed-UFO case with compelling physical evidence at its disposal? Did this panel set the UFO debunking policy for the government which persists to this day? These are certainly questions which have echoed throughout UFOlogy for decades, generating scores of wild rumors. Many of the rumors died a quick death while others lingered, helped along mainly by a cadre of conspiracy theorists/supporters. One such story was Frank Scully's Artec, New Mexico UFO crash, which formed the basis for the 1950 book "BEHIND THE FLYING SAUCERS". In virtually all of theses cases, the substance necessary to the credibility of the story was sorely lacking.
Recent revelations have shown that at least a small number of the surviving rumors deserve a day in court, most notably the Roswell, NM incident of 1947, involving the alleged crash of a UFO and the recovery and study of the debris (and bodies) at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB, OH).
A relatively new rumor has surfaced which we would like to discuss in some detail because it is new and it bears some interesting connections to old stories. CAUS does not yet endorse this as fact. Our long-standing policy of requiring conclusive government documentation still stands and will always stand. We have yet to see such documentation in this instance. Nevertheless, it is hoped that open discussion will elicit practical response toward proving or burying this latest tale.
During the final stages of "CLEAR INTENT" [Greenwood and Fawcett, 1984], I had collected documents related to multiple sightings of UFOs over Kirtland AFB, NM in August, 1980. The story of this series of reports is in the Epilog of CLEAR INTENT. What wasn't inserted in the book was a document, allegedly a government document, which had made the rounds in the so-called UFO grapevine. It told of an analysis performed of the "Dr. Bennewitz" photographic data which had been part of the subject matter in the confirmed AFOSI [Air Force Office of Special Investigations] file release on Kirtland. It concluded that some of the photos were "legitimate negatives of unidentified aerial objects. " The document went on to discuss, very briefly, a top-secret "Project Aquarius" and something called "MJ 12". These terms meant little to us at the time so inquiries were launched to determine the origin of the terms and the document.
No government agency had any knowledge of the matter, and the alleged originator, AFOSI, said that the document was a "fabrication". Since we had no evidence to prove otherwise and since the document came from a source other than the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act], I chose not to use it in CI. My copy of the Aquarius document contained several misspellings and irregularities in format, further adding to my suspicions but I did not rule out the possibility of this perhaps being a retyped version of an original, legitimate document by a "mole" in the military. The piece was filed and remained in limbo for a time.
This past summer the mysterious "MJ12" portion of the Aquarius document surfaced again when CAUS was advised by several members that California UFO researcher Lee Graham was conducting inquiries into MJ 12, apparently based on specific information from an unknown individual in the government. The specifics were rather intriguing.
MJ12, or Majestic 12, was a panel formed to investigate and report its findings to the President of the United States on the matter of Unidentified Flying Objects. It addressed in particular the Roswell, NM incident of July 2, 1947. The panel consist
The following article is the first of two parts excerpted from "Just Cause", the quarterly newsletter of CAUS, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy. Run by Barry Greenwood and Lawrence Fawcett, this organization attempts to gain access to government documents on UFOs through the Freedom of Information Act.
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