CSICOP's Online Archive of The Skeptics UFO Newsletter (SUN) #44, March 1997
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In 1983, Bill Moore Reportedly Discussed Possible Use Of Bogus MJ-12 Type Documents To Encourage New Roswell Witnesses To Speak Out

On April 16, 1983--less than two years before William L. Moore and Jaime Shandera claim they received the "Top Secret/Eyes Only" MJ-12 documents from an unknown source--Moore reportedly sought the reaction of his friend Brad Sparks, a respected UFO researcher, to the idea of creating such counterfeit government documents. Sparks strongly recommended against it. Later, when Sparks called Stanton T. Friedman, he was shocked to discover that Friedman defended Moore's idea.

Moore explained to Sparks that his and Friedman's efforts to locate persons who had been involved in (alleged) crashed-saucer recovery operations in New Mexico, and subsequent related events, had run into a dead end. During the April 16, 1983, meeting in Berkeley, Calif., Moore suggested that counterfeit government documents containing crashed-saucer information could be used to induce former military personnel to speak out and ignore their secrecy oaths. Sparks urged Moore not to resort to bogus documents, pointing out that if they contained any factual errors, this would identify the documents as counterfeit to those privy to the true facts. This, Sparks warned, could ruin Moore's reputation.

SUN first learned of Sparks' involvement in mid-1991 but he was reluctant to speak out. Subsequent events have overcome his reluctance. These include limited disclosure of Moore's idea of creating bogus documents by Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt in their 1994 book, "The Truth About The UFO Crash At Roswell." In a brief chapter debunking the MJ-12 papers, the book reports: "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."

Moore's idea may have been inspired by Sgt. Richard Doty, then assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) at Kirtland Air Force Base, in Albuquerque, N.M., with whom Moore developed a close friendship in the early 1980s. Doty was "involved" or suspected of being involved in the creation of several counterfeit government documents about bogus UFO incidents, as Moore later admitted in his 1990 report "The MJ-12 Documents: An Analytical Report," co-authored with Shandera. In 1985, Doty was transferred to an AFOSI post in West Germany and assigned to counter-intelligence work. Within two years Doty was dismissed from AFOSI for turning in bogus claims about his activities. He spent the last two years before retirement serving as the manager of the mess hall for noncommissioned officers at Kirtland AFB [SUN #7/Jan. 1991].


So far as is known to SUN, the term "MJ Twelve" first appeared on a one-page "Secret" teletype message involving UFO photos, dated Nov. 17, 1980, which Doty provided to Moore in early 1981. (This was roughly four years before Shandera reportedly received the MJ-12 roll of film in a brown wrapper postmarked "Albuquerque.") Moore showed a copy of this Doty teletype to Sparks and UFOlogist Kal Korff on Jan. 17, 1982. Several months later, after Moore was hired as a consultant for a UFO program for station KPIX-TV in San Francisco, he provided the TV show producer with a copy. [Subsequent investigation by researcher Robert Todd in early 1983 revealed the teletype message that Doty had provided was bogus.]

Skeptics UFO Newsletter -2- March 1997

During the April 16, 1983, meeting with Sparks, Moore briefly discussed a "Top Secret" Project Aquarius document which was cryptically mentioned in the Doty-provided teletype message. But it was not until their meeting on Oct. 19, 1984, that Moore showed Sparks several pages of a heavily censored Project Aquarius document, dated June 14, 1977, which appeared to be a UFO briefing for the President--then Jimmy Carter. The cover page carried the following notation: "ATTENTION: THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY MJ12 [sic]. MJ12 IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS SUBJECT MATTER." The second sheet read: "(TS/ORCON) The information contained in this document is classified TOP SECRET with ORCON (Only the originator may release the information). Only MJ12 has access to Project Aquarius. No other government agency, to include the military, has access to the information contained in this briefing. There are only two copies of Project Aquarius and the location is known only to MJ12. This document will be destroyed after the briefing. No notes, photographs or audio recordings may be made of this briefing." [Emphasis added.]

The Moore/Shandera report of 1990, offering their assessment of the authenticity of the MJ-12 papers, gave the following account of how Moore had obtained the Aquarius document: "In early March of 1983, Moore received a telephone call telling him that some information was going to be made available to him but that he would have to go and pick it up. `You will be receiving some instructions,' the caller said. `You must follow them carefully or the deal is off.' After making a cloak-and-dagger trip across the country, Moore ended up in a motel on the edge of a mid-sized city in upstate New York. At precisely 5:00 P.M., according to the arrangement, an individual came to the door of Moore's room bearing a sealed brown manila envelope. `You have exactly 19 minutes,' the person said. `You may do whatever you wish with this material during the time, but at the end of that time, I must have it back. After that, you are free to do whatever you wish.' Inside the envelope were 11 pages of what purported to be a Top Secret/Orcon document entitled `Executive Briefing: Subject: Project Aquarius,' and bearing the date of June 14, 1977. `May I photograph this?' Moore asked: `May I read it into a tape recorder?' The courier, who stood quietly in the corner of the room the entire time, replied: `Both are permitted. You have 17 minutes remaining."

According to Moore, he took photographs of each of the 11 pages, using light from the motel room lamp, and then read the text into his tape recorder "taking care to read in the word `line' at the end of each line, as well as verbally noting punctuation marks, etc. so that a complete reconstruction of the text could be made in the proper format should the photos not turn out. (They did, but all were of low contrast and, although legible, some were moderately out [of] focus as well.) When the time was up, the courier collected the pages, carefully counted them, replaced them in the original manila envelope, and left."


UFO/Cattle Mutilation researcher Linda Moulton Howe says she saw some of the same Project Aquarius papers several weeks later, on April 9, 1983, during her visit to Albuquerque to meet with Sgt. Doty. According to Ms. Howe, "Agent Doty said I was being shown the briefing paper because the government intended to release to me several thousand feet of color and black-and-white film taken between 1947 and 1964 showing crashed UFO discs and extraterrestrial bodies as historic footage to be included in the Home Box Office documentary [which Howe hoped to produce], supported with official government confirmation." Howe never got the (alleged) films.

When Ms. Howe's account was published in the December 1987 issue of Just Cause newsletter, Doty wrote its editor, Barry Greenwood, to flatly deny her report. Ms. Howe responded by submitting an affidavit attesting to the veracity of her account. Doty refused to do the same. Doty's letter of Mar. 3, 1988, published in the June 1988 issue of Just Cause, concluded: "I know of no secret Government investigation of UFOs. I have never heard of MJ-12 or any secret Government agency that investigates UFO." [Emphasis added.] Although Doty claims he had "never heard of MJ-12," "MJ Twelve" was mentioned in the bogus teletype message he provided to Moore.

Skeptics UFO Newsletter -3- March 1997


(There is good reason to believe that "Falcon"--Moore's highly placed intelligence official--was really Sgt. Doty--although both Moore and Doty deny it.)


In May of 1985--approximately five months after Shandera (allegedly) received the MJ-12 papers on a roll of undeveloped film and nearly two years before they were made public by Moore, Friedman and Shandera--Moore showed the MJ-12 papers to his friend Lee M. Graham, of Monrovia, Calif. Graham, a credulous UFO researcher, held a "Secret" clearance because of his job as a technician with Aerojet's ElectroSystems Div., working on the sensors used for the USAF's satellites designed to detect the launch of enemy ballistic missiles. On June 17, 1985, Graham made a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Dept. of Energy in Washington in which he briefly discussed Majestic 12, cited the (alleged) President Truman letter of Sept. 18, 1947, which created MJ-12, and even listed the names of its 12 members. (Graham erred, the Truman letter was dated Sept. 24, 1947; the Eisenhower briefing document was dated Nov. 18, 1952,)

Graham typically distributes many copies of his many FOIA letters to other UFOlogists, and so rumors began to circulate about new "Top Secret/Eyes Only" MJ-12 papers, which seemingly confirmed the Roswell crashed-saucer incident. These rumors reached Barry Greenwood, editor of the Just Cause UFO newsletter and in mid-October he made contact with Graham. As a result, the December 1985 issue of his newsletter became the first UFO publication to discuss MJ-12 and to list its 12 members, along with a biography for each. (The same issue of Just Cause included a copy of the "Doty teletype message," but Greenwood cautioned readers that its authenticity had not been verified.)

One important document that Moore did not show Graham was a one-page "Top Secret" memo, allegedly written by Robert Cutler, Special Assistant to President Eisenhower, on July 14, 1954, which referred to a "MJ-12 Special Studies Project." Moore and Shandera later claimed they found an unsigned carbon copy of this memo in July of 1985 during a visit to the National Archives in Washington. Allegedly, the White House memo was found in a carton of recently declassified USAF intelligence documents. (Subsequent investigation showed that Cutler was out of the country on the date the memo allegedly was written.)


SUN suspects that Moore's strategy for exploiting the MJ-12 papers was the following: he would publish snippets of information from the papers in his newsletter, FOCUS, attributing the information to his alleged high-intelligence sources. Later he would release the MJ-12 papers which seemed to authenticate the information from his (alleged) sources. Then Moore would be free to report any fanciful tale and attribute it to these sources. However, the MJ-12 papers were self-serving because they seemly confirmed the Roswell crashed-saucer scenario in the Berlitz/Moore book, with a few additions such as recovery of four ET bodies. If the MJ-12 papers had (allegedly) been sent only to Moore, via his associate Shandera, this might prompt suspicions that Moore had created them.

Skeptics UFO Newsletter -4- March 1997

An attracive solution to this problem emerged in late May of 1986--a year before the MJ-12 papers were made public--when Moore was visited by Timothy Good, a British UFOlogist who was in the U.S. to attend a UFO conference in Arizona and to gather material for his book "Above Top Secret," which would be published in July of 1987. If the MJ-12 papers were published in Britain in Good's new book shortly after Moore's release in the U.S., this would help divert suspicion that Moore might be involved in their creation. And the MJ-12 papers would achieve international fame quickly.

In late May of 1986, Lee Graham and his wife were invited to have dinner with Moore and Good at a restaurant in Tujunga, Calif. At dinner, Moore and Good made guarded quips about MJ-12. Later, Good ordered a carafe of wine and proposed a toast--but he did not disclose the reason for the toast and Graham opted not to ask. Later, Graham said he learned that "the toast was for the simultaneous release of the MJ-12 document in England and the U.S." Moore and Friedman were scheduled to be featured speakers at the 24th Annual National UFO Conference, which Moore was sponsoring, to be held in mid-June in Burbank, Calif. Advanced conference publicity said that they "will reveal some very startling material." With Good's book scheduled for publication in July, Moore could be the first to reveal MJ-12 papers in mid-June and Good's book would soon follow to provide independent corroboration. However, Good's publisher decided to hold a press
conference on May 29 and to feature the book's MJ-12 papers. Apparently, Good did not inform Moore of this until a few days before the London conference. Moore was running late in getting out the next issue of FOCUS, dated April 30, 1987, partially due to work associated with his upcoming UFO conference. But he managed to release the MJ-12 papers to the U.S. media on May 28--one day before Good.

The MJ-12 papers received widespread media coverage, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. They were featured on ABC-TV's popular "Nightline" program, with host Ted Koppel interviewing Stanton Friedman and SUN's editor.

Evidence that the timing of Good's press conference came as a surprise to Moore is found in the contents of the April 30 issue of FOCUS. It opened with an article in which Moore claimed he had "succeeded in establishing a cooperative relationship with a number of well-placed contacts within the American intelligence community....The information contained in the following pages corroborates information provided us verbally during meetings with these contacts. Assurances have been given that additional information can be made available to us over the next several months. This information is being shared with the UFO community, and through them, ultimately with the public at large...in the hope it will assist in setting the stage for additional information to come." This was followed by three very heavily censored pages from the Eisenhower briefing with all mention of MJ-12 blacked out.

The fact that Moore released complete, unexpurgated MJ-12 papers only a day or two after FOCUS went into the mail indicates that he was surprised by the timing of the press conference for Good's book. The next issue of FOCUS, dated Sept. 1, was largely devoted to MJ-12, but there was no mention of Good's new book.


At Good's press conference, when asked how he had obtained the MJ-12 papers, he replied that he had obtained them "from a reliable American source who has close connections with the intelligence community," according to a front page story in the May 31 edition of the London Observer. Later, both Good and Moore would deny that Moore was that American source.

Moore's one-page press release of May 28 which accompanied the MJ-12 papers, including the Cutler memo, had the following disclaimer: "Although we are not in a position to endorse its authenticity at this time, it is our considered opinion, based on research and interviews conducted thus far, that the document and its contents appear to be genuine." [Emphasis in original.]

Skeptics UFO Newsletter -5- March 1997

Although Moore had not been scheduled to speak at the annual MUFON conference, held in Washington in late June, he was a last-minute addition and delivered a lengthy report on the MJ-12 papers at the conference banquet. Moore concluded his talk with the following: "Now that it [MJ-12] is in the papers, if there is anything to it, others will come forward and say: `Well, now that it has been published in The New York Times, now we can talk.' We'll see. There have been a couple hints so far that maybe somebody will say something." Little more than four years earlier, Moore had suggested to Brad Sparks that this objective could be achieved by releasing bogus government documents.

[A subsequent issue of SUN will offer more evidence to identify the likely architect of the MJ-12 papers. Candidates include: Dolly Parton, Sgt. Richard Doty, Richard Nixon, Bill Moore, Pope John Paul, Jaime Shandera, Boris Yeltsin, Stanton Friedman and Sir Edmund Hillary.]

Counterfeit Version Of Authentic USAF Document Discovered

Extremely painstaking analysis by UFO-researcher Robert G. Todd has revealed one of the cleverest counterfeit Roswell-related documents ever discovered: a bogus version of a real "Secret" USAF document which was "doctored" so that it seems to suggest that a crashed saucer was recovered near Roswell. The doctored document is a counterfeit version of a draft Collection Memorandum prepared in late October of 1947 by the office of Brig. Gen. George F. Schulgen, Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Div. The Schulgen Collection Memorandum, prompted by the hundreds of UFO reports in the summer of 1947 which followed the initial June 24 report by pilot Kenneth Arnold, was intended to solicit data from overseas military attaches to determine if UFOs might be Soviet craft.

Todd's comparison of the authentic Schulgen Collection Memorandum (SCM) with the bogus version revealed that the counterfeiter had ADDED words to imply that as of the fall of 1947, top USAF officials knew that some UFOs were extraterrestrial craft, and DELETED a few words that indicated that they suspected that UFOs might be Soviet craft. For example:


The bogus Schulgen Collection Memorandum made its public debut in an article by William L. Moore, in the July/August 1986 issue of International UFO Reporter (IUR), published by the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). Moore's article was headlined: "Phil Klass and the Roswell incident: the skeptics deceived." It was a critical commentary on an article I had authored in the Spring 1986 issue of Skeptical Inquirer, published by CSICOP--a skeptics group. Moore cited the Schulgen memo as evidence "that somebody already had considerable data on the operation of flying disks..." But he included a comment that would later prompt Todd to check the authenticity of Moore's "draft" version: "This document is a five-page draft (not a final version) of a Secret data collection memorandum on flying discs, intended once finalized, for distribution to Air Force military attaches in Europe and Asia. Apparently the text of this draft met with someone's disapproval because the final version--a copy of which was found in a different file--had been somewhat reworked before being approved for distribution." [Emphasis added.]

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The bogus version is often cited by those promoting the Roswell crashed-saucer tale. For example, Stanton Friedman cites it in his book, "Crash At Corona," co-authored with Don Berliner, and Timothy Good does the same in both of his books, "Above Top Secret" and "Beyond Top Secret." Friedman characterized the (bogus) Schulgen memo as "the first known official mention of the possibility that some of the flying saucers might be extraterrestrial spacecraft." [Emphasis added.] The bogus Schulgen memo also was featured in a report compiled by Bruce S. Maccabee and distributed by the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR) immediately after the release of the MJ-12 papers.

The counterfeiter not only retyped the Schulgen memo to add and delete material but also had to counterfeit Schulgen's letter of transmittal so both would have the same typeface--as in the authentic versions. This task was complicated by the fact that the file copy of the original letter in the archives contained some hand-written notes. The counterfeiter was a little careless in creating the bogus letter of transmittal, providing subtle clues which could be easily overlooked--but not by eagle-eyed Todd. Todd's brilliant analysis is detailed in the Mar. 7 edition of his periodic newsletter, THE SPOT REPORT (formerly called THE COWFLOP QUARTERLY.) Copies will be distributed by Barry Greenwood with the next issue ofhis Just Cause newsletter, or can be obtained directly from Todd for $2.50. Todd's address: 2528 Belmont Ave., Ardmore, Pa. 19003-2617

Another Major Roswell Crashed-Saucer Proponent "Abandons Ship"

Kent Jeffrey, who organized the International Roswell Initiative--which got more than 25,000 persons to sign a petition asking the President to issue an Executive Order to declassify any government-held information on the "Roswell Incident" or UFOs in general--will soon reveal that he no longer believes that an ET craft crashed in New Mexico in 1947. In early January, Roswell researcher Karl T. Pflock publicly disclosed his revised view that "no flying saucer or saucers crashed in the vicinity of Roswell or on the Plains of San Agustin in 1947" [SUN #43/Jan. 1997].

Jeffrey, who is an international pilot with a major U.S. airline, is expected to explain his change of heart in a feature article to be published in an upcoming issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. Jeffrey was one of the first Roswell researchers to challenge the authenticity of the "Alien Autopsy" film, and coined the acronym SCAM (Santilli's Controversial Autopsy Movie). Jeffrey's views on the Roswell crashed-saucer claim began to change as a result of his study of once "Secret" documents, such as the Nov. 8, 1948, letter from Col. H.M. McCoy, Chief of the Air Materiel Command's Intelligence Dept., at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, addressed to the USAF's Chief of Staff, Attention: AF Office of Intelligence Requirements. McCoy's two-page letter, reporting the results of analysis of 180 UFO reports, concluded: "Although it is obvious that some types of flying objects have been sighted, the exact nature of those objects cannot be established until physical evidence, such as that which would result from a crash, has been obtained." [Emphasis added.]

SUN compliments Jeffrey and Pflock for their intellectual honesty and courage in being willing to publicly reverse their positions on the basis of new information.

SUN will not try to predict who might be the next "Roswell Incident skeptic-convert" (RISC). However, we can confidently predict who will not be the next RISC: Stanton T. Friedman. If Friedman were abducted by honest-to-goodness ETs and they told him that the Roswell Incident did not involve a crashed saucer, Friedman almost certainly would accuse the ETs of being "government disinformation agents." (Friedman is a "disinformation expert.")

Skeptics UFO Newsletter -7- March 1997

Santilli's "Alien Autopsy" Copyright Claim To Be Tested In Court

For nearly two years, Ray Santilli has avoided the opportunity to have Eastman Kodak test a small strip of his "Alien Autopsy" film to verify the claim that it was processed in 1947. But new insights as to its authenticity may emerge from a trial slated to begin March 31 in the Federal Circuit Court in Los Angeles. Kiviat Productions, which obtained rights to Santilli's controversial autopsy movie (SCAM) for three broadcasts on the Fox Network, and Trimark Pictures, which obtained home-video sales rights for SCAM, are suing talk-show host Chuck Harder because his non-profit company sold unauthorized home videos of SCAM. Harder said this was done so listeners could view the film and decide whether they believed it was authentic. Harder's attorney, Robert Persante, is expected to argue that if claims made by Santilli and Kiviat's TV show are true, then the "Alien Autopsy" film is the property of the U.S. government and therefore cannot be copyrighted. Regrettably, Santilli himself is NOT a party to the U.S. litigation. Otherwise he would be required to testify under oath--subject to penalty for perjury--either in court or under deposition.

In England, one of Santilli's companies has initiated legal action against Marshall Cavendish, a British company which publishes UFO Magazine, for printing still photos from SCAM without authorization. Its editor, Graham Birdsall, is an outspoken critic of SCAM's authenticity. SUN does not know when the British suit is scheduled for trial.


Santilli usually avoids making an unqualified endorsement of the authenticity of SCAM. But his recent decision to sell TV rights to a short home video of what purports to be an interview with the SCAM cameraman, allegedly filmed by the cameraman's son, could be damaging to his copyright claims. In the video, first broadcast on Japan's Fuji TV network last Dec. 19, the (alleged) cameraman says: "I am the person who shot the film....I want you to know that I am not happy that I have betrayed my country. Our United States of America is the greatest country in the world....It wasn't my decision to become a cameraman in the military..." Near the end, the alleged cameraman says: "Frankly, I wish I had never sold the film. He [Santilli] came back to me until I sold him the film. I sold the film because I needed money. I'm not proud of it. Santilli took about 25 rolls." Fuji reportedly paid $5,000 to air the six-minute segment.

Kiviat Productions, which acquired U.S. broadcast rights to the SCAM cameraman inter-view, has been unable to find a TV network customer--so far as is known. This is not surprising. The alleged cameraman reads prepared answers to 10 innocuous questions, which provide scant new information, and refuses to answer two others. Although the cameraman is alleged to be in his late 80s, the man in the video appears to be at least 10 years younger.

Even Bob Shell, editor of Shutterbug magazine, who has had cordial relations with Santilli and once said he was 95% confident that SCAM was authentic, characterizes the cameraman video as "a piece of crap. It's not an interview. It's reading from a prepared script." The only person other than Santilli and his associates who has talked (by telephone) to the alleged SCAM cameraman is British UFOlogist Philip Mantle. Two years ago, Mantle received a Santilli-arranged call from the alleged cameraman and they talked for about 15 minutes. Thus Mantle might be able to assess whether the voice of the cameraman in the video sounds familiar. According to Shell, Mantle has made "a couple trips to London to see and listen to the camerman's video interview but Santilli has found some excuse for not showing it to him."

In mid-1995, according to Shell, Santilli agreed to supply him with a film sample for tests by Eastman Kodak, and later that year Santilli agreed to Shell's request for an interview with the SCAM cameraman. When SUN recently asked Shell if he had become "more disillusioned" because Santilli had not provided either, Shell responded: "I would say more frustrated and angry. I would like to bring this thing to closure."

Skeptics UFO Newsletter -8- March 1997

Short Shrift:

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its Editor--unless otherwise noted--and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated--or his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.