MJ12 Under the Microscope

William L. Moore and Jaime Shandera. The MJ-12 Documents: Am Analytical report. Fair Witnss Project, 1990.

This long awaited report on the (infamous MJ-12documents has finally appeared, just when everyone thought MJ-12was dead and buried. It is billed as "the best researched and most important book ever published on the subject of the great UFO cover-up". It should be read in conjunction with Stanton Friedman's own report published a few months earlier; since M& S confine themselves purely to forensic matters and refer readers to Friedman's paper for other pro-MJ-12 evidence.

In addition to the three primary papers the authors present a whole host of documents, some authentic, others decidedly dubious, going back to 1977. Although they claim these papers are necessary for an understanding of the wider issues they look as though they are included more as padding. The shady semi-official character 'Falcon' pops up over and over again, and the former AFOSI agent Richard Doty is also heavily involved in these associated documents.

The thing that stands out above all else is the authors' insistence that all the documents under consideration are either genuine or, if not, are partly 'official disinformation'. They will not concede that any are fakes pure and simple by a private individual. The reader is thus conditioned to see things from this narrow cloak-and-dagger viewpoint only.

Sceptic's arguments are dissected one by one and demolished with a wealth of in-depth analysis, some of which looks good, some very contrived. An example of the latter is the idea that Hillenkoetter dictated his briefing papers into a dictaphone for transcription by someone else. The authors suggest this explains why the word 'liaison' is misspelt twice, since Hillenkoetter (with "his background in French") would never have done this himself. A ridiculous idea since, apart from increasing the security risk of the top-secret MJ-12 operation, he would still have had to read his own dictation to check its correctness and would have discovered the misspellings then.

Among the many omissions of anti MJ-12 data in the report are: Doty's later fall from grace in the USAF; or Wescott's later change of opinion on the Hillenkoetter-Eisenhower paper; the lack of a single other document written in Cutler's name during his absence abroad in July 1954; the failure of the authors to admit they possessed the Truman-Bush memo (i.e. the one containing the signature that was lifted to go on the Truman MJ-12memo) at least two years before December 1984, when Shandera received the film; their failure to display the cryptic postcards (allegedly sent from New Zealand) that led them to the National Archives to find the Cutler memo' and the failure to acknowledge that despite all their research efforts not a single valid example of a zero-in-a-date has turned up In official fries, and that no ufologist apart from Moore seems to adopt this dating style.

The Menzel red-herring in brought up yet again. This is the argument that, because nobody could have known about Menzel's so-called 'double life' before Friedman discovered the doctor's long post-war association with the US military, no forger could possibly have put Menzel on the MJ-I2 list. Of course a forger could and did, for a good reason.

The swipe at "high school educated researchers" on p.51 is offensive, and the third paragraph on p.21 is a good example of the lofty stance taken by MJ12 throughout the report. They insist that they alone are onto something big and Important while other ufologists are stumbling about blindly, unaware of the larger UFO picture around them. Although the meticulous typewriter analysis is very interesting (with resolution, it is claimed, down to 10 microns in places), it reveals almost an obsession with typefaces, photography, rubber stamps, official styles, formats, etc. In fact, reading between the lines any rational thinker should be able to deduce how the forgery was done.

The report will help, temporarily, to regenerate interest in a topic that had virtually sunk without trace. At $25 for 110 pages it is perhaps better value than Friedman's report; but it is undoubtedly wise, taking the authors' own words, to treat it as part dis- or mis- information, part spy fiction, with a moderate dose. here and there, of fact. -- Christopher Allan, from Magonia 39, April 1991.

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