Dr. Robert M. Wood – Reprinted from December 2017 MUFON Journal
In June of 2017 Heather Wade received a low legibility copy of 47 pages of text by email (see footnote) from a source yet to be identified. Because of the lack of provenance, together with the presence of some grammar and spelling errors, several well-known UFO researchers rejected this document as just another way for hoaxers to confuse serious UFO students and waste our time. Furthermore, the document was difficult to read in some spots. On the other hand, neither well-known Stan Friedman nor myself, both of whom have some credibility in document authentication, have yet to comment.
Respected investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe sought the opinion of a classification expert, who claimed numerous instances of inconsistency with known procedures of the era. Also, my occasional colleague and superb writer Nick Redfern offered multiple arguments against authenticity in two releases in June 2017. He claimed these pages were “not the real thing” because of numerous typographical errors “typically, you don’t see in government records”; because of inconsistency with the Eisenhower Briefing Document; and because of his incredulity of the EBE remarks. His second release offered four more anti-authenticity themes: (1) they’re not real because of errors in the Roswell debris recovery (true) and that the alleged Flat Rock genuine UFO base was actually first-named in the Crichton’s great fiction work, The Andromeda Strain. (2) they’re “suggestive of disinformation campaigns that had tales of crashed UFOs at their heart”; (3) they are a hoax, citing examples of prior hoaxes; (4) they are an experiment, by “a UFO skeptic, someone who is looking to see the major figures in the Roswell field endorse the papers, and as a result, come crashing down.”
However, at essentially the same time, Michael Salla offered two releases on his website www.exopolitics.org (which can still be found under Exopolitics Comments 395 and 396 there) and noted that both Dr. Wood and Stanton Friedman had stated they saw no evidence of forgery. He also noted the document’s content as dealing with US diplomatic relations with ETs, the possible role of Nikola Tesla, and the apparent interviews with an EBE recovered during the Aztec crash. His second release placed emphasis on the exceptional correlation of the questioned document (10 pages of 47) with the story details told in the historic UFO best seller, Behind the Flying Saucers, by Frank Scully, thereby implying that there was leak from the genuine crash investigation described in superb detail. Dr. Salla recommended further study of the 47 pages. I have done this.
It is not my plan in this article to argue pro or con these early releases by respected ufologists, but to tell the reader what I did that is new.
Reconstruction of the document
Because the 47 pages were very hard to read, I took the initiative to retype the document initially to understand what the words were. It became immediately apparent that this was originally typed on a typewriter because the character spacing was consistent with Elite typewriter font of 12 characters per inch. This knowledge also permitted the identification of “hard-to-read” words. Furthermore, it then became possible to clarify the exact errors in spelling and grammar and to create a table that identified each of them. It was also apparent that there were very likely two typists involved because for the first two sections, there were three spaces at the beginning of a new paragraph, and the last three sections had four spaces. It is commonly accepted that typists have their personalized preferences on how many spaces to use to begin a paragraph, thereby strongly suggesting two typists. This could be deemed important because it seems unlikely that someone hoaxing such a document would farm the work out to two different people, although this could be argued.
Everyone reading these pages has immediately noticed minor errors, and the retyping, together with an excellent knowledge of English and ufology, with the assistance of longtime skeptical researcher Steve Gill of MUFON Orange County, permitted the identification of 80 errors. These are shown in the adjacent columns. The nature of the errors is given in a summary table nearby. However, see the detailed table also nearby. If one contemplates why there were so many errors made in a document officially recorded on a microfilm, and you pronounce the word or phrase on the left and look at the correct one on the right, usually they sound essentially the same. This would be consistent with the document having been created as a result of taking dictation and having two different typists implement the words on paper. Furthermore, all the 15 errors for “its” are done by the typist who liked four spaces to start a paragraph. The other typist was asked to type “its” only three times and did them correctly each time. This is a reaffirmation that there were two typists, both dealing with dictated words, to create this document. This would be consistent with MJ-12 (stated in this case to be individual MJ-1) having dictated a one-time entry-level summary for the new person, since one apparently was not available from prior written records at the time of the alleged briefing.
Scope of the 47 pages
This MUFON Journal article will not attempt to hit all the fascinating highlights of the 47 pages in question. Each reader should order an easy-to-read copy rather than try to get the poor legibility download. See Journal ad on inside back cover. Basically, there are five parts of intellectual content: (1) objective, history and organization of MJ-12; (2) details of the 1947 Roswell crash recovery; (3) details of the 1948 Aztec crash recovery; (4) condensed conversations with the Aztec EBE; and (5) issue of the national security or the risk of cultural upheaval, together with diplomatic and cultural exchanges during the 70s and 80s visiting some of EBE’s worlds. Each of these, if factually correct, is a fascinating read, especially if you think of it as what was being told to a distinguished scientist as he was being formally briefed.
Who was being briefed?
There is a page with a signature on it, showing at the bottom left and replicated here. Shown for comparison are two signatures of distinguished professor Philip Morrison, one upon receiving his doctorate, and one at the bottom when he was at Cornell University. I am still seeking an example signature from MIT when he was older. Philip Morrison was a very distinguished professor, who was a protégé of Oppenheimer and very likely was “in the know” on security issues, although I have no evidence of this. There is evidence, however, that he was very collegial with Carl Sagan during his career, helping to arrange a symposium at the conclusion of the Colorado study in Boston. This event included Allen Hynek and James McDonald as speakers. Yours truly was also present, and I had the opportunity to shake Professor Morrison’s hand on that occasion, since I hadn’t seen him since he signed off on giving me my PhD at Cornell in 1953. Philip Morrison was the reviewer asked by the Scientific American magazine to write a book review about once a month, and I recall reading the exceptionally sophisticated evaluations of worthwhile literature.
This is the only signature on the document, and the first question might be whether it was the entry level person being briefed or the briefer. It seems much more reasonable that it was the person being briefed. The first three letters of the signature are in caps, PHI without completing the rest of the first name. If this indeed was Philip Morrison signing, he might have been told as he was signing that he couldn’t use block letters – they needed his real signature – and so he continued with his last name in script. Overall, what is the probability that the first three letters of a first name and the first four letters of a last name match a random name? This low probability is, I believe, strong indication that the person being briefed was Philip Morrison. Many have speculated that Carl Sagan, good friend and colleague of Philip Morrison, may have been the replacement for Don Menzel, the astronomer who was named originally as MJ-10 in the Eisenhower Briefing Document.
Another surprise: 30 patents based on the Aztec recovery?
While the 47 pages are filled with exceptional detail on many aspects of what MJ-12 wanted to tell the entry level person, some of these details had never been revealed, such as the specific names of those scientists who were involved in the crash recovery and how their specialties might relate. One of those was Horace Van Valkenburgh, whose name was misspelled Valkenberg in the document (remember: dictation?) and was identified as Director of the School of Metallurgy at the University of Colorado, an expert in analytical chemistry. It also stated that he was the holder of over 30 patents “based on research he began after his analysis of the structural materials of the disc-craft.” This seemed to be something that could be checked out, so I stopped by the UC Boulder library during a visit and found out that I needed to check with the archives. I usually have dinner with my half brother David when I’m in town, and I told him a bit about Van Valkenburgh and he remembered that our father used to be friends with a Professor Van Valkenburgh at the Boulder Rotary Club. He personally thought he remembered meeting his son or grandson, “Skip.” David mentioned this to our sister Phoebe Jane who immediately sent me an address and phone for Skip Van Valkenburgh. So, I called him, and he answered the phone. I asked him if he knew of a Van Valkenburgh who might have been at the University of Colorado in 1948, and he immediately said that would be his Grandfather, Horace B. Van Valkenburgh II. He said his grandfather moved to Arizona after retirement in 1951 and lived until 1961. Skip seemed to be quite interested in this story and I subsequently emailed him the paragraph that described his apparent grandfather. He asked some more questions and found that allegedly there had been a Van Valkenburgh who published an article in the Saucerian magazine, edited by Gray Barker that was a technical article about a crash recovery. The reference is Van Valkenburgh, H.B. UFO PROPULSION: ENGINES AND FUELS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS, HEAT GENERATORS, CHEAP ELECTRICITY. Clarksburg, W.Va.: Saucerian, 1981. 32p. I am attempting to get a copy of this article from the Clarksburg West Virginia library. Old copies of the Saucerian are selling on Amazon for hundreds of dollars.
Search for the patents
It would be exceptionally interesting if there have been patents issued to Van Valkenburgh II. (VVII). His son was VVIII and was a patent attorney so there are several entries with that name. However, assuming that the patent office does not make errors of II vs III in name suffixes, a search of patents has yielded no patents for Horace B. Van Valkenburgh II. It is established that VVII was a professor at the University of Colorado at that time, but he was a professor of chemistry, specializing in inorganics. There was no Department of Metallurgy.
Assuming that the DIA 47 pages are correct, and that 30 patents mentioned were based on the technical discoveries from the Aztec vehicle, either the patents were classified (USPO claims that all patents are public property, so the patent application is what would have been classified.) Therefore, one needs to find the original copies of the applications. I have spoken with the Arizona State University archives and they do not have any applications unfiled under the name Van Valkenburgh or Van Valkenberg. They thought that the U. of Arizona would be unlikely to have an archive containing patent applications. Therefore, the hunt for the alleged 30 + patents attributed to Van Valkenburgh remains alive.
A careful reading of these 47 pages has led me to encapsulate the arguments for authenticity as follows:
- The numerous spelling errors are consistent with two different typists working from dictated words for the narrative 37 pages that I retyped. The probability that a hoaxer would have two different people type the document and then not proofread it seems very small.
- If it is not a hoax, it states that is was dictated by MJ-1, who would be a very busy executive and might not take the time to proofread it since it seems likely that all copies for the meeting would have been routinely destroyed, including for the one that was used by security to make the microfilm apparently required by DIA security, the apparent source of the document we now have.
- Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain was published in May 1969. It is quite reasonable that the “Digger Command” location name of Flat Rock would have been humorously selected after that time based on the secrecy in the novel, and conjecture thus favors authenticity.
- The Eisenhower Briefing Document of 1952 states that the second crash occurred in 1960. This would be inconsistent with the Aztec crash following Roswell eight months later. The Aztec crash included the recovery of a live alien, and it is quite reasonable that Majestic Twelve did not want Ike to know this much. Keeping this secret from the President and the public would be logical and supports authenticity. The “White Hot” report contains redactions consistent with deleting all references to recovered aliens. See majesticdocuments.com.
- The apparent signature of Philip Morrison would be very consistent with him being the entry-level person being briefed. His early relationship with Oppenheimer, his distinguished career at Cornell and MIT, and his relationship with Carl Sagan support that this briefing was given to an appropriate person.
- The validation that Horace Van Valkenburgh II was the right person at the right time to have been deeply involved in the Aztec crash recovery. Although the search for 30 patents has yielded zero, it is possible that the patents were indeed never issued. The document stated that he was the holder of 30 patents, possibly alluding correctly to patent applications that are still classified.
Why should we care?
MUFON’s goal has always been to do the research to find the truth. It is well-known that Government policies have been consistent with concealing from the public those matters that would upset our society, and secrecy has been used to accomplish this. Therefore, the content of these 47 pages is consistent with what a newcomer to the classified UFO program should know about, as stated by Majestic Twelve.
However, because of the compartmentalization of classified material, it is possible that even Majestic Twelve did now know that the Navy was working on reverse engineering of a crashed UFO from the “Battle of L.A.” in 1942,* since MJ-12 was not formed until 1947. It is also possible that the scope of MJ-12 was limited. This document is a summary and is stated to be part of the Aquarius Project, just one of several.
Therefore, if our goal is to get the whole truth, we need to keep probing the edges of all links relentlessly, with these 47 pages being just one lucky leak that was not expected or controlled by any master plan. Dozens of Unacknowledged Special Access Programs (USAPs) have funded trillions of our dollars since the 1940’s. These 47 pages describe just a tiny portion of what has been done. More leaks like this may describe the truth about the reality of our reverse engineering achievements and the procedures used to interact with other ETs and achieve secret goals only dreamed of by most people.
Footnote from beginning of article: http://midnightinthedesert.com/exclusive-ultra-topsecret-assessment-situation-statement-position-ufos . This URL no longer opens properly [but is available on the internet archive].
*”Selected by Extraterrestrials: My life in the top secret world of UFOs, think-tanks and Nordic secretaries, William M. Tompkins, 2nd Printing 2016.