Stanton Friedman



For almost sixty years the public has been hearing about flying saucers and then UFOs. Press coverage has ebbed and flowed, but polls have always shown a very high awareness score. Motion pictures, tabloids, and TV programs have picked up the slack with a mélange of fiction and some truth. Unfortunately, much of what we have been told by the “powers that be” has been false. Many different government agencies have shared in the misrepresentation and have provided outright LIES as well. These include the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, United States Air Force, etc. The press and certain other academic and supposedly scientific groups, such as SETI (Silly Effort To Investigate) have often blindly accepted and promulgated nonsense without any effort to get at truth. Hopefully, the LIES presented in this paper will help cause these protectors of the public to do their job: seek and present truth.

LIE: An untrue statement made with intent to deceive (Webster’s)


F or many years much of the focus in serious ufology has been on the government’s cover-up of UFO information. I can guarantee a laugh when at my lectures I show the 1980 NSA 21-page legal-sized TOP SECRET UMBRA justification (a legal affidavit) for withholding 156 UFO documents in response to an FOIA suit by CAUS (Citizens Against UFO Secrecy). Initially it was 75% blacked out. I turned page after page on which one could read nothing. This also went over well on television since one needn’t read anything. I also quote from the November 18, 1980, response by Federal Judge Gerhart A. Gesell, who wasn’t allowed to see any of the disputed documents. His comment in his ruling was that “The public interest in disclosure is far outweighed by the sensitive nature of the materials and the obvious effect on national security their release may well entail.” The Federal Court of Appeals agreed with him and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. In about 1997 the NSA decided that because of the new Executive Order 12958, making it much tougher to continue to keep documents more than twenty-five years old classified, they released a much more lightly censored affidavit with only 20% blacked out. In addition they “released” all 156 UFO documents.

Unfortunately, they used Wite-Out to cover-up all but one or two lines per page. Whited out pages don’t have quite the same impact on television as solid black areas. A number of people in ufology then gave me a hard time saying that now it was clear that there was no cover-up. They reluctantly admitted that one couldn’t read what was under the Wite-Out. Still they insisted, per the NSA, that everything covered up was just about Sources and Methods, which by law could not be released. They also took note of the fact that the lines one could read often said “Probably a Balloon” after the mention of a UFO. This seems highly unlikely considering that NSA’s job is to monitor foreign military communications. Why was the material filed under UFOs, if there was nothing of substance? I should point out that I have very quietly talked to a number of former NSA people who told me they often intercepted UFO reports from foreign pilots.

Another important aspect of the cover-up is the October 20, 1969, statement by USAF Brigadier General Carroll Bolender, while reviewing Project Blue Book, with which he had no previous connection: “Moreover reports of UFOs which could effect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 and Air Force Manual 55-11 and are not part of the Blue Book System.” Two paragraphs later he noted “However, as already stated, reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose.” I spoke with Bolender and it was clear that he understood the distinction between civilian reports and ones which could effect national security. Clearly the sightings of most interest are the ones that could effect national security. Blue Book wasn’t even on the distribution list for sightings reported under JANAP 146 or AF Manual 55-11. I well remember the frustration expressed by Blue Book Scientific consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek when I told him about the Bolender memo at a West Coast MUFON Symposium in 1979. He felt very used.

But if they weren’t part of Project Blue Book, where were the important cases documented? Why haven’t we been told about them? Why does the USAF always respond to queries about UFOs by referring to Blue Book and the fact that it was announced as being closed in December, 1969? I have heard, for example, of flying saucers being observed going right down the runway of a Strategic Air Command base. Unfortunately, my informants don’t provide classified documents. There is testimony, but no proof. I must admit it is also true that people have found plenty of Project Blue Book sightings that were brushed off by Blue Book that, upon much more careful investigation, turned out to be significant cases. Dr. James McDonald in his congressional testimony (Ref. 1) talked about some of these. Brad Sparks and Jan Aldrich of Project 1947 have also been working on these sorts of cases. USAF Pilot manuals still have instructions for reporting UFOs despite the USAF still claiming they now have no interest in UFOs.

In this paper what I intend to do is provide numerous examples of flat out LIES by various government agencies and individuals about UFOs.

LIES about Roswell

LIES about the recovery of a crashed flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico, in July, 1947, have gone on for fifty-eight years. Evening newspapers across the USA from Chicago west on July 8, 1947, carried front page headlines stating that the government had recovered a flying saucer on a ranch outside Roswell. That the cover-up went into effect quickly is shown by the full-width front page headlines later that same day in the Los Angeles Herald Express “Army Finds Flying Saucer.” In smaller print on the next line the LIE was in place: “General
General Roger Ramey
General Roger Ramey Smithsonian Institute
Believes it is Radar Weather Gadget.” Earlier, newspapers east of California only had the “finds saucer” story. Within just a few hours of the press release from Roswell announcing the find, Brigadier General Roger Ramey, then Commander of the Eighth Air Force based at Ft. Worth Air Field in Texas was LYING to the press and the public that it was just a radar reflector balloon combination. Pictures were taken in his office showing phony wreckage not matching at all the description given by Major Jesse Marcel who had retrieved a small part of the wreckage located by rancher Mack Brazel “last week” according to all the July 8 stories. Ramey really had chutzpah since he was holding a folded piece of paper in his hand with printing on it that Dr. David Rudiak has deciphered including such phrases as “victims of the wreck.”

The Army Air Force solidified the weather balloon radar gadget explanatory LIE with the launching of such a device for the press over at Alamogordo Army Air Field on July 9. The full-width July 10 front page headline of the Alamogordo News, with three related pictures, was “Fantasy of ‘Flying Disc’ Explained Here.” There was a 24-column-inch front page article. It was accepted, though it was perfectly obvious that the weather balloons could not explain all the sightings of high speed objects such as those observed by Kenneth Arnold on June 24.

It took until 1994 for the USAF to make a preemptive strike against the GAO, searching for Roswell information for congressman Steven Schiff, by finally admitting that they had LIED about the weather balloon explanation. They LIED again to do it, now falsely, in a two-inch-thick volume The Roswell Report: Truth vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert  (Ref. 2 ) by USAF Colonel Richard Weaver (he provided the fiction). He claimed that the Roswell wreckage had been a super secret Mogul balloon train found on June 14, 1947, by rancher Brazel. In the first place, June 14 is hardly “last week” from July 8. In the second place, the characteristics of the wreckage described by witnesses don’t match Mogul balloons. For the latter the paper-backed foil could easily be torn, the balsa wood sticks were easily broken, cut, and burned. The I-beams described by Jesse Marcel could not be broken, cut or burned. In the third place, it was claimed that the unusual symbols described by people like Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr. were from a toy manufacturer’s tape used to hold the radar targets together. Isn’t it amazing that the Air Force has not been able to show a picture of any such tape nor are such symbols visible in the high-resolution photos taken in Ramey’s office?

In the fourth place, USAF Colonel Richard Weaver, a disinformation specialist, in
his huge, grossly misleading report (Ref. 2) carried a LIE by Counter Intelligence officer Colonel Sheridan W. Cavitt claiming “The area of this debris was very small about 20 feet square and the material was spread on the ground, but there was no gouge or crater or other obvious sign of impact. I remember recognizing this material as being consistent with a weather balloon. We gathered up some of this material which would easily fit into one vehicle.” Cavitt also LIED in saying that he had not met the rancher. The only way he and Jesse Marcel could have found the crash site would have been to follow the rancher out. Jesse indicated that Brazel had given them a can of beans and they stayed overnight in their sleeping bags. Considering that a Mogul balloon train consists of 20-25 standard neoprene weather balloons tied with string at twenty-foot intervals, with ballast packs, sonobuoys and radio transmitters, and stretched over 500 feet, it would have been impossible to fit such a pack in one vehicle. If Cavitt’s description had been accurate, there would have been absolutely no reason for Marcel and Cavitt to follow the rancher out, much of the trip cross country at that. The debris would all have fit in Brazel’s pick-up truck and would have all been left in town. The reason Marcel went out to the ranch was
Major Jesse Marcel
Major Jesse Marcel Photo: Dr. Jesse Marcel
because there was nothing conventional in what Brazel brought in and because Brazel had indicated that the wreckage had covered an area hundreds of feet wide and three quarters of a mile long, and his sheep wouldn’t cross the debris field. Remember that Brazel had recovered weather balloons before and also had first heard on July 5 in Corona about flying saucers and a reward for recovery of one. It is interesting indeed that Weaver also quoted heavily from the Roswell Daily Record of July 9 with the new story for Brazel (“Harassed Rancher who Located ‘Saucer’ Sorry He Told About It”), but left out the final comment “I am sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon.”

Weaver also left out the comment in the article that the debris covered an area 200 yards in diameter or 1000 times greater than that stated by Cavitt. Nobody mentioned that neoprene balloons left in the hot dry air of New Mexico turn to dust in a couple of weeks. In the fifth place, the many Air Force claims about how classified Mogul was were LIES. Results that showed they had picked up sound waves from a Soviet nuclear explosion with their constant altitude balloon train would indeed have been TOP SECRET. But the equipment was standard conventional balloons, sonobuoys, etc. Some launches were allowed to just come down in the desert, no chase planes, no ground crew following. The guys cleared to work on it were cleared through Confidential according to a June 1946 memo at the National Archives.

Another LIE from Weaver was his absurd statement: “In 1978, an article appeared in a tabloid newspaper the National Inquirer [sic] which reported the former intelligence officer, Marcel, claimed that he had recovered UFO debris near Roswell in l947. Also in 1978, a UFO Researcher Stanton Friedman, met with Marcel and began investigating the claims that the material Marcel handled was from a crashed UFO.”

This neatly tabloidizes the story. After all, how could the Enquirer know about the story unless Marcel had taken it to them? Where else does a UFO researcher (can’t say scientist, after all) get his leads, except from the tabloids? Weaver finishes with another LIE: “Similarly two authors William L. Moore and Charles Berlitz also engaged in research which led them to publish a book The Roswell Incident  in 1980.” One would think falsely that there was no connection between me and Berlitz and Moore who must also have gotten their lead from the Enquirer.

The fact of the matter is that the article in the Enquirer by the late Bob Pratt appeared in 1980 not 1978. I gave Jesse’s contact info to Bob because Bill Moore and I had already talked to sixty-two people about Roswell and the first Roswell book The Roswell Incident  by Bill and Charles Berlitz, with Bill and I doing more than 90% of the research, was about to come out. I had previously met Bob at MUFON Symposia and had read a number of articles that he had written. He was far more accurate than the UFO articles I have seen in the New York Times and Washington Post. Bob also served as the liaison between the Enquirer and their panel of 5 professionals, including Dr. J. Allan Hynek, Dr. James Harder, Dr. Leo Sprinkle, and aerospace engineer John Schuessler, now MUFON’s international director.