Stanton Friedman

Col. Philip J. Corso’s

Book Cover  

Over the past few months I have been asked over and over again what I thought about this book. I had done some preliminary checking on Corso a few years back when I first heard of him via the Army History Institute. Now, before actually obtaining the book, I checked with the Eisenhower Library. There certainly seems to be no doubt that Corso was with the NSC about 1953-1956, and that he served under General Arthur Trudeau in the Pentagon 1961-63. He was also very active in trying to obtain the release of POWs, some of whom he claimed had been taken away by the Soviets from the far east, while the US government did nothing. So, he is a real person with a solid military background.

Unfortunately, I find the book most unsatisfactory even though it includes many claims with which I agree. Corso is in his 80s. Co-author William Birnes has written and packaged many other books, so I suspect he should get most of the blame for this exploitation of the great public interest in what I call Roswell fever. There is no index, no table of contents, no references, not even the promised newly released classified government documents. There is the almost 40 year old Army Project Horizon study about a base on the moon, available for years from the Army Archives. Corso had written there for technical reports years ago.

The first part of the book, with the exception of the strange Ft. Riley, Kansas warehouse scene with an alien body being observed by Corso on July 6, seems to have nothing to do with him. He admits he wasn’t involved at all in the recovery, investigation, or evaluation of what happened near Roswell. It is almost certainly based on the many Roswell books already published by Randle and Schmitt, Moore and Berlitz, and Don Berliner and myself, but with no attempt to validate or critically evaluate anything and no credits being given.

Birnes told me during a radio show that he felt the public didn’t know enough about Roswell to provide a context for the claims in the book, hence the need for the introduction. Even though they did little original research, Mantle and Hesemann, and Kal Korff at least referenced the above mentioned sources in their books.

In the second half of the book Corso seems to be taking credit for the single handed introduction of a whole host of new technologies into American industry. All this is supposedly derived from the filing cabinet of Roswell wreckage over which he was given control by General Trudeau. He is very vague about details, and there is no substantiation for any of the claims on fiber optics, Kevlar, laser weapons, microcircuits, etc. I intend to spend some library time (I haven’t had any time for this the past few months what with all my traveling) checking on his version of technological history. In TOP SECRET/MAJIC there is an entire chapter dealing with how alien technology might be quietly introduced through industry without informing the recipient that the stimulus was Alien as opposed to Soviet, or other foreign technology.

Corso speaks of a control group having, not surprisingly, the same membership as Operation Majestic 12. Apparently he expects the reader to believe this all-star cast did absolutely nothing between 1947 and 1960. He is definitely NOT a scientist, but the implication is that in less than 3 years he could change the world’s technology, and they couldn’t??? Not very likely in my opinion.

On a radio show, where we had friendly rather than adversarial discussions (we had all met in Roswell for the 50th anniversary), I asked how he knew the Kansas date was July 6, and how was it he knew the names of all the control group guys. Was it notes, a diary? He was evasive. He knew when he reported to Ft. Riley that there were at least a dozen boards and committees connected with the NSC while he was there. He said he was definitely not a member of MJ-12. For me the simplest explanation is that the names and background descriptions came from Crash at Corona or TOP SECRET/MAJIC.

The bodies from the Plains might have been picked up by July 6, but wouldn’t they far more likely have gone to one of the nearby military bases, and either been studied there or flown out? Kansas and New Mexico are very hot in the summer time. No refrigeration or dry ice is mentioned. July 6 was the date that Mac Brazel went to the Sheriff’s office at Roswell. No bodies there yet. Certainly recent evidence concerning the falsity of testimony by Frank Kaufmann about the mythical Corn Ranch site from which bodies were supposedly extracted on July 5, rules out the new wisdom as reported in The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell.

I personally don’t understand why the body would have been sent by truck (without a 24-hour guard) rather than plane, and why it came from Ft.
Bliss which is Southwest of Roswell though it was HQ for the rocket scientists at White Sands Missile Range. Corso spoke of Rte. 40 being the only major EW highway in 1947. But Ft. Riley is West of Manhattan, Kansas, and well North of Highway 40, and not on the most direct route to Wright Field.

Certainly there are some ethical questions about the use of an introduction by Senator Strom Thurmond, now in his 90s, written earlier for a memoirs book that had definitely been planned by Corso. Thurmond’s office has basically disowned the book. Press coverage of this undoubtedly provided a great deal of incentive for people to buy the book, sort of the way banning a book in Boston used to help sales elsewhere.

Time will tell, but one of my main concerns is that the book will go down as a fraud, probably after making a small fortune as a movie. People will then say that proves Roswell was also a fraud. The science editor of the San Francisco Examiner already has used this false logic. He claimed that Don Schmitt giving himself false credentials and denying being a postman to Kevin Randle therefore meant that Roswell was a fraud.

Stanton Friedman

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