Stanton Friedman

Kevin D. Randle’s
Book Cover  


As noted above, while ignoring most of the MJ-12 members, their relations with each other and their outstanding suitability for the task at hand, Randle does talk about Dr. Donald H. Menzel. His name is the only shocker in the group since he was supposed to be a total UFO sceptic (based on his three books and numerous articles) and because he certainly did not need a very high level compartmentalized security clearance to teach astronomy at Harvard. All eleven others clearly had such clearances. Montague, probably the least well known of the MJ-12 list, was not only a West Point man, as were Twining and Vandenberg, but in the first week in July, 1947, was named head of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at Kirtland AFB, in Albuquerque, coming up from Fort Bliss at the western Edge of Texas and just Southeast of New Mexico. He had control of the German rocket scientists brought over under Operation Paperclip. His son, also West Point and also a general, told me that he thought the reason his father would have been involved (he was quite an expert on artillery computations) is that he had manpower to provide to Roswell, north of Ft. Bliss. General Montague (the son) not only provided me with a picture of his father for use in TOP SECRET/MAJIC, but also said nice things about the book after I sent him a copy.

Anyway, when Bill Moore first read me the MJ-12 member list in December, 1984, he left Menzel’s name until last. My response was: that was all we needed. Probably a hoax document from somebody who thinks he can get us to go public and then thumb his nose at us. I didn’t like Menzel, since I thought his UFO books were unscientific, and I'd had one run-in with him on the phone when I invited him to attend my lecture at Harvard. He said he knew all about me, having seen letters and memos (I still don’t know what he meant), though I asked if he meant my congressional testimony next to his in the “UFO Symposium of 1968,” Ref. 6. He also said, “You can’t be a scientist and believe in flying saucers.” I laughed, which he didn’t like. I invited him and he said of course he wouldn’t attend. I told the story at the lecture. Menzel’s name on the list was one reason that Moore, Shandera and I didn’t go public until 1987.

Randle repeats a very tall tale apparently from Karl Pflock with an unattributed source saying I had decided much earlier that because Menzel had spent some time in New Mexico, he must have headed a group consisting of all those people later named in the EBD. In effect, saying that probably I faked the documents. This is pure hogwash. Of course I was aware of Menzel. I had read his first book back in about 1960. After being informed of the EBD, I did do a lot of checking including with a retired employee of Engineering Research Associates in Minneapolis, headed by Menzel’s WW II boss, who told me that Menzel was a consultant there and left suddenly one summer on a special classified project. I asked what year. He said 1947.

I should note here that because so much of the stuff in the EBD made sense, I felt that I should check on Menzel. I had looked at his extensive UFO correspondence housed at the American Philosophical Library in Philadelphia. Nothing stood out there. I had been checking on Vannevar Bush, later listed on MJ-12 but earlier named in a 1950 memo by Canadian Wilbert Smith as heading a group working on the Modus Operandi of Flying Saucers. I therefore was looking at Bush’s correspondence files at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division and noted a letter from Menzel’s lawyer to Bush thanking him for helping during Menzel’s Loyalty Hearing. This certainly established a connection. I checked with a prestigious Boston law firm. They mentioned that more than 1000 pages of Menzel’s hearings testimony were in Menzel’s files at Harvard. I was able to get a grant from the Fund for UFO Research to look into his Harvard papers after getting permission from three different people to see his files. There, in 1986, I made a host of totally unexpected discoveries about Menzel which I reported in International UFO Reporter in detail (Ref. 7), in my “Final Report on Operation Majestic 12” (Ref.2) and in even more detail in TOP SECRET/MAJIC (Ref. 1).

Randle spends all of two pages discussing Menzel and lists the supposed basis for my conclusions that he belonged on MJ-12: “… that Menzel spoke Japanese, for example, was a Navy cryptologist during the Second World War, knew John F. Kennedy well enough to call him by his first name, was a consultant to the NSA, and that he was nearly chased from government work during a McCarthy era challenge to his loyalty. Menzel was friends with MJ-12 members Vannevar Bush and Detlev Bronk.” This is a gross misrepresentation of what I wrote about Menzel’s involvement. He was a world class cryptographer before, during and after the war. He wrote JFK in 1960 saying he had the longest continuous association with the NSA and its Navy predecessor, 30 years as of 1960, of anybody in the country; he did classified consulting work for 30 companies after the war; he had a TOP SECRET ULTRA clearance with the CIA; and he was head of the US Navy Reserve Communications Unit No. 1 after the war.

I noted that Menzel had written science fiction and was well placed to provide disinformation. His first UFO book was translated into Russian. I said nothing about knowing Kennedy well enough to call him by his first name (JFK was on the board of Overseers at Harvard and picked Astronomy, Menzel’s domain, as his area
of interest). I quoted from Menzel’s letters to JFK offering to brief him on the NSA once they were properly cleared to each other and stressing his long connection with them. I noted that Bush (who had known Menzel since 1934) was Menzel’s staunchest defender at the Loyalty Hearing. None of Menzel’s many post-war intelligence work activities were noted in an eight-page appreciation of him in Sky and Telescope (Ref. 8) after his death.

Randle claims, apparently thinking to put the end to any possible connection between Menzel and the oversight group, that “nowhere did he [Friedman] find any mention of MJ12 [In his papers and records]. There are no marginal notes, no oblique references, no highly-placed correspondence that suggests, mentions, identifies or confirms the existence of MJ-12 or Menzel’s connection to it.” Half a page later Randle claims, “After examining Menzel’s papers at Harvard, at the APSL [American Philosophical Society Library] and the University of Denver archives, Friedman found nothing that referenced MJ-12.” This is certainly true, but completely irrelevant, since at none of these places were there any classified Menzel papers or documents. There is no question — based upon Menzel’s letters to Kennedy, his unpublished autobiography, and other details — that he was up to his ears in classified consulting work long after World War II was over. I talked to people who worked for him. He was certainly security conscious. Of course, I didn’t find any mention of any black budget programs he worked on and no formerly classified documents. Thirty-plus years with the NSA and Randle thinks Menzel would have left smoking guns around?

We must remember that absence of evidence is NOT evidence for absence. From reading Bush’s statement to the Loyalty Committee (and statements from others as well) it is perfectly clear that he was well aware of Menzel’s classified work. I am reminded of the fact that there are no classified documents at the General George C. Marshall Library. His files were carefully reviewed for declassification by Dr. Forrest Pogue, a military historian, scholar, etc. The classified Marshall files are elsewhere. So are the classified Menzel files. His contract with ERA was worth $18,000 per year in the immediate post-war period for consulting work. None of those papers are at Harvard or APSL or the U of D.

In short, then, Randle’s treatment of Menzel is a splendid example of the standard tool of the Propagandist: selective choice of data, serious errors of both omission and commission, false reasoning.


Randle’s discussions of those people he thinks would have been on an oversight group are also seriously flawed. They are based on the supposed testimony of two very different people: the late Frank Kaufmann of Roswell and Retired USAF General Arthur Exon.

Kaufmann’s many and varied claims about the whole Roswell incident were backed up by nothing. However, he was Randle’s big important witness. He is heavily touted in Randle’s “The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell,” “The Roswell Encyclopedia,” and the first part of “Case MJ-12.” Kaufmann, though a civilian in Roswell after being discharged as a sergeant from the Army Air Force at the Roswell Army Air Force Base in October, 1945, was supposedly part of an all-powerful group of nine who could go anywhere, talk to anybody. He knew everything!

General William H. Blanchard
General William H. Blanchard U.S. Air Force
He was over in White Sands watching radar on assignment from General Martin Scanlon of the Air Defense Command in early July, 1947, because there had been many radar sightings of unknowns. They observed one “exploding on the screen” north of Roswell. Somebody from Roswell told Kaufmann that there was something causing a glow in the sky west of the highway north of town. Then Kaufmann rushed back to the base (over 100 miles over a mountain pass), woke Colonel Blanchard, Base Commander, and Major Jesse Marcel, Base Intelligence Officer, in the middle of the night. They then drove north, turned off the highway, covered many miles off the road despite gulleys, gates and snakes, and discovered a crashed saucer with several alien bodies. They called back to the base and a flat bed truck came out, also miles cross-country to the site. The saucer which looked, according to Frank’s drawings, much like the triangular TR3 reconnaissance craft pictured in Popular Mechanics in 1990, was lifted on board the flat bed and was back to base by morning. Frank is a fine artist. Neither the craft nor the bodies looked anything like anybody else had described.

None of this made sense when Frank described this scenario in July, 1995, to Kevin, Don Schmitt, and me. I asked if Blanchard wouldn’t have waited until a spotter plane could check things out in the morning. He said they didn’t have any spotter planes. They certainly did. The notion that all kinds of daylight photographs would not have been taken is absurd. People who owned the land at the time, the McKnight family, said there was no way to get to the site, except on horseback, until years later. The story made no sense as I wrote in my notes. Don tended to agree with me. The radar range was also too little; an explosion filling the screen could only be very close to the radar. They used primarily tracking radar — not search radar — at White Sands. To his credit, when I asked Frank at his home (by invitation in December, 1999, with three other witnesses) if Blanchard had gone out with him, he said, “No.” Did Marcel go out with you? “No.” Certainly Marcel, if he had been at the crash site, would have responded altogether differently when called by the Sheriff after being visited by rancher Brazel, on Sunday, July 6, 1947.

I discussed this in detail in my MUFON 2000 paper (Ref. 3). Finally after Frank’s death in 2001, Don Schmitt was able to get permission to view Frank’s papers and discovered that Frank had forged some documents and apparently had made up lots of stories. It was always strange that Frank claimed he could talk about the vehicles and the bodies, but couldn’t talk about who was running the show. He said that they didn’t stamp government documents that were classified with Security markings because everybody would know on the base very quickly, which is just plain crazy. He was a civilian clerk at the base for a couple of years until getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce. He showed me pictures of him with some military big shots, but with no indication whether he was present as a guard or as a tour guide. I think he is laughing his head off that he was able to get Randle to believe just about every phoney story. Randle even went so far as to attribute to Major Easley, base Provost Marshall, words that were actually Frank’s. Finally in late 2002, Randle ("Frank Kaufmann: Roswell Witness") and Mark Rodeghier ("Frank Kaufmann: Roswell Hoaxer") who had worked with Don on some of Frank’s papers, suddenly published long articles in the International UFO Reporter indicating that Frank’s claims could not be substantiated and that certain documents had been faked. No credit was given to Schmitt. Randle made the foolish claim that “Challenges from the outside seemed born more of politics inside the UFO field than of investigative analysis.” This would appear to be projecting onto other Roswell investigators his own politics about Roswell and the absence of investigative analysis on his part.

General Henry "Hap" Arnold
General Henry "Hap" Arnold U.S. Air Force
Unfortunately, “Case MJ-12” was completed before Frank’s denouement. He claimed that several people were part of this oversight group. Most have never even been shown to exist such as a General Thomas. The one who did exist was General Martin Scanlon who supposedly ordered Frank to White Sands. General Scanlon had been involved in Intelligence work for Army Air Force General Henry “Hap” Arnold in the 1930s, had been based in Roswell heading a training group in the early 1940s, and had headed several other training groups over the next few years. There seems to be no indication of intelligence activities. In addition, his last post in 1947 before he left the military in early 1948 was as Public Affairs man for the Air Defense Command in Mitchell Field in New York. The notion that he could order a civilian at Roswell with no radar training, over to White Sands where the ADC had no radar in 1947, seems frankly ridiculous. Roswell was a SAC base.

General Exon, unlike Frank who was basically a clerk while he was in the service and for a couple of years afterward, was a pilot during WW II, spent more than year in a German Prisoner of War Camp, was at Wright Field in 1947, and went on to be Commander of Wright Patterson Air Force Base from August 1, 1964, until December 20, 1965. I was very impressed with him when we went to lunch near his home in California. Randle had claimed that Exon had firsthand knowledge of the Roswell crash from his time at WPAF and from contacts when he served in the Pentagon. Randle claimed that Exon knew who was on the oversight committee naming such people as Secretary of Air Stuart Symington, Secretary of Defense Forrestal and several others. As I described in Ref. 1, when I checked with Exon after first hearing about him and sending a copy of what was written in “The Truth” (Ref. 9), he indicated that he was repeating probably reliable scuttlebutt about the crash and that he was speaking of those who would have known about the crash — NOT those who would have been on the committee. I sent him a copy of “My Final Report” and relevant portions of “The Truth,” then contacted him again. He immediately picked up on the split between military and civilian and Army, Navy, Air Force, and scientists and had no problems at all with the makeup of the MJ-12 group. He also had no objection to the use of generic ranks for the MJ-12 members.