Monday, 15 August 2011 18:20

JFK and the Majestic Papers: The History of a Hoax, Preamble II

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Part 2 of a backdrop to scientist Leon Davidson, who made a number of alarming accusations against the CIA’s whipping up UFO mania which in turn created a powerful cultural phenomena, picked up by other agencies.

George Adamski

George ‘A Scam I See’ Adamski

Being a keen amateur astronomer as a kid, I read up all I could about the planets. One in particular was Venus because of its proximity to Earth and its comparable size. Thus when I was about 10 I found a glossy covered book from the late 70’s or early 80’s and read about someone whom had flown to Venus in the company of a tall blonde haired creature. Now while I was deflated because it wasn’t some scary bug eyed green thing, I also knew the landscape of Venus at the time. Because I was confused, how on earth could adults have ever bought that one about flying to Venus? My thinking at the time was that its in a book and somehow it must be ‘official’.

It wasn’t until much later that I learned the story I had encountered was a glowing tale by the infamous UFO fraudster George Adamski. My awakening to George, and by forfeit my suspicions about human like aliens begun as a teen in New Zealand. I saw a UFO documentary on television entitled UFOs Miracle of the Unknown with my cousin Jason (part of which can be viewed here). Never being a fan of the X-Files, I knew relatively little about UFOs bar the stuff I had read in the odd book or Unexplained Magazine lying around my friend’s Dad’s place or at primary school. Later on, I began to be more circumspect. I didn’t buy into John Lear’s bogus ‘Aliens and Eisenhower’ meeting then and I sure as hell don’t now. One of the highlights of this cheap and tacky production was the director’s decision to intercut it with an inaccurately painted picture of a youthful looking George Adamski being hailed to a space ship by an Aryan Alien. The real clincher however was the nauseating pseudo hippie sleaze bag ‘astral’ voice-over which sounds like the love child of Hal 9000 discussing the importance of George Adamski and his important message for humanity from his alien visitors. My cousin and I were so inspired by the unintentional humour of it all we started a punk band.

Since then George has never been far from my mind, nor indeed from New Zealand as it turned out. He visited here in 1959 and met with the ‘George Adamski Saucer Society’ set up in Timaru and his visit piqued the interest of the NZ Ministry of Defense. George’s impact on New Zealand ufology has been rather startling. One of the many well written biographies of Adamski’s life was authored in 2010 by my fellow Kiwi Tony Brunt, who though critical of Adamski’s character and general showmanship believed in his contact stories. New Zealand seems to have embraced the greatest conman in ufo history with open arms (we obviously like a rogue). Across the ditch, Australians (always a little more streetwise), appeared to have a large series of falling-outs over his appearance there. Indeed many Aussies were greatly worried about the hit their organizations would take in the credibility stakes by his being seen in association with them.

As fate would have it George and I have crossed paths yet again. Because as CTKA followers know, a subject very close to my heart has been the Kennedy assassination which started in those tender teenage years I described earlier. Thus I had to chuckle when I came across a piece in Brunt’s book in which he claimed George met secretly with President Kennedy. Now alarmed as I was that NZ ufologists had greatly admired Adamski, the fact a fellow countryman could embarrass us so badly, left me deeply devastated. Thankfully I found that Brunt wasn’t alone in this crazy idea. People all over the globe (even some from Oz) had bought into this one. And luckily for my national pride, Brunt was positively mild when compared to some in this lot. As expected there are utterly no White House records, witnesses, nor even a mention from Kennedy’s posthumous ‘hack’ biographers like Richard Reeves and Sy Hersh about this. They would have if there had even been the merest sniff to associate JFK with the guy. To this end, an anonymous English critic of Adamski cuttingly noted “Adamski supporters also boast of a supposed secret meeting with JFK in Washington D.C. in which the former burger vendor briefed the President on the aliens’ concerns.”

Space Brother Dulles: Did He Run Adamski?

In his 1962 “Open Letter to Saucer Researchers” in Saucer News Davidson noted that Leon Stringwell had written in his ‘book’, the rather intriguing 1957 Inside Saucer Post...3-0 Blue: CRIFO Views the Status Quo: A Summary Report (pgs. 40-42), that Dulles himself would put an injunction against anyone appearing in court concerning Adamski’s book Inside The Space Ships. The injunction from Dulles apparently concerned author Thomas Eickhoff’s wanting the two unknown scientists Adamski had brought up in his publication to testify in a case charging Adamski with mail fraud for selling products which contained false claims.

However, Timothy Good received a freedom of information Act request with some of Dulles’ actual comments concerning Eickhoff’s case. At first appearance it appears that Stringwell’s claims as used by Davidson may well be something of an exaggeration on behalf of Mr Eickhoff:

Allen Welsh Dulles was Director of the CIA (DCI) from 1953 to 1961, and following a FOIA request to the Agency in 1984 I was sent a copy of a letter from Dulles to the Honourable Gordon H. Scherer, House of Representatives, Washington DC, dated 4 October 1955:
The questions which Mr. Eickhoff has raised in his letter to you are largely outside of the jurisdiction of this Agency. Section 102(d) of the National Security Act of 1947 provides that the CIA shall have no police, subpoena, law-enforcement powers, or internal security. Insofar as Mr. Eickhoff appears interested in pursuing the problem of mail fraud in connection with George Adamski's book entitled “Inside The Space Ships” it would appear to be a problem of law-enforcement, from which we are specifically barred by statute. CIA, as a matter of policy, does not comment on the truth or falsity of material contained in books or other published statements, and therefore it is not in a position to comment on Mr. Adamski's book or the authenticity of the pictures which it contains. The subject matter of Mr Adamski's book would appear to be more in the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.

However, Good, who for a spell fell for the MJ-12 documents, is a well-known devotee of Adamski who even believes the tripe about his meeting Kennedy. He grossly misrepresented the context of Dulles’ statement. While it’s pretty obvious that this ‘fob off’ letter from Dulles to Congressman Scherer makes no mention of his threatening any blockage or legal proceedings, Eickhoff, is probably referring to the above message when he stated: “The answer that was forthcoming was so evasive that it even angered my very conservative lawyer friend.”

As one will see in Stringwell’s work, the ‘injunction’ conversation appeared to have happened after this letter not before. Good states that there appears to be no more communication concerning this in the CIA’s files, and then being ever so helpful, gives a bunch of seemingly dead ends to pursue in the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence. As we’ve seen, the problem here is that Good hadn’t figured out (or being a staunch ‘Adamskiite’ chose to ignore the fact) that Davidson had already written his suspicions on whom the two scientists in the saucer were. Because the names of Bloom and Maxwell were both given a big write up in Adamski’s book prior to Inside the Space Ships namely the equally infamous The Flying Saucers Have Landed. He should also have read the preface to his mentor’s book Inside the Space Ships, brought to my notice by Davidson. Here he would have seen that Adamski wrote to a correspondent Charlotte Blodgett:

As I have told you I do have witnesses to one of my journeys in a Space craft. Both are scientists who hold high positions… When they believe that they can release the substantial information they have, without jeopardising either the national defence or themselves, they have said that they will do so through the press… they were with me at the request of the Brothers.

Good doesn’t seem to grasp that not everything goes through bureaucratic channels. On one hand, there need not be anything sinister here. Either Dulles may well have had a phone conversation or sent a letter to either Eickhoff’s lawyer himself or via some intermediary like Scherer. But without an affidavit, from the attorney concerned, let alone an ID for him (not to mention the fact that he like Eickhoff have likely passed away by now) without direct physical evidence from their remaining relatives there’s no actual evidence that Dulles threatened any injunction concerning the scientists. As much much as a gullible and deceitful merchant of disinformation as Good appears to be, he may have gotten something right (quite by accident). Nevertheless, before spoiling that particular surprise, let’s take a little detour.

The CI-Age of Innocence

Until more information concerning Eickhoff becomes known I am content to wait. I take this stance ecause it appears that Adamski had no problems discussing his ties to the government in his work anyhow. The people he named in the Flying Saucers Have Landed were genuine government employers as confirmed in Davidson’s article “I Agree With Adamski”.

Adamski also openly commented in lectures that he was cleared by the FBI and the USAF to say such things, and numerous accounts speak of his having some kind of diplomatic passport. While one could say this was conjecture cooked up by Adamski, who likely revelled in the attention that led Hoover and the FBI to admonish and threaten legal action against him. This is where American laws once again seem different from the rest of the world. Adamski, in a very Crisman and Palmer like way, would go on maintaining the same old connections without ever being prosecuted. Thus, of course the question comes down to whom was protecting Adamski or what be revealed about their monitoring of him. Martin Jeffrey’s comments in his article “The Mystery of George Adamski’’seem to be a little wayward at times concerning the man possibly being an FBI stooge, but his citing the following was very well done:

In a later memorandum dated 12/10/53, Hoover is told by SAC, Los Angeles that Adamski produced a document having a blue seal in the lower left corner, at the top of which three names of Government agents appeared. The names were erased in the de-classified document.

As Coppens said in his discussion of NICAP and its many ties to the agency, back then times were more innocent. Having the FBI or the CIA show interest in your work in the UFO or any other field, let alone to be seen as working with their associates in a public capacity, actually enhanced one’s credibility, not detracted from it. People had little idea about the potential for life anywhere in the solar system, we would not land on the moon till 1968, and it was not till the mid seventies that photos of Venus revealed it as a barren wasteland. Thus the chances of benevolent ‘honkies’ on another planet must have been deeply reassuring to white middle America (Just imagine the panic if Orthon, Adamski’s Venusian pal, had been Black?)

Thus in the aforementioned NICAP’s halcyon days in the fifties and early sixties, the vast majority of its membership had little idea the agency wasn’t watching the stars, but watching for them. Now this is a major difference to the Kennedy arena. To say you are CIA in this neighbourhood and to say you believe in a conspiracy is the kiss of death for all but the most gullible JFK researchers. No one nowadays admits they’re agency anywhere, even when people like John McAdams advertises them on his website. In UFO circles, many ufologists still try to make contact with known CIA or intelligence staffers for all manner of little crumbs and titbits. There seems to be a massive disconnect between what the reality of intelligence agencies are and how much any given person within an organisation who can be accessed easily would ever know anyhow.

Now returning to Adamski, these groups were likely not working with Adamski (nor did they like being bandied with him), but the plus side to making someone as clearly deluded as Adamski think he was on the ‘inside’ so to speak (like the far less fortunate Paul Benewitz whom we shall come across in later episodes) was that it drew attention to the likes of Adamski from foreign operatives and the aforementioned malcontents, who would waste their time by following him around and/or out themselves in approaching him. It also attracted public attention as the Australian ufologists of the fifties complained, and Jeffrey of the 21st century writes, it wasn’t a good thing:

The well-publicized books immediately turned the very people who should be investigating the UFO phenomenon away: The scientists. George Adamski had single-handedly (with a little help from Howard Menger) succeeded in making the subject of UFOs so utterly ridiculous, no serious scientist would want to have anything to do with it.

This is why even some cynics of Adamski admit some form of government interest. The links between Adamski and the CIA (utterly off putting by today’s standards) hardly deters people like the abysmal Michael Salla from promoting his friend and Adamski fanatic Neil Gould, who gives an interesting analogy of duel usage and mutual benefit between the two. I understand there will be people stating that Adamski simply made these connections up to increase his standing, and he may well have on occasion. But what I will say here is that his flamboyance was always going to get him noticed and approached in some way. I mean saying that Aliens preferred Communism and that Russia could decimate the US in a nuclear strike probably weren’t the smartest things to do.

So, however anyone ‘cuts it’, the notion of Adamski becoming ensnared in something far bigger than himself is something worthy of serious consideration. Yet Davidson also goes one step further and suggests that Adamski was coerced into a drug induced faux contact/abduction. The problem here is that Davidson’s accusations occurred over twenty years before the revelations about MK-ULTRA ever came out.

Aryans, Adamski, Abductions & Acid

Before we begin this passage, I provide a word of caution. Adamski may well have been flat out lying about his experiences with his alien pals; or he was telling the truth. Davidson believed that this visitation actually happened. Of course Davidson’s ‘stick in the mud’ was he didn’t believe Adamski’s corny tale as having anything to do with extra terrestrials, but with an experiment conducted by the CIA.

Thus, let us return yet again to Space Brother ‘Al’ Dulles and his violations of CIA protocol. While Dulles was writing his sanctimonious reply to Eickhoff in 1955, one of his most infamous ‘pet-projects’ MK-ULTRA had ‘officially’ been running since April of 1953. Its horrific rampage while supposedly stopping in the late sixties would not be discovered till the mid Seventies. The equally insidious (but infinitely more subtle) Operation Mockingbird we have touched on a number of times in this work, like MK Ultra, debuted in the late 1940’s. Adamski, by all accounts, appears to have been the perfect guinea pig for both, and its an equally good reason why there is no trace of Eickhoff’s or Dulles’s communication (nor why the CIA has so little information on Adamski). Because there is every chance that when Dulles’ loyal lieutenant Richard Helms burned thousands of incriminating documents related to MK-ULTRA in the seventies, that information also related to UFO contact/abductions.

As early as July 1953, just three months after MK-ULTRA had gotten the ‘official’ go-ahead, Davidson started a series of communications with Adamski whose book The Flying Saucers Have Landed had also come out that year. Davidson’s article “Why I Believe Adamski” provides some of the first insights into all manner of silliness which could well have shaped the United States in the decades that followed:

  1. The contact/abductees wave of the mid fifties and sixties.
  1. Adamski’s use of cinematic images in his book.
  1. The Venusians Newsreel Adamski witnessed was, according to Davidson “a collection of film clips which someone from the film industry of California could have prepared” (pg. 6). Later, Davidson notes that Bloom and Maxwell (whose identities he confirmed and whose credentials he'd exposed) had the requisite skills to create such an illusion (pg. 8). In addition, looking at it Davidson is bang on the money. Maxwell in particular had been involved in all manner of photoreconnaissance, film analysis and technology, and unsurprisingly had worked in Hollywood himself.
  1. Potential use of hallucinogen’s on Adamski’s person (despite Davidson saying Adamski’s tale does not appear hallucinatory), he does mention Adamski’s curious taste sensations and his drinking of liquids upon arrival in the ‘craft’ and how they were given again on the hour. Davidson questions whether or not these are “medicinal” and containing a “stimulant or other drug” (pg. 6).
  1. Adamski was certain that with the “ Brothers’ help his message, via his book Inside the Space Ships would become ‘accepted’ and spread his message. Davidson cynically states it had received a ton of publicity and had gone through “three reprintings in three months” (pg. 8).
  1. Throughout Davidson’s allegations, a key question is one of targeting. Why was a harmless crank like Adamski targeted in the first place? It appears that through flattery and the promise of inside information the imaginative, overly confident cult leader was perfect fodder.

Is it a coincidence as numerous Michael Shermer/Randi types like Peter Rogerson think that the first large spates of UFO contacts began at around the same time in the mid-fifties? Is it also a coincidence to Rogerson that Davidson asked Adamski in a letter if he had any idea that when his ‘Space Brothers’ left him that there was a spate of similar incidence in the US and Europe. Is it also a coincidence that the Adamski inspired 'contactee' Howard Menger, blatantly came out at one time and said the Pentagon was using him to test the reactions of people he bought to his house?

Flight of the Nordics

As mentioned in Preamble I, Dulles’s good old PSYOP pal C.D. Jackson became an integral part of the ufology scene, involving himself with the bizarre tale of Betty and Barney Hill’s abduction in late September 1961. Jackson and his pal Robert Hohmann came up with the idea that the Hills experienced ‘missing time’ (John Fuller, Interrupted Journey, 1966, pgs. 42-58). How about Jackson and Hohmann (who also met the Hills) then discussing An Historic Report from Life in Space?

Arthur Young, for his part, turned up in Berkley California circa 1972 with his Institute For Public Consciousness Organization. Young, also endorsed the ludicrous Adamski ‘Plaedian-Nordic’ hypothesis. He soon had company. A year later the Industrial Church of the New World Comforter was formed by a commune leader called Allen Noonan (who changed it to the infinitely cooler Allen Michael). His first epiphany happened in 1947, (funnily enough, it was the year the CIA formed and Young left Bell Helicopters; not to mention that Kenneth Arnold’s sighting also occurred). Amidst the alien abduct/contactee madness in 1954, Adamski encountered ‘Nordic’ aliens in the desert.

Steve Snider runs a well-written ‘Fortean’ style blog which touches on a number of issues surrounding UFO related PSYOPs. I asked him kindly if he could comment on the human appearance of the Aliens in both the Adamski and Hill scenarios.:

It seems like dwarves were more popular in South America... Maybe Nordics were all we Yanks could handle. In general, I tend to agree that much of the UFO stuff is PSYOPs; many alien abductions certainly seem to serve no other purpose than inducing trauma... I mean, surely an advanced alien species capable of travelling across the galaxy would certainly have developed more effective medical procedures than the anal probe, or draining an entire cow of blood. It’s just too illogical to be extra-terrestrials. (Steve Snider email; 29/07/11)

Now here’s the grand finale in all of this pertaining to Adamski and Dulles. One of Adamski’s closest adherents, Ms. Lou Zinsstag, claims to be the second cousin of Jung himself. Indeed, in her book co-authored with the extremely bad Tim Good, George Adamski the untold Story, a discussion with the famed psychologist about Adamski is a key feature. Nevertheless, Zinsstag went one-step further, she herself is the originator of ‘Adamski met Kennedy’ line… It’s a small world after all.

A Repose

Davidson’s investigations and his allegations of Agency involvement in elaborate hoaxes like the one he felt Adamski had been part of, was, for the time, even more outrageous than anything Adamski had claimed. And there are still a few people out there whom may well take offence to this piece. Alternatively, maybe not. I am encouraged by the growing wave of rationalist ufologists, open to meeting in the middle, and respecting other people’s areas of research. Yet, there has been elaborate plots and hoodwinks in all areas for eons. I advise anybody to check out the nefarious ‘False Flag’ activities of Ed Lansdale another student of Paul Linebarger.

Lansdale’s plans in Indoneisa and North Vietnam for example, were on a scale far more elaborate than Adamski’s little drug induced voyages. I mean just check out Lansdale’s ideas for Jesus liberating Cuba.

Onwards to a new Dawn: A final Note

This list of kooks and cranks with ties to US intelligence I have mentioned throughout this article — Crisman, Oswald and Novel to Adamski and Zinstagg — are just the beginning of a dark slope that many like Mark Pilkington, Robin Ramsay, Jim Hougan, George Michael Evica, Charles Drago, Steve Snider and Greg Bishop, Bill Kelly and Bob Hastings, Larry Hancock and others have explored in more depth before myself. Whether or not you or I agree with everything said by these sorts of people is irrelevant. They all contain one simple common thread. That being, the vast majority of the people attaching themselves to contactee or UFO groups have never ever been experimented on and have no ties to the agency. These people may simply be traumatised, over imaginative, or trying to cash in on a craze, or make a quick buck or two. Perhaps there is a very small chance there may have been a genuine abduction somewhere at sometime not to mention an alien sighting. Nevertheless, I am going to state that from 1947 onwards the waters have been so badly muddied and outright contaminated by the Agency you can’t blame anyone for being cautious, and more than a little suspect.

It is also important to mention that those in or near the Dulles circle need not be as evil as he was, nor in on the game. They may just as likely have been the victims. For example, I briefly mentioned Admiral Roscoe Hillenkotter's becoming a board member of NICAP, in Part A. However, it seems that Hillenkotter genuinely believed in UFOs as a board member of NICAP. As Jon Ronson and Adam Curtis have explained in their works, numerous high-ranking people in military and intelligence circles have benevolent hearts, but brains of fruit. Take good-natured ‘pacifists’ like Artie Young, for instance. Unlike utterly cynical figures like Dulles, Jackson or Angleton he genuinely thought he was doing the ‘Lords work’ for the Agency. At one stage, he asked Bill Kelly to his face if he really was a Plaedian ‘Nordic’ alien coming to visit him. Now if this is where Young’s head was at, one has to wonder how easily he could have been manipulated or have had his organization infiltrated. Scarily there is a hell of lot of wealthy Art Young types out there waiting to be tapped. Just look at Laurance Rockefeller, whom while the Rockefeller foundation provided cover and apparently funds for MK-ULTRA related activities, became a big campaigner for UFO disclosure in the 1990’s.

The debates about the CIA’s double dipping in the field now and the growing movement of individuals’ writing or commenting about is in direct contrast to the outrage Jacque Vale’s 1977 book Messengers of Deception caused when he criticised UFO believers for accepting any old dross thrown at them about abductions and criticised the sceptics for ignoring what the real implications are if the aliens are less than benevolent and all too human. Martin Cannon’s essay “The Controllers” about contact/abductees being MK-ULTRA victims created another hoopla, the intense criticism that he was subjected to promptly led him to disavow his own work and leave the UFO field. Cannon’s treatment, however you look at it and the often-misguided passions it creates, is an alarming testament to how powerful an influence Dulles and US intelligence had been in destroying any form of critical analysis in both devotee and sceptic camps. When Cannon was writing, Davidson’s observations of the CIA’s antics were not well known (indeed Cannon’s use of sources like Whitley Strieber beg some questions). Thus his work seemed to lack some direction. Yet the good work done by the likes of Pilkington, Bishop, Coppens, and Steve Snider have helped shed much light on this ludicrously taboo area.

Overall Conclusion; What of Davidson

Davidson seems to have understood from a very early stage that the CIA aided and abetted shaping realities like no other agency on earth. Other valid question have to be asked. Was Davidson some anti CIA conduit for information? Did he have some kind of protection? In the world of feuding intelligence agencies, it is difficult to tell what real information is and what is not; or more precisely, why is that information not coming out? On the other hand, was Davidson simply smart enough and ‘in the know’ so to speak? What is important is that Dulles did have enemies and critics within the circles of power he himself owned. Though as we have seen in Preamble I, Dulles quite clearly had the means to obfuscate and destroy individuals (if necessary) on any number of levels. Davidson’s accumulated works I believe would be a treasure trove of commentary like Colonel Fletcher Prouty, and Bob Lovett (a scion of the Eastern Establishment). How much Davidson wrote about the Kennedy assassination is another question in point and it would be fascinating to see his evolution within that field. These two essays in no way cover the gamut of all UFO experiences nor as I said do I have all the answers to UFOs abductions and sightings, however I am stunned Davidson is not more well known, and why it has taken so long for genuine abductions and contacts to not be seen as some type of human experimentation. Knowing the CIA’s predilections for the big scam, I’d go for that well before I ever contemplated anything extra terrestrial. It is testament of the power of the covert operatives that so many do not.

Last modified on Sunday, 23 October 2016 17:52
Seamus Coogan

Seamus Coogan is one of a number of JFK assassination researchers hailing from New Zealand and Australia.  He has devoted considerable effort to ferreting out and exposing unfounded and sensationalistic or far-fetched conspiratorial hypotheses.  His most notable contributions include those on John Hankey's JFK II, on Alex Jones, and on the Majestic Papers.  He  has also reviewed numerous books for this site.

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