The MJ-12 Affair: Facts, Questions, Comments
March 1, 1989
A letter sent to The Crucible email list
First, it has been established that "Falcon", one of the principle sources of the MJ-12 material, is Richard C. Doty, formerly attached to District 17 Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sgt. Doty retired from the U.S. Air Force on October 1, 1988.
How do I know that Doty is "Falcon"? During a recent telephone conversation, Linda Moulton Howe told me that when Sgt. Doty invited her to his office at Kirtland AFB in early April 1983, and showed her a purportedly authentic U.S. Government document on UFOs, he identified himself as code-name "Falcon" and stated that it was Bill Moore who had given him that name.
Also, in early December 1988, a ranking member of the production team responsible for the "UFO Cover Up? — Live" television documentary confirmed that Doty is "Falcon". This same individual also identified the second MJ-12 source who appeared on the program, "Condor", as Robert Collins who was, until recently, a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. Like Doty, he was stationed at KAFB when he left the service late last year.
Both Doty and Collins deny any involvement in the MJ-12 affair. However, Linda Howe has issued a sworn affidavit, agreeing to testify under penalty of perjury, relating to the events during the course of her meeting with Richard "Falcon" Doty at KAFB in 1983 (Enclosures A and B). Thus far, Doty has not issued a sworn affidavit, or agreed to testify under penalty of perjury, to re-enforce his denial that the events of his meeting with Howe occured as she has described them.
For the moment, I will not identify the "UFO Coverup? — Live" source who identified Doty as "Falcon" and Collins as "Condor". I do, however, encourage others to independently attempt to secure confirmation of the statements that he has already made. At least two producers connected with the documentary know the facts.
Now that "Falcon" and "Condor" have been identified, it seems prudent to examine the past activities of Richard Doty and Bob Collins to see whether those activities tend to add to, or detract from, the credibility of the MJ-12 scenario that they have so vigorously promoted within the ufological community. That is, do their actions reflect a genuine attempt to release authentic above top secret information to the public or, on the other hand, suggest a disinformation campaign designed to confuse and mislead?
Let's begin with Doty. Sgt. Richard Charles Doty first received widespread attention after he wrote the now well-known AFOSI Complaint Form relating to UFO sightings near Kirtland AFB in 1980 (Enclosure C). This document, typed and signed by Doty, takes on new significance in the light of an incident known as the "Weitzel Hoax". Briefly summarized, this odd tale unfolded as follows: In 1981, the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization received an anonymous letter from an individual who claimed to be a USAF airman assigned to the 1550th Aircrew Training and Testing Wing at Kirtland AFB (Enclosure D). The writer further claimed to have had a rather dramatic UFO sighting, together with a Craig Weitzel and others. The letter relates that Weitzel reported the sighting to a "Mr. Dody" (sic) at Kirtland AFB OSI.
Researcher Benton Jamison located and contacted Weitzel in 1985 (Enclosure E). Weitzel stated that he did indeed report a UFO sighting to Sgt. Richard Doty in 1980, but that the actual incident in no way resembled the CEIII experience described in the anonymous letter. Weitzel also denies that he was subsequently contacted by a mysterious individual who demanded that he turn over any photographs that he might have taken of the UFO, as the letter claims.
So, it would appear that the writer of the anonymous letter, whomever he was, took a real event and greatly embellished it for some reason.
And why is this letter so significant as regards questions about Sgt. Richard Doty's credibility as a source for allegedly secret government documents? Simply because careful analysis of the anonymous letter reveals that it was almost certainly typed on the same typewriter used by Doty to complete the 1980 OSI Complaint Form.
Enclosure F is a report by researcher Brad Sparks which address typeface irregularities and stylistic traits that are identical in both the anonymous airman's letter and Sgt. Doty's report. Actually, Spark's typeface analysis is incomplete. In addition to the irregular "u" that he identifies, it can be seen that the letters "gh", as in the word "sighting", are jammed together in identical fashion in both the letter and the report. Lower case "o" is also jammed against various letters that follow it in the "Weitzel" letter and Doty's Complaint Form.
A professionally-conducted analysis of these flaws should be able to determine, with a reasonable degree of certainty, whether an "anonymous airman" used Doty's typewriter to compose his overdrawn tale. If this fact can be established then two obvious questions arise: 1) How and why did the unidentified airman from the 1550th Aircrew Training and Testing Wing gain access to Sgt. Doty's writer at OSI? 2) On the other hand, did Doty himself type the letter and, therefore, attempt to perpetrate a hoax for some unknown reason?
Because it has been established that Richard Doty is "Falcon", the chief source for the MJ-12 material, it now seems imperative thoroughly investigate this incident to resolve these unanswered questions. The second question, in particular, is of obvious importance. Perhaps the Fund For UFO Research, which has recently solicited contributions to further investigate the MJ-12 affair, would consider funding an expert typographical analysis of both the anonymous letter and Doty's Complaint Form to determine whether or not there is a link between the two.
Even more disturbing than the implications of the "Weitzel Hoax" is an incident that raises the strongest doubts about Richard Doty's credibility as a source of information and documents relating to the U.S. Government's involvement with UFOs. Infor- mation about this incident comes from Dr. Bruce Maccabee and links Doty to the so-called Ellsworth AFB hoax. According to Maccabee, Bill Moore has acknowledged that Richard Doty confessed to forging the document that describes the alleged events connected with the Ellsworth case (Enclosure G). Doty apparently claims that the UFO incident there actually occurred, just as described in the document, and that he only wanted to bring it to the public attention. He, therefore, proceeded to type the "document" himself, incorporating the "facts" that he claimed to know to be true, and then released the bogus report to various researchers. Enclosure H is an exposé written by Bob Pratt, and published in the January 1984 issues of the MUFON Journal, describing his investigation of this hoax.
If it can be established, beyond any doubt, that Richard Doty forged the Ellsworth AFB document, what would that say about his credibility as a chief source for the MJ-12 material, under the guise of "Falcon"?
In addition to the serious questions raised by the "Weitzel" letter and the Ellsworth AFB hoax, there also exist fundamental discrepancies between information provided by "Falcon" and the "facts" contained in the so-called Eisenhower briefing paper.
The Briefing Document (Enclosure I) was purportedly written by alleged MJ-12 member Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, in November 1952, for presentation to then President Elect Dwight D. Eisenhower. Among other things, it states that two UFOs had crashed, one in July 1947, near Roswell, New Mexico; the other in December 1950, on the Texas-Mexico border.
Linda Howe states, however, that when Sgt. Doty invited her to his office at Kirtland AFB OSI, in April 1983, he provided her with information that contradicts this version of events. Howe states that Doty confirmed the existence of a secret government group called MJ-12 and then opened a desk drawer and produced a document entitled "Briefing Paper for the President for the President of the United States". (Not the Eisenhower document).
Howe states that she was allowed to look through the alleged "Briefing Paper" but told not to take notes. She states that a part of the document was a catalog of crashed UFO cases, including one near Aztec, New Mexico in 1948 (or '49).
Now, if the Eisenhower briefing paper is genuine and was indeed presented to Ike in November 1952, why was no mention of the Aztec crash contained in it? Is it plausible that the soon-to-be president would be let in on a secret of paramount importance—that of alien visitation—but not be given this important information? Why would he be told about two UFO crashes but not about a third? Why would the Aztec crash, if it did occur, be any less significant than the other two cases mentioned in the briefing paper?
In short, if the briefing paper that Sgt. Doty showed to Linda Howe was genuine, what does that say about the accuracy (and authenticity) of the Eisenhower document? If, on the other hand the former was bogus and was meant to mislead Howe for some reason, what does that say about Richard "Falcon" Doty's reliability as a source for MJ-12 material as a whole?
At the risk of being redundant, may I again point out that Linda Howe has sworn out an affidavit indicating a willingness to testify under penalty of perjury, as to the truthfulness of her statement relating to her meeting with "Falcon" at Kirtland OSI.
About Robert "Bob" Collins, I know very little. I have established at the time of his departure from the U.S. Air Force, he was assigned to the Plasma Physics group at Sandia National Laboratory located at Kirtland AFB. Linda Howe states that in November 1987, Collins was "frantically" trying to get her to meet with him in Albuquerque. At that meeting, also attended by John Lear, Collins showed the two some MJ-12 documents, primarily relating to a live alien allegedly held captive by the U.S. Government. According to Howe, Collins stated that he had worked "behind the scenes" with Bill Moore for years.
So, how does Mr. Moore fit into the MJ-12 jigsaw puzzle? On the face of it, he appears to be just a UFO researcher who has been approached by questionable government sources. I have information, however, that raises doubts about his public image as merely a "civilian" researcher. Indeed, it appears as if he may be working (or have worked) for one of the U.S. intelligence agencies. I base this statement on the following information:
In December 1985, I read an article by Barry Greenwood about an allegedly ultra-secret government group called "MJ-12". The article was based on information provided by researcher Lee Graham. In March 1986, I met with Mr. Graham at his home, in the hope that he would elaborate on the information contained in Greenwood's article. I found Graham to be open, honest, and sincere. While I do not agree with many of his conclusions regarding MJ-12, I know that he is definitely not the "kook" or "space cadet" that some have branded him. On the contrary, his statements to me that evening were logical and down-to-earth. I simply disagree with some of his premises.
As we talked, Lee provided me with copies of some of the "documents" that have come to be associated with the MJ-12 affair, including the "Project Snowbird" paper and the "Project Aquarius" TWX. When I asked who had given him the documents, he would only say that the person worked for the government, as an intelligence operative or information conduit.
Over the next fifteen months I called Graham several times, to ask whether there had been any developments regarding the MJ-12 material. Perhaps the most noteworthy event during that period was the visit to Graham by two agents from the Defense Investigative Services (DIS). The agents were apparently sent to find out why Graham, who holds a "Q" security clearance, was in possession of alleged secret government documents that had not been properly declassified.
In early June, 1987, I called Lee again. This was shortly before Bill Moore's press conference in Burbank, during which he intended to unveil the "Eisenhower briefing paper" and other MJ-12 material. During this call, without any prompting from me, Graham revealed that the person who had given him the documents was in fact Bill Moore. I was puzzled. Graham had previously said, on several occasions, that he had gotten the documents from an individual who worked for the U.S. Government, presumably in an intelligence capacity. As far as I knew, Bill Moore did not work for the government in any capacity.
I asked Graham to explain this discrepancy. He unhesitatingly replied that when Moore first approached him with the documents he (Moore) showed him some kind of government ID card, with Bill Moore's picture on it but an alias typed beneath it. According to Graham, Moore indicated that he was working for the U.S. Government for the purpose of releasing sensitive UFO-related documents to the public.
I began to take notes. So incredulous was I about all of this that I asked Lee to repeat his statements, which he did. I then asked him which agency Moore claimed to work for. He responded that Bill Moore's ID badge was identical to the badge shown him by the two DIS agents. When I was skeptically retorted, "You mean to tell me that Moore's badge looked like the DIS badges?", he replied, "No, it was identical to them."
Graham went on to state that Moore claimed that he (Moore) had been "flagged" in U.S. intelligence agencies' computer files so that other operatives would not stumble over and inadvertently expose his operations. Lee went on to say that he had once been introduced to Moore's "superior" whom Moore would only identify as "Richard".
At the conclusion of this rather baffling phone conversation with Graham, I specifically asked him whether there was anything that we had discussed that I should not repeat. He answered, "No", and indicated that he would send me materials relating to his investigation by the DIS, Bill Moore's first approach to him, and other, related matters. A week later, I received the items that Graham had promised and found that references to Moore, by name, had been censored by Lee. By this time, however, I had already spoken to Barry Greenwood, Peter Gersten, Bob Todd, and others about the details of Moore's approach to Graham. Apparently word got back to Moore about these conversations because I later heard that he had vehemently denied that he was a government operative and claimed that he was only playing a "joke" on a gullible Lee Graham. The "government ID", according to Moore, was a laminated MUFON card.
Enclosure J is a letter, dated May 8, 1986, that Graham sent to the DIS in which he discusses Moore's first approach to him. Graham mentions that when he was interviewed by the two DIS agents, he told them about Moore and his ID card. Graham then goes on to ask why Moore had not been interrogated about his possession of allegedly secret government documents, copies of which he had given to Graham. (One might also ask why Moore had not been questioned about his impersonating a government agent, if in fact his ID card was bogus as he now claims.)
Enclosure K is a second letter from Graham to the DIS, dated October 19, 1986, exactly seven months after Lee was interviewed by the two DIS agents. In it, Graham again mentions that Moore has not been interrogated by the DIS over this lengthy period. He concludes that it is because Moore does indeed work for the U.S. Government, just as he had been told by Moore himself.
Graham has a point. If Moore was only "joking" when he showed Lee the bogus ID card (an ID that looked so authentic that Graham calls it "identical") to a DIS badge) one would think that Moore would have been questioned by the DIS about this potentially serious matter. If Moore was impersonating a government intelligence operative as he disseminated "documents", then surely an intelligence agency would be interested in pursuing the matter. And yet, according to Lee Graham, seven months after he had told the DIS about Moore and his badge, no one had apparently approached Moore about this incident. Why?
One might reasonably postulate that this apparent lack of follow-up by the DIS suggests that Moore does (or did) work for the U.S. Government, just as he claimed to Lee Graham. If this turns out to be true, however, given the highly questionable track record of one of Moore's chief sources, "Falcon", one must ask whether information, or disinformation, that he has been disseminating in this regard, one might also ask why did Moore not immediately dis-associate himself from Richard Doty once he had discoveredthat he had forged the Ellsworth AFB document? Instead, Moore later presented Richard "Falcon" Doty on national television as a reliable intelligence source of information about UFOs. Why?
Another serious issue involving Bill Moore that needs to be reviewed concerns the so-called "Project Aquarius" document (Enclosure L). This paper contains the first reference to "MJ-12" to be widely circulated within the ufological community.
On the face of it, the Project Aquarius document is a teletype message, sent by AFOSI Headquarters to Kirtland AFB OSI, dealing with analyses of UFO photographs and films taken by Dr. Paul Bennewitz. However, AFOSI HQ denies that it sent the message and calls it a forgery. It now appears that, in this case, AFOSI is telling the truth.
In a letter to attorney Peter Gersten, dated April 4, 1983, D. Hall states that Bill Moore privately admitted that it was he who did a "cut and paste job" and then "retyped" the document (Enclosure M). If this is true, why would Moore do such a thing? If a genuine message was sent to Kirtland AFB OSI, dealing with Bennewitz' photos, MJ-12, and the rest, why didn't Moore disseminate it in its original form? Wouldn't the "retyped" version of if, if discovered to be such, raise doubts about the credibility of the information contained in it?
If Moore did "retype" the document, can he now produce the original to substantiate the accuracy of the information contained in "his" version? If so, it will be interesting to see whether the "original" document will be confirmed as authentic by AFOSI Headquarters.
I should point out that I possess additional information about the Project Aquarius document that I intend to withold until Moore has produced (or failed to produce) the "original".
A response to Bill Moore's open letter
Just as I was concluding this missive, I received a copy of Bill Moore's open letter to those who would question his activities. In response to his criticisms and pleas, I would like to make the following points:
First, Moore states that he is not a "forger", a "hoaxer", a "fabricator", or a "counterfeiter". Whether he is any of those things, I will leave to others to decide. I would ask, however, if he could suggest an appropriate word to describe his actions when he did a cut/paste/retype job on the Aquarius document? If Moore believed that he was "the only one on the right track", as Doty flattered him, then that's his problem. If, however, he has engaged in the altering of government documents before releasing them to an unsuspecting public, then that becomes a problem for all of us. The credibility of any document, even when released via the Freedom of Information Act, will come into question in the minds of many once it has been learned that a "leading ufologist" has tampered with this or that document. And yet, Moore has the absolute nerve to rail against those who would question his "methods".
Second, Moore feigns self-righteous indignation when he denies that he is "some sort of government agent". But clearly, he has only himself to blame for this "rumor". If the ID badge that he showed Lee Graham was fake, and if he was lying when he claimed to be an intelligence operative, does he now have any right to bemoan the fact that his escapade has finally come to light? I, for one, do not believe for an instant Moore's laminated MUFON card story. That explanation smacks of the ridiculous "red herring" about there being two Dotys that Moore offered up when the "Falcon"/Doty connection was first suggested publicly by Barry Greenwood in 1987. While I am sure that there are plenty of Richard Dotys in this world, only one is the MJ-12 source "Falcon".
Third, Moore calls efforts by researchers to learn the identity of his MJ-12 sources "inappropriate" and states that for "obvious reasons" his response to these inquiries will be "no comment". This posture, of course, also conveniently shields from scrutiny the fact that his "primary" source for the MJ-12 material, Richard Doty, has apparently acknowledged forging the Ellsworth AFB document—a fact that Moore himself knew at least as early as March, 1988. In view of this revelation, the attempt by Moore to project the appearance that he is merely protecting a confidential government source rings hollow. Indeed, it seems likely that his desire to avoid embarrassment and well-deserved recriminations is a chief motive for his "no comment" stance.
So, what does the MJ-12 affair add up to? I agree with Bill Moore it would be premature at this time to draw conclusions. It would not, however, be premature to carefully consider the following facts:
1) A handful of "documents" have mysteriously surfaced relating to an allegedly ultra-secret UFO policy group, code-name "MJ-12". No government agency will confirm the papers' authenticity and the National Archives has noted several discrepancies about one of them, the so-called "Cutler memo" (Enclosures N and O).
2) Another of the documents, the "Project Aquarius" message, has been discovered to be fake, in the sense that it has been altered by Bill Moore before being released to the public. As I write, there is no publicly available evidence that the original document Moore "retyped" was itself authentic.
3) The primary source for orally-transmitted MJ-12 material, code-name "Falcon", has been determined to be Richard C. Doty. According to Dr. Bruce Maccabee, Bill Moore has acknowledged that Doty confessed to forging the Ellsworth AFB document. Further, Doty's typewriter at Kirtland AFB OSI has been implicated in the "Weitzel" hoax, and he has provided infor- mation to Linda Howe that contradicts the "facts" contained in the Eisenhower briefing paper.
4) The primary researcher involved in the MJ-12 affair, Bill Moore, has, by his own account, faked a government ID card and passed himself off as an intelligence operative to at least one individual for a period of over two years. Whether Moore showed Lee Graham a laminated MUFON card, as he now claims, or a genuine government badge, of some type remains open to question.
At the beginning of this letter, I asked whether the actions of those involved with the MJ-12 affair tended to suggest a genuine release of authentic UFO-related information to the public or, on the other hand, a disinformation campaign ( or for that matter, a simple hoax). I hope that those who are truly committed to finding the answer to this question will now renew their efforts. Hard questions must be put to Moore. Evasive answers and self-serving pronouncements from him should no longer be tolerated. I trust that those who have acted in good faith, including Jamie Shandera and Stanton Friedman, will be among his toughest questioners.
T. Scott Crain
Jo Ann Williamson
In my recent open letter I mistakenly referred to Lee Graham's security clearance as type "Q". Mr. Graham has asked that I send out a clarification on this point. I regret the error.
Mr. Graham has also expressed the opinion that I "mis-represented some of the things" that he communicated to me.
I have reviewed the portion of my letter that deals with Mr. Graham's statements to me, and I consider my account of them to be fair and accurate. While I am certain that neither he nor I could re-construct, word for word, our conversations after this lapse of time, I nevertheless stand by my portrayal of our talks.
As I have already indicated, I consider Mr. Graham to be an honest and sincere individual. I accept the fact that his recollection of our communications may differ from mine on some points.