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Psychological Warfare & The Majestic Documents

Ryan Wood, March 2000

original source |  fair use notice

Summary: The theory that the professional hands of psychological warfare and propaganda experts are or were involved with the Majestic documents has been advanced. Be it modern day covert planning and leaking or old psychological warfare documents that leaked out of the garage into mailboxes and via personal meetings. This paper seeks to examine these theories and other relevant probabilities along with expert testimony as they relate to psychological warfare and propaganda operations.

The theory that the professional hands of psychological warfare and propaganda experts are or were involved with the Majestic documents has been advanced. Be it modern day covert planning and leaking or old psychological warfare documents that leaked out of the garage into mailboxes and via personal meetings. This paper seeks to examine these theories and other relevant probabilities along with expert testimony as they relate to psychological warfare and propaganda operations.

Let's begin with a couple of modern definitions of psychological warfare and psychological operations both from the Joint Chief's of Staff Publication 1, 1987.

* PSYWAR: The planned use of propaganda and other psyche logical actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support achievement of national objectives.

* PSYOP: Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning and ultimately the behavior of foreign government, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives.

Most experienced corporate citizens will recognize the above basic principles of marketing, spin and salesmanship. What is different is the focus on national objectives and foreign audiences. The reader should feel comfortable that these are not exotic, exclusive expert only skills, it is really just marketing 101 except the stakes may be higher and the tools to deliver the message may be forged documents delivered by covert means.

"If you give a man the correct information for seven years, he may believe the incorrect information on the first day of the eighth year when it is necessary, from your point of view, that he should do so. Your first job is to build credibility and the authenticity of your propaganda, and persuade the enemy to trust you although you are his enemy." Psychological Warfare Casebook, Operations Research John Hopkins University, 1958.

Do the Majestic documents show any evidence of a history of building credibility, let alone a long one, with potential targets of deception, such as the Soviet Union or China? The goal of this paper is answer these questions and determine the extent to which there is any real and hard evidence that covert psychological warfare techniques were used in conjunction with the Majestic documents. It is generally conceded that only a foreign or domestic intelligence agency has the resources, intelligence and sophistication to deliver an alleged psychological warfare deception using the comprehensive, often-sophisticated, intertwined Majestic documents. Such an undertaking, if true, would have started at least as early as 1981 (Air Force Office of Special Investigations Telex) and used six different sources planted documents in archives as well as mailboxes. They would have had numerous trained psywar experts thoughtfully creating a clever deception targeted at a foreign power for the past 19 years. Does that sound credible? It is certainly not beyond modern intelligence service capabilities to have fabricated some these documents, and it is not beyond thinking they would mount such an effort for marginal or even illogical reasons. Even that a psywar team would intentionally or carelessly include some anachronistic "ringers" is believable. However, there is a severe disconnect between the scope, purpose, target, risk and duration of the alleged psywar operation. Suppose the documents are genuine and represent the intent of the authors at the time they were written even with their misspellings, and currently unresolved anachronisms. It is important not to think that anachronisms, such as the misspelling of "celestial," or "several B-36's on arctic patrol" instead of the currently provable "one" on arctic patrol, are evidence of psychological warfare. They are not. To date there is not a single anachronism that has been raised and then thoroughly researched to show clearly that the information is false. It may be misleading or it may be incomplete but the examples are not outside the scope of a reasonable author writing a paper or document. The real questions are how do we test for the use of psychological warfare and propaganda? Ask yourself these questions.

Criteria for Determining Psychological Warfare in Documents:

1. Is there low risk of attracting foreign intelligence organizations to the targeted topic? What is the extent of the risk involved with such a deception? Is it worth the tradeoffs?

2. Has there been a long multi-year history of credible relationship between the target of deception and the authors of the deception?

3. Is the reaction of the target predicable; will they swallow the bait and move in the desired direction for some length of time?

4. Is there a specific purpose, goal, objective or intent of the deception; can it be clearly stated?

5. Does the phrase, sentence or document establish believability in the eye of the target of deception?

6. Is there any direct evidence that the documents were ever launched at the target?

7. Are there a credible number of unique language words to draw suspicion about authorship?

8. Do the historically competent experts, in Psychological Warfare agree with the answers to these questions?

Suppose that any one of the explicit and controversial sentences, let alone entire documents, of the MJ-12 documents is genuine in the sense that it was produced by a real psywar organization. A logical conclusion of "disinformation & psywar" theory is that one of the most highly protected super secrets of our time was intentionally revealed (whether to a wider public, or to foreign intelligence -- it does not matter). It is reasonable to imagine concocting a very closely similar, but intentionally quite different, project as a smokescreen or firebreak against a deeper secret. For example, is the current Majestic document discussion of ET crashed discs and technology a smokescreen for live ETs and fully functional lines of communication and technology transfer? The initial disclosure would be very risky; moreover, it would draw attention to the general nature of the UFO & ET matter, irrespective of clouding a few details, and would certainly prompt more intensive and sophisticated intelligence targeting by foreign intelligence assets. In short, if it is a psywar operation, revealing the MJ-12 documents is inept because it will and has attracted much new attention. I can say this based on just looking at where the www.majesticdocuments.com Website visitors come from. It is not even remotely credible that a crack psywar disinformation team, whether operating out of the bowels of the NSA or the underground Groom Lake mine would decide to be really clever and in order to hide some super secret or divert the enemy's attention. They would have to take an existing highly secure project (MJ-12), use its actual name, subject matter, along with identifying scores of living personnel, then change minor details and reveal this alleged deception to a target, and potentially the public. As one fellow researcher said to me it's "like doing the dance of the seven veils with wet Kleenex."

Is There A History Of Credible Relationship Between The Target Of Deception And The Authors Of The Deception? To answer the second question we need to know what and who the target is. We know, by analysis yet to be revealed that SOM1-01 is on original paper in 1954 and that other documents are original paper with watermarks in the proper period. Thus, if there were a psywar operation, it would have been created and launched on its target during the cold war of the 50's. The question is who? Naturally, the only believable target is the Soviet Union; they had nuclear capability and so did we. The alleged deception foisted on them via the documents could be, "Don't mess with the United States -- we have extraterrestrials and their technology and amazing advanced weaponry." Is creating an elaborate series of mutually reinforcing documents over nearly two decades necessary to accomplish this objective? Major overkill. Is North Korea a viable target of deception for the majestic documents dated before 1951? No, not really; it defies most military historians to believe that any leaked UFO document, even something as powerful and intriguing as, "SOM1-01: Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology Recovery and Disposal" would have changed any tactical or strategic objective, troop movement or anti-aircraft battery. Psywar was certainly used during the Korean conflict with typical operations involving dropping leaflets out of airplanes urging surrender. "Genuine" UFO reports from soldiers during military action seemed to have had no impact on the course of battles.

Do the Majestic Documents Specifically Mention Psywar? The 19-page White Hot1 technical report discusses psywar in the following way. "There is a good chance that the Russians may try to make use of the flying saucer scare by public news media and diplomatic means of a technological breakthrough in aircraft and missile development. We feel that such a disclosure would most certainly cause great embarrassment to our elected officials and to the military, not to mention the panic felt by the citizenry. To counter such a threat, it is recommended that a counterintelligence program be drawn up and held in abeyance if at such time the situation should present itself. It might be suggested that we should make a preemptive use of these objects for the purpose of psychological warfare once the true nature of these objects are known and understood."

So in September of 1947, top military leaders were recommending to the president that the US use our existing crashed hardware and absolute proof of the reality of UFOs as a tool to deceive the soviets once we figured out the technology. But since that has never been done to our knowledge, this supports that fact that psywar considered as a credible strategy for latter, years latter in the Majestic program. Then if this document is psywar propaganda why include this paragraph? It just attracts attention to the topic and makes alleged foreign intelligence analyst analyzing such a document more suspicious. There is another brief explicit discussion of psychological warfare, from the "Annual Report" of Majestic page 3, IV-Discussion, A. Nature of the Investigation, point 5: "MAJESTIC SS&P are currently focused on Psy-op development for Cold War CI activities." So what does this mean? We know that the National Security Council (NSC) authorized an interdisciplinary Special Studies group consisting of Army, Navy, Air Force and CIA with their May 5, 1948 directive2. We also know that Truman made the decision to establish the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) on 4 April 1951. This further relates to UFOs when you consider who was on the PSB.

a) Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Kenneth Royall
b) Secretary of War, the Honorable Robert Patterson
c) Assistant Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Gordon Gray
d) Chief of Staff & General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower
e) Lt. General Albert C. Wedemeyer, USA
f) Brigadier General Robert McClure, USA
g) Lt. General J. Lawton Collins, USA
h) Major General Charles Bolte, USA
i) Undersecretary of War, the Honorable William Draper
j) Major General Stephen Chamberlain, USA (G-2)

Many of these people are deeply involved with MAJESTIC-12 according to our other documents. Note the similarity of panel personnel between the November 1952 Eisenhower Briefing Document and the Majestic Annual Report; the team distribution has the same interagency structure. Is this coincidence, standard procedure or is it the same MAJESTIC committee just six years later? What is the mission of "Cold War CI activities" as it relates to UFOs? Who is the target and what are the objectives? The second explicit mention of psychological warfare is from the "Annual Report" on Majestic, page 10, Annex B, point 10: "MAJCOM-1 with the assistance of the Panel persuades the President to establish a Psychological Strategy Board on 4 April 1951."3 This is an obscure fact that the strategy board was authorized on 4 April 1951. To discover this would take intense digging nowadays and would be known to only a few insiders in 1951. This is powerful evidence in favor of Majestic document authenticity. However, following this disinformation theory, why attract attention that you established a whole board with staff, plans and very likely operational capabilities to mislead the enemy. Now consider this, because the sentence does not deliberately misdirect, as it should have if this was a psywar document by saying "MAJCOM-1 was unable to persuade the President to establish any sort of Psychological Strategy Board" then right here is a tremendous missed opportunity to spring a powerful misdirection on the enemy. Is it logical to believe that if the Majestic Annual Report document was part of psywar deception that it would highlight that fact to the target of such a deception? I don't think so. In addition to the examples above, here is more evidence that such a deception is not a factor. Why would the following paragraph be included if the goal were to deceive? "Based on what is known of the technology and intelligence of the visitors, it is fairly certain there will be other sightings and encounters of a spectacular nature."4 Wouldn't it be more logical to change phrases to leave the impression that this was a random miracle event that will likely never happen again? After all the ET technology is superior, reliable and the fact that a saucer crashed because of our fancy New Mexico radar testing and a thunderstorm is a much more credible deception. Another example is Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA). NEPA, although a logical extension of the Manhattan project goal was to provide an atomic power aircraft and would be an ideal deception target for use by the US against the Soviets. Why encourage and accelerate spy activities and intelligence collection around atomic airplanes? This could be viewed as a far more important secret to keep than telling the Soviets about crashed flying saucers; yet, the statements in the documents are not deceptive and would encourage espionage.

What Is The Specific Purpose And Objectives Of MJ-12 Psywar? How do these documents serve a valid, officially authorized Cold War purpose, assuming they were US-produced, such as to conceal experimental aircraft development (as if anyone would doubt that we are proceeding in this direction anyway), and desensitize air defenses to the meaning of sudden unexplained radar returns? If so, how does that square with the Robertson Panel's report? Such documents would introduce both belief and doubt that the US might have some overwhelming super-technology. This would stimulate greater espionage to acquire it, clearly undesirable.

From one Senior Government Official "My gut says they're real; contain the usual inconsistencies, mistakes and anomalies that derive from government work every day (even at the highest levels, especially where there is no effort to make things 'credible' for outside view, since they were never intended for outside view); and correspond to a set of phenomena that have been too consistently reported for too long by too many sane people." What otherwise do we do with apparently authentic letters like that from Sarbacher? Tools of the same disinformation campaign? Or if from the Soviets (who else?), is it to promote distrust and cynicism toward our 'government conspiracy' and foster social unrest? If so, they spent a lot of time and money and incredibly detailed research to little effect, since the vast majority of Americans have no knowledge of these documents and the few who do are in conflict over them.

Is there any evidence of Official Governmental falsification in relation to Ufology? UFOs offer a powerful tool to the intelligence community. Early on, NASA was ordered by President Kennedy to communicate clearly to the Soviets about known and unknown (UFO) aircraft and spacecraft.5 Many have made the obvious suggestion that we should build military or intelligence craft that "look like" UFOs and will thus be ignored since it is understood that modern defense systems are looking for specific anticipated targets, not "erratic" UFOs. If this has happened, one would surely expect official Government falsification about such deceptions. However, since such deception would be also highly classified, the absence of such evidence is not a powerful argument in this case. Research to date has not yielded one single, clear, classified psywar product of this sort.

Have the Skeptics Raised any Valid Objections or Evidence? Recently posted to the www.isso.org website is a paper from an anonymous author with unknown and unverified credentials titled: Deceptive UFO Documents: Doubt Debate and Daunting Questions. The paper states the obvious concerning polarizing debate in Ufology and provides no detailed evidence of deception in the Majestic documents. Take this statement for example, "Ongoing research indicates that many, possibly all, of the so called MJ-12 UFO documents were officially fabricated as instruments of US covert psychological warfare, perhaps beginning in 1950 during the most threatening period of the Korean War." Who's research? What specifics are being alluded to? This sentence is just pontificating of an unknown author.

Or "Document examination and authentication is a science of expert opinion, and are, as other sciences, generally probabilistic; however, it is an empirical and not a statistical science." Huh? Document examination and authentication is not a matter of expert opinion according to Dr. James Black, 30-year expert in document forensics and past president of the questioned documents professional organization, it is a matter of applying key straightforward tests and presenting a logical set of evidence. Or Dr. Michael Aquino, 24 year veteran of Army psyop "despite the ooga-booga mythology around it, psyop is not a very complicated process".

Or "If one notices and accepts irregularities and alterations of all the MJ-12 documents as indicative of covert psychological warfare operation, then the deception cannot be adjusted, explained away, trivialized, excused or denied..." This concept is very weak and unsubstantiated, just because there are irregularities does not mean they are psywar. Furthermore, if a crack psywar team had created these documents there would be far fewer mistakes. Don't we want the enemy to believe these documents? What's the objective? Why attract attention? The psywar theory fails before it even gets to the starting gate. Don't take my opinion about it; see what other experts have to say.

What Do Real Psychological Operations Officers Believe About The Majestic Documents? Retired Colonel Dr. Michael Aquino who spent his entire 24-year career both creating and managing enemy deception in psychological operations and propaganda had this to say after studying SOM1-01 and the Majestic documents. "I don't see the MJ-12 documents as comprising an effective psyop campaign of any sort. What would be the purpose? If MJ-12 existed and the docs were supposed to be believable, they would just draw more attention to the Majestic program that the government wanted under wraps. If the docs' occasional format errors were supposed to be deliberate, what would be the point of creating & disseminating such docs? All they would do would be to attract presumably unwanted amateur interest in MJ-12, which again the government would presumably not want. PSYOP, despite the 'ooga-booga' mythology around it, is not a very complicated process. A target audience is thinking about a subject one way, and you want to get them to think about it another way. So an audience analysis is performed to find out how to talk to them, how to gain credibility with them, and how to appeal to their needs and interests. Then phrase your objective accordingly and communicate it. If you do all this correctly, their minds change and they think/act the way you want them to. That's it. If MJ-12 were in fact a real, top-secret government operation, which the government intended to keep secret, then anything using its name or orbiting around its business (such as the MJ-12 docs or SOM1-01 manual) would not be remotely appropriate for any advertisement or publicity whatever. The only situation in which I could see PSYOP resources playing a part would be one in which the cat were out of the bag about MJ-12's existence, and the government then acted to trivialize or minimize it. When I saw Dark Skies on television, it occurred to me that this could be one way of turning the entire topic into a 'science fiction cartoon', in much the same way that the movie Philadelphia Experiment and its even zanier sequel did for that topic."

Summary: Top Reasons Why PSYWAR Theory Is Not Credible

1) Majestic Doucments - Top Secret White Hot, page 20-21

2) NARA - Record Group 273, NSC 10/2 - Top Secret

3) Ibid. page 10, Annex A item 10

4) Top Secret Majestic Operation Annual Report, page 6 item K - Intelligence Gathering and Analysis - www.majesticdocuments.com

5) Top Secret Memo to Director CIA and James Webb, NASA , 12 Nov 1963, signed by JFK

Rev 2.0 Page 8

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