Summary: According to a press release issued by the father-and-son team, Cooper, who is best known in UFO circles for being the mysterious recipient of Majestic 12 documents, has now received more than 2,000 pages of material from various sources over the past five years.
Tim Cooper's mailbox is still packed with documents relating to the U.S. government's role in UFO activity, especially as it relates to the shadowy super-secret operation code-named "MAJESTIC-12," researchers Dr. Robert Wood and Ryan Wood said Wednesday.
According to a press release issued by the father-and-son team, Cooper, who is best known in UFO circles for being the mysterious recipient of Majestic 12 documents, has now received more than 2,000 pages of material from various sources over the past five years.
Cooper described the documents -- about ten percent of which are stamped "TOP SECRET/MAJESTIC" or a derivative thereof -- as evidence that the government had been active in collecting UFO data and keeping it from the public since the 1940s.
"There is a growing body of evidence through the tireless efforts of ... a host of distinguished authors, researchers and former intelligence officers that the United States had a deeply classified UFO program since 1947," he said in the release.
The Woods promised that they will release many of the documents in a few weeks, after their website goes online.
"In general, these documents will be released either over the Internet or in a related publication within a year after they have undergone authentication tests," Ryan Wood said. "Premature release without quality work only clouds the interpretation of the document and wastes everyone's time."
Digging up old controversy
The "MAJESTIC" security classification first emerged as a source of UFO controversy in the 1984, when investigator William Moore received photographs of a number of previously unknown documents from an anonymous source. Among other matters, these documents dealt with an alleged 1952 briefing of then President-Elect Eisenhower by members of "the Majestic-12 Group," a classified government project devoted to the investigation of UFO reports -- particularly the infamous "flying disc" that crashed near Roswell in 1947.
According to the Moore documents, the Majestic group had knowledge of a number of downed UFOs and alien remains, all of which were retrieved by military personnel for further study.
Government agencies, including the FBI and CIA, have denounced the Moore documents as fakes -- an opinion shared by UFO skeptic organization CSICOP, which labeled the material "hoax documents" in 1989.
Independent research done by Thomas Deuley, Kevin Randle and others has since subjected the story laid out in the documents -- notably the "crashes" of Roswell and El Indio/Guerrero on the Texas-Mexico border -- to extreme scrutiny.
While Moore himself has reconsidered his position on Roswell in recent years -- now saying he is "no longer ... of the opinion that the extraterrestrial explanation is the best explanation for this event" -- he remains open to the possibility that the documents are authentic.
Firmage: interesting, true or not
In late 1998, Moore had largely receded into the background. However, at that time, the Woods, on behalf of Cooper, revealed that the anonymous mailer -- or perhaps a copycat leak -- had struck again, and that Cooper had been receiving "new" MJ-12 materials for years.
The new material trickled out over the next few months, galvanizing the UFO research community. Seasoned investigators -- including Stanton Friedman, a long-time advocate of the Moore material -- largely took the view that the documents were a hoax.
On the other hand, Cooper and the Woods found a high-profile defender in Silicon Alley CEO Joseph Firmage, who incorporated a dozen of the new documents into his book The Truth. In it he wrote that the material "simply must have been" either an authentic record of U.S. UFO policy or else a deliberate work of government espionage against the UFO research community.
"If the documents are pristine and true, they were written by the individuals therein mentioned, or their assistants," Firmage wrote in The Truth, "If the documents are partial or complete forgeries, then they were written by an intelligence agency of the government of either the United States or the Soviet Union."
Critics of the material have noted that Cooper did not "do well" on a polygraph test in August and that the typewriter on which at least two of the new documents were prepared is highly similar to that Cooper has used in his personal correspondence.
Cooper himself cryptically noted for the Woods' press release that "…the preponderance of evidence supporting the high-level U.S. top secret research and development program known variously as 'MJ-12', 'Operation Majestic 12', (or) using the top secret code word 'MAJIC', is as problematic as validating the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aramaic Gospel by Jesus Christ."
Dr. Robert Wood is a member of the board of the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR).