Summary: As might be guessed by his name, Laurence Rockefeller has a lot of money. He's the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, founder of the dynasty, and brother of John D. III, Nelson, Winthrop, and David Rockefeller. Now 86 years old, Laurance Rockefeller has long listened to his own personal, internal drummer. He's also been interested in UFOs for a long time, and often puts his money where his mind is. For example:
Or, How a Millionaire and a Socialite New Ager are
Trying to Influence World Leaders about UFOs
by Paul B. Thompson
As might be guessed by his name, Laurence Rockefeller has a lot of money. He's the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, founder of the dynasty, and brother of John D. III, Nelson, Winthrop, and David Rockefeller. Now 86 years old, Laurance Rockefeller has long listened to his own personal, internal drummer.
After being a venture capitalist in his thirties, he embraced environmental causes in the 1950s and 60s, long before they were fashionable -- at the same time brother Nelson was conquering the Amazon jungles with his CIA friends. He's also been interested in UFOs for a long time, and often puts his money where his mind is. For example:
--For two years (1993-95) Laurance Rockefeller supported Dr. John Mack's Center for Psychology and Social Change in Cambridge, Mass., to the tune of $250,000 a year. Dr. Mack, of course, is the controversial psychiatrist who investigates alleged UFO abductions.
--Rockefeller paid for at least two meeting sessions of the Starlight Coalition, a group said to be made up of former intelligence officers and military men interested in UFOs.
--At one time Rockefeller funded a plan to establish contact with aliens, not using the SETI method (by radio telescope), but by signaling them with banks of powerful halogen lamps.
--Rockefeller once held a UFO conference at his ranch in Wyoming.
Just last year, Laurence Rockefeller ponied up an estimated $30,000 for a special UFO project created by Marie "Bootsie" Galbraith, wife of investment banker Evan Galbraith and one-time U.S. ambassador to France. Mrs. Galbraith wanted to compile a report containing the most reliable evidence for the paranormal nature of UFOs. This report would be sent to VIPs only -- politicians, heads of corporations, heads of state -- to convince them of the necessity of taking UFOs seriously.
To that end, Mrs. Galbraith arranged for the three most influential civilian UFO groups in America to unite under the temporary banner of the UFO Research Coalition: CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies), FUFOR (Fund for UFO Research) and MUFON (Mutual UFO Network). Drawing on these organizations' data resources, a 169-page special report, "Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing Document: The Best Available Evidence," was compiled.
The bulk of the actual writing was done by Don Berliner, best known for his work with Dr. Stanton Friedman on the Roswell Incident. J. Antonio Huneeus, UFO columnist for FATE magazine, also contributed, along with Mrs. Galbraith herself. The report was printed in large format (8 1/2 x 11 inches), perfect bound with a light blue cover. Inside there is a letter of endorsement from the heads of the three UFO organizations mentioned above: Mark Rodeghier of CUFOS, Richard Hall of FUFOR, and Walter Andrus of MUFON.
Fraser Seitel, spokesman for Laurance Rockefeller, told the Observer of New York that Rockefeller did not personally endorse the report's conclusions. Said Seitel, "He [Rockefeller] is interested in learning what the Government has on file."
The briefing document had a small print run (one unconfirmed estimate said 300 copies were made), but bootleg photocopies have begun to circulate. (I was offered one by a confidential source before I had scarcely heard of the thing.) Mrs. Galbraith did not want the report going to just anyone. "We just want the right people to know," she told the Observer. "It's like your children are going to announce their engagement and they haven't even told their mommies and daddies, and then their mommies and daddies read about it in the newspaper. They would be upset, wouldn't they?"
Ahem. Yes. The briefing document is frankly not that exciting, content-wise. The text is copyrighted, but here's the table of contents:
Letter of Endorsement
Part 1: Overview
-- Government Secrecy
-- The Case for UFO Reality
-- The UFO Cover-up
-- Summary of Quotations
Part 2: Case Histories
-- 1944-45: "Foo Fighters" Over Europe and Asia
-- 1946: "Ghost Rockets" Over Scandinavia
-- 1947: First American Sighting Wave
-- 1952: Second American Sighting Wave
-- 1956: Radar/Visual Jet Chase Over England
-- 1957: Third American Sighting Wave
-- 1958: Brazilian Navy Photographic Case
-- 1964: Landing Case at Socorro, New Mexico
-- 1967: Physiological Case at Falcon Lake, Canada
-- 1975: Strategic Arm Command Bases UFO Alert
-- 1976: Multiple Witness Case in the Canary Islands
-- 1976: UFO Dog-Fight over Teheran
-- 1980: UFO Incidents at Rendlesham Forest, England
-- 1981: Physical Trace Case in Trans-en-Provence, France
-- 1986: Jet Chase over Brazil
-- 1986: Japan Airlines 747 Case over Alaska
-- 1989: Multiple Witness Case at Russian Missile Base
-- 1991-94: Recent Cases
Part 3: Quotations
-- Characteristics of IFOs and UFOs
-- Terminology of UFOs
-- International Agreements and Resolutions
-- Recommended Reading
-- Resource Catalogs
-- CUFOS, FUFOR, and MUFON
As can be seen by this list, the material covered is fairly familiar stuff to any well-read UFO buff. The cases are well presented, with clear diagrams and photographs. Part 3, "Quotations," consists of pro-UFO statements by government officials, military men, astronauts, and scientists.
The effect of all this material is rather like reading a textbook for UFOs 101. Or a better analogy would be to say this is the 1990s version of the classic 1964 treatise The UFO Evidence, complied by NICAP under the editorship of FUFOR's Richard Hall. The UFO Evidence contained over 700 cases, representing the best UFO evidence to that date. Bootsie's "Briefing" has only nineteen chapters, though some sections cover more than one case. I guess the UFO Research Coalition decided not to tire the minds of its VIP readers too much.
All in all, the story of the document's creation is more interesting than the material it contains. Because of its origin and aura of exclusivity, many UFO buffs will seek out the briefing document, but it contains no information that can't be found in the works of J. Allen Hynek, Timothy Good, Jacques Vallee, Richard Hall, and the Condon Committee Report. I predict its effect on world leaders will be exactly nil.
At the recent MUFON Symposium in Greensboro, N.C. (July 5-7, 1996), I was told that the briefing was beginning to show up illegally on the Internet. Bootsie will have a spasm. Being a writer myself, I can't condone deliberate copyright violation, but everyone needs to lighten up. The briefing is not a soul-shaking document, nor is it worth pirating. If it had been published commercially, it would have attracted far less interest. Maybe Rockefeller should put out a mass-market paperback edition. That way the curious could read the briefing legally, and Laurance could recoup his money.
As if he needs it.
(c) Copyright 1996 ParaScope, Inc.