I was interested to see Paul Seaburn’s new article, “New Film Suggests Marilyn Monroe Was About To Reveal Aliens.” It’s a saga that dates back to the mid-1990s and which is clearly not going to go away anytime soon, as this latest development shows. The vast majority of the story is reliant on a controversial document of questionable origins and of equally questionable authenticity. Allegedly, it’s a CIA document dated August 3, 1962 and which deals with Marilyn Monroe’s supposed knowledge of Roswell and UFO-themed conspiracies. You can find the document here.
What particularly interests me about the “Monroe document” is not so much what it says, but what it specifically doesn’t say. Despite what many researchers have said, there is not even a single reference in the document to aliens, extraterrestrials, flying saucers, or UFOs. Not a single one. In fact, the wording could actually push the whole thing down a very different path. I’ll explain what I mean by that. But, first, let’s see how and under what circumstances the controversial one-page document surfaced.
It all began in 1995, at a Los Angeles-based press conference. It was a press conference held by a man named Milo Speriglio. He was a guy with a deep interest in the circumstances surrounding Marilyn’s death. Speriglio was so interested in her final day that he wrote three books on the issues of her life and still-controversial death. They were Crypt 33, The Marilyn Conspiracy, and Marilyn Monroe: Murder Cover-Up. Until 1995, Speriglio had not made any kind of connection between the Hollywood uber-babe and UFOs. So, what was it that prompted Speriglio to head off into new and highly inflammatory territory? It was a revelation from a man named Timothy Cooper.
Today, many people within Ufology might not recognize that name. But, from the early-to-late 1990s, Cooper – of Big Bear Lake, California – was a well-known figure in Ufology. He was also a controversial figure, too. Most of the controversy stemmed from the fact that Cooper claimed to have received a wealth of old, sensational, leaked documents from retired figures in the intelligence community – almost all of them on crashed UFOs, Roswell, dead aliens, and the notorious Majestic 12 group.
There’s no doubt that the documents existed (and still exist). You can find PDF versions of most of them at Ryan Wood’s MajesticDocuments.com website. There are literally hundreds of pages. The big question is: are they the real deal? When the papers were made available, there were those researchers who believed that the documents were 100 percent real. Some considered them to be government disinformation. And others were firmly of the opinion that Cooper had created them himself. The controversy raged for a while, but finally imploded upon itself with barely a sigh. The Marilyn document was one of those which Cooper claimed to have received from one of his various sources, or as I call them “ufological Snowdens.”
I know quite a bit about the Cooper papers (including the Marilyn Monroe document), as the following extract from my new book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy, makes clear (QUOTE): “It’s a little known fact that in late 2001 Tim Cooper sold all of his voluminous UFO files to Dr. Robert M. Wood. Bob is the author of Alien Viruses and the father of Ryan Wood, who has spent years researching alleged crashed UFO incidents – all detailed in his book, Majic Eyes Only. It is even less well-known that in the early days of 2002, Bob hired me to spend a week in an Orange County, California-based motel-room, surrounded by all of the thousands upon thousands of pages of Cooper’s voluminous collection of the cosmic sort. The plan was for me to catalog all of the material, to compile each and every piece of it into chronological order, and to summarize the content of each document, every letter, and every Freedom of Information request that Cooper had submitted to government agencies – which is precisely what I did. It was a week in which I most definitely earned my loot. It was also a week that paralleled the infamous story told by Hunter S. Thompson in his classic gonzo saga, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Whereas Thompson was hunkered down with his whisky, margaritas and shrimp cocktails, for me it was cases of cold beer and club sandwiches” (END OF QUOTE).
Contained within that huge amount of material at my disposal was the Monroe document – the original one that Cooper is said to have received from one of his sources. There were also a number of FOIA requests from Cooper that he had sent to various military and intelligence agencies, in search of any and all files on Marilyn Monroe. Cooper was clearly seeking out as much as he could find on Marilyn and UFOs – regardless of the actual origin of the document. For around eight weeks, Speriglio did absolutely nothing with the document, aside from sitting on it and pondering on what his next move should be. What Speriglio finally did was to hold that aforementioned press-conference. And that’s how the story began and how the document and its contents spilled over into the UFO research community.
One of the lesser known aspects of this story is that Speriglio made a very brief comment to the effect that copies of the document were in the hands of what he described as “two federal agencies.” At the press conference, Speriglio flatly refused to reveal the identities of the two agencies. And he refused to reveal the names when questioned later, too. So far, nothing of any substance has ever surfaced in relation to what, exactly, those two agencies may have done with the document. If anything, at all, of course.
Now, let’s take a look at the contents of the document. Most of those contents are focused on conversations between two people: Dorothy Kilgallen and a friend named Howard Rothberg. The former was a well-known figure in the field of celebrity-journalism in the 1950s and who was deeply interested in the JFK assassination (see this link for more information). As an aside, when the Speriglio-Cooper document surfaced, I fired off FOIA requests to the CIA and FBI and received copies of their files on Kilgallen. The CIA papers were few and brief, to say the least. The FBI, however, mailed me close to 170 pages on Kilgallen, demonstrating that she was someone watched closely by J. Edgar Hoover’s Special-Agents.
As for what the purported CIA document states, there is this: “Rothberg discussed the apparent comeback of [Marilyn Monroe] with Kilgallen and the break up with the Kennedys. Rothberg told Kilgallen that she was attending Hollywood parties hosted by the ‘inner circle’ among Hollywood’s elite and was becoming the talk of the town again. Rothberg indicated in so many words, that she had secrets to tell, no doubt arising from her trists [sic] with the President and the Attorney General.”
Now, we get to the crux of the story. The document states: “One such [illegible] mentions the visit by the President at a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space. Kilgallen replied that she knew what might be the source of the visit. In the mid-fifties Kilgallen learned of secret effort by US and UK governments to identify the origins of crashed spacecraft and dead bodies, from a British government official. Kilgallen believed the story may have come from the [illegible] in the late forties. Kilgallen said that if the story is true, it could cause terrible embarrassment to Jack and his plans to have NASA put men on the moon.”
It is true that Dorothy Kilgallen wrote – briefly – about UFOs back in 1955. While vacationing in the U.K. in that year, Kilgallen was on the receiving end of a very odd story, as she noted: “I can report today on a story which is positively spooky, not to mention chilling. British scientists and airmen, after examining the wreckage of one mysterious flying ship, are convinced these strange aerial objects are not optical illusions or Soviet inventions, but are flying saucers which originate on another planet. The source of my information is a British official of cabinet rank who prefers to remain unidentified.”
That same “British official of cabinet rank” reportedly advised Kilgallen of the following: “We believe, on the basis of our inquiry thus far, that the saucers were staffed by small men – probably under four feet tall. It’s frightening, but there’s no denying the flying saucers come from another planet.” Kilgallen had more to say: “This official quoted scientists as saying a flying ship of this type could not have possibly been constructed on Earth. The British Government, I learned, is withholding an official report on the ‘flying saucer’ examination at this time, possibly because it does not wish to frighten the public. When my husband and I arrived here from a brief vacation, I had no premonition that I would be catapulting myself into the controversy over whether flying saucers are real or imaginary.”
The references in the document to Marilyn having “secrets to tell” (secrets supposedly shared with her by JFK and RFK) have led a number of UFO investigators to conclude that Marilyn was killed because of what she knew about Roswell. The alleged CIA document goes on to refer to Monroe’s “diary of secrets,” “what the newspapers would do with such disclosures,” and how she had “threatened to hold a press conference and would tell all.” A countdown to death, all in the name of maintaining UFO secrecy? Well, yes, that’s how it seems. But, in Ufology practically nothing is as it seems.
It’s important to note that at the top of the document there is a reference to a Project Moon Dust. In a January 2017 article I wrote for Mysterious Universe on Moon Dust I stated: “Over the years, ufologists have given a great deal of attention to a certain U.S. military program called Project Moon Dust (also referred to as Moondust). Its origins date back to the 1950s. The reason why so much attention has been placed upon Project Moon Dust is because of its potential connection to the issue of alleged crashed and recovered UFOs held by elements of the U.S. military – crash-retrievals or C/Rs as they are generally known. But, was Moon Dust really the key operation in secretly locating and recovering crashed ships from faraway worlds?”
No, it was not. A November 3, 1961 U.S. Air Force document states: ““In addition to their staff duty assignments, intelligence team personnel have peacetime duty functions in support of such Air Force projects as Moondust, Bluefly, and UFO, and other AFCIN directed quick reaction projects which require intelligence team operational capabilities…Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO): Headquarters USAF has established a program for investigation of reliably reported unidentified flying objects within the United States. AFR 200-2 delineates 1127th collection responsibilities…”
That all sounds very interesting…but…if you take a careful look at all of the Moon Dust documents in the public domain (which I have done), it becomes very clear that when the military was referring to “UFOs” in their files they were not talking about alien spacecraft. Rather, they were referencing probable space debris that originated with the former Soviet Union. Which brings me back to the document that got Milo Speriglio fired up.
Keep Moon Dust in mind as you read the following. You’ll recall that earlier in this article I stated the following: “Despite what many researchers have said, there is not even a single reference in the document to dead aliens, extraterrestrials, flying saucers, or UFOs. Not a single one.” That’s absolutely true. What it really says is that JFK allegedly traveled to “…a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space.” No references to aliens or to extraterrestrial ships. The document also refers to “crashed spacecraft and dead bodies.” But, again, no specific references to mangled E.T.s or wrecked saucers.
Now, some might say that references to “dead bodies,” to “things from outer space,” and to “crashed spacecraft” are references to Roswell and deceased aliens. On the other hand, however, the very fact that the document references Project Moon Dust suggests another possibility. Namely, that the subject-matter may have been a failed – and still unknown – early Soviet manned-mission into space. One which predated Yuri Gagarin’s flight into outer space on April 12, 1961. There is another bit of data that supports this scenario. Recall that the document states: “Kilgallen said that if the story is true, it could cause terrible embarrassment to Jack and his plans to have NASA put men on the moon.” For ufologists this is – or should be – a problem.
Why on Earth would widespread knowledge of the existence of aliens “cause terrible embarrassment to Jack and his plans to have NASA put me on the moon?” The answer is: it wouldn’t. If such information on aliens reached the public it certainly would have caused widespread fear, wonder and amazement among the public – and within government, too. But, specifically provoking embarrassment in relation to plans to put a man on the Moon? That doesn’t make any sense. If, however, those “dead bodies” were Soviet cosmonauts, if the “crashed spacecraft” was a Russian rocket, and if the Soviets did have a number of unsuccessful manned-missions that predated Gagarin – and that such information threatened to surface during the time Kennedy was in office – then yes that would have caused significant embarrassment for the JFK administration – and, possibly, for NASA.
So, where does all of this leave us? Admittedly, since the Marilyn document first surfaced in 1995, my views and opinions have gone back and forth. I think it’s probably a hoax. Probably. Mainly because it gives Ufology just about all the things it wants and yearns for: the references to “dead bodies” and “crashed spacecraft” inevitably provoke Roswell-like imagery. The mention of a “secret air base” effortlessly points us in the direction of Area 51, thus adding another layer of sensational conspiracy to the story. The JFK-UFO angle reinforces the belief in some quarters that Kennedy was whacked because of what he knew about Roswell. The same with Marilyn, too. It’s The X-Files-meets-Dark Skies-meets-Oliver Stone’s JFK.
But, I have to admit, I do find it intriguing that whoever really wrote the document, they were extremely vague in terms of what they were talking about. I have seen more than a few questionable UFO documents in my time, and the one thing that nearly all of them share is an explicit, collective reference to ETs, aliens, flying saucers, and extraterrestrial craft. In other words, there is no doubt about the subject-matter: creatures from other worlds.
For me, though, the Marilyn document remains interesting because of the undeniable haziness of what it says. Or of what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t tell the reader that aliens crashed anywhere – despite the assumptions of Ufology. So, maybe, with that in mind, there is something to the document, after all. That’s not a case of me fence-sitting. As I said, I think it’s a hoax. But, if it is, then a great deal of thought went into it. As did a great deal of restraint – in terms of the unclear subject-matter. Maybe, there’s another answer: that we’re seeing a document crafted by disinformation experts to confuse Ufology, and for reasons presently unknown.
In light of all the above, it’s not surprising the document is still “alive and kicking,” close to a quarter of a century after it surfaced.