Jan 17, 2021 I Nick Redfern

From the MJ12 Documents to the 5412 Documents: A Connection?

Now and again, I'm asked if there is any kind of a connection between the so-called MJ12 group (said to have overseen the secrets of what happened outside of Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947) with what, back in roughly the same time-frame, was a government body known as 5412. The short answer is: no, there isn't a connection. Some would disagree. But, some are tragically wrong. When it comes to the content of the MJ12 material, what we have is a "document" that purports to be a 1952 briefing prepared by Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter for President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, informing him that a spacecraft from another world, along with a number of alien bodies, had been recovered from the New Mexico desert in 1947. A second document is a 1947 memorandum from President Harry Truman to Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, authorizing the establishment of the MJ12 group. For years – in fact, for decades – UFO sleuths have argued on the matter of the documents' authenticity or otherwise. It’s no surprise that ufologists still can’t come to a consensus that satisfies everyone. Such is the nature of the domain of UFO research.

Stanton Friedman 570x973
Stanton Friedman

I have to say that most people in the field of UFO research have washed their hands of the MJ12 documents. Indeed, the only person who really championed the documents for the long haul was the late Stan Friedman. He continued to state they were the real deal until his final lectures. Stan and I had a lot of chats about MJ12, mostly concerning how and why Stan thought they were real, and I thought the whole thing was total bullshit. I still think it's total bullshit and, largely, created by disinformation specialists in government t0 to veer ufologists away from what really happened at Roswell: a top secret experiment using human guinea-pigs in early, high-altitude flights that went catastrophically wrong. In the early 1980s a campaign of disinformation was created (the MJ12 documents), to try and make sure UFO researchers kept their attention on the faked MJ12 papers and away from the much darker reality. It's this matter of the number "12" that now and again makes people ask me about the MJ12/5412 issue. Let's take a look at the reality of the situation.

The Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State, explains the situation: "In 1954 NSC 5412 provided for the establishment of a panel of designated representatives of the President and the Secretaries of State and Defense to meet regularly to review and recommend covert operations. Gordon Gray assumed the chairmanship of the '5412 Committee' as it was called, and all succeeding National Security Advisers have chaired similar successor committees, variously named '303', '40', "Special Coordinating Committee," which, in later Presidential administrations, were charged with the review of CIA covert operations." The story continues:

"Following the Bay of Pigs fiasco in early 1961, the President reconstituted the 5412 Committee that monitored covert actions as the Special Group. Chaired by National Security Adviser Bundy, the new body included the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Under Secretaries from the State and Defense Departments. This body reviewed and endorsed a number of covert action projects in the first 2 years of the Kennedy Presidency. President Kennedy also added to the responsibilities of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), originally created by President Eisenhower in 1956. Kennedy met with the Board 12 times and conferred frequently with individual members. The Board reviewed a wide range of intelligence matters and made some 120 recommendations to the President." And, that's just about it.

The only connection between the real 5412 and the crappy MJ12 documents is the matter of  the number "12." There's no doubt in my mind, at all, that whoever concocted the MJ12 documents deliberately created them - with a "12" - to try and make a link to 5412. And to make things look more impressive than they were. Unfortunately, the MJ12 document do not impress, whether with or without a "12" in their title.

Nick Redfern
Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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