Nov 17, 2021 I Nick Redfern

The Majestic 12 Documents and the FBI: Could Some of The Files be Creations of the Russians?

Every now and then I get asked about the highly controversial "Majestic 12" documents. There are those in the UFO field who believe that the documents are the real deal. Others are on the fence. Most, though, are of the opinion that the documents are nothing but hoaxes. For those who may not know, the documents tell of an alleged top secret organization (the aforementioned Majestic 12) that was tasked with hiding away, and investigating, various crashed UFOs and dead aliens. The documents fall into three categories. There is a batch of documents that came to UFO investigator and writer, Bill Moore, in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, a huge amount of material on Majestic 12 fell into the hands of UFO researcher Timothy Cooper. And just a few years ago, an alleged Defense Intelligence Agency document - that referred to Majestic 12 - was provided to UFO investigator and researcher Heather Wade. It's those 1990s documents I'm focusing on today, though - mainly because they are the most intriguing. It was 1990 when Cooper, of Big Bear Lake, California, began to publicly dig deep into the world of aliens. Cooper had every reason to do that. It all came down to Tim Cooper’s father, Harry Bob Cooper. He was someone who spent a number of years in the U.S. Air Force; specifically from 1941 to 1945 and from 1947 to 1960. A few years ago I was able to get a full history of Cooper Sr.’s career from the National Archives. The papers show he was stationed at, among others, the Hawaiian Islands; the Marianas Islands; Alamogordo, New Mexico; and Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. Cooper was given the Good Conduct Medal; the WWII Victory Medal; the American Defense Service Medal; and more, too. He died on September 2, 2000.

Cooper Sr. confided in his son something incredible: nothing less than disturbing knowledge of what the U.S. government knew about aliens from other worlds – and of what was being kept from the public. Interestingly, but also frustratingly, Harry Cooper’s material was only spread by the use of aliases. For example, in his 1991 book, UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum, Leonard Stringfield described Harry Cooper as an "enlisted man" and called him "Bob." And that’s all Stringfield would call Cooper. Meantime, Ryan Wood added a bit by saying that Harry Cooper was a "conduit" of many "document leaks." One of those "leaks" was said to have been the Speriglio document. According to Cooper, Sr., the U.S. government was aware of a great deal on matters relative to extraterrestrial life. Quite out of the blue, UFOs had crashed to Earth in New Mexico in the late-1940s. One of those UFOs was the device found relatively near to Roswell, New Mexico, said Cooper, Sr. The bodies of the diminutive, somewhat-human-like creatures that were on-board were hastily taken to secure facilities where they could be autopsied and preserved for careful study. No-one had seen anything like this before. Nobody wanted to. "Nightmarish" was the all-encompassing word for it all.

Planet Earth had visitors – and no-one knew why they were suddenly here. So some say. Things began to get even more worrying for the White House of the late-1940s. There was evidence the corpses of the retrieved, damaged aliens presented a biological threat to the Human Race. Fears of worldwide pandemics were quickly the order of the day. People were abducted against their wills. Minds were wiped cleaned by aliens. It would later become known in UFO jargon as "missing time." Medical experiments, of an unclear nature, were performed on people in the dead of night. In rapid time, and behind the scenes, things were threatening to spiral totally out of control. The government was not just worried, but utterly panicked by the sudden, and unearthly, presence in its midst. What was to be done? What could be done? Anything? Nothing? Somewhere in between? The main thing the collective intelligence community, military and government agreed on was to hide the whole situation from the public and the media. In fact, from everyone who was deemed a threat to national security. Sometimes, it was rumored, those "in the know" were shut down forever. See what I mean.

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(Nick Redfern)

It wasn’t long before Cooper began to receive more and more packages and letters in the mail. Such deliveries, to Cooper’s Big Bear Lake Post Office Box, continued up until around 1996. They contained nothing less than what appeared to be highly-classified documents on some of the same things that Cooper, Sr. had told his son about years earlier. Cooper, Jr., it seemed, had his very own "Deep Throat." Or, as it transpired, a pair of them. They were Thomas Cantwheel and Salina Cantwheel: a father and daughter team. Both were said to have worked in the world of intelligence and espionage for decades. By the 1990s, they were ready to get the secrets of the Saucers out for all of us to see. They tried to do so, by providing a wealth of amazing papers on UFO secrecy. Or, that's how some thought it go down. However, the absolutely glaring fact that "Cantwheel" is not a real name, and never has been, quickly made it obvious that the mysterious pair were using very curious pseudonyms (the closest real name is "Cantwell"). The mail-drops became more and more regular and the documents grew in number. Cooper decided to seek out the advice and help of a number of UFO researchers, including nuclear-physicist Stanton Friedman, who died in 2020, and Leonard Stringfield, who I mentioned earlier and who passed away in 1994. It was advice on what was going down that Cooper wanted - and also to share with Friedman and Stringfield some of the material that had fallen into his lap.

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(Nick Redfern) Big Bear Lake, California

Both men - Stringfield and Friedman - were excited, but cautious, by what Cooper had described to them. One of the things Cooper put together for Friedman - and that very few have ever seen - was a 14-pages-long document on Cantwheel, his history, his work and a great deal more. I was able to get my hands on that entire document in the 1990s (Friedman was good enough to give me a photocopy of it). It describes the elderly Cantwheel as being "6 ft. 2 in. tall," "in early 90s," "speaks with a southern draw," "rambles and changes subject quickly,” and "has good command of Russian and German language."  That Cantwheel was said to have spoken fluent Russian made some people in the UFO community wonder if he was working for the Russians – or, even worse, that he was a Russian and that Cooper had been dragged into a strange disinformation-driven operation, concocted by the high-ups in the bowels of the Kremlin. Was it possible that part of all this was some strange "game" on the part of the Russians? A nefarious plot to try and create mistrust and paranoia within the U.S. Intelligence community? That was a scenario I seriously addressed. Incredibly, that theory had a lot of merit to it, as you will see now.

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(Nick Redfern) Files and Files and Files

If the combined intelligence community found anything more about Majestic 12 documents in the late 1980s then it is yet to appear under the FOIA. We do know something of deep interest though, thanks to a man named Richard L. Huff. He served as Bureau Co-Director within the Office of Information and Privacy. In correspondence with him, Huff informed me of the existence of an FBI "Main File" on Majestic 12, now in what is termed "closed status." The title of the file is not something along the lines of "Potentially leaked document" "Hoaxed document;" or "Questionable document," as one might imagine, given the strange story that is detailed in this chapter. Rather, the FBI's file on the Majestic 12 documents title is nothing less than – wait for it – "Espionage." Add this word, "Espionage," to "Cantwheel" possibly being a Russian, and it makes me wonder why so very few people have dug deep into this issue of all the Majestic 12 documents being the work of Soviet intelligence - and with an espionage tie. It makes far more sense than tales of dead aliens and crashed UFOs.

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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