Apr 04, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Hoaxed UFO Documents: Secrets and Disinformation

One of the most annoying things in the field of UFOs is the “hoax document.” Or, rather, the potential hoaxed document. I say “potential” because in many cases it’s very difficult to know the truth from the garbage. And whatever else is in between. I have to say that I’ve come across faked documents on more than a few times. And, with that said, let’s have a look at some notorious documents that have been circling around the UFO scene for years. In fact, sometimes for decades. We’ll begin with one affair that very few know about and that revolves around nothing less than the December 1980 “UFO landing” at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England. 

The story itself first surfaced in the early part of 1984 and came into the hands of the key group of researchers who first investigated the Rendlesham case: Brenda Butler, Dot Street and Jenny Randles. The document purports to be a real U.K. Ministry of Defense document and presents a sensational story. It goes as follows: “Dear [Deleted] As you know, OSI [Office of Special Investigations] has completed a report on the landing of a craft of unknown origin crewed by several entities near RAF Bentwaters on the night of December 29/30 1980. Interestingly, OSI reports that the entities were approximately 1 ½ meters tall, wore what appeared to be nylon-coated pressure suits, but had no helmets. Conditions on the night were misty, giving the appearance that the entities were hovering above ground level.”

(Nick Redfern)

The document continues: “Tape recordings were made on which the entities are heard to speak in an electronically synthesised version of English, with a strong American accent. Similar transmissions interrupted irregularly by NSA since 1975. (See attached – Flag A). According to OSI, the entities had claw-like hands with three digits and an opposable thumb. Despite original reports (Flags B-C), OSI said the craft was not damaged but landed deliberately as part of a series of visits to SAC bases in USA and Europe. Reports that craft was repaired by US servicemen or was taken on to the base are not confirmed by OSI. Landing is not considered a defense issue in view of the overt peaceful nature of the contact, but investigations by DS8 [a real office in the Ministry of Defense back in the 1980s] are to be continued on [blank] authority. Precautionary plan for counter-information at a local level involving [deleted] and a [deleted] is strongly recommended.”

Well, that’s quite a story (a copy of the document can be seen in the Butler, Street and Randles book, Sky Crash, of 1984). I should stress, though, that the three – who, without doubt, were the most important investigators of the case – dismiss the document totally. And rightly so. Indeed, they say: “The anonymous memo was sent, as a photocopy to the research team in early 1984, obviously as an intended ‘real’ leaked document. We have investigated it, as we have all other pieces of information discussed in this book, and our conclusion is that it is a deliberate fake by certain parties, whose identities are strongly suspected by us.” The trio continue: “There are a number of valid reasons for believing that this is a hoax. For one thing, the MoD letter-head is of a style not used on public letters until late 1983. Second the contents give evidence of knowing certain things not known publicly, but known to the originators.”

(Nick Redfern)

Now, let’s move onto another matter: the Majestic 12 documents and the group of the same name that’s said to keep hidden the dead aliens from Roswell, New Mexico far away and far underground. Yes, the documents were hoaxed. But, this wasn’t a prank. It wasn’t a ruse to try and get money, either. The whole thing had a connection to the Russians. In 1999, Gerald K. Haines – in his position as the historian of the National Reconnaissance Office - wrote a paper titled “CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90.” It’s now in the public domain, thanks to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. It can be read at the CIA’s website. Haines’ paper detailed the history of how, and why, the CIA became interested and involved in the phenomenon of UFOs. Although Haines covered a period of more than forty years, I will bring your attention to one particular section of his paper, which is focused on the 1970s-1980s. Haines wrote: “During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Community shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintelligence aspects.”

The Soviets, then, were camouflaging their secret rocket tests by spreading false and fantastic tales of UFOs. Haines also noted something that is absolutely key to the story that this article tells and particularly so with regard to the Majestic 12 papers: “Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relating to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using U.S. citizens and UFO groups to obtain information on sensitive U.S. weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the U.S. air-defense network to penetration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings [italics mine].” What about those “U.S. citizens” that Haines referred to? The fact is that the Soviets created the Majestic 12 documents as a means to try and reel-in U.S. UFO researchers who were also working in the intelligence community. An ingenious dangling carrot. Indeed, the FBI’s now-declassified files on Majestic 12 show that those same files are under the title of “Espionage. 

Our third and final story revolves around Marilyn Monroe and a one-page document suggesting that the legendary blond was killed because of what she knew about UFOs and dead aliens. You may know that I wrote a full-length book on this particular subject: Diary of Secrets: UFO Conspiracies & the Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe. In my book, I pointed out there were solid reasons why the document – dated August 1962 and with a CIA heading – could be a hoax. The story went that the document was leaked out of the CIA and given to an author – in the early 1990s - named Milo Speriglio, a now-dead detective and a writer of three books on Marilyn’s death. 

(Nick Redfern)

On the other hand, though, there are some reasons why we should not dismiss the Marilyn document wholly. For example, when it comes to hoaxed documents, their contents are usually sensational, over-the-top and clearly fabricated. Those who hoax UFO documents almost always make the content clear – perfect examples being both the Majestic 12 files and the Rendlesham Forest-themed document above. The Marilyn document, however, is very different. I’ll tell you what I mean. You can find dozens of online articles that say Marilyn was killed because of what she knew about aliens and UFOs. The fact, though, is that – despite what many have said – the Speriglio document makes no mention of the words “aliens,” “extraterrestrials,” “Flying Saucers” or “UFOs.” None at all.

Rather, the words the document uses are “crashed spacecraft” and “dead bodies.” That’s all the document describes of a sensational type. In fact, in my book I point it out that there were good reasons why what Marilyn was told of was not a crashed UFO and dead aliens, but the crash and retrieval of a top secret Russian flight of Cosmonauts that went fatally wrong, and the U.S. captured the remains of both the crew and the craft. In other words, the document is filled with ambiguity. And, I can tell you with absolute certainty that most hoaxers avoid ambiguity. So, in conclusion, we’re likely never to have the full story of Marilyn and those dead bodies. I do think, however, there is a possibility that the Speriglio/CIA document is the real deal. So, in this article, we have two, high-profile cases of UFO hoaxing and one case that could still really go fifty-fifty.

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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