Aug 05, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Marilyn Monroe and UFOs: The Others Who Died Mysteriously Too

My previous article was on the theme of the connection between Marilyn Monroe and UFOs. And, the fact that Marilyn has now been dead for 60 years - and we're still trying to solve the mystery. There is, however, another angle to all of this, too: It's the other people who had a Marilyn connection and who, too, died under suspicious circumstances. And, those same people were tied to UFOs. We'll begin with journalist Dorothy Kilgallen, who was friendly with Marilyn. Some years ago, I read the FBI’s file on Kilgallen from front to end, which, I can tell you, was no easy task. It was a lengthy combination of copies of Kilgallen’s newspaper articles and FBI memoranda. The file dated back to the 1930s and was packed with entertaining material. It was also packed with government secrets that Kilgallen had an impressive knack of getting hold of from insider sources. For example, an FBI document of March 27, 1945 quotes Kilgallen as saying that “…Marshal Tito, the Yugoslav leader, has agents in this country who beat and terrorize Yugoslav who disagree with his policies.” On July 18, 1950 the FBI one of J. Edgar Hoover’s Special-Agents wrote that, “…in the Journal American on May 12th had contained information indicating that an Israeli Intelligence official had been traveling in the United States incognito.” This was a far cry from mere Hollywood gossip. No wonder Hoover had a file created on someone who seemed to know everything of a secret and scandalous nature. This brings us to Kilgallen and UFOs.

(Nick Redfern) The FBI's file on Dorothy Kilgallen

There’s no doubt at all Dorothy Kilgallen had a deep interest in the UFO phenomenon; I quickly realized that when I began looking. In 1954, she said, in a press article, that: “Flying Saucers are regarded as of such vital importance that they will be the subject of a special hush-hush meeting of the world military heads next summer.” It has to be said, though, she was really thrown into the controversy of alien life in a definitive out-of-the-blue style in May 1955. That was when Kilgallen took a vacation to the United Kingdom and things got very strange. As both a definitive bon viveur and an investigative journalist, Kilgallen was an expert at quickly cultivating friendships with influential characters – and plying them with booze to hopefully loosen their lips. She certainly did that while on the trip across the pond. Kilgallen was invited to two parties while in the U.K., both in the bustling city of London. Both soi·rées saw her rub shoulders with some of the most influential figures in politics, entertainment, and the U.K. military. For Kilgallen, they were fun nights on the town. Until, that is, things became so much more: celebrity secrets became whispers of dangerous UFO secrets.

May 22 was the date when Kilgallen prepared an amazing story for the U.S. media, and specifically for International News Service (INS): “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.” Kilgallen’s informant – evidently, someone powerful in the U.K. government - agreed to talk to her and reveal what he knew. The man didn’t say much, but it was still enough to turn heads and open eyes. His words: “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 wasn’t done: “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.” Dorothy's fascination with UFOs never went away. At least, not until she was found dead.

(Nick Redfern) Death in down-town Dallas

For Kilgallen, things began to spiral when she started to dig into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - at Dallas’ Grassy Knoll - that things began to get dicey for her. She was particularly interested in the connections between JFK’s alleged murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Dallas strip-club-owner, Jack Ruby; a man who knew all the influential, powerful, and murderous characters – including the Mob - who called Dallas their home. When Oswald was shot and killed by Ruby on November 24, 1963, Kilgallen really sat up, suspecting that Oswald had been killed to prevent him from revealing what he knew of the complexities surrounding the president’s death. Things got even more intriguing when Kilgallen got her hands on an advance copy of the controversy-filled Warren Report that investigated the death of JFK. How she got a hold of that is still a much-debated issue for those who haven’t given up on the matter of who was behind the president’s killing. Kilgallen even managed to secure an interview with Ruby, himself. Kilgallen was no fool: she knew that, by that time, her life was in a fair degree of danger. Kilgallen’s hairdresser, Marc Sinclaire, made no bones about it: “Her life had been threatened.” The threats became more and more. Then, on November 8, 1965, Kilgallen was found stone cold dead.

Now, let's look at someone else who was close to Marilyn: JFK, the President of the United States. The JFK-UFO connection began to surface in the latter part of the 1980s, as you'll see now. A man named John Lear was at the forefront of it all. And what a controversy it was.Coast to Coast AM said of Lear that he was “…a retired airline captain and former CIA pilot, as well as the son of the famous inventor of the Lear Jet. He is a former Lockheed L-1011 Captain and is highly regarded in aviation circles. He has flown over 150 aircraft and has earned every certificate granted by the Federal Aviation Administration. John also held 18 world speed records and has worked for 28 different Aircraft Corporations. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, John began coming forward with some startling revelations concerning the subject of aerial phenomena and Unidentified Flying Objects.” In promoting what amounted to the wilder side of Ufology, Lear provoked a big debate and quickly rocked the UFO world. Mind you, the stodgy, over-the-hill, and stuck-in-the-mud old Flying Saucer folks needed someone to bring them into a new era of aliens, Area 51 and the Internet. 

In 1987, Lear came out with some extraordinary information – much of which would have had Fox Mulder salivating uncontrollably. Even skeptic Dana Scully would have had a few sleepless nights after hearing all of that. Of the Kennedy-UFO links, Lear wrote: “The powers that be had to eliminate President Kennedy because he wanted to release the information on the disks [a little-used term for “UFO”] and the aliens in 1963. Since then, we have talked to people who have heard the recording made in the Oval Office when Kennedy pounded his fist and told the representatives of MJ-12 [supposedly, a top secret group in the U.S. government that oversees UFO secrecy]: ‘You guys better get your stuff together because I’m going to tell the public.’ There were several reasons why [JFK] was assassinated. One was the Bay of Pigs fiasco; another was that he had threatened to ‘shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces.’ A third reason was because he threatened to pull all our Americans from Vietnam by 1965. The fourth was that he intended to expose the alien-disk cover-up.” JFK, of course, was tied to Marilyn. As was his brother Robert Kennedy. At least, until he lost his life.

Almost two months to the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, the life of yet another formidable figure in American history was brought to a violent, bloody, and controversial end. That figure was Robert Francis Kennedy. He was better known as Bobby, as the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy – himself shot and killed under suspicious circumstances in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 – and as the man who served as the Attorney General of the United States while JFK was in power. Just like with the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and that of President Kennedy, the circumstances surrounding the shooting of RFK are steeped in mystery. And, also as with the deaths of King and JFK, there is more than one version of events. The version that is accepted by the U.S. Government is that Kennedy was shot and killed, in the early hours of June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, by a man named Sirhan Sirhan – and only by Sirhan Sirhan. At the time, Kennedy was aggressively campaigning to be the Democratic nominee for president. Sirhan’s actions ensured Bobby never, ever, held presidential office. Sirhan received a life-sentence for murdering Robert Kennedy – which he continues to serve to this day, at the San Diego, California-based Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. On the other side of the coin are the claims of deep conspiracy, of mind-controlled assassins, of Manchurian candidates, and of shadowy gunmen – all of whom were determined to ensure that another Kennedy never reached the White House. And let's not forget that Marilyn and RFK had a secret affair.

(Nick Redfern) Marilyn, booze, pills and a mysterious death sixty years ago

JFK, RFK, Dorothy Kilgallen: all connected to Marilyn Monroe. And, with UFO connections, too. Coincidences? And, of course, we have that extremely controversial, alleged "leaked" CIA document that talks about Marilyn, Dorothy Kilgallen, JFK and RFK. Although the document had been known of since 1991, Nineteen-Ninety-Five was the year in which the U.S. UFO Magazine – edited and published for many years by Don and Vicki Ecker – splashed the story of the document across the pages of their publication. The Ecker’s were prompted to give the story page-space following a then-recent press-conference put together by a writer and private detective named Milo Speriglio - one of the most important characters in this overall story. The reason for his importance? Along with UFO researcher Timothy Cooper, Speriglio was the only other one who had access to the first copy of the document, itself. Anyone else who had the document was working with nothing else but a second- or third-version/copy of it. Something else important: Speriglio (now dead) had a CIA file opened on him. No surprise that the file was solely on the Speriglio-Marilyn controversy. And it's no surprise that not all of the file is in the public domain.

After all the smoke and mirrors we’ve encountered thus far, should we now be looking at the Marilyn story through the perspectives of distinctly suspiciously-looking eyes? Or, does everything about the Speriglio document tell a true story of murder, power gone wild, and some of the U.S. government’s most guarded secrets? In my mind, there’s zero doubt that the story of Marilyn, the CIA, aliens, the Kennedys, and UFOs is the most complicated and longstanding case I’ve ever investigated. And, that’s over the course of more than twenty-five years, on and off. What began as a study of a one-page document took me down some incredibly weird pathways – and put me in touch with people who ranged from the paranoid to the insightful and from the fascinating to the gullible. Liars and fantasy-prone types were probably involved, too, but, unfortunately, it’s hard to say who should fall into this or that category. As for the document itself, many might say the most likely scenario is that it was created by someone in the UFO research community; maybe to give the scene a bit of excitement. Or, possibly, that the very same Ufologist planned on jumping out of the shadows while simultaneously shouting “Gotcha!” and rubbing their hands with absolute glee about what a bunch of gullible pricks ufologists are. History, however, has shown that neither of those two scenarios played out in such a fashion. The enigma of Marilyn Monroe - and of other suspicious deaths, too - continues.

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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