The show did go ahead, but was not exactly the programme
originally planned. After the Air Force spokesmen had reeled off a number of
anecdotal stories designed to ridicule the UFO belief, Keyhoe came on for his
agreed piece. However, after a few moments, he suddenly veered from the script
on the teleprompter and managed to squeeze in "and now I’m going to reveal
something that has never been disclosed before… for the last six months we have
been working with a congressional committee investigating official secrecy about
UFOs…" before the audio was cut, taking Keyhoe off air. The public never heard
his planned concluding statement that "if all the evidence we have given this
committee is made public in open hearings it will absolutely prove that the UFOs
are real machines under intelligent control. (33)"
NICAP later received a statement from the CBS Director of
Editing, Herbert A Carlborg, confirming that Keyhoe was cut off the air, but
only in the interests of national security. "This programme had been carefully
screened for security reasons", Carlborg wrote, "therefore it was the
responsibility of this network to ensure performance that was in accordance with
predetermined security standards. Any indication that there would be a deviation
from the script might lead to a statement that neither this network nor the
individuals on the program were authorised to release." (34).
However, the damage had been done, and the idea of a cover-up
began to be securely planted in the minds of those who wanted to believe in it
and others who had been more ambivalent up to that time. Slowly, those
involved in the alleged cover-up started to ‘leak’ information. Former CIA
Director (1947-50) Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter decided to go
public when he made the following signed statement to Congress dated
22nd August 1960: "It is time for the truth to be brought out … behind the scenes
high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are
led to believe that unknown flying objects are nonsense … I urge immediate
Congressional action to reduce the dangers from secrecy about unidentified
flying objects (35)."
Victor Marchetti, a former Special Assistant to the Executive
Director of the CIA also acknowledged the phenomenon was real in an article
written for Second Look entitled ‘How the CIA Views the UFO
Phenomenon.’ In this article Marchetti states "We have, indeed, been
contacted – perhaps even visited – by extraterrestrial beings, and the US
government, in collusion with other national powers of the Earth, is determined
to keep this information from the general public (36)."
Colonel Joseph J. Bryan III, founder and first chief of the
CIA’s Psychological Unit and former Special Assistant to the Secretary of the
Air Force as well as aviation advisor to NATO, confirmed that information was
being covered up in a letter to Donald Keyhoe dated 1960. "Information on UFOs,
including sightings reports, has been and is still being officially withheld.
This policy is dangerous, especially since mistaken identification of UFOs as a
secret Russian attack might accidentally set off war (37)."
That the CIA does not hold a good track record on honesty and
integrity is a matter of public record. Captain George Hunter White, a Narcotics
agent, wrote of his CIA escapades in a letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. "I toiled
wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun… where else could a
red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the
sanction and blessing of the all-highest?" (White ran ‘Operation Midnight
Climax’ - a project run in the 1950s in co-operation with the CIA and the
Army Chemical Corps, wherein unsuspecting male bar patrons in New York and San
Francisco were given cocktails spiked with LSD, and thereafter taken by
prostitutes to designated hotel rooms with their sexual acts filmed by U.S.
intelligence agents from behind a two-way mirror.)
A retired agency
caseworker with twenty years experience stated of his work, "I never gave a
thought to legality or morality, Frankly I did what worked." William (Wild Bill)
Donovan, President Roosevelt’s Co-ordinator of Information (Appointed 11 July
1941 by Roosevelt to this post, and later as Director of Strategic Services, 13
Placed on active
duty and appointed Brigadier General in US Army, 24 March 1943; Promoted to
Major General, 10 November 1944), recruited a Cornell graduate from Boston named
Stanley Lovell. Lovell described his work as follows: "What I have to do is to
stimulate the Peck’s Bad Boy beneath the surface of every American scientist and
say to him, ‘throw all your normal law-abiding concepts out of the window.
Here’s a chance to raise merry hell. Come help me raise it (38)."
The CIA has also been linked to a number of incidents that
indicate that involvement in the UFO phenomenon is a risky and unhealthy
business. Consider the case of the late Dr. Morris K. Jessup, a professional
astronomer and author of books on UFOs who suggested that there were UFO bases
under the oceans. On 20th April 1959 he was found dead, having
apparently committed suicide.
Then there was Dr. James E. McDonald, a senior physicist at the
Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Professor at the Department of Meteorology,
University of California. He became a speaker and writer on the subject of UFOs
and was noted to be critical of the US Air Force’s handling of the situation. In
an article in Saga Magazine (40) it was claimed that McDonald "privately
discussed, in his last years, the possibility that alien beings were not only
present on this planet but were systematically taking over top posts in the
government and military."