|Extraterrestrial Politics Part 7 - Best Available Evidence Briefing Document|
|Written by Grant Cameron|
|Monday, 03 August 2009 16:16|
"We believe that this Briefing Document on Unidentified Flying Objects represents the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs. Although just a brief sample of the scientific and military evidence available worldwide is given, it represents some of the most carefully documented incidents... We the undersigned, endorse the information contained in this Briefing Document as the best available evidence from open sources." Letter of Endorsement for the Briefing Document on Unidentified Flying Objects: The Best Available Evidence.
"Our goal is to have elected officials decide what is secret and what is not because now the bureaucrats keep all the secrets. They donâ€™t even keep the Congress and President informed." Mrs. Galbraith editor/author of Best Available Evidence Briefing Document.
"Knowledgeable and sincere civilians around the world must come together to collect the best evidence on this subject, and then educate world leaders, leaders in society, and our fellow humans." Steven Greer outlines title, strategy, and concept of Best Available Evidence May 1994.
As the year 1995 began, Laurance Rockefeller and his partner in the White House UFO Disclosure Initiative, Scott Jones, arrived at the opinion that the Clinton administration might actually be making some moves to try and end the secrecy surrounding the UFO subject. "There is some shadowy evidence," Jones wrote to Gibbons in February 1995, "that the administration is in the process of modifying the governmentâ€™s policy concerning secrecy and denial about the UFO phenomena."
Jones noted, however, that the White House didnâ€™t appear prepared to share that game plan with them. "It appears," Jones wrote Gibbons, "after Lauranceâ€™s last meeting with you that we are not going to get feedback from our attempts to get the White House to open the books on this subject. Neither Laurance nor I need any encouragement or credit for what we have been trying to accomplish. We have done what we thought was reasonable and needed."
At exactly the same time this letter was being written to the Presidentâ€™s science advisor by Rockefellerâ€™s partner on the White House Disclosure Initiative, Rockefeller began financing another UFO effort that he believed was reasonable and needed. This effort involved producing a briefing document that would produce an overview of the evidence surrounding the UFO phenomena. That briefing document could then be used to educate readers why all the collected UFO evidence should be studied rather than ignored.
The audience for the briefing document would not be just the Presidentâ€™s Science Advisor as it had been during the initial UFO disclosure initiative. Rockefeller decided this time to try and influence a wider audience of people who could hopefully help to end the government secrecy surrounding UFOs. The audience Rockefeller figured could help included Congressmen, Senators, United Nations officials, religious leaders, and other top VIPs. The briefing document Rockefeller chose for this task would become known as the "Best Available Evidence: Unidentified Flying Object Briefing Document." Because Rockefeller financed the entire project, the briefing report is most commonly called "The Rockefeller UFO Report."
The Best Available Evidence Briefing Document: Rockefeller Report
On February 5, 1996, Laurance Rockefeller wrote a letter to Jack Gibbons thanking him for what he called "the very productive phone call last week." In the same letter, Rockefeller promised to provide Gibbons with a copy of a UFO briefing report titled Unidentified Flying Objects: The Best Available Evidence (BAE). Rockefeller wrote that he would be very interested in Gibbonsâ€™ reaction to the material contained in the report.
A few weeks later, on February 29, Rockefeller wrote Gibbons again. To his letter, Rockefeller attached a 27-page Executive Summary of the Unidentified Flying Object Briefing Document: Best Available Evidence. Along with the Executive Summary, Rockefeller provided Gibbons with his assessment of the report he had financed,
"While I do not necessarily agree with every finding and conclusion, I do believe that the evidence presented indicates that this subject merits serious scientific study. Toward that end, I hope that our government, other governments, and the United Nations will cooperate in making any information they may have available."
The Executive Summary was not the only report funded by Rockefeller. There were actually three different Best Available Evidence briefing documents produced for Rockefeller.
November 1995 - a 129-page draft of Unidentified Flying Objects: The Best Available Evidence was printed and sent to various people around the world for comments and suggestions. A copy of this was found in the OSTP files. It was probably provided by Laurance Rockefeller.
December 1995 - UFORC Committee Chairman Richard Hall writes a 27-page Unidentified Flying Objects: The Best Available Evidence-Executive Summary. A copy of this was mailed to OSTP in February 1996 by Rockefeller and is found in the files.
December 1995 released February 1996 - The final 169-page Unidentified Flying Objects: The Best Available Evidence is published. There is no copy of this in the OSTP files.
The financing of the Best Available Evidence report was also only one in a whole series of UFO research efforts that Rockefeller had financed in the early nineties. He had been a constant source of what researchers referred to as "Rockeybucks," i.e., money spent by Rockefeller to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery.
During this period, in the early nineties, many researchers made research proposals to Rockefeller, and were provided funds. In January 1994, for example, funds were provided for Steven Greer to fund his Project Starlight. Greer wanted $1.2 million, and was given $20,000.
The money for these UFO-funded projects was funneled through the Scott Jonesâ€™ Human Potential Foundation. The Human Potential Foundation itself received almost all its funding from Rockefeller, and that funding lasted from mid-1991 until mid-1994.
Another project included Rockefeller putting up $10,000 in 1993 to stop the "Journal for Scientific Investigation" from going under. The financially strapped journal often published UFO articles by mainstream scientists.
From 1993-95, Rockefeller funded the alien abduction research of Dr. John Mackâ€™s Center for Psychology and Social Change at Harvard University. Dick Farley, who was named the liaison for the Rockefeller funding, placed the level of funding at $194,000. Later, when Harvard University decided it planned to censure Dr. Mack for his pro-abduction research, Rockefeller stepped in to finance the legal defense of Mack in front of the Harvard review board. Prominent Christic Institute lawyer Daniel Sheehan was hired, which resulted in the Harvard review board quickly withdrawing the charges.
Finally, in May 1995, Rockefeller financed a conference "When Cosmic Cultures Meet". It was organized and run by Scott Jones. Jones invited both Bill and Hillary Clinton to the conference described as, "The first conference devoted to a serious consideration of what should transpire in the initial formal meeting of humans and another cosmic culture."
The Best Available Evidence document was another in the list of UFO projects Rockefeller had chosen to finance. According to Marie Galbraith, who oversaw the Best Available Evidence project for Laurance Rockefeller, the BAE project was set up to produce a briefing document that could be used to brief important people in governments worldwide.
Galbraith saw it as a failsafe for the pinpointed "important people," so they would not be caught unaware should there be a sudden disclosure of the reality of UFOs. "It is like your children are going to announce their engagement and they havenâ€™t even told their mommies and daddies," said Galbraith, "and then their mommies and daddies read about it in the newspaper. They would be upset wouldnâ€™t they?"
Don Berliner, identified as the key author of the BAE briefing, expressed the same sentiment for those whom the document was intended for. "We're only giving it to really top people not ordinary people like you and me," Berliner said. " I guess the only reason I have a copy is I wrote the thing."
Despite the fact that the restricted printing of 1,000 copies of the final BAE was intended only for the top people in government, a review of the collection of 991 pages of documents released by Gibbonsâ€™ OSTP office, shows that there is no record of the report in the files. This would mean that the 169-page final report was never provided to the Presidentâ€™s Science Advisor, or that the report was lost or removed on purpose.
As Gibbons was the main link to the President on UFOs for Rockefeller, it means that the President also may not have seen the report that Rockefeller financed for VIPs like the President. To help establish if the President did or did not receive a copy of the report, members of the committee that produced the report were asked. Most could not provide much help, admitting that they did not know for sure who had received the 1,000 copies produced. One member of the committee, when asked who in the White House was sent a copy of the final 169-page BAE document responded, "none of anyoneâ€™s business."
One of the co-authors of the BAE, Antonio Huneeus, found the fact that the BAE was not found in the OSTP files puzzling. "I am sure a copy was sent to Gibbons," said Huneeus. "I remember seeing that Marie Galbraith was very exact in how she did things. She had these lists of the different people that were receiving this thing. I do remember seeing Gibbonsâ€™ name."
What the OSTP files did have besides the short Executive Summary sent to Gibbons by Rockefeller in February 1996, was the November 1995 preliminary draft of Best Available Evidence. This 129-page version of the paper was the initial draft report that had been written for the committee by Don Berliner. Copies of it had been sent around the world for comment and correction.
There were no comments or corrections made by Gibbons or his staff on the preliminary BAE draft found in the OSTP files. There was, however, a handwritten note from Gibbons to Rockefellerâ€™s lawyer dated March 5, 1996, in which Gibbons claimed he had received a copy of "the UFO document briefing document by Don Berliner." In reality, Gibbons had only received the 27-page executive summary written by Dick Hall that was attached to the February 29 letter. Gibbons stated, "I will pursue it before sending a communication in response to Lauranceâ€™s letter of February 29." No such communication to Rockefeller was found in the OSTP files.
The BAE report was referred to by Rockefeller as the "Bootsie Report," named after the woman who was coordinating the writing, and distribution -Marie "Bootsie" Galbraith, wife of Evan Galbraith, investment banker and former Ambassador to France. The report is often referred to as the Rockefeller Report, because Rockefeller put up the money to produce the report.
Galbraith had been brought onto the Rockefeller UFO team as a replacement for Dr. Scott Jones, whose funding ended in mid-1994. "Galbraith was kind of a replacement for Jones. Thatâ€™s correct," replied co-author Antonio Huneeus, when asked about the hiring of Galbraith. " They were unhappy with Jones, for whatever reasons, I donâ€™t know. Basically Rockefeller had a three-year contract with Jones for funding of Jones. When that expired, the money that would have gone to renew Jones contact went to Marie Galbraith and our project."
The BAE report was written (during the period February 1995 to February 1996) out of an office on Madison Avenue supplied by Sandy Wright, and paid for by Laurance Rockefeller. The original preliminary draft of BAE was written by aviation writer Don Berliner. He was not involved with the later stages of the documents creation. In preparation for the writing of the final draft, Galbraith and Wright interviewed and then hired Fate magazine UFO columnist Antonio Huneeus. The original idea had Huneeus only lending his assistance with the writing and editing, but which led to his far greater involvement.
"I ended up doing almost half of the book, because they werenâ€™t too satisfied with the Berliner draft. They were happy with the general concept, but they though that it needed to be considerably improved, or modernized. The first draft read too much like an old NICAP document. It needed more international cases. Initially I was just brought in to edit it, and as I read the thing, I made a list of suggestions. They practically approved all of them. Thatâ€™s when we added all the international cases - the Spanish cases. The French cases and so on were in the Berliner document, but the problem is that he had used secondary sources. Berliner had used say articles on the Belgium wave, and he had used an article by Bob Pratt in the MUFON journal at the beginning of the wave, because he doesnâ€™t read French. I do. I had the two volumes. So although some of those things were in the original document they were completely rewritten by me."
The case selection and writing of the report were coordinated by Marie Galbraith. Even though Rockefeller financed it, he had no input into selection of writing. " The idea was basically that it was in the hands of Marie Galbraith," Huneeus recalled. "To my knowledge, Rockefeller never even suggested that â€˜Oh, you should include this thing or not that thing.â€™"
For Galbraith the BAE required a full-time commitment. Huneeus, who used Sandy Wrightâ€™s desk, sat across from Galbraith, and later described her efforts for Rockefeller:
"I soon realized that it was actually Galbraith who was the executive producer of this thing. Sandy was almost never there. Marie Galbraith was there every day. It was like 9-5 or something... Marie Galbraith had to approve everything that I did. She would read everything. Thatâ€™s why, at the end, her name was not supposed to appear as a co-author. She did not really write a great deal in terms of actual writing, but she must have proofread and edited and digested it so many times. Every single page was approved by her up to the last comma. In the end, she decided that she wanted her name there as a co-author.
Sandra Wright, a wealthy New Yorker whose interests included shamanism, subtle sciences, and the principles of Noetic (psi) sciences, allowed her non-profit BSW Foundation to be used "as an umbrella under which all the work could be done." Wright and Galbraith had been close friends prior to the start of the project.
According to Rockefellerâ€™s spokesman Fraser Seitel, Rockefeller put up $30,000 (FUFOR used the figure $50,000) to produce the report, but did not endorse the findings. "He is interested in Government disclosure of reported activities in this area," said Seitel. "Laurance's feeling is that he is not convinced one way or the other. But he is interested in learning what the Government has on file... He's really quite an eclectic person."
The BAE contained nothing that could be considered new and explosive. It contained no new sightings, or disclosures, but rather a review of some of the more dramatic documented UFO sightings and incidents that had occurred since 1947. The cases chosen were all non-controversial. Therefore, cases like those describing abduction by aliens were not included, "Abductions were left out because we wanted to deal with official evidence," said Huneeus, "and the more official sounding evidence, and the more scientific evidence, the more solid facts. Abductions just get too controversial, and it is complex, and that was left out too." Cattle mutilations, and UFO contactee material suffered from the same problems as abduction cases, and thus met the same fate.
The BAE was written up like a first year textbook. It was designed to acquaint those, whom it was written to brief, with information that the UFO phenomenon involved many sightings, was worldwide, and was supported through well-investigated evidence.
The BAE has often been compared to "The UFO Evidence" that was written in 1964 by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), under the editorship of Dick Hall. The 1964 NICAP review of the UFO evidence included 700 UFO cases. Hall, who had headed up the 1964 report, not surprisingly, was chosen to head up the UFORC group.
The material used for the report was reportedly provided through a rare combined effort of the three main UFO organizations. (Fund for UFO Research, MUFON, and Center for UFO Studies). The group called itself the UFO Research Coalition. (UFORC) They first met in Chicago in February 1995 with Marie Galbraith "to discuss proposals for funding." What they hoped to produce was a report later described by Rockefeller as "quite factual and avoiding sensationalism."
Although the case files for the briefing were provided by the big three research organizations, the groups appeared to have little input into the actual writing of the report. They where, however, provided copies of the drafts that they had to sign off on.
FUFOR committee member Dick Hall, for example, identified as the Chairman of the UFORC told me, "You really ought to address your questions to Don Berliner who was the principal. I was not directly involved in the project other than writing the Executive Summary for the Fund... I didnâ€™t participate other than as an occasional advisor or consultant."
CUFOS committee member Mark Rodeghier stated, "while a coalition project, the BAE was really put together by Don Berliner and a few others, not by anyone from CUFOS, or MUFON for that matter."
MUFON committee member Tom Deuley, stated that FUFOR acted as a lead group in the project, and "the actual work was carried out by Berliner, Huneeus, and Galbraith."
The UFORC committee members began their work in February 1995, but prior to their first meeting, there was another researcher who already hard at work trying to produce a Best Available Evidence briefing document. That researcher was Dr. Steven Greer.
Greer had been working since 1993 to produce a document that could be used to brief important people such as the many members of the Clinton administration had already briefed.
When the UFORC was formed in February 1995, Greer somehow thought he was part of the Rockefeller funded effort to produce the long awaited briefing document. The fact of the matter was that he had been cast aside by Galbraith in favor of maintaining the support of the three main UFO groups. As 1995 evolved the relationship between Greer and Galbraith deteriorated until in October 1995, they corresponded for the last time. Prior to the formation of the UFORC, the relationship between Greer and Galbraith appeared to have been very good.
Greer / Galbraith Contacts
Greer and Galbraith both represented project groups that were attempting to influence the Clinton administration in the 1995-96 period. The project both envisioned was a document that would be used to brief VIPs like President Clinton to provide him a view of the breadth and depth of the UFO evidence. The Best Available Evidence briefing document became the symbol of that common goal. Who would get credit for the BAE, and who would be allowed to use it, however, became the genesis of a dispute that would last well into 1997.
The story of Greerâ€™s involvement with Galbraith, and the level of Galbraithâ€™s support for what Greer was trying to do, is told in two very disputed versions of the story. One version of the story is told by Steven Greer. The other side was told not by Galbraith, but by the Fund for UFO Research. As far as this author knows neither Galbraith, nor her boss Laurance Rockefeller, has ever openly commented on the Galbraith/Greer relationship.
Galbraith and Greer first met at a two day meeting of eight UFO researchers convened by the Human Potential Foundation at the JY Ranch of Laurence Rockefeller near Jackson Hole, Wyoming in September of 1993. Greer wrote of the encounter stating, "I shared with Ms. Galbraith and others gathered there our plans regarding collecting the best available evidence regarding UFOs, and our plans to provide briefings for world leaders and the public on the subject."
Greer stated that Galbraith took " a keen interest" in his best available evidence concept so he provided Galbraith " a full compliment of our plans, strategy, and an outline of the BAE, including inclusion and exclusion for cases, the title â€˜Best Available Evidence,â€™ and the concept and strategy for its use, etc." Greer claims that this "collaboration" with Galbraith continued for two years, and there seems to be evidence that Galbraith did take an interest in Greerâ€™s work during this time period.
In February 1994 Galbraith set up a talk on UFOs for Steven Greer in New York City. Galbraith invited friends she thought would be interested in UFOs.
In May, 1994, Galbraith traveled across the country to Colorado to take part in a Rapid Mobilization Investigative Team (RMIT) field investigation being conducted by Greer in a UFO flap area.
In 1995, the contact between the two and the discussion of the BAE concept continued. On January 30, 1995, Galbraith and Greer met at Sandy Wrightâ€™s apartment to discuss the creation of what Greer called the "Starlight Coalition," and a "BAE Summit." (which Greer had requested $500,000 funding for)
This meeting led to Galbraith providing Greer with $20,000 of Rockefellerâ€™s money for a June 1995 "Witness Summit" of military and government witnesses from the US and Russia.
The witness summit did take place, and became known as the Asilomer conference. Twenty-four witnesses showed up to tell their stories, and to sign a joint letter asking President Clinton to "issue an executive order to release U.S. government witnesses from their national security obligations/oaths related to the subject so that they may provide public testimony." This high-level witness testimony evolved into a briefing Greerâ€™s CSETI group held for "members of Congress, congressional staff, White House staff, military leaders and other Washington leaders" on the subject of UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence. That in turn evolved into the disclosure news conference sponsored by Sarah McClendon and held in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on May 9, 2001.
In late July and early August 1995, Galbraith carried on a three-memo exchange with Greer. She requested that Greer send her material on pilot cases that Greer had apparently received from NASAâ€™s Richard Haines. "Perhaps," Galbraith wrote Greer, "we could summarize the material and use it for a short presentation in our â€˜Briefing Document.â€™"
Galbraith and Greer also corresponded for nine months in 1995. That correspondence, according to the FUFOR account, centered on "collecting witness testimony to use to obtain eventual government amnesty for all government and military witnesses and to make a video one day to use as evidence."
Greer maintained that, as well as correspondence, there were also "numerous hours spent via long distance telephone discussing the BAE with Mrs. Galbraith and in selecting specific cases to be used."
The Battle Over the BAE
When Galbraith first met Greer at the Rockefeller Ranch in 1993, she knew little about UFOs, and was not involved in any UFO projects. She only seriously became involved in studying UFOs when asked for help by Laurance Rockefeller in July 1994 to "recommend funding for valid UFO/ETI investigation and to encourage governments worldwide to open their files."
Once in charge of the Rockefeller funding for UFO projects, Galbraith began a six-month crash course to bring herself up to speed on the subject. This she did by reading, and by talking to many investigators in America and Europe. Eight months after being given the assignment from Laurance Rockefeller, Galbraith now had some knowledge of the subject. She hired Don Berliner as author, and together with the UFO cases provided by the three UFO groups, the task of writing and printing the BAE began.
The formation of the team to research and write the BAE, however, did not include Steven Greer as a member. This was despite the fact that Galbraith was still in contact with Greer. One reason for this apparent playing of two hands by Galbraith, and the ultimate rejection of Dr. Greer, had much to do with the UFORC committee members.
It is no secret that many on the committee did not, and still do not like Steven Greer. Although none of the UFORC members would admit it, there is little doubt that many, if not all of them, would not have participated in the project if Steven Greer and his CSETI group had been allowed a seat at the table producing the BAE.
The most objectionable thing to most of the UFORC members about Greer appeared to be some of the philosophy and methodology of Greerâ€™s CSETI group. "Greer was considered a loose cannon at best," one member said, "no one in the larger group would ever have allowed Greer anywhere near the project."
The main item that led the UFORC group members to consider Greer a "loose cannon" went back to outings that Greer had hosted going back to the early nineties. Greer himself admitted he had "been called every name in the book" for having done it. The outings hosted by Greer resembled contactee style outings of the fifties which most UFORC members also looked down on. Greer and his team members claimed to be able to, through a system of techniques, to attract UFOs, and interact with the extraterrestrials in them.
Greer described the encounters as Close Encounters of the fifth kind (CE-5). Greer described the systematic approach for initiating these CE-5s as "utilizing techniques that I developed when I was 18, (1973) to establish contact with extraterrestrial intelligences, and vector or guide them in to close encounter with us." Greer claimed great success utilizing the technique. He even claimed that after one very successful encounter with four UFOs in Florida in March 1992, he received a call from the "former head of intelligence for Army Intelligence, and a bunch of other spooks" who invited him to a meeting in a hotel room, and played sixty-four questions about "what the hell did he think he was doing" until three in the morning.
The more conservative UFO elements like those on the UFORC group have often referred to the Greer process as attracting UFOs with flashlights. In reality, the protocols Greer claimed he had been given by the extraterrestrials, were much more complex than just flashlights. Regardless, Greer was one person the UFORC group didnâ€™t want anything to do with.
Some, like UFORC member Dick Hall, considered Greer little more than a New-Age cult leader. Antonio Huneeus, one of the authors of the BAE stated if Greer would be involved, he wouldnâ€™t join the committee because he did not want to work with him. When told Greer would not be involved, and he agreed to participate.
Don Berliner, the main BAE author, also had little good to say about Dr. Greer. When questioned in 1977 about Greerâ€™s possible involvement in the drafting of the BAE, he stated that "the implication that he worked with Greer and CSETI to be highly insulting, and damaging to his reputation as a professional writer."
The second reason for Greer being cut out of the BAE project in 1995, involved a fallout between Laurance Rockefeller/Marie Galbraith and Steven Greer which occurred just prior to the release of the preliminary draft of the BAE. Neither Greer nor anyone on the UFORC committee would comment on the split, but one member of the committee did state that committee people were warning Galbraith and Rockefeller about Greer. Speaking of the split one member said, "It was a good idea on the part of the Rockefeller people. If it resulted from our reading of Greer, they took good advice."
The second, and the more likely, reason for the split involved Greer making statements on Laurance Rockefellerâ€™s behalf which went against what Rockefeller believed, and were also not approved beforehand. One likely suspect of disagreement between the two parties, was Greerâ€™s contention that most if not all abductions were the result of U.S. covert black operation paramilitary units simulating "alien abductions" through "reverse-engineered ET technologies."
Huneeus clearly recalled the differences in opinion between Greer and Rockefeller, and how because of this Greer ended up being cut loose.
"I remember they started objecting when he would send these memos and things to the Rockefeller office directly... I remember we received this very bizarre memo that Greer wrote to Clinton, a very long thing. Basically he was trying to use Rockefellerâ€™s name to get some attention from the White House, and this they did not like. This was one of the earlier things that upset Marie Galbraith. She didnâ€™t like the gist of the memo either, bringing out all these kinds of conspiracies and the like."
In the final letter between Greer and Galbraith written on October 19, 1995, Galbraith spelled out the problem. According to the FUFOR account of the letter,
"Galbraith wrote to Greer saying that the BSW wished to continue to help him in some of his efforts which would benefit the entire UFO community, but she could not necessarily agree with his interpretation of much of the UFO phenomena and that he must â€˜be very careful when using Laurance Rockefellerâ€™s name that it is not associated with an assumed approval of your interpretation of events.â€™"
Armen Victorian, a British investigator who researched the split between the two camps while it was happening. He stated that it was actually Henry Diamond, and not Rockefeller who made the move to cut Greer loose. "Greer whilst working for Rockefeller/Galbraith," wrote Henry, "at that time misrepresented himself as Lauranceâ€™s representative. Henry Diamond, Lauranceâ€™s attorney soon put a stop to it, and cut off any further funding to Greer."
Greerâ€™s version of the story is that he was basically railroaded off the BAE briefing document project for "which (he) originated and for which (he) selected many of the cases. Greer claimed that he had been involved in the planning and production of the BAE. He further maintained that he was "responsible for the title, strategy, and concept" used to create the Best Available Evidence briefing document. He claimed that once the Rockefeller BAE project began in February 1995, he did have a role for the team. "It was decided," wrote Greer of his role, "that my efforts should go into obtaining extraordinary evidence and deep cover first-hand military and intelligence data and witness testimony." Lastly, he claimed that the BAE had always been set up as a "jointly created document, and a permanently non-copyrighted, public domain document."
In an article written after he had been set adrift by Galbraith, Greer wrote "I have watched for 18 months as the BAE document was seized, misrepresented by many as originating from Galbraith et al, and generally used in bad faith by those who falsely lay claim to it." On this claim there seems to be evidence to back Greerâ€™s version of the story.
The UFORC group, who ended up in control of the copyright to the Best Available Evidence, did not meet till February 1995. The evidence clearly shows, however, that Greer was using the title, and detailing the strategy and concept of the BAE long before the UFORCâ€™s first meeting. The strategy and concept of the briefing document were to brief high-level people who had the influence to change policy, and initiate a disclosure of the hidden UFO evidence. These high level types of briefings were already being done by Greer in 1993-94 period. During that time the following people and groups were briefed; members of the U.S. President and vice-presidential staffs, UN leadership and family of Boutros Boutros Ghali, U.N. Secretary General, the CIA Director, head of Intelligence for Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Wilson, and Defense Intelligence Agency Director General Patrick Hughes.
In 1993 already, Greer had already talked about collecting the best available UFO evidence to use for briefing purposes. It was mentioned as one point of a three part strategic plan for Project Starlight which he headed. Greer outlined the first part of the plan as "collect and identify the Best Available Evidence related to UFO/ETI."
In May 1994, Greer outlined the title, strategy, and concept of the Best Available Evidence. "Knowledgeable and sincere civilians around the world," wrote Greer, "must come together to collect the best evidence on this subject, and then educate world leaders, leaders in society, and our fellow humans."
Also in a letter dated November 1, 1994, almost four months prior to the first UFORC meeting, Greer wrote a letter to his supporters. In the letter Greer clearly spelled out the strategy and concept of the BAE and used the exact term "Best Available Evidence Briefing Document" that would later become the title of the copyrighted UFORC report.
"It was stated to me that adequate data exists in the civilian research community to constitute definite evidence for the existence of ETI; this we have known for some time. We are encouraged to move decisively in collecting this data, and completing a comprehensive briefing document containing the Best Available Evidence. This must be a very high priority, and funding needs to be secured soon for this unprecedented research project... The White House, the national Security Council and apparatus, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.N. Secretary-General and U.N. Security Council, and select other foreign heads of state must be fully briefed with this BAE briefing document."
Despite the fact that Greer appeared to be the force behind preceding with the creation of a briefing document to educate VIPs on the legitimacy of the UFO evidence, he ended up on the outside looking in. The word was passed to him that he would not be able to use the document as a briefing tool for the high-level officials he was trying to educate about UFOs.
Greer wrote in 1997 that both he and Sandy Wright, who was providing the foundation for the BAE project, "protested this extraordinary and devise act, but Mrs. Galbraith and the UFO Research Coalition persisted in this behavior."
The protest over the copyright and usage of the BAE, by Wright and Greer, split the group. Sandy Wright, despite the reference in Acknowledgments for the final report that Sandra Wright had provided her foundation "as an umbrella under which all the work could be done" was removed from the project in late 1995 months before the final report was finished. The reference in the acknowledgments to Wrightâ€™s involvement was, according to Berliner, "included to be polite."
Wright found herself removed from the project, and on the outside with Greer. Although she had been one of the original people setting up the project Sandy received only thirty copies of the final report to distribute as she pleased, and according to Greer was not allowed to "purchase copies of the document for free distribution to VIPs and world leaders."
Don Berliner maintained that a copyrighted final version was always the intent. "We did not formally copyright any of the drafts," he wrote, "knowing the final report would be copyrighted, and that would cover all drafts."
Huneeus, the other author, remembered it different. The sudden copyrighting of the final report in December 1995, caught him by surprise and he was, like Greer and Wright, not happy with the copyrighting decision. He stated,
"I wasnâ€™t very happy with the copyright either, because I was left out of it. That happened when the document was done pretty much. The whole document was finished around November 1995, and it went to the printers... It was Christmas and I went home. I even did the galley proofs from Equador. Marie sent them to me by Federal express. I think it was on that trip, or it may have been on an earlier trip when I went to Europe. I was not present. I was not consulted . I remember getting back to her office. Marie basically told me "we" have. By "we" I suppose she and Rockefeller. She said, "We have taken the decision to give the copyright to the UFO Research Coalition." That was already a fait accompli. There was really nothing that I could do. I could have made a fuss over it, but it would not have been appropriate at that moment."
Although the UFORC maintained that Greer had no involvement in the project, he was, for some unknown reason mailed a copy of the final report in February 1996. Greer immediately wrote a letter to Laurance Rockefeller on the copyright issue to "informing him of this treachery" by Galbraith. He warned Rockefeller that he "intended to use the BAE document... for educating world leaders on the UFO subject," despite the copyright. Greer maintained years later in his version of events that "no corrective instructions were ever sent to us regarding this clearly stated position."
In April 1997 Greer, believing he had equal access to the BAE report used two BAE reports as handouts to a private "closed briefing on UFOs and Extraterrestrial Intelligence" he hosted in Washington D.C., on April 9-10, 1997. The two reports were the 28-page "Best Available Evidence: Executive Summary" written by Dick Hall, and an altered version of the "Best Available Evidence" draft report published in 1995.
The executive summary was "without copyright" had been produced by Hall for "all who desired to have it. It could be copied and distributed by anyone free of charge, provided the material was left as it was presented in the original."
The November 1995 draft BAE document, which Greer used for his Washington briefings, was however covered by copyright, even though the draft was marked exactly the same as the BAE: Executive Summary Briefing, which was "without copyright." Neither document mentioned that it was either copyrighted or free for distribution.
What made the situation worse, is that Greer actually altered the document turning it into a document that appeared to have been produced by his organization CSETI. He left the name of Berliner as the author but removed the names of the three UFO groups, as well as Huneeus, Galbraith, and even Rockefeller who had financed it.
Greer removed the cover page from the original and produced his own making it seem like the report was produced by CSETI. On the replacement cover Greer added after Don Berlinerâ€™s name: "Concept, Title, and Strategy:Steven M. Greer, M.D.; Case Selection: CSETI Project Starlight Team." Despite the fact that Greer had warned Rockefeller that he intended to use the document for briefings, the changes made to make it look like the work of CSETI turned out to be very dumb move.
Once the word leaked out of Washington that Greer had provided copies of the altered Rockefeller report to Congressmen and others, the UFORC immediately launched legal action as a remedy to Greerâ€™s actions. Researchers in the UFO community accused Greer of piracy and copyright infringement, which led to Greer also obtaining legal counsel "for appropriate remedies" against those who had decided to "besmirch" his name.
Despite, Greerâ€™s protests that "Mrs. Galbraith, in collaboration with the so-called and newly formed UFO Research Coalition attempted to seize this jointly created BAE document, copyright it, and restrict its use... " the writing was on the wall and Greer knew he had to back down. The UFORC did now hold the copyright to the report. In June 1977, Greer announced that he recognized he had no legal standing to use the BAE, and surrendered.
"The CSETI Briefing Document which currently is available for purchase does not contain any part or reference to this BAE document... At this juncture, due to the unpleasantness of the entire matter, we are not even providing this document gratis to VIPs who should receive it."
The legal action taken by the UFORC against Greer was somewhat peculiar in light of the fact that, at the same time they were threatening Greer with legal action over distributing the copyrighted draft Rockefeller document, they were aware that someone else was also copying and distributing the same draft BAE document.
This illegal duplication of the BAE was being done by was the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It was mailing out the BAE draft to all people who requested information on UFOs from the office. The UFORC committee knew the White House was doing the same thing as Greer, but it did nothing to stop this practise. Don Berliner, a key member of the committee stated, "Telling the White House to stop distributing copies would hardly have been polite."
The Document Itself
The initial 1993 Rockefeller White House Disclosure Initiative had, through an agreement with the Presidentâ€™s Science Advisor, been an effort that centered on one specific UFO incident - the 1947 crash near Roswell, New Mexico.
This single-case approach was taken because Gibbons suggested that it appeared to be an easier task to expose a cover-up on one case, as opposed to trying to prove a cover-up of all UFO information. Rockefeller had therefore talked almost exclusively about Roswell during the three years he dealt with the White House.
When the Air Force returned its Roswell report to the White House stating that, in their opinion, there was neither a cover-up nor an extraterrestrial link connected to the 1947 event near Roswell, New Mexico. With the Roswell link dead, Rockefeller took a new course in commissioning the "Bootsie Report." It would be a report that would deal with many carefully researched UFO cases which supported the reality of UFOs. The Roswell case, once the only case Rockefeller would talk about, would be almost ignored.
The draft BAE report makes only brief mention in its 129 pages to the Roswell crash, and the final report ( The final report did add a two-page appendix reviewing the Roswell incident) That reference to Roswell did not focus on the crash, but rather on the governmentâ€™s "reaction to the growing public and press interest in the apparent crash in 1947." Rockefellerâ€™s report described that reaction as "the most striking example of continuing government secrecy." The report seemed to be answering back to the failed Air Force and GOA investigations initiated by the Clinton administration.
As part of this rebuttal to the two failed reports the BAE detailed the following significant items:
"Despite the testimony to the contrary of dozens of first and second-hand witnesses to this event, the U.S. government has yet to release even one Air Force Report that includes the full testimony of these witnesses"
The brief U.S.A.F. 1994 report and the large U.S.A.F. report of 1995 both now state that "the wreckage found on the sheep ranch was not that of a balloon used for weather analysis."
The General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress) "in its final report, stated that it could find no evidence for the wreckage of a UFO, but discovered that a large quantity of potentially valuable U.S. Air Force message traffic for the period had been improperly destroyed.
"Since no documentation was found to support the new Project Mogel explanation, the GAO did not endorse the current Air Force explanation and stated that â€˜the debate on what crashed at Roswell continues.â€™"
What the report was instead, was a document that Rockefeller thought would provide an overview of the UFO secrecy issue in the U.S. government, and a presentation of a collection of classic UFO cases of strong evidential integrity.
A second item missing from the deluge of UFO evidence, put forward in the report is any reference at all to abduction reports.(CE-4) The report, in fact, contains only one case of an observation of an actual being associated with the UFO. (CE-3) Half of the cases are close encounters where physical evidence is left behind (CE-2), or close encounters observation of unusual craft or airborne objects. (CE-1) The abduction material, of which there were plenty of cases to chose from, was carefully avoided.
As well as discussing the new UFO study report, Rockefeller brought up the second part of his UFO Disclosure Initiative first brought up with the White House in 1993. This involved the amnesty program for people, inside the government, military, or industry, who wished to testify about their roles in the UFO subject.
Gibbons had suggested that the three UFO groups who had worked on the report should "put forward two or three names who might be candidates for a pilot project to access the usefulness of the expanded amnesty program" urged by the Rockefeller team.
Gibbons also promised that he would talk to the Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency, NASA, and Hillary Clintonâ€™s office on the amnesty program. Rockefeller wrote on February 5 that he hoped this could be done quickly so he could add this amnesty aspect to the letter he was drafting to the president. He wanted all the significant issues to be placed in front of the President before the end of the year so that the President could give it "attention in a second term."
In the first section of the report sent to the White House, Marie Galbraith wrote a section on "government secrecy" which she wrote was the main problem in understanding the UFO situation. Galbraith spelled out the importance of overseeing secrecy in a democracy like the United states, "The decision where to draw the line between a citizenâ€™s right to know and the governmentâ€™s right to secrecy for national security reasons," she wrote, "must be made by appropriate members of society."
The introduction to the report, written by Galbraith, stated that secrecy on the subject may have gone too far. Many of the secrecy concerns that Rockefeller had raised with Jack Gibbons were spelled out, including the fact that the elected government might no longer be in control.
"Secrecy, like power, lends itself to abuse. Behind the shield of secrecy, it is possible for an agency or service to avoid scrutiny and essentially to operate outside of the law. Accountability to the tax payers and to the congress can conveniently be avoided... given the size of the government bureaucracy and the high degree of compartmentalization that exists within it, it is conceivable that even the President himself is not fully briefed on â€˜above top secretâ€™ matters. Such information, allowing access only on the strictest â€˜need-to-knowâ€™ basis, is not necessarily given to senior elected officials who come and go and can therefore be regarded as temporary, political, and unreliable... Is it possible that a few privileged individuals have access to this information while denying it to the electorate for â€˜national securityâ€™ reasons, so that it can be privately studied? In a democracy, should not this decision be made by our elected officials and be based upon an informed discussion?"
The report concludes:
"When studied as a group, these case histories exhibit clear patterns which strongly suggest that they belong to a distinct new class of phenomena, rather than being a formless collection of disparate observational errors... It is this large quantity of evidence of the existence of something completely baffling which motivates many of us to urge the governments of the world to release all they know about UFOs so that the people of the world, and especially scientists, can begin to come to grips with a mystery that has far too long been subjected to secrecy and ridicule."
The UFO Coalition officially distributed the Summary to members of the Congress and other government authorities. Marie Galbraith sent some of her copies to French diplomats and President Chirac. Each member of the UFORC was given 50 copies to distribute as they saw fit.
Rockefeller did not request many copies for himself. The copies he did request went to General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the present Secretary of State, former Secretary of State for President Nixon and long rumored UFO Insider Henry Kissinger, evangelist Billy Graham, and founder of the Earth Council and Secretary General of the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro Maurice F. Strong.
A number of letters were received back from the powerful people who were sent the BAE Final Report. The letter, however, did not motivate any of the powerful people to action which was part of the original intent.
"Marie Galbraith did show me some of the letters that she received from some of these Senators after the document was sent... people in the House of Lords, and former Senators, and stuff like that. They were mostly just polite letters. They were people that knew her and her husband. It was the typical letter saying, â€˜Thank-you very much for sending a copy of the briefing document. We will put it in our libraryâ€™. There was no concrete action, just polite letters acknowledging receipt of the document."
The release of the BAE was plagued by the New York Press that insisted on playing up the angle that one of the powerful brothers of the Rockefeller dynasty was a believer in UFOs, that they were in analyzing what was in the final report.
The report was further set back by the lack of a coordinated effort to control the media covering the story. The Rockefeller effort to produce a UFO briefing document was provided to reporters like Luckman who in turn traded off the information to the gossips columnists in New York. "If they had controlled the publicity then they at least could have steered it in the direction that they wanted," explained Huneeus. "Instead they left it in the hands of people like Luckman. The gossip columnist never cared about the contents of the document. The big new item to them was the fact that Rockefeller was a believer in flying saucers. That was the angle that Luckman was pushing, because he was a publicist and he knows what sells and what doesnâ€™t sell."
When the report was finished a further uncoordinated effort to distribute the report led to further set-backs. Each member of the committee was allowed to distribute their copies to whomever they wanted to. There was no overall plan as to who should receive the important document, and there was no follow-up after the documents were sent. "Each person would send it to someone he knew," said Huneeus, "and that was it. There was no really much follow-up or anything. That is why perhaps the report had so little impact."
The Report did receive support from outside the United States. In France the authors of the COMETA report spoke glowingly of the importance, in the United States, of private independent associations such as the sponsored efforts by Rockefeller to produce the Best Available Evidence, and the Sturrock workshop in 1997.
The final chapter of the BAE story occurred in 2000 when some of the former UFORC members met at an event celebrating the commercial edition of the book came out. It was there that the members of the committee found out that Rockefeller was finished with the UFO subject. "We asked Marie Galbraith what was up with Rockefeller," stated Huneeus, "we asked if it would still be possible if he could fund some stuff. She said no, basically he is very old. He is in his nineties now, and he is just basically dealing with stuff with family."
The contribution of the BAE "to this field has been important," wrote Huneeus. "Other financistas as the millionaires Joe Firmage and Robert Bigelow have taken the initiative. The future it will measure his results."
|Last Updated on Monday, 03 August 2009 16:28|