On 23 June, 2012, in an interview for the popular American radio show, Coast to Coast AM, the CIA’s former liaison to the entertainment industry, Charles ‘Chase’ Brandon made extraordinary claims about the so-called “Roswell incident,” in which the US military is widely believed to have retrieved extraterrestrial materials and bodies after a mysterious object crashed in the deserts of New Mexico.
"I also absolutely know as I sit here talking to you that there was a craft from beyond this world that crashed at Roswell, that the military picked up remains of not just the wreckage, but cadavers."
Most explosively, Brandon recounted an occasion when he saw direct proof of the alien nature of Roswell while conducting research at the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection (HIC) as part of his role as CIA Entertainment Liaison Officer (ELO). Brandon claimed he had the rare opportunity to look inside a box labelled “Roswell” containing “materials... papers... [and] other items” but stressed that he “cannot, will not, under any imaginable set of circumstances tell you what I saw in there specifically,” with the implication being that to reveal more specific details would be a breach of national security.
Based on what he claims to have seen in the box, Brandon stated unequivocally: “100 percent, guaranteed... Roswell happened. There was a craft, absolutely cadavers,” but added, “Beyond that, I have no idea where anything else went.”
The “Roswell Incident” first came to public attention 65 years ago on 8 July, 1947, when the Roswell Army Air Force (RAAF) hastily announced to the press its “capture” of a downed “flying saucer” on an isolated ranch. A few hours later, the RAAF changed its story to the effect that what had been recovered, in fact, was a common weather balloon. The United States Air Force (USAF) was to change this story again in 1995 with the announcement that the “weather balloon” had been a Top Secret high-altitude spy balloon. This story was then officially re-written in 1997 to account for several apparently non-human bodies multiple eyewitnesses claimed were recovered from the crash. The bodies, the USAF equivocated, were human corpses, test dummies, or both.
To date, Brandon is the most senior CIA officer – former or serving – to have claimed direct knowledge of an extraterrestrial link to the Roswell incident. Brandon worked for the CIA for thirty-five years, twenty-five of which he spent in the Agency’s elite Clandestine Service as an undercover, covert operations officer. His foreign assignments involved international terrorism, counterinsurgency, global narcotics trafficking and weapons smuggling. He was also an Agency foreign political affairs analyst, Presidential briefer to Bill Clinton and an instructor in paramilitary and espionage tactics at secret CIA training camps. In 1996, Brandon began his ELO role in which he advised on numerous films and TV series– often uncredited – quietly shaping scripts, characters and concepts. In other words, he is an expert at working both the news and popular media. It fits, then, that Brandon was speaking in the context of a promotional interview for his new fictional UFO-themed book, The Cryptos Conundrum.
Judging from online chatter, the UFO community is wondering if Brandon’s Roswell comments may herald the much anticipated ‘Disclosure’ of alien reality. Brandon’s book passed through the Agency’s Publications Review Board (PRB), and his radio interview should, as standard procedure, have also been subject to prior approval by the PRB. If Brandon’s comments were subject to official approval, and if he was speaking the truth, then this might indicate that the CIA is using him to work what the Agency calls a ‘limited hangout,’ whereby previously hidden information is released to the public in order to prevent a greater exposure of more damaging details.
In this context, it is noteworthy that Brandon carefully absolved the CIA of any on-going complicity in an active cover-up of the Roswell incident. Brandon implied that all that now keeps this information from the public is 65 years’ worth of storage dust and the patchy institutional memory of the powers that be. As Brandon tells it, the Roswell incident is as dead as the alien cadavers he claims must be stored “somewhere.” Yes, Roswell was real and extraterrestrial, says Brandon, and yes, the evidence was “put in cold storage,” but today’s Agency should not be held accountable for the actions of a handful of panicked and perplexed Cold War-era agents who shuffled off their mortal coils decades ago and who took what little knowledge they had to their graves. And those Agency employees who do occasionally stumble across Roswell evidence today have no real understanding of what they’re looking at or what to do with it. In terms of a revelation about the existence of aliens, Brandon’s rendering is about as depoliticized as it gets.
Victor Marchetti, former special assistant to Deputy CIA Director Richard Helms, once said that the government uses limited hangouts “when their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public.” In such instances, said Marchetti, “they resort to admitting – sometimes even volunteering – some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”
Fittingly, in 1979, Marchetti himself raised eyebrows with his own public statements on the UFO issue. In an article for Second Look magazine, Marchetti wrote: “I do know that the CIA and the US government have been concerned over the UFO phenomenon for many years and that their attempts, both past and recent, to discount the significance of the phenomenon and to explain away the apparent lack of official interest in it have all the earmarks of a classic intelligence cover-up.” He added, “My theory is that we have, indeed, been contacted – perhaps even visited– by extraterrestrial beings, and that the U.S. Government, in collusion with other national powers of the Earth, is determined to keep this information from the general public.” However, Marchetti was merely voicing an opinion and does not claim to have seen proof of extraterrestrial contact with his own eyes, as Brandon does.
Not insignificantly, Brandon also claimed during his interview to have spoken to JFK’s coroner, who he says confirmed to him that the President had been shot from the front and was therefore most definitely the victim of a conspiracy. Of course, Brandon’s own personal ‘disclosures’ may prove an effective way to sell copies of his book, and also to whet appetites for his forthcoming sequel, The Hour Glass. This is certainly the more mainstream interpretation of what has transpired here. Still, such a deceitful and outlandish marketing strategy runs the risk of Brandon appearing to be, well, deceitful and outlandish. For a man currently employed as Senior Consultant to SpecTal, the intelligence division of defence giant BAE Systems, Brandon’s Roswell declarations are liable at least to raise difficult questions among colleagues. Furthermore, in the unlikely event that any costs result from Brandon’s statements, such as if they prompt someone to steal material from the HIC, he could at least be sued by the government.
A former high-level Reagan Administration official told us that “if” extraterrestrial material was in the possession of the US government, it would of course be classified, while another highly-respected ex-CIA Special Operations officer stressed to us that “All [CIA] employees sign a Secrecy Agreement. Violation of that agreement can bring severe repercussions.” When we made doubly clear to this CIA veteran that our enquiry related specifically to the UFO issue, he restated his position word-for-word, with the addendum “Have a nice day.” In theory, the penalties include life in jail or even a death sentence.
As yet, however, Brandon has fallen artfully through the cracks in the national security system. Even though in practice the government is clearly sensitive about the UFO phenomenon (with reams of declassified documentation from every branch of the government revealing high-level concern about UFO incidents worldwide into the post-Cold War era), it has maintained since the closure of the USAF’s Project Blue Book in 1969 that UFOs are definitely not a national security concern. Furthermore, the very concept of ‘national security’ is more slippery than is often suggested by the image of square-jawed, be-suited men with guns. Former Chairman of the PRB, John Hollister Hedley, commented recently that even the CIA’s own definition of national security was not “hard and fast” or “absolute or constant.” Consequently, whether there is any truth to Brandon’s statements or not, Washington would be hard-pressed to prosecute, even if it had the will to do so.
We asked Chase Brandon to elaborate on and justify his Roswell comments. He has yet to reply.
We also sent the CIA a list of questions and requested a formal response to Brandon’s allegations. The Agency has assured us they are looking into our enquiry and will get back to us “quickly.” We are still waiting.
About the Authors:
Robbie Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Bristol for a PhD examining Hollywood’s historical representations of UFOs and potential extraterrestrial life. He holds a Masters degree with Distinction in Cinema Studies from the University of Bristol and a First Class Honours degree in Film, Television and Radio Studies from Staffordshire University. He has broadcast on BBC Radio, Radio Ireland and Canal+ TV. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including The Guardian, New Statesman, Filmfax, Fortean Times, Adbusters and the peer-reviewed journal of North American Studies, 49th Parallel.
Matthew Alford, PhD is the author of Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy (Pluto Press, 2010). His academic and journalistic work focuses on the relationship between entertainment, political power, and propaganda in the United States. His academic work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies, Westminster Papers for Communication and Culture, and 49th Parallel. He has been interviewed as an expert on Hollywood propaganda for publications and broadcasters including Vanity Fair, Media Lens, Z-Net, Russia Today, Press TV and Al Jazeera, among others.
A note from the authors about this story:
We were unable to find a mainstream outlet for our report, despite its conspicuous newsworthiness in light of this week’s 65th anniversary of the Roswell incident. Our article was submitted to the following mainstream and alternative news outlets:
Telegraph on Sunday
Roswell Daily Record
Santa Fe New Mexican
Los Angeles Times
Globe and Mail
Regardless of the exact nature of the UFO phenomenon, it is a great shame for those of us interested in either UFOs or government propaganda that Chase Brandon's statements have been unchallenged and, indeed, unreported outside of the UFO community and that the CIA itself has yet to respond to them, despite our enquiries. Brandon’s statements beg explanation for several reasons, not least because they indicate that the concerns of the powerful are very distant from those of ordinary citizens in a participatory democracy.
A May 25, 2012 FOIA request to the Office and Science and Technology Policy (Office of the Science Advisor to the President) made by researcher Lee Graham has been replied to.
The request made by Graham dealt with the MJ-12 document, the Blue Room at WPAFB, Fast Walkers, and other UFO related items. This is one of many hundreds of UFO related FOIAs that has been filed with government agencies by Graham over the last 25 years since he was provided the original MJ-12 document to leak to the public.
The reply by OSTP stated that they have “no documents responsive” to the request.
This is not an unusual reply as the OSTP would only have records from the time period of the Obama administration. Documents from former administrations would have been sent to the National Archives.
"Always believe what Richard Doty tells you about UFOs." Supposed statement by former CIA Director Richard Helms
This coming Saturday, June 30, 2012, Greg Bishop, a friend of researcher Bill Moore, will present a lecture called “Who is the Falcon?” The lecture will take place on the internet conference known as the “The Alternative Universe Conference.”
The Falcon was a key intelligence figure that most agree played a large role in the release of the MJ-12, Snowbird, and other alleged government UFO documents in the 1980s. He was also behind the story that there was a captured alive alien at Area 51, and there were three alien ambassadors who spent time as guests of the United States.
There has always been a controversy in the UFO community about who the Falcon was. The two competing theories are that Falcon was AFOSI Master sergeant Richard Doty or he was a high ranking DIA official. Bishop on June 30 will make a case for the later. He has indicated that Bill Moore, who would know better than anyone the correct identity, confirmed that Bishop had it right with his guess.
There is a large segment of the UFO community who still believe that Richard Doty was the Falcon and that it was part of his role to disinform the UFO community on ever possible front.
In light of this I have posted an e-mail from Gabe Valdez (now deceased) to Colm Kelleher, who at the time was the administrator with the National Institute for Discovery Sciences.
Dr. Scott Jones who was present with Laurance Rockefller when he provided a UFO briefing to President Clinton's Science advisor Dr. Jack Gibbons looks back at the publication of the USAF Roswell report, and the effort to bring UFO disclosure through an approach to the Clinton White House.
The New York Times online edition today reported in its On This Day section:
On June 24, 1997, the Air Force released a report on the so-called "Roswell Incident," suggestion the alien bodies witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies.
As usual there was the option to see that Front Page and to buy that Front Page.
As many of you know, this 231 page 1997 report carried the title, "Case Closed." The report was t he product of pressure put on the Air Force as the result of meetings that Laurance Rockefeller had with President Clinton's Science Adviser, Jack Gibbons at the White House. (Actually the meetings were held next door to the White House in the old Executive Office Building.) Details of the Rockefeller Initiative are well presented in Grant Cameron's website, and much of the correspondence between Rockefeller and Gibbons, and my correspondence with Gibbons are easily found on the web. Jack and I had worked together for six-years on Capitol Hill when I was on Senator Pell' staff.
The first meeting got off to an awkward start when Gibbons said he knew nothing about the ET subject. That was not an accurate statement, but I did not call him on it. A senior staff member of the Congressional Research Staff had produced several short reports, unclassified but with very limited distribution, on UFOs. I knew that at least one of Jack's senior staff members in the Congressional Office of Technological Assessment, knew about these reports. That persons was at the table in Rockefeller's first meeting with Gibbons.
When Rockefeller made the comment that he was considering taking out a full-page ad in all of the nation's major newspapers that urged the public to write the White House demanding release of all information about UFOs and ETs. Gibbons quickly responded that this would not be necessary, that the White House would work with him, and asked, "What do you want us to do?" There was a short pause and Rockefeller looked at me and asked, "What do we want the White House to do?"
I confess that my reply was naive and based more on hope than political reality. In 1994 the Air Force was pressured by a few in Congress to address Roswell. That resulted in a 23-page report that explained everything in terms of very high altitude balloons used to sample Soviet nuclear test operations.
It was a dreadful report, and the Air Force had to be greatly embarrassed by the way it was shredded. My response to Gibbons for the Air Force to seriously report what happened at Roswell was not made to give the Air Force a chance make amends for the 1994 screw up, but because I thought that the White House could force more that a modicum of truth.
This was a lost opportunity. We went for the pot of gold, without understanding that President Clinton had no access to the keys of that treasure. A much better response would have been to say that within a week we would provide a short statement designed to give political cover for academe to to get involved in researching the UFO/ET subject. In short to remove the ridicule factor that has been so successful in neutralizing the media and academe. We would ask that both the President and the Science Adviser work that idea into at least two speeches in the next six months. A long range strategy was called for, and we failed to do that.
Incidentally, the 231 page report was less that a third of what the Air Force produced. In very limited editions there were two annexes also published. I discovered these in the Army Library in the Pentagon. I am sure that they were pulled after a short time.
Neal Freer and I are working on putting the "political cover" idea for academe into a We the People petition to see if 25,000 or more agree that the subject is interesting and important enough for academe to consider. Scott Jones
A good friend and one of the best researchers in the field, Tony Bragalia, has just written an article on the famous Blue Room that was rumored to be the repository for UFO bodies and hardware at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Bragalia followed up on research that has been done by Bill Moore, Lee graham, Brian Parks, Ron Regehr, and myself trying to confirm the existance of the room after Senator barry Goldwater told the story that General Curtis Lemay had refused him entry to the room in the 1960s, and threatened that he would court marshall him if he ever brought it up again.
In the article you will see that the Air Force may have fumbled the FOIA sent by Bragalia by actually confirming the existance of the Blue Room and identifying the agency responsible. Stay tuned for updates as Bragalia continues his quest which might actually lead to a court case on the issue.
Greg Bishop, who was a friend of Bill Moore and interviewed him on his radio show a few times, has alerted me that he will be making public the identity of "The Falcon" on June 30 during a presentation that he is giving at The Alternative Universe Conference. The Falcon, a high ranking DIA agent who died in 2002, was believed to have been behind the MJ-12 document. My recollection is that Moore confirmed to Greg years back that his guess was right.