Extraterrestrial Politics in the Clinton White House: Clinton Interest -Part 5
"Recently I was in Washington meeting with a very famous astronaut. Everyone would know this persons name . . . This particular astronaut had during his career been in possession of a very specific piece of incontrovertible piece of evidence related to UFOs. It is something that if disclosed would clear and definitive. This astronaut described how he had approached and worked directly with President Clintons Secretary of Defense William Cohen to look into and retrieve from classified projects this specific piece of evidence - of that which he had all the specific details. . .the words used by this astronaut to me were "there was an inordinate large amount of money and personal time by the Secretary of Defense William Cohen was spent to locate this evidence, and he was never given access to it." Dr. Steven Greer Interview with Art Bell August 30, 2001
"But if (John) Podesta were ever to become a Washington celebrity, this married father of three would probably be acclaimed for his formidable talents as a chef, his compulsive attention to detail and his fanatical devotion to The X-Files . . . As White House press secretary Mike McCurry puts it, "John can get totally maniacal and phobic on certain subjects. He's been known to pick up the phone to call the Air Force and ask them what's going on in Area 51." Washington Post, September 30, 1998
"It was known among the high CIA people, and the people who had contact with these people, that the Clintons were on the prowl for UFOs. Bill Clinton had been asking anyone who would listen to him, to tell him the secret. You know, he would get some Admiral in there, and say "By the way, tell me the UFO secret." They would just look at him like "What planet are you from?" William Laparl, who worked with the CIA in the early days of the Clinton Administration
During a late November 1995 address in Ireland, President Clinton took time during his speech to express frustration at not being able to get any information on UFOs. In particular, Clinton expressed frustration about the 1947 crash of an unknown craft near Roswell, New Mexico. This rumored UFO crash was a case that the Clinton administration had gone to great lengths to uncover.
"If the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies" in Roswell, the President told the Irish audience, "the Air Force didnt tell me about it, and I would like to know."
In response the Presidents "I would like to know" comment, Clinton received a letter from Paul Davids, the executive producer and co-writer of the movie "Roswell." Davids wrote a recollection of his letter to the President.
It has been the general practice, since 1977, for the White House to re-route all UFO letters to NASA or the Air Force. The policy was started by President Jimmy Carter, who because of his open discussion of his UFO sighting, had been flooded with thousands of letters on UFOs. Unable to answer all the letters, the White House began the process of moving the Air Force or NASA who had the staff, and UFO backgrounds to answer the letters.
Clintons treatment of Davids letter was different. The positive reply signed by the President showed clearly that the Clinton held a genuine interest in the subject of the 1947 Roswell crash. Davids recalled the Clinton White House handling of his letter.
Clintons positive and personal response to Davids letter was consistent with a commitment he had made to the subject of UFOs while still running for President. That commitment, made in a letter to a citizen, indicated that Clinton was truly interested in the UFO subject. The commitment was the only time a U.S. Presidents has addressed the UFO phenomena in writing prior to being elected.
Writing on his personal letterhead, then President-elect Clinton wrote the following UFO pledge to a constituent named Michael,
President Clinton came to the White House with an openness about things that might go beyond the physical world he could see. Hillary Clinton described him as, "insatiably curious about everything." Dick Morris, Clintons strategist who was generally given credit for both Clinton election victories, described Clintons religious beliefs as "somewhat of a mystical spirituality."
Clinton was also known to have a strong interest in science fiction and the Sci-Fi Channel. Days before District Cablevision of Washington was set to add Sci-Fi Channel to its basic package, Dick Ross, a VP with USA Networks Inc., parent company of cable's Sci-Fi Channel received a call from the White House. The official wanted to know wanted to know how the president could receive the cable network at the White House, as well as his retreat at Camp David.
The White House was quickly wired, and Ross got the OK to descramble the channel's signal for the Camp David satellite dish, as the area was not yet wired for cable. The Sci-Fi channel was "really pretty flattered" at the Presidents interest.
Clinton appeared to believe that things beyond the physical could affect his success as President. He shared, for example a habit with Ronald Reagan in that he was reluctant to ever talk about victory, or victory plans, before winning an election, figuring that this loose talk would change the result of the election.
Author Jeffery Toobin wrote that Clintons friends "knew Clinton was actually a superstitious man, a collector of rabbits feet and lucky pennies, which he ( like President Reagan before him had done) meticulously placed in his pocket each day." This belief in the unseen undoubtedly had made Clinton much more open to the existence of UFOs, and UFOs is a subject the President seemed very interested in.
Support for Clintons strong interest in UFOs can be found in many the UFO comments that he made during his two administrations. ( see Appendix Presidential UFO Trash Talk for a complete list) Of the many comments, probably the most open and dramatic was a series of UFO answers President Clinton provided during an July 15, 1996 interview with MSNBC host Tom Brokaw.
Brokaw had begun a new show called InterNight that involved providing an Internet link to take questions, and to broadcast the interview live over the net. One of the 8,000 questions that came in over the Internet for Clinton Brokaw chose one dealing with the just released movie "Independence Day" about invading extraterrestrials. Clintons openness on the subject was something never seen with any President before him. The exchange went as follows,
Even though the President had the interest and will to take on the UFO problem, he found that once elected, that he and his elected officials were being cut out of the government UFO process. The President found himself forced to gather information on the subject from researchers outside the government, intelligence, and military. These outsiders were given the green light to brief Clintons top staffers.
This situation of being exiled from the information necessary to deal with the issue caused the Clinton great frustration. Years later Sarah McClendon, a senior White House reporter, substantiated the Presidents great frustration over UFOs, and the cause for it.
McClendon told Dr. Greer that she had, at one point, put the question of UFO secrecy to Clinton. She asked the President why he didnt just do something to disclose the truth about UFOs. McClendon said that the President leaned over to her and in response to her question said, "Sarah, theres a secret government within the government, and I have no control over it."
Moreover, according to another story told to Dr. Greer by an Deputy Assistant to the President by the name of Kevin, not only was the President not in the loop on UFOs, and totally unable to force a disclosure, but he even feared for his life over the issue. Greer recounted the story as it was told to him, in early 1994 following a briefing he had given to the Presidents CIA Director James Woolsey in December 1993.
Kevin had been a close friend of both Dr. Greer, and the President. Kevin had lived at the White House for months on end during the first Clinton administration. When Greer provided a briefing package for the President, it had been Kevin who had done two UFO briefings for Clinton. Greer recounted Kevins efforts to brief the President on UFOs:
Now, Kevin was saying that Clinton had seen the information, but was unable to help. The message back from Clinton was, "I cant do this but you can."
The perceived threats towards the President did not completely immobilize Clinton on the issue. It was not as if Clintons search for UFO truth ended, or that he began a passive wait in the oval office hoping someone would come in and tell him what was going on. He did make some moves such as, on April 17, 1995, when took steps to a more open government, that he hoped would indirectly help the UFO disclosure movement.
What Clinton did was to sign Executive Order 12958, which directed that all government records of historical value and those 25 years or older be immediately reviewed and declassified, unless it meet one of nine narrowly-defined exemptions. Clintons Executive Order required that all these records be reviewed, or exempted from declassification by April 2000. It was hoped that this declassification would open up the UFO documents everyone was seeking.
Those who were pushing for the declassification of UFO documents, like Rockefeller, were quick to react positively to the Presidents move. Rockefeller wrote his congratulations to Gibbons over the Executive order draft and its tie-in to the UFO/ETI issue.
As 1995 moved along, however, that the Executive Order did not frighten those who held the UFO secrets. The continued silence of "those in the know who constitutionally were obligated to brief Clinton" showed they were not about to voluntarily provide him the UFO story.
Another thing that Clinton did to try and obtain answers to the UFO mystery was to begin tasking the heads of various departments within his government to bring him the answer to the UFO mystery. In addition, he opened the White House doors so that almost every one of his key cabinet members and friends were given UFO briefing from knowledgeable members of the public. People like Greer, Rockefeller, and Farley moved in to provide UFO information and briefings.
One of the first cabinet members to be tasked with searching out answers to the UFO problem was Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell. Hubbell was a close friend, and golfing buddy with Bill Clinton. The two had done their Christmas eve shopping together for years. Hubbell had also been Hillary Clintons former law partner at the Rose law firm in Little Rock. There he and Vince Foster had battled successfully to have Hillary brought into the firm as an associate.
Hubbell revealed the UFO mission Clinton had tasked him within his 1997 memoir "Friends in High Places".
It was not the first time Webster had been given a tough task by Bill Clinton. Back in the Arkansas days for, Dick Morriss polls for then Governor Clinton were showing constant high negatives for Hillary and it was determined this was costing Clinton votes.
During a golf game with Hubbell, Clinton sent Webster on the mission that everyone including himself was too frightened to do. Hubbell was to go and convince Hillary that she should change her name to Clinton to correct the high negatives showing up in the polls. Hubbell did as he was told.
When it came to the later mission, Clinton was interested in finding out about UFOs which interested him, and the death of JFK which really interested him as Kennedy had been his idol since he had shaken hands with him at 16 just months before he was assassinated. Hubbell wrote that Clinton said, "if I put you over at Justice I want you to find the answers to two questions for me, One- who killed JFK. And two- are there UFOs?"
"Clinton was dead serious," Hubbell wrote, "I had looked into both but wasn't satisfied with the answers I was getting." It was later revealed that Hubbell had even gone to NORAD headquarters to get an answer for the President, but there too, he had run up against a brick wall of denial.
According to William Laparl, who was working with the CIA during the period, Hubbell didnt have much of a chance in getting the answer to the UFO secret. "You know what people thought of the Clinton people?" said Laparl. "Zero. They figured these people would be around for 4 years and 8 years at the worst, and thats it . . . They tried to get Webster Hubbell, to ask questions. No one is going to tell that guy anything. Can you see the Chief of Naval Operations saying Ya Webster, heres the story."
The public airing, by Hubbell, that Clinton had an obsession about UFOs and that he had asked Hubbell to flush out the answers caused some embarrassment at the White House. Mike McCurry, the Presidents Press Secretary, immediately faced the question of confirming or denying what Hubbell had written in his book about the Presidents UFO search.
The question came from Deborah Orin, a White House reporter who wrote for the New York Post. Orin was a hard questioning reporter who was not popular in the White House. The White House considered her as spending too much time focusing on tabloid type stories.
Orin had investigated and asked questions about stories such as the claims being made by former FBI agent Gary Aldrich who claimed he had witnessed all manner of scandalous things going on in the White House while he had worked there.
Orin asked many questions on the Lewinsky scandal, and had pressed hard to find out about a memo chastising White House staffers for writing bad checks. This zeal to go after the White House jugular scared many connected to the White House. Lanny Davis, for example, who had been the chief Clinton defender on TV talk shows regarding the Lewinsky affair, was so afraid of Orin he made it a policy never to talk to her.
Even though McCurry was known as "spinmaker extraordinaire," the problem of answering the Hubbell UFO question was not simple. Not only did McCurry have to answer the question, but he had to do it without putting Hubbell down. This was because Hubbell had been subpoenaed to testify about the WhiteWater scandal that was dogging the Clintons. Hubbell, according to the Clintons Whitewater partner James McDougall, knew "where the bodies were buried," so the Clinton White House had to avoid saying anything that would make Hubbell angry.
McCurry, on the other hand, was good at avoiding questions he didnt wish to address. As Deborah Orin, who had known McCurry for 15 years, described it,
The tact that McCurry used to escape the Orins question about the Hubbell UFO comments was brilliant. What he did was to use the same technique that has been used against UFOs questions by various government agencies for over 50 years. He mocked the subject of UFOs, and thus avoided having to discuss the Presidents involvement. Secondly, he employed a tactic that the Clinton administration had done with other damaging revelations such as the Jennifer Flowers story, and the Dick Morris "lovechild scandal." McCurry attacked each as if they were tabloid fodder than he shouldnt have to address.
When Orin put forward the question of Hubbell comments that he had been tasked to look into UFOs, McCurry responded by referring to an alien that had appeared on the front cover of the Weekly World News newspaper tabloid shaking hands with the President. The humorous issue with the picture of Clinton and the alien, ran six months before the Clinton 1992 election victory, and it headlined the story that the alien was backing Clinton for the election. Playing off Orins interest in tabloid type stories McCurry stated,
Orin was not put off by the answer. She rephrased her question. "Did he ask Hubbell to find out about those two issues?" McCurry again bypassed the question saying, "I have no idea and I'm not going to respond to specific things in books that are written."
Orin considered McCurrys refusal to address the Clinton/Hubbell UFO questions as "an all out stonewall." As for the rest of the press sitting quiet while McCurry walked around the UFO question, Orin commented "they rolled over and played dead." The White House correspondents, according to author Howard Kurtz, did not defend Orin as they would then "risk losing whatever little access they had."
Files from the Clinton Office for Science and Technology Policy showed that Clintons Science Advisor, Jack Gibbons, had also been involved in attempting to get an answer to the UFO mystery for the Clinton White House. The particular investigation that Gibbons office undertook related to UFOs concerning the crash of a mysterious object near Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947.
To fulfill his role for the President, Gibbons tasked the Air Force to do a full investigation of the Roswell incident. He also cooperated with a General Accounting Office investigation, initiated by New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff, into the events surrounding the 1947 New Mexico crash.
History does not yet tell us for sure whether Clinton pressured Gibbons to investigate UFOs. It was a well known fact that Gibbons did not like the subject. "Gibbons didnt want to touch it," said William Laparl. "He didnt want anything to do with it, but he did it because he had to. . . they didnt want anything to do with it. Because Rockefeller was so important to the Clintons and Clinton asking for something, some of the agencies did minor little things."
It is now fairly clear, however, that although UFOs may have been a pet interest of the President, it was not a subject that brought Gibbons any joy. This Gibbons distaste for the subject of UFOs is spelled out in many of the OSTP documents, and also by people who dealt with Gibbons on the issue of UFOs.
Dick Farley was one of the insiders who stated Gibbons was not happy with his "UFO assignment" for the President. Farley worked as a member of the Rockefeller team that first briefed Gibbons on UFOs in 1993 following his election victory. Farley wrote that Gibbons "maintained the posture that his efforts were really to protect the President by keeping him away from UFO issues and Laurance Rockefellers inquiries."
Gibbons stated right up front in the first briefing with Rockefeller that "he was an agnostic, and that if there was some evidence there he would be glad to look at it. But, he added, at that point he had seen no such evidence."
In late 1995 Laurance Rockefeller sent his draft UFO letter intended for President Clinton to Jack Gibbons for his input. Gibbons reviewed the letter for Rockefeller and wrote his comments in the margins of the draft letter. The comments Gibbons wrote in the margins clearly showed his level of disbelief.
The draft letter suggested that Gibbons OSTP office be a "coordinator for government information about ETI and UFOs." Gibbons scribbled in the margin, "Please, no!"
At the end of the letter Gibbons wrote what appeared to be his conclusion to the whole UFO involvement of his OSTP office, and the Rockefeller UFO case.
The biggest indicator that Gibbons did not share the Presidents love of UFOs came in an August 1995 letter that Jack Gibbons wrote to the President. It was just days before the President was scheduled to receive the long awaited briefing on UFOs from Laurance Rockefeller. Gibbons wrote like a man who had tried to save the company from collapse, but was now announcing to the owner that the company was broke. Gibbons letter to President Clinton was an acknowledgment that, despite his best efforts, Rockefeller had made it around him, and was now going to sell UFOs to the President in person. Gibbons outlined his displeasure with the UFO subject, and how things had turned out.
Besides the members of Clintons staff like Hubbell and Gibbons who had been given "UFO jobs," we now know that a whole series of close Clinton staffers were receiving UFO briefing from a variety of sources.
Some, like Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, took the UFO information she had received and went on to be a media consultant for the movie "Contact." This was the 1997 movie that included a clip of President Clinton announcing that the first Extraterrestrial contact had been made by astronomers. It was a video clip that had been carefully reworked to make it appear like an announcement of the discovery of an extraterrestrial message. It was in reality only a statement made in August 1996 by President Clinton regarding the discovery of possible bacterial evidence found in a Martian meteor. The Presidential clip, although clearly faked to be something it was not, produced almost no hostile response or legal action from the Clinton White House.
Alien Encounter at the White House
Other Clinton press secretaries were also dragged into the UFO mess. Most appeared to be facing the questions against their will. Joe Lockhart, for example, when approached at a White House reception about UFOs for the second time by a friend of reporter Sarah McClendon made it clear he no longer wished to discuss the subject. Lockhart then went to the far side of the room where he remained for the remainder of the reception.
Mike McCurry usually handled the subject with caustic or humorous comments. An example of this occurred when asked during a news conference by one reporter asked if the President might be going to Roswell. McCurry replied, " I didnt say a thing. No, we dont need to go there because we were there in the flying saucer yesterday."
In 1996 McCurry faced numerous UFO questions. The first ones came just following the blockbuster movie "Independence Day," where invading aliens come to earth and blow up the White House as part of their attack. A reporter from the "Florida Today" newspaper asked McCurry if the White House had any plan for an alien invasion attack if it were to come. McCurry replied that there were no plans.
Further inquiries by the reporters about a possible "Independence Day" scenario led McCurry to say that if the aliens did attack, "I just hope its one of those days when Whitewater or the FBI files have dominated the news."
Shortly after this questioning about "Independence Day" Bill and Hilary returned to vacation in the Tetons where they had received their UFO briefing the year before from Laurance Rockefeller. The vacation also came only days after President Clinton read his statement on the South Lawn of the White House announcing that scientists had found a Martian meteorite that showed possible signs of biological life. All these factors seemed to come together for a great UFO one liner when McCurry was asked if the President planned to head back to Washington early as he had the year before.
The briefings for Clinton administration members started even before the President took office. Part of this was due to the stories going around that Clinton was a fan of UFOs. "The Clinton people were personally interested before they showed up," said William Laparl. "I know for a fact that before this investigation Clinton may have been asking Gibbons to find out stuff before even Rockefeller got heavily involved . . . Thats sort of normal for a new President "Give me all the secrets."
The first of many briefings was an offer of a UFO briefing to the Clinton White House from former Nixon Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. At the urging of Laurance Rockefeller, Laird wrote to his good friend Les Aspin, the Clinton Defense Secretarys designee, offering to brief him on UFOs.
Also called in by Rockefeller to help with the White House UFO briefing Initiative was the famous evangelist Billy Graham - a man who claimed friendships with many U.S. Presidents. Graham had earlier spoken of his belief in extraterrestrial life in a book he had written about angels, and had supplemented his statement about extraterrestrial life in an interview that he had given on Clintons Inauguration Day to interviewer David Frost.
Rockefeller wrote Graham that he would like Graham to co-sign a letter to the President "requesting that he review the present secret classification of government information pertaining to UFOs and related phenomena." Rockefeller told Graham in his letter that he was considering sending copies to the Secretary General of the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro Maurice F. Strong, Secretary-General of the United Nations Perez de Cuellar, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as other possible signatories to the letter.
Graham, although supportive of the efforts to gain declassification for the UFO subject, turned down the offer to sign the letter to President Clinton. He wrote Rockefeller,
The UFO briefings given to White House staff did not stop at Les Aspin. Bruce Lindsey, Clintons legal counsel, Arkansas friend, and key figure behind containing the Monica Lewinsky story, was briefed on the subject of UFOs by Dr. Steven Greers Project Starlight staff. Lindsey was so close to the President he was called "Clintons shadow" following him wherever he went. Nothing ever became public about how Lindsey reacted or what efforts he made to help the Clinton administration battle UFO secrecy.
Lindsey was one of the Arkansas Clinton inner circle who helped pick many of the cabinet members for Clinton during the transition in 1992-93. He may have been a part of a group of "close associates" of President Clinton who were briefed in Little Rock after Clinton realized he was being stonewalled on his UFO inquiries. The briefer to this group of Clinton associates was UFO investigator Richard Hoagland.
Although Hoagland was schooled in UFOs, he was probably more famous for his work on the Cydonia region of Mars, and the appearance there of a handmade "face." Clinton, and some of his associates, had a interest in possible life on Mars as well.
Both Bill and Hillary had made statements and jokes about life on Mars. In August 1996, Clinton even appeared on the south lawn of the White House to announce that life might have been found on Mars. Speaking of a meteorite that had been found to possibly contain evidence of fossilized bacteria, Clinton said:
President Clinton even threw in an indirect reference to the "alien invasion" concept in describing new proposed robot mission to the red planet. On July 4, 1996, a little more than a month before, the movie "Independence Day" had been released in the United States. The movie deal with the theme of invading aliens who travel to Washington where the blow up the White House. When Clinton spoke of the next trip to Mars, he spoke of a return invasion. "I should tell you," said the President, "that the first mission is scheduled to land on Mars, on July 4, 1997--Independence Day."
Following the Clinton Mars announcement, it became public that Clinton advisor Dick Morris, described by Time as "The Man Who Has Clinton's Ear," had already shared the news with his mistress. Morris told the 37-year-old prostitute Sherry Rowlands, the news that there was life on Mars, but that the information was a "military secret." This had occurred one full week before NASA and Clinton went public with the news.
Rowlands was told that she was only one of seven people in the world that knew there was life on Mars. This premature disclosure meant that Clinton and Morris were discussing the meteorite discovery, and its critical meaning, long before it was made public.
Hoaglands briefing of the Clinton people was first made public in a interview Hoagland conducted with radio host Art Bell. It received very little attention at the time, due partly to disbelief that a group attached to the President would be gathered together in Little Rock, to obtain UFO information that the President should have been able to get with a phone call.
According to Hoaglands account of the briefing, He gave the briefing over two nights. "The first night went well, the second night was headed-off, and attendees were told that Hoagland had left for Texas."
In 1998 White House reporter Sarah McClendon ran a story stating that Clintons key National Security Advisor Anthony Lake had also received a briefing on UFOs. Lake was confronted about his knowledge of UFOs story during an appearance on the PBS Diane Rehm talk show. Lake was so flustered with the question (which centered on his knowledge of Roswell - a case the Clinton administration had spend a lot of effort investigating) that he literally provided no answer at all. Diane Rehm was forced to step in and talk to the caller.
Then following a speech Lake gave in April 1998 at Princeton University, he was asked directly about the McClendon story that during his term as National Security Advisor to Clinton he had been briefed about UFOs. This time, Lake at least had a response to the UFO question but it was an answer that was very strange.
The briefers of Anthony Lake were rumored to be Dr. Greers CSETI Starlight group. Therefore, I put the question of the national security advisors claim of UFO ignorance and denial of being briefed to Dr. Greer following a lecture he gave at Laughlin, Nevada in March 2001. Speaking to Lakes claim of UFO ignorance, Greer responded, "Not true." As to Anthony Lakes claim that he was never briefed, Dr. Greer stated,
Vice-President Al Gore, senior people in Al Gores office, his Chief of Staff, and many of his personal friends" were also given UFO briefings by Dr. Greers Starlight team. Very little has been released about Gore and his staffs reaction, or subsequent action to help declassify the UFO subject. Stories have circulated that Gores people, particularly his person on the environment was very interested, and did discuss the UFO topic further with Greer outside of the briefings given.
Briefing for Director Of Central Intelligence
The most significant briefing given to a member of the Clinton administration was given in December 1993 by Dr. Greer. It was a three-hour briefing given to President Clintons Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey. Dr. Greer described his briefing of Woolsey as a presentation of "the scientific data, along with a well-conceived assessment, and set of recommendations."
Greer stated that he had been told that Woolsey "had an interest in the subject and felt that the subject was valid, that he had not been able to find out anything through channels, even though he was the head of the CIA, the NSA, the NRO, and other civilian intelligence agencies."
Woolsey was very moved by the evidence Greer presented and offered to do what he could to come up with answers. As supported by a recently declassified document from the CIA, Woolsey did appear (as claimed by Greer) to try to track down some UFO cases given to him to check. These efforts were unsuccessful. Woolsey found himself was faced with the "empty file syndrome" - no evidence pro or con.
His wife Sue Woolsey, Chief Operating Officer for the National Academy of Sciences, was also present for the Greer briefing. She shared an interest in the phenomena, as she and her husband had experienced a daylight sighting in the sixties in New Hampshire. Her interest in Greers work continued after the briefing, and even after her husband was replaced as DCI. She was reportedly in attendance for the special briefings Dr. Greer held for government and congressional members in Washington, in April 1997.
The internal UFO inquiries made at the CIA by James Woolsey following the Greer briefing led to a new study of UFOs inside the CIA prepared for the Director. The final report, however, turned out not to be an independent assessment but rather a new whitewash CIA publication on the agencys involvement in the UFO phenomena over the years 1947-1990.
The final report was titled "CIAs Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-1990." It was written by Gerald K. Haines, a CIA (and formally National Reconnaissance Office) historian. It was published in Studies in Intelligence, a classified journal published for the intelligence community. In the introduction to the paper Haines confirmed Woolseys role in requesting a new review of the UFO evidence inside CIA files.
The release of the new whitewash CIA study on UFOs might have got the CIA off the hook regarding its involvement in covering-up UFOs, but put the USAF back on the hook. After all the effort to produce a new study on Roswell for the OSTP and the President, and a major effort to promote the conclusion to the public, the CIA conclusion was that the Air Force had lied about more than half of its public statements regarding UFOs from the 1950s on to cover for CIA spy operations.
"Just when it looked as though the Air Force had won a major battle in the UFO public relations war with its publication of "Roswell: Case Closed," wrote Project 1947 Director Jan Aldrich, " the die hard issue of UFOs was resurrected."
Haines claimed in the CIA report that more than half of the UFO sightings during the 1950s and 1960s were actually not UFOs but misidentified secret spy planes such as the U-2 and SR-71. More damaging to the Air Force was Haines allegation that the Air Force Project Blue Book, set up to investigate UFO reports, was actually consulting with the CIA U-2 staff personnel in Washington, and helping to coordinate dismissive explanations for the public to cover for the spy plane flights.
As the story of the Air Force deception broke in the press the Air Force was forced to send out Brigadier General Ronald Sconyers to deny the CIA conclusion. He told the press, "I cannot confirm or deny that we lied. The Air force is committed to providing accurate and timely information within the confines of national security."
Alerting the Chief of Staff
Richard Farley, a former member of the Rockefeller UFO Disclosure Initiative team, made his own effort to provide UFO briefings to yet other members of the Clinton White House. He described his efforts as "tossing the inside documents of Rockefellers REAL UFO Disclosure Initiative over the transom into the White House."
On February 4, 1994, the same day that Laurance Rockefeller was meeting with Dr. Gibbons for the second time, Farley sent a complete set of "Rockefeller UFO Disclosure Initiative" documents by FedEx to Phil Lader in the White House. Over the next year plus, Farley sent three packages to Lader, then an Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, (later Ambassador to Britain). Lader was a key figure in the Clinton administration because he had been hand-picked for his job by Bill and Hillary Clinton, despite the fact he did not even appear on the list of people to interview for the Deputy Chief of Staff job.
Farley reported that he sent "several" packages of UFO material to Lader. Lader was responsible for White House Operations and staff, including the coordination of the overall policy development process. He was, for example, part of the team that found a job for Linda Tripp, when a request came from the executive to get her out of the White House.
The Clinton OSTP papers revealed that Lader appeared to be interested in the UFO material Farley was sending. In response to the first packet of Rockefeller White House Initiative documents sent by Farley in February 1994, Lader sent Farley a thank-you letter. In the margin of the letter Lader had added a hand-written comment "Remarkable Thoughts."
Farley told this author that his UFO briefing effort actually made it as high as Clintons Chief of Staff Mack McLarty. Farley believed that McLarty had discussed the material with President Clinton, but doubted that he had given the President anything more than what Farley called "retail UFOlogy."
Those in the office of Chief of Staff to the President after McLarty left, appeared to carry on the interest in UFOs. Their unchallenged actions showed that it was safe to be interested in UFOs in the Clinton White House.
Clintons Deputy Chief of Staff John Podesta was one case in point. He was known among White House reporters as the unofficial leader of the X-files club in the West Wing of the White House.
The "Christian Science Monitor" also wrote about the Clintons Deputy Chief of Staffs extraordinary interest in the X-files.
Podesta expressed his obsession with X-files when he told U.S. News "when the show about aliens comes on I just get glued to the tube and try to figure out which government agencies to call to determine if the show's story is real or not." U.S. News reported further that Podesta had even E-mailed one of the shows characters, FBI agent Dana Scully."
Even the white House Press Secretary Mike McCurry confirmed Panettas very serious interest, "John can get totally maniacal and phobic on certain subjects. He's been known to pick up the phone to call the Air Force and ask them what's going on in Area 51."
Even as this paper was being edited, another revelation was made about another Clinton staffer who appeared to have as part of his job description, "find out about UFOs." That Clinton cabinet member was Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Given Cohen background, it is not surprising that he would take up a UFO investigation for the Clinton administration. After all Cohen was one of the Senators who stepped in and rescued the U.S. Armys psychic intelligence-gathering program known as Project Stargate, after Reagan national Security advisor Frank Carlucci "dispatched the inspector general to investigate the Stargate Project at Fort Meade."
It has not been announced if the directive for Cohen action came directly from President Clinton, but Dr. Steven Greer has announced after discussions with "a very famous astronaut" that Cohen had called this astronaut in to help with a UFO investigation he had begun.
"This particular astronaut had during his career been in possession of a very specific piece of incontrovertible piece of evidence related to UFOs. It is something that if disclosed would clear and definitive," Greer said in a special breaking interview with radio host Art Bell. "This astronaut described how he had approached and worked directly with President Clintons Secretary of Defense William Cohen to look into and retrieve from classified projects this specific piece of evidence - of that which he had all the specific details. . .the words used by this astronaut to me were there was an inordinate large amount of money and personal time by the Secretary of Defense William Cohen was spent to locate this evidence, and he was never given access to it."
Dr. Greer stated in the interview that this effort by Secretary Cohen was further proof that, despite the interest in the Clinton White House and a concerted effort by the President and his staff to get the answers, they were unconstitutionally cut out of the process of governing control over the UFO subject.
It was perhaps this frustrating situation that led Bill Clinton to bypass the official search for UFO answers, and actually approve a personal UFO briefing from a member of the public for himself and his wife Hillary. That historic briefing took place during the Presidents August 1995 vacation at the Rockefeller Ranch outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The briefer was Laurance Rockefeller.
The inclusion of Hillary in the Rockefeller briefing was the first indicator that the Presidents wife actively involved, was prepared to play a strong role in the search for UFO answers inside the Clinton White House.