The Art of War VI: Truman’s Majestic 12

An X-Files Game Easter egg shines light on a conspiracy theory of days past.

Fair Salamis, the billows’ roar, Wander around thee yet, And sailors gaze upon thy shore. Firm in the Ocean set. Thy son is in a foreign clime. Where Ida feeds her countless flocks, Far from thy dear, remembered rocks, Worn by the waste of time– Comfortless, nameless, hopeless save. In the dark prospect of the yawning grave…. Woe to the mother in her close of day, Woe to her desolate heart and temples gray, When she shall hear. Her loved one’s story whispered in her ear! “Woe, woe!’ will be the cry–. No quiet murmur like the tremulous wail. Of the lone bird, the querulous nightingale–

An excerpt from Sophocles’, “Chorus from Ajax”

The above excerpt was left in a suicide note of the deeply depressed, James Forresestal – the last cabinet-level United States secretary of the Navy and the very first United States Secretary of Defense.

A favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Forrestal was hand picked by him to lead the Navy upon Frank Knox’s death but Forrestal’s career would take a turn upon FDR’s death. As Truman gained office despite making him to Secretary of Defense, it was clear that the two had a tumultuous relationship. One that would eventually lead to Truman asking for his resignation, a mental breakdown and an untimely, suspicious death.

It’s been suggested James Forrestal was killed for wanting to go public about the existence of Aliens

An untimely death that would lead to one of the biggest conspiracy theories for ufologists in the 1980’s – nearly forty years after his death: The Majestic 12.

Majestic 12 or MJ-12 for short, is a purported code name for a shadow organization composed of scientists and high level military and government officials. Thought to be formed by President Truman in 1947 to facilitate recovery and investigation of alien space craft.

Maybe Harry was an alien

According to, “documents” (more on this upcoming) later discovered the committee consisted of twelve men who were as follows:

Alleged Members:

Lloyd Viel Berkner: American physicist and engineer, Berkner was one of the inventors of a measuring device that has since been adopted at Ionospheric stations because it measures the height and electron density of the Ionosphere. He also is known for pioneering work in aeronautical science, meteorology and geophysics.

Detlev Bronk: Bronk won a presidential medal of freedom in 1964 awarded by Lyndon B. Johnson. He is credited with formulating the modern theory of the science of Biophysics. He was also president of both John Hopkins University and Rockefeller University.

Vannevar Bush: Bush was an American scientist and inventor who headed the Office of Science Research and Development during WWII. He had a massive hand in contributions towards radar systems and the initial and early administration of the Manhattan Project.

James Forrestal: Forrestal began his career as a Wall Street financier but enlisted in the Navy in 1916 at the onset The Great War. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant and after the war continued his work on Wall Street. He entered the political arena as a publicist for the Democratic Party with whom he befriended Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s rise would benefit him as as he was named Secretary of the Navy. He was a critical piece of the mobile industrialization during WWII.

Gordon Gray: Gray was an American attorney and government official heavily associated with national defense for the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.

Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter: Hillenkoetter was the first director of the CIA (formed by the National Security Act of 1947) Intrestingly enough, following his retirement he was a member of the board of governors of National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomenon from 1957 to 1962. As reported by the New York Times, Hillenkoetter would state: “Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.”

Jerome Clarke Hunsaker: Hunsacker was a naval officer and aeronautical engineer. With Gustav Eiffel he invented the first Wind Tunnel and was instrumental in the design and construction of the Navy-Curtiss airplane (accomplished first transatlantic flight in 1919).

Donald Howard Menzel: Menzel was an American heavyweight in Astronomy and one of the first American theoretical Astronomers and astrophysicists. His work led to the discovery of the solar chromosphere, the chemistry of stars, the atmosphere of Mars and the nature of gaseous nebulae.

Robert Miller Montague: Montague was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army and was the commander of the Sandia Missile Base in. New Mexico during the alleged, “Roswell Incident”.

Sidney William Souers: Rear Admiral Souers was Director of Central Intelligence for the President, which allowed him daily access to Truman. It was through Souers that Truman learned of the Hydrogen bomb and it is also believed he had a say in the debate of using the weapon.

Nathan Farragut Twining: Twining was a notable “Mustang” officer who had a long and distinguished military career. Eventually rising up to four-star General in his 45 year military career. He was also chief of staff for the Air Force between 53’ and 57’.

Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg: Vandenberg was a distinguished Air Force General who along with some of the other men on this list served as A Director for Central Intelligence for Truman.

Now that’s a pretty heavy list. The kind of list that would really open some eyes if they all were mentioned say, on a declassified military document that alleged they were all working together to not only investigate Alien spacecraft but to also cover it up.

Which is precisely what happened in 1984 when ufologist, Jaime Shandera received an envelope which contained film, which when developed, showed images of eight documents. The documents appeared to be top secret abriefing pages on, “Operation Majestic 12”.

The documents name all of the culprits in the shadowy organization and even detail accounts of grey, “humanoid” type creatures that were recovered at the scene of the Roswell crash site, how the United States plans to utilize and reverse engineer the alien technology and how the government plans its diplomacy with our intergalactic visitors in the future.

All pretty interesting and impeccably timed, considering these documents landed in conspiracy theorists hands at the height of Roswell’s conspiracy theory resurgence. The Roswell incident was long forgotten until 1978 when Fort Worth Army Air Field Major, Jesse A. Marcel did an interview claiming that the debris picked up from the crash site that day was extraterrestrial in nature. But, he denied that there were ever any bodies recovered.

Jesse Marcel

Ultimately, the legitimacy of these papers would act as a schism throughout the UFO community – between believers and non-believers. Copies of the files would exchange hands throughout the rest of the 1980’s until finally landing in the hands of the FBI by 1990.

The Bureau combed through the entirety of all of the theories and documents. The suggestion, Forrestal was murdered for his threat to go public, the Roswell incident, the “Majestic 12” papers – all of it tested to find any level of truth or national security vulnerability. Their conclusion? Bogus.

The FBI deemed all of the papers forged and fabricated. but .. of course they would, right?

And all of this insanity just from following up one little case note in the game during the game as intended, I assume.

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