by Michael E. Salla, PhD
June 3, 2005

from Exopolitics Website


I have recently had a number of discussions with members of the UFO Updates forum and it’s become clear that there is a quite a gap between those who advocate investigating whistleblower claims concerning highly classified projects involving ETVs/EBEs and those arguing that there isn’t the hard evidence or documentation to merit since an investigation. I think some of the key issues have been discussed in cases of whistleblowers such as Phillip Corso, Clifford Stone, Robert Dean, Bob Lazar, etc.



It seems that the underlying disagreement stems from what can and can’t be done in terms of security procedures set up to maintain secrecy in such projects. It is clear to me that there has been little research done on how classified projects are set up and security procedures set up for those by UFO researchers. This is quite surprising given that the UFO phenomenon has been going on for five decades and it’s well known that various national security agencies and military departments classify this information since it poses a threat to national security.

The lack of discussion of security procedures set up for classified projects involving EBEs/ETVs is a major omission and I hope that this can shortly be rectified by the investigative abilities of many researchers on this forum. To start off discussion what I offer below is an overview of the classified projects concerning ETVs/EBEs in the United States and how these differ in security procedures to other less classified projects and information. This should stimulate discussion so we can know what parameters are in place that makes the testimonies of many whistleblowers with otherwise solid credentials, so difficult to assess. For those wanting to understand how classification occurs in the U.S., I recommend the following Congressional report by the Moynihan Commission which details the current classification system in the US:

Current classification policies of the US Army are described in Army Regulation (AR) 380-5 which is available online at:

First it’s important to distinguish between the Confidential, Secret and Top Secret classifications currently used for information the release of which is deemed to damage national security in the U.S., and the various compartments created for more restricted information.

  • CONFIDENTIAL is applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which could be reasonably expected to cause DAMAGE to the national security.

  • SECRET is applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which could be reasonable expected to cause SERIOUS DAMAGE to the national security.

  • TOP SECRET is applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which could be reasonable expected to cause EXCEPTIONALLY GRAVE DAMAGE to the national security.

Next it’s important to understand the different types of compartments and projects that require ’special controls’ and/or a "need to know".

  • Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) involves information and material that requires SPECIAL CONTROLS for restricted handling in the compartmented systems in which they are located.

  • A Special Access Program (SAP) require a clear ’need to know’ in addition to the above classifications of Confidential, Secret and Top Secret.

  • In addition to the above there is the Q-clearance which is required for all those working in the Nuclear Industry. Q-Clearance relates to SCI and SAPS that pertain to nuclear technology and information.

Information about the above classifications is available in the public realm. Classified programs and information are subject to oversight either through Congressional committees and/or Executive oversight through the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) which is attached to the National Security Council. There are severe penalties for those disclosing unauthorized classified information and these are determined by internal procedures that are spelt out in various manuals governing SAPs and SCI in the various branches of the military and government agencies.


The procedures governing penalties over unauthorized disclosure are subject to the congressional/executive oversight procedures in place. However, Congress has shown that in the case of waived SAP/SCI it exercises little effective oversight and this was identified as a major problem in the Moynihan Commission Report. A ’waived’ SAP/SCI is so sensitive that only eight members of Congress (the chairs and ranking members of the four intelligence [or defense] committees divided between the House of Representatives and Senate) are notified of a waived SAP/SCI without being given any information about it.


This means that for SAPs and SCI that falls into the waived category, there is no effective scrutiny by Congress of the security procedure in place for these and the penalties in place for unauthorized disclosure. So the idea that Congress has effective oversight over waived SAPs/SCI is a myth. The security procedures in place for SAPs/SCI are not under any effective Congressional oversight. While in theory, oversight coordination occurs in the ISOO set up in the NSC that issues an annual report to the President; the power to approve or terminate a CAP/SCI lies with the respective intelligence community and Department of Defense committees and executive officers. In general, Executive Office oversight of SAPs/SCI has been described as,

"nothing more than a sop used to placate anyone who questions the propriety of an administration’s covert action policy."

As far as whistleblowers of egregious policies that threaten public interest are concerned, there is a procedure whereby whistleblowers can typically chose to disclosure such practices either to Congress or to the Inspector-General in the agency or department where these occur. While whistleblower protection is not great for those disclosing egregious practices in the way SAPs and SCI are run, it exists in theory for those programs where Congress is informed of these. In the case of waived SAPs/SCI, Congressional protection for whistleblowers is non-existent since such programs are not acknowledged to exist. This means that a whistleblower from a waived SAP or dealing with waived SCI has no congressional protection since it is a crime to acknowledge the existence of such an SAP or SCI. Also, the penalty procedures in place for these have no Congressional oversight and the executive oversight exercised by the ISOO is questionable at best.

This finally takes me to SAPs or SCI that deal with extraterrestrial vehicles (ETVs) or extraterrestrial biological entities (EBEs). These are compartmented into projects using various titles such as ’Majestic’, ’Majic’, ’Umbra’ or ’Cosmic’ and at the very least are waived SAPs/SCI that the four relevant committee chairs and minority leaders in Defense or Intelligence are informed about but not given any written information on. It is more likely that due to the covert funding used for these waived SAPs/SCI, that even the congressional chairs are not informed of these due to the true number of these SAPs/SCI whose budgetary needs go far beyond congressional estimates of appropriated ’black budget’ funds used for waived SAPs/SCI (see my black budget report).

Leaked documents such as the Truman Memo (Sept 24, 1947); Eisenhower Briefing Document (1952); and the Special Operations Manual (1954) reveal the existence of the ’Majestic’ classification category.


In another leaked ’Majestic’ document, the " Majestic Twelve Project: 1st Annual Report" it is stated that the "national security status of the MAJESTIC operation exceeds that of the H-bomb development" (Robert Woods, ed., The Majestic Documents, p. 110).

There are a number of programs within the ’Majestic’ classification compartment all of which fall into the category of waived SAPs/SCI the existence of which is a secret. Without any Congressional oversight of these, the penalties and security procedures set in placed to prevent unauthorized disclosure of classified information are not publicly known. From the testimonies of a number of whistleblowers who have emerged to reveal classified information concerning how classified projects involving ETVs/EBEs are run (e.g., Clifford Stone, Dan Sherman, Bob Lazar, Dan Morris, Don Phillips and Daniel Salter) and from leaked ’Majestic Documents’, the following practices designed to enforce secrecy are allegedly in place:

1.   Discrediting individuals making unauthorized disclosures
2.   Manipulation of the press in order to prevent coverage of ’unauthorized disclosures’ by individuals
3.   Employees/servicemen have to sign away their constitutional rights when contracted/serving in compartmented programs involving Majestic/Cosmic secrecy classifications
4.   Removal of public documents recording educational or employment history of individuals making unauthorized disclosures
5.   Official denial of the employment history or service record of individuals making unauthorized disclosures
6.   Intimidation of independent witnesses who can confirm the identity, educational qualifications or work history of individuals making unauthorized disclosures
7.   Confinement of individuals making unauthorized disclosures without them being given any legal rights, e.g., habeus corpus
8.   Using MKULTRA mind control techniques such as Electronic Dissolution of Memory and behavior modification techniques to prevent unauthorized disclosures
9.   Physical intimidation and the use of excessive violence against individuals making unauthorized disclosures and/or their family members
10. ’Elimination’ of individuals making unauthorized disclosures

Leaked documents indicate that the SAPs/SCI that fall into the Majestic classification compartment require the enforcement of extremely strict security procedures. The Eisenhower Briefing Document for example states:

"the Majestic-12 Group remains of the unanimous opinion that imposition of the strictest security precautions should continue without interruption".

These leaked documents lend support to whistleblower claims of draconian security procedures in place to deal with projects that fall into the compartment security classifications created for UFO/extraterrestrial affairs: Majestic; Cosmic; Umbra, etc.


Confirmation of these whistleblower testimonies is made especially difficult since the existence of the SAPs/SCI they are disclosing officially remain secrets the disclosure of which presumably leads to "exceptionally grave damage" to U.S. national security. The US Congress therefore is hamstrung in seriously considering or providing protection to whistleblowers disclosing egregious practices that genuinely threaten public interest in the way these projects are run and the information contained in them. For Congress to consider such whistleblower testimony would mean confirming the existence of SAPs/SCI the disclosure of which arguably would lead to "exceptionally grave damage" to U.S. national security.

There is clearly a tension between conflicting imperatives in what is described so far in terms of congressional responses to whistleblower testimonies. On the one hand is the imperative of serving the broader public interest of learning about waived SAPs/SCI dealing with ETVs/EBEs and the draconian security procedures in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure of such programs/information. On the other hand there is the reasonable risk posed to national security by the unauthorized release of such information.


In the midst of this tension created by conflicting imperatives lie a number of exceptionally brave individuals who have come forward to disclose information concerning waived SAPs/SCI dealing with ETVs/EBEs. The rights of these individuals need to be recognized despite the tension between the public interest they claim to serve and the national security interests that proscribe unauthorized disclosures of highly classified information.

There is no legal protection for whistleblowers coming forward to make unauthorized disclosures of classified information concerning ETV/EBE related SAPs/SCI. Whistleblowers that come forward do so with the genuine conviction that are serving the broader public interest and they have a legitimate concern that the broader public interest is not being met by the current policy of maintaining a secrecy using the "strictest security precautions."


Currently draconian security procedures are in place to enforce secrecy concerning programs and information the existences of which are national secrets. There is an urgent need for public debate over the most appropriate policies for dealing with the information and technologies currently hidden in waived SAPs/SCIs concerning ETVs/EBEs. Important steps in such a debate are to have such information enter the public realm, and for whistleblowers disclosing such information be given ’a fair hearing’ despite the inherent difficulties in confirming their testimonies.

Finding some balance between the respective needs of protecting ’national security’, promoting the ’public interest’, and recognizing the ’civil rights’ of whistleblowers is urgently required. Seriously considering the testimonies of whistleblowers will help find a balance that will serve both the broader public interest and genuine national security needs. UFO researchers can play an important role in finding such a balance by giving serious attention to the claims made by whistleblowers from ETV/EBE related classified projects.


Without such support, the efforts of these whistleblowers is unlikely to change what appears to be an unresponsive national security system that assesses the potential damage posed by the release of such information purely from its own assessment of what constitutes "exceptionally grave damage" to national security without sufficient input from the U.S. Congress or U.S. citizens.