The Strategy

The Strategy there is an old story I once heard about keeping secrets. A group of men were trying to protect their deepest secrets from the rest of the world. They took their secrets and hid them in a shack whose very location was a secret. But the secret location was soon discovered and in it was discovered the secrets that the group was hiding. But before every secret could be revealed, the men quickly built a second shack where they stored those secrets they still kept to themselves.


Soon, the second shack was discovered and the group realized they would have to give up some secrets to protect the rest. So they again moved quickly to build a third shack and protect whatever secrets they could. This process repeated itself over and over until anyone wanting to find out what the secrets were had to start at the first shack and work their way from shack to shack until they came to where they could go no further because they didn’t know the location of the next shack.


For fifty years this was the very process by which the secrets of Roswell were protected by various serial incarnations of an ad hoc confederation of top-secret working groups throughout different branches of the government, and it is still going on today.

Were you to search through every government document to find the declassified secrets of Roswell and the contact we maintained with the aliens who were visiting us before and have been doing so ever since, you would find code named project after code named project, each with its own file, security classification, military or government administration, oversight mechanism, some form of budget, and even reports of highly classified documents. All of these projects were started to accomplish part of the same task: manage our ongoing relationship with the alien visitors we discovered at Roswell. However, at each level, once the security had been breached for whatever reason -even by design - part of the secret was disclosed through declassification while the rest was dragged into a new classified project or moved to an existing one that had not been compromised.

It makes perfect sense, especially to those of us who understand that the government is not some monolithic piece of granite that never moves or reacts. To those of us inside the military/government machine the government is dynamic, highly reactive, and even proactive when it comes to devising ways to protect its most closely held secrets. For all the years after Roswell we weren’t just one step ahead of people wanting to know what really happened, we were a hundred steps ahead, a thousand, or even more. In fact, we never hid the truth from anybody, we just camouflaged it. It was always there, people just didn’t know what to look for or recognize it for what it was when they found it. And they found it over and over again.

Project “Blue Book was created to make the general public happy that they had a mechanism for reporting what they saw. Projects “Grudge” and “Signwere of a higher security to allow the military to process sightings and encounter reports that couldn’t easily be explained away as balloons, geese, or the planet Venus. Blue Fly and Twinkle had other purposes, as did scores of other camouflage projects like Horizon, HARP, Rainbow, and even the Space Defense Initiative, all of which had something to do with alien technology. But no one ever knew it. And when reporters were actually given truthful descriptions of alien encounters, they either fell on the floor laughing or sold the story to the tabloids, who’d print a drawing of a large headed, almond eyed, six fingered alien. Again, everybody laughed. But that’s what these things really look like because I saw the one they trucked up to Wright Field.

Meanwhile, as each new project was created and administered, another bread crumb for anyone pursuing the secrets to find, we were gradually releasing bits and pieces of information to those we knew would make something out of it. Flying saucers did truly buzzover Washington, D.C., in 1952, and there are plenty of photographs and radar reports to substantiate it. But we denied it while encouraging science fiction writers to make movies like The Man from Planet X to blow off some of the pressure concerning the truth about flying disks. This was called camouflage through limited disclosure, and it worked. If people could enjoy it as entertainment, get duly frightened, and follow trails to nowhere that the working group had planted, then they’d be less likely to stumble over what we were really doing. And what were we really doing?

As General Twining had suggested in his report to the Army Air Forces, “foreign technology” was the category to which research on the alien artifacts from Roswell was to be delegated. Foreign technology was one of the great catch all terms, encompassing everything from researching French air force engineering advances on helicopter blades to captured Russian MiGs flown in from Cuba by savvy pilots who could negotiate our southern radar perimeter better than our own pilots. So what if a few pieces of technological debris from a strange crescent shaped hovering wing turned up in an old file somewhere in the army’s foreign technology files? If nobody asked about it - and nobody did because foreign technology was just too damned dull for most reporters to hang around - we didn’t have to say anything about it. Besides, most foreign technology stuff was classified anyway because it dealt with weapons development we were hiding from the Soviets and most reporters knew it. Foreign technology was the absolute perfect cover. All I had to do was figure out what to do with the stuff I had. And General Trudeau wasn’t in the mood to wait any longer.


“Come on, Phil, let’s go. “ The general’s voice suddenly filled the room over the blown speaker hum of my desk intercom. I put down my coffee and headed up the stairway to the back door of his inner office. This was a routine that repeated itself three, sometimes four times a day. The general always liked to get briefed in person because even in the most secure areas of the Pentagon, the walls tended to listen and remember our conversations.

Our sessions were always private, and from the way our conversation bounced back and forth among different topics, if it weren’t for his three stars and my pair of leaves, you wouldn’t even think you were listening to a pair of army officers. It was cordial and friendly, but my boss was my boss and, even after we both retired like two old war horses put out to pasture, our meetings were never informal.


“So now you figured out how the package arrived?” he asked me after I sat down. I had figured it out by going through all of the files I could get my hands on and tracing the path of the Roswell information from the 509th to Fort Bliss and from there to Wright Field, the dissemination point.

General Trudeau motioned for me to sit down and I settled into a chair. It was already ten thirty in the morning so I knew there’d be at least two other sit down briefings that day.

“I know it didn’t come by the parcel service, “ I said. “I don’t think they have a truck that big. “
“Does that help you figure out what we should do?” he asked.

Actually, knowing how the material got into the Foreign Technology files was critically important because it meant that it was dispatched there originally. Even if it had been neglected over the years, it was clear that the Foreign Technology desk of the R&D system was its intended destination, part of the original plan. And I even had the documents from General Twining’s own files to substantiate this. Not that I would have ever revealed them at that time. General Twining, more than anyone else during those years after the war, understood the sensitive and protected nature of the R&D budget. And now that I understood how the camouflage was to take place, I also saw how brilliant the general’s plan was. R&D, although important and turning over records like topsoil from the Nazi weapons development files captured after the war, was kind of a backwater railroad junction.

Unnoticed by most officers on their way to the top and not called upon in the late 1940s to do much more than record keeping, it turned out to be the perfect hideaway when the CIA hirelings came sniffing through the Pentagon in the early 1950s looking for anything they could find on the Roswell technology. Unless they were part of the working group from the start, not even members of the Eisenhower White House National Security staff knew that R&D was the repository of Roswell artifacts. I was there. I can vouch for that. In fact, it wasn’t until I saw the files for myself and reverse traced their path to my doorstep that I realized what General Twining and the working group had accomplished. By the time I had arrived at the White House, though, it was all ancient history. People were more worried about the sighting information deluging Project Blue Book every day than they were about the all but forgotten story of Roswell.

But my mind was drifting and the general was still speaking. He wanted to know what my research had uncovered and what I had learned about Roswell during my years at the White House, what I’d seen, how far the concentric circles of the group and the people who worked for them went.

“Phil, we both know that the package you have is no surprise, “ he said very flatly.

I didn’t respond substantively, and he didn’t expect me to, because to do so would have meant breaching security confidentiality that I’d sworn to maintain when I was assigned to the NSC staff at the White House.

“You don’t have to say anything officially, “ he continued. “And I don’t expect you to. But can you give me your impressions of how people working for the group talked about the package?”
“I wasn’t working for the group, General, “ I said. “And whatever I saw or heard was only because it happened to pass by, not because I was supposed to do anything about it. “

But he pushed me to remember whether the NSC staff had any direct dealings with the group and how much the Central Intelligence staffers at the White House pressed to get any information they could about what the group was doing. Of course I remembered the questions going back and forth about what might have happened at Roswell, about what was really behind Blue Book, and about all those lights buzzing the Washington Monument back in 1952. I didn’t have anything substantive to tell my boss about my involvement, but his questions helped me put together a bigger picture than I thought I knew.


From my perspective in 1961, especially after reviewing everything I could about what happened in the days after the Roswell crash, I could see very clearly the things that I didn’t understand back in 1955. I didn’t know why the CIA was so aggressively agitated about the repeated stories of flying saucer sightings or why they kept searching for any information about the technology from Roswell. I certainly didn’t volunteer any information, mainly because nobody asked me, about having seen parts of “the cargo” as it passed through Fort Riley. I just played position, representing the army as the military member of the National Security Staff, but I listened to everything I heard like a fly on the wall.

General Trudeau’s questions forced me to ask myself what the big picture was that he saw. He was obviously looking for something in my descriptions of the architecture of the group, as I had learned it from my review of the history, and of the starters on the lower security classification periphery as I understood it from my experience at the White House. He really wanted to know how the bureaucracy worked, how much activity the group itself generated, what kinds of policy questions came up in my presence, and whether I was asked to comment informally on anything having to do with the issues of the group.

Did Admiral Hillenkoetter host many briefings for President Eisenhower where Generals Twining, Smith, Montague, and Vandenburg were present? Gen. W. B. Smith had replaced Secretary Forrestal after he committed suicide during the second year of the Truman administration. Were Professor Menzel and Drs. Bush and Berkner visitors to the White House on regular occasions? Did they meet at the White House with Admiral Hillenkoetter or the generals? What was the level of presence of the CIA staffers at the White House through all of this? And did I recognize anyone from the Joint Research and Development Board or the Atomic Energy Commission at any briefings chaired by Admiral Hillenkoetter?


Through General Trudeau’s questions I could see not only that the general knew his history almost as well as I did about how the original group was formed and how it must have operated, but he also had a sense of what kind of problem was facing the military R&D and how much leeway he had to solve it. Like most ad hoc creations of government, the group must have at some point become as self-serving as every other joint committee eventually became the longer it functioned and the more its job increased. As the camouflage about flying disks grew, so did the role of the group.


Only the group didn’t have the one thing most government committees had : the ability to draw upon other areas of the government for more resources. This group was above top secret and, officially, had no right to exist. Therefore, as its functions grew over the next ten years to encompass the investigations of more flying saucer sightings and the research into more encounters with alien aircraft or with the extraterrestrials themselves, its resources became stretched so thin that it had to create reasons for drawing upon other areas of the government.

Accordingly, task-defined subgroups were formed to handle specific areas of investigation or research. These had to have had lower security classifications even if only because the number of personnel involved couldn’t have been cleared that quickly to respond to the additional work the group was taking on. In fact, the work of the group must have become unmanageable. Bits and pieces of information slipped out, and the group had to determine what it could let go into the public record and what had to be protected at all costs. As in the story about the shacks, the group members retreated to create new protected structures for the information they had to preserve.

The official camouflage was sagging under the weight of the information the group had to investigate and the pressure of time they were allotted. Soon the military representatives found, just as we did in Korea, that they really couldn’t trust the career intelligence people, especially the CIA, because they seemed to have a different agenda. Maybe the military became resistant to giving up all the information it was collecting independently to the central group? Maybe, in the absence of any actual legislation establishing how the group’s work was to be paid for, the military saw valuable and fundable weapons opportunities slip through its fingers to the CIA’s budget? Maybe - and I know this is what happened - a power struggle developed within the group itself.

The whole structure of the working group had changed, too, since the late 1940s when it was formed. What started out as a close-knit group of old friends from prep school had become an unmanageable mess within five years. Many pieces of the pie were floating around, and the different military branches wanted to break off chunks of the black budget so that you needed an entire administration just to manage the managers of the cover-up.


Therefore, at some point near the middle of the Eisenhower administration, seams opened up in the grand camouflage scheme where nobody knew what anybody else was doing. Because of the cover-up, nobody really had a need to know, so nobody knew anything. The only people who wanted to get their hands on information and hardware belonged to the CIA, but nobody, even those who vaguely understood what had happened fourteen years earlier, trusted the CIA. Officially, then, nobody knew nothing and nothing happened.

Through the 1950s a cascade effect developed. What had started out as a single-purpose camouflage operation was breaking up into smaller units. Command and control functions started to weaken and, just like a submarine that breaks up on the bottom of the ocean, debris in the form of information bubbled to the surface. Army CIC, once a powerful force to keep the Roswell story itself suppressed, had weakened under the combined encroachments of the CIA and the FBI. It was during this period that my old friend J. Edgar Hoover, never happy at being kept out of any loop, jumped into the circle and very quietly began investigating the Roswell incident. This shook things up, and very soon afterward, other government agencies - the ones with official reporting responsibilities - began poking around as well.

For all intents and purposes, the original scheme to perpetrate a camouflage was defunct by the late 1950s. Its functions were now being managed by series of individual groups within the military and civilian intelligence agencies, all still sharing limited information with each other, each pursuing its own individual research and investigation, and each - astonishingly - still acting as if some super intelligence group was still in command. But, like the Wizard of Oz, there was no super intelligence group. Its functions had been absorbed by the groups beneath it. But nobody bothered to tell anyone because a super group was never supposed to exist officially in the first place.


That which did not exist officially could not go out of existence officially. Hence, right through the next forty years, the remnants of what once was a super group went through the motions, but the real activities were carried out by individual agencies that believed on blind faith that they were being managed by higher-ups. Remember the lines of cars at gas pumps during the fuel shortage of 1973 when one driver, thinking a gas station was open, would wait at a pump and within fifteen minutes scores of other cars pulled up behind him? Lines a mile long formed behind pumps that were never open because there was no gas. That’s what the great flying saucer camouflage was like by the time President Kennedy was inaugurated.

“There’s nobody home, Phil, “ General Trudeau told me as we compared our notes at that morning’s briefing.
“Nobody home except us. We have to make our own policy. “

I was a soldier and followed orders, but Trudeau was a general, the product of a political process, stamped with congressional approval, and reporting to a civilian executive. Generals are made by the government, not by the army. They sit between the government and the vast military machine and from the Army Chief of Staff all the way down to the brigadiers at bases around the world, generals create the way military policy is supposed to work. And on the morning of this briefing over cups of coffee in his inner office of the third floor of the Pentagon, Lieutenant General Trudeau was going to make policy and do the very thing that over ten years of secret work groups and committees and research planning had failed to do: exploit the Roswell technology.

“I need you to tell me you found a way to make something out of this mess, “ General Trudeau told me. “There must be some piece of technology in your file that’ll make a weapon, that we can use for one of our helicopters. What do we have in there, Phil?”

Then he said. “Time is now of the essence. We have to do something because nobody else will. “

In the great cloud of unknowing that had descended upon the Pentagon with respect to the Roswell package, the five or six of us in the navy, air force, and army who actually knew what we had didn’t confide in anyone outside his own branch of the military and certainly didn’t talk to the CIA. So, in a way that could only happen inside the military bureaucracy, the cover-up became covered up from the cover-up, leaving the few of us in the know free to do whatever we wanted.

General Trudeau and I were all alone out there in so far as the package went. Whatever vestige of the group remained had simply lost track of the material delivered to Foreign Technology fourteen years earlier. And the general was right, nobody was home and our enemies inside government were capitalizing on whatever information they could find. The Roswell package was one of the prizes, and if we didn’t do anything with it, the Russians would. And they were onto us.

Our own military intelligence personnel told us that the Soviets were trafficking so heavily in our military secrets that they knew things about us in the Kremlin before we knew them in Congress. The army at least knew the KGB had penetrated the CIA, and the leadership of the CIA had been an integral part of the working group on flying disks since the early 1950s. Thus, whatever secrets the group thought they had, they certainly weren’t secrets to the KGB.

But here’s what kept the roof from falling in on all of us. The KGB and the CIA weren’t really the adversaries everybody thought them to be. They spied on each other, but for all practical purposes, and also because each agency had thoroughly penetrated the other, they behaved just like the same organization. They were all professional spies in a single extended agency playing the same intelligence game and trafficking in information. Information is power to be used. You don’t simply give it away to your government’s political leadership, whether it’s the Republicans, the Tories, or the Communists, just because they tell you to. You can’t trust the politicians, but you can trust other spies. At least that’s what spies believe, so their primary loyalty is to their own group and the other groups playing the same game. The CIA, KGB, British Secret Service, and a whole host of other foreign intelligence agencies were loyal to themselves and to the profession first and to their respective governments last.

That’s one of the reasons we in the military knew that the professional KGB leadership, not the Communist Party officers who were only inside for political reasons, were keeping as much information from the Soviet government as the CIA was keeping from our government. Professional spy organizations like the CIA and the KGB tend to exist only to preserve themselves, and that’s why neither the U.S. military nor the Russian military trusted them. If you look at how the great spy wars of the Cold War played out you’ll see how the KGB and CIA acted like one organization: lots of professional courtesy, lots of shared information to make sure nobody got fired, and a few human sacrifices now and then just to keep everybody honest. But when it came down to loyalty, the CIA was loyal to the KGB and vice versa.

I believe they had a rationale for what they did. I know they thought the rest of us were too stupid to keep the world safe and that by sharing information they kept us out of a nuclear war. I believe this because I knew enough KGB agents during my time and got enough bits and pieces of information off the record to give me a picture of the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 1960s that’s very different from what you’d read on the front page of the New York Times.

CIA penetration by the KGB and what amounted to their joint spying on the military was a fact we accepted during the 1950s and1960s, even though most of us in the Pentagon played spy versus spy as much as we could; those of us, like me, who’d gone to intelligence school during the war and knew some of the counter espionage tricks that kept the people watching you guessing. We would change our routes to work, always used false information stories as bait to test phones we weren’t sure about, swept our offices for listening devices, always used a code when talking with one another about sensitive subjects. We had a counter intelligence agent in the military attaché’s office over at the Russian consulate in Washington whose friends in the Soviet army trusted the KGB less than I did. If my name came up associated with a story, he’d let me know it. But he’d never tell the CIA. Believe it or not, in the capital of my very own country, that kind of information helped me stay alive.

It was very disconcerting that the CIA had a tail on me all throughout my four year tenure at the White House.


I was mad about it, but there was nothing much I chose to do. Then, when I came back to Washington in 1961 to work for General Trudeau, they put the tail back on and I led him down every back alley and rough neighborhood in D.C. that I could. He wouldn’t shake. So the next day, after I told my boss what I was going to do, I led my faceless pursuer right to Langley, Virginia, past a sputtering secretary, and straight into the office of my old adversary, the director of cover operations Frank Wiesner, one of the best friends the KGB ever had. I told Wiesner to his face that yesterday was the last day I would walk around Washington without a handgun. And I put my .45 automatic on his desk. I said if I saw his tail on me tomorrow, they’d find him in the Potomac the next day with two bloody holes for eyes; that is, if they bothered to look for him. Wiesner said, “You won’t do that, Colonel. “


But I reminded him very pointedly that I knew where all his bodies were buried, the people he’d gotten killed through his own ineptitude and, worse, his cooperation with the Russians. I’d tell his story to everyone I knew in Congress. Wiesner backed down. Subsequently, on a trip to London, Wiesner committed suicide and was found hanging in his hotel room. I never did tell his story. Two years later in 1963, one of Wiesner’s friends at the agency told me that it was “all in good fun, Phil. “ Part of an elaborate recruitment process to get me into the CIA after I retired from the army. But I went to work for Senator Strom Thurmond on the Foreign Relations Committee and then Senator Richard Russell on the Warren Commission instead.

Our collective experience dodging the CIA and the KGB only meant that when General Trudeau wanted the CIA kept out of our deliberations at all cost, it was because he knew that everything we discussed would be a topic of conversation at the KGB within twenty four hours, faster if it were serious enough for the KGB to get their counterparts in the CIA to throw a monkey wrench into things.

How do I know all this? The same way I knew how the KGB stayed one step ahead of us during the Korean War and were able to advise their friends, the North Koreans, how to hold POWs back during the exchange. We had leaks inside the Kremlin just like they had leaks inside the White House. What General Trudeau and I knew in Army R&D, our counterparts in the navy and air force also believed. The CIA was the enemy. You trust no one. So when it became clear to the general even before 1961 that no one remembered what the army had appropriated at Roswell, whatever we had was ours to develop according to our own strategy. But we had to do it so as not to allow the CIA, and ultimately our government’s enemies, to appropriate it from us. So when General Trudeau said we have to run radio silent on the Roswell package, I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Logic, and clearly not my military genius, dictated the obvious course. If nobody knows what you have, don’t announce it. But if you think you can make something out of what you have, make it. Use any resources at your disposal, but don’t say anything to anyone about what you’re doing. The only people in the room when we came up with our plan were the general and myself, and he promised, “I won’t say anything if you don’t, Phil. “

“There’s nobody in here but us brooms, General,“ I answered.
So we began to devise a strategy.
“Hypothetically, Phil, “ Trudeau laid the question out. “What’s the best way to exploit what we have without anybody knowing we’re doing anything special?”
“Simple, General, “ I answered. “We don’t do anything special. “
“You have a plan?” he asked.
“More of an idea than a plan, “ I began. “But it starts like this. It’s what you asked: If we don’t want anybody to think we’re doing anything out of the ordinary, we don’t do anything out of the ordinary. When General Twining made his original recommendations to President Truman and the army, he didn’t suggest they do anything with this nut file other than what they ordinarily do. Business as usual? That’s how this whole secret group operated. Nobody did anything special. What they did was organize according to a business plan even though the operation was something that hadn’t been done before. That’s the camouflage: don’t change a thing but use your same procedures to handle this alien technology. “
“So how do you recommend we operate?” he asked. I think he already figured out what I was saying but wanted me to spell it out so we could start moving my nut file out of the Pentagon and out of the encroaching shadow of the CIA.
“We start the same way this desk has always started : with reports, “I said. “I’ll write up reports on the alien technology just like it’s an intelligence report on any piece of foreign technology. What I see, what I think the potential may be, where we might be able to develop, what company we should take it to, and what kind of contract we should draw up. “
“Where will you start?” the general asked.
“I’ll line up everything in the nut file, “ I began. “Everything from what’s obvious to what I can’t make heads or tails out of. And I’ll go to scientists with clearance who we can trust, Oberth and von Braun, for advice. “
“I see what you mean, “ Trudeau acknowledged. “Sure. We’ll lineup our defense contractors, too. See which ones have ongoing development contracts that allow us to feed your development projects right into them. “
“Exactly. That way the existing defense contract becomes the cover for what we’re developing, “ I said. “Nothing is ever out of the ordinary because we’re never starting up anything that hasn’t already been started up in a previous contract. “
“It’s just like a big mix and match, “ Trudeau described it.
“Only what we’re doing, General, is mixing technology we’re developing in with technology not of this earth, “ I said. “And we’ll let the companies we’re contracting with apply for the patents themselves. “
“Of course, “ Trudeau realized. “If they own the patent we will have completely reverse-engineered the technology. “
“Yes, sir, that’s right. Nobody will ever know. We won’t even tell the companies we’re working with where this technology comes from. As far as the world will know the history of the patent is the history of the invention. “
“It’s the perfect cover, Phil, “ the general said. “Where will you start?”
“I’ll write up my first analysis and recommendation tonight, “ I promised. “There’s not a moment to lose. “

“The photographs in my file,“ I began my report that night over the autopsy reports, which I attached, show a being of about 4 feet tall. The body seemed decomposed and the photos themselves aren’t of much use except to the curious. It’s the medical reports that are of interest. The organs, bones, and skin composition are different from ours. The being’s heart and lungs are bigger than a human’s. The bones are thinner but seem stronger as if the atoms are aligned differently for a greater tensile strength.


The skin also shows a different atomic alignment in a way that appears the skin is supposed to protect the vital organs from cosmic ray or wave action or gravitational forces that we don’t yet understand. The overall medical report suggests that the medical examiners are more surprised at the similarities between the being found in the spacecraft (note: NSC reports refer to this creature as an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity [EBE]) and human beings than they are at the differences, especially the brain which is bigger in the EBE but not at all unlike ours.

I wrote on into the first of many nights that year, drafting rough notes that I would later type into formal reports that no one would ever see except General Trudeau, reaching conclusions that seemed more science fiction than real. I was most happy not because I was finally working on these files but, oddly enough, because when I sat down to write, I believed these reports would never see the light of day. In the harsh reality of the everyday world, they sound, even now as I remember them, fantastic. Even more fantastic, I remember, were the startling conclusions I allowed myself to come to. Was this really I writing, or was it somebody else? Where did these ideas come from?

If we consider similar biological factors that affect human beings, like long distance runners whose hearts and lungs are larger than average, hill and mountain dwellers whose lung capacity is greater than those who live closer to sea level, and even natural athletes whose long striated muscle alignment is different from those who are not athletes, can we not assume that the EBEs who have fallen into our possession represent the end process of genetic engineering designed to adapt them to long space voyages within an electromagnetic wave environment at speeds which create the physical conditions described by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity?


(Note for the record: Dr. Hermann Oberth suggests we consider the Roswell craft from the New Mexico desert not a spacecraft but a time machine. His technical report on propulsion will follow.)

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