Hillenkoetter (May 8, 1897 - June 18, 1982) was the third
director of the Central
Agency of the United States, serving from May 1, 1947 to October
He was serving as director of the CIA at the time that North
Korea invaded South Korea (June 25, 1950), initiating the Korean
War, and was held responsible by some for the failure to predict
the hostile intentions of North Korea.
Prior to joining the Central Intelligence Agency then-Captain
Hillenkoetter served as the commanding officer of the USS
Hillenkoetter was a member of NICAP, and Donald E. Keyhoe writes
in his book Aliens from Space that Hillenkoetter wanted public
disclosure of UFO evidence. (page 28 in the Dutch translation of
Hillenkoetter's best-known statement on the subject was in 1960,
as reported in the New York Times:
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."
(March 11, 1890 – June 30, 1974) was an American engineer and
science administrator, known for his political role in the
development of the atomic bomb, and idea of the memex—seen as a
pioneering concept for the World Wide Web.
His name was
pronounced Van-NEE-var as in "receiver" (IPA: /ˌvæˈniː.vɚ/).
Bedell "Beetle" Smith (October 5, 1895 – August 9, 1961) was
Dwight D. Eisenhower's Chief of Staff during Eisenhower's tenure
at SHAEF and Director of the CIA from 1950 to 1953. He also
served as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1949.
Smith's first military service was as a private in the Indiana
National Guard. He continued his
during World War I, in the 4th Division of the United
States Army as an Infantry Reserve Officer. This included
deployment to France.
When General George C. Marshall became the Army's wartime
Chief of Staff, he called in Major Smith to be Assistant
to the Secretary of the General Staff.
He became Secretary in
September 1941 and in February 1942 was named U.S. Secretary of
the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
Just before the
invasion of North Africa, Marshall sent him to England to be
Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower's Chief of Staff.
He remained in that role until V-E Day, including making the
arrangements for the German surrender.
Smith had a reputation as a brusque manager, peppered
with salty speech, and was often referred to as Eisenhower's
"hatchet man". For instance, when Gen. George S. Patton
needed to be disciplined, Smith was tasked with delivering the
Smith rose to four star General, and after retirement, he served
as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union; Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA); and Under Secretary of State.
He also played a role in the creation of the National
He died on August 9, 1961 at Walter Reed Army Hospital in
Washington. He was subsequently buried in Section 7 of Arlington
His wife, Mary Eleanor Smith (1893-1963), is
buried with him.
Twining (October 11, 1897 - March 29, 1982) was a United
States Air Force general. He was born in Monroe, Wisconsin.
was Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
1953 until 1957. He then served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff from 1957 to 1960 being the first member of the Air
Force to serve in that role.
Twining came from a rich military background; his forebears had
served in the United States Army and Navy since the French and
Twining himself enlisted in World War I but soon
received an appointment to West Point.
Because the program was
shortened so as to produce more officers for combat, he spent
only two years at the academy.
After graduating in 1918 and serving in the infantry for three
years, he transferred to the Air Service.
Over the next 15 years
he flew fighter aircraft in Texas, Louisiana, and Hawaii, while
also attending the Air Corps Tactical School and the Command and
General Staff College.
When war broke out in Europe he was
assigned to the operations division on the Air Staff; then in
1942 he was sent to the South Pacific where he became chief of
staff of the Allied air forces in that area.
In January 1943 he assumed command of the Thirteenth Air Force,
and that same November he traveled across the world to take over
the Fifteenth Air Force from Jimmy Doolittle.
Germany surrendered, Arnold sent Twining back to the Pacific to
command the B-29s of the Twentieth Air Force in the last push
against Japan, but he was there only a short time when the
atomic strikes ended the war.
He returned to the States where he
was named commander of the Air Materiel Command, and in 1947 he
took over Alaskan Air Command.
After three years there he was set to retire as a Lieutenant
General, but when Muir Fairchild, the vice chief of staff, died
unexpectedly of a heart attack, Twining was elevated to full
general and named his successor.
In 1947, Twining was asked to study UFO reports;
he recommended that a formal study of the phenomenon take place;
was the result.
When Hoyt Vandenberg retired in mid 1953, Twining
was selected as chief; during his tenure, massive retaliation
based on airpower became the national strategy.
In 1957 President Eisenhower appointed Twining chairman of the
Joint Chiefs. He died at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and
was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Sanford Vandenberg (January 24, 1899–April 2, 1954) was an
U.S. Air Force officer and director of the Central Intelligence
He was briefly the U.S. Chief of Military Intelligence
during World War II, but his primary duty was as commanding
general of the Ninth Air Force, a tactical air force in England
and in France, supporting the Army, from August 1944 until V-E
Vandenberg Air Force
Base on the central coast of California is named for General
The general was born at Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from
the United States Military Academy on June 12, 1923, and was
commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Service.
General Vandenberg graduated from the Air Service Flying School
at Brooks Field, Texas, in February 1924, and from the Air
Service Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in
Souers (March 30, 1892 - January 14, 1973) was an American
admiral and intelligence expert. He held the posts of:
of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Group, 1946
Executive Secretary, National Security Council, 1947-1950
Special Consultant to the President on military and foreign
affairs, 1950-1953 Rear Admiral Souers was appointed by
President Harry S. Truman as the first Director of Central
Intelligence on January 23, 1946.
Prior to this, as Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence,
Souers had been one of the architects of the system that
came into being with the President's directive.
He had written
the intelligence chapter of the Eberstadt Report, which
advocated a unified intelligence system.
Toward the end of 1945, when the competing plans for a national
intelligence system were deadlocked, Souers' views had come to
the attention of the President, and he seems to have played a
role in breaking the impasse.
(May 30, 1909 – November 26, 1982) was an official in the
government of the United States during the administrations of
Harry Truman (1945-53) and Dwight Eisenhower
(1953-61) associated with defense and national security.
Gordon Gray was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Bowden
Gray, Sr. and Nathalie Lyons Gray. He was married in 1938 to the
former Jane Boyden Craige, and they had four sons: Gordon
Jr., Burton Gray, C. Boyden Gray and Bernard Gray.
death, Gray married the former Nancy Maguire Beebe.
and later his brother, Bowden Gray, Jr., both were heads of R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Gordon graduated from the University of North Carolina in
1930. The University presented Gray with an honorary law degree
He would later serve as president of the University of
North Carolina System from 1950-1955.
He began his public life as a lawyer and was elected to the
North Carolina General Assembly.
Gray's service to the federal
government began with his appointment as President Harry S.
Truman's assistant secretary of the war in 1947; two years
later, he was appointed Secretary of the Army. He served in this
post from 1949 until 1950.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
appointed him his National Security Advisor from 1958 until
1961. He served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory
Board under Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson,
Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford.
Gray was also publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal,
chairman of the board of Piedmont Publishing Company and
chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
His son, C. Boyden Gray, served as White House counsel for
President George Herbert Walker Bush. His nephew, Lyons Gray, is
chief financial officer for the Environmental Protection Agency
It is alleged that Gordon Gray was a member of the UFO
Conspiracy group known as Majestic 12.
Menzel (April 11, 1901 – December 14, 1976) was an American
Menzel studied at the University of Denver and received his
Ph.D. from Princeton. He worked at
Observatory until 1932 when he accepted a position at Harvard.
From 1954-56 he was President of the American Astronomical
Menzel initially performed solar research, but later
concentrated on studying gaseous nebulae.
His work with Lawrence Aller and James Baker defined many of the fundamental principles
of the study of planetary nebulae.
He wrote A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets, part of
the Peterson Field Guides. In addition to his academic and
popular contributions to the field of astronomy, Menzel
was a prominent skeptic concerning the reality of UFOs.
He authored or
co-authored three popular books debunking UFOs: Flying
Saucers (1953), The World Of Flying Saucers: A Scientific
Examination of a Major Myth of the Space Age (1963), and The UFO
Enigma: The Definitive Explanation of the UFO Phenomenon (1977).
In 1968, Menzel
testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science and
Astronautics - Symposium on UFOs, stating that he considered all
UFO sightings to have natural explanations.