Extraterrestrial Politics in the Clinton White House
(1993-2001) and the Laurance Rockefeller Initiative
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Records from the Clinton OSTP Related to UFOs,
Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Laurance Rockefeller Initiative

by Grant Cameron


In January 2001, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released to me 991 pages of documents related to an Freedom of Information Request asking for documents related to UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, and the Rockefeller Initiative.

The documents consist of all the correspondence coming into and going from the office on the requested subjects.  There is some internal correspondence on these issues.  All FOIAs filed in the areas of UFOs were included in the package.   Most of the 991 pages are related to the Rockefeller Disclosure Initiative set up to gain declassification of all UFO files held by the United States government.

I should note, at this point to anyone thinking of paying the $135.00 to obtain this set of documents, that the documents are very poorly filed compared to the excellent list of documents compiled by the FOIA officer Barbara Ann Ferguson.  The first set of documents I received was short almost 300 pages from what was listed.   After attempts to straighten this out, I discovered 170 pages still missing.

The 88 documents that make up the set are numbered 1 through 88. I strongly suggest anyone requesting the documents check the number against the document, as well as checking to see that the document number fits the document described. Many documents I received had two different numbers - which means one of the two documents ordered isn’t there.    I would also suggest a very careful checking of the entire package once it is received.  This will take many hours.

This paper is an attempt to provide an overview of what is contained in the collection, as well as provide a bit of background of what was going on related to UFOs in the Clinton White House outside of these documents which only with The Office of Science and Technology Policy, which is only one arm of the White House.   Anyone wanting a copy of this paper complete with the footnotes should contact me by e-mail at [email protected].     I will provide you a copy in Word or Word Perfect formats.

The Documents

The first document to begin what would become a long flurry of documents into and out of the Office of Science and Technology Policy was written by Henry L. Diamond, attorney for Laurance S. Rockefeller. It was dated March 29, 1993.

The Letter states that Rockefeller, who was described by Diamond as “a leading U.S. conservationist, businessman, and philanthropist,” was “anxious to have a brief meeting with Dr. Gibbons (Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology) to discuss the potential availability of government information about unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrial life.”[i]

Rockefeller according to the Diamond letter was taking this preliminary step in preparation for “an approach to President Clinton on this subject.”  Rockefeller, the letter said, was prepared to tell President Clinton that

“There is a belief in many quarters that the government has long held classified information regarding UFOs which has not been released and that the failure to do so has brought about unnecessary suspicion and distrust.  Many believe that the release of such information, if it exists, on a basis consistent with national security considerations, would be a significant gesture which would increase confidence in government.”[ii]

The proposal of a preliminary meeting with Gibbons was to discuss the issues, thus making “his (Rockefeller) communication to the President as useful as possible.” Diamond proposed a 45-minute meeting that would be attended by himself, Rockefeller, and Scott Jones, then President of the Human Potential Foundation.

There are no documents in the OSTP package, which show Dr. Gibbons accepting the Rockefeller offer for a briefing, but he did accept. On April 14, 1993, at 7:30 am Laurance Rockefeller and Dr. Scott Jones sat across from Dr. Jack Gibbons and his aide Skip Johns and briefed him on the current state of Ufology, with the help of a briefing paper titled “The Matrix of UFO Beliefs.”   The paper had been written by award winning journalist Richard Farley.[iii]  Farley was a member of the Rockefeller UFO Disclosure Initiative to the Clinton White House, from October 1992 through April 1994.  He resigned from the UFO effort in protest to Rockefeller's approach to the problem.  Farley wrote the paper based on his 20 years of active inquiry into 'UFO' phenomena. The main contributors to Farley's thinking were J. Allen Hynek, and prominent Ufologist Jacques Vallee.

A second briefing paper was prepared for this Gibbons briefing by Rockefeller.  This paper was prepared at the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency.  It involved what amounted to a “using” of UFO researcher Bruce Maccabee to prepare the paper in record time.  It will be discussed later related to correspondence sent to Gibbons office by Dick Farley. Enclosed with Farley correspondence were enclosures, which clearly describe what happened.

There were no actual OSTP records of the briefing in the FOIA package, other than a copy of the briefing paper “The Matrix of UFO Beliefs”.  Strangely, Richard Farley stated to this author that the copy of the “Matrix of UFO Beliefs” found in the OSTP records is not the same one he wrote.  Scott Jones had changed it, he stated, for an altered version.  Farley has also made this claim elsewhere.  The only other item found in the OSTP files is a briefing paper written by Bruce Maccabee, but it will be discussed later.

The records we have telling us what happened at the briefing come from outside the White House.  Those involve accounts from briefers Laurance Rockefeller, Scott Jones, and Richard Farley who were involved in writing the briefing.

On April 21, 1993, one week after the briefing took place, Rockefeller wrote Gibbons thanking him for the chance to present their case for “UFOs and Extraterrestrial Intelligence.”  As a follow-up to what they had discussed in the briefing, Rockefeller stated that Scott Jones would be providing an annotated bibliography as important background source material on UFOs.   According to Rockefeller’s letter, Gibbons had apparently welcomed the idea.  Rockefeller also figured that the background material would be important because during the briefing Dr. Gibbons had related that in three months as Science Advisor to the President he had not “learned that the United States government has a body of knowledge on UFOs or ETI that is being withheld from the public.”[iv]

In a May 26th letter from Gibbons to Scott Jones, Gibbons revealed not only had he been provided with a bibliography, he was provided with a number of books from the Jones Foundation Library.   Gibbons indicated that he was reading the UFO books and would return them when he was done.[v]

Rockefeller also revealed in the April 21st letter that Gibbons had, following the briefing, recommended that the UFO government issue be sent to Secretary of Defense Les Aspin for action.  Despite Gibbons suggestion that Defense handle the UFO issue, there was an indication that aides in Gibbons office were interested in the UFO issue.  (Documents found later in the OSTP package show that Aspin (at the advising of Melvin Laird, former Secretary of Defense in the Nixon Administration) sent the UFO issue back to OSTP and the President for action.

In one of the concluding paragraphs of the April 13th letter, Rockefeller notified Gibbons that Scott Jones was “ planning to convene a small group to discuss the state of knowledge about UFOs and ETI in an informal, non-public way.”   The suggestion was made that Gibbons or one of his staffers would be welcome as an observer.  One of Gibbons staff members scribbled in the margin of the letter, “I would be willing to go if JHG (John H. Gibbons) OKs it.”

The official invitation to discuss UFOs privately came in an August 4, 1993 letter from Rockefeller to Gibbons.  The informal roundtable discussion was to be held September 13-15, 1993 at Rockefeller’s JY Ranch in the Teton Forest near Jackson Hole Wyoming.  Along with representatives from Gibbons office, Richard Farley, Rockefeller, Henry Diamond, Dr. Scott Jones, Dr. John Mack, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, Dr. Leo Sprinkle, Linda Moulton Howe, Dr. Steven Greer, and Keith Thompson attended.

Skip Johns, a key Gibbons staffer, who had been present with Gibbons during the initial Rockefeller UFO briefing, wrote a note on top of the document to Tim, another Gibbons staffer, “JHG would like to discuss with you.”  Unfortunately according to one of those attending, Bruce Maccabee, no one from the Science Advisor’s office attended.

On October 20, 1993 Gibbons and Rockefeller’s lawyer Henry Diamond met and talked at the Environmental Law Institute.  Diamond wrote a letter to Gibbons informing him that Mr. Rockefeller would like to have another meeting to discuss UFOs.

Shortly after this October request by Diamond another UFO researcher Steven Greer, International Director of Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI), made his move to, like Rockefeller, brief the Clinton White House people on the UFO subject, and achieve two of the same goals that were being promoted by Rockefeller: 1) attain a complete declassification of all UFO documents within the U.S. Government, and 2) gain amnesty for witnesses involved in classified UFO activities, so they could tell their stories without fear of reprisal.

On December 13, 1993 Dr. Greer met with the “principal advisor to the President for Intelligence matters related to national security,”  DCI Director James Woolsey.  The meeting was set up through the cooperation of John L. Petersen, who had worked in the Office of the Secretary of defense, and on the National Security Staff at the White House.   At the time of the briefing, Petersen was the director of the Washington area think tank known as the Arlington Institute.[vi]                

Like Dr. Gibbons, Clinton’s DCI  was open to a briefing on UFOs.  There were two reasons for this.  James Woolsey and his wife, Sue Woolsey (Chief Operating Officer of the National Academy of Sciences) had experienced a daylight sighting in New Hampshire in the late sixties. In addition, Woolsey was attempting to open things up.  Only weeks before, On November 30, James Woolsey had appeared on CNN’s Larry King Show.  There, Gibbons had stated that the new Clinton administration “wished to disclose historical material in a spirit of new openness.”

The briefing of Woolsey and his wife by Dr. Greer lasted three hours, a very long time in the world of briefings.  It led Woolsey to request information from within the CIA about certain cases that had been provided to him by Greer.  Woolsey was unable to obtain any further material.  What Woolsey received in reply to his queries has often been described as the “ empty file syndrome.”

Even though Woolsey enjoyed more power to get the answers to the UFO mystery than did Jack Gibbons, he was cut off from President Clinton.  Part of his isolation was caused, in Woolsey’s opinion, by the fact that Clinton’s interests lay in domestic political issues, and not intelligence matters. 

Woolsey reportedly only met in person with the President twice during his entire tenure as DCI. Woolsey described his weakened position.  “I sort of wandered in,” Woolsey said of his job as DCI, “and wandered out.”[vii]  When a man crashed a plane on the White House lawn, the joke went around the CIA that it was Woolsey trying to get a meeting with the President.  Years after Woolsey left the Clinton White House, even he took to telling the plane joke.

Woolsey’s UFO requests also led to a new study of the CIA records related to the UFO phenomena.  In 1997, the CIA published the results of this study in their classified publication “Studies in Intelligence.”   The paper was titled, "CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-1990." CIA historian Gerald K. Haines authored it.    The unclassified version published a couple years later received wide distribution on the Internet.

Greer went on to brief many of the people inside the Clinton White House.  From the apparent evidence he was much more active proselytizing White House staff on UFOs than were Jones and Rockefeller.  During one interview he mentioned some of the people inside the Clinton administration who had been briefed by himself or his briefing team:

“There were many briefing materials that were given, not only to the CIA Director Mr. Woolsey, but to other senior members of the Clinton administration.  Members of our team of the CSETI Project Starlight team were able to provide briefing materials to and meetings with the Presidents’ closest friends, and the Bruce Lindsay family.  Bruce Lindsay being the President’s sort of senior counselor in the White House, but also one of his closest friends...We were also able to do similar briefing materials and conveyed them to the President’s Science Advisor, to Tony Lake, who at the time was the National Security Advisor to the President...to senior people in Al Gore’s office, his Chief of Staff, as well as Al Gore, and many of his personal friends.”[viii]

Despite these many briefing, Dr. Greer is only mentioned in passing in the 1,000 pages of material released by the OSTP.  This is probably accounted for by the fact that his contacts were outside the OSTP, and the record of his contacts will not be available until 2006 when the Clinton files become subject to FOIA.

The lack of OSTP references to Greer does not mean that Greer and Rockefeller did not cross paths.  Greer did have contact with Laurance Rockefeller.  The complete record of their association is not totally known yet.  What is know is that Greer did at one time have close connections with Dr. Gibbons UFO briefer Laurance Rockefeller.  A few months before doing his briefing with Woolsey, Dr. Greer had met with Rockefeller at his ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  During this meeting Dr. Greer provided Rockefeller with material that Rockefeller had requested for a briefing of President Clinton (which did occur in August 1995).  Dr. Greer provided him “a package of evidence, assessments and other documents.”[ix]

He and Rockefeller had been working together since February 1994.  He had provided Rockefeller with the latest UFO information being received from top-level deep-throats in contact with CSETI. Rockefeller, in exchange, provided funding for Dr. Greer’s The Project Starlight Coalition (PSC).  The PSC was a group CSETI had formed in July 1993.  Greer described it as “a voluntary association of researchers, scientists, world leaders and concerned citizens who are dedicated to effecting a non-harmful disclosure on the UFO/ETI (Unidentified Flying Object / Extraterrestrial Intelligence) issue in the near future.”

The Roswell Search

Diamond wrote Gibbons in October 1994 asking for a new face-to-face meeting for Mr. Rockefeller.  Once again, it appeared that what Rockefeller wanted - Rockefeller got.  On February 4, 1994 Rockefeller and Scott Jones met again with Gibbons and his staff.  By this time, the responsibility for dealing with Rockefeller and his UFO Disclosure Initiative had moved back from the Defense Department to Gibbons Office for Science and Technology Policy.

During this February 1994 meeting Gibbons made a stunning proposal related to Rockefeller’s main request that all UFO information be declassified and released.  Rockefeller referred to the Gibbons proposal in a follow up letter.

“We believe that your approach of starting by addressing a specific incident is an important and reasonable way to begin the process of declassification in this area.”[x]

It was an opportunity that Rockefeller’s made the most of.    He fully encouraged Gibbons to work to declassify Roswell, the “mother of all UFO cases.”  Rockefeller wrote,

"The July 1947 Roswell incident would be a logical and challenging place to start.  While much in the public sector has been written about it, the government has had nothing to say about it after the original press release saying that a flying disc had been recovered was retracted.  The public record of this incident has been thoroughly analyzed. Further information depends upon access to classified information.


Many are convinced that Roswell marks the beginning of government secrecy about UFOs. However, whatever the truth of Roswell, a definite statement about it from the government would be very important.  If it actually was UFO related, it could be used to start the process of reversing the government’s 40 plus years of denial on the subject.  If it can fully be explained as not UFO related, it would be a significant contribution to the field, and perhaps even contribute to more rigor in research on the subject.


If this specific project initiative is successful, it will become an important prototype for the release of all UFO information.  Obviously, the means of carrying out this event-related review is up to you.  However, to the extent we can be helpful, we want to be."[xi]

Rockefeller added, “Scott Jones and his associates are quite current on research accomplished on this subject.  I have asked that they be available to assist your investigation in any appropriate way.”v

In addition to “lifting classification about Roswell” Rockefeller asked that President Clinton “grant amnesty on an individual basis to allow those with knowledge of the incident to speak without fear of prosecution.”

Finally, Rockefeller asked that Gibbons “designate a staff person for continuing contact.”  In the meantime, and under these circumstances, Rockefeller promised that he would hold off on the letter he was drafting addressed to President Clinton.

This “Clinton draft letter” popped up over and over in the 1,000 pages released by OSTP, from this first reference in 1994 to early 1996 when it appeared the letter might have been sent to the President. It appeared attached to Gibbons letters, in various states of draft.  In one draft, discussed later, Gibbons or one of his staff actually made comments in the margin about various ideas expressed in the letter.

Attached to this Gibbons letter, was an even more interesting letter to Anne Bartley who appeared to have been one of the Gibbons staffers in the room during the February 4th meeting.  In this letter, Rockefeller makes an even more stunning disclosure - it was the President’s Science Advisor Jack Gibbons who had proposed making Roswell a test case for new declassification procedures. Rockefeller wrote,

"Jack’s suggestion to make the 1947 event a test case of the Government’s willingness to review classification procedures under the President’s recent Executive Order was a very good one."[xii]

As with the letter to Gibbons, Rockefeller dangled the proposed letter to Clinton, “my idea of the letter to the President seems best tabled and for us to concentrate on Jack Gibbons and follow through on his suggestion.”

Only three days after these Rockefeller letters, Scott Jones[xiii] wrote a letter to Jack Gibbons fulfilling his role to provide Dr. Gibbons with the best evidence they could provide on the Roswell case.[xiv]    Much of the material presented to Gibbons with the letter, was produced by the Fund For UFO Research as part of their effort “to support a thorough and open inquiry into the Roswell incident.”  Also enclosed with the letter was a series of press clipping related to the efforts that were being undertaken by Representative Steven Schiff (R-NM).

The OSTP files also show that Dr. Gibbon’s office was provided a 170-page report on Roswell prepared for the Fund for UFO Research by Fred Whiting.  It is not clear if the report was presented prior to, after, or during the February 4th meeting.  This private report titled “The Roswell Events” was described as,

"A chronology of events and a compilation of supporting documentation concerning the possible crash of an Unidentified Flying Object and the recovery of its wreckage and the bodies of its crew in July 1947 near Roswell, New Mexico."

In the letter Jones also revealed two interesting sidelights to Roswell investigations going on in other government circles.  Jones presented both sidelights as warnings to Dr. Gibbons that the Roswell search was not going to be an easy one.   The first item Jones pointed out was that he had heard that when the GAO had contacted the Pentagon for information on Roswell for their investigation, they had been told by a military spokesman to “Go shit in your hat.”   Secondly, Jones warned about UFOs being used to cloak other highly classified projects.

"My mention of mind-control technology at the February 4 meeting was quite deliberate. There are reasons to believe that some government group has interwoven research about this technology with alleged UFO phenomena. If that is correct, you can expect to run into early resistance when inquiring about UFOs, not because of the UFO subject, but because that has been used to cloak research and application of mind-control activity."[xv]

On April 26, 1994 Rockefeller was again back in contact with Gibbons, this time commenting on the Clinton Executive Order to reduce unnecessary secrecy classification that was being circulated among federal agencies. Rockefeller hoped that it would be enough to help find the UFO files that were being sought.    Secondly, in this letter Rockefeller mentioned meeting with Carl Sagan on the issue of extraterrestrial life.  Sagan had expressed skepticism about the quality of the evidence of extraterrestrial life, but did “strongly support” the release of government information on the subject.

On May 24, 1994 Gibbons received a memorandum from Sheila E. Widnall, Secretary of the Air Force, notifying him that the Air Force was investigating UFOs, and “Roswell in particular.” It is assumed that the request for the U.S.A.F. to investigate Roswell came from Dr. Gibbons office, the President, or someone inside the President’s office.  We will not know for sure who ordered the investigation because Clinton records are not subject to FOIA for the next five years.

What is known is that Secretary Widnall knew the White House wanted a report on Roswell, and she was writing to Gibbons to report what had been done.  Her words were very encouraging,

“While we don’t have the bottom line yet, I thought you would be interested in this interim report I got from my staff.  I intended to bring it over this morning, but forgot.  My policy is that we are declassifying everything even remotely related, and anything our people think still needs to be classified will have to be justified to me. More to follow! [xvi]

On the bottom of the memo Gibbons wrote a note for his primary Roswell expert in the office Skip Johns, “Skip- for your scanning.   After you and I have had a chance to discuss, I’ll be ready to communicate with L.R. and his niece. JG”

On May 26, 1994 Scott Jones wrote another letter to Gibbons to ask if “there had been enough progress with your look into the Roswell incident to warrant another meeting with Laurance.” Secondly, Jones stated he was writing to update Gibbons on the latest news.

One news item Jones wanted to relate is that there had been a break in the Rockefeller camp. Richard Farley, who had written the “The Matrix of UFO Beliefs” briefing that was used to introduce Gibbons to the UFO classification issue, had broken with the team.  Worse yet, as Jones related, he had made an independent move to bypass Rockefeller and Gibbons and go right to the President. This meant that there were now at least two roads to the President on the same issue. “I am sorry,” wrote Jones, “about this uncoordinated action.”  Jones explained what had happened,

"I have learned that one of the Foundation’s former staff members, Dick Farley, has made an independent contact with the White House on the UFO subject. Farley wrote me that as of a month ago he had sent three different packets of material that detailed the complete activities of the foundation in support of Mr. Rockefeller and his interest in the declassification of government materials related to the UFO phenomena. Farley would only identify the White House staff person as an Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff (the staffer turned out to be Deputy Chief of Staff Phil Lader who went on to be appointed by President Clinton to be Ambassador to Great Britain). My major concern is that when you heard about Farley’s approach you may have thought that we were trying to run a second separate program on this subject with another part of the White House Staff. That emphatically is not the case. Farley had personal motivation for what he did, and I suspect we will continue to try to maintain the contact.”[xvii]

Along with this defection by Richard Farley from the Rockefeller camp, came another break from the Rockefeller camp.  Ufologist Jacques Vallee had been offered a position helping with the Disclosure Initiative. Instead of taking the offer, Vallee turned it down and wrote directly to Dr. Gibbons to present his own UFO views, which differed from those Rockefeller, was presenting.  He offered to meet with Gibbons either in San Francisco or Washington or at Gibbons convenience. Despite Vallee’s high profile in the UFO community Gibbons turned Vallee down cold.  Vallee was told he could provide anything on the subject by mail, but as one of Gibbon’s aides wrote, “Did not encourage.”[xviii]

“Remember the game that the editor of the “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists” played with the clock’s hands on the cover of the magazine?    I wonder how many minutes before midnight we are on this issue.”    Scott Jones writing to Science Advisor Jack Gibbons on December 13, 1994

On June 1, 1994 Clinton Science Advisor received a letter from Laurance Rockefeller asking if there had been any developments in Gibbons effort to get answers to the Roswell mystery.  In addition, for the first time in the OSTP documents, the name of Melvin Laird, former Secretary of Defense for President Nixon, is mentioned. Rockefeller mentions in the letter that it was Laird who had advised that Rockefeller go to Gibbons as the proper “point of contact and coordination with the federal government.”

Included with the letter was a copy of a letter that Rockefeller had received from Laird a couple weeks before. Rockefeller attached it to show Gibbons Laird’s “support for our approach of constructively seeking release of information.”

The Laird letter did state that the efforts towards “declassification of any government projects which might have been associated with Unidentified Flying Objects seems to be on the right track.”  More importantly Laird outlined his personal opinion about what the final answer would be.

“I am sure that should classification be lifted, some individuals will be disappointed as certain of these phenomena will be pretty well explained. Any review will certainly disappoint some individuals who have built up some rather extreme antidotal and uncorroborated accounts, which the removal of classification might discredit to a large extent.  Removal of undue classification will remove the speculation of some of these reports.”[xix]

Also in the June 1, 1994 letter Rockefeller announced that he had conducted preliminary discussions with a group who were planning a United Nations Conference on extraterrestrial intelligence.  He hinted to Gibbons that the group could use someone of Gibbons stature and knowledge to make the United Nations effort a success.

Only days after Melvin Laird had sent his letter to Rockefeller over the question of declassification, and it’s possible implications for the subject of UFOs, Clinton’s general Counsel Robert G. Damus sent out a memorandum to agency heads regarding Clinton’s proposed declassification Executive Order titled “Declassification of Selected Records within the National Archives of the United States.”[xx]

The draft of the order prepared by the National Security Council proposed a major declassification of materials in the National Archives.    After reading the draft, Rockefeller must have felt that disclosure was only a short distance away.

Even though the OSTP was not on the distribution list a copy of the proposal was found in the office files. The draft proposal asked for the immediate declassification of 48.8 million pages of information held by the United States Archives.  The spirit of the proposal was described as,

"The interests of the United States and its citizens are best served by making information regarding the affairs of Government readily available to the public, and whereas, large number of classified records in the permanently valuable holding of the National Archives and Records Administration no longer require national security protection."

It is not known yet how the declassification proposal document got to Gibbon’s office, but the office copy was attached to a letter from Anne Bartley, Trustee and President of the Rockefeller Family Fund.[xxi]  Anne was the niece of Laurance Rockefeller, daughter of Winthrop Rockefeller.  Her name appears a couple of times in the OSTP files so it appears that she played a role in the Rockefeller initiative. Interestingly, Anne had a strange tie in to the Clinton administration.  Her father Winthrop, had like Bill Clinton, been Governor of Arkansas.

Anne Bartley’s letter was written on July 27th, almost two months after the proposal was first circulated.   In the letter, Bartley asked Dr. Gibbons if he thought whether “a relaxation of the classification system” would “be helpful in producing more information about extraterrestrial intelligence.”[xxii]

Bartley also reminded Gibbons of the promise he had made in the February 4, 1994 meeting he had with Laurance and herself,  “You suggested that you would initiate an informal inquiry into the availability of information within federal agencies about the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, event. Is there anything to report?”

As the summer of 1994 came to an end, the Rockefeller team figured their efforts to reveal the secrets of UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence were about to produce fruit.  Gibbons had “initiated an informal inquiry” on Roswell, and President Clinton had produced the Executive Order to force mass declassification of documents.  The scene was one of an imminent disclosure of some sort.

In mid August Scott Jones wrote Gibbons offering what he thought was more fuel for the fire.  He offered Gibbons the advice of astronaut Ed Mitchell in “areas that Laurance, you, and I have been discussing.” “Mitchell,” Jones wrote, “passed me the word . . .he would be glad to meet with you.”

Further, Jones, who was sharing information with CIA agent Ronald Pandolfi, reported to Gibbons the involvement of CIA Director James Woolsey’s efforts to uncover the UFO secret.  “He has a document search under way,” wrote Jones but “has not discovered anything of significance.” [xxiii]

Jones suggested that perhaps Gibbons and Woolsey would benefit by sharing information. “You may want to talk to Woolsey about what you are doing,” wrote Jones, “ . . .Woolsey believes that the public could handle any disclosure the government might make on this subject.”[xxiv]

This disclosure about the active UFO role of James Woolsey in the August 11, 1994 Jones letter is important. It provides a independent dated letter supporting Dr. Greer’s contentions that 1) Woolsey was supportive of  UFO disclosure, and 2) Woolsey was actively attempting to uncover the truth and 3) Woolsey was cut off - unable to discover anything about what was really going on.

In addition, this letter (combined with the appearance of Woolsey’s wife at the April 1997 briefing that Greer provided for interested Congressmen, and other powerful Washington movers and shakers) goes a long way to demolish the September 16, 1999 Woolsey denial of UFO interest and support.[xxv]  This denial was issued following Greer’s telling of the Woolsey UFO briefing in the introduction to his 1999 book “Extraterrestrial Contact.”

Just when everything seemed to be going so well, Jack Gibbons ended the party.  In a handwritten note, on White House stationary, dated August 17, 1994 he wrote Laurance.

“I apologize for my silence, but I was awaiting news from the Air Force.  Yesterday I received the material they’ve been working on for some months, Report of the Air Force Research regarding the “Roswell Incident.” It appears to be a thorough study, and will also be used as input to the GAO analysis, which is a much broader study.  Will get back to you after we’ve had a chance to go over the document. Incidentally, I told Claiborne Pell about this situation yesterday.”[xxvi]

Two days later Gibbons and Pell met for lunch.  Undoubtedly, the conclusions of the final Air Force report were discussed.  The OSTP files contain a letter from Gibbons thanking him for the lunch.   Enclosed with the hand-written thank-you letter Gibbons enclosed “the final summary text of the Air Force report on the ‘Roswell Incident.’”[xxvii]

On September 5, 1994 Laurance Rockefeller wrote back acknowledging the Gibbons note about the final Air Force report.  He did not acknowledge having seen a copy of the report. Rockefeller simple wrote, “We are grateful for your leadership on this issue and when you feel it is appropriate, we would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about it.”[xxviii]

Three days later Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall sent a copy of the Air Force Press release to Gibbons, outlining the conclusions of the study “to locate records that would explain an alleged 1947 UFO incident.”

The Air Force Press conference had been held without even telling New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff who had helped begin the government investigation of the Roswell case with his March 11, 1993 letter to Secretary of Defense Les Aspin.  The release was made before Schiff had even read the final Air Force report, giving him no chance to dispute the final conclusions.

Cutting Schiff out of the loop is strange protocol, considering that it was in Schiff’s March 1993 letter that Schiff asked that Secretary Aspin “direct such a review be undertaken on a priority basis and that representative or representatives of the Department of Defense and the responsible Military Departments promptly arrange to brief and provide me with a written report providing a current, complete, and detailed description and explanation of both the nature of what was recovered, and all official actions taken on the matter. (Roswell)”[xxix]

The conclusion of the Roswell report was not what the Rockefeller team had hoped for.  A copy of the Air Force news release in the OSTP files described the Air Force’s final conclusions.

"The Air Force research did not locate or develop any information that the “Roswell Incident” was a UFO event nor was there any indication of a “cover-up” by the Air Force. Information obtained through exhaustive record searches and interviews indicated that the material recovered near Roswell was consistent with a balloon device of the type used in a then-classified project.  No records indicated or even hinted at the recovery of “alien” bodies or extraterrestrial materials."[xxx]

 The Rockefeller disappointment with the Air Force Report was not expressed to Gibbons officially until three months after the report was issued.   Rockefeller, as wrote in his standard diplomatic style.  The December 9th letter from Rockefeller to Gibbons, and his key Roswell aide Skip Johns, read in part:

Thank you again for being so generous with your time in discussing our areas of mutual interest and concern. . . I was delighted to see that we share this openness to a new paradigm.


We will continue to explore our interest in extraterrestrial intelligence . . . We continue to believe that the President’s initiative toward a full declassification of unnecessarily classified materials would be a very useful step in this direction and urge you to do all that you can to push this process along.


I hope we made it clear that we were very grateful for your initiative in stimulating the recent Air Force Review of the Roswell incident.  Although many who are students of UFOs felt that the report was not complete, your leadership in bringing this about was an important step.


We are continuing our citizens’ reconnaissance of the extraterrestrial intelligence phenomena. We fully understand that with all the pressing current matters on your desk you do not find it feasible to devote substantial time to this area.   However, we would like to take the opportunity of keeping you informed and from time to time seek your counsel.[xxxi]

Rockefeller’s chief assistant in the White House UFO initiative, Scott Jones, was much quicker at voicing his disagreement with the Air Force conclusions.  The OSTP files have a copy of a nine-page review written by Scott Jones. It was sent to Gibbons office only six days after the Air Force Roswell press conference.  The report was titled “Assessment and Recommendations for Action on the Report of Air Force Research Regarding the �Roswell Incident.”

Jones, undoubtedly speaking with Rockefeller’s blessing, wrote of the report:

“One message from the Air Force Report is that they still have confidence that this issue can be “managed.”  There are other messages of equal importance, which suggest that the game is changing.  The Air Force must deeply regret that it was forced to say anything public about Roswell.  They know the tenacity of the small group of UFO researchers who will follow any lead to the grave, and in this report they have been forced to expose additional leads.


The most important event is that after December 1969, when the Air Force closed Project Blue Book and announced that they were out of the game, they are now back in the field. It may turn out that they actually are not a major player, but have been forced to suit up again.”


Several important precedents have been established by the Air Force effort:


1)     The subject of UFO phenomena and government knowledge about it is now viably in the public domain.

2)     Interviewees were provided with authorizations from either the Secretary of the Air Force or the Senior Security Official of the Air Force that would officially allow discussion of classified information, if applicable, or free them from any prior restrictions in discussing the matter, if such existed.[xxxii]

Jones, besides commenting on the September Air Force Roswell report spent a great deal of his assessment paper expressing views on the entire UFO problem.  These conclusions and assessments outlined by Jones are important because they indicate where the entire Rockefeller team stood on the key UFO issues, and hence which ideas they were passing on to the Clinton administration. Secondly they help clarify the views of Jones who was very much silent in public concerning his own view from “The inside.”    Jones was a key player, serving not only as a key aide to Rockefeller, but as a key aide to Senator Claiborne Pell, Chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, who was also had an active interest in UFOs.   These Jones insights, outlined in his Roswell review, can be reviewed on specific topics:

“Congress - “There is no evidence that the leadership of the Congress is paying any attention to the current effort, but the involvement of the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of the Congress, charged with examining all matters related to the receipt and disbursement of public funds, is significant.


President - The President remains the critical player in this drama. Maybe each President is not automatically briefed on the subject.   But somewhere around the President, someone knows where to task for the briefing. My guess is that it is someone within the National Security Council. Someone in the directorate who survives administration after administration.   Dangerously (for democracy and accountability) it could be someone in the private sector. . . If the President asks for it (briefing) with force, it cannot be withheld. If he merely shows casual interest, he might be kept in the dark.”

The disappointment and disagreement with the Air Force conclusions by UFO researchers was found and described in the OSTP files.  They were much less diplomatic about their views on the Roswell Report than was Laurance Rockefeller.  Although Gibbons’ files contained the counter arguments, there were no indications anyone in OSTP answered the charges, or took any investigative actions.

The first letter to arrive from in Gibbon’s office came from aviation and science writer Don Berliner. Writing on behalf of The Fund For UFO Research, Berliner enclosed a paper he had written titled “Air Force Explanation of 1947 ‘Roswell’ UFO Crash a Lot of Hot Air.”  Berliner wrote:

"The U.S. Air Force recently “explained” the highly controversial story of material recovered from an alleged UFO that crashed in central New Mexico in 1947 as a once secret Project Mogul balloon. A careful analysis of the 23-page official report, by the Fund for UFO research, has revealed enough holes in the Air Force theory to bring down the sturdiest of balloons.”[xxxiii]

The other comments on the Air Force Roswell Report found in the OSTP papers was a 28-page paper identified as “Document 24” in the collection.  This letter included attachments and was written by UFO researcher, writer, and lecturer Stanton Friedman.   It was titled “The Roswell Incident: The USAF and the New York Times.”   There was no indication of when the OSTP received the document, or even how the Friedman paper got into Gibbon’s office.

Stanton characterized the Roswell report as a “preemptive strike against the GAO” and a continuation of “a long, easily documented, history of USAF misrepresentation about UFOs.”[xxxiv]  In a careful analysis of the Air Force Report Friedman carefully pointed out the flaws in the report’s argument for the 1947 Roswell crash being caused by a Mogul balloon.

As 1994 came to a close the records of the OSTP showed that discussion of Roswell by the Rockefeller group had stopped. Yet, actions and statements by President Clinton in 1995 and beyond seemed to indicate that the President was still interested in the topic of Roswell.  An example illustrating this interest was revealed in September 1998, when during the Lewinsky investigation, the Clinton White House turned over to prosecutors a list of books held in Clinton’s private library. The list of books did not include the Air Force Report on Roswell which basically concluded to paraphrase Scott Jones, “nothing happened, you can go back to sleep.”  The list did include the book “UFO Crash at Roswell” by Kevin Rankle and Donald Schmitt, who concluded there was a crash and it had nothing to do with balloons.[xxxv]

More importantly, President Clinton’s statements indicated he was no more a believer in the Air Force Roswell explanation than those in the Rockefeller group or the UFO researchers who had sent in dissenting papers into the Gibbons office.

Clinton’s lack of faith in the September 1994 Air Force Report became evident during a late November 1995 trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland to promote a peace plan in the war torn country.   During the lighting of the city Christmas tree, Clinton read a letter from a thirteen-year-old Belfast boy named Ryan dealing with Roswell.   He then proceeded to answer the letter with a response that to the untrained eye seemed nothing more than an attempt to entertain the crowd with a humorous reply. In effect, the reply was loaded with meaning.

"And to all of you who have not lost your sense of humor, I say thank you.  I got a letter from 13-year-old Ryan from Belfast.  Now, Ryan, if you're out in the crowd tonight, here's the answer to your question.  No, as far as I know, an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. (Laughter.)  And, Ryan, if the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies, they didn't tell me about it, either, and I want to know." (Applause.) [xxxvi]

Speeches prepared for sitting Presidents are carefully prepared affairs.  Whatever ends up in them does not get there by accident.  In the Reagan administration, for example, speeches went through up to 30 drafts, and had to be cleared through up to 25 agencies, departments, and individuals.

President Clinton appeared to say he wasn’t being told the whole story on Roswell, and he like everyone else, would like to be told what really happened.

In late 1994 the discussion turned from Roswell to abductions and author Whitley Strieber. In a December 13, 1994 letter, found in the OSTP files, Scott Jones wrote Gibbons sending him the latest of Strieber’s books Breakthrough.

Following the initial April 1993 briefing given to Gibbons, Jones had provided Strieber’s first book “Communion.”   Jones wrote that he was sending the manuscript in part because he believed Gibbons would find:

“That some of its speculations are mirrored in official studies and assessments that you have discovered in the government.  While I hope this is true, I would not really be surprised if you tell me some day when it is appropriate for us to have a full discussion on the subject, that government really failed to address the metaphysical nut of the problem.


Consciousness is the core issue. If the government hasn’t realized this, it has kept itself out of the loop of possible understanding of the phenomena and what responses to make.”[xxxvii]

This was not the first time Jones had talked to Gibbons about the importance of the mind.  As mentioned previously, Jones had mentioned mind control research during the February 4th face-to-face meeting with Gibbons. In that discussion Jones warned that the UFO phenomena was being used to cover mind control research.

An interesting sidelight to this apparent insight by Jones about the “core’ issue is the fact that the idea of the importance of the metaphysical went back almost 50 years to the very first days of UFO research done by Canadian UFO researcher Wilbert Smith.

In the often quoted Top Secret “Memo to the Controller of Telecommunications”[xxxviii] most researcher refer to Smith’s four points identifying what he learned about the flying saucers while making inquiries in the United States: 1) the matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States, 2) flying saucers exist, 3) a group headed by Vannevar Bush is working on the problem, and 4) the matter is considered of “tremendous significance.

Most researchers , however, ignore the very next line which indicates the United States government may have realized right from the very beginning that the metaphysical was the “core” issue. In the very next line of the memo following the four points Smith wrote:

“I was further informed that the United States authorities are investigating along a number of lines which might possibly be related to the saucers such as mental phenomena, and I gather that they are not doing too well since they indicated that if Canada is doing anything at all in geo-magnetics, they would welcome a discussion with suitably accredited Canadians.[xxxix]


[i]Letter - Henry L Diamond to John H. Gibbons, Ph.D. dated March 29, 1993.


[iii]Farley won the Associated Press "Mark Twain" Award for Investigative Reporting in the Mid-Atlantic region, in 1990.  He had been hired to be the director of project development for the Human Potential Foundation (HPF), founded by Senator Claiborne Pell, a close friend of Laurence Rockefeller, who provided financial support for HPF. ($700,000 through the "HPF" from 1991 to 1994 according to Richard Farley) HPF's president was C.B. "Scott" Jones.   The "Matrix of UFO Belief" written by Farley was not designed to suggest to Bill Clinton or his advisors what "all the UFO might be.”  Farley staffed the "Rockefeller UFO Initiative."

[iv]Letter - Laurance S. Rockefeller to Jack Gibbons, dated April 21, 1993

[v]Letter - Jack Gibbons to Scott Jones dated May 26, 1993

[vi]See. Http://www.arlingtoninstitute.org. John L. Petersen’s web page also states Johnson “was a flight officer in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve...he has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic national Convention in ‘84.”

[vii]Cockburn, Andrew  “The Radicalization of James Woolsey” New York Times magazine July 26, 2000


[ix]Greer, Steven M. “Extraterrestrial Contact: The Evidence and Implications” Afton, Virginia: Crossing Point, Inc. Publications p.408

[x]Letter - Rockefeller to Jack Gibbons, Dated February 14, 1994


[xii]Letter - Laurance Rockefeller to Anne Bartley, dated February 14, 1994

[xiii]Cdr. C.B. Scott Jones Ph.D., was a retired Navy pilot, naval intelligence officer, and the President of the Human Potential Foundation (HPF). Jones had also acted as a contractual consultant to the Defense Nuclear Agency (1981-1985).   He moved on to work as a Special Assistant for Rhode Island Senator, and chairman of the Senate’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee, Claiborne Pell. (From 1985-1991). One of his key roles as assistant to Senator Pell was to take care of Senator Pell’s extensive interest in paranormal events and investigations. U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell founded the Human Potential Foundation (HPF). It was based in Falls Church, Virginia.  It’s primary funding was reportedly provided for a time by Laurence Rockefeller.  Dick Farley, who worked for HPF for about three years, claimed that Rockefeller's interest in HPF was the promotion of "alternative religious and psychiatric/psychological paradigms, including so-called 'UFOs' and 'abductions,' having 'Global Mind Change' potentials.” Common Cause Magazine recently reported Rockefeller put more than $700,000 through the Human Potential Foundation from 1991 to 1994.

[xiv]Letter - Scott Jones to John Gibbons, dated February 17, 1994


[xvi]Memorandum - Sheila E. Widnall to Dr. John H. Gibbons, dated May 24, 1994

[xvii] Letter - C.B. Scott Jones to John H. Gibbons, dated May 26, 1994

[xviii]Fax - Dr. Jacques Vallee to Dr. John Gibbons-Personal February 14, 1994

[xix]Letter - Melvin R. Laird to Laurance Rockefeller, dated May 9, 1994

[xx]Memorandum -Robert G. Damus, “Proposed Executive Order Entitled ‘Declassification of Selected Records within the National Archives of the United States” May 23, 1994

[xxi]Nelson, Laurance, David, John D. III established the Rockefeller Family Fund in 1967, and Martha Baird Rockefeller The Fund characterized itself as “practicing a strategic brand of grant making that helped produce a number of nationally significant public interest gains.”

[xxii]Memorandum -Anne Bartley to Jack Gibbons “Laurance Rockefeller Interest in Extraterrestrial Intelligence

[xxiii]Jones explanation for the lack of documents being discovered in the search was his belief that the CIA was not the place the cover-up was taking place.  “If I had the responsibility to run a super safe black program on this subject,” wrote Jones, “I would take it completely out of the government’s hands. . .and run it from the private sector, probably somewhere in the aerospace community.”   This figured Jones would allow officials to be able to answer Congress that no such program exists in their department.”

[xxiv]Letter - Scott Jones to John H. Gibbons, Ph.D. August 11, 1994

[xxv] Letter - John L. Petersen, Diane C. Petersen, R. James Woolsey, and Suzanne H. Woolsey to Steven M. Greer, dated September 16, 1999.  In the letter signed by both James Woolsey and his wife Sue, they contended that the December 1993 “briefing” described by Greer was nothing more than a “dinner party.”   Greer’s contention that they were very interested was described by the Woolsey as no more than “ listening to your views and politely asking questions.”

[xxvi] Letter - Jack Gibbons to Laurance Rockefeller, dated 8/17/94

[xxvii]Letter, Jack Gibbons to Claiborne Pell

[xxviii] Letter - Laurance Rockefeller to Jack Gibbons, dated September 5, 1994

[xxix]Letter - Steven Schiff to Les Aspin, dated March 11, 1993

[xxx]Memorandum for Correspondents No. 235-M, U.S.A.F.,  September 8, 1994

[xxxi] Letter, Laurance Rockefeller to John H. Gibbons, dated December 9, 1994

[xxxii]Jones, Scott, “Assessment and recommendations for Action on the Report of Air Force Research Regarding the ‘Roswell Incident.’” Human Potential Foundation, September, 1994

[xxxiii]Letter Don Berliner to John Gibbons, dated September 23, 1994

[xxxiv] Freidman, Stanton, “The Roswell Incident: The USAF, and the New York Times.” dated September 26, 1994

[xxxv] Randle, Kevin and  Schmitt. Don, “UFO Crash at Roswell”, 1991 New York Avon Publishers

[xxxvi] Clinton, Bill Remarks by the President and the First Lady at the Lighting of the City Christmas Tree, Office of Press Secretary, November 30, 1995

[xxxvii]Letter - Scott Jones to John gibbons, dated December 13, 1994

[xxxviii]Smith, Wilbert, “Memorandum to the Controller of Telecommunications” November 21, 1950


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