Vol 3:3 (July 2010). ISSN 1938-1719
President Kennedy’s deadly confrontation with the CIA & MJ-12 over ET/UFO X-Files – Part II
Michael E. Salla, M.A., Ph.D.
A number of documents and testimonies cast light on President Kennedy’s knowledge of UFO crash retrieval operations, and his efforts to gain access to classified files concerning extraterrestrial life and technology. There are two main phases to Kennedy’s efforts. The first is a series of executive actions he began on February 19, 1961 to place cold war psychological warfare programs under the control of his national security advisor, and later in June 1961 to implement Presidential executive oversight over covert CIA operations through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These executive actions coincided with Kennedy’s efforts to gain access to the activities of a highly classified project dealing with UFOs and extraterrestrial life – MJ-12 Special Studies Project. The second phase began on September 20, 1963 when Kennedy embarked on a high risk political strategy of getting NASA to cooperate with the USSR on joint space and lunar missions. This brought to a climax a confrontation over the release of classified UFO files with the CIA & those in control of the MJ-12 Special Studies Project. This article reviews testimonies, documents and events concerning Kennedy’s interest in UFOs and extraterrestrial life, and how this culminated in a deadly behind-the-scenes confrontation with the CIA and MJ-12 in the final month of his life.
Kennedy linked US-USSR space missions with classified UFO files
In September 1963, President Kennedy launched a ground breaking initiative to get the USSR and USA to cooperate in joint space and lunar missions. In the background of this publicly announced initiative with powerful Cold War implications was a more secretive attempt for the Kennedy administration to gain access to classified UFO files. Leaked documents reveal that Kennedy instructed the CIA to release classified UFO files to NASA as part of the cooperative space effort with the Soviet Union. If Kennedy had succeeded, there would have been joint space mission to the moon and greater sharing of classified UFO files between the CIA, NASA, and the Kennedy administration. This would have ensured eventual public release of classified UFO files by both the US and USSR.
In a stunning speech before the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 1963, President Kennedy said:
Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity — in the field of space — there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon.
Kennedy was offering to put an end to the space race and start joint missions with the Soviets. According to Khrushchev’s eldest son, Dr Sergei Khrushchev, this was not the first time that Kennedy had proposed joint space and lunar missions with the USSR. Sergei Khrushchev revealed that at the June 1961 Vienna Summit, less than ten days after Kennedy’s famous May 25 speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress promising to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade, Kennedy secretly proposed joint space and lunar missions to his father. Khrushchev declined as his son later explained: “my father rejected this because he thought that through this the Americans could find out how weak we were, and maybe it would push them to begin a war.”
In the period immediately after his September 1963 UN speech, Khrushchev once again rebuffed Kennedy’s offer – the Soviet government did not officially comment and the Soviet press ignored it.At the same time, there was considerable opposition to Kennedy’s initiative in both NASA and the U.S. Congress. Just before his UN speech, Kennedy briefed his NASA administrator, James Webb, about his initiative and asked: “Are you sufficiently in control to prevent my being undercut in NASA if I do that?” According to the official NASA history, “Webb told the president that he could keep things under control.” According to Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara,
Selling the idea to the Soviets would be hard enough, but selling it to the American people and the Congress if there was “dissension in the ranks” might make it near impossible. If Webb couldn’t hold discipline from inside NASA, the whole effort would collapse.
In the weeks after his bold initiative, “the lack of of public support, even within the U.S. seemed to have scuttled the idea permanently, and Kennedy began to publicly back away from his proposal.” If Khrushchev were to eventually accept his offer, Kennedy would need to move quickly to overcome resistance in Congress and NASA to implementing any joint space agreement.
In a series of interviews beginning in 1997, Khrushchev’s son, Dr Sergei Khrushchev, said that after his father initially refused Kennedy’s September 20 1963 offer of joint space and lunar missions, that “in the weeks after the rejection, his father had second thoughts”.” In one interview, Sergei Khrushchev said:
I walked with him, sometime in late October or November, and he told me about all these things. He told me that we have to think about this and maybe accept this idea. I asked why they would know everything, our secrets? He said it’s not important. The Americans can design everything they want. It is a very well developed country, but we will have to save money. It’s very expensive…. He thought also of the political achievement of all these things, that then they would begin to trust each other much more. After the Cuban missile crisis, his trust with President Kennedy was raised very high. He thought that it’s possible to deal with this President, he didn’t think that they could be friends, but he really wanted to avoid the war, so through this co-operation they could sojourn their thoughts on these achievements.
Sergei Khruschev confirmed that finally Nikita Khrushchev accepted Kennedy’s offer in early November 1963 around a week before his assassination. According to Hoagland and Bara, the exact date can be traced to November 11 when a key Soviet Mars mission had failed: “A Mars-bound unmanned spacecraft code-named ‘Cosmos 21’ failed in low Earth orbit exactly one day (November 11) before Kennedy’s sudden “Soviet Cooperation Directive’ to James Webb.” Khrushchev’s abrupt turn around, after two years of secret and public overtures by Kennedy, led to a series of immediate Presidential executive actions by Kennedy on the next day.
President Kennedy issued National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) No. 271 on November 12, 1963. The subject header was “Cooperation with the USSR on Outer Space Matters,” and the key passage was:
I would like you to assume personally the initiative and central responsibility within the Government for the development of a program of substantive cooperation with the Soviet Union in the field of outer space, including the development of specific technical proposals.
The Memorandum furthermore went on to say that the cooperation was a direct outcome of Kennedy’s September 20 proposal “for broader cooperation between the United States and the USSR in outer space, including cooperation in lunar landing programs.” The Memorandum was classified “Confidential” and addressed to James Webb (NASA Administrator). It was declassified on October 13, 1981.
Significantly, the Memorandum also said: “I assume that you will work closely with the Department of State and other agencies as appropriate.” Kennedy identified the Secretary of State as a key person in implementing the process by which dialogue over the cooperation would take place:
I expect you [Webb] will assist the Secretary of State in exploring problems of procedure and timing connected with holding discussions with the Soviet Union and in proposing for my consideration the channels which would be most desirable from our point of view.
This would ensure that the State Department and other U.S. government agencies would have access to the information to be shared with the Soviets under the cooperative space initiative.
In addition to the Confidential National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM), Kennedy issued a more highly classified “Top Secret” Memorandum to the Director of the CIA, John McCone. Dated the same day of November 12, 1963 the subject header of the file was: “Classification review of all UFO intelligence files affecting National Security.” The Top Secret Memorandum went on to say:
[I] have instructed James Webb to develop a program with the Soviet Union in Joint space and lunar explorations. It would be very helpful if you would have the high threat [UFO] cases reviewed with the purpose of identification of bona fides as opposed to classified CIA and USAF sources…. When this data has been sorted out, I would like you to arrange a program of data sharing with NASA where Unknowns [UFOs] are a factor. This will help NASA mission directors in their defensive responsibilities. I would like an interim report on the data review no later than February 1, 1964.
|JFK with his CIA Directors, Allen Dulles & John McCone in 1962|
It’s important to note that Memorandum to the CIA Director refers to the National Security Action Memorandum issued to Webb on the same day. Even though the leaked Top Secret Memorandum to the CIA has not been officially acknowledged (it has been ranked medium-to-high level of authenticity),  there is no question about the legitimacy of the National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 271. NSAM 271 clearly showed that Kennedy had decided to cooperate with the USSR on “Outer Space Matters.”
If Kennedy had been warned by about the dangers of future conflict with the Soviet Union and/or with extraterrestrial life, then sharing classified UFO files was an obvious way to implement NSAM 271.
NSAM 271 and the associated Top Secret Memorandum to the CIA Director issued on November 12, 1963 are evidence that Kennedy firmly linked cooperation with the USSR on “outer space matters” with the release of classified UFO files. For undisclosed reasons, Kennedy was convinced that the CIA was the lead agency for ensuring the release of classified UFO files. This suggests that the USAF and the other military services were secretly required to direct their most important UFO files reported through the CIRVIS (Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings) system created for reporting vital intelligence data by Joint Army Air Naval Publication 146, to the CIA. This is confirmed by a Memorandum by Brigadier General C.H. Bolender on October 1969. He said: “reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system.” 
Put simply, there were two sets of UFO files being collected by the USAF during the Kennedy and later presidential administrations. Those with least national security significance were made available to the public through Project Blue Book – the ‘official’ public investigation of UFOs by the USAF that formally ended in 1970. The more important, and classified UFO files, were directed into another project that was under the control of the CIA. In particular, CIA’s counter intelligence department controlled access and reported directly to the MJ-12 Group. In requesting the CIA to share UFO files with NASA, that would in turn lead to it sharing this information with the State Department and other agencies as stipulated in NSAM 271. Kennedy was therefore directly confronting the CIA over its ultimate control of classified UFO files.
Kennedy’s Hotline Conversation with Nikita Khrushchev
Another leaked document shows the extent to which Kennedy was prepared to cooperate with the Soviet Union in declassifying UFO files. The aim was to avoid the risk of a mistaken military confrontation over UFOs. The document is allegedly a Top Secret NSA intercept of a “Hot Line” conversation between President Kennedy and Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev dated November 12, 1963. The Hot Line was first established three months earlier on August 1, 1963, and according to the New York Times:
The direct link, which is available 24 hours a day, will make it possible for the heads of the two Governments to exchange messages in minutes. After checking the typed message against the original copy, the Teletype tape will be fed into a Teletype transmitter. As the message goes out, it will be encoded by a “scrambling device” to prevent anyone from reading it at relay points along the 10,000-mile cable circuit. In Moscow, the message will go through a decoding device and appear on a Teletype machine in the Kremlin near the office of Premier Khrushchev.
Though it is claimed the Hotline was first used on June 5, 1967 during the six day Arab-Israeli war, the leaked NSA document suggests that Kennedy and Khrushchev did get to use soon after it was established.
|Kennedy and Khrushchev in 1961 Photo: US National Park Service|
In the alleged November 12 Hotline conversation, Kennedy and Khrushchev discussed the importance of their respective UFO working groups to deal with the UFO problem to avoid the risk of future conflict. Kennedy told Khrushchev: “I have begun an initiative with our NASA to exchange information with your Academy of Sciences in which I hope will foster mutual concern over this problem and hopefully find some resolution.” 
Kennedy was certainly referring here to the National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 271) released on the same day, November 12 1963. Kennedy also said, “I have also instructed our CIA to provide me with full disclosure on the phantom aspects and classified programs in which I can better assess the [UFO] situation.” While the NSA intercept has not been conclusively determined to be authentic (it has been ranked medium-to-high level of authenticity), it is consistent with the November 12 NSAM 271.”
Most importantly, circumstantial evidence for the genuineness of the Hotline transcript comes from Sergei Khrushchev’s admission that his father had accepted Kennedy’s offer on the day before on November 11. To repeat, this was the same day that a Soviet Mars mission ‘Cosmos 21’ had failed leading to Khrushchev’s change of heart on Kennedy’s offer of space cooperation. For the Soviets, continuing the space race would be very expensive, and drain resources from other more important areas. Kennedy’s offer was a face saving way out of the dilemma now confronting the Soviets.
The Hotline conversation shows Kennedy and Khrushchev reaching agreement on a broad range of issues concerning sharing UFOs information and joint cooperation in space. The dating of the Hotline conversation is consistent with the agreement reached in the background over this period between Kennedy and Khrushchev. This gives more confidence that the Hotline document is genuine. The issuing of NSAM 271, which is an authentic public document also confirms that Khrushchev had only just accepted Kennedy’s offer and that a hotline conversation between Kennedy and Khrushchev had only just occurred.
President Kennedy’s UFO initiatives led to implementation of assassination directive
On November 12, 1963, President John F. Kennedy had reached broad agreement with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on joint space missions and sharing classified UFO files. This required both leaders instructing their respective UFO working groups to share information. Kennedy did this through a Top Secret Memorandum to the Director of the CIA to share UFO files with NASA and theUSSR. His November 12 Memorandum was relayed on to the James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. Angleton controlled access to the most highly classified UFO files in the U.S, and was in direct communications with MJ-12 – the UFO working group within the “MJ-12 Special Studies Project.” In responding to Kennedy’s request, Angleton followed a Top Secret/MJ-12 set of directives. One of the secret directives, revealed in the leaked partially burned Top Secret/MJ-12 document forensically dated to 1961, was a cryptic assassination directive. In case any seniorU.S. official did not cooperate with MJ-12, the directive sanctioned political assassination. The leaked document is smoking gun evidence that former CIA Director Allen Dulles was involved in drafting and approving with other MJ-12 members a cryptic “assassination directive.” The MJ-12 “assassination directive” was later implemented by Angleton in response to President Kennedy’s November 12, 1963 request to the CIA to release classified UFO files.
In part one, I discussed the burned document and its genesis during the final months of Allen Dulles tenure as Director of the CIA. Dulles and other MJ-12 members were responding to Kennedy’s initial effort on June 28, 1961 to be fully briefed on MJ-12 intelligence operations and UFOs. Kennedy, according to a leaked Top Secret Memorandum titled “Review of MJ-12 Intelligence Operations,” requested Dulles to give a brief summary. In response and unknown to Kennedy, Dulles drafted a set directives shortly before his November 1961 retirement. Dulles’ draft document was addressed to another six members of MJ-12 requesting comments and their approval. It had clear instructions that under no circumstances would any U.S. President or his national security staff be briefed or given access to classified UFO files.
The most damming directive, drafted by Dulles and apparently approved by six other MJ-12 members was a cryptic assassination directive. In full, this states:
Draft – Directive Regarding Project Environment – When conditions become non-conducive for growth in our environment and Washington cannot be influenced any further, the weather is lacking any precipitation … it should be wet.
Dr Robert Wood who is the foremost expert in analyzing MJ-12 documents using forensic methods, has concluded that the burned document is an assassination directive. In an interview discussing the burned document, he pointed out that the cryptic phrase “it should be wet” originates from Russia, where the phrase ‘wet works’ or “wet affairs” denotes someone who had been killed and is drenched with blood.
The codeword ‘wet’ was later adopted by the Soviet KGB and other intelligence agencies, according to Dr Wood. The term “it should be wet” therefore was a coded command to kill someone. In drafting this cryptic directive, Allen Dulles was seeking approval from six of his MJ-12 colleagues, to lay the justification for the assassination of any elected or appointed official in Washington DCwhose policies were “non-conducive for growth”. The cryptic directive was a pre-authorization for the assassination of any U.S. President who could not “be influenced any further” to follow MJ-12 policies.
Kennedy’s 1963 efforts to end the Cold War, cooperate with the USSR on joint space missions, and share classified UFO files with the USSR created a final showdown with MJ-12. The trigger was Kennedy’s agreement with Khrushchev on November 12, 1963 on space cooperation that led to Kennedy’s Top Secret memo instructing the new Director of the CIA, John McCone, to share all UFO information with NASA. Due to NSAM 271, issued the same day, this would ensure that classified UFO files would be shared not only with the USSR, but with the State Department and other U.S. agencies. In short, the two memoranda Kennedy issued on November 12, would ensure that access to classified UFO files would be extended to more government agencies, ultimately resulting in direct Presidential access. Direct access had been denied to him by McCone’s predecessor, Allen Dulles who retired as DCI in November 1961, but likely continued on in his other position as MJ-1.
Kennedy’s explosive Top Secret November 12, 1963 memo to the CIA Director was relayed by William Colby, then (Deputy) Chief of the CIA’s Far East Division, to James Angleton in CIA counterintelligence. It was Angleton who had the authority to implement Kennedy’s Top Secret memorandum. On the bottom of Kennedy’s Memorandum to the CIA, next to the signature space appears the following handwriting: “Response from Colby: Angleton has MJ directive 11/20/63” Colby is here acknowledging that Angleton, two days before Kennedy’s assassination, had the MJ directives – the burned document – and would use them to respond to Kennedy’s Memorandum. This handwriting directly implicates Angleton in the Kennedy assassination due to the cryptic MJ-12 assassination directive.
|CIA CounterIntelligence Chief
James Jesus Angleton.
There is more evidence to directly implicate Angleton in the Kennedy assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald was among a small group of American citizens to have defected to the Soviet Union in 1959. Though the CIA admits to having established a file on Oswald in 1960, Alan Weberman, on of the first authors to write on the Kennedy Assassination, claims that CIA counterintelligence were monitoring Oswald even earlier. Weberman cites evidence that Angleton was directly involved through an intermediary, Gerry Hemming, a former Marine who knew Oswald and was recruited by the CIA. 
Despite controversy over Oswald being recruited by Angleton and the CIA prior to his trip to the Soviet Union, there is no question that as an American defector, Oswald became the responsibility of Angleton’s CIA counterintelligence. Upon his return to the U.S. in June 1962, Oswald’s activities were closely monitored by CIA counterintelligence. Oswald’s subsequent association with a number of CIA assets provided opportunities for Angleton’s counterintelligence to not only monitor, but to manipulate Oswald.
|Clay Shaw – New Orleans businessman|
The most documented source of a CIA link to the Kennedy assassination was the investigation by Jim Garrison, District Attorney of New Orleans. Garrison found much documentary evidence to demonstrate that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in a conspiracy led by Clay Shaw. Garrison discovered that Shaw had an “extensive international role as an employee of the CIA.” While Garrison was unsuccessful in earning a conviction against Shaw, Garrison was partly vindicated in 1979 by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The Committee concluded: “The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy.”
Kennedy’s assassination by a hit team organized by a CIA asset, Clay Shaw, directly implicates CIA counterintelligence. Ensuring Oswald’s participation in the Kennedy assassination, no matter how minimal, provided a powerful rationale for preventing a thorough investigation of the Kennedy assassination. As a former communist defector, Angleton and the CIA could persuasively argue that Oswald’s involvement directly implicated the USSR. This allowed the CIA to successfully argue to the Warren Commission, through Allen Dulles who was a member, that a thorough investigation was too dangerous due to the risk of nuclear war if the Soviet Union was implicated.
Historians who view the CIA as complicit in Kennedy’s assassination point to the CIA’s role in covert operations in Vietnam as the reason why the CIA wanted Kennedy’s removal from office. Col Fletcher Prouty, in his well documented book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, reveals that Kennedy was attempting to end the CIA’s influence over covert operations. Chief among these was the escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam that Kennedy wanted to end and was why he was assassinated. There is, however, a more compelling reason for why the CIA wanted Kennedy’s removal for office – the CIA’s role in controlling classified UFO information, and denying access to other government agencies including the office of the President.
The assassination of President Kennedy directly resulted from his efforts to gain access to the CIA’s control of classified UFO files. Unknown to Kennedy, a set of secret MJ-12 directives issued by his former CIA Director, Allen Dulles, ruled out any cooperation with Kennedy and his national security staff on the UFO issue. It was Dulles and another six unknown MJ-12 members who sanctioned the directives found in the burned document including a political assassination directive against non-cooperative officials in the Kennedy administration. While Dulles and his six associates pre-authorized the assassination of Kennedy, it was the CIA counterintelligence chief who gave the final orders that culminated in Kennedy’s assassination. In doing so, James Angleton arranged for a communist defector to be involved so as to eventually take the blame and ensure that no thorough investigation would follow by federal or congressional authorities.
Was the Kennedy Assassination a Covert Coup by MJ-12?
Historians who view the CIA as complicit in Kennedy’s assassination point to the CIA’s role in covert operations in Vietnam as the reason why the CIA wanted Kennedy’s removal from office. Col Fletcher Prouty, in another well documented book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, reveals that Kennedy was attempting to end the CIA’s influence over covert operations. Chief among these was the escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam that Kennedy wanted to end, and was a reason why he was assassinated. There is, however, a more compelling reason for why senior CIA officials wanted Kennedy’s removal for office – the role of CIA counterintelligence in controlling UFO information and implementing the directives of the secretive MJ-12 Group.
President Kennedy’s bold attempt to have NASA cooperate with the Soviet Union in joint space and lunar missions is a historic fact. What is not well known is that this required extensive sharing of UFO information to prevent any misunderstandings over UFOs sightings that could spark military hostilities and jeopardize space cooperation. Kennedy’s strategy was to use joint Soviet US space cooperation as the means to have UFOs declassified for NASA. This would have led to them being shared with the USSR, the State Department and other U.S. agencies as NSAM 271 required. The extensive data sharing required under NSAM 271 would have given Kennedy and his national security staff a means for eventually gaining access to classified UFO files.
Documents confirm that on November 12, 1963 Kennedy and Khrushchev had agreed on steps to share UFO information precisely for this reason, and Kennedy identified the CIA as the lead U.S.agency to implement the process. Unknown to Kennedy, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence, Angleton, implemented a secret set of directives that would deny access to classified UFO information to Kennedy, his national security staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The assassination directive represented a covert coup by the MJ-12 that, through CIA counterintelligence, had the means to deny any Presidential administration access to UFO files, and even forcefully remove uncooperative federal officials. To date, there is no evidence that the MJ-12 directives drafted and passed in some form by Dulles and six other MJ-12 members in 1961 has ever been rescinded. Documents and facts bear witness to the complicity of senior CIA and other unknown officials in the assassination of President Kennedy. The implications of leaked MJ-12 documents relevant to Kennedy’s efforts to declassify UFO files require a thorough public investigation.
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