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Article 1: UFO Magazine (Feb 2006)

by UFO Magazine Editor, William Birnes

Among the more exciting threads that have surfaced on UFO email lists over the past couple of months is the story of Project Serpo, which in previous incarnations, is not a new story. Many in the UFO community have heard versions of this tale before. Among the key elements of this particular story are the following:

1. The Roswell crash didn't take place in Roswell, actually, but in Corona and near Datil, New Mexico.

2. The surviving ET or EBE, according to the MJ-12 briefing documents, was from the Zeta-Reticuli system, the same system that was home to the alien abductors of Betty and Barney Hill.

3. This EBE made contact with its home planet and in the ensuing negotiations between the U.S. government and the EBEs the parties agreed to set up an exchange program under which U.S. military personnel with different professional specialties would be taken to the EBE's home planet, Serpo, for an extended reconnaissance mission.

4. The basis of this story made its way to Steven Spielberg and was part of the background for his 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

5. Some members of this mission to Serpo returned to earth. They have since died but have passed their story along to others.

6. Those others, still fearful of releasing classified information, do want to tell the story and are looking for ways to release the information without any criminal sanctions, or worse.

7. There is a Red Book that contains the debriefing information and history of the mission.

8. The journals of some of the mission members are still extant.

9. Photographs of the mission may or may not be released.

10. This story has been above top secret for decades even though some folks in the intelligence inner circle know all about it.

There are many more aspects to this story, each of which is as exciting as the next. However, only those who either read the files and know the files are true and not disinformation or those who actually went on the mission know if this story is true. However, it does make for exciting speculation, regardless of whether it is true or false.

If we give those who are telling the story the benefit of the doubt-and why not-we can claim that we are keeping thoroughly open minds. Unlike the Burisch story, which is aggressive in its exclusivity and virulently antagonistic to all who dare dispute a story of an alleged PhD holder who can't produce his PhD diploma, the narrators of this story openly seem to encourage questions, criticisms, challenges, and the like.

So, for the time being, we should keep our minds open even though this story is utterly fantastic and raises more questions than it answers. Besides, doing so is just plain fun in a sometimes funless world.

One attorney who has been following this story posted his opinion that, because the Serpo report was ostensibly completed in 1980, it might be conceivable that there are aspects of declassification of previously classified material that could corroborate parts of this story.

What if, because there is a group of former high-ranking intelligence officers that have decided to release selective facts of one of the most secret United States military intelligence operations in history, that the National Security Council has decided to go along with the release?

After all, who can really be hurt after 40 years? And what if, rather than having the EBEs themselves show up on the White House lawn, the powers-that-be have all agreed that the story should be allowed to come out on its own?

If so, a disclosure on a quiet UFO email list is probably the best way to let it get out. After all, would you want to be the POTUS who stands up before a news conference to talk about UFOs, ETs, secret missions to a distant planet, and why we kept that secret for so long? On the other hand, what a better way to ensure your legacy than to be the disclosure president? We'll leave those question for others to answer.

Ufologists will have their own criticisms and comments about the Serpo story. Those who comment will also have their own thoughts and criticisms about other commentators. That, too, is part of the fun of the Serpo story.

My own questions concern the way the story relates to the different presidents under whose tenure the UFO incidents first began. For example, we now have the private ruminations of presidents who never intended their ruminations to become public.

Notwithstanding the infamous Richard Nixon tapes, there exist the Lyndon B. Johnson tapes released to the public by Lady Bird Johnson, the John F. Kennedy tapes, and the Harry S. Truman diary.

The Truman diary entries for the latter half of 1947-and these were very private diaries-make absolutely no mention of anything having to do with UFOs, even though President Truman reveals that he thinks he sees or feels Abraham Lincoln's ghost making its presence known in the White House.

It seems that Eisenhower has left no private record of anything having to do with a decision to send U.S. military personnel to a distant planet. No one has said that JFK revealed anything about the Serpo mission in his Oval Office tapes.

And, a careful review of the excellent Michael Beschloss book, Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-1964 (Simon & Schuster, 1997), containing the transcripts of LBJ's Oval Office tapes indicates no commentary about Serpo.

Maybe the Serpo references were redacted by Lady Bird herself. Maybe. But why would the former First Lady take out references to a space mission when she did not take out a piece of incredible evidence inculpating her husband and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in a conspiracy to conceal information of a murder conspiracy, specifically the JFK assassination, from the very commission LBJ assembled to investigate the crime?

In one of the released transcripts, Hoover reveals to LBJ that the FBI has discovered that there was another Lee Harvey Oswald. This Lee Harvey Oswald was an CIA plant, not the real Oswald. Thus, there is a CIA conspiracy afoot. LBJ and Hoover agree to keep the secret to themselves and not to tell former CIA Director Dulles that they know. Now it's a double conspiracy. Yet, astoundingly, this conversation appears in the LBJ tapes. But nothing about Serpo.

We have it on very good authority directly from Jackie Gleason himself that Richard Nixon took him to Holmstead Air Force Base in Florida where The Great One saw ET bodies with his very own eyes. Yet, no mention from Nixon that the U.S. had an ongoing military exploration mission to Serpo. Wouldn't Nixon, who clearly wanted to satisfy Jackie Gleason's curiosity, have revealed the truth about this? Maybe he did, and Jackie simply did not tell the person who told it to me.

President Jimmy Carter, despite his subsequent denials over the ensuing years, did seem to know something about our government's involvement with extraterrestrials. He even asked DCI George H. W. Bush for the inside information, but was promptly turned down. Reagan seemed to know something because he certainly referred to extraterrestrials enough times during his administration and even admitted to following a UFO across the California desert.

And, finally, Anonymous reveals that President Clinton tried to get the Serpo mission re-started but was dissuaded from that by members of his administration. An astounding story, indeed, especially in light of another piece of information from the same person who told me that Jackie Gleason had revealed his Holmstead Air Force Base experience to him personally.

I am told that this person asked Bill Clinton shortly before his inauguration whether he planned to find out what the government knew about UFOs. Reportedly, Clinton told him that "they" would not let him get near it. After his inauguration, did the president finally learn the truth, and was he so astounded that he wanted the mission to continue? Is this something that President Clinton is inclined to talk about?

As do the rest of the members of this UFO mailing list, I await more information about Serpo and even whatever photographs those keepers of the secret can release. Meanwhile, the Serpo story and journals follow along with comments from Richard Doty, Bill Ryan, and the mailing list administrator, Victor Martinez.