A Two-Star General and Colonel Come to Visit
The other night I was listening to a Don Ecker rebroadcast of an interview he did with aerospace expert John Andrews in the 1990s. During interview Andrews referred to a visit he had received from the head of security for USAF black budget programs, and a visit on the same morning that aerospace researcher Lee Graham received from aÂ USAF General.
During this interview Andrews brought up something I had never heard before and which I think is significant. When Graham received his visit from the General at his place of work the security manager at the company was told to leave the room during the meeting. It was almost as if what to follow would not be on the record.
Here is my original story of that encounter that goes to the core of an attempt by the US government to leak core elements of the UFO story into the public and at the same time maintain the classified elements of the programs surrounding UFOs.
Lee Graham has spent three decades trying to get the U.S. Government to make a determination on the authenticity of the MJ-12 and Snowbird document that he received from researcher Bill Moore in the early 1980s. Now years later Graham still believes the document is legitimate. One of the key events that led him to believe the documents are real came from the following encounter.
From time to time Graham got indications that he was on the right track and that people inside the government were acknowledging his key role in bringing documents like the MJ-12 and Snowbird documents to the public.
One such positive indication came on September 15, 1987 when Graham received a personal visit at work from an Air Force headwaters 2-Star General from. Along with the General was a man identified himself as FBI Special Agent William Hurley. The General, dressed in civilian clothes, was introduced only as “Mickey.”
Later while reading an Air Force Magazine in the Aerojet Library, Graham found a picture and identified the second man as USAF Major General Michael C. Kerby, who at the time of the meeting was Director of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Office. He previously had been stationed at Nellis Air Force base where he appeared to “have been in command of the operational aspects of the "stealth" fighter aircraft, as well as other very sensitive aviation activities.”
To Graham the meeting was further confirmation of the story that Bill Moore had told him that the Falcon had chosen him to be the front man for a series of leaked documents telling a secret inside story of the UFO cover-up.
Graham had been filing scores of FOIAs on UFOs and on the F-117 Stealth fighter program which still wasn’t yet declassified in 1987. In 1985 Graham had already undergone a “Code Red” investigation by the Defense Investigative Service at his work related to his interest in the F-117. Aerojet had requested the security investigation telling the Defense Investigative Service (DIS), “This facility has learned that the above subject employee has been seeking information (very sensitive) that he has no need to know and may not be in the best interest of National Security.”
In the 1987 meeting the General told Graham the code name for the Stealth fighter was “Senior Trend.” (Which turned out to be accurate when the program code name was declassified in April 1990) Graham was asked to sign a “certificate” by Hurley that he had received information he did not have a “need to know” for, and that heshould not disclose it until it was declassified. This, as Graham later pointed out, was a break from standard procedures, as he should have signed a Standard Form 312 rather than a certificate.
When the Stealth discussion was over Graham pulled the Snowbird document out of his pocket and asked the General if he was free to distribute the document which claimed there was a recovered flying saucer being tested at Groom Lake. The General looked at the document and saw the UNCLASSIFIED stamp in the bottom right corner.
He pointed to it and asked Graham “What does that say?” When Graham replied UNCLASSIFIED, Kerby told him that meant that he could do what he wanted with it.
Later Graham talked to Bill Moore about the visit and Moore stated that the men who had visited him “had been sent to encourage me to circulate copies” of the Briefing Document: Operation Majestic 12. This made sense as Moore had once told him he was the “pigeon” that was chosen for the leak – the one who would carry the message to the public.
Shortly after Graham had uncovered General Kerby’s identity he got a call from Dr. Scott Jones who was then working as an aide to Senator Claiborne Pell on paranormal phenomena. In a report Jones wrote to Pell he stated that he had contacted General Kerby and held a private meeting with him on the subject of UFOs and his meeting with Graham. Kerby, however, denied knowing or meeting Graham. Jones reported that Kerby simply “gave the standard Air Force line on Blue Book that established before it shut down that there was nothing of substance to UFO reports.”
This led Jones to phone Graham. He opened the conversation by saying that he and Graham "had a mutual acquaintance." Jones was referring to Kerby who Graham hadÂ already identified. Jones promised to send information that would help Graham identify the mysterious interviewer. This he did with a letter on Senatorial letterhead with a picture and biography of Kerby attached.
On August 6, 1989 Graham mentioned the Kerby meeting in a letter that he wrote to then Vice President Dan Quayle. In the letter he also mentioned the MJ-12 and Snowbird documents that he had been given by Moore to distribute. He asked if he was free to circulate the documents and if not would Quayle repudiate the authenticityÂ of the documents. Unfortunately, in his letter he mentioned both the F-117 and the Senior Trend codename for it. Although the existence of the F-117 had been declassified in 1988 the associate with the Senior Trend codename was still classified and Graham came under another DIS investigation.
It was in that final April 19, 1990 DIS Investigation report (89311-DK1-3408-1W9) that Graham felt he had received confirmation that the MJ-12 document and the Snowbird documents were legitimate government documents. The documents that Graham had attached to the Quayle letter caused DIS Director William A. Hughes, out of the headquarters office in Baltimore, to initiate a S.I.I (Special Investigations Inquiry) into the status of the MJ-12 and other documents including the text of the speech that Bill Moore had given to the 1989 MUFON conference where he outlined how the government UFO secrecy had operated, based on almost a decade working with Falcon and the AFOSI.
It was during this security determination, initiated by Hughes, that the MJ-12 and Snowbird documents Graham had sent to Vice President Quayle were stamped “UNCLASSIFIED” in the bottom right corner of each document. By all appearances the appeared to have been declassified when Graham requested and received a portion of his 1990 DIS file, he noticed the UNCLASSIFIED markings that had been added to the documents.Â In the opinion of Graham, who had worked in the world of classified documents his whole career, this meant that the documents had been declassified and were free to distribute to the public.
The facts seemed to back Graham’s conclusion, but when the Government Accounting Office (GAO) became involved in a reinvestigation of the Roswell UFO crash they asked the head of the USAF study Col. Richard Weaver about the now apparently declassified MJ-12 document. Col. Weaver told the GAO that the document was “bogus and therefore unclassified. Col Weaver stated that “when the document was first sent to the “Internal Security Office for review they stamped it UNCLASSIFIED before they reviewed it. After they studied it and determined that it was not authentic, they returned it to the sender, however, they had already put the UNCLASSIFIED mark on it which to the sender meant that it was an authentic document.”
Not deterred by the Weaver counter explanation, Graham immediately filed an FOIA to the Air Force asking for records of who had stamped the documents from the Quayle letter UNCLASSIFIED and when. Most importantly, realizing that the UNCLASSIFIED MJ-12 and Snowbird documents in the DIA report were just copies, he asked for color copies of the original documents which would have shown the UNCLASSIFIED markings in red ink.
Despite the government claims that no UFO information has been withheld, Graham has yet to receive real color copies of the MJ-12 and Snowbird documents that were stamped UNCLASSIFIED by the Air Force Internal Security Office, or information as to the individual actually stamped the documents UNCLASSIFIED.
The man who Graham believed was involved in approving the declassification of the two documents was Col. Weaver’s friend - the head of USAF Special Projects security Col. Barry Hennessey, who had many rumored links to the world of UFOs.Â Â His official job at AFOSI was to be in charge of security for Top Secret Air Force programs like the F-117.
To support his case that UFOs and Hennessey were key components to the meeting with General Kerby, Graham provided information about another related incident involving Hennessey and the subject of UFOs. This involved a second meeting that took place at exactly the same time Graham was being visited by General Kerby and the FBI agent.
This meeting took place in San Diego at the office of Graham’s aerospace friend John Andrews of the Testor Corporation. Andrews was considered by many to be one of the best civilian aircraft researchers in history. He had become famous for his building of a Roswell model based on eyewitness descriptions, and for his F-19 (later named F-117) Stealth model that became the best selling model kit of all times. He had become friends with Graham and Moore sharing their interest in UFOs and secret Stealth technologies.
The man who had crossed the country to visit Andrews at his office was same Col Hennessey. Like the Graham meeting, UFOs and Stealth were also topics of this second conversation. Andrews reported the details of the meeting to Graham writing, “he instructed to not use its (Stealth 117) ’F’ number nor its codename. He didn’t ask me how I had learned such things, and I didn’t offer. He opened the conversation saying, ‘I don’t know anything about UFOs.” Andrews continued, “‘Hennessey said ‘I won’t lie to you.’ But his comment about not knowing anything about UFOs was already a lie. He professed to not even know what NICAP was.”
Graham has continued to pursue Hennessey right up to the present day believing that he is part of the plan to get the MJ-12 and Snowbird documents out. In the reply to one FOIA Graham found the following statement which showed that UFOs was Hennessey’s main interest in him. Stealth was not even mentioned in the complaint, “It has come to our attention that Subject (Lee Graham) has had frequent correspondence with the U.S. Air Force regarding UFOs. His correspondence may be reviewed by contacting Col. Barry Hennessey, USAF, office of Special Projects, at the Pentagon…”
Graham wrote three FOIAs directly to Hennessey at the Pentagon trying to get to the bottom of his UFO connection to the mysterious Colonel. Two of the certified letters were returned as undeliverable. However, according to Graham, “I proved through the library that they were received. They had been opened and resealed. (One of the letters was signed for by Evan Redmon – Pentagon Misc. 20310). One of them was on paper that I had not sent. It was a different color paper and it was folded differently.”
Graham wrote many letters and filed dozens of FOIA requests to try and validate the document. On May 24, 1990, the Defense Investigative Service (DIS) responded to one of Graham’s FOIA requests by sending him back a copy of the MJ-12 document, each page of which was stamped “UNCLASSIFIED” across the lower part of the page.