Welcome to the third installment in my examination of the murky netherworld of the far right and high weirdness. In this context I am using the phrase "high weirdness" as a stand-in for a host of fringe topics including UFOs, psi, psychedelics, human potential and so on. As for the far right, I am using a serious of think tanks and other such organizations to outline this network.
One of these organization was the original Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) Mach I. As was noted in the prior installment, the CPD was the first true lobby group for the military-industrial complex and featured many of the key architects of the national security state. This included the clique surrounding Secretary of War Henry Stimson in the War Department and the host of technocrats that served under Vannevar Bush in the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) and the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD).
The CPD was not the far right, however. Its membership was primarily drawn from the ranks of Wall Street and the Ivy League. While more than a few of the original CPD members would find themselves aligned with the far right by the 1970s when the Committee on the Present Danger Mach II was established, during the so-called "Great Debate" they very much found themselves at odds with the far right, which in the wake of WWII had rallied behind the figure of three time US presidential candidate Robert A. Taft.
At this point in time the far right largely considered themselves "isolationists," who stood in opposition of the "internationalism" of the original CPD. In reality, however, the isolationism of the far right (much like the storied historic isolationism of these United States) was rather relative and by 1950 was rapidly giving way to an imperialism of their own.
"The Republican right wing and its business supporters had, since the close of the American frontier in the 1890s, looked to Asia as the land of opportunity, the natural Lebensraum for American expansion – economic, political, and cultural – just as the Establishment viewed Europe as the key nexus of global power. It took a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to convince the right wing that the United States should become involved in World War II. After the war they opposed the European-oriented thrust of containment and what they saw as the other side of that policy – the abandonment of Asia. The Marshall Plan and 'the loss of China' came to symbolize the Democratic era to the Republican right, frustrated even more because the Eastern wing of its party had joined the Democrats in the bipartisan display of consensus.
"The conservative right was moving haltingly towards an imperialism of its own, but oriented towards Asia not Europe. This is apparent from the statements issued by the spokesman of the so-called isolationist current in the opening round of The Great Debate. Both ex-president Herbert Hoover and presidential hopeful Robert Taft called for rearmament, but of Asia not Europe. Hoover argued, 'We should give Japan her independence and aid her in arms to defend herself. We should stiffen the defenses of our Pacific frontier in Formosa and the Philippines. . . American eyes should now be opened to these hordes in Asia.' Taft too called for basing a Pacific defense on Japan and Formosa (Taiwan) even as he attacked involvement in Europe. The Ohio senator argued for naval and air support to back Chiang Kai-Shek's nationalist forces on Formosa, adding that he saw no reason why a state of war with Communist China should not be acknowledged, if only to 'untie the hands' of MacArthur in the Far East. Thus as the Truman administration moved to increase American commitment to Europe in the winter of 1950-51, its opposition on the Republican right countered by embracing a policy of rollback to just that extent in Asia. In so doing, they moved further away from prewar isolationism towards imperialism with a right wing twist, an evolution that would be completed during the MacArthur controversy in the volatile spring of 1951."
(Peddlers of Crisis, Jerry Sanders, pgs. 80-81)
|Robert A. Taft|
This debate is of course still playing out to this day. Backers of Hillary Clinton were largely drawn from the ranks of the traditional conservative establishment (addressed in part one) based around groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). This faction has always been obsessed with Europe and seem more than willing at present to risk a war with Russia so as to preserve their stranglehold over the old country. By contrast Trump, who unabashedly idolizes MacArthur, has already begun the pivot to Asia. His cabinet is stacked with China hawks while his out reach to Taiwan is the most blatant contact a US president has had with the Apartheid nation since Carter if not Ford (the initial contact between Trump and the Taiwanese president was apparently spurred by American Security Council luminary Robert Dole). But back to the matter at hand.
|the latest manifestation of the Europe vs. Asia debate|
When the CPD and their ilk went about creating the national security state, they had set up the CIA to be the lead organization in this network. The upper hierarchy of the CIA was of course drawn from the ranks of the Ivy Leagues and Wall Street while powerful NGOs such as the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations were tapped to play key roles in implementing the CIA's agenda. Part of the original purpose of the CIA then appears to have been to ensure that the Eastern Establishment remained in control of the national security state.
At least that was the theory, but increasingly the middle managers of the CIA found more and more common cause with their former rivals in the Pentagon as the years went on. But at the time of the Great Debate, the wounds the Pentagon had suffered with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 were still fresh. MacArthur himself despised the CIA, and had barred its predecessor, the OSS, from operating in the Pacific Theater of WWII. He had only grudgingly accepted the CIA into his domain in the Far East, and appears to have spent as much time keeping track of the Company as he did the Communists.
But before getting to those officers, two points need to be made about MacArthur. The first is that he has long been the patron saint of the American far right. When clerical fascist Gerald L.K. Smith met briefly with MacArthur in 1954, he came away from the meeting in a state of grace. American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell took up smoking a corn cob pipe in honor of The Pipe. Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, who was saved by MacArthur during Korea, regularly had his "little angels" perform rituals to bless The Pipe. Eventually Moon bankrolled a box office flop called Inchon at great personal expense to celebrate MacArthur's command in Korea. More recently, as noted above, Trump has heaped praise upon MacArthur at every opportunity.
The phrase "cult of personality" is very apt for MacArthur's relationship to the far right. While MacArthur never publicly embraced the far right's fawning adoration of him, he certainly did nothing to discourage it either.
At to the second point, it is that MacArthur was one of the first high profile figures to publicly endorse the existence of UFOs. While his alleged 1955 "interplanetary war" comments appear to be a hoax, he did in fact make some revealing comments about UFOs during a 1962 speech at West Point:
"We deal now, not with things of this world alone, but with the illimitable distances and as yet unfathomed mysteries of the universe. We are reaching out for a new and boundless frontier. We speak in strange terms of harnessing the cosmic energy, of making winds and tides work for us, of creating unheard of synthetic materials to supplement or even replace our old standard basics; to purify sea water for our drink; of mining ocean floors for new fields of wealth and food; of disease preventatives to expand life into the hundred of years; of controlling the weather for a more equitable distribution of heat and cold, of rain and shine; of spaceships to the moon; of the primary target in war, no longer limited to the armed forces of an enemy, but instead to include his civil populations; of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; of such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all times."It is interesting to note that MacArthur made this comments as part of an acceptance speech for the Sylvanus Thayer Award. The man who presented MacArthur with this award was none other than General Leslie Groves., the most revered Army Corps of Engineers officer in the history of this nation. Groves of course oversaw the military aspects of the Manhattan Project while Vannevar Bush handled the civilian side. While the relationship between Bush and Groves was not always the warmest, they did work closely together for nearly half a decade. As was noted in the prior installment, many of the scientists and other personnel involved with the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development ended up working on either ARTICHOKE or UFO-related projects by 1950.
|General Leslie Groves|
As was noted before here, many of these military officers would play a key role in establishing the infamous American Security Council (ASC) in the mid-1950s and would dominate that organization for years afterwards. The ASC, while now a shadow of its former self, during its Cold War heyday turns up in many of the darkest intrigues of the deep state --state-sanctioned drug trafficking and terrorism, the Kennedy assassination (noted before here), Watergate (addressed here) and Iran-Contra, among many others.
While nominally a lobby group for the military-industrial complex (it was in fact the premier lobby group for said faction during the Cold War), the ASC had since its inception an intelligence function. Initially it was involved in blacklisting and by the late 1950s maintained millions of files on average American citizens that it routinely provided to corporate America. But from that point onward its vast private intelligence network would crop up in drug and arms trafficking, assassinations, terrorism and potentially even work on Project ARTICHOKE (noted before here and here).
The ASC was, in other words, at the absolute black heart of the deep state for decades. It should thus come as little surprise that more than a few of its members and numerous other military figures linked to Douglas MacArthur turn up frequently in the most notorious UFO incident of the twentieth century.
|General Roger Ramey|
"Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) was not exactly as insignificant as it sounds. At the time it was where the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force was located. The 509th had just become part of Strategic Air Command's 11 founding bases and was the only bomb group in the country in the possession of nuclear weapons. Part of the above top secret Manhattan Project, the 509th dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The base commander at the time of the Roswell incident, Colonel William H. 'Butch' Blanchard, was tapped as the backup pilot for the Hiroshima bomb. This same Blanchard had been a protege of Air Force general Curtis LeMay since the spring of 1945, when Blanchard became LeMay's assistant chief of staff for operations in the strategic and wholesale thermite firebombing of Japanese cities.  Near the end of the war LeMay got Blanchard involved in the Manhattan Project."General Curtis LeMay, who had served under MacArthur in the Pacific Theater of World War II, was one of the most fanatical right wing officers in the history of these United States (which was something of an accomplishment in itself). As was noted before here, it is this researcher's belief that LeMay was one of two principal inspirations for General Jack D. Ripper in the Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove. Certainly LeMay had a thirst for nuclear war that only his fictional counterpart could have possibly understood. Of this obsession, ISGP remarks:
"After World War II, LeMay became famous for building up Strategic Air Command (SAC) in a highly-efficient nuclear strike force aimed against the Soviet Union. As described in ISGP's American Security Council article, during his period as SAC commander LeMay became somewhat notorious for trying to instigate a war with the Soviet Union in order to finish it off permanently with a full nuclear strike. That is, if it were to resist a peaceful surrender to U.S. authority. This strategy, also known as 'Project Control', remained popular in Air Force circles until the Soviet Union developed a nuclear weapons arsenal of its own, followed by effective delivery systems. From 1957 to 1961 LeMay was vice chief of staff of the Air Force, followed by the position of chief of staff from 1961 to 1965. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he arose as a notorious opponent of Kennedy's diplomatic efforts, instead preferring to invade Cuba. After his retirement, LeMay joined the national strategy committee of the ultra-right American Security Council and continued to push for hardline policies, along with top CIA, FBI and Pentagon officials and Wackenhut executives. General Thomas Power, LeMay's deputy and the person who succeeded him as SAC commander, later also joined the national strategy committee of the ASC."
|Curtis LeMay (top) and the character of Jack D. Ripper (bottom)|
LeMay has been long linked to the UFO question as well. In a 1965 biography he expressed his belief that UFOs were real, while his friend and fellow ASC luminary Barry Goldwater linked LeMay to UFO research. LeMay was also a co-founder of the RAND Corporation, which has long been linked to UFO research as well.
And Blanchard was apparently very close to both LeMay and the above-mentioned General Thomas Power, who also signed up with the ASC after his retirement. Both Powers and Blanchard, along with another ASC luminary who shall be addressed in a moment, were dispatched to the Soviet Union in 1956 to asses the Soviet defense build up. A noted above, Blanchard also worked on the Manhattan Project during the winding down of WWII, a prospect that UFOlogist should have been all over years ago.
|General William H. Blanchard|
It should thus hardly come as a surprise that Blanchard appears to have been well on his way to a senior role in the Air Force at the time of his death in 1966. ISGP reports:
"... Blanchard rose through the ranks of the Air Force at a very fast pace, even faster than Twining and LeMay. He died in his office at the Pentagon in 1966 at the age of 50, but already at this point was a four-star general and vice chief of staff of the Air Force. Almost certainly he would have become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after which he would have moved to private industry and quite possibly the American Security Council, the same path Twining and LeMay took."And yet when Blanchard is considered by mainstream historians he is often depicted as a rather buffoonish figure in no small part due to a press release he issued in the wake of the Roswell crash proclaiming the recovery of a flying saucer.
"... Blanchard notified the Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort Worth and ordered Marcel to go there with the debris and meet with Gen. Roger Ramey. At this point both Marcel and Blanchard believed they had obtained pieces of the mysterious flying discs. At around noon, Blanchard ordered Public Information Officer Lt. Walter Haut to issue a press release stating this. Haut gave the release to Frank Joyce at radio station KGFL, sent it to Western Union, radio stations, newspapers. It reached the AP wire by 2:26 P.M.; at that point, all hell broke loose throughout Roswell and, we may assume, up the military chain of command. The Roswell Daily Record, an evening paper, carried three stories about the crash, on the front page. The main statement: 'The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Force announced at noon today the field has come into possession of a flying saucer."
(UFOs and the National Security State, Richard Dolan, pgs. 22-23)
Let's pause now and consider these developments for a moment now. Blanchard is a fast rising star in the Army (and later the Air Force) who was involved with the highly secretive Hiroshima bomb run and later the Manhattan Project. These projects were of course highly classified, indicating that Blanchard knew how to keep his mouth shut. And yet, shortly after recovering the debris, he would announce to the world via the mass media that a flying saucer had been recovered at Roswell, apparently without the full approval of the military hierarchy. And despite this apparent slip up, he would continue to rise rapidly threw the ranks, holding the rank of four star general when he suddenly died in the Pentagon of an apparent heart attack at the age of 50.
It probably goes without saying, but something is wrong with this picture.
When Blanchard initiated the press release, he was certainly following orders. But what was the purpose of this order? A cover-up? Disinformation? Or, was this perhaps some kind of message?
The most implicit linkage of Twining to UFOs is the so-called "Twining memo."
"... On September 23, 1947, Twining wrote a classified, now famous, letter regarding the flying discs. He noted that the discs were 'real and not visionary or fictitious.' They may possibly be natural phenomena, he wrote, such as meteors. But:
the reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered invasive when sighted... lend belief to the possibility that some of these objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely...
"Twining recommended that Air Force Headquarters 'issue a directive assigning a priority, security classification and code name for a detailed study of this matter.' He also ordered that the best UFO reports be sent to the following places: the Joint Research and Development Board; the Office of Scientific Research and Development; the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics; and the Atomic Energy Commission. Each of these offices had strong links with Vannevar Bush...
"Twining did state that UFOs were not secret American craft. This came as a surprise to Schulgen, who expected the reply that there was nothing to the affair, that everything was under control. Instead, Twining wrote that the phenomenon was unexplained and warranted further study. Again, one might ask whether he was hiding the fact that UFOs really were U.S. experimental craft. Fifty years later, the answer is clearly no. The U.S. had no craft in 1947, experimental or otherwise, that could duplicate the reported maneuvers of flying saucers. When Twining wrote his letter, Chuck Yeager had yet broken the sound barrier (he did it the next month at Muroc Field). Why would Twining tell Schukgen to keep studying flying saucers if they were simply classified American aircraft? If there were good reasons for doing so, none have emerged.
"Twining's letter, a crucial document in UFO policy, received no official acknowledgment for twenty years. Yet, because of it, the air force soon created its first formal UFO investigatory body, Project Sign."
(UFOs and the National Security State, Richard Dolan, pgs. 43-44)
|General Nathan Twining|
Even more compelling is the fact that the Twining letter suggested that UFO reports be passed on to a host of agencies, most notably the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), linked to Vannevar Bush. As was noted before here, many of Bush's former subordinates from the were involved in the CIA/Pentagon-sponsored Project ARTICHOKE as well as CIA investigations into the UFO question.
The Twining memo is thus one of the first compelling documents linking Bush's technocrats and the far right. And General Nathan Twining was very far right indeed. He was a longstanding member of the American Security Council, apparently signing up with the ASC shortly after his retirement from the Air Force in 1960 and remained on the National Strategy Committee until at least the 1970s. At one point he was the co-chairman of said committee. He was also a member of the Order of Daedalians along with Kenney, McMullen and LeMay. Twining also visited the Soviet Union with Colonel William Blanchard (of Roswell fame) and Thomas Powers (also of the ASC) in 1956, as noted above.
|Order of the Daedalians courtesy of ISGP; Kenny is on the far left, McMullen the center-left, LeMay is in the middle and Twining is on the far right (har har)|
"On Monday, July 7, Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of Air Material Command (AMC), flew unexpectedly to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, then made a side trip to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque. He remained in the area until July 11, although reporters initially had been told that Twining was 'probably' in Washington, D.C...
"Regarding the Twining visit, it should be noted that a declassified document from June 5, 1947, stated that Twining, Gen. Benjamin Chidlaw, and a few other high-level brass were scheduled to attend a three-day temporary duty status at Sandia Base in Albuquerque for a Bomb Commanders Course. This took place between July 8 and July 11. Visitor logs and security calendars indicate that this group did take the course. But Twining was also scheduled for a trip to Boeing at this time, which he had to cancel. In a July 17 letter to a Boeing executive, Twining referred to a 'very important and sudden matter that developed here.' Since Twining had not received confirmation of his clearance to attend the conference at Sandia until July 3, it is possible that this is what he was referring to. Is also likely, however, that the Roswell crash received his immediate attention."
(UFOs and the National Security State, Richard Dolan, pgs. 21-22)Twining was thus in the region when the Roswell incident was allegedly playing out. And at least one military officer with extensive ties to the far right has alleged that Twining played a crucial role in managing the Roswell incident and in developments related to it. In the next installment we shall consider the claims of this officer as well as what actually happened at Roswell and more ties between the ASC and UFOlogy. Stay tuned dear reader.