The Presidents and UFOs: A Secret History from FDR to Obama

The Presidents and UFOs: A Secret History from FDR to Obama


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250091642
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 654,448
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

LARRY HOLCOMBE's introduction to the world of ufology came in the late 1950's after reading Major Donald Keyhoe's, Flying Saucers Are Real and Flying Saucers from Outer Space. These books started a 50 plus year study and avocation into mainstream research on the subject. His writing, speaking efforts and interviews now center on bringing light to bear on the continued United States denial and cover-up of UFO issues. He lives in Callao, Virginia.

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The Presidents and UFOs

A Secret History from FDR to Obama

By Larry Holcombe

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2015 Larry Holcombe
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-3587-0





The UFO/flying saucer phenomenon is a complex story with issues that run in many directions like the roots of a huge tree. The complexity of the story requires years of study to understand the true nature of the phenomenon. This fact makes it impossible for the casual observer to grasp the importance and enormity of the issue.

The subject is considered with varying levels of concern by every government around the world. It is a serious scientific subject that the United States government, for a number of reasons, has effectively debunked and ridiculed for the last sixty years. It is a phenomenon that is part of nature, a part of the universe. It is not a secret Department of Defense project, yet it is being handled by the government as if it were.

This book will examine the role the U.S. presidents played as this fascinating scientific saga began to unfold in the post–World War II era and the reasons for the extreme and continued secrecy. In telling the story of presidential involvement in UFO issues, the book will also educate the casual observer, the skeptic, and the agnostic about the very complex and complicated big picture of the UFO phenomenon in a simple and understandable manner. It will attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff of a complex subject that is riddled with inaccuracies, poor research, disinformation, a lack of logic, and blatant lies.

In discussing the UFO phenomenon with people I call the "casual observer," that is, people who have an interest in the subject but have not studied it in any depth, I am often asked what makes me so sure that UFOs actually exist? My reply is simple: There is a literal mountain of evidence that has accumulated for the last seventy-plus years that, when viewed as a whole, is indisputable that the UFO phenomenon is real and that objects or craft of unknown origin have the capability to fly in our atmosphere in a manner that defies known physical laws. This book will give snapshot versions of some major UFO events. By viewing the phenomenon using the presidential background for these events, we will show how the government has handled or mishandled the most important scientific subject in the history of mankind. The UFO events discussed in this book represent but a tiny fraction of legitimate UFO events that occurred over the last sixty-plus years. They were selected because of their quality, importance, and possible impact on national security.

Hopefully after the reader completes this work, he or she will at least have a flavor of the mountain of evidence proving UFOs exist and the government's continuing efforts to conceal this important scientific subject from the general population.

Before beginning this journey the reader is asked to consider the following:

1. In today's culture the abbreviation, "UFO" is generally understood to mean extraterrestrial spacecraft. The accurate definition of a UFO is a flying object that the observer is unable to identify. Most UFOs are NOT extraterrestrial spacecraft but merely misidentification of some prosaic object or in many cases classified and experimental military aircraft. A true UFO as discussed in this book is an object that, when observed from a reasonable distance and perspective, defies conventional explanations. They appear to be intelligently controlled, and perform aerial maneuvers that defy the known laws of physics. They can hover and accelerate at tremendous speeds, both laterally and vertically, make flat right-angle turns, and stop instantly from incredible speeds. A UFO by definition does not have to be an extraterrestrial craft. It may well be, and it's my personal opinion that some are extraterrestrial. There is a huge accumulation of evidence that points in that direction, but as yet that has not been proven to be fact. In this book when referring to UFOs, the reference is to true UFOs and may also be referred to as UFOs/flying saucers.

2. UFOs exist: The accumulation of evidence is so great that no reasonable person can any longer deny their existence. To quote the Honorable Paul Heller, former Canadian minister of defense, "They are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head." (Heller, 2005)

3. The most common argument by skeptics and debunkers is that the government is unable to keep secrets. It is of utmost importance for the reader to understand that the government of the United States can and does keep secrets. The argument is that a story so big could not be kept secret for any length of time. That cry has been heard from the beginning of the UFO phenomenon. It is totally incorrect. The intelligence community and the military are accustomed and well qualified in keeping secrets that involve national security and military hardware, and the darker the secret, the more secure it is. Political secrets are completely different; they rarely can be kept. For that reason politicians are almost never privy to black projects that involve national security or the military. The Manhattan Project is the perfect example. For ten years, over fifty thousand people worked on the development of the atomic bomb and no one in Congress knew they existed until they were dropped on Japan. It was eight days after the death of Franklin Roosevelt before Harry Truman knew they existed.

4. Finally, the reader is asked to understand the basic concept of UFO sightings. People who study and research these sightings agree that most sightings can usually be explained as something normal, natural, and terrestrial. This includes military black or secret projects. The number of true unexplained UFO sightings is generally thought to be in the area of 5 percent of all reported sightings, and for every reported sighting, either explainable or not, there are probably ten, and probably many more, that go unreported. This unfortunate fact will be discussed in the final chapter.

When researchers lecture on the UFO phenomenon, this fact is always pointed out to the audience. Though factual, I believe it gives a false understanding to the casual observer. Simply stated, if the casual observer hears that of all reported UFO sightings, 95 percent can be explained, then the normal thought process is that more study on the remaining 5 percent would explain those as well. I feel this approach dilutes the importance of what I consider 100 percent of legitimate UFO sightings made by competent trained observers of sightings as outlined in number one, above. With this in mind I believe UFO sightings should be viewed in two distinct groups. Group number one would be UFO sightings that when studied can be explained as something conventional. Group two would be high-quality sightings made by competent observers that when studied offer no conventional explanation.

In the fifty-plus years since Donald Keyhoe introduced me to flying saucers, the Air Force and the United States government have publicly stated that UFOs are simply misidentified natural or conventional objects. Officially they stated that these objects pose no threat to national security, even though reports of UFOs stalking airliners, causing many to take evasive action, have steadily increased. UFOs have been reported over major airports and military installations, especially nuclear installations. Reports from credible witnesses, such as pilots and police officers, have mounted. Some reports by multiple witnesses with trace evidence and radar backup were so startling and well documented that the attempted debunking explanations were more bizarre and unbelievable than the theory that they were extraterrestrial. A few reports, such as Japan Airlines Flight 1628's UFO encounter over Alaska, slipped through the cracks and made world news before the U.S. government could cover up the story.

Finally, countries around the world started to see the folly in continued UFO secrecy. Many began to relax their internal UFO security and open their files. The release of previously highly classified files of UFO incidents by foreign governments, or files secured from the U.S. through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), freed many who were involved in the incidents and bound by their security clearance to tell their stories. The stories began coming in from very creditable people. Air Force Capt. Robert Salas, a launch control officer at an ICBM installation at Malmtrom Air Force Base, was one of these people. He related a fantastic story of a UFO hovering over the installation's front gate, shutting down all of their ready ICBMs. Stories also came from pilots such as Dr. Milton Torres, USAF, stationed in England in the 1950s, who was ordered to shoot down a huge UFO (the size of an aircraft carrier according to Torres) orbiting over the English countryside before the craft shot away at over ten thousand miles per hour. Or Gen. Parviz Jafari of the Iranian air force who had a remarkable UFO encounter over Tehran in 1976 flying a U.S.-made F-4 Phantom. Countries around the globe—the U.K., Belgium, France (with their COMETA Report), Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and many more—began to release tight UFO secrecy and open their files, while the U.S. was left standing alone in denial of a UFO presence that demanded scientific study.


On the night before Halloween, October 30, 1938, the CBS radio network's Mercury Theater on the Air broadcast Orson Welles's adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel, The War of the Worlds. The show ran as a musical program interspersed with simulated bulletins about an invasion of Martians near the town of Grover's Mill, New Jersey. At the beginning, at intermission, and at the end of the broadcast the listening audience was told that the program was a work of fiction. Nevertheless a great number of people tuned in missing the disclaimer and thought the Earth was being attacked by invading aliens from Mars.

Although historical studies of this famous broadcast have shown that the ensuing panic caused by the broadcast was greatly overstated by the press, still hundreds of thousands of people were genuinely frightened by the show. There was widespread negative reaction resulting in lawsuits and some sanctions imposed on future broadcasts by CBS.

This broadcast and the thousands of newspaper articles that followed imprinted in the psyche of the population the notion that you can fool me once but not twice. Hence, as news reports of unknown flying objects started to appear in the press in the 1940s, the public was largely unimpressed. The War of the Worlds was no longer frightening, but a world at war was.

For the first half of the 1940s the population was consumed with the war effort and gave little thought to mysterious aerial craft or extraterrestrial life. This was not the case for our government and military. Recently leaked top-secret documents tell of the government's retrieval of extraterrestrial craft going back to 1941, and the ensuing deep involvement in efforts to unravel the mysteries of these visitors from other worlds.

Pilot Kenneth Arnold's Washington State sighting of a daisy chain of flying discs near Mount Rainier in 1947 is generally considered the beginning of the modern era of flying saucer/UFO encounters. However, in the mid-1990s, documents surfaced that indicate a crash and retrieval of an alien craft may have occurred near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in the spring of 1941. The story first surfaced in a letter from Charlette Mann to UFO researcher Leonard Stringfield (Good, 2007). The letter recounted how her grandfather, William Huffman, a Baptist minister, had been summoned one spring evening in 1941 to the site of a plane crash some fifteen miles from Cape Girardeau. He was requested to offer prayers for injured or dead occupants of the plane. Arriving at the site, he discovered not a plane but a circular craft and three dead small humanoid occupants. Also present at the crash site were several police officers, firemen, and photographers. Huffman said a prayer for the dead creatures just before the military arrived and took control. All photographic film was confiscated by the military, who advised the group that what they witnessed was a matter of great national security. They were admonished to never speak of the event to anyone. Returning home, in a state of shock, Huffman related the event to his wife, then told her she must never repeat the story. Many years later when the grandmother was dying from cancer, Charlette Mann succeeded in getting her to tell the story, a story Charlette had heard whispered about within the family for many years.

Less than one year after the Cape Girardeau crash, the famous L.A. air raid took place. The event is important because it is the first indication of presidential involvement in the UFO issue. According to a leaked memo from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Gen. George C. Marshall, dated February 27, 1942, two days after the Los Angeles air raid (in reply to a memo from Marshall on the air raid), the president obviously makes reference to a previous crash retrieval. The memo reads as follows:

I have considered the disposition of the material in possession of the Army that may be of great significance toward the development of a super weapon of war. I disagree with the argument that such information should be shared with our ally the Soviet Union. Consultation with Dr. Bush and other scientists on the issue of finding practical uses for the atomic secrets learned from the study of celestial devices precludes any further discussion and I therefore authorize Dr. Bush to proceed with the project without further delay. The information is vital to the nation's superiority and must remain within the confines of state secrets. Any further discussion on the matter will be restricted to General Donavan, Dr. Bush, the secretary of war, and yourself. The challenge our nation faces is daunting and perilous in this undertaking and I have committed the resources of the government towards that end. You have my assurance that when circumstances are favorable and we are victorious, the Army will have the fruits of research in exploring further applications of this new wonder.


This document, along with a number of others, was leaked to UFO researcher Tim Cooper in California. Cooper became interested in the Roswell incident and made inquiries about it to a number of retired military officers living near him. Apparently his inquiries resulted in the anonymous leaking of these documents. Cooper made contact with well-known UFO investigator and nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, and sent him copies of the documents. Friedman, a staunch believer in an extraterrestrial presence, yet a skeptic when looking at startling new revelations, needed to check Cooper's credibility. He contacted friend and former McDonnell Douglas executive, Dr. Robert Wood, who was living in California, and asked Wood to check out Cooper. At McDonnell Douglas, Wood headed a team that quietly studied the UFO phenomenon using Friedman as a consultant. After retirement, Wood continued his investigation into UFO issues. Time spent checking out Cooper and reviewing the leaked documents resulted in Wood focusing his future efforts on the authentication of UFO-related documents. Of particular interest were the MJ-12 documents, which will be covered in later chapters.


Excerpted from The Presidents and UFOs by Larry Holcombe. Copyright © 2015 Larry Holcombe. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: The Beginning: The Roosevelt and Truman Administrations

Chapter 2: The Eisenhower Administration: First Contact – Fact or Fiction

Chapter 3: John F. Kennedy: The Great Conspiracy Theory

Chapter 4: The Johnson Administration – Leader for Space

Chapter 5: The Nixon Administration: Plan for Disclosure

Chapter 6: The Ford Administrations

Chapter 7: The Carter Administration

Chapter 8: The Regan Administration and Japan Airlines Flight 1628

Chapter 9: George Bush and the CIA

Chapter 10: The Clinton Administration

Chapter 11: The Bush Years

Chapter 12: Obama and Disclosure

Chapter 13: The Abduction Phenomenon

Chapter 14: Author's Final Thoughts and Conclusions


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The Presidents and UFOs: A Secret History from FDR to Obama 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another telling of the flying saucer story, illustrated with the customary, fuzzy photographs of sightings and documents and