The Mystery of Majestic 12

Majestic 12 is the ultimate ufology legend: a powerful committee covering up the truth about alien encounters; or an elaborate hoax designed to mislead and misdirect. Read on as we spill the gravi-tea.

Mysteries
14 May 2024

In 1984, a series of government memos were leaked, purportedly revealing a coverup of galactic proportions: that, in 1947, President Truman had secretly assembled a committee of scientists and government and military officials codenamed the Majestic 12. Their task? To investigate the crash of an alien aircraft in the town of Roswell, New Mexico.

The US Air Force has denied the existence of any such group. But, to many ufologists, this was yet another attempt to hide the truth. They argue that the group they call the Majic-12 or simply MJ-12 was very much real. And that they were the key to uncovering government activities relating to extraterrestrial phenomena.

So, what’s the truth about MJ-12? Are the Majestic twelve conspiracy theories right? Or was it more fiction than fact? The truth, or as much of it as is out there, is here for the reading.

The Origins of MJ-12

President Harry S. Truman (Credit: manley099 via Getty Images)

In December of 1984 ufologist Jaime Shandera received an anonymous package. It contained a roll of film with photographs of a document marked “Top Secret / Majic eyes only.” It seemed to be a briefing paper dated 18 November 1952, in which Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter advised President-elect Dwight Eisenhower of the existence of a group called the Majestic 12.

The documents outlined a narrative that placed this group at the very heart of the US government. Created by the executive order of President Truman, this secret committee was seemingly tasked with recovering two spaceships which had crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, and investigating the incidents. But that wasn’t all. Within the crashed craft were said to be the bodies of four alien beings.

So, was this evidence that human beings were not alone in the universe? And that the US government knew as much? Determined to find out, Shandera joined forces with fellow UFO enthusiast Bill Moore. Together, they searched the National Archives in Washington, where they discovered what became known as the Cutler/Twining memo.

The Cutler/Twining Memo

General Nathan F. Twining, centre (Credit: Keystone via Getty Images)

The Cutler/Twining memo was sent by Special Assistant to President Eisenhower, Robert Cutler to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General Nathan F. Twining. Dated 14 July 1954, it confirmed the existence of the Majestic 12 or “MJ-12,” and their role investigating and controlling information regarding UFOs, extraterrestrial encounters, and alien technology.

Public Reveal and Scrutiny

US National Archives Building, Washington, DC (Credit: Patrick Donovan via Getty Images)

It was only in June 1987 that Moore revealed the existence of the Majestic 12 at a UFO conference. Now in the public sphere, it wasn’t long before the Cutler/Twining memo and other MJ-12 documents came under intense scrutiny.

Several government departments refuted their authenticity, the FBI declaring them “completely bogus.” The National Archives released a statement listing numerous inconsistencies, such as the use of anachronistic language, incorrect formatting, and a lack of corroborating evidence.

The Eisenhower Library also confirmed that Robert Cutler was visiting foreign military installations on the date he supposedly wrote his infamous memo to General Twining. And thus could not have authored it.

The Majestic Twelve Conspiracy: Theories

Do UFOs exist? (Credit: OsakaWayne Studios via Getty Images)

Despite the repeated denials of the Majestic twelve conspiracy, it nevertheless endures as a truth within parts of the ufologist community. Indeed, some argue that the refutations are all part of the coverup.

According to those who believe in the existence of Majestic Twelve, the group is still tasked even today with managing the retrieval and study of alien spacecraft and beings, suppressing information about their existence, and coordinating disinformation campaigns to discredit credible sightings. Enthusiasts speculate that MJ-12 continues to operate in secrecy, managing extraterrestrial-related incidents and influencing governmental policy on UFO disclosure.

Sceptics on the other hand point to the lack of any evidence beyond the documents, which they label as forgeries, and believe the entire idea of Majestic Twelve to be a hoax. However, even here, there’s uncertainty as to the perpetrators of the hoax. This is partly due to the assertion that the papers included some information that was in fact beyond the public sphere. This has led to speculation that the MJ-12 papers were actually misinformation distributed by none other than the FBI.

MJ-12 in Pop Culture

The X Files (Credit: Gerasimov174 via Getty Images)

The mythology surrounding Majestic 12 has inspired numerous books, films, and television series. The group has appeared in a host of popular fiction, often depicted as the sinister, all-powerful entity orchestrating global disinformation campaigns about alien encounters. In shows like The X-Files, Dark Skies, and The Umbrella Academy, and video games like Deus Ex, MJ-12 is portrayed as a secretive organisation pulling the strings behind the scenes, fueling fascination with government conspiracies and extraterrestrial phenomena in the public imagination.

The Ongoing Mystery of ‘Majic-12’

Artistic rendering of UFO in the sky (Credit: Jacob Wackerhausen via Getty Images)

Despite the controversy and scepticism, the mystery of Majestic 12 persists. The group’s alleged activities, coupled with the Cutler/Twining memo and other Majic-12 documents, continue to spark curiosity and debate among UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists alike.

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