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Looking Up: UFO secrecy has changed our world

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By Donald Burleson

The cancellation of the 2020 Roswell UFO Festival because of the coronavirus pandemic has set me thinking about lectures I’ve done myself at the International UFO Museum and Research Center for that yearly extravaganza, based on my own research.

I recall the first lecture I did on the contents of my book “UFOs and the Murder of Marilyn Monroe,” where I had the feeling that by putting those facts before an audience, we were starting to break some ground that badly needed breaking. The real story about how and why the timelessly renowned actress died is a stunningly disturbing account.

Basically, the argument I make in the book is that Marilyn Monroe was murdered by government people, in 1962 at the age of 36, because in her dalliances with President John Kennedy, she became privy to classified information about UFO crash retrievals.

A now famous CIA document, issued just the day before she died, states that one secret she unfortunately knew about had to do with “the visit by the president at a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space.” (I’m quoting exactly.) When I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the wiretap transcripts of Marilyn’s telephone conversations, the CIA declined to admit having them, and I filed an appeal based on the CIA document mentioned. They accepted the appeal, thus inadvertently authenticating the document for me, and for all of us. They wouldn’t accept an appeal based on a purported CIA document that they didn’t recognize as being legitimately their own.

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Sadly, shortly before her death, Marilyn spoke to various people over the telephone about her plans to have a news conference to tell all she knew from her affairs with both John and Robert Kennedy, and all the facts converge upon the conclusion that she was murdered by lethal injection to keep her from talking. Otherwise it would have been a nightmare for the Kennedy administration, as Robert Kennedy, being Attorney General, would have been called upon to prosecute his own brother for the arguably treasonous act of disclosing highly classified information to someone not authorized to possess it.

And the Marilyn Monroe matter isn’t the only time I’ve found myself digging into the dark truths surrounding a prominent person’s disastrous treatment at the hands of a secret-loving government.

You may recall, from Greek mythology, the story of Cassandra, who was simultaneously blessed and cursed by the gods. She was blessed with the gift of prophecy, but cursed to have no one ever believe any prophecies she made. Sometimes I feel as if I too were cursed by the gods, probably richly deserving it — blessed with a bit of a knack for tossing words around, but cursed to have to try — too late for it to do them any good — to rescue the blighted lives of famous people tragically mistreated and mischaracterized by government. We can, I feel, at least try to do something about the quality of their memory.

Officially, for example, Marilyn Monroe was said to have committed suicide, but that is simply and demonstrably not true. She was murdered over UFO secrecy, and otherwise would likely have lived decades longer and delighted us all with many more movie roles. It’s a travesty for people to keep saying she killed herself, when the facts prove otherwise.

The other instance of this mission to try to rescue such people has to do with my book “UFO Secrecy and the Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer.” He, of course, spearheaded the Manhattan Project during World War II to produce the world’s first atomic bomb, and would have served the rest of his life as a productive, respected scientific consultant, had President Eisenhower not caved in to political pressures and revoked Oppenheimer’s top secret security clearance in late 1953, ostensibly because wayward political views led him to oppose the development of the H-bomb.

In reality, Oppenheimer opposed that project because he thought the government should be concentrating on tactical nuclear weapons, which in itself decidedly would not entail building an H-bomb. In any case, this was only an excuse. There was a deeper and darker reason why certain people wanted Oppenheimer out of the loop.

You see, Oppenheimer was part of the scientific team called in to inspect the results of the March 1948 Aztec, New Mexico, UFO crash. This much is well established, and circumstantially, it’s likely Truman had called him in on the 1947 Roswell UFO crash incident, as well. Unfortunately, when Oppenheimer went before the Atomic Energy Commission in 1954 to try to get his clearance back, the man chairing the committee that ran those hearings turned out to be Gordon Gray, who was a member of MJ-12, the elite group Truman had assembled back in 1947 to oversee UFO-related matters. Gordon Gray knew everything there was to know about Oppenheimer’s involvement in UFO crash retrievals, and the scientist’s fate was sealed. In some people’s views, he already knew too much.

During the several weeks those hearings lasted, many people testified brilliantly in Oppenheimer’s defense, as he did himself, but in the end, professional and political prejudices and jealousies prevailed, and his clearance was not restored. In effect, he was banished from government service, and this in spite of the fact that he was the incomparable genius who had brought America triumphant out of the war. It is significant that far from being treasonous, he still refused to speak out of turn about what he knew, even after the government had betrayed him. Oppenheimer had much more to give the world, but once again, UFO secrecy had significantly changed that world for the worse.

When I lectured on this subject at the UFO Museum, at least one prominent UFO researcher expressed genuine anger that the system would treat a national hero in so unfair a manner. I fully agree.