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JFK and Our Secret History


Richard M. Dolan

January 2011



It was fifty years ago on January 20 that John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President of the United States. While historians debate over the nature of his legacy -- whether as just another proponent for the military-industrial complex who actually got the U.S. further embroiled in Vietnam, or as a possible renegade with a vision of a different future, who was eliminated before matters got out of hand -- there is no question that there was something about the man that brings the world back to him, again and again. 


Yes, it was youth, that sense of style, that energy -- above all the sense of possibility that pervaded the man himself. His assassination, essentially a public execution, finalized the image and gave the entire world a sense of loss from which it has never fully recovered. 


I am convinced that the day will come when we as a society will agree that JFK was killed in a conspiracy, something involving elements from within the U.S. national security establishment. The truth on that matter will not remain buried forever. So many people already know that the official statements of the U.S. government -- that it was all the work of one single unstable individual -- are false. 


Even President Bill Clinton didn’t believe that. Shortly after he became President, he asked his Assistant Attorney General, Webster Hubbell, to investigate two things. “One, who killed JFK? And two, are there UFOs?”


Clinton may not have realized how closely the two questions may have been connected. Consider the likelihood that there is indeed a UFO reality and -- of necessity -- a UFO cover-up. Could Kennedy’s assassination have been related to the latter? The world of conventional wisdom would never pause to consider this, but -- really -- why is this so difficult to imagine? 


The Kennedy assassination is something like Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Everyone had a motive: the Mafia, the CIA, the Cubans, the Pentagon, the Soviets, and the Federal Reserve, for starters. Could that list also include Majestic Twelve, the name often ascribed to the powerful insiders who control the UFO secret? 


My answer to that question is, why not? 


We must recall that the UFO topic remains the great hole in our modern history. The great unspoken reality around which so much has happened within classified circles, and about which so little has leaked to the outside world. There is an enormous history there, waiting for future researchers to describe, once the repository of data becomes available. And it will. Make no mistake, it will. 


Something as important as UFOs would not have escaped the attention of JFK. Throughout the 1950s, American newspapers reported sightings of the “flying saucers” much more seriously than they do today. The topic was major news several times during the decade. We know, furthermore, that at classified levels, the topic was taken very seriously. Why then, would Kennedy not have been interested? More to the point, how would it be possible for him not to have known something about it? 


Kennedy was close to a legendary figure in the CIA named Art Lundahl, who had provided briefings to four U.S. presidents, as well as to Congress and the Senate, Lundahl was renowned for his outstanding ability to explain technical concepts clearly to laymen. Interestingly, Lundahl’s main interest appears to have been UFOs, a topic which dominated his personal library. In addition, according to an interview with Lundahl by W. Todd Zechel, a UFO researcher and former employee of the Army Security Agency, Lundhahl briefed Kennedy not only on Soviet missiles in Cuba, but on UFOs. Interesting, for sure. 


Then there is the controversial Marilyn Monroe UFO document, which came to light in 1992. This is a single page memo from the CIA dated August 3, 1962, one day before she died, almost certainly because she was murdered. The information on the document came from two monitored telephone conversations: one between the journalist Dorothy Killgallen and her friend Howard Rothberg, and another between Marilyn Monroe and JFK’s brother, the Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. 


The Killgallen-Rothberg  conversation revolved around the fact that Monroe was telling secrets to select Hollywood insiders regarding her liaisons with the President, one of which was “a visit by the President at a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space.” The conversation between Monroe and RFK focused on her anger at the Kennedys, the sensitive information she had in her journals, and her willingness to give a “tell all” press conference. The document bears the signature of James Jesus Angleton, head of Counterintelligence at the CIA. 


Although the document lacks the kind of provenance that would make it of undisputed authenticity, I am one of the researchers who believes it is genuine. You can see the document and read more about it here.


So it looks like JFK was not only very interested in UFOs, but had connection to the topic in his capacity as President. Whether or not he was killed for reasons having to do with UFOs is not something on which I would care to pronounce a judgment. But I would say that, given the circumstances of his Presidency, it cannot be ruled out. 


Like many people who have reviewed the life and Presidency of JFK, it’s my feeling that we lost something very important on that dark day of his assassination. What we lost was the implicit bond of trust that existed between the American people and their government. 


The system that had been evolved for a century and a half, which despite all imperfections had moved in fits and starts toward greater power to the people, had made a great transformation during the Second World War. That was when the American republican system government became increasingly swallowed up by a “national security state.” It did not take new boss very long before it decided to remove the President in what became for all intents and purposes a silent coup d’etat.


Thus for good reason are we unable to look back at JFK, at the era of Camelot, and avoid that feeling in the pit of our stomachs. That feeling of loss, and the conviction that his assassination was a criminal action yet to be punished, or even acknowledged. 


Yet, I prefer to remember something else about JFK. He was, without question, one of the greatest orators in American history. Much of that was thanks to Ted Sorenson, one of the greatest speechwriters any President was fortunate enough to have. But surely JFK had something to do with it, too. 


So I would like to take a moment to re-read a classic statement made by the man. It was from a speech made at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on April 27, 1961. He gave it to the National News Publishers Association. His subject: the dangers of secrecy. 


“The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and  we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it’s in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”


For the full text of the speech, click here.


Better yet, listen to it on YouTube


If we want to honor the memory of JFK, we can do no better than to live by these words, and to fight what is most assuredly the best fight of our lives. It is the fight to bring truth to this world, to shine light into the darkness, to scatter the forces of evil.

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