Kevin doesn’t mention that there is no signature and no /s/ (original signed by) on the memo. This is very important since it turns out that Robert Cutler was out of the country on July 14, 1954, so a signature or /s/ would have meant the document was a fraud. We didn’t find out he was gone on that date until well after the memo was discovered in the National Archives in Box 189 of Entry 267 of USAF Record Group 341. For reasons unknown, Kevin wrongly says it was in NSC papers. Interestingly, Bill Moore had received cryptic postal cards which were one of the reasons he and Jaime Shandera went to the Archives in July, 1985, during which trip they found the CT memo. The return address on one of the cards was Box 189, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Box 189?? Just a coincidence, of course. It seems very likely that one of the reviewers slipped the memo into that box just before it was released. Reviewers, unlike researchers, had very high level security clearances and were allowed to bring brief cases into their declassification work area. Researchers had to park their notebooks, etc., outside the research area.
Randle doesn’t mention that Box 189 was first handled at the Archives about two weeks after the death of the last surviving member of MJ-12, Jerome Hunsaker, who died on September 10, 1984. There was an obituary in the NY Times on September 12. He had been the last survivor for two years and was 98 when he died. This same box was handled once again by the group doing the classification review just before it was served to Moore and Shandera. The Archives would not tell me the names of the reviewers. Randle suggests that Moore and Shandera slipped it in to the box.. an interesting scenario, having no basis in fact. The memo is aged around the edges. Randle doesn’t mention that I had determined, during a March, 1985 trip to DC, that declassification of Entry 267 was underway. I kept checking and they had finally finished their review at the end of June.
Randle doesn’t mention that the last sentence of the CT memo is “Your concurrence in the above change of arrangements is assumed” which is quite similar to the last sentence of another TOP SECRET memo from Robert Cutler, found in General Twining’s papers — not in the Archives, but in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division: “It is understood that in the absence of contrary word your concurrence in the above arrangements is assumed.” General Twining’s pilot (who was also his aide) confirmed to me that the comment was a typical one meaning no reply required, if this meets with your approval. Bill Moore and I were among the first to see this declassified box of Twining papers.
Some have suggested that since the memo (SUBJECT: NSC/MJ-12 Special Studies Project) states, “The President has decided that the MJ-12 SSP briefing should take place during the already scheduled White House meeting of July 16, rather than following it as previously intended,” and that there was no NSC meeting scheduled for July 16, that the memo must be a phoney. But the sentence refers only to “the already scheduled White House meeting.” There is no mention of an NSC meeting; it was just an already scheduled meeting. Both Ike and Twining were in DC that day and there was a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs. Twining was Chairman at the time. I did find and publish another instance when Twining was at the White House for one meeting, but took time out to meet with the President, and then went back to the original meeting.
It should further be noted that Cutler sent a detailed memo to James P. Lay, Executive Secretary of the NSC, to keep things moving out of his in-basket while he was gone to Europe. Three words are underlined for emphasis as is the word "during” in the CT memo. This Cutler to Lay memo was obtained well after the CT memo was located. In addition, although it took me more than two years to obtain it from the Eisenhower Library, I was also able to obtain Lay’s July 16, 1954 memo to Cutler while Cutler was in Europe. The last paragraph states, “Hope you will recuperate, rest, and enjoy yourself for few days before returning. Will try to have everything tidy and not too much pressure upon you when you arrive.”
The point in bringing up these details is that I discovered that Lay had met with Ike in the early afternoon on July 14, 1954 at the White House and there had been a brief telephone conversation after 4:30. I can certainly envision Ike saying, “Jimmy, there has been a slight change in plans about that briefing we discussed earlier. Please notify General Twining that the briefing we discussed will be held during the planned meeting rather than afterward.” Lay and Cutler worked very closely together, each usually getting copies of the others memos. They sat next to each other at NSC meetings. George Elsey said that of course Lay would have notified Twining. This would account for the absence of a signature or /s/. These memos were published in Ref. 2, but, unfortunately, Randle doesn’t discuss them at all. Lay, as Executive Secretary of the NSC (having been groomed by and succeeding Admiral Souers in that post), would have had clearances, as would Cutler, for just about everything at the White House.
TOP SECRET CONTROL NUMBERS
Another objection from Randle and others to legitimacy for all three TOP SECRET items is that none has a TOP SECRET control number. This was dealt with in Ref. 3. I was told by an archivist at the Eisenhower Library and another at the Marshall Archives that often the White House did not use control numbers. Obviously there is an enormous difference, from a records keeping viewpoint, between one copy of a one-page memo with no copies and easily transferred in the classified pouch from the White House to the Pentagon, and twenty copies of a twenty-page memo. Furthermore, I had already published two TOP SECRET memos from Cutler to Twining, each one-page, neither having a TS control number, in Ref. 2 (Pages B4 and B5). This issue was discussed in Ref. 3. On January 9, 2003, Eisenhower Library archivist Herbert Pankratz confirmed that “We have numerous documents classified as TOP SECRET which do not have control numbers on them.”
Thus it seems to me quite reasonable to conclude, based on a host of provable facts, that the Cutler-Twining memo is genuine. These include the watermarked onionskin paper, the typeface, the unusual (but still legitimate according to the GAO) security classification, the slant red pencil mark through the classification, the absence of a signature or /s/, the similar language to another Cutler-Twining memo, the underlined word, the communications between Lay and Cutler before and during Cutler’s trip, the communication between Ike and Lay on the day of the memo, and the fact that Twining and Ike were both in town on the day in question. Randle’s very selective choice of data, despite these all having been discussed in detail in reports which Randle has, is frankly irresponsible.
Randle is clearly upset by my comment in one of the references that the TF doesn’t have a label on it as an executive order or as a special classified executive order — which it certainly does not. It is listed on the missing page 7 of the EBD As
ATTACHMENT “A” — Special Classified Executive Order #092447. (TS/EO)[The number is clearly the date 09 24 47; TS/EO means TOP SECRET/EYES ONLY].
In the text appears “The Majestic 12 (Majic 12) Group which was established by special classified executive order of President Truman on 24 September, 1947, upon recommendation by Dr. Vannevar Bush and Secretary James Forrestal.” Randle doesn’t mention that all attachments A-H on page 7 have all the words in the titles start with a capital letter (except the word “and” in the last one). He doesn’t mention that the 092447 is obviously the date (he does quote Barry Greenwood saying so) nor that I had discovered many documents from the state department using the date as part of a filing number. However, neglecting these facts, he tries to claim that the executive order number isn’t on a list of executive orders, so the document is a fraud! While it has all the attributes of an executive order, clearly being stamped TOP SECRET EYES ONLY, it could not be listed on an unclassified list of orders published in the Federal Register. The word “Special” would seem to assure that as well.
A copy of
Dr. Robert M. Wood, who has spent a great deal of money and time while he and his son Ryan have been working on the various MJ-12 documents, including the SOM1.01 Special Operating Manual (not mentioned at all by Randle) and the Tim Cooper MJ-12 documents discussed below, did pay a questioned documents examiner, James A. Black, to perform a professional examination of the TF typeface. In a letter dated November 13, 1998, Black stated, “My knowledge of typewriter fonts permits me to conclude that the letter was likely to have been typed by an Underwood Standard typewriter. The portions of the type font of the letter that can be clearly visualized match those of a typewriter exemplar of an Underwood Standard typed in May 1940.” That is good enough for me.
But Black seems to agree that the signature has been transplanted, since he says, “The signature, in my opinion, is most likely to be a reproduction. I reached this opinion because the ink line is homogeneous, and feathering is absent at the ends of the lines.”
Randle talks about the signature a lot and how it is identical to a Truman signature on an October 1, 1947 letter to Vannevar Bush. Randle doesn’t give me credit for finding it in the first place. He correctly quotes me as saying, early on, “it matches the signature” after switching the comment to “Friedman reported the signature exactly matched.” Matches is not the same as saying exactly matches. There were reasons to say the two signature were not identical. Segment lengths, when compared, did not have the same length ratio. But I had long ago raised the question of where Hillenkoetter or W.B. Smith (responsible for high security briefings for the President Elect) would have obtained a copy of the memo with a signature on it.
A point that, as might be expected, Randle doesn’t consider, is the fact that the last portion of the date is “24,1947.” It is not in line with the "September” strongly indicating it was put in a separate typewriter to add the numbers. I was told that that often happened with documents prepared for the President’s signature which would have to be dated appropriately. The period at the end of the date is important as well. Rarely did Truman put a period after the date, but Bush’s office always did.
I asked George Elsey whether it would have been feasible for the memo to have been prepared for Truman’s signature by either Bush and/or Forrestal. He said that 90% of what a President signs is prepared by others and that he certainly would have trusted Bush or Forrestal. As it happens that was a very, very busy week for Truman: signing the new National Security Act; separating the Air Force from the Army; setting up the new Central Intelligence Agency; and catching up with world problems, having been off to Brazil for an international Conference and returning a few days earlier on the USS Missouri.
Furthermore, the record indicates that Bush and Forrestal met together for 30 minutes prior to their meeting with Truman on September 24, the only date when all three were together over a many-month period. The Truman Library had not provided this information to anybody else.
Incidentally, in a battle with Phil Klass about the Pica typeface on the CT memo, he thought it should have been elite instead of Pica (because he had all of nine Elite-type pages of the 250,000 NSC pages) but wound up paying me $1000.00 for proving him wrong as I produced more than fourteen James Lay NSC office documents using the exact same Pica typeface as used in the CT memo. I also produced some where the text was in one typeface, and the date in another — clearly establishing that sometimes the date was added later. These items and his check are shown in Ref. 2.