On the UFO rumor level, there had been hints and allegations that President Kennedy was assassinated because he wanted to cooperate with the Soviet Union on the space program. Such proposed sharing logically would have raised grave concern among the hawkish elements within the CIA and the Department of Defense.
A document that is relevant to this rumor is titled “National Security Action Memorandum No. 271”, dated November 12, 1963. It is from President Kennedy to The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Subject: “Cooperation With the USSR On Outer Space Matters”.
In the memorandum, President Kennedy instructs the NASA administrator to begin planning for cooperation, and requests a progress report by December 15, 1963. A list of agency heads receiving copies are included in the memorandum.
I had become aware of this document after reviewing material from Robert Wood’s private collection of “MJ-12” related items.
Here is a copy of the memorandum from the Wood collection. You may notice the declassification notations at the bottom of page one. This tipped me off to the possibility that the original document might be in the archives.
And here is the original document that I retrieved from the National Archives on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 (two pages):
Note there are no redactions. There were two additional documents in the box as well. They refer to follow up discussions that occurred after President Kennedy was assassinated. The first document below is six pages, the second is two pages.
Seems to me that if there was a motive to assassinate President Kennedy because of his interest in working with the USSR on space, that there wouldn’t have been any follow up work.
Here is a copy of the pull slip:
- Reference Cutler Twining instructions dated July 13, 1953 which I have received on loan from the Robert M. Wood private collection of MJ-12 related documents. Photo of document shown below. (“Document A”). In the upper left hand corner of the page Stanton Friedman notes that it was located in LIbrary of Congress.
- I searched for the document at the LOC Madison building on Friday, February 21, 2020. Photos of document pulls are shown below.
- Objective of the search was to confirm the existence of “Document A”. Interest in the document arises from the phrasing “your concurrence with the above arrangements is assumed”, which matches the phrasing in the questioned Cutler Twining memorandum dated 07/14/1954,
- Twining’s daily log of July 16, 1953 does indicate that he spent the entire day at the National Security Council, matching the date in “Document A”.
- Most of the material in the Twining files that I reviewed at the LOC is innocuous. Much of the material includes thank you letters, official travel plans etc. There is a small amount of material concerning Korean War POWs that had claimed US use of chemical weapons while under duress. None of the documentation in the files anywhere approached the appearance of “Document A”, in that the highest security classification shown in the material I examined was “Secret”, with most being “Confidential”. (There were some with “Restricted”). All security appellations were marked through.
- There is one file folder in box 63 denoted “White House”, (see below) but “Document A” is not in there. An example of a White House communication is also shown at the bottom of this article. Stationary size is approximately 7.5” x10.5”. It is noted that “The White House” and “Washington” are centered on the stationary found in the file, whereas they are not centered in “Document A”.
- In all the documents in the available Twining files I looked at (February 21, 2020), any declassification was listed in the cover inventory sheet within each file. All classification stamps were marked through. In “Document A” there are top secret and eyes only stamps, but there is no indication of declassification and no mark throughs.
- An archivist searched for “Document A” on my behalf, checking boxes I had not looked at, and even searched the secured vault. “Document A” was not found. The archivist is renewing the search on Monday, February 24.
- There are several “red flags” I’ve noticed so far on “Document A”: a) There are no indications of declassification. Considering that the security level is Top Secret and Eyes Only one would think declassification would be in order. In the LOC there would be clear indications of declassification such as strike throughs. Even if the document was retrieved in the National Archives (and if Friedman mistakenly wrote Library of Congress in the upper left hand corner), there should have been a stamp on the document with the “declass” number written in. The only other possibility that would explain the lack of declassification would be if the document was photographed in the National Archives with a photocopy subsequently made offsite, b) “Washington” on “Document A” is off center, whereas an actual sample of the stationary shown in this article is definitely centered, c) It seems strange that such secrecy would be imposed on this memo when it was merely comprised of instructions about arrival and meeting attendance. “Absolute secrecy” is ordered in the memo, but d) Intriguingly Twining’s daily log clearly states that he was at the National Security Council all that day.
- This situation merits further investigation.
UPDATE AS OF 02/22/20:
- In checking with Stanton Friedman’s book TOP SECRET/MAJIC, I quote from his Chapter 5, The Cutler Twining Memo, (Page 92-93): “As Bill read the memo to me over the phone, I was immediately reminded of a July 13, 1953 Cutler-Twining memo we had found in late 1981 in General Twining’s papers at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. Inside a box of material that had been declassified, we found a folder labeled TOP SECRET EYES ONLY – normally the most classified material. Two memos in the file-both from Cutler-dealt with Operation Solarium. One was dated June 25, 1953, and was routed through the Secretary of Defense and then on to General Twining, who was at that time the Air Force chief of staff. The other was dated July 13, 1953, and was sent to Twining.”
- I have forwarded this information to the archivist.
- Information on Solarium can be obtained at: http://orchestratingpower.org/Chapter05/Solarium.html and at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Solarium
Document Pull Record
General Twining Daily Log, July 16, 1953
“White House” File
Sample White House Correspondence