The Covert World of UFO Crash Retrievals


The evidence concerning UFO crashes that are extraterrestrial in origin, and their covert retrieval by highly specialized teams involving joint military and government personnel, is extensive and persuasive.


Evidence has been accumulated by pioneers of UFO crash research such as Leonard Stringfield, and more recently by Dr Robert Wood and Ryan Wood.2 Understanding the highly classified procedures established to manage the retrieval of crashed UFOs received a significant boost with the public emergence of the Special Operations Manual – SOM1-01 in 1994.3


SOM1-01 provides an important analytical framework for understanding, and answering questions about, classified procedures used for locating, isolating and recovering crashed UFOs that are extraterrestrial in origin.


Significantly, SOM1-01 described the classified government entity created for the managing crash retrieval operations. Known as the Majestic-12 Group, it evolved out of the “Majestic 12 Operation” created by President Truman on September 24, 1947.4

In addition to SOM-01 providing such information, there are the testimonies of a number of whistleblowers who claim to have participated in UFO crash retrieval operations or participated in a number of highly classified extraterrestrial related projects.


I will concentrate on two whistleblowers, Clifford Stone and Dan Sherman, whose respective testimonies provide important insights into the nature of ‘black projects’ designed to facilitate UFO crash retrievals, and the procedures used for managing personnel recruited into extraterrestrial related projects.

In this paper, I use both SOM1-01 and whistleblower testimonies of Stone and Sherman to outline the main procedures used in UFO crash retrievals; and to identify key elements of how personnel are covertly managed when recruited into extraterrestrial related projects.


I contrast the testimony of Stone with key elements in SOM1-01, in order to better understand how SOM1-01 is applied in practice, and to help substantiate Stone’s testimony of being covertly employed as a telepathic interface in UFO crash retrieval operations.


I will also use Sherman’s testimony concerning his employment as an “intuitive communicator” in another extraterrestrial related project, as a means of corroborating Stone’s claims with regard to his covert training and UFO crash retrieval duties. Finally, I provide ten key principles from Stone’s and Sherman’s testimonies for understanding how personnel are recruited, trained and managed by the Majestic-12 Group for extraterrestrial related projects in general, and crash retrieval operations in particular.



Authenticity of SOM1-01 as a 1954 document

There continues to be debate over the genuineness of SOM1-01.


One approach is to analyze it as a historic document that can be authenticated by comparing its chief elements to similar documents produced in the 1950’s, and to identify possible anachronisms. The idea is that if it is shown that SOM1-01 was created in 1954 without any modern anachronisms, then it is extremely unlikely that its public emergence forty years later would be the product of a modern hoaxer.


The more likely possibility is that it is a genuine document that was leaked for reasons related to government or military personnel dissatisfied with the pace of official disclosure of an extraterrestrial presence.


Both Dr Robert Wood and Ryan Wood take this approach. They have provided a number of persuasive arguments for the authenticity of SOM1-01 as a document produced in 1954 replicating the standards used in that era for similar government issued documents. 5 Significantly, they find it devoid of modern anachronisms, and have yet to find any evidence for it being a hoax.


In his latest edition of Top Secret/Majic, Stanton Friedman is in agreement with the Woods’ analysis suggesting the authenticity of SOM1-01 as a document produced in 1954. Friedman believes that the stage has been set to analyze it in comparison to other leaked “Majestic documents” to conclusively determine its genuineness.6

A contrasting approach is taken by UFO researchers such as Jan Aldrich, a former Assistant Adjutant for the U.S. Army. Aldrich points to significant departures from standard military manuals that are developed in a meticulous fashion to eliminate discrepancies.


In 1996, Aldrich identified 50 discrepancies in SOM1-01 that in his view indicate the kind of ‘sloppiness’ found in a fraudulent document.7


He dismissively speculates that SOM1-01 was produced by an “Air Force buck Sgt., with some training in military intelligence,” together with some friends cutting and pasting from Army manuals.8


He therefore concludes that it is highly unlikely that SOM1-01 is genuine.


Aldrich overlooks that such discrepancies may not be evidence of a fraudulent document, but evidence of a significant departure from the normal military procedure for creating such manuals. Such a departure might result in the kind of “sloppy” formatting and discrepancies that would stand out for (former) military professionals skilled in the preparation of similar manuals.

The discrepancies in SOM1-01 from standard military manuals can be explained by the highly classified security procedures created not only for managing UFO crash retrievals, but for creating manuals such as SOM-01 itself.


Indeed, I will argue the existence of a parallel organization to the conventional military that borrows military personnel for a variety of ad hoc duties that are overseen by a covert management group mentioned in SOM1-01 – Majestic-12 Group.


SOM1-01 describes the history of this group as follows:4.

Operation Majestic 12 was established by special classified presidential order on 24 September 1947 at the recommendation of Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal and Dr. Vannevar Bush, Chairman of the Joint Research and Development Board.


Operations are carried out under a Top Secret Research and Development – Intelligence Group [Majestic-12 Group] directly responsible only to the President of the United States.

Documents such as the Eisenhower Briefing Document, the Truman Memo, and the Cutler Twining Memo confirm that the Majestic-12 [or MJ-12] Group was created by Presidential Executive Order as highly classified part of the executive branch of government that recruits extensively from the military, but is not itself a military department.9

The Majestict-12 Group sits at the apex of an extensive network of government-military-corporate organizations and joint projects engaged in classified activities concerning extraterrestrial technologies and extraterrestrial life forms. Chief among these classified activities is overseeing the location, retrieval and reverse engineering of crashed UFOs that are extraterrestrial in origin.


This extensive network of classified organizations and projects can be described as a second Manhattan Project. Manhattan II is funded by a set of covert mechanisms that are extra-constitutional in nature, and estimated to be over one trillion dollars annually.10

The development of manuals such as SOM1-01 may not be a product of military professionals in the normal course of their duties. Instead such manuals are likely produced by military personnel co-opted into MJ-12 classified projects on an ad hoc basis due to their skills, who then revert back to their normal military duties.


A more informed speculation to Aldrich’s about the production of SOM1-01 may therefore be offered.


SOM1-01 likely emerged from a ‘master sergeant’ and other individuals with the necessary security clearance and experience in UFO crash recoveries, being asked by their superiors in the Majestic-12 Group to prepare a crash retrieval manual using existing army manuals as templates.

This explanation accounts for the number of discrepancies found in SOM1-01 when compared with the normal standard for a military manual, but does not dismiss the authenticity of SOM1-01 as a government issued manual produced in 1954. If this is the case, then the discrepancies found in SOM1-01 can be explained as a function of the peculiar system used to create it.


This explanation provides an answer to the apparent genuineness of SOM1-01 as implied by its authenticity as a 1954 document (confirmed by the Wood team and Friedman); while containing numerous discrepancies as identified by Aldrich and others. In short, discrepancies in SOM1-01 as a 1954 document suggest its genuineness as a product of the covert system that created it, rather than evidence of it being a modern fraud.


Consequently, I will use SOM-01 as a reference tool for helping corroborate the testimony of a whistleblower, Clifford Stone, who claims to have directly participated in UFO crash retrieval operations and Project Moon Dust.




Clifford Stone’s Claims Regarding UFO Crash Retrieval Operations

Staff Sergeant Clifford Stone served in the U.S. Army for a 22 year period from 1969 to 1990.


He claims that he was recruited into an elite UFO retrieval team due to his natural ability to telepathically communicate with extraterrestrial biological entities (EBEs).11 He claims that he was picked out during his childhood by the U.S. military and had an Air Force Captain regularly visit him on a weekly basis who encouraged Stone to pursue his interest in UFOs, and eventually influenced his decision to join the military.


Upon joining the Army Stone found himself starting a very untypical military career in a highly classified project he subsequently learned was called Project Moon Dust.12


Stone says he was initially given training in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare at Fort MacCallum, Alabama; and then given regular army assignments until called away to perform his UFO crash retrieval duties when required. A mysterious ‘Colonel’ was the individual who supervised Stone while performing his covert duties.


Stone claims that when required for UFO retrievals he was typically called out for temporary duty (TDY) to serve between three days to a week, but in some international cases these could take longer with one month being the longest. His army service record refers to him only performing clerical duties as a typist; and has no reference to his alleged training for, or assignments with, UFO crash retrieval teams.


Finally, Stone described how his effort to retire from the Army in 1989 (after twenty years of service) was opposed by the ‘Colonel’ who said his crash retrieval services were still required.

Some support for Stone’s claims of having worked in covert UFO retrieval projects is extensive documentation Stone uncovered to support the existence of classified UFO crash retrieval teams associated with Project Moon Dust, and of crash retrieval operations in various countries.13 Stone began, in the late 1970’s to use Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to uncover information disclosing the existence of project Moon Dust that was created to recover debris of UFOs.


In addition, Stone’s military service was characterized by his dogged determination to disclose UFO information even though this was highly unusual for someone engaged in full time military service. His efforts were not viewed favorably and even opposed by his Army superiors.


His FOIA activities led to punishments such as censure, being confined to base, relocation to foreign US bases, and the failure to progress in rank beyond Staff Sergeant. Stone’s conflict with Army authorities over his FOIA requests, and the actual documentation on Project Moon Dust are circumstantial evidence for his claim that he was secretly recruited into covert UFO retrieval teams without the knowledge of his military superiors.

Stone’s use of FOIA was particularly important since this would be a logical legal instrument used by an individual who desired to disclose the nature of his activities without making unauthorized disclosures of classified information.


Stone’s FOIA research led to him being acknowledged by UFO researchers such Major Kevin Randle who described his “pioneering research;”14 and Stanton Friedman who described him as a “dedicated researcher” who brought into the public arena “a multitude of government documents, many never before published.”15


Both Randle and Friedman subsequently distanced themselves from Stone when he publicly announced that he worked with UFO crash retrieval teams, and did not have the documentation to verify this. To help substantiate Stone’s claims, I will now examine them in relation to SOM1-01 to find parallels and consistencies in terms of procedures and policies.


If Stone’s claims are consistent with SOM1-01, then this helps confirm his testimony.


Also, such consistency would help identify the security procedures used to manage personnel recruited into covert UFO crash retrieval projects.


Contrasting Clifford Stone’s UFO Crash Retrieval Claims with SOM1-01

Stone claimed that he was part of a highly classified advance team for crash retrievals that would check for biological or radioactive contamination.


This was combined with his most important duty which was to be the telepathic interface in case communication was required with any EBE found at the crash scene.


Stone claimed that these operations were led by an individual who wore civilian clothes whose rank he was never told but whom he called ‘Colonel’ due to his behavior in terms of taking charge of retrieval operations, and leading the debriefing sessions. This appears to be very odd given the propensity for operations involving military personnel to be led by military officers where rank dictates authority.


However, the ‘Colonel’ and the covert team Stone was recruited into appeared to be one of the “Special Teams” described in SOM1-01 as follows:

4.a. The recovery for scientific study of all materials and devices of a foreign or extraterrestrial manufacture that may become available….
4.b. The recovery for scientific study of all entities and remains of entities not of terrestrial origin which may become available…
4.c. The establishment of Special Teams to accomplish the above operations.

These special teams would not require any distinguishing uniforms specifying rank since they were given “Top priority” at UFO crash retrieval locations:

4.d. OPNAC Team personnel will be given TOP Priority at all times regardless of their apparent rank or status. No person has the authority to interfere with the OPNAC Team in the performance of its duties by special direction of the President of the United States.

In addition, Stone claimed that he sometimes traveled internationally to perform crash retrievals that were led by the ‘Colonel’.


This is consistent Stone’s overseas assignments and with the following SOM1-01 passage:

4.e. Establishment and administration of covert operations to be carried out in concert with Central Intelligence to effect the recovery for the United States of extraterrestrial technology and entities which may come down inside the territory of or fall into the possession of foreign powers.

Stone’s testimony of his ‘special team’ being led by a civilian who took charge of the crash retrieval operations despite the possibility of high ranking military personnel at the scene, is consistent with SOM1-01.

Stone further claimed that the ‘Colonel’ allowed him to read a three inch thick booklet that contained information on 57 known types of extraterrestrial biological entities (EBEs):

That information was from a little publication that they had that the person I called the Colonel always carried [with] him. … It was a little booklet that he carried, actually a little thick booklet, a loose leaf notebook type situation.


But the intent of cataloguing the different species was so that they could render the best first aid they could in identifying which species they had at any given location.16

Stone claims he first saw the Heinz 57, “EBE Guidebook” in 1979 and said that it contained much information on each of group of EBEs in terms of their physiology, food requirements and medical information.


He claims he could read the Guidebook when he was serving on the retrieval teams up until 1989. Stone says that the Guidebook was to be used in case First Aid had to be administered to any EBEs found at crash sites.


We can now compare his claims with a passage from SOM1-01:

24.b. Injured or wounded entities will be treated by medical personnel assigned to the OPNAC Team. If the team medical personnel are not immediately available.


First Aid will be administered by Medical Corps personnel at the initial site. Since little is known about EBE biological functions, aid will be confined to the stopping of bleeding, bandaging of wounds and splinting of broken limbs.


No medications of any kind are to be administered as the effect of terrestrial medications on non-human biological systems are impossible to predict.

Stone’s testimony is consistent with the first aid assistance described in SOM1-01.


As part of the advance team attending crash retrieval sites, Stone would have a “need to know” when it came to administrating first aid to injured EBEs. Stone’s testimony however indicates that knowledge of EBE physiology had considerably advanced since 1954 when no substances were prescribed for dealing with EBE injuries by SOM1-01 since the effects were “impossible to predict”.


By 1979, however, a medical manual was made available to detail what substances could or couldn’t be administered. This indicates that in the 25 years since SOM1-01 was crafted, a great deal of information had been acquired on EBE physiology. This is consistent with the number of crash retrieval operations that have been estimated to have occurred over these years, and the knowledge gained through them.

In a July 2005 interview I conducted with Stone, he describes the codeword he would receive for leaving his normal duties to go on TDY assignment with the Project Moon Dust crash retrieval team:

The code word that was used with me was “the general sends his regards”. I didn’t know if there was a general involved or not since I never saw the general.


I was told “bags to go”, so you grab your DA-50 bag, all your equipment will be packed and you kiss your wife and your children good bye and you left. You never knew if you were going to see them again. There were accidents where people didn’t return.17

This reveals how his crash retrieval duties would be conducted without knowledge of his immediate army superiors.


As far as they were concerned, Stone would be called away to perform TDY duties or training, and would then have to return to complete his normal military duties.


The following quote describes the nature of the security clearance required by Stone when called away from his normal Army duties to participate in crash retrieval operations.

Well any time I needed a security clearance, I had whatever security clearance to do whatever it was they wanted me to do. You were debriefed afterwards and you sign the non-disclosure agreement, but it’s not supposed to work that way.


It’s supposed to be that they give you that on a one time basis, on a “need to know” and that’s where it stops short of getting the actual clearance and being fully briefed into the job.18

We can evaluate Stone’s statements concerning being called away through the use of secret codes and the issuance of temporary security clearances in terms of SOM1-01:

“Contact with EBEs by military personnel not having MJ-12 or OPNAC clearance is to be strictly limited to action necessary to ensure the availability of the EBEs for study by the OPNAC Team.”19

This supports Stone’s claim of being clearances on a one time “need to know” basis, where he was not given the higher security clearance of MJ-12 personnel. The use of codes to summon Stone to his covert duties would be a means of maintaining “absolute top secrecy” as required by section 4.f in SOM1-01:

“The establishment and maintenance of absolute top secrecy concerning all the above operations.”

Stone’s reference to getting the “actual clearance and being fully briefed into the job” involved completing training at what he described as “the school:”

I was not aware of where it was located, what was taught. I got to meet some people who went there and to me they were scary. It was like, you know, even enlisted people were above reproach. I mean, it was like “your station in life is less than mine because I know secrets that no one else knows.” It’s hard to explain but there’s something sinister about the people when they came back from the school. 20

The “school” was something for those interested in making more of a commitment to working with MJ-12 and experiencing the career advancement such covert work would bring.

Finally, Stone claims that during his first recovery operation for Project Moon Dust in 1969 he was assigned to guarding a captured EBE. The EBE revealed to Stone during their telepathic communication that it intended to escape. Stone claims that the EBE would have been terminated by security in making such an attempt. In order to ensure the EBE’s safety, Stone decided to help the EBE escape.


This extraordinary claim that extraterrestrials can be terminated out of security concerns is corroborated in the following section of SOM1-01:

24.c. In dealing with any living Extraterrestrial Biological Entity, security is of paramount importance. All other considerations are secondary. Although it is preferable to maintain the physical well-being of any entity, the loss of EBE life is considered acceptable if conditions or delays to preserve that life in any way compromise the security of the operation.

Like many whistleblowers revealing classified information concerning UFOs, there is controversy over inconsistencies between Stone’s testimony, and lack of documentary evidence to verify his alleged training and service in covert projects.


Stone claims that all his covert training for, and duties with crash retrieval operations, were not recorded in his military records.


The exclusion from military records of all reference to training and deployment for crash retrieval operations is consistent with a policy of maintaining “absolute top secrecy” as detailed in section 4.f of SOM1-01. Sanitizing the training and service records of personnel associated with crash retrieval teams would be a means of maintaining the ‘absolute secrecy’ required for these operations.


The absence in Stone’s military records of any reference to covert projects related to EBEs replicates what occurred for Dan Sherman. Sherman claims that his covert training for telepathic communication with EBEs, and his actual service in that capacity was not recorded on his military service record.


I will now examine Sherman’s background to provide a means of contrasting and corroborating Stone’s crash retrieval testimony given the lack of documentation to confirm the latter’s claims.




Dan Sherman and Project Preserve Destiny

Dan Sherman served with the US Air Force for twelve years (1982-1994) and received a number of awards including the Commendation Medal and the Achievement Medal.


He was recruited into a classified program, “Project Preserve Destiny” (PPD), that was conducted under the auspices of the National Security Agency (NSA).21 The training was for Sherman to become an “intuitive communicator” with EBEs.


Essentially, Sherman would learn to telepathically interface with EBEs and pass on this information through a secure computer system to his handlers within the NSA. Sherman’s training for PPD was conducted at the same time while training for a conventional military career in electronic intelligence (ELINT), which itself was classified.


Significantly, Sherman was told that he suited to the task since he was identified early in his childhood by the military as someone that was capable of communicating with EBEs.


He claims that his desire to join the Air Force was stimulated by a Major Roberts stationed at nearby Beale Air Force base who regularly visited Sherman’s home when he was between 10-11 and talked to Sherman about how great life was in the Air Force.

Sherman described that his ELINT training acted as a cover for his participation in PPD.


In his book, Above Black, Sherman revealed how he was recruited and trained in a way unknown to his normal ELINT military trainers. The training occurred over the same period as his normal training in ELINT.


He describes his contrasting training experiences as follows:

I remember my day of ELINT school being fun because I had a lot of people to interact with… The first day of PPD school could not, in any way, be described as fun. By my second day of attending PPD school I was sick and tired of it and I didn’t want to go anymore. The novelty of being an “intuitive communicator” had worn off. 22

When he was subsequently assigned to the NSA, Sherman worked on a specially designed computer where he could perform both his normal ELINT work, and also work as an intuitive communicator when required with EBEs.


The individuals responsible for Sherman’s training and subsequent covert work within the NSA were officers with the rank of Captain who would not operate through the normal chain of military command either within the USAF or within the NSA. The responsible organization appeared to be a parallel system that operated through but was not part of the NSA. He worked on PPD for almost three years.

He says that when he asked to leave PPD he was denied, and told that he would be forcibly re-enlisted regardless of his wishes.


Sherman claims he was so angry and determined to leave, that he came up with a strategy that would lead to his departure:

“Anyone who has a dire need to rid themselves of the military can use this method, but I don’t advise it… However, I knew this was the only method I could use that would completely shut out the authority of my PPD chain of command.”23

Significantly, Sherman’s military record does not reflect his training as an intuitive communicator, or his subsequent work as a telepathic interface with EBEs.


Nor is there any record of who the officers were that he reported to in performing his intuitive communicator work. Sherman’s experience offers an independent means of corroborating the testimony of Clifford Stone.


The seven elements in Table 1 (below) appear in both the testimonies of Sherman and Stone, and suggest that they were recruited into projects overseen by the Majestic-12 Group. MJ-12 had created a system for recruiting personnel that would be a very effective means of maintaining secrecy.

Sherman’s whistleblower testimony offers important corroborating support for Stone’s claims for having worked on UFO crash retrieval teams.


Combined with a number of consistencies with SOM1-01, Stone’s highly specific FOIA requests on Project Moon Dust, his long military service, it can be concluded that Stone’s testimony is very likely an accurate reflection of his experiences while working on UFO crash retrieval teams.



Table 1

Comparative Experiences between Clifford Stone and Dan Sherman


Table 2

MJ-12 Group Personnel Security Procedures for Black Operations



The above security procedures reveals the effectiveness of the system developed by the MJ-12 Group in recruiting, training and employing individuals on covert projects such as UFO crash retrievals involving extraterrestrial technologies and/or EBE communications.


The “MJ-12 Group Personnel Security Procedures for Black Operations” leaves no paper trail, minimizes the number of individuals aware of MJ-12 projects, and provides no means for personnel to substantiate their claims regarding training and employment in MJ-12 Group projects.


Also great pressure is exerted on recruited individuals to remain loyal to their covert program supervisors. Finally, great effort is made to keep MJ-12 Group projects separate to regular military activities.

It is highly likely that something similar to the above set of ten principles was used in the development of SOM1-01. This would account for the number of alleged discrepancies in SOM1-01 when compared to standard Army manuals. The discrepancies of SOM1-01 were likely a result of the ad hoc manner that those familiar with crash retrieval operations, were coordinated by the MJ-12 Group in producing SOM1-01.


Its creators, out of security concerns, were not able to share the manual with other military professionals to exclude possible discrepancies, which is a normal part of the drafting process for new Army manuals.

The ten security procedures above appear to be outside the guidelines used for the most classified programs in U.S. military. Unacknowledged Waived Special Access Programs (SAPs) [or Controlled Access Programs in the case of the intelligence community] are reported only to the heads of Defense or Intelligence committees of the U.S. Congress in verbal reports.24


No documents or written records are supplied to Congress since waived SAPs officially do not exist. Nor would personnel participating in such programs be permitted to keep records of their participation in waived SAPs in terms of their military or agency records.





However, the key difference between waived SAP’s and the MJ-12 Group projects is that the latter occur outside of the normal chain of command within the U.S. military and/or intelligence community.


This suggests that a parallel system exists that siphons off military personnel for MJ-12 Group projects when needed, without the awareness of regular military commanders.

Evidence for the existence of a parallel system of classified projects outside of the regular chain of military command is illustrated in the case of Vice Admiral Tom Wilson who was J-2, head of Intelligence for the Joint Chief of Staff.


In 1997, Dr Steven Greer and former Astronaut Dr Edgar Mitchell had a private meeting with Admiral Wilson about classified extraterrestrial related projects. Greer claimed that he had been given a “secret document that had a list of the code names and projects names dealing with the extraterrestrial connected projects.”25


When Wilson checked to determine if the projects existed, he was denied access. According to Greer:

Once Admiral Wilson identified this group, he told the contact person in this super-secret cell: “I want to know about this project.” And he was told, “Sir, you don’t have a need to know. We can’t tell you.” N


ow, can you imagine being an admiral, J-2, the head of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon, and being told, “We not going to tell you”? Well, he was shocked and angry.26

The existence of a parallel governmental system using military personnel for its own purposes has been suspected for some time as illustrated in comments by Senator Daniel Inouye at the 1987 Iran-Contra Senate hearings:

“There exists a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, it’s own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.”

Given the evidence provided by Stone and Sherman, and corroborating evidence such as Admiral Wilson’s experience, it can be concluded that MJ-12 Special Group projects are outside the control of the regular chain of command within the U.S. military.

Overall, MJ-12 Group may be considered to be a parallel branch of executive government that runs an extensive network of projects involving personnel recruited from the military sector while maintaining extraordinarily high levels of security.


When combined with contents outlined by the SOM1-01 manual, the testimonies of Clifford Stone and Dan Sherman provide an overview of the procedures used to manage personnel involved in UFO crash retrievals and other MJ-12 Group projects.


SOM1-01 and the Stone and Sherman testimonies provide clear insight into how UFO crash retrieval operations have been conducted for over five decades and successfully kept out of the public arena.


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