Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Rejuvenated "Betz Memo"

          In a recent post I presented a rejuvenated copy of the infamous December, 1969 “Bolender Memo” – a United States Air Force (USAF) Air Staff Summary, to aide in the closure of Project Blue Book. The re-scanning and enhancement of government UFO documents is a prime concern of mine. How can UFO researchers be taken seriously if their source material is difficult to read or shows signs of neglect?

Another such USAF document in dire need of rescanning is the “Betz Memo”. First released to researcher Robert Todd in August, 1979, the document is more officially known as the “AFCIN-1E-0 Draft Policy” letter. At six pages, it was prepared by Lt. Col. Norman M. Rosner to Col. Betz on November 3erd, 1961. Actually, the top of Page 1 has “REPLY TO ATTN OF AFCIN-1E-0/Colonel Betz”, as well as “TO” both “AFCIN-1E” and “AFCIN-1”. “AFCIN” translates as “Air Force Chief of Intelligence”, and subsequent letters and numerals we see in the above references are divisions within the AFCIN. For example, “AFCIN-1E” is the 1127th USAF Field Activities Group (1127th FAG). The subject line has “(U) AFCIN Intelligence Team Personnel”. We don’t know what the document was classified, but it is fair to say that SECRET was most appropriate for a document of this nature. Some sections, unsurprisingly, are redacted.

I am not attempting to fully analyse the contents of the “Betz Memo” here, but rather present far more readable copies, which have been prepared by Boston based research Barry Greenwood. However, I will highlight some of the passages of text which make this document interesting to UFO researchers, plus, detail some of the differences between the original copy and the fraudulently altered copies which have circulated in books and on the internet. I’m more than happy to name the individual who fiddled with the original. It was Clifford Stone. Indiscretions – and that’s putting it mildly – like this are inexcusable, and real researchers judge such deceptions accordingly. Anyway, the six page “Betz Memo”, is imaged below, and is the most clean and intelligible version available.

Primarily, as I said, this post is to present the document in a more usable, high quality form. Some analysis is needed though. A hand written note, which dubious online copies do not contain, has this statement at the top of Page 1:

           “This draft proposal was not approved and was not forwarded for action”

On Page 1, section 2c states:  

“In addition to their staff duty assignments, intelligence team personnel have peacetime duty functions in support of such Air Force projects as Moondust, Bluefly, and UFO, and other AFCIN directed quick reaction projects which require intelligence team operational capabilities.”

Page 2, section 5, contains three sub-sections of caused the most fuss when this document was released:

“e. Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO):  Headquarters USAF has established a program for investigation of reliably reported unidentified flying objects within the United States.  AFR 200-2 delineates 1127th collection responsibilities.”

f. Blue Fly:  Operation Blue Fly has been established to facilitate expeditious delivery to FTD of Moon Dust or other items of great technical intelligence interest.  AFCIN SOP for Blue Fly operations, February 1960, provides for 1127th participation.”

g. Moon Dust:  As a specialized aspect of its over-all material exploitation program, Headquarters USAF has established Project Moon Dust to locate, recover and deliver descended foreign space vehicles. ICGL #4, 25 April 1961, delineates collection responsibilities.”

In the original copy, there are two handwritten notes simply saying “No” next to the above points “f” and “g”. This implies that “Blue Fly” and “Moon Dust” operations were not accepted as continuing operations as laid out in this draft. This doesn’t in any way mean that these activities never existed beforehand, nor later, because we know for a fact they did. In other words, the draft policy presented here remained in draft form and wasn’t accepted by Col. Betz. On the other hand, the deceitfully altered copy of this page has no handwritten notes saying “No” which implies that “Blue Fly” and “Moon Dust” operations were current and ongoing.

Also, the statement “ICGL #4, 25 April 1961, delineates collection responsibilities” has never been explained. “ICGL” stands for “Intelligence Collection Guidance Letter”. This document presumably discusses what types of space junk or other downed foreign hardware should be collected, under what jurisdictions, perhaps what safety precautions ought be involved. The USAF has never been able, or perhaps bothered, to release any records relating to this matter. An April 11, 1986 letter from Anne W. Turner, USAF Headquarters, Freedom of Information Office, stated:

“AForce/INtel has no knowledge of ‘ICGL #4’ dated 25 April 1961, pertaining to Project Moon Dust.”.

To my knowledge, nothing more has been released. Finally, Page 3, section 6c of the Betz Memo, states: 

“Peacetime employment of AFCIN intelligence team capability is provided for in UFO investigation (AFR 200-2) and in support of Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) Foreign Technology Division (FTD) Projects Moon Dust and Blue Fly. These three peacetime projects all involve a potential for employment of qualified field intelligence personnel on a quick reaction basis to recover or perform field exploitation of unidentified flying objects, or known Soviet/Bloc aerospace vehicles, weapons systems, and/or residual components of such equipment.”

Much has been made in the UFO community regarding the distinction between “unidentified flying objects” and “known Soviet/Bloc aerospace vehicles” in this passage of text. Whether this points to a careful and deliberate division between UFO’s and more regular manmade space debris, or just a generalised statement that includes anything that could be possibly airborne, hasn’t been determined. There is every chance Lt. Col. Rosner wasn’t refering to “our” sort of UFO’s.

Also, readers will notice a number of redactions throughout the document. When it was initially released to Robert Todd, Robert W. Crittenden, the Deputy Administrative Assistant, at the Office of the Secretary of the USAF, stated:

“Portions of the AFCIN-1E-0 letter, dated 3 November 1961 are releasable; however, the remaining portions are still exempt from mandatory release under the Freedom of Information Act 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1).  This information is currently classified under Executive Order 12065, Section 1-301 (a) and (c), as implemented by Department of Defense regulation 5200.1-R, paragraphs 2-301 (C) (3) and (5).  The continuing protection of this information is essential to the national security because it reveals intelligence sources and methods.  The release of this information could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable damage to the national security.”

Much more could be debated about all this, and should be. Certainly more records from the early 1960’s need to be located. Hopefully with the display of such an improved copy there will be further examination. Finally, I have imaged below the more common, barely readable, plus falsified altered version which has seeped through the internet for so long. There are no more excuses for these wrongdoings, so delete your current copy of the “Betz Memo” and save the version I have exhibited above.

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