By Robert Hastings. The UFO Chronicles
Once upon a time—and it seems like a long, long time ago—most televised UFO cover-up documentaries were based on actual facts. Facts disputed by debunkers—so what’s new?—but nevertheless readily verifiable, if one chose to consult the legitimately-declassified documents from which they were drawn.
While the second season of Hangar 1: The UFO Files is marginally better than the first, when you’re starting from absolutely atrocious, that’s not saying much. Let’s see: A non-existent storage hangar in which MUFON staff members supposedly scurry about with piles of files, actor-narrators posing as UFO researchers, “historians” endorsing long-ago-exposed fraudulent documents and a completely undocumented secret space program, equally fraudulent “witnesses” divulging their involvement in pitched underground battles with evil aliens, and blah, blah, blah.
Sadly, given that this abysmal excuse for a documentary series was renewed, there must be an audience for such twaddle. Lots of folks apparently eat up this crap with a spoon. The latest bogus “document” to be trotted out by the show’s producers is the so-called SOM1-01 field manual, which purports to instruct secret military crashed-UFO recovery teams on the procedures to be used during these alleged operations.
Yes, the show’s chief on-air “researcher”, actor Dwight Equitz, does say, more than once, that the document is controversial and its authenticity is in dispute. However, after doing so, a great deal of time is given to the show’s usual gang of dubious experts, spouting-off about the amazing disclosures contained in the supposed field manual, which Hangar 1’s producers lavishly illustrate with elaborate re-enactments.
The overall impression, very intentionally left, is that the document is legitimate and the UFO recoveries it describes unquestionably happened.
In the past, I have posted online a real military document expert’s authoritative statements about SOM1-01, but feel the need to do so again at this time. Jan Aldrich, a retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant, noted UFO document researcher, and actual historian, told me this in 2009:
When I arrived in Europe [in 1984], I was not sufficiently trained in security and intelligence to do my job. I took every course that U.S. Army Europe had to offer, and dozens of correspondence courses, some of which amounted to over 120 sub-course booklets. One of the things I studied was the history of classified documents and directives from Truman on up to the [then] present day. As a subject-matter expert for Army meteorology, I had to analyze various training, operations, and maintenance manuals. Since the then-current system, at the time of my job, came into the Army inventory in 1947, I am very familiar with 1954 manuals, as the manual for hydrogen-generating equipment was originally written in 1954, and was still in use during my tenure.
[MJ-12 proponents such as] the Woods, Friedman, and Hamilton have an answer for my and others’ objections. [However, while] they all know what they are talking about for manuals, security, and operations in the 1980s, it was different in 1954. They apparently have no idea what was going on then…
I was also in a critical nuclear weapons position for seven years, so I know about sensitive operations and security. Twice, I served as acting Intelligence Officer in a nuclear-capable artillery battalion. I also served for a time as an adjutant, both unusual positions for an enlisted man. Finally, I served on the Special Staff of the Commanding General of the Southern European Taskforce. So I have significant experience in a number of areas related to manuals, operations, and security. I have, at one time or another, had the additional duties of Top Secret Control Officer, Classified Document Custodian, Communication Security (COMSEC) Custodian, Cosmic TS Control Officer, Security Manager, Interviewing Officer for Special Background Investigations, Nuclear Release Authentication Training Officer, etc.
Well, as noted earlier, the man knows his field manuals. Fortunately, the person(s) who forged the SOM1-01 field manual did not, which makes exposing it easier, at least for knowledgeable and credible military document examiners such as Aldrich. Here is his critique of the forged document:
I [found] about 50 problems with SOM1-01 when I quit looking at the manual. The following items are neither the most important nor vital objections to SOM1-01, rather some of the problems with it which are easy to understand without a lot of background and extensive commentary.
1. Posting Changes to Manuals:
In 1954, [one] received changes to a manual generally in the form of a document which had the changes-to-be-made written out, instructing the manual’s owner to add, cross out, or change items in the manual. For example, such instructions might be:
Change 1, dated 5 November 1957, to SOM1-01, 1954:
Page 22, paragraph 2.c.2 change the words: ‘send to the nearest ASF collections point.’ To: ‘send to the Centralized ASF collection point, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.’
After the change had been made in the manual, the owner would write on the page ‘Changed by Change 1 dated 5 Nov 57,’ and indicate the date changed and his initials. Generally, the fact that the manual has been changed appears at the beginning of the paragraph changed. As some of these changes could change just about every page in the manual, the absolute minimum annotation would be ‘C-1 12 Nov 57 JLA..’ Most changes in the 1950s were made by hand written annotations, but even back then, there were tear-out pages which required the old page(s) be removed and new pages inserted. The new page would be have the change number indicated on the page.
[Despite these formal Army requirements,] SOM1-01 indicates in the front cover that a number of changes were made, but nowhere in the manual are any of these changes indicated or annotated. Also, the requirement is that the outside cover of the manual be annotated with ‘Change 1 dated 5 Nov 57 posted 12 Nov 57 JLA.’ Such annotation on the cover indicates to the user who might be different than the manual’s owner or custodian, that the manual was up to date with all relevant changes posted.
With a classified manual [like the allegedly genuine SOM1-01], not posting or properly annotating the postings could be considered a security violation…
2. Manual Style. Paragraphs, Sub-paragraphs:
If you have a sub-paragraph, e.g. 2.a.1 then it must have a paragraph 2.a.2 as a minimum. If you don’t, then the subparagraph (or, in this example, the sub-subparagraph) is not required. That is a military style requirement. However, a change could supersede sub-paragraph 2.a.2, but again, that the change was made should be annotated on the page.
3. Recovery Operations:
The manual instructs that operations be conducted so that the press and public cannot gain access or know what is going on. [But] it does not instruct the recovery team to utilize camouflage nets or tentage to preclude viewing from higher ground or from aircraft such as the press might hire to have a look about what is going on.
4. Recovery Operations and Technical Intelligence:
The manual does not tell recovery teams to set up a gird, photograph the scene and tag each item for future reference. (Identifying material and where it is found is, of course, basic to technical intelligence.)
5. Organization and Equipment:
The manual does not explain what specialized gear, what protective gear, what type of personnel occupational specialties, and what specific training would be required for recovery teams.
6. Logistics, Transportation, Communication, etc.:
There is no guidance about supply rates, consumables, etc.; material handling gear and transportation, and communications.
7. Chain of command:
Who does the recovery team report to? [There is no mention of any kind.]
8. Special conditions:
How are liquids, gasses, fires and hazardous material handled in the recovery operations. [There is no mention of any kind.]
The manual says that the site will be cleaned to the satisfaction of the commander in charge of the operation. This goes without saying and is not guidance at all. Military manuals of all epochs, since at least WWII, despite differences in wording and policy at the time, all contain elements of conducting military operations which are readily identifiable: That is ‘Task’ (what is to be done); ‘Conditions’ (under what kind of environment is the task to be performed); and ‘Standards’ (what are minimum acceptable outcomes of the task). Basically, all military manuals can be analyzed in this manner…
In addition, I offer an opinion that in such [UFO] recovery operations, there would probably be instruction about removing soil from the area of a crash site. Interestingly enough years later, I obtained some information about a case of an explosion over western Maryland in the 1970s. Lou Corbin looked into before he died. The farm in question was showered with metallic fragments after the explosion. The farmer and neighbors picked some up. Corbin found that the military arrived at the farm, scraped off all the soil with earthmoving equipment, carted it off and replaced the farmer’s soil. Corbin had the fragments analyzed by a NASA scientist. They were of earthly origin. However, the point is that SOM1-01 is lacking in details for operations that the military actually engages in.
As Aldrich said, these are only a few of the 50 or so errors he found in the so-called field manual. I will also mention this fact, excerpted from the wikipedia.org webpage on MJ-12, which is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majestic_12#Arguments_against
A document entitled ‘SOM1-01: Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal’ and found on www.majesticdocuments.com contains paragraphs with subheads set in the sans serif ‘Helvetica’ typeface. The document purports to be from 1954 yet the typeface in question was first designed in 1957 by the Swiss graphic designer, Max Miedinger. The capitalized sans serif letter ‘R’ (and others) found on many pages confirms that this typeface is not the much earlier Akzidenz Grotesk sans serif typeface. This evidence seems to strongly suggest that this document is a fabrication.
The bottom line: As was the case with the earlier batch of MJ-12 “documents” that surfaced over 30 years ago, the MJ-12-related SOM1-01 “field manual” is undoubtedly a forgery.
Of course, the producers at Hangar 1 could care less. After all, as long as there exists a large contingent of UFO aficionados who are eager to hear scary UFO “ghost stories” told around a campfire—regardless of the facts or lack thereof underlying them—the show can probably expect a long run on the History Channel.
Indeed, the continued series-renewal of Ancient Aliens—whose mostly-absurd theories and claims are repeatedly presented as credible—is a good predictor of future success for the purveyors of Ufology Lite.