From: Dr Michael Salla
Date: 06/15/07 14:11:46
Subject: [exopolitics] President Eisenhower's Meeting at Holloman
AFB with Extraterrestrials
Aloha all, I'm delighted to announce that more research has been
conducted on President Eisenhower's secret visit to Holloman AFB in
1955 to have a meeting with extraterrestrials. Art Campbell has
investigated the case and found documentation to support
Eisenhower's plane (Columbine III - aka Airforce One) secretly
traveling to Holloman on February 11, 1955 soon after his Feb 10
arrival in Georgia for a 'recreational' trip. He has also
interviewed three witnesses to help corroborate this event.
The first is ‘Wilbur’ who was an Air Force medic stationed at
Holloman who overheard confidential conversations about Eisenhower’s
meeting with ETs and witnessed the some of the events associated
with the meeting. I was able to independently confirm that Wilbur
did indeed serve at Holloman AFB at the time he claimed through his
military records. His testimony and my comments can be read below.
Next is the testimony of a civilian electrician who witnessed a
saucer shaped UFO hovering over Holloman AFB on Feb 11. Art was able
to confirm that the electrician’s story remained the same over many
years. Finally, there is a Secret Service agent who confirmed that
the Secret Service detail accompanying Eisenhower for his Georgia
visit was standard for a major international meeting, and not the
recreational outing that Eisenhower claimed to the media on February
Art Campbell’s investigation is reproduced far below.
This is important corroboration of the secret galactic diplomacy
conducted between President Eisenhower and extraterrestrial
Michael Salla, Ph.D.
Ike and UFO'S
by Michael Salla
President Dwight David Eisenhower was elected in November of 1952
and took office in 1953. I graduated from high school in 1952 and
joined the Air Force in 1953. We as a nation were involved in a
policing action called the Korean Conflict. Some nations called it a
Korean Civil War.
Others called it a conflict between Communism and
Free Nations. I went through Basic Training and my specialty courses
in 1953 and was sent to George AF.B. outside Victorville,
California. I served there from late 1953 to 1954. While I was there
in 1954 Ike came to California supposedly to rest and play golf at
Palm Springs. His plane was to land at Norton A.F.B., San
Norton AF.B. was an Air Material Command Base. It was not a large
base and requested George AF.B. to send an ambulance to be on the
flight line while their personnel were on Parade Duty honoring the
President. A fiend of mine, Ben Luth, was sent with the ambulance to
Norton for that purpose. When the President landed at Norton, he
left immediately for Palmdale aboard a C-45. I did not know what-a
C-45 was so I wanted to keep track of this airplane. What I could
not understand was why he wanted to go to Palmdale.
There was plenty
of room and landing space for any size airplane. I thought the
reason he landed at Norton was because the Palm Springs airport was
too small for a big airplane. Of course he could have landed at
March AF.B. which was at that time a SAC Base. I did not question
his not wanting-to land at a SAC Base as no one in their right mind
landed at a SAC Base if they had an option not to land there. Later
I found out that a C-45 was a twin engine Beechcraft used to
transport high raking officers short distances. An ideal plane to
take Ike from Norton to Palm Springs. I still couldn't figure out
his trip to Palmdale unless it was for a special purpose which was
none of my business.
Some time after the New Year in the Spring I was sent to Holloman
AF.B., New Mexico. I was at the Aero Medico Laboratory under the
direction of Lt. Colonel John Paul Stapp M.D. Lt.
Colonel Stapp was
a Flight Surgeon, one of four on the base. After failing to keep
some chicken eggs alive at the Aero Medical
Research Lab. Office, I
was sent to the Base Hospital I worked under the Flight Surgeon,
Captain Robert Reiner, one of the best men I have worked for or with
in my entire life. I liked him and enjoyed working at the hospital.
In late February of 1955, we heard that the President was coming to
Holloman. I knew there was going to be an honor parade for him.
Captain Reiner asked me if I wanted to participate in the parade. I
said, "No." He said, "Fine. You will be on duty."
The Parade was scheduled for early in the morning. The day before it
was to take place it was called off. Not only that, but I heard
through the grape vine that the base commander had requested leave
covering the time the president was to be visiting. I thought this
was unusual. I would have stayed on the base if I was the commanding
officer and the President was visiting.
The morning the parade was to take place, I went to work as usual.
When I got there the nurse asked me, " Where is Dorsey?" I was about
to tell her, "I do not know." When Dorothea Thorensen said,
he had to take his wife to the Commissary this morning. I saw him
with her on the
way in this morning."
When Dorsey showed up he asked me.
did you see the disc hovering
over the flight line?"
''''No.'' I am thinking something small you hold in your hand like a
discus as the only craft I knew capable of hovering were the
choppers and the Navy's hovercraft. There weren't that many
helicopters around Holloman. "What's it made of?" I am thinking of a
wooden disc with a steel edge. "Looks like polished stainless steel
or aluminum. You know just bright metallic and shiny."
I asked, "How big is it?"
"Twenty to Thirty feet in diameter. Do you want to see it?"
"Sure. But with my luck it wouldn't be there."
Dorsey replied. "It was there when I took my wife to the Commissary
and it was
there when we got out thirty minutes later. Go out to the front of
the hospital and take a look.”
"I would like to do that." I turned and asked the nurse if I could
go to the street and look at the disc. She turned asking the Doctor
and then turned to me and said. "No. Stay here." Later on I went to
Coffee at the mess hall. On the way back I followed two pilots. The
one on the left was in Khakis, the one on the right in winter Blues.
I followed them and listened to their conversation.
Left: " Why the Blues?"
Right: "I'm the Officer of the Day, I was at Base Ops when Air Force
1 came in. Did you see it?"
L. "Yes. It's a big bird isn't it?"
R "Yes. They landed and turned around and stayed on the active
runway. We turned off the RADAR and waited."
L. "Why did you turn off the RADAR?"
R. "Because we were told to. I think
the one at Roswell that came
down was hit by Doppler Radar. It was one of the first installations
to have it in the U.S. Anyway, they came in low over the mountains,
across the Proving Grounds.
Interrupted by L. " I heard there were three and one landed at the
R "One might have stayed at the Monument. I didn't see it. I only
saw two. One hovered over head like it was protecting the other one.
The other one landed on the active in front of his plane. He got out
of his plane and went towards it. A door opened and he went inside
for forty or forty -five minutes."
L. "Could you see? Where they Grays?"
R. "I don't know. They might have been. I couldn't see them. I
didn't have binoculars."
L. "Who had them?"
R. " The tower."
L. "Could they see them?"
R. "No, they didn't have the angle."
L. "Do you think these were the same ones that were in Palmdale last
R. "They might have been."
L. "Did you see the autopsy film?"
L. "Do you think it was real?"
R. "It might have been. I just don't know."
L. "Did you see them when he came out?"
R. "No. They stayed inside. He shook hands with them and went back
to his plane."
At this point I asked them, "Who did? Are you pilots?"
L. "It's, not important."
They coved their badges and I was not able to see their names. But I
did see their wings. They were both pilots.
Later about eleven fifteen I went to pick up mail. A new 2nd.Lt.
Supply officer saw me and said, "I've been looking for you. Did you
see anything on the flight line?"
I said, "No. Did something happen?" I thought there might have been
an accident and, they might want me down there.
After lunch I returned to work and both Dorthea and the nurse asked
if I had seen Dorsey. I told both of them "No. Sometimes he is a
little late coming back from lunch if we don't have many physicals."
When coffee break came I walked down the hall and saw Dorsey coming
in about two thirty. I told him that both Dorthea and the nurse were
looking for him and asked him,
"Where have you been?"
He said, "At a meeting."
"Well tell them you're back. I'm off for coffee."
After work I was in my barracks room when I was called out to see
Air Force One fly overhead. It flew over the residential area of the
base. This is a NO FLYING zone for all military aircraft. Only the
President could get away with it. After supper I saw the lights that
were still on in the Flight Surgeon's Office and went over to turn
them off. I saw Dr Reiner talking to a Lt. Col.. The Colonel was
talking: "He was at the supply hanger. I was there in the front with
him and some others. I was on the stage. There was standing room
only with 225 men in the hanger."
Reiner. "I heard that he was at the base theater."
Lt. Col. "He might have been. He only spoke for a few minutes. Then
the base Commander spoke for about twenty minutes. He had plenty of
time to go to the base theater and get back."
Dr. R. "How many did he talk to?"
Lt. C. "I was there for two sessions standing room only. 225 each
time. There might have been another session but I wasn't there if he
I asked, "Who spoke?"
Lt. Col. "The Commander in Chief"
I said, "The President."
Lt. Col. "The Commander in Chief."
I asked, "What did he talk about?"
Lt. Col. "It's classified."
I said, "Oh."
Lt. Col. "What do you mean by 'Oh?'''
"It is none of my business. I am only cleared to secret."
Lt. Col. "I would not say that if l were you."
The next day some friends and I tried to get into the back part of
the White Sands Monument. We couldn't go all the way back as there
were barriers up. But the next day we could and did drive back
there. About three months later just before I went overseas to
Japan, I was talking to a bunch of Airmen. I told them, "I have
never heard a President talk in person. Had any of them ever heard
One answered, "Yep."
I asked, "Who?"
He said, "Eisenhower."
"Where?" I asked.
"At the Base Theater?" he replied.
I had forgotten this until about eight years ago when I heard
Bob O'Day in Kansas City. He gave a talk on UFOs and spoke about a crew
member aboard Air Force 1 who said,
"Eisenhower landed at Holloman A.F.B. and went aboard a UFO."
I remembered I was there when he was
there. I became a believer.
I have a friend Allen Nathan. His brother is Dr. Robert Nathan. I
told Allen about my Holloman experience. HE TOLD HIS BROTHER AND HIS
BROTHER CALLED ME. His brother has a PHD. works at JPL and is an
image display and special effect expert. He is often used to explain
UFO sightings as bunk. He listened and said it was an interesting
occurrence. He would find out the base commander's name and what
took place in February 1955. Allen told me his brother called the
commanding officer and left a message asking about this incident.
The Base commander of Holloman A.F.B. in 1955 has never returned the
Another friend of mine, Barbara Mehnert, Ph.D., went to Eisenhower's
Library in Abilene, Kansas. She talked to the Archivist asking him,
"Is there anything here about UFOs?"
"Yes, but it hasn't been released yet."
From this I believe anyone
seeing this at Holloman took an oath not to reveal that the
‘President was there' and what they had seen. The information is
classified at least as TOP SECRET and possibly higher. This took
place in February 1955.
‘Wilbert’ is a pseudonym for the individual who witnessed the above
events, and who does not wish for his identity to become public. I
first became aware of Wilbert’s testimony in December 2005 when his
name and testimony were passed on to me. To substantiate his claims,
Wilbert gave me permission to request and receive his entire
military service record.
I was therefore able to,
Verify his time at
both Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and George AFB, California
where he officially served at the Air Force Hospital.
He served at
George AFB from November 2, 1953 until February 28, 1954; and at
Holloman AFB from March 1, 1954 until August 5, 1955.
record prove that he was cleared up to the level of ‘Secret’ in
terms of security classification.
Additional investigation has also
been able to verify his friendship with Ben Luth who claimed to have
witnessed President Eisenhower secretly boarding a C-45 Beechcraft
twin engine plane to go to Palmdale, CA., which is adjacent to
Edwards Air Force Base.
It should be noted that President Eisenhower
visited Palms Springs from February 17 to 24, 1954, and went missing
on the evening of Feb 20. It was subsequently found that his
apparent emergency visit to a dentist was a cover story. [See
Eisenhower's 1954 Meeting With
Extraterrestrials: The Fiftieth Anniversary of First Contact?]
Wilbert’s time at George AFB overlapped with Eisenhower’s visit to
Palm Springs, making him privy to information on where Eisenhower
traveled to, based directly on his professional medical duties and
knowledge of those providing standby medical services for
Eisenhower’s secret air flight. The statements made by Wilbert are
consistent with his military service records insofar as he was
stationed at the places he claims and therefore may have witnessed
events associated with President Eisenhower meeting with
extraterrestrial visitors both at Edwards AFB in 1954, and Holloman
AFB in 1955.
His testimony concerning the Holloman AFB base visit in
1955 is most significant since it is the first case of a witness
coming forward to reveal this possible meeting between President
Eisenhower and extraterrestrials. Based on documentary evidence and
investigations conducted so far Wilbert’s testimony has been
corroborated to an extent that his claims are credible. Further
investigation is underway to corroborate more of Wilbert’s
I thank Steve Natale in assisting in investigating Wilbert’s claims,
and Arthur Campbell for initially alerting me to this important
President Eisenhower at Holloman AFB?
by Art Campbell
On February 9, 1955, Eisenhower announced to the press that he was
going to Georgia for a few days. He left on Feb. 10th at 1:00 p.m.
from Andrews AFB with a party of six. A chartered planeload of
journalists from all major networks accompanied him. The planeload
of press was with Ike because of international tensions. The
Russians were having a major leadership upheaval and the Red Chinese
were making moves towards Formosa.
Ike and party arrived at his
destination, Thomasville GA, about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 10th, hunted
quail for an hour, and retired to his guest cottage. Less than 24
hours later, President Eisenhower showed up at Holloman AFB. Ike was
out of the press view for some 36 hours. James Hagerty, his press
secretary, told the press that Ike and his valet were “treating a
case of the sniffles.”
The source of Ike’s visit to Holloman comes from an ex-airman
stationed at the base hospital. The airman wrote a seven-page letter
to UFO investigator/ speaker Art Campbell, delineating the details
of Ike’s visit and some of the activities while there. The Columbine
III, Ike’s Air Force One at the time, landed at Holloman around 9:00
a.m. on Feb. 11th.
By previous arrangement, the plane taxied and
parked on an active runway. A short time later a UFO was seen to
land in front of Air Force One. A man presumed to be Ike left the
parked plane and walked to the UFO. A meeting of some 45 minutes
took place and then he returned to the plane. Another UFO was seen
hovering over the flight line while the meeting was going on.
The details are sketchy, but Ike was at the base until 4:30 or 5:00
p.m. when his plane left. Hundreds saw it (photo above.) Ike and the
base commander spoke to several hundred military and civilian
workers on the base and at a hangar and in the base theater. The
airman listed the names of eight witnesses to this event. Other
witnesses are being sought by investigator Art Campbell.
If you know of, or have any information about this event, please
contact Art’s e-mail:
Or you can snail mail him at:711 Medford Center, #129
Medford Or. 97504
More information and additional details on this dramatic event
below in a series of articles published in a great online magazine,
Filers Files. We will try to post these once a week articles here
every week also, from about Feb 19th to Mar. 26th 2007
Part 1 - About The
Art is a nationally known UFO researcher and speaker who has been
active in UFO research beginning in Kansas City, Missouri in 1957.
Art took time out between 1959 and 1989 for a successful teaching
career. In that period of time, he was a teacher, counselor,
football coach and high school principal.
Originally, Art was a NICAP investigator working with
Donald E. Keyhoe. Art formed a NICAP
(National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) affiliate in
Kansas City in 1957, and worked on an important NICAP investigation
of George Adamski, who claimed an alien contact in the Kansas City
Art is also the principle investigator
of the UFO Crash at San Augustin, a little known, but highly
significant crash of what the USAF referred to (in the famous 1947
Gen. Ramey's telegram) as "SITE TWO SW OF MAGDALEMA NEW MEX."
In the fall of 2006 Art received a 7-page letter from an retired
airman who was assigned to the base hospital at Holloman AFB. The
airman details what he knew and what he and his friends saw when
President Eisenhower visited Holloman in February of 1955. According
to the press at the time, Ike was on a hunting trip to Thomasville,
In our next installment, we will take
you to President Eisenhower's press conference on February 9, 1955,
the departure from Andrews AFB the next day, and the reception he
received in The Thomasville Area
Part 2 - A Trip To
Executive Office Building,
Wed. morning, Feb. 9, 1955, 10:31 to 11:01 a.m.
In attendance 230 journalists
THE PRESIDENT: " Good morning. Please be seated. One
announcement of little importance to anyone except myself. I
hope to get a few hours away from this city starting tomorrow
afternoon. I am going down with the Secretary of the Treasury to
his farm in Georgia."
Eisenhower's Secretary of the Treasury
was George H. Humphrey, a millionaire industrialist raised in
Saginaw, Michigan. Humphrey owned a plantation near Thomasville, GA,
where Ike hunted quail in February during most of his presidency.
Thirty-five miles north of Thomasville was Spence AFB which had
originally been a base for training for fighter pilots during WWII.
It was an ideal place for the Columbine to land and only 35 miles to
the Milestone plantation. Humphrey became Ike's secretary of the
When Ike came down to Thomasville his
motorcade would usually be accompanied by Georgia State police.
There were six in Ike's party, including
Mrs. Eisenhower; her mother Mrs. Doud; Clifford Roberts, a Wall St.
banker and advisor; and George Humphrey and his wife Pam. The party
left the MATS terminal at Andrews AFB on Feb. 10 at 1:00 p.m. Ike's
plane was a new Lockheed "Super Constellation", the VC-121 E. It had
been christened by Mamie a year earlier and named the Columbine III
after the Colorado state flower.
Mamie was from a prominent Denver family
and married Ike in 1916.
The Columbine III, also known as
Air Force One after 1959 or so, had a range of 3500 miles.
The engines were four Curtis Wright R 3350, turbo compounds w/ 2700
hp each. Big for the day. Ike's plane had a wingspan of some 110
feet. The body of the Columbine was nearly 90 feet long and nine
feet wide. The maximum speed was 355 mph with a cruising speed of
290 to 325 mph, depending on altitude. It carried a crew of
fourteen, and Major William (Bill) Draper was the pilot. Draper had
also been Ike's pilot in Europe during WWII.
It was an easy two and a half hour flight to Spence AFB in So.
Georgia. The Thomasville Times-Enterprise papers of Thursday and
Friday featured bold headlines:
"Fair Weather Seen for Ike's Quail
Hunt, Thousands Cheer His Arrival."
The article went on to say
"Thousands line streets in Moultrie, Coolidge and Thomasville."
Spence AFB was just outside of Moultrie
and people were lined up on the main street of the three towns that
Ike would travel through. And even along the highway between towns.
The paper reported that as the motorcade entered Thomasville, "the
chief executive waved and spoke to persons along the route."
Hundreds of students jammed along school campuses facing Jackson St.
as the president entered Thomasville, the Times-Enquirer reported.
Milestone Plantation suited Ike's
privacy needs very well. Here he was completely away from jangling
telephones or weighty conferences. Humphrey's plantation had some
2,000 acres of prime bird hunting land. Ike had enjoyed hunting
since his youth in Kansas. His favorite hunting piece was an 1897
Winchester repeating 16-gauge shotgun. On this occasion, he brought
along his custom 20-gauge hunting piece.
Specially made, it had custom carving on
the stock: a wild turkey in flight on one side and his five
general's stars in a circle on the other, with his name - Dwight
David Eisenhower. Ike was a very good shot while hunting birds;
however he found it hard to live down that in WW II, he had emptied
a clip of nine 45 cal slugs shooting point blank at a rat in a
latrine. The rat was soon dispatched when about a dozen aides came
running after they heard the shooting. Ike was reported to have
said, "I don't trust rats or Germans."
In his 1954 trip to Milestone, Ike had bagged his limit every day he
hunted. When ducks and quail were in season, Ike kept his skills
sharpened with skeet shooting at his Gettysburg farm or at the
newly-built Camp David outside of Washington DC.
Except for previously arranged rare
photo ops, none of the media were allowed on the Milestone grounds,
but this time it was a little unusual. There was a great deal of
international tension building. Accompanying Ike and his hunting
party was James Hagerty, his press secretary who kept an eye on
international events and kept the press informed as to the
activities of Ike and his party.
There was little to write about, but the Washington press corps did
it well. A reporter from Newsweek wrote,
"The president arrived at
the estate just as dusk was falling. An old soldier, he took less
than 15 minutes to change from his sack suit to hunting togs."
Secretary Humphrey and Cliff Roberts took much more time. Ike was
heard by his party to shout at his partners as they dressed, "We
haven't got much daylight left." They reached the hunting area as
dusk was falling about 5:30 pm.
Ed Darby who was on the press plane wrote for Time Magazine, "In
spite of the wet brush, a cold wind and the gathering dusk, the
president and the secretary of the treasury bagged two birds each."
Darby's Times article was titled "Two in the Bag." They arrived back
at the plantation main house after dark, somewhat cold, a little
wet, but in good spirits. After dinner that night, Ike and the other
men played bridge while Mrs. Humphrey, Mamie and her mother played
Outside the rain drizzled and the
mercury began to drop. The Newsweek reporter explained that "the
dogs cannot pick up the scent" while the birds are huddled under
cover in the wet brush. It looked like the predicted fair weather
quail hunt had suddenly turned "foul."
In the next installment of Ike's secret visit to Holloman, you will
learn about a slight change in the president's health and how a
shift in Russian leadership affected the world.
Two planes landed at Spence AFB north of Thomasville on Thursday,
Feb. 10th. Preceding Ike's Air Force one was a chartered plane full
of news media. They landed first, and, with various movie cameras,
other journalists and technicians began setting up for Ike's
arrival. Among them were well-known personalities representing 120
different news organizations -- Ray Sherer and Robert Blair of NBC,
the well-known journalist William Lawrence of the New York Times,
Walter Kingston of the Baltimore Sun and John Edwards of ABC as well
as Ed Darby of Time Magazine.
Others were also on the plane --
representatives from the AP and UP as well as a number of
technicians for the Warner-Pathe News and a film crew from Metro
Why all of this high powered press for a
quail shoot on private land and out of the press view?
next to Ike's front page articles in the Times-Enquirer were very
bold with an international flavor. A week before, Joseph Stalin's
replacement Georgi Malenkov, the Russian premier had been forced to
resign and was replaced by Marshal Bulganin. Headlines fairly
screamed about the leadership change. Winston Churchill made
immediate arrangements to talk to Marshal Bulganin. A famous
military leader taking over an aggressive cold war government gave
the world a severe case of the jitters. It was clear the Washington
press corps wanted to be near the President.
Sometime in midmorning, James Hagerty dropped by the Scott Hotel
where the journalists were staying with the hunting report. Ike and
George Humphrey had gone out again that morning, but the birds were
not active, so the hunters soon returned to their quarters
empty-handed. To top it all off, it seemed that Ike had come down
with a case of the "sniffles" and would be staying in for awhile.
According to Hagerty, Ike was sitting by the fireplace playing
bridge and chatting. It continued to rain on and off the rest of the
day, but there was one bright note for the journalists -- Secretary
Humphrey was throwing a dinner party for them that evening at the
nearby Glen Arven Country Club.
Since their arrival the weather was taking a definite downturn, and
many decided they needed some warmer clothing. As soon as the stores
opened, the men fanned out in twos and threes to see what
Thomasville was about. The Thomasville Cab Co. did a brisk business
that day, taking the men to various stores and other places in the
southern town. Hunters bright flannel shirts, sold well at Pennys.
Just inside the front door was a manikin wearing a "short 'n sweet"
Peek a boo panties, but many men bought heart shaped boxes of candy
for the upcoming Valentine day occasion. That evening the Times-Inquirer talked about the cold wave, while on the funnies page Bumstead dreamed he was in a flying saucer.
It must have been reassuring to some that the leader of the free
world in this time of world crisis was sitting by a warm fireplace
nursing his cold, drinking hot toddies and playing bridge. Actually,
this was not the case. At about 8:00 that Friday morning, Ike was
not in his cottage.
As the journalists and technicians were
starting to stir and thinking about shaving, hot coffee and
breakfast, their leader had taken a back road north to Spence AFB
during the night and had skipped out. Air Force One was some 1250
miles away at 13,000 ft., somewhere above the west Texas/ New Mexico
border, and Ike was not thinking about hot toddies and bridge. The
President was on his way to Holloman AFB to one of the most
important meetings of his life.
Ike and his advisors had been preparing material, collecting
statistics and going over the rationale for continued nuclear
testing. He, as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, was
also seen as the guardian or spokesman for the free world's nuclear
arsenal. The arms race had began as soon as WW II was over and
nuclear race was shifting in to high gear. The USA alone, up to
1955, had conducted 189 nuclear tests above ground, underground,
under water and in the atmosphere.
The Russians had conducted some 90 nuclear tests since 1949 and had
exploded their first hydrogen bomb in 1953. Ike was not sure how the
meeting would go, but his advisors had prepared him as well as they
could. He was very sure atomic energy would be at the top of the
agenda. He and his few aides on board were informed by a crewman
that they would begin the descent to Holloman soon. They buckled
their seat belts and waited.
On one side of the huge plane could be seen the town of Alamogordo,
and in the distance, the dual A shaped runways of Holloman AFB. As
the Lockheed completed its final turn, to the west could be seen the
San Andreas Mountains, and to the north, the long Tularosa Valley
stretching into the distance. Above the white haze was a clear azure
It was going to be another beautiful day
in New Mexico.
Shortly after the US Air Force became a separate branch of the
service, Alamogordo Air Base became Holloman AFB. It was named in
honor of Colonel George V. Holloman, a pioneer in Air Force research
and development. At one time in the early fifties, Holloman was a
far-flung satellite of the Air Force Missile Test
at Patrick AFB in Florida. In September of 1952 it was designated as
a permanent Air Force installation.
The old Alamogordo airfield had been a training base for heavy
bombers. The bombing range some 38 miles wide and 64 miles long,
proved to be an ideal location for the new guided missile program
which began in 1946-47. But that was fifteen years earlier. Today
the president of the United States was landing at Holloman.
It was a smooth landing as landings go.
Dual tires on the concrete skid-marked runway felt rough at first.
But after the wheels of the big Lockheed got up to speed, things
smoothed out. Gradually the sagebrush came into focus, and the whine
of the four turbine engines began to take on the familiar sound of
props under reduced power.
The big Lockheed Constellation in passenger service in those days
carried over 125 passengers, but there were fewer than twenty aides
and secret service men in the main cabin with the crew of fourteen
each at his station. Some in a special compartment behind the
cockpit, two in the small galley, and several in the aft passenger
area. Each deep in his own thoughts, each glued to a window looking
for something to break the monotony of the barren landscape.
At about 7,000 feet into the landing,
Major Bill Draper, the pilot, started reversing the engines, and the
plane slowed measurably and became louder. When the noise died down,
the plane was in a slow taxi towards the end of the runway. As the
sleek Lockheed reached the turn-around at the end of the runway,
Draper slowly put on the brakes of the left set of dual wheels, and
the plane pivoted around to the port (left) side. Air Force One
taxied back up the runway about 75 yds. and stopped. All engines
were shut down.
There were probably 300 people with a vantage point on this side of
the base, who saw Air Force One land, and as it did, they called
others to other windows, work stations and vantage points. It must
have seemed very eerie for the president's plane to be seen sitting
out there almost a half mile away, alone and quiet. No red carpet,
no band, no honor parade, just a few horned meadowlarks calling in
Eventually, the base workers returned to
their stations, typists resumed typing, stenographers turned on
their Dictaphones, phones rang and were answered. And always the
question was asked: Is Ike here? What's going on? The civilians and
military on the base had been told that while the president was
here, this would be a "business as usual" day. It was hard, with so
much excitement but everyone carried on.
A few minutes earlier, Col. Sharp, the base commander, and several
officers had gone to the base ops tower to see the president's plane
land. The first communication they heard about 8:10 was,
"HOLLOMAN TOWER, THIS IS AIR FORCE
7885 TEN MILES EAST OF MARYHILL."
They requested landing instructions,
other traffic in the area, and base wind direction. They were
assigned runway 13 (short for 130 degrees.)
The Holloman runways in those days
formed a gigantic letter A, running northwest to southeast. The
runway they were assigned was the farthest away from the hangars and
workshops. It was obvious to base personnel that what was happening
or going to happen was as far away as it could be. Little could be
seen unless one had a vantage point and binoculars. Phones all over
the base were very busy, many questions were asked, is he still out
on the runway? What's he doing now? What's going on? What's
happening? And the invariable answer: We don't know.
But about ten minutes after the plane landed, the radar officers
gave instructions to shut off all radar controlled from a room under
the control tower. The enlisted men had been told only about five
minutes earlier about shut down. Col. Sharp could probably hear some
of the men in the stairwell mumbling about the base being blind as
the men headed outside to have a smoke. Technically, the colonel was
on leave today. He had turned base operations over to his deputy
base commander as long as the president was here. He felt it his
duty to be with him with no distractions.
There were a dozen visual patrols out around the base and some of
the up-range small radars were on, but the larger base Doppler radar
had been shut down by orders from Washington. A phone rang in the
tower with a report of two unidentified objects passing over Range
Road 12. Then a minute later the bogies were over Range Road 7 only
a few minutes from the runways. Men in the tower swung their glasses
to the north in the morning haze.
Then something glinted in the sun, then
something else just below it. A report came in of a third bogie five
minutes behind the first two. The tower personnel who did not know
what these were, were stunned. No tail, no wings, no motors. Just
round objects approaching the president's plane sitting alone on the
far runway with a covey of base officers in the tower, including
Col. Sharp. They knew something big was up. They reported the
objects, logged them and did their job which was "business as
The two objects stopped about 300 ft. over Air Force One, and one
descended on the far side of the plane and gently touched about 200
feet ahead of the plane. The other hovered briefly and then came
across the near runway towards the big hangars and some shop
buildings. It took up a position somewhere above the buildings over
the tarmac. The disc had a good vantage point of anything that might
come towards the president's plane and the disc on the ground.
A brief look at the public view of UFOs in 1955 would not cause any
eyestrain. Only a few scattered newspaper reports since 1947 had
made national news, and in those days the military were likely to be
believed when they released cover stories. Kenneth Arnold had seen
only reflections. Everyone got a chuckle at the Roswell balloon
story, and the blips seen on radar and over the White House in July
of 1952..... just sea gulls.
Donald Keyhoe was just getting the NICAP
idea started and several books by Scully and Adamski were considered
just men's magazine sensationalism. So it was with some disbelief
that two UFOs had come to Holloman AFB in Feb. of 1955. There was
little background for believing in them at all as extraterrestrial.
Some who saw or heard about the two craft at the base that day
thought they might be new German innovations. Some thought they were
ours others thought they might be Russian.
German scientists assigned to supervise missile launches in
Operation Paperclip at the near by White Sands Proving Grounds were
highly respected, and some German scientists were working in various
labs at Holloman. "Business as usual" may have been the motto for
the day, but many of those with a vantage point had someone
reporting what could be seen. Soon after the UFO landed in front of
Air Force One, a man many assumed to be the president, came to the
doorway of the plane, descended the portable stairs and approached
the saucer on the ground.
Some sort of a hatch had been opened a
few minutes before and had folded down to become a small ramp. The
man walked up the ramp, stood briefly at the opening, shook hands
with someone, and went inside. Observers thought the period of time
to be about 45 minutes. When he emerged from the craft, he walked
towards Air Force One. Part of this time he was facing the
observers, and most were sure it was Ike.
He wore no hat, and many recognized the
hairline and his erect military walk.
In Part IV we covered a brief history of Holloman AFB, examined the
Lockheed Constellation as a commercial craft, and learned of Ike's
landing at Holloman. The base radar shut down, and a man who
appeared to be President Eisenhower exited his plane and walked
towards a UFO that had just landed in front of Air Force One.
In Segment V we will divert from the speculative narration and
report only what witnesses saw, heard and felt. During the past
eight to ten weeks this story has gotten out in the UFO community,
and we have asked for any witnesses to this event to come forward.
Consequently, we have had some contact from some witnesses and
expect more as this story develops.
Our main witness was Airman 2nd Class Wilbur Kirtland (pseudonym)
who was stationed at the base hospital in 1955. His only actual
sighting that day as of Air Force One taking off about 4:45 p.m. on
Feb. 11th, 1955.
Kirtland reports as follows:
"In the spring of 1955 I was
assigned to the Holloman AFB hospital. In February we heard that
the president was coming to Holloman. It was general knowledge
that there was going to be an honor parade for him. Captain
Reiner asked me if I wanted to participate in the early morning
parade. I declined and he said, OK, that I would be on duty that
day. The day before it was to take place, it was called off. We
believe the secret nature of the visit was probably not
explained until several days before the president's arrival.
When this word was received, the honor parade was then called
On or about Feb. 11 at 8:00 in the morning, Kirtland began his
shift at the base hospital. Another airman named Dorsey was due
to be there also. Kirtland said that when I got there the nurse
asked me where Dorsey was. A clerk typist named Dorothea Thorenson replied that she had seen him taking his wife to the
commissary (large base shopping area) that morning. When Dorsey
finally arrived he asked me if I had seen the disc hovering over
the flight line. I told him I hadn't, but I was visualizing
something small you held in your hand like a track and field
disc. I asked him what it was made of.
Dorsey said it looked to him like
polished stainless steel or aluminum. When I asked about its
size, he said twenty - thirty feet in diameter, and did I want
to see it. Of course I did. Dorsey said it was there when he
took his wife to the commissary, and was still there when they
came out thirty minutes later.
"Go out in front of the hospital
and look towards the hangars," he said.
I asked the nurse for permission. Nurse turns to doctor, then
"No. Stay here." (probably about 9 - 9:15 a.m.)
We are still seeking Airman Dorsey, but do not have his first
Author: From several sources, we
have learned that the base department heads had been asked to
keep normal activities going that day. This may have been an
attempt to comply with this "business as usual" mode during the
president's visit. Another airman relates his experience on the
way to coffee later that afternoon. He had been walking behind
two officers. One officer was the duty OD. The one dressed in
khakis asked the other officer why he was in his dress blues
The other officer explained that he was "officer of
the day. I was at base ops (control tower) when Air Force One
came in this morning. As soon as it landed we shut down the
The first officer asked why they would turn off the radar and
learned that they were ordered to from higher up. We think the
Doppler radar may interfere with the saucer's guidance
system..... or something. Both came in over the president's
plane. One landed on the active, and the other hovered for
awhile, then moved over to the flight line. (This one was
apparently seen by Airman Dorsey and an electrician earlier in
The president left his
plane............... and went towards it. A door opened, a ramp
came down and he went inside for 45 minutes. The first officer
asked who all saw this; the other officer said, the personnel in
the base ops control tower as they had binoculars. When asked if
anyone saw who was inside the saucer, the officer replied,
"No, it was faced pretty much
away from the tower at a sort of oblique angle."
It would be appropriate here to
bring in a rather interesting report received from a lady whose
father was a civilian electrician at the Holloman base. He
worked out during the day on the base with the electrical crew,
out of the base electrical shop. He had been an electrician in
the army in Korea and had gotten the job in 1953 or 1954 because
he was a vet.
"We were in Albuquerque at the
time. Dad worked there in '54 and came home on weekends. We
moved down there in the summer of '54 when I was in the
fourth grade. Mom wanted us together. Sometime after
Christmas of 1955 Dad came home one night kind of shook up.
He would tell the story for years when we'd ask him to, and
later on, to the grandchildren as well. We called it 'When
Dad became a fireman.' I asked the daughter if the story got
better with the telling each time. She said no, but as he
got older, we enjoyed it more because of his gestures. They
worked out of a 3/4 pickup with a telephone co. truck bed
(lots of compartments.) Dad told us "
They could see the president's
plane for most of the landing. At first it circled, getting
lined up for the runway. We had a view of the runway between
some buildings where we were working. They could see about
400 to 500 feet of it. The plane landed, came through the
part they could see . They expected to hear it taxi up to
unload , they all wanted to see the president. He they
waited and waited. It just stayed out there someplace and
shut down its engines.
They saw others looking out that
way, and some men on the roof of a hangar looking to the SE.
One of the crew suggested that someone climb a pole to
report what was going on, so Dad volunteered. He strapped on
his steel climbers. Dad said he had learned to always keep
the sun at his back while climbing a pole in order not to
get blinded. Dad said he got near the top of the pole and
head someone shout, but did not hear the words. He then saw
the truck driving off and some of the crew running toward a
hangar. He noticed the men on the roof running back away
from the front of the hangar, and one pointing out towards
the flight line.
Dad swung around on the pole to
look out on the airfield and see what all the commotion was
about. Then he said he saw it...this "pie tin like thing"
heading towards him about 150 yards away. "And comin' right
at me," he said. Dad always said he felt very lonely up
there with that thing, and decided to come down fast, as he
was about 40 feet up. He said he looped his climbing strap
out and got down that 40 feet in about five seconds, his
steel spikes hitting only occasionally to slow him down."
Back at the shop when the story was
told, he was nicknamed "the fireman" for getting down that pole
so fast. Apparently, soon after this incident, the saucer just
stopped and hovered about 300 feet over the flight line while
the meeting took place on the far runway near the UFO. Dad said
once the people there got over the initial shock, many just
stood and watched it. He said it was a beautiful sight, and it
had an occasional wobble. He recalled that later that day many
neon lights needed replacing.
(Author: This was apparently the
saucer that hovered over the flight line that Dorsey and his
wife saw around 8:45-9:00 a.m.)
His daughter said they all thought
it was one of our secret aircraft and the president had come to
see. Dad said he never considered it anything but ours until
years later when the UFO shape got publicized more (in the 1960s
or so). He told us" it was then that he understood what was so
Next week the series will conclude
with Part VI. We will continue with firsthand reports and other
information which has come to us about Eisenhower's activities the
day he visited Holloman. If you have any information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or 711 Medford Center, #129, Medford, OR 97504.
In the previous issues we have followed President Eisenhower from a
hunting trip in Thomasville, GA, to a secret departure from Spence
AFB to Holloman AFB in NM. The president was supposedly in his
cottage for 36 hours at Milestone Plantation, when he slipped out
for his trip west. By previous arrangement, his plane parked at the
end of the runway, a UFO landed in front of the plane, and the
president went aboard for a 45-minute meeting. Another UFO was seen
by base personnel hovering over the Holloman AFB flight line during
the duration of the meeting.
Our main witness, Airman Kirtland on or about Feb. 11, 1955 was on
duty at the base hospital. He continues the events as he experienced
them from this date. Airman Kirtland returned from lunch about 12:50
p.m., Dorothea the civilian typist and the nurse asked him if if he
had seen Dorsey.
"I said I hadn't. At 2:30 p.m., coffee break time,
I walked down the hall and saw Dorsey coming in. I asked where he
had been. He replied, at a meeting. I told him to tell the nurse and
Dorothea that I was headed for coffee. After supper I noticed the lights still
on in the flight surgeon's office and went over to turn them off.
Surprisingly, Dr. Reiner was there and was talking to a Lt. Colonel.
The Lt Colonel was telling him that he had heard the president and
Col. Sharp speaking to about 225 people at the supply hangar."
said there were military personnel and civilian workers including a
few female office workers. Dr.Reiner wanted to know what the
The Lt. Colonel said that he just gave them a pep talk and said to
keep up the good work, etc. He only spoke five minutes or so, and
then Col. Sharp spoke for another twenty minutes or so. His speech
included warnings such as, "What you see here stays here" and
something about the "fine security traditions", etc. at the base.
Dr. Reiner's friend also said the commander-in-chief and Col. Sharp
spoke once or twice more at the base theater which held over 200
people. Apparently, Ike told each group that he wasn't supposed to
be there that day.
Kirtland reported to the author,
president of the United States did not know where he was supposed to
be, how could we?"
The author believes that there was considerable pressure on the
Holloman base personnel in the short run, not to let it the
president's visit be known. This secrecy was probably aimed at the
press in Thomasville as well as the national press, so that Ike
would not receive embarrassing questions later or when he got back
to Thomasville ,the next day The ruse worked, as there was not a
hint of Eisenhower being away from his cottage in Thomasville in the
36 hours he was away from the journalists' view.
It is more than likely that this meeting at Holloman AFB was not
Ike's first visit with the ETs. The meeting was too short. It is
possible that there were some negotiations going on and that
something had to be clarified that took just a little time. There is
some circumstantial evidence that President Eisenhower met the ETs
at MUROC (later Edwards AFB) a year before. The press said, "Ike
went missing for a few hours" which would give him the opportunity
to meet with or see ET craft or dead bodies which were believed to
be at Edwards in Feb. of 1954.
Grant Cameron, a Canadian UFO researcher and expert on presidential
associations with UFOs, told the author that there was an entourage
of some 250 people with Ike the year before at Muroc. It is thought
that to simplify things, Ike slipped away from the press at
Thomasville, this time with the immediate goal of keeping the press
off his trail. The second consideration might have been to keep
other countries, including the Russians and the Communist block out
of the loop in regard to the rendezvous with the UFO at Holloman.
It was remote, it was secure, and above
all, it was away from the press. Apparently, the Holloman secret
from 1955 did not begin to be revealed until forty years later, six
years after the Soviet Union collapsed. To the author's knowledge,
Kirtland is the first to bring this story out, naming witnesses. To
be sure, the story has blanks, but most good plausible stories do.
All that can be expected of anyone is that they simply tell with
honesty what they know, heard, and saw. Kirtland has done this, and
his story checks out. I asked him once why he had come forward. He
replied that the main reason he shared his recollections and
memories was that he was tired of government secrecy. He said that
if he hadn't shared it, he would be part of the cover-up. Kirtland
is now a retired inspector for the US Dept. of Agriculture, living
in the Midwest.
Kirtland related one other story about when Ike left the base. This
was to be Kirtland's only actual sighting that day. The balance of
what is written here was what had been told him by others.
Kirtland's words are as follows:
"After work I was in my barracks
room when I was called out to see Air Force One fly overhead. It
flew over the residential area of the base. This is a NO FLYING
zone for all military aircraft. Only the President could get
away with it."
Saturday morning Feb. 12th
After five hrs. or so of flying, We believe Ike's plane landed back
at Spence AFB near Moultrie Ga. By 1 AM or so Ike was back in his
cottage. He had one planned activity this day, he was going to
autograph a photo for some Georgia State Policeman in Thomasville.
Some of the newsmen thought he looked a little tired. After the
autograph signing it was back to Milestone and seclusion and
probably some much needed rest.
Sunday Feb. 13th
Ike had a full schedule in and around Thomasville this Sunday
starting about 11PM. His party motored to the Greenwood Plantation
for lunch and had a photo op near the famous Big Oak in Thomasville.
Then his party drove 35 miles north where the big Air Force One was
warming up. Ike and his party left from Spence about 3 PM for
Washington DC. The next day was special for the Eisenhowers; it was
the 39th anniversary of their engagement, in 1916.
After his return to Washington, Ike's
appointment schedule listed three important people:
Admiral A. W. Radford, Chmn.
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
C. Irwin Wilson, Sec'y. of
John Foster Dulles, Sec'y.
As the author looks back, Dwight
Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, was probably
the best president we could have had at that time. He was decisive,
highly respected, and an excellent leader. He was much admired
overseas while serving as the supreme commander of NATO. It is
thought that his administration had dealings with and a dialogue
with beings from other planets, a presidential first. With our
system of government, however, he was not able to exert as much
influence over government policy and direction that some thought he
In some correspondence from the United Kingdom, a man who had access
to super secret MI5 archives, wrote to the author,
"In the 1953-1955
timeline, the ET visitors had landed at several places and asked for
a meeting with the leader of the most powerful country on earth."
believed that the meeting at Holloman was one of the first meetings
with that race of aliens. (He thinks there were two or three
separate alien groups in all that met with the Eisenhower
administration during his presidency.)
This source said that, "the top item on
the meeting agendas was continued nuclear research and testing with
more and more powerful weapons." The MI5 source alluded to a Russian
nuclear bomb test in September of 1951 that was half the size of the
first 1949 bomb with twice the power. He said, "the visitors showed
great concern over our hydrogen bomb detonation 1952." (Nov. 1, 1952
at Eniwetok atoll, 500 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.)
UFO sightings dramatically increased over military/nuclear
facilities and later launch sites for well over three decades.
The MI5 source indicated that there was considerable pressure on
President Eisenhower to exert some influence over his government's
accelerated nuclear testing programs. Apparently, those in
government who knew of the alien concerns decided to form a
committee to advise the President concerning these matters. He
believes this group was initially called the alternative committee.
Might this have been the beginnings of the group that, today, is
believed to be the extremely powerful worldwide special interest
entity which exerts considerable influence on UFO secrecy?
It is obvious to this writer that our
Government is not merely covering up whether UFOs exist but that we
have had contact with ETs and they have objected strenuously to our
nuclear testing, stockpiles arms race.
All of these pressures on Pres.
Eisenhower few knew about at the time. The entire world was shocked,
but probably not surprised, when Pres. Eisenhower had his first
heart attack in September 1955, in Denver, Colorado. He convalesced
there in a civilian hospital for six weeks before returning to
Washington and a reduced schedule. His domestic difficulties were,
however, just beginning, when that Dec. in Montgomery, AL, a tired
domestic worker named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a
bus to a white man.
The resulting boycott lasted some 54
weeks. Ike recovered from his heart trouble and ran for a second
term and won, in 1956. He weathered the Little Rock crisis, saw the
Soviets send up Sputnik in 1957, he supported the formation of NASA
in 1958, and he saw the first US satellite, the Explorer, launched
earlier that year.
On Jan. 17, 1961,
Eisenhower gave his farewell address in which he
warned of the growing power of the "military/industrial complex."
Ike returned to his Gettysburg farm for the remainder of his
retirement, but he again cautioned that, "long continued military
expenditures could breed potential dangers to our way of life."
After a long illness, the 34th president of the United States died
on March 28, 1969.
Mamie joined him a decade later, in
1979. Both are interred in the Eisenhower Library site in Abilene,
The author would like to hear from you if you were on the base in
1955 or living in or near Alomorgodo. Was there any talk at the
grade school or high school? Did anyone see or hear Air Force One
that day? Do any parents recall being at the base that day? Please
contact Art Campbell. E-mail email@example.com or 711 Medford
Center #129, Medford OR 97504.
Part 7 -
Passenger Manifest, Godfrey, Murrow And The Secret Service
Late in the Eisenhower/Holloman research, the author received a
list of the crew and passengers on the trip to Moultrie/Spence AB
and Thomasville, Georgia. The crew was a full complement of
fourteen, including four guards who rotated shifts while the plane
was on the ground. Going down the list, besides the President and
First Lady and their party of six, were such people as one might
There was Mamie's personal maid,
Eisenhower's personal driver, Jim Hagerty (Ike's press
secretary) Hagerty's secretary, and Ike's valet, etc. One name
jumped off the list -- that of Arthur Godfrey. I checked to see if
this was the
Godfrey of 1950s TV and radio fame, and sure enough, it was. He was
not listed as a social guest as announced in Eisenhower's papers,
nor was his name listed in any activities at Milestone Plantation.
What was Arthur Godfrey doing on the president's plane?
Godfrey TV shows helped define at least the first decade of 1950s
television and radio. Godfrey was associated with his weekly
Talent Scout and Arthur Godfrey and his Friends, both variety shows on CBS
TV. Both shows were watched by millions and finished in the top ten
for most every year in the 1950s. However, Godfrey's star faded
somewhat in the late 1950s as his human interest variety shows gave
way to action and comedy shows beginning to made in Hollywood. But
in February of 1955, his shows and his persona were very high on the
TV producers' and viewers' lists.
Godfrey was a rather kindly, freckled-faced grandfatherly type with
a folksy Will Rogers-type persona and delivery. He was very calming,
as he introduced his clean-cut singers and guest stars. He was a
skilled host and pitchman. He was credited with introducing such
up-and-coming stars as Julius LaRosa, the McGuire Sisters, Pat Boone
and a very popular group in those days, called the Toppers. He was
TV's first super salesman.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications
said, "He only sold from the heart." His sales pitches sounded like
"he was confiding in you alone. Godfrey's rich warm resonant
descriptions of products he had personally tried caused many to go
out and purchase what he endorsed." He also played the ukulele on
occasion, and sang for his audience.
What was the one and only indomitable Arthur Godfrey doing on the
president's plane? Was he there to do a monologue, play his uke and
do a soft shoe in the aisle? He was not seated with Ike or his
social guests in the main passenger compartment, but was in the
forward crew compartment with about a dozen others, including the
flight crew and some secret service agents. It is believed Godfrey
had boarded the plane earlier before it had taxied to the main MATS
terminal to pick up Ike and his guests. Ike's guests were probably
not aware that he was on the plane. According to news sources
including Time Magazine and other sources later confirmed, Arthur
Godfrey and Edward R. Murrow were part of a huge civil
defense effort to assist the government in making pre-recorded taped
messages to be sent on TV and radio airwaves in case of nuclear
Ted Gup wrote in a Time Magazine cover story (Aug. 10, 1992,
p.32-38) that throughout the Eisenhower administration, and for
years after, a vault held tape-recorded addresses by both Eisenhower
and celebrities Arthur Godfrey and Murrow. The pre-recorded message
"The country has come under nuclear
attack, but the government continues to function."
Gup said in his Time article that a
number of newsmen had taken oaths of secrecy and had agreed to
accompany the president to the relocation site of his choosing to
lend their familiar names and voices to help calm the surviving
audience. Recalling the separate press plane that accompanied
Eisenhower to Spence AB and Thomasville, one wonders if,
any of these spokesmen were also
along on this strange trip?
what was going on here? Was this
trip a true potential national emergency?
or another trial run of
apparently many in those days?
There were a number of facilities in the
mid 50s, where government entities could relocate to in case of
national emergency. One was
an underground bunker named Mt. Weather
near Godfrey's home in Beryville, Va. and another facility named
Raven Rock near Gettysburg, Pa., where Eisenhower and his cabinet
convened on a number of "practice occasions." There were also other
sites prepared in case of emergency for almost all important
branches of government.
Another person or two on the passenger list
who may have been involved in what Time called The Doomsday Plan,
was Joseph Giordano, a radio producer; and another man Robert Lennon whom we can find little about.
In retrospect, the Quemoy, Matsu
international crisis did not seem, at the time, to be particularly
serious. My (later to be) wife and I were experiencing a budding
romance at a Junior College. A year before, I had been discharged
from the US Navy and I was just getting my civilian college plans
under way and preparing to enter Michigan State University the
following fall. Apparently, there was some very serious rhetoric
directed at the Red Chinese the Russians and east block countries by
The previous fall the Red Chinese had
begun shelling some Nationalist Chinese strongholds in the Tachen
Islands, including Quemoy and Matsu. Many thought an invasion of the
islands was imminent that spring of 1955. To those readers who were
not around in those days the Red Chinese, (in 1946-49) under their
dynamic leader Mao Tse-tung had pushed our wartime ally Chiang
Kai-shek and his forces off of mainland China. Chang had retreated
to some offshore islands with about 130,000 military men and over
Alluded to earlier in this story was the Formosa Resolution passed
overwhelmingly in both the Senate and the House (Senate 85 to 3, and
House 409 to 3.) In essence, Congress had authorized "war in
advance" at a time and place of President Eisenhower's choice.
Foster Dulles, Ike's Secretary of State, talked about "new and
powerful weapons of precision." Dulles said later that the US was
prepared to use "tactical" atomic weapons to defend Formosa.
press conference a few days earlier, Eisenhower inflamed the debate
when he said about nuclear weapons,
"These things can be used on
strictly military purposes. I see no reason why they shouldn't
be used just exactly as you would use a bullet."
This statement shocked many allies as it
did Americans. As Ike and his hunting party left for Georgia on
February 10th, the events of the last two weeks and our government's
talk about nuclear weapons left considerable tension in the world.
Admiral Radford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said,
"War can break
any time." Ike's calendar, the first day after he returned from
Georgia (February 14th), showed him with both Admiral Radford and
John Foster Dulles in consultation. Red Chinese shelling of Chiang's
off shore islands in 1955 may seem today like a tempest in a teapot,
but the international situation in early February of 1955 apparently
warranted some contingency plans when the president traveled.
A spokesman such as Arthur Godfrey may
have been somewhat reassuring, at least to some. Congressional
leader Lyndon Johnson helped push the Formosa Resolution through
congress. Years later as president, he used the Formosa Resolution
as a model for his Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to escalate the
fighting with north Vietnam.
to Frank Stanton in a 2004 interview, a group called The Eisenhower
Ten, was a established during President Eisenhower's second term
(1958-1961,) to serve in critical government roles, in the event of
atomic attack or other disaster. If such an event had taken place
Stanton (a Phd.) was to have served as administrator of what was
known as the Emergency Communications Agency.
That Arthur Godfrey and Edward R. Murrow
made the recordings. "It's true," Stanton said, "absolutely true."
Searches in various archives, however, have failed to locate the
recordings. Stanton who died in 2006 and was a revered figure in
He knew Arthur Godfrey well and was
credited with bringing Jackie Gleason into television.
Of the eighteen passengers on the Columbine III that left Andrews
AFB for Georgia on February 10th, 1955, well over half were secret
service agents and supervisors. We also know that two or three
secret service agents were on the press plane that preceded Ike's
plane into Moultrie AB, twenty-five miles north of Thomasville. This
would make a total of 12-13 agents for a simple hunting trip where
only briefly (coming and going), would Ike be in the public view.
Correspondence from two former secret
service agents indicates that this many agents would not be
excessive for an overseas conference or a summit meeting where many
experts well-versed in foreign language would be necessary. It was
unheard of, however, for a short domestic "recreational" trip where
the president would have little or limited public exposure.
The Humphrey plantation was off limits
to reporters on this and subsequent trips while Ike was there and
his exposure was limited to a few photo ops in and around
Thomasville. Incidentally, one of the young secret service agents in
the president's plane on Ike's visit to Thomasville was Roy Kellerman. He achieved quite a bit of publicity seven years later as
the agent in charge of the secret service detail in Dallas TX, when
President Kennedy was shot. Agent Kellerman was in the front seat of
In 2007 I interviewed one of the security guards on Eisenhower's
Columbine III crew. I asked what the usual complement of secret
agents was, and he replied,
"Usually five or six", and if they
were going to a new place where the president had not been, two
agents would go ahead and make security arrangements, but five
or six were usually in the plane.
"They often sat with us in our
section, and we knew most by their first names. "
Then he said ............. "I do
recall one trip down to south Georgia (he wasn't on this one)
where there were a dozen or so going to this tiny little town."
He went on to say that plane crew
did not ask any questions, but they learned why the following
day. About 3:00 a.m. they had gotten word that the president
would be leaving in an hour. "We were always ready for this kind
of thing, and sure enough, the plane left one hour later."
He said about a half hour before the
plane left, two Air Force cars pulled up and six agents came on
board. They had apparently been booked into a nearby motel somewhere
for a day or so. The other agents in the little town bustled around
in their darkened vehicles, indicating that the president was there.
No one noticed when the president returned late at night night a day
or so later, and no one ever knew he had left.
Author's note: This statement given in 2007 about an event 50 years
earlier by a retired crew member/guard is probably about as close
as we will ever get to a verification of the Thomasville/Holloman
AFB story of 1955. The gentleman did not have any additional
details, but his recollections of a dozen or so secret service
agents on the plane matches the Air Force One leaving in the early
a.m. for "somewhere in the west" story well. That many agents would
be needed, especially if the president was appearing to be in one
place but was actually "somewhere out west."
The Feb 1955 supervisors and agents
Jim Rowley, head of Eisenhower's Secret Service
head of White House Secret Service
John Campion, Head of Secret
Service on specific trips
Agent John A. Walters, Secret Service
linguist (spoke 6 languages)
Agent Chavrins, Stewart and Stout
Also along were Agents Arnold Lau, William F. Shields, and Roy Kellerman
From press reports, we know of several other agents on
the press plane
Apparently, from Ike's known movements and activities according to
reports of those who saw or heard him, he got his business over with
the UFO by 9 a.m. or so. He spent the rest of the day with Base
Commander Colonel Sharp looking at some facilities, having lunch,
and speaking to several groups. It is felt by the author that both
the president and Col. Sharp decided to allow some visibility as it
would create more undesirable publicity to have him hidden, than in
the public view where things would seem a little more normal.
We knew Ike was on the base from about 9:00 a.m. until about 4:45
p.m. when Airman Kirtland and his friends saw the president's plane
take off. A 45-minute meeting time with the UFO occupants would not
lend itself to a meeting of much substance. The review of an item or
two and one or two questions from either party might be accomplished
in this short time period. However the 6-7 hour time frame (by the ETs or us), could have been time enough for some important
information gathering or some additional consultation.
"It was almost as if they were waiting
for something and killing a lot of time," one civilian supervisor
We know that in Feb of 1955 that the
famous U-2 plane, was not operational yet. The major drawings were
complete though, and the mockup was being tested in the Lockheed
wind tunnel. The maiden flight was not until Aug 4,1955, later that
summer. There, no doubt, were other intelligence sources available
to the president and he might have been waiting on some of these. In
any case, he left the Holloman base About 4: 45 p.m. Apparently,
behind the pilot's compartment on Ike's plane there was a complete
radar and radio room with state of the art communications gear
including air to ground teletype and an air to ground telephone as
well as scramblers and coding equipment.
Several curious facts emerge from the records of the Columbine III
(AF 53-7885) that left Moultrie AB for Washington at 1:30 p.m. on
Feb. 13th, 1955. Of the twenty-four in Ike's party that arrived in
Moultrie (six in the social party and eighteen passengers), only 21
returned. Two were added; they were Mr. Jack Whitney and his wife
Betsey who owned the Greenwood Plantation where Ike's party had
lunched. Whitney later became the US Ambassador to Great Britain's
Court of St. James. Two secret service agents did not return to
Washington on Ike's plane, and conspicuously absent from the return
list was Arthur Godfrey. If Ike had waited for some information at
Holloman and it appeared that the smooth-talking, grandfatherly
figures' services would not be needed, had he simply gone back to
New York? We will probably never know.
Regarding the nuclear threats that President Eisenhower and
Foster Dulles issued to the world's two most powerful Communist
countries just before the Thomasville trip, a reaction was soon
forthcoming....... Nikita Khrushchev, in a letter to the
White House, complained that,
"In the USA there are still people
who do not want to part with the policy and threats of atomic
But President Eisenhower's warnings
quelled the threat of a Chinese invasion. Over a half century later
Taiwan (Formosa) prospers and still has not been invaded from the
Dwight Eisenhower, as he had done in the
Korean War, gave the American people what they most wanted. He drew
a line in the sand, stood up, and kept the peace. Partially, as a
result of the lessening of world tensions of the spring and summer
of 1955, a summit of the Big Four (Russia, UK, France and the US)
was convened in Geneva that July. Also invited were other free world
nations and those from the communist block, including the Peoples
Republic of China. It was hoped by the US and other democratic
nations that this summit might lead to disarmament.
Although the conference did not lead to
immediate world peace, it did start a dialogue which eventually led
to the downsizing of nuclear arsenals and future conferences. It
also led to the realization that Nikita Khrushchev was the rising
power in Russia's leadership. At the conference, President
Eisenhower gained recognition more firmly as a force for peace and
Journalists at the time called the open dialogue "the
spirit of Geneva" and, for a brief time, the world seemed friendlier
and less war-like, and a little more hopeful.
The Museum of Broadcast
The Thomasville Times -Enquirer
2-10 to 13,1955
Time Magazine Aug 10, 1992
Pocock, U-2 Spy Plane, Schiffer
Community Emergency Plan, Office
of Emergency Services, State of California, 1961
President's news conference Feb.
9, 1955, American Reference Library, Ebsco host research
Newsweek, Feb. 21, 1955
Time Magazine, Feb. 21, 1955
The Thomasville Times -
Enterprise, Feb. 10 and Feb. 11, 1955