An Interview with Michael E. Salla, PhD

Exopolitics Journal 1:3 (April 2006)

from ExopoliticsJournal Website





[Note: I sincerely thank Gesan LahMan for her time and effort in transcribing this interview, M.S.]

Robert Dean (ret) spent twenty-seven years of active duty in the US Army where he retired as Command Sergeant Major. He also served in Intelligence Field Operations and was stationed at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the military arm of NATO. His Cosmic Top Secret clearance opened the way for his study of the Assessment.

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What follows is an interview where CSM Robert Dean responds to a number of criticisms raised by Maj. Kevin Randle concerning Dean’s claims of having read a Cosmic Top Secret NATO Study called the Assessment while serving in the Operations Center of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe.


Maj. Randle’s criticisms were originally published online at:

  • INTERVIEW: via telephone DATE: January 13 2006

  • LOCATION: originating in Kona, Hawaii, from Dr. Salla’s home.

  • Transcriber: Gesan LahMan.

    Note: This is the edited transcribed version as taken directly from the interview. All attempts have been made to interpret the words correctly. This version, along with the unedited version, will remain stored in appropriate data bases for future use, and for verification of the audio conversation as it took place.

    MS = Michael Salla. RD = Robert Dean.

    (Conversation was in progress when recording began.)

  • “Interview with Robert Dean,” 213

  • Exopolitics Journal 1:3 (April 2006)



"The Assessment"

Command Sergeant Major,

Robert O. Dean

United States Army

from 4DreamLand Website


Robert O. Dean has been engaged in the field of UFO research for the last 40 years. He began this research on active duty in the US ARMY where he served for 27 years. He retired as Command Sergeant Major from the Army in 1976 as a highly decorated combat veteran after having served as an Infantry Unit Commander in combat in Korea and Vietnam. He also served in Intelligence Field Operations in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam.


Additionally, from 1963 to 1967 he served at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe ( SHAPE ), NATO as an intelligence analyst with a Cosmic Top Secret clearance. While on this assignment, he helped move the headquarters to the new site in Belgium. Dean worked in the Operations Division and was a member of the inner Command Staff thereby working with and seeing the SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) almost every day.

It was while he was stationed at SHAPE that Robert's interest in UFOs first started. One night, while on duty, Robert removed a file from SHAPE's security vault called "The Assessment" - An Evaluation of Possible Military Threat to Allied Forces in Europe".


This file was given the highest security classification, COSMIC TOP SECRET. It retains that security classification to this day. The contents of this file opened Robert's eyes to the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence. He has, since reading "The Assessment", dedicated his life to one goal: Bringing to light the true facts surrounding the UFO phenomenon and contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.


To this end, Robert's current projects are directed toward gaining immunity for ex-military personnel (who may shed some light on the UFO issue), enabling them to testify before a Congressional Hearing without fear of losing their pensions or of prosecution.



RD: I am consenting to this interview for two reasons. One is that this is the last time that I'm going to be going through this. I’ve gone through this so many times over the years, over so many damn stupid accusations, and I'd like to clarify this once and for all. Michael, I'm doing this primarily out of respect for you because you put yourself in the middle here, apparently.

Thank you. Well, you know, I do feel that what you have to say is really important. I feel that the truth in what you say. It means I don’t mind sticking my neck out and supporting you since I feel that what you’re saying is the truth and it’s important. There are people out there that don’t like that.
RD: I deeply appreciate that. I have a couple of misgivings. First of all, I'm rather curious as to why Kevin (Randle) never addressed this directly to me! I’ve known Kevin for years. I’ve known him since back when he and Don Schmitt were putting their first book together. And why he wouldn’t just come up to me and say, “Look, I’ve got some misgivings about the story you’re telling,” and I could have clarified a whole bunch of things for him. But, you’re in the middle here, and I'm sorry for that. So I would like to make a couple of things very clear. I'm glad you’re recording this.

MS: I'll record it all, and transcribe it. That way it can go out and clarify a lot of these misperceptions that are out there.
RD: Well, I went through the material that you sent to me that, apparently, Kevin has published. And there’s a whole bunch of mistakes in there, a whole bunch of misunderstandings which I could have clarified very clearly for him, if he had even taken the time to give me a call, or to even write me a letter. So, I thought we’d go down the list here and I'd try to clarify a number of things.

MS: That’s great. Let’s go through it, because that’s what I really wanted to talk about -- clarifying the various points he makes. So if you could respond to each of those that would be wonderful.
RD: Yeah. I'm going to go down the list and try to clarify what I can. Holy! I went through this years ago when I first came out and began talking about the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Study. People said, “Oh, there’s no such thing as Cosmic Top Secret Clearance.” For two damn years I put up with that crap, where people who have no idea what they were talking about said, “Oh, there’s no such thing as a Cosmic Top Secret Clearance. He made it all up.”


But after about two years, a retired wing commander in Great Britain notified the publisher of UFO Magazine over there, that there was indeed a Cosmic Top Secret level of clearance. And everybody who worked at classified level at SHAPE had to have a Cosmic Top Secret clearance. So, Graham …. I don’t know whether you ever met Graham.

MS: Graham Birdsall. No, I never did.
RD: Graham Birdsall published it clearly in his magazine, that this retired wing commander had stated that, yes, there was indeed a Cosmic level of clearance. “I had it myself,” he said. So it does exist. And it still exists. But I had to put up with that crap.

MS: OK. So, 1993 was the first time the general public was able to confirm that the Cosmic Top Secret clearance existed?
RD: Well, apparently. A lot of people didn’t even know about it. Anybody who had been assigned at, at a classified level with SHAPE knew about it. But the people who were being critical of me apparently didn’t have the insight or the access, so they just say that I made it all up. Well, finally the wing commander came out and said that, “The damn thing does exist. I had it.”


Everybody at SHAPE who works with classified material has a Cosmic Top Secret Clearance. So, we finally put that to rest. Then I went through a whole period of time where I was accused that I had made up being at SHAPE, that I hadn’t been there, that I was not this and I was not that, and so on, and so on. And finally Michael Hesseman, I think you know who Michael is?

MS: I do, yes.
RD: Michael did some research there in Germany and said,

“I had some German investigators check into this thing, from the German office over at SHAPE, and they say, yes, the record is pretty clear that Dean was there, and that he had this assignment, he had that assignment, and that those claims very accurately reflected reality.”

One of things that Kevin has gotten mistaken about here is that I had two assignments when I was at SHAPE.


When I first arrived in the summer of 1963 I was assigned to the Operations Division. That was the assignment that I held, Plans and Operations Division. I held that assignment for two years and then I got promoted. I was a Master Sergeant E7, at the time I arrived at SHAPE, then I got promoted to Master Sergeant E8. Now that was about, back at the time, when the United States Army created what they called “Super Grades”.


They created the ‘Grade E8 and E9’. Prior to that time the senior enlisted level was E7. When I got there I was an E7. While I was there in the Operations Division I got promoted to E8, one of the Super Grades, and I moved from the Operations Division over to the Language Services Branch. Now, apparently people who’ve done their investigating came up with Language Services Branch, and didn’t have any record whatsoever of my two years assigned to the Plans and Operations Division. That’s when I worked in the SHOC (Supreme Headquarters Operations Center), in the War Room.

MS: OK. So that’s really the Intelligence section – the Plans and Operations …
RD: Plans and Operations. That’s when I ran the Duty Roster for the Controllers who (were) the O6’s. O6 is a grade level. I don’t know whether you’re familiar with it. It’s a full colonel in the Air Force, it’s a captain in the Navy. But O6’s were the Controllers in SHOC. I ran the Duty Roster for these people.


And while I was working in Operations Division, for two years, I worked in SHOC. I was in and out of SHOC all the time. I even ran the Duty Roster for the 06’s. But then when I got promoted to Master Sergeant E8, I was transferred over as the Chief Security NCO for the Languages Services Branch. I controlled and inventoried and had access, and I looked after all of the classified material in Languages Services Branch. Now these were the documents that were being translated - from English to French, from English to Italian, to German, to whatever.


We had a complete staff of translators and interpreters that worked in the Language Services Branch. During those years, of the last 3 years of my assignment over there, I was the Sergeant Security for the Languages Services Branch. So the people who came up with information saying, “Oh, he was merely a clerk in a Language Branch,” are missing the point entirely that I had worked in OPs for two years. Then when I got promoted and went over to Languages Services I was in charge of all of the documents, all of the classified material that had to be translated in the entire SHAPE headquarters.

MS: In the time that you spent in Languages Services, did you have access to The Assessment there?
RD: No. No, I lost my access to the thing because when I moved out of SHOC, I had no access to get in and out of the SHOC vault any more after that. But I was still responsible for controlling, or inventorying and classifying and keeping control of all of the documents and classified material that had been submitted to Language Services Branch to be translated from one language to another.


Matter of fact, I helped put together the shipment of all our classified material out of SHAPE headquarters in 1967, before I came home, when we transferred all of the headquarters from Roquencourt to Casteau. We were in Roquencourt, outside of Paris. I helped together, put together the entire shipment of all the classified materials from Roquencourt up to Casteau, outside of Brussels. So, I had two assignments over there – two years at the Operations Division where I worked in SHOC, in the War Room, and that’s when I had access to the document The Assessment.

MS: I see. When you made the move from Operations Division into the language section, was your clearance in any way affected?
RD: No! I still held onto classified Cosmic Top Secret level! To deal with that kind of material, Michael, you had to have a CTS. All of us in that level had CTS. Anybody who worked in SHOC had to have a CTS. I had to have a Cosmic level clearance when I worked at Language Services because I inventoried and was responsible for – we had about 8 large safes. In SHOC we had one enormous vault. You could walk into the room at SHOC.


When I left Language Services, we had 8 large safes absolutely stuffed with classified material. So, I had to inventory and be responsible for that – giving it out to the various translators and interpreters who had to translate it into other languages. But I didn’t deal with The Assessment after I left SHOC.

Now Kevin says that, “Dean later amended the story.” Well, I never amended the story at all! It’s all the same damn story! My first exposure to The Assessment was when an Air Force, full Colonel, who was on duty that night, as the SHOC controller, pulled it out of the vault and threw it on my desk and said, “Read this. This’ll wake you up!” Now according to Kevin I had another version – that I learned the study was under way and that, having the required clearance, I often studied the pages.


Well, there was nothing to study until the document was published in the summer of 1964. When I arrived in ’63, there was a lot of gossip, there was a lot of conversation and gossip among the guys in the headquarters about the UFO study. But there was nothing to look at. There was nothing that had been published. They didn’t publish the document until the summer of 1964. I'd been there in Operations Division for a full year at that time.

When it was published in the summer of ’64, it caused quite a shock to a lot of people. Many of the senior officers were quite stunned by it. I'll say that one night on duty, in SHOC, during late summer or early fall of 1964, is when the Air Force colonel pulled it out of the vault and threw it on my desk said, “Read it!” I never had a chance to read anything until the late summer of 1964 because the document was not published until the summer of 1964.


So Kevin coming out saying that I amended the story and he had another version, well there is no damned amendment! I’ve told the same story, from the very beginning. And I’ve told it repeatedly. There’s nothing about amending it or another version. When I first arrived, there was a lot of conversation about it. But that was just gossip. Nobody had anything to really look at until the summer of 1964, and only then did I ever have a chance to look at the damn thing. I’ve made that clear, repeatedly.


If Kevin had even bothered to give me a call, I could have clarified it for him.

MS: When you were in the Language Division, were there any documents there that were classified “Ultra”, or was it only in the Operations Center that there were “Ultra” classified documents?
RD: The only time I had seen “Ultra” on any document was on a United States document. Ultra was not necessarily a level of classification that was commonly used at SHAPE. It was only used on United States documents. Now, I logged in all of the documents.

Kevin says that I didn’t have the level of access of the Need To Know. I have no idea what Kevin’s even talking about here because if he’s ever been assigned to a major international headquarters, people who had the level of access deal with the documents that they are confronted with, and “Need To Know” doesn’t necessarily apply when you’ve got about 500 to a 1000 different documents going over your desk in any number of days.


In SHAPE Headquarters, back in 1964, ’65, until I left in ’67, we had literally hundreds of thousands of documents that were classified “Cosmic Top Secret”. The idea of a “Need To Know” to deal with classified material is kind of silly. I was a senior NCO and I logged these documents in and I logged them out regularly. I conducted inventories of Cosmic Top Secret documents every month! Need To Know didn’t even apply back in those days.

So documents, when they published them, they would put out “Eyes Only”, “Need To Know”. But the number and the volume that we dealt with, there was no crap about a Need To Know with 500 documents crossing your desk! You’ve logged them, you’ve looked at them, you’ve tried to figure out what they were all about as to whom they were supposed to go to. But like I said, the only time I had seen Ultra while I was in SHAPE Headquarters was on US documents.


Back in those days, from ’63 when I arrived, until ’67 when I left, the administrative problems at SHAPE Headquarters were quite serious. For example, every nation that was militarily assigned or represented there, came to that headquarters with their own administrative procedures. For a long, long time, every nation that worked there, at the headquarters, frankly functioned with their own administrative procedures.


Before I left in ’67, the Admin (short for “Administration”) Division at SHAPE had to publish a Special Order trying to make all of the Administrative procedures in the headquarters under one kind of central system of procedure. But it was a damn nightmare for a long time. The Greeks, the Turks, the Americans, the British, the Italians, the Germans, everybody had their own Admin processes. Generally, that’s what they followed for a long time.


It was not really until we moved the headquarters up to Casteau, outside of Brussels, that the SHAPE Admin Office published an ‘Insist’ that people follow one single procedure for administrative operations at SHAPE Headquarters. But it was a real hodge-podge for a long time.

MS: So, generally speaking then, the kind of security procedures that would be expected in the US military just didn’t operate in SHAPE because of these administrative problems that they had there?
RD: Michael, it didn’t even exist! We had to sock these people over the head, literally, to try to get some kind of a system, a procedure, where everybody followed the same formats. Not only did we have all those different languages involved, every damn piece of a document that went around was either German or Italian or French or English, and sometimes it was Turkish, sometimes it was Greek. The Norwegians even had their own procedures.


The Danes had their procedures. They practically had to sock them over the head with a mallet. It was not really beginning to work until about the time I left in ’67, that the SHAPE Admin Headquarters published the procedure insisting that everybody follow the same damn administrative process.

My immediate boss was a German colonel, by the name of Burger, and his boss was an Italian brigadier general by the name of Julio Cesare Graziani. Now Graziani was the son of an Italian field marshal. If you know your history, Graziani was the Italian field marshal that conquered Ethiopia. Well, his son was a brigadier general at SHAPE Headquarters, and he was a bullheaded … I guess it because he was raised the son of a field marshal, but he was an ornery cuss, and we had to fight like hell to get him to prepare documents that would meet the SHAPE administrative procedures. He wrote all of his memos in Italian.


They had to be translated into English and French, or German. For a long time it was a goddamn nightmare, I’ll be honest with you. But about the time I left the Admin headquarters had gotten the Personnel Administration to put together a procedure. I used to have a copy of it, but I’ve misplaced it somewhere along the line, where everybody had to follow the same administrative procedure, and violations were considered serious. But it was a nightmare for years. Everybody was publishing in their own process. And the Americans were just as bad as everybody else.

So, to answer your question about Ultra, I never saw Ultra on anything but US documents.

MS: OK. Now, was Ultra on The Assessment itself?
RD: Ultra, yes. It was on The Assessment. I remember that I’d seen it repeatedly.

RD: Now, there is another thing here I need to clarify. It is that Kevin says that I provided a document to somebody, and that they determined it was false. Well, let me clarify a little bit here. I never provided a document to anybody! I was attending an international lecture in Dusseldorf, in 1993. It was a big conference sponsored by Michael Hesseman, and I was a speaker over there. I was in Dusseldorf in ’93. During the weekend between, it was a 2 week conference I rented a car and I drove over to Casteau, just south of Brussels, to go to SHAPE Headquarters.


I had been so concerned and so distraught over the criticism that I had been receiving from so many people, that I went down to SHAPE Headquarters, in Casteau, and I visited SHAPE. I went into the US headquarters there, and I laid out my ID and proved who I was, and I got myself a pass. That pass authorized me access to go into SHAPE Headquarters. I spent the better part of 2 days visiting different offices in the SHAPE Headquarters there in Casteau. I asked questions, and it was very clear who I was. I identified myself. I visited the United States section. I went up to the old Operations Division.


I never got back into SHOC because I didn’t have the clearance or access at the time. I met a lot of people. I talked to the command sergeant major at SHAPE Headquarters there. I talked to the administrative office. I went and visited the old Language Services Branch to see if any of the translators or interpreters that I used to know were still around. I found that 2 of them were still there. I began to ask a lot of questions during that summer of 1993 about the document, about The Assessment. I found that people were very hesitant to even talk about anything that was classified, which only made sense. I understood that. So I spent a better part of 2 days there visiting, and enjoyed it thoroughly.


I took a whole lot of photographs, of me and SHAPE and so on. I visited a couple of old friends in Language Services Branch. Then I went back to Germany, and at the end of the conference I went back to the States. About 3 weeks after I got home, in the summer of ’93, I got a little note in the mail. It was an envelope with about half a dozen 35 MM colored negatives in it. No letter, no comment, no explanation, no nothing, (only) about half a dozen loose 35 MM colored negatives. I put them up to the light, got a magnifying glass and looked at them, and they appeared to be photographs of the material from The Assessment.

Apparently my enquiries, when I had been over in Germany and drove over to Casteau and all, had triggered something on behalf of somebody. So I’m back in the States and I get this envelope in the mail and these negatives were in there. I could determine that apparently they were negatives of classified documents, and appeared to be material from The Assessment.

Now, step two. I had an opportunity to visit my son, who at that time was assigned to the Pentagon. My boy is a carrier Naval officer. He a full captain in the Navy. He’s an O6. I visited him there that fall because I remember that the leaves were falling. While I was visiting my son in Arlington, and he was working at the Pentagon, I took these negatives over to a man by the name of C. Richard D’Amato.


Now, have you ever heard of Dick D’Amato?

MS: Yes. I have.
RD: Well, I don’t know whether Dick is still working there. At the time he was Council for International and National Security Policies. He worked for a United States senator on the Appropriations Committee (Senator Robert Byrd). Dick had a Top Secret clearance, and he was interested in the UFO subject. And I crossed paths with him a couple of times and I had gotten to know him. So, while I was in Washington, in the fall of ’93, I took these negatives with me.


I went to Dick D’Amato’s office, and I said,

“Look. Do me a favor. You’ve got access. You have access to a whole lot of things. You have a Top Secret level (clearance). You work for Senator Byrd. You’re on the Committee on Appropriations for the United States Senate.”

Dick was at that time Council for International and National Security Policies. So I gave him the negatives and I said,

“Dick, do me a favor. Find out, if you can, for me, if these are legitimate.”

I turned them over to him.


We had a pleasant afternoon, and I think we had dinner together then I left. I never heard from him after that because I went back to Arizona. The next thing I hear is that somebody in Britain is saying I submitted a document to verify my story that had been considered to be fraudulent. Well I have not submitted a document to anybody.


I had submitted negatives to Dick D’Amato, asking him, in his good graces, to see if he could find out if these were legitimate, or whether they were phony. The next thing I know they (were) published in the British magazine (Unopened Files), that I had provided a photograph of the colored cover document. According to Kevin, that proved to be the downfall of my tale. Well, that’s a total erroneous thing. I never submitted a document to anybody.

I gave the negatives to Dick D’Amato and said, “Please try to find out for me, if you can, whether these damn things are legitimate.”

MS: Right. So, that document was in the British journal (Unopened Files), and was probably by Mark Birdsall?
RD: Yeah, I remember. Mark published it in his little magazine. So I never gave Mark anything. The last thing I did is I gave Dick D’Amato some negatives. The next thing I know, apparently they’d made a print, and they published it in the magazine, and it had “Ultra” on it. That supposedly proved that Dean was a big liar. Well, let me tell you something about Ultra.


A lot of people have said that,

“No, it doesn’t exist.”

Michael, Ultra is, and has been, a US level of access. It’s been a US level code since the early 1950s. Now, are you familiar with Richard Dolan’s UFO book?

MS: Yes, I am.
RD: Well, Dick has done some incredible research. He is one of the finest research investigators that I’ve ever encountered. And his book is what I consider to be a masterpiece. On, on page 85 (p. 47 2002, edition) of Dick’s book, ”UFOs And The National Security State”, Dick talks about Donald Menzel (who) had a Top Secret Ultra clearance. You’re familiar with who Menzel had been?

MS: Yes, I am.
RD: OK. Well, Dick had done some research and found out that Menzel had an Ultra Top Secret Ultra, clearance back in the 50s. And apparently, from what I’ve been able to piece together, Ultra is a level of access that the United States government uses primarily to deal with UFO objects, or UFO subjects. They apparently put the Ultra level on any document that has to do with alien activities or UFO sightings. And Menzel had a Top Secret Ultra clearance, according to Richard Dolan’s research, back in the 50s.

MS: Mm-hm.
RD: That’s right. If you have a copy of, of Dolan’s book, you can find it on page 85 (p. 47, 2002, edition).

MS: Thank you for that. That is very helpful. I do have a copy and I’ll look that up.
RD:  Well, Dick is a researcher that I respect. He, he does his homework. He really looks into it. He came up with the fact that Menzel had an Ultra Top Secret back in the 50s. So, from my own experience, Ultra, while I was at SHAPE, appeared only on US documents. Apparently when D’Amato got the negatives printed, I found out that he, apparently, had sent them to Timothy Good!


And Good is the one who provided them to Mark Birdsall. So, I’ve been trying to piece this together, of how the hell the negatives ended up in (chuckles), in Mark Bridsall’s magazine. So, from what I can piece together, D’Amato had given them to Good because they knew each other. I still to this day, Michael, will not swear that that cover-sheet is legitimate. I have no knowledge that it is. All I know is that I had been given these negatives. I gave them to D’Amato. Apparently D’Amato gave them to Good.


And the next thing I know they’re in Mark Birdsall’s magazine.

MS: Mm-hmm. Now with the negatives themselves, were they basically still on that film that you received? In other words, they hadn’t been developed yet, and you were wanting to know ….
RD: I have never developed any of those negatives because I had seen “Top Secret” on the damn thing. Well, I looked at them through a magnifying glass, and I was not about to have them (developed), you know. I wanted to get them out of my hands as quickly as I could.

MS: OK. So you were concerned that these were still highly classified documents and that this may be in violation of the law if you ….
RD: Michael, I was thinking at the time, “Somebody’s trying to set me up!”

MS: I see. OK. Well, that makes sense.
RD: That’s why I got rid of them and gave them to D’Amato, just to get rid of them. Never did print them. The next thing I know is, I understand that D’Amato never leveled with me, or we never talked after that. But, apparently, he sent them to Good, and Good sent them to Birdsall. And apparently Good and the Admiral (Lord Hill-Norton) tried to figure out whether they were legitimate.


According to the Admiral’s research they could never find anything to verify them. One of the things they did bring out is that “Ultra” was not a level of classification. Well, Ultra is, and has been, for years! Because, Michael, you know this, because I know that you’ve done your homework. A lot of levels of classification are in themselves classified.

MS: Right.
RD: Oh, I’m not surprised, and wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the Ultra as a level of classification is in itself classified. So, it’s probably not found everywhere. But Dick Dolan dug it out and it’s in his book on page 85 (p. 47, 2002 edition).

MS: So basically when Demotto passed on those documents to Good and Birdsall, somewhere along the line they misconstrued that you had actually seen these and believed that they were legitimate, that this was not ….
RD: Yeah. The last document I saw was when I left SHOC. Let’s see, I went there in ’63, I worked there for about two years. It was probably late ’65 when I was promoted to Master Sergeant E8, and went over to Language Services Branch. And I hadn’t seen any material that had “Ultra” on it after I left SHOC.


The only Ultra I had seen was on US documents in the vault. But Ultra was not a common term used by SHAPE Headquarters. It was only used by the United States. And the United States had its own administrative procedures and techniques. For example, we had Air Force and Army and Navy all working together -- all the United States branches, Air Force, Army and Navy. Our Air Force, and our Army, and our Navy, all had individual administrative procedures.


So when you were dealing with documents, for example, you were dealing with a document that had been prepared by the Air Force, you had to make it very clear, when you provided that document to the United States Navy, or to the United States Army, that this was strictly an Air Force document, because the formats were different. You talk about the nightmare of having all those different foreign countries involved, good God! Even our 3 services had their own procedures!

And I’ll be honest with you, in almost the four years, close to 5 years, that I worked at SHAPE Headquarters, the administration was a nightmare. Not only to get the 3 services of the United States to come to some kind of a process or procedure that made sense, but to get the other nations to do the damn same thing. It was literally a damn nightmare. I’ll tell you honestly, I don’t know whether Dick D’Amato is still working back in Washington. I’ve got a phone number on him and I thought I’d give him a call. He used to live in Annapolis (Maryland). I was thinking of trying to track him down to see if he’s still working out there.


As much as he had a Top Secret level, I’m sure he’s probably working in government somewhere.

MS: Right. There are 2 documents that came up in Graham Birdsall’s article. One was the cover-sheet of The Assessment. The one was basically a letter saying that you had an Ultra Top Secret clearance. So that was not something you had ever seen before? That was basically part of that package of half a dozen negatives that you received?
RD: No. I still don’t know what the hell Mark Birdsall published. Nobody ever sent me a copy of the magazine!

MS: Oh, OK. Well, I have a copy so I can send that to you.
RD: Well, thank you. I understand that you guys are putting together something which she received something yesterday in the mail, about a new format or procedure that your organization’s putting together. But she somehow misplaced it or whatever. I can’t find it. I would appreciate it if you can send it again.

MS: OK. Is this the conference that we’re putting together?
RD: Well, it’s something about the organization that’s come up with a procedure where you’re going to try to determine whose telling the truth and who isn’t.

MS: Oh, well, that’s something that we’re discussing. It’s not something that we’ve decided upon yet, but it’s something that we’re trying to play with. But that’s a hard one, just because there’s so much debate and contention out there.
RD: Yeah, well there is. I wish you luck, my friend. You know, I was concerned recently. You’re familiar with the statement made by the ex-Canadian Defense Minister?

MS: I certainly am. Yes.
RD: Yeah, he came out. I believe he said that Colonel Corso had been telling the truth, according to Corso’s book, “The Day After Roswell”. Well, Phil and I were friends. I knew Phil Corso. I’d been to conferences with him. I got to know him over the years. I respected the man, and I have always believed in my heart that Phil Corso was telling the truth from the very beginning. Now that the retired or the ex-Minister of Defense of Canada has come out, and apparently confirmed Phil Corso’s story was legitimate, I wish Phil were still around to hear that!

MS: Yes. He confirmed that Corso was legitimate by a retired US Air Force general who confided in him that Corso was telling the truth. Paul Hellyer hasn’t revealed who that general was. People would like to know. But he is also being criticized, because just as Philip Corso was criticized, now Paul Hellyer is being criticized by many ufologists because he’s taking Philip Corso at his word, or based on what he was told by the general.
RD: You know, this is heartbreaking, Michael, that we people in the UFO field can’t get along. We are our own worst enemies, with this knock-down-drag-out brawl that’s going on, where everybody’s throwing bricks, bats, rocks and mud at each other. We don’t need critics in the Department of Defense! We’re doing enough damage to ourselves, for Christ sake!

MS: Yes. In my own experience, in looking at the criticisms, what I find is that people will try to twist what others say, and try to discredit them that way. Like in (the case) of Kevin Randall with your testimony, he said that you changed your story a number of times. But that is an outright distortion of what had occurred. You’ve actually said that you’ve maintained the same story. So, some researchers try to misconstrue how people present facts and in a negative light. I’ve noticed that this has happened not only with you, but with Philip Corso, Clifford Stone, and other whistleblowers.
RD: Yes, I’ve noticed that too and it breaks my heart because, as I told you before, I told one story, and I told it simply and I told it in one version, and I haven’t changed my tale. I haven’t changed anything. I tell the same damn story because what I’m telling is what I’ve seen, what I was involved with, what I’ve learned. I can’t change that. I was there. I saw this. I was affected by it. I kept my mouth shut for so many years. I never said a word until finally I got to a point where, frankly, I was getting to think I’m going to die here before I ever share it with anybody.


And I came out and told the story. Well, I have been attacked mercilessly from all directions. But the attacks from the guys within the UFO field of research have really hurt me more than anything else. And that troubles me. I respect your position, Michael, and I respect your hunger to find the truth, and I support you completely. And I want to thank you for standing up for me.

MS: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Every time I hear you I feel the truth of your words. Your story is consistent. Your story fits with the facts. To me your story is critical to this whole field. And I’m frankly amazed that so many UFO researchers go to such great lengths to find any way to cast doubt or to criticize you when in fact it’s been clearly proven that you served in the Operations Center of NATO, having a very senior position, and had access to some very sensitive documents. Yet people choose not to acknowledge that and go for these very abstract criticisms or minor details that might not fit their conceptions and criticisms of you. To me it’s like people are out to debunk your story, regardless of the truth of it.
RD: Well, I agree with you, Michael. And as I said, I support you. And I’m sorry that you found yourself in the middle here, between Kevin and I. As I said, it could have all been resolved if Kevin had ever had the courtesy to give me a phone call or write me a letter. We could have clarified some of these things, a long time ago, without having put you in the middle here. I respect you, and I encourage you to continue to do what you’re doing. Michael, you’ve got my support all the way through this thing.

MS: Well, thank you.
RD: I admire what you’re doing. I know how difficult it is for you. I know what you went through back there at the university, and I take my hat off to you, my friend.

MS: Thank you, Bob. I’m certainly encouraged by the things you’ve told me. I know that this field is real. I know I know the things you’ve experienced make it worthwhile, for any sacrifice that I’ve gone through is little in comparison to what the benefit is of pursuing the truth and getting this information out.
RD: I ran into Steven Greer a couple of years back and it was at a conference. I think it was up at Laughlin, at Bob Brown’s conference a couple years back. He grabbed hold and pulled me aside and he said,

“Oh, by the way,” he said, “one of my whistleblowers that I had at my big conference at Washington DC has told me that he read The Assessment and that everything you’ve said is true.”

Then he ran off and I never got a chance to get Steven Greer pinned in a corner to find out who the hell he was talking about. So, apparently one of his retired military whistleblowers had verified The Assessment. So if you ever get a chance to run into Greer, ask him who the hell he was talking about.

MS: Thank you. Yes, that’s an important lead. I’ll definitely keep that in mind next time I talk to him.
RD: Good! And listen, I know the one who verified the story was Michael Wolf. You know what a job they did on Michael Wolf.

MS: Yes, I know. They debunked him mercilessly as well.
RD: Well, I knew Michael Wolf. I never met him, but I had talked to him repeatedly. When he was dying, he was on the phone with me many, many hours, and Michael (Wolf) told me and he told the Italian lady …

MS: Paola Harris …
RD: Yeah, he told Paola Harris that he had read The Assessment in a US file, when he was involved back there. But then they attacked Michael. They pulled him apart and tried to discredit him. But it goes on and on, Michael. It happens again and again. And Clifford Stone is another friend of mine. Are you familiar with who Clifford is?

MS: Yes. I’ve done some interviews with Clifford. I certainly know about him.
RD: Clifford Stone is a retired Army sergeant who lives in, of all places, Roswell!


Clifford had said one time,

“I’ve read the damned Assessment.” He said, “I saw the US copy.”

And he supported me and said that Dean was telling the truth. But, I reached a point, Michael, as I said. I’m going to be 77 here in a couple of weeks and I’m too damn tired to go through this crap again. I’ve spoke with you, and I’ve shared a few things with you only because, as I said, I respect you and I respect the position that you’re in. So this will be my last, so called, public statement on the thing. And I wish you well, my friend.

MS: OK. Thank you.
RD: I hope your conference is hell of a wonderful success.

MS: Thank you, Bob. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll have all this transcribed and send you a copy. This will hopefully deal with those kinds of criticisms, and at least get the record straight.
RD: Listen, my friend, if you run into Kevin, if he comes to the conference, and you get in touch with him, tell him that all this could have been resolved if he had ever communicated with me!

MS: I’ll pass that on.

RD: OK, guy.

MS: Thank you very much, Bob. All the best.
RD: Michael, you take care of yourself. I’ll have to tell you very honestly, I’m a little envious of you being in Hawaii. I wish I were there, but I don’t travel any more.

MS: Well, thank you for your help, and for telling me what exactly happened, and clarifying the situation. That does help me a lot, and I can now respond to the each of the criticisms.
RD: If you are ever able to track down Dick D’Amato, I’m sure he’ll verify everything I’ve told you.

MS: OK. I’ll do that.
RD: Read page 85 (p. 47, 2002 edition) of Dolan’s book, and you’ll see he refers to Ultra, as being active back in the ‘50s. I only saw Ultra on US documents at SHAPE. Never on French, German, British, or any of that.


RD: OK, my friend.

MS: Thank you. Aloha!


[End of interview.]




[Postscript: The following email exchange on Jan 14 & 17, 2006 clarifies a point which Bob and I didn't discuss in the interview. MS]

MS: Apparently Timothy Good claims ... (you) told him that Sir Fred Hoyle worked as a consultant on The Assessment. Hoyle later denied any involvement or knowledge of the Assessment.... (Can you) clarify what you told Good?



Dear Michael,

Thank you for sending me a copy of the Mark Birdsell materials.


Honestly, I don't think that I ever said that Fred Hoyle had seen The Assessment, or had contributed to it. I do remember making a remark that Fred's comments to a British journalist in 1991 seemed to indicate that he might have seen the Assessment since many of Hoyle's observations were very similar to materials contained in the Assessment.


I am aware that Hoyle later denied his remarks but they did appear in many publication at the time. His renowned Indian physicist associate did later remark that both he and Hoyle fully accepted the extraterrestrial reality.


I'm not sure of his name, it may have been something like Dr Chandra Wickramasinghe.