George W. Bush
January 20, 2001
"As President watchers know, we have
a President who likes secrecy. He has hired tested leak-proof
and loyal staffers, effectively sealing the Bush White
House. He has had his records as the Governor of Texas
hidden, shipping them off to his fatherís Presidential library,
where they are inaccessible. He has stiffed the Congressional
requests for information about how he developed his energy
policy - refusing to respond... Not since Richard Nixon
has there been as concentrated an effort to keep the real work
of the President hidden, showing the public only a scripted
President, as now."
- John Dean, former legal
counsel to President Richard Nixon
"It would be easier if I was a dictator."
- Statement by George W. Bush
shortly after becoming President
As the Clinton administration
came to a close, many researchers inside the UFO community
were becoming aware that they could, with a little effort, influence
the White House attitude and actions related to the UFO
One of these efforts to influence the process was undertaken by
Peter Robbins, a British researcher, and co-author of the
best-selling book on the 1980 Rendlesham Forest UFO case
"Left at East Gate." His effort involved attempting to confront the
candidates who were competing to succeed Clinton in the White
In December 1999, Robbins and some of his colleagues began
Campaign Watch 2000. The campaign was designed to act as a
pressure group contacting presidential campaigners, and compel them
to deal with the UFO question. As part of the plan,
every one of the candidates for President in 2000 election was asked
the same three questions:
1. Will you grant immunity
from prosecution to military and intelligence officers who are
prepared to blow the whistle about the Governmentís knowledge of
the UFO issue?
2. Will you order the release of classified government
documents related to the UFO issue?
3. What statement will you issue concerning the publicís
right to access government-held UFO information?
Peter Robbins wrote to all of the
2000 presidential candidates to answer the three questions, and
hopefully obtain their comments on the UFO subject. When it came to
Governor Bush, Robbins came up against a brick wall.
Robbins reported that he,
"had written, faxed, e-mailed and
telephoned the candidate and his headquarters since early
December 1999 . . . to no avail."
Not even Certified Mail,
requiring a signature from the recipient, seemed to make it to the
destination. It was the first indicator that Bush and UFO
openness didnít mix.
The second strong indicator that Bush was not open to UFO
disclosure came from the experience of John E.L. Tenney,
the co-founder of M.A.I.N, or the Michigan
Anomalous Information Network. His efforts to get campaigner
George Bush to talk about UFOs met with the same
failure that Peter Robbins had experienced.
On February 22, 2000, Governor Bush made a campaign visit to
Tenneyís hometown of Royal Oak, Michigan. Tenney
planned to ask Bush about UFOs during a
scheduled meeting between local residents and Governor Bush
at a local restaurant.
Governor Bushís advance people selected the people who would
be in the restaurant (Jimiís Coney Island). After answering a series
of screening questions, Tenney was picked to be one of the
people to meet with Bush.
Due to the large number of people in the restaurant, Tenney
decided that his best time to ask Bush about UFOs
would be when Bush was exiting the restaurant, so he waited
outside the restaurant for Bush to leave. He chatted with the
CNN crew that was also waiting for Bush to
As Bush exited the restaurant, Tenney shook hands with
Bush, and asked him,
"As a presidential candidate, would
you like to issue a statement concerning the American publicís
right to access whatever information the United States
government currently has available on the topic of UFOs...?"
According to Tenneyís
recollection of the event, no sooner had the word "UFO"
come out of his mouth, when a Texas Ranger with Bush grabbed
him by the arm, pulled him out of the crowd away from Bush,
and turned him around. Another Texas Ranger pushed Bush into
a van, and the van quickly left. Tenney recalled the event,
"I was instantly turned around by a
Texas Ranger, Mr. Bush was pushed into a van, another
Texas Ranger grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the crowd and
before I knew it Mr. Bush was gone. "What was it all
about?" I asked the officer who pulled me away from the crowd.
He shook his head and walked away from me without saying a word.
The crew from CNN came up to me and the camera- man said,
"Well that was weird. It was like they knew you were going to
say something strange."
A frame from
Tenneyís video camera taken as he was being forcefully removed from
the Bush rally.
Despite a positive July 2000 experience
researcher Charles Huffer had in asking Bush about
UFOs, the experiences of Tenney and Robbins,
ended up foreshadowing President Bushís clear utter
disregard of the UFO problem.
Once Bush became President, there were other signals that
UFO disclosure was far from the Presidentís mind. Voters who had
written the President about their UFO concerns were
A prime example can be seen by looking at the responses sent out by
the Bush White House staff in response to questions about
Dr. Steven Greerís UFO Disclosure Project. The
Disclosure Project was a
project initiated by Greer "working to fully disclose the
facts about UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, and
classified advanced energy and propulsion systems."
On May 9, 2001, as a part of the Disclosure Project, Greer
held a Washington news conference at the National Press Club that
involved twenty high- level witnesses. Each of them spoke about
their official, secret role in the governmentís UFO cover-up.
Due to the fact that the event created a large amount of media
interest, it was hoped that the Bush administration would be
positive in its reaction to the witness statements, and to the idea
of now disclosing the truth about the UFO situation.
The responses received from the Bush administration to people
writing the White House about the UFO Disclosure
Project, and the May 9th news conference,
however, were anything but positive. Kevin Ketchikan from
Woodlands, California, for example, wrote President Bush
about the Disclosure Project and received a response back
from Deborah Hair, Special Assistance to the President.
Hairís letter resembled that of an ill-prepared student
attempting to bluff a short answer question for which she had not
The President appreciates the
interest and thought which prompted you to write. Because of the
large number of similar requests received by the White
House, I must decline your request. I am sorry this must
be a disappointing response. Thank you for your understanding.
Another writer, Lance Cassino,
received this letter from the Office of Bushís Vice-
This is to acknowledge that your
correspondence has been received by our office. At this time, we
have forwarded it to the appropriate individual for review
Donald G. Ewing wrote a letter to
President Bush related to the Disclosure Project. On
July 31, 2001, he also received a letter in reply, which made
absolutely no reference to the UFO question he had asked. The
letter, surprisingly, was actually signed by George Bush
I believe Government should be
active but limited, engaged but not overbearing. Your views are
helpful as my staff and I work with Congress to address our
obligations to our citizens and to meet the Nationís pressing
Michael Rieker wrote a letter to
Bush asking for UFO disclosure. In reply, Rieker
received this letter from Deborah Hair dated August 7, 2001:
On behalf of President Bush,
thank you for your letter. He appreciates hearing from the
American people about their concerns and welcomes their
suggestions. President Bush is strongly committed to
pursuing policies and programs that meet Americaís priorities
and address our needs. By working with Congress and focusing on
results, his Administration is making significant progress on an
agenda that is worth of our great country. In support of this
goal, President Bush welcomes the ideas and opinions of
all Americans. Thank you for writing him, and best wishes.
The answers received by the voters
questioning the President about the UFO Disclosure Project were
disappointing, but they were much better than the replies coming to
other voters who had written President Bush regarding
UFOs. Some received no answer at all, and some received
letters from agencies they had not even written to. None of the
reply letters contained the word UFO, or anything similar.
One such person was Robert Barrow, who had exchanged more
than one letter with both Congressman Gerald Ford and Senator
Robert Kennedy on the subject of UFOs. On
August 13, 2001 Barrow wrote a letter to President Bush
asking for answers to the UFO mystery. His letter read in
Dear Mr. President:
The international controversy surrounding the existence and
identity of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) has
troubled many people from all walks of life for decades. My
reason for writing is to express my fervent hope that you will
use your Office and influence to get to the bottom of the UFO
issue. You will agree, I know, that it is the responsibility
of this government to tell the people the truth . . .
I believe there are people out here, kicking around the UFO
research area, who have high hopes that you will address the
UFO issue during your term. Some are scientists
and some are current and former high-ranking military personnel.
I feel there is much to be said to the American people,
unsettling or not, and the rewards of a renewed scientific
investigation may be overwhelming.
Whatever the facts, I hope you will publicly deal with the
UFO subject once and for all, and head us in some direction
In a P.S. to the letter Barrow
reminded George Bush, that Bush had undergone pilot training
at Moody AFB in Valdosta, where Barrow had run an
independent physical therapy clinic for the pilots.
"I know well that those who fly for
the military are a special kind indeed," wrote Barrow. "A
disturbing number are also on record with dramatic UFO
encounters, of course, and I think they who risk their lives
daily in defense of the free world, in particular, deserve
Barrow sent his carefully written
letter, but despite the common Moody AFB background that
Bush and Barrow shared, George Bush did not
"I actually did not get a reply from
the White House, " wrote Barrow. "My letter was
unceremoniously shoved off to NASA, and a
representative sent me the customary NASA handout."
The Briefing of the New President
Many UFOlogists were aware of the efforts by Laurance
Rockefeller to brief President Clinton in an effort to
bring a disclosure of long held UFO secrets. When it came
time for a new President to take office, some of these UFOlogists
made plans to brief the new President. They hoped to avoid the
mistakes that had been made in the efforts to get UFO
disclosure adopted by the Clinton administration.
One group who began discussions about what lobbying efforts should
be made included Ronald Pandolfi, the scientist who had acted
as CIA liaison to the Clinton White.
Pandolfi had been invited to a supper meeting with Dan Smith,
Joseph Stefula, and Gus Russo, despite his reservations
about briefing Presidents on the subject of UFOs.
Pandolfi felt that "the various intelligence agencies are in no
way bound to cater merely to official curiosity," and that if the
CIA Director makes a determination that the President shouldnít
know, then "indeed the President does not have a need to know.
Period." The group met in mid- November 2000, just after the
election, and during the time of uncertainty in the Florida voting
The participants were invited by Joe Stefula, a New Jersey
UFOlogists, who had previously met and corresponded with the
CIA UFO expert Pandolfi. Gus Russo was a
journalist/author/experiencer who has attended two previous meetings
with Dr. Pandolfi. Dan Smith was also a friend of Pandolfi,
who had been used by Pandolfi to leak UFO information into
the research community.
The plan for the briefing was to go through Nancy Bush Ellis,
the sister of George Bush Sr., who was a neighbor of Dan
Smithís sister. While attending Yale University a young
George W. Bush had spent a lot of time with the nearby Ellis
The plan to brief President-elect Bush failed. Dan Smithís
sister would have nothing to do with the idea, and Pandolfi
refused to cooperate, because according to Dan Smith, he did not
want to "rock the boat." Despite this setback, this author was told
in November 2001, that Dan Smith still planned to brief
Dr. Steven Greer also had plans to provide the new President
with information on UFOs, and had at least one member
of "the team" who had run Governor Bushís campaign for
President in one of the biggest states.
Greer felt, however, that these types of Presidential
briefings rarely had the desired effect, and had given up on using
Presidents to achieve disclosure. He had learned this lesson
following President Clintonís refusal to do anything after
two briefings that Greer had provided for him. Clinton had
sent a message back through the briefer to Greer simply
saying "I canít do this but you can."
Greer had publicly stated in 1999 that the effect to motivate
Clinton was dead:
"The President is not inclined to
take the risk to do this. We have this Ė We know this for a
The September 11th Effect
The events of September 11 were a great setback for the hopes
of a UFO Disclosure. It had become a time of war where
principles of openness, disclosure, and the brotherhood of man were
exchanged for secrecy, a limiting of personal freedoms and
principles of the Constitution, and revenge projected towards
perceived evil in the world. Anyone who opposed this new
militaristic world view was quickly labeled unpatriotic, and a
provider of aid and comfort to the evil forces aligned against the
UFOs suffered from a lack of focus that affected also
every other aspect of society and thought. Charities not directly
aligned to the terrorist attacks quickly saw money they would
normally, get channeled towards the bombing victims. Those who had
died in the September 11th events suddenly became the
only victims in America.
Public issues such as health care, new roads, and social security
suddenly took a back seat to the perceived terrorist threats and
their effects on the economy. The issue of UFO and a
disclosure of the truth went from a trivial, to a non-issue.
During the first days following the terrorist attack, even UFO
message boards and E-mail groups did not discuss UFOs.
A major national UFO convention in was canceled. The Santa Clara,
California UFO Expo continued on, but many speakers did not
show, either because they had a hard time getting a plane, or they
felt "it would not be proper to speak in light of what had
The World UFO Congress in Laughlin, Nevada held its
convention to only a fraction of the usual crowd, and with many
speakers missing. All the speakers tried to tie their UFO
messages into what had just happened in New York and
Just as during the time of the Vietnam War, when personal freedoms
and thought were curtailed in exchange for United States national
security and a victory on the war front, this wartime mentality will
end. Once the war has ended and victory achieved, the American
people will again turn to questioning the morality of some of the
things being done. They will also turn to issues such as UFOs,
which involve principles of where the world as a whole is going, and
re-examine higher principles of our place in the universe.
Until then, it appears that "secrecy" will be the watch-word of the
day. It will be defended by a public wishing to be safe, and afraid
of being declared unpatriotic, or an aide to the worldís terrorists.
The terrorist situation created a situation where all the
Bush White House had to do is say "protect the
national security" to get greater latitude regarding secrecy
restrictions. Examples of new secrecy include:
1. Bushís attempt to
restrict who in congress could get intelligence briefing on the
war in Afghanistan, in order to prevent leaks.
2. The most telling sign the new Bush
administration favored secrecy over openness and disclosure: On
October 29, 2001, when President Bush drafted
Executive Order 13233 which would withhold a former
Presidentís or Vice-Presidentís paper from public review even if
the former President wanted the material released to historians.
The move was a clear sign that UFO disclosure in a
George W. Bush administration was a long-shot, at best.
In a world where UFO secrets
thrive in the dark underworld of the unacknowledged black budget
world, the new Executive Order will provide more protection for
"The executive branch is moving
heavily into the nether world of dirty tricks, very likely
including directed assassinations overseas and other
violations of American norms and the U.N. charter," said
Vanderbilt University historian Hugh Graham:
"There is going to be much to hide."
The Bush move towards
instituting blanket secrecy over Presidential records seemed, in
part, motivated by 68,000 pages of confidential communications
between President Ronald Reagan and his advisors that
were opened under law in January, 2001, or twelve years after
the end of the Reagan administration in 1989.
The records scheduled for release would have included
confidential communications of George W. Bushís father,
who had been Vice-President in the Reagan administration.
The move to release the files was backed by the National
Archives and the Reagan Library. The Bush White
House however, prevented the release three times to "review
constitutional and legal questions." Now, with the Executive
Order, the files could remain secret for decades to
Another thing that the Bush administration feared from
the release of the 68,000 pages of files, according to some
historians, is that they would reveal less than stellar things
about former Reagan officials who now work for Bush.
Those included in this list would be Secretary of State Colin
Powell, Budget Director Mitch Daniels Jr. and White
House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. All were once aides in
the former Reagan administration.
3. In late-December President George W. Bush made
public the fact that he will use his presidential authority to
sidestep a rule requiring the White House to provide Congress
with written notice of U.S. intelligence activities. The
CIA was even alleged to have been given secret powers to
assassinate those considered enemies of the United States.
4. In December, the President increased the budget of the
new less restricted intelligence community by 7%.
5. Cheney reportedly now provides information to the
President in private, beyond the hearing of other top officials.
6. Even one year after coming to office Vice-president
Cheney refused to release any information about an energy
task-force he had headed in the early days of the Bush
Presidency. On January 25, 2002 when the head of the General
Accounting Office made public the fact that he would sue the
Vice-president to obtain the subpoenaed material Cheney
held his group stating he would release nothing.
7. Even the location of the formally highly-visible
Dick Cheney has become a state secret. When asked about his
whereabouts, reporters are usually told Cheney is in an
8. Most importantly, the White House has been able
to coerce its top officials into keeping secrets. Much of this
is attributed to the working of Cheney, bringing with him
the corporate attitude of secrecy being a prized commodity.
"Iíve been here 29 years, and I
have never seen a White House this loyal," said Charles
Cook, who publishes a Washington-based political report.
"That translates to being tight-lipped."
Asked about the apparent
excessive secrecy, reporters have been told that the
White House dismisses any negative connotation related
to such statements, and actually takes these observations as
Does Bush Know?
Some feel that George W. Bush actually knows a great deal
about what is going on regarding UFOs. Reasons
advanced to support this belief include this include the belief that
George W. has likely been given information by, or because
of, his father George H W. Bush.
Bushís father had some knowledge of the UFO situation
because of his former role as Director of Central Intelligence
under President Ford, his eight-years as vice-president under
President Reagan, and his four-years as President.
A second reason people give for their belief that Bush is
knowledgeable on UFOs is that he is a Republican
president, and there is a general belief Republican presidents are
told more than Democratic ones because they traditionally have had
much greater support from high-ranking military officers who are
more likely to have been "read in" on UFOs.
A third reason that is given for believing Bush has knowledge
about the true UFO situation, is that he is surrounded by
people who are part of the unacknowledged, unelected policy control
group that makes decisions about the UFO problem. These
members would include Vice-president Dick Cheney and
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, who have been reported
to have long held deep knowledge about the UFO situation, as
is Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is also rumored to
have some knowledge on UFOs.
One of those who maintained that George W. Bush is not
well-versed on UFOs was
Dr. Steven Greer. In a Disclosure Project Town
Hall meeting in Salem, Oregon, Greer described how the
younger Bush had followed a different career path from the
one his father had taken. This background has limited how much
need-to-know he has for UFO information:
You have to understand that Bush
(senior) was CIA Director prior to being
President. He was of course, aware of the subject and had files.
I donít think that he was in that top 25 of the pyramid. He was
in that group of 200-300 that I mentioned before that we know
about, and with some of them with whom Iíve met.
The current Bush - the son - was on a different
career trajectory. He has people in his administration who are
very aware of this issue... I doubt very strongly whether
George W. Bush has much, and even if they have knowledge
doesnít mean that they have control. President Clinton
used to say that the White House is the crown
jewel of the federal penitentiary system. I think he realized
quite quickly that the emperor had no clothes... knowledge of it
and having effective control of it are two separate things...
you can not assume knowledge equals control. This is one of the
dangers of this whole issue. We are supposed to be an
institution of laws, but in reality, on the most pressing and
important issues, these leaders whom we elect, are except in
very rare cases, very poorly informed.
Whether or not Bush had much
UFO information prior to coming to the White House, there
can be little doubt that Bush has had some sort of briefing
after becoming President, for a number of reasons.
The official who encountered Larry Warren outside the
White House stated he was aware of the
Disclosure Project. It
appears, therefore, that the large UFO news conference at the
National Press Club was having some impact inside the White House.
The Bush White House has also been the recipient of a great
deal of UFO mail, perhaps equal to that received by
President Jimmy Carterís White House. Much of this mail was
generated by Dr. Greerís Disclosure Project which held
a series of Town Halls all over the country.
In the town Halls, Greer had an organized method to get the
hundreds of people attending to write to their Congressmen, and to
President Bush. As well, Greer provided forms that
could be filled in on the Disclosure Project home page where
people could fax the White House by simply filling in a form.
The Bush White House was also under attack by California
protester Lara Johnstone, who went on a hunger strike to get
President Bush to address the UFO promise he had made
to researcher Charles Huffer. Although the hunger strike
ended after 44 days, Lara Johnstone did a number of
interviews around the country about Bushís UFO promise,
and did elevate the issue to some public degree.
The UFO Disclosure efforts taking place in the nationís
capitol, and all the mail coming into the White House, may not have
been seen as a major threat, but it did put the subject on the White
House radar-screen. It even got the attention of the High Priest of
the voice of the right-wing of the Republican party, Rush
Limbaugh. Limbaugh actually came to Bushís rescue on the
UFO issue. He took time on his show to attack Disclosure
Project legal counsel Daniel Sheehan for his attack on
the Bush father and son team for their handling of UFOs.
"So let me get this straight,"
Limbaugh stated. "The Bushes are at the heart
of the vast right-wing conspiracy to keep the oil companies rich
by hiding extraterrestrial solar panels or super-warm sweaters
or whatever it is they showed Jimmy Carter."
Limbaugh made it clear he wasnít buying the idea
George Bush knew of, and was hiding, extraterrestrial
secrets. "You may be surprised to hear me say that Mr.
Sheehan is half right," Limbaugh says. "There is
alien life - but we are not hiding it. We see Dick
Gephart plain as day!"
As George Bush enters his second
year in the White House, most UFO researchers agree that the
Bush knowledge question will not be answered until after the
new perceived threat from terrorism is completely dealt with. In
fact, many would agree that everything in the field of UFO
disclosure is on hold until that day as well.