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
The Russians were having a major
leadership upheaval and the Red Chinese were making moves towards
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
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 appear 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
About The Researcher
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 train yard.
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, Georgia.
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
A Trip To Thomasville
Executive Office Building,
Wed. morning, Feb. 9, 1955, 10:31 to 11:01 a.m.
In attendance 230 journalists
"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 treasury.
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
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
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
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 Scrabble. 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
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
Among them were well-known personalities
representing 120 different news organizations:
Ray Sherer and Robert Blair
the well-known journalist
William Lawrence of the New York Times
Walter Kingston of the
John Edwards of ABC
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? The headlines
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
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
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"
nightie with 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
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
blue sky. 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 Center 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
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
"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
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 Dopplar 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
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 says, "No. Stay here." (probably about 9 -
(Author - We are still seeking Airman
Dorsey, but do not have his first name.)
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
One officer was the duty OD. The one
dressed in khakis asked the other officer why he was in his dress
blues that day.
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 radar."
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 day.)
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
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
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
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 secret".
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."
He said there were military personnel
and civilian workers including a few female office workers. Dr.
Reiner wanted to know what the president said.
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,
"If the 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
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
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
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
Defense; and John Foster Dulles, Sec'y. of State.
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 might have.
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."
He 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
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.
"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, Kansas.
The author would like to hear from you if you were on the base in
1955 or living in or near Alamogordo. 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.
Passenger Manifest, Godfrey, Murrow And The
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 expect.
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 famous 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.
was Arthur Godfrey doing on the president's plane?
The 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
"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
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
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 attack.
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 was concise:
"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 our government. 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 900,000 civilians.
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.
John 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.
In a press conference a few days
earlier, Eisenhower inflamed the debate when he said about nuclear
"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 out 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,
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.
According 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
That Arthur Godfrey and Edward
R. Murrow made the recordings.
"It's true," Stanton said,
Searches in various archives, however,
have failed to locate the recordings. Stanton who died in 2006 and
was a revered figure in American television. 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
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
Gerald Behn, head of White
House Secret Service
John Campion, Head of Secret
Service on specific trip
Agents John A. Walters,
Secret Service linguist (spoke 6 languages)
Agent Chavrins, Stewart and
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
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 John
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
mainland. 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
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.