Date: October 11, 2018
From: Fran Ridge
Subject: CIA & the DEMISE of NICAP in 1969
Distribution: NICAP Research, NICAP A-Team
This chronological email commentary shows where we were/are after
studying what each other had to say about this issue. It is
imperative we come to some conclusion. It can always be updated.
Possible or probable that the CIA or AF put NICAP out of business.
Brad says it was AF, not the CIA. But it was CIA people who did
certain things that was a causation factor. Or was this a
coincidence? What is the bottom line?
- Fran Ridge
I think that is a fair
The decisions to
1) UFO Evidence Vol. 2
2) The University of Colorado rebuttal
3) special publications
4) fight to make government UFO information public
was a radical departure
from NICAP efforts and policy. The excuse used that the
government no longer had a present in the UFO arena and all that
was left to do was to investigate reports and advocate serious
study seemed weak.
- Jan Aldrich
THE BEGINNING OF THE COMMENTARY WENT LIKE THIS:
An old note, exact date unknown from the late Richard
Hall (Fran Ridge):
Concerned about the
impending demise of NICAP, Gordon Lore consulted with me and made
a conscientious effort to alert key Board Members, seeking their
help in salvaging the organization. Other staff members had their
own ideas and, apparently, plotted their own schemes
independently. After a complicated series of transactions, Gordon
Lore was notified by telegram from an area Board Member on
December 5, 1969, that his services were no longer required and he
was locked out of his office, all with no advance notice or
Outraged by this development,
I strongly protested it to all the Board Members, pointing out
in the process that I was owed back salary that had not been
paid in full because of financial problems. Later I learned that
my protest had resulted in several resignations from the Board.
However, long and contentious negotiations with Board Members J.
B. Hartranft, Jr. and Col. J. Bryan, III (now Board Chairman),
over back salary issues went nowhere and left me permanently
bitter about the treatment I received.
- Richard Hall
The government had essentially zero to
do with NICAPs ultimate (late 1970s/80) demise. Any concentrating
on the very last years of NICAP utterly misses the point. NICAP
lost out because NICAP was built to get the government to reveal
what they knew in congressional hearings. That battle was lost
circa 1958-1962. THAT is covered in UFOs & Government.. NICAP
in the late 70s was just a hanging-on shadow of itself, being
rapidly passed by by APRO, CUFOS, and finally MUFON. Dick Hall
knew that; Don Berliner knows that; Ted Bloecher knows that.
- Mike Swords
I would add this
1966-1969, the investigative subcommittee system was a gem.
However, the financial/business part of NICAP was a
disaster. And in an attempt to get that out of Keyhoe's
hands, Hall et al. enlisted the Board to fix it. A threat
they used was the Board might held accountable for NICAP'S sloppy
The Board changed the
make up of NICAP putting the finances in the hands of Accuf's
management organization essentially to escape that responsibility.
The extent that Keyhoe
personal carried NICAP is probably not appreciated.
Dave has various
material from Fournet which support this contention.
- Jan Aldrich
I always feel some
sympathy for Keyhoe in his failed role as NICAP head. Like
me, he was bereft of business and organizational skills.
Prior to Allen Hynek's emergence he was, as we know, the
most prominent ufologist in America, so one understands why he
was chosen to head NICAP.
As history attests,
however, that was the wrong decision.
I totally disagree with the posted factless
comments. Keyhoe was fired by 3 AF agents led by a
AF-CIA top operative who had worked to topple organizations
with disinformation and financial manipulation to exploit
economic weaknesses, and who had withheld that background from
fellow NICAP Board members, and who took over from Keyhoe as
head of NICAP.
- Brad Sparks
Not factless. Factful.
Keyhoe was not fired. He was kicked upstairs to the
- Jan Aldrich
Keyhoe was removed from Directorship of NICAP
on Dec 3, 1969, by an illegal meeting of 3 AF-linked Board
members who had no authority to convene and take its action
under the By-laws with no legally-required notice or legal
quorum. Keyhoe was replaced, in the newly and
illegally designated position of NICAP President by
the AF-CIA top operative who had worked to
topple organizations with disinformation and financial
manipulation to exploit economic weaknesses, and who had
withheld that background from fellow NICAP Board members.
- Brad Sparks
What three members are you
talking about. Fournet had resigned from the AF in
1953. There were proxies from other members so
nothing illegal there
- Jan aldrich
As you know they were Bryan, Hartranft and
Fournet, all AF Reserve / ex-AF, and all removed Keyhoe
peremptorily on Dec 3, 1969, without a hearing from
Keyhoe or notice to him or notice to Board members of
their meeting agenda and intended action. They had
no proxies to conduct an illegal meeting without legal
The AF had the
termination of BB in the works for several months (see
Bolender memo Oct 1969) and did not want NICAP
declaring victory over the AF when BB was ended by
announcement two weeks later on Dec 17, 1969.
- Brad Sparks
How is the Board
meeting illegal? Proxies were present.
Where is the reference that no notice was given?
If proxies were granted some kind of notice had to be
We are plowing old
ground. I agree that it was possible that the
CIA might have set up a take over of NICAP. I
just don't think that the evidence points to
that. I grant that there are indications which
point to some type of interferrence with NICAP.
I see the merits of your arguments. As before, we
agree to disagree.
Fournet stayed on the
NICAP board until the end. Ex-AF means just
that. He resigned because he was dissatisified with
the AF. He told Henry Woo that he thought the AF
mishandled the UFO investigation. He got no credit for
his service at all. He was part of the
Hancraft-General Richardson group that dumped Accuf
and tried to reorient NICAP. I think Hall's
insistance on his back pay, killed this attempt.
That is why I don't see him as a CIA guy.
One can say that
Nixon was lack-a-day care taker. All NICAP
projects (Colorado rebuttal, UFO Evidence Vol 2,
special publications) under Keyhoe ended with the end
of his directorship. So if anyone was a CIA
plant it was Nixon. By the way Dave's stuff show
that Nixon was essentially dumped later by
Accuf. Accuf was a rather sketchy character in
the whole thing.
I completed the US
Army enlisted psyops warfare course and went thru the
officer's course which ended very little to the
mix. I know you think this is a big deal.
I was completely unimpressed. Ditto, The Civic
Action Officer's Course. "Hearts and mines" and
all that crap. Unimpressive. I saw a CIA
briefing on psyops. He said after the Hungarian
revolution neither Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty
had much credibility. Voice of America did
because the satellite countries could listen to East
Bloc weather reports which said the winter
temperatures were greater than they were. VOA
had credibility because the temperaue were the
correct, so in this small area lead to turst of
VOA. He said that black and grey area psyops
were alway viewed with suspession. The truth is
The board has the
power to remove the administrative head. There
is no requirement for due process. Proxies
usually confer all power unless otherwise
limited. I seem to remember seeing one.
There were no limits set. However, I can't say
that for sure.
- Jan Aldrich
OK. As moderator
on several lists for over two decades I have seen topics
get repeated from 3-6 times. We always come back to them.
This time, this topic is for the record, because we're all
not going to be around here in 5-10 years. It is
imperative that we get it right and onsite.
So when we
talk about people, we need to name names. And since these
people said or were given documents that terminated them
(for example), who gave them the documents, signed the
documents, what did they say? And on what dates? So if
Keyhoe was fired, where is the evidence? Has to be in NICAP
files. Organizations don't just say "tottaloo".
Keyhoe was stopped by police and was late for an important
meeting. Sounds like a TV movie.
One source on
a radio show said NICAP was closed down by the AF less than
a month before BB closed. Not true.
proceed with whatever it takes to get these facts straight
once and for all.
- Fran Ridge
It was not the CIA, it was
the AF that wanted NICAP neutralized, and wanted it
de-fanged before it ended BB in Jan 1970.
Bryan's background was
heading the Political and
Psychological Warfare Staff, which involved undermining and
neutralizing organizations ("political warfare") with agents
on the inside and/or (with or without agents) the
manipulation of financial support, especially against
financially vulnerable orgs, the cultivation or even
creation of financial scandals, etc. Psych ops and
propaganda were secondary.
Fran just quoted a Dick
Hall statement citing the funny business with the NICAP
action by Bryan-Hartranft-Fournet in firing Keyhoe and Lore,
and no doubt Dick did not know it was all illegal though
maybe he had some suspicions (emphasis added):
... After a
complicated series of transactions, Gordon Lore was
notified by telegram from an area Board Member
[Hartranft] on December 5, 1969, that his services
were no longer required and he was locked out of his
office, all with no advance
notice or discussion.
Outraged by this
development, I strongly protested it to all the Board
Members.... However, long and contentious
negotiations with Board Members J. B. Hartranft,
Jr. and Col. J. Bryan,
III (now Board Chairman), over back salary issues went
nowhere and left me permanently bitter about the
treatment I received.
The American Bar Association notes the general illegality
of proxy voting on corporate Boards (like
the NICAP Board of Governors, the exact labeling makes
The common law regarding proper action by a board
of directors, including the prohibition
on proxy voting by directors, developed in
the business (or stock) corporation arena. State
statutes governing business corporations and nonprofit
(or nonstock) corporations both reflect the
codification of this common law. [Emphasis
As two corporate attorneys have put it:
Whether incorporated or unincorporated, it is well
settled that corporation directors generally cannot
vote at directors' board meetings by proxy but
must be personally present and
This requirement is for good reason. Directors are
expected to stay informed to fulfill their fiduciary
duty. To do that they must be
present. A director's
personal judgment is necessary, and the duties
cannot be delegated or the
powers assigned. Because it is so
obvious, no cases contradict this concept.
One leading case decided in 1893 and still good law
today, Ohio National Valley Bank vs. Walton
Architectural Iron Co., said a director of a corporation cannot
vote by proxy at a meeting of
the directors. That holding was confirmed 63 years later
in Greenberg vs. Harrison (1956), which said a corporate
director must be physically present at
directors' meetings and cannot vote
Legal disputes over Board
authority to terminate employees are fairly common, and
arguments are often based on legality of proxy voting, as
well as lack of legal notice to convene, etc.
I don't see "CIA people"
involved in 1969, and CIA had no reason to care in
1969. Bryan is just one, and who doesn't count as
"CIA" when he had switched allegiance to the AF in
1952-53, worked in the Secretary of the AF Office,
etc. His skill set was taking down organizations,
causing divisions within and with other orgs, fomenting
scandals, targeting financial weaknesses, getting negative
press coverage of the org and certain leaders, etc.
Surprise surprise we see it all over again in miniature
with NICAP, and didn't even require the full panoply of
political warfare skills I just listed (partial list
anyway), since NICAP was too easy, a tiny pipsqueak, a
little bug swatted by a massive anvil.
The CIA had no motive or
reason to care about NICAP in 1969. But in earlier
years, NICAP greatly embarrassed the CIA and the Agency
wanted the annoyance stopped. In fact, at one time the
founder of NICAP, Townsend Brown bragged to the press that
NICAP was a "civilian intelligence agency" (or "CIA") on
UFOs for the general public. Can you imagine how that
pissed off the leaders of the CIA? (Can you imagine
what J. Edgar Hoover would have done if some civilians
called themselves an "FBI"? We have actual cases and
Hoover came down on them like a ton of bricks.)
And then NICAP recruited
the first Director of the CIA, Adm. Hillenkoetter, to serve
on the NICAP Board and make public statements supporting
NICAP goals. This totally humiliated the CIA.
The CIA Chief Historian Gerald Haines records that CIA
wanted its General Counsel to meet Hillenkoetter and get him
off the NICAP Board, and Haines suggests CIA succeeded
eventually, in 1962. But that was all over by
- Brad Sparks
How about the CIA and the AF in
tandem putting NICAP out of effective business when the
Board headed by Col. Joseph Bryan fired Keyhoe and I. No
question in my mind that Stuart Nixon was a CIA plant.
He practically admitted that to me (see Chapter
19, The CIA Connection in my current book Flying
Saucers From Beyond the Earth) during his first
week on the NICAP staff. I also believed then and still
believe that Keyhoe did not think that the CIA wanted to
put NICAP out of business. Don’t forget: Keyhoe’s
best friend at the Naval Academy was Roscoe
Hillenkoetter, the first director of the CIA. My last
conversation with him in 1973 when he was promoting his
last book indicated that he still didn’t believe the CIA
would put NICAP out of effective business and that Nixon
was “too dumb” to be a CIA plant. Well… We all now what
happened after Jack Acuff and his crew took it over and
eliminated all the subcommittees; effectively ending
ongoing serious investigation of UFO reports. What else
can ypu say about someone (Jack Acuff) who reportedly
toyed with selling NICAP’s assets to a pro-Nazi
For more insight, read
Chapter 19 of my book, which includes Dick hall’s
spirited defense of my attempt to keep NICAP going
before using what Dick called “Gestapo-like tactics”
(courtesy of Stuart Nixon) in dismissing me. The last
time I talked with Keyhoe was when he was promoting his
last book from the National Press Club and he still
didn’t believe that Nixon was a CIA plant and that the
CIA would work to put NICAP and Keyhoe effectively out
of business. It was only up to Fran Ridge and his
surviving NICAP stalwarts to put NICAP back in the lead
in bringing to light and investigating both old and new
cases. Onward and upward, the keep your Eyes In
the Skies, the title to the intro to my book. It
continues to get good buzz, guys!
- GORDON LORE