by Paul B.
Or, How a Millionaire and a Socialite New
Trying to Influence World Leaders about UFOs
Lawrance Rockefeller funded a report on
the "best available evidence" for
As might be guessed by his name, Laurence
Rockefeller has a lot of money. He's the grandson of John D.
Rockefeller, founder of the dynasty, and brother of John D. III, Nelson,
Winthrop, and David Rockefeller. Now 86 years old, Laurance Rockefeller
has long listened to his own personal, internal drummer.
being a venture capitalist in his thirties, he embraced environmental
causes in the 1950s and 60s, long before they were fashionable -- at the
same time brother Nelson was conquering the Amazon jungles with his
He's also been interested in UFOs for a long
time, and often puts his money where his mind is. For example:
--For two years (1993-95) Laurance Rockefeller
supported Dr. John Mack's Center for Psychology and Social Change
in Cambridge, Mass., to the tune of $250,000 a year. Dr. Mack, of
course, is the controversial psychiatrist who investigates alleged
--Rockefeller paid for at least two
meeting sessions of the Starlight Coalition, a group said to be
made up of former intelligence officers and military men interested in
--At one time Rockefeller funded a plan to establish
contact with aliens, not using the SETI method (by radio
telescope), but by signaling them with banks of powerful halogen
--Rockefeller once held a UFO conference at his
ranch in Wyoming.
Just last year, Laurence Rockefeller ponied up an
estimated $30,000 for a special UFO project created by Marie
"Bootsie" Galbraith, wife of investment banker Evan Galbraith and
one-time U.S. ambassador to France. Mrs. Galbraith wanted to compile a
report containing the most reliable evidence for the paranormal nature of
UFOs. This report would be sent to VIPs only -- politicians,
heads of corporations, heads of state -- to convince them of the necessity
of taking UFOs seriously.
To that end, Mrs.
Galbraith arranged for the three most influential civilian UFO
groups in America to unite under the temporary banner of the UFO
Research Coalition: CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies),
FUFOR (Fund for UFO Research) and MUFON (Mutual UFO
Drawing on these organizations' data resources, a
169-page special report, "Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing
Document: The Best Available Evidence"
The bulk of the actual writing was done by Don
Berliner, best known for his work with Dr. Stanton Friedman on the
Roswell Incident. J. Antonio Huneeus, UFO columnist for
FATE magazine, also contributed, along with Mrs. Galbraith
herself. The report was printed in large format (8 1/2 x 11 inches),
perfect bound with a light blue cover. Inside there is a letter of
endorsement from the heads of the three UFO organizations mentioned
above: Mark Rodeghier of CUFOS, Richard Hall of FUFOR, and Walter Andrus
Fraser Seitel, spokesman for Laurance Rockefeller, told
the Observer of New York that Rockefeller did not personally
endorse the report's conclusions. Said Seitel, "He [Rockefeller] is
interested in learning what the Government has on file."
briefing document had a small print run (one unconfirmed estimate said
300 copies were made), but bootleg photocopies have begun to
circulate. (I was offered one by a confidential source before I had
scarcely heard of the thing.) Mrs. Galbraith did not want the report going
to just anyone. "We just want the right people to know," she told
"It's like your children are going to announce
their engagement and they haven't even told their mommies and daddies,
and then their mommies and daddies read about it in the newspaper. They
would be upset, wouldn't they?"
The briefing document is frankly not that exciting,
content-wise. The text is copyrighted, but here's the table of
Part 1: Overview
-- The Case for UFO Reality
-- The UFO Cover-up
Summary of Quotations
Part 2: Case Histories
-- 1944-45: "Foo Fighters" Over Europe and Asia
1946: "Ghost Rockets" Over Scandinavia
-- 1947: First American
-- 1952: Second American Sighting Wave
Radar/Visual Jet Chase Over England
-- 1957: Third American
-- 1958: Brazilian Navy Photographic Case
Landing Case at Socorro, New Mexico
-- 1967: Physiological Case at
Falcon Lake, Canada
-- 1975: Strategic Arm Command Bases UFO
-- 1976: Multiple Witness Case in the Canary Islands
1976: UFO Dog-Fight over Teheran
-- 1980: UFO Incidents at
Rendlesham Forest, England
-- 1981: Physical Trace Case in
-- 1986: Jet Chase over Brazil
1986: Japan Airlines 747 Case over Alaska
-- 1989: Multiple Witness
Case at Russian Missile Base
-- 1991-94: Recent Cases
Part 3: Quotations
Characteristics of IFOs and UFOs
-- Terminology of UFOs
International Agreements and Resolutions
-- Resource Catalogs
-- CUFOS, FUFOR, and
As can be seen by this list, the material covered is
fairly familiar stuff to any well-read UFO buff. The cases
are well presented, with clear diagrams and photographs. Part 3,
"Quotations," consists of pro-UFO statements by government
officials, military men, astronauts, and scientists.
The effect of
all this material is rather like reading a textbook for UFOs 101.
Or a better analogy would be to say this is the 1990s version of the
classic 1964 treatise The UFO Evidence, compiled by NICAP
under the editorship of FUFOR's Richard Hall. The UFO Evidence
contained over 700 cases, representing the best UFO evidence to
that date. Bootsie's "Briefing" has only nineteen chapters, though some
sections cover more than one case. I guess the UFO Research
Coalition decided not to tire the minds of its VIP readers too
All in all, the story of the document's creation is more
interesting than the material it contains. Because of its origin and aura
of exclusivity, many UFO buffs will seek out the briefing document,
but it contains no information that can't be found in the works of J.
Allen Hynek, Timothy Good, Jacques Vallee, Richard Hall, and the Condon Committee Report.
I predict its effect on world leaders will be
At the recent MUFON Symposium in
Greensboro, N.C. (July 5-7, 1996), I was told that the briefing was
beginning to show up illegally on the Internet. Bootsie will have a spasm.
Being a writer myself, I can't condone deliberate copyright violation, but
everyone needs to lighten up.
The briefing is not a soul-shaking document, nor is
it worth pirating. If it had been published commercially, it would have
attracted far less interest. Maybe Rockefeller should put out a
mass-market paperback edition. That way the curious could read the
briefing legally, and Laurance could recoup his money.
As if he