In 1958, an elite group of scientists and military commanders assembled for a very private meeting in New York City. The goal of the gathering was to discuss the existence of UFOs, and the main speaker was none other than Gen. Douglas MacArthur, probably the greatest military leader of all time.
Several books, TV dramas, and a recent film picture have been based on his experiences as Supreme Commander in the Pacific Theater during World War II, as well as his battle with President Harry Truman during the Korean War. The fact that the General was an enthusiastic researcher of the UFO phenomenon is less well-known. He was so concerned with the issue that he believed UFOs were alien invaders from another world.
Many private meetings were held across the country in the aftermath of the big UFO wave of 1957. The United States Air Force, which had sought to get out of the flying saucer business in 1955 by releasing Project Blue Book Report Number 14, a debunking attempt, found itself entangled in controversy once more.
Project Windfall, a clandestine inquiry into UFO contactees conducted by the CIA, was mired in bureaucratic ineptitude and uncertainty. Maj. Donald Keyhoe’s new organization, NICAP, was tilting at governmental windmills in an attempt to press the issue and awaken a slumbering Congress. The entire UFO incident was viewed as a carnival by the news media and the general public.
General MacArthur, on the other hand, knew better. He told the 1958 conference, in his deep, clear voice, that he believed an extraterrestrial military force was scouting this planet in preparation for a massive invasion. We should be focusing on developing weapons and plans to combat the invaders, he believed. Years as an initiator, up until MacArthur’s death in 1964. The meeting’s details were kept hidden for years, until MacArthur’s death in 1964.
MacArthur had previously expressed his concern about unidentified flying objects and their potential influence on civilization in a 1955 conversation with columnist Henry Taylor. He was then retired and residing in Manhattan’s Waldorf Towers, where he felt free to proclaim his belief that UFOs were real and constituted a terrible threat. MacArthur was an arrogant, self-assured man who wasn’t hesitant to speak his views.
During the Korean War, he had clashed with Truman when he defiantly disobeyed presidential instructions. He had graduated first in his class from West Point and rose through the ranks to become Army Chief of Staff in 1930, at the age of 50.
He wasn’t afraid to take on responsibilities, and he didn’t mind stomping on the less capable people around him. He constructed a military empire in the Pacific during World War I, and after the war, he oversaw Japan’s democratic conversion.
So the official US Air Force position that UFOs were weather balloons, hoaxes, and falling stars didn’t disturb him. He believed that the public should be aware of the truth, at least as he viewed it.
What evidence did he use to reach his conclusions? Generals, in particular, are pragmatists in the military. They operate based on facts rather than beliefs. During World War I, General Douglas MacArthur began collecting information on UFOs. The enigmatic “foo fighters” first appeared in the European theatre in 1943, but military intelligence first suppressed accounts of their appearances because they were considered to be secret German equipment.
The unusual objects were also seen by German pilots, who mistook them for Allied secret weapons. The epidemic has extended to the Pacific by 1944. The objects were seen by American ships and planes, and they were even shot at. Amazing “flying submarines,” giant cylindrical objects that rose from the sea and soared away in full view of the entire crews of ships. Reports of these instances were marked Top Secret and shuffled all the way to MacArthur’s headquarters, just as they were in Europe.
These perplexing reports piqued McArthur’s curiosity, and he formed a small crew of intelligence personnel to gather and investigate them, believing they might be linked to some Japanese initiative. The crew recognized they were dealing with completely new technology as the pile of reports rose.
In some situations, American radar detected massive objects flitting about the Pacific that were larger than any known aircraft. Several military jets sent up in pursuit of these objects either crashed or vanished without explanation.
In locations where UFOs were active, radio signals and radar were regularly disrupted. By 1945, the intelligence officers were convinced—and MacArthur was convinced—that the mystery airborne objects were hostile extraterrestrials.
Other unaffiliated intelligence teams operating in Europe, on the other hand, came to a different conclusion. The RAF’s Foo Fighter investigation, which was undertaken by General Massey in 1943, concluded that the objects were harmless and most likely natural phenomena of some kind. R. V. Jones, the director of the RAF’s intelligence section, became a staunch anti-UFO campaigner. In Europe, American intelligence did considerably worse.
The reports of American pilots were never consolidated and reviewed; instead, they were scattered across the huge files. General MacArthur and his men in the Pacific were the only ones who had conducted a thorough inquiry, and their results were kept secret from their European counterparts and even the Pentagon.
The European Foo Fighters were all but forgotten when the war ended in 1945, but the phantom fliers continued to be observed in the Pacific, particularly around Okinawa and the islands where the United States was establishing its first atomic era airbases. General MacArthur’s desk was still piled high with Top Secret reports.
A five-star general has significant influence, and MacArthur not only commanded his kingdom with an iron fist, but his intelligence service had tendrils all over the globe. This was demonstrated by a strange incident that occurred in the United Kingdom in the fall of 1946.
That summer, “ghost rockets,” unexplained cigar-shaped objects that appeared above Norway, Sweden, Finland, and even as far south as Greece and Morocco, blanketed northern Europe. Fearing that the “rockets” were Russian-made, the Scandinavian countries initiated full-scale inquiries. (At the time, the Russians lacked rockets, and the Americans had captured the majority of Germany’s greatest rocket experts.)
The RAF Intelligence received a report that a rocket had crashed outside of London shortly after the “ghost rocket” wave had died down. It turned out to be a total fake that was never revealed to the press… or anyone else for that matter. The intelligence officials who investigated it were so humiliated that they attempted to keep the investigation a secret. However, the RAF Commander received a telegram within a few days. It was a message from Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Japan, who wanted to know more about the strange rocket that had crashed in England!
General Douglas MacArthur was obviously aware of everything that was going on around him, and he was particularly interested in reports of unidentified flying objects.
R. V. Jones, in a public speech twenty years later, revealed the story of MacArthur’s telegraph. Witnesses to UFOs during World War II in the Pacific and Europe eventually communicated their accounts to civilian UFO organizations and professional writers creating books on the subject.
The Korean War triggered a new wave of UFO sightings in the Pacific, and many of these accounts were published. They were featured prominently in Life magazine as well. The great American UFO wave of June-July 1947 piqued public and press interest in flying saucers, and they had become a human interest topic, similar to sea serpents and the Abominable Snowmen. The continuous sightings, however, were nothing humorous to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who had been collecting information since 1944.
Douglas MacArthur kept his interest in UFOs after retiring into civilian life (he was sacked by President Truman). He collected books and magazines about them, and he lectured for hours about the menace from outer space to everyone who would listen, according to a source who was close to him in his final years.
President John F. Kennedy brought the ailing general to the White House in 1962, where they spent two hours in private conversation. We’re not sure if UFOs were discussed at all throughout that discussion. Later, Kennedy said that they discussed Vietnam and that MacArthur explained why the United States should never engage in a land conflict in the Orient (whatever happened to that sound advice?).
Soon after, President John F. Kennedy stated that he would invest billions of dollars in a space program with the goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
One of General Douglas MacArthur’s last public appearances was at West Point, where he informed the young cadets that “the next war” will be fought in space between united humanity and “bad people” from another planet.
The speech was widely reported in the press at the time, yet it received minimal attention and had no impact. To some, it was just an old man’s harmless ranting (he was 84 when he died). Others took it as a serious warning from a man who had access to knowledge that regular ufologists didn’t, a man who wasn’t known for making rash, unsubstantiated statements. We disregarded his Vietnam counsel. Can we afford to turn a blind eye to this?