Were James Forrestal’s mental problems caused by the UFO project he was managing for the Truman administration in the late 1940s?
This has always been an open question in view of the man’s apparent suicide at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington D.C. on 22 May 1949, when he fell from a 16th floor window in the early hours of the morning. Now tantalizing new evidence has emerged which is suggestive of a link between the UFO cover-up and Forrestal’s crippling paranoia which had resulted in his hospitalization.
Forrestal was the US Secretary of Defense from 17 September 1947 (several weeks after the Roswell UFO crashes) until his declining mental health caused President Harry Truman to ease him out of office in early 1949. Forrestal, a former highly respected Secretary of the Navy, had shown no signs of mental instability until the day of his crucial meeting with Truman in the Oval Office on 24 September 1947 shortly after his promotion.
In a new ebook available on the Scribd website, “Secret History: And Why Barack Obama Must End It,” author Tony Brunt links this meeting between Forrestal, Truman and science administrator Vannevar Bush with Forrestal’s first sign of paranoia, his decision to go out that same day and buy a revolver.
Brunt says that at the well documented presidential meeting the top-secret report to Truman of five days earlier was certainly discussed. This 17-page document (which leaked in 1996) was prepared by a panel of 16 military and civilian appointees in the wake of the Roswell recoveries. It recommended an operation called Majestic Twelve as a “fully funded and operational Top Secret Research and Development intelligence gathering agency” dealing with the UFO issue. This recommendation was approved at the meeting in the Oval Office.
Two things happened immediately after the meeting – firstly, Truman issued his famous two-paragraph memorandum of the same date (which leaked in 1983) instructing Forrestal to begin funding and organizing the MJ12 initiative, and, secondly, Forrestal went to a gun shop, purchased a Smith & Wesson pistol and registered it that same day with Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department. This purchase was uncovered by writer Arnold Rogow and described in his book “James Forrestal, A Study of Personality, Politics and Policy,” in 1963. Rogow didn’t make the connection with that day’s White House meeting but Brunt does. “Forrestal was entering a dark place of the mind, and a handgun clearly provided comfort,” he writes.
From there it all seemed to be downhill for the unfortunate Forrestal. In early 1948 in the same month as the Aztec, New Mexico, UFO crash retrieval incident, his aides started noticing that Forrestal was developing a range of nervous mannerisms. His mind drifted elsewhere during meetings and he lost the plot. He began to believe he was being followed and his home phone tapped.
Not only Forrestal but also his right hand man Vannevar Bush began to have mental problems as well. These seemed to begin around the time of the Aztec crash where a disabled craft was found on an isolated plateau 12 miles from the small New Mexico town in March 1948. Bush supervised this recovery on site with a large group of scientists that he had hand-picked for the highly secret operation. Brunt has filtered the only biography of Bush to draw together the strands of the man’s unfolding (and little known) mental issues. Bush developed headaches and trembling. He thought he had Parkinson’s disease. He suffered from sleepless nights and underwent numerous medical tests. In the end, unlike Forrestal, he appears to have made a complete recovery and, by all accounts, was involved in the MJ12 reverse-engineering program well into the 1950s.
The Forrestal-Bush speculations are included in one of the appendices to Brunt’s book which is available as a pdf on free download at