TO SAY THIS WAS A MOMENTOUS DAY would be an understatement. I had a private lunch with General Twining who briefed me on the preparations still needed before work can begin on the underground facilities in New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada. These will be the exclusive locations for the collaborative arrangement with the entities, and they will be permitted no other bases from which to operate.
Following lunch, Foster Dulles joined me in the Oval Office for a meeting with Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, Dr. Vannevar Bush, Dr. Detlev Bronk, and, of course, General Twining. We went over the main points of the agreement and discussed once again the arguments for and against the arrangement. The discussions were only a formality since the decision to go forward with the program had already been made. As foremost members of the joint committee assembled by President Truman to investigate the alien presence and examine recovered artifacts, they were invited to witness the signing of the executive order initiating a collaborative arrangement with these beings from another world.
All of these men are outstanding Americans who have devoted years of their lives to studying the nature of the alien phenomenon, and they therefore understand this action for what it is—a leap of faith. Can we trust these Breeder Grays, as General Twining is in the habit of calling them? They are similar to us only in that they are nearly as tall as we are and walk on two legs. It is impossible to know much more about them other than the fact that they possess the ability to communicate by telepathic means and have technical and scientific know-how that is beyond our ability to understand. They come and go in our airspace at will, and we are unable to stop them. They take people aboard their craft for “biological study,” they say, and there is nothing we can do to prevent them from so doing.
Because of their capabilities, I don’t believe there is an alternative. It was Truman’s policy to engage unidentified flying objects in aerial combat. But it was, as General Vandenberg once remarked, like sending flies to take on eagles. The loss of men and materiel was tragic and staggering. Despite the loss of hundreds of pilots and planes, we were able to bring down only a few of their craft. And those that fell from the sky were knocked down by accident, as when they inadvertently flew into the path of advanced radar systems being tested at White Sands Proving Grounds.
What these creatures want is to be free of harassment by our armed forces. They wish to continue their study of the human race in a peaceful, orderly, and secret fashion in order not to create panic if the truth about their presence were known. They have agreed to turn over to us the identity of each and every person they use for their study so that we may monitor them to ensure they have not been harmed. In exchange, the aliens are willing to share technology with us. The abductions are an activity they are engaged in anyway, and we are powerless to stop them. This collaborative arrangement will give us, if not control, at least some degree of oversight.
I made this decision with considerable hesitation. But given the circumstances, I believe it is the best course of action. I agree with General Twining’s assessment: Access to these exotic technologies will give our best minds a chance to unlock their secrets and, in time, perhaps will allow us to achieve technical parity. If it later turns out the intentions of these creatures are hostile, at least we will be in a better position to defend ourselves.
Maintaining secrecy is of utmost importance, of course, as it is imperative our enemies do not learn of the technical and scientific advantages that we achieve through this collaboration. My order continues the secrecy protocols established by Truman, but places responsibility for security at these facilities directly with the joint committee, though under the supervision of the NSA.
The important questions are still there and may go unanswered in my lifetime. Did we make the right decision? Will humanity truly benefit from this? Will the arrangement allow America to remain strong enough to fulfill its mission of spreading its ideals throughout the world?
I proceed with the leap of faith that this was the right thing to do, but if the agreement turns out to be a mistake, then God help us.
—From the diary of Dwight D. Eisenhower