AARO and Project MOON DUST



Here’s something I
noticed as I was reviewing all the projects mentioned in AARO’s latest report.
There was no mention of Project MOON DUST, which was a multiple agency investigation
which, according to documentation from the Project Blue Book files was “…to
collect and analyze raw intelligence reports from the field on fallen space
debris and objects of unknown origin.” While that doesn’t provide overwhelming
evidence that MOON DUST had a UFO component, other documentation, along with
the history of the project does.

MOON DUST came to
public attention in the mid-1980s, when skeptic Robert Todd, who filed hundreds
of FOIA requests, received a document dump from the US Department in State.
Included in those documents were some labeled as MOON DUST and the race was on
to learn more about it. Cliff Stone, a UFO researcher who lived in Roswell, New
Mexico, followed up on this, receiving dozens of MOON DUST documents, as did I.

Cliff Stone who did some of the heavy lifting in
identifying Project MOON DUST.

Stone interested then
US Senator Jeff Bingaman in MOON DUST and in his position as a senator, asked
the Air Force about MOON DUST. In response to Bingaman’s request, Lieutenant
Colonel John E. Madison of the Congressional Inquiry Division, Office of
Legislative Liaison, wrote, “There is no agency, nor has there ever been, at
Fort Belvoir, Virigina, which would deal with UFOs or have any information
about the incident in Roswell. In addition, there is no Project Moon Dust or
Operation Blue Fly. Those missions have never existed.”

The trouble with that
statement is that it is untrue. Armed with documentation proving that MOON DUST
did exist, Bingaman renewed his request. Colonel George M. Mattingley, Jr.,
wrote, “This is in reply to your inquiry on behalf of Mr. Clifford E. Stone on
the accuracy of the information we previously provided you office. Upon further
review of the case (which was aided by several attachments to Mr. Stone’s
letter), we wish to amend the statements contained in the previous response to
your inquiry.”

Or, in other words, the
Air Force was caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Mattingley expanded the
response. He wrote, “In 1953, during the Korean War, the Air Defense Command
organized intelligence teams to deploy, recover and exploit at the scene of
downed enemy personnel, equipment and aircraft. The unit with responsibility
for maintaining these teams was located at Fort Belvoir, Virgina. As the
occasion never arose to use these air defense teams, the mission was assigned
to Headquarters, United States Air Force in 1957 and expanded to include the
following peace-time functions: a) Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), to
investigate reliably reported UFOs in the United States; b) Project MOON DUST, to
recover objects and debris from space vehicles that had survived re-entry from
space to earth; c) Operation Blue Fly, to expeditiously retrieve downed Soviet
Bloc equipment.”

While this certainly
proves a UFO component to MOON DUST, it does seem rather innocuous. Mattingley
added, “These teams were eventually disbanded because of a lack of activity;
Project MOON DUST teams and Operation BLUE FLY missions were similarly
discontinued. The Air Force has no information that any UFOs were ever confirmed
down in the United States.”

ended, according to the Air Force spokesman, but that isn’t the truth.
According to information received by Robert Todd, in a letter dated July 1,
1987, “…the nickname Project Moon Dust no longer officially exists.” According
to Colonel Philip E. Thompson, deputy chief of staff, intelligence, “It [MOON
DUST] has been replaced by another name that is not releasable. FTD’s duties
are listed in a classified passage in a classified regulation that is being
withheld because it is currently and properly classified.”

What we learned on all
this is that the end of Project Blue Book in 1969 was not the end in official
interest in UFOs. Project MOON DUST can by seen as officially beginning in the
fall of 1957, according to Mattingley. We know there are a small number of
reports in the Project Blue Book files that were labeled as MOON DUST. Several
of them from 1961. The evidence shows, based on the documentation that MOON
DUST was in operation into the mid-1980s, and then the name was changed, and
the new name was not releasable. This clearly means that MOON DUST was charged
with investigation of UFOs after the Air Force claimed that it ended its interest
in 1969

We know, based on other
documentation, some of it from the Department of State, that MOON DUST did
deploy and did recover material. Given the documentation we do have, it would
seem that none of these recoveries represented anything of an extraterrestrial nature
(or as AARO would label it, “off-world.” Blade Runner anyone?)

The point here is that the
ARRO report makes no mention of MOON DUST, or the deployment of MOON DUST
teams. This gap in the report tells us that it was not as comprehensive as they
would like us to believe. And, if they missed this, what else might they have
missed. Of more importantly what might have been hidden from them.

You can learn more
about MOON DUST here:



This wasn’t the only
project that AARO seemed have missed. There was a plan for something called
Horse Fly that was apparently to be based at Wright-Patterson Air Force base.
It was designed to provide young officers with experience in investigation and
to give them a chance to experience TDY. I have no evidence that it was ever implemented,
but it was proposed. You can learn more about it here:


As a side note, General
Arthur Exon, when he served as base commander at Wright-Patterson in the 1960s,
said that he would periodically receive telephone calls about investigative
teams coming in from Washington, D.C. He mentioned just a few of those calls,
which also suggests that AARO missed something important. While you can certainly
read about Exon in several of my UFO books, you can also learn something more
about him and those teams here:


Here’s the real point
in all this. AARO alleged that they found no empirical evidence of off-world
technologies (yeah, I like that term) but their history missed some examples of
investigations. They found Project TWINKLE which, I suppose falls into the camp
of an anomalous phenomenon but might have nothing to do with UFOs. The found Project
STORK, but seemed to miss the overall importance of that study. And the didn’t
find MOON DUST and I’ve written a book about that. Maybe they got the same
answer from the Air Force that Senator Bingaman didn’t when he first asked
about it and there was no one around to challenge the claim. Had they asked me,
I would have been happy to provide the documentation bout MOON DUST.

Anyway, it proves that AARO’s
analysis missed a few beats. Is that enough to negate the whole report? Nah.
There are some interesting points in it including the validation of the
unofficial UFO study beginning in late 1946.

Should we reject it?
Nah. It does provide a nice chronology of UFO related government investigations
and research. It is something that we, in the UFO can build on.

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