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Donald Rumsfeld

How Much Did Rumsfeld Know About UFOs?

Donald Henry Rumsfeld died on June 29th at his home in Taos, New Mexico, from multiple myeloma. He was 88.

No doubt History books will not be kind with one of the prime instigators of one of the worst war crimes in recent history –the invasion of Iraq in 2003, after falsely accusing Saddam Hussein of having weapons of mass destruction. But it remains doubtful whether future historians will also bother to investigate his possible involvement with what still remains a controversial subject: UFOs.

Having served as Secretary of State under two different administrations (first from 1975-1977 with Gerald Ford and then from 2001-2006 with George W. Bush) it is tempting to speculate on how much a man with so much power within Washington would have known about the U.S. government’s involvement with the UFO phenomenon.

Countless pages of conspiratorial literature have already been written on account of Rumsfeld’s testimony before the House of Appropriations Committee in July 16, 2001, when he denounced that $2.3 trillion dollars within the DoD were ‘unaccounted for’ –that’s trillion with a ‘T’! – sparking speculations of monies funneled into black-budget programs, for the purposes of reverse-engineering alien technology (Wilson memo anyone?).

But even if you don’t put too much stock in such rumors, here’s another interesting UFO-related episode with Rumsfeld I managed to find in Jacques Vallee’s Forbidden Science journal, vol. 2 (page 294):

Belmont. Sunday 13 April 1975

Hynek has gone to see Donald Rumsfeld at the White House. Everybody was gloomy there because Nixon had just made a rather poor speech. Allen described the work of the Center [CUFOS], putting it at the disposal of the government. He “had a responsibility before the scientific community,” and didn’t want to waste his time tracking down false reports, he insisted. Therefore he had the need to know if there was a secret study somewhere. Rumsfeld replied abruptly: “You do NOT have a need to know.” Now Allen wonders if the man was reacting purely as a bureaucrat, or if he really knew something.

J. Allen Hynek

Was Rumsfeld –who at the time was still Chief of Staff before Ford raised him to Sec. of Defense– merely reminding a civilian scientist of his place in the ‘pecking order’ (despite the fact Hynek still possessed security clearances) or was there a secret meaning behind his words?

Perhaps Rumsfeld was simply preserving the secrecy behind the highly confidential development of stealth aircraft, which was already well underway in the mid-1970s, and whose occasional confusion with UFOs would be exploited by the Air Force for many years. Or maybe he was indeed aware of a classified UFO study which ran completely independent from project Blue Book; let us remember that, contrary to what the disappointing preliminary UAP report would lead us to believe, the US Military already had high-priority reporting systems of UFO sightings well before the issue of the new guidelines prompted by the disclosure of the AATIP program.

According to the UAP Task Force, there are a significant number of UFO cases which remain ‘unknown unknowns’, paraphrasing one of Rumsfeld’s most famous quotes; so I sure hope his successors in the Pentagon don’t make the same mistakes he did, and they end up making an open invitation to the scientific community in general to help them solve this mystery.

Because if they don’t, then maybe it’s because they still haven’t come clean with us. Old habits die hard, I guess…

NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rumsfeld had first been Secretary of Defense from 1975-1977 under Carter, but in those years Gerald Ford was President. In April of 1975 (the time of his meeting with Hynek) he was still Chief of Staff, and became the 13th U.S. Secretary of Defense in October of that year. Thanks to Tom Mellett for pointing out the mistakes.

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