Friday, July 23, 2021

CIA Conducts MDR on Bluebird Docs

     The CIA recently conducted a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) of a file containing Cold War era documents pertaining to Project Bluebird. The action resulted from a 2020 request for an MDR submitted by this writer. The Agency provided the updated file today by email. It may be compared to the previously released file originally obtained from the CIA online reading room. 

Research conducted on members of the Board of Governors of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, or NICAP, contributed to interest in requesting further declassification of select Bluebird records. Inaugural Director of Central Intelligence Roscoe Hillenkoetter initially approved the project which ultimately led to MKULTRA. Hillenkoetter, who directed the CIA from 1947-1950, went on to act as NICAP Chairman of the Board from 1957-1962. NICAP, an organization which investigated UFOs, was launched in 1956.  

NICAP Board staple Col. Joseph Bryan III was later identified as a CIA officer who directed a psychological and political warfare subdivision within the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). The OPC operated on CIA funding in conjunction with directives expressed by the State Department from 1948-1952. At that point it was merged with the Office of Special Operations and the two became the Directorate of Plans, effectively forming the CIA Clandestine Services.  

The above referenced Project Bluebird records indicate representatives from the OPC were included on a short list of eyes only personnel providing support for the operation. While it has long been known Hillenkoetter approved the project, the MDR nonetheless offers a bit further insight into the circumstances, such as the DCI's signature shown in the image below on a 1950 memo, along with the indication of OPC involvement.

Page 19 of the updated file was newly released as a result of the MDR. The document is a 1950 memo discussing responsibilities related to the interrogation of Robert Vogeler, accused of espionage in Hungary on behalf of the United States. The now declassified memo appears to be part of a volley of communications pertaining to interrogating Vogeler with Bluebird methods should he be released from prison and accessible to the Agency. 

The CIA would go on to fund a study of Hungarian immigrants within Project MKULTRA. Subproject 69 sought to improve psychological warfare techniques hindered by the Iron Curtain. Hungarians fleeing to the U.S. from conflict were perceived as opportunities to better understand how techniques could be made more effective. MKULTRA was formally approved by DCI Allen Dulles in 1953.

Memos contained in the above referenced Bluebird file outline project objectives and methods, which included increasing the effectiveness of interrogation techniques. Specifically, one memo states, "The purpose of this project is to provide for the immediate establishment of interrogation teams for the operational support of OSO [Office of Special Operations] and OPC [Office of Policy Coordination] activities." This was to be accomplished through the use of such tools as speech inducing drugs, narcoanalysis and hypnotism. 

Offices with the appearance of medical facilities were to be set up in Washington, D.C. The OPC and Office of Special Operations were designated to provide support and undercover staff. 

It might be considered difficult to identify if such documents tell us more about the NICAP Board members or the obsession of the CIA with such lines of research. Either way, it seems reasonable to give deeper consideration to the full employment histories of people often projected to be UFO Disclosure heroes. The pro-UFO quotes of DCI Hillenkoetter are frequently promoted in certain social media circles. His support for unethical human research projects, not so much.


  1. "Either way, it seems reasonable to give deeper consideration to the full employment histories of people often projected to be UFO Disclosure heroes."

    I am still amazed by how many people in leading positions in UFO organizations have military or intelligence backgrounds as well. It does make it more difficult to be sure what exactly some of them are doing in those roles.

    1. And pretty much all they have to do to be embraced is tell people what they want to hear. Not much more.

  2. I always doubt that Government would release the very actual documents. Therefore, let's not waste our precious time on trying to believe in what they want us to believe. Simple as that...