Black Gold: The Catalyst of Secrecy
"This overlap made it nearly impossible to distinguish between official U.S. Government operations and those that had private objectives."
If you asked the average layperson when they thought the UFO phenomenon first landed in the public consciousness, most would probably answer by citing the 1947 Roswell crash and the subsequent “balloon” coverup story that has permeated pop culture in the decades since.
In more recent years, due to a newly uncovered case written about by legendary ufologist Jacques Vallee, most of those paying attention to the current disclosure push in Congress would say the coverup began in 1945 during the Trinity nuclear tests.
Considering the most recent legislation passed in the 2023 NDAA calls for the new UAP office to review cases starting from 1945 — a revision to the language from 1947 a few months earlier — it appears someone in Congress was given Vallee's book.
Yet others more interested in the international history of World War II and the time leading up to it would actually posit the first UFO crash occurred in Italy back in 1933. Italian aerospace journalist Roberto Pinotti came into possession of four confidential telegrams detailing "mysterious airships" and "metallic discs" between members of Mussolini's clandestine "RS/33 Cabinet."
Speaking of airships, articles reporting on sightings of these less advanced vehicles appeared in newspapers as far back as the late 1800s. However, the US government appears to want nothing to do with any case predating the now well-known USS Nimitz tic tac UFO encounter.
With several different eras to investigate, it really is hard to pin down exactly when the secrecy began. Any of these dates could be relevant to the full UFO story, but Congress will surely be most interested in what US laws were broken and how we got to this point.
So who can Congress and the American people turn to for knowledge and experience in the area of black projects, political history, and the public interest?
The People’s Attorney
One of the most prominent voices in US politics pushing for UFO disclosure in recent decades is the esteemed attorney Daniel Sheehan. Sheehan has argued several high-profile legal cases against the government and on behalf of the American people, including Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and Iran-Contra.
Sheehan has also long been a vocal proponent of transparency on UFOs and the possibility they may represent the paradigm-shifting reality of extraterrestrial life visiting our planet.
He served as General Counsel to Steven Greer's Disclosure Project and represented renowned psychologist John Mack in his battle to stay on at Harvard after publishing a book on alien abductions.
Sheehan's vast knowledge of American history, constitutional law, and the UFO phenomenon makes him one of the most credible people to ever speak on the subject of disclosure, so when he explains the current circumstances of this disclosure push in the context of geopolitical antiquity we should probably listen carefully to what he has to say.
Recently, in an interview with Regina Meredith, Sheehan elaborated on the ongoing congressional legislation that includes investigations into UFO crash retrieval and reverse-engineering programs.
Meredith then asks him why the military-industrial complex is still reluctant to provide any information on these craft and their potential origin. Sheehan agrees there is a problem of unrelenting secrecy and dives into the reasoning behind it, starting with the founding of America itself.
He goes through the late 1800s, detailing how the “elitists” who won the civil war set up the banking system in their favor by establishing the concept of corporations.
This new business tool invented by the rich took all the liability away from the individual, and from that point forward only the assets were subject to common law lawsuits.
The creation of the corporation essentially handed control of government to 30 families at the top of the financial ladder, allowing them to legally bribe members of Congress by financing their campaigns through what today is known as lobbying.
Sheehan goes on to talk about the beginning of fascism in the early 1900s, and how this ideology was economic in nature.
Sheehan: And that’s what happened. And so what we’re saying here is that element has been here since the beginning and so what happened is that, for example, immediately at the end of World War II, for example, when the G2, the head of US Army and Intelligence in the Philippines, Edward Landsdale, discovered the Japanese had buried billions--trillions, actually, dollars worth of gold and platinum and silver and stuff all through the Philippines, they uncovered a bunch of it and they told Truman about this.
Rather than turn this over back to the people who Japan had stolen it from all through Asia from 1926 to 1940, that whole thing, what they did is they took the gold 12 troughs of it, which totaled $1.2 trillion, and put it into a private trust. They got two partners from Brown Brothers Harriman to become the trustees for this. And then they--
Regina: Did that go into black ops projects from that point?
Sheehan: Well, the first thing they did is start funding fascists around the world to defeat the partisans. The partisans that had fought in World War II in all the different European countries against the fascists, the elitists in the United States didn’t want them to be elected to be mayors or governors or anything else.
They wanted those people out, because most of them had become social Democrats. But what they wanted to do is they wanted to suppress them. And they brought Nazis, fascists, they financed them, got them new identities, new names and everything, and got them elected, financed their elections by issuing gold certificates based upon this trove of treasure that they had. So this elite operation has been going on and that represents the model.
Now that’s 1945, that was December 1945. In July of 1947, less than two years later, when they discovered this crashed saucer in Roswell, what they did was they brought it to Wright Field, which was a US government installation.
Now, I had read a lot about the influx of Nazi scientists to the US after the war with the permission of top US officials.
This has long tied into the UFO lore, as the advanced scientific expertise these men provided could have led to the reverse engineering of these exotic technologies. Operation Paperclip clearly had a huge influence on our space program and is considered by some to be the reason NASA won the space race.
The looted $1.2 trillion Sheehan refers to may actually be the catalyst for the UFO coverup, as we will discover a little later. This notable slice of American history is not something I had ever come across before Sheehan spoke of it, so I went to dig a little deeper.
It turns out there is a book detailing the inner workings of this hidden world of finance, but little else in terms of news coverage or interviews.
The one book available on this subject is titled Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold, written by former Washington Post journalist Sterling Seagrave along with his wife and research partner Peggy.
The story begins with the Seagraves detailing warnings they were given about writing the book, stating that many individuals had told them they would be murdered if it were ever published. This in itself is an unsettling sentiment and made me think twice about even writing this article.
The Seagraves detail exactly what Sheehan was referring to in his interview about the gold hidden in the Philippines by the Japanese during the war, and the subsequent looting of these treasures by top US military men after it ended.
Although the book did not reference Brown Brothers Harriman specifically, every other piece of the story related by Sheehan was elaborated upon. The names are the same, the numbers match up, and the ideology is unmistakably identical.
I urge the reader to experience Gold Warriors in its full format, as I cannot do it justice here. But I will try to lay out some of the revelations in the context of the current discussion on UFO transparency.
As stated by Sheehan, the Seagraves write that over a trillion dollars worth of gold and other precious metals were hidden by the Japanese throughout the Philippines.
This fortune was amassed during the war by Japan through the looting of Asia. US intelligence learned of these vaults in 1945 and found their locations through torturing members of Japanese General Yamashita's staff.
Captain Edward Lansdale learned of the treasure and took part in the interrogations. After briefing General Douglas MacArthur, he informed President Truman of the gold and it was decided to keep it a state secret. The US government now had unlimited funds to run covert operations outside of the US government's financial oversight.
In the context of the war and the desire by the administration to root out any communist ideology at the source, a decision was made on the suggestion of Secretary of War Henry Stimson to utilize the fortune for the purpose of forming a global political action slush fund.
According to the Seagraves, this was combined with the gold confiscated from the Axis and set up in what was called the Black Eagle Trust. The gold was then "discreetly moved by ship to 176 accounts at banks in 42 countries."
Secrecy was vital. If the recovery of a huge mass of stolen gold became known, thousands of people would come forward to claim it, many of them fraudulently, and governments would be bogged down resolving ownership. Truman also was told that the very existence of so much black gold, if it became public knowledge, would cause the fixed price of $35 an ounce to collapse. So many countries had linked their currencies to the U.S. dollar, and the dollar linked to gold, that currency values throughout the world would plummet, causing financial disaster.
This argument may have been greatly exaggerated by those who stood to benefit from the Black Eagle strategy, but nobody could be certain what the consequences would be. If the gold was kept secret, prices could be kept at $35 an ounce, the dollar would remain strong, and currencies pegged to gold would be stable. Meanwhile, the black gold would serve as a reserve asset, bolstering the prime banks of Allied countries, strengthening the governments of those nations.
As a safeguard, the bullion placed in those banks was carefully controlled; strict limits were placed on the use that could be made of the gold (a process called earmarking). This enabled Washington to bring pressure, from time to time, on those governments, central banks and prime banks. Put simply, so long as a country and its leaders cooperated, and remained allied to the United States in the Cold War, derivatives of the sleeping bullion could be used for patronage through political slush funds.
CIA Director Allen Dulles gave control of Asia operations to a man named Frank Wisner, a Nazi sympathizer and who the Seagraves refer to as "the Agency's Mad Hatter." He was also one of the founding members of the CIA itself.
Wisner was a pivotal figure in giving postwar U.S. covert operations the especially dirty qualities that have since come to haunt many Americans. He had spent the war with the OSS in Cairo, Istanbul and Bucharest where he was less interested in fighting the Nazis than in fighting the Soviets. Stationed in Germany after the war, Wisner came up with the idea of America hiring ex-Nazis to create an anti-Soviet fifth column.
His powerful friends the Dulles brothers, George Kennan, Averell Harriman, Joe and Stewart Alsop, were so excited by Wisner’s eccentric ideas for subversion, hired all manner of unsavory characters who claimed to be anti-communist, which in those days was synonymous with pro-American.
Avril Harriman, of course, was a founder of the company that eventually merged and formed Brown Brothers Harriman, the firm Sheehan says created this trust for black programs, among other things. Sheehan's insistence that this firm is deeply involved in the UFO coverup dovetails with how the Seagraves detail his interest in covert operations.
The financial ties between these international banks and certain heavy hitters in the global corporate world are extensive and much too complex to dive into here, but they are fully documented in Gold Warriors at length.
For our purposes of exploring this aspect of the UFO coverup through Sheehan's comments, it’s important to note how this secret society infiltrated the defense establishment — both private industry and government — after the Watergate scandal and ensuing fallout initiated by then-CIA director James R. Schlesinger.
Many of these clever and aggressive men regrouped privately, with funding from hard-right organizations like the Birch Society, Moonies, World Anti-Communist League, and wealthy conservative tycoons. Like Santy’s Umbrella organization, The Enterprise grew into a powerful and influential network during the late 1980s. Although they were now private citizens, these men continued to have close ties to serving military officers, to top men in the CIA and the armed services.
This overlap made it nearly impossible to distinguish between official U.S. Government operations and those that had private objectives. This was especially true because so many of these individuals had long experience in covert operations, deception, and the clandestine use of government resources and secret funds. They were accustomed to working with CIA proprietaries that had every appearance of being legitimate companies in private industry but were actually Trojan Horses for the intelligence community and, by extension, for the armed forces.
In fact, some of the PMFs were little more than fronts set up so that generals, admirals, and former spooks could continue to draw salaries and pensions as if they had never left government service. Many CIA agents spent years or even decades under various covers, so it was hard to establish beyond any doubt whether they ever left the Agency, or merely went underground.
The Seagraves highlight another point about how this faction of misfit ex-military and intelligence officials could now move certain black projects "into the private sector, where it could operate without peer review to an even greater degree while continuing to make free use of the government’s covert assets."
Secrecy Comes From the Top
Interestingly, another well-known intelligence official thought to be involved in the UFO coverup held both titles of NSA director and CIA deputy director in the early 1980s as these private intelligence firms started forming.
Bobby Ray Inman, who appeared to admit in a 1989 interview that ET crafts were in the possession of the US government, has stated publicly that the peer review process should be subject to classification review with remarks cited in the March 1982 issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Rather than risk the divisive confrontation between the government and the scientific community which is likely to result from the imposition of formal statutory controls, Inman suggested that a balance acceptable to both sides "may lie in an agreement to include in the peer review process (prior to the start of research and prior to publication) the question of potential harm to the nation." When restrictions are judged necessary, he said, "speedy procedures for appeals, review, and appropriate compensation should be included."
Essentially, Inman is suggesting that the peer review process itself include a review by the military establishment for any national security concerns before the findings of the study are released.
If the release of any study is deemed a threat to the national interests of the US, then compensation will be provided to the scientists in order for the data to be turned over to the military-industrial complex to never see the light of day in the public sphere.
This is a concerning mindset for an individual to have in such a high position of power, to say the very least. Considering this is just the public-facing opinion of the intelligence community leaders of that time, the secrecy desired by the growing networks of private intelligence firms appears to be shared by those at the top.
But how has this manifested into the coverup we see today, and what exactly is the UFO community up against with the current disclosure push by Congress?
In the next article, we will review the activities of more recent players in this sphere and their connections to this old money that still haunts our country today. International corporations and geopolitical nuances make this all the more complicated in the digital era.
But as technology has evolved, so have the methods of secrecy.
Hopefully, by exploring some of these elements, we can truly appreciate the task before us.