Black Gold: The Smithsonian Connection
"Far more effective than two sets of accounting ledgers, national security kept everything off the record."
An audio podcast version of this article is available here for paid subscribers.
In the first edition of the Black Gold series, we explored the origins of a global political slush fund established after World War II that was weaponized covertly by the military-intelligence-industrial complex of the United States and its allies in the decades following the war.
In revisiting several illuminating historical insights into the UFO coverup from Iran-Contra lawyer Danny Sheehan, along with extensively citing the explosive book Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold, I made the argument that post-war American military leadership and their co-conspirators on Wall Street exploited the murky underworld of black operations to establish a borderless network of unprecedented deception — one that proved capable of hiding basic answers to the most existential question facing humanity:
Are we alone in the universe?
The mechanisms of this invisible economy — and the resulting collusion among international factions of intelligence operatives — are as complicated as they are corrupt, most likely by design.
Just a few days ago, and in the context of UFO whistleblowers coming forward to Congress, Senator Marco Rubio suggested that such an occulted web of espionage officers may in fact be a reality.
Rubio also addressed claims that individuals involved in these alleged retrieval and exploitation programs were withholding information from AARO, the Pentagon’s new UFO analysis office.
If the allegations are true, Rubio stated, “There’s a group of people who believe that they possess something that they don’t need to share with anybody, including elected officials, whom they view as temporary employees of the government.”
Rubio likened such a dynamic to “an internal military complex that’s their own government and is accountable to no one,” which, ultimately, “would be a huge problem, if it’s even partially true.”
Given that these whistleblower accusations are being considered by Congressional intelligence committees and the growing consensus that more credible individuals will be sharing their stories in the coming months, I felt it was important to revisit this so-called “breakaway civilization” scenario and hypothesize on further possible developments that could eventually take place.
Recently I listened to an interview with someone well-known in the UAP sphere who was talking about artifacts at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo demonstrating the use of technology beyond the known capabilities of the time, and it got me thinking.
Considering how humanity's history and place in the universe are central interests to many who research the UFO topic, I eventually found myself following a thread of intelligence agency connections to scientific organizations.
It turns out that the history of the Smithsonian Institution — and how top-level officials within the organization had been intimately involved in espionage operations previously — ended up being a rabbit hole very much worth exploring.
An Ancient Intelligence
Ross Coulthart, an award-winning Australian reporter and long-time member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, recently exploded into the American public consciousness with his groundbreaking interview of UFO whistleblower David Grusch.
Coulthart's interview with Grusch thrust into the public sphere allegations of UFO crash retrieval programs that have been hidden from the American people for decades. Among the details of exotic materials and potential non-human bodies recovered by the US government throughout the years, Grusch made it known that there were "un-American" activities being carried out within these black projects that existed outside of Congressional oversight.
The fact that the allegations made by Sheehan and the authors of Gold Warriors, Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, are being corroborated by highly decorated intelligence officials is rather astonishing, to say the least.
The implications of the ensuing investigations, and where those inquiries might lead, were hinted at by Coulthart in a recent podcast interview with Close Encounters Australia.
I haven't been given any specific evidence. Indeed, the evidence I do have is the evidence of witnesses and sources who have spoken to me confidentially, largely from within the intelligence, or the scientific community in America.
Generally, without giving away secrets, what I can tell you is a number of them have pointed to the fact that there are ruins of ancient civilizations that display technological mastery that are far beyond the stated age of those objects.
A lot of the objects, for example in the Cairo Museum, would have been retrieved by the great archaeological discoveries in ancient Egypt — some as long ago as 5,500 years, which are pre-dynastic Egyptian relics. They display a technology, and a mastery of technology involving the shaping of stone, which is far beyond the known technology of the era.
It's interesting, I think a lot of people who would have actually bothered to look would be able to inform themselves of the existence of files in the CIA library that show that America's premier intelligence service has spent a lot of time investigating ancient civilizations.
Why is the premier intelligence agency of the United States devoting a considerable amount of time and money, in the last fifty or sixty years, investigating ancient civilizations? And why has it secretly backed archaeological digs in different parts of the world?
What does it know that we don't know?
It should come as no surprise that I immediately pulled up the CIA reading room to search for anything and everything I could about the agency's involvement in potential covert archaeological expeditions.
Truth be told, I haven't come across anything as of yet on specific excavations funded by the CIA, though the prevalence of archaeologists and anthropologists serving the US in espionage roles has long been documented.
Just last week, the CIA themselves published an article on their website recounting the history of these past arrangements, citing Indiana Jones as a fictionalized pop-culture example.
More conspiratorial-minded readers may see this posting as an admission of guilt or an attempt to get ahead of something. However, when contemplating the information presented in the remaining paragraphs of this article, the more skeptical among us might have to concede that they have a point.
Let's now turn back to the one book that spills an unfathomable number of spy agency secrets, and trace those roots back to the scientific establishment of our modern era.
Previously in citing Gold Warriors, we've explored the secret dark money network founded upon the Japanese gold bullion pillaged by the American elite and their intelligence counterparts across the Philippines and Indonesia after the Second World War.
According to the Seagraves, this clandestine fortune of over a trillion dollars — informally known as the "Golden Lily loot" or "Yamashita's gold" — was purposed to fight communism across the world at any cost, even if resorting to the financing of fascist organizations or toppling the governments of sovereign nations.
The litany of intelligence, military, and financial connections described in the book are too numerous to detail here, so we will focus on the one individual most relevant to our current discussion: a man by the name of William "Wild Bill" Donovan.
Donovan, who found success on Wall Street after the First World War, became a staple in international affairs and intelligence gathering due to his elite social connections. He gained the favor of Benito Mussolini and networked within Nazi Germany, attracting recognition that would eventually result in him winning the trust of President Roosevelt, as demonstrated by his eventual appointment as Coordinator of Information (COI) in 1941.
As World War II ramped up, the COI was renamed the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and restructured to fall under the control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After the OSS was officially established by Donovan — with the assistance of Allen Dulles and Harry Anslinger — the Seagraves report that drugs, gold, and diamonds provided the covert currency that allowed the CIA's precursor to set up shop in Asia.
It was Donovan's network here that allowed the international banker-turned-spy and his elite business contacts to launder the Golden Lily loot into the legitimate global financial system under what the Seagraves call the "Black Eagle Trust."
Donovan was the chief spider – America’s original man in black. It was Donovan, working behind the scenes with John J. McCloy, members of the Mellon family, the Dulles brothers, and gangster Meyer Lansky, who set up the global network of secret funds and — black banks that made creative use of the Black Eagle Trust, and laundered drug profits before they entered U.S. banks to bolster the American economy.
This was racketeering on a global scale, run by covert agents of the U.S. Government, with proceeds so huge the only way to hide them was by claiming National Security was constantly at stake.
Far more effective than two sets of accounting ledgers, National Security kept everything off the record. To protect BCCI, Nugan Hand, and other black banks, people were murdered, including Frank Nugan, journalist Danny Casolaro, and former CIA Director William Colby, “legal counsel” to the black banks, whose body was found floating in the Potomac River estuary in 1996.
The references to Donovan as "America's Original Man in Black” and the allegations of targeted assassination sound like they fit right in with the recent claims made by David Grusch in his interview with Ross Coulthart. Senator Marco Rubio has also stated on the record that UFO whistleblowers who have testified to his committee fear for their lives, and are afraid that coming forward would be "punishable by death."
These legally murky intelligence networks established around the time of World War II certainly sound capable of doling out capital punishment if any technological knowledge were to be shared outside projects controlled by their operatives.
Now that I think of it, projects initiated in that era — and possibly existing until the current day — are likely old enough to be referred to as a "legacy program,” even if they have nothing to do with the UFO phenomenon. Grusch has referenced legacy programs in his testimony to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, and the phrase refers to projects that have spanned decades over multiple presidential administrations.
Returning our focus to Donovan, it's quite clear that the intelligence and financial connections he cultivated in Asia required subordinates who held their OSS membership — and his vision for the service in the region — in high regard. It also commanded the utmost respect for its secrecy in the looting of Japanese gold during and after the war, if the Seagraves are to be believed.
It is curious, then, that his OSS point man in Southeast Asia went on to become the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution for twenty years, overseeing a massive expansion of museums, events, and even the founding of the organization's globally influential science magazine.
Birds on the Brain
Sidney Dillon Ripley was an extraordinary man of countless accomplishments, from his time serving during the war to his twenty years leading the Smithsonian Institution. After deciding against becoming a lawyer, he followed his dream of ornithology after graduating from Yale in 1936.
He traveled the world studying birds, with a particular interest in the species inhabiting India. After receiving his Ph.D. in zoology from Harvard, he began his intelligence career in the OSS under William Donovan, first serving as the British Security Coordinator under Sir William Stephenson at the Rockefeller Center.
While still under the direction of Donovan, Ripley was given the responsibility of directing OSS operations for all of Southeast Asia. As mentioned previously, Donovan was a key player in the moving of the Golden Lily loot from Indonesia and the Philippines into legitimate financial institutions.
As a direct report to Donovan, and as the man in charge of the area where this gold was taken from as reported by the Seagraves, it strains credulity to surmise that Ripley would not have had knowledge of — or have had even helped coordinate — the extraction of the Japanese treasure that eventually became the Black Eagle Trust.
For someone to say Ripley and Donovan were merely colleagues and acquaintances would appear to be wrong. The two men were reportedly very close, so much so that Ripley named one of the bird species he discovered after the general, according to a 1950 New Yorker article.
During his two years in Ceylon, while diligently keeping Washington informed of military and political developments in the region, he collected several birds that, unlike the Picus, were unknown to science.
One of these, a bulbul, or thrush, he named Microscelis ictericus guglielmi, after General Donovan. He notified Donovan of this fact via secret pouch. “I always suspected you were giving me the bird,” the General wrote him jovially, “and now I know it.” Escorted by Ripley, Donovan visited the guglielmi in the Smithsonian a year or so ago, and gazed at it with approbation.
The chumminess displayed here between Ripley and Donovan, along with the informal manner for which the OSS was often criticized for conducting themselves, once again lends credence to the idea that Ripley would have knowledge of the Golden Lily loot.
But why, one may ask, would the loot not be located in Japan if it were in fact stolen by the Japanese?
The Seagraves explain the reasoning for the Japanese choosing to bury this treasure in the area of the world that then-OSS officer Ripley was responsible for overseeing.
The solution was obvious, for gold is a curious commodity. It does not have to change hands. Once you take physical possession of gold bullion, you can put it in any secure place and leave it there for decades or centuries, providing no one else can remove it.
Golden Lily could hide all the gold and platinum in deep vaults in the Philippines or Indonesia. It could remain asleep there as secure as if it were in the Matsushiro bunker. Even if Japan were invaded and occupied by the enemy, the location of this bullion would remain secret. When the world lost interest, individual vaults could be recovered discreetly…
The geology of the Philippines provided many natural caverns, and Manila was full of hiding places. During four centuries of Spanish colonial rule, elaborate tunnels had been dug under the city by prisoners, and under American rule, these were expanded and reinforced by the U.S. Army. The tunnels were linked, in some cases, to churches, cathedrals, and monasteries with catacombs, or to Spanish forts with elaborate dungeons.
After he seemingly left the intelligence game, Ripley rarely spoke about his time as an OSS officer. However, he made quite the telling quip when asked about it in a New York Times article recapping his tenure as the head of the Smithsonian right before he retired.
"I started off doing research," Mr. Ripley said. "I was never an actual spy in the sense that I was rushing about trying to get secrets. But I did wind up in charge of the secret intelligence division which had to do with the war against the Japanese in Burma, Southeast Asia, Vietnam…
"The British, and I suppose the Indians, Pakistanis, Ceylonese and so on, thought it was such a marvelous part of such an old-fashioned cover. Their theory was that most obviously we were spies. It never seemed to me to be realistic because I could never discover what someone out in the bushes could discover in the way of secrets. Geologically interesting, perhaps, but, of course, anyone who knows anything about the geology knows there ain't much gold in them thar hills."
It is fair to see this quote by Ripley as a mere coincidence. However, his mention of the geology of the area definitely brings to mind how "the geology of the Philippines provided many natural caverns" for stashing the Golden Lily loot as described in Gold Warriors.
And perhaps there actually was “gold in them thar hills.”
Now that we've seen the connections between the OSS, Donovan, Ripley, and the Black Eagle Trust during the time period surrounding the war, let's turn our focus to the decades after.
When Dr. Ripley left the OSS and returned to the scientific path that resulted in him becoming the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, one might surmise that he was done with the intelligence side of his work.
That would once again be an incorrect assumption, as we shall see.
I initially stumbled upon Dr. Ripley's history after listening to Ross's comments mentioned earlier in this article. I queried the CIA reading room for the phrase "Smithsonian" and happened to see his name pop up in several documents.
Although little is mentioned in the media sphere about his prior intelligence service and his public downplaying of that role suggests otherwise, Ripley's correspondence with officers inside the CIA shows a mutually amicable relationship between his institution and the successor to his previous employer.
In one example, several "personal and confidential" 1970 letters between Ripley and Richard Helms — the CIA director at the time — detail the relocation of an item from the intelligence service to the Smithsonian.
Both in their official capacities as leaders of their organizations, the two men coordinated the transfer of an artifact eerily relevant to our current discussion: an ancient relic from Southeast Asia.
The object was an 1,800-pound jar gifted to Helms from Major General Vang Pao, the military leader of the Meo Tribe who were fighting the North Vietnamese in an area of Laos known as "The Plain of Jars" at the time. The general had previously served with the Hmong resistance forces battling Japan in World War II, eventually commanding the CIA-funded and trained "Secret Army" in the 1960s and 70s.
After explaining its origin, Director Helms suggested that this massive Laotian jar be signed over to the Institution using an "arrangement" where the documentation would reflect the State Department as the donor in order to "leave the agency out of the picture entirely."
To me, Helms's apparent confidence in his ability to mask the CIA's involvement suggests this is not the first time he's made this seemingly cloak-and-dagger type of agreement regarding institutional donations. Ripley accepted the offer on behalf of the Smithsonian stating, "It will greatly enhance our archeological collections from South Asia."
To recap, a CIA-trained Laotian general gifted an extremely rare relic from Southeast Asia to the CIA Director, who in turn transferred it to an institution run by the former OSS commander of Southeast Asia, potentially masking any CIA involvement by listing the State Department as the donor instead.
There are several intriguing "coincidences" here, and the fact that this specific exchange is one of Ripley's few documented interactions with the CIA, after his supposed break from the intelligence community to run the Smithsonian, seems at least mildly significant to me.
In any case, further correspondence between the CIA and the Smithsonian from 1983 appears to demonstrate that these transfers of assumed items of value weren't a one-way street. A letter from a Smithsonian archivist to the CIA's History Staff documents a transfer "to the Central Intelligence Agency [of] one 5"x8"x12" card file box containing private and commercial activity information gathered on persons located in Latin America during 1941-1942."
Although the archivist emphasized that these records were not created by the Smithsonian, it is rather compelling evidence that the Institution was, for some reason, involved in the trafficking of intelligence on foreign private entities that were clearly of interest to American spies.
Whether or not these records were eventually classified is anyone's guess, but this vividly displays a willingness by the Institution to work — or at the very least, comply — with intelligence agencies on matters of espionage-related information. A concerning development, to say the least.
One might hope it would end there, but additional unclassified documents reveal that clandestine transfers of intelligence records and one-off donations from CIA directors lacking the office space for 1,800-pound jars weren't the only kinds of covert transactions taking place between these organizations.
A 1976 memo written by George H.W. Bush during his short, one-year stint as CIA Director outlined a recent meeting with Ripley in which the Smithsonian chief requested funding from the agency for a project in Seychelles.
Bush opined that any CIA assistance would be unlikely to be provided for the joint venture between the Smithsonian and the Royal Society of England because the islands in question, known as the Aldabra Group, were not suitable for "installations."
Another article from the reading room, this one from 1967, shows that the Royal Society has previously protested the idea of a joint American-British military base on Aldabra just a decade earlier. It's pretty intriguing that the organization seemed at least open to CIA involvement in funding their project after the Institution got involved.
An additional remote but fascinating possibility is that Ripley went to the CIA for funding without the knowledge of the Royal Society, the implications of which no doubt allow the imagination to run wild with speculation on why that may be.
Regardless, the 1967 article shows Aldabra has many bird species exclusive to the island due to its isolation, and it would be an ecosystem an elite ornithologist like Ripley might consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study.
But perhaps his desire to study these rare species, and receive the necessary funding, came at a cost. Perhaps there was a darker side to these dealings that he may or may not have known about, happening under his supervision on the other side of the world.
We now arrive at what are likely the most disturbing intersections between the Smithsonian Institution and the murky underworld of clandestine military and intelligence operations.
As a dedicated ornithologist and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the next few revelations should have shaken Ripley to his core. However, his intelligence background may have gotten the best of him, as well shall see.
Welcome to Paradise
Halfway across the globe from Aldabra, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, exists another small atoll known as Baker Island. Although uninhabited, an airfield was constructed in September 1943 and technically abandoned just a few months later.
The island is recognized as an "Important Bird Area" by the organization BirdLife International. In other words, this is an ideal spot for any ornithologist of Ripley's caliber to seek out. However, though it may seem like a paradise to any global traveler, CIA reading room documents show that Baker Island may come with a sordid past.
A 1969 article in the Washington Star, titled Bird Project a Coverup For War Test, details an NBC report about the Smithsonian Institutions’ involvement in a Defense Department biowarfare program on Baker Island using the organization's bird study as cover.
A program to be televised by the National Broadcasting Co. tonight will say that a Smithsonian Institution Pacific bird-banding project has been a coverup for a Defense Department chemical-biological warfare test program…
Today a Smithsonian official denied that the institution had taken part in such activity on Baker Island, a small United States possession 1,700 miles southwest of Honolulu, where NBC said the warfare tests were made in 1965.
So the same year that a former OSS officer started leading the Smithsonian Institution for the first time, a biological weapons program began under the cover of their bird study. The Smithsonian also denies CIA involvement in the project unprompted, but another reading room article may explain why.
A Washington Post article titled The Smithsonian Secret published in 1985 — conveniently the same year Ripley left the Institution — revisits the events of the bio-chemical testing on Baker Island in gruesome detail that I'll spare the reader from here.
However, I will share the section that was of clear interest to the case officer in possession of this newspaper, as demonstrated by the fact that the following paragraphs are the only ones underlined in the scanned article.
At the time the Smithsonian contract was signed, the late Leonard Carmichael, a psychologist, headed the Smithsonian. During the early 1960s — while the Pacific bird study was underway — Carmichael served on the board of a CIA-front organization called the Human Ecology Fund.
That body channeled money to various programs of interest to the CIA under "Project MKULTRA," which, according to 1977 congressional testimony, conducted the CIA's chemical and biological research. There is no evidence Carmichael was involved in such studies.
In October 1961, the CIA funded a project titled, "Role of Avian Vectors in Transmission of Disease," according to agency documents released in the 1970s. Whether there was a connection between the Smithsonian's bird project and the CIA's is unclear. A Freedom of Information Act request filed with the CIA in 1982 is still "awaiting processing" according to a CIA spokesman.
Carmichael was succeeded in 1964 by S. Dillon Ripley, an ornithologist. During World War II, Ripley was on assignment in the Far East with the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. In a 1983 interview, Ripley said he was certain the Pacific project was not classified. Shown various documents for the Smithsonian's archives that were marked "secret," Ripley said:
"I can't say that I have ever seen this kind of document before. No, I've never seen those things. I can't help you on that because it doesn't ring a bell to me at all…to me as a bird man, this was a wonderful breakthrough because it was a source of funds. That's all I know about it."
This, to me, is quite an absurd statement and raises a number of questions.
What of the 1976 memo from George Bush — then the director of the CIA — stating that Ripley had come to him with a funding proposal to study birds on another remote island near Madagascar, in Aldabra?
If Ripley did "learn" from past mistakes, was he now going directly to the source at the top of the CIA and bypassing the normal oversight procedures?
And what do we make of the 1970 letter from then-CIA director Helms asking if the donation of the vase should reflect the State Department to "leave the agency out of the picture entirely?"
Was the Smithsonian Institution really involved in MKULTRA?
According to sources in a Washington Post article titled Senators Would Force Four CIA Mind-Controllers to Testify, the answer to that final question appears to be a yes.
The CIA has also drawn up a classified list of 86 institutions which it said were used during the behavioral experimentation in MKULTRA. One of those, according to knowledgable sources, is the Smithsonian Institution. What part it played could not be learned.
“To the best of our knowledge the Smithsonian was not a knowing participant in any project of the CIA,” a Smithsonian spokesman said yesterday.
The circumstantial evidence for the Smithsonian’s involvement in illegal programs is starting to look increasingly strong.
But it’s not just biowarfare projects the organization has been casually tied to.
In fact, declassified State Department documents depict the Institute’s extensive involvement in the retrieval of crashed unidentified objects originating from space.
I was first introduced to Project Moon Dust while reading Ross Coulthart’s book that summarizes UFO history to the present day, aptly titled In Plain Sight.
Coulthart quotes journalist Howard Blum in describing the Air Force operation as “a kind of ‘UFO SWAT team,’” and goes on to cite an article by Leslie Kean to describe what its objectives were.
The book described the secret team’s role as ‘field exploitation of unidentified flying objects, or known Soviet/Bloc aerospace vehicles, weapons systems, and/or residual components of such equipment’.
Surprisingly, declassified Project Blue Book and US Defence Intelligence Agency files do show the US was involved in a covert worldwide ‘UFO’ investigation and recovery program. Operation Moon Dust definitely involved retrieval of ‘foreign technology’ from other countries, but it also specifically sought ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ and ‘flying saucers’.
State Department documents detailing Moon Dust, released in response to a 2006 FOIA request made by Kean, contain some rather eye-opening correspondence between US officials regarding the retrieval of initially unidentified spacecraft.
Perhaps at this point, it should be unsurprising, but several of these letters strongly suggest that the Smithsonian had high-level authority in these operations when it came to the decision-making, analysis, and identification concerning any materials recovered abroad.
One particularly dramatic episode illustrates rising tensions between the United States and the government of Argentina.
In a telegram describing an object recovered and in possession of an Argentine aeronautical association, US embassy officials are notified that they need to take immediate action — through either NASA or the Smithsonian Institution — in order to retrieve any information about the materials.
CYLINDER HAS A FIN ON EACH SIDE ABOUT ALMOST THE LENGTH AND ABOUT [?] CM WIDE. THE CYLINDER SHOWS HEAT DISCOLORATION ON TOP AND THE OBJECTS WERE NOT SEVERELY DAMAGED ON IMPACT.
THE CORDOBA AERONAUTICAL INSTITUTE FOR SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE IN POSSESION OF THESE OBJECTS AND WOULD NOT GIVE OUT ANY PERTINENT DATA OR ALLOW PHOTOS. THIS INFO IS GAINED FROM TALKING UNOFFICIALLY.
IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT WE CAN GAIN POSSESION OF THESE OBJECTS UNLESS SMITHSONIAN OR NASA WORKS THROUGH THE ARGENTINE OR THE ARGENTINE SPACE COMMISSION. THEY SAY THAT NASA HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.
SUGGEST YOU IMMEDIATELY CONTACT MR. TABANERA TO START PROCEEDING ON AN UNOFFICIAL GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT [DEAL?].
So when it comes to the international retrieval of unidentified objects, it seems as if the Smithsonian Institution had the same amount of pull as NASA even though their operations were funded by the latter.
An additional letter explaining the reluctance of the Argentine government to share their data with the US shows quite definitively that the Institution has commanded authority on this issue in the past.
TO: Department of State
ATT: Office of International Scientific Affairs
DATE: FEB 19 1965
SUBJECT: Recovery of Possible Space Vehicle Fragment…
…the Scientific Attache was further informed that Tebanera's efforts on our behalf have been considerably hampered by the fact that certain Argentine Government officials are angry because a previous fallen object was picked up near the Villa Dolores tracking station of the Smithsonian Institute and shipped to the United States by the head of the tracking station without clearance form Argentine officials.
The head of the station then wrote a letter to the Argentine Space Commission reporting what had been done. This letter made matters worse because it was a written admission that responsible U.S. officials had violated the International agreement in recovery of space vehicle fragments.
Tabanera is now attempting to have the head of the tracking station change the letter so that the violation is not a matter of record. It must be emphasized, and Tabanera recognizes, that the action of the tracking station head was taken in complete innocence and good faith. All tracking station personnel should be made aware of the desirability of working through the officials of the host country in matters of this kind.
To recap, the Argentine government recovered an unidentified object and refused to share the data with the Americans because the Smithsonian Institution had previously scooped up other fallen materials and shipped them to America without notifying them.
Not only that, but this Mr. Tabanera character — who sounds curiously like some kind of government backchannel fixer — was urgently attempting to cover it up.
Two other documents in this FOIA response also mention the Smithsonian Institution. In addressing the liability that comes with authoritatively determining the origin of “space fragments,” an American consulate in Swaziland urges that the identification of materials by the Smithsonian be treated as “tentative.”
In another telegram, a US consul in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia writes about several meteorites that crashed into the desert and how the American scientist studying them discussed transferring one to the Smithsonian upon his return to Washington.
Long story short, the Smithsonian Institution was indisputably a major player in Operation Moon Dust, with documentation showing its covert activities in the retrieving craft of unknown origin. There is even a blatant example of them being open to covering up the shipment of materials back to the United States.
These are somewhat cathartic findings in terms of the current push for UFO disclosure, but it's time to look at a few final clues that may show how the Smithsonian may be ensnared in the vast web of hidden finance as described in Gold Warriors.
Remember that during his time in the OSS, Ripley oversaw the area of the world where over a trillion dollars was looted by the American elite through their intelligence contacts. Remember that his superior, General William Donovan, was the mastermind behind the laundering of this treasure into the international banking system — as the Seagraves describe him, "America's Original Man in Black."
It turns out Ripley may have taken a few pointers from his old boss and transferred that knowledge to the Smithsonian. The unprecedented growth of the museum during his tenure was eye-popping, and it is more than fair to wonder where all those funds could have materialized.
The Smithsonian takes in both federally appropriated and private funds, the latter of which comes from donations. If someone with unlimited resources wanted to fund certain programs outside of the purview of Congressional oversight, the structure of the Smithsonian might be the way to go.
That is, until you get caught.
Another 1977 Washington Post article details concerns Congress had with the Smithsonian Institution under Ripley at the time and their reasons for requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the financial practices of the organization.
Needless to say, you might see a pattern start forming here.
Among other things, the GAO found that the Smithsonian has created two private corporations to convert millions of dollars of federal money into "private money" each year that the institutions then spend without regard to federal restrictions.
The GAO auditors also found that the Smithsonian has committed itself over the years to major projects, such as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in New York City and the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies near Annapolis, without informing Congress or seeking its approval.
The GAO is inquiring about the reasons why the Smithsonian has about 25 accounts in private banks around the world. They are also still looking into questions concerning the propriety of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley's years of service as a director of the American Security & Trust Co. at the same time millions of dollars of Smithsonian funds were deposited in AS&T checking accounts.
According to the Smithsonian's financial records, approximately three-quarters of the $799,000 that the quasipublic Institution keeps in private banks was deposited in checking accounts at AS&-T during the last 13 months Ripley served on the bank's board.
At prevailing 5 per cent short-term interest rates over that period, the Smithsonian could have earned about $25,000 a year in interest on the money. However, it was impossible to learn how much AS&-T free checking and other banking services were worth because the Smithsonian refused to explain exactly what services AS&-T provided.
The article then goes on to describe the purpose of the Smithsonian Research Foundation, a private, non-profit corporation set up by the Institution that was never mentioned in the organization’s budgeting documents and sounds awfully similar to the front companies the CIA has been known to establish.
By transferring the federal money from the Smithsonian's account at the Treasury to the Foundation, the Smithsonian was able to fund multi-year research projects and to hire scientists and other personnel for "flexible assignments outside of normal civil service requirements."
Unsurprisingly, Congress eventually published a report that resulted in the dismantling of the Foundation and several other changes in the way the Smithsonian conducted its business.
One does have to wonder what kinds of research projects would require this level of opaque financial arrangements that Congress felt obliged to investigate.
Ripley’s proposed joint venture with the CIA and Royal Society in the Aldabra islands comes to mind. Their selection of this specific atoll may also be quite telling, as Seychelles has long been a legendary offshore haven for dirty American money.
In summation, these articles taken together article reveal several concerning developments:
Conversion of public funds into private money to avoid oversight
Massive projects funded by private money, of which Congress has no knowledge
A network of a huge number of international bank accounts
Self-dealing on behalf of the bank for which Ripley was the board director
This underworld of hidden finance, illegal programs, covert operations, and absolute corruption has ensnared many of America's once-beloved institutions, including the Smithsonian.
The origin of this elite, fascist, un-American embarrassment of democracy dates back to before World War II, and the financing of it comes from a stolen Asian fortune, first plundered by the Japanese and then by American intelligence in collusion with the robber barons who laundered it into the global economy.
I would urge everyone who made it this far to read Gold Warriors by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, as the details and citations in that book are innumerable and mind-blowing.
One would hope the current push for UFO transparency, and therefore the recapturing of potentially paradigm-shifting technology from this same deep black world of illegal programs, could open the door to fixing this problem that has gone unnoticed for almost a century.
Black gold is a plague on America and the world at large — a disease that now sits on the brink of terminality, only curable by a massive dose of unprecedented, unrelenting sunlight.