By Larry Lemke
One of the criticisms of the SOM1-01 document is a purported anachronism namely, the mention on page 8 of the possible use of “downed satellites” as a deceptive cover explanation for preserving the security of a UFO recovery site. The purported anachronism arises from the fact that on the date of original publication—April, 1954–there were no artificial satellites, downed or otherwise. I remember noting this anachronism myself when I first saw a copy of the SOM1-01 document mailed to me by Hal Puthoff (in 1994 or 1995, as I recall).
It wasn’t until a couple of days ago after visiting Ryan Wood’s website that I realized that the back side of the cover page of the document is actually a record of authorized modifications to the document. That particular record is very blurry and difficult to read, but the Woods have produced a legible replica which shows that page 8 of the document was actually replaced on May 31, 1955. In other words, the reference to “downed satellites” dates to May 31, 1955, NOT April, 1954.
Is that important? Maybe. If you read back over the history of artificial satellites and how they played into the space race between the US and the USSR, the timeline is that by the fall of 1954 the US contingent of scientists attached to the organizing committee of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) had successfully lobbied the organizing committee to include words in the IGY planning documents approving of the use of “small satellite vehicles” for scientific investigation during the IGY. This provided top cover for the scientists who wanted to use spacecraft for scientific exploration and those in the military-industrial complex who wanted to develop satellites for other purposes, and prompted high level considerations within the US national security apparatus about how the US should respond.
In late 1954 through the spring of 1955 there was a flurry of activity behind the scenes in the US with committees trying to figure out if we could put a satellite in orbit by 1957, which organization should lead it, how much it would cost, etc., etc. The Soviets were making non-specific press releases indicating that that they were clearly going through a similar process. During the period 1954-1955 (from Wikipedia) “Nelson Rockefeller was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs (sometimes referred to as Special Assistant to the President for Psychological Warfare). He was tasked with providing the President with advice and assistance in developing programs by which the various departments of the government could counter Soviet foreign policy challenges. As part of this responsibility he was named as the President’s representative on the Operations Coordinating Board, a committee of the National Security Council… The OCB’s purpose was to oversee coordinated execution of security policy and plans, including clandestine operations.” In May of 1955, Rockefeller wrote: “”I am impressed..by the costly consequences of allowing the Russian initiative to outrun ours through an achievement that will symbolize scientific and technological advancement to people everywhere. The stake of prestige that is involved makes this a race that we cannot afford to lose.”
Although the first satellite would not be put into orbit until 1957, the decision to race the Soviet Union for the privilege of doing so was made in the US in late spring, 1955. On July 29, the White House announced that the US would launch one or more artificial satellites as its contribution to the International Geophysical Year. The USSR followed with a similar announcement of its own six days later, and the race, as they say, was on.
However, according to [http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4202/chapter2.html] the decision to proceed with a satellite plan was made on May 26, 1955, by the National Security Council. So when page 8 of the SOM1-01 was replaced on May 31, 1955, the US was already formally in the satellite business even though it would not be announced publicly for another couple of months.
Additional, there are several popular magazines (Time Magazine cover in 1953) and public references talking about artificial satellites and their near future implementation. So the public could reasonably be expected to belief a cover story of a downed flying saucer or crashed UFO on the basis of saying to the media and public that what’s behind the yellow tape is a “downed satellite.”
This is another Zinger for the authenticity of the Special Operations Manual.