How did the manual surface into the public domain?

The Special Operations Manual SOM 1-01 was mailed from Quillin’s Drug Store to Don Berliner, an author and UFO researcher, in 1994 in the form of undeveloped 35 mm film. Upon development, it turned out to be a manual entitled “Extraterrestrial Entities and Technologies – Recovery and Disposal” dated April 1994. Clearly the purpose was to provide instruction to recovery units about the background of this program and how to handle the parts, while deceiving the public that nothing important had crashed.

Pharmasist Box showing Postmark and Don Berliner addressee
Pharmacist Box showing Postmark and Don Berliner addressee

Why did Don Berliner get the manual?

In December 1994, Stan Friedman learned of what is perhaps the mother of all Majestic-12 documents (SOM1-01).  He was on the phone with Don Berliner, who is a member of the board of the Fund for UFO Research, when Don let slip that he had received another MJ-12 document in March. The roll of 35mm film had been mailed from La Crosse Wisconsin, but without a return address.  At first, Don thought nothing of the matter, since he had recently come back from the huge Experimental Aircraft Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he had shot many rolls of film.

He presumed that he had left a roll of film behind and someone from the show had sent it on to him. Only when he had the film developed did he realize that he had black-and-white pictures of a document, not of aircraft.  The first frame was the cover page of a report entitled Majestic-12 Group Special Operations Manual:  Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal.  It was marked TOP SECRET/MAJIC Eyes Only, and was dated April 1954.”

Investigator held original in his hand.

Further investigation was performed on behalf of Dr. Bob and Ryan Wood by James T. Westwood who visited Quillian Pharmacy headquarters and spoke with Helen the office manger. She arranged for Westwood to see the original manual and Westwood alleged according to his verbal statements to Bob & Ryan Wood “he held the manual in his hand.” Further attempts to communicate with Helen about the availability of the manual have met with refusals.

So the question remains: Where did SOM1-01 come from?

On the inside of the front page is stamped “Building 21, Unit KB-88, Kirtland AFB, N.M.X.” This implies that the manual was taken from Kirkland Air Force Base building 21 (there really is a building 21 on base in 1954 era) by the purloiner (source). The manual further states on page 11 in the Extraterrestrial Technology Classification Table that “Printed matter, electronic recordings, maps, charts, photographs and film” are to be stamped with MJ-12 code MM-54A and sent to Building 21 KB-88.

Blow-up of Kirtland AFB, Building 21, Unit KB-88 Stamp
Blow-up of Kirtland AFB, Building 21, Unit KB-88 Stamp

Below is a picture of Building 21 on Kirtland Air Force Base.


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As further confirmation that the manual origin is from Kirtland AFB the change control page stamped TOP SECRET / MAJIC EYES ONLY states “removal and / or replacement of the page(s) attache to the document requires written authorization from the MAJIC-12 Operations Officer and will be recorded by the documents/records officer for each instance. ” There are eight entries from October 1954 until February 1957 changing a variety of pages each with the authorizing records officer with initials “EWL” and “JRT.”   A review of the 1955 Albuquerque New Mexico phone book identifies both individuals as Lt. J. R. Totten and Col. Edward Levine both living on Perimeter Road inside Kirtland Air Force Base.

Albuquerque Phone Book Totten Entry
Albuquerque Phone Book Totten Entry

Further discussion  of sources and manual authenticity can be found the authenticity section of this website.