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Falcon, Penguin, Hummingbird.... Who are the high-ranking US military and intelligence agents who are leaking UFO secrets? And are the telling the truth?

In October 1988, during the US television documentary UFO Cover-Up? Live, two US intelligence agents revealed some remarkable information about extraterrestrial visitation. The two men - whose faces and voices were electronically manipulated to protect their identities - confirmed the existence of the group known as Majestic-12 (MJ-12), and explained how it ‘functions as a policy-making group’ relating to ET activities.

The agents, who used the aliases ‘Falcon’ and ‘Condor’, then went further, explaining how the government had captured ET’s and learned to communicate with them. One of the aliens apparently learned to speak English and explained that he was a mechanic from the Zeta Reticuli star system.

By the end of the documentary, viewers knew everything there was to know about the alien guests - down to the fact that they loved ‘Tibetan-style music’ and enjoyed eating strawberry ice-cream. Any credibility that Falcon and Condor had at the beginning of the programme dissolved, and the audience could only laugh at the claims. But who where Falcon and Condor, and did their claims contain any truth?

Leaking Secrets.

The story of Falcon and Condor can be traced back to the late 1970's or early 1980's, when Bill Moore, a former Special Agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), made contact with a ‘well-placed individual within the intelligence community’. Moore was asked by his contact to monitor and report back on the work of a UFO researcher, Paul Bennewitz, in return for classified information about aliens. Bennewitz, an electronics expert who lived near Kirtland Air Force Base at Albuquerque, New Mexico, had been attempting to intercept radio signals to and from Kirtland, believing them to contain details about UFO’s and aliens.

Moore, acting as a middleman, passed details from his intelligence source to Bennewitz, and vise-versa. Possibly as a result - although Moore denies it was down to him - Bennewitz was fed misleading information so that, should he leak any information of the classified work that goes on at the base, he could be discredited as a crank.

Incidentally, many observers believe that Moore’s reward for discrediting Bennewitz was the infamous MJ-12 papers. Moore, along with fellow ufologists Jaime Shandera and Stanton Friedman, is one of the few researchers convinced of their authenticity.

In 1982, Moore discussed his intelligence contact with Jaime Shandera who suggested that, in order to protect the man’s identity, a pseudonym should be used. The name he chose was Falcon.

Birds of a Feather.

Falcon began to leak details of official UFO research to Moore and Shandera, who attempted to verify the material. In the process, the researchers came across a number of other intelligence insiders who were willing to disseminate information. Each were given bird names, and soon Moore and Shandera had created what is now known as the Aviary - a group of dissidents within the intelligence community who wanted to make public the government’s involvement with crashed saucers and extraterrestrials.

Although Moore and Shandera have remained tight-lipped on the true identities of the Aviary members, a number of other researchers believe they can now identify them. The group is known to be formed from active and retired military and intelligence officers.

The UFO Elite.

Within the UFO community, however, there is a growing band of researchers who believe there is more to the Aviary than a disparate group of intelligence agents. To some, the Aviary is a band of senior-level individuals with extremely high security clearances who have been involved in the UFO phenomenon since the early 1970's.

It is also thought that Moore and Shandera may just be pawns in a much larger plan to expose the government’s interest in UFO’s.

According to researcher Richard Boylan, the Aviary was formed by elements in the intelligence community who wished to ‘smoke out a Majestic-like supra-government UFO group’. Boylan said that all the individual members had connections of some sort in the UFO field, and they began to pool the information. The intention was to ‘see the big picture about UFO’s and ET contacts with earth, and to use this privileged information pool to gain access to additional secret data [and] to understand the policies of the elite, hypersecret... group’.

Boylan continues: ‘The relationship of the Aviary to MJ-12 is murky. It is the estimate of more then one UFO researcher that there is some overlap in membership - meaning that MJ-12 has quietly infiltrated the Aviary to keep tabs on it an to keep it under control.’

Boylan operates on the assumption, of course, that MJ-12 is a genuine group; indeed, most Ufologists agree that there must be some form of top-level group dealing with the UFO phenomenon. Boylan, and a number of others, also believes that there was a split in the Aviary caused by a disagreement between the MJ-12 Aviary members and the ‘lower-level’ associates. He alleges that one half of the Aviary wished to make information public, while the other hoped to keep it under wraps.

Black Projects.

But there is another theory as to why the group may have split - if indeed it did. A number of Aviary members are known to have been involved in ‘black ops’ - highly classified projects with no official budgets. According to conspiracy researcher Armen Victorian, these Aviary members manipulated the group’s lower ranking members and created UFO ‘cover stories’ and ‘counter cover stories’ to protect their on-going research into these areas.

Manipulation.

Could it be coincidence that so many of those chosen by Moore and Shandera to join the Aviary have such classified backgrounds? Or were the two researchers part of a larger scheme that involved their careful manipulation? Because of the secret nature of the people and projects involved, it is unlikely that we will ever know the real objectives of the Aviary - if, indeed, there are any at all.

Sources: The X Factor