14. The Operation Majestic 12 hoax
The FBI became involved in a long-standing conspiracy theory among ufologists in the 1980s. Majestic 12 has many descriptions, depending on which conspiracy theorist is presenting his or her version, but it contains crashed UFOs, alien bodies, and varying versions of the US Government’s coverup of the event. The 12 refers to a special committee allegedly established by President Truman in 1947 to deal secretly with all matters regarding UFOs. Among the more well-known names on the twelve-man committee were James Forrestal, then Secretary of Defense, and Hoyt Vandenberg, for whom Vandenberg Air Force Base was named. In the 1980s two FBI offices were presented with documents, marked with appropriate classifications, describing the crash of a UFO and the existence of the committee. The document is identified as a briefing for then President-Elect Eisenhower, dated November 16, 1952.
The two FBI offices which received the documents both indicated questions as to their authenticity, but when Air Force Intelligence provided some corroborating information, they forwarded them to FBI headquarters for investigation. The FBI determined the document to be an elaborate hoax, one of several regarding the alleged 1947 crash of an alien vehicle, which led to the recovery of alien bodies. The entire document can be read online here, though with some difficulty as the word “BOGUS” appears across each page. Although the Majestic 12 file is in fact an explained event covering a fictional crash, the FBI Vault carries the file in its Unexplained Phenomenon section, along with its several other files regarding UFOs and little green men.