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Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). The final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II; in the aftermath of the conflict, tensions with the Soviet Union increased, marking the start of the Cold War.

33rd President of the United States

Truman was born in Missouri, and spent most of his youth on his family's farm. During World War I, Truman served in combat in France as an artillery officer in his National Guard unit. After the war, he briefly owned a haberdashery and joined the Democratic Party political machine of Tom Pendergast in Kansas City, Missouri. He was first elected to public office as a county official, and in 1935 became U.S. senator. He gained national prominence as head of the wartime Truman Committee, which exposed waste, fraud, and corruption in wartime contracts.

While Germany surrendered a few weeks after Truman assumed the Presidency, the war with Japan was expected to last another year or more. Truman ordered the use of atomic weapons against Japan, intending to force Japan's surrender and spare American lives in an invasion; the decision remains controversial. His presidency was a turning point in foreign affairs, as the nation supported an internationalist foreign policy in conjunction with European allies. Working closely with Congress, Truman assisted in the founding of the United Nations, issued the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, and passed the $13 billion Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, including the Axis Powers of both World Wars, whereas the wartime Ally Soviet Union became the peacetime enemy, and the Cold War began.

As part of the U.S. Cold War strategy, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 and reorganized military forces by merging the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense) and creating the U.S. Air Force. The act also created the CIA and the National Security Council.

He oversaw the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and the creation of NATO in 1949. When communist North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, he immediately sent in U.S. troops and gained UN approval for the Korean War. After initial success, the UN forces were thrown back by Chinese intervention and the conflict was stalemated through the final years of Truman's presidency. On domestic issues, bills endorsed by Truman often faced opposition from a Congress controlled by Republicans, but his administration successfully guided the American economy through a post-war recession and started the racial integration of the military.

Corruption in Truman's administration, which was linked to certain members in the cabinet and senior White House staff, was a central issue in the 1952 presidential campaign which Adlai Stevenson, Truman's successor as Democratic nominee, lost to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. Popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency were initially negative, but eventually became more positive after his retirement from politics. Truman's 1948 election upset for his full term as president is routinely invoked by underdog candidates.


President Harry Truman is the first President to have to deal with the UFO phenomena publicly. There may have been sightings and/or UFO crashes before Truman, but nothing that had to be dealt with publicly. More importantly, Truman was the first President who had to deal with the public relations problems that go along with the UFO phenomena.

Right from the start, there was secrecy surrounding the flying saucer subject that seemed to be orchestrated by the government overseen by President Truman. Truman was in fact the President who setup structure of the present intelligence system, and made it a tool for use by future Presidents. In 1946 he set up the Central Intelligence Group, which became the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947. He was the first President in history to get a daily intelligence report (now know as the President Daily Briefing) to bring him up to date on the latest intelligence developments. In 1951, Truman created the Office of Current Intelligence, and in 1952 the National Security Agency.

Once elected, Truman set out to reconstruct the intelligence system. He believed that it had been a fragmented array of intelligence agencies run by each department. Each department "walled itself off" from other agencies to protect what it had. It was impossible for the President to get behind each wall and gather up the intelligence that he needed. His plan, still in place today, was to create one Director of Central Intelligence, whose job it was to gather up all the intelligence and report it back to the President.

There is little doubt that in these early years, Truman was very aware and in total control of the UFO situation.

There has always been a controversy as to what President Truman’s views were on "flying saucers," as they were called during the tenure of his administration. Truman was not an elected President, taking over May 2, 1945.

Some UFO researchers who were around at the time felt that President Truman had very negative opinions about flying saucers. One of these is James W. Moseley, who published a magazine in the 1950's called Saucer News. "In our two meetings with Truman," said Moseley, "he definitely expressed negative opinions about flying saucers."

"We had a brief private meeting with Truman in 1954," continued Moseley, "after he was out of office, and the quote he gave us regarding flying saucers was simply ‘I’ve never seen a purple cow, I hope never to see one...He refused to add to that statement. Several years later, we attended a Truman press conference (not at the White House), and received similar negative responses from the ex-president in answer to our UFO-related questions."

Inquiries made at the Truman archives tend to agree with Moseley’s view that "obviously Truman did not believe that they do exist." The library claims to have no documents at all on UFOs. Taking Truman’s statements to Moseley, or the Truman Library’s statements at face value would mean that Truman was totally out of the loop on the flying saucers that were being written about in newspapers during his administration.

A closer view of the literature of the late 40's when Truman was President, and a close review of the documents at the Truman Library, show that Truman was very interested and involved in the UFO situation. What he stated in public to Moseley may just have been a put-off to avoid getting pulled into a public discussion about UFOs, which has always been a no-win situation.



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