Colonel Philip Corso
by Michael Lindemann, CNI News
From the moment he arrived in Roswell, New Mexico last week, Colonel Philip Corso was in constant demand for press interviews. Despite his advanced age, Corso was energetic, lucid and very generous with his time. CNI News editor Michael Lindemann was fortunate to be invited to privately interview the Colonel in his hotel room on Saturday morning, July 5. Also present were the Colonel's son, Philip Jr., and William Birnes, co-author with Colonel Corso of the bombshell book, "The Day After Roswell."
In the book, Corso says that a genuine alien spacecraft, with bodies, was recovered near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. He says he personally viewed one of the dead alien bodies. More importantly, he says that during the early 1960s, he was stationed at the Pentagon under the command of General Arthur Trudeau, and was assigned the super-secret task of parceling pieces of alien spacecraft wreckage out to various defense-related companies who could back engineer the alien material into useful human technology. From this program, Corso says, sprang such strategically important developments as the integrated circuit for computers, fiber optics, advanced night vision technology and lasers.
Lindemann arrived at Corso's room as a previous interview was concluding. The Colonel and Mr. Birnes were explaining how Corso had arranged for the safe passage of 10,000 Jewish refugees out of Rome to Palestine just after the end of World War II. Lindemann picked up on this theme to start the CNI News interview.
ML = Michael Lindemann
PC = Phil Corso
BB = Bill Birnes
ML: Not only are you a highly decorated military officer, but it seems you've always been willing to be a bit of a maverick when it comes to "doing the right thing," even if it might make some other people uncomfortable -- to the point where this latest disclosure about Roswell seems essentially in character for you. But this is a bigger disclosure, a bigger departure from the norm than your previous actions, don't you think?
PC: Well, some other things have been pretty important. Like when I moved those 10,000 Jews, I thought nothing of it, but people said what a big thing it was. Putting Rome back on its feet was important. I don't think this is bigger than some of those things. Even the looks on the families' faces in front of Congress [when he testified about American POWs left in North Korea], that was pretty important to those people. And this one here, I think, fits in with all those others. Yes, it's important, because like they say, it might have changed the course of the world. Well, I have to give a lot of credit to General Trudeau, who made it possible, and to the other people who were with me. Maybe we changed the course of the world. The thing that I've done now is going to affect the future. That's why I bring the children in on it, the young ones. We're old now, we're going to be moving on. But they're going to be here. Let them know what happened. I think it's of great importance that those children are going to read this and know what happened and what it came from, and that it was true. It did happen. They have to know what's involved, and what it's leading to. They're the ones who will be involved in what it leads to. From that point of view, it's the most important thing I ever did.
ML: Where do you think it does lead to? You allude in your book to the possibility that maybe there's a hostile potential here.
PC: When you're in the military, you always have to figure on that hostile part. You can't disregard that. Our motto was, "Just in case, we're going to be ready." What's it going to be in the future? We called it at R&D [the Army's Research and Development Department at the Pentagon] the dawn of a new age, maybe a new world. The world's not going to stop. Maybe this was a seed that was sown to start a new world. Look what they did with the [computer] chip -- in just a few years, how it blossomed out into the supercomputer. I said to General Trudeau, "What are we unleashing on the world, General? If this can integrate with the brain, there's great danger." He said, "Yes, Phil, but the people coming after us, we hope, will possibly understand and take this into consideration. But maybe not in our lifetime." He didn't see it in his lifetime. He died three years ago.
ML: Do we know how to build the kind of craft that they found at Roswell?
PC: I think that we will know. Where we were missing out on a lot of this was in the propulsion and guidance systems. We came to the conclusion years ago, and now it's starting to take hold even among scientists, that the reason we missed out on this was that the extraterrestrial himself was the guidance system. He was part of the system. We never figured on that.
One day I was walking in the hall with General Trudeau, and I turned to him and said, "General, I think that son of mine is a little bit crazy. He says engines talk to him." The General turned to me and said, "Phil, don't ever say that again. People have certain relationships with engines, with solid matter, that we don't understand. But it's there." See, this is all starting to come forward now.
And it was uncanny that this book had to break when this thing is happening here at Roswell. I never expected what I saw last night, what I've seen here. [From the time he arrived in Roswell, Colonel Corso was surrounded by press and people seeking interviews.] Someone like me has always lived in the shadows. To all at once see this happening around me, and I'm a focal point -- I feel like I should be home sitting in my easy chair, not here. And yet, last night [at the Friday evening banquet] I was almost mobbed.
ML: Did you know that the American public was this hungry for this information, and this ready to believe you?
PC: Sure I knew. My nephew is a research director at [inaudible] university, and I have letters the young man wrote to me. He said, "Uncle Phil, please tell them to tell us the truth. We won't pull our hair out or panic. We want to hear this." In all of my interviews lately, I've been saying I'm going to prove this to you people. My own experience: I commanded a battalion of 1500 men. Average age, nineteen and a half years old. Those boys didn't panic and run. I told my exec[utive officer]: "My God, we're leading babies into combat." They didn't panic. They stood and fought some of the greatest armies the world has ever seen, and defeated them. A lot of them died. But they didn't run, they fought. So I say, this is the younger-age people -- they're not going to panic. Let them know. They want to know. That Orson Welles show [War of the Worlds, 1938] has thrown a lot of people off. It's not going to be like that.
ML: Do you feel we are ready to know the truth on this?
PC: We've been ready. A long time ago.
ML: Did you have to willfully break any personal oaths or promises to the military or the country in order to do what you've done?
PC: No. The oath that I held was with the General. I held that oath until he died, because he was an honorable man, an honest man. I liked him. He was a great man. As far as being an Army officer, I kept my oath for thirty-five years. I did not violate any security, and I had all the clearances. I was the one who used to stop people from violating security. I did not reveal anything that's harmful or should be kept quiet.
ML: There have been rumors and speculations that Roswell, and what came from Roswell -- the way we exploited Roswell technology -- might not have been the very first time such a thing happened. There have even been indications or speculations that the Nazis had done such a thing, that some of their extraordinary technological developments may have come from a similar source. What do you think about that?
PC: Yes. True. I had German scientists on my team. I discussed this with them. I discussed this with Oberth, von Braun. I was part of "Project Paperclip" with General Trudeau.
There's an example in the book. In the middle of the book there's a photograph of Edward O'Connor, one of Truman's poker- playing buddies at the White House -- he was a Soviet expert -- and General Trudeau, myself and Victor Fediay of the Library of Congress, who spoke fluent Russian. Fediay was going to Russia. I gave him a series of questions. I said, "Ask a KGB general these questions [pertaining to UFOs]." So Victor comes back and says, "Phil, I asked him the questions. You know what he said? He said, 'I know what you want. But do you want me killed?'"
Now, that's Russia. Germany? Yes. Canadians and British also, and something in Italy. There were crashes elsewhere, and they gathered material too. The Germans were working on it. They didn't solve the propulsion system. They did a lot of experiments on flying saucers. They had one that went up 12,000 feet. But where all, we and they, missed out was on the guidance system. In R&D we began to realize that this being was part of the guidance system, part of the apparatus himself -- or itself, because it had no sexual organs. This is where most people missed out.
ML: Do you think, then, that if we are going to develop a way of interstellar travel, we will have to develop a similar relationship to our spacecraft?
PC: Man can't travel in space today. Those clones were created to travel in space, specifically. They can travel in space. Our muscles, our bones, our brain, can't take space travel, even today. We can't do it.
ML: We can do it to some extent.
PC: Well, when they go to Mir, they stay up there two or three months, and when they come off, they have to be carried off. Their bones won't hold up. If they stayed a little longer, they'll never be able to walk. But the big thing that is not talked about is [that] the brain is affected up there.
ML: How is that?
PC: Gravity, radiation -- it comes right through that ship. Look at Senator [John] Glenn, he saw "fireflies" coming through his capsule. They weren't fireflies, they were some kind of electromagnetic thing that came through there. Those [alien] beings are created specifically to travel in space.
ML: Speaking of Senator Glenn, my understanding is that he's sort of ambivalent on the subject of UFOs. How would you characterize it?
PC: He told me exactly what he was. I met with Senator Glenn. I was supposed to meet him for half an hour, and he kept me for an hour and a half. During the course of the conversation, we talked about UFOs, and he said, "Colonel, I'm an agnostic." I said, "But you didn't say you don't believe," and he laughed. That's his exact word to me -- he's agnostic.
Then we got into Project Horizon. I had the whole project [document], 310 pages, and he wanted it. I had to give it to him. He was amazed when he saw that [in] 1959, long before he went up in the capsule, we had all the plans made up to put a military colony on the moon. Defense killed it on us. They didn't like the Army, so they took it away from us and killed it, and made NASA.
ML: Is it possible for any civilian to get their hands on the Project Horizon report today? How do we find out about this?
PC: It's unclassified. I was the declassifying officer. There's 50 pages of it in [my] book. I wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers historical division, and I told them where it was and what it was, and they found it and sent me copies of it immediately. The original was in color. Beautiful. I'd like to get my hands on it. [Corso pages through Appendix One of his book as he speaks.] Look, there's a lunar lander. This was 1959. The best brains in the world worked on this, all the Germans, all von Braun's team, they worked on this. I talked to a German in Huntsville, Alabama, a few months ago, and he said, "I remember that. I worked on it." This was an amazing document. And here's General Trudeau's instructions that started it. Lately, my scientist friend at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Texas had a meeting with the top [scientists] at NASA, and he threw Project Horizon on the table, and he says they were shocked. They couldn't believe it. They never knew about it. Defense killed it on us; and the CIA had a hand in killing it.
ML: Just the other day, the Air Force issued their latest official explanation of what happened at Roswell. I'm sure you must have had a few chuckles over it. How are you responding to this? And how is the press treating you, now that you've made your position so clear and now that the Air Force has said, again, that it's all a bunch of baloney?
PC: They're treating me better than I ever expected. I expected criticism. As far as the Air Force, I fought alongside them in Korea. I have a lot of friends in the Air Force, and I will not criticize a sister service. But I will criticize their superiors, the Secretary of the Air Force and so forth. It amazes me and I cannot comprehend why they do this. They don't have to do this. Why do they want themselves to look like fools? Even the young kids are telling me, "Dummies? Dummies?" and then they laugh. I can't comprehend why they put that out. What is in their mind? If I'd have written something like that, General Trudeau would have thrown me out of the top window of the Pentagon.
ML: What about the problem with Senator Strom Thurmond's foreword to your book? Simon and Schuster has issued a bland apology, saying they're going to pull Thurmond's foreword out of future printings of the book. What was your understanding with the Senator?
PC: I've known Strom Thurmond for almost a lifetime. He's a very honest, sincere and courageous individual. We've alway been close. I found out recently that his staff did it. I don't think the old man knew it, and I think the old man will eventually call me. We were too close for too many years. I sent the original foreword for the other book [Thurmond had written a foreword for a book titled "I Walked With Giants"] back to the Senator, and I told him, "If you want to send me another statement for this new book, that's fine. If you don't want to, that's fine too." I discussed UFOs with him. I gave him a copy of Project Horizon. About a week later, not only did I get the two pages that are in the book, but I also got a note from him authorizing Simon and Schuster to print it. Bill Birnes has all that. He has the original foreword -- the one I sent back -- and he has the new one.
ML: Bill Birnes told me when I arrived here today that he was under the impression that Thurmond or perhaps his staff had been pressured from higher up to back out of this. Can you say anything about this?
[Colonel Corso's son, present during the whole interview, made very visible hand signals to the Colonel at this point indicating that the Colonel should not answer this question.]
PC: I can't verify that one way or another.
ML: Forgive me, Colonel, if I ask Mr. Birnes to say something about this. [Birnes was in the room embroiled in a side conversation at this time.] Bill, the Colonel has just declined to address the question whether or not Senator Thurmond or his staff may have been pressured from higher up. You indicated that he might have been. Can you explain?
BB: This is just my understanding of it from stories I heard. The staff really wasn't aware of the agreement that Colonel Corso and the Senator had. It was an agreement between two friends, more than two business associates. The staff went ballistic when they found out. In other words, "How dare you do something and not consult your staff about what you're writing?" So the staff's immediate preliminary reaction was, "Oh no, this was the foreword for the book 'I Walked With Giants.'" What the staff didn't know was that Colonel Corso had sent that first foreword back to the Senator and got a new foreword in return. I have copies of both. So, obviously, they weren't in the loop. When they were told that this is a new foreword the Senator wrote, the story immediately changed. "Well, we weren't told, and we can't do this."
Finally, one of the staff members said, "Don't you understand that the Senator cannot be on a book cover, writing a foreword, for a book that says the United States government utilized alien technology to win the Cold War? Don't you realize this man is fourth in line to succeed the president? Don't you know this man is chairman of the Armed Services Committee? NO, it can't be." So they went to Simon and Schuster and said, "You have to pull the cover. Take it off the shelves, get the foreword out, write a new cover." Simon and Schuster said absolutely not. Then they made it very clear to Simon and Schuster, saying, "You're part of a large conglomerate. Your large conglomerate has to deal with government regulatory bodies. Do you really want to be in this position? Viacom goes before the FCC. You have a constituency of stockholders that you have to respond to.
ML: You're suggesting political blackmail.
BB: It's absolutely political blackmail.
ML: Can you verify that this is what was going on?
BB: I have to say that this is my understanding of what was going on because of confidential discussions I had with legal [personnel] at Simon and Schuster, and from statements that the staff members made to the Corso family with respect to the pressure that was being put on them to get this foreword out of the book. What I do know for a fact is that they demanded that Simon and Schuster pull the book off the shelves. Simon and Schuster flatly refused and said they had a signed release. Then [the Senator's staff] came back and said, "As a matter of courtesy, if we say that the Senator really wasn't clear on the nature of the book..." and Simon and Schuster said, "Well, if it's a matter of courtesy, then we can certainly understand that in the heat of material passing back and forth, misunderstandings can happen." So, that was the basic agreement.
ML: So, once they got the niceties of language straightened out, the agreement was that the foreword would be pulled from future printings of the book?
BB: Yes, exactly. But it will remain as it is, with this cover, for this printing.
ML: Cutting to other news, there was a story that broke here yesterday morning [Friday, July 4] about an object that had been tested by several scientists. Its content was almost entirely pure silicon, with small traces of metals such as germanium and zinc. This sounds suspiciously like some kind of solid state artifact, and it showed such highly anomalous isotopic ratios that a scientist was willing to say on the record that it had the appearance of extraterrestrial manufacture. Can this be compared with anything you saw at the Pentagon, Colonel?
PC: I don't know anything about it. It doesn't even sound similar to me.
ML: According to your book, you spent most of your time dealing with the artifacts and debris of the Roswell incident, but what about the aliens involved, and more especially, what about the alien situation today? What do you think is the nature of the alien presence, if any, on earth today?
PC: From my knowledge, at the moment, I don't know of any alien presence on earth. There are still reports of flying saucers, of course, but I don't know of any report of a body, or anyone who has seen [an alien] lately.
ML: What do you say about people such as abductees who claim to be actually seeing these creatures?
PC: My reports were thirty-five years ago. If there's anything now, I'm not aware of it. I know just what I saw in those days, and the truth like I lived it. If there's any aliens now, I'd like to see them. I don't know where they are. I'd like to see if they compare with the ones that I saw.