37th President of the US - Jan 20th 1969 - August 9th 1974
In February 1973 President
Richard Nixon took a trip to Florida. On February 19,1973, and according to Official White House Records, the President met on the 18th green at the Inverrary
Golf and Country Club with Jackie Gleason. He had come to help to open a
charity golf tournament run by Gleason.
Picture - Richard Nixon
with Jackie Gleason.
Photo copyright - Dirck Halstead
Highly respected photographer
who has taken photos of many of the U.S. Presidents. At the time of President
Nixon was the senior white house photographer.
Gleason was considered on of the foremost
television comedians of the 20th century producing the Jackie Gleason Show
for almost 20 years, and playing the character of Ralph Kramden on the top
rated Honeymooners TV show in the mid 50's. He appeared in 21 movies, and
produced 20 music albums from 1953 to 1969.
Jackie Gleason and President Nixon had a number
of things in common and became good friends. Gleason was a strong supporter
of the Republican party. Gleason lived in Florida, and Nixon had a compound
on Biscayne Bay only miles away. In addition to being avid golfers, both
had high regard for the FBI. Nixon had in April 1937 applied to become an
agent with the FBI, and Gleason worked for the FBI as an official "contact"
for the Special Agent in Change (SAC) in Miami where he lived for the last
twenty years of his life.
One of the other things they
had in common, according to Gleason, was a large collection of UFO books.
Both were fascinated by the subject.
Gleason had long been a fan of UFOs. He was a subscriber
to the newsletter of the group Just Cause (Citizens Against UFO Secrecy).
Gleason had a collection of 1700 books on parapsychology, UFOs, and the
unknown. These were donated to the University of Miami by his third wife
when he passed away in 1987. Gleason had even built a house in Peekskill,
N.Y. which he called " The Mother ship." Gleason had architects
built everything in the round like a flying saucer. Most of his furniture
was round, and the garage, called the "Scout Ship" was also round,
like a flying saucer.
Biographer William A. Henry 111 in his book " The
Life and Legend of Jackie Gleason" described his view of Jackie Gleason's
interest in the unknown:
"Jackie Gleason had a lifelong fascination with the
supernatural. Everything that Shirley MacLean was to explore in her exotic
life and best-selling book had already been explored by Gleason...He would
spend small fortunes on everything from financing psychic research to buying
a sealed box said to contain actual ectoplasm, the spirit of life itself.
He would contact everyone from back-alley charlatans to serious researchers
like J.B. Rhine of Duke University and, disdaining the elitism of the scholarly
apparatus, would treat them all much the same way".
Gleason was a frequent insomniac. He would stay up all
the night reading (or rereading) some of the hundreds of (UFO and paranormal
phenomena) volumes in his library."
Gleason did not see a UFO . In 1955 at
the high of his popularity with the American people he stated during a magazine
"I have never seen a flying saucer
anywhere personally but have read published flying saucer literature. Most
of this literature is ridiculous, but
amongst the trash there are some undeniable points that can not be refuted
even by the United States Government."
So Jackie Gleason stated.
Gleason had probably figured out that a hell of a lot of
stuff on UFO's is rubbish - disinformation if you want to call it that.
But by his own admission stated that some of the (UFO) information cannot be refuted by the government.
He seemed to have a great deal of difficulty understanding
why the Governments of the world were "hiding the truth" on UFO's.
Yet by his own admission was "extremely disturbed" for at least
3 weeks after seeing what Nixon had shown him. This should show you that
IF the truth ever did come out it would be simply too much for most people
to take in and understand. UFO's or Aliens - or whatever you want to call
them are a fact of life - but hidden from view for a very good reason.
Gleason let the public know that he was
interested in UFOs, but he was very secretive about how strong his belief
was. While living in New York he invited Sheila MacRae for a visit to his
saucer shaped home in Peeksville. MacRae replaced Audrey Meadows as the
"Honeymooners" Alice Kramden when Jackie Gleason moved his TV
shows to Florida in the sixties. There he showed her his massive collection
of books on spiritualism, the occult, and UFOs. " I'm kind of a nut
on the subject, " he told Sheila "Hey, maybe 'nut' isn't the right
word, eh? Think of the fun the columnists and the writers for TV Guide would
have if they got a load of all this, hunh?"
There were a few people who Jackie trusted
who he would discuss the subject with. One of these people was Bob Considine.
Jackie Gleason's publicist James Bacon, in his book "How Sweet it Is:
The Jackie Gleason Story," described how Gleason was "always arguing"
about UFOs with Bob Considine, columnist for the New York Journal-American.
These UFO debates took place in Gleason's favourite watering hole - Toots
Shor's Restaurant and Bar in New York City.
Gleason would tell Considine
how small UFOs had been seen by both sides during World War 11, and that
four Presidents of the United States had told him about these UFOs. Considine
didn't believe Gleason
until one day General Emmett "Rosie" O'Donnell,
over heard the two arguing. He came up and said to Considine, 'Jackie's
(picture below) General Emmett
"Rosie" O'Donnell. Distinguished U.S. pilot and commander. Awarded
many citations and regarded as one of the U.S.'s most outstanding commanders.
Was Commander in chief of the Pacific Air Forces. Led the bombing raids
over Tokyo - of Industrial targets - in 1944 - ( after the famous 1942 air raids by General Doolittle) in the second world war.
According to Gleason's second wife, Beverly
McKittrick, Gleason apparently had done more than talk and golf with his
friend Richard Nixon while in Florida. McKittrick
stated that one night Gleason had returned home very shaken. It was during the Nixon February 1973 visit to
Florida. She related that President Nixon had taken Jackie to a heavily
secured area at Homestead Air Force Base where he had viewed the remains
of small aliens in a top secret repository. McKittrick related this story
in an unpublished manuscript of Gleason called "The Great One."
Larry Bryant, the editor of Just Cause, the newsletter
Gleason had a subscription to, filed a Freedom of Information Act Request
with Homestead Air Force Base. Bryant requested documentation on the top
secret repository and Gleason's visit there to see the alien bodies. The
Air Force Base replied that " no such records existed." Bryant
also sent an advertisement to the Homestead Air Force Base Newspaper soliciting
information anyone on the base could provide about the alien bodies or Jackie
Gleason's visit to see them. The public affairs officer at Homestead denounced
the Bryant advertisement and "forbade its publication."
At the same time Bryant wrote Gleason providing him with
a draft affidavit. He asked Gleason to execute the affidavit so it could
be used as part of a growing accumulation of evidence Bryant was collecting
in preparation for taking the government to court to release all information
on alien crash retrievals. Gleason did not reply.
About the same time as Bryant was approaching Gleason to
provide an affidavit about his experience at Homestead, Gleason was approached
by the film industry about the rumoured story. Bryant recounted the story;
"Though I never did hear from Gleason," said
Bryant, " I did learn that he had been contacted by a third party in
the film industry. At this confrontation, Gleason chose to neither confirm
nor deny the story, saying that he would prefer not to discuss it at all
. The way I see it Gleason easily could have set the record straight in
reply to my proposal or in an explanation to the inquisitive film-industry
representative. If the story was a fabrication or misinterpretation on the
part of his wife, he now had every opportunity to say so. That he chose
not to merely deepens the mystery."
Shortly before his death in
1987, one story says Gleason did finally
confirm the story about seeing the bodies at Homestead. The person who Jackie
Gleason told the story to was Larry
Warren who was a member of the Air Force Security Police at RAF Bentwaters. Bentwaters was one of two bases in England where
in late December 1980, three days of bizarre UFO incidents took place. Many
US - RAAF airmen stationed at the base were involved in sightings, radar
trackings, landings of unusual craft and unusual events never seen before
by any of them. The Base U.S. Deputy Commander made a written statement
to the British Ministry of Defence admitting landing of "unusual craft"
and "unusual events" that actually took place.
Larry Warren had been involved
in events on the second night of sightings. He saw an object land in a clearing
of the forest, and along with a number of other airmen saw three beings
come out of the craft. The Commander of the base , Gordon Williams made
sign movements to the three small dome shaped "beings" who emerged
from the craft . The incident became
known as the Rendelesham Forest Case, and was considered by many to be "the
most significant Military - UFO incident in the history of Great Britain."
- Sometimes called the "U.K. Roswell incident." Lord Hill-Norton ( a former head of the British Ministry of Defence)
stated in the House Of Lords that a "craft of unknown origin did actually
land at the military base and did indeed get the persons stationed there
into a " (quote) "considerable state". Lord Hill-Norton demanded
- and did manage to get the British Authorities to release some information
on the incident - much to the dismay of the U.S. that have refused to even
discuss the incident - and have done everything to cover it up.
Larry Warren wrote a now famous
book about this "Left at East Gate" The Rendelsham Forest Incident
is an amazing fact.
Larry Warren's encounter
with Jackie Gleason was in May 1986, shortly before Gleason died in June
CNN and HBO had been running
stories on the 1980 Rendelesham Forest case. "Through mutual friends who knew members of his family,"
recounted Warren, " I was told that Gleason would like to talk to me
privately in his home in Westchester County, and so the meeting was set for a Saturday when we would both
have time to relax." Timothy Green
Beckley, a New York City author, produced an excellent account of the meeting
between the two men:
After being formally introduced, the two men ventured into
Gleason's recreation room complete with pool table and full-size bar. "There
were hundreds of UFO books all over the place," Warren explains, "but
Jackie was quick to tell me that this was only a tiny portion of his entire
collection, which was housed in his home in Florida." For the rest
of the day, UFO researcher and UFO witness exchanged information.
"Gleason seemed to be very well informed on the subject,"
Larry says, "as he knew the smallest detail about most cases and showed
me copies of the book "Clear Intent" that had just been published,
as well as a copy of "Sky Crash", a British book about Bentwaters
that was published, actually, before all the details of this case were made
public. I remember Gleason telling me about his own sightings of several
discs in Florida and how he thought there were undersea UFOs bases out in
the Bermuda Triangle."
But it wasn't till after Warren had downed
a few beers and Gleason had had a number of drinks -"his favourite,
Rob Roys"- that conversation really got down to brass tacks. "At some point, Gleason turned to me and said,
'I want to tell you something very amazing that will probably come out some
day anyway. We've got em !' 'Got what', I wanted to know? 'Aliens!' Gleason sputtered,
catching his breath."
According to Warren, Jackie
proceeded to tell him the intriguing set of circumstances that led him to
the stunning conclusion that extraterrestrials have arrived on our cosmic
shores. "It was back when Nixon was in office that something truly
amazing happened to me," Gleason explained. "We were close golfing
buddies and had been out on the golf course all day when somewhere around
the 18th hole, the subject of UFOs came up. Not many people know this,"
Gleason told Warren, "but the President shares my interest in this
matter and has a large collection of books in his home on UFOs just like
I do. For some reason, however, he never really took me into his confidence
about what he personally knew to be true... one of the reasons being that
he was usually surrounded by so many aids and advisers."
Later that night, matters changed radically,
when Richard Nixon showed up at Gleason's house around midnight. "He
was all alone for a change. There were no secret service agents with him
or anyone else. I said, 'Mr. President, what are you doing here?' and he
said he wanted to take me someplace and show me something." Gleason
got into the President's private car and they sped off into the darkness
- their destination being Homestead Air Force Base.
"I remember we got to
the gate and this young MP came up to the car to look to see inside and
his jaw seemed to drop a foot when he saw who was behind the wheel. He just
sort of pointed and we headed off." Warren
says that later Gleason found out that the secret service was going absolutely
crazy trying to find out where Nixon was. "We drove to the very far end of the base in a segregated area,"
Gleason went on, "finally stopping near a well-guarded building. The
security police saw us coming and just sort of moved back as we passed them
and entered the structure.
There were a number of labs
we passed through first before we entered a section where Nixon pointed
out what he said was the wreckage from a flying saucer, enclosed in several
large cases." Gleason noted his initial reaction was that this was
all a joke brought on by their earlier conversation on the golf course.
But it wasn't, as Gleason soon learned. "Next, we went into an inner
chamber and there were six or eight of what looked like glass-topped Coke
freezers. Inside them were the mangled remains of what I took to be children.
Then - upon closer examination - I saw that some of the other figures looked
quite old. Most of them were terribly mangled as if they had been in an
According to Larry Warren's testimony (regarding
Gleason's lengthy conversation about UFOs and space visitors), "I forget
whether he said they had three or four fingers on each hand, but they definitely
were not human...of this he was most certain!" For three weeks following
his trip with Nixon to Homestead Air Force Base, the world famous entertainer
couldn't sleep and couldn't eat. "Jackie
told me that he was very traumatised by all of this".
He just couldn't understand why our government wouldn't
tell the public all they knew about UFOs and space visitors.
He said " He even drank
more heavily than usual until he could regain some of his composure and
come back down to everyday reality." Larry Warren is convinced that Gleason wasn't lying to him. "You could
tell that he was very sincere - he took the whole affair very seriously,
and I could tell that he wanted to get the matter off his chest, and this
was why he was telling me all of this." And as
far as Larry Warren was concerned, the Great One's personal testimony only
added extra credibility to his own first hand experience with aliens while
he was in the service.
"Jackie felt just like I do that the
government needs to 'come clean,' and tell us all it knows about space visitors.
It time they stopped lying to the public and release all the evidence they
have." NOTE - It's quite possible that after it was discovered that
Nixon had shown Gleason the evidence at Homestead it would have been quite
possible that Gleason had been warned to "shut up" about it.
Or else !
The obvious question that
has been asked about this incident is how Nixon, the most protected man
in the world, was able to get away from his secret service detail, get a
car, and head off to Homestead with Jackie Gleason. The story seems at first
(Understand this was nearly
35 years ago - a very different world to today !)
The Director of the Secret Service under
President Clinton, Lewis Merletti, claimed that the idea of a President
escaping his secret service agents only happens in the movies. In response
to a question by reporter Joan London about the possibility of the President
escaping his protection to go out and secretly do something Merletti claimed,
" All Hollywood ! - there's no sneaking out. It has never happened."
Marty Venker, a Secret Service agent who
worked with Merletti under Presidents Ford and Carter, however, tells a
different story. In his book Confessions of an Ex-Secret Service Agent tells
that not only can the President disappear, but it has happened. Venker stated
that in the exact year of the Homestead incident with Gleason, 1973, Nixon
had tried to cut his secret service protection. Venker also stated that
it was not uncommon for Nixon to try to elude his secret service detail.
The agents working on the
Nixon Presidential detail had been warned about it.
Venker even recounted one occasion when
Nixon was able to ditch his secret service guards while at his California
"Nixon always felt that
he was overprotected. He felt that he couldn't pick his nose without some
agent taking notes. In 1973, he tried to cut his detail by a third. 'I don't
like it and my family doesn't like it.' Nixon said."
"I'd be warned of the
lengths Nixon would go to elude us. One time he snuck out of the San Clemente
compound. His valet, Manolo Sanchez, drove past the agents in a car with
Nixon stretched out in the back seat under a blanket. Nixon just wanted
to go to a restaurant. But some reporters saw him and phoned the (white)
house. They wanted to know what Nixon was up to. The secret service told
them, "he's not at any restaurant, he's here at home" But then
the agents found he was gone they chased him down."
Nixon was very familiar
with Homestead Air Force Base which was only minutes from his Biscayne Bay
compound. Every time Nixon flew south to his "Southern White House"
Air Force One would land at Homestead. In Nixon's first term as President
he travelled to his Key Biscayne compound 55 times and spent 118 nights
Gleason, on the other hand,
lived in nearby Miami, and owned his own golf course, the Inverrary Country
Club nearby in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.