Local author Donald R. Burleson, Ph.D., speaks during a presentation held at the Roswell Public Library Saturday afternoon. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Local author Donald Burleson, a UFO investigator, appeared at the Roswell Public Library, Saturday afternoon, to discuss his controversial book â€œUFOs and the Murder of Marilyn Monroe.â€ He proposes that the government murdered Monroe by lethal injection because she knew too much about the Roswell UFO coverup. And he has the CIA documents to prove it. Well, maybe not. The Roswell Daily Record sat down with the author to talk about his evidence. Hereâ€™s an excerpt:
Donald Burleson: There had been a CIA memo circulating for several years at the time that I did (â€œUFOs and the Murder of Marilyn Monroeâ€). Basically, (the memo was) talking about how Marilynâ€™s house was being wiretapped and how they were concerned about her keeping a diary and the Kennedys telling her things that were … Well, things maybe that they shouldnâ€™t have been telling her. Things, in fact, that were classified in some cases. Of course she had affairs with both Bobby and Jack Kennedy which was pretty well known. Their wives even knew about it. And I got intrigued with that memo and decided to start to really look into it some more, and so I went looking for investigative work that other people had done on Marilyn, like Donald Wolfe, for example, who had done a really good study of Marilyn Monroeâ€™s last days. And there was definitely something, from his viewpoint, there was definitely something shady about the whole way she died, even though they passed it off as a suicide.
Roswell Daily Record: You assert in the book that she didnâ€™t kill herself.
DB: Oh, absolutely. And, in fact, Donald Wolfe came to that conclusion because he looked at the toxicology reports, and he did a lot of good leg work on this thing. But he never made the connection. He even had a copy of that memo in the back of his book, but he never made the connection about what it really said because it has a clear reference in there to UFO-related things and I guess, maybe, he just didnâ€™t want to get into that. I even wrote to him and asked him why didnâ€™t you pursue that? I mean, after all, itâ€™s right there in the memo. You got the memo in an appendix, and he never even answered me.
RDR: But you decided to pursue it.
DB: Yeah. Basically, Iâ€™ve been a UFO investigator for so long that my hands are already dirty. I donâ€™ t have to worry about whether they detest me or not because I know they do. And I donâ€™t care. So I started kind of sniffing around, and itâ€™s amazing how much if you just look at a lot of the existing work that had already been done about Marilynâ€™s death â€” how different it looks if you think of it in terms of that memo. And I actually sort of conned the CIA into authenticating the memo. Because one of the criticisms had always been maybe itâ€™s not even a real CIA document.
RDR: And how did you confirm that?
DB: I put in a Freedom of Information Act Request for the wiretap transcripts done at her house. I knew, of course, there wasnâ€™t a snowbal lâ€™s chance in hell they were going to give me that stuf f because they very seldom return anything that sensitive. And it would be really explosive stuff to have. But you donâ€™t really look for the stuf f that youâ€™re asking for. You look for the logic of the response. And, of course, they denied that they had it, and so I filed an appeal. And when I filed the appeal, I basically appealed on the document.
I hadnâ€™t actually mentioned the document yet , but I actually attached that and said, â€˜This is why I know you guys had her under surveillance, and I know youâ€™ve got transcripts unless you donâ€™t keep it in your records.â€™ I mean, there have to be records there of what happened when you wiretapped her house, and I based it on that appeal. And see, that was the time that they could have said â€˜Nope â€” this is not even our document. This is a bogus document . We donâ€™t even …â€™ But they didnâ€™t. They accepted the appeal.
Part Two of this excerpt will appear in Tuesdayâ€™s edition…
Roswell Daily Record:â€ˆWhat did the document prove? Did it prove the UFOâ€ˆconnection?
Donald Burleson:â€ˆIt basically proved that thatâ€™s why (the CIA) were concerned about her. Because Jack (Kennedy) had taken her some place and shown her some stuff so that was … Or had talked to her about stuff that was classified. And the thing is, (the CIA) authenticated the document by accepting the appeal. I could just imagine George Tenet up there going, â€˜Oh, God. Whatâ€™s the matter with you guys?â€ˆAuthenticating a document for this pest.â€™ And so now we know itâ€™s a real document, and essentially if you then take that as a basis and start looking at everything that happened like, for example, things she said to people the night she died.
RDR: Like what?
DB:â€ˆWell, JosÃ© BolaÃ±osâ€ˆcalled her just minutes before she died. And he was kind of a boyfriend at the time. In fact, some people thought they might have even gotten married, eventually. He was a Mexican playwright and movie producer, and he was living in L.A. at the time. Twenty-one years later when he was interviewed by Anthony Summersâ€ˆ(author of â€œGoddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroeâ€ (1986)) he said, â€˜That night, just before she died, Marilyn told me something that will one day shock the whole world.â€™ And, I mean, come on! What could it be 21 years later? I mean, all of the rest of the things people used as excuses were already known. The affairs were known, like I said. The wives knew about the affairs when they were happening.
RDR:â€ˆSo what was the thing that would shock the world?
DB:â€ˆThe thing that would shock the world would be that Jack had told her either the Roswell crash or something similar, some UFO-related event becauseâ€ˆthe memo is very clear about that. It says Jack went to a secret air base, looked at things from space. It talks about her friend Dorothy Kilgallen, who was also whacked a few years later having talked to some people in England about the UFOâ€ˆsecrecy issue. And Iâ€™m sure if they had been thinking, they would have just not accepted my appeal. Theyâ€™re really not very bright sometimes. Itâ€™s what it really comes down to. And I can imagine George Tenet up there saying, â€˜Oh my God, what is the matter with you people? We could have just let it …â€™ But as it is, itâ€™s against agency policy to accept an appeal based on a document thatâ€™s not regarded as legitimate. So they accepted. And, of course, when they accepted the appeal, it went to the agency release panel. Why would you send something to the agency release panel if thereâ€™s nothing to release?â€ˆI mean, those transcripts are there. They still havenâ€™t released them, but theyâ€™re there. And, of course, they would have the recording ofÂ JosÃ© BolaÃ±os being told what he later talked about in that interview. And so they canâ€™t, they canâ€™t let that stuff … And Marilyn was threatening to have a press conference.
RDR:â€ˆAnd you think that contributed to her death?
DB:â€ˆIâ€ˆthink Bobby Kennedy was at her house the afternoon she died because her neighbors saw him. And I think Bobby figured â€” because she threw him out of the house … She just flat, â€˜Get the hell out of my house.â€™ I mean, the Attorney General of the United States. She just threw him out of the house which was the right thing to do. I think he went back over to (English-American actor and President John F. Kennedyâ€™s brother-in-law) Peter Lawfordâ€™s beach house down in Santa Monica and kind of licked his wounds a little bit and thought, â€˜You know what? If she has that press conference, weâ€™re all screwed.â€™ Because Jack could be indicted for treason. I mean, itâ€™s actually treasonable for a president to impart classified information to people who arenâ€™t qualified to receive it, who arenâ€™t cleared. Bobby would have … the Justice Department would have indicted him. Basically the whole house of cards could have come down. Instead of letting that happen, they killed her.
RDR:â€ˆAnd howâ€™s (the book) being received?
DB:â€ˆPretty well. The book is just about sold out. In fact, weâ€™re about to go into a second printing.
RDR:â€ˆWhat about the critics?
DB:â€ˆIâ€™ve had several good reviews, and Iâ€™m probably not making any friends with the Kennedy family, but frankly I donâ€™t want them as friends.
RDR: What do you say to all the nay-sayers out there?
DB:â€ˆI say, look at the evidence. Iâ€™m not a conspiracy theorist. Iâ€™m not one of these people who says we didnâ€™t really go to the moon and the Bush administration really did 9/11. Unless people can show evidence for a conspiracy theory, itâ€™s just hot air. But I donâ€™t think this is. I think thereâ€™s pretty convincing evidence for this. If we had to still wonder whether that was a real CIA document or not, then it wouldnâ€™t be as strong as a case as it is. But as I said, the CIA has authenticated the document themselves.