Crisman is also named in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's 1968 investigation into the Kennedy assassination, in which Garrison maintained that Crisman may have been an assassin working on behalf of aerospace concerns to kill Kennedy.
In a well-known underground report called the Torbitt Document, Crisman is named as one of three hoboes picked up in the railyard behind the grassy knoll at Dealy Plaza, Thomas said.
Garrison also investigated Guy Banister, who was in charge of an office in New Orleans that employed Lee Harvey Oswald in a variety of capacities.
Banister was FBI Special Agent in Charge in the Pacific northwest at the time of the Maury Island case.
The details of the Maury Island UFO case and Garrison's complicated life and associations are so labyrinthine that one reviewer said of Thomas' book that it is "information rich to the point of saturation."
Thomas said details of the Maury Island case come from several Freedom of Information Act requests filed by him and other researchers, first hand accounts and various published accounts, including a comic book rendition that he showed in slides during his presentation. They also include such books as Kenneth Arnold's The Coming of the Saucers and Edward Ruppelt's Project Blue Book report.
The Maury Island story beings on June 21, 1947, three days before what is widely regarded as the event that launched the modern UFO era, pilot Kenneth Arnold's sightings of "flying saucers" over Mt. Ranier.
A lumber salvager named Harold Dahl, his son and two unidentified people on a salvage boat in the bay witnessed six doughnut-shaped craft, one wobbling, the others surrounding it and apparently trying to help it.
Dahl described the craft as 20 feet in diameter with five-foot portholes in their sides. The craft in the middle wobbled and dropped down about 700 feet before it stopped wobbling. Then one of the circling saucers broke formation, flew down, touched it and also became still.
The craft then spewed two different substances, white paper-like metal that floated into the bay, and a black slag-like substance that came down hot enough to raise steam. Pieces of that material struck Dahl's son and killed his dog.
Dahl reported these events to Crisman, who is described as Dahl's "superior." Crisman went to Maury Island to take a look, and not only saw a great deal of both materials on the shore and recovered some for himself, but also claimed to have had his own sighting of a doughnut-shaped craft.
Crisman reported his experience to Ray Palmer, a publisher of pulp magazines like Amazing Stories.
Palmer hired Kenneth Arnold to investigate the case, whose own sightings three days later initiated a UFO wave, a part of which was the story of a housewife who recovered in that area a 30-inch saucer that she handed over to FBI officer Guy Banister.
Two Air Force investigators joined Arnold's investigation at Maury island, Capt. Lee Davidson and 1st Lt. Frank Mercer Brown. The two officers worked under Gen. Nathan Twining to collect information on the UFO flap with particular attention to retrieval stories, Thomas said.
Crisman turned samples of the debris to them, which was loaded into their plane, a B-25 bomber. Shortly after taking off to return to Wright-Patterson AFB, the plane crashed, killing the two men. The counter-intelligence team sent out to clean up the crash site supposedly failed to find any evidence of the Maury Island debris.
However, Thomas said that one of the recently surfaced MJ12 documents suggests that Crisman turned samples of the debris over to Clay Shaw, one of the three people that Garrison attempted to indict in the alleged conspiracy to kill Kennedy.
Although Shaw was acquitted of the crime, his role as a CIA agent is well-documented.
Crisman's life followed many strange twists and turns. According to Thomas, "He had one foot in the intelligence world, the other in the world of con-men and bums."
Crisman reportedly told the tale that during World War II he fought a race of underground aliens called the Deros in caverns in Burma. He was involved with the Universal Life Church, a right-wing fringe group connected with the Minutemen armed militia.
In 1968 he was an early "shock jock" along the lines of Rush Limbaugh, holding forth in a radio talk show in Tacoma. He was also involved in local politics, seeking to overthrow the city management in Tacoma. In 1975, he died of kidney failure at the age of 56.
Same spooks haunt both JFK and UFO cover-ups
By Hal McKenzie COSMICTRIBUNE.COM