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On February 22, 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt writes a DOUBLE TOP SECRET memo on White House stationary for "The special committee on non-terrestrial science and technology." Both the title and the content clearly allude to extraterrestrial life, the former using the word "non-terrestrial" and the latter talks about "coming to grips with the reality that our planet is not the only one harboring intelligent life the universe." Remarkably, the last four words are exactly the title of Sagan's book co-authored with the Soviet scientist Shklovsky. Clearly the situation was that we had recovered at least one craft by then, probably the Cape Girardeau crash of 1941, and came to realize the wealth of technology that lay there for the pickings.

Apparently the "Special Committee on Non-terrestrial Science and Technology" had been working some time in order to define a clear action. Dr. Bush had presumably presented a proposal from the Committee for an aggressive separate program to apply "non-terrestrial know how" to the war effort, but FDR thought that it would threaten the atomic bomb program. Thus, he carefully avoids saying "no," but says that we will "take every advantage of such wonders that have come to us" after we have won the war. Very gracious letter. The classification "double top secret" was a legitimate one. We are currently (May 2000) requesting copies of similar correspondence from the Roosevelt Library for format and typography comparison. The signature, although not a strong discriminate, is consistent with other authentic signatures.