February 24, 2021

Did The Guided Missile and Astronautics Intelligence Committee prepare a contribution to SNIE 1-61-E?


A number of issues have been raised by various researchers, e.g. Paul Dean, Douglas D Johnson, and myself; concerning the 1961 document, titled “Critical Aspects of Unidentified Flying Objects and the Nuclear Threat to the Defense of the United States and Allies,”  numbered Special National Intellegence (sic) Estimate (SNIE) 1-61-E, which has been much discussed on social media of late. For ease of discussion here, I will simply refer to this document as the 1961 document.


The 1961 document states that it was prepared by four different bodies, namely:

* NSA Scientific Advisory Board (NSASAB)

* Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEIC)

* The Guided Missile and Astronautics Intelligence Committee (GMAIC)

* The Scientific Intelligence Committee (SIC.)

CIA CREST documents

Now, upon checking various documents available on the CIA CREST website, I determined that the GMAIC, amongst other things, at their meetings, considered draft contributions to NIEs and SNIEs; revised the drafts, approved them, and then sent them to the Office of National Estimates (ONE.)

As an example, at the 19 April 1961 meeting, the GMAIC minutes of that meeting recorded:

“ITEM 1 SNIE 22-61

The Committee considered a draft contribution to SNIE 22-61 which had been prepared by [redacted word/s] ad hoc working group. The draft was revised, approved and forwarded to ONE as the GMAIC contribution to SNIE 22-61.”

Reviewing the minutes of various GMAIC meetings held between 1 March 1961 and 19 December 1961 [the 1961 document stated that it was “Completed on 5 November 1961”] I noted numerous references to the GMAIC reviewing drafts of SNIE 11-4-61; NIE 11-5-61 and NIE 11-8/1-61; revising them; approving them and forwarding them on to ONE. Such was the process in 1961.

So, if the GMAIC did have a hand in preparing the 1961 document; one would expect to be able to find a reference to it in the minutes of a 1961 GMAIC meeting.

An inspection of the minutes of 23 GMAIC meetings held between 1 March 1961 and 19 December 1961; failed to find any reference to the 1961 document; either by number, title, or subject matter.

I did note that, out of the minutes from these 23 meetings I reviewed, that there were a few totally redacted agenda items. Some could argue that the reference to the 1961 document would be found in these redacted items. However, the other 99% of the agenda items are freely readable, so statistically I feel that the chances of a redacted agenda item being about the 1961 document is rather slim. I mention this for transparency of my argument.

Naturally, I would be delighted if any blog reader can locate a CIA document from the 1961 minutes of a GMAIC meeting which provides clear reference to the 1961 document.