Fred Lee Crisman (July 22, 1919 - December 10, 1975) was a writer, educator, broadcaster and self-described "disruption agent" from Tacoma, Washington known for claims of paranormal events and 20th century conspiracies.
In the mid-1940s, his name appears in the pages of pulp magazines, reporting on his own Shaver Mystery experiences via letters to the editors, warning of a threat from subterranean-dwelling "Deros," or "detrimental robots." Crisman wrote to Ray Palmer, then editor of the science fiction magazine ‘Amazing Stories’ with details of the incident. Crisman had previously written to Palmer and had a letter published in the June 1946 issue detailing his encounters with his outlandish ideas of ‘deros’ (detrimental robots) who ran an underground super-civilisation. He claimed to have encountered the beings while fighting as a commando in Burma during World War II, and wrote that he sustained injuries from a futuristic laser weapon.
Maury Island incident
His name next appears in relation to the Maury Island incident, an early UFO encounter. The UFO story began with Harold A Dahl who worked for Crisman. Crisman claimed to later see the object reported by his employee and to have collected slag debris dropped on his boat. Many UFO researchers have dismissed this incident as an outright hoax, most likely perpetrated by Crisman, but others still believe the incident to be a genuine paranormal event.
Murder of a City, Tacoma
Crisman next appears in Tacoma in the late 1960s, railing against the city's form of government (i.e. City Manager). He hosted a radio talk show under the pseudonym "Jon Gold," and wrote a book, The Murder of a City, Tacoma, which he published in 1970 through Transistor Publishing Company. "This weird, politically slanted rant about Tacoma in the late 1960s is a window into the chaos and bitterness that led to the 1971 recall of a majority of the City Council and of the fall of Mayor A.L. Slim Rasmussen. The author, Fred Crisman, was a talk radio personality who managed in the book to tie corruption in Tacoma to everything from communist infiltrators to the Kennedy assassination. The paranoid tone of the writing, shameless personal attacks, and naming of names seems like something out of the mid-50s but as a historical artifact is much more than just a novelty."[dead link] Crisman was appointed by the mayor to serve on the Tacoma Public Library board.
John F. Kennedy Assassination
During this period, Crisman was subpoenaed by Jim Garrison to testify in the case against Clay Shaw in the John F. Kennedy assassination. When Shaw was arrested, apparently Crisman was the first person Shaw called. Various conspiracy theories place Crisman on the grassy knoll, possibly as a radio operator, or as one of the "three tramps" taken into custody near Dealey Plaza. The origin of this repeated claim appears to be the Torbitt Document. "William Torbitt" is the pseudonym for a 1969 Texas lawyer-author-Kennedy Assassination-researcher who spells Crisman "Chrismon". However, a log from Rainier High School where Crisman taught shows no substitute was required for Crisman on the day of the assassination, thus supporting Crisman's claim that Crisman was teaching at the time of the assassination. Crisman's Grand Jury testimony is now public; and in Murder of a City, Tacoma, Crisman claimed no knowledge of a conspiracy,[dead link] nor was he called as a witness in the Clay Shaw trial.
Inslaw and The Octopus
Crisman died in 1975, but his name continues to resonate in the world of conspiracy theories. Michael Riconosciuto, a witness who testified before the House Judiciary Committee investigating the Inslaw Affair, has been described as a young electronics whiz from Tacoma who was a close acquaintance of Crisman's, and who helped Crisman sweep (and possibly plant) electronic eavesdropping devices during the years Crisman wrote Murder Of A City, Tacoma.[dead link]
Books that mention Fred Crisman
- Beckh'am, T. E. (Thomas Beckham) Remnants of Truth ISBN 1-4243-3812-3, ISBN 978-1-4243-3812-2
- Thomas, Kenn. Maury Island UFO IllumiNet (1999)ISBN 1-881532-19-4
- Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal AKA "The Torbit Document" republished as NASA, Nazis & JFK: The Torbitt Document & the Kennedy Assassination, AUP, US, 1996 paperback, ISBN 0-932813-39-9
- Fonzi, Gaeton. The Last Investigation.
- Sprague, Richard E.. The Taking of America 1, 2, 3.
- Marrs, Jim. Alien Agenda - Investigating the Extraterrestrial Presence Among Us HarperPaperBacks (1997)ISBN 0-06-109686-5
- UFO 34 Vol.8 No. 5 The Secret Life of Fred L. Crisman by Anthony L. Kimery pp. 34–38
- 1930 Census of Tacoma
- Routley, Duncan (2005). "Roswell Incident: Book III: A Time of Confusion". Vanity Press (Violations.org.uk). Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Amazing Stories, June 1946, Letters from Our Readers
- Routley, Duncan. "Mystery of Maury Island UFOs, 1947 (YouTube video)". YouTube. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Sullivan, Michael. "On A Small Tocoma Bookshelf". historictocoma.net[dead link]. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Crisman, F. Lee; pages 1-32 Special Investigation, Orleans Parish Grand Jury, 21 November 1968
- Marrs, Jim. Alien Agenda. p. 128. ISBN 0-06-109686-5.
- Kenn Thomas, Maury Island UFO: The Crisman Conspiracy
- *Thomas, Kenn; Keith, Jim (1996). "Appendix Three: Prison interview with Michael Riconosciuto". The Octopus: The Secret Government and Death of Danny Casolaro. Feral House. ISBN 0-922915-39-3.
- Crisman, Fred; The Majestic Documents
- Conspiracy Planet Fred Crisman:Key Man in JFK/UFO Conspiracy/Coverup
- Maury Island UFO: Fred Crisman and covert infiltration of ufology
- Thomas, Kenn; The Invasion Was Televised: Crisman and The Invaders
- Kenneth Arnold and The Maury Island Incident
- Fred Lee Crisman's Grand Jury Testimony for the Garrison Investigation
- Crisman self-published book Actual Tacoma record of self published book by Fred Crisman
- Maury Island Incident Recorded history of Fred Crisman and UFO incident on Maury Island
- Video interview of Maury Island incident