In February of 1993, I was at dinner with Frank and Olive Schuler at their apartment in Arlington, Virginia. The Schulers had also invited Helen Shaffer, an old acquaintance of theirs from their State Department days in 1941. Frank, a former Foreign Service Officer who had served in Japan for ten years before Pearl Harbor, had met Olive when he returned from Japan in the fall of 1940. Olive was a secretary in the Division of Far Eastern Affairs where Helen Shaffer also worked. Olive had, on several occasions over the years, told me conversations we'd had about Pearl Harbor, that in 1963 she had renewed her friendship with Helen who had offered her a job in the firm where she was employed.
Olive had told me years before that in 1946, when Frank was working for the Office of War Information, he had been invited to dinner at the home of an old friend, William Turner, who also was a Japanese expert. That evening, Bill revealed to Frank the fact that after Pearl Harbor, the officials in the Division had secretly removed from official documents any and all incriminating evidence which would place blame on those responsible for the misguided advice given to the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull and President Roosevelt which led to the disaster at Pearl Harbor.
Returning to 1963 above -- at that time, Olive asked Helen Shaffer if she had continued to work in the Division after Pearl Harbor? When she said she had, Olive then told her about what Bill Turner had told Frank and asked her if she knew anything about what Bill had euphemistically called "Bally's Project," so-named because it was Joseph Ballantine, one of Hull's advisers, who was in charge of it. Helen thought for a moment and said she did recall it, that in fact, she was the secretary assigned to Ballantine on the project. She had been told that it was a "secret" project; admonished she was not to tell anyone what she was doing; that she had worked in a locked room in which no one other than the few involved were permitted to enter; also that the room was filled with filing cabinets which had been transported there from the central files.
In 1972, when the Schulers began their research on Pearl Harbor, Olive asked Helen Shaffer if she would be willing to sign an affidavit attesting to what she had said in 1963. Unfortunately, Helen had returned to work for the State Department in order to build up her government status for retirement benefits and said she couldn't possibly do it. She