History of the United States Air Force UFO Programs
Thomas Tulien

  1. In the Summer of 1947…
  2. The Public and the Press
  3. The United States Air Force Responds
  4. Project Sign
  5. Project Grudge
  6. Project Blue Book
  7. The CIA Robertson Panel
  8. A Turning Point in the Controversy

Endnote 1

Michael Swords, comp., Cases at the Beginning of the Modern UFO Era: Kenneth Arnold, June 24, 1947,” Historical Document Series, No. 1 (J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, Oct. 1992)

Kenneth Arnold and Raymond Palmer, The Coming of the Saucers (Amherst, WS: Legend Press, n.d.), 9-15.

Also, The 1947 Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting
http://ufoevidence.org/cases/case511.htm.

Arnold provided a drawing for the Army Air Force, dated 12 July 1947. Available online from:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Arnold_AAF_drawing.jpg.

×

Endnote 2

For examples of early press reports (click on “More 1947 Reports”) see:
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1947a.htm

Also, David Rudiak’s extensive compilation of UFO sighting reports in local newspapers from New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Arkansas for June/July 1947.
http://roswellproof.com/NM_UFO_Reports.html

×

Endnote 3

Ted Bloecher, Report on the UFO Wave of 1947 (Washington, DC: the author, 1967), (quote in Section I-2):
http://nicap.org/waves/Wave47Rpt/ReportUFOWave1947_Menu.htm

Also, Jan L. Aldrich, Project 1947: A Preliminary Report on the 1947 UFO Sighting Wave (UFO Research Coalition, 1997).

×

Endnote 4

Ted Bloecher, Report on the UFO Wave of 1947 (Washington, DC: the author, 1967), (Section I-4):
http://nicap.org/waves/Wave47Rpt/ReportUFOWave1947_Menu.htm

×

Endnote 5

David M. Jacobs, The UFO Controversy in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), pp. 39-40

Ted Bloecher, Report on the UFO Wave of 1947 (Washington, DC: the author, 1967), (Section I-4):
http://nicap.org/waves/Wave47Rpt/ReportUFOWave1947_Menu.htm

×

Endnote 6

See Bloecher’s updated chronological index of over 850 sighting reports for June and July 1947: http://nicap.org/waves/Wave47Rpt/SightingChronology.pdf

In the years following the publication of his report, Bloecher increased the number of reports for this period to over 1000.

×

Endnote 7

David M. Jacobs, The UFO Controversy in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), pp. 38-39

Jan L. Aldrich, Project 1947: A Preliminary Report on the 1947 UFO Sighting Wave (UFO Research Coalition, 1997).

×

Endnote 8

Ted Bloecher, Report on the UFO Wave of 1947 (Washington, DC: the author, 1967), (Quote in Section I-9):
http://nicap.org/waves/Wave47Rpt/ReportUFOWave1947_Menu.htm

×

Endnote 9

A comprehensive and very informative summary of the Roswell press releases and coverage is available online from:
http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Press_Coverage.html

×

Endnote 10

See, for example:
http://roswellproof.com/RMD_Wilcox_July9.html

×

Endnote 11

See, DuBose interviews and affidavit available online from:
http://roswellproof.com/dubose.html#anchor_3254

×

Endnote 12

See, for examples:
http://roswellproof.com/UP_Standard_July9.html

×

Endnote 13

See, for examples:
http://roswellproof.com/militarydebunk.html

×

Endnote 14

Quoted from Herbert J. Strentz, A Survey of Press Coverage of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1947 - 1966. (Ph.D. diss., Northwestern University, 1970), pp.29-30.

×

Endnote 15

Fourth Air Force, Hamilton Field, CA investigated the 8 July 1947 UFO sightings at Muroc Army Air Field (later, Edwards AFB, and Air Force Flight Test Center), California. The witness affidavits are available online from: http://www.project1947.com/fig/muroc47.htm.

A few month’s later, on 14 October 1947, Air Force Capt. Chuck Yeager flew the Bell X-1 on the first manned supersonic flight at Muroc AAF.

×

Endnote 16

See Appendix 1 (pp. 57-61) in, Michael D. Swords, Project Sign and the Estimate of the Situation,” Journal of UFO Studies, n.s. 7, 2000: 27-64.
http://www.nicap.org/papers/swords_Sign_EOTS.htm
HTML version available from:
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sign/sign.htm

Re: Item (b)—the silence from topside: “As July wore on into August, Garrett, Schulgen, and Reynolds became confused by a lack of interest and pressure emanating from the high echelons of the Pentagon. The previous year they had gone through an investigative furor about a subject that they considered to be similar to the flying discs, when hundreds of “ghost rocket” reports came out of Sweden and other European countries. In 1946, the top brass had exerted continuous pressure to find an answer, but now it had gone completely quiet. It was very peculiar to Garrett and the FBI. Their mutual suspicion was that the very highest officials knew what this phenomenon was already” (Swords, 2000, p. 31).

×

Endnote 17

Schulgen, George F, Memorandum to FBI Liaison Section, 5 September 1947. “A complete survey of research activities discloses that the Army Air Forces has no project with the characteristics similar to those which have been associated with the Flying Discs.” Quoted from, Michael D. Swords, Project Sign and the Estimate of the Situation, p. 33.
http://www.nicap.org/papers/swords_Sign_EOTS.htm
HTML version available from:
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sign/sign.htm

×

Endnote 18

Letter from General N.F. Twining, “Subject: AMC Opinion Concerning “Flying Discs,” to Commanding General, Army Air Forces, 23 September 1947.
http://www.nicap.org/twining_letter_docs.htm
Text version: http://project1947.com/shg/condon/appndx-r.html

×

Endnote 19

Edward Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1956), pp. 27-28.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 20

Directive from Major General L. C. Craigie to Commanding General Wright-Patterson AFB, on disposition of security for Project “Sign,” 30 December 1947.
http://project1947.com/shg/condon/appndx-s.html

×

Endnote 21

See Project Sign, “Supplement to Trip Report to Watson Labs—3-4 June 1948.”
http://www.bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=MAXW-PBB3-845 (845-846)

×

Endnote 22

See NICAP Case Summary, “Subject: Chiles-Whitted Case, Montgomery, AL, July 24, 1947.”
http://www.nicap.org/480724adir.htm

See also follow-up and other witness reports, in Air Intelligence Information Report 129-122-79, 20 Dec. 1948.
http://www.bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=MAXW-PBB4-18 (18-23)

×

Endnote 23

Michael D. Swords, “Project Sign and the Estimate of the Situation,” p. 48-49.
http://www.nicap.org/papers/swords_Sign_EOTS.htm (845-846)
HTML version: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sign/sign.htm

Ruppelt was chief of Project Blue Book from 1951-1953. In 1956 he published a memoir of his experiences investigating UFOs for the USAF, titled, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Only the last paragraph of the quote was included in Ruppelt’s book (p. 41). Mike Swords (CUFOS) is the conservator of the Ruppelt Files.

×

Endnote 24

USAF Directorate of Intelligence and Office of Naval Intelligence, Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the U.S., Air Intelligence Report 100-203-79, 10 December 1948.
http://www.nicap.org/docs/airintelrpt100-203-79.pdf
Text version: http://www.webroots.org/library/usamisc/airts000.html

×

Endnote 25

Swords, “Project Sign and the Estimate of the Situation,” p. 62.
http://www.nicap.org/papers/swords_Sign_EOTS.htm
HTML version: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sign/sign.htm

×

Endnote 26

Swords, “Project Sign and the Estimate of the Situation,” p. 63-64.
http://www.nicap.org/papers/swords_Sign_EOTS.htm
HTML version: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sign/sign.htm ×

Endnote 27

Unidentified Aerial Objects Project “Sign” (Technical Report No. F-TR-2274-IA), February 1949. (Quote on page 10).
http://www.nicap.org/docs/SignRptFeb1949.pdf

×

Endnote 28

Unidentified Aerial Objects Project “Sign,” Appendix “D”. (pp. 37-45)
http://www.nicap.org/docs/SignRptFeb1949.pdf

“Appendix D” text version: http://project1947.com/shg/condon/appndx-d.html

×

Endnote 29

For an insider’s view of the abrupt change in policy, see:
Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, pp. 58-59
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 30

Unidentified Flying Objects Project “Grudge” (Technical Report No. 102-AC 49/15-100), August 1949. The quote (Conclusions) appear on p. 9.
http://www.nicap.org/docs/grudgereport_complete.pdf

×

Endnote 31

Michael Swords, “UFOs, the Military, and the Early Cold War Era," in UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge, ed. David M. Jacobs, (University Press of Kansas, 2000), 97-99.

×

Endnote 32

For examples see items: 112; 187; 202; 231; 235; 238; 290; 291; 292; 297; 298; 304; 325; 326 in Brad Sparks, comp., Comprehensive Catalog of 1,500 Project Blue Book UFO Unknowns: A Work in Progress, 2001-2003.
http://www.aliensthetruth.com/images/docs/BB_Unknowns_1_7.pdf

In addition, http://www.cufos.org/BB_Unknowns.html

Also, for a compilation of 42 UFO sighting reports covering a period from Sept. 1950-1954, by military personnel serving in Korea, see Richard F. Haines, Advanced Aerial Devices Reported During the Korean War (Los Altos, CA: LDA Press, 1990).

×

Endnote 33

Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon From The Beginning, Vol. 1 (Detroit: Omnigraphics Books, 1998), pp. 431-432.

×

Endnote 34

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, pp. 91-93, and Ruppelt Files.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 35

Swords, “UFOs, the Military, and the Early Cold War Era," in UFOs and Abductions, p. 103-104. Original quote from Ruppelt Files.

×

Endnote 36

Swords, “UFOs, the Military, and the Early Cold War Era,” in UFOs and Abductions, p. 105.

×

Endnote 37

Department of the Air Force, AFL 200-5, (29 April 1952).
http://www.nicap.org/directives/AFL_200-5.pdf
Text version from: http://www.cufon.org/cufon/AFL200-5.htm.

×

Endnote 38

For examples of 1952 press accounts and various documents, see:
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1952a.htm

×

Endnote 39

Peter Carlson, “Alien Armada! (1952 Washington, DC UFO sightings),” Washington Post, 21 July 2002.
http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc823.htm

×

Endnote 40

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, p. 160.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 41

Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, Vol. 2 (Detroit: Omnigraphics Books, 1998), p. 999. Original quote from: Harry G. Barnes, “Washington Radar Observer Relates Watching Stunts by Flying Saucers,” New York World-Telegram (July 29, 1952).
http://www.nicap.org/articles/newsarticlesJuly1952.pdf (page 16)

×

Endnote 42

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, p. 164-165.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 43

Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 1001. Albert Chop, the Pentagon’s Public Information Officer, was present in the radar room during Lt. Patterson’s encounter:

“Let's say I was apprehensive. Damn apprehensive and maybe a little frightened! Because I didn't know what was going to happen! And, I could see what was going on on the radarscope. So, everybody was silent, and we're just listening to Barnes vectoring the plane around the different areas. And then having Patterson say he saw these objects: ‘I see them, and I'm moving in for a better look.’ And then, ‘They're all around me. What shall I do?’ You know, what would you tell him?” Chop, Albert M., 1999

Interviewed by Thomas Tulien and Brad Sparks, November 5 (Sign Oral History Project) pp. 10-14; 45-46.

×

Endnote 44

Peter Carlson, “Alien Armada! (1952 Washington, DC UFO sightings).
http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc823.htm

Farnsworth’s quote also in: Australian Associated Press, 30 July 1952.
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1952a.htm

×

Endnote 45

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, pp. 168-167.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 46

Peter Carlson, “Alien Armada! (1952 Washington, DC UFO sightings).
http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc823.htm

Donald E. Keyhoe, Flying Saucers from Outer Space (New York: Henry Holt, 1953), pp. 71-89. See also NICAP Case Directory: Washington National Radar/Visual Sightings from:
http://www.nicap.org/wnsdir.htm

and July 1952 newspaper accounts
http://www.nicap.org/articles/newsarticlesJuly1952.pdf

×

Endnote 47

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, pp. 169-1970.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

Also of interest, original case documents for Project Blue Book case #1661, Washington National Sightings (July 1952); and a study by the Civil Aeronautics Administration in May 1953, titled, A Preliminary Study of Unidentified Targets Observed On Air Traffic Control Radars. This study was conducted on numerous targets observed 13-14 August on the Washington Microwave-Early-Warning (MEW) radar, supplemented by observations in November during initial test runs on the Indianapolis ASR-2 radar.
http://www.cufon.org/cufon/wash_nat/wash1952.htm#Zero

Also, James E. McDonald, “Meteorological Factors in Unidentified Radar Returns” (presented to the American Meteorological Society, Nov. 1970). Available online from:
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/metfac70.html

×

Endnote 48

Truman had been receiving quarterly briefings on the flying saucer issue from his Air Force Aide, Brig. General Robert B. Landry since 1948. See (Addendum, Subject: UFOs)
http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/landryr.htm

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, p. 167.
http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

×

Endnote 49

Gerald K. Haines. "CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90" Studies in Intelligence, Semiannual Edition, No. 1 (1997). Available online (see “Early CIA Concerns, 1947-52”)
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/97unclass/ufo.html#top
Also from: http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/ciaufo.html

×

Endnote 50

Swords, “UFOs, the Military, and the Early Cold War Era," in UFOs and Abductions, p. 109-111.
×

Endnote 51

Marshall Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, ""Unidentified Flying Objects," 2 December 1952.

Chadwell, memorandum for Amory, DDI, "Approval in Principle - External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified Flying Objects," no date.

Haines, "CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90" Studies in Intelligence. (Early CIA Concerns, 1947-52)
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/97unclass/ufo.html#top

×

Endnote 52

“Report of Panel” (Tab A). In Report of Meetings of Scientific Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects Convened by Office of Scientific Intelligence, CIA, 14-18 January 1953.
http://www.cufon.org/cufon/robert.htm

Also, declassified CIA documents pertaining to UFOs available from:
http://www.foia.cia.gov/search/site/ufo

×

Endnote 53

Somewhat ironically, in 1965 Arthur Godfrey disclosed on his nationwide television program an alarming UFO encounter he and co-pilot Frank Munciello experienced while piloting his private executive airplane. Donald Keyhoe, Aliens From Outer Space (1973) pp. 111-112.

Also: http://www.rense.com/ufo5/filers112699.htm

×

Endnote 54

Haines. "CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90" Studies in Intelligence.
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/97unclass/ufo.html#top (see Robertson Panel, 1952-53)

Endnote 55

Original quote (pp. 23-24)
http://www.cufon.org/cufon/robert.htm

Also, “Within a month, the FBI was investigating Los Angeles’s Civilian Saucer Investigations, and Walter Riedel was being pressured to resign. Robertson shortly wrote to Marshall Chadwell: “That ought to fix the Forteans.” Swords, “UFOs, the Military, and the Early Cold War Era,” UFOs and Abductions, p. 115. Historical information on CSI-LA from:
http://www.project1947.com/shg/csi/index.html#csi2

×

Endnote 55

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. p. 97.

×

Endnote 57

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 104-105; JANAP 146C and JANAP 146E
http://www.cufon.org/cufon/janp146c.htm

×

Endnote 58

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 142-144. For example, the 24 October 1968 Minot AFB case report concluded two probable (Ground-visual: Aircraft-B-52, and Astro-Sirius), and two possible explanations (Radar: Plasma, and Air-visual: Plasma). Multiple explanations were required to account for different aspects of the observations. The Blue Book Statistical Data for 1968 categorized the Minot AFB case as identified (Other), by Radar Analysis (as plasma). The Minot AFB targeting officer that analyzed the B-52 radarscope film for SAC/HQ concluded that the object was unidentified. See Quintanilla, “UFOs: An Air Force Dilemma,” (see p. 115 of PDF)
http://www.noufors.com/Documents/afdilemma.pdf
http://www.minotb52ufo.com/pdf/Quintanilla-afdilemma.pdf

The final chapter provides Blue Book statistical data based on UFO reports received for the years 1953-69.

×

Endnote 59

Swords, “UFOs, the Military, and the Early Cold War Era," in UFOs and Abductions, p. 117. Original quote from the Ruppelt Files.

×

Endnote 60

Donald E. Keyhoe, The Flying Saucers Are Real (New York: Fawcett Publications, 1950); Flying Saucers From Outer Space (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1953); The Flying Saucer Conspiracy (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1955).

See also the Donald E. Keyhoe Archives:
http://www.hallrichard.com/keyhoe.htm

×

Endnote 61

Jacques and Janine Vallee, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma (Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Co., 1966), p. 46.

×

Endnote 62

Top five months for reports; July 1952: 536, November 1957: 361, August 1952: 326, August 1965: 262, May 1967: 165. See “Table 1: Number of UFO Reports Received each Month by Project Blue Book.” (p. 861)
http://www.project1947.com/shg/condon/s5chap02.html

Also, Los Angeles Times, 1 August 1965
http://www.isgp.eu/UFOs/press_reports/1965_08_01_LAT_Unidentified_Objects_Seen_in_Sky_Again.htm

×

Endnote 63

Francis E. Warren AFB, Cheyenne, WY is home of the 90th [Strategic] Missile Wing. The 200 ICBM Minuteman missile sites are spread over an area of 12,600 square miles in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. Each Flight (designated A-T) contains a centralized Launch Control Facility, manned by a Flight Security Controller, and Security Alert Teams responsible for the security requirements of 10 Minuteman ICBM missiles, housed in remote underground silos.

More information on F.E. Warren AFB:
http://www.warren.af.mil/library/factsheets/index.asp

F. E. Warren AFB, Missile Site Map:
http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/090108-F-1234P-002.jpg

×

Endnote 64

J. Allen Hynek, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry (Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Co., 1972) pp. 184-185. Original transcript of telephone calls received by Project Blue Book (roughly halfway down the page)
http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc296.htm

×

Endnote 65

See for example, “Ellington AFB [Houston, TX] UFO reports associated with Midwest flap 31 July-7 August 1965”
http://www.bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=NARA-PBB1-341

The reports were apparently compiled in a separate folder (file #9665) not presently available online.

×

Endnote 66

Vallees, Challenge to Science, p. 44; and Jerome Clark, “The Greatest Flap Yet?” Flying Saucer Review 12,1 (January/February 1966), p. 27. Also in Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 737.

×

Endnote 67

Vallees, Challenge to Science, pp. 44-45; Jerome Clark, “The Greatest Flap Yet?” Flying Saucer Review 12,1 (January/February 1966), p. 27

×

Endnote 68

Vallees, Challenge to Science, p. 45; Hynek, The UFO Experience, photo insert, Plate 2 (two photos and caption); Jacques Vallee, Forbidden Science: Journals 1957-1969 (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1992) p.146; and Clark, “The Greatest Flap Yet?” Flying Saucer Review 12,1, p. 27.

Also, of photographic interest see:
http://ufopics.blogspot.com/search/label/1965

×

Endnote 69

Strentz, “A Survey of Press Coverage of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1947 – 1966,” pp. 47-48. Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 737.

×

Endnote 70

Strentz, “A Survey of Press Coverage of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1947 – 1966,” p. 48. Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 737.

×

Endnote 71

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 194-195.

Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 737.

×

Endnote 72

Strentz, “A Survey of Press Coverage of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1947 – 1966,” p.48.

×

Endnote 73

Strentz, “A Survey of Press Coverage of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1947 – 1966,” p.50.

×

Endnote 74

Hynek, The UFO Experience, pp. 197-198. Gen. LeBailly memorandum (pp. 1286-1287)
http://www.project1947.com/shg/condon/appndx-a.html

×

Endnote 75

Ann Arbor (AP), 14 March 1966; and Ann Arbor (AP), 17 March 1966, in John C. Sherwood, Flying Saucers Are Watching You: The Incident at Dexter and the Incredible Michigan Flap (Clarksburg, WV: Saucerian Publications, 1967). Also, UFO Case Report, “The Michigan Sightings/’Swamp Gas’ Case,”
http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case778.htm

×

Endnote 76

Detroit Free Press, 22 March 1966, in Sherwood, Flying Saucers Are Watching You; and Life Magazine, “Well Witnessed Invasion by Something: from Australia to Michigan,” 1 April 1966, pp. 24-31.

×

Endnote 77

Ann Arbor (AP), 21 March 1966, in Sherwood, Flying Saucers Are Watching You.

×

Endnote 78

UFO Case Report, “Sheriffs Watch High-Performance Discs, Also Tracked on Radar”
http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case778.htm

×

Endnote 79

“News Release by William Van Horn including Lab Results of 1966 Swamp Gas Case”
http://www.cufon.org/cufon/swampgas.htm

Los Angeles Times, 23 August 1966
http://www.isgp.eu/UFOs/press_reports/1966_03_23_LAT_Second_Aerial_Object_Reported_in_Michigan.htm

Life Magazine, 1 April, 1966.

Also, various press accounts of the Michigan sightings from:
http://www.ufologie.net/htm/michi662.htm

…and a collection of documents from:
http://xx12.com/Michigan%201966%20UFO.htm

×

Endnote 80

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 201-202; “Statement on Dexter and Hillsdale UFO Sightings by J. Allen Hynek, Scientific Consultant to Project Blue Book,” (Detroit Press Club, 25 March 1966).
http://xx12.com/Michigan%201966%20UFO.htm

×

Endnote 81

Time Magazine, “Fatuus Season” 1 April 1966.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840602,00.html

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. p. 202.

For Quintanilla’s perspective see “The Michigan Flap” (pp. 51-52 of PDF):
http://www.minotb52ufo.com/pdf/Quintanilla-afdilemma.pdf

×

Endnote 82

News release, Gerald R. Ford to George P. Millar, Chairman; Rep. L. Mendel Rivers, Chairman, Science and Astronautics Committee, Armed Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, 3/28/66; (Folder “UFO 1966,” Box D9) Gerald R. Ford Congressional Papers, Gerald R. Ford Library.
http://www.presidentialufo.com/gerald-ford/89-gerald-ford-ufo-talk

×

Endnote 84

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 198-199.

“Special Report of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board, Ad Hoc Committee to Review Project Blue Book,” March 1966.
http://www.project1947.com/shg/condon/appndx-a.html

×

Endnote 85

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 204-206.

Also, for Quintanilla’s perspective see “The Beginning of a Congressional Coup” (pp. 53-56 of PDF)
http://www.minotb52ufo.com/pdf/Quintanilla-afdilemma.pdf

×

Endnote 86

Air Force Regulation 80-17
AFR-80-17.pdf

×

Endnote 87

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 206-209.

Articles and documents re: the University of Colorado UFO project and the Condon report:
http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/CondonReport.htm
http://www.project1947.com/shg/shglinks.html#condon

×

Endnote 88

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 224.

×

Endnote 89

Michael D. Swords, “The University of Colorado UFO Project: The ‘Scientific Study of UFOs’” Journal of UFO Studies, n.s. 6, 1995/1996: pp. 157-161.

Quoted in Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon From The Beginning, Vol. 2, p. 949.

×

Endnote 90

Lt. Col. Robert Hippler, to Dr. Edward Condon, 16 January 1967.
http://www.nicap.org/docs/HipplerLetters.pdf
(includes Robert Low to Lt. Col. Robert Hippler, 27 January 1967; and news clipping of Condon’s 25 January lecture at Corning).

×

Endnote 91

Dick Olive, “Most UFO’s Explainable, Says Scientist,” Star-Gazette (Elmira, NY, 26 January 1967).
http://www.nicap.org/docs/HipplerLetters.pdf (page 5)

×

Endnote 92

John G. Fuller, “Flying Saucer Fiasco,” Look, 14 May 1968.
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/fiasco.html

×

Endnote 93

Jacobs, David M. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. pp. 225-238.

David Saunders and R. Roger Harkins, UFOs? Yes! (New York: Signet, 1968).

Also, U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Science and Astronautics, Hearings, Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects, 90th Cong., 2d sess., 29 July 1968.
http://www.project1947.com/shg/symposium/index.html

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Endnote 94

Review of the University of Colorado Report on Unidentified Flying Objects by a Panel of the National Academy of Sciences. (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 8 January 1969).
Text version: http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/nascu.html

Also of interest re: NAS, Richard Greenwell, “Odishaw and the Condon Report” from:
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/greenwell.html

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Endnote 95

Daniel Gilmore, ed., Final Report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Bantam, 1968). (quote in Section I, page 2)
http://project1947.com/shg/condon/index.html.

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Endnote 96

"A Sledgehammer for Nuts," Nature Volume 221 (March 8, 1969): 899-900.

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Endnote 97

“The Condon Report and UFOs,” review by J. Allen Hynek, in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, April 1969: 39-42.
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/bas1.html

See also P.A. Sturrock, “An Analysis of the Condon Report on the Colorado UFO Project,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. I, No. I, 1987, pp. 75-100.
http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_01_1_sturrock_2.pdf

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Endnote 98

Air Force to Terminate Project “Blue Book”. Washington, DC: Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), 17 December 1969.
http://www.nicap.org/waves/1969BB_Termination.pdf

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Endnote 99

Records of Project Blue Book 1947-69 (National Archives Microfilm Publication T1206, [94 rolls of 35 mm film]); Records of Headquarters United States Air Force (Air Staff), Record Group 341; National Archives II, College Park, MD. NARA Guide to Federal Records
http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/341.html#341.15

See also, The Project Blue Book Archive: free access to tens of thousands of official documents related to the U.S. government's investigation of the UFO phenomenon.
http://www.bluebookarchive.org/documentation/about_bba.aspx

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Endnote 100

This statement appears to originate in USAF Fact Sheets from the 1970s.
http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/ufo/

Re: Bibliography—see also Library of Congress, Science Reference Series (Tracer Bullet 91-1)
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/tracer-bullets/ufostb.html

Naval Historical Archive - Project Blue Book Bibliography
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq29-1.htm

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History of the United States Air Force UFO Programs

Thomas Tulien

6. Project Blue Book

The one uncontrollable variable, and crux of the controversy—UFO sightings—refused to go away. In June 1950 communists invaded South Korea, and with cold war tensions escalating with the Soviet Union, major Air Force commands—including Far East Air Forces, in command and control of USAF forces engaged in the Korean War; and Continental Air Command, responsible for the air defenses of the North American continent—were continuing to experience unexplained UFO incidents, and justifiably concerned if not perturbed, about the way the Pentagon was handling intelligence on these matters.32 General Cabell agreed, and began a revitalzation of Project Grudge, although, Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC; AMC Intelligence Division’s new name) chief Lt. Colonel Harold Watson, and Grudge head James Rodgers, continued to assure Cabell that real investigations were quietly continuing. The moribund situation would soon take a dramatic turn.

On 10 September 1951, at 11:10 a.m. a student operator at the Army Signals Corps radar center at Fort Monmouth, NJ, was giving a demonstration to visiting Air Force officers when he picked up an unknown object moving too fast to be tracked automatically. The object went off the scope traveling to the north along the coastline at an estimated speed of 700 miles per hour. Twenty-five minutes later, a T-33 jet trainer piloted by Lt. Wilbert Rogers with Maj. Edward Ballard was flying over Point Pleasant, NJ, and spotted a dull silver, disk-like object, far below them. They described the size between 30-50 feet in diameter, and estimated the speed at 900 mph. The UFO was descending toward Sandy Hook when Rogers nosed the jet down after it. As he did, the object stopped its descent, hovered, flew to the south and made a 120-degree turn before vanishing out to sea. The following day, Fort Monmouth radar picked up more UFOs that could not be tracked automatically.

When a detailed account of the Fort Monmouth episode arrived at ATIC, Rodgers tried to casually ridicule the report, leading to a disagreement with Rodgers replacement as head of Grudge, Lt. Jerry Cummings. A phone call to Cabell’s office settled the matter. Hours later Cummings and Lt. Colonel N. R. Rosengarten (chief of the Aircraft and Missiles branch) flew to New Jersey to investigate. They then flew to Washington to brief Cabell personally. Upon arrival, they were taken into a meeting already in progress with Cabell and his staff, including a scientist from Republic Airlines. Cabell asked Cummings to summarize what was going on within the project. Cummings cut loose. He explained how every report was taken as a huge joke, that Watson and Rodgers were doing everything to degrade the quality of the reports, and how the only analysis consisted of Rodgers trying to think up new and original explanations that hadn’t been sent to Washington before.33

A furious Cabell wanted to know, “Who the hell has been giving me these reports that every decent flying saucer sighting is being investigated?” “And who released this big report anyway?” another added, picking up the Grudge Report and slamming it back down on the table.34 Colonel E. H. Porter responded that he thought the reports were all misinterpretations, impressionable emotionalism, and crackpots. Cabell pointedly informed him that he had doubts about what UFOs were, and did not consider himself a crackpot, characterizing the Grudge report as the “most poorly written, inconclusive piece of unscientific tripe” that he had ever seen.35

General Cabell ordered an immediate reorganization of the project. Under the leadership of Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the new staff designed and instituted plans for a systematic study of the UFO phenomenon. The Air Force’s attitude was to be more respectful of the witnesses, it would admit that there were objects not reasonably explained, but it would not encourage further speculation. In an April 1952 Office of Public Information memorandum, Col. William Adams wrote that the public should know the UFO phenomenon was not

considered a joke or something which can be brushed off lightly as readily explainable, but rather it is considered to be something which warrants constant vigilance and thorough Intelligence analysis in an attempt to provide a satisfactory solution.36

In March 1952 the code name was changed to Project Blue Book, and the renewed effort was provided formal authority promulgated by Air Force Letter 200-5.37 Reports were on a dramatic increase nationwide, resulting in an unprecedented tidal wave of UFO sightings during the summer of 1952.38

7 April 1952 Life Magazine Cover

7 April 1952 Life Magazine – The article "Have We Visitors From Space?" reviews 10 UFO sightings, concluding that they could not be hallucinations, hoaxes, or earthly aircraft. An unnamed Air Force intelligence officer is quoted as saying, “The higher you go in the Air Force the more seriously they take the flying saucers.” Project Grudge Report No. 6 stated: “Approximately 350 daily newspapers in all parts of the United States carried some mention of the article and some mention of the fact that the Air Force was interested in receiving such reports. ATIC received approximately 110 letters in regard to the article.” See (pp. 863-864) from: http://www.project1947.com/shg/condon/s5chap02.html#top..

In late July, for two consecutive weekends UFOs were detected on radar systems cavorting in high-security areas above Washington, D.C. On Saturday 19 July, at 11:40 p.m., a group of unidentified flying objects appeared on the long-range radarscopes in the Air Route Traffic Control (ARTC) center, and the control tower radarscopes at Washington National Airport. The objects moved slowly at first, and then shot away at fantastic speeds. Several times targets passed close to commercial airliners, and on two occassions pilots reported lights they could not identify, corresponding to radar returns at ARTC. Captain S.C. "Casey" Pierman, a pilot with 17 years of experience, was flying between Herndon and Martinsburg, W.Va., when he observed six bright lights that streaked across the sky at tremendous speed. "They were," he said, "like falling stars without tails."39 The clincher came in the early morning hours, when ARTC called the control tower at Andrews Air Force Base, ten miles to the east, informing them that there was a target directly over the Andrews Radio range station. Controllers observed a “huge fiery-orange sphere” hovering in the sky.40

Henry G. Barnes Tracking UFOs

Reflecting on the incredible events, Harry G. Barnes, a senior air traffic controller for the Civil Aeronautics Administration, wrote in a widely distributed newspaper account that the UFOs seemed to

become most active around the planes we saw on the scope. . . . They acted like a bunch of small kids out playing. It was helter-skelter as if directed by some innate curiosity. At times they moved as a group or cluster, at other times as individuals over widely-scattered areas…

There is no other conclusion I can reach but that for six hours on the morning of the 20th of July there were at least 10 unidentifiable objects moving above Washington. They were not ordinary aircraft. I could tell that by their movement on the scope. I can safely deduce that they performed gyrations which no known aircraft could perform. By this I mean that our scope showed that they could make right angle turns and complete reversals of flight. Nor in my opinion could any natural phenomena account for these spots on our radar. Neither shooting stars, electrical disturbances nor clouds could either. Exactly what they are, I don’t know.41

Once again, the following weekend Washington National Airport and nearby Andrews AFB radar picked up as many as a dozen unidentified targets. Air Defense Command (ADC) scrambled F-94 jet fighter-interceptors from New Castle Air Force Base, Deleware resulting in what one pilot described as an “aerial cat and mouse game.” When the F-94’s arrived in the area the UFOs would disappear, and when they left the UFOs reappeared. In one instance, a few minutes after the targets had left the radarscope in Washington, bright lights were reported over Langley AFB in Virginia, “rotating and giving off alternating colors.” The tower operators visually vectored an F-94 to the bright object but the light went out “like somebody turning off a light bulb.” The F-94 stayed in the area and had several radar lock-ons that lasted a few seconds before the object would apparently speed away.42

A few minutes after the events at Langley ended; the targets came back on the radarscopes at Washington National, and two F-94’s were again scrambled. This time, however, the targets stayed on the radarscopes when the interceptors arrived. One of the pilots, Korean war veteran, Lt. William Patterson chased after fast-moving targets but to his horror they surrounded his plane, and he nervously asked the controllers what he should do. Patterson’s predicament was met with stunned silence by operators in the radar control room who were monitoring the situation, but after a tense moment, the lights moved away and left the area.43

On Monday morning, the story of UFOs outrunning fighter planes was splashed across front pages all over America. In Iowa, the headline in the Cedar Rapids Gazette read like something out of a sci-fi flick: “SAUCERS SWARM OVER CAPITAL.” An unidentified Air Force source told reporters “We have no evidence they are flying saucers, … Conversely we have no evidence they are not flying saucers. We don't know what they are.” The Air Force tried to reassure the nation by promising to keep jet fighters poised to chase the saucers at a moment's notice. But that statement didn't reassure Robert L. Farnsworth, president of the United States Rocket Society, who warned President Truman not to attack the UFOs. “Should they be extra-terrestrial, such actions might result in the gravest consequences, as well as possibly alienating us from beings of far superior powers;” Farnsworth telegraphed Truman, the Secretary of Defence, and the Secretary of the Army, “Friendly contact should be sought as long as possible.”44

Miami Herald News Clipping

(Click image to enlarge). At 8:12 p.m. on 14 July 1952, Pan American World Airways pilots, First Officer William Nash, and Second Officer William Fortenberry observed six objects in formation “glowing like hot coals” ahead and below the DC-4 airliner approaching at a terrific rate of speed. Beneath the airliner, the objects suddenly flipped on edge and reversed formation, darting off at a sharp angle from their original course like “a ball ricocheting off a wall.” An instant later, two more identical objects shot out from under the airliner’s right wing at the same altitude as the others, and quickly fell in behind the receding procession. The objects went dark, then flashed back on. About 10 miles west of Newport News, VA they began climbing in a graceful arc that carried them well above the airliner’s altitude. Sweeping upward they randomly blinked out disappearing in the dark night sky. See: Revisiting the 1952 Nash/Fortenberry Sighting and We Flew Above Flying Saucers (True 1952).

Miami Herald News Clipping (Large Version) ×

Truman was as baffled as everyone else. Nobody knew, not even Maj. General John Samford, the Air Force's director of intelligence. But Samford called a press conference at the Pentagon at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. It was the largest Pentagon press conference since World War II, Ruppelt wrote, and Samford's performance proved to be a brilliant demonstration of the art of bureaucratic hedging.45

Accompanied by Ruppelt and several other officials, Samford opened with a rambling monologue on the history of UFOs, which, he noted, dated “to biblical times.” He mentioned UFO sightings in 1846 but never got around to the UFO sightings of 1952. When reporters asked about the Washington sightings, Samford told a story about radar picking up a flock of ducks in Japan in 1950. When they asked if radar at National and Andrews had seen the same blips simultaneously, he speculated about the definition of the word “simultaneously.” When they asked if the UFOs could be material objects, he mused about the definition of the word “material” reducing the saucers to “something” with unlimited power and no mass. “You know what no mass means,” he added. “There is nothing there.” When they asked if the F-94 pilot who chased the strange light was a qualified observer, he wondered about the meaning of the word “qualified.” Speaking about what that pilot saw, Samford uttered the sentence:

That very likely is one that sits apart and says insufficient measurement, insufficient association with other things, insufficient association with other probabilities for it to do any more than to join that group of sightings that we still hold in front of us as saying no.

Along the way, Samford deferred to Capt. Roy James from ATIC concerning radar questions. James had just arrived that morning, and didn’t know much more than he had read in the newspapers. James responded to queries about the AF’s “temperature inversion” theory—by which a layer of hot air in the sky might have caused radar to deflect downward, and mistake objects on the ground for flying objects. He repeated the possibility, but when pressed admitted that he didn’t have the details. Samford raised this to a probability saying, “I think that the highest probability is that these are phenomena associated with intellectual and scientific interests that we are on the road to learn more about.”

He talked until 5:20, then the reporters dashed back to their offices to meet their deadlines. Sifting through notebooks they seized on temperature inversion. It was an irresistible concept for newspapermen. The UFOs, they wrote, were caused by Washington's famous “hot air.”46

Highly-qualified ARTC and National Airport tower radar controllers disagreed with the probable AF explanation. UFOs were tracked on other occasions over Washington, but when Ruppelt later checked the strength of the inversions according to methods used by the Air Defense Command Weather Forecast Center he found that they were never strong enough to affect the radar. He also noted an interesting fact: “hardly a night passed in June, July, and August 1952 that there wasn’t an inversion in Washington, yet the slow-moving, ‘solid’ radar targets appeared on only a few nights.”47

In the days following the two weekends when sightings were most intense, vital intelligence channels in the nation’s capitol were swamped with UFO-related communications, sparking high-level fears that UFO reports—if not the UFOs themselves—might constitute a threat to national security. Alarmed by the massive buildup of sightings, President Truman directed the Central Intelligence Agency to look into the problem.48

Frequency of Object Sightings... 1947-52

In April 1952, Blue Book received 82 UFO reports. In May, 79 reports. In June the rate nearly doubled to 148. In July they received 536 reports, more than in any previous full year. Ruppelt noted that at one point during July they were receiving 50 UFO reports a day. In August they received 326 reports, and September 124. The year’s total was 1501 reports, of which 303 were unexplained.
Blue Book Special Report No. 14 available from (Figure 7 on page 23): http://www.nicap.org/docs/pbbsr/BBA-PBSR14.pdf.

7. The CIA Robertson Panel ››