INTRODUCTION

I sincerely hope that this book serves at least two purposes:  1) to illustrate how people like myself can justify the tremendous expense measured in time and money of chasing down UFO reports, and 2) to remind those who have forgotten and to educate those who simply don't know that the history of UFOs indicates that we are dealing with a "nuts and bolts" phenomenon. 

UFOs can sometimes appear and disappear as if by magic, but if you can hit it with a rock or shoot it with a gun and it clanks, its something real.  If you can pick it up on radar, chase it with a jet interceptor, get gun camera photos of it, its not an apparition.  These things land, leave indentations in the ground, and break off tree limbs.  They are real! 

There are other things that look like UFOs but we are not concerned with them here.  Some of these are, in fact, IFOs or Identified Flying Objects.  Some of the other visions belong in other realms; possibly the supernatural. 

Sometime in 1956 a friend of mine handed me a paperback book to read.  I didn't read many books in those days, but this one really got my attention.  I simply couldn't put it down.  To say that I was fascinated with it would be an understatement.  That book had a profound effect on my entire life because it drew me in to the UFO controversy.  The book was Edward Ruppelt's Report on Unidentified Flying Objects.  Captain Ruppelt had been head of Air Force Project Blue Book in the early 1950s.  And, as you will see, these were the years in which the Air Force put its best foot forward in UFO investigations. 

That book convinced me that I just had to, somehow, get involved.  If Earth was being visited by beings from another world, the implications for humanity were to great to ignore.  Even if UFOs didn't physically exist, something just as important was taking place.  To many creditable people were seeing incredible things. 

In October of 1956, NICAP had been incorporated in the District of Columbia.  NICAP was the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.  It was headed by Major Donald E. Keyhoe.  It was an impressive group which included Major Dewey Fournet who was mentioned repeatedly in Ruppelt's book and who was a member of NICAP's Board of Governors!  Major Fournet was also Headquarters Project Monitor for Project Blue Book and he had conducted the famous action studies showing that UFOs were intelligently controlled devices.  Indiana's own, Frank Edwards, a well known radio and TV announcer who wrote several books on UFOs, was also a member of NICAP's Board of Governors.  The very first CIA Director, Vice Admiral R.H. Hillenkoetter, USN, was also a member of the board. 

In 1960 I was living in Vincennes, Indiana where we had a local UFO study group called CRUFO, Civilian Research Unidentified Flying Objects,  for a couple of years.  I also joined NICAP because many of the people with who Ruppelt worked were involved in it.  Ruppelt himself was not involved because be could not officially work with NICAP because he was still a reserve Air Force officer in the Air Force Reserve. 

On November 17, 1960, the best people we had in the CRUFO study group became a NICAP subcommittee called  Indiana Unit No. 1.  There were about twenty such teams in the country and I was the subcommittee chairman of Indiana Unit No. 1.  Besides me, there were several young men who were the crux of our group.  Jim Catt was our main transportation source and head of communications.  Jim and I had CB radios.  Phil Studler was in charge of public relations.  He and his brother had a home photo lab.  Our group was also a civil defense radiological monitoring squad and we had a complete line of radiation

equipment.  Another member was Jerry Sievers who would later attain the rank of NICAP Assistant State Director.  Besides the four man field investigation team we had three scientific advisors; one of which had worked on Project Saucer back in the late 1940s. 

Our NICAP group worked together  for about ten years before I relocated out of Vincennes.  Before I left, our group investigated a good many UFO reports.  In those days there were no real territories.  We went wherever we had to go to do our investigations. 

Some critics allude to the glamour of UFO investigations work.  It isn't glamorous.  Most UFOs turn out to be IFOs and a great deal of time an money is expended investigating false alarms.  Most of those that are UFOs are distant lights or objects.  In the earl days UFO buffs such as us were a minority and many people thought that we were deluded.  As Rodney Dangerfield would say, "We didn't get no respect!" in those days. 

I have intentionally skipped over most of the investigations work in order to present only the most important cases.  This will give the impression that UFO activity was rare for us.  It wasn't at all rare.  However, it was nothing in the sixties like what it would become in the later years. 

Please bear with me concerning some cases only briefly mentioned in this book.  The fact that they were close encounter objects within 500 feet of the witnesses is important enough to include them here.  These cases turned up in the databases but there wasn't enough information to present them in more detail.  In my opinion, there inclusion in the computer database is relevant. 

The illustrations presented in this report are remarkable.  Some are original witness sketches, but most were redrawn from the original sketches by my able staff artist, Robert Taylor.  The rendition of the Trinidad Island computer enhancement of the original photo on page 38 is my own. 

My thanks go out to all those who have worked with me all these years beginning with CRUFO, then NICAP, and now, MUFON.  A special thanks must go out to those who pioneered the path for us in the early years.  To name just a few of these early pathfinders:  Frank Edwards, Edward Ruppelt, Donald Keyhoe, and Len Stringfield.  Justly deserved credit for their contributions are given throughout this book. 

This book is especially dedicated to a pioneer and comrade right here in Indiana:  Jim Catt.  Jim was one of the first Field Investigators in the Indiana Group.  Jim passed away on November 23, 1994. 

The story begins when I began my involvement in 1960 and continues up to the present time.  Only then will I trouble you with the historic past.  You may enjoy the history lesson even more that you would have otherwise.

 The Early Sixties
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