|The Project Blue Book
Research Center presents
Figures Associated With Project Blue
Captain Edward J. Ruppelt notes:
Ackerman, Brig. Gen. John B.
General Ackerman was Chief of the Collection Division
of the D/I all during the big UFO Flap of l952. He had no direct connection
with the project but he was very much interested. I used to stop in to see
him and he always had definite ideas as to what we had and what we should
be doing. He would tend to get all excited about individual sightings. He
got copies of the UFO reports and several times he was on the phone wanting
to know what I planned to do even before I had time to digest what was in
the report. Ackerman had a "direct channel" to the top, to the Secretary of
the Air Force and people in the Department of Defense, and every once in awhile
he would quote some top dog in the government and what he thought that I should
Adams, Col. W.A.
Col Adams was the chief of the Topical Intelligence
Branch of the D/I and Col. (Weldon H.S.) Smith and Major Dewey Fournet worked
for him. He was pretty much sold on the whole thing. I think that Dewey Fournet
influenced his thinking to a great extent and he really went to bat for all
of Dewey's ideas. He pushed Fournet's study of the motions of the UFO's and
he is the one who used to be the most vocal in briefings and at meetings in
regard to Blue Book's taking a "negative" attitude. He is the one who became
irked in one briefing and asked me if it wasn't true that if we made a few
positive assumptions we could prove that the UFO's were real
Alvarez, Louis Dr.
Dr. Louis Alvarez, a physics professor from the University
or California in Berkley, developer of MEW radar at the beginning of World
War II and one of the "fathers" of the H-bomb. He sat on the panel that met
in Washington in January 1953. Alavarz was only lukewarm to the idea that
the UFO's might be real.
Burgess, Brig. Gen. Woodbury
General Burgess was the D/I of the Air Defense Command
under General Chidlaw. He wasn't a believer in UFOs but he was firmly convinced
that we, meaning the Air Force, should make every effort to find out what
they were, even if they were all explainable. He bent over backwards to give
us all the cooperation that we needed. I would say that his ideas reflected
those of General Chidlaw.
Major General John B. Cabell
General Cabell was the Director of Intelligence for
the Air Force during the 1947-1951 UFO era. He is the one who ordered Project
Grudge reorganized in the summer of 1951. I didn't know him too well because
he left to become number two man in the CIA shortly after I got on the project.
He is the man who held the initial meeting in the Pentagon that Lt. Jerry
Cummings and Col Rosengarten attended. He raised all kinds of hell when he
found out that Col Watson and ATIC hadn't been doing anything about the UFO
project in 1950. According to what Cummings said, he was pretty much a believer
in the UFO's. General Samord replaced Cabell in the summer of1951.
This man was in charge of one of the photo labs at Wright
Air Development Center and he did all of our work on UFO photos. He was a
firm believer. He did do a good job of making unbiased analyses of our photos,
Deyarmond, Col. Albert B.
Al Deyarnond was an old hand with the UFO's, he'd been
in on the first of Project Sign. From the old memo's I found, signed by him,
he was once a firm believer along with Al Loeding, "Red" Honnacker and the
rest of the veterans or Project Sign. But by the time I got into the picture
was, at least on the surface, lined up with the scoffers. But once, when I
began to knock the UFO's, he raised the devil and chewed me out for not keeping
an open mind." I would guess that he was a "scoffer" because he was a deciple
of Col. Watson's. Deyarmond is now chief of structures at Ryan Aircraft Company.
Erickson, Col. J.G.
Col Erickson was head of the Policy and Management Branch
of the Directorate of Intelligence and in some way he got in on all of the
UFO business. He was sort of power behind the throne on what the official
policy would be. I gave him quite a few briefings and he seemed to be a "lone
wolf" in that he wanted to get the picture for himself. He got a little hacked
at Fournet quite often, because he thought that Fournet was pushing his ideas,
that the UF0's were real, too hard. I think that Erickson tended to put a
lot of faith in the UFO's but he was one of those who was afraid to stick
his neck out.
Fournet, Dewey J., Major, USAF
Dewey was Blue Book's liaison man in the D.I.
He took over in early 1952 or late 1951 from a Lt. Col. whose name I've forgotten.
The Lt. Col. was a completely worthless jerk. Dewey got hot on the subject
right away and helped us a great deal in getting things straightened out in
the Pentagon. His job was just supposed to be part time, but within a matter
of months he was working on it full time. Fournet was the most confirmed believer
that I ran into in the Pentagon. He had access to all of our reports, read
them all over very carefully, and he was still absolutely convinced. He and
I used to argue by the hour and I must say that he had some good arguments.
All of his conclusions were based on the "race value" of the reports.
If a person said that they saw something and had a good description of it,
Dewey took this as the last word. He and I disagreed when I didn't buy the
reports lock, stock and barrel. I didn't think that the person was using or
having hallucinations, I was sure that they reported what they saw, but I
wasn't convinced that what they saw was actually what happened. In other words
I played it heavy on the "optical illusion" side and I backed this up with
experience. I'd investigated too many reports and found that something that
starts out to seem real mysterious can many times prove to be something very
simple. No matter how much I talked, however, I never convinced Fournet that
I had a point. Dewey is now (1955) a civilian engineer with the Ethyl Corporation
in Baton Rouge, La.
Garland, Brig Gen, W. M.
General Garland was my boss at ATIC from the Fall of
1952 until I left. He was a moderately confirmed believer. He had seen a UFO
while he was stationed in Sacramento, California. He was Gen. Samford’s assistant
in the Pentagon before he came to ATIC and he was the inspiration behind
the Life article by Ginna. He gave Ginna his ideas and prompted Life to stick
their necks out. Gen. Garland is now out of the Air Force and is a consultant
Homer Gittings was my contact in Los Alamos. He was
a charter member of the group that was trying to correlate recorded radiation
from an unknown source with UFO reports. He worked closely with a Ph.D. but
I’ve forgotten the Ph.D.’s name. Gittings, the Ph.D. and several other
scientists would fly down to Albuquerque and we’d meet with Col Methaney at
Air Defense Headquarters. If I remember correctly, Gittings had an MS
degree in Physics and was an instrumentation specialist.
This man, from AEC’s Brookhaven Lab on Long Island,
sat on the Panel that met in Washington in January 1953. Goudsmidt was
probably the most violent anti-saucer man at the panel meeting. Everything
was a big joke to him which brought down the wrath of the other panel members
on numerous occasions.
Hardin, Capt Charles
Chuck Hardin is running Project Blue Book at the present
time. Since the operation of the project has changed and the 4602nd
has taken over the leg work, he doesn’t have much to do. By his own admission,
he has a good deal at ATIC and is playing it for all it is worth. General
Watson doesn’t like UFO’s so Hardin is keeping things just as quiet as possible
and staying out from under everyone’s feet. In other words, being a regular
Air Force, he is just doing as little as possible because he knows how controversial
the subject is and his philosophy is that if you don’t do anything you won’t
get hurt. He definitely doesn’t believe in UFO’s, in fact he thinks that anyone
who is even interested is crazy. They bore him. He has been the one big bottleneck
in my getting anything from the Air Force because he is afraid that my book
will stir things up too much.
Father Hayden was head of the astronomy department at
Georgetown University. I never met him but Dr. Steve Possony was always going
to him with our UFO problems. Father Hayden seemed to be very much interested
in our problems and couldn’t at all be classed as a scoffer.
Hynek, Dr. J. Allen
Dr. Hynek has been the consultant astronomer to Projects
Sign, Grudge and Blue Book. I won’t say that he’s a “believer” but he’s darn
interested. He has devoted a great deal of his valuable time to the project.
He has read almost every UFO report in the Air Force files. In the summer
of 1952 he debated with Menzel at the American Optical Society meeting in
Boston and blasted Menzel right out of the hall. He sat on the panel in Washington
in January 1952 and was very much pro-UFO. Dr. Hynek is Head of the
Ohio State Univ. Astronomy Department, Director of the Perkins Observatory
and Assistant Dean of the USU Graduate School. He is still working for Blue
This was one of the people that I talked to at General
Mills. He was one of the members of the original Skyhook balloon launching
crew. He had a BS degree in aeronautical engineering and was considered to
be a sharp lad. All of the people at General Mills were convinced that the
UFO’s were real, as they said, they had all seen the UFO’s. The boss, Chas.
Moore, whom I talked to for only a few minutes, was very put out at the way
the Air Force had handled many of the UFO reports and was very indignant.
In the summer of 1952, Kalezewski was quoted in the Minneapolis paper as saying
that the Air Force should put forth more effort because he was convinced that
the UFO’s were real.
Kaplan, Dr. Joseph.
“Joe” Kaplan is a physics professor at UCLA. His
main UFO interest was the Green Fireballs. He put a lot of stock in Dr. La
Paz’s theory that the GFB’s were man-made, although at one time he thought
that they were auroral patches. Dr. Kaplan originated the grid camera
idea. Dr. Kaplan is presently “ram rodding” the satellite program for
the International Geophysical Year.
Lipp, Dr. James
“Jimmy” Lipp was the Rand Corporations guided missile
expert and he was violently anti-saucer. He wrote an analysis of the possibility
that other planets were inhabited for the Grudge report. Early in 1953 Col.
Don Bower and I tried to enlist Rand’s aid, on a contract basis, to try to
develop some way of getting more positive answers but, at the recommendation
of Lipp, Rand refused to touch it. “Too hot,” was their reason. I think
controversial would have been a better word than “hot.”
Col Methaney was the CO of the 34th Air Defense Division
in Albuquerque. He is now a Brig General. He was firmly convinced that the
UFO’s were real and that they were interplanetary space ships. He wrote up
a plan that called for a special squadron of stripped down F-94C’s to chase
the UFO’s. The plan went through Western Air Defense Headquarters and to Air
Defense Command Headquarters but it was rejected because of the non-availability
of the aircraft. It was in the 34th that the F-86 pilot claimed that he shot
at the UFO.
Thornton Paige of John Hopkin’s Operations Research
Office, editor of the Operations Research Journal, and an astronomer, sat
on the panel in Washington D.C. in January 1952. He tended to line up with
Hynek against Louis Alvarez and Goudsmidt to stick up for the UFO’s. He actually
didn’t know too much about the subject but, like Hynek, he didn’t go along
with the idea of being so definite about the UFO’s not existing.
Parrish, Lt. Glenn.
This officer fits into the UFO picture because he was
the Intelligence Officer at the 34th Air Defense Division at Albuquerque where
Col. Methany was the CO. Parrish sent in some of the best reports that we
had and he is the man who showed me the report on the pilot who shot at the
UFO. With all of the good reports that Parrish sent in, he wasn’t a confirmed
believer. But he did think that the reports were important enough to warrant
careful investigations. In addition to the above, Parrish was the middle man
for the reports from the people who were doing the radiation work in Los Alamos.
We had most of our meetings in Parrish’s, or Col Methaney’s office at Kirtland
AFB. Parrish didn’t have much to do with Dr. Lincoln La Paz in Albuquerque.
Again he was the middle man, so to speak. A special agent in the CSI office
at Kirtland was the man who did most of our contact work with La Paz. This
agent, whose name I’ve forgotten, was convinced that the Green Fireballs were
the real thing and he and La Paz were always out investigating something.
Since the Air Force didn’t recognize the fireballs as any threat, he did all
of this on his own time, but he was tapping Air Force contacts and equipment.
Porter, Col J.J.
Col Porter was the Deputy Director for Estimate of the
D/I. He was violently anti-UFO. He was Fournet’s boss. At every briefing
or meeting he always got his two cents worth in and he minced no words. But
he never had a decent argument; he didn’t know what was being reported nor
did he care, he just didn’t believe that there was anything to it. General
Cabell is reported to have climbed all over him and Col Hal Watson for conspiring
to get rid of the UFO project in 1950.
Possony, Dr. Stephen T.
Steve Possony was the acting chief of the Directorate
of Intelligence Special Study Group and he had a direct channel to Samford.
Steve was pretty much sold on the whole thing. He did a lot of investigating
on his own book and he had Father Hayden, the astonomer, as his special consultant.
Steve and his crew used to cruise all over the U.S. and Europe and during
these travels they picked up a lot of UFO data. Steve was behind Fournet 100%
and tended to push him. He was smart enough to know that the UFO situation
was hot so he used Fournet, who was a reserve and didn’t plan to stay in the
Air Force any longer than he had to, to try out his ideas. Possony didn’t
much care what he said, however, and he used to go to battle with any or all
of the more vocal skeptics. He really got teed off at Menzell and went to
all ends to find out everything about the man. It turned out to be very interesting.
Possony had a good reputation in the Air Force. Besides being a fairly sharp
intelligence man, he is a professor at Georgetown University and he has written
quite a bit on the strategy and concepts of airpower. He is considered one
the of the world’s experts on this subject.
Bob Robertson is now chief scientific advisor to the
Commander-in-Chief of NATO. He first came out to ATIC in November 1952, with
a group of other scientists, to review our UFO material. He and his party
stayed two days and then went back to Washington and suggested to the National
Security Council that a group of top scientists get together to look over
the reports. At that time, at least, he...(missing page here?) no more
info on this man in original typed letter
Les Rosenzweig worked for Possony. He was sort of a
dull tool and whenever Possony said or did anything Les took it as the gospel.
When it came to UFO’s there was no difference. Les made quite a few studies
on how the UFO’s could be powered, how they could be contacted, etc. He pushed
the idea of using a huge horizontal movie screen to flash messages to the
UFO’s. He, or possibly it was Possony himself, made a lot of contacts with
Willy Ley. They dropped him fast however, when good old commercial Willy began
to try to push himself into the act a little too fast. It is interesting to
note that those people in the U.S. who are actually considered to be tops
in the fields of interplanetary travel have no use for Willy Ley or
Samford, Major General John
General Samford never committed himself one way or the
other on the subject of UFO’s. He was always very much interested and gave
me the utmost in cooperation, but he never said much. He used to ask many
of the other people at meetings what they thought and there were a lot of
“pro” answers but he never agreed or disagreed with anyone. The only time
that I ever heard him say anything was when Col Porter got real nasty about
the whole thing one day and began to knock ATIC, UFO’s, me and everything
associated with the project. Then the General said something to the effect
that as far as he could see, I was the first person in the history of the
Air Force’s investigation that had taken a serious approach to the investigation
and that he didn’t see how anyone could decide until I’d collected more data.
At the present time the General is the one who is so rabid on the fact that
nothing will be released. He got “burned” real bad on the press conference
in July 1952. His statements were twisted around and newsreel shots of him
were “cut and pieced” to get him saying things that he didn’t. He wanted to
play along with the writers but they misquoted him so badly that now he is
saying absolutely nothing. Donald Keyhoe keeps writing about the “silence
group” in the Air Force, those who want to clamp down on UFO news. Gen
Sanford is the silence group and friend Keyhoe can take all of the credit
for making him that way.
Smith, Weldon H.S. Col
This man was Dewey Fournet’s boss. He wasn’t quite as
sold on the UFO’s as Col Bill Adams but he was pretty well sold. He also “brought”
Fournet’s ideas and studies. I remember specifically the case of the Burned
Scoutmaster: Col Smith was “sold” that this was the real thing. He was
following the whole show from the Pentagon, through my calls to Fournet and
from the wires that I was sending back. Just as soon as I got back from the
first trip to Florida I went in to see him and he got quite irked when I said
that something about this scoutmaster just didn’t ring true. He said that
I was biased and wasn’t giving the man a chance. According to Keyhoe, he is
the person from the D/I that wrote the anonymous letter that Keyhoe quotes
in his book. I don’t believe it, however, I think that Fournet wrote it.
When I knew Jim Thompson he was an astronomer working
for RAND in Santa Monica. He used to stop in at ATIC quite frequently and
spend a day or two reading reports. Whenever I got out to California he used
to arrange an unofficial bull session with a dozen or so of the “believers”
AND and we’d talk UFO’s.
Watson, Col. H.E.
Col Watson, now a Brig Gen and once again Chief of ATIC,
was chief of ATIC when I arrived. (He later went to Europe for three years.)
He was violently anti-saucer but he crossed himself up too many times trying
to constantly grab publicity. He was the one who made the famous remark about
all UFO observers being nuts or “fatigued airline pilots”. He continually
hauled in writers who would plug him and debunk the UFO’s. I’ve overheard
him tell how he completely snowed Bob
White, Major General
I think that this man’s name was White. He was from
some branch of research and development in the Pentagon. He and his staff
religiously attended every one of my briefings and were sold that the UFO’s
were real. He had Gen Samford’s ear but I don’t think he quite convinced Samford
that the UFO’s were real.
Charley Zimmerman was the technical advisor to the chief
of the Analysis Branch at ATIC. I never could figure out exactly where he
stood on the subject of UFO’s but I think he was a bit of a believer. Several
times I tried to put through an explanation that a UFO was a balloon or other
known object and he’d argue like mad against it. Many times he’d come running
into my office to show me “a new, red hot report”.