|Some People I (Ruppelt) Knew
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 be doing.
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
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, however.
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 disciple 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 to Rand.
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
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 Book.
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 astronomer, 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
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 Von Braun.
Samford, Major General John
General Samford never committed himself one way or t>
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”.