TO:

MAJOR DONALD E. KEYHOE, USMC (Ret.):

FOR HIS SINCERE AND TIRELESS EFFORTS IN

ALERTING THE WORLD TO UFO PHENOMENA.

AND ENCOURAGING A RATIONAL INQUIRY.


 

The Brazilian Photograph 

Taken January 16, 1958, from the deck of the IGY research vessel

Almirante Saldanha at Trindade Isle, Brazil, by marine photographer

Almiro Barauna.  Witnessed by several officers and men of the

Brazilian Navy and Air Force.  Published in the Brazilian paper

Folha da Manho February 22, 1958, after analysis by the Naval

Ministry, and release by the President of Brazil.


THE CHALLENGE

OF

UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS 

PRESENTED IN A SERIES OF SEPARATE ARTICLES BY

Charles A. Maney, Board Member

And

Richard Hall, Secretary

 

THE NATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE

ON AERIAL PHENOMENA 

 

 

            "A new fact is battling strenuously for access to your ears. A new aspect of the universe is striving to reveal itself. But no fact is so simple that it is not harder to believe than to doubt at the first presentation"

- Lucretius (96-55 B. C.)  "The Nature of the Universe”

  WASHINGTON, D.C., 1961


Copyright   1961 by Richard Hall 

All Rights Reserved

 

1916-17th St., N. W.

Washington 9, D. C.

 

Manufactured in the United States of America


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

            The authors are indebted to many of their col­leagues in the field of UFO investigation for material, help, and advice.  We particularly wish to thank: 

Lee R. Munsick, Fulcrum Productions, Morristown, N. J. 

Lex Mebane, Isabel Davis, and Ted Bloecher, Civilian Saucer Intelligence, New York City 

Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC (Ret.), Director of NICAP 

J. Escobar Faria, Sao Paulo, Brazil 

George Popowitch, UFO Research Committee, Akron, Ohio 

Mrs. Coral Lorenzen, Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, Tucson, Arizona 

In addition, we wish to thank the following people for permission to quote them or to reprint copyrighted material: 

Prof. Clyde Tombaugh

Dr.  Fred C.  Fair

Dr.  Charles H.  Otis

Wells Alan Webb

Walter N. Webb

Dr.  Seymour L. Hess

Bulkey S. Griffin

Flying Saucer Review (London

C. A. M.

R.  H.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Front Pages

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE   OF   CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Foreword 

v

 

 

 

 

Introduction 

vi

 

 

 

 

                Part I. The UFO Mystery    

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

The Challenge

1

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Report to Congress

12

 

 

 

Chapter 3

Recent Sightings in The Pacific

21

 

 

 

Chapter 4

The Swedish "Ghost Rockets”

32

 

 

 

 

                Part II. A Scientist Looks At UFOs 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

Scientist Finds Some Saucer Reports Still To Be Satisfactorily Explained

38

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Saucers and Science

45

 

 

 

Chapter 3

An Open Letter To Scientists

55

 

 

 

Chapter 4

The Phenomena Of Angel Hair

58

 

 

 

Chapter 5

UFO Fleets Over Washington D. C.

64

 

 

 

Chapter 6

A New Dimension in UFO Phenomena 

70

 

 

 

Chapter 7

Scientific Aspects of UFO Research

76

 

 

 

Chapter 8

NICAP and The UFO Challenge

83

 

 

 

Chapter 9

An Evaluation Of Aime Michel's Straight Line Mystery

91

 

 

 

Chapter 10

The New UFO Policy Of The U. S. Air Force

100

 

 

 

 

                Part III A Philosopher Looks At UFOs

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

On The Physical Realities Of UFOs

107

 

 

 

Chapter 2

The Semantics Of Flying Saucers

117

 

 

 

Chapter 3

Science and the Unexpected

124

 

 

 

Chapter 4

The Manipulators Of Fear

129

 

 

 

Chapter 5

UFOlogy—A Delineation

133

 

 

 

Chapter 6

The UFOs And Proof

136

 

 

 

Chapter 7

Pigeon-Holes of Science

141

 

 

 

Chapter 8

The Scientific Obligation

161

 

 

 

Chapter 9

Why the Air Force UFO Investigation Is Unscientific

167

 

 

 

 

Appendix A.         Documents Cited In the Text

176

 

 

 

 

Appendix B.         The Griffin Statement

182

 

 

 

 

Appendix C.         Some Statements by Scientists and Pilots

183

 

 

 

 

Appendix D.         Skyhook Balloons

185

 

 

 

 

Appendix E.          Electro-Magnetic Report

186

 

 

 

 

Appendix F.          NICAP Advisor and Subcommittee List

205

 

 

 

 

Glossary

207

 

 

 

 

Partial Index

208

 

 


 

FOREWORD

 

            The undersigned was requested to write a brief foreword.  He has consented to do this for several reasons.  He considers it his duty to aid in any reasonable way in the study of a subject for which his own long experience entitles him to express an opinion.  Also that the subject of UFOs is one which should be studied scientifically, which it has not been due to suppression of pertinent data and also to subjecting reports of trained and reputable people to ridicule.  Further to the certainty that, to date, we do not know what some of these phenomena are and what causes them.  Also that it is even possible that they might eventually have serious effects upon our planet and its inhabitants, either for good or ill.  In any case the fullest scientific study should be given them.  Again reputable people, especially pilots, should be encouraged, not discouraged, to report all unusual phenomena in our atmosphere. 

            The writer has no personal theory to advance or refute; his hope is that, in writing this foreword, he will encourage more observers to report and help dispel the official secrecy which so far has hampered proper study by qualified scientists.  In this latter respect he can personally testify that his friend Dr. Lincoln LaPaz was unable to furnish him with information because it was classified, and that, on trying to get it from Washington, the attempt failed.  And these data referred to certain fireballs, not UFOs. This indicates to what extent censorship of data can go. 

 

               Charles P. Oliver

President, American Meteor Society

 

 

(Dr. Oliver is Emeritus Professor of Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania.)

 


 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

            Accounts of phenomena popularly referred to as "flying saucers,” more dignifiedly labeled "unidentified flying objects" or UFOs, con­tinue to persist in the world news. The reports of these strange phenomena of the skies have been attracting public attention for thirteen years and there is apparently no let-up in sight. Although within a given region on earth long lulls between sightings have been noted, during such local lulls, other parts of the world have witnessed extra concentrations of sightings.

            In spite of the persistent reports of their repeated occurrences there appears to be more popular confusion of thought in regard to these phenomena and less understanding of what they are today than when they were first observed and noted in the news. Actually it appears that the great majority of the general public, including the fraternity of scientists themselves, regard reports of UFOs as figments of the imagination, or distorted interpretations of natural phenomena.

            This book in a group of articles by two serious students of these phenomena represents an effort to arrive at the true facts of this subject. Each of the two authors presents his own version and his own interpretation of the phenomena independently of the other. However, it will be noted that their two interpretations have much in common, although arrived at separately.

            Those who thoughtfully read these articles will, of course, come to their own conclusions as to the nature of these reported phenomena. Everyone is deserving of respect for his own opinion, especially so if it is arrived at by serious effort in the evaluation of accessible information. Let it be said, however, that whether he be an average person or whether he even be a Nobel-prize-winning scientist, his opinion should be discounted on any subject outside of his particular interest if he has not taken the trouble to examine seriously and attempt to evaluate a considerable body of facts on that subject.

            To the authors of this book who have devoted much of their time over a number of years in the effort to discover the significance of these reported sightings, these UFOs constitute a real challenge. It is hoped that the contents of this book will awaken others also to accept this challenge and to cooperate in a great effort to solve this problem. If it appears that this planet earth is being visited by intelligence from outer space, then it is obvious that those who reside on this planet should not remain unconcerned about it, as is now the situation generally.

            If this book, composed in sincere effort to arrive at the truth, contributes in moderate measure to the awakening of men's minds to the acceptance of these new realities, it will have satisfactorily accomplished its main purpose.

 

 

 

C. A. M.

 


 

PART   I:   THE   UFO   MYSTERY

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The Challenge

 

            "It is the majority opinion of the NICAP Board of Governors and Panel of Special Advisors that the unknown devices reported by reliable observers are intelligently controlled machines from outer space. Joining in this opinion are the following:

 

Board Members

 

Dr. Marcus Bach, Iowa State University

The Rev. Albert Bailer, Greenfield, Massachusetts

Mr. Frank Edwards, Mutual Broadcasting System

Col. Robert B. Emerson, USAR, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Rear Adm. H. B. Knowles, USN (Ret.), Eliot, Maine

Professor C. A. Maney, Defiance College, Ohio

 

Special Advisors

 

Norman Bean, WTVJ engineer, Miami, Florida

Albert M. Chop, former AF information official on UFOs, Pacific Palisades, California

A. L. Cochran, electronics engineer, Richardson, Texas

Samuel Freeman, former AF Major, Bedminister, New Jersey

Frank Halstead, astronomer, Duluth, Minnesota

Dr. Leslie K. Kaeburn, biophysicist, Los Angeles, California

Professor N. N. Kohanowski, geologist, Fargo, North Dakota

Capt. R. B. McLaughlin, USN, missile expert

Capt. W. B. Nash, Pan American Airways, Miami Beach, Florida

 

Aeronautical experts agreeing with this conclusion include:

 

(1)

 

William P. Lear, aircraft and electronics development

Hermann Oberth, famous rocket pioneer

Capt. James Howard, British Overseas Airway Corporation

Col. Jao Adil Oliviera, Brazilian Air Force

Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, Royal Air Force

And hundreds of others with technical training.

 

            "Massive documented evidence confirms UFO reality, their tremendous speeds, intricate maneuvers, unique shapes (disc-and rocket types), and proves they are not earth-made."

            The above conclusion was communicated to the United States Congress in a confidential report by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) dated June 21, 1960, urging that all the facts on UFOs be made public to forestall certain secrecy dangers outlined in the report. (See Chapter 2 for additional details.)

            At the time of this writing dozens of Senators and Congressmen have responded, pledging their support of Congressional Hearings and help in ending UFO secrecy, * in spite of the fact that Air Force spokesmen promptly labeled the NICAP conclusion as "sensational" and "science fiction. "

            In four years of liaison with government officials, scientists, newsmen, and others, NICAP has gained a reputation for careful fact-finding. The Report to Congress came after nearly four years of data gathering, detailed investigation, scientific analyses, and thorough documentation of hundreds of UFO cases. Behind the report lies massive evidence, including tape recordings, photographic data, documents, case histories of sightings by reputable witnesses, and an extensive witness list, all of which has been promised to Congressional investigators.

            Not all of the Board Members and Advisors share the opinion that UFOs are interplanetary devices. However, it is the unanimous opinion of all NICAP officials and member experts that the circumstantial evidence for UFOs warrants an immediate scientific investigation, conducted openly and without secrecy by the entire scientific community.

            As opposed to the official Air Force policy of debunking UFOs and glossing over evidence, the general NICAP attitude was 

____________

* See Congressional Record entry, Appendix A  

(2) 

 

summed up in 1960 by Vice Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter, USN (Ret.), former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and generally considered to be the leading NICAP Board Member. "It is imperative, “he said, "that we learn where the UFOs come from and what their purpose is.” Commenting on UFO reports made in World War II and soon after, when he headed the CIA, Admiral Hillenkoetter added: "I know that neither Russia nor this country had anything even approaching such high speeds and maneuvers."

            In recent years, in spite of a news blackout reinforced by official denials, serious UFO reports have continued to come in from credible witnesses. A recent series of sightings by police officers and others in northern California, in August 1960, was briefly reported on the newswires; then the subject was dropped quickly after the Air Force publicly stated that the witnesses were deluded.

            During a six-day period, August 13-18, UFOs were sighted from 18 California cities and towns by over 30 witnesses including at least 14 police officers. One of the most important cases in this series occurred on August 13. The UFO was first sighted at 11:50 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time). Officers Charles A. Carson and Stanley Scott had been looking for a speeding motorcycle in the vicinity of Red Bluff when they noticed an object low in the sky directly ahead of them.

            "We stopped and leaped from the patrol vehicle in order to get a position on what we were sure was going to be an airplane crash.” Officer Carson said later in his report. * "From our position outside the car, the first thing we noticed was an absolute silence. Still assuming it to be an aircraft with power off, we continued to watch until the object was probably within 100 to 200 feet off the ground, when it suddenly reversed completely, at high speed, and gained approximately 500 feet altitude. There the object stopped.

            "At this time it was clearly visible to both of us. It was surrounded by a glow making the round or oblong object visible. At each end, or each side of the object, there were definite red lights. At times about five white lights were visible between the red lights. As we watched the object moved again and performed aerial feats that were actually unbelievable.

____________

* All quotes taken from Officer Carson's official statement.

 

(3)

 

            "At this time we radioed Tehama County Sheriff s Office requesting they contact local radar base. The radar base confirmed the UFO--completely unidentified!" (Italics added.)

            Then, as the two officers continued to watch, the UFO twice came directly toward them.

            "Each time it approached, “Carson continued, "The object turned, swept the area with a huge red light. Officer Scott turned the red light on the patrol vehicle towards the object, and it immediately went away from us. We observed the object use the red beam approximately six or seven times, sweeping the sky and ground areas."

            Then the UFO began moving slowly toward the east and Scott and Carson followed it. A second UFO approached from the south, moved near the first object, and both hovered for some time "occasionally emitting the red beam.”

            Finally both objects disappeared below the eastern horizon, and the two officers returned to the Sheriff's office to file a report. There they met Deputies Fry and Montgomery who had also seen the UFO clearly. Their descriptions jibed.

            Scott and Carson had observed the UFO for about two hours and 15 minutes. "Each time the object neared us, “Carson said, "we experienced radio interference*... We were calm after our initial shock, and decided to observe and record all we could of the object."

            These sober police officers were later interviewed by Air Force intelligence personnel. In spite of the careful observation and the radar tracking, the official conclusion of the United States Air Force was: "The individuals concerned witnessed a refraction of the planet Mars and the two bright stars Aldebaran and Betelgeux" caused by temperature inversions. ** Then in a discussion of UFOs on the Dave Garroway show December 5, 1960, Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence J. Tacker, official UFO spokesman, stated emphatically: "Air Force radar at Red Bluff did not track the UFO.”

            If the need for an organization like NICAP is not obvious from the foregoing report, perhaps it will become more obvious upon reviewing the facts. When the report was received at NICAP, an investigation was launched immediately. A routine check of the star positions was made by Mr. Walter N. Webb, lecturer 

____________

* See "A New Dimension in UFO Phenomena, " Chapter 6, Part II.

____________

** Official letter in NICAP files. 

(4)

 

in astronomy, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston. Webb, a NICAP scientific advisor, reported back that all three objects--Mars and the two stars--were below the horizon at the time of the sighting. Furthermore one of the stars did not rise until an hour after the UFO sighting had ended!

            To double-check, we contacted Mr. Jack Brotzman, Naval Research Laboratory physicist. Brotzman, also an amateur astronomer, is another NICAP scientific advisor. Finally, the star positions were verified by an outside professional astronomer.

            At the time of the sighting the radar tracking was, as we have seen, confirmed to the Highway Patrolmen. It was also confirmed to the San Francisco Examiner (August 17) and the Corning Daily Observer (August 15). * Corning is about 20 miles south of Red Bluff, site of the UFO encounter. The Daily Observer, after checking with the Red Bluff radar station, reported in a front-page story that the UFO had been tracked on radar. The story also indicated that, perhaps under orders, the Air Force installation had begun to be less cooperative: "This morning the radar station was considerably more vague than it was Saturday midnight when it confirmed the officers' report on the object."

            Here we have the UFO problem in a nutshell: A serious report by experienced police officers, confirmed by radar; and strange counter-to-fact explanations by the Air Force. In addition to an apparent cover-up of the radar evidence, the Air Force tried to give the impression that a temperature inversion (layers of air of sharply contrasting temperature) could pick up faint light sources below the distant horizon and somehow make them appear to be objects maneuvering a few hundred feet above the ground in northern California.

            It is well known that temperature inversions can refract light sources from the ground locally, but certainly not from planets and stars one to three hours below the horizon. There is no way for the light from the stars to reach the local inversion layers, and this explanation is therefore preposterous. If such a thing were possible, we would often see false suns dancing around in the sky one to three hours before sunrise and after subset. The sun, obviously, is a much brighter object than Mars or the two named stars.

            Because sightings like this are very common, NICAP was

____________

* See Appendix A. 

(5)

 

formed late in 1956 to help cut the red tape and provide a responsible civilian committee to prod the Air Force and other governmental agencies into releasing more information about UFOs. At first the committee offered an 8-point plan of cooperation with the Air Force, to help educate and prepare the public for the truth about UFOs, whatever it might be. But the plan was ignored and the upstart organization was on its own. NICAP has since fought against what it believes to be an unwise secrecy policy by the Air Force.

            Intense interest in the UFO subject has led many scientists and other professional people to volunteer their services to NICAP. With the help of a Panel of Special Advisors, * Subcommittees (investigative units), and member experts, NICAP has been able to obtain expert analyses of evidence in many instances. The framework for a true scientific investigation and complete news reporting now exists. All this has been made possible by Donald E. Keyhoe, retired Marine Corps Major, whose books are well-known to all who are intrigued by this mystery.

            Major Keyhoe took over as Director of NICAP early in 1957, promptly obtaining the services of several high-ranking military officers and other prominent figures for the Board of Governors. Since the Board includes such people as Admiral Hillenkoetter, USN (Ret.), and Colonel Robert B. Emerson, USAR, research chemist and head of Emerson Testing Laboratory, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, NICAP has never been seriously ridiculed by the press. Instead, NICAP press releases have gone over the newswires and have been printed widely.

            On January 15, 1957, Admiral Delmer S. Fahrney, famed Navy missile expert and then Chairman of the NICAP Board, held a press conference and made the following statement which received serious attention in the international press:

            "Reliable reports indicate that there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds.... No agency in this country or Russia is able to duplicate at this time the speeds and accelerations which radars and observers indicate these flying objects are able to achieve.

            "There are signs that an intelligence directs these objects, because of the way they fly. The way they change position in formations would indicate that their motion is directed. The Air Force is collecting factual data on which to base an opinion, but time is required to sift and correlate the material. 

____________

*See Appendix F for complete list.

(6)

 

            "As long as such unidentified objects continue to navigate through the earth's atmosphere, there is an urgent need to know the facts. Many observers have ceased to report their findings to the Air Force because of the seeming frustration--that is, all information going in, and none coming out. It is in this area that NICAP may find its greatest mission."

            Backed solidly by the Board, Major Keyhoe then began the slow but sure building process which is still underway. In spite of a chronic lack of funds to operate efficiently, the membership today is over 5,000 including people from almost every conceivable profession and trade: Doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, scientists, clergymen, editors, artists, and many others. NICAP now has members in 50 states and in 30 foreign countries. *

            Although operating under serious handicaps--chiefly a low budget and lack of an adequate headquarters staff—NICAP does everything within its means to dig behind the headlines and come up with the whole story in important UFO cases. Almost a year before the 1960 Red Bluff police sighting, NICAP learned of an important sighting (September 24, 1959) involving Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) personnel in Redmond, Oregon. In this case, too, the fact that the Air Force had tracked the UFO on radar was first confirmed, then denied.

            The incident began just before dawn as city policeman Robert Dickerson cruised the streets of this small central Oregon community. ** Suddenly a streak of light like a "falling star" caught Dickerson's attention. Quickly he stopped the patrol car, thinking the object was going to crash nearby. Instead the UFO took on a larger ball-like appearance, stopped abruptly and hovered at an estimated height of 200 feet. The brilliant glow lit up juniper trees on the ground below.

            Unable to identify the object after watching it for several minutes, Dickerson then drove toward the UFO along Prineville Highway, turning in at Redmond Airport. At this point the UFO, turning to a bright orange color, moved rapidly to a new position northeast of the airport.

            Hurrying to the Air Traffic Communication Station, Dickerson notified FAA officials. Then he, Laverne Wert, and others in the tower watched the UFO through binoculars. The hovering disc (it now appeared round and flat) glowed brightly, tongues of "flame" periodically extending from the rim. 

____________ 

* In addition to two investigative Subcommittees in Canada, a new unit has been formed in Santiago, Chile.

____________

** Main details of the case are taken from a taped interview with Ptn. Dickerson and FAA Flight Service Specialist Laverne Wertz; and official FAA logs. See Appendix A.

 

(7)

 

            At 1310Z (Universal Time) --5:10 a. m. PST—Redmond reported the UFO to the Seattle Air Route Control Center. The information was relayed quickly to Hamilton AFB, California. FAA logs show that an Air Force radar station in the vicinity was tracking an unidentified object. On the strength of the visual and radar reports, F-102 jets were scrambled from Portland Air Base to intercept the unknown object.

            In the Redmond tower the observers saw a high-speed aircraft approaching. Just then long yellow and red flames spurted from the underside of the UFO and it rose quickly, vanishing into a scattered layer of clouds at about 14,000 feet. After eluding the jets, the unknown object reappeared about 20 miles south of Redmond. Then visual contact was lost, but the radar contact was maintained for a while longer. Later, the FAA dis­patched a Tri-pacer aircraft to monitor the area for radio­activity.

            In its official conclusion of this case, the Air Force denied the radar tracking (attributing it to confused radar operators "tracking" a fixed antenna), and said the UFO was "probably a balloon.” This implied that not only Ptn. Dickerson and the FAA tower personnel were badly deluded by an object familiar to anyone working at an airport, but also that the air defense radar-men could not tell a ground object from a moving aerial object.

            NICAP has made a practice of concentrating on apparently solid cases of this sort: Cases involving responsible witnesses such as police officers and aviation officials, jet interception attempts and radar trackings. Therefore, every effort has been made either to establish the mysterious object as a definite UFO, or to identify it conclusively. In the course of the investigation NICAP consulted astronomy advisors, checked U. S. Weather Bureau maps, examined the eyewitness reports, and analyzed film taken from an IGY "all-sky" camera that had been operating in the vicinity of Redmond during the sighting.

            At first the planet Venus was a suspect, since, as Dr. James C. Bartlett, Jr. (NICAP astronomy advisor) said: "Venus would have been spectacularly visible from Redmond, Oregon... the stellar magnitude was -4. 1. " But the radar track and a later check of the directions, (in addition to the reported maneuvers) ruled out Venus. If it had been visible through the scattered cloud layers, Dr. Bartlett said, Venus would have been seen almost due east. The UFO was sighted in the northeast, then south of Redmond.

 

(8)

 

            Weather maps showed that no sounding balloons were aloft at the time of the sighting. In addition, prevailing winds were southerly and a weather balloon would not have moved to the south.

            Examination of the IGY film by photographic advisor Max B. Miller was inconclusive due to the poor quality of the film. It was impossible to determine whether any of the markings on the film were anything other than defects. But the clear-cut visual observation and radar tracking could not be explained. NICAP's conclusion is that the object remains unidentified in conventional terms.

            In the fall of 1958 a whole series of similar reports was received:

                        October 3- - The entire crew of a Monon Railroad freight train in Central Indiana watched four glowing disc-like objects pass over the train from front to back, turn and follow close behind, maneuvering in formation the whole time. Details obtained by Board Member Frank Edwards in an interview on WTTV, Indianapolis.

                        October 7-- (from the log of the S. S. Nantucket, Massachusetts Steamship Authority vessel, Joseph Gwooz, Master.)  "Time 1455 (2:55 p.m. EDT) Entrance Nantucket Channel. While outbound from Nantucket for Martha's Vineyard, Woods Hole, and New Bedford, sighted unknown object hovering in the sky, estimated height 8,000 to 10,000 feet, at an angle of about 160 degrees. Object remained stationary for a minute or more, then shot up and away to the N. E. and disappeared out of sight at a rapid rate of speed. Color of object, grayish. Oval shape. "

                        October 26--Two Baltimore residents, Philip Small (chemistry graduate, University of Maryland) and Alvin Cohen, (store department manager) reported huge egg-shaped object seen hovering above bridge over Loch Raven reservoir. Interviewed by NICAP Subcommittee, reported car stalled in presence of UFO;  facial burns when object flashed brilliantly as it shot straight up and disappeared. Two independent reports of egg-shaped object in area same night.     

                        December 20— Patrolmen LeRoy Aboreen and Bernard Talada, Dunellen, New Jersey, police department, sighted elliptical UFO while patrolling at 12:55 a. m. In report to NICAP, officers said UFO approached at meteor-like speed from west, came to sudden complete stop. "The body of the object was

(9)

 

solid bright red and it gave off a pulsating red glow, "Aboreen said. "It hovered for a few seconds, made a left turn, hovered a few more seconds, then went straight up like a shot. We watched it until it completely faded beyond the stars. The object was in plain view from start to finish. "

            Of these fall 1958 cases, only one (the Baltimore case of October 26) was investigated by the Air Force--belatedly, after prodding by local newsmen. It is obvious that many serious reports of a similar nature are never investigated, apparently due to the negative attitude fostered by the Air Force. With orders to find conventional explanations for hundreds of puzzling UFO sightings, Air Force investigators are not going out of their way to look into more sightings. As a result, only cases reported officially through channels are investigated--and many good observers refuse to report their sightings to the Air Force because they are disgusted with the official policy.

            In spite of its failure to investigate many important cases, the Air Force issued a "fact sheet" January 22, 1959 (about a month after the New Jersey police sighting) entitled: "Air Force UFO Study Shows 'Unknowns' Decreasing.” The official report covered the period from July 1958 to December 1958, inclusive. In this period, 296 UFO's were reported to the Air Force. Two (. 67%) were considered "unknowns." One of the two "unknowns," occurred in October. *

            The report emphasized that the Air Force "has set a record low for the number of cases classified as 'unknown' and that the 296 cases were "a 14% decrease in sightings over the first half of the year." Captain Ruppelt, who headed the official UFO investigation from 1951 to 1953, described this process in his book: " (The Air Force policy of writing off all UFO reports, regardless), is an expedient method of getting the percentage of unknowns down to zero, but it is no more valid than turning the hands of a clock ahead to make time pass faster."**

            By ignoring unofficial but serious reports (such as the New Jersey police sighting) and by "writing off other cases regardless" (such as the more recent Red Bluff, California, police sighting), it is easy to "reduce the percentage of unidentified's to the minimum," as Air Force investigators are instructed to do. ***

 ____________

*Lt. Col. L. ]. Tacker, Pentagon UFO spokesman, lists the Baltimore sighting as an "unknown" in his recent book Flying Saucers and the U. S. Air Force, (Van Nostrand, 1960)

____________

**E. J. Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (Doubleday, 1956), p. 315.

____________

*** "Paragraph 3-c of AF Reg. 200-2 says "Air Force activities must reduce the percentage of unidentifieds to the minimum... (However, due to subjective factors) it is improbable that all of the unidentifieds can be eliminated. "

 

(10)

 

            The significance of the periodic "fact sheets” debunking UFOs can be judged by the foregoing.

            The Air Force sometimes claims that "improved investigative techniques" account for the alleged high percentage of "identified' objects. ”The Fitzgerald Report, "a document prepared by the Akron UFO Research Committee (see address elsewhere) gives some insight into the investigative techniques. As the report shows, the Air Force ignored all the facts of a September 21, 1958, sighting near Cleveland, Ohio, failed to interrogate key witnesses, and seized upon false natural explanations to "identify" the UFO.

            It is NICAP's conviction that reports from reputable witnesses deserve serious attention, and that science has an obligation to examine them fairly and fully. The wild reports from obviously distraught or deluded persons, or fakers, who converse freely with "Spacemen" and bring back messianic messages, are irrelevant to the issue. As long as the Air Force continues to hand out misleading summaries implying that there is no UFO mystery, and as long as scientists fear association with what they take to be a crackpot movement, there will be a need for NICAP.

            NICAP is tackling three basic problems: (l) To make all significant, factual UFO reports available to scientists and the general public; (2) To offset the misleading Air Force pronouncements; (3) To expose hoaxes and weed out crackpot elements which have attached themselves to the UFO mystery. The articles in Sections II and III explore these problems and other related ones.

            The important cases cited, significant opinions, and other evidence, we believe, are a challenge to science and society.

 

R. H.

 

(11)

 


 

Chapter   2

 

Report To Congress

 

            In June 1960, after examining the accumulated evidence for UFOs, NICAP concluded not only that UFOs are real, and, by majority opinion, probably interplanetary, but also that there are certain potential dangers linked with the secretive Air Force policy. These ideas were embodied in a report to Congress. A digest of the reports follows. (A confidential section, "How Krushchev Could Exploit the UFO Situation,” has been deleted for obvious reasons. Otherwise, the following quotes are substantially the text of the report as it was sent to Congress.

 

DANGERS OF SECRECY ON UFOs (UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS)

                   AND DIGEST OF DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE 

 

            Early in 1960, because of the growing hazard from Air Force UFO secrecy, Congressional hearings were urged by the majority of NICAP Board Members and technical advisors.

            There is a serious and growing danger that UFOs may be mistaken for Soviet missiles or jets, accidently setting off war. Several Air defense scrambles and alerts already have occurred when defense radar-men mistook UFO formations for possible enemy machines. NICAP agrees with the sober warnings by General L. M. Chassin, recent NATO Coordinator of Allied Air Services (to recognize UFOs before a case of mistaken identity causes a global tragedy *).

            By AF policy, members of Congress and committee chairmen have repeatedly been told that the UFOs are non-existent, and that hearings would benefit only the sensation-seekers and science-fiction publishers. The following evidence is submitted to interested members of Congress, as proof of the need for immediate emergency action.

____________

*   See Appendix A, Congressional Record entry, for text of General Chassin's statement.

 

(12) 

 

            There is an increasing danger--as the NICAP Board has warned the AF--that Russia could exploit the muddled UFO situation at any time. If successful, this trick would greatly increase tension in the United States and allied countries. It could be planned to upset the 1960 campaigns, * or at any desired time to increase fear of USSR attack power.

 

DIGEST OF UFO EVIDENCE

 

(Documents, tape-recordings, and transcripts in NICAP possession)

            The documented cases briefed below are examples of the hundreds concealed, denied, or falsely explained by the AF.

            1.  Kinross case, November 23, 1953. Disappearance of an F-89 jet from Kinross Air Force Base during a UFO chase. Pilot Lieutenant Felix Moncla; radar officer, Lieutenant R. R. Wilson. No trace of jet or airmen found. AF statement to Associated Press: The plane was followed by radar until it merged with an object 70 miles off Keweenaw Point in Upper Michigan. Letters to NICAP by Moncla's mother, brother-in-law, cite conflicting AF explanations given them and show disbelief in AF answers. Loss of jet, airmen confirmed to NICAP by Captain R. C. White, AF Press Desk. (Listed as probable crash, cause unknown.)

            The AF now denies this case ever occurred. Denial signed by Major L. J. Tacker, AF PIO (Public Information Officer) on UFOs, in statement to NICAP member Richard Levine. Intelligence officers connected with the UFO Project Blue Book at ATIC (Aerospace Technical Intelligence Center) at Dayton, Ohio, also denied knowing of the case; this denial took place in an interview with Richard Vaughan, staff member WTTG, Washington television station, and NICAP member Harold E. Salkin, on May 31, 1960. (Tape and transcript of interview, Tacker and Moncla family letters, photostat of AP story all available.)

            2.  Airliner-UFO chase by AF order. On April 8, 1956, Captain Raymond L. Ryan, American Airlines, encountered fast-maneuvering UFO west of Albany, New York. Radioed Griffiss AFB, was ordered to abandon next landing, pursue UFO, aid jets in interception. (Against Civil Aeronautics Board policy.) In investigations by CAB and CAA ( now Federal

____________

* Congressmen Edgar W. Hiestand, California, took cognizance of this fact during the 1960 campaigns, wrote to the Secretary of the Air Force urging a policy of "Complete frankness about UFOs. 

 

(13) 

 

Aviation Agency) Captain Ryan and American Airlines--evidently under orders--denied any deviation to chase the UFO, cited flight-log entry as proof of normal flight time Albany-Syracuse. NICAP request for AF report evaded.

            Proof of AF-ordered chase, with possible danger to passengers, also indicating false or altered flight-log entry: A previously tape-recorded interview with Captain Ryan and his first officer, William Neff, with both admitting the AF order, describing the chase to Lake Ontario, where UFO speeded up, heading for Canada. CAA tower operators at Albany, Watertown, and one AF witness in Albany airport tower, said by Ryan to have observed UFO also. (Tape, transcript, Ryan and AF denials, CAA and CAB reports to NICAP confirming Ryan denials, available, with proof that tape is genuine.)

            3.  Report of AF transport captain indicating possible UFO attack. During 1958 night flight over Pacific, AF transport radar-man picked up nearby UFO. Strange flashes or explosions followed, like anti-aircraft bursts but blue-green in color. Transport captain fired a challenge rocket. A red flare, other blue-green bursts followed, but no damage to plane. AF captain later told Intelligence he believed they were "shot at." Intelligence report summary stated: Entire crew were aware of the previous disappearances of AF transports in this area, and all appeared to believe their experience was related to the previous disappearances. Extract from unclassified summary sent to NICAP by a member serving in AF Intelligence. Original or certified photocopy available.)

            On May 31, 1960, ATIC officers denied any such report, in conference previously cited. (See Kinross case.) Documented denial available.

(Other documented cases listed on following pages.)

 

AIR FORCE DENIALS OF SECRECY DISPROVED

 

            Since the AF investigation began, UFO censorship has been constantly denied in AF press releases, broadcasts, letters to Congress, press, and the public. Examples follow:

            1. Assistant AF Secretary R. E. Horner, CBS nationwide telecast (Armstrong Circle Theater) January 22, 1958: "There has been a mistaken belief that the AF has been hiding from the public information concerning unidentified flying objects. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I do not qualify this in any way. "

            AF admission 24 hours later, in official letter by Captain 

 

(14) 

 

G. H. Oldenburgh, AF PIO at Langley AFB: "The public dissemination of data on unidentified flying objects is contrary to AF policy and regulations, specifically AF Regulation 200-2" (Letter to NICAP member Larry W. Bryant; available for inspection. )

            2.  General Joe W. Kelly, USAF, Director of Legislative Liaison, to Senator Francis Case, Congressman Lee Metcalf, other Congressmen, and private citizens: Denials that UFO reports were withheld from the public.

            Signed statement to NICAP by Acting Commandant of Coast Guard, Rear Admiral J. A. Hirshfield, after NICAP request for a visual-and-radar UFO report from the Coast Guard Cutter SEBAGO: This official report, said Admiral Hirshfield,, had been forwarded to the "designated agency" in the Department of Defense. He added: "Federal law prohibits the release of official files concerning such cases to other than specified channels. I therefore find it necessary to refuse your request." (The SEBAGO case involved high-speed UFO maneuvers about the cutter. The AF later publicly implied the officers and radar-men were incompetent.)

(Other documentary proof of secrecy available)

 

EXPLAINING AWAY OF UFO REPORTS

 

            In 1956, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, former chief of Project Blue Book, publicly disclosed the AF policy of debunking UFO reports:

            "I was continually told to tell them about the sighting reports we've solved--don't mention the unknowns'... After the AF order of February 11, 1949, everything was evaluated on the premise that UFOs couldn't exist. No matter what you see or hear, don't believe it.... There have been definite indications that there is a movement afoot to get Project Blue Book to swing back to the old project philosophy of analyzing UFO reports--to write them all off, regardless.... Some good reports have come in and the AF is sitting on them.... Some investigators were 'purged' because they had refused to change their original opinions about UFOs. ... There were two factions. One believed the spaceship answer but felt we should clamp down on all information until we had all the answers. Another group favored giving more facts to the public, including the best cases, the unsolved movies of UFOs, and the AF conclusions. A press showing of the Tremonton UFO movie--which the Navy analysts said showed unknown objects under 

(15) 

 

intelligent control--was planned early in '53. ...A new publicity policy went into effect--don't say anything." (From; The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Doubleday, 1956.)

 

TYPICAL CASES " WRITTEN OFF" BY AF POLICY

 

            1. Washington UFO operations over White House, Capitol, Washington Airport, July 1952; tracked by CAA and AF radar-men, speeds from 140 to 7,200 miles per hour; objects seen by CAA tower men, pilots, exactly where radar indicated. In 1959, Senator Keating of New York was told by AF Headquarters that weather phenomena had caused the radar blips; no mention of the visual sightings. In the May 31, 1960 ATIC conference, officers first denied any visual reports, then admitted them. (Record available.)

            Captain Ruppelt statement: "In 1952 the press was led to believe the Washington radar-visual sightings were only weather phenomena. Actually, they're still unknowns. The press conference did take the pressure off Project Blue Book, but behind the scenes it was only the signal for an all-out drive to find out more about the UFOs."

            2.  Oxnard case. Maneuvering UFO seen over Oxnard AFB, California, and nearby areas, by AF personnel, police, sheriff's deputies. Report to NICAP by CAA tower operator detailed CAA radar tracking, by four operators, of UFOs at 3,600 miles per hour, one directly over Oxnard AFB. AF denied radar tracking, stated UFO probably a weather balloon. (CAA report certified by Admiral Knowles, six Board members, available.)

            3.  Nike case. Brief landing, take-off of UFO near Nike base, Derwood, Maryland, reported by Army missile men. First AF public answer: Light from torches of welders on transmission-line tower. (Major William Lookadoo, PIO, Boiling AFB.) Canceled when Potomac Electric Power Company official told NICAP no welders in area. New answer: Floodlight on farmer's barn, given Newsweek, also NICAP by Major Tacker, AF UFO spokesman. Letter available.) NICAP investigators searched area; only structure near UFO "touch-down" spot not even wired for electricity.

            4.  Report by AF Colonel D. J. Blakeslee, then a wing commander, of high-speed UFO outmaneuvering his F-84 jet in two chases in the Far East. UFO, described as having rotating lights, also tracked by AF ground radar.

Intelligence Report summary: "Definitely in family of 

 

(16) 

 

UFO.“ (Also sighted by other AF plane crews.) January 1953 ATIC conclusion: Unknown object. September 1953 answer given Look Magazine: Wing commander misled by twinkling of planet Jupiter. How AF radar, range 200-300 miles, tracked Jupiter in high-speed evasion of F-84 not explained. On May 31, 1960, ATIC admitted Colonel Blakeslee sighting never solved. (Documents proving contradictory claims available.)

            5. AF jet chase of UFO, Redmond, Oregon. Radar tracking denied object called "probably a balloon" in spite of FAA logged reports of high-speed UFO. *

            Other documented cases, photographic evidence, and military orders silencing witnesses will be cited in explaining a possible Soviet trick. Because of the massed evidence, 25 per­cent of the public (by national polls) reject AF denials and answers. Some suspect a disturbing reason for secrecy--that the UFOs are either Russian or hostile space machines. Since 1947, scores of magazine and newspaper articles have discussed the Soviet secret weapon theory--some have warned it is the true answer. Factual records, going back to World War II, prove it false, but most citizens in the United States and allied countries are not aware of these facts. 

 

HOW KHRUSHCHEV COULD EXPLOIT THE UFO SITUATION (This section--confidential to members of Congress—is omitted here.) 

 

PLAN TO REDUCE THE DANGER 

 

            By prompt action, the danger (of Soviet exploitation) can be greatly reduced. Following the majority vote, NICAP here­with offers its documented evidence, proving the UFOs could not be of Soviet origin, as a stopgap until the USAF releases its hidden proof. Selected NICAP evidence to be placed on public record would include:

            1.  The majority conclusion that the UFOs reported by competent observers are interplanetary machines far superior to any earth-made devices. (NICAP would stress its verified, factual evidence, as opposed to the wild stories, frauds, and delusions unfortunately publicized.)

            2.  Massive documented evidence confirming UFO reality, their tremendous speeds, intricate maneuvers, unique shapes and proof that they are not earth-made. 

____________

* Editorial note: Details of Redmond case reported in Chapter 1, Part I. 

 

(17) 

 

Typical unsolved cases:          

a.       Official White Sands report, visual sighting and theodolite tracking of UFO;  calculated speed, 18,000 m. p. h. Certified by Captain R. B. McLaughlin, Navy Missile expert.

b.      Official AF report of giant UFO tracked on B-29 radar at over 9,000 m. p. h., and three groups of smaller units (also seen streaking by the bomber) one of which merged with the smaller machine, which operated in the manner of a mother-ship. Report declassified 1958, confirm-to Look researcher later, with ATIC conclusion.-Unsolved.

c.       Official AF report of eight-UFO formation seen below PAA airliner by Captain W. B. Nash and co-pilot. Speeds calculated in excess of 4,000 m. p. h. Sharp turns beyond capability of any known craft or missile.

d.      Official AF report of double-decked "spaceship" encountered on airway by Eastern Airlines Captain C. S. Chiles, co-pilot J. P. Whitted. Confirmed also by AF observer at Robbins AFB. Power exhaust-blast of. UFO rocked the airliner as unknown machine veered to avoid collision.           

            Other verified reports of revolutionary-type craft encountered by armed forces and airline captains, weather bureau observers, tower operators, etc. Names, dates, details on record.

            Photographs confirmed by Captain E. J. Ruppelt, former Project Blue Book chief: 

a.       Moving pictures of UFOs at White Sands, New Mexico, April 27, 1950 and May 29, 1950. Taken by Askania cine-theodolites for tracking missiles.

b.      AF gun-camera pictures of UFO near Wright-Patterst. AFB, Ohio.

c.       Moving-pictures of UFO formation, disc-shaped objects seen visually near Tremonton, Utah. Filmed during high-speed maneuvers by Navy aviation photographer. Navy analysis confirmed by Captain Ruppelt: Unknown objects under intelligent control; could not be aircraft or balloons or birds; excessive speeds indicated. UFOs in three groups; each appeared to rotate about an axis. 

            Evidence of electro-magnetic forces created by UFOs, from unknown type of propulsion. Cases on record showing interference with electrical ignition, radio, television.  

 

(18) 

 

Statement by Hermann Oberth on probable artificial gravity fields involved. Evidence of radiation involved: Case in Geauga County, Ohio, November 1957; ground checked with Geiger counters by Civil Defense Director Kenneth Locke, found highly radioactive after brief landing by UFO. Confirmation of UFO radiation reports by Captain Ruppelt.

            3. Reasons why UFOs could not be Russian machines, in addition to proof of superior performance. Records showing UFOs officially reported in World War II, when Russia's best aerial machines were propeller-driven aircraft. Official AF reports:

a.       Captain Alvah Reida, B-29 bomber pilot, encounter with high-speed, oval-shaped machine in Far East; outmaneuvered B-29 during Captain Reida's attempts at evasion. Captain Reida's conclusion: Interplanetary.

b.      Captain Jack Puckett, Army Air Corps, 1946, encounter with high-speed, rocket-shaped craft (similar to Captain Chiles' report) while piloting C-47 over Florida. Witnessed by co-pilot, engineer.

c.       Major William D. Leet, 1944, encounter while piloting AAF bomber over Europe; mysterious disc device unlike any known craft.

            (Similarly, the United States had no such devices in 1944-45, nor does it possess such machines now. If it did, we would be superior to USSR both in space and global operations. We would not be spending large sums to investigate UFOs ($10,000 per major case, as stated by Lieutenant Colonel Spencer Whedon, ATIC, November 1957) plus high costs of jet chases, etc. Nor would we be firing on United States-owned objects. This point should be stressed to end any complacent belief that we are holding back some superior, secret weapon.)

            NICAP urges that the Congress insist:

  1. That the opinions of the NICAP majority and recognized experts, and the interplanetary conclusions and support­ing evidence, be immediately made public in the public interest.
  2. That every effort be made to secure immediate release of the hidden AF evidence, as official proof that the UFOs could not be Russian. That this evidence also include the Top Secret AF Intelligence Estimate of the Situation: The UFOs are interplanetary spaceship. (Existence of this conclusion was disclosed by Captain Ruppelt in 1956.
  3.  

(19) 

 

Top AF officers and headquarters spokesmen have repeatedly denied it, in letters to Congress and the public. NICAP is prepared to produce a signed statement by Major Dewey Fournet, USAFR, former Intelligence monitor for the UFO program that the document referred to was drawn up and was kept secret.)

            It is realized that some public uneasiness might follow an official AF admission. But NICAP's research indicates there would be no widespread hysteria at the interplanetary answer, unless the AF created suspicion by withholding some of its, evidence. It is true some cases might appear to indicate hostility: The Kinross case; the death of Captain Mantell in a UFO chase; near-collisions on airways, when airline pilots unavoidably injured passengers in evading unknown objects, etc. But evaluation of thousands of reports gives no proof of belligerence. If the AF releases its evidence now, without waiting for a possibly Soviet-inspired emergency, the public probably will accept a frank statement that censorship was invoked in the public interest until more answers were known. 

 

                                                                        Respectfully yours, 

For the majority:                                              /s/ Donald E. Keyhoe

                                                                        Major, USMC (Retired) Director of NICAP 

 

(Major Keyhoe is an Annapolis graduate; served as a Marine Corps pilot, aide to Colonel Charles Lindbergh; chief of information, Civil Aeronautics; World War II Naval Aviation Training; writer on Soviet espionage, aviation, other subjects, in national magazines.)

 

(20)

 


 

Chapter 3

Recent Sightings in the Pacific 

 

            A notable characteristic of UFO activity is the tendency for appearances to concentrate in particular areas or regions on the earth at different times. It is as though our so-called visitors from outer space have been from time to time over the past dozen years making soundings or surveys of selected areas on this terrestrial globe. This activity may or may not signify a long range exploration or study by a single group of intelligent beings. If undertaken by a group from a single outer space source, it could suggest a program of mapping and study of a somewhat thorough and exhaustive character. If undertaken by groups from various different localities in outer space, it could manifest momentary interests of probably diverse character. Whatever it might signify, it does seem to portend something of future terrestrial happenings which could conceivably concern all of humanity. If such should be the case, the scientists, scholars, and statesmen of the world should by all means become alert to the reality of these phenomena and immediately take steps to organize in cooperative effort to study and try to analyze what this is all about.

            Probably the most recent of these concentrations concerning which rather complete information is presently available, is located in what might be described as the Pacific area, the events taking place in the months of June, July, and August of 1959. 

 

THE SIGHTING NORTHEAST OF HONOLULU

 

            One of the best authenticated cases and one which received nationwide publicity in the newspapers of the United States is the sighting witnessed and confirmed by six different airline crews some nine hundred miles northeast of Honolulu in the early hours of July 11, 1959. The fact that the captains of these airliners and their crews, expert and experienced aviators all  

 

(21) 

 

of them, testified as to having witnessed the sighting of unidentifiable navigated objects in the sky can leave no doubt in the mind of any reasonable thinking person as to the reality of the incident. The six aircraft within the region of the sighting included three Pan American Airways planes, an Air Force B-50, a Canadian Pacific airliner, and a Slick Airways Cargo plane. Captain W. B. Nash, a PAA pilot, a NICAP special advisor, secured extra details of this sighting, in line with the policy of NICAP to explore all available evidences of significant sightings. (It will be remembered that Captains Nash and Fortenberry witnessed one of the most dramatic maneuvers of the UFO's ever recorded, when they observed a fleet of large disc­-shaped objects perform aerial gyrations in the sky above the neighborhood of Newport News, Virginia on the night of July 14, 1952.)

            The objects were observed in a clear sky. "A large and very bright object"--"flanked by three or four smaller lower magnitude lights in a line below" were observed to be travelling at terrific speed, estimated by Captain George Wilson at "thousands of miles per hour." Captain Wilson stated that the formation hurtled across the sky toward the airliner he was piloting, when suddenly it "made an abrupt right turn and disappeared to the south." Captain George Wilson with co-pilot Richard Lorenzen and crew member Bob Scott were flying a Boeing strato-cruiser of the Pan American Airways. In his report to NICAP Captain Wilson said that the object was so bright it was "like looking at a piece of the sun." He told Honolulu newsmen: "It was faster than anything I've ever seen. It may have been one very large object with brilliant center lights and surrounding lights of lesser magnitude, or separate objects. The smaller lights were either part of the mysterious object or this was an example of darn good formation flying. "

            In a report to NICAP member Paul Cerny, First Officer Lorenzen stated: "The rate of closure with us was much greater than any I had ever experienced before. It was not until the object turned that I was able to distinguish the smaller lights associated with it."

            It is to be noted that although details of this sighting had received publicity in newspapers everywhere, qualified NICAP investigators were on the job at once, so to speak, to secure independently, first hand, reliable data on the sighting. It was revealed by Paul Cerny that two Air

 

(22) 

 

Force majors had interviewed Captain Wilson's crew soon after they had landed, but interestingly enough, the usual attempts by Air Force authorities to debunk such UFO sightings have been plainly lacking on this occasion. Surely the combined evidences, testimonies as to the reality of this occurrence by six experienced air line crews, combined with the detailed checking and verification of facts by qualified NICAP personnel would have made debunking claims of Air Force authorities seem absurd.

            Thus here we witness an embarrassing silence on the part of the would-be debunkers, whoever they might be, who seem to determine what Air Force personnel must say on such occasions.*

            Great expanses of ocean separate the islands of the Pacific, but of the scattered land areas here and there one finds various types of observers who become known when UFOs happen to appear in their vicinities. Detailed reports of UFO phenomena observed in places where communication with the outside world is relatively meager require time to reach the main news arteries of the world. The Reverend Father William Booth Gill, a Church of England clergyman, missionary in Papua and New Guinea, recently returned to Melbourne, Australia with his family. The full report of his personally observed Papuan sightings is given in the September 1959 issue of "Light," a periodical of the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau. Included also are reports of other sightings in this vicinity observed from February 1958 through July 1959.

            The most dramatic series of these sightings was written up as a feature article in the Australasian Post of October 15, 1959. This series of sightings occurring on the nights of June 21, 26, 27, 28, and 29 is the subject also of a special report recently published with editorial evaluation and comment by the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society of Melbourne, Australia.

            Before going into the details of these Father Gill sightings, description and some analysis of another series of well-authenticated sightings will be given. These happenings occurring a little south of the region of Father Gill's experiences, in what is known as the Gulf Country of Northern Australia constitute supporting evidence of the concentration of UFO activity in this Part of the world. Details concerning the Gulf Country sightings are given in the Queensland Society publication "Light" already referred to.

____________

* The Air Force has since labeled this object a "fireball" in spite of the reported maneuvers

 

(23) 

 

THE GULF COUNTRY SIGHTINGS OF JULY 8, 1959

 

            Four prominent Australians reported having seen an unidentified aerial object on July 8, 1959. These men include Mr. J. H. Horn, a director of General Motors-Holden's; Mr. W. A. Green, Managing-Director of Eagers Holding Ltd; Dr. Athol Quale, a Wickham Terrace specialist; and Dr. C. A. Renan, a Melbourne surgeon. The object was seen at 6:37 P.M. local time when the men were getting ready to shoot crocodiles twenty miles up the Norman River from the town of Karumba. They saw a "round patch about half the size of a full moon, a mixture of yellow, red, and green iridescent light travelling twice the speed of a Canberra jet bomber." The object stayed in the sky five to eight seconds before disappearing.

            In reporting the incident Mr. Green said: "There's no shenanigans about this. It was something none of us had ever seen before. What impressed us most was that the object travelled parallel to the ground. It did not move up or down, as you would expect with something natural. And the thing was dead silent."

            According to Mr. Green the object was ten to twelve degrees above the horizon. It travelled northwest, and appeared to be only two or three miles from the hunting party, and about two thousand feet from the ground. An object half the diameter of the full moon viewed at a distance of two-and-a-half miles figures out in size, sixty feet in diameter.

            Several other persons reported having seen a "strange flying object" over northwest Queensland on July 8. These include four men from the state of Victoria, Mr. W. McDonald, retired farmer of Ballarat; Mr. E. Stone, retired farmer; Mr. L Afford, grazier, of Hopetown; and Mr. J. A. Watson, a fifty-nine-year-old retired traveler. These men with their wives were on a caravan holiday when they saw the "object" about dusk. The party of eight persons was camped near a tree-lined creek, forty miles east of the town of Cloncurry, a few miles south from the crocodile hunting party.

            Mr. Watson of the group reported the incident as follows: "The women were getting supper, and we men were standing about talking when Lionel Afford called out "Look!" I swung around to the north and saw something in the sky--a short yellow streak--disappearing between the trees on the creek bank. I could see it flashing through the trees. It seemed about twelve to twenty feet from the ground and was descending at a slight angle like an aircraft coming in to land. 

 

(24) 

 

            "It had three lights--a red, a yellow, and a yellow-green. We could see no more detail; it looked about as far away as the horizon. "

            These two groups of people apparently observed the same phenomenon. The time reported by the hunters, 6:37P.M. July 8, corresponds to the time reported by the campers, "about dusks' July 8. The colors of the object reported by both groups correspond. The hunters described "a mixture of yellow, red, and green iridescent light;" the campers referred to "three lights — a red, a yellow, and a yellow-green." The position and motion of the UFO as observed by both groups correspond to their respective positions, the camper group located some miles south of the hunters. The hunters told of the object as having "traveled northwest," "parallel to the ground," "about ten or twelve degrees above the horizon." The campers told of looking "to the north," the object "disappearing between the trees, " observed as "twelve to twenty feet from the ground, " "descending at a slight angle, " and at such a distance that it "looked about as far away as the horizon. " The object viewed was north of both groups of observers; its path was approximately parallel to the ground; to the party farther north the object was ten to twelve degrees above the horizon; to the party farther south the object looked close to the horizon.

            Reports indicate that still other persons saw the same object. A railway surveyor, Mr. Thomas George Cliff had reported having seen a strange aerial object near Cloncurry in approximately the same neighborhood during the same night, July 8.

            A fisherman, Ray Nicholson, on a twenty-eight-foot boat, the Jindivik, six miles north of the mouth of the Cockatoo River, forty-five miles north of Mapoon Mission (about seven hundred miles north of the campers) witnessed a UFO " a few minutes after sundown" on July 8. Also Mrs. Ray Nicholson and Mr. Ron Brandt, on board the vessel Sea Fury, six miles south of the Jindivik, saw the same object.

            Farther north the same night, July 8, a huge, glowing, red object "landed" on top of a hill on Prince of Wales Island, ten miles off Cape York Peninsula. This report came from a native woman, Mrs. Napan Abednego, of Thursday Island, Mrs. Abednego, her husband Koko, and their three children witnessed the phenomenon. The Abednego’s had been on a visit to the lonely Prince of Wales Island where they own a small orchard.  

(25) 

 

Natives on the island where the UFO landed were terrified and refused to go near the landing place. Mrs. Abednego said the strange object was on top of a hill at Port Lihou, on the southern tip of Thursday Island.

            If we assume that these reports all refer to the same UFO, and from the detailed facts in the case, this is a reasonable assumption, a total of seventeen persons besides an undetermined number of frightened natives on Prince of Wales Island witnessed the phenomenon. When one plots the localities of these sightings on July 8 on a map, from the camping site of the Victorians to the Prince of Wales Island, it can be seen that all of the reported sightings in this region on that evening lie along a straight line running almost due north for a distance of seven hundred and fifty miles.

 

THE GILL PAPUA SIGHTINGS OF JUNE 21 TO 29, 1959 

 

            I am greatly indebted to Mr. Peter E. Norris, LL. B., President of the "Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society" of Melbourne, Australia for material and data on the sightings in Australia and New Guinea. Concerning the Gill sightings I quote from a letter received recently from Mr. Norris:

            "The most significant report is the 'UFO's with Men' sighted in New Guinea by Father William Gill and thirty-eight others. Gill is now living in Melbourne and we have had a good chance to gain an impression of his character. The conclusion is inevitable that this is the most dramatic and among the most authentic in sightings in the history of ufology. At last we have a 'near contactee' who is able to emerge unscathed from the most searching examination. "

            The Reverend William Booth Gill, a graduate of Brisbane University, a young Anglican clergyman, has spent over eight years on mission work in Papua and New Guinea. He and his family recently returned to Australia on account of his two children. He presently resides in Melbourne and expects to accept a teaching position in one of the Church of England's schools.

            The reported sightings following were made between the dates of June 21 and June 29, 1959, at the site of his mission station at Boianai on the north coast of Papua, near the southeastern tip of the island of New Guinea.

            Early Sunday, 1:00 A.M., June 21, 1959, Mr. Stephen Gill Moi, a Papuan teacher at the mission, saw a very bright object about a quarter of a mile out to sea descending from a great height. 

 

(26) 

 

The object stopped at an estimated height of three hundred feet where it gradually decreased in brilliance until its shape could be discerned as that of an inverted saucer. The movement of the object occupied about three minutes, and then it hovered stationary at an altitude of three hundred feet about one fourth of a mile away, for about one half a minute. The saucer-shaped object was tilted slightly backwards so that part of its base was visible. The object then moved upwards and disappeared from view into the clouds. The underside of the object displayed "about four round, black spots."

            Rev. Gill's reaction to this report by his teaching assistant is revealed in his interview with representatives of the Australasian Post. Rev. Gill immediately after the June 21 incident wrote to a friend, concerning this incident, the Rev. David Durie, Acting Principal of St. Aidan's College, Dogura:

            "My simple mind still requires scientific evidence before I can accept the 'from outer-space' theory.

            "I am inclined to agree that many unidentified flying objects are more likely to be some kind of electric phenomena.

            "I prefer to wait for some bright boy to catch one and exhibit it in Martin Place." 

Signed "Doubting William."  

            Just a few days later on June 26, he saw a UFO close up with persons on board. On June 27 UFO's again appeared and human­like persons aboard waved their arms at him in answer to his similar greetings to them!

            Then the Rev. William Gill wrote again to Rev. D. Durie:

            "I have changed my views somewhat. Last night we at Boianai experienced about four hours of unidentified flying object activity.

            "There is no doubt whatever these things are handled by beings of some kind.

            "At times the whole affair was absolutely breathtaking. . . ."

            At 6:45 P. M. the evening of June 26 a bright light was sighted in the northwest sky from the mission front door. Excitement was stirred up in the mission community and as the UFO approached many people gathered to observe the phenomenon. Rev. Gill's detailed notes describe the sighting of one very large UFO and some smaller ones, their various maneuverings extending from 6:45 P. M. until 10:30 P. M. Below a cloud-covered ceiling a large "Mother" ship came close enough at times and hovered probably two thousand feet or less above the ocean  

 

(27) 

 

so that details could be discerned. As many as four different light-colored human figures appeared at times on the deck. This was witnessed by thirty-eight persons. As a ship descended through the clouds it reflected light like a large halo on the underside of the cloud. The larger "mother ship" gave off changing colors from time to time, white, red, and blue. At 10:50 the sky was very overcast, the ships having disappeared upward in the clouds.

            The apparent size of the large UFO "Mother ship" was described as a full hand span, five inches, at arm's length. This corresponds to about twenty times the apparent diameter of the full moon. Four rod-like projections were observed on the underside of the craft. A shaft of blue light at an elevation angle of about forty-five degrees shone on top of the craft. The color of the ship was a dull yellow or pale orange, except when moving. When it finally moved away at great speed at 9:30 P.M., the color changed from thin white to deep red and then to blue-green.

            Besides the large "Mother ship A," four other craft were observed. The largest of these smaller craft designated as "B" appeared to be one inch across at arm's length. This corresponds to a diameter of four times that of the full moon. Ship "B" had five panels of light windows.

            UFO's were also observed Saturday night, Sunday night, and Monday night, June 27, 28, and 29.

            On Saturday night Rev. Gill and his mission boys exchanged hand signals with four occupants of the "Mother ship." Rev. Gill made some calculations assuming the ship occupants were the same size as earth people. The top disc of the "Mother ship" figures twenty feet in diameter, the bottom disc roughly thirty-five feet. The altitude of the ship varied between twenty five hundred feet down to four hundred fifty feet.

            In describing the exchange of greetings taking place Saturday night between the mission group and the space men, Rev. Gill writes as follows:

            "We watched figures appear on top--four of them--no doubt that they were human. On the large one (ship) two of the figures seemed to be doing something near the center of the disc-were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or 'setting up' something (not visible). One figure seemed to be standing, looking down at us (a group of about a dozen). I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise the figure did the same. Ananias (a native) waved both arms over his head,

 

(28) 

 

then the two outside figures did the same. Ananias and self began waving our arms and all four now seemed to wave back. There seemed to be no doubt that our movements were answered. All mission boys made audible gasps (of either joy or surprise, perhaps both).

            "As dark was beginning to close in, I sent Eric Kodawara for a torch and directed a series of long dashes towards the UFO. After a minute or two of this, the UFO apparently acknowledged by making several wavering motions back and forth. "

            Rev. Gill reports that on Saturday night at 10:40 a terrific explosion was heard just outside the Mission House. Nothing was seen. He thinks it could have been an electrical atmospheric explosion as the whole sky was overcast. At 11:05 a few drops of rain fell. The explosion seemed to be just outside the window--not an Ordinary thunderclap--but a penetrating "ear splitting" explosion. It woke up people on the station.

            On Sunday night eight UFO's were seen at one time. There was no activity on board any of the craft. At 11:20 P.M. a sharp metallic and loud bang on the Mission House roof was heard as though a piece of metal dropped from a great height. Outside, four UFO's were in a circle over the station.

            On Monday night UFO's were again in evidence. On each of the four nights a large craft and smaller ones were observed. The Mission roof was examined but no apparent sign of mark or dent was found there.

 

THE NEW ZEALAND SIGHTING OF JULY 13, 1959

 

            Another sighting of a fantastic character was witnessed by Mrs. Frederick Moreland of Old Renwick Road, Blenheim, New Zealand, on the early morning of July 13, 1959. Mrs. Moreland lives with her husband, an employee of the Woodbourne station of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, with their five children on a small farm outside of Blenheim, near the northeast tip of South Island.

            The story of Mrs. Moreland's unusual experience is related somewhat in detail in the July 22 issue of the Nelson Evening Mail. Mrs. Moreland's account in part as given to the Mail reporter reads as follows:

            "At 5:30 a.m. on Monday, July 13, I went across the paddock to milk the cows. I noticed a green glow in the clouds. As there was no moon I wondered what it was. When I was half way  

 

(29) 

 

across the paddock two large green things, like eyes or big lamps, appeared above me and dropped towards the ground.

            "I noticed that I was bathed in green light and that all the paddock was green, too. It was a horrid sort of colour. My first thought was, I shouldn't be here, and I made a dive for the trees (a stand of pines on the other side of the three-acre paddock). I stood and watched.

            "A saucer-shaped glow with two indented green lights in the bottom descended. The air became very warm. Two rows of jets around the middle shot out orange-coloured flames. They appeared to revolve in opposite directions. The thing was about 20 to 30 feet in diameter. It hovered at about roof height.

            "The jets stopped and a light was switched on in what appeared to be a perspex or glass roof or dome, which glowed. The bottom appeared to be of a greyish colour. There was a faint hum in the air as it hovered.

            "There were two men in it, dressed in fairly close-fitting suits of shiny material. The only thing I can think of to describe it is aluminum foil. Opaque helmets rose from their shoulders. I could not see their faces.

            "One of the two men stood up and put two hands in front of him as if leaning over to look downwards He then sat down and, after a minute or two, the jets started off again and, tilting slightly at first, the thing shot up vertically at great speed and disappeared into the clouds. When it did this it made a soft but high pitched sound.

            "I was so dumbfounded that I stood in the trees for a moment not knowing what to do. There was a smell of something which resembled pepper in the air. At last I decided to continue getting in and milking the cows. ..."

            The Nelson Evening Mail of August 6 told of two other persons in a locality not far from the home of Mrs. Moreland who witnessed unusual aerial phenomena at about the same time. Mr. Roy Holdaway, a farmer at Dillon's Point, rises at 4:30 a. m. every morning. He told of seeing a sky object of "greeny colour --travelling from east to west towards Blenheim." A neighbor's wife reported seeing a "very bright light in the eastern sky travelling in a horizontal position from north to south" early that same morning.

            The incident was investigated by a number of authorities including the Blenheim police, the authorities of the New Zealand 

(30) 

 

Air Force, Captain W. T. Rainbow of the National Airways Cor­poration, and Mr. Harold H. Fulton, Director of Civilian Saucer Investigation of New Zealand. Mr. Fulton comments: "I learned that the police vouched for the witness in whom they had confidence; none of the interviewing officers could detect any sign of fabrication and all were impressed."

            It is noted that this New Zealand sighting is not nearly so well substantiated as innumerable other less spectacular reports. If this account is fiction, one must credit Mrs. Moreland either with a most vivid imagination or else a rather exhaustive acquaintance with sightings of UFO's over the past thirteen years. If this particular sighting is real, one must credit Mrs. Moreland with a most alert capacity for noting details. For among the numerous details descriptive of this incident are several that have been noted in connection with other instances of UFO sightings. Among these are the following (quoted from the fore­going account): 

1.      "saucer-shaped glow"

2.      "air became very warm"

3.      "middle ... appeared to revolve"

4.      "about 20 to 30 feet in diameter"

5.      "hovered at about roof height"

6.      "glass roof or dome"

7.      "faint hum in the air"

8.      "close-fitting suits of shiny material... helmets"

9.      "tilting slightly at first"

10.  "shot up vertically at great speed"

11.  "soft but high-pitched sound"

12.  "smell which resembled pepper" 

Upon the basis of the above descriptive details noted by Mrs. Moreland, the evidence appears to be very strong that her experience was real. 

 

C. A. M.

 

(31)

 


 

Chapter 4

 

The Swedish "Ghost Rockets"

 

            The mystery of unidentified objects seen in the sky is nothing new. Just how old it is, on the other hand, is impossible to say. The mystery that goes under the name "flying saucers" is new, at least in name and in the reactions it has caused. For centuries before 1947 strange aerial objects were seen and duly recorded as something mysterious. Today, and for at least the past 12 years, strange aerial objects are being reported in even greater number and detail.

            In the "flying saucer" mystery, however, there are two major differences: (1) A more complete record has been kept of the modern reports; (2) It is no longer admitted that the objects--call them "omens in the sky" or "flying saucers" are a mystery. In short, "flying saucers" or UFOs have been pointedly ignored as unworthy of serious, scientific attention. The evidence for them has been glossed over and buried deliberately by some responsible officials, and incidentally by droves of self-appointed experts and seers.

            At the close of World War II, strange fiery-looking globes of light, which came to be known as "foo-fighters," paced Allied planes both in Europe and Asia. In the daytime they often resembled silvery spheres. The Allies suspected that they belonged to the enemy. As it later turned out, the Germans and Japanese thought they belonged to the Allies. When this fact was realized, the sightings were glossed over and assumed to be caused by "something natural." These objects have never been explained. *

            Thus began the modern era of UFOs. Since World War II the record of UFOs has swelled producing a mystery of gigantic proportions. A mystery consisting largely of   silvery

____________

* See Jo Chamberlin, "The Foo Fighter Mystery," American Legion, Dec. 45, p. 9  

 

(32) 

 

spheres and discs in daytime, and fiery globes at night. The best evidence for the "foo-fighters," however, remains locked up in the limbo of classified military documents.

            In 1946 another type of UFO made its debut. Reports on these objects, concentrated in Sweden, were printed in the press. All during the summer of 1946 thousands of people in Sweden sighted the strange objects. The first impression, since the objects were mostly elongated ones, was that they "must be" German V-2 type rockets. Since the war was over and many of the reports came from the Baltic Sea area, the Russians were prime suspects. Nevertheless, the Russians vigorously denied knowledge of the missiles.

            Before the "ghost rockets" disappeared as mysteriously as they had come, Swedish authorities, annoyed at the flagrant violations of their air spaces, had clamped down with stringent security measures to prevent the owners of the missiles from gaining any useful information about the progress of the flights.

            The Swedish "ghost rocket" mystery in many ways parallels the later "flying saucer" mystery, and warrants careful study on that account. For at least five months the inexplicable "fireballs" or "rockets" cavorted around in Scandinavian skies causing much confusion and displeasure. Then authority spoke. Dr. Manne Siegbahn, Swedish nuclear physicist and Nobel Prize winner, said on September 17: "There is no clear evidence that any guided missiles have been flying over Sweden. I myself have examined one reported to be such a missile and found it was a meteorite. I am very suspicious about the existence of any such thing." Dr. Siegbahn went on to say that "hysteria" might have been a factor in the reports. *

            Does this sound familiar? It is an example, perhaps the first in the modern UFO era, of a competent scientist passing personal judgment on something which he has not even investigated, except very superficially. Since, by his own admission, he had only examined one report, his statement amounts to nothing more than personal skepticism. In the popular view, however, "science has spoken." The scientific method, it should be made clear, does not allow one scientist's opinion based on investigation of one incident to be called a "scientific" Conclusion. The fact of the matter is that science has yet to

____________

* New York Times; Sept. 17, 1946, p. 8

(33) 

 

investigate UFOs, and even to recognize that UFOs are a problem. As later in the United States, the Swedish military evidenced much more concern and came to very different conclusions after a long investigation.

            By July 28, the UFO situation in Sweden had induced conditions reminiscent of war-time: 

Stockholm, Sweden (AP): "A limited censorship has been imposed on information concerning unidentified flying missiles --believed to be flying bombs or rockets—that have been sighted over Swedish territory in recent weeks. The authorities have banned the publication of names of localities where the missiles have been sighted and newspapers have been required to use the dateline 'Somewhere in Sweden' when writing about the subject." * 

            All through July and into mid-August, according to an AP wire on August 11, the flying "fireballs" were reported nearly every day. From July 9-12 alone, the Swedish military received 300 UFO reports. The objects usually flew at great height making no appreciable sound. One such flight was measured over a course of 600 miles. Some of the objects observed at lower altitudes appeared to be almost square and were red on the underside.

            The latter observations raise an interesting point. Since 1947 the name "flying saucer" has been used somewhat misleadingly to describe objects of many shapes, though discs have been the most common type. When the American mystery began, the objects were initially called "saucers" and that name stuck. In Sweden it was first assumed that the UFOs were rockets similar to the German V-2. The appellation "rocket" was used initially, and it too was misleading. Though the rocket shape did seem to predominate, the "ghost rockets" were nearly as often seen as plain fireballs. At that time the rocket or cigar-shaped UFOs were something new to the observers, but they are now a well-established type.

            One of the best early sightings of the "flying cigar" occurred on August 12. The night before, a swarm of the "rockets" had passed over Stockholm at about 10:00 p.m. One report described a cigar-shaped "bomb" travelling slowly at about 1, 500 feet altitude. Then the next day an unnamed astronomer made the following report:

____________

* New York Times; July 28, p. 32. 

 

(34) 

 

New York Times, (Special),  August 13, 1946: "I was studying some clouds through a telescope when suddenly I observed a luminous point in the sky. I first believed it to be an airplane, but soon I noticed it was traveling much too fast for that, and within two seconds I got a good view of the projectile. I managed to get a good view of the bomb's body and estimate that it was at least 90 feet long. The body was torpedo-shaped and shining like metal. No sound could be heard, although the bomb was only 2 kilometers away. At the explosion, a terrific light flashed up that for a moment completely blinded me. No fire, smoke, or sparks were noticeable. "

            Note that the astronomer was observing the object while presupposing it was a bomb or explosive device. He then interpreted the bright flash of light as an explosion even though no fire or smoke resulted. There is no mention of an explosive sound, and it would be interesting to know whether one was heard. At any rate he clearly observed a "torpedo-shaped" unidentified flying object.

            On the previous night, the same article reported, three of the objects had crashed and tight censorship had been invoked. The Swedish General Staff termed the situation "extremely serious."  Sweden was now using radar in an effort to learn more about the objects. General James H. Doolittle, who was headed for Sweden, was rumored to be going there to inspect the radar equipment. Swedish authorities were getting fed up and were eager to get to the bottom of the mystery as soon as possible.

            Then on August 13 more "rockets" were seen in Sweden and Denmark. One burst into, pieces and fell into the water narrowly missing a boat. Some Boy Scouts reported seeing one of the objects turn about 35° and then return to its original course.  A night watchman in West Jutland watched a "rocket" approach from the northeast and explode with a roar and bright flash.

            The same day Swedish authorities indicated that the original explanation, missiles akin to the V-2, did not seem to be correct:

            "Swedish Military authorities said today they had received no tangible proof that the freak celestial phenomena observed over Sweden resulted from foreign experiments with aerial missiles." *

____________

* Stockholm (AF), Aug. 13, 1946. 

(35) 

 

            The objects had been demoted to "freak celestial phenomena."

            As the mystery wore on, no explanation was forthcoming. Later in the United States officials also stated that "no authentic physical evidence...“had been found to indicate that UFOs were space ships. The alleged lack of physical evidence has been an important consideration to scientists and others in evaluating the UFO mystery. In both cases, it should be noted, the official statements were weasel-worded. Neither statement said that no physical evidence of the phenomenon in question had been found. The Swedish statement denied tangible proof of foreign missile experiments, and the later U. S. statement denied physical evidence of space ships. It is incorrect to construe these statements as denial of physical evidence of UFOs. The Swedish UFOs just could not be explained in terms of conventional devices, but that did not mean that the objects were nonexistent.

            On October 11 Swedish military authorities announced that they had been unable to discover the origin or nature of the "ghost rockets" after investigating for four months. Of the 1,000 reports handled, 80 per cent could have been "celestial phenomena," they said. The radar study, however, had detected some objects "which cannot be the phenomena of nature or products of imagination, nor be referred to as Swedish airplanes." They were not, the report added, V-type German bombs either. *

            Considering later official reports in other countries, this was a remarkably frank statement of the facts. While pointing out that a great many reports could not be attributed to careless or inexpert observations, the report stated explicitly that real unidentified flying objects had also been seen. In the United States the large percentage of "identified" objects often have been used to negate reports of unidentified and unidentifiable objects. The very reports which should receive serious attention, those from competent observers which resulted in "unknowns," have been treated as if they were less valuable than the bulk of inaccurate reports. Curious logic indeed, but not uncommon to officials handling UFO reports.

            Five months after this announcement, on March 21, 1947, several people in southern Sweden watched a cigar-shaped metallic-appearing object move slowly across the sky from

____________

* New York Times: Oct 11, 1946, p. 3 

(36) 

 

east to west at high altitude. Visible for a considerable time in bright daylight, the object left a smoke trail which remained long after the object itself had disappeared. * It may be that the "thing" was headed for the United States where less than four months later, the name "flying saucer" was coined as the American branch of the UFO mystery burst into print.

            Both in Sweden and, later, in the United States, the investigations of UFOs centered around military sightings, in both places military security prevented the public from seeing the whole picture and hampered free and open discussion of the controversial objects. Civilian scientists of both countries either were kept ignorant of the best data or were not interested enough to examine it. The files of the Swedish Air Ministry certainly must contain many keys to what is now popularly known as the "flying saucer mystery."

            The modern era of UFOs, then, can be said (arbitrarily) to have begun with the World War II reports of silvery circular objects and fiery globes. In 1946 the torpedo-shaped "rockets" and fireballs came into prominence in Scandinavia. As will be shown, silvery discs, spheres, and "torpedoes" in the daytime, and fiery globes or fireballs at night have been reported consistently ever since. Slowly but surely a solid body of careful reports from competent observers has accumulated. Inexorably the evidence continues to mount, crying out for open recognition and scientific study. 

 

R. H. 

____________

* New York Times; March 22, 1947, p. 8.

 

(37)

 


 

PART   II:  A Scientist Looks at UFOs

 

 

Chapter   1

 

Scientist Finds Some Saucer Reports still to be Satisfactorily Explained

 

            The subject of flying saucers has from time to time engaged the attention of the American public since the summer of 1947. On June 24 of that year a businessman, Kenneth Arnold, flying in his private plane over the Cascade Mountains in the state of Washington, reported observing a chain of nine disc-shaped objects flying with tremendous speed.

            The objects sailed over the peaks in a manner resembling the skipping of flat stones thrown across the surface of a pond. Mr. Arnold described the unidentifiable objects as "flying saucers." The story of his fantastic experience captured the fancy of the public. Since that date literally thousands of reports of strange aerial phenomena from all parts of the world have been reported by the press from week to week.

            It would take volumes to describe in detail all the phenomena said to have been observed in the skies over this planet during the past eight years. There are historical records going back into the remote past giving isolated instances of strange unexplainable aerial occurrences. But starting in 1947, the number of such reports suddenly increased a thousand fold.

            In spite of all the material available to the serious student of these phenomena, very little is definitely known. Controversy still rages between those who doubt the reality of these sightings and those who declare that they are definitely what they appear to be, actual fast-moving material objects seemingly intelligently maneuvered.

            The Air Force Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Field, Dayton, maintains a continuing investigation of such reports. The Department of the Air Force recently issued a detailed statement on this subject which can probably best be summarized by the following excerpt:

 

(38)

 

            "The Air Force would like to state that no evidence has been received which would tend to indicate that the United States is being observed by machines from outer space or a foreign government. No object or particle of an unknown substance has been received and no photographs of detail have been produced."

            Only one American institution of higher learning has sponsored research in this field. Ohio Northern University undertook such a study in August, 1952, under the leadership of a former dean of that institution, Dr. Warren Hichman. The project was closed two years later voluntarily because of the inability of those in charge of the study to secure sufficient cooperation from other agencies elsewhere similarly engaged, to share like information.

            Quoting from the report of this university:  "Project A is closing merely because we possess no means of obtaining further information with which to make a study." The work at Ohio Northern did lead, however, to the statement of a definite conclusion arrived at by the group in charge. This reads in part as follows:

            "...a sizeable fraction of the sightings throughout the country were sightings made of material objects... not standard aircraft... possessing ability to maneuver at extremely high speeds."

            Very few American scientists have as yet committed themselves publicly as believing that these unidentified flying objects actually do exist, although a number have expressed doubt as to the reality of the phenomena. In this connection it might be interesting to note an extract quoted from a directive issued by an Air Force officer a short time ago. This reads as follows:

            "At this time we are experiencing renewed reporting of unidentified flying objects by ground observer personnel. This information is invaluable to the Air Force in evaluating the situations surrounding the sightings of flying objects. "

            One prominent aeronautical specialist expressing himself on this topic is Major Donald E. Keyhoe, former chief of information for the Aeronautics Branch, Department of Commerce,

 

(39)

 

author of The Flying Saucers Are Real, * and Flying Saucers From Outer Space. ** Major Keyhoe states positively his belief that these objects originate from outer space.

            Dr. Maurice A. Biot, a leading aerodynamicist in the United States and a prominent mathematical physicist, is quoted by Life magazine as declaring: "The least improbable explanation is that these things are artificial and controlled... My opinion for some time has been that they have an extraterrestrial origin. "

            A few aeronautical engineers of other nations have definitely given expression to their convictions on this subject. These include Dr. Walther Riedel, now in the employ of the United States Government, formerly chief designer at the German rocket laboratory at Peenemunde, who says: "I am completely convinced that they (flying saucers) have an out-of-world basis." ***

            The American Weekly of October 24, 1954, quotes Professor Hermann Oberth of Germany, an internationally known authority on guided missiles and whose technical writings were said to be of vital importance in the development of the Germans' famous V-2 rocket, who argues: "It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system."

            The London Sunday Dispatch quotes British Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, commander-in-chief of the Royal Air Force and one of Britain's foremost aviation experts as stating: "I have never seen a flying saucer, and yet I believe that they exist."

            The material presented in this article covers one type of these strange occurrences which recently have attracted quite a bit of attention among those interested in the study of the subject. One of the most interesting happenings took place not long ago in Ohio.

            This occurred last October 22, some 15 miles northwest of Columbus. The pupils of Jerome Elementary School had been granted an extra recess that afternoon as a reward for good behavior. As described by one of the two teachers of the school, Mrs. George W. Dittmar, "It was one of those glorious warm fall days and the whole sky was a clear blue."

            The attention of the children became directed toward a strange object in the sky circling high above the school. The

____________

* Fawcett Gold Medal Books; now out of print                ** Henry Holt & Co., 1953.

*** Life; April 7, 1952.                                            **** Life, op cit.

 

(40)

 

object was dazzling bright and cigar-shaped. The children watched the object a while before thinking to call their principal, R. R. Warrick. In response to their shouts Mr. Warrick came out to the fire escape in time to observe the object at that moment hanging high and motionless in the sky. Then the ship made off at tremendous speed, disappearing rapidly from view.

            Mr. Warrick called Mrs. Dittmar, who at once came out on the fire escape too late to observe the object, but in time to witness a most beautiful scene. For, as the object darted away there appeared another strange sight. The air as high and far around as the teachers and children could see was filled with "the most beautiful soft white looking tufts like cotton slowly floating to the ground." Mr. Warrick said it was almost at once as the object disappeared that this material began to show in the sky. For about 45 minutes they watched this fibrous material floating downward.

            The children brought up pieces of it to the fire escape for Mr. Warrick and Mrs. Dittmar to examine. In the words of Mrs. Dittmar "the substance had long fibers very much as if someone had taken strands of 'angel hair' and pushed some in bunches toward the middle or end, leaving a trail of fibers attached to it. It was very fine and soft to touch. It did not stick to our hands, but when we held two ends and pulled, it stretched without tearing. Where it stretched it had a shiny appearance. The part we held between our fingers very quickly seemed to go to nothing.

            "However, we could roll it between our fingers into a very, very tiny ball. In a short while our hands had a green stain on them. I soon washed my hands in warm water and the stain rinsed quickly off. Mr. Warrick said he was leaving his on his hands to see what would happen. He later said his hands became clammy and finally the color disappeared of its own accord."

            Mrs. Dittmar goes on to say, "When we left the school, we noticed it clinging to the grass, flagpole, and some on the cars. I believe the thing that impressed me even further was what we saw as we drove the three miles to the Columbus road. The telephone wires were completely woven shut, as if hands had carefully spread 'angel hair' out very evenly. Not only this, but the telephone wires were connected to the electric wires on the other side of the road, so that it was

 

(41) 

 

like a misty canopy over the road for three miles. No more seemed to be coming down by this time."

            In addition to the statements by Mrs. Dittmar and Mr. Warrick, it seemed advisable to get testimony from the children. So in answer to my request Mrs. Dittmar suggested to some of the sixth grade pupils that a college professor would like their stories about what they had seen. Letters from six of the children were received. Mrs. Dittmar wrote that she had "no desire to try to excite the children or work them up in any way." But those that did write, freely and on their own account and without any prompting or suggestions from their teacher, were more impressed by the fact that a college professor was interested in getting letters from them than by their strange experience. Mrs. Dittmar explained, "I did not tell them to write the paper. I did not tell them what to write. "

            The letters of the children are most interesting, each telling in his own words what he or she saw. These letters support in an impressive way the more detailed statements of the teachers. There is no question in my own mind of the sincerity and truthfulness of these statements. The writer makes no effort to interpret the phenomenon witnessed by these two teachers and their pupils. It is up to the reader to pass judgment as to the reality of what was experienced.

            Other similar occurrences also can be brought up for review. A reporter for the Valley Times, North Hollywood, California, told of a similar event in the San Fernando Valley, November 16, 1953. Mr. and Mrs. Louis Dangelo and neighbors were watching three jet planes, when behind the planes they noticed a silvery ball. The jet planes landed and Mrs. Dangelo describes what then took place. The silvery ball "moved up and down and even sideways. Finally a long streamer of white stuff--almost like a vapor trail--spewed out its back end. It detached itself from the ball and began settling earthward. It spread out, stringy, sort of like white wool being shredded, and it dropped down all over the neighborhood like cobwebs. Wires running to our homes turned white. They still sparkle at night. "

            Samples of this material were secured by an engineer of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Engineers from North American Aviation and from Douglass Aircraft also were on the scene. Reports are that the material "could not be analyzed.” Quoting further from the Valley Times article, "the material looks like finely shredded wool or spun glass.

 

(42)

 

Held between the fingers for a few moments, it dissolves into nothing. Mrs. Dangelo, describing its static qualities, said it often seemed to 'jump' from a bush or tree and cling to one's hair."  The newspaper published three photographs of the material.

            Lt. Col. James C. McNamara, USAR, in Pageant magazine for November, 1954, tells of a similar incident occurring on February 1, 1954, also in the San Fernando Valley. This phenomenon was observed from two localities independently by different persons.

            On that same day some 30 miles away in the San Fernando Valley, Mrs. Mel Barnes was watching a jet plane maneuvering. Then she saw a "round ball near the plane, but going faster than it. The ball was about three times the size of a full moon. It was plain, dead white, but didn't glisten. Suddenly a stream of white lacy substance flowed from the ball. Then the ball went straight up and disappeared. "

            The material fell over an area estimated as three city blocks. It caught on trees, fences, and telephone wires. An investigator from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation secured a sample of the material.

            The Oakland, California, Tribune told of a sighting at Pleasant Hill, Calif., and a like recovery of whitish substance emitted by the objects.

            A number of reports of like phenomena observed in other parts of the world have been noted in recent years--in Australia, France and Italy.

            Upon the basis of the accounts, it is not possible, of course, to arrive at very definite conclusions as to the true character of the phenomena described. It is contended, however, that material has been presented which forcibly points to the reality of what has taken place in many places at various recent times throughout the world. It is difficult to understand how one could conclude that all of these incidents are delusions, hallucinations, mirages, skyhook balloons, the planet Venus or what have you. And yet these are the so-called deductions of many orthodox scientists.

            One feature of the problem is the tendency of some scientists to issue statements denying the validity of reports on saucer sightings along with unqualified ridicule of the entire subject and all persons connected with it. It is quite apparent to a serious student in this field that those responsible for such statements have made little if any serious effort to

 

(43)

 

investigate for themselves. It is recognized that such persons within their own fields of specialization might be thorough and cautious in arriving at conclusions. It may be questioned whether a true scientist would be prone to ridicule the claims of any field of investigation not his own, certainly not until he has patiently and thoroughly attempted to evaluate a considerable body of the material pertaining to that field.

The true scientific attitude or approach to any subject for investigation is that of an open mind--to let the facts as they can be best appraised spell out the conclusions.

 

 

C. A. M.  May, 1, 1955 

 

 

 

(44)

 


 

Chapter   2

 

Saucers   and   Science

 

            On October 25, 1955, Donald A. Quarles, Secretary of the Air Force, issued a statement to the press, that as a result of an exhaustive study completed by the Air Force, covering some 316 pages of material replete with charts, drawings and statistical data, the widely reported flying saucers did not actually exist. "On the basis of this study,” said Quarles, "we believe that no objects such as those popularly described as flying saucers have over flown the United States.”

            In view of the growing lists of reports of flying saucers and other unidentified flying objects from all parts of the world, many of these reports given by experienced air pilots and other competent observers; this is a most amazing statement. With the evidence for the reality of flying saucers growing stronger day by day, it is hard to understand how such a conclusion could be arrived at. Not long ago, in May 1954 to be specific, seven years after the first reports began piling in, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, in charge of the official Air Force investigation of unidentified flying objects argued that if flying saucers exist, they are craft from outer space. Being in possession of all the then secret government data on the phenomena and having personally investigated a large number of cases, he was unable to arrive at a definite conclusion as to the real nature of reported sightings. Nothing has transpired since that date to unravel the mysteries of the large number of cases unexplainable in terms of the so-called natural causes. It might also be noted that previously, in July 1952, Major General John A. Samford, Air Force Director of Intelligence, referred to the then "20 per cent of the reports--that have come from credible observers of relatively incredible things." 

(45) 

 

            Air Force Secretary Quarles, in his governmental capacity less than a year and presumably with comparatively little or no background of study of unidentified flying objects, comes forward with a statement which in effect refutes even the former pronouncements of those officials who have given the problem immeasurably more study.

            One unfortunate feature of this statement by Secretary Quarles is the fact that with the sensational front-page publicity given to it by all the big city newspapers in the United States, the statement coming as it does from one of the highest ranking officials of the United States government, it is by and large accepted at face value by the rank and file of the citizenry. I have noted that college and university professors, students, and the general public I have encountered seem to have swallowed this statement literally hook, line and sinker. Such is the power of publicity and the nation's press to mold and control public opinion.

            One of my alert students who was interested in this subject and "taken in" by this pronouncement of Secretary Quarles was somewhat startled when I suggested that the Air Force Secretary was wrong in his judgment. "Well,” exclaimed this student, "how are we to know what is true and what isn't?" This poses a problem indeed. If, looking for the facts, one can not rely on the highly publicized statements of top ranking government officials, where will one turn to find the truth? Any dissenting viewpoint of an average citizen or even that of a specialist would scarcely secure local press recognition, let alone widespread publicity. Most people depend on the various news media for sources of information. Thus it appears that publicity alone determines the viewpoint of the bulk of the masses and apparently also the so-called well-informed.

            Would the Air Force be willing to make its files accessible to physical scientists desiring to advance study in this field? This is a problem in which various branches of the physical science, by the very nature of the phenomena observed, should have an interest. The physical sciences of meteoritics, meteorology, astrophysics, and general physics could find in the data available on this subject many intriguing problems to investigate through the media of physical science technique and method.

            Government studies have not been conducted in accordance with the methods of exact science.

 

(46) 

 

The program of investigation has been under the supervision of subordinate military officers whose educational backgrounds have not been those of rigorous scientific study. Such individuals, lacking the precise specialized training of physical scientists in research methods have therefore found it necessary from time to time to avail themselves of the services of panels of scientists and also the part-time services of numerous individual scientists on an advisory oasis. Such an arrangement precludes the possibility of rigorous scientific analysis of the many puzzling features of the problem.

            It would seem that the advice of scientists, even though secured from top men in various fields of science, could not possibly be of great value unless the primary interests of these men were in the field of unidentified flying objects. Top flight scientists as a rule are particularly interested only in the fields of research in which they have devoted their major efforts. Advice in a field somewhat distinct from their own could not serve much useful purpose.

            Six years' study of this elusive problem has convinced me that any appraisal of phenomena in this field unless backed by considerable effort in getting at the true details, along with countless hours of thought on their interpretation, is of no considerable value. Significant findings in physical science are not usually obtained by panel discussion nor by widespread consultation. These devices might serve to stimulate thinking and to suggest procedures, but not to actually bring to light new findings. The persistent devoted effort of the individual scientist himself alone, free from supervision and in full charge of his research, is necessary if significant advances are to be made.

            Moreover in ordinary scientific research new findings are invariably identified by the names of the scientists. In the Air Force studies to date the role of the scientist has been reversed. Instead of being in charge of the investigation he is merely the assistant who complies with the requests of the military. He is asked to aid inexperienced novices in scientific effort. The results of these so-called studies by the military are reported to the top brass, who though even without first­hand knowledge of the problem, have the final say-so to interpret the work and frame the concluding statements. Obviously this is an unsatisfactory situation.

            Before any real advance in knowledge of unidentified flying 

 

(47) 

 

objects is secured by the military, the problem will have to be worked out by individual scientists. These most certainly will be permitted to assume full responsibility for their findings and like other scientists will have the rightful prerogative of identifying their individual contributions by their names. Moreover their studies will be available to other scientists for critical appraisal. This most certainly is not true at present.

            The so-called Air Force study though very extensive, is pitifully limited in its scope. The limitation of the study of the elaborate data so far secured to a statistical evaluation from a pre-determined questionnaire form simply presupposes some pre-knowledge of the type of results to be expected. This procedure has proven effective in simple problems in education, psychology, and the social sciences. It is not a recognized research tool in physical science. The problems of physical science are never solved by such superficial methods. As one progresses in knowledge of any physical phenomenon the surprise element is ever present. The approach to a solution must constantly be changed because of unanticipated findings.

            A copy of the "U. S. Air Force Technical Information Sheet, " a questionnaire of eight pages in length, is given in the Appendix of Major Keyhoe's book Flying Saucers From Outer Space, published in 1953. It appears that the Air Force study recently completed is based to a large extent upon the statistical findings secured by analysis of reports furnished from this and similar forms. Nowhere in this particular form (the only one I was able to secure) is there any question pertaining to the phenomenon of "Angel Hair, " and yet one of the most significant patterns of performance associated with unidentified flying objects concerns the circumstances under which this fiberous material is ejected from them.

            Another significant finding not determinable through the medium of the questionnaire is the discovery of causes of peculiar changes in the apparent shapes of unidentified flying objects. There is strong evidence that a large number of the objects apparently observed, with their nebulous and variable outlines, are not the real objects, but rather cloud-like shapes lenticular and otherwise of glows and mist surrounding the sometimes obscured solid objects. As a result of such a discovery the statistical frequencies and probabilities secured  

(48) 

 

from the questionnaire material on shapes and outlines of objects observed would have little value.

            The summary statement issued by the Air Force on October 25, 1955, advises that this study "was prepared by a panel of scientists both in and out of the Air Force.” Let it be particularly noted that though this study may have been prepared by a panel of scientists, it is significant that being restricted in their study by merely statistical analysis of data secured from a handed-down form, the scientists were in effect doing the work of subordinate clerks and statisticians.

            In the well-documented accounts such as the Mantell case *, where detailed accounts involving perchance significant performances peculiar only to the one incident are vouched for and officially recognized, the statistical analysis of the kind used in the Air Force study fails completely. It is as if the whole problem were attacked with a self-imposed incomplete partial viewpoint.

            Another incomplete aspect of the Air Force study is that it seems to include only reports of phenomena observed in the United States. For example, in France alone, according to the French author Aime Michel "a fairly complete account of the flying saucer observations made in France the last few years alone will fill several volumes.” Any study of flying objects which ignores the multidinous sightings elsewhere in the world surely is restricted in its scope.

            The study of unidentified flying objects includes a variety of phenomena, many of which the Air Force does not attempt to deny. One such type of object is the so-called green fireball. This type of flying saucer has been observed frequently passing over southwestern United States as well as over Australia and other parts of the world. Dr. Lincoln La Paz, Head of the Department of Meteoritics of the University of New Mexico, has been actively studying this phenomenon for a number of years. No one denies the existence of this type of sky object probably because a scientist of wide reputation regards the phenomenon as real.

            The reality of the so-called "Foo-fighters,” another type of unidentified sky object, has not been questioned by flying saucer skeptics, at least not publicly. These luminous objects

____________

* Capt. Thomas Mantell, while pursuing a UFO January 7, 1948, in the vicinity of Fort Knox, Kentucky, in an F-51 fighter aircraft, crashed and was killed. The UFO, observed from Godman AFB tower, was a huge round glowing object which outdistanced the F-51.

(49) 

 

small size and remarkable performance were encountered by aviators of both the Allies and the Nazis during the last World War and by American aviators in the Korean conflict. Because of the great number of similar incidents noted by experienced airmen in which these mysterious lights figured, no skeptic has ventured to deny that these objects have been seen.

            There have been thousands of reports of circular and disc-shaped objects recorded since the spring of 1947. During the past three years and in increasing number, there have been reports of larger cigar-shaped objects seen along with smaller discs, or what were originally called "flying saucers." The Air Force pronouncement denies that such objects have flown over the United States even though literally hundreds of experienced airmen have testified as having encountered them and having observed them simultaneously, visually and on radar. It should not be overlooked that of all persons qualified to judge what they have seen, none are more competent than they who are the professional airmen.

            A significant feature noted in the study of these various mysterious sky objects is that steadily with the passage of time the evidence for their reality keeps on accumulating. It is believed that little by little the various patterns of appearance and performance of these at present unidentified objects will become more clear and understandable. As long as the reports of these phenomena continue to be cumulative, and this feature has been noted time and time again, there is every good reason to believe that scientific knowledge of these strange sky objects will continue to grow. The many intriguing features of this study should certainly before long challenge the alert and serious minded scientists in increasing numbers.

            The approach of physical science to the study of unexplained phenomena usually follows more or less the same pattern. Various observations occurring under similar conditions or possessing elements or similarity under diverse conditions are interpreted by an imaginative scientific mind in terms of an arbitrary theoretical picture which tentatively seems to fit the facts as observed. The theoretical picture fitting in with available observed facts suggests other possibilities of performance consistent with the requirements of the assumed theory. These predicted possibilities are then checked against actual observations either in the laboratory as in physics with a controlled set-up, or as in astronomy by persistent close  

(50) 

 

survey of accumulating details where laboratory examination is not possible.

            The observed details of flying saucer appearance and performance fit remarkably well into a theory based upon the idea of a localized gravitational field. This theory is described with particular clarity in the French treatise Lueurs sur Les Soucoupes Volantes by Aime Michel. In this splendidly written book Michel gives a clear-cut picture of the created gravitational field principle in its application to flying saucer appearance and performance as developed by the brilliant young Frenchman Lieutenant Plantier. The localized gravitational field explanation is also the viewpoint of Professor Hermann Oberth of Germany, an internationally known authority on guided missiles and the conquest of space.

            It should be noted that at the present time the top university and industrial laboratories and research centers of the United States and other countries are devoting great effort in the attempt to solve the secret of gravitational force. This concerted drive by scientists could with very little effort be associated with the rapidly mounting data about unidentified flying objects, which data fits into patterns of performance and appearance of gravity-controlled machines.

            In a brief discussion such as this, one cannot amplify in detail the multitudinous evidences supporting the gravitational field idea but it can be demonstrated at length that these evidences are available. My personal investigations bear out perfectly the observations listed by Lt. Plantier in his analysis. * The concept of space travel through the device of gravity provides a logical explanation of the following features of flying saucer phenomena: 

  1. The strictly circular disc shape of some forms.
  2. The capacity to stay motionless at any altitude, even a few feet above the ground.
  3. The absence of any loud sound attending hovering, slow speed, or supersonic speed.
  4. The absence of surface heating under a tremendous speed which would make the machine unbearably hot.
  5. The capacity to execute 90 degree or 180 degree turns under high speed without strain to parts of the machine, or injury to its occupants.

____________

* A full discussion of Lt. Plantier’s theory is now included in an English edition of Michel's book entitled The Truth about Flying Saucers, Criterion Books, 1956. 

(51) 

 

  1. The brilliant glow of changing colors attending variations in speed and altitude.
  2. The surrounding, and often times obscuring, glow and cloud.
  3. The apparent changes in shape as well as apparent dis­appearances while under observation.
  4. The production of the fibrous material known as "angel hair" associated with sudden bursts of speed from a hovering position.
  5. The occasional explosion and complete disintegration associated with a sudden break-down of the localized gravitational field.

            The Air Force policy of dispatching jet planes to pursue typical flying saucers whenever these are sighted is open to question. In spite of the fact that this has been done in the literally hundreds of instances, nothing appears to have been gained by so doing. In no case has a pursuing jet plane been able to catch up with the unidentified flying object except those in situations where it has apparently been permitted to do so by the intelligences controlling the maneuvers of the UFO. The usual policy of the UFO is to avoid contact with jet pursuers and, as a rule; the UFO will rapidly disappear from the scene in a tremendous burst of speed. It has been plainly apparent for some time that jet planes or any known type of air device cannot cope with the superior maneuvering of these objects. Moreover there is no evidence that UFOs have at any time attacked planes. There have been a few notable instances where tragedy has resulted as a consequence of a plane having come too close to a UFO. Two of the best known of these are the Captain Mantell case cited, and the Kinross incident of November 23, 1953. The latter case is described and analyzed in detail in Major Keyhoe's book, The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, (Henry Holt, 1955.)

            It would appear that this pursuit policy fails to accomplish anything positive. It would also seem that such a policy exhibits unfriendliness, where possibly none would be meant, within the area of the United States. To judge by known incidents of Soviet attacks on American planes in the vicinity of communist territory, it would appear that UFOs also would be subject to hostile action anywhere within the Soviet-controlled territory. Thus the net world-over impression given to those controlling the scouting activities of UFOs is on the 

(52)

 

whole hostile and unfriendly. If the US Air Force displayed friendliness toward these mysterious visitors from outer space the results could be beneficial --who knows?

            A curious contradiction becomes apparent when one discusses this phase of UFOs. If according to the findings of the Air Force Intelligence these flying saucers do not exist, why is it that the Air Force expends so much effort, time, and expense in pursuing them? If the Air Force has finally discovered that they have been chasing will-o-the-wisps, is it not about time that a change in policy is in order?

            Dr. Donald Menzel, professor of Astrophysics at Harvard University, author of textbooks and popular scientific articles, is well known among the intelligentsia class for his treatise on "Flying Saucers." * In fact whenever some student of flying saucer phenomena casually reveals his interest in the subject to one of these intelligentsia the latter's eyebrows will rise very noticeably and his face will momentarily brighten into a condescending smile as he confidently refers to the Harvard professor's authoritative work on the subject.

            Such an answer was received by Mr. Ted Bloecher, Director of Research of Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York, in answer to a letter recently sent to Mr. David Dietz, Science Editor of the Scripps-Howard newspapers. Mr. Bloecher asked for Mr. Dietz's opinion on flying saucer phenomena. Mr. Dietz's reply was terse and to the point: "I think the explanation of flying saucers is very simple and that you will find it in the book titled 'Flying Saucers' by Dr. Donald H. Menzel, director of the Harvard Observatory."

            In reply to this answer Mr. Bloecher advised Mr. Dietz that he was perfectly familiar with Dr. Menzel's book and that when it first came out he had studied it carefully. Among the observations of Mr. Bloecher was that of the 1,157 unexplained saucer sightings listed by Dr. Menzel he attempts to apply his "mirage" theory to only 14. Mr. Bloecher also called attention to the French treatise by Michel which by detailed analysis debunks the theories of Menzel.

            But one does not have to cross the Atlantic to get an evaluation of Dr. Menzel's work. Captain Ruppelt, from 1951 to 1953 in charge of Project Blue Book (the official U. S. A. F. investigation of UFOs), makes the following statement in an article published in True magazine in May 1954. Referring to Dr. Menzel's "mirage" theory, Capt. Ruppelt says: "His explanation failed to account for the many cases where there

____________

* Harvard University Press, 1953

(53) 

 

was a simultaneous radar fix on a UFO and a visual sighting. Mirages and reflections can and do fool the naked eye, but they don't show up simultaneously on a radar scope."

            On the one batch of spectacular UFOs that looked as if they ought to have a meteorological explanation, the (mirage) explanation collapsed. These were the flock of green fireballs that appeared in the Southwest.

            Thanks to the courage, the untiring industry, and the devotion to truth of Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC (Ret.), noted aeronautical engineer, aviator, and former information chief for the U. S. Department of Commerce, Aeronautics Branch, hitherto unknown information on UFOs is now being made known. In his book The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, Major Keyhoe has not only disclosed much interesting data on recent UFO activity, but also has set forth in detail facts which disclose the cover-up policies of the Air Force brass, the instances of effort at concealment of fact, and the harsh punishment threatening personnel of the Air Force who reveal UFO information to the public.

            In this significant undertaking of Major Keyhoe's he secured the cooperation of many loyal Americans connected with the U. S. Air Force directly and indirectly, whose names in many instances could not be disclosed for fear of reprisal by higher-ups. The information supplied in this book will be news to government officials, Senators, Congressmen, newspaper editors, university professors, and many other supposedly well-informed persons. The revelations by Major Keyhoe should arouse public sentiment and stir world leaders to demand that the truth be told.

 

C. A. M. February 1956

 

(54)

 


 

Chapter   3

 

An Open Letter to Scientists

 

            I call into question the prevailing practice of the much-vaunted style of thinking, universally known as the scientific approach. Not that the scientific approach to a problem is unsound. Far be it from that. Rather that the widely accepted pattern of scientific thought as it is now practiced is in the nature of a tradition. There are certain accepted categories of scientific endeavor, and scientists in the manner of their primitive forebears are dominated in their habits by their traditions.

            Among primitive peoples there is the adherence to traditional customs, blind acceptance of inherited beliefs. Among scientists it is the restriction of scientific thought to inherited categories of investigation, or what might be termed "proper" fields of scientific pursuit. In the interests of human progress it is of the utmost importance that the interests of science be widened.

            In proportion as the knowledge of his environment has broadened and expanded, man's concept of the cosmos has also grown dimensionally. Early man's view of the cosmos was geocentric; as his knowledge grew and his scientific outlook expanded he became heliocentric. The heliocentric attitude subsequently gave way to the galactic-centered universe. Finally, a little past the turn of the century, the galactic-centered cosmos gave way to a universe of galaxies, the boundaries of which are yet to be ascertained.

            The gradual emergence of human understanding generally is a parallel process. Blind adherence to traditional customs and practices has served to advance mankind in the early stages of his struggle for existence. Traditions for the most part have in themselves the protective influences that have 

 

(55) 

 

served throughout man's past experiences. It might be said that traditions are the accumulated wisdom of experiences, the values of which in many cases have been lost sight of in man's upward climb toward understanding.

            As the method of science has little by little supplemented the thought processes of man, tradition has been gradually replaced by the knowledge garnered through scientific procedure. In this connection a word of warning might be in order. There is danger that too much reliance be placed upon the findings resolved by limited scientific study of a problem. The truths inherent in traditional thought are not always susceptible to accurate evaluation through what might be appraised as exhaustive scientific investigation.

            The widespread concept of science as knowledge based upon experiment in itself clearly points out the limitations of the scientific method. For there are experiments and experiments, and the circumstances under which controlled experimentations are carried out are limitless in their variations. The findings of science are therefore tentative in character, all of them. They should therefore be regarded as such.

            The concept of man as the crown of creation has not yet been superseded by another concept in human thought. There has been very little acceptance of the concept of personality existent in other modes of matter and material environment different from those which obtain on this planet. Even on this planet, the earth, there are widely divergent embodiments of personality found wherever matter exists, on the earth's surface, within the ground, in the atmosphere, in the waters of the earth, in the subterranean depths of the deepest oceans, and within the numerous bodies themselves, countless varieties and numbers of cell forms possessing individual existences. Indeed, life as we know it on this planet is everywhere in everything and practically limitless in its forms and varieties.

            The geocentric view of the physical universe has long been superseded by more comprehensive pictures of reality. Man has had to gradually withdraw from an inflated concept of his importance within the physical scheme of things. This withdrawal has hardly been accompanied by a corresponding contraction of his ego. Paradoxically, instead of being deflated he has become inflated beyond degree. The rabid scientist  

(56) 

 

believes he can pull himself up by the bootstraps of the scientific method. He looks about him using the scientific gadgets he has constructed and believes that what his gadgets measure constitutes the whole of all there is. Sober minds among the scientific group acknowledge the flimsy sketchiness of scientific findings.

            True, in our devaluation of scientific method we must not undervalue the great blessings of science to humanity in the controls achieved over human environment resulting from scientific development. Science is so interwoven in the life of mankind, its boon to human progress so keenly realized that nothing save man's self-destruction by his own scientific gadgets can thwart its onward march.

            But in spite of the glorious achievements of science and man's over-confident pride in his understanding and use of science, he is still hidebound by tradition. Like his primitive ancestors he must abide by his traditions, his traditions of categories for scientific investigation, and any new fields that suggest departure from them are ignored and in many cases considered non-existent.

            I would plead for a little more open-mindedness among the fraternities of scientific investigators. Refrain from ridicule of that which might sound preposterous, but which you have not personally investigated. In spite of the obscuration by bewildering clouds of ridicule, prejudice, fanaticism, and political suppression of information, there may be found an impressive mass of observational evidence for the reality of the so-called unidentified flying objects or UFOs now haunting the skies adjacent to this planet.

            The more deeply one delves into this sphere of investigation, the more one becomes convinced of its potential significances. It would seem that the time is now at hand for the relaxing of the bands of restraint that prevent the disclosure of the accumulative factual material having to do with these sky visitors. There are those who would welcome the opportunity to be permitted to present the case for the reality of these strange phenomena before assemblies of scientists. At the present time the subject is still generally tabooed because of the disinclination of scientists as a class to be willing to disentangle themselves from their orthodoxy. 

C. A. M. October 1956

 

(57)

 


  

Chapter   4

 

The Phenomena of Angel Hair

 

            One approach to the study of the UFOs which holds some promise of significant attainable knowledge of the character of these objects is the analysis of the nature of the so-called angel hair. In numerous instances the fall of large quantities of this fibrous material has been noted in connection with the observation of disc-shaped and cigar-shaped UFOs. There appears to be sufficient evidence to prove to a reasonable-minded person the reality of these falls from the sky and the close association of these falls with the observation of UFOs. To give a complete account of all the interesting details associated with the many different reports would require a good-sized source book. Such a compilation would indeed be a valuable reference work and should be prepared by some agency in the interests of scientific knowledge.

            From the standpoint of a preliminary study, however, it might be worth while to make an attempt to investigate those features of the character of angel hair which are most commonly noted. These are (1) the simultaneous sighting of UFOs in connection with the fall of angel hair from the sky and (2) the unstable character of the material as evidenced by its rapid disintegration soon after the fall.

            The accompanying table, with dates of sightings, localities, and notes, comprises such a study in brief. The material of the table with the notes included a record of sightings involving angel hair for the period from October 1952 to October 1955. The table is not to be considered a complete record of such happenings, but probably does include those which are at least the best known of such events. The reference notes in every case represent quotations from newspaper reports, magazine articles, books, and personal letters describing the events. In three cases, those of Auckland, New Zealand; Melbourne, Australia; and Horseheads, New York, no UFOs were reported seen. However, in these three instances the fibrous materials  

(58) 

 

which fell from the sky appeared to have the peculiar property of angel hair most commonly noted, namely its tendency to rapid disintegration. Among the fourteen instances where angel hair was associated with UFOs there were six occasions where the rapidly-disintegrating character of angel hair was noted.

            It should be pointed out as a significant fact that the author has personal letters from two school teachers and six school children as witnesses in the Jerome case, two letters from school teachers in connection with the Whitsett case, and one letter from a lady observer of the Uhrichsville incident. The author regards all of these testimonies as absolutely true statements and correctly descriptive of the phenomena which took place. No doubt additional testimonies in large numbers could be secured for most of these events, were one to take the time and make the effort to go about such an undertaking.

  

TABLE OF ANGEL HAIR INCIDENTS

 

 

 

                Note References

 

 

 

Associated 

Rapid

Date of Sighting

Locality

with UFOs

Disintegration

17-Oct-52

Orolon, France

1

a

27-Oct-52

Gaillac, France

2

b

15-Apr-53

Auckland, N. Z. 

 

c

30-May-53

Palmerston, N., N. Z. 

3

 

9-Oct-53

Melbourne, Australia

 

d

13-Oct-53

Pleasant Hill, Calif.

4

 

16-Nov-53

San Fernando, Calif.

5

e

1-Feb-54

San Fernando, Calif.

6

f

1-Feb-54

Puente, Calif.

7

g

22-Oct-54

Jerome School (Marysville, Oh)

8

h

28-Oct-54

Rome, Italy

9

 

8-Nov-54

Florence, Italy

10

 

November _, 1954

Tuscon, Arizona

11

 

November _, 1954

Kankakee, Illinois

12

 

21-Feb-55

Horseheads, N. Y.

 

i

2-Oct-55

Urichsville, Ohio

13

 

27-Oct-55

Whitsett, N. C. 

14

 

                  

NOTES ON THE TABLE  

Angel Hair Associated with UFOs.

  1. "A cigar-shaped object--dropping a great quantity of fibres in its wake."

 

(59) 

 

  1. “The spectacle lasted for about 20 minutes before the cigar and its saucers disappeared over the horizon. By this time masses of white threads were beginning to fall--just as at Oloron. They continued to fall for a long time after the disappearance of the objects. "
  2. "Saw a small bright blue object--with an irregular motion quite unlike that of an aircraft. Later saw large number of filaments of a substance resembling spider webs, white in color and ashy in texture, floating down to earth."
  3. "Four round objects glistening in the sun threw off some kind of whitish substance--a white silky strip about 12 feet long settled on a tree.”
  4. "We saw a huge silvery ball--a long streamer of white stuff almost like a vapor trail--spewed out its back end--it drooped down all over the neighborhood like cobwebs."
  5. "The ball was about three times the size of a full moon --suddenly a stream of white lacy substance flowed from the ball."
  6. "After ten of fifteen seconds, the object turned reddish. Then it emitted some shining cobweb-like substance which began to drift to earth. "
  7. "The cigar-shaped object was hanging motionless—then it turned off quite rapidly. In its wake was a trail of webs that later were strung from one side to the other of wires along the road all the way to the Columbus road. "
  8. "These objects dropped white cottony stuff that hung from telephone wires."
  9. "Fifteen thousand spectators at a football match watched a flight of saucers which dropped candy-floss type streamers."
  10. "A bright object was sighted, then disappeared. Then we saw round objects drifting downward. One became entangled in a TV antenna and floated in the air as a streamer. Later hundreds of smaller streamers--catching on trees and branches. "
  11. "After a flying saucer had passed over Kankakee, Illinois, angel hair was collected." (A photo of this angel hair was printed in the January 31, 1955 issue of the Chicago American.)
  12. "Several disc-shaped objects bunched at high altitude... Almost immediately after the saucers disappeared, the air became filled with silver cobwebs."

 

(60)

 

  1. About ten saucers were sighted: "The angel hair started falling about the same time the saucers were sighted."

 

RAPID DISINTEGRATION OF ANGEL HAIR 

 

a.       "When rolled up into a ball, they rapidly became gelatinous, then sublimed in the air and disappeared."

b.      "Became gelatinous, then sublimed and disappeared."

c.       "Quickly disintegrated when handled."

d.      "On handling, rapidly disintegrated until no trace was left."

e.       "Held between the fingers, it dissolves into nothing."

f.       "When I picked it up in my hands, it disappeared."

g.       "It vanished when I tried to touch it with my hands."

h.      "The part we held between our fingers very quickly seemed to just go to nothing."

i.        After two days the "web was rapidly disintegrating and disappearing." 

 

SPECIAL PROPERTIES NOTED

 

            At Oloron, France: "These fibres resembled wool or nylon. When rolled into a ball, they rapidly became gelatinous, then sublimed in the air and disappeared. The fibres burned like cellophane when ignited. "

            At Jerome School: "We handled this material; it was very fine and soft to touch. It did not stick to our hands, but when we held two ends and pulled, it stretched without tearing. Where it stretched it had a shiny appearance. The part we held between our fingers very quickly seemed to just go to nothing. However, we could roll it between our fingers into a very, very tiny ball. In a short time our hands had a green stain on them. I soon washed my hands in warm water and the stain rinsed quickly off. Mr. Warrick said he was leaving his on his hands to see what would happen--he later said his hands became clammy and finally the color disappeared of its own accord. "

            In most of the incidents where there were falls of cobwebby substance from the sky, shiny disc- or cigar-shaped bodies were observed, and the substance appeared to be dropped from these bodies. In the case of the cobwebby substance that fell over a half-mile square area near Horseheads, New York, the material was first discovered in the early morning of February 21, 1955. Since this material strongly resembled that observed in connection with shiny aerial objects in the fact of its having fallen from the sky, being fibrous in character, and having the property of rapidly disintegrating, it might be assumed to have been produced under similar circumstances. 

 

(61) 

 

Granting this fairly reasonable assumption, it would seem that the results of a chemical analysis of the Horseheads fibre might throw some light on the nature of angel hair.

            Since different attempts were made to analyze this material and the report of these attempts reached the press it seems worthwhile to include a record of them here. The results of analysis by several different professional people are strangely contradictory. It is a significant fact, however, that none of the scientists identified the material as the web of a ballooning spider.

            The following analyses are noted:

            Dr. Francis A. Richmond, professor emeritus at Elmira College, described the material as "short, weak fibres that looked and felt like cotton or wool."

            Dr. Charles B. Rutenber, professor of chemistry at Elmira College, declared that, based on chemical analysis, the material was ''cotton, either waste or fibres, that had been in explosion and were heavily damaged." Tests with a Geiger counter showed it to be radioactive. These findings were supported by Dr. Richmond and Mrs. Hans Bernt, assistant professor of art. Later, Dr. Rutenber suddenly reversed his decision; he said the material was a protein product created by the escape of a hot milk product at the local milk plant.

            Mr. Louis R. Hermann and Mr. Robert L. Mix, chemical technicians at the Westinghouse plant, said that the material consisted of cotton and wool fibres with, pieces of fine copper wire mixed in.

            Mr. John B. Diffenderfer, manager of the chemistry section of the local Westinghouse plant, held to the milk theory. The Westinghouse test showed 30 percent carbon with various metals present.

            Assumptions might also be made as to the origin of angel hair. Aime Michel, in his book The Truth About Flying Sau­cers, calls attention to the Plantier theory on this point in the following words: "...as Plantier thinks, the angel's hair results from the alteration of the chemical properties of atoms and molecules of the air affected by the ultra-heavy particles projected by the field [of the UFO]." Alongside this reference the following fact might be noted: It was definitely established by Dr. Willard F. Libby, of the University of Chicago, in 1947, that Carbon 14, known as radioactive carbon, is produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere from atoms of nitro­gen. The fibrous material, cotton, is nearly pure cellulose

 

(62) 

 

and contains atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Conceivably angel hair could be forms of what chemists call a chain polymer of cellulose, containing radioactive Carbon 14 combined with the hydrogen and oxygen from moisture in the air, and three elements combining under the action of the ultra-heavy particles referred to by Plantier.

            But this is probably too much speculation. At any rate it would be very desirable to have the benefit of detailed scientific tests of the real angel hair definitely observed to have been associated with UFOs. When this is once accomplished, a long step in the knowledge of UFOs will have been made. Angel hair will fall again no doubt in other areas. Let us hope that some success will be achieved before long in securing samples of this elusive material definitely associated with UFOs, and that chemical and physical tests can be made before it completely disintegrates.

            The purpose of this discussion is primarily the presentation of evidence for the purpose of establishing the reality of UFO phenomena and the existence of the material known as angel hair. As has been pointed out, the findings are based not only upon newspaper and other printed accounts, but also upon the testimonies of witnesses in the form of letters of school teachers and children, statements the truth of which no reasonable-minded person would doubt. Some analyses have been attempted of the fibrous material--apparently without much success. It is to be hoped that scientists will be challenged by the facts here presented and that scientific groups will sponsor the further investigation of these phenomena.

            It is also urged that the United States and other governments change their policies of withholding UFO facts from the general public, and that all news agencies, the radio and television broadcasting companies, newspapers, and current periodicals, and professional scientists also, desist from the very damaging current practice of ridicule of UFO reports and persons connected with the serious investigation of these phenomena.

            The author recognizes with great appreciation the cooperation of two fellow members of the Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York in furnishing factual material for this study, Mr. Ted Bloecher, Director of Research, and Mr. Lex Mebane, Secretary/Treasurer. The author takes all responsibility for the speculative material of this article, and realizes full well that many will disagree with him. 

 

C. A. M. December 1956

 

(63)
 


 

Chapter   5

 

UFO Fleets over Washington, D.C.

 

            Within the historical record of UFO sightings in the United States, the month of July 1952 * stands out prominently as representing the peak period for numbers of reported sightings.  The United States Air Force issued a statement on July 31, 1952, to the effect that the largest number of sightings of any month since the saucers were first reported in 1947 came in the month of June 1952, the total of 114 for the month being just three above the preceding June total.   Although no similar statement of monthly totals has, to the writer's knowledge, been made since by Air Force officials, it would appear from close informal attention to published reports since that date that the size of the monthly frequency has not yet even approximated that peak frequency of almost five years ago.

            For the period of 15 days from July 14 to July 29, 1952 the concentration of sightings seems to be significant in two respects:  (1) UFOs appearing in groups or fleets, frequently in echelon formation and (2) unusual concentration of these UFO fleets over Washington, D. C., and vicinity, in the area surrounding the nation's capitol.

            It does not appear that any attempted explanation of this concentration has been made so far, but to the conscientious student of aerial phenomena these facts can hardly be dismissed as being non-significant. There have been other concentrations at other times and over other parts of the world,

____________

*M. K. Jessup in the UFO Reporter, supplement to his book The Case for the UFO (Citadel) lists 18 separate reports of sightings in the State of Florida alone during the period from July 22 to July 30, 1952. He comments: "When the UFOs were plaguing Washington, D. C., in the summer of 1952, there was a veritable rash of UFO phenomena centered around Miami, Florida." Michigan newspapers reported sightings at seven different localities in Michigan and three places in Indiana on the night of July 27, 1952. 

 

(64) 

 

and it would be well for those students in foreign countries who would be in a position to gather more complete data with­in their own national boundaries to make known pertinent details of such occurrences. Through coordinated correlation of such worldwide happenings, progress could no doubt be made in the interpretation and understanding of UFO phenomena.

            Dr. C. Albert Perego* a specialist in aeronautics of Rome, has indicated that during the month of October, 1954, there were hundreds of observations of UFOs in his country. According to Doctor Perego, on November 5, 1954, something like 100 UFOs staged a spectacular performance over Rome in various echelon formations, including a Greek cross formed at an estimated altitude of from 8,000 to 9,000 meters high over the Vatican. Doctor Perego further indicates that during the month following he observed minor groups of UFOs on 31 different occasions.

            One of the highlights of the recent board meeting of NICAP in Washington, D. C. January 1957; was a program which included a review by Captain William B. Nash, of Pan American Airlines, of his famous sighting** of a fleet of UFO's about 130 miles south of the nation's capital, near Newport News, Virginia, on the night of July 14, 1952 at 8:12 p. m.

            The details of this well-recorded incident are well known. This is one of the classics in the history of UFOlogy. The two observers, Captains Nash and Fortenberry, are experienced airline pilots and thus are competent and intelligent observers of aerial phenomena. They witnessed a remarkable display of aerial navigation by UFOs under the most favorable conditions of sighting. It will be recalled that these two men flying at an altitude of about 8,000 feet practically encountered a fleet of six large discs travelling in an echelon formation a few thousand feet below the DC-4 which they were piloting. The six discs each about 100 feet in diameter, moving with a speed later calculated to be 8,000 miles an hour, performed a sudden reversal of direction, at the moment to be joined by two others coming from the direction opposite to which the six were originally travelling.

            The calculated acceleration of at least 1, 000 G would have, produced forces that in accordance with known physical laws would have been a hundred times greater than the human body could withstand. Shortly after, following this incident, several sightings of fleets of UFOs were reported in the United States,

____________

*Dr. C. Albert Perego, Via Ruggero Fauro 43, Rome: "I have seen over 100 Flying Saucers in the sky of Rome on November 6, 1954"--a report to the Italian people.

____________

* True Magazine.   October, 1952. 

 

(65) 

 

the most spectacular of which were observed both by radar and visually over the nation's capital.

            There is given below a chronological listing of sightings of fleets of UFOs which, of course, does not include the numerous reports of sightings of single objects. The list is not considered complete but does represent a compilation from the various sources available to the writer.

            July 16, 1952 at 9:35 a. m.  In Salem, Massachusetts, Coastguard Photographer Snell Alpert glanced out of the window and saw four bright lights shimmering in the morning sunshine. Startled by what he observed, he watched them wavering for a few seconds and then dim down by the time he was able to focus a camera. Calling his companion, Thomas Flaherty, to verify what he was seeing, he noted that the lights were again burning brightly and he snapped what later turned out to be one of the important photos of UFOs, four unknown objects flying in "V" formation. An instant later there was a momentary flash and the flights disappeared.

            July 17, 1952 at 3:00 a. m. Captain Paul L. Carpenter, an American Air Lines Captain for 24 years, flying a DC-6 on a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, when near the city of Denver sighted four round lighted objects about 100 miles from his plane. He estimated that these objects were speeding at about 3, 000 miles per hour. First Officer George Fell and Flight Engineer Lee Quilici also saw the objects.

            July 17, 1952. Within hours of the Denver sighting, hundreds of residents of Veronica, Argentina, watched six discs maneuvering and circling in the sky.

            July 18, 1952. Radio broadcaster Frank Edwards reported that on the morning of July 18, seven orange-colored flying saucers flashed over Arlington, Virginia, in the vicinity of the nation's capital, in single file. Mr. Edwards observed, referring to the Nash and Fortenberry incident, that this was the second time in one week that a group of UFOs was observed in this area.

            July 18, 1952. On the night of July 18 a "V" formation of five flying saucers was observed over the New York City area. The 'witnesses were Mrs. Josephine Hetzel, a housewife, and Frank Gondar. Gondar's small son saw them, too. Mrs. Hetzel reported: "I almost fainted when I looked up at the sky and saw what looked to me like five large dinner plates flying through  

 

(66) 

 

the sky. They came from the direction of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and appeared to be headed for Manhattan. They were up high and had a silver glow and were silent. They were in formation. The red glow from the rims was outstanding. They were flying as fast as jet planes. "

            July 18, 1952. On the night of July 18, airmen at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida observed four strange discs circling near the field. Shortly after they turned away a fifth saucer came out of the west. Angling in over the base, it made a 180-degree turn, like a plane in a traffic pattern. Then, accelerating at terrific speed, it raced back to the west and vanished.

            July 20, 1952 at 12:40 a. m. Shortly after midnight, Saturday July 19, in the radar room of the Air Traffic Control at Washington National Airport, eight traffic experts headed by Senior Controller Harry G. Barnes observed seven sharp blips of UFOs appear suddenly on the radar screen. When first observed, the scope indicated that the objects were in an area nine miles in diameter about 15 miles south of Washington. Unknown objects were observed visually and by radar over the Washington area until dawn. During the first hour the objects were observed over all sectors of the radar screen which covers an area around Washington some 70 miles in diameter. This meant that they had been over the restricted areas of Washington, including the White House and the Capitol.

            The speed of the objects appeared to be 100 to 130 miles an hour. Their movements seemed to be at random. At one time towards daybreak 10 objects were counted over Andrews Field just outside Washington. Most of the time eight were visible. Radar operator Barnes reported: "I can safely deduce that they performed gyrations which no known aircraft could perform. By this I mean that our scope showed that they made right-angle turns and complete reversals in flight. Nor in my opinion could any natural phenomena such as shooting stars, electrical disturbances, or clouds, account for these spots on our radar. "

            July 26 and 27, 1952. The Civil Aeronautics Administration Control Center, located across the Potomac River from Washington, first picked up mysterious objects on its radar screens at 8:08 p.m. Saturday, July 26. In the next four hours before the objects disappeared the CAA reported as many as 12 of the unidentified blips appearing on the radarscope at the same time. Glowing white lights were spotted visually by Air Force and  

 

(67) 

 

commercial pilots, and by radar. Radar continued to show unidentified objects through the night until 6 a. m. the next morning (Sunday, July 27).

            July 27, 1952, at 10:30 a. m.  A. E. Gutteridge, of Coconut Grove, in the southern part of Miami, saw five "steam" colored objects flying in formation over South Miami.

            July 27, 1952, at 6:35 p. m. Eight men including an ex-Navy pilot observed what appeared to be a large silvery ship flying at terrific speed over Manhattan Beach in California. Directly over Manhattan Beach the ship turned south. Then to the group's amazement, it separated into seven round objects. Swiftly three of the discs took up a "V" formation, the others following in pairs, flying abreast. "It appeared as if a stack of coins had smoothly separated," the pilot told an intelligence officer. "The entire operation was very gracefully executed. The turns, too, were very smooth. "After circling for a few minutes, the formation took up a north-northeast heading and rapidly went out of sight.

            July 27, 1952, at 10:15 p.m.  Mrs. R. D.  Davis, Battle Creek, Michigan, housewife, said she saw 14 very bright objects, blurred at the edges, at 10:15 p.m. Harrison Howes, an accountant living across the street from her, came out of the house in time to see one of the objects. He said it looked like a giant bulb.

            July 27, 1952.  Radio broadcast by Frank Edwards over CKLW on July 28: "Last night, Air Force jets chased a flight of flying saucers near Mount Vernon, Virginia, over the home of Major Keyhoe."

            July 29, 1952.  Radiobroadcast of Frank Edwards over CKLW on July 29: "A few minutes past 1 a. m. this morning, unidentified objects were picked up on the radar screens in Washington, D. C. Eight and sometimes 12 UFOs were in view on the radar screens at the same time and were in view for almost three hours. They operated in a 10-mile arc between the National Airport and the Military Base at Andrews Field. "

            August 5, 1952.  Radio broadcast of Frank Edwards over CKLW on August 6: "Scores of flying saucers were over the city of Washington, D. C. last night, going back and forth. They were picked up on radar." Fleets of from 2 to 10 were observed late at night on August 5 and in the early morning of August 6. 

(68) 

 

            In summing up on the data of the above list of chronological events it is noted that between the dates of July 14 and July 20 several fleets of UFOs were observed in the United States. On three different dates within this interval they were observed over the area of the nation's capital, on July 14, July 18, and July 20, being especially conspicuous on July 20.

            Then again, a few days later, the sightings of fleets of these objects seemed to concentrate about the nation's capitol, appearing for the fourth time over this area. On the night of July 26 and the early morning of July 27, exactly one week from the prolonged performance of July 20, UFOs put on a 10-hour dis­play of gyrations over Washington.

            Appearing for the fifth time over the area, according to the report of Frank Edwards, radio broadcaster, Air Force jets chased the fleet. As has ever been the case in such pursuits, the jets could not begin to get near the objects, so completely are jet planes out-maneuvered by them.

Again on the night of July 28, for the sixth time, UFOs appeared over the Capitol. On the morning of July 29 they were in view for almost three hours.

            Ten days later scores of UFOs again were observed over the Washington area, making the seventh appearance in the space of 22 days. On three of these seven occasions, the fleets of UFOs performed gyrations for hours at a time.

            Nothing like this aeries of occurrences has .happened before or since in the skies over the United States of America. More­over, these remarkable happenings were especially concentrated over the Nation's Capitol. The question yet to be answered is "What does it all mean?" 

 

C.A.M. June 1957

 

(69)

 


 

Chapter 6

 

A New Dimension in UFO Phenomena

 

            As if to dramatize a relatively unprecedented feature of UFO sightings, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, former Air Force officer in charge of Project Blue Book, has recently characterized as "a whole new dimension to the UFO investigation" the reports of spectacular electromagnetic disturbances associated with the appearances of aerial phenomena in November [1957]. *

            Looking backward over the past 14 years, one cannot help but be impressed by the apparent succession of different features of UFO appearances, which, each in its turn, strangely enough, seems to emphasize a new aspect of outer space contrivances. It is as though almost unsurmountable difficulties of communication by outer space intelligences with human intelligence seem to exist. One could speculate that one artifice after another is exploited by those from afar in order to penetrate the terrestrial iron curtain set up by short-sighted terrestrial intelligence. 

1.                  In the years 1944-45 the curious gyrations of foo-fighters (were time and time again observed about the combat planes of both Nazi and Allied airmen in the war theaters.

2.                  In the spring and summer of 1947 the disc-shaped flying saucers began to haunt the skies, and in July, 1952, by their many appearances literally took over by storm the news head­lines of the American Press.

3.                  The disc-shaped objects were shortly followed by the much larger cigar-shaped craft, which from all appearances seemed to be the carriers of the smaller vehicles. Both disc-shaped and cigar-shaped objects were being identified by experienced radar men as solid objects on the radar screen.

4.                  In his book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Captain Ruppelt devotes an entire chapter to accounts of several projects carried out by unnamed American scientists wherein great increases in background radiation were measured by Geiger counters in connection with observed sightings of UFOs. These measures of nuclear radiation covered a period extending from the fall of 1949 to the summer of 1951.

____________

* Since this article was written in 1958, NICAP has published a booklet "Electro-Magnetic Effects Associated with Unidentified Flying Objects," a study of 90 cases of this type. See App.E. 

 

(70) 

 

5.                  In the fall of 1951 nine noiseless green fireballs streamed across the skies of New Mexico in paths that ignored the influence of gravity, and Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico is still wondering what they were.

6.                  Between the years of 1952 and 1955 there were numerous reported falls of the magic fibrous material known as Angel Hair. This material, in several cases seen to fall from UFOs, has not yet been identified by the chemist.

7.                  Now in November, 1957, are encountered such spectacular electromagnetic phenomena with the appearance of luminous egg-shaped objects as stopped automobile engines, dimmed automobile headlights, and caused failure of radio receiving sets.           

Yet, in spite of this dramatic succession of unexplained aerial manifestations, the scientific world as a whole, like the traditional ostrich, keeps its orthodox-minded head buried in the sand.

            Before going into detail about the November, 1957 happenings involving UFOs, it would be well to note the few scattered incidents previous to this date wherein electromagnetic influences were associated with them.

            On June 24, 1947, in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, a Portland prospector spotted five or six discs in the sky for some fifty seconds. The compass hand on his watch weaved wildly from side topside while the aerial objects were in view.

            On August 19, 1952, a Scoutmaster and three Boy Scouts encountered a UFO in Florida woods. Soil and grass samples were taken from the place over which the UFO had hovered. The roots of clumps of sod were charred, but the blades of grass above were not damaged. The only possible explanation is electromagnetic heating by induction.

            On August 19, 1953, at West Haven, Connecticut, a fiery ball came out from the sky, crashed through a steel sign board making a hole about one foot in diameter, hovered over the road, and then passed upward over the trees. This occurrence was accompanied by a terrific explosion which dimmed house lights and jarred the whole area. 

 

(71) 

 

            On May 31, 1957, a British airliner was flying over Kent on its way to Holland. An oval-shaped UFO was sighted. There­upon the plane experienced complete radio failure and was unable to contact London. The radio circuit-breaker had broken circuit. The equipment was fully serviceable after the UFO had gone.

            On September 1, 1957, a man and his wife from Sioux City, Iowa, were driving in a car about one mile from Le Mars, Iowa, when they observed a flash of light in the sky which stopped their motor and cut off the car lights.

            Between November 2 and November 14, 1957, in several different localities in the United States, as well as one each in Canada and Alaska, the sighting of UFOs was attended by the stopping of car engines, the dimming of headlights, and the interference of car radios, only during the times UFOs were visually in evidence. Among these localities are the following 13 different places: 

Nov. 2 & 3 Levelland, Texas                                        Nov. 5   San Antonio, Tex.

Nov. 3     Springfield, Illinois                                         Nov. 5   Houston, Texas

Nov. 3     Calgary, Alberta, Canada                              Nov. 6   Plattsburg, N. Y.

Nov. 4     Elmwood Park, Chicago                                Nov. 6   Danville, Ill.              

Nov. 4     Alamogordo, New Mexico                             Nov. 7   Moutville, Ohio         

Nov. 4     Kodiak, Alaska                                             Nov. 10   Hammond, Ind.                   

Nov. 14   Jamara, Ill.

 

            In most instances reports of these occurrences were made by officers of the law, such as sheriffs, policemen, and highway patrolmen. Officers of the law are not given to tall tales of fantastic happenings. Moreover, they are trained to observe, record, and report accurately on all happenings in the districts in their charge, where such happenings pertain to the public safety, or are related to the protection of the general public.

            On the Saturday night of November 2, 1957, several persons at scattered localities in the vicinity of Levelland, Texas, encountered close up, above the highways, a large luminous egg-shaped object some two hundred or more feet in length. Among the observers and reporters listed were the following officers of the law:  

Police Patrolman A. J. Fowler

Sheriff Weir Clem

Deputy Sheriff Pat McCulloch

Constable Lloyd Bollen

Highway Patrolman Lee Hargrove

Highway Patrolman Floyd Cavin 

 

(72) 

 

            Three of the reports from separate areas read very much alike in the description of the object and its apparent effect on car engines and lights. At least a score of motorists had similar experiences.

            Police Patrolman A. J. Fowler told of at least 15 persons getting a good look at an object estimated as 200 feet in length, shaped like an egg and lit up as though it were on fire. When it got close, car engines would stall and lights would go off.

            Sheriff Weir Clem and Deputy Sheriff Pat McCulloch also saw the object. The Sheriff said it streaked noiselessly across the road 200 yards in front of him, but did not affect his car. "It lit up the whole pavement in front of us for about two seconds," said Clem. He called it oval-shaped and said it looked like a brilliant sunset.

            Two men, Pedro Saucedo and Joe Salaz, driving a truck, reported their experience. Said Saucedo, a Korean War veteran, "When it got near, the lights of my truck went out and the motor died. I jumped out of the truck and hit the dirt because I was afraid. I called to Joe, but he didn't get out. The thing passed directly over my truck with a great sound and a rush of wind. It sounded like thunder and my truck rocked from the blast. I felt a lot of heat. Then I got up and watched it go out of sight toward Levelland."

            Each of several observers was interviewed separately by Sheriff Clem, and fortunately these interviews were witnessed by NICAP member James Lee, who had rushed to the scene to investigate for the Committee. In Lee's telephoned report to NICAP he stressed the witnesses' sincerity. Both he and the Sheriff were convinced that the reports were true.

            Within the next few days scores of sensational reports of sightings were received. Just to mention another which occurred close to the Air Force Missile Development Center, near Alamogordo, New Mexico, a little more than two hundred miles west of Levelland, Texas. This incident took place on Monday night, November 6.

            James Stokes, a research engineer of the Center, reported a dramatic encounter with a UFO. A huge elliptically-shaped object, Stokes said, had appeared between the Center and White Sands. As it passed near Highway 24 it had cutout his radio and then stopped his engine and those of other cars. Stokes estimated the UFO's length at 500 feet. At its closest point, he said, he could feel a wave of heat. The object had no visible portholes or any exhaust trail. 

 

(73) 

 

            Stokes related his experience to Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzen, of Alamogordo. * Mrs. Coral Lorenzen is Director of Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) and through her bulletin is internationally known in UFO research. Holloman Air Force Base officials had Stokes scheduled for a physical examination due to the fact that he had a rather pronounced sunburn after the incident. While he was sitting in the Lorenzen living room that Monday evening, he continually scratched or rubbed his neck and face, complaining of itching sensations. However, the discolorations and irritation were completely gone the next morning. On Tuesday evening Stokes was invited to the Lorenzens' where local members of APRO met to talk over current events. He looked quite normal then.

            James Stokes, an electrical engineer engaged in high altitude research at the Government Development Center, surely deserves to be thought of as a reliable scientific witness.

            An Air Force statement released on November 15 read: "The Levelland incident was caused by ball lightning or St. Elmo's fire. The cause of the stalled cars--wet electrical circuits."

            J. C. Ballard, meteorologist-in-charge of the U. S. Weather Bureau in Atlanta, Georgia, said that ball lightning has never been reported more than a few feet or a few yards from observers. He also said that the balls are the size of a man's fist. A good many scientists even deny that ball lightning exists.

            The Encyclopedia Britannica states that St. Elmo's fire is a brush-like discharge of atmospheric electricity, which is seen around masts of ships and church steeples. It has also been seen around tips of aircraft propellers and wings. It is invariably attached to some solid object.  The Air Force statement does not identify any solid object.

            Explaining the Levelland and Alamogordo cases, Dr. Donald Menzel, Harvard Observatory, said the objects were nothing but mirages. He said it was not surprising that a "nervous foot" could stall a car in such cases, but did not mention the radio fading and reported effect on car headlights.

            Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, head of the Air Force Project Blue Book between 1951 and 1953, immediately threw cold water on Menzel's claim. He unequivocably denied that UFOs could be explained as optical tricks. "There has been a lot of talk about mirages," said Ruppelt, "this is one thing we proved saucers are not."

____________

* APRO has since moved to Arizona; 4407 East Linden, Tucson. 

 

(74) 

 

            On November 6, the Levelland Daily Sun News reported: "Air Force 'Mystery Man' leaves City; Actions, Identity Cloaked in Secrecy."

            The anonymous visitor drove an Air Force vehicle, wore civilian clothes and said "he could not give his name or any identification.”

            Around noon on the 6th he spent 30 minutes in Sheriff Clem's office. He returned about 2:30 p.m. for another half hour. About 3 p.m. he headed for Lubbock, some 30 miles away. He came back about 6:30 p. m., said to the Sheriff "Well, I'm done,” and drove off into the dark night. Adds the paper, "There was never any hint as to what he found out, or whether he was really a civilian or an Air Force officer.”

            On three instances among the sightings of UFOs in November 1957, persons in close proximity to the objects felt heat. Engineer James Stokes in the Alamogordo incident and Pedro Saucedo in the Levelland sighting both had very distinct sensations of heat. At Merom, Indiana, on November 6, it was reported that a man was put in a hospital after his face had been scorched by a 40-foot object that hovered 1,000 feet above him.

            In the case of the Scoutmaster incident in the Florida woods on the night of August 19, 1952, the subject reportedly was under a UFO only 30 feet above him. It is said that the heat seemed to him "unbearable." In this case the subject was examined by an Air Force official, a flight surgeon. Minor burns were on the arms and the backs of the hands of the Scoutmaster, according to Captain Ruppelt. There were indications that the inside of his nostrils might be burned. The degree of burn could be compared to light sunburn. The hair had also been singed, indicating a flash heat.

            And so another chapter is added to the steadily accumulating evidence for the reality of the UFOs. The mystery of these strange phenomena of the skies grows more puzzling as the evidence gains in weight. A paradox indeed!

 

C. A. M. June 1958

 

(75)

 


 

Chapter   7

 

Scientific Aspects of UFO Research

 

                (June 14, 1958 speech on the occasion of the opening of the Planetary Center, Detroit, Michigan.)

 

            Mr. Henry Maday, Chairman, Mrs. Laura Mundo Marxer, Official Hostess of the Open House Program and Co-Director with Mrs. Connie Gryzch of the Planetary Center, The Visitors' Plan Committee, ladies and gentlemen:

            I assure you with the utmost sincerity that it is a pleasure to appear before you this afternoon on the occasion of the opening of the Planetary Center, under the sponsorship of Mrs. Marxer. Mrs. Marxer advises me that this planetary center is the culmination of a dream long held in mind, and I personally congratulate Mrs. Marxer in this fine enterprise dedicated to the advancement of truth with reference to these strange aerial phenomena which have in large numbers been haunting our skies for the past 11 years.

            I am aware of the fact that many well-known figures in this field of unidentified flying objects have, during the past four years, spoken to your Detroit groups. These include Major Donald E. Keyhoe (USMC, Ret.), Director of NICAP, of which organization I am pleased to be a board member, Mr. Frank Edwards, celebrated news analyst and fellow board member of NICAP, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt (A. F. Ret.), former Chief Investigator for the Air Force Project Blue Book, Mr. George Adamski, well-known author and others. You people in Detroit and Michigan are to be congratulated in making possible to the general public the presentation of the many diverse points of view on this highly controversial subject by these several mentioned personalities who are recognized leaders in their respective channels of thought.

            I come before you with a plea for open-mindedness and of  

 

(76) 

 

unity of effort in the search for truth in this field, I see no reason why the different groups seeking information cannot join in a single united enterprise, open-mindedly willing to accept truth from whatever source it might come. At the same time there must be that willingness on the part of all to permit the subjection of all material which purports to be factual, to the acid test of consistency. By this I mean that material which can be accepted from either objective or subjective sources must not be contradictory in character, and much needs to be tested and evaluated in the light of established scientific principles commonly recognized.

            Surely no person in his right mind can derive satisfaction in trying to believe that which is not so. On the other hand, those things that can be proven valid can command whole-hearted support from honest thinkers. Also, and this is directed to my friends of exact science persuasion, there needs to be an attitude of respectful indecision, to say at least, manifested toward information not secured through the techniques of orthodox science, where such information can neither be proven correct nor incorrect.

            I do not wish to indulge in criticism of personalities in the field of UFO investigation, and I refrain from mentioning the names of probably sincere and well-meaning persons with whom I disagree. I do not consider that there is any place for ridicule in the true scientific attitude. I wish to point out, however, that a most illuminating exposure of inconsistencies in the claims of certain well-known figures in this field has been made by a brilliant lady investigator, Miss Isabel L. Davis, Treasurer of the very excellent UFO non-profit research organization, Civilian Saucer Intelligence (CSI) of New York City. The article referred to has the title, "Meet the Extraterrestrial" and it is published in a recent issue of a science-fiction magazine.

            My own approach to this subject is in the role of the scientific method. This I shall presently comment upon. However, in my thinking, I do not rule out the possibility of acquiring knowledge by other than recognized scientific methodology. Nevertheless, I demand that such information be subjected to the acid test of consistency.

            For example, if through some alleged source of information one is advised that the other side of the moon enjoys climate comparable to that of the earth, knowledge of the principles of 

 

(77) 

 

everyday science is completely adequate to disprove such advice.  For uninformed on principles on elementary science this error might not be obvious.  However, any common-sense mind, though previously uninformed on such matters, could easily absorb a little instruction in elementary science adequate to comprehend this error.

            Dr. Marcus Bach, professor of religion at the State University of Iowa and a Board member of NICAP, has a point of view toward information secured from subjective sources which appeals to me. Dr. Bach spent 15 years in world travel, studying and living with more than 40 different religious groups. In the course of this very wide experience and study he has encountered phenomena which to him seemed very real but which are unexplainable in terms of orthodox science. In his book, The Will to Believe, he quotes Carrington, an investigator in the field of spiritualistic phenomena for more than 50 years, as follows:

            "There is scarcely a medium who has not at one time or another been exposed in the grossest kind of fraud. I do not wish it to be understood that I hereby relegate the whole evidence of the supernormal to the wastebasket. This is precisely what I do not wish to do. It is because I believe that there do exist certain phenomena that explanations for which have not yet been found, that I think it necessary to distinguish these from the fraudulent marvels so commonly produced. "

            Says Dr. Bach, "That is my conclusion."

            I feel confident that every serious and logical-minded researcher in the field of UFOs would agree with me that the intelligences which guide UFOs in their maneuvering in the skies are superior personalities and possessors of knowledge on the laws of physical science immeasurably beyond our own stage of development. One must expect of them thinking ability at least equal to our own. Therefore, in the case of claims of individuals of actual physical or material contact and association with these outer space personalities, the most obvious basis for the establishment of such claims would be in the form of material evidence, some artifact, invention, picture, or book bearing non-terrestrial earmarks. It would seem that such evidence would be a necessary requirement to give validation to such claims.

            In the case of claims of psychic communication material evidences are of course not possible. The minimal basis for the establishment of the validity of psychic communication of

 

(78) 

 

repetition of the same or very similar messages through controlled agencies of reception located probably in widely separated different places. This requirement, to say the least, would not be too much to expect were the difficulties attending the transmission of psychic messages overcome.

            Now we come to the simple basis by which we objectively evaluate information. This basis is the repetition of events. In the fields of physics and chemistry, events may be repeated at will, at any time and at any place when the specific circumstance or experimental conditions are set up in accordance with the particular requirements.

            In the fields of astronomy and meteorology the scientist must ordinarily wait for the periodic natural occasions to produce the set of conditions required for the repetition of a given performance. For example, one must wait for a total solar eclipse in order to test the bending of light rays near the sun as predicted by Einstein's relativity.

            But in the field of UFOlogy, so far at least, there is little basis, if any, for determining ahead of time when repetitions might occur. However, it is the consistency of performance in repeated occurrences of UFO phenomena that makes scientific study in this field possible. The recognition of authenticated, well-defined patterns of appearance and performance of UFO phenomena in time and in place constitutes accumulation of knowledge in this field.

            In the case of phenomenon of "angel hair" associated with UFOs, we have repetitions in time and place of strikingly similar performances associated with this material. We observe in repeated instances in widely separated places and in greatly different times that (1) angel hair is associated with sudden acceleration of hovering UFOs, (2) that it is fibrous and shiny in appearance, and (3) that it generally evaporates with the warmth of the human hand.

            In the case of the occasional concentrations of sightings of UFOs, a definite locality of terrestrial significance is sometimes the center of attention. Here we have a repetition again, as in the case of the concentration of fleets of UFO in the vicinity of the nation's capital, Washington, D. C., in July 1952.

            In the case of electromagnetic phenomena associated with the appearance of UFOs, we have the spectacular stopping of automobile engines, the dimming of auto headlights, and the failure of radios, repeated over and over again in widely scattered areas in the Western Hemisphere in November 1957 and following months. 

 

(79) 

 

            Just as in traditional science the basis for actuality is the repetition of similar events under similar specific conditions, the basis for reality in the case of UFO phenomena as measured objectively is the repetition of similar happenings associated with the appearances of these objects.

            I shall now go into such detail as I have presently available in regard to one of the most dramatic and significant of UFO sightings. For the greater part of the information concerning this incident I am indebted to my estimable friend and co-investigator, Mr. Escobar Faria, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, government attorney, poet, and editor-publisher of the UFO Critical Bulletin. I refer to the photographing of a UFO over the Brazilian Isle of Trindade from a vessel of the Brazilian Navy on January 16, 1958. (Ed. Note: See frontispiece.) This isle, not to be confused with the island of the British West Indies off northeast Venezuela, is about six square miles in area and mountainous. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 740 miles east of the city of Vitoria on the Brazilian coast. Photos were taken of a UFO in the sky above this island from a ship of the Brazilian Navy. An official report of these photos, labeled genuine by the Brazilian Navy Ministry, has been promised to NICAP by the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D. C.

            As a part of its participation in the work of the IGY, the Bra­zilian Government established on this isle a scientific station for meteorological and oceanographic research. The Brazilian Navy ship, Saldanha de Gama, an armed motor-sailing vessel originally designed for cadet instruction, was remodeled to serve as a scientific laboratory to carry out oceanographic research as a part of the IGY program. The ship carries military and civilian scientists and technicians. Included in the personnel is a master craftsman by the name of Almiro Barauna, a skilled submarine photographer, the man who secured the pictures.

            Captain Jose Teobaldo Viegas (Brazilian Air Force, Ret.) was the first to see the UFO and gave the alarm. The photographer, Barauna, who was at the moment taking pictures of the ship itself, heard the alarm, and saw the UFO. He immediately succeeded in taking six snapshots of the object, four of which proved to be satisfactory. In response to the alarm sounded by Captain Viegas, several members of the ship's crew hurried on deck and witnessed the UFO. Among these were Commander Carlos

 

(80) 

 

Bacelar, Captain of the ship, Lieutenant Homero Riberio, a sergeant, and several sailors. Later official investigation showed that the object photographed was observed also by residents of the Trindade Isle. Furthermore, according to Captain Viegas, UFOs had been seen in the vicinity of the isle on two different previous occasions in 1957.

            Captain Viegas described the object, which was observed at midday, as a disk shining with a phosphorescent light, more intense than that of the moon and about the apparent diameter of the full moon. The UFO was in view for several seconds and displayed a clear-cut form against the sky background. It described a trajectory toward the horizon line, where it disappeared, only to return again, and a second time vanish in the distance. Its speed was estimated at 700 miles per hour.

            A description of the object from a person aboard the ship likened it to two superimposed saucers joined in the middle by means of a large ring. The form of the object was clearly seen when it stopped for a short interval and its luminescence became less intense. When it began to speed up it became much brighter. Since the object went away and then shortly returned in its flight, this clearly indicates that it was maneuvered. On its second movement away from the observers, reaching the sky over Desejado mountain on the isle, it then disappeared at a fantastic speed.

            The head of the Brazilian Air Force bureau charged officially with UFO investigation, Colonel Adil de Oliveira, declared in a newspaper interview, "Now it is impossible to have any doubt as to the existence of flying saucers.”

            Later, by order of Brazilian President Dr. Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, the four photos of the UFO were delivered to the press for publication. Thus, it has finally come about that an official national recognition of the reality of UFOs has become an accomplished fact. No little credit for this epoch-making event is due the President of Brazil himself. Before entering national politics he was a surgeon of good reputation in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of the State of Minas Gerais.

            The description and photographs of this Trindade UFO bear a striking resemblance to other UFOs seen and photographed elsewhere. It thus may be said to represent a particular type of these objects. The expression used by the Brazilian observer, "two superimposed saucers joined in the middle by means of a large ring,” compares nicely with the description given by the 

 

(81) 

 

U. S. Navy Chief Photographer, Warrant Officer Delbert C. Newhouse, of the objects of the fleet of UFOs he photographed on July 2, 1952. This is the celebrated Tremonton, Utah, movie of UFOs. Before Newhouse was able to get the camera set for that movie he and his family were able to see the UFOs when they were much closer to the car in which they had been riding. Newhouse, who now, by the way, is Special Advisor for NICAP, described the objects as like "two pie pans, one inverted on top of the other."

            Then there is the well-known photograph taken by the U. S. Coast Guard photographer, Shell R. Alpert, at Salem, Massachusetts Air Station, on July 16, 1952, showing four discs. The better reproductions of this photo clearly display shapes like two saucers, one superimposed on the other, producing an effect as though joined by a ring in the middle.

            In the previous chapter I listed 13 recent separate instances in localities of North America, of electromagnetic interference by UFOs. These were manifested by stopping of automobile motors, dimming of car headlights, and the like. Since these happenings, additional instances have been reported where other automobiles were interfered with in the same type of happening. For example, car engines of three vehicles in Peru died, and headlights dimmed and went out on January 30, 1958 when a UFO hovered 150 feet above the Pan American Highway between Arequipa and Lima.

            I am also reliably informed that when the UFO was sighted over the Brazilian Isle of Trindade, all the ships engines abruptly stopped without any apparent reason.

            It remains to be seen how great is the lethargy of the world's news agencies before the people of the world become fully advised of the amazing events now taking place in the skies adjacent to this planet earth.

 

                                                                                    C. A. M. October 1958

 

(82)

 


 

Chapter 8

 

NICAP and the UFO Challenge

 

            The organization known as NICAP, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., was incorporated August 29, 1956, with T. Townsend Brown in charge. The first meeting of its Board of Governors was held on January 14 and 15, 1957. I was privileged to attend this meeting and to participate as a Board member. At this meeting we elected Rear Admiral Delmer S. Fahrney, USN (Ret.), Chairman of the Board of Governors. Admiral Fahrney is known as the "Father of Guided Missiles" and he has been awarded the highest commendation by the United States Government for his work in this field. At a press conference held on January 16, 1957, he issued a statement which received nationwide publicity. This statement in part read as follows:

            "Reliable reports indicate that there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds.... No agency in this country or Russia is able to duplicate at this time the speeds and accelerations which radars and observers indicate these flying objects are able to achieve.... There are signs that an intelligence directs these objects because of the way they fly. "

            At the first meeting of the Board of Governors, Major Donald E. Keyhoe, U. S. M. S. (Ret.) was elected Active Director, a position he still holds, and in which he is rendering meritorious service in the advancement of information in this field. The "flying objects" referred to by Admiral Fahrney are popularly referred to as "flying saucers" but among serious investigators of the subject are called UFOs, or unidentified flying objects.

            Major Keyhoe is the author of three standard popularly written books on "flying saucers.” *He has a background of 30 years'

____________

* Since this broadcast Major Keyhoe has written a fourth book Flying Saucers: Top Secret, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1960). 

 

(83) 

 

experience in observing aeronautical developments, is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, flew in active service with the Marine Corps, managed the tour of the historic plane in which Bennett and Byrd made their North Pole flight, was aide to Charles Lindbergh after the famous Paris flight, and was for some years Chief of Information for the Aeronautics Branch, Department of Commerce.

            Major Keyhoe has listed the goals of NICAP as follows: 

  1. To prove the need for a serious, nationwide investigation.
  2. To end the withholding of information.
  3. If the evidence definitely proves the UFOs realities, then to determine and prove what they are; where they come from; why they are operating in our skies, if they prove to be interplanetary; whether they have communicated with or contacted anyone on earth and what steps have been taken or will be taken to insure peaceful communication and contact with world governments.

            Major Keyhoe conceives of the first chief goal of NICAP as "acceptance by the American people that the UFO problem is real.”

            Some members of the NICAP Board of Governors, who by public addresses, scientific research, and financial contribution and by other means have aided the problem of this nonprofit, truth seeking organization, include the following:

            Dr. Marcus Bach, educator, author, and professor of religion at the State University of Iowa.

            The Reverend Albert Bailer, author, of Greenfield, Massachusetts, Robbins Memorial Church.

            Dr. Earl Douglass, author and Presbyterian clergyman, of Princeton, New Jersey.

            Frank Edwards, radio and TV commentator, Indianapolis, Indiana.

            Colonel Robert B. Emerson, USAR, research chemist and nuclear physicist, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

            Major Dewey Fournet, Jr., USAFR, former liaison intelligence officer in the Air Force, Director of the Air Force UFO Project Blue Book, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

            J. B. Hartranft, Jr., president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, having a nationwide membership of 65,000, former Lieutenant-Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, of Washington, D. C.

            Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, USN (Ret.) formerly Director of the highly secret U. S. Central Intelligence Agency, May 1, 1947 to November 1950, of New York, New York

 

(84)

 

            Rear Admiral Herbert B. Knowles, USN (Ret.) submarine expert and World War II veteran, of Eliot, Maine.

            The Reverend Leon LeVan, New Jerusalem Christian Church, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. *

            Along with this Board of Governors, NICAP has a Panel of Special Advisors of the same intellectual and moral fibre as possessed by the members of the Board of Governors. These include men of high standing, captains of airliners and others who have been witnesses to some of the most spectacular sightings on record. ** In this group are also a former U. S. Air Force Public Information Officer on UFOs, the former chief of the Canadian Governments UFO project, and several astronomers.

            In the week of January 12 to 19, 1953, a panel of six top-ranking American scientists met in Washington, D. C., at the request of the Air Force to review the then accumulated evidence material on flying saucers. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, in charge of the Air Force investigation, discussed in detail with this group of scientists all of the significant information gathered under his direction. This panel of scientists devoted the entire week to thought and study of the evidences and drew up a set of recommendations as follows: 

  1. The investigative force of the project (Blue Book) should be quadrupled in size.
  2. It should be staffed by specially trained experts in the field of electronics, meteorology, photography, physics, and other fields of science pertinent to UFO investigations.
  3. Every effort should be made to set up instruments in locations where UFO sightings are frequent, so that data could be measured and recorded during a sighting.
  4. In other locations around the country military and civilian scientists should be alerted and instructed to use every piece of available equipment that could be used to track UFOs.
  5. The American public should be told every detail of every phase of the UFO investigation--the details of the sightings, the official conclusions, and why the conclusions were made.

            In spite of the recommendations of this panel of illustrious scientists who gave one week of their valuable time to seriously consider the UFO problem the Air Force by subsequent policy rejected these recommendations and pursued an opposite course,

____________

* The Reverend Mr. LeVan has since resigned from the Board for personal reasons.   

** See Appendix F. 

(85)

 

namely a drastic reduction of emphasis in the study of this phenomenon. To all appearance this has been the policy of the Air Force ever since.

            Two or three weeks later, early in 1953, Captain Ruppelt received word from those in authority that Project Blue Book would follow the recommendations that the panel of eminent scientists had made. He then proceeded to the implementation of the approved recommendations. One of his first moves was to release for public information the so-called Tremonton Movie. This motion picture had been taken by a Navy Chief Photographer, Warrant Officer Delbert C. Newhouse, on July 2, 1952, of some UFOs which were observed to be maneuvering over the town of Tremonton, Utah, on that date. Although the photographs taken did not show all the details observed visually by Newhouse and his family, they did constitute a striking bit of evidence.

            "When the Pentagon got a draft of the release they screamed, 'No!! No movie for the press and no press release!'" Then, says Captain Ruppelt, "we had a new publicity policy--don't say anything." And, in July 1955, he wrote: "This policy is still in effect." 

            Thus the recommendations of the scientists then, since then, and now, are being ignored.

            The statement of the former Secretary of the Air Force Donald A. Quarles on October 25, 1955, on the question of the reality of unidentified flying objects was given widespread publicity with two-inch letter front-page headlines in most of the lead­ing newspapers in the country. This statement was as follows: "On the basis of this study," said Quarles, referring to the 316-page report of the Air Force, "we believe that no objects such as those popularly described as flying saucers have over flown the United States." The former Air Force Secretary refers to a study completed by Captain Ruppelt in September 1953, two years and one month prior to the highly publicized statement.

            Captain Ruppelt, long since retired from the Air Force at the time of the 1955 announcement, was somewhat taken back by this statement of the high government official. The so-called study, the basis of the public pronouncement, was largely a compilation of opinions analyzed by statistical methods. Captain Ruppelt's comment was as follows:

            "After spending a considerable amount of money, statistical methods were no good for a study like this. They didn't prove a thing. The results were such that by interpreting them in  

 

(86) 

 

different ways you could prove anything you wanted to. This is not a good study. I was out of the Air Force by the time that the report [Project Blue Book Special Report 14] was published in its final printed form, but I saw the unpublished draft and had it written off as worthless...

            "Another interesting point is that the report was finished in September 1953, and it wasn't released as the 'latest hot dope' until October, 1955."

            A number of other competent specialists have carefully examined this study upon which Donald Quarles based his widely publicized pronouncement of October 25, 1955, and have come to the same conclusion as Captain Ruppelt, the Air Force Officer in charge of the study, who labeled it as worthless. Among these persons is Major Donald E. Keyhoe, Director of NICAP. Major Keyhoe's statement reads as follows:

            "On the basis of these facts, and considering Ruppelt's estimate of Special Report 14, it seems probable that the release of this document (already considered worthless at ATIC in 1953) was a deliberate attempt to convince the Press and public that UFOs did not exist. At the same time, and since, the Air Force has been actively investigating and secretly muzzling pilots and other official witnesses, keeping reports classified by the ’official use only’ device--and sometimes by 'Confidential' and 'Secret' labels. The hasty release of this last brush-off, after November 3-10, 1957 excitement, seems to clinch this. It appears the aim is to keep the truth hidden as long as possible--or such facts as are known--until they are forced to reveal everything.

            "When you add the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) 1947 letter stating the UFOs are real, and the 1948 Estimate of the Situation saying they are interplanetary--both cited by Ruppelt, and admitted to me by others on the Project, the answer seems inevitable: The Air Force has known this for nine years, but does not think the American people should be given the facts. I personally do not believe the military has a right to decide what is safe for Americans to know."

            Notwithstanding official suppression of government-held information on UFOs, notwithstanding failure of Air Force policy to pursue an unbiased vigorous policy of scientific investigation of these phenomena, and notwithstanding official pronouncements of the Air Force as to the nonexistence of UFOs, a considerable amount of progress in the study of these mysterious phenomena has been made by individuals and private organizations dedicated to the search for truth in this sphere. Time on this broadcast  

(87) 

 

does not permit the detailed discussion of the various contributions to knowledge made by these agencies. It is to be hoped, however, that scientific organizations and various intellectual groups interested in the advancement of knowledge be sufficiently open-minded to be willing to entertain presentation of material in this field by its competent representatives.

            Unfortunately the present practice followed by certain prominent purveyors of programs of popular interest to the general public has been to exploit indiscriminately the crackpots and charlatans in this field with their wild tales and illogical claims. The public is thus exposed to a grossly distorted picture of the real situation, and the cause of truth suffers thereby.

            Brief mention can be made of certain findings of characteristics of these UFO bodies which have been found as a result of study. These are well documented and established by testimonies of literally countless reliable and reputable witnesses. Among these evidences are the following: 

  1. Remarkable patterns of appearance and maneuver.
  2. Patterns of extraordinary concentrations in time and place.
  3. Circumstances of the production by these objects of the evanescent material popularly referred to as "angel hair."
  4. Mysterious phenomena of green fireballs.
  5. Excessive background radiation associated with appearances of these objects.
  6. Electro-magnetic effects such as stopping of automobile motors and dimming of headlights.
  7. Straight-line patterns of sightings, giving evidence of intellectual design.

            What is the real meaning back of this whole subject? It is indeed a most fantastic field for investigation and the knowledge gained year by year is not merely cumulative: It gains insignificance, serving mainly to emphasize the reality of these strange occurrences.

            No worldwide setup by investigational agencies is yet available to check on the frequency of sightings and other significant data for the reason that established scientific groups have not yet responded to the challenge of research in this field. In a few places in the world, as in the United States and France, there are serious, private nonprofit investigating agencies who do compile and analyze data.

            From the limited sources of information which are presently available it does appear that the frequency of sightings is on the increase.  

(88) 

 

The spring and summer of 1947 produced an unprecedented number of sightings in the United States. The month of July 1952 registered the largest number of United States sightings for a single month, a total of 108, according to the records of the Air Force, up to that time. Although no definite comparative figures have yet been published, it is believed that the number of sightings in the United States in November 1957 exceed all previous totals. * The fall of 1954 in France greatly exceeded all previous totals for a corresponding period in that country. There have been recent peaks in other countries, notably in South America. All things considered, it appears that sightings are on the increase.

            But it must be pointed out that long lulls do exist between the peaks of sightings. Just when the next concentration will occur, or where it will occur, cannot be predicted upon the basis of previous records, for the reason that no basis for prediction has yet been discerned. But one can predict with some assurance that his judgment will be correct on the basis of the records of the past 11 years, that at some time and someplace in the not too distant future there will be another concentration of sightings of dramatic significance. All of this, of course, points up the reality of the phenomena. This is definitely the one most surely established aspect of the whole study.

            Along with the establishment of the reality of the phenomena we have significant evidence of the superior non-terrestrial scientific knowledge reflected in the various types of performance of these objects. It is a scientific attainment that surely makes our present world knowledge seems meager by comparison. The only logical conclusion to be drawn from this is that intelligences far more advanced in scientific development than we are visiting this planet from afar.

            What would such a realization mean to all of earthly beings? Would it mean that were we to establish contact with such intel­ligences and receive from them greatly advanced knowledge, the possession of such information would greatly change the com­plexion of life on this planet? Would this be something to dread, or would it mean benefit to the people of the earth?

____________

An Air Force "fact sheet" on UFOs (January 29, 1960) has since confirmed that 701 of the of the total of 1178 officially reported UFO sightings in 1957 occurred in the last three months of that year. Due to the great number of reports in this period, 1957 ranks second only to 1952 in total number of official reports for one year. There were 1501 official cases in 1952. 

 

(89)

 

            Probably an out-of-this-world source of scientific enlightenment and wisdom would aid in the promotion of better understanding between terrestrial groups now bitterly separated by their divergent ideas and ideals. Truly the philosophical implications of establishing intellectual contact with more intellectually advanced personalities are tremendous. Such an intellectual contact would well be the greatest adventure in the history of this planet.

            But to leave the realm of speculation for one last word: Would it not be the part of wisdom to undertake right now to solve this mysterious problem by employing the best scientific resources available on this planet, to go about this challenging task with cooperative effort on the part of all agencies interested in the pursuit of truth?

            This is the challenge to world intelligence, of the UFO mystery!

                                                                                       C. A. M. February 1959 

(90)

 


 

Chapter 9

 

An Evaluation of Aime Michel’s Study of the Straight Line Mystery

 

(A lecture at Akron, Ohio, March 14, 1959, sponsored

by the UFO Research Committee of Akron) 

 

            I have chosen to comment on the recently published work of the French scientist, Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. * Before I enter upon this discussion I want to pay tribute to the non-profit research organization of New York City responsible for the English translation of this work from the original French, the Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York (CSI). I am proud to be associated with this group as an honorary member and to publicly congratulate the Research Division of this organization for their significant contribution to the cause of truth in the study of UFOs.

            There is much in this book by Aime Michel that deserves to be studied and analyzed with careful reflection from various angles. And I include in this remark also, reference to the "Appendix on the Latest American Sightings" by my esteemed friend and co-investigator, Mr. Alexander D. Mebane, of New York City. I therefore want it understood that my present remarks are more in the nature of a tentative evaluation of the book's content and also to represent but a partial study. The book is outstanding not only for its various analyses, especially of course in the thesis of the straight-line mystery, but it is also an excellent source book of information concerning the sightings in France during the late summer and early fall of 1954.

            To Aime Michel, the historian of the development of UFO science must credit the discovery of orthoteny, a term suggested by the discoverer himself. Michel found that the localities in France from which UFO sightings were observed for a given day, when plotted on a map of France, had a very decided tendency to lie along a straight line. When sightings for a given day were unusually numerous, several such alignments could be

____________

* Criterion Books, New York, 1958.

(91) 

 

discerned. Michel also discovered that these alignments tended to meet at common points of intersection and that extraordinary sightings were associated with those localities where the alignments met.

            Actually, as Michel points out in his book, there were thousands of sightings in France within a period of approximately 10 weeks. But for the purpose of his alignment study, precise data as to the date and time of the sightings were needed, as well as reports that bore various evidences of reliability. And so his analysis covers upwards of 300 selected sightings which are also described as separate incidents in the book. Through the use of maps showing the straight-line character of the observations the author presents an able argument to the effect that the geometrical pattern of the sightings not only proves the reality of the UFO phenomena, but that it also proves the presence of intelligent design back of these happenings. It would be quite difficult indeed to interpret these sightings in any other way.

            Michel's careful analysis of these French sightings is so comprehensive that further effort at extensive analysis serves little useful purpose. But one might be pardoned in making a few additional observations. Taking data from three maps of the book labeled Numbers 4, 5, and 6, covering the week beginning September 23, 1954, and ending September 29, and plotting it in one consolidated chart produce a configuration of lines emanating from the vicinity of Rixheim in extreme northeastern France and fanning out westward over the entire country. As Michel points out, a huge cigar-shaped object accompanied by small satellites was observed at this focal area during the night of September 27-28. In this same connection it might be pointed out that Mebane's map of American sightings on November 6, 1957, shows a similar fanning out toward the east from a locality a little south of the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Michel's map No. 7, utilizing 31 sightings for a single date, October 2, 1954, shows a multiplicity of lines, actually nine orthotenic lines intersecting at Poncey, a little northeast of the geographic center of France. And again, as Michel points out, on the night of October 2 a vast illuminated cigar was observed at the intersection, at Poncey. It would seem to be a plausible interpretation of such unique geometric alignments that a well-organized program of exploration of features of the area of France were being carried out by some extraterrestrial intelligences.

            Michel points out that "until October 10, almost all the observations fall on straight lines, " but that "after that date approximately,

(92) 

 

the number of cases which fail to fit on a line increases every day. "This latter tendency could be construed to correspond to the needs of the concluding period of a survey, wherein incomplete data left over from the original systematic mapping program could be checked upon in a follow up program covering miscellaneous details. In short it would appear that these extraterrestrial scientists or engineers were bent on securing certain types of detailed information pertaining to the geography of France.

            Just what type of information was being secured, of course, remains a mystery. That this particular survey appears to have been in the main unconcerned with the inhabitants of France themselves is substantiated by the unusually apparent indifference to the French people manifested by the occupants of the UFOs. In some 20 instances persons had seen and in two cases had experienced physical contact with the strange creatures associated with some of the UFOs which had actually landed.

            But before discussing the intriguing subject of the contact incidents, two matters having to do with already recognized characteristics of these phenomena might be briefly, though significantly noted. I refer to two types of phenomena, both of which have been the subjects of studies published in issues of the Flying Saucer Review of London. One of these studies* had to do with the encountering of the so-called angel hair in connection with sightings; the other** summarized certain phenomena referred to as electromagnetic effects associated with the close approach of the UFOs.

            The Flying Saucer Review study of angel hair lists 17 incidents of the appearance of this material. That article covers the period from October 17, 1952 to October 27, 1955, and refers to instances then known to the author, and occurring in various different parts of the world. In 14 of these listed cases; the angel hair was associated with the UFOs. In nine instances the material was described as volatile, usually evaporating with the warmth of the hand. Michel's book adds five more instances of the phenomenon of angel hair, which with the 17 above makes a total of 22. It should be noted, however, that since the publication of the original study, many other instances of angel hair phenomena from various parts of the world have been noted in addition to these 22. Thus this unexplained phenomenon of angel hair at times associated with UFO appearances becomes recognized as a reality, definitely a part of UFO sightings.

____________

*November-December 1956, Volume 2, No. 6  

____________

**May-June 1958, Volume 4, No. 3

(93) 

 

            The Flying Saucer Review study of electromagnetic disturbances such as the stopping of automobile motors and the dimming of headlights associated with the close approach of UFOs notes 18 instances of this type of occurrence, 13 of which took place in North America between the dates November 2 and November 14, 1957. Michel's book lists 17 additional cases, bring­ing this total to 35. Those listed in the book include nine reported by Michel, eight of which were in France in 1954. The other cases were noted by Mebane including additional instances for November, 1957, not mentioned in the original study. This total of 35 cases, it should be pointed out, is far from being a complete listing. Thus there is again the establishment of a second phenomenon definitely associated with many appearances of UFOs, namely electromagnetic disturbances of various types.

            Among the 300 sightings described by Michel are 20 accounts, including 19 in France and one in nearby Germany, in which reference is made to contacts with the occupants of these outer space craft. The contact reports are included within the time interval of 39 days between September 10 and October 18, 1954, and thus average one contact for each two days of that period. By reason of the unusual frequency of this type of sighting and their confinement to a geographical area relatively limited in extent, there is some logical basis for assuming that the phenomena as a group relate to the same mission from outer space. Being a single adventure, the group of extraterrestrial personalities involved in all likelihood belonged to the same race or type and originated from the same extraterrestrial source. Thus it would seem that an effort to glean from these 20 reports a sort of composite of this extraterrestrial being would be worthwhile.

            The status of publicized accounts of UFO contacts is certainly the most confused of all UFO problems. It is therefore with some misgivings that the speaker addresses himself to a consideration of this probably most controversial field of one of the most controversial subjects of the day. However, the problem of identification of the very elusive intelligences that navigate these UFOs in the innumerous travels throughout terrestrial skies is one that continually haunts the thinking of students in this field. It is difficult to conceive of anyone who has conscientiously spent years in the study of the many well-documented cases available who is not convinced of the objective reality of these phenomena. Such an individual must ever be aware within his consciousness of the question of the identity of the super-scientific minds piloting and directing the marvelous movements of these outer space craft. 

 

(94) 

 

            No doubt the greatest factor in producing this confusion in the public mind concerning the reliability of contact reports is the large volume of reports by misguided claimants. These claimants publish books, give lectures, appear on television networks, and, because a non-discerning public fails to note the many inconsistencies in their fantastic tales of intellectual contact with outer space personalities, enjoy lucrative profits in capitalizing upon their stories. Were the general public a little more informed on principles of elementary physical science there would be much less confusion and those whose claims are actually without valid foundation would have to resort to other less fantastic ways of earning a livelihood. Most of the misguided claimants the author has investigated devote large portions of their testimonies to elaborations of a pseudo-scientific character and in so doing commit themselves to obvious contradiction of well-known facts of astronomy and physics.

            A very obvious basis by which a contact claimant could establish the truth of his claims would be the securing of some artifact or gadget from extraterrestrial sources. Or even the submission of some intellectual plan, a new scientific experiment or a new mathematical formula, in fact anything which by test by competent scholars could be shown to be new in this world, would serve to validate the claims of a contactee. Up to the present no evidence of this kind has been presented to competent terrestrial authority. Thus it is that there are few if any investigators of UFO phenomena of scientific background who recognize the claims of the present day crop of contact claimant businessmen.

            This description of the typical profit-seeking contact claimant does not constitute a sweeping indictment of all persons who believe they have established intellectual contact. No doubt there are many sincere persons who of their experiences, real to them, if not to others, actually do believe that they have had intellectual contact with extraterrestrials. The difficulty is that such persons seem to have no way of proving the reality of their own experiences to others.

            Before commenting in detail upon the descriptions of the extraterrestrials as revealed through the stories of the French contactees, I wish to quote from Michel's book his own summing up of the appearance of these beings. The typical extraterrestrial is described as follows:  

 

(95)

 

            “An apparently living being, about three and a half feet tall, described as dressed in a transparent or translucent ‘diving suit’; broad in body, walking with a swaying, waddling, or jerky gait. Those witnesses claiming to have seen the creature himself through his transparent covering spoke of a broad and low 'head' and of dark complexion. Some witnesses declared that, associated with this being or with the object [space craft]... or with both together, they saw another being, of human appearance and stature."

            It should be borne in mind that it is entirely within the realm of probability that visitors from space could come from different places and be quite unlike in physical appearance. Moreover, visitors from the same locality in space could conceivably also be very different in appearance. Thus, the type of person encountered in Michel's book must not be thought of as being the only one existent.

            The various possible types certainly do not exclude many human-appearing beings like ourselves.

            In Michel's book:

  1. The observers of the UFO occupants, or more properly the contactees, comprise all together a variety of persons, ranging in age from young children to adults of all ages. They represent different walks of life, children of pre-school age, youths of various levels in school, men and women travelers, farmers, merchants, mechanics, and professional people. The contact experiences of all these persons were manifest surprises, as was clearly evidenced from the manner of their reactions to what they encountered.
  2. For the most part the contacts occurred at night in unlighted localities, away from populated areas. In 15 of the 20 instances the hours were between 6:30 p. m. and 10:45 p. m. There were no cases of contact within four hours before or after mid­day. Because of darkness the visibility was not good and clear description of the visitors was hardly possible. One could also surmise that the visitors might not have wanted to be seen. If they had tried to make contact one could conjecture that they would have appeared in broad daylight. Moreover, they would also have given evidences of effort to meet human beings. As a matter of fact the incidents gave every sign of being surprises to the UFO visitors themselves.
  3. The mental or emotional reactions of the persons encountered when description was given could be summed up as coming under the category of fear, varying from extremes of terror to stunned amazement. One wonders if these strong emotions of human beings could have been brought by some subtle attitudes on the part of the visitors which in some strange way conveyed to the contactees that in this out-of-the-world experience they found themselves in the presence of personalities of superhuman potentialities. Interestingly enough the least startled of all were the child contactees. The recorded accounts give no evidence in any case of fear emotions displayed by the visitors.

(96)

 

  1. Although the visitors did not display evidence of fear at the sight of human beings, they did respond at once in protective fashion to any attitude or movements on the part of the contactee that could possibly be interpreted as a threat. In six instances a temporary paralysis was inflicted upon the contactee. In the case of the metalworker who encountered two of the visitors at Quarouble on September 10, [1954] when he tried to get hold of one of them he was blinded and paralyzed by a light. In the incident occurring on September 27 near Premanon where four children playing in a farmyard about 8:30 p. m. encountered two creatures, the oldest of the children, a boy of 12 years of age, shot a rubber-tipped arrow at one of them. The arrow seemed to have no effect. But when the lad then went up to touch the visitor, he was "flung to the ground as if by an ice-cold invisible force."
  2. On the matter of estimates of the heights of the visitors there is relatively good agreement in the stories. Five estimates of approximately three feet were given, and three estimates of the order of four feet. The other estimates were non-numerical but the descriptive terms used were "little," "small,” or the "height of children. " The two exceptions, "average" and "a little below average," probably referred to a different type of visitor resembling an ordinary human being.
  3. With respect to body proportions or general physical appearance, two types seem to emerge. The more common type is described in terms that suggest rather marked dissimilarities from the terrestrial human. Such terms as "wide in the shoulders"... "legs small in proportion to height"... "larger than human eyes"... occur. It should be noted, however, that descriptions of the physical appearance of the visitors were given in only six of the fragmentary accounts. As already noted, in two of the 20 instances the two visitors did not appear different from terrestrial humans.

 

(97)

 

  1. On the matter of garb or wearing apparel where such is described, the expressions "diver's suit"... "dressed like a diver"... or similar phraseology, appear in every instance. There are six such references. One could surmise from this consideration that the original home of these visitors is some locality having a different atmosphere from that of the earth. In fact, the probability of some foreign planetary abode being identical in physical environment to the planet earth is relatively small. The presence of "diver's suits" on these visitors in the Michel accounts is what one would expect to find. The usual publicized contact story does not describe any such garb.
  2. In enumerating features of these contact incidents the description would be incomplete were mention not made of two instances of gestures of friendliness. On September 17 not far from the town of Cenon a cyclist encountered a little, creature, much smaller than a man. It was 10:30 p.m. and quite dark and this stranger, appearing like a silhouette in the night, came toward the cyclist and touched him on the shoulder. He "uttered a sound" described as "unknown and incomprehensible,” then moved toward his space craft and "disappeared."

The other instance occurred on September 10 near the town of Mourieras in a wild and backward part of France. A farmer was on his way homeward about 8:30 p. m. and suddenly found himself face to face with a peculiarly dressed person of average height. The stranger approached the farmer making gestures that gave impressions of friendliness. He came forward with one arm above his head, the other arm extended, making low bows and peculiar gestures. He shook the hand of the farmer and pulled him right up to him, drawing his head against his helmet. The stranger made no reply to the farmer's words of "good evening." The stranger then left and the farmer presently saw his craft disappear into the sky.

  1. The lack of any semblance of intellectual contact is apparent in all of the instances related by Michel. This contrasts with the complete ease of communication experienced in the cases of most American contactee claimants. Could not one expect astonishing revelations of information of one kind and another from these representatives of an order of civilization of life centuries beyond us in advancement in fields of science, arts, and modes of living? When and if the human race ever becomes introduced to such knowledge, one could well judge it as being truly out of this world.

 

(98)

 

            A final word of comment needs to be made with respect to the analysis attempted in the preceding paragraphs. It must be borne in mind that the subject itself is an elusive one. The reality of UFO phenomena is not yet accepted by the majority of the uninformed public. I use the adjective "uninformed" because I feel sure that any intelligent person with an open mind, who takes the trouble to thoroughly examine a considerable part of the generally recognized evidence, will be convinced of the reality of the phenomena. Now with the acceptance of the reality of sightings it requires but little additional understanding to realize that back of the many varied gyrations of these space craft there are directing intelligences. It would be strange indeed if among the literally countless numbers of well-reported sightings from every part of the earth there would not be a few instances of glimpses, as it were, of the personalities behind the scenes.

            In the above discussion the particular source of information on contact cases is material collected by a French scientist. This material, in the opinion of the present author as well as in the expressed judgment of other conservative investigators, is the best available at the present time. It would, of course, be desirable to have data of a more objective character. But since that is not yet possible we simply do as well as we can with what we have on hand. The fact that Professor Michel was able to use this very same material to discover an important principle, named by him as orthoteny, lends some weight to the reliability of other deductions arising there from.

            On this very elusive phase of a very elusive subject I have endeavored to extract some possible conclusions. The value of these might lie in the consideration that with the gathering of more facts of a similar character in the future on waves of sightings yet to reach us we will in time gradually, step by step, learn more about our visitors from outer space.

            But--even though there is no basis yet known for such a prediction- -it is possible they will make themselves known to us suddenly at some moment of their own choosing!

 

C. A.M. March 1959 

 

(99)

 


 

Chapter 10

 

The New UFO Policy of the U.S. Air Force

 

            Although a formal government project for the investigation of UFOs was not set up until September 1947, the United States Air Force has been vitally interested in sightings of these objects ever since June 24, 1947, the day Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine mysterious saucer-shaped craft travelling with tremendous speed in echelon formation over the Cascade Mountains between Mount Rainer and Mount Adams in the State of Washington.

            On December 24, 1959, the Inspector-General of the Air Force issued a directive to Air Force personnel to the effect that "unidentified flying objects--sometimes treated lightly by the press and referred to as 'flying saucers'—must be rapidly and accurately identified as serious USAF business." In this directive instructions are given as to the manner in which this "serious business is to be handled at each Air Force base." A "specific officer" at each base is to "be designated as responsible." He is to have the "authority to obtain the assistance of specialists on the base." He is to be supplied with some simple scientific apparatus to be used in the detection and study of UFOs. The list of equipment is to include "binoculars, camera, Geiger counter, magnifying glass, and a source for containers in which to store samples."

            From the above referred-to directive we are to conclude that it has taken the Air Force exactly twelve and one-half years to arrive at the conclusion that UFOs are real, and that the study of these phenomena does constitute "serious business."

            Also in the directive is found the statement of the "Air Force concern" that "there's the inherent USAF responsibility to explain to the American people through public-information media what is going on in their skies." 

(100) 

 

            From time to time within the past 13 years the USAF has given highly publicized statements with big headlines in the newspapers to the effect that the so-called flying saucers simply do not exist. For example, on October 26, 1955, the then Secretary of the Air Force stated "we believe that no objects such as those popularly described as flying saucers have over-flown the United States. " It should be noted that the Air Force Secretary based this statement upon a "study" made by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt concluded actually two years and one month earlier, and judged "worthless" by the man in charge of the study [Ruppelt] and other investigators who have taken time to analyze it.

            About one year ago, on July 16, 1959, and preceding this latest directive by less than six months, the Air Force gave nationwide publicity to the following statement: "Investigation of unidentified flying objects has provided no evidence to confirm the existence of the popularly termed 'flying saucers' as interplanetary or interstellar space ships.”

            Let it be pointed out that the USAF did not give any publicity to the content of its December 24, 1959 directive six months later, which officially recognized UFOs as "serious business" and which set up machinery for the ostensibly serious scientific investigation of these phenomena. It was the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a nonprofit private organization with headquarters in the nation's capital, which gave the contents of this directive nationwide publicity.

            Vice Admiral Hillenkoetter, NICAP Board member, made this comment in regard to this directive:

            "Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs.

            "But through official secrecy and ridicule many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense. To hide the facts, the Air Force has silenced its personnel through issuance of a regulation. Veteran airline pilots and other technically trained observers have been discredited. Hundreds of authentic reports, many confirmed by radar or photographs, have been labeled delusions or explained away by answers contrary to fact."

            A good illustration of the USAF policy on the handling of UFO sighting reports over the years is to be found in the case of the UFO incident of February 24, 1959. One of the key observers of this phenomenon was Captain Peter Killian, a pilot for American Airlines. His plane was on a nonstop flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Detroit, Michigan, on the night of February 24.

 

(101)

 

            When over Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, at about 8:45 p. m. he observed three unidentified brightly-illuminated aerial objects trailing his plane. The plane was followed for 35 or 40 minutes by these objects, which were observed not only by the crew and 35 passengers of Captain Killian's plane, but by five other planes and numerous ground observers in the line of the trip.

            Exhaustive details with respect to this incident are given in the 22-page printed report compiled by the Unidentified Flying Objects Research Committee of Akron, Ohio. NICAP also thoroughly checked the facts of this sighting, and so we have here an incident concerning which we have the most reliable information possible. The files of the Akron Committee contain the signed statements of several ground observers.

            Concerning this sighting it can be reasonably concluded that the number and character of the witnesses establishes the validity of the incident beyond doubt.

            Representatives of the Air Force made only the most superficial investigation of this incident, an investigation (if such a term could be used to dignify its semblance of effort) based on Captain Killian's brief preliminary statement made at the Detroit Office of American Airlines and upon a news report from the March 1 edition of the New York Herald Tribune.

            The Akron Committee report states: "They (the Air Force) did not interview Captain Killian, the pilot, nor did they question co-pilot Dee, the stewardess, the passengers, nor the ground observers. As far as is known, none of these people were at any time contacted at ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence Center)."

            Even though they had no first-hand information on this incident the Air Force issued official explanations of the sighting on three separate successive dates, all three explanations completely contradictory. These so-called explanations are as follows: 

1.                  On the morning of February 28 the Air Force released to the press this official opinion: "Experts of the Technical Intelligence Agency said that they believed the pilots may have sighted stars, especially the formation Orion."

2.                  The March 1 edition of the New York Herald Tribune carried an official Air Force statement in direct answer to an inquiry about this sighting by six American and United Airline crews on February 24. Quoting the NICAP Bulletin, The UFGL Investigator, for February-March 1959: "Some [witnesses] were sarcastically labeled as persons who can't remember anything when they sober up the next day. The rest, implied the official Air Force spokesman, either were deluded by ordinary objects or were outright liars. " 

 

(102)

 

3.                  Subsequent comments by the observers of this incident apparently disclosed to the public the errors of these judgments, and so, three weeks later, the Air Force offered an entirely different explanation, as follows: "The American Airlines sighting of February 24, near Bradford, Pennsylvania, was a B-47 type aircraft accomplishing night refueling from a KC-97 tanker." 

            In a statement to the Long Island Daily Press on March 24, Captain Killian said, "I don't care what the Air Force says; the objects I saw could travel at 2,000 miles an hour and were definitely not conventional aircraft."

            "If the Air Force wants to believe that," he added (referring to the refueling operation explanation), "it can. But I know what a B-47 looks like and I know what a KC-97 tanker looks like; further, I know what they look like in operation at night. And that's not what I saw." Killian claimed that this was the Air Force's third explanation of his sighting, "all contradictory and none satisfactory."

            Captain Killian is no longer discussing his sighting of the three unknown objects. After his initial comments in newspapers, exposing the obvious flaws in the Air Force's explanation, the muzzle was quickly applied. American Airlines, through Air Force insistence, was forced to silence Killian, their attitude being that good relations with officialdom must be maintained at all costs. Consequently, he was requested not to publicize "so controversial a subject.”

            Captain Killian has commented: "I feel very deeply concerned with the loss of my own personal freedom." The first amendment of the constitution of the United States reads in part: "Congress shall make no law... prohibiting the freedom of speech or of the press."

            While the silence order was imposed on Captain Killian, however, the same did not apply to Mrs. Killian. She remarked, "Although the Captain isn't talking, I can talk." She was asked if the Captain would be willing to go before the Space Committee hearings in Washington to relate his story. Mrs. Killian replied: "Definitely. In fact a Senator asked the Captain if he could come to Washington and tell his story. The Captain said “Yes, I would go, but you would have to subpoena me. Then, I could talk.'"                                           

(103)

 

            From the NICAP Bulletin of July - August 1959:

            "In a recent development, the Air Force is now circulating a statement, allegedly from American Airlines, quoting Captain Peter Killian as saying that he had never seen jet refueling operations at night and that the UFOs he saw on February 24 could have been a jet refueling operation. The unsigned statement is in direct contradiction to the statements Killian made the NICAP Director, to the Long Island Daily Press, and in taped interviews. In effect, Killian's statements have been branded by the Air Force as lies, after they apparently requested American Airlines to silence him so he could not answer back. American Airlines had deliberately arranged some of Killian's early publicity before he was suddenly told to stop talking. Copies of the contradictory statements have been sent to several members of Congress."

            On the night of November 6, 1957, about 11:30 p. m., Olden Moore, a plasterer, driving home from Painesville, Ohio, was startled by the sight of a disc-shaped bright object suddenly looming up in front of him, seemingly splitting apart, one section apparently disappearing, the other settling down in a field near the road. This locality is about 30 miles east of Cleveland. This incident is reported by George Popowitch, director of the Unidentified Flying Objects Research Committee of Akron, mentioned earlier. An account of the incident is published in the APRO Bulletin* of January 1958.

            When the object landed, Mr. Moore shut off his car lights and pulled his car off the road. He got out of his car and watched the object for about 20 minutes. He noted a ticking sound, somewhat like the tick of a water meter.

            At 11:30 a.m. the next morning his wife reported the incident to Geauga County Sheriff Louis A. Robusky. Later in the day Mr. Moore was questioned by various local authorities, United States Army representatives, and scientists from the Case Institute of Technology. Geiger counter readings taken in the middle of an area 50 feet in diameter where the object had landed, registered ten times normal background activity. At the perimeter of the area the Geiger counter readings were about 50 percent greater than normal.

            It was learned that Mr. Moore had gone to Washington, D. C., in connection with this sighting of the UFO. On his return he indicated that he had talked to high officials and had been sworn to secrecy. Further details of the sighting were unavailable from Mr. Moore.

____________

*Aerial Phenomena Research Organization: 4407. E. Linden, Tucson, Arizona. 

 

(104)

 

            This incident is given as an illustration to show a connection between the sighting of a UFO and the apparent great increase in background activity as registered by a Geiger counter in the vicinity of the sighting.

            Let it be especially noted that the December 24 Directive of the Air Force specifically refers to the equipping of Air Force bases [UFO investigating units] with Geiger counters along with other scientific apparatus. The reason for providing bases with such equipment is, of course, obvious. The Air Force has information of many instances wherein UFOs have been observed visually and on radar, where Geiger counters in the vicinity of the sightings have registered the presence of greatly increased background radiation.

            Captain Ruppelt, in charge of the Air Force investigation from early in 1951 until September 1953, in his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, devotes an entire chapter (chapter 15) "The Radiation Story, " to relate the experience of government scientists who observed great increases in Geiger counter readings in connection with sightings of UFOs. Different groups of scientists in various locations in the United States encountered these phenomena, and determined by thorough and painstaking procedure that the great increases in background radiation associated with the sightings were in some way caused by the presence of the UFOs.

            One of these groups became so interested in this strange type of coincidence that they began to develop elaborate arrays of scientific devices for the more thorough study of the phenomena. This promising scientific study came to the attention of high officials and was suddenly nipped in the bud. Higher-ups at Washington arranged for the transfer of the alert-minded Air Force colonel in charge of the project.

            These same governmental authorities now at long last, without fanfare and without intentional publicity, have decided that UFOs are "serious business" and that the honest-to-goodness study of such phenomena should be undertaken by Air Force personnel. And so this December 24, 1959, directive was issued. Air Force personnel at the various bases are being supplied with apparatus and equipment which in competent and scientific hands could without doubt be used to gather valuable information concerning the nature of UFOs. One wonders whether or not Air Force personnel, lacking the rigorous training of experienced scientists, will be able to utilize such equipment to advantage

 

(105)

 

            The problems presented by UFO phenomena are of such difficulty and of such tremendous significance that the study of them should be a wide-open worldwide program. The challenge presented by these navigated objects from outer space needs to be met by the world's best technological and scientific talent, unhampered by government restrictions, secrecy, red tape, and inefficiency. 

 

C. A. M. October 1960 

(106)

 


 

PART   III: A   PHILOSOPHER   LOOKS   AT   UFOs

 

 

Chapter 1

 

On the Physical Reality of UFOs

 

            It has often been argued that scientific skepticism about the reality of UFOs is justified because UFOs are silent. Solid bodies rushing through the earth's atmosphere, savants say, would have to make noise, therefore UFOs are not real. As is commonly the case in skeptical arguments about UFOs, this one is based on a false premise. UFOs often do make noise. There is also a lot of other evidence indicating the physical reality of UFOs.

            The sounds reported in association with UFOs have been of three general types; (1) motor-like, (2) explosive, and (3) sonic booms. From the accounts of what the UFOs were doing at the time these sounds were heard, it could be that these three types correspond to (1) motive power, (2) partial vacuum created by sudden displacement, and (3) breaking the sound barrier, respectively.

            Before citing some of the cases of reported sounds from UFOs, it is necessary to take cognizance of the fact that there are certain natural phenomena in the atmosphere capable of creating sound. Meteoric fireballs are often mistakenly reported as UFOs, and bolide meteors can roar like a freight train, make a fluttering sound, and explode loudly. Aircraft, of course, are another cause of aerial sounds, but the roar of piston engines and the whine of jets are more familiar to the average observer. Sea gulls and other birds seen at night (sometimes not readily identifiable as such) can make odd fluttering sounds. These are the sound-making natural phenomena most likely to cause false UFO reports.

            The reader can verify for himself the following reports of sound-making UFOs:

 

(107)

 

            November 6, 1957; Varine Gilham (an iron worker) of Dugger, Indiana, watched a large object hover for about 10 minutes at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet. Finally the UFO went straight up. As it left, Gilham heard a "whirring noise." As a result of the sighting, he was treated for inflammation of the eyes by Dr. Joseph Dukes. - -Hammond, Indiana, Times; November 10 and 13, 1957.

            September 21, 1958; Mrs. William H. Fitzgerald, Sheffield Lake, Ohio, saw a large discoidal object hovering low over the ground. It circled the area and rose out of sight, making a "whirring noise." - -Cleveland Plain Dealer; September 22, 1958.

            February 3, 1959; Joseph Klosinski (of the Venango Newspapers), Oil City, Penna., saw a circular object pass below a low cloud ceiling at a "tremendous rate of speed." He told the press: "The 'saucer' must have had a motor because there was a clear 'swish-wooshing' sound."--Oil City, Penna., Derrick; February 4, 1959.

            Two examples of the thunder-like explosive sound, both of which occurred as UFOs accelerated rapidly upwards, are:

            November 6, 1957; Lester E. Lee (Baptist Minister), Dunn, N. C., saw a bright circular object rise straight up, giving off a flash of light and making a sharp explosive sound. - - Winston-Salem, N. C., Journal; November 7, 1957.

            October 26, 1958; Philip Small and Alvin Cohen, Baltimore, Md., saw a huge egg-shaped object hovering low over a bridge. It rose rapidly giving off bright light, a flash of heat, and making an explosive sound. - -Baltimore News-Post and Baltimore Sun; October 27, 1958.

            The "swishing" sounds often reported in close-range observations could easily be rushing air, flowing over the surface of a solid body. The buzzes, hums, and whirring noises might be associated with motive power. Since most of these sounds have been reported only during close-range observations--usually sounds of low volume--it can be inferred that similar objects at a greater distance would be essentially silent. This is in accord with the typical UFO report.

            One problem remains. Although not all UFOs have moved at high speed, a common factor to many reports is the amazingly high speed as estimated or calculated by observers. If the UFOs are solid objects, why haven't they broken the sound barrier causing sonic booms? There is some indication that they have. So-called "sky quakes" have mystified the populace over a long period of time, part of which predated the era of supersonic flight.

 

(108)

 

However, there are enough modern cases of "sky quakes" to prove the point. In fact, these tremendous aerial explosions are reported hundreds of times a year.

            Sonic booms which break windows and knock dishes off the shelves are a common phenomena today--and they are usually attributed to jets breaking the sound barrier. In many or most cases, this is undoubtedly true. The B-58 "Hustler" and many operational fighters are capable of going supersonic in level flight, and other planes can do so during dives. Theoretically pilots are not supposed to fly at supersonic speeds over cities, but the Air Force has officially recognized the problem of damage in cities caused by sonic blasts, and has set up claims offices to pay for the damages. Pilots have been ordered to report if they accidently break the sound barrier. But in spite of all precautions, the blasts continue.

            The fact is that very little is known about the physics of sonic booms since the study of them has barely begun. It is suspected that atmospheric conditions play a large part in determining the pattern of shock waves from the blasts, but the many unknown factors make the effects unpredictable.

            In a given case of property damage caused by a sonic boom, it is frequently impossible to determine whether the blast was, in fact, caused by a jet. This uncertainty was reflected in a bill introduced in the House of Representatives on February 4, 1959 (H. R. 4058; 86th Congress, 1st Session) "To authorize the payment of claims resulting from sonic blasts." The bill provides "That for the period ending two years after the date of enactment of this Act, any damage, loss, injury, or death resulting from glass breakage caused by a sonic blast from the noncombat operation of an aircraft or guided missile, shall be presumed to have been caused by a military department. "

            Many times after terrific explosions have rocked cities and roused citizens from their homes, the blasts have been disowned by all military bases in the area, which deny that their planes could have been the cause. It is understandable that an erring pilot, in spite of the orders, might not report breaking the sound barrier accidently. Nobody volunteers for trouble. But it is also possible that aircraft did not cause the sonic boom in some cases, and that the cause lies elsewhere.

            One of the logical fallacies indulged in by UFO skeptics is: "Natural phenomena cause many UFO reports, therefore natural phenomena cause all UFO reports." This is usually assumed without any investigation of the evidence for other-than-natural

 

(109)

 

UFOs. The parallel argument about "sky quakes" is: "Jet aircraft cause many sonic booms, therefore jet aircraft cause all sonic booms." Actually, the evidence available is insufficient to say with finality that UFOs either have or have not caused sonic booms. On the other hand, "sky quakes" cannot be invoked as evidence of UFOs.

            Some cases are on record of UFOs having been seen at the same time that a "sky quake" occurred, which would tend to support the association with UFOs; but these cases are rare and the data are incomplete. One such case was reported in the New Zealand Evening Post, March 22, 1954. At 2:35 p. m., Mr. P. S. Berkett, a farmer of Whangamoa, heard "zooming" noises and saw "a round, flat object of a whitish colour" pass overhead just as loud aerial explosions were heard over a wide area. It could have been a daytime meteor, but these are also rare.

            Some more typical "sky quake" cases, in which no culprit was found, follow:

            May 21, 1957; Los Angeles, California--A "gigantic sonic boom" roused citizens out of their houses at 8:40 p.m. "All military services with supersonic aircraft based in this vicinity disclaimed blame for the blast. Aircraft companies building and testing jet planes for the armed forces also denied that any of their flights could have sent out the mighty sound wave. "--Los Angeles Times; May 23, 1957.

            May 23, 1958; St. Louis, Mo. --A loud booming noise was heard and a shock felt at about 3:30 p. m. McDonnell Aircraft said none of their planes broke the sound barrier. St. Louis-Globe-Democrat; May 24, 1958.

            August 11, 1958; Southeast and Central, Louisiana.--A thunderous boom shook houses and broke windows over a wide area about 11:00 a. m. No Air Force planes were known to be in the area. An England Air Force Base officer said "we have figured out what it is." This statement was later denied by the Base Public Information Officer. - - New Orleans Times-Picayune; August 12, 1958.

            April 9, 1959; Selma, Alabama--"An explosive noise that caused the earth to quiver and buildings to shake at 11:34 a. m. this, morning is thought to have been a sonic boom, but checks with air authorities have failed to find any supersonic aircraft in this area. "--The Selma Times-Journal April 9, 1959.

            April 1, 1959; Seattle, Washington--A series of blasts between 7:00 and 10:00 p. m. "shook houses and rattled dishes" in the city. Paine AFB said none of their planes were in the area.

 

(110)

 

"McChord AFB said planes from there were on training missions, but had no report of any sound barriers being broken."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer; April 3, 1959.

            Although it is impossible to conclude that there is a definite relationship to UFOs, it is possible to conclude that some of the many unexplained aerial explosions could have been caused by UFOs. The skeptical argument is therefore on uncertain ground. It is reasonable to assume, on the basis of other evidence pointing to the solidity of UFOs, that they probably have caused some of the blasts.

            In close-range observations of UFOs, it is also true that smells have been reported. * These have usually been unpleasant; Sulphurous, or acrid like ammonia. Probably the best guess is that these are associated with the motive power of UFOs, perhaps being exhaust fumes.

            It may surprise some readers to learn that there are authenticated reports of UFOs touching down or landing, and leaving impressions or other physical evidence on the ground. I am not referring here to reports of alleged contact with space men and alleged physical evidence which never materializes. There have been other cases in which investigators were able to examine the physical evidence allegedly left by a UFO. Although the possibility of hoax remains, it is unlikely that so many similar false reports would be made from far-flung and independent sources. In these cases, too, there has seldom been any reason to suspect a hoax. The witnesses usually have not made any sensational claims, and have submitted freely to investigation.

            On July 31, 1957, a boy in Galt, Ontario, Canada, reported watching a UFO hover and finally land. A later check by newsmen and other investigators revealed definite markings on the ground where the object had been. There were several disconnected burned patches and two deep impressions in the ground. **

            Another type of marking which has been reported from several countries including the United States, France, and Brazil, is an oval or circular marking on the ground where a UFO had been seen to land. A recent case of this type occurred on the morning of September 7, 1959, near Lexington, Ky. This time a NICAP investigator was able to reach the scene and check the story. Walter Ogden, a rural mail carrier, known in his community as an honest and reliable man, reported seeing an elliptical UFO which hovered low over the ground. The object finally took off vertically, emitting a blast of "flame" which touched

____________

* See "Shapes In the Sky," by Civilian Saucer Intelligence, Fantastic Universe, January, 1958.

____________

** For story and picture see Galt Evening Reporter; August 3, 1957.

 

(111)

 

the ground. A search party later discovered a stained ring on the ground (not scorch marks) measuring 12-13 inches wide, and enclosing a circle about 13 feet in diameter. Hundreds of people later viewed the markings, and the incident was investigated by the Air Force and FBI. *

            As of this writing, a chemical analysis of some of the soil samples is being made for NICAP by a testing laboratory. A Geiger counter test made about two weeks after the date of the incident proved negative. However, it should be possible to determine the chemical composition of the staining substance.

            Physiological effects, including burns, have been inflicted on witnesses by UFOs in many cases. ** In two very similar instances, people sustained minor facial burns while watching elliptical UFOs. James Stokes, a White Sands engineer, was burned as he watched a UFO maneuver over a highway near Alamogordo, N. M., on November 4, 1957. (Associated Press, Lubbock, Texas, November 5). Both witnesses to the October 26, 1958, UFO hovering over a bridge near Baltimore, Md., reported the same experience. (See above.)

            According to a story in the San Diego, Calif., Union, February 21, 1958 (AP, Albuquerque, N. M., February 20), two women near Espanola, N. M., received skin burns when they saw an unidentified object in the sky giving off bright flashes. A Geiger counter test is reported to have shown possible radiation burns.

            In a few cases, the inflictions have been more serious. During the rash of UFO sightings in November, 1957, Mrs. Leita Kuhn, of Lake County, Ohio, watched a brilliant glowing object hover low overhead. In a letter to NICAP she emphasized the brilliance: "The top was brighter. I couldn't look at the top. My eyes burned so I closed them--orange sparks seemed to glow every time I closed my eyes. "

            The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 27, 1957, reported that Mrs. Kuhn had been injured as a result of the sighting: "According to Kenneth Locke, Lake County Civil Defense director, Dr. E. D. Hudgens of Madison, after an examination, said that her appearance suggested the possibility of radiation damage, or damage by ultraviolet light to her eyes, and that she also suffered shock." In further correspondence with NICAP, Mrs. Kuhn confirmed the after-effects and that she had been under

____________

* For picture and story, see the Fleming Gazette, Flemingsburg, Ky., September 17, 1959.

____________

** See "Shapes in the Sky, " by C S. I., Fantastic Universe, July 1958. Also Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, by Aime Michel, (Criterion, c. 1958, "Physiological Effects.")

 

(112)

 

medical care since the incident. She was troubled with a rash, and her eyesight had been affected.

            On November 4, 1957, two sentries at the Brazilian Fortress of Itaipu, at Sao Vicente, Brazil, also received serious injuries when a brilliant luminous object darted down, hovered, and engulfed them, in a wave of heat. According to Dr. Olvo Fontes, a surgeon in Rio de Janeiro who investigated, the two men received first and second degree burns of more than 10 per cent of their body surface. * The two sentries were flown to the Army Central Hospital in Rio de Janeiro for treatment. Dr. Fontes was able to interview one of the actual witnesses and to confirm that two soldiers from the fortress were at the hospital under treatment for bad burns. Strict security prevented him from talking to the patients or their doctors.

            On at least two occasions, pilots felt intense heat as they attempted to approach UFOs in the air. Carlos Alejo Rodriguez, a noted Uruguayan pilot, was flying near San Carlos, Uruguay, on May 5, 1958, when he encountered a brilliant aerial object. The UFO neared his plane and appeared to hover about 700 yards away. It was dazzling bright, and no details could be seen. At that moment the pilot felt an intense heat and was forced to open his cockpit and remove some clothing. When he tried to close in on the UFO, it darted away toward the sea and disappeared. NICAP obtained a full report on the incident from C. I. O. V. I., a responsible UFO organization in Uruguay.

            A similar case had occurred during an active Air Defense Command intercept over the United States in 1954. On July 1 an F-94 was scrambled from Griffis Air Force Base in New York to chase a UFO which had been seen over a wide area of the state. The pilot saw the object and attempted to close in, but a wave of heat filled the cockpit and he was forced to bail out. His fighter plummeted to earth and crashed into the town of Walesville, N. Y. **

            In addition to the effects experienced by human beings, the effects of UFOs have registered on practically every instrument man has devised to extend or improve his "seeing." *** Skeptics may point out that the evidence for these claims is spotty and incomplete, but that is not surprising considering the fact

____________

* For full story, see: APRO Bulletin, September 1959.

____________

** Flying Saucer Conspiracy, By Donald E. Keyhoe, (Holt, c. 1955), p. 174.

____________

*** A possible exception is radio telescopes, which depend on the transmission of radio signals for detection.

 

(113)

 

that no active attempt to gather scientific data on UFOs with instruments has ever been made. However, the circumstantial evidence is such that a full-fledged effort should be made to use more instruments and less skepticism in investigating UFOs. It will take a scientific investigation to settle the question, and scientific skepticism proves absolutely nothing. It is absurd to suggest, without any investigation, that all of the people who have reported these phenomena are mentally disturbed, lying, or deluded.

            Radar has tracked UFOs hundreds of times. Late in 1958, John Lester of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger polled CAA (now FAA) radar operators who man the Ground Control Approach radar at airports around the country. At least 500, he disclosed, said they had tracked UFOs.

            In regard to radar sightings, skeptics commonly point out that spurious signals are often picked up. In deference to them, I will stick to cases in which visual confirmations of the radar trackings were made. However, it is again absurd to suppose that experienced radar operators are not capable of recognizing the blips of solid objects with a high degree of accuracy. If they are not, and spurious signals commonly mislead them, radar would be a worthless device.

            A good example of a combination radar-visual UFO sighting was reported by the former Chief of the Air Force Project Blue Book UFO investigation. *

            On August 12, 1953, two Air Force F-84 jets were scrambled one after the other to chase a UFO which had been seen as an unidentified light in the sky giving a return on ground radar. Each pilot pursued the object and saw it in front of him fleeing at high speed. The second pilot also got a target on his gun sight radar at the same time that the ground radar showed both his jet and the UFO.

            An unclassified Air Force intelligence report in NICAP possession describes a similar incident which occurred in the Far East in December 1956. An Air Force jet pilot had a UFO blip showing plainly on his radar, and chased it at high speed, finally closing to within five nautical miles. Then he saw a large circular object which shot up and away leaving the jet far behind.

During the famous Washington, D. C., sightings of July, 1952, there were many radar observations of unexplained objects over

____________

 

* The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, by E. J. Ruppelt, (Doubleday, c. 1956), p. 303.

 

(114)

 

the nation's capital. In spite of all evidence to the contrary, the Air Force has attempted to pass these off as temperature inversions. Inversion effects on radar are well known to radar men, who don't pay any particular attention to them. Harry G. Barnes, Senior Air Route Traffic Controller, whose call had sent Air Force jets screaming into the area, had this to say: "Before notifying the Air Force, our technicians had carefully checked the equipment to make certain that it was operating perfectly... 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 over Washington. They were not ordinary aircraft."

            Barnes also asked airline pilots in the area to keep a lookout for the objects. A Capital Airlines plane had just taken off, and the pilot, Capt. S. C. Pierman, in direct touch with Barnes, saw six objects which showed up exactly where Barnes advised him they should be.

            "In my years of flying," Pierman said, "I've seen a lot of falling or shooting stars--whatever you call them--but these were much faster than anything like that I've ever seen.”  His co-pilot F/O Charles Wheaton, added: "Now I feel I have actually seen some active strange objects which defy explanation."

            Another skeptical argument is that if UFOs were real, they would have been photographed clearly by this time. There are many alleged pictures of UFOs, but the majority obviously is inconclusive, showing only vague blobs of light. Many of these could easily have been faked.

            In some cases, though, the integrity of the photographers is beyond question, and their pictures show distinct unexplained objects. It is this positive evidence that counts. One of the finest examples of this is the Trindade Isle, Brazil, photograph (see frontispiece) taken in January, 1958. This picture of a distinct discoidal object, also seen by several reliable witnesses on board an IGY vessel, was authenticated by the Brazilian Naval Ministry.

            Another good example is the famous Utah film, taken by Navy Chief Photographer Delbert C. Newhouse, on July 2, 1952, and shown in the documentary film "UFO."* The film shows a group, of about 10 circular objects milling around at high speed. **

____________

 

* A United Artists picture produced by Green-Rouse Productions.

____________

 

** For the full story, see: Flying Saucers from Outer Space, by Donald E. Keyhoe, (Holt, c .l955), Appendix II, p. 304.

 

(115)

 

When Newhouse visited the NICAP office recently, I had an opportunity to discuss the film with him. He and his wife had observed the UFOs for some time at closer range before he was able to unpack his camera equipment from the trunk of his car. I questioned him closely about the visual observation. The Brazilian photograph was posted on the bulletin board, and I asked him if it was the same as what he had seen.

            "Not exactly," he replied. "It's similar, but the ones I saw didn't have the central ring."

            He went on to describe lens-shaped objects (i. e. discs). Several frames of his movie, showing objects with elliptical outlines, bear this out. The more distant shots of the ringed Brazilian object appear almost diamond-shaped in outline.

            Professor Maney's article on electro-magnetic effects reported in association with UFOs indicates another whole field of physical effects apparently caused by UFOs--effects in which human devices were interfered with.

            I also recall a report from the documentary film "UFO," (made in cooperation with former Air Force personnel) in which a UFO struck a balloon in the air and damaged it.

            To attribute all of these effects to "imagination" is to ignore the evidence of the senses. To call them all "coincidences" is to strain coincidence to the breaking point. The least unreasonable explanation is that the real UFOs are solid, unexplained objects. From all indications, they are capable of stalling cars, interfering with radio and TV signals, and inflicting burns on observers. They are therefore a physical phenomenon worthy of serious, scientific investigation.

 

R.H. 

 

 

(116)

 


 

Chapter 2 

The Semantics of Flying Saucers

 

            In studying "flying saucers" it soon becomes apparent that some of the knottiest problems encountered are purely human in origin. Accordingly, it is appropriate to begin with a comment by an anthropologist. In his book The Human Animal, * Professor Weston LaBarre of Duke University neatly epitomizes the age-old human problems of communicating intelligibly in two consecutive chapter titles: "Man Starts Talking," (Chapter 10) "And Gets All Balled Up in His Grammar" (Chapter 11). In my opinion the terminology used in discussing "flying saucers" has become so balled up that there is wide­spread confusion as to just what we are talking about.

            What is a "flying saucer?" What is a "UFO?" Are we asking the same question in both cases? That, of course, depends entirely on what the people using the two terms intend them to mean. Words and languages are uniquely human tools, but all too many human beings are awed by their own creations and act as if words have some intrinsic, inviolable meaning. Often there is confusion between words and the objects referred to by them. To use Professor LaBarre's example: An American farm-boy serving in the Army in Germany had a large equine animal pointed out to him as a "Pferd." "Well, “the soldier protested, "it may be called a Pferd, but it sure as hell acts like a horse!"

            Lewis Carroll, a pioneer semanticist, had his fairy-tale characters express the view of modern logical empiricism, by contrast to the naive view of the soldier above. Humpty Dumpty, at least, did not let words lead him around by the nose.

____________

* University of Chicago, 1954.

 

(117)

 

"When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less.”

"The question is, “said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master--that's all." (From "Through the Looking Glass.") 

            Though words may mean whatever we choose them to mean, they will not communicate anything unless we make it clear to our readers or listeners what meaning we have in mind. No two people, it seems, mean exactly the same thing even when they use the one term "flying saucer." Two of the leading non-believers in "flying saucers," for example, have their own special definitions thereby making it uncertain whether they disbelieve the same thing. These two are Dr. Donald Menzel of Harvard, and the U. S. Air Force.

            Dr. Menzel at least used language consistently (i. e. in conformity with his own definitions) in his book on "flying saucers." In so doing, he has provided an excellent negative example of how to control and use language rather than be controlled and used by it. In my opinion, however, his logical arguments are virtually devoid of factual content relevant to the best UFO reports. By presupposing that nothing truly unique is being seen, Dr. Menzel is able to treat each case as some misidentification caused by a trick of nature. Then he can guess at the mechanics of the trick and find something that seems to account for it.

            In the preface to his book, we immediately learn from Dr. Menzel that to the question "What are Flying Saucers?" "No single answer suffices, because the apparitions stem from not one but many dozens of causes."* Clearly he uses the term "flying saucers" to mean "apparitions."  The phrase "true flying saucer" he reserves for the cases referred to by the Air Force as "unknowns." These, he admits, are real--real natural phenomena.

            The Air Force, whose language has been more flexible than consistent, at least set a good example in the usage of its Project Blue Book. "UFO" was the term for reliably reported objects which had no immediately obvious explanation. It was a temporary classification until an investigation could be made. The object would then either be identified or else become an "unknown." If a report lacked detail and could not be thoroughly

____________

* Menzel, Donald H., Flying Saucers, (Harvard University, 1953,) p. vii. 

 

(118)

 

checked, it fell into a category called "insufficient information" and was doomed to remain a "UFO" forever.

            A UFO report accepted for study by the Air Force had, therefore, three possible fates: (1) identified, (2) inexplicable ("unknown"), (3) not enough data to pass judgment ("insufficient information"). Note that both of the first two categories supposedly did have enough data to allow thorough investigation. In the Blue Book report* it will be found that all "unknowns" are classified as "certain." So to the Air Force a "UFO" is an unanalyzed report; an "unknown" is one which has been analyzed and found "with certainty" to be inexplicable on conventional grounds. Air Force spokesmen, however, are in the habit of misusing their own terminology. For example: "Even the unknown three per cent (referring to reports during the first few months of 1955-Author) could have been explained as conventional phenomena or illusions if more complete observational data had been available."**

            Air Force Secretary Donald Quarles, author of this statement, spoke as if there were no difference between "unknown" reports and "insufficient information" reports--two categories which, in fact, are mutually exclusive. "Unknowns" are objects or phenomena that have been definitely classified as of unknown nature; they are not vaguely reported objects that might have had conventional explanations.

            As for "insufficient information" reports, these serve no purpose in any scientific study except to show statistically the great number of poor reports received. It is completely unscientific to treat such poor and useless data equally with good data as the Air Force seems to do. "Unknowns" are converted to "insufficient information" reports by spokesmen, then "insufficient information" reports are used to bolster the "identified" category by hints that they "... perhaps, could have been one of several known objects or natural phenomena."** Which all goes to show, allegedly, that there is nothing mysterious about UFOs. The three possible fates have thus been telescoped into one actual fate: More or less identified. (1) Identified (2) "unknowns" which "could have been explained if more complete data available" (3) "insufficient information" cases which "perhaps could have been known objects." One could argue with more validity that these categories should read: (1) identified as probable natural objects

____________

* Davidson, Leon; "Flying Saucers; an Analysis of the Air Force Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14,"(White Plains, N. Y., 1956). This document contains photostatic copies of the text, and many of the tables, of the original Air Force report.

____________

** Davidson, op. cit., p D-5

(119)

 

(2) "unknowns" for which mere is no ready explanation (3) "insufficient information" cases which we will throw out. But the Air Force has never seen fit to be that straightforward about it.

            Characteristic of Air Force statements on UFOs is this quotation attributed to Mr. Quarles from an Air Force News Re­lease, October 25, 1955:

            "On the basis of this study we believe that no objects such as those popularly described as flying saucers have over flown the United States." (My italics --author.) Perhaps he intended to say "flown over." At any rate, this statement pretends to say that no unexplained objects have flown over the United States. Taken to mean what it seems to say, the statement flatly contradicts the Blue Book study. Of course, it all hinges on what Mr. Quarles meant by "objects such as those popularly described as flying saucers." He could not possibly have meant either "UFOs" or "unknowns" because USAF pilots have pursued those over every part of the country. * Heaven only knows what he did mean.

            The American public is so used to hearing phrases like "our cigarette tastes better... " and "laboratory tests prove. .. " that it is hardened to such gobbledygook and doesn't bother to question and analyze it. What do the cigarettes taste better than? Did the "laboratory tests" really prove anything worth mentioning, or are the ad-men merely seeking to clothe themselves in the prestige of science, laboratories and doctors?

            The same abuse of language prevails among those who pretend to explain UFOs. There is a minimum of clear, candid argument and a maximum of attempting to sell an idea with the use of meaningless catch phrases. So we find Dr. Menzel "proving" with "laboratory tests" that saucers are merely apparitions. Air Force says "our investigation was better, "and it "proved" that "flying saucers" do not even exist, without ever saying what is meant by "flying saucers."

            If, just once, either the commanding general of the Air Force or the President would state publicly: "We are convinced, on the basis of careful and serious investigation, that no controlled alien objects (either from a foreign country or from outside the earth's atmosphere) have flown through our airspace, " it would be difficult not to accept it as an honest statement. But clear, unambiguous language of this sort just does not occur in Air

____________

* See Ruppelt, Edward: Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, (Doubleday 1956), for some of the details. 

 

(120)

 

Force statements on this subject. Rather it is the overwhelming authority of the Air Force, reinforced by skeptical statements from Dr. Menzel and others, which carries the day and forestalls a deeper probe into their parody of a scientific investigation.

            For those who would dig deeper, the question remains. Are the terms "flying saucer," "UFO," and "aerial phenomena" to be used interchangeably? If so, the vocabulary of UFOlogy is drastically limited. To illustrate the point, I will trace briefly the history of these terms. The word "flying saucer, "originally applied in 1947 to flat, skimming aerial objects, was almost immediately used by headline-writers to refer to objects of any shape or flight characteristics--in fact to anything in the sky, seen by anyone under any sighting conditions. Accordingly it soon became inexact and non-descriptive. Through a fortunate accident, it was originally quite descriptive since the objects seen in 1947 were mostly saucer-like both in appearance and motion through the air. The result of this carelessness with words was the lack of intelligent attention to the well-substantiated sightings; they could all be tagged with a funny name and treated as jokes.

            In view of the supposedly undignified connotations of "flying saucers," the Air Force, in deciding on a name for the alleged mysterious objects, coined the term "Unidentified Flying Object," abbreviated "Ufob" or "UFO." This term was not intended to be applied to any and every aerial occurrence, but only to what appeared (to such observers as experienced pilots) to be unusual, solid, controlled objects. It is obvious that "UFO" like "flying saucer," is today being used in a broader sense than that originally intended. It is also becoming a general catch-all word to tag on anything puzzling in the sky.

            The term '"aerial phenomena, " also in wide use, is clearly an extremely general term--"phenomenon" probably being close to the most general word in the English language. The use of this term was prompted by a desire for a neutral vocabulary, but unfortunately it leads to the intrusion of an endless array of irrelevancies into the mystery. Meteors, auroras, cloud formations, birds, "Fortean" falls of ice and living things, unidentified objects, etc., all properly come under the classification of "aerial phenomena. " Certainly this is a broader field than the

____________

* Davidson, op. cit., Table IV--p. 45; Table-- p. 48. 

(121) 

 

one we are primarily concerned with in a study of the strange aerial objects under consideration. Most of these aerial phenomena are already in competent scientific hands, while the objects of our inquiry are not. To treat all of these aerial phenomena in one package is to make the uncritical assumption that all mysterious aerial events are somehow connected with UFOs (the apparently controlled, generally circular objects which have caused all the furor.)

            So we see that the three terms most commonly applied to the objects in question are so general and all-inclusive that we are left without any really specific name for the objects of our inquiry. Clearly, the crux of the mystery lies in the category that the Air Force designates as "unknown." The objects we are really interested in are those which are observed in some detail, investigated carefully, and which defy explanation--both because of their unusual appearance and their unusual actions. In spite of Air Force statements which try to slur over its significance, the term "unknown" is a great deal more meaningful than "UFO" or "flying saucer."

            Once attention is focused on the "unknown" category, it is a matter of record that the largest single category within the class of "unknowns" is that of elliptical-shaped objects. This is true even though Air Force analysts, for reasons that are not obvious, have refused to class "lenticular" objects with "elliptical" ones. Instead the familiar "lenticular" or disc-shaped objects are lumped in with "tear drop" and "conical" objects. There is good reason to suspect that many "elliptical" objects were, in fact, discoidal or lenticular objects seen in perspective. If this assumption were made, there would be an even more obvious pattern to the "unknowns."

            These ellipses and/or discs, I submit, are the prime objects (if any) of our concern. What should we call them? The fact is that we have no specific name for them! Calling them "UFOs" or "flying saucers" won't do because those terms are, as we have seen, too inclusive. Imagine how enlightening it would be to a little girl at the zoo who asked her father the name of a certain cat-like beast with stripes, if he could only answer: "That, my dear, is an animal."

            I have no simple solution for this problem. It is one thing to suggest logical and unambiguous terminology, and another to persuade most people to use it consistently. My own preferences are as follows:

(122) 

 

            Aerial phenomena--a general, all-inclusive term referring to unusual or mysterious aerial events such as UFOs, ice-falls, aerial explosions, etc.

            UFO--temporarily unexplained aerial object, reported in some detail by reputable observers, which maneuvers as if controlled intelligently.

            Unknown--UFO which remains unexplained after careful and thorough investigation, because of its actions and/or appearance.

            Flying saucer--flat, circular UFO.

            The "unknowns" may or may not be space ships, but they are something requiring an explanation. The UFO mystery is frequently mistranslated into such questions as: "Are space ships possible?" Or, "Are most people who report UFOs fooled by conventional objects or natural phenomena?" The obvious answer to both of these questions is "yes." But the objective question which remains unanswered is: "What are the unknowns?" That there is a residue of well-reported, carefully investigated, unexplained objects showing definite patterns can no longer be doubted.

            At the present rate of progress, the UFO mystery may be talked to death by irresponsible people unless precise language is used to shear away the nonsense that has been uttered about UFOs. On the one hand we have indisputable evidence of an unexplained phenomenon, and on the other a collection of semantical evasions. We agree with Humpty Dumpty: "Which is to be master, that's all." 

R. H. 

 

(123)

 


 

Chapter   3 

Science and the Unexpected 

 

"If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it’s hard to be sought out and difficult." --Heraclitus (circa 500 B. C.) 

            Have you ever seen a "ghost?" If so, take my advice and never mention it to anyone. Other witnesses or physical evidence would not make any difference. Your plea for a hearing would soon be drowned out by cries of "nonsense," "absurd," and "ridiculous." If you see a "flying saucer," you had better forget that too. Claim to have seen one and you will get approximately the same results. A good term for these skeptical outbursts would be "linguism," since it is choice of language rather than any question of evidence which causes the reactions.

            Today we find certain individuals saying, in essence, "UFOs (flying saucers) are Ships from Venus carrying the Space Brothers on a mission of peace and fellowship to earth." Naturally enough, most scientists throw up their hands in horror upon hearing this. It does not take a scientist to note that the earthly contacts of the Space Brothers are fitting supposed facts into their preconceived ideas about how the universe should be run. Instead of presenting logical arguments based on facts, they are distorting facts and presenting them in a package with their pre-established mystical world order. The resulting "Linguismic" reactions effectively delay a scientific study of the real, serious evidence. Many other scientists are persuaded to avoid the subject which has been condemned by their colleagues. The result is that most scientists do not reserve judgment. Instead of saying of the wild claims they hear, "this is 

 

(124)

 

ridiculous; show me some factual evidence;" they tend to say, "this is ridiculous, therefore the whole idea of UFOs is ridiculous."

            There is an old saying that "the wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease." This is true of the Space Brother faction in more ways than one. Those who have made the wildest unfounded claims have always received the most money to pursue their activities, and the most attention from the press and skeptics. When the loudest claimants of an unusual or new phenomena use vague, mystical sounding language in talking about the phenomenon, most scientifically trained people seem to adopt a sort of "either-or-ism." Either all of mysticism is true, or there is nothing to the alleged phenomenon. Once committed to a choice between only these two alternatives, they find no difficulty in rejecting the phenomenon. Instead of being used to examine the evidence for or against the phenomenon, scientific energy is dissipated in the eternal struggle between two antithetical philosophies--Mysticism and Science. As has happened in the case of UFOs, the third party, those who are attempting a factual study of the situation- -are either ignored or mistakenly lumped in with the mystical philosophers. The scientists who react in this way are doing a great disservice to science. Their violent reactions bear little resemblance to the "calm, dispassionate" examination of evidence which, according to the text-books, is the scientific way of doing things.

            Part of the reason for these common reactions to claims of mysterious occurrences is probably the psychological desire to conform to current ideas. There is an order (call it meta­physical or whatever) which each of us accepts as a framework of understanding. If some fact seems to attack our order, we must either defend against it, ignore it, or absorb it. As frequently happens, the fact may only seem to attack our order, and a closer examination might show that it is actually entirely compatible; but it is fear that the fact might undermine our order which leads us to react emotionally to it.

            Modern science, a small but very important world order today, is theoretically supposed to give way to facts, forming in the process more all-embracing concepts. Unfortunately there are many unscientific scientists who, for emotional reasons, refuse to examine "wild facts, with no stall or pigeon-hole," as William James put it. "Facts," he said, "which threaten to break up the accepted system." 

 

(125)

 

            While defending the scientific order, it is perfectly legitimate to question facts and to try to determine how solidly they are established, because the very successful concepts of modern science cannot be discarded lightly on the basis of vague evidence. But to explain away or ignore a fact because it seems to be an enemy is an odd sort of defense--an ultimately self-defeating one in my opinion. It is just as foolish, and possibly as fatal, as ignoring the shadowy figure of a man blocking your exit in a dark and lonely alley. It is more natural, when flight is possible, to run from the unfamiliar than to pretend that it does not exist and to fail to take account of it. Nevertheless, it is the task of science to clarify and explain the unfamiliar, and flight is therefore only an expedient.

            Although an observer who has seen something strange may be reporting an actual event in a reasonably objective manner, he will frequently find critics more interested in examining his police record or sanity than in examining any evidence he might have. This will undoubtedly happen should the observer chance to use an "unscientific" word--that is, a word which no scientist would be caught dead using except in tones of ridicule.

            A casual observer may very well find himself at a loss for words in attempting to describe something which to him is a brand new experience. In order to communicate what he has seen, he will find it necessary to fall back on existing words which affect different people in different ways. Thus an honest person who sees a nebulous human-like figure might, in describing what he has seen, call it a "ghost." This will delight spiritualists, to whom "ghost" means "discarnate spirit," and appall scientists, to whom "ghost" means "superstitious nonsense." Though there may be a perfectly logical and scientific explanation for what he has seen, our honest friend will undoubtedly become a victim of linguism, and a real happening will be ignored by science.

            Lest there be a misunderstanding, I am not arguing for the existence of ghosts. Linguism--extreme skepticism about unusual phenomena--can occur equally well when there is nothing unique or important about the reported phenomenon, or when it is actually a case of mistaken identity. If this is so, however, linguism will have been a lucky guess rather than a scientific conclusion. In some cases it may not be a recurring happening which is amenable to scientific investigation. 

 

(126)

 

Chances are, however, that the use of the word "ghost" would automatically satisfy most scientists that nothing important had happened.

            The parallel between ghosts and UFOs does not lie in the objective facts of the matter (or lack of them), but in the reactions to the reports. (I disagree completely with the physicist at Cal Tech who once advised me to study ghosts in preference to UFOs, because the evidence for them was of the same type but had a longer history. He was most likely under the spell of linguism and had no knowledge of the evidence for UFOs.) In any case of a verbal report, whether or not there is any supporting evidence, there are four usual reactions by those hearing the report: (1) the observer is lying. (2) the observer is sincere but imagined it. (3) the observer actually saw something but misinterpreted it. (4) the observer saw essentially what he said he saw. The first three of these categories are generally overworked in application to the unexpected or unusual.

            A recent example of linguism at work in science was the report, in November, 1958, that a Russian scientist had seen an "eruption" on the moon. The event can be classed as unexpected and unusual because the moon, by current theory, is supposed to be a "dead" body. Without concerning themselves with the evidence, many astronomers immediately called the report "nonsense." One British astronomer said "Don't believe anything they say," the clear implication being that the Russians were lying. Others were ready to admit that "something" was seen, but not an eruption. The general tone of the reactions was that the report had to be wrong because the moon is dead. At least one prominent astronomer rushed out a complex speculative explanation for the "eruption" which would preserve the current theory, but which was not based on any solid evidence. To their credit, several American astronomers acted like scientists and said something of this sort: "Interesting if true, but it will take more evidence to overthrow current ideas about the moon."

            Since they are based on the best evidence to date, well-established theories cannot be cast aside at the first sign of a seeming disconfirmation. Again, it may not actually be a disconfirmation, and a fear of being found wrong might cause scientists to overlook an important bit of evidence. It is essential in science that scientists not be so enamored with a theory or hypothesis that they refuse to consider evidence which is prejudicial to it.

(127)

 

It is utterly unscientific to reject a report on the sole grounds that it contradicts a theory; yet, the rules of acceptable evidence are all too often slanted to rule out evidence which would controvert current theory.

            Linguism is an attitude, not an explanation. Linguism has historically been the way in which science has handled the unexpected, until the unexpected has by sheer force of numbers become the familiar. Until the unusual has battled its way to acceptance by refusing to believe scientific statements that it is non-existent; by recurring in spite of scientific ridicule. In the 16th century the Church fought the unexpected and alien ideas of Copernicus, who suggested that the earth was not the center of the solar system. In more recent times the table has been turned, and science has in turn fought against ideas which seemed to endanger its system. The fact that Copernicus turned out to be more nearly right than the Church, did not destroy religion. The discovery of the fact that meteorites do fall from the sky, which scientists did not want to accept at first, did not undermine any scientific laws.

            Linguism is a symptom of a return to Authority as a means of settling problems. Scientific authority employs a weapon as effective in its way as the Inquisition, namely, ridicule. Once the scientific guns of ridicule and skepticism have been leveled on a subject, few will dare to stand up and be counted in support of that subject. This would not be so bad if scientists were more in the habit of reserving judgment until the facts have been examined.

            With many historical precedents to judge by, science should have learned by now that the crackpots and opportunists who attach themselves to all mysteries are irrelevant to the facts of the matter. Linguism only causes unnecessary delay, and compounds the confusion, in providing solutions for unexpected problems. The delay and confusion, in turn, leave an open field for the very enemies that science had intended to defeat. If science would concern itself more with an immediate and honest appraisal of the factual evidence, the truth about new and unexpected happenings would not be so "hard to be sought out and difficult;" for dishonesty and false reasoning cannot flourish when science is functioning as it should. 

R. H.

 

(128)

 


 

Chapter   4 

The Manipulators of Fear

 

            At large in the circus-like arena of UFOlogy are certain ringmasters, who are not above embellishing the facts to thrill their audiences. They seem to feel that a few "white lies" are justified as long as they can put on a good show and sell tickets. Manipulating the emotion of fear in the crowd is the ringmasters' specialty. They know that people like to be led to the edge of the pit, and then pulled back.

            The UFO-manipulators are currently employing three spiels in particular: (1) that the earth will soon tilt on its axis (2) that man will bring disaster on himself through the reckless use of A and H-bombs (3) that dark, mysterious terrorists are on the rampage, silencing anyone who discovers "the truth" about UFOs. Although these themes are not at all crucial to the objective case for UFOs, they do recur throughout the writings of UFOlogy.

            Man has always seemed to enjoy misreading the facts until they do, without a doubt, appear horrifying. Then, to make certain that a pleasant "truth" ultimately saves the day; he has proceeded to put a protective coating of myth over the distorted facts. It is no different with UFOs. The UFO-manipulators are all too willing (for reasons of personal gain) to provide both the desired "facts" and the saving "truth" for those who are either unable or unwilling to face reality.

            One of the most common spiels in UFOlogy, which illustrates this sort of manipulation at work, is that some cataclysmic natural disaster is imminent. It is nothing new for mystics to be predicting the end of the world. In spite of a long history of disconfirmations, it continues to be one of their favorite pastimes. The manipulators seize on the mystical speculations and distort current scientific findings so they will appear to verify the speculations. It works something like this: 

 

(129)

 

            The recent worldwide scientific investigations of our environment for the International Geophysical Year revealed that the polar ice-caps apparently are melting and that there is a crack in the earth's crust on the ocean floor. These discoveries, blown up by journalistic enthusiasm (actual headline: "Earth Is Cracked"), are then attached to the old mystical theme of impending doom.

            It does not matter that the crack in the ocean floor, on the planetary scale, is but a superficial scratch, and that its only immediate significance is its apparent relation to the world's earthquake belts. Rather than show science at work attempting to learn more about the causes of natural disasters, the manipulators draw attention to themselves by blaming science for the ills of the world. They find it profitable to do so.

            Neither are the melting polar caps pictured in the perspective of geological history. Evidence from the past indicates that glaciers have advanced and receded, and that climates have changed. This has occurred slowly, over very long periods of time. In their efforts to portray science as the mystics prefer to see it, the manipulators forget to mention that it is the business of science to predict what effects such geophysical changes will have, and to find ways of controlling them.

            In the past, fiery comets were urged as objects of fear and omens of impending disaster. Tomorrow it will be something else used by the manipulators to frighten people into refusing rational inquiry. Today they use the geophysical "facts," among other things.

            Once they have stirred up enough people who begin to fear that some cataclysm is about to occur, the manipulators promptly drag in UFOs, portraying them as vehicles bearing saviors from space. A variation on the theme is that atomic explosions are responsible for the coming disaster, and the "space men" are here to warn us of self-annihilation unless we adopt interplanetary brotherhood forthwith. Clearly the "space men" are being created in the desired image, and are (at the appropriate time) made to say nice things.

            The dangers of the nuclear age are very real. It is this obvious fact which contributes to the human desire for a simple,  

 

(130)

 

iron-clad solution such as the manipulators are happy to provide. Instead of space men, however, it has been such great human beings as Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell who have warned us about nuclear warfare, and pointed up the choices we must make. Their exhortations, based on science and logic, are worthy of careful thought and deliberate action. Since mystical (anti-scientific) thought could not credit scientifically oriented earth-men with humanitarian concern, "space men" are made to voice it.

            There is a danger, however, that a "leave-it-to-the-space-men" attitude will lull a good share of the populace into a false sense of security. "Don't think," the manipulators urge in effect, "these advanced beings from other planets will prevent us from self-destruction, so concentrate on berating science for causing all the trouble."

            It can not be determined by wishful thinking whether the possibility of nuclear destruction on earth concerns beings on other worlds. At present, this is a question impossible to answer. If we grant that UFOs are space ships, it remains highly speculative what the motives and purposes of their pilots might be. The possibilities are infinite. They include colonization, neutral exploration, and even "peaceful intervention" as the contact stories picture. The actual truth of the matter must await better evidence, at least some of which is probably now in military hands.

            At any rate, this kind of speculation should not compete with the UFO mystery per se, for the main reason that it obscures the fact that UFOs are a well-grounded scientific mystery. As Confucius said, "To be certain of what we know, and of what we do not know, that is true knowledge." Obviously the story of what we do know for certain about UFOs is in a very confused state. Confused, quite often, with what we do not know, such as why UFOs are here.

            Another oft-told story is the doings of the alleged silencers who are said to terrorize UFO investigators into inactivity. The moral sounds familiar: "Don't think. Don't investigate." And also, "Don't worry, boys, somebody higher up knows what it's all about."

            It is sometimes implied that evil international or supranational interests (or even non-earthly agents) are responsible for these visitations.  

 

(131)

 

As usual there is only vague evidence hinting at something to be feared. If there are any such men, it's a safe bet that they are either self-appointed manipulators or agents or government performing routine duties. Many citizens, unfortunately, do not know their rights and might be frightened by a badge.

            All of these fears, it seems to me, are symptoms of a much more general underlying fear in the world. The fear of following wherever the facts might lead us and facing up to reality. The fear of what we might find out. In short a fear of the unknown. Those who fear enlightenment (the "pleasant truth" seekers) and those who profit by darkness (the manipulators) will always be in opposition to scientific investigations.

            The irony of the situation in UFOlogy is that distortions of fact are introducing false fears which lead many to accept the savior interpretation of UFOs. This interpretation, in turn, blinds its adherents to the definite possibility that UFOs themselves might be harmful. There is no overwhelming evidence that such is the case, but it is a possibility. Plato said long ago that courage was the knowledge of what to fear, and of what not to fear. By this definition, we could use more "courage" in the world today.

            No matter what the truth might be, mankind would almost certainly benefit from the rational, scientific study of UFOs which is impeded by the actions of the manipulators. At the very least, false fears would be eliminated and manipulators exposed.

            In over ten years of UFO history, there has been more harm done verbally by human beings than physical harm from UFOs. The only real thing to fear so far is the damage which has been done by the manipulators in frustrating our attempts to increase human knowledge.

 

                                                                                                                  R. H.

 

(132)

 


 

Chapter 5 

UFOlogy—A Delineation

 

            Although UFOlogy has a definite function to perform, it is not a science, and should not have to be a science to perform this function. The fact is that few so-called UFOlogists are scientists, and few have sufficient knowledge of scientific techniques to enable them to provide scientific conclusions. What UFOlogy is, and what it should be, can best be determined by examining the reasons for its existence at all. Once this is done, it will be easier to note the chasm between what UFOlogy is and what it should (or could) be. Then ways and means for bridging the chasm can be worked out.

            Why is there a groping study of UFOs which goes under the name of "UFOlogy?" One reason which appears to be common to all schools of thought within UFOlogy is dissatisfaction with "Official" investigation and its conclusions. The individual reasons for dissatisfaction, however, are as varied as the personality types represented. Some are dissatisfied because their pet "theories" are not considered proven beyond a doubt by UFOs. These "theories", for the most part, correspond to the preconceptions of the individuals who hold them. Others, on more rational grounds, are dissatisfied because they detect the prejudices of the "official" investigators and the unscientific nature of the "official" investigation.

            How, then, do UFOlogists attempt to alleviate this dissatisfaction? What form does the attempt for satisfaction take? UFOlogy might accurately be called a protest movement, since protest is the factor common to all schools of thought which are loosely bundled under the one name. However, it is my contention that "UFOlogy" is a misnomer as long as rabid, anti-scientific elements remain under the same roof.  

(133) 

 

To be sure, there are many schools of thought within a given science, but all these schools have in common the use of scientific methods in gathering, analyzing, and theorizing about evidence. Disputes about particulars are inevitable, but the use of scientific methods is basic, and only evidence allegedly obtained through scientific techniques is admitted to the arena at all.

            As it now stands, UFOlogy does not even meet this basic requirement of a science. UFOlogy is largely a collection of small, unorthodox newspapers which (on the whole) turn out "scientific" conclusions quite arbitrarily; weird "reform" organizations which insist that UFOs mean we should prepare for the end of the world, a "new age, " a cataclysmic upheaval, or what-have-you; and small groups, clubs, and units of people who sit around discussing UFOs as if they were something to be worshipped rather than studied. This aggregate can scarcely be called a neo-science. The "membership" includes religious fanatics and psychopaths as well as astute critics and professional scientists.

            UFOlogy exists in its present form primarily because science and officialdom have failed to do their jobs. It is a stop­gap movement in protest against this failure, and against the underlying reasons for the failure. A good case can be made for the claim that scientific and bureaucratic orthodoxy, in making paternalism and secrecy the keynote of public information policy, are behind the present confusion about UFOs. The increasing entanglement of science with government is causing science to tend fearfully away from democratic practices, as paradoxical as this may sound.

            The fact of the matter is that, for a so-called democratic society, there is very little information available from governmental sources on any subject. The "fact sheet" approach, familiar to those who have written the Air Force about UFOs, is common practice; and the so-called "fact sheets" ordinarily contain little but useless generalizations reflecting the policy line of the current administration. Since a large share of modern science in this country is governmental, science has, unfortunately, tended to adopt information policies and practices of a similarly secretive nature. The resulting dearth of vital information is intolerable, and in the sense that UFOlogy is a fight for freedom of information, it is a very democratic movement. 

(134) 

 

            The present existence of UFOlogy can be traced, ultimately to a breakdown in the scientific spirit, and a political tendency away from democracy; hence the political and philosophical overtones to the writings of UFOlogy. The enemies of the scientific spirit have found a popular subject which enables them to deliver their anti-scientific tirades, and to advocate various mystical doctrines as the answer to all problems, including UFOs. The advocates of the scientific spirit, appalled by the politicalization of science and the resurgence of mysticism, find themselves the numerical and spiritual underdogs, fighting for the continuance of scientific enlightenment. In some cases the gripes about undemocratic practices are being perverted by those of other political persuasions to gripes against democracy itself, and we find "UFO" organizations advocating something akin to the Communist line through the medium-ship of "space men.

            In my opinion the function of UFOlogy is to advocate the scientific spirit as the only feasible approach to UFOs. In order to progress beyond its present stage it will have to draw the battle lines clearly, either eliminating unscientific elements from the fold, or completely dissociating itself from the present connotations of "UFOlogy" and taking a new name altogether. It should oppose, with equal fervor, both the bastardization of science in government and the ghosts of the mystical past which have arisen to haunt the subject. Neither the glib mystical solutions nor the misleading official announcements should be tolerated.

            Although the ranks of UFOlogy contain the seeds of a science, it should not now pretend to be a science but a popular movement advocating scientific investigation. It can do (and has done) some laying of foundations for scientific study, especially in the fields of data-gathering and classifying. It should (and could) clarify and present the factual evidence in a manner designed to encourage a true scientific investigation which would make use of all the techniques and facilities available to science today. Until UFOlogy has as its image the scientific spirit, it will not attract scientists. Until it attracts scientists, it will not be a science. Until it is a science, it will not provide the answers about UFOs. If UFOlogy is unable to become a science on its own, it has to persuade orthodox scientists to investigate UFOs. In either case, it must eliminate the unscientific elements which have obscured the issue. 

R. H.

 

(135)

 


 

Chapter 6 

The UFOs and Proof

 

            What constitutes proof...? "This is the provocative question asked by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, former chief of the Air Force UFO project. This is the essence of the UFO controversy and the main stumbling block preventing a conclusive answer. Time after time, as Ruppelt reported, pilots and other good observers have reported UFOs which could not be explained. Twice the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), home of the UFO project, concluded that UFOs were real objects. The second time, in 1948, ATIC further concluded that UFOs were interplanetary space ships. * When higher echelons demanded proof, however, the ATIC investigators got cold feet. Through some strange logic the conclusion was reversed so completely that UFOs suddenly did not exist at all!

            One of the most popular pastimes indulged in by all sorts of people who have not examined the evidence for UFOs is to attribute all UFO reports to the psychological make-up of the individual observers. Even professional psychologists have been prone to slough off UFO reports lightly as hallucinations and delusions. In an age of psychoanalysis and psychology for the masses, these explanations have been popular with the press. Newsmen, on the whole, have willingly parroted any explanation for UFOs emanating from professional authorities regardless of the fact that very little study preceded the authoritative explanations.

            If psychological explanations are to be applied to the serious side of the UFO mystery, psychologists should begin by examining the ups and downs of the Air Force investigation and ease

____________

* E. J. Ruppelt, Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, (Doubleday, 1956) p. 62. 

 

(136)

 

up a bit on serious observers like pilots who--so some would have us believe--are constantly being deluded by other airplanes, birds, clouds, and familiar objects which have always been a part of their everyday experience. It is much more plausible, even without the documented facts about the conduct of Air Force UFO investigators, to suppose that the strange actions of these responsible for investigations of UFOs are a more fitting subject for psychological examination. What psychological reasons are there for the fluctuations of the Air Force all across the spectrum of explanation from "non-existent" to "space ship" and back again? Clearly there is more to the problem than a question of weighing factual evidence when the Air Force and its alleged scientific investigation can not make up its mind from year to year whether the phenomenon it is supposed to be studying even exists.

            "Proof" is nothing more than conviction based on factual evidence and logical argument. If the evidence is examined and found to be valid, and the logic is sound, a statement or claim is "proved." It is not quite that simple, however, when the claim is as complex as the assertion that "UFOs are space ships" or "UFOs are common objects which have deceived the observers." The Air Force has, for at least 10 years, attempted to prove the latter. In doing so it has had to rely heavily on psychological explanations both to account for the many deluded observers and to debunk the notion of extraterrestrial visitors as wishful thinking.

            There are those of us who find the Air Force explanations glib and insulting, and who would prefer to see an open scientific investigation attempt to prove that UFOs are real. On the basis of circumstantial evidence it is not unreasonable to accept this as a possibility worthy of further study. If this attempt failed after an honest effort were made, UFOs would lose by default. If it succeeded, it could be one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time.

            In application to UFOs, the academic question of proof must be settled on two levels: (1) What constitutes proof that UFOs are a unique phenomenon rather than many different misidentified conventional objects? (2) If UFOs are unique, unexplained objects, how can we prove what the objects are? The Air Force has continually jumped back and forth between these two levels. 

 

(137)

 

First UFOs are space ships (which implies that they are unique objects of a single type), then UFOs are not only not space ships, but also not unique objects of a single type. The logic appears to have been that if you can't prove these disc-like objects are space ships, you have to prove they are not disc-like objects. This odd set of alternatives was also expressed by Captain Ruppelt who said in 1954; "If they're real, they're interplanetary."* Whether or not you accept these alternatives, it is important to obtain proof or disproof on the first level without getting involved in the emotional morass surrounding the question of what UFOs might be if they are real.

            One thing is certain. If UFOs are disc-like objects, they are not birds, balloons, or any of the other 57 Air Force varieties. They may not be space ships, but they are unexplained disc-like objects. This argument, when used in conjunction with a series of reliable reports of flying discs, has (at least for the moment) converted a few skeptics. Not to a belief in space ships, however. With breathtaking suddenness the skeptics have made the same logical leap of telescoping the 57 varieties into one --"Oh, they're probably some sort of secret U. S. device." This is at least an acceptance of the first level; but it leads immediately to a whole new argument of whether, considering the history of UFO reports, UFOs could be secret devices.

            Circumstantial evidence so far favors the establishment of the first level of proof--that the real UFOs are unique disc-like objects. There is a consistency of the best reports in regard to general shape and flight characteristics. What conventional objects are circular, capable of hovering, making sharp turns, and accelerating at speeds which astound veteran pilots, scientists and other experienced observers? One professional astronomer reported a UFO sighting, stating that its "remarkably sudden ascent convinced me (it was an) absolutely novel airborne device. ** He had watched an object elliptical in outline, which was first hovering.

            What conventional objects evidence curiosity by pacing airliners, leading jets on cat and mouse pursuits and tantalizing the pilots by remaining just out of reach, and darting down to hover near airports and other installations? *** This "proof" that we are dealing with something which has not been explained, and which is worthy of scientific investigation, is all documented and easily verifiable by anyone interested enough to look at the reports. There are thousands of such reports from good

____________

* Ruppelt, "What Our Air Force Found About Flying Saucers." TRUE. May 1954.
____________                                ____________

* LIFE; 7 April, 1952.                          *** Ruppelt, op. cit. 

 

(138)

 

observers which can not be dismissed by spouting generalities about the psychological aberrations of human beings.

            Even the Chief Scientific Consultant to the Air Force, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, (Northwestern University astrophysicist) has pointed out the consistency and the need for further study. "On the assumption that the majority of these reports, often made in concert, come from reputable persons... it becomes a matter of scientific obligation and responsibility to examine the reported phenomena seriously, despite their seemingly fanciful character...,” he said. "It appears that those reported phenomena which do not admit of a ready and obvious explanation exhibit fairly-well defined patterns and that these are worthy of further study." *

            To reach the second level of proof--as to the nature of the UFOs--it must first be accepted that there is no more debate on the first level. For the sake of argument, we shall assume we are now dealing with a unique type of circular or discoidal object which is being seen in our atmosphere. The second proof, at least in theory, is now relatively simple. Objects of geometrical design which are controlled (i. e. which hover, turn, rise and fall, follow, and flee when pursued) could only be the products of intelligent creatures. Ruling out the possibility that some UFOs might themselves be intelligent creatures (which would also be sufficient reason for a scientific investigation), the choice is clear. UFOs are either devices manufactured on earth, or they are the products of extraterrestrial intelligence.

            If we go so far as to accept UFOs as mechanical devices, there is a proof available to settle the question of origin. It is the reductio ad absurdum (reducing one of two alternatives to an absurdity, thereby proving the other alternative.) If UFOs are not earthly devices, it follows that they are extraterrestrial devices. The government, in all probability, would know of any earthly devices which had been in existence for over 12 years; so it would know whether we have visitors from space as soon as the first level of proof were settled. It may already know. Maybe Captain Ruppelt knew what he was talking about when he said, "If they're real, they're interplanetary."

            The eagerness with which the Air Force tries to prove that all UFOs are misidentified familiar objects might be caused by three things: (1) an honest conviction that UFOs are not a unique reality (2) a fear, based on pre-knowledge that UFOs are not

____________

* Journal of the Optical Society of America, April 1953.

 

(139)

 

secret devices, that to prove UFOs are a unique reality would present a situation over which we had no control--visitors from space in superior vehicles and with obviously superior science. (3) a smoke screen to hide the known fact that we do have visitors from space.

            Regardless of why this is so, the Air Force is (at least publicly) explaining UFOs away instead of examining the crucial reports for signs of consistency and intelligible patterns. Independent studies have shown that these patterns exist; but, it will take a full scientific study to prove anything. The question is: When is the phase of glib explanation going to end, and an attempt to obtain scientific proof begin?

 

 

R. H.

 

(140)

 


 

Chapter 7 

Pigeon-holes of Science

 

            The following words of the American philosopher William James have particular application to one of the main difficulties in UFO investigation- -the failure of the scientific community to recognize that a serious problem exists which should be explored by science:

            "Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dust-cloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to... Facts are there only for those who have a mental affinity with them. When once they are indisputably ascertained and admitted, the academic and critical minds are by far the best fitted ones to interpret and discuss them... but on the other hand if there is anything which history demonstrates, it is the extreme slowness with which the ordinary academic and critical mind acknowledges facts to exist which present themselves as wild facts, with no stall or pigeon-hole, or as facts which threaten to break up the accepted system... "

            "Science means, first of all, a certain dispassionate method. To suppose that it means a certain set of results that one should pin one's faith upon and hug forever is sadly to mistake its genius, and degrades the scientific body to the status of a sect."*

            The application of these words to the UFO mystery is not intended as an indictment of science. Much of the reason for the scientific disdain of UFOs is the aura of crackpotism which has enshrouded the subject. All sorts of "saucer cults" exist which, almost literally, worship UFOs. In much the same manner, however, some people worship automobiles or airplanes. This does not mean that automobiles or airplanes do not exist.

            The UFO reports from pilots, radar men, FAA control tower operators and other reliable observers are wild facts with no

____________

* William James; The Will to Believe, Longmans, Green & Co. Inc. 

 

(141)

 

pigeon-hole. The Air Force, alleging the use of scientific methods, is attempting to find conventional pigeon-holes for each UFO report. It is highly debatable (1) whether the Air Force investigation is scientific and (2) whether the correct pigeon­holes are being found. The important question is: Are UFOs something unconventional which need a new pigeon-hole? Are they something new to our experiences which are wrongly being forced to fit a conventional mold?

            As far as the scientific community is concerned, it can make no claims about UFOs because it has not yet recognized and investigated them. Instead it has assumed, with little or no investigation, that nothing new or different is being seen. Only a very small handful of professional scientists have had anything at all to say publicly about UFOs, and then it has only been a matter of individual opinion, not scientific conclusion.

            Dr. Donald Menzel, Harvard astrophysicist, is the most famous of those who have ventured opinions. His opinion is that UFOs are only the "rags and tags of meteorological optics" (i. e., rare and uncommon atmospheric phenomena such as "sun-dogs" and reflections of ground lights off of variably heated layers of air.) More recently he has called continuing UFO reports "saucer scares," and cases in which UFOs were said to have stalled automobiles he has attributed to "nervous feet." In short, he is a noted UFO-skeptic.

            Dr. Menzel's temperature inversion theory, which was rejected by the Air Force, cannot account for the valid photographs and movies of UFOs, or the simultaneous radar-visual sightings. Inversion effects on radar are well-known to FAA radar men, who pay no particular attention to them as they guide airliners in for landings.

            Although Dr. Menzel and the Air Force disagree on individual explanations in almost every case, it is interesting to note that both agree UFOs are nothing but a collection of various natural phenomena. It is this formidable team of debunkers which has carried so much weight in public opinion. Yet, the mere fact that the two parties find different explanations for the same case is an indication of the guess-work that goes on in regard to UFOs. Apparently it is all right to have discrepancies as long as it is agreed that UFOs are not something unique.     

 

(142)

 

            Today there is a sort of worship of authority or expertness in our society whereby the nearest "expert" is called upon to pass judgment on some happening single-handedly. A glowing light is seen in the sky, startling several citizens. Some enterprising reporter (acting for the public) calls up Dr. Smith at the local observatory and asks what the light was. "I didn't see it, but it was probably a meteor," says Dr. Smith. Satisfied, the reporter writes his story: "ASTRONOMER SAYS SKY GLOW WAS METEOR--Not Little Green Men From Mars." (The embellishment jazzes up the story.)

            The authoritative opinion is then generally accepted as fact. Any other scientists who might read the story will give weight to the explanation because it came from a scientist and provided a proper pigeon-hole for the happening. They will also scoff at anyone--perhaps one of the actual witnesses--who questions the explanation. In a case like this, they will fall back on scientific "authority" suggesting that only scientists are competent to judge such things.

            Scientists will seldom create new categories (or pigeon­holes), even if it means questioning the sincerity and honesty of non-scientific observers. They will frequently demolish the report itself and deny its factual content rather than admit an uncatalogued fact. This has been demonstrated throughout the history of science, and throughout every branch of science. This skeptical denial of evidence, which I have called "linguism,"* is not reserved for non-scientists, however. New discoveries or unusual reports by other scientists often get the same treatment.

            A case in point is the discovery of a "missing link" between man and the apes in 1924, and the subsequent scientific skepticism which resulted from this claim. Near the end of 1924 a small skull was found in a lime deposit near Taungs, Africa, and sent to anatomist Raymond Dart in Johannesburg. Dart cleaned and studied it and promptly sent a paper off to London claiming the skull represented a being between higher apes and man.   He called it Austra-lopithecus africanus.

            When the paper appeared in 1925, "all English and American scientists who expressed an opinion were unanimous in declaring that Dart had made a serious blunder."** The skull, they said, was that of a chimpanzee. Later, anthropologist Robert Broom (who investigated) and noted paleontologist William J. Sollas of Oxford University (who had examined a portion of the

____________

* Linguism: extreme scientific skepticism about unusual occurrences.

____________

** The Apeman, by Robert Broom; Readings in Anthropology, Hoebel, Jennings & Smith, (McGraw-Hill, c. 1955) 

 

(143)

 

skull) became allies of Dart and supported his claim. The argument went on for years, but most anthropologists were not convinced.

            Finally, many years later, further excavations and discoveries in South Africa established beyond a doubt that a family of higher primates, practically human, had lived in the area for hundreds of thousands of years. Today it is generally accepted that Dart's original claim was correct, and that Austra-lopithecus was a being not quite ape and not quite human, but with features of both. Although there is some disagreement as to the exact place in the evolutionary scheme, scientific opinion is now unanimous that the skull represents an ape-man, definitely not a chimpanzee. [See Also: "Fossil Men," Boule & Vallois (Dryden Press, New York, c. 1957), p. 92.]

            No one could have argued with the scientists if they had either reserved judgment or asked for more evidence. Instead... "Nonsense... Dart blundered... only a chimpanzee. “It is the attitude implicit in words like these which delay scientific progress by refusing, without paying too much attention to the facts, to even consider the need for new pigeon-holes of knowledge. It is a pretension, unbecoming to those who claim to be scientists, to think that modern science has already established all categories of knowledge for all time.

            In the field of UFOs, the same unscientific habit is practiced. Critics will frequently state that there are no scientific observations of UFOs on record (the implication being that UFOs are therefore only embellishments, conscious or unconscious, of some routine happening.) Newspaper editors often treat UFOs as if they were some sort of popular summer madness. Actually, many scientists have seen UFOs and reported them to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). Some of these men, but not all, have insisted on remaining anonymous in order to avoid the sort of unthinking ridicule under discussion.  They can hardly be blamed.

            Dr. Donald Menzel, the noted UFO-skeptic, has provided a good example of the technique sometimes used to get rid of a "wild fact." That technique is the annihilation or distortion of evidence. One instance of this is his interpretation of a UFO report made by another famous scientist, Dr. Clyde Tombaugh. Dr. Tombaugh is best known for his discovery of the planet Pluto, but also has many other astronomical discoveries to his credit.  

 

(144)

 

His achievements, and the list of scientific societies to which he belongs, are reported in "Who's Who." His UFO report, received by the author in the form of a signed statement, follows:

            "I saw the object about eleven o'clock one night in August, 1949, from the backyard of my home in _____, New Mexico. I happened to be looking at zenith, admiring the beautiful transparent sky of stars, when suddenly I spied a geometrical group of faint bluish-green rectangles of light similar to the "Lubbock Lights." My wife and her mother were sitting in the yard with me and they saw them also. The group moved south-southeasterly, the individual rectangles became foreshortened, their space of formation smaller, (at first about one degree across) and the intensity duller, fading from view at about 35 degrees above the horizon. Total time of visibility was about three seconds. I was too flabbergasted to count the number of rectangles of light, or to note some other features I wondered about later. There was no sound. I have done thousands of hours of night sky watching, but never saw a sight so strange as this. The rectangles of light were of low luminosity; had there been a full moon in the sky, I am sure they would not have been visible."

            Dr. Tombaugh's astronomical background, as well as his thousands of hours of practical observing experience, make him an expert observer. Naturally, any honest skeptic would feel obliged to account for his observation. Dr. Menzel discusses the case in his book, giving the following analysis:

            "I can only hazard here the same guess I made about the Lubbock lights--that a low, thin layer of haze or smoke reflected the lights of a distant house or some other multiple source. The haze must have been inconspicuous to the eye, because Tombaugh comments on the unusual clarity of the sky." *

            When I first read this explanation, I found it more amazing than Dr. Tombaugh's sighting. In order to account for a report of an unusual phenomenon, Dr. Menzel had to provide a haze layer even though Dr. Tombaugh "comments on the unusual clarity of the sky." But skeptics prefer to accept admitted guesses of this sort rather than credit the first-hand testimony of a trained observer. This is particularly true when accepting the testimony might mean accepting the need for a new pigeon-hole or category of knowledge--a new, unexplained phenomenon.

____________

* Flying Saucers, Donald H. Menzel, (Harvard University Press, c. 1953), p. 3b.

 

(145)

 

            Since Dr. Menzel's analysis implied that Dr. Tombaugh had been fooled by a light reflection, I wrote to Dr. Tombaugh to ask whether he thought the UFO was solid and to get his opinion of Dr. Menzel's interpretation. Dr. Tombaugh replied on September 10, 1957:

            "Regarding the solidity of the phenomenon I saw: My wife thought she saw a faint connecting glow across the structure. The illuminated rectangles I saw did maintain an exact fixed position with respect to each other, which would tend to support the impression of solidity. I doubt that the phenomenon was any terrestrial reflection, because some similarity to it should have appeared many times. I do a great deal of observing (both telescopic and unaided eye) in the backyard and nothing of the kind has ever happened before or since. "

            Time after time throughout the history of science, scientists have scoffed at "wild facts," refusing even to consider the possibility that they might be real facts in need of explanation. The classic example of clinging to established pigeon-holes was the refusal of astronomers, until comparatively recently, to accept the fact that meteorites come from the sky. "Wild facts" of the past sometimes become mundane realities once they are examined fairly by scientists.

            It is true that science does not have time to examine every "crackpot" notion that comes along. There is a huge assortment of junk which has been advanced as "fact." Nevertheless, when there is a long and continuous body of data for some phenomenon, when that phenomenon has been seen by expert observers, tracked on radar, and photographed, when it has caused a continuing controversy and affected the lives of thousands of people, science has an obligation to study it. UFOs are such a phenomenon.

            Significant sightings of UFOs have been made by hundreds of competent persons, including a growing number of scientists. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh and other scientists have, without fail, testified to the reality and unclassifiable character of UFOs in their accounts. The scientists who were fortunate enough to see examples of UFO performance for themselves have given their testimonies in a true open-minded scientific manner, recognizing the fallacy of trying to pigeon-hole their unusual observations within the traditional categories. A few such reports follow: 

 

(146)

 

DETAILS OF OBSERVATIONS OF UNKNOWN FLYING OBJECTS 

Date: Monday, August 11, 1958

Time: 9:15 to 10:30 p.m.

Location: Chautauqua Lake, New York

Observers: Fred C. Fair, Ph.D., and Gary Phillips

(Dr. Fair is a retired professor of Engineering, New York University)

 

            Fred C. Fair and Gary Phillips were using a survey transit to observe the altitude and azimuth of certain stars.

            (1) A white light was observed moving across the sky to the right and away from the observers. When the transit telescope was sighted on the moving light, possibly a minute had elapsed since it was first observed. At first only one white light was seen, then a second was noted, then a third and finally a fourth light, all four being more or less in line, and each separated by an angular distance of about 2 degrees. It is the opinion of both observers that when the first of the four lights was seen, that there were no other moving lights in the vicinity. Which does not mean that the objects were not in the sky, but that they were not emitting visible light at that time.

            Shortly after watching all four lights with the naked eye, the third light became about ten times as bright as the others, becoming brighter than Jupiter which was in the same sky area. The other three lights at this time were about as bright as a second magnitude star. A few seconds later this third light rather suddenly dimmed until it was the faintest of the four lights.

            Due to the narrow field of view of a surveyor's transit telescope, it is rather difficult to locate and follow a rapidly moving object. By the time that Gary made his first observation thru the telescope the moving lights had traveled from Northwest to Southwest, passing close to Jupiter. Gary made the statement that the objects were Flying Saucers, and that the telescope showed that what appeared to be a single light to the naked eye was several lights, and that there was a red light above the others. When Dr. Fair took his turn to observe the lights, three of the objects had already disappeared behind trees to the south. The very brief glance that Dr. Fair had showed several white lights, he thought there were five, and he observed a faint red light to the rear and above the white ones. 

 

(147)

 

            (2) Fifteen minutes later, while in a boat on Lake Chautauqua, while looking for meteors, a single white light was seen in the southeast sky traveling from south to north. The light slowly and continuously varied intensity, fluctuating from 5th  to 3rd magnitude, but the time of the cycle was irregular, but of more than three-second duration per cycle. For several seconds the light appeared to be stationary and when it resumed its motion it was traveling in a direction opposite to when first observed. Total time of observation of this light was about five minutes. As it receded in the south it became too faint to be further seen.

            About this time a jet trail, making an arc of about 180 degrees was observed in a tighter radius than that described by the first four objects, but following essentially the same course. At the head of the jet trail Gary saw a red glow, possibly the exhaust from the jet.

            (3) Still later a different type of lighting was seen close to the horizon in the western sky. We were still out on the lake at the time. A bright, rapidly blinking red and white light moved rapidly from right to left. Soon a similar blinking red and white light was seen to the right of this light, moving from right to left. It was fainter than the other which could have been due to being farther away. When the two lights passed each other they were separated by a vertical angle of about 2 or 3 degrees.

            (4) After returning to the transit on shore, star observations were resumed, but in a few minutes were interrupted to again observe a white light in the northwest sky traveling rapidly from west to north. The telescope showed this light to be similar to the first objects. Dr. Fair noted in particular that the five white lights were not arranged in a straight line, but appeared as though spaced on the circumference of an oval. (Italics added.) Again, a red light was noted above and slightly to the rear of the white lights. This was followed with the telescope until it disappeared behind some nearby trees. Gary who noticed this object first saw only two white lights. Probably fifteen seconds elapsed before Dr. Fair was sighted on the object and observed that there were five white lights.

            No vapor trail was observed behind any of the sighted objects.

 

THE STORY OF THE STRANGE OBJECTS SEEN IN THE SKY,

STATE OF MICHIGAN, JULY 27, 1952.

(From notes made on the spot and at the time) 

 

(148)

 

            The following report was submitted to NICAP by Dr. Charles H. Otis, retired professor emeritus of Biology, Bowling Green State University:

            Place of observation: 3724 Dexter Rd., R. D. No. 1, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan; a small acreage at the top of Lyon Hill, called Sleepy Hollow, situated about four miles west from Main Street (or the County Court House). Altitude at the road, about 975 feet (the place is easily located on the Ann Arbor quadrangle, topographical map, U. S. Geol. Survey), at the place of observation, in the hollow, probably 950 feet, or a little more. Along the west property line is a small woods and two low buildings. To the east is a wide expanse of sky.

            Date of sighting: July 27, 1952. Time of observation, about 10:40 a.m. Conditions for observation, perfect; a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky (see an observation later); the sun at this time of day high in the heavens; no observable haze. Photographically speaking, conditions were probably those of maximum light for the year and suitable for the fastest exposure (only, no camera--what a picture, I think, could have been made, with a ray filter over the lens, and with telephoto equipment, either snapshot or movie--explanation will appear in the story).

            The story: (apologies for the use of "I")

            I was working on a lawns settee, giving it a coat of white enamel, in the shade of a walnut tree. My wife was sitting near by, reading, or whatever she was doing (the point is not important, except to state here that she became a spectator or witness to what took place). For some reason--perhaps my back was tired--I stood up, laid down my brush, stepped out into the sunshine and glanced up and to the east. I was startled by what I saw. There, in a pattern, were a number of objects, seemingly floating along, making no sound. My first thought was that something had been released from a plane that I remembered had passed overhead not long before (I refer to a noisy, 4-engined plane that makes its regular east to west trip at about this time of day, and to which we never pay any attention, although it usually passes over the house, both coming and going), and I called to my wife to come and then I realized that these objects were probably much higher than the plane was flying and that there was no connection with it (I mention these reactions because, so far as I am aware, the pilot of the plane  

 

(149)

 

did not report on these strange objects, and, they might not even have been there at the time of his passing). It was my impression that the objects were as high as the highest fleecy white clouds, but it may be only an impression (later checking of the sky revealed only two small white clouds lying low on the horizon at the north, and there was nothing at the time to use as a gauge). I assumed that they were traveling over the city of Ann Arbor, as if a reconnaissance were being made; the direction appeared to be due south. They were traveling so slowly (but, of course, they may have been much higher than I supposed) that I told my wife to keep looking, while I ran to the house and seized a bird glass (magnification near 5X). From then on, with the glass, I studied the objects until they disappeared at my horizon.

            When first counted, the objects number 15; and they were traveling in the form of an organized flotilla, the horizontal distribution being something on this order (but probably not an exact duplication):

 

 

 

For this reason, I will hereafter refer to the objects as "ships." The "ships" traveled so slowly that it seemed to me that I was able to study them for minutes (this may have been one of those times, however, when a minute may seem an hour; but, of course, they were going farther away all the time). Before they reached my horizon, one "ship," as if receiving a signal, left the flotilla and, describing what to me seemed to be a wide arc, disappeared with a burst of speed that seemed incredible. I had the glass on it, and then it was gone (this might explain the discrepancy in the count of 14, if the Battle Creek woman saw the same sight that I am reporting on, but after the disappearance of the one just mentioned). The mathematics has not been worked, but just after the episode the approximate angle of sight when first seen was determined to be 34° with the horizontal, using level and planimeter, and if we knew the height, it could be calculated. 

 

(150)

 

            Description of a "ship":

            The 15 "ships" appeared to be identical in size, shape, and other discernible characteristics. In the way in which they seemingly floated, one got the impression that they were of very light weight (unless someone has discovered some way to eliminate the force of gravity). There was no sound (even from 15 of them in a body). They maintained position in the flotilla perfectly. The body appeared to be elongated, but split at the rear; there were no wings. Nothing like a cabin could be discerned, nor windows, nor persons. The sketch shown here is a copy of one hastily made in my notebook immediately after the "ships" had passed out of sight.

 

 


 

Two items stand out conspicuously. In the "bow" end of each "ship" was a relatively large and exceedingly bright glow (brighter than a star, even in the bright light of the day; -- this might explain the reported "lights over Washington" episode, which occurred at night). Each "ship" also had, emanating from the "stern" portion, two "tails," seemingly streaming out horizontally, never changing in length, nor wavering. These "tails" had none of the aspects of vapor trails, and they cut off cleanly; i. e., they had definite ends. It was as if the "ships" laid down a caterpillar track, walked on it, but carried it along with them. They gave the appearance of the tail of a comet, like Halley's, which I once saw very beautifully one night (1910?), but in this instance, and strangely enough, in a bright sky. They gave somewhat the appearance of the Tyndall effect which the stereopticon beam gives in a darkened theater. But, if due to the Tyndall effect, why should the "tails" or "beams" have been visible in broad daylight? It is possible that the "tails" just described represent atomic or subatomic particles leaving the "ship" with terrific speed and with propulsive force, that they were luminous in themselves, and that they had a limited and short length of life (which could account for the definite length of the "tail" which has been mentioned previously). What other explanations are there which might account for the appearance and behavior of the "ships" upon which I am reporting?

                                                                        s/ Charles H. Otis, April 5, 1958 

 

(151)

 

 

Wells Alan Webb

B. S., M. S., Chemistry, University of California

Chemical engineer & Research Chemist

Provided Univ. of Calif, with deuterium source for cyclotron research.

Mars, The New Frontier, by W. A. Webb (Fearon Publishers, Calif., c. 1956) page 125: 

 

            "On January 30, 1953, at approximately 7:25 p. m. the author was riding in the back seat of an automobile in which Felix Gelber and Grover Kihorny, both of Los Angeles, were also passengers. The night sky appeared black except for stars. The desert air was clear and the stars and ground lights shone with brilliance. We were on highway 80, traveling west toward Yuma, Arizona, 7 miles away at the approximate rate of 60 miles per hour. While looking through the windshield the writer noticed a half mile ahead among a group of steady bright ground lights there was one light which flickered and danced. At about 15 degrees above the horizon stood the evening star. All of these lights, the steady, the dancer and the star, had approximately equal brilliance in the field of vision at that moment. As we approached the ground lights, they resolved into floodlights on twenty foot poles illuminating the hangar area of Spain Flying Field. We saw through the side window a single engine Army trainer standing in this area with a man working over it. The dancing light, now apparently higher than at first, hovered directly over the airplane at about twice the height of the floodlights. Suddenly, looking out the side, then the rear window, we became aware of the dancing light's rising motion. It rose slowly at first, then gathering momentum it lifted rapidly. The author strained at the rear window and watched the light blink repeatedly, then vanish among the stars at an altitude of at least 60 degrees. This was not more than about ten seconds after we had passed the flying field, still traveling at 60 miles per hour.

            Gelber and Kihorney had also seen the light; their observation of the details had been the same as the author's, so the next morning the writer prevailed upon them to investigate the mysterious light. We returned to the place on the highway opposite the hangar. The airplane stood on the same spot as the night before. We paced off the perpendicular distance from the highway to the airplane. It was one hundred yards. Then we found a mechanic who said that he was the man who had been working on the airplane the evening before.  

 

(152)

 

He had not seen the dancing light; there had been no sound to attract his eyes overhead. Therefore the light had not been on a helicopter. He referred us to the U. S. Weather Station, one quarter of mile eastward. There the weatherman said that he had released a lighted balloon at about the time we had seen our flickering light. He showed us one of the balloon lights, a very small flashlight bulb without reflector. It did not flicker, it burned steadily, the weatherman said, but its light was so faint that it could not be seen at a distance except with the telescope that he used. Certainly, he said, the balloon light could never appear to be of the same brightness as the glaring floodlights of the Spain Flying Field. Furthermore, the weather balloon had not hovered over the hangar of that flying field; at a uniform rate it had mounted steadily in the sky above the weather station. The weatherman proved this by showing us the chart he had plotted by taking telescope sightings of the altitude of the light at timed intervals.

            When all of the facts about the light , Gelber, Kihorney and the writer had seen were laid before the weatherman, he said that ours must have been a UFO, that such things were a great mystery but had nevertheless been seen frequently in the neighborhood by the personnel of the Weather Station and also of the nearby Air Force Fighter Base." 

            Mr. Webb's second UFO sighting was on May 5, 1953. Time: 9:45-10:00 a.m.

            "It was a clear sunny morning; the author was standing in a field near the Vacuum Cooling Company plant, not far from Spain Flying Field, and about a mile north of the Yuma Air Force Fighter Base. His attention was drawn by the buzzing of jet fighters taking off in quick succession, passing directly overhead traveling northward. As he scanned the northern sky the author's attention became fixed upon what at first appeared to be a small white cloud, the only one in the sky at the time. The author was wearing Polaroid glasses having a greenish tint, and as was his custom when studying clouds he took the glasses off and put them on at intervals to compare the effect with and without Polaroid. The object was approximately oblong with the long axis in a horizontal plane. It floated at an elevation of about forty-five degrees.  

 

(153)

 

During the course of about five minutes the object traveled approximately 30 degrees toward the east. Then it appeared abruptly to turn and travel northward; at the same time its oblong shape changed to circular section. As a circular object is rapidly became smaller as if receding. While receding, the object did not noticeably lose any of its brightness. In about thirty seconds of this, its diameter became too small for the author to hold in his vision.

            During the first period the writer had not noticed a change in the oblong nor in the field of view about it as a result of putting on and taking off his Polaroid glasses. But during the second period several uniformly spaced concentric circles appeared around the now circular object. The circles were distinct dark bands which enveloped the silvery disc. The largest of these circles was, perhaps, six times the diameter of the central disc. When the writer removed his polarizing glasses the silvery disc remained but the concentric rings vanished. When the glasses were put on again, the rings reappeared. The writer repeated this several times, each time with the same result. The rings with glasses on faded to invisibility before the disc became too small to see. "

 

Frank Halstead

Former Curator of Darling Observatory,

University of Minnesota

            Mr. Halstead and his wife saw two UFOs while crossing the Mojave Desert on a Union Pacific train in 1955.

            "It was the first day of November, 1955. We were on our way to California--about 100 miles west of Las Vegas when it happened. My wife Ann was sitting next to the window and she called my attention to an object which she saw--something moving just above the mountain range. Our train was running parallel to this range of mountains and this object was moving in the same direction as the train, just above the mountains. I first thought the thing was a blimp--you know--one of those cigar shaped dirigibles. That's what I thought it was at first. But as I watched it I realized that it could not be a blimp--they are only about 200 feet long. And this thing was gigantic. It was about 800 feet long. I could estimate that because it was so close to the mountain ridge where trees and clumps of trees were visible for comparison.

            While we were watching the cigar-shaped thing for four or  

 

(154)

 

five minutes as it paced the train, we noticed that another object had joined it. This second object appeared very suddenly--in back of the first one. It was a disc-shaped thing. Both of them were very shiny we noticed. But this second one was disc-shaped. If my estimate of size on the cigar-shaped thing was correct then the disc-shaped object would have been about 100 feet in diameter, flat on the bottom with a shallow dome on top.

            My wife and I watched them for another two or three minutes. They were moving at about the same speed as the train and they were very close to the top of the ridge, not more than 500 feet above it, I should say. Then they began to rise, slowly at first and then much faster. In a matter of seconds they had risen so high that we couldn't see them anymore from the train window.

            All over the world credible witnesses are reporting experiences similar to mine. Holding these people up to ridicule does not alter the existing facts. The time is long overdue for accepting the presence of these things, whatever they are, and dealing with them and the public on a basis of realism. "

            (As told to NICAP Board Member Frank Edwards.) 

Walter N. Webb

Chief Lecturer on Astronomy, Hayden Planetarium, Boston, Mass.

Former member of Smithsonian Institutions' Satellite Tracking Program.

            "Out of the many observations I've made over the years of assorted aerial objects and phenomena, both normal and unusual, I am fairly certain that at least two sightings were of genuine unusual objects that may have been UFOs but because they were visible for such a short duration, it was impossible to explain or classify them. I have placed three of these sightings in a "possible UFO" category. And then there were several things I witnessed that I believe do not belong in the UFO category but yet were so exceptional as to remain unexplained. At least two of these objects were probably of celestial origin, and therefore I would prefer to exclude this latter group from the discussion below. As yet, I have not had the good fortune of seeing a UFO close enough to discern shape and detail clearly. However, I have personally investigated other reports where the size and shape of the UFO's were plainly visible to the observers. 

 

(155)

 

Although these observations are far more interesting and dramatic than mine, I have limited the paragraphs below to my own personal experiences.

 

THE UFO SIGHTINGS (2) 

 

            It was on the night of August 3, 1951, that I witnessed the first UFO. That summer I was a nature counselor at Camp Big Silver, the Toledo (Ohio) Boys' Club camp on the shores of Silver Lake in southern Michigan, three miles south of Pinckney. It was a clear, moonless night. I had been showing two boys various celestial objects through my 3 1/2-inch reflecting telescope and pointing out constellations. The time was about 11 p. m. or midnight. Suddenly I noticed a glowing yellow or yellowish-red light moving in an undulating path (but on a straight course) over the hills south of Silver Lake. As the object traveled slowly westward in this peculiar manner, the three of us watched in fascination. It was at such a low elevation that its regular wave-like course caused it to dip behind the hills a few times. At first I frankly didn't realize that I might be seeing anything unusual and thought the object was a plane light. But something was disturbing about that flight path and by the time it dawned on me that planes don't fly on wavy paths, the thing was about to vanish for good behind trees in the foreground. I swung the telescope toward the hills, but it was too late.

            I had seen something strange in the sky that I could not explain. No known object I could think of followed a path like that. The remote possibility that the UFO might have been the reflection of a moving ground light from a rippling inversion layer was quickly rejected. An inversion reflection would appear as a hazy spot of light in the sky much reduced in brightness when compared with its original light source. My UFO appeared to be a bright, glowing object moving in a regular wavy pattern. It is impossible for an inversion layer to produce a smooth rhythmic reflection. A turbulent rippling layer of air would be required, and such a condition would not be capable of producing any image at all. 

            Another time, on February 26, 1954, a friend Don Lund and I were warming ourselves in my house in Alliance, Ohio, following an unsuccessful search for a telescopic comet. At 9:40 p.m., as we stepped outdoors again, we spotted a strange cluster of yellow lights high in the west moving northeastward.   

(156) 

 

I quickly ran inside the house, called my parents, picked up my binoculars, and dashed out to the street. All four of us then observed the object, or objects, which emitted a sound similar to a jet aircraft but not as sharp a noise. Through 6x30 binoculars I could see what appeared to be a forward cluster of lights and a triangle of pale-colored lights to the rear.

            Don and I headed for the hill where our telescopes were located. When we reached the top of the hill, we turned and looked toward the north. In place of the original group of lights, we saw a yellow light which suddenly flared up brightly and then faded to its original size. Looking through our telescopes (3 1/2" reflector and 3 1/4" refractor) at the hovering object which was now beginning to move, we saw the cluster as before, watched it completely reverse its direction, move in an arc around the northern sky, and finally disappear from view over the southwest horizon. We observed the lights telescopically for about 10 minutes.

            It was difficult to say whether we were observing a single vehicle or a group of them but I had the impression all the lights belonged to one craft. One might argue that we were fooled by helicopter or advertising blimp, but the steady jet-like sound, speed, the fact that it stopped absolutely dead for a few moments with no attendant rocking motion (as with a helicopter), and the abrupt reversal of direction led us to believe that we had seen something quite unconventional.

 

POSSIBLE UFO'S (3)

 

            On the late afternoon of August 23, 1953, Don Lund and I had finished hitting golf balls at the Ken Stone Driving Range on U. S. Route 30 near East Canton, Ohio. We were driving east along Route 30 between East Canton and Minerva and approaching the top of a hill when we simultaneously saw a white round object crossing slowly above the road ahead from north to south. Unfortunately, the time of observation was short because of the narrow field of view created by steep banks on both sides of the road. Just as we hoped for a better view, a car turned in ahead of us and blocked our vision. When we finally came into the open, the object which had been moving only a 100 feet or so above the road had vanished. We were both convinced that what we--as well as the driver in front of us, undoubtedly--had witnessed was not a balloon.   Its straight horizontal course as if

 

(157)

 

powered or controlled and its mysterious disappearance were puzzling. I might add that this sighting occurred during a period of UFO activity in Ohio (summer of 1953). Two weeks later on September 5 a similar white sphere was seen by the member of a movie crew, as it passed through a notch between two rock formations in Castle Valley, near Moab, Utah (APRO Bulletin, Sept. 15, 1954).

            Another brief but interesting sighting happened on May 7, 1956. I was working at my desk at home in Alliance and happened to look out the window over the desk (faces north). Time was about 3:15 p.m. (EDT). A shiny, silvery, metallic object was moving westward in the north-northwest sky. I could not be certain of its shape, but it was large and probably oval or roundish. I shifted my position slightly to make sure it wasn't a reflection in the window, removed my reading glasses, put on my regular pair, and looked again at the object. Deciding it was really something worth investigating; I raced down two flights of steps, grabbed my binoculars, ran outside, and looked toward the sky. The object was gone! I had seen it for only 3 or 4 seconds from the window and had rushed outdoors in what I estimated to be between 10 and 15 seconds--yet the object was now gone. If it had been an airplane reflection, the plane should have still been in plain sight. For the same reason a balloon was discounted (the wind was out of the north, at least at ground level). I continued to watch the sky for 25 minutes more, but all I saw were airliners and private planes. A visit to the local Ground Observer Corps post produced negative results. 

            Almost exactly one year later, on May 13, 1957, about 8:50 a. m. (EDT), I was walking north on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and approaching the corner of Mellen Street (just two blocks from where I live). I looked up at the sky, as I frequently do, and spotted two silvery objects high in the west moving slowly southwest against a blue sky. At first I thought they were planes but then quickly observed that they seemed to have no wings or tail and traveled too slowly, almost floating. It was difficult to make out their true shapes without optical aid, but my best guess is that they were round. They looked translucent to me and reminded me of two delicate soap bubbles or a silvery box kite drifting high in the air.  

(158) 

 

They appeared to be very close together, one below the other, and one of them changed position slightly during the observation. The objects caught the early morning sunlight a few times and sparkled. (They were not plane reflections. I cannot honestly rule out the possibility that they were balloons although pairs of balloons are rarely seen. I had the impression at the time that the objects' flight was controlled.) I crossed Massachusetts Avenue and continued to watch until the objects grew too small to see. How I wished I had had a pair of binoculars!" 

 

Professor Seymour L. Hess, Head

Department of Meteorology

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

            "I saw the object between 12:15 and 12:20 p. m. May 20, 1950 from the grounds of the Lowell Observatory. It was moving from the Southeast to the Northwest. It was extremely prominent and showed some size to the naked eye, that is, it was not merely a pinpoint. During the last half of its visibility I observed it with 4-power binoculars. At first it looked like a parachute tipped at an angle to the vertical, but this same effect could have been produced by a sphere partly illuminated by the sun and partly shadowed, or by a disc-shaped object as well. Probably there are still other configurations which would give the same impression under proper inclination and illumination. I could see it well enough to be sure it was not an airplane (no propeller or wings were apparent) nor a bird. I saw no evidence of exhaust gases nor any markings on the object. Most fortunately the object passed between me and a small bright cumulus cloud in the Northwest. Thus it must have been at or below the cloud level. A few seconds later it disappeared, apparently into the cloud.

            Against the sky it was very bright but against the cloud it was dark. This could be produced by a grey body which would be bright against the relatively dark sky, but dark against the bright cloud. Alternatively, if the object were half in sunlight and half shadowed the sunlit part might have had no detectable contrast with the cloud while the shadowed part appeared dark.

            I immediately telephoned the U. S. Weather Bureau (2-3 miles S. W. of the Observatory).   

 

(159)

 

They were estimating the cloud to be 6000 feet above the ground. Now estimates of cloud heights are rather risky, so I obtained their observations of temperature and dew point, and from the known lapse rates of these quantities in a convective atmosphere, calculated the cloud base to be at 12,000 feet. I believe this latter figure to be the more accurate one because later in the afternoon the cumulus clouds thickened but at all times remained well above the tops of our nearby mountains. These are about 6000 feet above us.

            Thus, having some idea of the object's elevation and its angular diameter through the binoculars (about equivalent to a dime seen at 50 feet with the naked eye), I calculated its size to be 3 to 5 feet for a height of 6-12 thousand feet, and a zenith angle of about 45 degrees. This size estimate could easily be in error by a factor or two, but I am sure it was a small object.

            The clouds were drifting from the SW to the NE at right angles to the motion of the object. Therefore it must have been powered in some way. I did not time it but for that elevation I would estimate its speed to be about 100 miles per hour, perhaps as high as 200 m. p. h. This too means a powered craft. However, I could hear no engine noise. "

                                                                                                            Seymour L. Hess

Note: This is a copy of the account Mr. Hess set down within an hour of the sighting.

                                                                                                            R. H.

 

(160)

 


 

Chapter 8 

The Scientific Obligation

 

“Men of science are being increasingly compelled to pursue the end of governments rather than those proper to science.” -- Bertrand Russell.  

 

            The investigation of unidentified flying objects has been a curious business from the start. Although government today is making increasing use of scientific talent in defense programs, scientific investigation of phenomena has never been considered a purely governmental concern. It is therefore puzzling to see the Air Force as the sole agency investigating something which it alleges is only natural phenomena and scientific skepticism doubting that there is any justification for an investigation at all.

            When UFOs began to appear in large numbers during 1947, it was thought that they were revolutionary new aircraft of some sort. Since they were not ours, the Air Force began an investigation. In 1948 the Air Force investigation was made official through Department of Defense orders. Official orders were later drawn up, including Air Force Regulation (AFR) 200-2, giving the Air Force sole responsibility for investigating UFOs. All reports from other armed services, government agencies, and citizens were then channeled to the Air Force. In the 12 years that have passed since 1947, the Air Force is the only sizeable agency--official or unofficial--which has investigated UFOs. The problem has never been tackled by science. 

(161)

 

            In order to understand the attitude of scientists who are extremely skeptical of UFOs, it is important to realize the following points:

            (1)  Ever since 1947 there has been a tremendous outpouring of nonsense on the subject.

            (2)  The press, on the whole, has ridiculed "flying saucers" and has tended to laugh at the people who report them.

            (3)  The information available to the casual observer has been mostly the two extremes: Wild claims by apparent psychopaths and Air Force statistical summaries.

            The average scientist, occupied with projects of immediate importance, would not take UFOs seriously unless he chanced to see one himself or if he were predisposed to have an interest in unusual atmospheric phenomena. The evidence for UFOs has been muddled from the start, and scientists need to see evidence before they will get excited about something. If there has been a straightforward investigation from the start, scientists would have been encouraged to examine the data; but this was not the case.

            Since most scientists have not seen the evidence, and since the wild rantings of mystics and the official disclaimers deter them from taking a look, the average scientist is prone to accept the work of Dr. Donald Menzel, Harvard astrophysicist, that UFOs are merely a collection of misidentified natural phenomena. To do this, he must also accept the corollary argument that there is basically a psychological explanation for the UFO movement--world tensions, the desire for outside help, and the usual glib explanations of this sort. There is no other explanation for the persistence of UFO reports consistent with Dr. Menzel's theory. To the uninitiated, his ideas are plausible and so they are accepted without much independent investigation.

            Dr. Menzel's arguments are reasonable and logical only if the assumption is first made that nothing unique and different is being seen by those who report UFOs. This is the one thing which Dr. Menzel has in common with the Air Force: The presupposition that all UFOs are natural phenomena seen under conditions which deluded the observer into thinking he had seen something exceptional. Once this assumption is made, it is then quite logical to attempt to identify the particular natural phenomenon which give rise to a UFO report.  This is exactly what Dr. Menzel and the Air Force have attempted to do. 

 

(162)

 

            This approach to UFO investigation, which I have called the "Deluded Observer Hypothesis," is a dangerous one. There is no assurance that all observers have been deluded--an assumption which would tend to make science an impossibility if applied consistently. If the question to be answered is: "Do UFOs represent a unique, unexplained phenomenon?" then this method assumes its own conclusion. Suppose that real, solid disc-shaped objects of undetermined origin were actually present in our atmosphere. Would they ever be discovered by this approach?

            Attempting to find natural explanations for UFOs is a valid approach up to a point, and a quite necessary part of UFO investigation. But it is only part of what is needed for a true scientific investigation. Attempts to explain all UFOs have failed. There has always been a remaining percentage of so-called "unknowns." Those who accept the Deluded Observer Hypothesis explain this by saying that the remaining "unknowns" could have been explained too if the evidence had been more complete. This argument is fallacious on two counts: (1) The evidence was complete in the cases which the Air Force classified as "unknowns." The "insufficient data" category is a separate one. The "unknowns" could not be explained because of the nature of the evidence, not because of any lack of evidence. (2) Investigators working on the assumption that UFOs are all natural objects are understandably prone to "find" a conventional object in the right place at the right time to explain a UFO report. Many of the "explained" UFOs were explained solely by guesswork. In short, the embarrassing "unknowns," which (to the Air Force investigators) "must be" natural objects, have been rationalized in one way or another. There is real danger that, in their eagerness to find natural explanations, the Air Force will explain away unknown objects as something commonplace.

            In my opinion, it is time that Dr. Menzel, the Air Force, and any others who reason that all UFO observers are deluded, examine their presuppositions. In their eagerness to debunk the idea of visitors from space, they have created a climate of opinion in which it is not acceptable to test any hypothesis which admits the possibility that UFOs are something unique and unexplained. An hypothesis recognizing the "unknowns" as a real phenomenon would credit good observers with having seen what they reported, but would not commit investigators to any particular explanation of what the objects were. 

 

(163)

 

            For scientific purposes, it is not crucial that many people are fooled by common objects. This is an obvious fact; yet it is the only thing which can be established by a test of the Deluded Observer Hypothesis. By itself, this hypothesis is incapable of testing to see whether UFOs might be something unique because it has presupposed that they are not.

            In order to be scientific, first and foremost, the investigation would have to include an active attempt to gather better information through instrumentation. At present, the Air Force only investigates sightings reported voluntarily and through channels. Many excellent cases involving competent witnesses are therefore ignored when they are not reported directly to the Air Force. This is true even of cases reported in the press and known to the Air Force.

            Secondly, after active data gathering, those UFO reports which have complete data and can not be explained--the "unknowns"--should be carefully examined. Are the reports consistent in any way? Do they show any patterns in regard to shape, performance, etc. ? If so, it would appear that we could not assume a natural explanation for all UFOs, and that the "unknowns" must be something unexplained. The next problem would be to devise some crucial experiments to determine what the objects were and, perhaps, to form a coordinated skywatch to study the behavior of the objects. (Officials of General Mills Inc. suggested in 1951 that the government start a 24-hour sky-watch after their balloon-tracking personnel had reported several UFOs.) Although these steps would be necessary in a true scientific investigation, none of them have been taken.

            Unless the Air Force is hiding some secret information which shows that UFOs are real, which is flatly denied, it is inconceivable to me that there is any justification for having UFOs remain a military problem. If nothing is being hidden, there is no reason why the investigation cannot be turned over to civilian scientists. Why must the Air Force retain this burden which, they themselves have suggested, distracts them from the more vital task of defending the country from air attack?

            There is one possible factor which might prohibit turning the investigation over to the scientific world:   The fact that 

 

(164)

 

UFOs are not recognized as a scientific problem. An easing up of secrecy would solve that problem, however. Before there can be any final solution, the government apparently will have to endorse UFOs as a scientific mystery (nothing more), turn the investigation over to civilians, and encourage a sane, thorough investigation by making the subject respectable. In this way the stifling effects of military secrecy would be counteracted and Air Force personnel would be freed for other duties.

            To take this step would not necessarily entail making any sensational announcements. On the contrary, if properly handled, it could be done quite casually as the normal and logical thing to do. If something of this sort is not done, we will continue to have stringent security measures hiding evidence of an allegedly non-existent phenomenon and preventing any independent scientific investigation. Until something of this sort is done, there will be no scientific solution to the problem of UFOs.

            As a means of settling the long-standing controversy about UFOs, which threatens to go on indefinitely unless something is done; I propose that the following steps be taken: 

1.      That the Executive Department relieve the Air Force of its responsibility in UFO investigation (it now has sole responsibility), emphasizing that UFOs are a scientific mystery apparently not connected with problems of national security.

2.      That all Air Force records on UFOs be declassified (shorn of witnesses' names, and technical data which might help an enemy.)

3.      That this data be turned over to a committee of professional scientists from accredited universities for analysis and further study.

4.      That NICAP become a semi-official clearing house for UFO information, sending cases of scientific value to the committee, and releasing information and the conclusions of the scientific committee to its members and the press.

5.      That military personnel, pilots, and other responsible citizens be encouraged to report all sightings and other pertinent information to NICAP for evaluation and dissemination.

6.      That the government, by example, encourages scientists around the world to participate in a cooperative scientific investigation of UFOs along with other routine scientific projects. 

            A central organization--NICAP--already exists, which can digest the bulk of data and make significant evidence available 

 

(165)

 

to scientists. Among the NICAP membership are enough professional scientists to form the nucleus of the scientific committee, and other professional scientists would undoubtedly become interested. In this way, the transition could be made to a public, scientific investigation with a more liberal information policy, and the Air Force would be able to concentrate on other things. Air Force scientists could be represented on the committee in the event the scientific findings turned up anything relevant to air defense.

            There is nothing in the problem of UFOs which could not be resolved if all scientists had access to the data and citizens were kept well-informed on the progress of the study. In science, it is essential that all relevant data be exchanged freely. In a democracy, it is essential that the populace be well-informed so that it may prepare intelligently for any event. This necessary information is not available today, but it could be if the Air Force and the government are sincere in their desire to resolve the issue. The UFO problem would then be what it should be--the responsibility of science and society.

 

R. H.

 

(166)

 


 

Chapter 9 

Why the Air Force UFO Investigation is Unscientific

 

            In response to criticisms of its UFO (flying saucer) investigation, the Air Force has issued periodic statements attributing its conclusions to "top scientists." The claim is made that the investigation has been completely scientific and, by implication, that the conclusions (that flying saucers do not exist) are unquestionably correct. In order to judge these claims, it is necessary to see whether the Air Force methods of investigation conform to the rules of scientific investigation. The question to be examined is thus a double one: What is the scientific method, and has this method been applied to UFOs as claimed?

            The following quotation from a Department of Defense news release, November 5, 1957, typifies the Air Force position on this question:

"The selected, qualified scientists, engineers, and other personnel involved in these analyses are completely objective and open minded on the subject of 'flying saucers.'   They apply scientific methods of examination to all cases in reaching their conclusions ... the data in the sightings reported are almost invariably subjective in nature.  However, no report is considered unsuitable for study and categorization and no lack of valid physical evidence of physical matter in the case studies is assumed to be 'prima facie' evidence that so-called 'flying saucers' or interplanetary vehicles do not exist.“

            The emphasis is on the superior quality of the investigating teams, the open-mindedness they display, and the inferior quality of the data they are forced to work with. 

 

(167)

 

However, it turns out in most cases that the "almost invariably subjective data" allows the Air Force to make identifications of UFOs as common objects with such certainty that it is considered sacrilege to question the conclusions. It also turns out, perhaps significantly, that many of the cases involving non-subjective data (i. e., radar trackings, photographs, and movie films) could not be explained and have been classified as "unknowns." A good example of this "unknown" category is the Rapid City, S. D. case, August 12, 1953. * In this case an unidentified light in the sky, giving a radar return, caused a jet scramble. An F-84 was vectored in and gave chase, pursuing the UFO for 120 miles. When he gave up and turned back, the UFO turned back and followed him. A second F-84 then chased the UFO, which was registering on his gun sight radar, as ground radar showed both the F-84 and the UFO. When the second pilot turned back, the UFO continued on its way, seen by a Ground Observer Corps post as it passed. In 1959 the Air Force admitted that gun camera photos of the UFO had been obtained, but that they could not be analyzed.

            This case is one of the many hundreds of good, verified UFO reports classified as "unknowns" which have accumulated through the years, and which are the reason why so many people are not satisfied with the Air Force conclusions. Contrary to the above statement by the Air Force, the category studies--in which UFOs are said to be identified as this or that common object--do not take into account the possibility of UFOs being interplanetary vehicles or any other unique objects. As will be shown, the techniques employed preclude this possibility.

            Before analyzing the actual techniques employed by the Air Force to see whether they are scientific, it is appropriate to establish in general terms the nature of scientific investigation. The following statements about scientific method are taken from philosophers of science, and paraphrased from texts on the subject. **

"Scientific work is group work; the contributions of individual men to the solution of a problem may be smaller or larger, but will always be small compared to the amount of work invested in the problem by the group...  the amount of technical work involved in the solution of a problem goes beyond the capacities of an

____________

* Ruppelt, E. J. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (Doubleday) p. 303.

____________

** For example, see: Cohen & Nagel, Logic and Scientific Method. 

 

(168)

 

individual scientist... the social character of scientific work is the source of its strength."--Hans Reichenbach, in "The Rise of Scientific Philosophy."

            Abstracting from this, we see that science implies a community of scientists checking and rechecking each other's work. The opinions of one scientist, so commonly used in an authoritative manner today, do not constitute a scientific investigation, and may or may not be correct once an investigation is completed. Such opinions, especially when they precede any investigation, will reflect only the prejudices of the individual scientist. In other words after a free interchange of data among the scientific community, it is the weight of evidence as established by scientific techniques which provides the solution to a problem.

"When a man desires ardently to know the truth, his first effort will be to imagine what the truth can be. He can not prosecute his pursuit long without finding that imagination unbridled is sure to carry him off the track. Yet nevertheless, it remains true that there is, after all, nothing but imagination that can ever supply him an inkling of the truth.   He can stare stupidly at phenomena:  but in the absence of any imagination they will not connect themselves together in any rational way. "--C. S. Peirce, in "The Scientific Attitude and Fallibilism."

            This states one of the basic requirements of scientific method --the need for an imaginative hypothesis to order the data and provide a tentative explanation which, of course, is to be checked by subsequent experiments and observations. (The last sentence of the quote from Peirce applies particularly well to the Air Force UFO investigation, since the Air Force is more interested in dissecting UFO phenomena into arbitrary categories than in testing to see whether there is a rational order to the key cases.)

            From these and similar statements the scientific method can be characterized in the following propositions:

            (1) Science is the attempt to solve problems and understand phenomena through investigation by a free community of scientists, any one of whom has access to the reasoning, experiments and techniques used by the others.

            (2) Any hypothesis (imaginative explanation) must be chosen, 

 

(169)

 

taking the facts into account. This hypothesis should be as free as possible of our preferences or desires, and should not be held sacred and beyond question. It must be tested thoroughly before being accepted as fact, and even then is subject to modification if more evidence is obtained.

            (3) Science implies selectivity and critical judgment--choosing of relevant data and discarding of irrelevant data; choosing and testing a hypothesis and either modifying confirming or discarding it depending on the results of applying it to all relevant data.

            It will not be necessary to go beyond these elementary points. How does the Air Force investigation of UFOs stack up against these criteria?

            (1) None of the UFO data obtained by the Air Force since 1952 are available to the scientific community for study. Only the conclusions in the form of "fact sheets."

            (2) No attempt has been made to test any hypothesis which admits the existence of an unexplained phenomenon. No one is allowed to examine the reasoning and techniques of the Air Force investigators in order to test their multiple explanation "hypothesis."

            (3) No one can tell, except by inference, how critical the Air Force investigators are of their own "hypothesis, "... since the relevant data are not available to scientists. The possibility that the Air Force "hypothesis" might be inadequate and outmoded is not admitted.

            The statement that "no report is considered unsuitable for study... “indicates a lack of selectivity which stacks the deck in favor of the Air Force category studies. As most serious students of UFOs are aware, the Air Force has implicitly adopted the hypothesis that UFOs are many different natural phenomena; moreover, that they are familiar phenomena seen under conditions which fool the observers. Rather than taking the facts into account, this is actually a denial of the reported facts. The observers, it says, only thought they saw flying discs. The "scientific methods" applied to UFOs then become techniques designed to determine the number of UFO cases which can be explained as familiar objects seen under conditions which deluded the observers. (All unofficial competing hypotheses are based on the premise that, after allowing for erroneous observations, the real UFOs are one or possibly two or three phenomena -- e. g., space ships, secret devices, space animals...) 

 

(170)

 

            The only sense in which this Deluded Observer hypothesis has any meaning is as a psychological study on the ability of human beings to describe accurately things which they see in the sky. Obviously many observers are fooled, especially when interpreting what has been seen, but less frequently in describing what has been seen. Descriptions from the average intelligent observer with some practical observing experience can be taken as essentially accurate. Interpretations, however, are best left to a community of scientists aided and abetted by crosschecks such as radar or photographic data. If it were true that no observational data is reliable, there could be no science; yet this is the paradoxical assumption underlying the Air Force category studies.

            Since "no report is considered unsuitable for study...," it is an easy matter to "confirm" the Deluded Observer hypothesis. Failure to select for study only the observations from intelligent laymen and trained or experienced observers will inevitably lead to a preponderance of poor or inaccurate observations. Thus the Air Force is not testing to learn if real, unique objects are being seen. It is assuming that such objects are not being seen, and attempting to show in each case that some common object could have caused the report. It is not surprising, therefore, that common objects could have caused 90-odd percent of current UFO reports. Whether they did or not is another question which has not been answered in more than a small percentage of cases.

            In the case of "unknowns," common objects have been ruled out. Because it is assumed beforehand the observer must have seen some common object which fooled him, however, the possibility of its being an uncommon object is automatically rejected. This leaves the "unknowns" in a state of limbo, carefully camouflaged by irrelevant statistics. Actually, if the Deluded Observer hypothesis were adequate to explain UFOs there would be no need to continue the study, since this hypothesis has been amply "confirmed" by the Air Force.

            In attempting to establish delusions, the problem is to explain every case possible in terms of some common phenomenon and, when assumptions are made, it is naturally desirable (and tempting) to choose those which will favor this identification. In the process of attempting to locate a familiar object in the 

(171) 

 

right place at the right time to account for a UFO report, it is a simple matter to assume that which is not known with any degree of certainty; for example (as in the Mantell case)* that a balloon probably caused the sighting because balloons were being launched during that period of time in the general area; or (as in the Gorman case) ** that a balloon deluded the pilot observer into imagining complex maneuvers because one pilot had previously been deluded by a balloon. Identifications such as this, very common in the Air Force study, are partly responsible for the high percentage of "explained" UFOs. A real identification would, at the very least, produce the records of a balloon launched on the correct date in the general area of the UFO report and show that the balloon probably was at the position where the UFO was seen.

            Because the Air Force has always favored the Deluded Observer Hypothesis, it has been at enmity with the Interplanetary Object Hypothesis. As often happens when two diametrically opposed hypotheses collide, the Air Force (as the entrenched authority) has ridiculed and debunked its enemy, denying that there is any evidence for the opposition hypothesis. The worst sort of prejudice, as it manifests itself in science, is clinging to an outmoded and inadequate hypothesis, forcing the evidence to fit it, while at: the same time deriding the opposition for its "science fiction" conclusions. There are a lot of intelligent advocates of the Interplanetary Object Hypothesis and, unlike the Air Force, they approve of and are attempting to encourage a full scientific review of the evidence, as well as an active attempt to gather better data.

            The Air Force, it is worth emphasizing, has never made an effort to test an obvious alternative hypothesis--that there may actually be disc-shaped objects flying around, regardless of the question of their origin. Refusal to modify or change a hypothesis even though it has been unable to produce a rational scheme of explanation is unscientific. Instead of producing a rational scheme, the Air Force has produced an irrational scheme in which thousands of serious, competent witnesses are ridiculed, their claims only superficially examined if at all, their sightings automatically considered to be delusions.

            The Air Force refusal to release its data to civilian scientists

____________

* Ruppelt, E. J., The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, p. 59.

____________

** Ruppelt, E. J., op. cit.; D. 67. 

(172)

 

makes it nearly impossible to test other hypotheses. Today, official ridicule showers down on anyone audacious enough (1) to think that the "unknowns" might be real, unexplained objects (2) to think that the Air Force investigation might leave something to be desired. Neither of these possibilities is very startling when examined in isolation, but put them together and they seem to make a package which is too incredible for the average person to take seriously. It should be pointed out that criticism and demand for factual evidence is the essence of science, and that no scientific conclusion is beyond question.

            Not only is the accumulated data on UFOs kept secret, but also current information of UFO sightings. JANAP 146(C) --a Joint Chiefs of Staff Bulletin -- by threat of fines and stiff punishment prevents both military and civilian pilots from revealing the contents or existence of a CIRVIS (Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings) report, which includes reports of UFOs. * This surprising directive, while encouraging secret UFO reports, drys up the best single source of reliable public information on the subject; namely pilots (military and civilian) flying all over the world. This censorship --for what else can it be called -- makes knowledge of UFOs the exclusive property of the Air Force and a few highly-placed security and defense officials. If UFOs are only misidentified natural phenomena, there is no valid reason for such strict security measures. As long as JANAP 146(C) remains in force, the far-flung military communications network will be worthless for scientific purposes as a source of data. The Air Force investigation is unscientific, most of all, because it has usurped the right to study UFOs, and has substituted dogmatism for science. 

 

POST SCRIPT

            This article is not intended as a criticism of the Air Force as a whole. In fulfilling its function, the Air Force is a powerful force for defense of the free world. It is intended as a criticism of those individuals, be they military or civilian, who are responsible for the current policy on UFOs; and especially those who claim that there has been a scientific investigation which has settled the question once and for all.

R. H.

____________

* A recent revision of this document, JANAP 146 (D), includes Canadian pilots in the CIRVIS network. The wording of the section on "security" has been modified to play down the strict security measures which keep UFO reports secret. The reports, however, are still secret.

 


 

Part IV

Appendices

    Appendix A

FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY

 

Redmond Oregon.

Jan. 15, I960

 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. 

     The following in the original records on file at this facility and is all the information contained in this record concerning UFO sighted September 2, 1959. Taken from log of this date. 1259Z 

     Robert Dickerson Redmond city police reported strange bright light descending rapidly north of the station.   At several hundred feet it stopped and hovered for several minutes.   He drove toward it on the Prineville highway and turned in toward the airport.   At this time the light turned orange and it moved to the northeast of the station very rapidly.   Relocated approximately 10 miles northeast of the station estimated 3000 feet. 1310Z 

     Reported object to Seattle Air Route Control Center.   We continued to observe UFO.   Stayed very steady and projected long tongues of red, yellow and green light.   These tongues of light varied in length and extended and retracted at irregular times. Observed high speed aircraft approaching from southeast.   As aircraft approached UFO took shape of mushroom, observed long yellow and red flame from lower side as UFO rose rapidly and disappeared above clouds estimated 14,000 feet, scattered layer, UFO reappeared south of Redmond approximately 20 miles estimated 25,000 feet.  Seattle Air Route Control Center advised radar contacted UFO at L420Z located 25 miles south of Redmond at 52,000 feet.   No further sightings made at this station. 1511Z

     Seattle Air Route Control Center advised UFO still 25 miles south of Redmond, various altitudes from 6,000 to 52,000 feet. 

L.E. Davis

Chief,  Redmond Air Traffic

            Communication station. 

(177) 

 


 

               (Not printed at Government expense)
 

       Congressional Record

        PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 86th CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION

NICAP UFO Report

Extension of Remarks

of

Hon. Leonard G. Wolf

of Iowa

In the House of Representatives 

          Wednesday, August 31, 1960               

                Mr. WOLF.  Mr. Speaker, under leave to extend my remarks, I include an urgent warning by Vice Adm. R. H. Hillenkoetter, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, that certain potential dangers are linked with unidentified flying objects – UFOs.  Admiral Hillenkoetter’s request that Congress inform the public as to the facts is endorsed by more than 200 pilots, rocket, aviation, and radar experts, astronomers, military veterans, and other technically trained members of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.  Among them are Rear Adm. H. B. Knowles; Col. Joseph Bryan III, U.S. Air Force Reserve; Lt. Col. Jas. McAshan, USAFR; Lt. Col. Samuel Freeman, U.S. Army Reserve, Aviation; Mr. J. B. Hartranft, president, Aircraft Owners Pilots Association; Capt. R. B. McLaughlin, Navy Missile expert; Mr. Frank Rawlinson, physicist, National Aeronautical and Space Agency; Dr. Leslie Kaeburn, space consultant, University of Southern California; former Air Force Maj. William D. Leet, with three officially reported UFO encounters while an Air Force pilot; Frank Halstead, 25 years as curator, Darling Observatory; Rear Adm. D. S. Fahrney, former head of the Navy missile program; Col. R. B. Emerson, U. S. Army Reserve, head of Emerson Testing Laboratories; Prof. Charles A. Maney, astrophysicist, Defiance University; Capt. W. B. Nash, Pan American Airways.

                The “NICAP Report on Secrecy Dangers,” with documented evidence on UFO’s, was first submitted confidentially to me, and to several other Members of Congress, including Senator LYNDON JOHNSON.  In a reply to NICAP, July 6, 1960, Senator JOHNSON stated that he had ordered the staff of the Senate Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee to keep close watch on UFO developments and to report on any recent significant sightings and the Air Force investigations of such sightings.

                Although I have not had time for a detailed study, I believe the conclusions of these experienced NICAP officials should be given careful consideration.  Certainly their sober evaluations should be completely disassociated from the obvious frauds and delusions about UFO’s which unfortunately have been publicized.  The NICAP report is stated to be the result of a 3-year investigation – its conclusions based only on verified visual, radar, and photographic evidence by trained, reputable observers.

                On August 20, 1960, NICAP sent me this following statement to be added to the original report:

                There is a growing danger that UFO’s may be mistaken for Soviet missiles or jet aircraft, accidentally causing war.  Several Air Defense scrambles and alerts already have occurred when defense radarmen mistook UFO formations for possible enemy machines.  NICAP agrees with this sober warning by Gen. L. M. Chassin, NATO coordinator of Allied Air Services:

                “It is of first importance to confirm these objects . . . the business of governments to take a hand, if only to avoid the danger of global tragedy.  If we persist in refusing to recognize the existence of these UFO’s we will end up, one fine day, by mistaking them for the guided missiles of an enemy – and the worst will be upon us.”

                Today, this danger may surpass the one cited in NICAP’s report:  That the U.S.S.R. might spread false rumors that the UFO’s are secret Red devices which have mapped all the U.S. and allied targets and could be used as surprise-attack weapons.  (Some Americans already suspect hidden fear of UFO’s as the reason for secrecy.)

                We are sure you will agree it is imperative to end the risk of accidental war from defense forces’ confusion over UFO’s.  All defense personnel, not merely top-level groups, should be told that the UFO’s are real and should be trained to distinguish them – by their characteristic speeds and maneuvers – from conventional planes and missiles.  This is not in effect today.

                Second, the American people must be convinced, by documented facts, that the UFO’s could not be Soviet machines.

                Certainly every Member of Congress will agree that any such danger of accidental war – even if slight – must be averted in every possible way.  It is also important to prevent any unfounded fear that the UFO’s are secret enemy devices.

                After discussing the subject with colleagues, I am certain that there is a real concern by many Members of Congress.  Without necessarily accepting all the conclusions of the NICAP Board of Governors and technical advisors, we are convinced that a thorough study of the UFO problem should be made.  Pending such action, I believe that publication of the NICAP report will help to reduce the dangers cited by Vice Admiral Hillenkoetter and the other NICAP officials.

                For those Members desiring to do so the previously mentioned confidential report can be obtained upon request at the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1536 Connecticut Avenue NW., Washington, D.C.

 

(178) and (179)
 

CORNING DAILY OBSERVER 

CORNING, CALIFORNIA, MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 1960 

FOUNDED IN 1887, Vol., 109, No. 31 

2 UFOs seen hovering here Saturday night 

            A pair of unidentified flying objects, (UFOs) were seen by two California Highway Patrol officers, two sheriffs deputies and many resident Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

            One of the objects was spotted on the radar screen at the Air Force radar station new Red Bluff.

            This morning, however, the lawmen, while reporting fully on the incident, requested that their names not be given.

            And this morning the radar station was considerably more vague than it was Saturday midnight when it confirmed the officers’ report of the object.

            According to the CHP officers, they spotted the first object over Hoag road east of Corning.  They followed it to Vina where they saw it joined by a similar object and then watched as the two objects disappeared quietly below the eastern horizon.

            The officers saw the first objects about 11:50 Saturday night and watched until nearly 2 a.m. Sunday when the UFOs departed.

            During those two hours they saw the first object perform, “aerial feats which were absolutely unbelievable,” and twice scared it away from them with the red light on their patrol car.

Expected Crash

            According to the CHP officers they were eastbound on Hoag road when they first spotted what appeared to be a huge airliner dropping from the sky.  They stopped their patrol car and got out to watch what they were certain was to be the crash of a large airplane.

            Once outside their car the officers were greeted with silence, but concluded that the airliner was falling from the sky without power.  At an altitude which the CHP officers estimated at from 20 to 100 feet, however, the object stopped and then reversed its direction at high speed.  It climbed to about 500 feet and stopped there.

Object Glowed

            The lawmen said that the object was “round or oblong” 

Cont’d. 

 

(180)

 

in shape and was surrounded with a glow which made it visible.  It had a red light at each end, and at times as many as five white lights were visible between the red lights.

            After a while the UFO moved again, and “performed aerial feats that were absolutely unbelievable.” The officers reported.

            At this point the lawmen radio’s the sheriff’s office to request that a contact be made by the radar station at the Air Force installation near Red Bluff.  The radar base reportedly confirmed the presence of the “completely unidentified” object.

Scared if off

            As the highway patrolmen watched, the object twice came at them, sweeping the area with one of its “huge” red lights.  The officers reported that they countered by shining the red light of their patrol car on the descending object and it swerved away from them.

            They said that the UFO used its red searchlight six or seven times while they watched.

            About this point the UFO began moving slowly in an easterly direction and the officers jumped back in their car and attempted to follow it.  They sighted it again when they parked near the Vina fire station.

            Here, as they watched, the object was joined by a similar UFO which came from the south.  The second object moved near the first and both stopped.  They remained in that position for some time, the officers said.  Occasionally one or the other would shine its red beam.

            Finally, some two hours after they spotted the first UFO, the officers watched as the two objects moved east and disappeared.

            The report was second such report in less than a week.  Last Monday night, when residents reported hearing two loud sonic booms, two Corning police officers and several residents in the area reported seeing a “ball of fire” in the sky in the direction of Vina. 

 

(181)

 

 


 

                                                   Appendix B 

  

THE GRIFFIN STATEMENT 

 

            Late in 1958, while looking into the Air Force UFO investigation, Washington newsman Bulkey Griffin was invited to visit the UFO project at Air Technical Intelligence Center, Dayton, Ohio, to "see for himself." While there Mr. Griffin was shown some of the files and asked some pointed questions. The following is one of a series of articles he wrote as a result of his investigation.

 

            Holyoke (Mass.) Transcript-Telegram, Friday, Dec. 26, 1958

 

            AIR FORCE CLOAKS SAUCER INFORMATION;

            NOT EARNESTLY TRYING TO GET THE TRUTH

 

(This is the third of four articles about the unidentified flying objects and Air Force information on them, written in the light of our discovery of space travel.) By Bulkey Griffin; T-T Washington Correspondent.

            Washington--The bulk of government information on the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) never reaches the public. This is because the Air Force, which has made itself the sole source of this information, withholds it.

            To start with, so-called security regulations clamp down in many areas. The public is not told of sightings by military pilots, nor sightings over most military establishments, nor sightings over places like the White House or atomic energy establishments, nor sightings by our far-flung defense radar network.

            To these great areas of silence the Air Force has contributed others. In a regulation this year (AFR 200-2) it is decreed that no sighting near an Air Force base--and these bases dot the nation--shall be given the public if the object sighted is possibly an unfamiliar one. It is easy to grasp that this covers every valuable sighting.

            The Air Force, in a letter last May to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, stated it does withhold information from the public but does so chiefly to protect individuals from troublesome notoriety. No one seems to have asked the Air Force why it can't give pertinent details of most sightings without revealing names.

            Consider how the Air Force speaks to the public today. It employs infrequent generalized statements. Specific sightings are virtually never mentioned, much less described. This is a good way of dulling public curiosity.

            An all-important fact in the general picture is that the Air Force apparently is not making an earnest search for the truth. It would seem that the best way, and possibly the only method today, to get at the truth of reported UFOs instantaneous reversals of flight, quick turns and great speeds, would be to track the UFOs with scientific instruments. In such manner one could at least learn actual speeds and angles of turn. Without going into detail, the evidence is that the Air Force is making no such attempt, and never had made any such serious effort.

            One result of the widespread skepticism touching the flying saucers, both in the Air Force and among the public, is that airline pilots and other experts have been discouraged from reporting sightings. Capt. William B. Nash, Pan American Airways pilot, writes: "It is very true that because of the general Air Force attitude--or rather its 'official' attitude--many pilots have been discouraged from relating their experiences."

            Capt. Robert Adickes, TWA pilot, referring to the public climate, writes that he doesn't wish "to be subjected to the harassment, ridicule and vilification from crackpots again." Both Adickes and Nash had significant UFO sightings. 

(182) 

 

Veteran airline pilots are the best practical experts there are in assessing sights in our atmosphere. Capt. Nash is one of these experts who will stand up to be counted. He states: "I am still of the opinion that the avalanche of evidence on this subject points one way and indicates one answer: That UFOs are extraterrestrial and under intelligent control."

 

 


 

  Appendix C

SOME STATEMENTS BY SCIENTISTS AND PILOTS 

SCIENTISTS WHO HAVE SEEN UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS 

 

            Dr. Clyde W. Tombaugh, famous astronomer, discoverer of the planet Pluto, who has sighted UFOs: "These things, which appear to be directed, are unlike any other phenomena I ever observed."

            Prof. Henry Carlock, physics professor at Mississippi College, Jackson, Miss., who observed a UFO for about a minute in 1957: "It had a Halo of light around it and what appeared to be three portholes."

            Dr. H. Percy Wilkins, noted British astronomer, who has sighted oval-shaped UFOs on two occasions: "For all we know, Venus may at the present time be the abode of living creatures of an advanced type."

            Walter N. Webb, former member of Smithsonian Institution's Tracking Program, currently lecturer on astronomy at Hayden Planetarium in Boston: "I have seen a few genuine UFOs. It is my belief that the mass of authentic, factual evidence available indicates that the true UFOs exist and are interplanetary or interstellar spacecraft."

            Seymour L. Hess, astronomer then at Flagstaff, Arizona, who in 1950 saw a spherical or disc-shaped UFO moving against the wind: "I saw no evidence of exhaust gases nor any markings on the object. For that elevation (calculated from meteorological data) I would estimate its speed to be about 100 m. p. h., perhaps as high as 200 m. p. h. This, too, means a powerful craft."

            Keith D. Cooper, zoologist and former combat engineer, Portland, Oregon, who in 1950 sighted a silvery UFO which made a sweeping turn and sped ahead of an airplane: "I have seen jet planes since and I had seen them before, and I know this object was quite unlike any of them.” 

 

OTHER STATEMENTS BY SCIENTISTS

 

            Dr. James E. McDonald, University of Arizona Institute of Atmospheric Physics, who in 1958 personally interviewed UFO witnesses in Tucson, Arizona: ''There is no doubt about their veracity. "

            Dr. Carl G. Jung, world famous psychologist, in a letter to the NICAP Director: "I am grateful for all the courageous things you have done in elucidating the thorny problem of UFO-reality. The evidence available to me is convincing enough to arouse a continuous and fervent interest. "

            John L. Cramer, General Mills Research Director, in a public statement about UFOs: "Someone may have solved the problem of flying through space and may be visiting us."

            Frank Korkosz, astronomer at the Springfield, Mass., Museum of Science, who suggested in 1957 that UFOs might be spaceships from Venus observing the earth: "There is a possibility of life on Venus. It has become apparent that whenever Venus comes closest to earth there are reports of unidentified flying objects. "

            Prof. Hermann Oberth, noted German rocket scientist who was employed by the U. S. Government: "I believe the flying saucers come from other worlds." 

 

(183)

 

Published Statements by

PILOTS WHO HAVE SEEN UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS

 

            Capt. William B. Nash, Pan American Airways, who saw eight discs maneuvering in formation below his airliner in 1952: "We are certain they were intelligently operated craft from somewhere other than this planet."

            Jack E. Puckett, former Air Corps Captain and four-engine pilot, then Assistant Chief of Flying Safety on the staff of Gen. Elwood Quesada, who with his co-pilot and engineer in 1946 watched a rocket-like UFO veer across his path: "We observed it to be a long, cylindrical shape approximately twice the size of a B-29. The object was at the same level as our aircraft."

            Capt. Killian, American Airlines, whose airliner in 1959 was paced by three large glowing objects, also seen by passengers and other pilots: "I don't care what the Air Force says. They were definitely not conventional aircraft. I am sure there are people on other planets who have solved the problem of space travel. I sincerely believe their vehicles are coming close to the earth. "

            Flight Lt. J. R. Salandin, RAF, whose Meteor jet almost collided with a disc-shaped UFO in 1954: "It looked metallic. It was travelling at tremendous speed."

            Capt. S. C. Pierman and First Officer Charles Wheaton, Capital Airlines, who were asked by the CAA (now FAA) to check on unidentified radar targets over Washington, D. C., in 1952. Pierman: "In my years of flying I've seen a lot of falling or shooting stars. These were much faster than anything like that I've ever seen." Wheaton: "Now I feel I have actually seen some active strange objects which defy explanation."

            Lt. John W. Kilburn, RAF, who along with ground observers watched a silvery disc follow a Meteor jet as it approached for a landing in 1952: "It was a solid object. I have never seen anything like that in the sky in all my life."

            Capt. C. J. Kratovil, TWA, who along with his crew and observers at an airport in 1954 watched a large, white disc moving through the clouds. Upon landing, Kratovil was handed an Air Force statement that he had seen a weather balloon: "If this was a weather balloon, that's the first time I ever saw one travelling against the wind. It sounds like a cover-up to me."

            Cmdr. M. B. Taylor, USNR (Ret.), former Navy pilot and guided missile expert under Rear Adm. Delmer S. Fahrney, who in 1949 in the company of many other airmen at an air show saw a circular, apparently metallic object fly past, make a sharp turn, and disappear from view: "The sighting was definitely of some flying object unlike anything then or even presently known."

            Capt. W. T. Rainbow, New Zealand National Airways, who with his co­pilot and passengers watched a glowing UFO overtake and pass his airliner in 1955: "It was definitely not a comet or meteor. I have never seen anything like it before."

            Capt. Richard Case, American Airlines, who with other pilots saw a large, oval-shaped object flash past his airliner over Indianapolis in 1952: "It was a controlled craft of some sort, going three times faster than we were."

            Capt. James Howard and his co-pilot Lee Boyd, British Overseas Airways, who in 1954 watched a large UFO with several smaller satellite objects pace their airliner; Howard: "I'll swear they were solid." Boyd: "We saw something solid, something maneuverable, and something that was being controlled intelligently."

            Lt. Cmdr. John C. Williams, USN (Ret.), a Naval aviator for 10 years, who with his wife and several other witnesses observed a disc-shaped object hover and move back and forth for several minutes in 1952: "It looked like two saucers, one inverted on top of the other. Its speed was unbelievable." 

(184) 

 

OTHER PILOTS WHO HAVE SEEN UFOs 

 

            USMC pilots Maj. Charles Scarborough, Capt. R. L. Jorgenson, Capt. Don Holland, USAF pilots: Col. D. J. Blakeslee (Wing Commander), Lt. D. C. Brigham, Lt. H. G. Combs, Lt. William Patterson. TWA pilots: Capt. W. W. Hawkins, Capt Robert Adickes, Capt. Robert Manning. American Airlines pilots: Capt. Willis Sperry, Capt. Paul Carpenter. Eastern Airlines pilots: Capt. C. S. Chiles, F/O J. B. Whitted, Capt. Truman Gile, Jr. Chicago & Southern Airlines pilots: Capt. Jack Adams, F/O Ralph Stevens. United Airlines pilots: Capt. E. J. Smith, F/O G. W. Anderson. Air National Guard pilots: Lt. George Gorman, Capt Thomas Mantell, Northrup test pilot Rex Hardy, Jr., former Lt. Cmdr., Naval Air Service. Capt. D. Barker, ANA Australian airline. Capt. Dario Celis, Venezuelian airline.

 


 

  Appendix D

 

SKYHOOK BALLOONS

 

            The Aeronautical Division of General Mills, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota, launched and tracked every skyhook balloon that has been sent aloft previously to the middle of 1952. "They knew what their balloons looked like under all lighting conditions and they also knew meteorology, aerodynamics, astronomy, and they knew UFOs . . . . .  What made these people so sure that UFOs existed? In the first place, they had seen many of them. One man told me that one tracking crew had seen so many that the sight of a UFO no longer even especially interested them. And the things that they saw couldn't be explained."*

            Given below are testimonies of two separate sightings of UFOs by Mr. J. J. Kaliszewski, Supervisor of Balloon Manufacture at General Mills, which serve as additional illustrations of such observations, an example of which is given in Captain Ruppelt's book.

From:      J. J. Kaliszewski

Subject:  Unidentified Object Observation

Time:      1010, 10 October, 1951

Place:     10 miles east of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

Observers J. J. Kaliszewski and Jack Donaghue

            We had just spotted our trajectory flight and were approaching from the north at an altitude of 4,000 feet. We started a climb towards the balloon on a course of 230°. At 6,000 feet I noticed a strange object crossing the skies from East to West, a great deal higher and behind our balloon. I estimate that our balloon was approximately 20,000 feet at the time.

            Using our balloon for comparison, this object appeared to be about 1/4 the size of the balloon. We were climbing and about six miles northeast of the balloon. The object had a peculiar glow to it, crossing behind and above our balloon from East to West very rapidly, first coming in at a slight dive, leveling off for about a minute and slowing down, then into a sharp left turn and climb at an angle of 50° to 60° into the southeast with a terrific acceleration, and disappeared.

            Jack Donaghue and I observed this object for approximately two minutes and it crossed through an arc of approximately 40°- 45°. We saw no vapor trail and from past experience I know that this object was not a balloon, jet, conventional aircraft, or celestial star.

                                                                                                s/J. J. Kaliszewski

____________

* Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, E. J. Ruppelt, Doubleday & Co., c. 1956, p. 161 

 

(185) 

 

From:     J. J. Kaliszewski

Subject: Sighting of Unidentified Objects

            Time: 0630, 11 October 1951

            Dick Reilly and I were flying at 10, 000 feet observing the grab bag balloon when I saw a brightly glowing object to the southeast of the University of Minnesota airport. At that time we were a few miles north of Minneapolis and heading east. I pointed it out to Dick and we both made the following observation: The object was moving from east to west at a high rate and very high. We tried keeping the ship on a constant course and using reinforcing member of the windshield as a point. The object moved past this member at about 5° per second.

            This object was peculiar in that it had what can be described as a halo around it with a dark undersurface. It crossed rapidly and then slowed down and started to climb in lazy circles slowly. The pattern it made was like a falling oak leaf inverted. It went through these gyrations for a couple of minutes. I called our tracking station at the University of Minnesota airport and the observers there on the theodolite managed to get glimpses of a number of them, but couldn't keep the theodolite going fast enough to keep them in the field of their instruments. Both Doug Smith and Dick Dorion caught glimpses of these objects in the theodolite after I notified them of their presence by radio. This object, Dick and I watched for approximately five minutes.

            I don't know how to describe its size, because at the time I didn't have the balloon in sight for a comparison.

            Two hours later we saw another one, but this one didn't hang around. It approached from the west and disappeared to the east, neither one leaving any trace of vapor trail.    

s/ J. J. Kaliszewski

 

 


 

  Appendix E

 

ELECTRO-MAGNETIC EFFECTS ASSOCIATED

WITH UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS

BY

Washington D. C., NICAP Subcommittee

 

Introduction

 

            During October and November, 1957, a new rash of unidentified flying objects (UFO) reports broke out in the United States and other countries. The frequency of the reports was so great that the stories were widely reported on the newswires, making headlines around the country. In the United States the reports seemed to be concentrated in the Southwest and Midwest. A feature of these sightings was that, in case after case, automobiles were reported to have stalled in the presence of the UFOs. Other "electromagnetic" effects (E-M), such as the failure of lights, also were reported.

            The former Chief of the Air Force UFO Investigation, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, asked to comment on the 1957 reports, stated: "During my tenure with Project Blue Book we had reports of radiation and induction fields in connection with UFOs, however the information was sketchy and we were never able to pin it down." Ruppelt characterized the 1957 electromagnetic cases as "a whole new dimension to the UFO investigation."

            On November 9, 1957, while these reports were still being made, the following was put on the Associated Press newswires: 

 

(186)

 

            Washington, Nov. 9 (AP)--A device capable of disrupting the operation of motor vehicles or other mechanical equipment is one of the things the Armed Forces would like to see developed. But Leonard Hardland, Chief Engineer of the National Inventors Council, said today in response to an inquiry that he does not know of any research in this country aimed at producing a device that could stall automobiles or cause radios to fade.

            Such happenings have been reported in the last several days in the Southwest in connection with the reported sighting of a mysterious object in the skies.

            Since 1947 similar E-M effects have occurred in the presence of UFOs in at least the following countries: France, England, Italy, Norway, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Canada, and Australia. Also in the new states of Hawaii and Alaska. The implication of these reports is that, whatever UFOs may be, they appear to affect electrical circuits under certain conditions. There is no absolute proof, but the repeated association of this effect with plainly visible unidentifiable aerial objects can leave little doubt that it is valid to say the UFOs caused the effects. Any other interpretation would imply a chain of coincidences of such magnitude that it would be more incredible than accepting the fact of car-stalling UFOs.

            The purpose of this report is to explore this one aspect of the UFO mystery: Electromagnetic effects which occurred at the same time a UFO was seen. The study was undertaken by a Subcommittee of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), which obtained help from many sources during the course of its investigation. We are grateful to Mr. C. W. Fitch, Cleveland, Ohio, for a detailed report submitted to us, portions of which have been incorporated into this report. The study would not have been possible without the data uncovered by serious investigators and UFO organizations in the past several years, including: Aime Michel, France; J. Escobar Faria, Brazil; A. P. R. O., New Mexico; C. S. I., New York; and Max B. Miller, California.

            The Subcommittee convened for the first time on July 30, 1959. Not having a uniform body of data, our first task was to assemble as many reports of E-M effects as possible. This required a search of the UFO literature, cross checking of sources, and verification of the factual accuracy of news reports whenever possible. The Subcommittee sought first-hand testimony in important cases. However, probably due to the controversial nature of the subject, it was not often possible to obtain the full cooperation of witnesses.

            From the resulting chronology the more detailed reports are the well-verified ones which appeared to provide significant clues were selected for special study. All cases which fit our definition of an E-M report are listed in the main chronology. Other borderline reports which have some characteristics of E-M cases are listed in a secondary chronology.

            This appendix contains a digest of the data examined by the Subcommittee, maps illustrating the scope of the phenomenon, and summary reports of significant features. Conclusions are, of necessity, sketchy; however, the Subcommittee felt that a pilot study of this sort would be valuable in calling attention to the E-M phenomenon, pointing out fruitful lines of investigation, and suggesting means of acquiring better data.

            If this report helps to point out the need for a more complete and scientific investigation of UFOs in general, and provokes some thought on the subject, the Subcommittee will feel that its efforts have been worthwhile.


Richard Lechaux, Chairman                Jim Stowell (Research Analyst)

Tom Shelton (Research Analyst)         Eli Bernzweig,(Attorney)

Jack Brotzman (Electronic Scientist)    Richard Hall (Editor)

Washington, D. C., June 1960.  

 

(187)

 

 

Experts Ordered to Start Probe of Lights in Southwest 

El Paso Texas Times

Nov. 7, 1957 

Sighting ‘Shakes’ Scientists 

   Some of the nation’s top scientists are “pretty shook up” about the mysterious flying objects sighted in New Mexico and West Texas skies this week, said Charles Capen Wednesday night.

   Capen, connected with several scientific projects at White Sands Proving Ground, N. M., and the Physical Sciences Laboratory at New Mexico A&M, said, “This is something that hasn’t happened before.

   “The scientists have heard the cry ‘wolf’ so much they don’t get excited easily, but some of the top scientists are pretty shook up “about this thing.”

   Capen said the subject of the objects was “pretty hushed up” at White Sands Wednesday, although they had been the principal topic of conversation earlier in the week.

   “They just weren’t talking about it today,” he said. “The topic of conversation has switched back to Sputnik II and the possible launching of a Russian lunar rocket.”

   He said instruments had been set up by White Sands Proving Ground and the Las Cruces Astronomical Society in hopes of catching a glimpse of a rocket if one was launched during the lunar eclipse early Thursday.

   If a rocket was launched, Capen said the cameras possibly would catch a silhouette of the rocket or a flash of color going toward the moon.

MANY SEE VENUS

   Many El Pasoans thought they saw one of the mysterious flying objects Wednesday night. But it was identified as the planet Venus.

     Venus, according to Capen, is closer to earth than usual during this time of year.

   “The planet appears in the west, near the horizon,” he said, “and haze in the atmosphere could give it a reddish color. The planet will move closer to the earth until the first week in December, when it will be bright enough to cast a shadow.

   “This sort of thing happens quite often, but people weren’t aware of it until they began watching the sky for the satellites and flying saucers.”                  

   The first mysterious object sighted was near Levelland, Texas, early last Sunday, where autos were stalled in the vicinity of the object. More cars were stalled near Orogrande, N.M., Monday, when an object of similar description was sighted there.  

Air Defense Command to Have Trained Men Take Over Inquiry, Report to Intelligence. 

       By the Associated Press

   WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 –

   The Air Force said today it has assigned trained investigators to look into the flurry of reported sightings of strange flying objects.

   The radar network of the Air Defense Command is keeping watch, the Air Force said, but it has reported no radar sightings.

   An Air Force spokesman said the investigation has been entrusted to persons specifically qualified for such work.

    These investigators work under the Air Defense Command, which has headquarters at Colorado Springs, Colo., and report to the Air Technical Intelligence Center.

   The latest report on flying objects came from the Coast Guard cutter Sebago, which radioed that it spotted a brilliant object in the sky this morning about 200 miles south of the Mississippi River.

 “Planet” Circled Ship

   The unidentified object was first sighted at 5:10 A.M., the Coast Guard said. Radar contact with the object was retained intermittently from 5:10 AM to 5:37 AM, with the object visible to the naked eye for 16 minutes beginning at 5:21 AM.

    The report from the Sebago, on duty in the Gulf of Mexico, said the object “resembled a brilliant planet” and was travelling at a high speed.

 Half the Size of Auto

   In North Louisiana, four persons told state police they sighted a bright object about half the size of an automobile rising from the ground near Monroe Monday night.  

   And in Lubbock, Tex., a missile engineer reported seeing a “brilliant colored egg-shaped object” which he said stalled cars in New Mexico Monday.

   Witnesses say a mystery object skipped about the countryside near Lubbock and near scientific military bases in New Mexico over the weekend. The reported objects startled citizens, peace officers and servicemen, but apparently left no concrete trace.

“As Bright as the Sun”

   James Stokes, 45, an engineer from the Air Force missile development center at Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo,  N. M., told news director Terry Clark of KALG, Alamogordo, then ten autos were stopped Monday on an isolated desert highway, U. S. 54, between White Sands Proving Grounds and Alamogordo.

   The “planet” moved in concentric circles around the ship, according to the report, and was headed northward toward the Louisiana Coast.

   The Coast Guard in New Orleans said it is alerting ships to keep a watch for the object, whose whirling flight covered at least 175 miles during the 27 minutes it was tracked by the Sebago. 

 

(188)

 

November “Flap” 1957 

Weird ‘Thing’ to be probed by Air Force 

More Phantoms Seen in Virginia, Chicago 

   WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (AP)

--The Air Force today undertook an investigation of a huge, strangely lighted mystery object reported to have flashed over West Texas.

   Reports of strange flying objects have been popping up for years, but this one had the support of a variety of witnesses, including a sheriff and one of his deputies.

   It impressed the Air Force sufficiently to call for at least a preliminary investigation.

   “We don’t investigate all of them, after all,” an Air Force spokesman said.

   A most unusual thing about the object reported Saturday and Sunday was that witnesses said their car engines stopped and their lights went out when they drove near it.

   It was variously described as a burning mass, a big light, and an egg-shaped object 200 feet long.

   Meanwhile, there were reports on strange things happening in the skies over Chicago and over the Virginia-North Carolina border.

   Three policemen and a fireman in Chicago’s suburban Elmwood Park said they saw a peculiar round glowing thing in the early morning sky today. They said their car lights appeared to dim as they kept the prowl car spotlight focused on the thing.

   At Martinsville, Va., Mrs. Ruby Hairston said she and her family saw a strange red glare last night while driving to Bassett, Va., from Philpot Lake on the Carolina border.

   “It faded from bright red to a pale amber pink, then brightened again,” she said.

   Mrs. Robert Moudy of Covington, Ind., told newsmen her husband had seen “a thing” in the sky Oct. 14. She said her husband told only her about it and they did not mention it to anyone else because they feared ridicule.

   Mrs. Moudy said her husband related the engine of his combine went dead when the object – flat, oval shaped, about 200 feet long with what appeared to be a large ball of fire in the center – zoomed over a farm near Foster, Ind. Her husband said the object made a screaming noise “like an auto tire squealing on a fast take-off,” she said.  

Mystery Object Stalls Autos in West Texas

November 4, 1957 

   Levelland, Texas. (AP) – West Texans puzzled Sunday over accounts of a mystery object, big and ablaze with light, dozens told of seeing in the sky and several said they found in roadways.

   Observers told newsmen of at least five instances in which the engines of cars approaching the phantom object Saturday night and early Sunday were unaccountably stalled, but restarted as the phenomenon rose into the air.

   Sheriff Weir Clem, who said he observed the brilliant light but didn’t get a close view, reported one witness who fainted from fright.

   Police Patrolman A. J. Fowler, on duty in Levelland as reports poured in from startled residents, said at least 15 persons told of getting a good look and dozens sighted what appeared to be flashes of light.

   “They seemed to agree that thus something was 200 feet long, shaped like an egg and was lit up like it was on fire – but looked more like neon lights,” Fowler related.

   “They said it was about 200 feet in the air, and when it got close car motors and lights would go off. Everybody who called was very excited.”

   There also were reports of an unexplained light in the sky far across the state between Sherman and McKinney, and two men said pulsating green flashed streaked between clouds near Odessa, about 130 miles south of here in west Texas.  

 

(189)

 

CHRONOLOGY

 

            Cases included in this chronology represent reports in which a distinct UFO, either a plainly visible object or light source (not diffuse or intermittent flashes of light), was observed at the same time and place that a definite electromagnetic effect (E-M) such as a car stalling occurred.

            In most cases the same witness or groups of witnesses both saw the UFO and experienced the E-M effect. In a few cases, however, those who experienced an E-M effect did not see any UFO, but separate witnesses nearby did. The latter were only included if it could be determined that the UFO was seen in the same locality and at approximately the same time. These cases will denoted by an asterisk (*)

  1. Aug. 28, 1945; nr Iwo Jima. C-46 had engine trouble, lost altitude. Three UFOs observed from plane at same time.
  2. June 24, 1947: Cascade Mts., Oregon. Compass needle waved wildly.
  3. Fall 1949: New Mexico. Music on car radio blanked out by static (as UFO passed over car.)
  4. (*) Jan. 9, 1953: Kerrville, Texas. Odd "roaring" interference on radio (as UFO circled town.)
  5. Jan. 29, 1954: nr Santa Ana, Calif. Car radio quit and motor missed (as UFO passed low over car).
  6. June 21, 1954: Ridgeway, Ont., Canada. Car motor quit (as UFO crossed highway ahead of car).
  7. Aug. 30, 1954: Porto Alegre, Brazil. House lights failed.
  8. Sept. 18, 1954: New Mexico. Strange green fireball; radio, TV and airport radio interference.
  9. Oct. 7, 1954: St-Jean-d'Asse, France, Car motor and headlights failed (UFO in sky above road).
  10. Oct. 9, 1954: Cuisy (Seine-et-Marne), France. Car motor and headlights failed.
  11. Oct. 11, 1954: Fronfrede (Loire), France. Car motor and headlights failed (as UFO crossed road below cloud cover).
  12. Oct. 11, 1954: Clamecy (Nievre), France. Car motor and headlights failed; passengers felt shock and paralysis. (UFO in meadow next to road.)
  13. Oct. 11, 1954: Chateauneuf-sur-Charente, France. Car motor and headlights failed. (Two UFOs at low altitude ahead of car.)
  14. Oct. 14, 1954: nr Brosses-Thillot, Saone-et-Loire, France. Motorcycle stalled.
  15. Oct. 16, 1954: Baillolet (Seine-Inferieure), France. (Four UFOs' at low altitude ahead of car; one descended toward road,) Shock and paralysis felt, car motor and headlights failed.
  16. Oct. 18, 1954: Coheix (Puy-de-Dome), France. Driver of light truck felt half paralyzed, motor began missing. (UFO in nearby field.)
  17. Oct, 20, 1954: Schirmeck, France. Autoist felt paralyzed, motor stalled, heat felt. (UFO on road.)
  18. Oct. 21, 1954: nr La Rochelle, France. Motorist and child felt shock and heat, motor and headlights failed (then luminous UFO became visible ahead of car).
  19. Oct. 27, 1954: nr Linzeux, France. Headlights and motor failed, two passengers felt "electric shock.” (UFO passed ahead of car.)
  20. Nov. 14, 1954: Forli, Italy. Conventional and Diesel tractors driving side by side; conventional stalled, Diesel did not.

 

(190)

 

  1. Dec. 5, 1954: North East, Pa., House radio "pulsated" (as UFO observed over lake).
  2. Feb. 2, 1955: nr Valera, Venezuela. Commercial airliner enroute from Barquisimeto; radio went dead at Valera and Barquisimeto (as pilot started to report UFO sighting).
  3. Apr. 6, 1955: New Mexico. Three unusual green fireballs;  heavy radio and TV disturbances.
  4. June 26, 1955: Washington, D. C . . . National Airport ceiling lights went out as UFO approached. UFO caught in searchlight beam, searchlight went out.
  5. August 25, 1955: Bedford, Indiana. House lights dimmed and brightened (as hovering UFO pulsated).
  6. (*) May 1, 1956: Tokyo, Japan. TV distortion.
  7. October 1956: Oslo, Norway. Autoist felt "prickly sensation,” wristwatch magnetized (according to jeweler). (UFO flew in front of car and hovered over road.)
  8. Nov. 16, 1956: Lemmon, S. D. Railroad phones, automatic block system "mysteriously dead," Western Union service disrupted.
  9. December 1956: Far East. Visual and radar sighting of UFO by jet pilot, radar jammed by strong interference. Pilot switched frequency, eliminated interference for 10 seconds; then weaker interference on second frequency.
  10. Apr. 14, 1957: Vins-sur-Caraney, France. Metal signs magnetized. Fifteen degree deviation of compass noted only in immediate area of sighting.
  11. (*) Apr. 19, 1957: Maiquetia, Venezuela. Airliner enroute to Maiquetia sighted UFO. Strange radio signals received at Maiquetia Airport at same time.
  12. May 31, 1957: Kent, England. Airliner suffered radio failure during UFO sighting. Normal functions returned when UFO left.
  13. Aug. 14, 1957: nr Joinville, Brazil. Airliner cabin lights dimmed and engine sputtered during UFO sighting.
  14. Oct. 15, 1957: Covington, Indiana. Combine engine failed.
  15. Oct. 30, 1957: Casper, Wyoming. Car motor kept stalling as motorist tried to turn around (to avoid UFO on road).
  16. Oct. 31, 1957: Lumberton, N. C. Car motor failed.
  17. Nov. 2, 1957: nr Seminole, Texas. Car motor and headlights failed. (UFO on road.)
  18. Nov. 2 or 3, 1957: Amarillo, Texas. Car motor failed. (UFO on road.)
  19. Nov. 2-3, 1957: Levelland, Texas, Series. Four instances of car motor and lights failing. Many witnesses sighted egg-shaped UFO on or near ground.
  20. Nov. 3, 1957: nr Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Car motor missed, headlights flickered (as UFO arced over car).
  21. Nov. 3-4, 1957: Ararangua, Brazil. Airliner ADF (direction finder) right generator, and transmitter-receiver burnt during UFO sighting.
  22. Nov. 4, 1957: Elmwood Park, Illinois. Squad car lights and spotlight dimmed (as police pursued low-flying UFO).
  23. Nov. 4, 1957: Toronto, Ontario, Canada. TV interference (audio). (Viewers called out by neighbors to see UFO.)
  24. Nov. 4, 1957: Orogrande, N. M. Car motor stalled, radio failed, heat felt. (James Stokes, White Sands engineer.)

(191) 

 

  1. Nov. 4, 1957: Kodiak, Alaska. A "steady dit-dit-dit" interference on police radio (during UFO sighting).
  2. (*) Nov. 5, 1957: Hedley, Texas. Farmer saw UFO, Neighbor reported TV cut off at same time.
  3. Nov. 5, 1957: Hobbs, New Mexico. Speeding car, motor failed, lights went out (as UFO swooped over car).
  4. (*) Nov. 5, 1957: Ringwood, Illinois. UFO followed car returning to town. TV sets in Ringwood dimmed, finally lost both picture and sound during same time period.
  5. Nov. 5, 1957: South Springfield, Ohio. Car and cab stalled.
  6. Nov. 5, 1957: Pell City, Alabama. Car motor stalled (as driver attempted to approach UFO hovering low over ground).
  7. Nov. 5 or 6, 1957: Sao Vicente, Brazil, Itaipu Fort electrical system failed, sentries felt heat (as UFO approached and hovered).
  8. Nov. 6, 1957: Houston, Texas. Car motor stalled, radio blanked with static.
  9. Nov. 6, 1957: Santa Fe, N. M. Car motor failed, car clock and wrist-watch stopped (as UFO passed low over car).
  10. Nov. 6, 1957: Danville, Illinois. Police chased UFO. Unable to notify headquarters "because their radio went mysteriously dead."
  11. Nov. 6, 1957: nr Ottawa, Ont., Canada. Battery radio and portable short wave radio failed; then single tone signal heard one short-wave frequency. (UFO had been hovering below overcast. Radios worked normally after UFO left.)
  12. Nov. 6, 1957: Toronto, Ont., Canada. Interference on TV (audio), just before viewer was called out by neighbors to see UFO.
  13. (*) Nov. 6, 1957: Montville, Ohio. Woman's TV blurred. Next day found automobile pockmarked. Night of Olden More report of UFO on ground about one-half mile from woman's home.
  14. Nov. 8, 1957: Lake Charles, La. Car motor sputtered and failed (as UFO hovered low overhead).
  15. Nov. 7, 1957: nr Orogrande, N. M. Automobile travelling about 60 m. p. h. Speedometer waved wildly between 60 and 110. (UFO sighted few minutes later. Car was 1954 Mercury, with magnetic speedometer.)
  16. Nov. 9. 1957: nr White Oaks, N. M. Car lights failed.
  17. Nov. 10, 1957: Hammond, Indiana. Loud beeping caused radio interference (as police chased UFO). Motorist reported radio failure. TV blackout in city.
  18. (*) Nov. 12, 1957: Rumney, N. H. Car motor and lights failed. (Ground Observer Corps reported UFO at same time.)
  19. Nov. 14, 1957: Hazelton, Pa. TV disrupted.
  20. Nov. 14, 1957: Tamaroa, Illinois. Power failed for 10 minutes in a four-mile area (just after hovering UFO flashed).
  21. Nov. 15, 1957: Cachoeira, Brazil. Several car motors failed as drivers attempted to approach UFO on ground).
  22. Nov. 25, 1957: Mogi Mirim, Brazil. All city lights failed (as three UFOs passed overhead).
  23. Dec. 3, 1957: nr Ellensburg, Wash. Truck motor "almost stopped," but caught again. (Police confirmed UFO sighting.)
  24. Dec. 3, 1957: Cobalt, Ont., Canada. Radio static (as several UFOs seen over area).
  25. Dec. 18, 1957: Sarasota, Fla. TV interference.

 

(192)

 

  1. Jan. 13, 1958: Casino, N. S. W... Australia. Interference on car (as UFO followed car).
  2. Jan. 30, 1958, nr Lima, Peru. Truck, bus, and car passengers felt shock; motors of all three vehicles failed. (UFO descended and hovered.
  3. Aug. 3, 1958: Rome, Italy. Car radio failed; city lights failed.
  4. Aug. 31, 1958: La Verde, Argentina. Piper aircraft engine increased its revolutions abnormally (during UFO sighting). Engine normal after UFO left.
  5. Oct. 26, 1958: Baltimore, Maryland. Car motor and headlights failed, two passengers felt heat. (UFO hovering over bridge ahead of car)
  6. Jan. 13, 1959: Greenville, Pennsylvania. Truck motor, lights and radio failed (as UFO hovered over truck).
  7. Jan. 13, 1959: Bygholm, Denmark. Car motor failed (as UFO passed over car). Headlights and spotlight worked.
  8. Feb. 25, 1959: Hobbs, New Mexico. Signals on car radio, steady succession of two dots and a dash (as UFO passed).
  9. June 22, 1959: Salta, Argentina. City lights failed.
  10. Aug. 13, 1959: Freeport, Texas. Car motor and headlights failed (as UFO crossed road ahead at low altitude).
  11. Oct. 22, 1959: Cumberland, Maryland. Car motor, headlights, and radio failed (as UFO hovered low over road ahead).
  12. Jan. 18, 1960: nr Lakota, North Dakota. Car lights dimmed (as UFO descended toward field about a mile off highway).

SECONDARY CASES 

 

            These borderline cases have some characteristics in common with those of the main chronology. In each case a definite E-M effect was reported. In seven of the nine cases some aerial phenomenon did coincide with the E-M effect (i. e., flashes of light, glows, etc). In the other two cases distinct UFOs were seen, but it could not be determined that they coincided with the E-M effects reported nearby. 

a.       July 20, 1952: Cumberland, Maryland. Engineer reported unusual type, of TV interference. Occurred within a few hours of the famous Washington UFO sightings all over the D. C.-Virginia area, including radar trackings by CAA.

b.      Jan. 21, 1957: Bristol, England, TV pictures disrupted and noise heard on audio; same time as firey light in sky with rays running through it.

c.       Jan. 27, 1957: Glendora, California. Unexplained power failure. Two UFOs reported same night in general area.

d.      May 7, 1957: New York City. TV disrupted, citizens complained about low-flying "aircraft. " Commercial test plane blamed, but Air Force reported several unidentified blips on radar.

e.       Sept. 1, 1957: LeMars, Iowa. Car motor and headlights failed (as flash of light seen in sky).

f.       Nov. 2 or 3, 1957: Las Cruces, New Mexico. Car motor and headlights failed twice (as UFO skeptic saw flashes of light in the sky). Blamed on "Static atmosphere. "

g.       Nov. 28, 1957: Hakalau, Hawaii. Car motor failed, driver felt numb (as bright flash of light seen in sky about 20 feet above highway ahead of car).

h.      Dec. 1. 1957: Ann Arbor, Michigan. Telephone lines affected by odd noise (as numerous red lights observed in Sky).

i.        Dec. 7, 1959: Bangor, Maine. Airport runway lights went out. (Airliner circling over field reported unexplained blinding glow around plane.) 

 

(193)

 

 

 

(194)

 

 

(195)

 

 

(196)
 

Statistics Based on the 81 Cases in the Main Chronology

 

 

 

 

Table I.  Equipment Affected

 

Table II.  Automobiles (43 cases)

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Vehicles (Autos 43, Others 6)

49

Motor Only 

12

Radio, TV (Excluding auto radios)

16

Radio Only

7

Aircraft 

7

Lights Only 

3

   (Engines 2, engines & lights 1, radio 3, and Radar 1) 

 

Motor & Lights

15

Building Lights

7

Motor & Radio

3

Other

2

Motor, Radio & Lights

1

Total

81

Other

2

 

 

Total

43

 

 

    Motor: 31 cases, Lights 19

 

 

 

       and Radio cases: 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

A NOTE ON THE QUESTION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT

 

            One of the better examples of electromagnetic (E-M) effects apparently caused by a UFO is the case of the sightings near Levelland, Texas, November 2-3, 1957. In a period of about three hours, the sheriff's office in Levelland received dozens of calls from excited people who had seen flashing lights in the sky. In addition, more than 15 calls were received from people who had actually seen a distinct UFO, and all 15 descriptions were remarkably similar. Four of the 15 also reported that the motors and lights of the car or truck they were riding in at the time had failed at the approach of the UFO. When the UFO retreated, the lights came back on and the engines could be started again. Patrolman A. J. Fowler said: "They seemed to agree that this something was 200 feet long, shaped like an egg and lit up like it was on fire--but looked more like neon lights." Coincidence and hallucination must be ruled out when more than 15 people at different locations but in the same general area give identical descriptions of something which they have just seen. The four who reported engine and light failure also described their experiences in the same way. There can be little doubt that a UFO was seen and did cause engines and lights to fail.

            A direct cause and effect relationship is also apparent in the following cases: 15, 18, 25, 29, 64, 65, and 75. 

ENGINE-FAILURE CASES 

 

            This study comprises 27 cases of the failure of engines during UFO sightings in the United States, France, Italy, South America, and Hawaii

            It is interesting to note that not only automobiles and trucks were affected, but also the electrical systems of a motorcycle and a tractor. Also worthy of mention is the fact that a Diesel tractor driving alongside a conventional tractor with electrical ignition was not affected while the conventional tractor was stalled.

            Studying these occurrences also refutes the skeptic's explanation that some people, seeing something which they fail to recognize right away, be­come nervous and are the very cause themselves of the stalled engine. In nine cases, the engine stalled and the drivers did not spot the UFO until the vehicle had come to a dead stop. Some puzzled drivers only sighted the strange appearance in the sky as they raised the hood to inspect the motor of their stalled vehicle.

            From these 27 cases there seems to be a definite sequence to the disturbances of the electrical systems of vehicles: First the motor stops, then the headlights go out. In a few of these cases where the car was equipped 

(197)

 

with a radio playing at the time of the UFO appearance, the radio was the first to show signs of disturbance either by emitting static or by fading.

            In many of these instances the UFO appeared to be at a low altitude and quite near, though its performance was not uniform. Altitudes of the UFOs, unfortunately seldom reported with much accuracy, were estimated to be from zero (sitting on the ground) to approximately 200 feet. Distance of the stalled driver from the UFO also is very approximate since many reports do not give the vaguest estimate of distance. The estimates given in these cases ranged from 100 feet to 2 miles away, either straight ahead of the car or off to one side.

            In all these instances as the UFO vanished in the distance either straight away or angling up, the lights came back on, engines started easily, and radios resumed playing. Oddly enough in a few instances the batteries were steaming, apparently having been short-circuited somehow.

 

FAILURE OF AUTOMOBILE HEADLIGHTS AND OTHER LIGHTS 

 

            This study is based on 26 instances of the failure of lights during the sighting of a UFO. Twenty-one of these were automobile lights. In 19 instances the engines failed at the same time, and in two instances only the lights were affected. The lights failed a few second's before any UFO was sighted in seven cases, a few seconds after a UFO was sighted in ten cases. The other light failures occurred simultaneously with UFO sightings.

            The UFOs associated with the instances of light failure sometimes were seen to have a definite shape, and sometimes appeared only as a source of light. The usual shape reported was elliptical or circular.

In 17 cases colors were mentioned:

blue      2          red                    5

green    3          orange-yellow    3

white    3          multi-colored      1

            In eleven of the 26 cases of light failure, the associated UFO was reported to be either on or near the ground (estimated altitudes of 300 feet or less).

            A particularly interesting case of house lights being affected happened in Bedford, Indiana, August 25, 1955. A woman (with a companion) driving home neared her house in which the living room lights had been left on. A UFO, white with a black streak through the center, was seen hovering near the house. As the UFO pulsated, the house lights dimmed and brightened in unison with the glow of the UFO. The frightened women drove back down town to wait on their husbands, and when they returned together the UFO was gone.

            An intriguing aspect of the light-failure cases, which cropped up in at least two instances, was the failure of searchlights or spotlights after they were shown on the UFO. 

 

RADIO-TELEVISION INTERFERENCE 

 

            Of 23 cases studied, 17 involved radio interference and 6 involved TV interference. In one instance both the radio of a police patrol car and the TV sets in the area were affected by static and blackouts.

The types of interference were of four basic kinds:

            (1) Instrument went dead.      (3) Static heard.

            (2) Signals picked up.             (4) Volume diminished and decreased.

            In many of the TV cases the words "TV interference" are used and it is not stated specifically whether the video, audio, or both were affected. The radio cases are generally more specific as to the type of interference.

            In all of these cases the UFO was generally described as being low--from a few feet above the ground to an estimated 50 feet altitude; also very 

(198) 

 

close to the affected vehicle or building, the range being estimated from "just a few feet" to 100 feet away. Unfortunately, many reports are vague or incomplete in respect to these figures, and when estimates are ventured they must be accepted as approximations since the size of the UFO is unknown.

            As for performance of the UFO at the time of the disturbance, it varied from "jet speed" to "hovering." Some instances of swooping down and upward curves, as well as level flight, were reported. In two cases sounds were reported: One described as an explosion, the other as like "a car engine racing."

            The shape of the associated UFOs is problematic because of the lack of information in these reports. Some descriptions mentioned were: egg-like, star like, globe, disc, saucer, oval; and others were only light sources.

            One case (No. 55) is interesting because campers in Canada had an ordinary battery-powered portable radio which went dead, whereas their portable short wave radio received a rapidly modulated single-tone signal on one frequency only. This is similar to the PAA radio system case (No. 31) in Venezuela in which Morse-like signals were received on one interference-free frequency. In the latter case the signals were accompanied by slight "explosions.” After a stop of 40 seconds, different signals were received, interrupted by a sound like an aircraft travelling at great speed. In both instances the equipment was good and the people were well versed in radio. (The Canadian campers were ham radio operators.) Also, in Texas, station KEVT heard odd "roaring" static going up and down the scale during a UFO sighting (No. 4). 

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS 

 

            Several of the witnesses who experienced an E-M effect as a UFO was seen nearby also felt something akin to an electric shock frequently accompanied by heat. With a few exceptions noted below, this occurred mostly to motorists inside their vehicles at the same time that their headlights and motors were affected. In a few cases the motorists reported that they felt paralyzed. The paralysis, shock, and/or heat was often felt before the UFO, was seen and before the witnesses had reason to think that anything unusual was going on; thus these effects can not be attributed to fear or other psychological causes.

            On November 5, 1957, in one of the few cases of this type not involving motorists, two sentries at Itaipu Fort on the east coast of Brazil felt a suf­focating heat from a UFO which approached the fort causing the whole electrical system of the fort to fail. A psychological cause is also ruled out in this case, since the sentries actually suffered severe physical burns.

            In one instance a motorist experienced both shock and heat after stepping out of his car to look at a UFO. A policeman in Williston, Florida, November 2, 1955, climbed out of his car to investigate a low-flying UFO and saw it pass about 150 feet over his head. At that moment he felt heat and an odd stinging sensation which he had never before experienced. He described it as similar to the numbness felt when a foot "goes to sleep," tingling all over.

            Eight other cases all involved motorists driving along the highway. Six of these took place in France during the month of October 1954. Two others, very similar to the French cases, were in Peru, January 1958, and Hawaii, November 1957. The latter two were reported before the publication of Aime Michel's book listing the 1954 French cases.

            In a typical case (No. 18) a man with his 3-year-old son was driving along at night when he suddenly felt an "electric shock" over his whole body, along with increasing heat. The child apparently felt it too because he began crying. The motor failed and the headlights went out. Only then did a UFO become  

(199) 

 

visible--a brightly lighted object ahead of the car which soon climbed rapidly away. As soon as the UFO left, everything returned to normal.

            An exceptional case (g) involved a man driving home alone early in the evening. Suddenly his engine began missing, and then he saw a bright flash of light about 20 feet above the highway ahead of the car. The motor failed and the headlights went out. The car's momentum carried it forward to about the spot where the light had been, at which point the man felt "numb" and couldn't move for several minutes. Then, he said, the car started up again by itself while still in high gear (he had not touched the starter), the lights came back on and the car began to move slowly. Frightened, the man did not stop to investigate and hurried home.

            There was no clear-cut pattern to the physical description of the UFOs seen when "shocks" were felt. Most of the cases occurred at night and the UFOs appeared as luminous globular objects whose exact shapes could not be determined. The colors most frequently mentioned were red and orange.

            One definite pattern was found in the performance of the related UFOs when the "shocks" were felt. In nearly every case the UFOs (1) had just moved to a position low above the road ahead of the car, or (2) were actually on the road or next to it ahead of the car. In one such case (No. 15) one UFO from a formation of four was seen to zig-zag down toward the road ahead of the car. When about 100 yards away from the descending UFO, the motorist felt a "shock" and his motor and lights failed. No light could be seen from the UFO, which apparently had landed, and the man sat in the dark unable to move. Then the headlights came back on, and in their beam the amazed motorist saw the UFO skimming away low over the ground. From these cases it appear that "shocks" are felt only during exceptionally close approaches.

            The data are too skimpy to allow any firm conclusions about the forces involved in cases of "electric shock, "except that the same forces which have apparently affected electrical circuits in automobiles and other vehicles and devices can, at closer range, cause physiological effects on the human body. It should be noted in passing that, in many cases not involving electromagnetic effects on vehicles and devices, witnesses standing in the open have suffered mild skin burns and symptoms of radiation sickness after being ex­posed to a UFO low above their heads.

            No serious after-effects have been reported in any of the cases involving a "shock," but the two sentries in the Brazilian Itaipu Fort incident did suffer serious burns in a closely similar case.

 

PERFORMANCE 

 

            In order to determine the general performance characteristics of the UFOs during the occurrence of E-M effects, the cases of engine failure, 37 in number, were taken as a sample. Many of the cases were reported only sketchily and produced little data of value, but some possibly significant features can be noted on the basis of this sample.

            The colors reported were fairly evenly distributed across the spectrum, with a slight predominance on the red end of the spectrum. In cases where the UFO changed colors or showed more than one color, each color reported was listed separately. Usually, however, there was one predominant color.

 

Components of Motion

Hovering: The UFOs were reported to have hovered in at least 11 cases.

Landings: The UFOs were reported to have been on the ground in at least 11 cases.

Vertical Motion: The UFOs were reported to have moved vertically in at least 13 cases. 

 

(200)

 

            Of the various categories considered, these three showed a significant frequency. Other categories were: Circled or maneuvered, passed (without stopping or maneuvering), continuous straight-line flight, arced, turned. In 6 cases turns were mentioned; fourth in frequency of the components considered.

Distance and Altitude

            Altitude estimated more often than distance. In about 3/4 of the cases in which an estimate of altitude was given, the UFOs were said to be below 250 feet. All estimates of distance placed the UFOs less than 500 feet away. 

LIMITATIONS OF DATA 

 

            Throughout its study of the E-M phenomenon, the Subcommittee has been acutely aware of the limitations of the data under consideration. It found many reports to be sketchy and incomplete, and discovered gaps of time during which no E-M cases apparently were reported. The gaps, however, are believed to be directly related to the lack of investigation and inadequacy of news reporting at certain times. Ridicule by the press and various officials has lead to periods of sparse news coverage, though UFOs still were reported to NICAP and other organizations.

            In its search of the literature on E-M reports, the Subcommittee was able to find only eight cases which occurred before the rash of E-M cases in France during 1954. Only four of these were reported at the time they occurred. One of these was the June 24, 1947, sighting in Portland, Oregon, by prospector Fred Johnson. Johnson reported that the dial of his compass was agitated as five or six disc-shaped objects flew overhead flashing in the sun. It is interesting that this early E-M case occurred on the same day as the famous UFO sighting by private pilot Kenneth Arnold, which resulted in the coining of the term "flying saucer."

            Since 1954, recorded E-M cases have been numerous. The French engineer Aime Michel, in his book Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery has documented 12 instances of E-M effects experienced in Europe during the Fall of 1954. Eleven of these were in France during the month of October. (See Chronology)

            Between Fall 1954 and the next comparable period in late 1957, 13 cases were found. It is probably significant that there was very little UFO publicity in this period, after the Air Force wrote off UFOs in an official report early in 1955.

            Then in late 1957 a sudden rash of UFO reports from responsible witnesses was carried on the press wires. Personnel at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico, the crew of the Coast Guard cutter SEBAGO in the Gulf of Mexico, airline pilots in Louisiana and Nebraska, and many others reported UFOs. The press coverage which resulted from this interesting batch of sightings, the most thorough since 1952, led to the reporting of hundreds of UFOs within about two months. While the relatively straightforward reporting continued, many E-M cases were reported. Three E-M cases in October then 30 E-M cases in November 1957 alone! (See Chronology)

            After a few more E-M reports in December 1957, UFO publicity once again died down. Since January 1958, only 12 E-M cases are known to the Subcommittee. However, the reports that continue to trickle in even during periods of poor news coverage are sufficient to suggest that the E-M phenomenon has been continual throughout the 13 years since the term "flying saucers" became a part of our vocabulary.

            Because the data are not as complete as we should like, we are not able to state positively that E-M effects are a standard feature of UFO reports. However, the fact that the two periods in which most E-M cases are known

(201) 

 

(1954 and 1957) correspond to two periods in which UFOs were well-reported strongly suggests that other E-M cases have gone unreported in other periods due to ridicule or a generally unfavorable press. It is important to note that if Aime Michel had not personally investigated the 1954 cases and published them in a book, they would be completely unknown in the United States today.

            The evidence of E-M effects, sketchy though it may be, is sufficient to warrant a more thorough investigation of UFOs, and an attempt to learn more about the E-M phenomenon through deliberate instrumentation for that purpose.

            If the following report in the "For the Record" column of National Review, February 13, 1960, is accurate, the need for investigation of the E-M phenomenon takes on new importance:

"Investigators sifting wrecks of recently crashed commercial airliners stumped by the eerie and unexplained total failure of all electronic equipment in the ill-fated craft."

 

 

 

 

(202) 

 

AURORA AND GEOMAGNETIC STORMS 

 

            One explanation that has been advanced for E-M effects is that they must be related to solar activity and resulting "'disturbances of the earth's magnetic field.

            The International Geophysical Year (IGY) world warning system, to enable an extensive study of the results of solar activity, was in operation during the last quarter of 1957 when 36 E-M cases occurred. The following information is taken from IGY Bulletin No. 10, April 1958, published by the National Academy of Sciences:

            "During the first three months of IGY [July, August, September 1957] 14 periods of Alert and 4 SWI (Special World Intervals) were declared by AGIWARN, the IGY World Warning Agency... During the next three-month period [October, November, December, 1957], solar activity was in general lower; only six periods of Alert, totaling 23 days, and two SWI, totaling four days, were declared. One of the SWI was unsuccessful in that no major solar disturbance with associated terrestrial effects followed. During the other SWI a short but relatively severe geomagnetic disturbance took place...

1957

Oct. 14 Alert #11 starts                        Nov. 26 SWI #7 starts

Oct. 20 Alert #11 finishes                     Moderate magnetic storm starts

Oct. 21 Alert #12 starts                        Nov. 27 Magnetic storm finishes

Oct. 22 SWI #6 starts                           Alert #14 finishes

Oct. 23 Alert #12 finishes                      SWI #7 finishes

            SWI #6 finishes                        Dec. 15 Alert #15 starts

Nov. 12 Alert #13 starts                        Dec. 21 Alert #15 finishes

Nov. 15 Alert #13 finishes                     Dec. 26 Alert#16 starts
Nov. 24 Alert #14 Starts                        Dec. 29 Alert #16 finishes

            Thus, it is seen that solar activity was at a minimum during one of the major outbreaks of UFO sightings and associated electromagnetic effects. Geomagnetic disturbances therefore appear to be an unsatisfactory explanation for many E-M cases, or UFO sightings in general.

Aurora

            The following information on aurora is taken from IGY Bulletin No. 12, June 1958:

            "Auroras are the visible manifestation, in the earth's atmosphere, of a group of phenomena resulting from disturbances in the sun's interior and surface layers. They mark the paths within the atmosphere of the streams of solar particles ejected by eruptions on the sun.... The best times of the year for auroral observations are Spring and Fall. During March and September, in particular, auroras are at an annual maximum of frequency and intensity. ... In latitudes below 40°N., where auroras are rare, observations are made primarily on nights when geomagnetic disturbances are expected, i. e., during Alerts and SWI.... Four months of Weather Bureau observations indicate that auroral motions are greatest at about midnight, and are predominantly from west to east."

            Since it has already been shown that there were no geomagnetic disturbances during most of the Fall 1957 E-M sightings, and many of these E-M sightings occurred in Texas and New Mexico (well below 40° N.), auroral effects fail to account for the E-M phenomenon satisfactorily, except possibly in a very few cases for radio noise and disruption of communication at other times. Certainly no such explanation is adequate at any time for cases of motor and headlight failures which have been directly associated with the presence of an unidentified object nearby in the atmosphere. 

 

(203)

 

SOURCES:

MAIN CHRONOLOGY

 

1. Stringfield, Leonard; “Inside Saucer

 

30. Thirouin, Marc, “Ouranos.” (27 Rue

    Post…3-0 Blue.” (7017 Britton Ave.,

 

       Etienne-Dolet, Bondy, Seine, France)

2. TIME: May 9, 1949; Menzel, Donald;

 

31. A. P. R. O.

     “Flying Saucers.” (Harvard Press,

 

32. Trench, op cit., ppg. 162-163

         c. 1954), page 24; etc.

 

33. A. P. R. O. Bulletin, Sept. 1959

3. Tulsa (Okla) Tribune, 12-1-57

 

34. Associated Press, 11-4-57

4. Miller, Max B. (1420 So. Ridgeley Dr.

 

35. Casper Tribune-Herald, 11-5-57

    Los Angeles 19, Calif.)

 

      Casper Morning Star, 11-5-57

5. A. P. R. O. 4407 E. Linden, Tuscon,

 

36. Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, 11-4-57 (AP)

    Arizona

 

37. Hobbs News-Sun 11-5-57

6. First-hand account on NICAP report form.

 

38. Amarillo Daily News, 11-4-57

7. Faria, J. Escobar (Rua General Mena

 

39. International News Service,

    Barreto, 527, Sao Paulo, Brazil).

 

      11-4-57. Associated Press, 11-3-57

8. New Orleans Item, Sept. 21, 1954;

 

      APRO Bulletin, Nov. 1957, Etc.

    Ruppelt, E. J. “Report on Unidentified

 

40. Winnipeg Tribune, 11-7-57

        Flying Objects.” (Doubleday, c.1956).,

 

41. Faria J. Escobar

        p. 71; etc..

 

42. Chicago Tribune, 11-5-57

9. Michel, Aime; “Flying Saucers and the

 

43. Toronto Daily Star, 11-5-57

    Straight Line Mystery.” (Criterion, c. 1958), p. 143

44. Associated Press, 11-4-57, Clark,

10. Michel, Aime; op cit., p150

 

      Terry, (The Day All Roads Led to

11. Michel, Aime; op cit., p157

 

       AlamogordoWriter’s Digest,

12. Michel, Aime; op cit., p158

 

       December 1957, etc.

13. Michel, Aime; op cit., p160

 

45. Anchorage Daily News, 11-6-57

14. Michel, Aime; op cit., p175

 

46. Amarillo News, 11-7-57

15. Michel, Aime; op cit., p185

 

47. El Paso Times, 11-7-57

16. Michel, Aime; op cit., p198

 

48. Aurora (Ill) Beacon-News, 11-7-57

17. Michel, Aime; op cit., p203

 

49. Marietta (Ohio) Times (AP) 11-6-57

18. Michel, Aime; op cit., p204

 

50. Associated Press, 11-5-57

19. Michel, Aime; op cit., p204

 

51. Faria, J. Excobar; APRO Bulletin, Sept. 1959

20. Michel, Aime; op cit., p211n

 

52. Houston Chronicle, 11-6-57

21. North East Breeze (weekly), week of

 

53. Michel, op cit., p248; Santa Fe

      Dec 5, 1954

 

      New Mexican, 11-6-57

22. Keyhoe, Donald; “Flying Saucer Conspiracy”,

 

54. Hammond (Ind) Times, 11-7-57

      (Henry Holt, c. 1955) p249.

 

55. Michel, op cit., p248, CSI Newsletter

23. Keyhoe, Donald; op cit., p265

 

       #10 (67 Jane St., N.Y., 14)

24. Michel, Aime; op cit., p236

 

56. Michel op cit., p248; APRO Bulletin,

25. Indianapolis Star, 8-27-55

 

      January 1958

26. Fulton, H. H. RNZAF (from Japan News)

 

57. Michel op cit., p254; APRO Bulletin,

27. Trench, Brinsley lePoer, Ed.; “World

 

      January 1958

       UFO Roundup.” (Citadel, c. 1958) Ppg. 96-97.

 

58. Michel, Aime; op cit., p263

28. Mobridge (S. D.) Tribune, 11-22-56.

 

59. APRO Bulletin, November 1957

      Bowman (N. D. ) Pioneer, 11-22-56.

 

60. APRO Bulletin, November 1957

29. NICAP (From Air Force Intelligence Report).

 

61. Hammond Times, 11-13-57

 

 

62. Plymouth Record, 11-14-57

 

 

63. Hazelton Plain Speaker, 11-13-57

 

 

64. Chicago American (INS), 11-15-57

 

 

      St. Louis Post-Dispatch, (AP), 11-15-57

 

(204)

 

65. Faria J. Escobar.

 

74. Baltimore Sun, 1027-58; Baltimore

66. Faria J. Escobar

 

       News-Post, 10-27-58

67. Ellensburg Daily Record, 12-4-57.

 

75. Greenville Record-Argus, 1-31-59

68. Ontario Daily Nugget, 12-4-57

 

76. Flying Saucer Review (London),

69. First-hand report to NICAP

 

      Sept – Oct, 1959

70. UFO Bulletin, March 1958, (Box 1120,

 

77. Associated Press, 2-26-29

       G.P.P. Sydney, NSW, Australia.

 

78. APRO Bulletin, November 1959

71. La Presna, 2-1-58; United Press

 

      from El Tribuno

72. Faria, J. Escobar, from Italian Newspapers.

 

79. APRO Bulletin, September 1959,

73. Faria, J. Escobar

 

80. Columnist Whitney Bolton, Newark

 

 

       Evening News, 11-5-59

 

 

81. Grand Forks Herald, 1-21-60

 

SECONDARY CASES 

(a) Cumberland, Md. (AP) 7-23-52                  (e) Miller, Max B., Saucers, Winter, ‘57-58.

(b) Trench, op cit., ppg. 115-116                      (f) Houston Chronicle, 11-7-57.

(c) Glendora Press, 1-31-57.                              (g) Honolula Star-Bulletin, 11-29-57.

(d) Washington Star, May 8-9, 1957.              (h) Ann Arbor News, 12-2-57.

                                                                              (i) Portland Press-Herald, 12-8-59.

 

 


 

  Appendix F

APPENDIX F

NICAP ADVISORS, AFFILIATES, AND SUBCOMMITTEES

Panel of Special Advisors

 

 

I. Science                                                                              II. Aviation and Missiles

Dr. James C. Bartlett, Jr., Baltimore,                                Capt. C. S. Chiles, Eastern Airlines,

 Md. Astronomer; member Association                           New York, N.Y.

 of Lunar and Planetary Observers.                                 Samuel Freeman, Bedminister, N.J.

Jack Brotzman, Naval Research Laboratory,                     past president, National Aviation

 Washington, D. C., Physicist (electronics).                     Trades Association.

Dr. Robert L. Hall, University of                                       Morton Gerla, Jamaica, N. Y. Aviation

 Minnesota. Social psychologist and                                ordnance; Past Director, N.Y. Chapter,

 Assistant professor.                                                            American Rocket Society.

Frank Halstead, Duluth, Minnesota,                                Capt. Robt. B. McLaughlin, USN,

 Former Curator, Darling Observatory,                              Corona, California. Commanding

 University of Minnesota.                                                    Officer, Naval Ordnance Laboratory.

Dr. Leslie K. Karburn, Los Angeles,                               Capt. William B. Nash, Pan American

 California. Biophysicist, University                                World Airways, Miami,  

  of Southern California.                                                      Florida.

Prof. N. N. Kohanowski, Grand Forks,                            W. R. Peters, Coral Gables, Florida.

 North Dakota. Geologist and Mining                              Former First Officer, Pan American

 Engineer, University of N. Dakota.                                 World Airways.

Frank G. Rawlinson, National Aeronautics                    Major John F. McLeod, USAF Res.,

 and Space Administration.                                               Former Air Force pilot, Civil Air

 Washington D. C. Physicist.                                              Patrol, Jacksonville, Florida.

Kenneth Steinmetz, Denver, Colo.                                   George W. Early, B.S., Aeronautics,

 Astronomer; former head of Denver                              Hamilton-Standard Aviation Co.,

 “Moonwatch” program.                                                    Admin. Engineer, Bloomfield, Conn.

Walter N. Webb, Cambridge, Mass.                                 III. Engineering and Photography

 Chief Lecturer in Astronomy, Charles                            Norman S. Bean, Miami, Florida, Director

 Hayden Planetarium, Boston.                                             of Engineering Development,

                                                                                                 Station WTVJ.

                                                                                                Robert Beck, Hollywood, California.

                                                                                                 President, Color Control Company;

                                                                                                 Electronics, optics, and photography.

 

(205)

 

Engineering and Photography cont’d                          IV. News and Public Relations

A. L. Cochran, Richardson, Texas                                   James C. Beatty, Rye, N.Y. Public

 Electronics engineer.                                                          Relations; Civil Defense and Ground

Ralph D. Mayher, Cleveland, Ohio.                                 Observer Corps background.

 News photographer, Station HYW.                                 Albert M. Chop, Santa Monica, Calif.

Max B. Miller, Los Angeles, Calif.                                   Former Air Force public information

 Cinematography; Producer of                                          official on UFOs.

 Documentary films.                                                           Lou Corbin, Baltimore, Md. Chief

Warrant Officer, D. C. Newhous