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.)