FLYING SAUCERS——SERIOUS BUSINESS (Page 47-, pocketbook
To: CE, SHG, NCP
Pick Up the Pieces page 47
Upon several occasions in this chronicle I have mentioned the name of
the scientist who headed the Canadian investigation program to study
the UFO's—Wilbert B. Smith, of Ottawa, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., P.
Engineering, Superintendent Radio Regulations Engineering for the
Canadian government. The original Canadian program was established to
duplicate, if possible, the UFO flight characteristics by development
of a discoid propelled by some form of electrical field. In 1953 this
was abandoned as unworkable at the present stage of our technology in
this field, and the program was devoted entirely to intensive study of
the UFO's. It was hardly mere accident that this action was taken only
a few months after scores of Unidentified Flying Objects had swarmed
over Washington, D.C. The pressure was on, both in Canada and the
It was during one of those hectic nights over Washington that a
military jet got a radar lock on one of the UFO's and poured a burst
from his machine guns into the disc. A glowing fragment was seen to fly
from the disc and to fall to earth. The pilot marked it down as best he
could and notified Headquarters. Ground crews scoured the area shoulder
to shoulder and found the fragment in a farmer's field.
Fortunately for the public, the lid of censorship which was clamped on
after the Washington UFO events of 1952 was not airtight at the time of
this incident, and Lieutenant Commander Frank Thompson of the Navy
Department confirmed the recovery of the UFO fragments. [See page 272,
The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, by Major D. E. Keyhoe.] The fragment had
definitely been milled but the original Navy analysis, so Keyhoe was
told, had failed to determine whether the thing was artificial or part
of some unknown type of meteorite. It had later been sent, so the Navy
admitted, to W. B. Smith of Ottawa, for study.
The Defense Department has frequently denied that it has any fragments
or parts of UFO's, and similar denials are regularly issued by the Air
Force. In fact, I have one dated
FLYING SAUCERS——SERIOUS BUSINESS page 48
January 19, 1961, which says: "—not even a minute fragment of a
so-called 'flying saucer' has ever been found." There again, note the
tricky wording to trip up the unwary. No mention of Unidentified Hying
Objects—but merely a claim that they have never found any portions of a
thing that officially does not exist. Sly, but safe, from the
stand-point of the censors.
It was hi 1952 that the UFO which had reportedly crashed in Spitzbergen
was recovered by the Norwegian Air Force, according to their statements
given to the press. This does not entirely negate the Defense
Department claim, however, since they could contend that they were
referring only to the lack of such evidence in their own possession.
Was such a fragment torn off a UFO during the 1952 July-August UFO
activity over Washington, D.C.—and if so, what was it, and what became
Speaking on the subject of Unidentified Flying Objects before the
Illuminating Engineering Society, Canadian Regional Conference, at
Ottawa on January 11, 1959, Wilbert Smith said: "Various items of
'hardware' are known to exist, but are usually clapped into security
and are not available to the general public."
Mr. Smith may well have qualified as an authority on that statement,
for he had been said to have been the recipient of the fragment
collected by gunfire from that Navy jet. But was that report
factual—and if so, how to confirm it— if it could be confirmed?
This riddle absorbed the time and attention of countless interested
parties, but apparently none of them made any real attempt to solve it.
That job finally was taken on by two patient, thorough, and
indefatigable researchers who had already made several major
contributions in this field; C. W. Fitch of Cleveland, Ohio, and George
Popovitch of Akron, Ohio.
They arranged an interview with Mr. Smith, and they had the foresight
to record what was said. Thanks to them, I have a copy of that tape and
it is from that source that the following material is taken.
The interview took place in November, 1961.
FITCH: Have you ever handled any of this hardware yourself, sir?
SMITH: Yes. Quite a bit of it. Our Canadian Research Group has
recovered one mass of very strange metal . . . ii was found within a
few days of July 1, 1960. There is about three thousand pounds of it.
We have done a tremendous amount of detective work on this metal. We
have found out the things that aren't so. We have something that
Pick Up the Pieces page 49
was not brought to this Earth by plane nor by boat nor by any
helicopter. We are speculating that what we have is a portion of a very
large device which came into this solar system ... we don't know when .
. . but it had been in space a long time before it came to Earth; we
can tell that by the micrometeorites embedded in the surface. But we
don't know whether it was a few years ago—or a few hundred years ago.
FITCH: You mean then that you have about a ton and a half of something
metallic, of unknown origin.
SMITH: That is correct. We can only speculate about it at this time—and
we have done a great deal of that. We have it but we don't know what it
FITCH: You're a friend of Admiral Knowles, Mr, Smith?
[Rear Admiral H. B. Knowles, U.S. Navy, Retired.]
SMITH: Oh, yes. Admiral Knowles and I have been very good friends for
FITCH: I have been told by a mutual friend that in 1952 you showed
Admiral Knowles a piece of a flying saucer. Is that statement correct,
SMITH: Yes. It is correct. I visited with Admiral Knowles and I had
with me a piece which had been shot from a small flying saucer near
Washington in July of that year— 1952. I showed it to the Admiral. It
was a piece of metal about twice the size of your thumb which had been
loaned to me for a very short time by your Air Force.
FITCH: Is this the only piece you have handled which definitely had
been part of a UFO, Mr. Smith?
SMITH: No. I've handled several of these pieces of hardware.
FITCH: In what way, if any, do they differ from materials with which we
SMITH: As a general thing they differ only in that they are much harder
than our materials.
FITCH: What about this particular piece from that UFO near Washington .
. . did it differ from conventional materials? Was there anything
unusual about it, sir?
SMITH: Well, the story behind it is this: The pilot was chasing a
glowing disc about two feet in diameter—
FITCH: Pardon me, sir. But did you say two feet . . .
SMITH: That is correct. I was informed that the disc was glowing and
was about two feet in diameter. A glowing chunk flew off and the pilot
saw it glowing all the way to the ground. He radioed his report and a
ground party hurried to the scene. The thing was still glowing when
they found it an hour later. The entire piece weighed about a
Page 50 FLYING SAUCERS——SERIOUS BUSINESS
pound. The segment that was loaned to me was about one third of that.
It had been sawed off.
FITCH: What did the analysis show?
SMITH: There was iron rust—the thing was in reality a matrix of
magnesium orthosilicate. The matrix had great numbers—thousands—of
15-micron spheres scattered through it.
FITCH: You say that you had to return it—did you return it to the Air
Force, Mr. Smith?
SMITH: Not the Air Force. Much higher than that
FITCH: The Central Intelligence Agency?
SMITH: [Chuckles] I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I don't care to go beyond
that point. I can say to you that it went to the hands of a highly
classified group. You will have to solve that problem—their
In view of this statement by the man who headed the Canadian research
project in the field of UFO's—a conscientious, courageous, and
respected scientist—it may be that the Defense Department and the Air
Force claims of having no UFO pieces are true. It may be that the
fragments are taken out of their hands on specific instructions from
the same high-level body which laid down the censorship restrictions in
the first place. Taking possession of the evidence would justify the
issuance of the public statements that those who issued the statements
had no evidence.
It would be weasel wording, of course, but when the final showdown
came, it could then be shown that such statements were literally true .
. . even though they twisted the meaning to arrive at the effect.
Smith said that the thing from which the fragment had been shot was a
two-foot disc. It must have been a practicable device, for that size
UFO had been reported before —and would be reported again and again.
In January of 1966, to be precise.