Scientists Plan Major UFO Study
Oakland Tribune (Calif)
April 18, 19May 74
By Dan Tedrick
SAN DIEGO (AP)
After a five-year study of unidentified flying objects, Dr. Gerhard H. Walter says he might believe they are alien spacecraft if Americans saw only one or two a year.
"But there are millions of people who say they see all kinds of strange things, which would mean a whole army of objects criss-crossing the country," Wolter says.
"I find it very hard to believe that people with such a high technology who could fight gravity and travel from another solar system would come to our planet and spend weeks or months sailing around for fun."
The 66-year-old San Diego State University physics professor, a former German V2 rocket scientist, is unsure exactly what people are seeing, but with about a dozen other scientists he hopes to find out by setting up sensing equipment around San Diego County.
The group plans to use automatic recording units equipped with magnetometers and costing about $100 each that would be capable of sensing an object in the sky as far as 15 miles away, recording data on tape around the clock.
The group also plans to use automated motion picture cameras, ultrasonic detectors, microwave radiometers and other sensing devices. They are paying for the equipment from their own pockets.
"To avoid ridicule," a spokesman says, all but Wolter and a consulting engineer have refused to allow their names to be used although "they are all highly regarded in their fields."
Wolter said he dismisses 90 percent of the reported UFO sightings brought to his attention "but the remaining 10 percent deserve some kind of explanation.
"I do not go along with some scientists who say these are weather phenomena or such things," he said in an interview . "We should never forget that the government tell us all of what we would like to know. They have experiments with high flying drones going on, sometimes reflecting momentary light."
Wolter said he checks out most of the reports but "there are crank calls from guys who say they're in touch them, that angels of the lord are preparing them for the hereafter." along with simple physiological explanations.
Among Califorians who reported flying saucers, he said, are some who are diabetic, who suffer from adrenal cortex insufficiency, with briefly blurry vision.
Wolter traveled in San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles to a spot where a citizen's camera captured a UFO on film in daylight.
Instead, he found tiny bubbles in the camera lens which produced a diffused image as a result of "internal reflection of the bubbles, scattering sunlight not hitting the lens directly."
In another instance he and associates tried to duplicate night pictures of an unusual sight which the photographer insisted was in the north "but it turned out it was a scene in the south and he actually photographed the moon rising through the trees" said Wolter.
The public is too impatient, he says, adding, "If you take their dream world away from them, they say, Oh, we know you dirty scientists you just want all the credit."