Keyhoe Had It Right 70-Years Ago.
By Fran Ridge

As many of you already know, Major Donald Keyhoe was the head of NICAP in the early years. Back then, something he had said was, so simple and to the point, compared to the complicated doubletalk we are getting today. Recorded in history are the fuzzy black and white news films of the 50's when Keykoe simply stated, "We are being observed!"

A lot of that history has been taken for granted all these years. A lot of TV shows were lost because videotape wasn't always in use, but some were filmed (kinescoped) and thankfully the important ones, like Movietone News was one of them, used as "filler" at the movie theaters. Somehow a tv series referred to as
"The Mike Wallace Interviews" had some gems that were saved in this way. In 1958 an interview took place with Maj. Keyhoe!  I was a sophomore in high school and our family of six had only one TV and the family was watching westerns in those days. So I didn't see it then.

But two years prior to this a friend of mine in the eighth grade was reading the pocketbook version of Ed Ruppelt's book,
The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects right in front of me in class and, at some point, he passed it down to me. That simple act changed my life forever. I was hooked. Two year's later I was working for NICAP as a subcom chairman. Ruppelt had been the head of Project Blue Book and he was able to publish some startling facts. Ed Ruppelt and Don Keyhoe were friends and they talked a lot about UFOs, and a lot of Keyhoe's friends were Navy buddies who also had tips on what was going on and what the AF had been planning to do about it.

But let's get down to the interview. I'll use a small part of the transcript to get the point across, because in 1958 we knew what we were talking about. We knew of certain documents and hadn't even seen them in 1958. Some of these came up in the interview and Ruppelt had mentioned all four of them in his book two years before in 1956. You're in for a surprise.
You'll get the feeling very quickly that "you have been here before." Same story recycled over the years. The same lies. The same resistance to the truth. Make sure you watch the complete 30-minute interview at some point.

One of the first topics covered in Mike Wallace's interview with Keyhoe was the possible intentions of those who were "flying" the UFOs.

WALLACE: What do you think of the intentions of these people -- for lack of a better name -- of these people who are in these flying saucers?

KEYHOE: Well, there's been no evidence of any hostility during the last 10 years, for what we call the modern phase, there have been sightings before then. There had been some accidents; air force pilots chasing these things; one man was killed chasing one in '48, and two pilots disappeared chasing one in '53 over Lake Superior. But, I think those are just accidents.

[It turns out that Keyhoe was right in both instances. See my narratives below taken from the NICAP site].

Jan. 7, 1948; Kentucky-Ohio (BBU)
1-7 p.m. (CST). ANG pilot Capt Thomas F. Mantell, Jr., was killed in an F-5ID F fighter crash at about 3:18 p.m. about 4 miles S of Franklin, Ky., about 92 miles S  from Godman Control Tower. The Army Air Force claimed he passed out due to anoxia because he had no oxygen and hell-bent-for leather went too high chasing a UFO that turned out to be a secret skyhook balloon. Everybody accepted this story, including top civilian researchers, until March of 2006.

That month, a TV station at Evansville, Indiana wanted to do a story on UFOs and picked that famous incident that occurred in 1948 near Louisville, and asked me to help them. I suggested they pick a real UFO incident, but they stubbornly stuck to their guns and decided to go with it anyway. I told them I would help if they would let me take them on a tour of an investigation. We did a two-part story and my A-Team became embroiled in a two-year re-investigation that ended up proving that Mantell DID have oxygen, wasn't a bad pilot, had a faulty system, and had died chasing a UFO.  In the process we discovered that there was a genuine active UFO situation and the brass and lot of military people were in on it through a Plan 60 intercom system. Mantell's death was still an accident.

Nov.  23, 1953; Kinross AFB, Michigan
An Air Force F-89 vanished while pursuing UFO over Lake Superior. This one was accepted as a real UFO encounter for decades until we added it to our research by the NICAP team and obtained the actual documents and eventually concluded that it truly WAS an accident, this one caused by bad weather.
The F-89 crew was on a UFO intercept mission over Kinross AFB, Michigan. Nobody denies that fact. Radar blips of the aircraft and the UFO reportedly "merged" on the screen and the F-89 and its two-man crew were never found. A crucial point is that the first entry clearly implies that the unidentified radar target that Moncla was pursuing when his fighter disappeared was in radio contact with ground controllers at some point [shortly after the blips merged], and therefore was not a UFO: "the bogey was not aware of any aircraft in the area." - Ridge]

back to the interview:

WALLACE: Just accidents. Why don't they try to communicate with us? What's your theory about that?

KEYHOE: Well, I'll follow some of the theories the Air Forces people have said... they suggested to me back in '52 and '53, at which time we were cooperating--, I had a lot of very good friends in the Air Force at that time-- and the policy was to give out the information --. They were about to tell the people everything they had. And the theory was then that perhaps these beings were so much different from us that communication would be a very hard thing; they might not, for instance, have speech sounds like ours. That's one answer. And another thing: they might not be able to exist in our atmosphere. We're going to land on the moon, we'll have to wear space suits, or else build air-conditioned buildings up there air pressured. And there could be lots of factors like that.

[The age-old story is the same here as well. Somebody (Keyhoe mentioned a small group) wanted the truth out and the public informed. Today we refer to such persons as involved in the disclosure movement. ]

WALLACE: Well, do you think they're down here, when we do see them, to look at us?

KEYHOE: I think that it's probably a long-range survey.

WALLACE: A long-range survey?

KEYHOE: That's right.

WALLACE: All right. Now, let's go at it from another point of view, if I may, the Air Force point of view. They agree, undoubtedly, objects have been seen in the sky, but the Air Force has said time and time again --, this is a quote from Richard Horner, assistant secretary of the Air Force for research and development --, "All, but a small percentage of these reports -- of unidentified flying objects -- have been definitely attributed to natural phenomena that are neither mysterious nor dire." End quote. Weather balloons, mirages, ordinary sky phenomena like meteors or airplanes themselves. What about that?

KEYHOE: I'll answer that, but I'd like to make several points in doing it. In 1947, the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Dayton, that's the top Air Force intelligence men and scientists under contract, sent secret documents to the Commanding General of the Air Force, saying that whatever of these things were, they were real. In 1948, ATIC, the same group, sent a top-secret estimate to the Commanding General, Roy Vandenburg, that these were interplanetary spaceships. In 1952, there was an intelligence analysis of the maneuvers of these things, as seen by radar, triangulation, radar, photographs. And in '53, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Air Force had a special panel of scientists meet at the Pentagon, to tell them what to do. And after they got through, this group said, "You don't have proof that these things exist, not scientific proof, but you have a very strong circumstantial case. We suggest you quadruple investigations, set up special observation posts and in the meantime release everything you got to the American people." Now, you've got four documents there; they've been sitting on all this time. Now, that... and they have been spending a lot of money investigating flying saucers. If they don't exist, why the money... why did an intelligence team rush out every time there's a sighting?

WALLACE: Now then, you have mentioned four documents that you claim exist. We've heard, in the past, that you have claimed that these documents existed. We've seen your literature in which you talk about the existence of those documents. So, we spoke with the Air Technical Intelligence Center at the Pentagon earlier this week, and this is what we're told officially by them, "Three of the four documents Major Keyhoe refers to, simply do not exist. The fourth document does exist, you can have a copy of it, Mr. Wallace, and you can see that it doesn't say what Major Keyhoe claims it says." We have a copy of it and I quote to you from the copy. The Air Force document says just this, "The panel recommends that the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the UFOs of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired. We suggest an integrated program designed to reassure the public of the total lack of evidence of inimical forces behind the phenomena." And again, as I point out, secretary Horner says it's simply ain't so.

[This information is something even I had taken for many years. In 1958 when this interview took place we had not seen these documents. In 1958 we did not have them. But again, Ruppelt had mentioned all four of them in his book in 1956. TODAY the world can see them on the NICAP site:

Document No. 1 - The 1947 SECRET letter
Known as the
Twining letter which stated "the reported phenomenon are real", Ruppelt had said this in his book in 1956: "On September 23, 1947, the chief of the Air Technical Intelligence Center, one of the Air Force's most highly specialized intelligence units, sent a letter to the Commanding General of the then Army Air Forces. The letter was in answer to the Commanding General's verbal request to make a preliminary study of the reports of unidentified flying objects. The letter said that after a preliminary study of UFO reports, ATIC concluded that, to quote from the letter, "the reported phenomena were real." The letter strongly urged that a permanent project be established at ATIC to investigate and analyze future UFO reports. It requested a priority for the project, a registered code name, and an over-all security classification. ATIC's request was granted and Project Sign, the forerunner of Project Grudge and Project Blue Book, was launched. It was given a 2A priority, A being the highest priority an Air Force project could have."

[We first saw the full retyped version in the Condon Report in January of 1969. But the actual photocopy did not come out until the public release of the Blue Book files by the National Archives in 1976, 18 years after the Wallace interview! - Ridge]

Document No. 2 - The 1948
Top Secret Estimate of the Situation (EOTS). Again, from Ruppelts book: "A few days after the DC-3 was buzzed, the people at ATIC decided that the time had arrived to make an Estimate of the Situation. The situation was the UFO's; the estimate was that they were interplanetary! It was a rather thick document with a black cover and it was printed on legal sized paper. Stamped across the front were the words TOP SECRET."
[Mike Swords wrote a paper for a UFO journal in 2007, and in 2012 my NICAP A-Team pieced together the EOTS, and identified the cases that were involved in it. - Ridge]

Document No. 3 - 1952 -
Secret Air Force Intelligence Analysis / Motion Study
Ruppelt: "The next item on the agenda, when the panel had finished absorbing all of the details of the fifty selected top reports, was a review of a very hot and very highly controversial study. It was based on the idea that Major Dewey Fournet and I had talked about several months before - an analysis of the motions of the reported UFO's in an attempt to determine whether they were intelligently controlled. The study was hot because it wasn't official and the reason it wasn't official was because it was so hot. It concluded that the UFO's were interplanetary spaceships. The report had circulated around high command levels of intelligence and it had been read with a good deal of interest. But even though some officers at command levels just a notch below General Samford bought it, the space behind the words "Approved by" was blank - no one would stick his neck out and officially send it to the top." [In 2006 my A-Team had produced a web page listing (and linking to case directories) the cases from the MS.

Document No. 4 - Jan 1953 - CIA recommendations for Air Force Project Blue Book. [This part of the story must have come from Ruppelt as well, where they (Blue Book) wanted more time and funds to get the evidence they didn't have. But Keyhoe hadn't seen the Panel report. - Ridge]

WALLACE: Now, why? The point really at issue here, it would seem, Major Keyhoe, is this: Why do you believe that the Air Force says that nothing is going on? Why do you believe that the...? It's a fairly serious charge that you make.

KEYHOE: I know it is. Now, I have in my possession a copy of the
special report 14 which is their Bible on this. In the back, it has a table showing that of thirty-two hundred and one cases they examined, nineteen and a half percent were unsolved. And they admit they still are unsolved. You add up what they've had since then; it makes over twelve percent of the reports and those are mostly from the best possible sources.

WALLACE: Well now, wait just a second; I'll use your figures. The Department of Defense released an official bulletin on November 5, 1957, saying that from June of '55 to June of '57, a two-year period, just a fraction over two percent of all investigated unidentified flying objects had to be listed as unknown. Two percent, so that's your one point nine...

KEYHOE: What's the period, again?

WALLACE: '55 to '57. The rest were determined to have been balloons, airplanes, hoaxes, and a category about 12 percent, called insufficient information, which means that the report was so flimsy that there was simply nothing to check on. I must confess that they have... they've certainly shown me no classified material, but they have opened their files quite willingly to us in our preparation for this program tonight, and they've given us very convincing evidence, Major Keyhoe, that it is largely... I shouldn't say largely, I'll say ninety-nine and forty-four, one-hundred percent, a hoax. Now, you mentioned...

KEYHOE: A hoax?

WALLACE: Well, let... when I say a hoax...

KEYHOE: Are you saying a lot of good pilots, hoax?

WALLACE: No, no, no, not hoax, just... I thank you for correcting me, not just a hoax, but, let's say, misinformation or sightings of objects which seem to be one thing but are, in fact, another. I'm glad that you corrected me about hoax, because it is, by no means, that much a hoax. But, you mentioned that Dr. Donald Menzel, who was a professor of Astrophysics at Harvard before. Now, I think you will agree that he's one of the world's most distinguished astrophysicists. Is that not so?

KEYHOE: I think there are others who are equally capable, but, do not agree with him.

WALLACE: He is one of the world's most distinguished astrophysicists; though, I think we can agree on that. In any case, he stresses, you see, that pilots are not experts of ---, that they, as well, as others, can see flying saucers when it's only, to quote him, "the wrapper of somebody's lunch moving around on the air" end quote. But, again, let's come back to the point... the most important point, Major Keyhoe, and that is, why, why will the Air Force...? Why will the United States government withhold information from United States citizens? For what reason?

KEYHOE: Because they're treating us like children, the way they did it with the H-Bomb at first, and the way they've been doing with other things. Now, I'm not attacking the United States Air Force. I'm attacking a small group in there that has been persistently keeping this from the public, just as they've kept other things. For a long time you couldn't even mention the idea that we could be hit by missiles from submarines from the gulf or from both coasts very easily. I knew that years and years ago and tried to get it out, but at the time was discouraged about it. Now then, you mentioned this... that this denial of these documents. Now, I'd like to tell you something that happened on the Arm,strong Circle Theater....

[This is a different topic that needs to be covered in its own right at a later date]


WALLACE: Major Keyhoe, I understand you have three new reports on file which in your opinion... you have them currently on file, they're new reports. These, in your opinion, would convince every person in this country that flying saucers are a fact. Is that correct?

KEYHOE: It should convince a lot of people because of the names involved.

WALLACE: Tell us about it.

KEYHOE: I told your interviewer or in Washington that I couldn't mention the names because they were too high; one of them is a top scientist in this country, whose name would be known to everybody.

WALLACE: But, why wouldn't he want his...?

KEYHOE: Because he's afraid of official ridicule.

WALLACE: He's afraid of official ridicule?

KEYHOE: That's right.

WALLACE: More afraid of official ridicule than a possibly alerting the country to a serious national danger?

KEYHOE: You’d be surprised how many people give us reports and they say, "Please keep my name confidential." I'll give you one report which came to us, the name has to be left out. In
1951 a UFO circled the fleet in Korean waters. It circled it at a high-speed and they launched several planes to try to get a close in on it. They got a radar lock on it, that is the radar was guiding the planes toward the object. This was picked up by radars on fourteen naval vessels. This object circled about... oh, for a half an hour more and then it took off at a speed way over an excessive a thousand miles an hour. This report was certified and nine members of our board of government saw it, signed it, and agreed that they had seen it, and agreed to the content, too.

There is another report that just came in from four top missiles designers or engineers at one of the big plants in this country. They saw an elliptical shaped object and two small round disk shaped objects flying with it over California, November 11, 1957, at a speed of at least five thousand miles an hour. These men are well-qualified; they know what they see, with broad daylight, not a cloud in the sky.

There've been cases, even where the Air Force has shot at these things. Now, if there's nothing there and, they don't exist, why do they shoot at them? You mentioned Mr. Horner. The day after Mr. Horner said that the Air Force was not concealing anything, Captain Gregory Oldenburg, a public information officer at Langley Field, refused to let an ad be inserted in the Langley Base Flier... their newspaper, which asked that anybody interested in UFOs, please communicate and form a little group. He said, "I must refuse to do this, because the dissemination of information on UFOs is contrary to Air Force policy and Air Force regulation 200 dash 2 and I have a copy of it here, in case you want to see it.

WALLACE: Well, Major Keyhoe, I must say that the Air Force tells us... they don't question your motives, but they do question the accuracy of the good deal of your information and for that reason they say you have been, and were they to -- in a sense --throw open, an invitation to all people who sight UFOs, to get in touch with them once again, they'd get all kinds of cranks, hoaxers and so forth. And, you see, they run down every one of these sightings and it has cost them a tremendous amount of money, to no avail over the past few years.

KEYHOE: That's what they told you. <snip>

WALLACE: Major Keyhoe, what would you like to see done about flying saucers that is not currently being done? What steps would you like to see taken?

KEYHOE: I think the American people should write to their congressman and insist that open hearings be held by the Senate Committee... on the permanent committee on Government operations, which has been looking into this for six months.

WALLACE: An Air Force spokesman told us this last week, he said, "Members of the Senate Subcommittee have talked with us already and they have shown no interest in conducting any hearings on this issue."

KEYHOE: I talked with the chief investigator within the last two weeks, I gave him a lot of information and I gave him data on one case, where an
airliner was sent to chase one of these things and the passengers kept in ignorance of it at that time. That involves two government agencies, besides the Air Force, which has refused to release the report. And I'll say this: if you were to get... if the Committee were to get Ruppelt, Major Fourney, several colonels, on that time, Major General Garland, who was on the project, there would be a big revelation because the Air Force is simply treating the American people like children. They don't trust them with the facts. 

WALLACE: One last question, Major Keyhoe: Have you ever seen a flying saucer?

KEYHOE: I've seen and tracked on and radar, but I take the word of about 800 of the best witnesses in this country and abroad.

WALLACE: But, you yourself have never seen a flying saucer?

KEYHOE: I've just been a reporter, and a careful one.

WALLACE: Thank you very much, Major Donald Keyhoe. As you've just heard, the flying saucers controversy is deadlocked in contradictory statements and interpretation of facts. As for Major Donald Keyhoe himself, like most of us, he's never seen a flying saucer, which may just make him like a mystic who's never seen a ghost, but one must give him credit, he has much faith. In a moment, I'll bring you a rundown on next week's guest, one of the giants of the entertainment business


Much faith? The usual way the media gets their last word, the ones who do the least research or investigation. But I think one can see that UFOs/UAP are being treated and presented the same way by the media, year after year. But Keyhoe's words are as valid today as they were back in the day: "We are being Observed". If we could just get everyone to agree on that.... And the concern about shooting some UAPs down when they enter restricted air space? Ask the navy pilots in recent years with their encounters in the Pacific and the Atlantic if they suggest attempting to shoot one down is a good idea, or even an option.

Fran Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator & Archivist