A sobering look at another year in UFO history
By Fran Ridge

November 19, 2021

It is a documented fact that UFOs were considered to be a real, unknown phenomenon back in the early 1950s by the Air Force and CIA, and so now the latest government developments are doing no better than returning to the understanding that we had almost 70 years ago. Feel free to use this paper for media use or briefing field investigators.

The 1952 NICAP Chronology is 89 pages long and is a comprehensive listing of sightings and events, the largest sighting wave in history until 1973. It was one of the most dangerous years as well, as you will see. Some of the things you will also notice are events that were similar to what AATIP reported in June of 2021 with the Pentagon Report, almost 70 years later. One can't escape the idea that real UFOs are not new. What IS new is how we may be preparing to handle the situation. The good news is we seem to finally be on the right track and taking UFOs/UAP more seriously with the scientific community. This much we knew then, and admittedly now, some UFOs are somebody else's craft! We may or may not be dealing with extraterrestrials, but they most certainly are alien.

What you are about to read is in essence an intelligence summary, fully documented by myself and the NICAP A-Team, with comments by yours truly, Brad Sparks, and others in many cases. The blue highlighted links are active links to the actual documents. And much of the serious activity preceded the wave by many months, and as early as January of 1952. Keep in mind we are only looking at one year to make a point. But it must be pointed out that 1952 was preceded by at least five years of compelling UFO activity which began with the Wave of 1947. 
January 3,1952, SECRET Memo
Brig. Gen. William M. Garland, Assistant for the Production of Intelligence, wrote a memorandum for General Samford with the title (SECRET) "Contemplated Action to Determine the Nature and Origin of the Phenomena Connected with the Reports of Unusual Flying Objects." (Courtesy, Joel Carpenter)

So even before the wave began, intelligence needed to find out what was being reported to the US Air Force. 

You'll be seeing Captain Ed Ruppelt's actions throughout this paper. For those of you not aware, at that time Captain Edward J. Ruppelt was director of the Air Force UFO Project, Project Blue Book.

January 29, 1952
On his trip to the Pentagon to brief Gen. Garland, Ruppelt visited the offices of AF Intelligence (AFOIN) having collections of UFO files and discovered that they had more complete files than ATIC in Dayton, and he arranged to have copies made of the various missing files made for him at Project Grudge at ATIC (though multiple visits were required to obtain the copies and Ruppelt probably did not succeed in getting everything). These AFOIN offices with UFO files included the Technical Capabilities Branch (TCB) of the Evaluation Division (AFOIN-TCB or AFOIV-TC) and the Collection Control Branch of the Collection Division (AFOIN-CC or AFOIC-CC).  (Brad Sparks)

This precedes by 17 years what we discovered in 1969 regarding the Bolender Draft where General Bolender stated that "reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system." Although this comment has been made before in BB memos going back to 1958-9, this is the document often cited. When Blue Book was shut down in December of 1969 reports involving national security were still investigated.

Jan. 29th, 1952
This briefing was mentioned in Project Grudge Status Report No. 3. Brig. Gen. William M. Garland, Assistant for (Intelligence) Production, and his staff at the Directorate of Intelligence, HQ USAF, were briefed on the status of the Project Grudge UFO Study. At this meeting Gen. Garland introduced a revolutionary new intelligence policy and methodology which emphasized the use of instrumentation for intelligence collection, including to detect and track UFO's (which would eventually be the basis for terminating Project BLUE BOOK as an intelligence function, converting it to a PR psych war propaganda function beginning in July 1952 over a 6-month transition period). As an interim last-chance measure to prove whether anecdotal sightings had any value, Gen. Garland approved of  Ruppelt's publicity plan to draw in UFO reports from the public so that triangulations might be obtained, and this led to Garland secretly backing the LIFE magazine article. 

(This is precisely what the MADAR Project is trying to do now. I used PR to develop a local "saucer grapevine" in the early MADAR years when I had the only detection site at Mt. Vernon. I worked with the media, law enforcement and the local airport control tower so that I might get UFO reports to compare with MADAR "hits". I am pushing for other ops to do this now with our new MADAR-III sites at over 120 locations around the world).

A separate paper regarding the Top Secret Air Force instrumentation plan has been prepared and involves a dozen documents worth mentioning.  But for the sake of this paper comparing events of 1952 with AATIP's release in June of this year, we will continue on.

Jan 31, 1952
The 1951 directive, "Reporting Information on Unidentified Flying Objects", which outlined reporting procedures for Project Grudge, was inadequate and was to be revised for Project Blue Book  (Pg. 59 of Project Grudge Report No. 3, 31 Jan 1952). The new one requested that all reports be made by wire to ATIC, ADC, and V/TC, and that this wire report be followed up by an AF Form 112 direct to ATIC and V/TC.V/TC = AFOIN or AF Intelligence, Evaluation Division, Technical Capabilities Branch, which had been tasked by Gen. Cabell in 1950 to conduct field investigations of UFO cases independent of AMC/ATIC Project GRUDGE, and which TC Branch now had Capt. Dewey Fournet assigned.

In February Captain Fournet was promoted to Major and had
replaced Lt. Col Milton D. Willis as UFO investigation officer for AFOIN (in the June 1952 reorganization many assets in the Evaluation Division were transferred to the new Topical Intelligence Division, headed by Col. William A. Adams, including Fournet who is assigned to the Division's Current Intelligence Branch, headed by Col. Weldon H. Smith). Fournet was assigned as "Project Monitor" for ATIC Project Grudge in the wake of widespread publicity on the Korean UFO sightings. Keep in mind that this was early 1952 and the massive sighting wave had not yet begun. Fournet was in the radar room later that July during the Washington National sightings and would later serve on our NICAP original Board of Governors.

March 3, 1952
Dr. Walther Riedel, a German rocket scientist at Peenemunde, said: "I'm convinced saucers have an out-of-world basis." (Life Magazine, Apr. 7, 1952 issue) 

April 7, 1952: Life Magazine article, "Have We Visitors From Space?
When newsmen began asking him whether the article was Air Force inspired, Ruppelt replied that they had furnished Life with some raw data. His answer was purposely weasel worded, he said, because he knew that the Air Force had unofficially inspired the Life article... [and also knew that the strongly implied answer that UFOs were interplanetary] was the personal opinion of several very high-ranking officers in the Pentagon - so high that their personal opinion was almost policy. (Ruppelt, p. 132.)

And now it gets even more serious. Compare this with AATIP actions today.

April 29, 1952, AFL-200-5
The number of reports did take a sharp rise a few days later, however. The cause was the distribution of an order that completed the transformation of the UFO from a bastard son to the family heir. The piece of paper that made Project Blue Book legitimate was Air Force Letter 200-5, Subject: Unidentified Flying Objects. The letter, which was duly signed and sealed by the Secretary of the Air Force, in essence stated that UFO's were not a joke, that the Air Force was making a serious study of the problem, and that Project Blue Book was responsible for the study. The letter stated that the commander of every Air Force installation was responsible for forwarding all UFO reports to ATIC by wire, with a copy to the Pentagon. Then a more detailed report would be sent by airmail. Most important of all, it gave Project Blue Book the authority to directly contact any Air Force unit in the United States without going through any chain of command. This was almost unheard of in the Air Force and gave our project a lot of prestige.

Bruce Maccabee:
Ruppelt's claim that at least some high level officers actually believed saucers were interplanetary is confirmed in an indirect way in a memorandum written on April 29, 1952.  This document was written to justify a trip to Europe by Dr. Stephen Possony and Lt. Col. Sterling, both members of a special study group that had been organized to study "advanced delivery systems."

Richard Hall:
Through the first 5 months of 1952, the Air Force Project Blue Book investigators had noticed a build-up of UFO sightings. Then, according to project chief Capt. Edward  J. Ruppelt, In June the big flap hit....The objects displayed intelligent control by circling, maneuvering, reacting to pursuit, and otherwise demonstrating extraordinary capabilities unlike any known technology or natural phenomenon, such as sharp turns, rapid vertical motions,  and sudden reversals of direction. Radar repeatedly confirmed the presence of unidentified solid objects.

The Air Force was taking UFOs seriously because a lot of good reports were coming in from Korea. Pilots were seeing silvery discs and spheres, and radar in Japan, Korea, and Okinawa all had tracked unidentified targets. (Report on UFOs, p. 192.)

Then there was the nuclear threat that created the unprecedented massive sighting wave in the first place. Described in the Blue Book Plan (not to be confused with Project Blue Book, but involved the same people), it stipulated that a minimum air defense could be in place by mid-1952. It was estimated that July 1, 1952, as the critical date when the Soviets would pose a dangerous threat. General Charles Cabell expected the Soviets to have between 45 and 90 atom bombs and 70 to 135 Tu-4 bombers (copied B-29s) by that time. And on top of all this there was the danger of a confrontation with Red China over Korea. Was it just a coincidence that the "visitors" intensified their surveillance that July?

July 19/20, 1952
Shortly after midnight civilian radar operators at National Airport began tracking a group of 7-10 unidentified targets southwest of Washington, D.C, moving about 100-130 m.p.h. An individual object would disappear from the scope at intervals, then another target would appear. This continued for about 6 hours, while airline pilots in the area reported sighting unidentified lights in the positions where radar detected unexplained targets. They were not any known aircraft. And they were over restricted areas such as the Pentagon and the White House.

Remember the CAP POINT incident with the FA-18's and the USS Nimitz in 2004? After the already amazing encounter the "tic tac" raced over to the jet's secret rendezvous point 40 miles in less than a minute!. The "tic tac" knew where to go!

Senior air route traffic controller Harry G. Barnes at Washington National Airport in 1952 made a stunning comment which appeared in newspapers all over the country. He was one of four controllers involved in the incidents that took place on two evenings a week apart.

Harry Barnes:
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 above Washington .... I can safely deduce that they performed gyrations which no known aircraft could perform. By this I mean that our scope showed that they could make right angle turns and complete reversals of flight.

When the tower called in jet interceptors from the nearby Naval Air Station at Andrews AFB across the Potomac, the jets were late getting there because the runway was under repair and the jets were at Newcastle AFB in Delaware. Was this just a coincidence or did the "visitors" know this? When the jets finally arrived, the UFOs left the area and vanished from the radar. When the jets gave up and proceeded back to Newcastle the UFOs came back on the screen.

Barnes even said he had the creepy feeling the UFOs were monitoring his radio communications with the jets. They appeared to be reacting to vectors.

In late July the 1952 wave reached some kind of a peak, with fantastic sightings happening one after the other. All across the United States from July 25 through early August, Air Defense Command radar detected unknown objects flying through the skies, and jet interceptors scrambled to pursue them saw unidentified luminous objects exactly where both ground and airborne radar showed them to be. These sightings had profound implications for national defense, and accordingly were treated with great urgency. A lot of the details were kept secret from the public, but the cat was out of the bag on publicity because too many highly credible people were reporting sightings and the news media were looking for answers.

There is much more that took place as the wave whined down. One can go to the NICAP site and view the lengthy chrono, and this time you can look at the case summaries which also contain the supporting documents as well. But before closing, take note of a a few events that marked the end of the year.

December 2, 1952; CIA Memo
An EOTS (Estimate of the Situation) moment for the CIA. J. Marshall Chadwell told Brad Sparks they concluded that UFO's were extraterrestrial -- that was what he was telling the CIA Director in this Dec. 2, 1952, memo.

Dec. 12, 1952
Top CIA officials (Chadwell, Robertson, Durant) visited ATIC Project BLUE BOOK to obtain the withheld UFO investigation reports that Ruppelt indicated in phone conversation with CIA missile intelligence officer Frederick C. Durant III on Dec. 9 were being held back from CIA by orders of his boss ATIC Technical Analysis Division Chief, Col. Donald L. Bower, evidently acting at the behest of the AF Intelligence leaders, Gen. Garland and Dr. Stefan Possony.  In other words an AF coverup to help conceal evidence of UFO reality
from the CIA. (Sparks)

The purpose of this short paper was to graphically illustrate that the only thing that has changed in 70 years is how we are handling, what has always been, a very serious problem.

These visitors are most definitely reacting to our world situation and the threats we all face. In 1952 we were very close to nuclear confrontation with Red China over the Korean War. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Admiral Radford and others were talking seriously about nuclear first strikes and multiple nuclear weapons on a number of targets. Gen. Douglas MacArthur suggested 30-50 atomic bombs on their air bases alone. Gen Omar Bradley (of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) said that it would be difficult to halt the southern advance of China without the use of nukes. Looking back, is there any doubt that an intelligence far surpassing our own that has been observing our activities in the Pacific for the last two decades at least, was aware of all this even then? The massive wave of 1952 was no accident. The LIFE Magazine article of April 7th drew a lot of interest from the public but was not responsible for most of the military sightings, especially the the many sightings in Korea.

And looking at the incidents in the Pacific with the Nimitz carrier group during the first two decades of this century, there had to have been a reason for those incidents. Somebody knows the answer to that question.

As one can see, there were similarities between then and now, and the world is in a much more dangerous place today. If we can survive all the issues we now face, we must reverse the course of our actions that has caused the concern shown by whoever it is that is behind the real UAP phenomena.

Francis Ridge

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