Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007; updated 24 Octl 2016
From: Francis Ridge <>
Subject: The WHO WAS Series
is written and sponsored by the NICAP Website

The starting point for this work was the unpublished papers of Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, and many times Ruppelt is quoted in the report below, except where historical records show the information was incorrect. Many new bios have been added.

Brig. Gen. John B. Ackerman
In a June 1952 reorganization, Ackerman became Deputy Director for Collection & Dissemination of AF Intelligence, AFOIN-1. He had no direct connection with Project Blue Book but was very much interested, according to Ruppelt, and used to stop in and visit. According to Ruppelt, he had definite ideas as to what Blue Book had and what they should be doing. "He would tend to get all excited about individual sightings. He got copies of the UFO reports and several times he was on the phone wanting to know what we planned to do even before he had time to digest what was in the report." Ackerman had a "direct channel" to the top, to the Secretary of the Air Force and people in the Department of Defense. Detailed bio

 Col. William  A. Adams
Col. Adams was the Chief of the Topical Intelligence Division of AF Intelligence, AFOIN-2A, after the reorg of June 1952, and Col. Smith and Major Dewey Fournet worked for him. According to Ruppelt, Adams was pretty much sold on the UFO. Ruppelt thought that Dewey Fournet influenced Adams' thinking to a great extent and said, "he pushed Fournet's study of the motions of the UFO's and he is the one who used to be the most vocal in briefings and at meetings in regard to Blue Book's taking a 'negative' attitude." Adams was the person who became irked in one briefing (June 1952) and asked Ruppelt if it wasn't true that "if we made a few positive assumptions we could prove that the UFO's were real". (In a 1979 interview with Brad Sparks, Col. Adams said that in Jan 1953 he had signed and approved Fournet's study concluding that UFO's were extraterrestrial and sent it up the chain of command, to the Deputy Director for Estimates, Col. Jack Morrow, who also signed and approved the study and sent it to the D/I, Maj. Gen. John A. Samford.)

A. Francis Arcier
Francis Arcier was a traditional aircraft design genius who served the US well during WWII. In 1948, he left civilian air design and signed on at Wright-Patterson AFB as Chief Scientist for the Intelligence Division, a position that he maintained until 1963. After 1963 he continued to act as a special advisor to Wright-Patterson on scientific and intelligence matters. During the period of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Arcier was a regular member of the USAF "anti-Keyhoe/NICAP team", an unofficial cabal of five individuals led by Blue Book chief George Gregory and Pentagon operative Lawrence Tacker, whose job it was to stifle NICAP's attempts to penetrate the US Congress with their insistence that a thorough investigation be made of USAF methods and information withholdings concerning UFOs. Arcier himself made trips to Washington DC to consult with key personnel there in what was to become a successful years-long effort to thwart Keyhoe's and NICAP's plans.

Dr.  Luis Alvarez.
Luis Alvarez was a physics professor from the University of California in Berkeley, developer of MEW (Microwave Early Warning) radar at MIT at the beginning of World War II. Alvarez developed the detonators for the high-explosive shaped charges in the plutonium implosion bombs, and after the war,  returned to Berkeley to work on high-energy particle physics. He sat on the CIA Robertson panel that met in Washington in January 1953. (Brad Sparks: According to Ruppelt's notes, Alvarez was one of the two Robertson Panel members who was pro-UFO, Panel Chairman and CIA consultant H. P. Robertson was the other. Apparently, Robertson's and Alvarez's wartime experiences with "foo fighter" reports helped sway them a bit towards the UFO phenomenon and a modest "unexplained" conclusion.) Alvarez won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968.

Gen. Hap Arnold
General Henry H. (Hap) Arnold, 1886-1950, was chief of the Army Air forces during WWII, and in 1942 received the title of Commanding General of the Army Air Forces for the duration of the war. During his command, the air forces grew from 22,000 personnel and 3,900 planes to 2,500,000 personnel and 75,000 planes. Beyond this understandable wartime growth of manpower and technology, Arnold was also an constant and powerful advocate for an independent air wing of the US military force, and is often considered the "Father" of the USAF as an independent service. General Arnold suffered a heart attack in 1945, and was involved with Air Force affairs only in a much reduced consulting role until his death in 1950.  General Arnold's only UFO-related activity may well have been the concern over the so-called "foo fighter" phenomenon during the war, which occurred in both the European and Pacific theatres. These seeming devices concerned the highest authorities as possibly being enemy weapons capable of interfering with US bombing runs. Arnold and Secretary of War Henry Stimson were greatly worried about what these things could be. Stimson's scientific advisor, Professor Edward Bowles of MIT, had a hotshot young PhD, who also happened to be a pilot. David Griggs was therefore assigned, under Arnold's authority, to go to the European front to investigate the phenomenon as he could. Griggs' investigation later took him to Japan as well. Griggs wrote reports which have never been released. Modern UFOlogists have attempted to link General Arnold with a few UFO-related stories, including an alleged 1947 "crash" in the United States. To this writer's knowledge, there have been no credible smoking guns to document such claims. General Arnold was one of the forceful individuals who developed the Air Force's secretive RAND corporation/ thinktank, which was called in by Project SIGN for consultancy, but there is no evidence that RAND was primarily interested in UFOs, and the RAND consultant to SIGN, engineer Jimmy Lipp, is known to have despised them. RAND was very interested in guided missiles and what eventually became ICBMs, and this interest is what the famous RAND study of the possibility of a "World-circling Spaceship" was all about. General Arnold was interviewed about flying discs on July 7, 1947 as many technological and airpower heavyweights were at the time, and remarked that the disks could be a US technical development not yet perfected. As this is exactly what the Collections division of Pentagon air intelligence thought at the time, Arnold's remark is rather explainable. 

Maj. Aaron Jerre Boggs
"Jere" Boggs was a Major in the USAF working in the Pentagon in 1948-1950, when he played an important role in the USAF Intelligence response to the early post-War UFO phenomenon. Major Boggs worked on the "analysis" side of the intelligence community rather than the "collection" side, which initially had the job of handling UFO reports. When the focus of looking at UFOs shifted to Wright-Patterson AFB and Project SIGN, and once the Pentagon began getting feedback from SIGN that they felt that the UFO phenomenon was real and, ultimately, that it might be extraterrestrial, Boggs got assigned the job as the Pentagon focus point for what was going on, and what, if anything, should be the USAF response. Being on the "Defensive Air" side of Air Force intelligence analysis, and this being a possible enemy weapon and even a violation of US airspace, giving this job to someone in "Defensive Air" probably made sense. We should always remember, though, that all these Pentagon offices could work together on any problem; the location of their "desk" only fixes a "chain of command". When the SIGN project began hinting at a possible extraterrestrial "estimate" on UFOs, many in the Pentagon apparently thought that was unwise (to put it mildly), and Boggs was assigned (with consultancy from US Naval intelligence) to write an opposing estimate. [ AIR 100-203-79.]. When the SIGN extraterrestrial estimate formally reached Director of Intelligence General Charles Cabell's office, there was a document to challenge it. This occasioned an actual intelligence "shoot-out" of sorts between the two camps held in November 1948 at the National Bureau of Standards with Boggs defending his side against SIGN. SIGN lost that battle, and the idea that the USAF would proceed with the hypothesis that UFOs were extraterrestrial never was the leading theory again ( This includes the "glory days" of 1952, when although some persons in USAF intelligence thought that UFOs might well be ET, the organization certainly did not broadcast that as a primary hypothesis on any wider scale, as it would have been within the military if the SIGN estimate had prevailed ) . Post this meeting, it was generally Boggs' job to write Pentagon responses to things as they emerged in the now-negative Grudge era. Keyhoe documents some of this in his Flying Saucers are Real. Ultimately Boggs moved on and this desk became the location of a much more UFO-friendly Dewey Fournet [after brief occupancy by a station-keeper]. (Mike Swords)

Admiral Calvin Bolster
Calvin Bolster was a major figure in naval aerotech and missile development post-WWII. An accomplished engineer, he was involved with jet-assisted take-off planes and the air-to-air guided missile program. He retired as a Rear Admiral and was much decorated. As a classmate and friend of Donald Keyhoe from US Naval Academy days, he served as an inside source for information coming to Keyhoe and NICAP during the 1950s. One particularly valuable piece of such information was Bolster's confirmation that the planes of Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball and the Navy's Chief of Staff Admiral Arthur Radford had indeed had close passes from one or more unidentified objects while crossing the Pacific in 1952.

Samuel Brentnall
General Samuel Brentnall was assigned to the Engineering Division at Wright Field [called "T-3" at the time] in the summer of 1946. One year later he was named "Assistant Deputy Commanding General" for Research and Development, which meant that he was the chief officer for the entire T-3 division. This being the famous Summer of 1947, he was on seat at the USAF's main technology research area when the first big UFO wave hit.       There is evidence that although the Pentagon's "Collections" function in the Office of Intelligence Requirements took the lead on the early look at the flying disks, Brentnall and his boss General Twining were already on the task and talking about the issue as early as the beginning of July, if not earlier. It is also clear that Brentnall was supposed to be available with the resources of T-3 should his colleague in the parallel "T-2" Intelligence Division (Colonel Howard McCoy) require his technology assessments and assistance. We don't know what his personal views of the flying disk controversy were.       We do know that he was placed very near the center of the Air Force's information sources about them from the beginning. Brentnall had a highly successful Air Force career, being named in 1954 Assistant Chief of Staff for Guided Missiles. (Mike Swords)

Col. Joseph Bryan
At NICAP, Donald Keyhoe was visited by a man identifying himself as Colonel Joseph Bryan III, USAF. Bryan was apparently formally USAF, but what he did not reveal was that he operated as CIA. More than that, and amazingly, he was one of the CIA's highest psychological warfare experts. Later UFO historians have been made uncomfortable by this fact, since Bryan became a member of the NICAP Board of Governors. Was this a Trojan Horse inserted into the Air Force's main civilian irritant? Nothing would have made more sense, but, surprisingly, there is no evidence of meddling at all. Richard Hall, NICAP's Assistant Director, knew Bryan, and really knew how NICAP operated and made decisions. He said that Bryan was strictly hands-off in these matters. Added to that, Bryan was willing to go public with an extremely positive statement about the likely extraterrestrial nature of the devices. (UFOs & Government)

Brig. Gen. Woodbury M. Burgess
General Burgess was Deputy for Intelligence, Air Defense Command under General Chidlaw. Gen. Burgess, not a believer in UFOs, was firmly convinced that the Air Force should make every effort to find out what they were, even if they were all explainable. Ruppelt said that Burgess "bent over backwards to give Blue Book all the cooperation that they needed." Ruppelt also said that Gen. Burgess' ideas reflected those of General Chidlaw. Gen Burgess later became Deputy Director for Production of the NSA.

 Major General Charles P. Cabell
General Cabell was the Director of Intelligence for the Air Force from May 15, 1948 to October 31, 1951. According to Ruppelt's private papers, Cabell was pretty much a "believer" in UFOs. Cabell became Director of the Joint Staff of the JCS on Nov. 1, 1951, and became the no. 2 man in the CIA, the DDCI (Deputy Director of Central Intelligence) on April 23, 1953, and held the post until Jan. 31, 1962, when he was fired for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Cabell held the dramatic meeting in the Pentagon on October 2, 1951, when Project Grudge chief Lt. Jerry Cummings and his boss Lt. Col. Nathan Rosengarten gave the briefing on their Ft. Monmouth radar case investigation, which Cabell had ordered on Sept. 28.  According to Ruppelt's papers Cabell got angry at the anti-UFO answers he was getting from the debunkers (Watson cronies) at the briefing and said "I've been lied to, lied to, lied to.  I want it to stop." Afterward Cabell ordered Project Grudge reorganized, in mid-October 1951.  (Brad Sparks:  According to Lt Cummings, Cabell thought that Col. Harold Watson had simply taken the UFO Project Grudge "underground" when it was publicly closed in Dec 1949 so it could quietly continue its UFO investigations. When Cabell found out that was not true, that it really was all but terminated, Cabell got upset and in July 1950 ordered his own staff in AF Intelligence to begin conducting the UFO investigations that Watson refused to do.  Cabell fired this leading UFO debunker Col. Watson as soon as he got command of the unit Watson headed, in May 1951, when Watson's AMC Intelligence Dept became the ATIC.  Since a "firing" in the military is not the same as in civilian life, does not mean being booted out of the military, it meant Watson was transferred to another position, which took several months to find, at USAFE as it turned out, during which time Watson was left in limbo.) General Samford replaced Cabell as D/I on Nov. 1, 1951. 

General Thomas B. Catron
Catron was born in 1888 and during WWI received a decoration for exceptional service training Army intelligence operatives. By the 1930s he was a Lieutenant Colonel, retiring in 1945 as a Brig General, after being recalled to serve in WWII. He received the Legion of Merit. As with Wedemeyer and Kepner, we know next to nothing about Catron's interests. His NICAP involvement strongly parallels Kepner's, joining early and serving on the earliest Keyhoe board, but never thereafter.

H. Marshall Chadwell
H. Marshall Chadwell was a highly successful chemistry researcher at Tufts University before WWII, who drifted into other interests after the War, including philanthropy work for the Rockefeller Foundation, where he assessed the merits of scientific grant proposals. Somehow, by 1952, we find him as the assistant director of the CIA, heading its Office of Scientific Intelligence. This put him thoroughly in the spotlight in the summer of 1952 when President Truman (alarmed by the unexplained overflights of Washington DC) ordered General Walter Bedell Smith, Director of the CIA, to look into the problem. This duty quickly fell to Marshall Chadwell, who with other operatives such as Fred Durant and Philip Strong, began a five month odyssey which ended in the infamous Robertson Panel assessment of UFOs as a threat to national security.

James Chapman
This man was in charge of the Photo Reconnaissance Lab, Weapons Components Division of ATIC, at Wright Air Development Center and, according to Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, did all of the work on UFO photos for Project Blue Book, including the Lubbock Lights, Coast Guard Alpert photo, and the top secret Tremonton (Utah) film, from October 1951 to October 1952. Although a firm "believer", Ruppelt said Chapman did do a good job of making unbiased analyses of Blue Book's photos

Gen. Lionel Chassin
General Chassin was the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force and after the war became NATO's Air Defense Coordinator for all Europe. Just after the war, Chassin and his chief assistant, Colonel Clerouin, became extremely interested in the UFO problem, going even so far as authoring articles in support of investigating them. Chassin argued that an international program of UFO observation and data-gathering should be begun and that this was critical to avoid confusion between sightings of UFOs and enemy missiles. When he was asked if he then thought that the UFOs could be extraterrestrial devices, he responded simply: Why not?

Albert M. Chop (1916-2006)
As  Press Chief for the U.S. Air Force in 1952, Albert M. Chop  was a direct participant in the famous July 1952 radar-visual UFO sightings around Washington, D.C.  Chop attended the University of Dayton for two years, and was a newsman for the Dayton  Daily  News and the Associated Press from 1937-1943. During World War II he served as a combat correspondent with the U.S. Marine Corps (which  might account for his  cooperative relationship with Maj. Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC Ret.) After several years in public relations and advertising  copywriting, Chop became Press Chief for the Air Materiel Command in Dayton, Ohio, in 1951. He was transferred to the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. in 1952 where he served as Press Chief and was public spokesman for the Air Force UFO project. From 1953 to 1962 he was a public relations representative for Douglas Aircraft Company. He then became Deputy of Public Affairs for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1962 until 1975. For two years after that he was employed  by  the Atomic Energy Commission in a management position. Chop was involved in providing information and writing for the 1956 Greene-Rouse Productions documentary film UFO, which included the 1950 Montana film taken by Nick Mariana and the 1952 Utah film by Delbert C. Newhouse. The documentary also recreated the Washington sightings and other important cases, providing new, inside information to the public. Chop  gave an  oral history  to the Sign Historical Group in November 1999 in which he talks about his relationship with Donald Keyhoe, whose dedicated and persistent interest resulted in his obtaining the good information that he did on Air Force cases. He (Chop) also describes being present at Washington National Airport on the night in July 1952 watching on radar and hearing the communications when an Air Force F-94 pilot reported being surrounded by UFOs. (This incident is reconstructed in the movie UFO.) He quotes the pilot as saying, "They're closing in on me! What shall I do?" Chop: "There was dead silence in the radar room; no one knew what to say. I don't mind telling you this, it scared me! It was frightening! And I think everybody in the room was very apprehensive. They had to be intelligently controlled." His experience that night convinced him that UFOs probably were from another planet.

Col. William Clingerman
Colonel Clingerman's position at Wright-Pat was chief of Intelligence Analysis for Air Materiel Command (MCIA), and as such was in the executive command chain over Project SIGN, just beneath McCoy. He was a fine engineer and intelligence of­ficer who personally investigated what was perhaps the first instance where Wright-Patterson was ordered by the Pentagon to send personnel to the site of a UFO case, at Harmon Field, Newfoundland. Clingerman wasn't a "believer": "If such craft actually have been sighted, it is believed more likely that they represent the effort of a foreign nation, rather than a product from beyond the Earth."

Col. William T. Coleman
Colonel William T. Coleman is a retired Air Force bomber pilot, former Public Information Officer for Project Blue Book, and Air Force's Chief Public Relations Officer during the early 1970s. He was also the Producer of a series called "Project UFO" that ran on NBC for two seasons. (1978-79) In June of 1978, while promoting his new TV show on the Merv Griffin show, Coleman spoke about a UFO sighting he had experienced while a bomber pilot in 1955. The plane closed to within an eighth of a mile of the disc-shaped object. "It was about 60 feet in diameter and 10 or 11 feet thick through the center," he said. "It had what looked like a titanium-type finish". (silver gray). See report.

Lt. Jerry Cummings
Lt. Jerry Cummings replaced the very dismissive officer overseeing the minimalist examination of "flying disk reports" in the Grudge era, Jimmy Rodgers. Rodgers and his sidekick, radar analyst Roy James, were so negative towards the UFO job, that they had allowed the files to go into great disorganization, including even loss of files. Jerry Cummings was appointed to the task partly due to General Cabell's growing understanding that the UFO "problem" needed at least some serious focus. Rodgers and James, however, continued to interfere with Cummings' early work at his desk [the desk next to Edward Ruppelt's "MIG-analysis desk."] When Cummings realized the extent of their interference, he took his objections directly to their superior, Colonel Bruno Feiling. Feiling was lukewarm about correcting this situation, except for a simultaneous stroke of luck, which brought a case to the discussion that the Pentagon, particularly General Cabell, wanted serious action upon. This resulted in a direct phone conversation with the General, and put Rodgers and James in their place, and Cummings off on an investigative field trip. That field trip ended in the Pentagon, where Cummings was asked by the General about the state of the UFO investigations. Cummings who was just about to leave Wright-Patterson for study at Cal Tech unloaded on Rodgers, James, the project, and thoroughly roused Cabell from his misperceptions. As part of Cabell's rain of fire which followed, Ed Ruppelt got appointed to the UFO desk, and was empowered to take serious control to right the direction of its work, including reconstitution of the files. Jerry Cummings, apparently, went peacefully on with his life as a Cal Tech engineering student. (Mike Swords)

Col. Albert B. Deyarmond
Albert Deyarmond was an "old hand" with the UFO's, in on the first of Project Sign. From the old memos signed by him it could be determined that he was once a firm believer, along with Alfred Loedding, John "Red" Honaker and the rest of the veterans or Project Sign. But by the time Ruppelt got into the picture Deyarmond, at least on the surface, was lined up with the scoffers. Ruppelt had said that, "once, when I began to knock the UFO's, he raised the devil and chewed me out for not keeping an 'open mind'." Ruppelt had called him a "scoffer"  because he was a "disciple" of Col. Watson's. Deyarmond later became chief of structures at Ryan Aircraft Company.

General James Doolittle
There have been many UFO-related rumors associated with Jimmy Doolittle, but none have been able to pin any direct involvement down. The closest thing to a known involvement dealt with the famous "Swedish Ghost Rockets" phenomenon in 1946. In that year, many reports of sightings of mystery flying objects came from Sweden and other Scandinavian areas. It seemed very possible that these things might be Russian missile tests based upon German technology. The incidents incited quite a bit of nervousness in the military communities of Sweden, the US and elsewhere. In mid-August of that year, General Doolittle "coincidentally" visited Sweden. Newspapers, citing leaked information, stated that Doolittle was there to investigate the Swedish radar systems being used to track the Ghost Rockets. Doolittle later denied this. Although rumors were rampant, no formal evidence has been found in Swedish military archives of any "active" information exchange. This of course begs the question of whether the General "unofficially" gathered information [a very common intelligence behavior] on his coincidental business trip, where he is known to have spoken to military people. Doolittle spent his entire public life without ever mentioning anything positive about UFOs, and as such was a good soldier to the end regarding the official policy. Jimmy Doolittle was a many-year member of the USAF's Board of Scientific Advisors, and certainly knew what he should or should not be saying.

Col. Frank Dunn
Colonel Frank Dunn was the officer who replaced Harold Watson after Chief of Intelligence Charles Cabell got fed up with Watson's and Grudge's mismanagement of the flying disk investigation project in the 1949-1951 years. Dunn was a good man, much less fiery and intolerant than Watson, and nicely served as a good light-handed leader for the work of Blue Book during the beginning of the Ruppelt era. Colonel Dunn told General Samford that UFO sightings "followed a pattern" by occurring most frequently at "areas vital to the defense of the United States." The areas the Colonel had in mind were: Los Alamos-Albuquerque, N.M.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; White Sands, N.M.; Port Areas; Strategic Air Command bomber bases; and industrial complexes. If anyone else were to impune such sinister motives to UFO's they would have evoked smirks by people who felt that nonbelief in such objects was a measure of normality. Here we have none other than the Air Force's Project GRUDGE suggesting something that one would expect to find on the front page of a cheap tabloid. But then, Colonel Dunn's concern was well founded.

Col. Robert B. Emerson
Colonel Emerson was a veteran of WWII who was a technical expert in the physical sciences. He was an accomplished chemist and radiation physics laboratory-oriented officer, whose experience extended even to studies of what chemical warfare could do. He operated all over western Europe during the war, mainly organizing large operations such as hospitals to deal with the potentials involved in these areas. After his retirement to reserve status in the States, Colonel Emerson set up a physical testing laboratory. He also began a personal active interest in the UFO phenomenon and joined NICAP in 1957 [and became their physical sciences consultant, offering the services of his testing lab at no cost.]

Col. John G. Eriksen
Col. Eriksen was head of the Policy and Management Group of the Directorate of Intelligence and in some way got in on all of the UFO business. (Sparks: Eriksen had previously been Fournet's boss as Chief of the Technical Capabilities Branch, Evaluation Division of AF Intelligence before the June 1952 reorganization.) Ruppelt said that Eriksen was "sort of power behind the throne on what the official policy would be." Ruppelt gave him quite a few briefings and he seemed to be a "lone wolf" in that he wanted to get the picture for himself. Ruppelt: "He got a little hacked at Fournet quite often, because he thought that Fournet was pushing his ideas, that the UFO's were real, too hard. I think that Eriksen tended to put a lot of faith in the UFO's but he was one of those who was afraid to stick his neck out." Col. Eriksen was briefly Commander of ATIC from July to December in 1958.

Brigadier General Arthur E. Exon
General Exon is a pilot with 135 combat missions and over 300 hours of combat flight time during World War II. His aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding ammunition dump and he was forced to bail out over enemy territory. Captured, he spent just over a year in German prisoner of war camps. He was liberated in April, 1945. After the war he completed an industrial administration course at the Air Force Institute of Technology and was then assigned to the Air Materiel Command (AMC) Headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (It should be noted that General Nathan F. Twining was the commander of the Air Materiel Command which controlled various intelligence functions. Twining's letter of September 23, 1947 has been quoted by many. It was Twining's conclusion then that flying discs were real.) Over the next several years he held a variety of positions finally arriving at the Pentagon as a full colonel in 1955. In 1960 he became Chief of Ballistic Missiles and was responsible for establishing the Jupiter Ballistic Missile system for NATO in Italy and Turkey. In July, 1963, he left Europe for an assignment at Olmsted Air Force Base in Pennsylvania. In August, 1964, he was assigned as commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. On August 20, 1965, he was promoted to brigadier general. General Exon has had a most impressive military career. Officers are not promoted to flag rank (general officer) without having proven themselves as competent. Those who make it while on active duty, who are not rewarded with the promotion on retirement, are in a small minority. Only the top officers achieve the privilege of wearing stars. General Exon, as a lieutenant colonel, was assigned to Wright Field in July of 1947. He was there when the wreckage from the Roswell crash came in and was aware of the recovery in New Mexico. He knew that it was brought in and knew where it was sent. A few of his colleagues performed the tests on the metal, trying to determine what it was. And he learned from other colleagues that the bodies had arrived on the base. All in July, 1947. Official military bio

Fahrney, Rear Admiral Delmer S.
Rear Admiral Fahrney was "the foremost Navy pioneer for the development of guided missiles. His vision of future weaponry, technical excellence and tireless advocacy formed the basis for the post-World War II Navy missile programs." "Admiral Fahrney's early work in guided missiles and his foresight in planning for future generations of missiles earned for him recognition by many peers as 'the father of naval air guided missiles.'" (circa 1956). On Jan 16, 1957, Admiral Fahrney held a press conference for NICAP. "Reliable reports indicate there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds. They way they change position would indicate their motion is directed." (New York Times article) Fahrney was chairman of NICAP's Board of Governors for one week, and then, for personal reasons, had to resign. (Washington Daily News). His replacement was first CIA Director and DCI, RoscoeHillenkoetter, who was recruited in April or May 1957, and this must have infuriated the CIA.. (Richard Hall: Fahrney was a NICAP member for a long time, visited the office when I was there after early 1958, and later exchanged a lot of information with Jim McDonald. Throughout, he kept funnelling good Navy pilot and missile officer cases to us.)

Fournet, Dewey J., Major, USAF
Fournet served in the Technical Capabilities Branch of AF Intelligence until transfer to the new Current Intelligence Branch in the June 1952 reorganization.  Fournet took over UFO duties in the TCB (liaison officer between Project Grudge/Blue Book and the Pentagon) from Lt. Col. Milton D. Willis in Feb 1952. (Ruppelt:  Dewey got hot on the subject right away and helped us a great deal in getting things straightened out in the Pentagon. His job was just supposed to be part time, but within a matter of months he was working on it full time) Fournet was the most confirmed believer Ruppelt had run into in the Pentagon. He had access to all of their reports, read them all over very carefully, and was absolutely convinced. His most notable effort was the famous "motion study" that "proved" the UFOs operated under intelligent control. (In 1979 interviews with Brad Sparks, Col. William A. Adams and Col. Weldon H. Smith said that in Jan 1953 Smith signed Fournet's study and sent it to Adams who also signed and approved Fournet's study concluding that UFO's were extraterrestrial.  Col. Adams said he sent the study up the chain of command, to the Deputy Director for Estimates, Col. Jack Morrow, who also signed and approved the study and sent it to the D/I, Maj. Gen. John A. Samford.) This study was presented to the Robertson Panel in January of 1953 and was rejected. After retiring from the Air Force, Fournet became a member of NICAP's  original Board of Governors.

Garland, Brig Gen, William. M.
General Garland was Ruppelt's boss at ATIC from Sept 1952 until Ruppelt left, and was a moderately confirmed believer, according to Ruppelt's unpublished papers. He was Gen. Samford's Assistant for Production in the Pentagon, the no. 2 man in AF Intelligence, then transferred to ATIC as Commander in September 1952. He was the inspiration behind the Life article by Robert Ginna. (Ruppelt: He gave Ginna his ideas and prompted Life to stick their necks out.) After he got out of the Air Force in September 1953, Gen. Garland became a  consultant to Rand.

Homer T. "Tom" Gittings, Jr.
Homer Gittings was Ruppelt's contact in Los Alamos. He was a charter member of the group that was trying to correlate recorded radiation from an unknown source with UFO reports. Ruppelt: "He worked closely with a Ph.D. but I've forgotten the Ph.D.'s name (Dr. William W. Carter). Gittings, the Ph.D. and several other scientists would fly down to Albuquerque and we'd meet with Col. Matheny at 34th Air Division Headquarters. If I remember correctly, Gittings had an MS degree in Physics and was an instrumentation specialist." Joel Carpenter provided the 30 Nov. 49  DOE Green Fireball doc: "A group of scientists and technicians from the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory have become extremely interested in the observations of the aerial phenomena observed at various times in this vicinity, on which reports have been rendered periodically. This group is headed by Richard Taschek and is composed of the following additional personnel: Homer T. Gittings, Jr. George A. Jarvis, J. Fred Kalbach, Stan H. Simmons, Jud Nicholas, Harold Agnew, W. J. Masilun, Howard Parsons, Robert Potter. All of the foregoing have been appropriately cleared under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act and therefore would have access to any and all information on this subject which might be developed by the National Military Establishment, principally the U. S. Air Forces."  Gittings later worked on nuclear rocket engines for Project ROVER. Killed in an auto crash in 1961. The "group" was the Los Alamos UFO observation group, called the Los Alamos Astrophysical Association, later the Los Alamos Bird Watchers Association. Began observations on Nov. 25, 1949. Member Harold Agnew was a future Director of Los Alamos labs in 1970-79.

Goll, Lt. Col. Miles E.
Lt. Colonel Miles E. Goll was an intelligence specialist at Air Materiel Command under Colonel Mack McCoy during WW2. After the war he remained in the service briefly, but then retired, staying on to work as a civilian in the T-2 intelligence group. Goll could be considered the third ranking officer (under McCoy [MCI] and William Clingerman [MCIA]) during the SIGN era, acting as chief of the Analysis Section [MCIAT] and often signing for Clingerman. Goll entered UFO legend as he was a contact officer for the famous Battelle Memorial study during the Ruppelt years, and was the recipient of the famous [infamous?] memorandum to Battelle, called by some as the "Pentacle_Memorandum", and interpreted very controversially as indicating something deeply conspiratorial going on at Wright-Patterson AFB as regards UFO information. (See document NARA-PBB86-536)

Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham
Captain Ruppelt says in his private notes about Goudsmit, "This man, from AEC’s Brookhaven Lab on Long Island, sat on the [CIA/Robertson] Panel that met in Washington in January 1953. Goudsmidt [sic] was probably the most violent anti-saucer man at the panel meeting. Everything was a big joke to him which brought down the wrath of the other panel members on numerous occasions." (Sparks: This was actually Page who made the UFO jokes, whom Ruppelt confused with Goudsmit since both Page and Goudsmit were much alike as the most hostile skeptics on the Robertson Panel -- the other two, Panel Chairman Robertson and Alvarez being the most UFO-favorable.  Berkner came late and did not register on anyone as either pro- or anti-UFO, and simply rubber-stamped what had already been agreed upon by the others).. Goudsmit discovered electron spin in 1925. In 1944 he led the Alsos scientific intelligence mission to investigate and exploit German technological developments including atomic weapons research. Goudsmit may have attended the Robertson Panel II meeting at CIA on Feb. 6, 1953, or "rump Panel" as Robertson called it in his letter to CIA OSI director H. Marshall Chadwell on Jan. 20.  But Robertson said Goudsmit preferred a Saturday date of Feb. 7 to the 6th.  Chadwell however approved the Feb. 6 date in his Jan. 28 reply, leaving it somewhat uncertain whether Goudsmit attended.  This was an after-action meeting to review AF and other agency reactions to the Panel and to review Fred Durant's detailed report of the meetings (but which was still not ready yet, not until Feb. 16). Robertson and some other Panel members (uncertain if included Goudsmit) continued to review additional UFO cases submitted directly by Lt. Robert Olsson, acting chief of Project Blue Book, through at least July 1953.  Hynek called these new tough UFO reports "Pinchbottle cases" (meaning "best unsolved" and "exceptional interest") and asked Olsson on July 21 to forward Robertson's comments (not known if any were received and no copies known).  Chadwell had informed his CIA boss, the new Deputy Director for Intelligence Robert Amory, Jr., on Feb. 10, 1953, that "Should spectacular [UFO] developments occur, it would be possible to reconvene the Panel to appraise new evidence."In later years, Goudsmit was asked by the CIA Office of Scientific Intelligence in 1957 (due to a Congressional inquiry triggered by Keyhoe/NICAP) if he would authorize the partial release of his signed 2-page Robertson Panel report.  Goudsmit remained a debunker.

Hall, Richard
Richard (Dick) Hall was the assistant director of NICAP (1965-1967) during the Colorado Project era. He was not formally a project team member but could justifiably be called such. He and Don Keyhoe had come to Colorado early in the project, by invitation, to give the staff a briefing from NICAPs point of view. The staff, even Condon, was VERY impressed by Dick. This led to a request that he stay on for a few weeks to help organize project thinking, methods, information-organizing et al. He sat in on all the team meetings in those early 1967 days. Dick did let his bias get to him one key time, however. In one meeting, Condon et al were fussing about the apparent impossibility in getting field teams to the actual site of an occurrence (really a set of incidents or a localized flap) before the phenomenon just went away. Dick said that they (NICAP) were able to do that maybe several times a year --- which on later reflection, he admitted to others was a stressed baloney response. Nevertheless, Condon said that he was relieved to hear that, and everyone felt better about preparing for getting out into the field chasing UFOs. (Swords). Jan Aldrich: Editor of Satellite (pre-NICAP); BA Tulane U; Sec of NICAP 1958; Asst Director NICAP 1963 (?); Chairman of the EM Effects NICAP Subcommitte 1962-1963 (?); MUFON Journal editor; MUFON Foreign Correspondent; Founding member of FUFOR and later Chairman of the Board; UFO Research Coalition (chairman for one term?).  Books and papers: "The UFO Evidence, Volume II: A Thirty Year Report." (2001); "The Science of UFOs: Facts vs. Skepticism," International Space Sciences Organization, web site: (December 1999); "Signals, Noise, and UFO Waves," International UFO Reporter. (Winter 1998); "Bridging 50 Years of UFO History," chapter in UFOs: 1947-1997, edited by Hilary Evans & Dennis Stacy (1998); "Uninvited Guests: A Documented History of UFO Sightings, Alien Encounters & Coverups." Santa Fe, NMex. (1988); "The UFO Evidence". NICAP (1964)

Hardin, Capt. Charles
In November 1953, Captain Charles Hardin was appointed the head of Project Blue Book, and he was replaced by Captain George T. Gregory in 1956. However, most UFO investigations were conducted by the 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron (AISS). Ruppelt wrote that Hardin "thinks that anyone who is even interested  (in UFOs) is crazy. They bore him." (Clark, 468). Ruppelt also wrote: "He has been the one big bottleneck in my getting anything from the Air Force because he is afraid that my book will stir things up too much." Jan Aldrich: "Hardin did stop the investigation into an interesting CE2 case in PA by the 4602d. He just ordered it terminated as of no further interest and as explained by reflections in a window. He probably was indeed uninterested in UFOs and was just serving out his time to retirement."

Father Heyden
Father Heyden was head of the astronomy department at Georgetown University. Ruppelt said he had never met him but mentioned that Dr. Stefan Possony was always going to him with Blue Book's UFO problems, and couldn’t at all be classed as a scoffer.

Hillenkoetter, Vice-Admiral Roscoe
Admiral Hillenkoetter served as the first "official" DCI of the CIA. Appointed first as DCI of CIG and then after the National Security Act of 1947, he was sworn in as DCI of CIA. Hillenkoetter's tenure was from May 1947 to October 1950. He believed that while the stated role of the CIA was to coordinate intelligence activities, realistically the Agency lacked the bureaucratic muscle to effect such a lofty goal. As a result of this decision Hillenkoetter urged the Agency into the area of current intelligence production. In 1949 a group appointed by the NSC recommended that the Agency be restructured. Hillenkoetter served on the board of governors of NICAP and is on record as stating: "Unknown objects are operating under intelligent control. It is imperative that we learn where UFOs come from and what their purpose is." He resigned from NICAP in Feb 1962 and was replaced on the NICAP Board by a former covert CIA high official, Joseph Bryan III, the CIA's first Chief of Political & Psychological Warfare (Bryan never disclosed his CIA background to NICAP or Keyhoe). 

Hynek, Dr. J. Allen
Dr. Hynek had been the consultant astronomer to Projects Sign, Grudge and Blue Book. Ruppelt said that Hynek was "darn interested" and had devoted a great deal of his valuable time to the project. Ruppelt stated Hynek had read almost every UFO report in the Air Force files, which simply was not true. Brad Sparks: "One person working very few hours part-time, like Hynek, could not possibly have read almost all of the 4,000 reports.  Hynek also suspected he never got to see certain sensitive reports.  Sometimes BB used the excuse that Hynek was only to analyze astronomical aspects of cases to explain them away in order to deny Hynek knowledge of or access to spectacular Unknowns."  On Oct. 11, 1952 he debated with Menzel at the American Optical Society meeting in Boston and (according to Ruppelt) "blasted Menzel right out of the hall". He sat as an associate Member on the CIA Robertson Panel in Washington in January 1953 and was cautiously pro-UFO. Dr. Hynek was Head of the Ohio State Univ. Astronomy Department, Director of the Perkins Observatory and Assistant Dean of the USU Graduate School. Hynek headed up Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Moonwatch project from 1956 to 1960 then went to Northwestern University where he was Director of the Dearborn Observatory and the Lindheimer Astronomical Research Center, until his retirement from Northwestern in June 1978.  Two of his most enduring efforts are the close encounters scale, a new classification system of sightings from which the term "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" became famous, and the creation in 1973 of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS).

Kaliszewski, Joseph J.
This was one of the people that Ruppelt claimed he liked to talk to at General Mills. He was one of the members of the original Skyhook balloon launching crew. He had a BS degree in aeronautical engineering and was considered to be pretty sharp. All of the people at General Mills were convinced that the UFO’s were real, as they said they had all seen the UFO’s. The boss, Charles Moore, whom Ruppelt talked to for only a few minutes, was very put out at the way the Air Force had handled many of the UFO reports and was very indignant. In the summer of 1952, Kaliszewski was quoted in the Minneapolis paper as saying that the Air Force should put forth more effort because he was convinced that the UFO’s were real.

Kaplan, Dr. Joseph
Joseph Kaplan was a geophysics professor at UCLA. His main UFO interest was the Green Fireballs. Ruppelt stated that Kaplan put a lot of stock in Dr. LaPaz’s theory that the GFB’s were man-made (Russian), although at one time he thought that they were auroral patches. Dr. Kaplan originated the grid camera idea. Dr. Kaplan later headed the satellite program for the International Geophysical Year.

Knowles, Rear Admiral H.B,, USN (Retired)
Admiral Knowles was a veteran of both World War I and World War II. He held important submarine commands and wasn a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Wilbert B. Smith (head of the Canadian government's UFO project, Project Magnet) claimed that in 1952, a time of the great UFO wave, the U.S.A.F. had recovered a piece of a UFO that had been shot at near Washington, D.C. He said that the U.S. Air Force had loaned him a piece of the recovery. He showed it to a friend, Rear Admiral H. B. Knowles. Statement by Rear Adm. M. Herbert B. Knowles: "I shall be very glad to accept appointment as a member of the (NICAP) Board of Governors and be listed as a 'believer' in the reality of UFO's, with the understanding that I shall resign if it appears at any time that your big group is beinq used to cover up for the top brass. I know that there is a real need to break through the official Washington brush-off and get the truth home to the people. There seems to be a great fear among the powers that be that the American people will panic if told the truth. How little they know and understand their countrymen. I feel that millions of our people already believe in the reality of the UFO's."

General William E. Kepner
Kepner was born in 1893, and served in the Marines prior to and during WWI. By the 1920s he had become an expert in military uses of balloons. In the 1930s he was chief of Wright Field's lighter-than-air research. By WWII, he was at Langley and commanded the 8th pursuit group, then to Mitchell Field, and commanded all aviation under the 1st Army. In 1942 he was promoted to Brig. General and took over 8th Fighter Command in the European Theatre. By 1945 he headed the 9th Air Force. Post the war, he spent time at various Pentagon duties, including Chief of the USAF Atomic Energy Division. He became commander at Eglin AFB and the Alaska Command before retiring in 1953. Kepner's linkage to NICAP is as unknown and as brief as General Wedemeyer's, and parallels it time wise. According to Dick Hall, he joined NICAP early [1956] and accepted Keyhoe's invitation to be a board member. By later 1957 that public association was no longer true.

LeMay, Curtis Emerson, General
LeMay was an Air Force General and the vice presidential running mate of independent candidate George C. Wallace in 1968. He is credited with designing and implementing an effective systematic strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific Theatre of Strategic Air Command. After the war, he reorganized the Strategic Air Command into an effective means of conducting nuclear war. Critics have characterized him as a belligerent warmonger (even nicknaming him "Bombs Away LeMay") whose aggressiveness threatened to inflame tense Cold War situations (such as the Cuban Missile Crisis) into open war between the United States and the Soviet Union. He was AAF Deputy C/S for R&D in 1946-1947.  He was AF Chief of Staff after SAC.  In the summer of 1952 LeMay enlisted Edward Teller to do a UFO study just like many other agencies following the LIFE article and riding on the UFO wave. The April_25 1988 issue of  The New Yorker carried an interview of Barry Goldwater, who said he repeatedly asked his friend Gen. LeMay if there was any truth to the rumors that UFO evidence was stored in a secret room at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and if he (Goldwater) might have access to the room. According to Goldwater, an angry LeMay gave him "holy hell" and said, "Not only can't you get into it but don't you ever mention it to me again." Referred to as  "The Blue Room.", Goldwater reported in an interview with Larry King (LARRY KING LIVE AT AREA 51) that he had felt "chewed out" by General LeMay.

Lipp, Dr. James
James Lipp was the Rand Corporation's guided missile expert and he was violently anti-saucer, according to Ruppelt's notes. Lipp wrote an analysis of UFO reports in December of 1948 for Project Sign to see if they could be space visitors, but concluded UFO's were probably not extraterrestrial. Ruppelt stated that early in 1952 Col. Don Bower and he tried to enlist the Rand Corporation's aid, on a contract basis, to try to develop some way of getting more positive answers but, at the recommendation of Lipp, Rand refused to touch it. “Too hot,” was their reason. Ruppelt: "I think controversial would have been a better word than 'hot'."

Loedding, Albert
Al Loedding was chief engineering consultant on SIGN and main advocate for the ETH. Went on the Chiles/Whitted case as well as Mantell and Rhodes photo. Probably wrote as much of the EOTS as did Robert Sneider..

Col. William A Matheny
Col Matheny was the CO of the 34th Air Defense Division in Albuquerque. He later became a Brig. General. He was firmly convinced that the UFO’s were real and that they were interplanetary space ships. He wrote up a plan, Project Pounce, that called for a special squadron of stripped down F-94C’s to chase the UFO’s. The plan went through Western Air Defense Headquarters and to Air Defense Command Headquarters but it was rejected because of the non-availability of the aircraft. It was in the 34th that the F-86 pilot claimed that he shot at the UFO, in the disturbing incident Ruppelt wrote about in the beginning of his book, which evidently occurred in september of 1952, according to Brad Sparks' research. His official bio can be found at:

Gen. Ernest "Mickey" Moore
General Moore was a Captain and a Major in Hawaii when the WWII began. His service coordinating long-range bombing strikes on the Empire of Japan resulted in his being promoted to Brigadier General (He retired as a Major General.) After the War he entered the National War College and ultimately was posted in the Pentagon as Chief of the Air Intelligence Division under Chief of Intelligence General Charles Cabell.     While under Cabell in 1948-1951, Moore had responsibility for several important actions vis-a-vis the Flying Disk problem. One of these involved Secretary of Defense Forrestal's willingness to have LIFE Magazine send a writer to Project Grudge to find out what the USAF was doing about UFOs. This request, and then order, drove the USAF crazy, and resulted in Moore explaining to Forrestal that they REALLY needed to "assist" LIFE reporter Bob Ginna in constructing his piece, "in the national interest". Forrestal allowed this, but it resulted in a fiasco, wherein Moore's division fumbled the "assistance" and instead of writing a companion article to blunt Ginna's pieces, UFO-sympathetic personnel at Wright-Patterson wrote the famous "Project Saucer" release, which was far more positive towards UFOs than were LIFE's articles. In fact it was the Project Saucer publication which inspired Don Keyhoe to begin really bird-dogging the UFO subject, leading to the role that NICAP played in harassing the USAF during the later 1950s.      Moore and Cabell were also involved in a second watershed action. In 1950, when it became obvious that the piecemeal and extremist policies of the USAF were not working, and that the behaviors of Major Harold Watson at Wright-Patterson were making things worse. Moore wrote Watson that he was, whether he liked it or not, to begin behaving in a simple manner towards any inquiries about UFO cases, and that this directive was to be followed throughout the military. The policy became: if an incident was solved, any officer was to say that it had been investigated and nothing of value had been found. If the incident was unsolved, then it was to be said that it was still being investigated. And all data was then to be sent to the Pentagon, where THEY would decide as to what if any press release would be made. This became then what Keyhoe called "The Policy of Silence."

Page, Thornton
Thornton Page of John Hopkin’s Operations Research Office, editor of the Operations Research Journal, and an astronomer, sat on the CIA Robertson Panel in Washington D.C. in January 1953. Page and Goudsmit were both anti-UFO, but it was Page who kept cracking jokes about UFOs until Robertson reprimanded him. Later his opinion changed and in 1969, after reviewing the Condon Report, he stated: "How can we logically reject this theory when we accept theories of rotating neutron stars to explain pulsars? Of course, a better theory might be devised if more data were collected and the present data examined in broader terms."

Parrish, Lt. Glen
This was the Intelligence Officer at the 34th Air Defense Division at Albuquerque where Col. Matheny was the CO. Ruppelt: "Parrish sent in some of the best reports that we had and he is the man who showed me the report on the pilot who shot at the UFO." (Sept. 1952) According to Ruppelt, with all of the good reports that Parrish had submitted, he wasn’t a confirmed believer. But he did think that the reports were important enough to warrant careful investigations. In addition to the above, Parrish was the middle man for the reports from the people who were doing the radiation work in Los Alamos.

Porter, Col  Edward H.
Ruppelt: "Col Porter was the Deputy Director for Estimates of the D/I. He was violently anti-UFO. He was Fournet’s boss. At every briefing or meeting he always got his two cents worth in and he minced no words. But he never had a decent argument; he didn’t know what was being reported nor did he care, he just didn’t believe that there was anything to it. General Cabell is reported to have climbed all over him and Col Hal Watson for conspiring to get rid of the UFO project in 1950."

Possony, Dr. Stefan T.
Ruppelt: "Steven Possony was the acting chief of the Directorate of Intelligence Special Studies Group and he had a direct channel to (Gen.) Samford." Possony was apparently pretty much sold on the UFO and did a lot of investigating on his own "book", and had Father Hayden, the astronomer, as his special consultant. Ruppelt: "Steve and his crew used to cruise all over the U.S. and Europe, and during these travels they picked up a lot of UFO data. Steve was behind Fournet 100% and tended to push him. He was smart enough to know that the UFO situation was hot so he used Fournet, who was a reserve and didn’t plan to stay in the Air Force any longer than he had to, to try out his ideas. Possony didn’t much care what he said, however, and he used to go to battle with any or all of the more vocal skeptics. He really got teed off at Menzell and went to all ends to find out everything about the man. It turned out to be very interesting. Possony had a good reputation in the Air Force. Besides being a fairly sharp intelligence man, he is a professor at Georgetown University and he has written quite a bit on the strategy and concepts of airpower. He is considered one the of the world’s experts on this subject."

Robertson, Howard Percy
Robertson later became chief scientific advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of NATO. Ruppelt: "He first came out to ATIC in November 1952 [actually Dec. 12, 1952] with a group of other scientists [from the CIA] to review our UFO material. He and his party stayed two days [one day] and then went back to Washington and suggested to the National Security Council [actually the CIA] that a group of top scientists get together to look over the reports."  (Sparks:  Ruppelt has the events of Nov/Dec 1952 confused. In fact the Chadwell-Robertson-Durant CIA group strongly recommended _against_ convening what became known as the Robertson Panel because Battelle scientist Dr. Howard Cross told them that Battelle needed more time to finish its massive statistical analysis of Blue Book's 4,000 UFO reports.)

Rosenzweig, Leslie
Ruppelt: Les Rosenzweig worked for Possony. He was sort of a dull tool and whenever Possony said or did anything Les took it as the gospel. When it came to UFO’s there was no difference. Les made quite a few studies on how the UFO’s could be powered, how they could be contacted, etc. He pushed the idea of using a huge horizontal movie screen to flash messages to the UFO’s. He, or possibly it was Possony himself, made a lot of contacts with Willy Ley. They dropped him fast however, when good old commercial Willy began to try to push himself into the act a little too fast. It is interesting to note that those people in the U.S. who are actually considered to be tops in the fields of interplanetary travel have no use for Willy Ley or Von Braun. (Sparks:  Note that this is Ruppelt's veiled reference to his CIA friend Fred Durant, a rocket expert who was soon to be proved spectacularly wrong about von Braun. Ruppelt wrote this in 1955, before von Braun proved himself by launching the US's first satellite in Jan 1958, after the Soviets beat everyone into space with Sputnik 1 in Oct 1957 and after the "experts" were humiliated by their Vanguard launch failure.)

Edward J. Ruppelt
Ed Ruppelt was an Army Air Force bombardier and pilot as a young man in WWII and much decorated. When he left the service, he studied aeronautical engineering at Iowa State, and upon receiving his degree was called back into the Air Force. His assignment was at the Wright-Patterson Air Technical Intelligence Center, and analyzing reports of Soviet MIG jets.      The famous story is that he had the desk next to the current UFO analysis officer, Lt. Jerry Cummings, who was a bit of a rebel against the previous holdovers of the Project Grudge regime. From Cummings Ruppelt learned that the UFO phenomenon was more mysterious that people were given to believe. When Cummings left to study at Cal Tech, Ruppelt was assigned to that desk, and became project chief for Grudge, soon to be re-named Blue Book.      Ruppelt was appalled at the undisciplined chaos of the files which had been left to Cummings by the previous officers, and his first action was ordering and restoring them. From late 1951 through early 1953, Ed Ruppelt, now promoted from Lieutenant to Captain, proved to be, in many UFO historians' minds, the finest chief that the Air Force project ever had. History is blessed that during his era there was a UFO wave across America, and we had a good open-minded officer as chief of Blue Book.

Samford, Major General John
General Samford was Director of Intelligence, USAF, and was neutral on the subject of UFO’s, and always very much interested and gave Ruppelt the utmost in cooperation. He took comments and suggestions at meetings but never agreed or disagreed with anyone. Ruppelt: "The only time that I ever heard him say anything was when Col Porter got real nasty about the whole thing one day and began to knock ATIC, UFO’s, me and everything associated with the project. Then the General said something to the effect that as far as he could see, I was the first person in the history of the Air Force’s investigation that had taken a serious approach to the investigation and that he didn’t see how anyone could decide until I’d collected more data." General Samford felt like he got “burned” real bad on the press conference in July 1952. According to Ruppelt, Samford's statements were twisted around and newsreel shots of him were “cut and pieced” and quoted him out of context. (Sparks: "Gen. Samford became Director of the NSA in 1956 and held that position until 1960.")

Smith, Lieutenant Howard
Lieutenant Smith was low-man-on-the-totem-pole in SIGN. He was last-man-standing after the purge, and got the job of compiling the Grudge report. [Obviously a yes-man, he made General.]. He was an anti-UFO guy.

Smith, Weldon H. Col .
Ruppelt: "This man was Dewey Fournet’s boss. He wasn’t quite as sold on the UFO’s as Col Bill Adams but he was pretty well sold. He also 'bought' Fournet’s ideas and studies. I remember specifically the case of the burned Scoutmaster: Col Smith was 'sold' that this was the real thing. He was following the whole show from the Pentagon, through my calls to Fournet and from the wires that I was sending back. Just as soon as I got back from the first trip to Florida I went in to see him and he got quite irked when I said that something about this scoutmaster just didn’t ring true. He said that I was biased and wasn’t giving the man a chance. According to Keyhoe, he is the person from the D/I that wrote the anonymous letter that Keyhoe quotes in his book. I don’t believe it, however, I think that Fournet wrote it."

Thompson, James
Ruppelt: "When I knew Jim Thompson he was an astronomer working for RAND in Santa Monica. He used to stop in at ATIC quite frequently and spend a day or two reading reports. Whenever I got out to California he used to arrange an unofficial bull session with a dozen or so of the 'believers' and we’d talk UFO’s."

Valley, George
Valley was an MIT physicist and once "Chief Scientist of the Air Force"---later Lincoln Labs [i.e. big wheel]. He wrote the sympathetic Grudge scientific appendix, and was granted the privilege of receiving all Grudge case reports for a while after the conflagration with Boggs et al.

Watson, Col. Harold E.
Ruppelt wrote in his papers that Col Watson, later a Brig Gen and once again Chief of ATIC, was chief of ATIC when he arrived. (He later went to Europe for three years.) "He was violently anti-saucer but he crossed himself up too many times trying to constantly grab publicity. He was the one who made the famous remark about all UFO observers being nuts or 'fatigued airline pilots'. He continually hauled in writers who would plug him and debunk the UFO's. I've overheard him tell how he completely snowed Bob Considine."

White, Gen. Thomas Dresser
General Thomas Dresser White, who is the general Ruppelt couldn't think of in his list. He was assistant director of operations in the Pentagon at the time, and was the guy who transferred Blue Book from AMC to USAF Intel in the pentagon.  He and his staff religiously attended every one of my briefings and were sold that the UFO’s were real. He had Gen Samford’s ear but I don’t think he quite convinced Samford that the UFO’s were real.

Zimmerman, Charles
Ruppelt: Charley Zimmerman was the technical advisor to the chief of the Analysis Branch at ATIC. I never could figure out exactly where he stood on the subject of UFO’s but I think he was a bit of a believer. Several times I tried to put through an explanation that a UFO was a balloon or other known object and he’d argue like mad against it. Many times he’d come running into my office to show me “a new, red hot report”.



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