|Even remote locations came under
consideration. Word was flashed from the Air Sea Rescue
Operations at the Hawaiian Sea Frontier Headquarters to
Navy Intelligence office of the 14th Naval District
concerning an unusual incident on September 13th,
involving a Pan American airliner enroute from Midway
Island to Oahu, Hawaii. On arrival in Hawaii a Lt.
Comdr. M.A. Young questioned both the pilot and co-pilot
to ascertain what had occurred. The pilots said their
plane had been droning along uneventfully only few miles
out of Midway flying at 3,000 feet and doing 205 knots.
Things were so routine at this point the airliner was
put on automatic pilot. It was just after dusk and an
occasional towering cumulus cloud populated the sky. The
tiny speck of Necher Island had just passed below when
what was at first believed to be the lights of another
aircraft appeared with an exceptional brilliance. The
light suddenly turned on an intercept course with the
Pan American craft. As it sped up, it divided into a
pair of lights and took on an ominous crimson hue. The
lights winked out abruptly and nothing further happened.
The pilots were alarmed at the high velocity, estimated
to have been over 880 knots, and baffled at the course
change and level flight of what would ordinarily be
shrugged off as meteor. Military interrogators tried
repeatedly to get the pilots to say the horizontal
flight path and veering motion were imaginary but the
aviators turned back these efforts, since both flyers
had exceptional service records their testimony was
finally accepted. Fleet Intelligence Office, Pacific
Fleet, and A-2 of the 7th Air Force at Hickam Field,
were alerted. What further action was taken, if any, is
not disclosed. 255. Perhaps the forementioned case
lacked the startling credentials of others but it does
serve to illustrate the existence of possible UFO
activity and military concern far from the shores of the
General Schulgen now felt it was time to get some substantial assistance. He pleaded his case to the Commanding General of the Air Force* Air Material Command, Lt. General Nathan F. Twining who heard out General Schulgen and agreed to call conference to consider the matter.
When the conference convened no Schulgen people were present but many others from other departments were there. Some were from the Air Institute of Technology, Intelligence T-2 Office. Chief of Engineering Division, and the rest from the Aircraft Power Plant and Propeller Laboratories of the Engineering Division T-3. This panel of judges pondered the interrogation reports and preliminary evaluations submitted by General Schulgen's Intelligence and Technical experts. It was felt that the accumulated data should be examined in statistical study armed with the knowledge that one could expect the numbers to follow normal probability curves. Allowing for the fact that natural phenomenon must be responsible for some disc reports and that much of the unexplained residue could be attributed to that which was "visionary" or "fictitious," the Air Force experts were still left with an impressive stack of paper. What was in those remaining files was pure dynamite. The key sentence in this exchange of views went: "If certain characteristics appear repeatedly in reports from different people it may be possible to infer causal factors." Realizing, however, they lacked vast numbers of UF0 reports in coded form, only "considered opinion" seemed realistic.
Taking the data at face value, the expert's opinion merely amounted to an amplification of the quick estimation given the phenomenon by one of General Schugen's advisors back in late July based on just 18 flying disc reports. There was concession that meteors misinterpreted could account for some sightings. Other than that they were forced to conclude that the "phenomenon was real" and not misinterpretations or hoaxes. The reported high speed, amazing agility, excellent control, and usually silent operation, were taken into account. The original "flying saucer" expression continued to hold up as preponderant numbers of witnesses described shiny circular, or elliptical, flat objects. The experts left the door opened crack to the possibility the U.S. was conducting high security test project in spite of repeated official assurances to the contrary. Considering the general physical features reported for the flying saucers, it was assumed that given enough time and money an aircraft of 7,000 mile range might be perfected but due to the difficulties of such an undertaking it was believed such an effort would be massive enough to be independent of existing programs and thus an endeavor unknown to many acknowledgable Air Force authorities. (The development of the atomic bomb was an example they could have used.) This liberal interpretation, it goes almost without saying, left an allowance for technical breakthrough by foreign power worry serious enough by itself to earn the saucer stir a full fledged investigative project.
Amid all this intellectual surrendering to the improbable, tne experts tossed in one cautionary sentence: "Due consideration must be given (to)...the lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects." 256.
(UFOSs A History 1947)