This led to the comedy of errors on July 5-6, 1950, as the AF stumbled all over itself trying to find a way to procure the Hixenbaugh movie film without revealing the AF's "interest" in the film and UFO's. At this point even the CIA was considered as one way, via the CIA Contact Division.
On June 27, 1950, Al Hixenbaugh, Staff Photographer of the Louisville Times on assignment to WHAS-TV, reportedly shot 50 feet of film of a UFO taken over 10 seconds.
Dr George Valley, AF Scientific Advisory Board member, had apparently gotten wind of the film via news reports and kicked off the musical chairs by requesting the film and Gen Cabell personally backed the request. But no one wanted to do it clandestinely, as Gen Cabell wanted.
AF Intelligence contacted AFOSI, which didn't want to do it and suggested the FBI. AF Directorate of R&D didn't want to do it and tried to pass the buck to AMC, which was under their command authority and which had run Projects Sign and Grudge, but where the UFO-hating Col. Harold Watson ran the AMC Intelligence Dept. Gen. Cabell personally phoned Watson but got a runaround and since Cabell had no direct line of authority over Watson he could not order him and could not fire him. Cabell got authority over AMC Intelligence a year later in May 1951, set up the new ATIC, and finally fired Watson.
This is when Cabell realized for the first time that Watson had not taken the UFO project "underground" when Project Grudge was closed, as Cabell had thought Watson was doing. We don't know what finally happened and who might have finally obtained the Hixenbaugh film -- or not.
It is possible that Gen Cabell assigned his AFOIN Technical Capabilities Branch (TCB) / Aircraft Section at this early date to conduct UFO field investigations and get the Hixenbaugh film because Watson's AMC was refusing to do so. We know that later in the year, Cabell assigned Lt Col Milton D. Willis of the TCB Aircraft Section to do field investigations of the Oak Ridge UFO incidents. Willis was later succeeded by Major Dewey Fournet in the UFO intelligence role a year later.
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