Ruppelt had just investigated the May 1952 sightings at George AFB, California. He was on his way back to Ohio.
On the way back to Dayton from California, Ruppelt's mind ceased to focus on flying saucers. He, like all the Blue Book staff under him, were putting in increasingly longer and longer hours. Ruppelt had a beautiful young wife at home and a little baby girl. Working 10 and 14 hour days did not suit a family lifestyle, and Ruppelt knew it. His mind dwelled on this as his plane fought bad weather all the way eastward. He scrambled to catch his connecting flight in Chicago because he had promised his wife, Elizabeth, a long deserved night out on the town. She had already found a baby sitter for young Kristine Ann, but Ruppelt made the mistake of checking into the base after landing at the municipal airport just across town from Wright-Pat. It was only going to be a quick trip in and out of the office, but on his desk he found a note. "Call Colonel Dunn soon as you can."
Colonel Frank Dunn was the commander at ATIC. Although he was soon to go on leave from May 24 to July 23, and then be reassigned to the War College on August 9, Dunn became a mentor to Ruppelt. So Ruppelt faithfully jumped when he spoke and was on a plane to Washington D.C. before Elizabeth could even cancel their dinner reservations.
Something definitely was up. Individuals, so central to the chain of command of the CIA and National Security Council that their names never have been released, had seen something While at a lawn party just outside Alexandria, Virginia, these bigwigs had observed a UFO. If it had been any other group of people the Air Force would have simply filed their report away as another case of an unknown light in the sky. But, the sight of this object, whatever it was, so disturbed the witnesses that they started to make calls. Their names were such that they could get instant attention with a simple ring of the phone. Before Ruppelt even got on the scene to start an investigation, one of the witnesses from the CIA had used the best resources available to conduct his own study. His resources were perhaps better than those available to Ruppelt. The CIA man found that astronomical events, domestic balloon launches, missile flights or even civilian aircraft were not plausible solutions to this mystery.
Once again the Air Force was on the hot seat. An object which was not "ours" had effortlessly flown in United States air space. In the summer of 1952, with Korea dragging into a second year of war and real fears rampant of a possible nuclear attack by Soviet aircraft, this was no small matter. Today's sense of complacency and a mindless apathy by the sound-bite generation had no frame of reference to those who in 1952 were still living the horrors of the Second World War in their dreams.
Unfortunately, little is available today to researchers of this particular case. Even though it obviously caused great excitement at the time, after the fact, there was actually little anyone could do to further investigate once obvious solutions had been eliminated. Many at ATIC wanted to forget about cataloging the endless sightings of lights in the sky and start analyzing the actual objects themselves and their technical characteristics.Summer of the Saucers, 102
Michael David Hall & Wendy Connors