Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 19:44:53 -0500
From: Francis Ridge <>
Subject: ATIC is authorized to rec UFO case info faster, 1958
To: A-Team, CE

Mike Swords:
Here is a thought that might be worth something or might be irrelevant: this document is from 1958. What was the main concern of ATIC and the "social guardians" at the Pentagon at that time was not UFOs but NICAP. ATIC, in the persons of George Gregory and Francis Arcier, and the Pentagon in the person of Lawrence Tacker, [there were two other guys in the "congressional repair job team" as well] were in a death battle with NICAP around the Congressional Hearings push that NICAP was making. In order to best head off Keyhoe, ATIC had to get the UFO reports as quickly as possible so as to launch pre-emptive strikes with key congressmen or at least have a feasible story ready when the congress asked questions. I think that this request for the 1006th to hustle up was more in aid of that problem than concern about cases, in and of themselves. You'll decide what you think is best as to where this document applies best  [i.e. makes most sense, historically]. If I need to help in some way with that, let me know.  

Jan Aldrich:
Comment on the 1008th AISS.  The 1008th was formed after the transfer of 4602d and redesignation to the 1008th.  The first thing the 1008th did was request an end to the UFO investigation mission.  Gregory had to jump thourgh all kinds of hoops to keep the 1008th on the job.  The 1008th contracted the number of detactments, personnel, and budget from the 4602d. It also decided to do a lot less investigations.

I have looked at the 4602d sightings files at the National Archives.  There are no files after 1956 and no files for the 1008th.  Most investigations for the 4602d were of the most cursory nature with HQ personnel trying to find an answer to most cases using the information in the initial teletype messages.  Due to low budgets it was sometimes hard to get permission to make long distance telephone calls let alone on the site investigations.  Of course, many of the cases in the 4602d files are of very low quality.

Brad Sparks:
I might as well comment on the broader classified context of the AF situation.  The 4602nd AISS was disbanded in July 1957 and then most of its assets and functions reconstituted as the 1006th AISS, including UFO field investigations.  Technically it was not a name change.  This Oct 10, 1958, ATIC teletype shows a revival in interest in UFO cases.

The AF had wanted to get out of the business of even receiving anecdotal reports, after the policy decision of July 28, 1952, and wanted replace and supersede BB with a vastly better system, a highly classified sensor system.  But no one wanted to shut down the human intelligence reporting until the sensor system was operational.  Budgetary problems then technical development problems with the sensor system delayed the initial operational date of Dec 1957.  This gained BB a reprieve from termination in 1957.  Each setback in the sensor system resulted in a boost to BB in status and resource allocation, when it was realized the replacement for BB was not coming online soon.  This resulted in a BB upgrade, with a physicist (Friend) being assigned to take over BB, the convening of a review panel with Hynek, revised AFR 200-2 reporting regulation, renewed field investigations, etc.  Each advance in the sensor system, however, triggered the opposite effect, with renewed effort to terminate or at least transfer BB. 

This is why the AF laughed at NICAP with its Mrs Fitzgerald-type cases, knowing that something infinitely better was coming soon (even though unexpected delays kept pushing the date back again and again).  NICAP's efforts to instigate Congressional hearings were easily blown away by the AF revealing the sensor system plans to key Congressmen and Senators, who then looked at NICAP as an ant just smashed by an anvil -- to be utterly ignored as roadkill.  Look at the record of Keyhoe's efforts.  Every time the AF got done briefing the committee or its staff, suddenly the doors slammed shut with no explanation, not even a hint at what just occurred.  It was "above" TOP SECRET so not even a hint could be breathed about it.  NICAP had no idea what was really happening behind the scenes or what it was truly up against, it was way out of its league.