THE UFO EVIDENCE, published by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Copyright 1964



What is "intelligence"? In reference to human behavior, we usually use the word to mean the application of logic and reason to understand nature or solve human problems. However, we observe "intelligence" by observing the behavior of people as they go about their affairs. We infer that they are intelligent or unintelligent by noticing their apparent awareness of their environment, and how they cope with problems in their environment. We note their behavior as individuals, and in groups. The ability of people to act in concert to accomplish mutual goals generally is considered to be intelligent activity.

In regard to the question of whether aerial devices are intelligently controlled, how is intelligence indicated by the performance of aircraft? If we did not know that the airliners and military jets we see coursing through the sky were guided by pilots, how would their actions lead us to suspect this? First, we might observe some jets rendezvousing, joining formation, then proceeding to act in concert. Then we might see a jet depart from its course and circle a balloon, apparently curious about it, before continuing on its way. Finally, we might notice indications (smoke trails, mechanical parts, high performance, etc.) which suggest to us that these are powered mechanical objects. This would imply intelligent construction and guidance.

UFOs have shown all of these features:

   * Inquisitiveness, and reaction to environment.

   * Powered flight.

   * Formations in coordinated flight.

Reasoning by analogy to human devices and intelligence, the hypothesis that UFOs are intelligently operated is explored below. Caution is required in using this method of reasoning, because it is conceivable that actions which we normally associate with intelligence may not seem so to alien beings, and vice versa. However, there is a good chance that there would be an overlap of "intelligent behavior" between human and alien beings. In particular, we should expect any intelligent beings to be fundamentally curious about things in their environment. Curiosity underlies the acquisition of useful knowledge, which is necessary to intelligence.

In addition to the evidence advanced in this section, other sections contain data showing (a) that UFOs show repeating patterns suggesting a unique and unexplained phenomenon [Section XII], (b) that the observed objects and patterns have no counterparts among atmospheric phenomena which could account for them in terms of known events [Section XII: Maneuvers and Flight Characteristics], and (c) that the hypothesis of intelligently operated devices is reasonable, and adequate to explain the data.

Inquisitiveness and Reaction to Environment

In case after case, UFOs singly or in formation have paced or followed automobiles, trains, airplanes, and rockets. Often the UFOs have circled the device and taken "evasive action" when pursued.

A Monon Railroad freight train (see top of page) was proceeding through Clinton County, Central Indiana, October 3, 1958. About 3:10 a.m. a formation of four odd white lights crossed ahead of the train. The UFOs turned and traversed the full length of the train, front to back (about a half mile) observed by the entire crew.

After passing the rear of the train, the objects swung east, turned back and followed the train. The bright glow concealed the exact shape of the UFOs, but they appeared flattened and some times flew on edge. Operating part of the time in-line abreast with coordinated motions, the objects followed the train until the conductor shone a bright light on them. Immediately, the UFOs sped away, but returned quickly and continued to pace the train. Total time of observation: about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Finally the UFOs moved away to the northeast and disappeared.

The coordinated maneuvers in formation, reaction to a bright beam of light, and pacing of the train, all suggest some form of intelligence. [1]

Similar cases of vehicles being paced by UFOs also have been reported by experienced observers such as pilots and missile trackers. At White Sands, New Mexico, June 10, 1949, a missile had just been launched when two circular UFOs appeared. As the missile accelerated to about 1,430 mph, the UFOs climbed after it, passed through its exhaust, passed the missile and climbed out of sight. Five separate observation and tracking posts, scattered around the nearby mountains and not in communication with one another, reported observing this performance. One of the posts tracked a similar UFO several minutes later, as it sped west against the wind. [2]

Inquisitiveness and Reaction
Fifty sample cases in which UFOs displayed apparent awareness of their environment, charted here, are divided into two basic types: (a) UFOs which paced vehicles or otherwise appeared to be inquisitive about human devices; (b) UFOs which evaded or otherwise reacted to human devices. (All reports on file at NICAP.)


Charts, pages 10,11,12

Powered, Controlled Flight

Many observations by competent observers (including engineers and aeronautical experts) suggest that the UFOs they saw were powered objects. The observations sometimes have included visual signs of mechanical-functional construction, in addition to other indicators of the UFOs' being, literally, machines.

Most of the cases cited previously in this section contain descriptions of observed "maneuvers." However, the following group of reports by unusually well-qualified observers is worth special mention.

UFO Formation Tracked Above Security Area at over 4,500 mph.
During the Fall of 1949 at a key atomic post, five apparently metallic objects in formation were tracked by radar. The UFOs crossed the 200-mile scope in less than 4 minutes. The officer in charge, who held a top military post, reported to Intelligence that this was a legitimate radar contact with unidentified objects. [4] (Official secrecy conceals other details of this case, in particular information on tracking and other detection of the UFOs by separate military posts. Nevertheless, it tends to substantiate the many other reports by reputable people of UFOs, and UFO formations, moving at spectacular speeds).

Technicians at Secret Test Base Observe Mechanical UFO
At Muroc AFB (now Edwards AFB) and adjacent Rogers Dry Lake, scientists and engineers test and develop the latest aircraft, including secret projects. Although thoroughly familiar with anything that flies, the base technical personnel had no explanation for the UFOs which maneuvered over the area July 8, 1947. Twice that morning, disc-shaped objects were observed cavorting overhead. Then about 11:50 a.m., a crew of technicians at Rogers saw a round white, apparently metallic object descending, moving west northwest against the wind. They observed thick projections on top which crossed each other at intervals, suggesting either rotation or slow oscillation. In their official report they stated: "It was man-made, as evidenced by the outline and functional appearance." [5] (Next day, near Boise, Idaho, a disc-shaped object maneuvering in front of a cloud bank was observed from a plane by Dave Johnson, aviation editor of the Idaho Statesman. See Section VII.)

Top Astronomer Reports "Novel Airborne Device"
On July 10, 1947, one of the country's top astronomers reported an elliptical UFO. At 4:47 p.m. in southern New Mexico, the astronomer observed a smooth ellipse with firm regular outline, motionless near some clouds, but wobbling. [See Section XII; Flight Characteristics.] The UFO then moved into the clouds, reappeared and rose quickly at an estimated speed of 600 to 900 mph. In his report to the Air Force, the astronomer stated: "The remarkably sudden ascent convinced me it was an absolutely novel airborne device." [4]

Scientist Observes Powered UFO
A very similar observation was made nearly three years later by an eminent meteorologist and astronomer. On the grounds of Lowell Observatory, Arizona, May 20, 1950, Dr. Seymour L. Hess, now head of the Department of Meteorology, Florida State University, noticed a disc (or partly illuminated sphere) moving across the front of some cumulus clouds at about 12:15 p.m. Studying the UFO with four-power binoculars, Doctor Hess could see no evidence of exhaust or markings on the object. "The clouds were drifting from the southwest to the northeast at right angles to the motion of the object. Therefore it must have been powered in some way. . . I would estimate its speed at 100 mph., perhaps as high as 200 mph. This too means a powered craft. However, I could hear no engine noise." [Full statement, Section 1.]

High-Speed Disc Arcs Above Airliner
Airline pilots, although not necessarily technically trained in the sense of being scientists or engineers, are experienced observers of the sky, familiar with most atmospheric and astronomical displays. At 9:29 p.m., March 31, 1950, a Chicago & Southern Airlines plane was flying at 2,000 feet on a southwesterly course near Little Rock, Arkansas. Captain Jack Adams and Co-pilot G. W. Anderson, Jr., suddenly noticed a distinct circular object, apparently disc-shaped approaching from the left. The UFO passed in an arc above their plane, proceeding north at an estimated 700 to 1,000 mph. Eight to 10 lighted windows or ports were visible on the underside, and "the strongest blue-white light we've ever seen" flashed intermittently from the top. The pilots told official investigators they believed they had witnessed some secret experimental craft. To this date, the sighting remains unexplained. [6]

Aeronautical Engineer Amazed by UFO Performance
Another particularly well-qualified observer was "amazed" by a UFO performance he witnessed on the night of July 16, 1952. Paul R. Hill, an aeronautical research engineer of Hampton, Virginia, at 9:00 p.m. saw two amber-colored lights speed in from the south over the Hampton Roads channel. The UFOs slowed and circled rapidly around each other. Two similar objects then approached and joined the first two, one from the south and one from the north, and the formation moved off toward the south. "Their ability to make tight circling turns was amazing," Mr. Hill said. [Full report in Section VI.]

Formations and Coordinated Flight

A prime indicator of intelligence behind the maneuvers of UFOs is the observation that they often fly in formation, which requires coordination and mechanical control. (Aircraft and birds also fly in formations, but these can often be ruled out as cause of the sightings.) In UFO reports, the formations are of three general types: (a) Geometrical (V's, lines, etc.); (b) clusters, and (c) object with smaller objects maneuvering around it.

(a) Geometrical

1904: Circular UFOs Maneuvered Near Ship
One of the earliest formation cases was reported February 28, 1904, by a ship in the North Pacific off San Francisco. Three members of the crew of the USS Supply, at 6:10 a.m. local time, sighted an echelon formation of three "remarkable meteors" which appeared near the horizon below clouds, moving directly toward the ship. As they approached, the UFOs began soaring, rose above the cloud layer, and were observed climbing into space, still in echelon. The lead object was egg-shaped and about the size of six suns (about 3 degrees of arc). The other two were smaller and appeared to be perfectly round. They remained visible for over two minutes. [7] (Meteors, of course, do not travel in echelon formation, change course and climb, nor remain visible for two minutes).

Precise Formation, Sharp Turn Near Airliner
Perhaps the most detailed and instructive formation case on record is the sighting by Capt. William B. Nash, Pan American Airways pilot, and his co-pilot, William Fortenberry, July 14, 1952, near Newport News, Virginia. [See Section V.] In addition to being an example of precise formation flight, the report contains several other elements suggesting intelligent control. When an in-line formation of discs made an abrupt stop, two of the rear objects overrode the front one. This could be interpreted as a sign of pilot error or lag in reaction time. After the six discs flipped over and reversed course, two more sped up and joined the formation.


Pages 14 & 15, Charts

(6) Clusters

In some cases clusters, or groups, of UFOs not in any clear geometrical pattern have acted in concert.

Discs Filmed by Navy Officer
The best known case of this type was documented on film by Navy Warrant Officer Delbert C Newhouse, July 2, 1952. [See Section VIII, Photographs.] About 10 or 12 disc-shaped objects milling around in a group were observed by Newhouse and his wife near Tremonton, Utah. The 16 mm. color film shows bright round lights, occasionally tilting and appearing elliptical in outline. From film analysis report: The UFOs "often seem clustered in constellations, or formations which are recognizable for as long as 17 seconds. . . [they] seem to cluster in groups of two's and three's. . the edges of the images are sharp and clear on many of the properly exposed frames. . . their pattern of motion is essentially a curvilinear milling about ......sometimes the objects appear to circle about each other." [8]

Airliner Crew Watches Flight of Discs
An early cluster case, also from responsible witnesses, took place July 4, 1947. At about 9:12 p.m. Capt. E. J. Smith and the crew of a United Airlines plane were enroute to Portland, Oregon (where earlier that day formations of disc-shaped UFOs had been reported; see chart). Five disc-shaped objects in a loose group or formation were seen silhouetted against the western sky for several minutes, opening and closing formation. Then a second group of objects appeared, three discs together and one off by itself. [9J

Other examples of cluster or group formation cases appear in the UFO Chronology in Section XI.

(c) Satellite Objects

Some of the most startling formation cases on record are those in which a large central object is observed in the process of launching or taking on board smaller objects, very much like an aircraft carrier or "mother ship." An example of this was observed by Maj. Paul A. Duich, Air Force Master Navigator, and other officers, September 8, 1958 at Offutt AFB, Omaha, Nebraska. [See Section III.] An elongated object tilted at an angle was seen in the western sky. Then small dark objects were seen maneuvering around the large object. Finally, the formation moved away to the west, the parent object still tilted at an angle.

In at least one instance, this phenomenon apparently was recorded on radar. December 6, 1952, over the Gulf of Mexico, the crew of a B-29 on a training mission repeatedly tracked UFOs


moving at high speed past the plane, and crew members reported brief visual sightings of fast-moving lights. Finally the UFOs were seen on the radarscope to merge with a gigantic blip (radar target) which shot off the scope at about 9,000 mph. [Section VIII, Radar]

There is only one aerial phenomenon which remotely resembles the description and performance of the UFOs in these cases: aerial refueling operations by jets and tanker aircraft. In the cases cited, no such operations were reported in progress in the area of the sightings. (See chart link below)

Satellite Object Cases, charts on pages 16 & 17


1. Witnesses interviewed by NICAP Board Member Frank Edwards: Cecil Bridge, fireman; Harry Eckman, engineer; Morris Ott, head brakeman; Paul Soshey, flagman; and Ed Robinson, conductor.
2. True Magazine, March 1950. (Case confirmed by Capt. (then Cdr.) Robert B. McLaughlin, USN, head of Navy missile tracking crew.)
3. Interview report by Walter N. Webb, NICAP Adviser, on file at NICAP.
4. Life Magazine, April 17, 1952, from Air Force Intelligence.
5. Ruppelt, Edward J., Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Doubleday, 1956, p.38.
6. Flying, July 1950 (including pilot's sketch). See also Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 22, 1950.
7. Monthly Weather Review, March 1904.
8. Baker, Robert M. L., Jr., "Analyses of Photographic Material; Photogrammetric Analysis of the Utah Film Tracking UFOs," p.2. (Copy on file at NICAP.)
9. Flying, July 1950; Life Magazine, July 21, 1947.


Section III, Air Force Observations (pages 19-27)
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