the situation has reached a point
where it appears to be the duty and
responsibility of the Government
either to reveal what it knows, or
to order a scientific investigation
on a major scale and report the
findings immediately to the public
- John G. Fuller
SOME CONCLUDING REMARKS
Appraising an Hypothesis
It is quite appropriate on logical grounds, even an indispensable technique, for an investigator to use any hypothesis that appears to him to help clear up some complex problem. An inquiry can then be undertaken from the perspective afforded by the new hypothesis that is tentatively assumed to be true. By clearing the mind of stale issues, the new mental attitude suggests many fresh questions whose answers may be quite revealing. If the inquiry founders in confusion, then the hypothesis is judged to be useless and another one must be adopted. On the other hand, if the hypothesis brings some order where chaos once prevailed, it is judged to be meritorious. By dispelling confusion and illuminating a complex subject, an hypothesis earns the right to credibility until another one proves to do a better job.
It was taken as fact that some kind of unexplained phenomenon was responsible for the production of UFO reports. That article of faith was based upon a reliability analysis of some reports, the experience of the Air Force for two decades, the scholarly work at the University of Colorado, and the scientific studies of an expert. Given the existence of UFOs, the burden of the next step
was to discover a method of penetrating to a deeper understanding of their mysteries. As the personal experiences of witnesses is the only source of information on UFOs, it was felt that their reports should be scrutinized without bias. Upon accepting the validity of the reports, at least temporarily, every effort was made to discover what the witnesses had in mind and to understand their experiences in terms of modern knowledge in all fields. Any individual report is bound to be fragmentary, but the points omitted will not always be the same in all accounts. The full story is expected to emerge as the clues are assembled from many different sightings. Because of the enormous number of reports and their origin from various cultures around the world, the accidental inclusion of some hoaxes and misunderstandings should not grossly distort the final results. Simply stated, the hypothesis was that,
Witnesses tell the truth.
From the way so many inexplicable observations have fallen into consistent patterns in the previous chapters, one must judge this hypothesis to be quite valuable. In addition to improving the coherence of a very broad subject, it has led into many new avenues of investigation that can be verified or denied by experiment. An impressive finding, also, was that the witnesses, having no knowledge of theoretical physics, describe a composite flight pattern of UFOs that is thoroughly in accord with the logical demands of General Relativity. Until another hypothesis has been shown to be more productive, UFO reports should be considered as sincere attempts by people to describe personal experiences, no matter how bizarre they may seem. Future psychological studies can then be relieved of explaining any diabolical motives of the witnesses and can concentrate upon analyzing the irrational skepticism that infects society.
If the concept of metallic vehicles in the atmosphere displaying an advanced technology is a source of mental anguish, an important point may have been missed somewhere along the way.
Doubts, at this juncture, that people from outer space are visiting the earth may reveal more of an emotional rejection than a rational conclusion. Perhaps by starting again at the beginning of this book and progressing very carefully, the specific problem can be isolated and resolved. Whenever a discussion seems to be too bare or vague, perusal of the references may help. These sources can add immeasurably to the detail of the UFO observations that have been necessarily much abbreviated in the text. The cited literature can also amplify any technical points that may be obscure or unfamiliar.
"Where do they come from?" "I don't know." This common exchange achieves little but to close the door to fruitful inquiry. The problem is that the question demands either a complete answer or an admission of ignorance. Much more progress can be made when the question admits of intermediate knowledge, such as, "Do the data contain any clues to conditions in their home land?" The appropriate answer is "Yes, indeed, many." And one is launched on a productive line of research in finding these clues. At the present stage of knowledge none of them has led to unequivocal conclusions. Some are even saddled with implications that are in conflict. Nevertheless, continued research should clarify these points and permit a rather definitive specification of the physical environment from whence the visitors come. Then a parallel study of the cosmos should pinpoint a number of candidate locations where such conditions prevail. If the UFO people live outside our solar system - a possibility that must not be overlooked - then this step may be most difficult, particularly in view of the estimated millions of habitable planets within our galaxy. (1) At any rate, the clues have been seen to appear in considerable variety. Recognizing a dwarf race suggested the corresponding evolutionary conditions of restricted nutrition and limited range of habitation, with possible high temperature and humidity. Breathing of air clearly established dependence upon
oxygen, whose partial pressure must be roughly equivalent to that on earth. Nocturnal habits and large, glowing eyes imply low levels of light. Regarding the strength of gravity, several different clues were noted - manner of movement, agility, skinny bodies, and flying suits. These hints led to conflicting interpretations, but the more convincing evidence points to a gravity stronger than that on earth. Continuation of this line of study should produce some interesting results.
"Why haven't they made contact?" This question presupposes that no contact has been made, or that the questioner has not heard of any. While it is clear from the data that association with humanity is generally avoided, it is equally clear that numerous contacts have occurred. They all seemed to have been accidental, and none has lead to interviews on TV or to personal appearances before scientific conventions. It is entirely possible that contacts have been established at high levels of government, as has been claimed. Why there have been no official announcements or denials is about as puzzling as why most governments of the world invoke security measures on information pertaining to this subject, while claiming that it does not officially exist. (2) In any research, the importance of establishing direct communication with the UFO people cannot be overemphasized, for they could readily answer all these perplexing questions.
A Program Plan
Not only is a strong desire a prerequisite to success, one must also know how to proceed toward a particular goal. Ample reason has been offered to justify research on UFOs, and it seems appropriate here to describe a suitable research program. The strategy of this plan is to approach financial commitments gradually, as in a game of stud poker, where for a nominal ante, a few cards may be seen and evaluated. A further bet is required only when the player chooses to stay in the game. His option at any time, of course, is to drop out. So it is with the present plan. It is divided into phases so that the initial investment, or ante, can be minimal; and
subsequent risks can be taken from positions of increased knowledge and assurance. The decision to proceed into the next phase would be contingent upon the success of the previous one and the expected benefits of continuing. A corollary strategy is for the overall program to be self-steering. Rather than start an entire program with a rigid plan, at the outset only the first phase is defined in depth while later phases are defined merely in outline. The details would be filled in as work progresses.
Phase I is designed to confirm absolutely the existence of UFOs in scientific terms and to identify any advanced technologies that may be in use for propulsion or other purposes. Previous attempts at analyzing the UFO phenomenon have been badly frustrated by the task of cross-correlating the enormous volume of recorded data. As has been emphasized before, the data must be stored in a computer to speed up the search for critical information. (3) A data bank of UFO information, therefore, must become the heart of Phase I. The initial collection of cases to be logged in the computer should be the catalog of close-encounters that has proven to be so helpful in this book, because the breadth of information contained in that collection far exceeds any other of comparable size. (4) Other compilations would be required for studies such as geographical and temporal correlations, flight characteristics, and electromagnetic interference. Much sophistication will be required of the computer programs. In effect, they must have an essentially unlimited ability to search for correlations. At the beginning, no investigator can be clever enough to foresee all the possible correlations. In the previous chapters, the need for new information was seen to arise concerning relationships that had not previously been suspected. Take, for example, the question - "Are helmets worn predominantly during the daytime?" Or another: "Is there a correlation between the weapon used by the UFO people, the color of its beam, and the impact upon the target?" These came up in light of answers to prior questions. The point is that new insights will stimulate new questions. The computer software must also be a masterpiece of flexibility, because the routine scanning of files is not at all sufficient. The equipment must be able to handle language with
all its nuances. Through a file of synonyms, it must select cases in which the same phenomena are being described in different words and phrases. It must present the text of case summaries on a cathode ray tube either upon demand, or when a case is identified in correlation searches performed internally. On call, it must display the actual language of the witnesses and technical details of the sighting. Numerical data must be marshaled, processed, and displayed in a great variety of graphical formats. Such software, under development for at least a decade, is currently in usable form at only one place. (6)
A Central Research Team would consist of 6 to 10 people
who are broadly knowledgeable and inquisitive, professionally trained in technical
fields, and already experts on UFOs. With vastly improved access to the source
materials, they would utilize the computer and the methods that have been
illustrated here to bring every point up the highest level of documentation.
They would push into the frontiers which have been left unexplored, searching
for new insights and answers. A staff of experts would provide technical guidance
and assure that the work met professional standards in all fields. These consultants
would be selected primarily on their qualifications, including a thorough
acquaintance with the UFO literature and notable open-mindedness, for educating
them would be too time-consuming and costly. A few devil's advocates on the
staff, however, would be stimulating, and perhaps essential. Consultants would
not be required full- time, but their contributions would encompass:
Another fundamental feature of Phase I is an experimental program centered at a microwave laboratory in which the stan-
dard equipment is augmented by several powerful radar sets. Specific experiments should be performed to measure the effects of microwave energy upon:
Group a) Automobile lamp filaments, distributor points, speedometers, batteries, and compasses,
Group b) Radio, television, and telephone circuits,
Group c) Plunger, inductance, and solid state relays used in the transmission of electrical power,Group d) The stimulation of light from atmospheric gases, Group e) The production
of "low-temperature" plasmas in the atmosphere and the associated chemical processes,
Group f) The transfer of momentum to atmospheric gases and the production of life upon UFO models, and,
Group g) Human and animal bodies, such as heating, shock, and paralysis.A general appraisal at the end of Phase I, including a dominant role by the source of financing, would identify its successes and failures. Final reports would describe the research accomplishments and present a detailed plan for Phase II, if continuation appeared to be justified. The general concept of Phase I is illustrated in an accompanying diagram. (A word of caution: It is not an organization chart.) To save time and administrative costs, primary responsibility for this research should be assigned to a large organization that already has the required staff and facilities.
Now to Phase II. Its character and purpose are essentially different from Phase I. In the event of success in Phase I, the task of Phase II would be to define the new technology and its potential applications. Efforts would greatly increase in converting to computer language the many thousands of sighting reports that are already on record. By 1972, some 30,000 cases had been reduced to magnetic tape and are "available for sophisticated
analysis." (6) A liaison office would coordinate the collection of UFO information on a world-wide basis through the United Nations. This office would also manage the flow of information from domestic sources such as the Air Force, the intelligence community, the commercial airlines, civilian groups with active investigators in the field, local police and firemen, and the public at large. New cases arising from these sources would be deposited in the data bank, and a limited number of the most promising ones would be investigated by another office of the program. Teams of specialists, stationed at strategic locations in the United States, and hopefully elsewhere, would fly to the scenes of important sightings with instruments to assist in the ex post facto investigation, and with some luck, to witness, measure, and photograph any repeat appearances. As the needs were confirmed, the technical areas previously handled by consultants would be expanded into working departments with defined missions of research and their own laboratory facilities. Each department would maintain direct, hands-on contact with the computerized information center through its own remote terminal. Work of the in-house departments would be supplemented by assignments to subcontractors through the normal practice of issuing invitations for research proposals, evaluating those received, and awarding contracts. A diagram illustrating the concept of Phase II is presented in the following pages.
Let me give some idea of the magnitude envisioned for this work. It appears likely that Phase I could be adequately conducted in about one year with a modest budget of about $4,000,000. Phase II, being substantially more complex and ambitious, would require at least three years and a budget of $75- to $100-million. Thereafter, it is anybody's guess, but the follow-on program would surely emulate the methods that have been so successfully employed in developing nuclear power, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the Apollo spacecraft.
Let's get started!
James M. McCampbell
Footnotes: Chapter 10
1. Dole, Stephen H., Habitable Planets For Man, Blaisdell, 1964.