Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2006 19:43:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: The Bolender Memo, Oct. 20, 1969
Distribution: CE, SHG, NCP



Robert Todd obtained the release of the Bolender memo in Jan 1979.  The implications of this memo, issued in order to justify the shutdown of Project Blue Book, is clear, and is found on page 2: "... reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with  JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system."

Similar statements about UFO reports bypassing the BB system were made in AF documents going back to 1958-61, when similar efforts to justify closure of BB were made then.  In an interview on March 16, 2000, retired BB chief Col. Robert J. Friend told me that he knew there were classified intelligence channels for reporting UFO's that completely bypassed BB and he knew of specific UFO cases involving classified sensor systems that were reported that way and never went to him at BB.  UFO's were reported to the AF operational commands in accordance the AF's Operational Reporting system, AFOREP, under AF Manual 55-11 of 1965 and predecessors, and this supplanted the UFO reporting directives that had sent UFO reports to BB.  However, even the AFOREP system was bypassed when classified sensor systems and missions were involved, as AFM 55-11 itself indiacted in para. 3-1-C:  "Provisions of the AFOREP [AF Operational Reporting system] are not intended to abrogate major command systems employing advanced automated, online procedures."

The memo also stated that, "After an extensive study of this (Condon Report) report as well as the review of the report by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, past studies, Project Blue Book operations and other inputs, the Office of Aerospace Research concluded, and we agree, that the continuation of Project Blue Book cannot be justified, either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science."

Not only had the AF's operational reporting procedures bypassed BB already, as mentioned above, but a highly classified AF global sensor system which Gen. Bolender was heavily involved in was about to go operational in 1969-70.  This imminent development finally allowed the AF to be able to close down its PR headache Project BB without worrying that some important intelligence data were being lost.  The system had long been planned since 1952 as the means to completely replace Project BB with a quantum leap forward into the 21st century with scientific sensor data on UFO's covering the entire earth 24/7 taking the place of unreliable, hit-or-miss anecdotal UFO stories coming from relatively few and very limited scattered locations.  But the Top Secret system had run into numerous technical and budgetary obstacles which delayed its initial operational capability for many years, thus giving BB reprieves from closure in the late 50's and early 60's.

There were 16 Attachments to the Bolender Memo.  Bob Todd spent years trying to get the AF to find and release them, but the AF totally stonewalled him.  Several of the 16 Attachments are already known separately and had been released long before, but several are unknown and not released, several more are not described well enough to identify.