Kaplan, Dr. Joseph
Joseph Kaplan was a geophysics professor at UCLA. His main UFO interest was the Green Fireballs. Ruppelt implied that Kaplan put a lot of stock in Dr. LaPazs theory that the GFBs were man-made (Russian), although at one time he thought that they were auroral patches. In actuality, letters in the BB / AFOSI UFO files from Kaplan basically state that he insisted that LaPaz's theory be taken seriously and investigated even though he preferred geophysical explanation(s). Dr. Kaplan originated the grid camera idea. He later headed the satellite program for the International Geophysical Year. Presentation to 1949 AF Scientific Advisory Board (Swords) (Photo submitted by Rod Dyke)  Kaplan had meetings with AF Director of Intelligence Gen. Cabell and AF Scientific Advisory Board Chairman Dr von Karman in April 1949 who asked him to go on a cloak-and-dagger mission to Kirtland AFB and Los Alamos, New Mexico, to consider possible establishment of a scientific, instrumented investigation, which he did on April 27-28..  Security and intelligence agencies were up in arms about the continuing series of GF and UFO incidents and the strangely lackadaisical response or non-response from AF Hq at the Pentagon, and the insulting avoidance and mistreatment by AMC's Project Grudge.  Kaplan was apparently told by Cabell that this special investigation of the GF's and UFO's (later to become Project TWINKLE) was to be kept "separated completely" from AMC Project Grudge, meaning to keep it secret from Grudge in a need-to-know special-access security compartment.  In an unprecedented action AFOSI deliberately broke the compartmentation, citing Grudge's alleged need-to-know and ignoring Grudge's bad relations with NM security agencies even its own AFOSI personnel, and informed Project Grudge of Kaplan's activities in May 1949.  Kaplan did not report back for several months, at which time very slow wheels were set in motion, almost as if the AF was footdragging, to set up what became Project TWINKLE in April 1950.    Various scientists besides Kaplan, including Hynek, suggested diffraction grating cameras which were total failures because of a misapplication of the astronomical spectra concept, which use time exposures of sharp-imaged effectively non-moving celestial bodies.  Such methods could not be applied to often fast-moving and fuzzy-edged light sources such as UFO's, which smear the images.  The grating cameras had no slits to provide images of lines as spectral lines, hence were doomed to failure.  Neither Kaplan or Hynek or any other astronomer bothered to test a camera in their own labs or observatories, even when Kaplan gave BB a lab demonstration of the basic but unrealistic concept on April 2, 1952.  (Brad Sparks)