The Project SIGN Group or T-2?

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updated: 2016 1216
In December 1947, the USAF Headquarters approved Special Project HT-304, codename, Project SIGN, to investigate and analyze the proliferating number of reports of flying-disc sightings and phenomenon in the atmosphere which can be construed to be of concern to the national security.  Assuming that the reports might be caused by Soviet innovations recovered from the Germans, the logical place to conduct the investigation was the Technical Intelligence Division at Wright-Patterson AFB.  Most of the early analysis work was carried out by highly trained aeronautical engineers, in the T-3 Engineering Division.  Their conclusion after seven months, drafted in an Estimate of the Situation was that the phenomena were best explained as being of interplanetary origin.  The Pentagon refused to accept this, which resulted in the breakup of the SIGN team and set the tone for USAF behavior toward UFOs for the next two years.  All copies of the Estimate were ordered burned, and for years the Air Force would deny that any such report ever existed.

Above are two photos taken of the team inside the T-2 Conference Room at Wright Patterson AFB in 1948.

The T-2 Team
Wendy Connors:
Personnel from the left and around the table are: Lt. Col. Malcolm Seashore, chief of the Material Command Intelligence Technical Analysis (MCIAT); [unidentifiable person blocked by Seashore]; Lt. Col. J.J. Hausman; Col. Howard McCoy, director of Air Material Command T-2 Intelligence Division; [believed to be] Capt. Robert Sneider, Project officer under McCoy and Clingerman; [believed to be] Col. William Clingerman, executive officer for Material Command Intelligence Analysis (MCIA); and John "Red" Honaker, liaison to the AMC Commander Lt Gen. Nathan Twining, with a pipe in his mouth.

Michael Swords:

Regarding personnel: let's take the picture first. There is no way to claim that the meeting pictured had anything to do with SIGN, but it IS certainly a top-level, though probably "regular" T-2 intelligence meeting. And it's virtually certain that it was taken sometime in 1948. Several people in the picture are known and, to my knowledge, several are not. Here's what I think I know anyway.

1].The guy at the far left is Miles Goll, not as Wendy claims Malcolm Seashore [who was in Europe];
2]. The next guy is unknown;
3]. The next guy is unknown;
4]. Mack McCoy, of course is at the head of the table;
5]. The next guy is unknown;
6]. Colonel Clingerman is sitting riveted at attention next;
7]. John [Red] Honaker is pensive at far right.
Note that from the other materials lying about that probably two/three others were at the camera end of the table, making a meeting of 9 or ten.

Who might the unknowns be? This gets to the issue of who was who in the SIGN era, but only marginally, because this is probably "just" a T-2 meeting and definitely not a SIGN meeting.

#2. This guy looks to me suspiciously like Major Michael J. Piatnitza, who was acting chief of "Collections Service" [MCIS]. And that's a high enough position to have been at the table;

#3. Wendy states flatly that this is the top McCoy/ Clingerman aide, Lt. Colonel J.J. Hausman, who could be considered Clingerman's deputy.  I However, she has not produced a photo of Hausman. Nevertheless, he's sitting in a "good" place to have been Clingerman's deputy and working out of McCoy's office, so who knows?;

#5. This guy may be in civilian dress, as is Honaker, and even Goll might be retired from the service at this time and in civvies. IF he is civilian, the best guess for him would be C.A.Griffith, chief of the Operations division, which puts him on the same level as Goll. He'd certainly be a strong candidate for sitting at a T-2 table somewhere.

There are a few other possibilities that I could think of to be at a high-level meeting, but if Piatnitza, Hausman, and Griffith are correct, then that's nearly the whole top of the T-2 stack.

It is a fair bet as to who might have taken the pictures would be Lilly Floyd, McCoy's secretary, who might well have been taking the notes at "our" end of the table.

*   Photo #1 by Wendy Connors
** Photo #2 given Mike Swords by John McCoy from his father's files, slightly different but clearer than photo 1.