Summary: Overview of major, official government UFO investigations and studies, many secret and classified.
Our current understanding of the history of military UFO (Flying Saucer) investigations is that they began in 1941 with the first crash recovery of a saucer in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It is believed that some exploitation (reverse engineering) of this event was integrated into the Manhattan Atomic Bomb Project, but that significant efforts did not occur until the July 1947 New Mexico events. Both SECRET cover stories and TOP SECRET research and development projects were started to begin unraveling the greatest technological and biological opportunity in the history of humanity.
"Secrecy is a form of government regulation," is the opening phrase of executive summary of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, 1997. "Excessive secrecy has significant consequences for the national interest when, as a result, policymakers are not fully informed, government is not held accountable for its actions, and most importantly the public cannot engage in an informed debate." The 200-page report can be found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/int or by calling 202-512-1530 and requesting S. Doc. 105-2.
It is critical to remember how security classifications work. Each document, individual or groups of individuals is compartmentalized based on a "need to know." So just because an individual would have a SECRET or TOP SECRET security clearance does not mean that an individual would have access to similarly classified material. In general, these structures are and were very effective in maintaining security. Security classifications have changed over time; in the 1947 timeframe, military documents were either CONFIDENTIAL, RESTRICTED, SECRET, TOP SECRET or TOP SECRET/CODEWORD. Since each government agency establishes their own security procedures, it is possible to find many variations in security policy and labeling. For example, CIA, NSA, and DoD have different but compatible procedures.
A sophisticated program to extract Nazi technical and intelligence personnel and assign them selectively.
Declassified in 1997 as part of the GAO's investigation sponsered by the late Congressman Schift (Rep - New Mexico) in the Roswell incident, project SIGN began in 1947 as an Air Force investigation of UFOs, headed by Col. H. M. McCoy, Chief of Intelligence, Air Materiel Command, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton Ohio. Project SIGN ended in early 1949 when the name was changed to Project GRUDGE, though Col. McCoy remained in charge of the successor project. The 900 pages of released documents are primarily UFOB intelligence reports, some with good data and administrative correspondence, green fireball reports of 48-49 in the desert southwest. The Fund for UFO Research has an excellent summary of the Air Force's project SIGN documents.
At approximately 3.00 p.m. on the afternoon of 24 June 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold had his now-classic UFO encounter near the Cascade Mountains, Washington State. According to Arnold, he viewed nine, elliptical-shaped objects flying in a wedge-like formation and stated that the objects flew as a saucer would if it were skimmed across a pool of water. The Flying Saucer mystery had begun. In the weeks and months after Arnold’s now-historic encounter, a wealth of other reports reached both the military and the media.
On 28 June, while flying at a height of 10,000 feet and 30 miles northwest of Lake Meade, Nevada, an Air Force Lieutenant reported seeing five or six white, circular-shaped UFOs in close formation and traveling at a speed of approximately 285 miles per hour.
The following day, a party of three – including two scientists – reported seeing a large UFO near the White Sands Missile Range. They were able to keep the object in view for almost a full minute and described it as disk-shaped, moving at high speed and with no discernible wings.
On 7 July 1947, five Portland, Oregon, police officers reported varying numbers of disks flying over different parts of the city; and on the same day, William Rhoads of Phoenix, Arizona, saw an object not dissimilar to that reported by Kenneth Arnold. Seventy-two hours later, a Mr. Woodruff, a Pan-American Airways mechanic, reported seeing a circular-shaped UFO flying at high speed near Harmon Field, Newfoundland.
As the summer of 1947 drew to a close and the Air Force had become an independent entity of the military, Air Intelligence demanded a report from Air Materiel Command regarding the then-current opinions on "flying disks". Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining, the Commander of the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, held a conference with individuals attached to the Propeller Laboratories of Engineering Division T-3, the Air Institute of Technology, and the Office of Chief Engineering Division. The result was a 23 September 1947, memorandum sent by Twining to Brig. General George Schulgen, Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division. It concluded that:
a. The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.
b. There are objects probably approximating the shape of a disk, of such appreciable size as to appear to be as large as man-made aircraft.
c. There is a possibility that some of the incidents may be caused by natural phenomena, such as meteors.
d. The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability, and actions which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.
e. The apparent common description of the objects is as follows:
(1) Metallic or light reflecting.
(2) Absence of trail, except in a few instances when the object apparently was operating under high performance conditions
(3) Circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and domed on top.
(4) Several reports of well kept formation flights varying from three to nine objects.
(5) Normally no associated sound, except in three instances a substantial rumbling roar was noted.
(6) Level flight speeds normally above 300 knots are estimated.
f. It is possible within the present U.S. knowledge - provided extensive detailed development is undertaken - to construct a piloted aircraft which has the general description of the object in subparagraph (e) above which would be capable of anapproximate range of 7,000 miles at subsonic speeds.
g. Any development in this country along the lines indicated would be extremely expensive, time consuming, and at the considerable expense of current projects and therefore, if directed, should be set up independently of existing projects.
h. Due consideration must be given to the following:
(1) The possibility that these objects are of domestic origin - the product of some high security project not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects.
(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form of propulsion, possibly nuclear, which is outside of our domestic knowledge.
As a result, Air Materiel Command requested that a directive be issued assigning a permanent project to study the UFO phenomenon. On 30 December 1947, Major General L. C. Craigie, Director of Research and Development, issued an order that would establish Project Sign as the investigative body tasked with examining UFO reports. It would be the role of Sign to: “… collect, collate, evaluate and distribute to interested government agencies and contractors all information concerning sightings and phenomena in the atmosphere which can be construed to be of concern to the national security.”
During the first six months of 1948, Project Sign studied UFO reports at Wright-Patterson AFB and focused much of its attention on the possibility that some UFOs were, indeed, other-worldly in origin.
On 5 August 1948, the Project Sign team determined that it was time for an evaluation of the data obtained. As a result, a Top Secret Estimate of the Situation was prepared by the US Air Force’s Air Technical Intelligence Center, which concluded that UFOs were interplanetary spacecraft. This was to cause widespread dismay and concern amongst the higher echelons of the military and the conclusions of the report were rejected, largely on the orders of Chief of Staff, General Hoyt Vandenberg, who argued that the Estimate was bereft of any firm evidence to support such beliefs. As a result of this, the ET-hypothesis lost favor within Sign; and those involved in the production of the report were rapidly reassigned alongside rumors of a lack of morale within the project.
Nevertheless, by the end of 1948, Project Sign had received several hundred UFO reports, of which 167 had been classed as “good”; and almost 40 of which were considered to be “unknown”. By 16 December 1948, however, the work of Sign (much of which supported the ET-hypothesis) came to a close; and Brigadier General Donald Putt changed the name and made way for the more debunking-oriented Project Grudge.
If the Estimate of the Situation report was rejected by General Vandenberg, one might ask, is that because the conclusion was based on faulty data or is there a more sinister scenario? It is known that the project only carried a 2A restricted classification (with 1A being the highest); and whilst the project could, under required circumstances, be assigned a higher clearance, this suggests strongly that Sign personnel did not have blanket need-to-know with respect to the UFO mystery. Interestingly, the author and investigator Kevin Randle has spoken with a U.S. colonel who had worked with ATIC in the late 1940s and who confirmed the existence of the Estimate of the Situation and was aware that it had been hand-delivered to Vandenberg. According to the colonel, Vandenberg ordered that two paragraphs be removed from the Estimate – both of which referred to UFO crashes in New Mexico. Vandenberg’s actions seem to suggest that (a) Project Sign’s conclusions were being manipulated from the very beginning; and (b) there were those within the military that wanted Sign kept strictly out of the crashed UFO/Majestic 12 loop.
Declassified on July 23, 1997, Project Grudge was originally released in August of 1949 as a SECRET Technical Report (NO 102-AC 49/15-100) by the headquarters of the Air Materiel Command, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton Ohio. Approved by Lt. Col. Hemstreet and Col. Watson, it is 406 pages long and covers a large number of UFO sightings along with investigation analysis, conclusions, and supplementary reports. Overall, it is just the basic background work on pedestrian UFO sightings by many credible military witnesses. No discussion of crashes, alien bodies, or the other TOP SECRET material found in more classified reports — just the way you would expect it.
The following extract (classified SECRET) is taken from the SUMMARY to the U.S. Air Force’s PROJECT GRUDGE TECHNICAL REPORT on UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS of August 1949. Prepared by Lt. H. W. Smith and Mr. G. W. Towles for the Commanding General Harold E. Watson, Colonel, USAF, Chief Intelligence Department, it states:
While there are approximately 375 incidents on record, only incidents Nos. 1 thru 244 are encompassed in this report. Of the later incidents, many have not yet been investigated, few have been completely tabulated, and none have been submitted to the consulting agencies. It is certain that better over-all results will be obtained in the analysis of the later reports, as these incidents generally have been more completely investigated. Since 5 December 1948, a series of recurring phenomena described as “green fireballs” have been reported in the general vicinity of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Lincoln La Paz, noted meteoritic expert, has been directly, though unofficially, associated with the investigation of these sightings and has himself observed the phenomena. Dr. La Paz states he is convinced the green fireballs are not ordinary meteors. This group of incidents has little or nothing in common with other incidents on file with Project “Grudge”, therefore, these incidents are not considered in this report. The Scientific Advisory Committee was asked to investigate this matter and had advised that an independent investigation be conducted in the field of atmospheric research.
Upon eliminating several additional incidents due to vagueness and duplication, there remain 228 incidents, which are considered in this report. Thirty of these could not be explained, because there was found to be insufficient evidence on which to base a conclusion.
It is important to stress that Project Grudge was one of three acknowledged U.S. Air Force projects dealing with UFO investigations – the other two being Sign and Blue Book. Between 1948 (the year that saw the creation of Project Sign) and 1969 (the year in which Project Blue Book was officially terminated), 12,618 UFO reports were investigated by personnel assigned to these three projects. According to the Air Force, out of this total only 701 UFO reports remained unexplained; and that with respect to the remainder, “…there was no indication of a technology beyond our own scientific knowledge…” The Air Force further asserted (and continues to assert to this day) that no sighting “…could be considered an extra-terrestrial vehicle [and] throughout Project Blue Book there was never a shred of evidence to indicate a threat to our national security.”
How then do we reconcile these statements with the Majestic documents, the very demonstrable threats to national security posed by UFOs and cited in the documents, and the data pertaining to UFO crash-retrievals suggesting that at least some UFOs are alien spacecraft? It must be noted that the bulk of the data pertaining to projects Sign, Grudge and Blue Book was classified up to Secret level only. However, as the Majestic documents make abundantly clear, data pertaining to crash-retrievals was classified at Top Secret level and need-to-know clearance to access such information was strictly required. Furthermore, consider the following extracted from a 1969 USAF memorandum prepared by Brigadier General C.H. Bolender, the Air Force’s Deputy Director of Development: “[R]eports of unidentified flying objects which could affect the national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system.”
Project Grudge can be downloaded in the "Authentication" section under Documents Obtained from the National Archives.
Project Blue Book
On 11 September 1951, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt took over the reins of Project Grudge; and one month later, a revamped version was established – Grudge II. The Battelle Memorial Institute, a "think-tank" consulting firm, was asked to prepare a statistical study of UFO reports obtained up until that time period. Several months later, in March 1952, Grudge II was officially designated as Project Blue Book – a project that would remain in existence until 1969.
There can be no doubt, however, that the role of Blue Book's mission was radically different to that of both projects Sign and Grudge. For the most part, Blue Book's approach was directed by a panel formed in late 1952 by the CIA known as The Scientific Advisory Panel on UFOs, or more popularly, The Robertson Panel. Although it was determined that there was a distinct lack of evidence to support the notions that UFOs were extra-terrestrial in origin, the Robertson Panel nevertheless felt that UFO sightings represented a potential danger to national security that could be exploited for propaganda and psychological means by the Soviets. It was this concern that prompted the Robertson Panel to conclude that UFO mystery should be demystified. This was to be the role assigned to Blue Book.
Whilst it is true that some staff assigned to Blue Book (such as Edward Ruppelt) were genuinely interested in resolving the UFO mystery and made praise-worthy moves to do so, on many occasions, bizarre and simply inaccurate explanations were offered to try and resolve as many cases as possible. Moreover, despite all the hype that continues to surround Blue Book, it was never anything more than an exercise in public relations and received minimal staffing from one officer, two clerks and a number of typists. Until it was officially terminated in 1969, Blue Book continued to present seemingly adequate explanations to the UFO mystery whilst the real work went on behind the scenes. As evidence of this, consider the following extracted from a 1969 USAF memorandum prepared by Brigadier General C.H. Bolender, the Air Force’s Deputy Director of Development. “Reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect the national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system.”
Project Moon Dust & Blue Fly
Although ostensibly two projects involved in the recovery and exploitation for the US Government of foreign space debris such as crashed satellites, rocket boosters and so on, there is intriguing data at our disposal showing that both projects have been involved in the recovery of far more exotic items – including possibly crashed UFOs and UFO debris. A 1961 US Air Force document states that:
In addition to their staff duty assignments, intelligence team personnel have peacetime duty functions in support of such Air Force projects as Moon Dust, Blue Fly and UFO, and other AFCIN directed quick reaction projects which require intelligence team operational capabilities.
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO): Headquarters USAF has established a program for investigations of reliably reported unidentified flying objects within the United States.
Blue Fly: Operation Blue Fly has been established to facilitate expeditious delivery to Foreign Technology Division of Moon Dust or other items of great technological intelligence interest.
Moon Dust: As a specialized aspect of its overall material exploitation program Headquarters USAF has established Project Moon Dust to locate, recover, and deliver descended foreign space vehicles.
Of the approximately 1000 pages of official documentation on Moon Dust and Blue Fly that have now been released into the public domain by the Department of State, Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency and CIA, one near illegible report from 1965 is titled: "FRAGMENT METAL, RECOVERED IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, ORIGIN BELIEVED TO BE AN UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT."
Similarly, a DIA paper from 1967 states the following with regard to a UFO encounter over Agadir: "This report forwards translations of two articles which appeared in the Potit Morocain. Each article is separately identified as to source. Although the two articles are very contradictory, the page one coverage afforded this sighting demonstrates a high level of interest in the subject of UFOs, and presages future reporting which could be valuable in pursuit of Project Moon Dust."
It should be noted to that Project Moon Dust is referenced in the 1-page CIA paper pertaining to crashed UFOs, alien bodies, the late actress Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy brothers John and Robert.
The genesis of Project Magnet can be largely traced back to a memorandum of 21 November 1950 that Wilbert B. Smith, an official with the Canadian Government’s Department of Communications (and who held a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering), wrote to the Department of Transport. Smith, who had a personal interest in UFOs and had studied the subject, stated in his proposal that (a) the Canadian Government should be prompted to establish an official UFO investigation project; and (b) that he was on the track of something that would lead to an understanding of both how UFOs were powered and the development of new technological advances on Earth.
According to Smith: "The existence of a different technology is borne out by the investigations which are being carried on at the present time in relation to flying saucers." Smith also advised the DoT that, having made a number of discreet inquiries at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, he had learned the following from a Dr. Robert Sarbacher:
A. The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States government, rating higher even than the H-bomb.
B. Flying saucers exist.
C. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush.
D. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.
On receipt of the memorandum, the Canadian Department of Transport quickly approved Smith's proposal to officially investigate UFO reports; and on 2 December 1950, Project Magnet — a classified Canadian government project — swung into action and a number of high-quality UFO reports caught the attention of Magnet staff. On 10 August 1953, Smith submitted the following report: "It appears then, that we are faced with a substantial probability of the real existence of extraterrestrial vehicles, regardless of whether they fit into our scheme of things. It is therefore submitted that the next step in this investigation should be a substantial effort toward the acquisition of as much as possible of this technology."
Three months later, at Shirleys Bay, Ontario, a station for investigating and detecting UFOs was established; and on 8 August 1954, the equipment "went wild," recalled Smith later. All of the available evidence suggested that a UFO had flown in close proximity of the station. Regrettably the entire vicinity was bathed in clouds and no visual sighting was made; the instrumentation, however, did record a major disturbance. Two days later, the DOT announced that Project Magnet was being shut down. The speed with which the project was shut down has led to allegations that a decision was taken to continue studies at a far more covert level. It is intriguing to note, too, that in the early 1980s Dr. Robert Sarbacher reaffirmed his knowledge of secret U.S. Government UFO investigations overseen by Vannevar Bush and admitted that he was aware that the U.S. had in its possession both crashed UFOs and alien bodies. Wilbert Brockhouse Smith died on 27 December 1961, at the age of 52.
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS
Congressional Hearings on UFOs and Blue Book
There have only ever been two official Congressional Hearings held on UFOs. The House Armed Services Committee convened the first such hearing in 1966 in response to widely publicized UFO sightings and repeated public and media criticism of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book. The hearing had the noted support of former U.S. President, Gerald Ford, the House Minority Leader. However, the only witnesses who testified were allied to Project Blue Book. As a result, the Secretary of the Air Force announced that there would be an outside, independent review of Blue Book. This was to be the genesis of the University of Colorado’s Scientific Study of UFOs –or the Condon Committee project (after Edward U. Condon), as it is popularly known. Two years later, the House Science and Astronautics Committee convened a second hearing (which occurred during the final stages of the Condon Committee project) to review the scientific evidence for UFOs. It took the form of a scientific symposium in which six scientists testified and six others submitted prepared papers
In 1969, the Condon Committee published its findings. According to the director of the project, physicist Dr. Edward U. Condon, no scientific evidence existed in support of a genuine UFO mystery for UFO. The result? It was recommended that Project Blue Book should be terminated. Critics of the Condon Report have noted, however, that no less than 30 per cent of the cases investigated by the committee defied explanation. According to the critics, such as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Dr. Condon's conclusions were politically oriented rather than scientific: the Air Force wanted Blue Book closed at the earliest opportunity.
Nevertheless, of the six scientists who testified as part of the University of Colorado’s study, five were of the opinion that UFOs were still a valid area for investigation. Of those, the late Dr. James McDonald concluded: "My own study of the UFO problem has convinced me that we must rapidly escalate serious scientific attention to this extra- ordinarily intriguing puzzle."
Following the release of the Condon Report, Project Blue Book was set for termination, with an announcement to that effect made in March 1969. A formal directive was finalized in December of that year by Air Force Secretary Robert C. Seamans, Jr. According to Seamans: "The continuation of Project Blue Book cannot be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science.”
From the commencement of Project Sign to the conclusion of Project Blue Book, 12,618 UFO reports were analyzed. Of these, 18% (701 cases) were catalogued as unidentified – and nearly half of which dated from 1952. Since the close of Blue Book, the Air Force has constantly tried to distance itself from the UFO subject – publicly, at least. The Air Force’s current fact sheet on UFOs states that "since the termination of Project Blue Book, nothing has occurred that would support a resumption of UFO investigations by the Air Force." Nevertheless, as the Freedom of Information Act has shown, official interest in the UFO subject continues - albeit at a restricted and far more covert level than that of Project Blue Book.
The Robertson Panel, 1952-53
For years rumors have circulated to the effect that the Central Intelligence Agency has been deeply implicated in the UFO mystery and in the crashed UFO controversy in particular. These assertions are further bolstered by the contents of the Majestic 12 documents. Nevertheless, at an official level at least, the CIA has only confirmed its direct involvement in one UFO study – the so-called Robertson Panel. To fully understand the official story of the Robertson Panel, take note of the following from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) historian, Gerald Raines:
In January 1953, H. Marshall Chadwell [CIA Director of Scientific Intelligence] and H. P. Robertson, a noted physicist from the California Institute of Technology, put together a distinguished panel of nonmilitary scientists to study the UFO issue. It included Robertson as chairman; Samuel A. Goudsmit, a nuclear physicist from the Brookhaven National Laboratories; Luis Alvarez, a high-energy physicist; Thornton Page, the deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Operations Research Office and an expert on radar and electronics; and Lloyd Berkner, a director of the Brookhaven National Laboratories and a specialist in geophysics.
The charge to the panel was to review the available evidence on UFOs and to consider the possible dangers of the phenomena to US national security. The panel met from 14 to 17 January 1953. It reviewed Air Force data on UFO case histories and, after spending 12 hours studying the phenomena, declared that reasonable explanations could be suggested for most, if not all, sightings. For example, after reviewing motion-picture film taken of a UFO sighting near Tremonton, Utah, on 2 July 1952 and one near Great Falls, Montana, on 15 August 1950, the panel concluded that the images on the Tremonton film were caused by sunlight reflecting off seagulls and that the images at Great Falls were sunlight reflecting off the surface of two Air Force interceptors.
The panel concluded unanimously that there was no evidence of a direct threat to national security in the UFO sightings. Nor could the panel find any evidence that the objects sighted might be extraterrestrials. It did find that continued emphasis on UFO reporting might threaten "the orderly functioning" of the government by clogging the channels of communication with irrelevant reports and by inducing "hysterical mass behavior" harmful to constituted authority. The panel also worried that potential enemies contemplating an attack on the United States might exploit the UFO phenomena and use them to disrupt US air defenses.
To meet these problems, the panel recommended that the National Security Council debunk UFO reports and institute a policy of public education to reassure the public of the lack of evidence behind UFOs. It suggested using the mass media, advertising, business clubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across. Reporting at the height of McCarthyism, the panel also recommended that such private UFO groups as the Civilian Flying Saucer Investigators in Los Angeles and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in Wisconsin be monitored for subversive activitiesThe Robertson panel's conclusions were strikingly similar to those of the earlier Air Force project reports on SIGN and GRUDGE and to those of the CIA's own OSI Study Group. All investigative groups found that UFO reports indicated no direct threat to national security and no evidence of visits by extra-terrestrials.
Following the Robertson panel findings, the Agency abandoned efforts to draft an NSCID on UFOs. The Scientific Advisory Panel on UFOs (the Robertson panel) submitted its report to the IAC, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration, and the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board. CIA officials said no further consideration of the subject appeared warranted, although they continued to monitor sightings in the interest of national security. Philip Strong and Fred Durant from OSI also briefed the Office of National Estimates on the findings. CIA officials wanted knowledge of any Agency interest in the subject of flying saucers carefully restricted, noting not only that the Robertson panel report was classified but also that any mention of CIA sponsorship of the panel was forbidden. This attitude would later cause the Agency major problems relating to its credibility.
Despite the history of the CIA’s involvement in the UFO controversy as presented by Haines and the Agency itself, suspicions abound that the full story has yet to be told. Victor Marchetti, formerly of the CIA, has stated that he heard from within “high-levels” of the Agency accounts of the bodies of “little gray men” recovered from a crashed UFO held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Similarly, the late UFO investigator Major Donald Keyhoe learned from insider sources that the purpose of the Robertson Panel was to debunk and demystify the UFO subject and to allow the CIA to continue its UFO investigations at a far more covert level – something that ties in with the material presented in the Majestic documents.
NASA and UFOs
Those with an interest in determining what has been learned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) about UFOs will in most cases be presented with the following press release:
No branch of the United States Government is currently involved with or responsible for investigations into the possibility of advanced alien civilizations on other planets or for investigating Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's). The US Air Force (USAF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have had intermittent, independent investigations of the possibility of alien life on other planets; however, none of these has produced factual evidence that life exists on other planets, nor that UFO's are related to aliens. From 1947 to 1969, the Air Force investigated UFO's; then in 1977, NASA was asked to examine the possibility of resuming UFO investigations. After studying all of the facts available, it was determined that nothing would be gained by further investigation, since there was an absence of tangible evidence.
In October 1992, NASA was directed by Congress to begin a detailed search for artificial radio signals from other civilizations under the NASA Towards Other Planetary Systems (TOPS)/High Resolution Microwave Survey (HRMS) program (also known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project). Congress directed NASA to end this project in October 1993, citing pressures on the US Federal budget. The HRMS did not detect any confirmed signal before it was stopped. However, similar work continued through efforts of private groups and through academic institutions. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI Institute) in Mountain View, CA, effectively replaced the Government project, borrowing the signal processing system from NASA. The SETI Institute is a nonprofit corporation conducting research in a number of fields including all science and technology aspects of astronomy and planetary sciences, chemical evolution, the origin of life, biological evolution, and cultural evolution.
During several space missions, NASA astronauts have reported phenomena not immediately explainable; however, in every instance NASA determined that the observations could not be termed "abnormal" in the space environment. The 1947 to 1969 USAF investigations studied UFO's under Project Blue Book. The project, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was terminated December 17, 1969. Of the total of 12,618 sightings reported to Project Blue Book, 701 remain "unidentified."
The decision to discontinue UFO investigations was based on an evaluation of a report prepared by the University of Colorado entitled, "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects;" a review of the University of Colorado's report by the National Academy of Sciences; previous UFO studies; and Air Force experience investigating UFO reports during the 1940's, '50's and '60's. As a result of experience, investigations, and studies since 1948, the conclusions of Project Blue Book were: (1) no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force was ever a threat to our national security; (2) there was no evidence submitted to, or discovered by, the Air Force that sightings categorized as "unidentified" represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge; and (3) there was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as "unidentified" were extraterrestrial vehicles.
With the termination of Project Blue Book, the USAF regulation establishing and controlling the program for investigating and analyzing UFO's was rescinded. Documentation regarding the former Project Blue Book investigation was permanently transferred to the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Service, in Washington, DC 20408, and is available for public review and analysis.
Since the termination of Project Blue Book, nothing has occurred that would support a resumption of UFO investigations by the U.S. government.
Since neither NASA nor the Air Force is engaged in day-to-day UFO research, neither one reviews UFO-related articles intended for publication, evaluates UFO-type spacecraft drawings, or accepts accounts of UFO sightings or applications for employment in the field of aerial phenomena investigation.
It should be noted that there are very few indications of deep involvement in the Majestic projects on the part of NASA personnel; therefore, that NASA should take a stance very much like that of Project Blue Book is not surprising
The Air Force, General Accounting Office, Mogul Balloons and Crash-Test Dummies
As evidence that the controversy surrounding the so-called Roswell Incident refuses to roll over and die, in the 1990s the Air Force published two investigative reports pertaining to the events of July 1947. The following is taken from the Air Force’s press release on the first report published in 1994 in response to an inquiry launched by the General Accounting Office — the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO’s inquiry came as a direct result of questions initiated by the late New Mexican Representative, Steven Schiff. According to the Air Force’s massive, near-1000 page report (The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert, 1994) the debris found at Roswell was most likely from a Mogul balloon — a Top Secret Army-Air-Force device designed to assist the U.S. military in detecting evidence of nuclear tests by the Soviets. But what of the reports of alien bodies? In 1997, the Air Force expanded on this aspect of the Roswell affair in a document titled The Roswell Report: Case Closed:
This report discusses the results of this exhaustive research and identifies the likely sources of the claims of "alien bodies" at Roswell. Contrary to allegations, many of the accounts appear to be descriptions of unclassified and widely publicized Air Force scientific achievements. Other descriptions of "bodies" appear to be actual incidents in which Air Force members were killed or injured in the line of duty.
The conclusions are:
Air Force activities which occurred over a period of many years have been consolidated and are now represented to have occurred in two or three days in July 1947."Aliens" observed in the New Mexico desert were actually anthropomorphic test dummies that were carried aloft by U.S. Air Force high altitude balloons for scientific research.
The "unusual" military activities in the New Mexico desert were high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations. Reports of military units that always seemed to arrive shortly after the crash of a flying saucer to retrieve the saucer and "crew," were actually accurate descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in anthropomorphic dummy recovery operations.
Claims of "alien bodies" at the Roswell Army Air Field hospital were most likely a combination of two separate incidents:
a 1956 KC-97 aircraft accident in which 11 Air Force members lost their lives; and,
a 1959 manned balloon mishap in which two Air Force pilots were injured. This report is based on thoroughly documented research supported by official records, technical reports, film footage, photographs, and interviews with individuals who were involved in these events.
Despite the Air Force’s attempts to diffuse the controversy surrounding the Roswell events of 1947 and preempt the GAO’s findings, it is significant to note several key factors. First, Mogul balloons possessed no unusual characteristics such as those described by the witnesses to the event. Second, the crash-test dummy experiments that the Air Force asserts led to the legends of alien bodies being recovered were not initiated until the 1950s. Third, during the course of its investigation, the GAO learned that all of the administrative records of Roswell Army Air Field from March 1945 until December 1949 and all outgoing messages from the base from October 1946 to December 1949 had been inexplicably destroyed. The Roswell enigma continues — despite the best efforts of the Air Force to lay the matter to rest.
FBI Investigation of the Eisenhower Briefing Document
MJ12: The FBI Connection, by Nick Redfern (118k)
The COMETA Report
Originally published in France in 1999, the Cometa Report (titled UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For?) made a valuable contribution to the subject of UFOs. The following is extracted from an opening statement contained in the report from French Air Force General Denis Letty and gives valuable background data on Cometa and its findings. “The accumulation of well-documented sightings made by credible witnesses forces us to consider from now on all of the hypotheses regarding the origin of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, and the extraterrestrial hypothesis, in particular.” The document continues:
Although no characterized threat has been perceived to date in France, it seemed necessary to the former auditors of the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Defense Nationale (IHEDN) to take stock of the subject. Along with qualified experts from extremely varied backgrounds, they are grouped together to form a private in-depth fact-finding committee, which was christened COMETA. This committee was transformed into a COMETA association, which I chair.
COMETA members included: Air Force General Bruno Le Moine, weapons engineer General Pierre Bescond and Chief of Police Denis Blancher. Those who contributed to the study included: Edmond Campagnac, former Technical Director of Air France; Squadron Commander Michel Perrier; and Air Force General Joseph Domage. Among the subjects covered within the report are: the testimony of French pilots who had seen UFOs; close encounters in France; aeronautical cases from around the world; radar-based UFO incidents; and political, religious and scientific implications relating to the UFO mystery. The July 1947 events at Roswell, New Mexico are also covered in an appendix titled “The Roswell Affair – Disinformation.” This section makes a valuable contribution to the way in which the U.S. government’s program of disinformation has been utilized to successfully diffuse interest in, and confuse the truth surrounding, the Roswell UFO crash.