Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
June 24, 2015
Document Release Date: 
January 31, 2011
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
July 1, 1999
PDF icon DOC_0005517742.pdf1.42 MB
C00242525 CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90 Gerald K. Haines B4y't pBU 44 While Agency concern over 47 UFOs was substantial until the early 1950s, CIA has since paid only limited and peripheral attention to the phenomena. Gerald K. Haines is the National Reconnaissance Office historian. An extraordinary 95 percent of all Americans have at least heard or read something about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), and 57 percent believe they are real.' Former US Presidents Career and Reagan claim to have seen a UFO. UFOlogists-a neologism for UFO buffs-and pri- vate UFO organizations are found throughout the United States. Many are convinced that the US Govern- menc, and particularly CIA, are engaged in a massive conspiracy and coverup of the issue. The idea that CIA has secretly concealed its research into UFOs has been a major theme of UFO buffs since the mod- ern UFO phenomena emerged in the late 1940s.2 In late 1993, after being pressured by UFOlogists for the release of addi- tional CIA information on UFOs,] DCI It James Woolsey ordered another review of all Agency files on UFOs. Using CIA records compiled from that review, this study traces CIA interest and involvement in the UFO controversy from the late 1940s to 1990. It chronologically examines the Agency's efforts to solve the mys- tery of UFOs, its programs that had an impact on UFO sightings, and its attempts to conceal CIA involvement in the entire UFO issue. What emerges from this examination is that, while Agency concern over UFOs was substantial until the early 1950s, CIA has since paid only limited and periph- eral attention to the phenomena. Background The emergence in 1947 of the Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union also saw the first wave of UFO sight- ings. '['lie first report ofa -flying saucer" over the United States came on 24 June 1947, when Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot and reputable businessman, while looking for a downed plane sighted nine disk- shaped objects near Mc. Rainier, Washington, traveling at an estimated speed of over 1,000 mph. Arnold's report was followed by a flood of addi- tional sightings, including reports from military and civilian pilots and air traffic controllers all over the United States 4 In 1948, Air Force . Gen. Nathan Twining, head of the Air Technical Service Command, established Project SIGN (initially named Project SAUCER) to collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within. the government all information relar. ing to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern.5 .. The Technical Intelligence Division of the Air Material Command (AMC) at Wright Field (later Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) in Dayton, Ohio, assumed control of Project SIGN and began its work on 23 January 1948. Although at first fearful that the objects might be Soviet secret weapons, the Air Force soon concluded that UFOs were real but easily explained and not extraor- dinary. The Air Force report found that almost all sightings stemmed from one or more of three causes: mass hysteria and hallucination, hoax, or misinterpretation of known objects. Nevertheless, the report rec- ommended continued military intelligence control over the investi- gation of all sightings and did not V~? /991 C00242525 rule out the possibility of extraterres- trial phenomena.6 Amid mounting UFO sightings, the Air Force continued to collect and evaluate UFO data in the late 1940s under a new project, GRUDGE, which cried to alleviate public anxiety over UFOs via a public relations cam- paign designed to persuade the public that UFOs constituted nothing unusual or extraordinary. UFO sight- ings were explained as balloons, conventional aircraft, planets, mete- ors, optical illusions, solar reflections, or even large hailstones." GRUDGE officials found no evidence in UFO sightings of advanced foreign weapons design or development, and they con- cluded that UFOs did not threaten US security. They recommended that the project be reduced in scope because the very existence of Air Force official interest encouraged peo-, pie to believe in UFOs and contributed to a "war hysteria" atmo- sphere. On 27 December 1949, the Air Force announced the project's termination. 7 With increased Cold War tensions, the Korean war, and continued UFO sightings, USAF Director of Intelli- gence Maj. Gen. Charles P. Cabell ordered a new UFO project in 1952. Project BLUE BOOK became the major Air Force effort to study the UFO phenomenon throughout the 1950s and 1960s.8 The task of identi- fying and explaining UFOs continued to fall on the Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson. With a small staff, the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) cried co persuade the public that UFOs were not extraordi- nary.' Projects SIGN, GRUDGE, and BLUE BOOK set the cone for the official US Government position regarding UFOs for the next 30 years. Early CIA Concerns, 1947-52 CIA closely monitored the Air Force effort, aware of the mounting number of sightings and increasingly con- cerned that UFOs might pose a potential security threat. 10 Given the distribution of the sightings, CIA offi- cials in 1952 questioned whether they might reflect "midsummer madness."" Agency officials accepted the Air Force's conclusions about UFO reports, although they con- cluded that "since there is a remote possibility that they may be interplan- c ary'aircraft, it is necessary to investigate each sighting." t2 A massive buildup of sightings over the United States in 1952, especially in July, alarmed the Truman adminis- tration. On 19 and 20 July, radar scopes at Washington National Air- port and Andrews Air Force Base tracked mysterious blips. On 27 July, the blips reappeared. The Air Force scrambled interceptor aircraft to inves- tigate, but they found nothing. The incidents, however, caused headlines across the country. The White House wanted to know what was happening, and the Air Force quickly offered the explanation that the radar blips might be the result of "temperature inversions." Later, a Civil Aeronautics Administration investigation con- firmed that such radar blips were quite common and were caused by temperature inversions. 13 Although it had monitored UFO reports for at least three years, CIA reacted to the new rash of sightings by forming a special study group within the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) and the Office of Current Intel- ligence (OCI) to review the Situation. 14 Edward Tauss, acting chief of OSI's Weapons and Equip- ment Division, reported for the group that most UFO sightings could be eas- ily explained. Nevertheless, he recommended that the Agency con- tinue monitoring the problem, in coordination with ATIC. He also urged that CIA conceal its interest from the media and the public, "in view of their probable alarmist tenden- cies" to accept such interest as confirming the existence of UFOs. 15 Upon receiving the report, Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) Rob- ert Amory, Jr. assigned responsibility for the UFO investigations to OSI's Physics and Electronics Division, with A. Ray Gordon as the officer in charge. 16 Each branch in the division was to contribute to the investigation, and Gordon was to coordinate closely with ATIC. Amory, who asked the group to focus on the national secu- rity implications of UFOs, was relaying DCI Walter Bedell Smith's concerns)' Smith wanted to know whether or not the Air Force investiga- tion of flying saucers was sufficiently objective and how much more money and manpower would be necessary to determine the cause of the small per- centage of unexplained flying saucers: Smith believed "there was only one chance in 10,000 that the phenome- non posed a threat to the security of the country, but even that chance could not be taken." According to Smith, it was CIA's responsibility by statute to coordinate the intelligence effort required to solve the problem. Smith also wanted to know what use could be made of the UFO phenome- non in connection with US psychological warfare efforts. 18 Led by Gordon, the CIA Study Group met with Air Force officials at Wright-Patterson and reviewed their data and Findings. The Air Force claimed that 90 percent of the reported sightings were easily 68 C00242525 Amateur photographs of alleged UFOs Passoria, New Jersey, 31 July 1952 )ce ~4N,q~~B jE C00242525 Minneapolis. Minnesota. 20 October 1960 70 BAST COPY AYE' C00242525 44 accounted for. The other 10 percent were characterized as "a number of incredible reports from credible observers." The Air Force rejected the theories that the sightings involved US or Soviet secret weapons development or that they involved "men from Mars"; there was no evi- dence to support these concepts. The Air Force briefers sought to explain these UFO reports as the mis- interpretation of known objects or little understood natural phenomena.19 Air Force and CIA officials agreed that outside knowl- edge of Agency interest in UFOs would make the problem more serious. 20 This concealment of CIA interest contributed greatly to later charges of a CIA conspiracy and coverup. The CIA Study Group also searched the Soviet press for UFO reports, but found none, causing the group to conclude that the absence of reports had to have been the result of deliber- ate Soviet Government policy. The group also envisioned the USSR's possible use of UFOs as a psychologi- cal warfare tool. In addition, they worried that, if the US air warning system should be deliberately over- loaded by UFO sightings, the Soviets might gain a surprise advantage in any nuclear attack. 21 Because of the tense Cold War situa- tion and increased Soviet capabilities, the CIA Study Group saw serious national security con- cerns in the flying saucer situation. The group believed that the Soviets could use UFO reports to touch off mass hysteria and panic in the United States. The group also believed that the Soviets might use UFO sightings to overload the US air warning system so that is could not distinguish real targets from Because of the tense Cold War situation and increased Soviet capabilities, the CIA Study Group saw serious national security concerns in the flying saucer situation. 99 phantom UFOs. H. Marshall Chad- well, Assistant Director of OSI, added that he considered the prob- lem of such importance "that it should be brought to the attention of the National Security Council, in order that a communitywide coordi- nated effort cowards it solution may be initiated."22 Chadwell briefed DCI Smith on the subject of UFOs in December 1952. He urged action because he was con- vinced that "something was going on that must have immediate attention" and that "sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and travel- ing at high speeds in the vicinity of major US defense installations are of such nature that they are not attribut- able to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles." He drafted a memorandum from the DCI to the National Security Council (NSC) and a proposed NSC Directive estab- lishing the investigation of UFOs'as a priority project throughout the intelligence and the defense research and development community. 13 Chadwell also urged Smith co estab- lish an external research project of top-level scientists to study the prob- lem of UFOs .2' After this briefing, Smith directed DDI Amory co pre- pare a NSC Intelligence Directive (NSCID) for submission to the NSC on the need to continue the investiga- tion of UFOs and to coordinate such investigations with the Air Force." On 4 December 1952, the Intelli- gence Advisory Committee (IAC) took up the issue of UFOs.26 Amory, as acting chairman, presented DCI Smith's request to the committee that it informally discuss the subject of UFOs. Chadwell then briefly reviewed the situation and the active program of the ATIC relating to UFOs. The committee agreed that the DCI should "enlist the services' of selected scientists to review and appraise the available evidence in the light of pertinent scientific theories" and draft an NSCID on the subject.27 Maj. Gen. John A. Sam- ford, Director of Air Force Intelligence, offered full cooperation.28 At the same time, Chadwell looked into British efforts in this area. He learned the British also were active in studying the UFO phenomena. An eminent British scientist, R. V. Jones, headed a standing committee created in June 1951 on flying saucers. Jones' and his committee's conclu- sions on UFOs were similar co chose of Agency officials: the sightings were not enemy aircraft but misrepre- sentations of natural phenomena. The British noted, however, that dur- ing a recent air show RAF pilots and senior military officials had observed a "perfect flying saucer." Given the press response, according to the officer, Jones was having a most diffi- cult time trying to correct public opinion regarding UFOs. The public was convinced they were real.29 In January 1953, Chadwell 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 C00242525 chairman; Samuel A. Goudsmic, a nuclear physicist from the Brookhaven National Laboratories; Luis Alvarez, a high-energy physicist; Thornton Page, the deputy director of the Johns Hop- kins 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.'0 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 spend- ing 12 hours studying the phenomena, declared that reasonable explanations could be suggested for most, if not all, sightings. For exam- ple, after reviewing motion-picture film taken of a UFO sighting near Tremoncon, Utah, on 2 July 1952 and one near Great Falls, Montana, on 15 August 1950, the panel con- cluded that the images on the Tremoncon film were caused by sun- light reflecting off seagulls and that the images at Great Falls were sun- light reflecting off the surface of two Air Force interceptors.31 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 communica- tion 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 dis- rupt US air defenses. 31 To meet these problems, the panel rec- ommended 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 dubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across. Reporting at the height of McCarthyism, the panel also recom- mended that such private UFO groups as the Civilian Flying Saucer Investigators in Los Angeles and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organiza- tion in Wisconsin be monitored for subversive activities.33 The Robertson panel's conclusions were strikingly similar to chose 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 extraterrestrials. Following the Robertson panel find- ings, the Agency abandoned efforts to draft an NSCID on UFOs. 14 The Sci- entific 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 sub- ject 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.35 CIA officials wanted knowledge of any Agency interest in the subject of flying saucers carefully restricted, not- ing 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 credibiliry.36 The 1950s: Fading CIA Interest in UFOs After the report of the Robertson panel, Agency officials put the entire issue of UFOs on the back burner. In May 1953, Chadwell transferred chief responsibility for keeping abreast of UFOs co OSI's Physics and Electronic Division, while the Applied Science Division continued to provide any nec- essary support.37 Todos M. Odarenko, chief of the Physics and Electronics Division, did not want to cake on the problem, contending that it would require coo much of his division's ana- lytic and clerical time. Given the findings of the Robertson panel, he proposed to consider the project "inac- tive" and to devote only one analyst part-time and a file clerk to maintain a reference file of the activities of the Air Force and ocher agencies on UFOs. Neither the Navy nor the Army showed much interest in UFOs, according to Odarenko.31 A nonbeliever in UFOs, Odarenko sought to have his division relieved of the responsibility for monitoring UFO reports. In 1955, for example, he rec- ommended that the entire project be terminated because no new informa- tion concerning UFOs had surfaced. Besides, he argued, his division wag fac- ing a serious budget reduction and could not spare the resources.39 Chad- well and other Agency officials, however, continued to worry about UFOs. Of special concern were over- seas reports of UFO sightings and 000242525 44 claims that German engineers held by the Soviets were developing a "flying saucer" as a future weapon of war.40 To most US political and military leaders, the Soviet Union by the mid- 1950s had become a dangerous oppo- nent. Soviet progress in nuclear weapons and guided missiles was par- ticularly alarming. In the summer of 1949, the USSR had detonated an atomic bomb. In August 1953, only nine months after the United Stares tested a hydrogen bomb, the Soviets detonated one. In the spring of 1953, a cop secret RAND Corpora- tion study also pointed out the vulnerability of SAC bases to a sur- prise attack by Soviet long-range bombers. Concern over the danger of a Soviet attack on the United States continued to grow, and UFO sightings added co. the uneasiness of US policymakers. Mounting reports of UFOs over east- ern Europe and Afghanistan also prompted concern char the Soviets were making rapid progress in this area. CIA officials knew that the British and Canadians were already experimenting with "flying saucers." Project Y was a Canadian-British-US developmental operation to produce a nonconventional flying-saucer-type aircraft, and Agency officials feared the Soviets were resting similar devices." Adding to the concern was a flying saucer sighting by US Senator Richard Russell and his party while traveling on a train in the USSR in October 1955. After extensive inter- views of Russell and his group, however. CIA officials concluded that Russell's sighting did not sup- port the theory that the Soviets had developed saucerlike or unconven- tional aircraft. Herbert Scoville, Jr., BLUE BOOK investigators were able to attribute many UFO sightings to U-2 flights. 11 the Assistant Director of OSI, wrote char the objects observed probably were normal jet aircraft in a steep dimb.2 Wilton E. Lexow, head of the CIA's Applied Sciences Division, was also skeptical. He questioned why the Soviets were continuing to develop conventional-type aircraft if they had a "flying saucer."43 Scoville asked Lexow to assume responsibility for fully assessing the capabilities and limitations of nonconvencional air- craft and to maintain the OSI central file on the subject of UFOs. In November 1954, CIA had entered into the world of high technology with its U-2 overhead reconnaissance project. Working with Lockheed's Advanced Development Facility in Burbank, California, known as the Skunk Works, and Kelly Johnson, an eminent aeronautical engineer, the Agency by August 1955 was testing a high-altitude experimental aircraft- the U-2. It could fly at 60,000 feet; in the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet. Consequently, once the U-2 started rest flights, com- mercial pilots and air traffic controllers began reporting a large increase in UFO sighcings.44 (U) The early U-2s were silver (they were later painted black) and reflected the rays from the sun, especially at sun- rise and sunset. They often appeared as fiery objects to observers below. Air Force BLUE BOOK investiga- tors aware of the secret U-2 flights cried to explain away such sightings by linking them to natural phenom- ena such as ice crystals and temperature inversions. By checking with the Agency's U-2 Project Staff in Washington, BLUE BOOK inves- tigators were able to attribute many UFO sightings to U-2 flights. They were careful, however, not to reveal the true cause of the sighting to the public. According to later estimates from CIA officials who worked on the U- 2 project and the OXCART (SR-71, or Blackbird) project, over half of all UFO reports from the late 1950s through the 1960s were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights (namely the U-2) over the United States.45 This led the Air Force to make misleading and deceptive .case- ments to the public in order to allay public fears and to protect an extraor- dinarily sensitive national security project. While perhaps justified, this deception added fuel to the later con- spiracy theories and the coverup controversy of the 1970s. The per- centage of what the Air Force considered unexplained UFO sight- ings fell to 5.9 percent in 1955 and to 4 percent in 1956.6 At the same time, pressure was build- ing for the release of the Robertson panel report on UFOs. In 1956, Edward Ruppelt, former head of the Air Force BLUE BOOK project, publicly revealed the existence of the panel. A best-selling book by UFOI- ogist Donald Keyhoe, a retired Marine Corps major, advocated release of all government informa- tion relating to UFOs. Civilian UFO groups such as the National C00242525 Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (AFRO) immediately pushed for release of the Robertson panel report.47 Under pressure, the Air Force approached CIA for permission to declassify and release the report. Despite such pressure, Philip Strong, Deputy Assistant Director of OSI, refused to declassify the report and declined to disclose CIA sponsorship of the panel. As an alternative, the Agency prepared a sanitized version of the report which deleted any reference to CIA and avoided mention of any psychological warfare potential in the UFO controversy.4a The demands, however, for more gov- ernment information about UFOs did not let up. On 8 March 1958, Key- hoe, in an interview with Mike Wallace of CBS, claimed deep CIA involvement with UFOs and Agency sponsorship of the Robertson panel. This prompted a series of letters to the Agency from Keyhoe and Dr. Leon Davidson, a chemical engineer and UFOtogisc. They demanded the release of the full Robertson panel report and confirmation of CIA involvement in the UFO issue. Davidson had convinced himself that the Agency, not the Air Force, carried most of the responsibility for UFO analysis and that "the activities of the US Government arc responsible for the flying saucer sightings of the last decade." Indeed, because of the undisclosed U-2 and OXCART flights, Davidson was closer to the truth than he suspected. Cl, neverthe- less held firm to its policy of not revealing its role in UFO investiga- tions and refused to declassify the full Robertson panel report.49 In a meeting with Air Force represenca- cives to discuss how to handle future inquires such as Keyhoe's and David- son's, Agency officials confirmed their opposition to the declassification of the full report and worried that Key- hoe had the ear of former DCI VAdm. Roscoe Hillenkoetcer, who served on the board of governors of NICAP. They debated whether to have CIA General Counsel Lawrence R. Hous- ton show Hillenkoetter the report as a possible way to defuse the situation. CIA officer Frank Chapin also hinted that Davidson might have ulterior motives, "some of them perhaps not in the best interest of this country," and suggested bringing in the FBI to investigate.50 Although the record is unclear whether the FBI ever insti- tuted an investigation of Davidson or Kcyhoe, or whether Houston ever saw Hillenkoetter about the Robertson report, Hillenkoetcer did resign from the NICAP in 1962.51 The Agency was also involved with Davidson and Keyhoe in two rather famous UFO cases in the 1950s, which helped contribute to a growing sense of public distrust of CIA with regard to UFOs. One focused on what was reported to have been a tape recording of a radio signal from a fly- ing saucer; the ocher on reported photographs of a flying saucer. The "radio code" incident began inno- cently enough in 1955, when two elderly sisters in Chicago, Mildred and Marie Maier, reported in the Jour- nal of Space Flight their experiences with UFOs, including the recording of a radio program in which an uni- dentified code was reportedly heard. The sisters taped the program and other ham radio operators also claimed to have heard the "space mes- sage." OSI became interested and asked the Scientific Contact Branch to obtain a copy of the recording. 5- Field officers from the Contact Divi- sion (CD), one of whom was Dewelt Walker, made contact with the Maier sisters, who were "thrilled that the government was interested," and set up a time to meet with them. 53 In try- ing to secure the tape recording, the Agency officers reported that they had stumbled upon a scene from Arsenic and Old Lace. "The only thing lack- ing was the elderberry wine," Walker cabled Headquarters. After reviewing the sisters' scrapbook of clippings from their days on the stage, the offic- ers secured a copy of the recording.54 OSI analyzed the tape and found it was nothing more than Morse code from a US radio station. The matter rested there until UFOlogisc Leon Davidson talked with the Maier sisters in 1957. The sisters remembered they had talked with a Mr. Walker who said he was from the US Air Force. Davidson then wrote to a Mr. Walker, believing him to be a US Air Force Intelligence Officer from Wright-Patterson, to ask if the cape had been analyzed at ATIC. Dewelc. Walker replied to Davidson that the cape had been for- warded to proper authorities for evaluation, and no information was available concerning the results. Not satisfied, and suspecting that Walker was really a CIA officer, Davidson next wrote DCI Alen Dulles demand- ing to learn what the coded message revealed and who Mr. Walker was.55 The Agency, wanting co keep Walker's identity as a CIA employee secret, replied that another agency of the government had analyzed the cape in question and that Davidson would be hearing from the Air Force. 56 On 5 August, the Air Force wrote David- son saying that Walker "was and is an Air Force Officer" and that the tape .was analyzed by another government organization." The Air Force letter 000242525 44 confirmed that the recording con- tained only identifiable Morse code which came from a known US- licensed radio station. 57 Davidson wrote Dulles again. This time he wanted to know the identity of the Morse operator and of the agency that had conducted the analy- sis. CIA and the Air Force were now in a quandary. The Agency had pre- viously denied that it had actually analyzed the tape. The Air Force had also denied analyzing the tape and claimed that Walker was an Air Force officer. CIA officers, under cover, contacted Davidson in Chicago and promised to get the code translation and the identification of the transmit- ter, if possible." In another attempt to pacify David- son, a CIA officer, again under cover and wearing his Air Force uniform, contacted Davidson in New York City. The CIA officer explained that there was no super agency involved and that Air Force policy was not to disclose who was doing what. While seeming to accept this argument, Davidson nevertheless pressed for dis- closure of the recording message and the source. The officer agreed to see what he could do. 59 After checking with Headquarters, the CIA officer phoned Davidson to report char a thorough check had been made and, because the signal was of known US origin, the cape and the notes made at the time had been destroyed to conserve file space.G? Incensed over what he perceived was a runaround, Davidson cold the CIA officer that "he and his agency. whichever it was, were acting like Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamster Agency officials felt the need to keep informed on UFOs if only to alert the DCI to the more sensational UFO reports and flaps. 99 Union in destroying records which might indict chem."61 Believing that any more contact with Davidson would only encourage more specula- don, the Contact Division washed its hands of the issue by reporting to the DCI and to ATIC that it would not respond to or try to contact Davidson again.62 Thus, a minor, rather bizarre incident, handled poorly by both CIA and the Air Force, turned into a major flap that added fuel to the growing mystery surrounding UFOs and CIA's role in their investigation. Another minor flap a few months later added to the growing questions surrounding the Agency's true role with regard to flying saucers. CIA's concern over secrecy again made mat- ters worse. In 1958, Major Keyhoe charged that the Agency was deliber- ately asking eyewitnesses of UFOs not to make their sightings public.63 The incident stemmed from a November 1957 request from OSI to the CD to obtain from Ralph C. Mayher, a photographer for KYW- TV in Cleveland, Ohio, certain pho- tographs he took in 1952 of an unidentified flying object. Harry Real, a CD.officer, contacted May- her and obtained copies of the photographs for analysis. On 12 December 1957, John Hazen, another CD officer, returned the five photographs of the alleged UFO to Mayher without comment. Mayher asked Hazen for the Agency's evalua- Lion of the photos, explaining that he was trying to organize a TV program to brief the public on UFOs. He wanted to mention on the show chat a US intelligence organization had viewed the photographs and thought them of interest. Although he advised Mayher not to take this approach, Hazen stated that Mayhcr was a US citizen and would have to make his own decision as to what to do.64 Keyhoe later contacted Mayher, who cold him his story of CIA and the photographs. Keyhoe then asked the Agency to confirm Hazen's employ- ment in writing, in an effort to expose CIA's role in UFO investiga- dons. The Agency refused, despite the fact that CD field representatives were normally overt and carried cre- dentials identifying their Agency association. DCI Dulles's aide, John S. Earman, merely sent Keyhoe 4' noncommittal letter noting that, because UFOs were of primary con- cern to the Department of the Air Force, the Agency had referred his letter to the Air Force for an appro- priate response. Like the response to Davidson, the Agency reply to Key- hoe only fueled the speculation that the Agency was deeply involved in UFO sightings. Pressure for release of CIA information on UFOs contin- ued to grow.65 Although CIA had a declining inter- est in UFO cases, it continued to monitor UFO sightings. Agency offi- cials felt the need to keep informed on UFOs if only to alert the DCI to themorc sensational UFO reports and flaps." C00242525 The 1960s: Declining CIA Involve- ment and Mounting Controversy In the early 1960s, Keyhoe, David- son, and other UFOlogisrs maintained their assault on the Agency for release of UFO informa- tion. Davidson now claimed that CIA "was solely responsible for creat- ing the Flying Saucer furor as a cool for cold war psychological warfare since 1951." Despite calls for Con- gressional hearings and the release of all materials relating to UFOs, little ehanged.67 In 1964, however, following high- level White House discussions on what to do if an alien intelligence was discovered in space and a new out- break of UFO reports and sightings, DCI John McCone asked for an updated CIA evaluation of UFOs. Responding to McCone's request, OSI asked the CD to obtain various recent samples and reports of UFO sightings from NICAP. With Key- hoe, one of the founders, no longer active in the organization, CIA offic- ers met with Richard H. Hall, the acting director. Hall gave the officers samples from the NICAP database on the most recent sighcings.6e After OSI officers had reviewed the material, Donald F. Chamberlain, OSI Assistant Director, assured McCone that little had changed since the early 1950s. There was still no evi- dence that UFOs were a threat to the security of the United Stares or that they were of "foreign origin." Cham- berlain cold McCone that OSI still monitored UFO reports, including the official Air Force investigation, Project BLUE BOOK.69 At the same time that CIA was con- ducting this latest internal review of UFOs, public pressure forced the Air Force to establish a special ad hoc committee to review BLUE BOOK Chaired by Dr. Brian O'Brien, a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the panel included Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer from Cornell University. Its report offered nothing new. It declared that UFOs did not threaten the national security and that it could find "no UFO case which represented techno- logical or scientific advances outside of a terrestrial framework." The com- mittee did recommend that UFOs be studied intensively, with a leading uni- versity acting as a coordinator for the project, to settle the issue conclusively.70 The House Armed Services Commit- tee also held brief hearings on UFOs in 1966 that produced similar results. Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown assured the committee that most sightings were easily explained and that there was no evidence that "strangers from outer space" had been visiting Earth. He told the committee members, however, that the Air Force would keep an open mind and con- tinue to investigate all UFO reports." Following the report of its O'Brien Committee, the House hearings on UFOs, and Dr. Robertson's disclosure on a CBS Reports program that CIA indeed had been involved in UFO analysis, the Air Force in July 1966 again approached the Agency for declassification of the entire Robert- son panel report of 1953 and the full Durant report on the Robertson panel deliberations and findings. The Agency again refused to budge. Karl H. Weber, Deputy Director of OSI, wrote the Air Force that "We are most anxious that further publicity not be given to the information that the panel was sponsored by the CIA." Weber noted that there was already a sanitized version available to the public.72 Weber's response was rather shortsighted and ill considered. It only drew more attention to the 13- year-old Robertson panel report and CIA's role in the investigation of UFOs. The science editor of The Sat- urday Review drew nationwide attention to the CIA's role in investi- gating UFOs when he published an article criticizing the "sanitized ver- sion" of the 1953 Robertson panel report and called for release of the entire documenc.73 Unknown to CIA officials, Dr. James E. McDonald, a noted atmospheric physicist from the University ofAri- zona, had already seen the Durant report on the Robertson panel pro- ceedings at Wright-Patterson on 6 June 1966. When McDonald returned to Wright-Patterson on 30 June to copy the report, however, the Air Force refused to icc him see is again, stating that it was a GIA classi- fied document. Emerging as a UFO authority, McDonald publicly claimed that the CIA was behind the Air Force secrecy policies and coverup. He demanded the release of the full Robertson panel report and the Durant rcport.74 Bowing to public pressure and the rec- ommendation of its own O'Brien Committee, the Air Force announced in August 1966 that is was seeking a contract with a leading university to undertake a program of intensive investigations of UFO sightings. The new program was designed to blunt continuing charges that the US Gov- ernment had concealed what is knew about UFOs. On 7 October, the Uni- versity of Colorado accepted a $325,000 contract with the Air Force for an 18-month study of flying sau- cers. Dr. Edward U. Condon, a physicist at Colorado and a former C00242525 44 Director of the National Bureau of Standards, agreed to head the pro- gram. Pronouncing himself an "agnostic" on the subject of UFOs, Condon observed that he had an open mind on the question and thought that possible extraterritorial origins were "improbable but not impossible."73 Brig. Gen. Edward Giller, USAF, and Dr. Thomas Ratchford from the Air Force Research and Development Office became the Air Force coordinators for the project. In February 1967, Giller contacted Arthur C. Lundahl, Director of CIA's National Photographic Inter- pretation Center (NPIC), and proposed an informal liaison through which NPIC could provide the Con- don Committee with technical advice and services in examining pho- tographs of alleged UFOs. Lundahl and DDI R. Jack Smith approved the arrangement as a way of "preserv- ing a window" on the new effort. They wanted the CIA and NPIC to maintain a low profile, however, and to take no part in writing any conclu- sions for the committee. No work done for the committee by NPIC was to be formally acknowledged. 76 Ratchford next requested that Con- don and his committee be allowed to visit NPIC to discuss the technical aspects of the problem and to view the special equipment NPIC had for photoanalysis. On 20 February 1967, Condon and four members of his committee visited NPIC. Lundahl emphasized to the group that any NPIC work to assist the committee must not be identified as CIA work. Moreover, work performed by NPIC would be strictly of a technical nature. After receiving these guide- lines, the group heard a series of briefings on the services and equip- Additional sightings in the early 1970s also fueled beliefs that the CIA was somehow involved in a vast conspiracy. 11 merit not available elsewhere that CIA had used in its analysis of some UFO photography furnished by Ratchford. Condon and his committee were impressed.77 Condon and the same group met again in May 1967 at NPIC to hear an analysis of UFO photographs taken at Zanesville, Ohio. The analy- sis debunked that sighting. The committee was again impressed with the technical work performed, and Condon remarked that for the first time a scientific analysis of a UFO would stand up to investigation.-8 The group also discussed the com- mittee's plans to call on US citizens for additional photographs and to issue guidelines for taking useful UFO photographs. In addition, CIA officials agreed that the Condon Committee could release the full Durant report with only minor deletions. In April 1969, Condon and his com- mittee released their report on UFOs. The report concluded that little, if anything, had come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years and that further extensive study of UFO sightings was unwarranted. It also recommended char the Air Force special unit, Project BLUE BOOK,' be discontinued. It did not mention CIA participation in the Condon committee's investigation. 79 A spe- cial panel established by the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the Condon report and concurred with its conclusion that "no high priority in UFO investigations is warranted by data of the past two decades." It concluded its review by declaring, "On the basis of present knowledge, the least likely explanation of UFOs is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings." Following the recommendations of the Condon Committee and the National Academy of Sciences, the Secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced on 17 December 1969 the termination of BLUE BOOK.80 The 1970s and 1980s: The UFO Issue Refuses To Die The Condon report did nor satisfy many UFOlogists, who considered it a coverup for CIA activities in UFO research. Additional sightings in the early 1970s fueled beliefs that the CIA was somehow involved in a vast conspiracy. On 7 June 1975, Will- iam Spaulding, head of a small UFO group, Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), wrote to CIA requesting a copy of the Robertson panel report and all records relating to UFOs.e' Spaulding was convinced that the Agency was withholding major files on UFOs. Agency officials provided Spaulding with a copy of the Robert- son panel report and of the Durant report.82 On 14 July 1975, Spaulding again wrote the Agency questioning the authenticity of the reports he had received and alleging a CIA coverup of its UFO activities. Gene Wilson, CIA's Information and Privacy Coordinator, replied in an attempt to satisfy Spaulding, "At no time prior to the formation of the Robert- son Panel and subsequent to the issuance of the panel's report has CIA engaged in the study of the UFO phe- C00242525 nomena." The Robertson panel report, according to Wilson, was "the summation of Agency interest and involvement in UFOs." Wilson also inferred that there were no additional documents in CIA's possession that related to UFOs. Wilson was ill informed.83 In September 1977, Spaulding and GSW, unconvinced by Wilson's response, filed a Freedom of Informa- tion Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Agency that specifically requested all UFO documents in CIA's possession. Deluged by similar FOIA requests for Agency information on UFOs, CIA officials agreed, after much legal maneuvering, to conduct a "reason- able search" of CIA files for UFO tnaterials.?M Despite anAgency-wide unsympathetic attitude coward the suit, Agency officials, led by Launie Ziebell from the Office of General Counsel, conducted a thorough search for records pertaining to UFOs. Persistent, demanding, and even threatening at times, Ziebell and his group scoured the Agency. They even turned up an old UFO file under a secretary's desk. The search finally produced 355 documents total- ing approximately 900 pages. On 14 December 1978, the Agency released all but 57 documents of about 100 pages to GSW. It withheld these 57 documents on national security grounds and to protect sources and methods." Although the released documents pro- duced no smoking gun and revealed only a low-level Agency interest in the UFO phenomena after the Robertson panel report of 1953, the press treated the release in a sensational manner. The New York Times, for example, claimed that the declassified docu- ments confirmed intensive government concern over UFOs and that the Agency was secretly involved in the surveillance of UFOs.86 GSW then sued for the release of the with- held documents, claiming that the Agency was still holding out key information.87 It was much like the John F. Kennedy assassination issue. No matter how much material the Agency released and no matter how dull and prosaic the information, peo- ple continued to believe in a Agency coverup and conspiracy. DCI Stanfield Turner was so upset when he read The New York Times article that he asked his senior offic- ers, "Are we in UFOs?" After reviewing the records, Don Wortman, Deputy Director for Administration, reported to Turner that there was "no organized Agency effort to do research in connection with UFO phenomena nor has there been an organized effort to collect intelligence on UFOs since the 1950s." Worcman assured Turner that the Agency records held only "sporadic instances of correspondence dealing with the subject," including various kinds of reports of UFO sight- ings. There was no Agency program to collect actively information on UFOs, and the material released to GSW had few deletions.83 Thus assured, Turner had the General Counsel press for a summary judg- ment against the new lawsuit by GSW. In May 1980, the courts dis- missed the lawsuit, finding that the Agency had conducted a thorough and adequate search in good faith.89 During the lace 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Com- munity shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintel- ligence aspects. Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relat- ing to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using US citizens and UFO groups to obtain information on sensitive US weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the US air-defense network to pene- tration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings. CIA also maintained' Intelligence Community coordination with ocher agencies regarding their work in para- psychology, psychic phenomena, and "remote viewing" experiments. In general, the Agency took a conserva- tive scientific view of these unconventional scientific issues. There was no formal or official UFO project within the Agency in the 1980s, and Agency officials purposely kept files on UFOs to a minimum to avoid creating records that might mis- lead the public if released.90 The 1980s also produced renewed charges that the Agency was still with- holding documents relating to the 1947 Roswell incident, in which a flying saucer supposedly crashed in New Mexico, and the surfacing of doc- uments which purportedly revealed the existence of a top secret US research and development intelligence 78 000242525 44 operation responsible only to the - President on UFOs in the lace 1940s and early 1950s. UFOlogiscs had long argued that, following a flying saucer crash in New Mexico in 1947, the government not only recovered debris from the crashed saucer but also four or five alien bodies. Accord- ing to some UFOlogists, the government clamped tight security around the project and has refused to divulge its investigation results and research ever since.91 In September 1994, the US Air Force released a new report on the Roswell incident chat concluded that the debris found in New Mexico in 1947 probably came from a once top secret balloon operation, Project MOGUL, designed to monitor the atmosphere for evidence of Soviet nuclear tesrs.92 Circa 1984, a series of documents surfaced which some UFOlogists said proved that President Truman cre- aced a cop secret committee in 1947, Majestic-12, to secure the recovery of UFO wreckage from Roswell and any other UFO crash sight for scien- tific study and to examine any alien bodies recovered from such sites. Most if not all of these documents have proved to be fabrications. Yet the controversy persists." Like the JFK assassination conspiracy theories, the UFO issue probably will not go away soon, no matter what the Agency does or says. The belief char we are not alone in the universe is coo emotionally appealing and the distrust of our government is too pervasive to make the issue ame- nable to traditional scientific studies of rational explanation and evidence. Like the JFK assassination conspiracy theories, the UFO issue probably will not go away soon, no matter what the Agency does or says. .> 1. See the 1973 Gallup Poll results printed in The New York Timer, 29 November 1973, p. 45 and Philip J. Klass, UFOs: The Public Deceived (New York: Prometheus Books, 1983),0.3. 2. See Klass, UFOs, p. 3; James S. Gor- don, "The UFO Experience," Atlantic Monrhly (August 199 1.). pp. 82-92; David Michael Jacobs, The UFO Con- troversy in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975); Howard Blum, Out There: The Gov- ern ment's Secret Quest for Exrrarerresniab (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990); Timothy Good, Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up (New York: William Morrow, 1987); and Whitley Strieber, Communion: The True Story (New York: Morrow, 1987). 3. In September 1993 John Peterson, an acquaintance of Woolsey s, first approached the DCI with a package of heavily sanitized CIA material on UFOs released to UFOlogisc Stanton. T. Friedman. Peterson and Friedman wanted to know the reasons for the redactions. Woolsey agreed to look into the matter. See Richard J. War- shaw, Executive Assistant, note co author, 1 November 1994; Warshaw, note to John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator, 31 January 1994; and Wright, memorandum to Executive Secretariat, 2 March 1994. (Except where noted, all citations to CIA records in this article are to the records collected for the 1994 Agency- wide search that are held by the Execu- tive Assistant to the DCI). 4. See Hector Quintanilla, Jr., "The Investigation of UFOs," Vol. 10, No. 4, Studies in Inrt!ligenee (fall 1966): pp.95-110 and CIA. unsigned memo- randum, "Flying Saucers," 14 August 1952. See also Good, Above Top Secret, p. 253. During World War II, US pilots reported "foo fighters" (bright lights trailing US aircraft). Fearing they might be Japanese or German secret weapons. OSS investi- gated but could find no concrete evidence of enemy weapons and often filed such reports in the "crackpot" category. The OSS also investigated possible sightings of German V 1 and V-2 rockets before their operational use during the war. See Jacobs, UFO Controversy, p. 33. The Central Intel- ligence Group, the predecessor of the CIA, also monitored reports of "ghost rockets" in Sweden in 1946. See GIG, Intelligence Report, 9 April 1947. 5. Jacobs, The UFO Controversy. p. 156 and Quintanilla. "The Investigation of UFOs," p. 97. 6. See US Air Force, Air Material Com- mand, "Unidentified Aerial Objects: Project SIGN, no. F-TR 2274, IA, February 1949, Records of the US Air Force Commands, Activities and Organizations, Record Group 341, National Archives, Washington, DC. 7. See US Air Force. Projects GRUDGE and BLUEBOOKReporrs 1- 12 (Wash- ington, DC; National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1968) and Jacobs, The UFO Contro- versy, pp. 50-54. 8. See Cabell, memorandum to Com- manding Generals Major Air Commands, "Reporting of Informa- tion on Unconventional Aircraft," 8 September 1950 and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 65. 9. See Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUE BOOKand Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 67. C00242525 10. (S) See Edward Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI, "Flying Saucers," 1 August 1952. See also United Kingdom, Report by the "Flying Saucer" Working Parry, "Uni- dencified Flying Objects," no date (approximately 1950). it. See Dr. Scone, OSI, memorandum to Dr. Willard Machle, OSI, 15 March 1949 and Ralph L Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI. memoran- dum for DDI, "Recent Sightings of Unexplained Objects," 29 July 1952. 12. Scone, memorandum to Machle. See also Clark, memorandum for DDI, 29 July 1952. 13. See Klass, UFOs, p. 15. For a brief review of the Washington sightings see Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 269-271. 14. See Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI. memorandum to DDI Robert Amory, Jr.. 29 July 1952. OSI and OCI were in the Directorate of Intelligence. Established in 1948, OSI served as the CIA's focal point for the analysis of foreign scientific and technological developments. In 1980, OSI was merged into the Office of Science and Weapons Research. The Office of Current Intelligence (OCI), established on 15 January 1951 was to provide all-source current intelligence to the President and the National Security Council. 15. Tauss. memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, Sl (Philip Strong), 1 August 1952. 16. On 2 January 1952, DCI Walter Bedell Smith created a Deputy Direc- torate for Intelligence (DDI) composed of six overt CIA organizations-OSI, OCI. Office of Collection and Dissemi- nation. Office National Estimates, Office of Research and Reports, and the Office of Intelligence Coordina- tion-to produce intelligence analysis for US policymakers. 17. See Minutes of Branch Chiefs Meet- ing. I l August 1952. 18. Smith expressed his opinions at a meeting in the DCI Conference Room attended by his top officers. See Deputy Chief, Requirements Staff. FI, memorandum for Deputy Director, Plans, "Flying Saucers," 20 August 1952, Directorate of Opera- tions Records, Information Management Staff, Job 86-00538R, Box 1. (S) 19. Sec CIA memorandum, unsigned, "Flying Saucers," 11 August 1952. 20. See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, "Flying Saucers," 14 August 1952. 21. See CIA. memorandum, unsigned, "Flying Saucers," 19 August 1952. 22. See Chadwell, memorandum for Smith, 17 September 1952 and 24 September 1952, "Flying Saucers." See also Chadwell, memorandum for DCI Smith, 2 October 1952 and Klass, UFOs, pp. 23-26. 23. Chadwell, memorandum for DCI with attachments, 2 December 1552. See also Klass, UFOr, pp. 26-27 and Chadwell, memorandum, 25 Novem- ber 1952. 24. See Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November 1952 and Chadwell, mem- orandum, "Approval in Principle - External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified Flying Objects," no date. See also Philip G. Strong, OSI, memorandum for the record, "Meet- ing with Dr. Julius A. Stratton, Executive Vice President and Provost, MIT and Dr. Max Millikan, Director of CENIS." Strong believed that in order to undertake such a review they would need the full backing and sup- port of DCI Smith. 25. See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, " Unidentified Flying Objects." 2 December 1952. See also Chad- well, memorandum for Amory. DDI, "Approval in Principle - External Research Project Concerned with Uni- dentified Flying Objects," no date. 26. The IAC was created in 1947 to serve as a coordinating body in establishing intelligence requirements. Chaired by the DCI, the LAC included representa- tives from the Department of State, the Army, the Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FBI, and the AEC. 27. See Klass, UFOs, p. 27. 28. See Richard D. Drain, Acting Secs ary, IAC, "Minutes of Meeting held in Director's Conference Room, Administration Building, CIA," 4 December 1952. 29. (S) See Chadwell, memorandum for the record, "British Activity in the Field of UFOs," 18 December 1952. 30. See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, "Consultants for Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects," 9 January 1953; Curtis Peebles, Watch the Skies'A Chronicle of the Flying Sau- cer Myth (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994). pp. 73-90; and Jacobs, The UFO Con- troversy. pp. 91-92. 31. See Fred C. Durant III, Report on the Robertson Panel Meeting, January 1953. Durant, on contract with OSI and a past president of the American Rocket Society, attended the Robert- son panel meetings and wrote a summary of the proceedings. 32. See Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects (the Rob- ertson Report), 17 January 1953 and the Durant report on the panel discussions. 33. See Robertson Report and Durant Report. See also Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 337-38, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 95, and Klass, UFO pp. 28-29. 34. See Reber, memorandum to IAC, 18 February 1953. 35. See Chadwell, memorandum for DDI, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 80 } 000242525 10 February 1953; Chadwdl, letter to Robertson, 28 January 1953; and Reber, memorandum for IAC, "Uni- dentified Flying Objects," 18 February 1953. On briefing the ONE, see Durant, memorandum for the record, "Briefing of ONE Board on Unidentified Flying Objects." 30 January 1953 and CIA Summary dis- seminated to the field, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 6 February 1953. 36. See Chadwell, letter to Julius A. Stray con, Provost MIT, 27 January 1953. 37. See Chadwell, memorandum for Chief, Physics and Electronics Divi- - sion/OSI (Todos M. Odarenko), "Unidentified Flying Objects," 27 May 1953. 38. See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 3 July 1953. See also Odarenko, memorandum to Chad- well, "Current Status of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOB) Project," 17 December 1953. 39. See Odarenko, memorandum, "Uni- dentified Flying Objects," 8 August 1955. 40. See FBIS, report, "Military Unconven- tional Aircraft," 18 August 1953 and various reports, "Military-Air, Uncon- ventional Aircraft," 1953. 1954, 1955. Baku," 13 October 1955; Scoville, memorandum for the record, "Inter- view with Senator Richard B. Russell." 27 October 1955; and Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for information, "Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft," 19 October 1955. 43. See Lexow, memorandum for informa- tion, "Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft," 19 October 1955. See also Frank C. Bolser, mem- orandum for George C. Miller, Deputy Chief, SAD/SI, "Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Check On;" Lexow, memorandum, "Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Follow Up On." 17 December 1954; Lexow, memorandum, "Possible Soviet Flying Saucers," i December 1954; and A. H. Sullivan, Jr., memorandum, "Possi- ble Soviet Flying Saucers," 24 November 1954. 44. See Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach, The Centrallntelli- gence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance. The U-2 and OXCARTPrograms. 1954-1974 (Washington, DC: CIA History Staff, 1992), pp. 72-73. 45. See Pedlow and Welzenbach, Over- head Reconnaissance, pp. 72-73. This also was confirmed in a telephone interview between the author and John Parongosky, 26 July 1994. Parongosky oversaw the day-to-day affairs of the OXCART program. Strong, memorandum for Major James F. Byrne, Assistant Chief of Staff, Intel- ligence Department of the Air Force, "Declassification of the `Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects,'" 20 December 1957. See also Berkner, letter to Strong, 20 November 1957 and Page, letter to Strong, 4 December 1957. The panel members were also reluctant to have their association with the Agency released. 49. Sec Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for the record. "Comments on Letters Dealing with Unidentified Flying Objects," 4 April 1958; J. S. Earman, letter to Major Lawrence J. Tacker, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Information Service, 4 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Berkner, 8 April 1958; Berkner, letter to David- son, 18 April 1958; Bcrkner, letter to Strong, 21 April 1958; Davidson, let- ter to Tacker. 27 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Allen Dulles, 27 April 1958; Ruppelc, letter to David- son, 7 May 1958; Strong, letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson, let- ter to Berkncr, 8 May 1958; - Davidson, letter to Earman. 16 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Goudsmic, 18 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Page, 18 May 1958; and Tacker, let- rer to Davidson, 20 May 1958. 50. See Lexow, memorandum for Chapin, 28 July 1958. 41. Developed by the Canadian affiliate of Britain's A. V. Roe, Ltd., Project Y did produce a small-scale model chat hovered a few feet off the ground. See Odarenko, memorandum to Chad- well, "Flying Saucer Type of Planes" 25 May 1954; Frederic C. E. Oder, memorandum to Odarenko, "USAF Project Y," 21 May 1954; and Odarenko, T. M. Nordbeck, Ops/SI, and Sidney Graybeal, ASD/SI, memo- randum for the record, "Intelligence Responsibilities for Non-Conven- tional Types of Air Vehicles," 14 June 1954. 42. See Reuben Efron, memorandum. "Observation of Flying Object Near 46. See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 135. 47. See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 128- 146; Ruppelt, The Report on Unidenti- fied Flying Objects (New York. Doubleday, 1956); Keyhoc, The Fly- ing Saucer Conspiracy (New York: Holt, 1955); and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy. pp. 347-49. 48. See Strong, letter to Lloyd W. Berkner; Strong, letter to Thorcon Page; Strong, letter to Robertson; Strong, letter to Samuel Goudsmic; Strong, letter to Luis Alvarez, 20 December 1957; and 51. See Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 346- 47; Lexow, memorandum for the record, "Meeting with the Air Force Personnel Concerning Scientific Advi- sory Panel Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, dared 17 January 1953 (S)," 16 May 1958. See also La Rae L. Teel. Deputy Division Chief, ASD, memorandum for the record, "Meeting with Mr. Chapin on Reply- ing to Leon Davidson's UFO Letter and Subsequent Telephone Conversa- tion with Major Thacker, [sic)" 22 May 1958. 52. See Edwin M. Ashcrafc, Chief, Contact Division (Scientific), memo- C00242525 randum to Chief, Chicago Office, memorandum for Austin Bricker, Jr., See also F. J. Sheridan, Chief, Wash- "Radio Code Recording," 4 March Assistant to the Director, "Inquiry by ington Office, memorandum to 1955 and Ashcroft, memorandum to Major Donald E. Keyhoc on John Chief, Contact Division, "National Chief, Support Branch, OSI, 17 Hawn's Association with the Investigation Committee on Aerial March 1955. Agency." 22 January 1959. Phenomena (NICAP)," 25-January 53. The Contact Division was created to collect foreign intelligence informa- tion from sources within the United States. Sec the Directorate of Intelli- gence Historical Series, The Origin and Development of Contact Division, 11 July 1946-1 July 1965 (Washing- ton, DC; CIA Historical Staff, June 1969). 54. See George O. Forrest, Chief, Chi- cago Office, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division for Science, I 1 March 1955. 64. Sec John T. Hawn, memorandum to Chief. Contact Division, 12 Decem- ber 1957. See also Ashcrafr, memorandum to Cleveland Resident Agent. "Ralph E. Mayher." 20 Decem- ber 1957. According to this memorandum, the photographs were viewed at "a high level and returned to us without comment." The Air Force held the original negatives. The CIA records were probably destroyed. 65. The issue would resurface in the 1970a with the GSW FOIA court case. 1965. 69. Chamberlain, memorandum for DCI, "Evaluation of UFOs," 26 January 1965. 70. See Jacobs, The UFO Controvmy, p. 199 and US Air Force, Scientific Advi- sory Board, Ad Hoc Committee (O'Brien Committee) to Review Project BLUE BOOK, Special Reporr (Washington, DC: 1966). Sec also The New York rimes, 14 August 1966, p. 70. 55. See Support Division (Connell), mem- orandum to Dewelc E. Walker, 25 April 1957. 56. See J. Arnold Shaw, Assistant to the Director, letter to Davidson, 10 May 1957. 57. See Support (Connell) memorandum to Lt. Col. V. Skakich, 27 August 1957 and Lamountain, memorandum to Support (Connell), 20 December 1957. 58. See Lamountain, cable to Support (Connell), 31 July 1958. 59. See Support (Connell) cable to Skak- ich, 3 October 1957 and Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 October 1957. 60. See Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 Octo- ber 1957. 61. See R. P. B. Lohmann, memorandum for Chief, Contact Division, DO, 9 January 1958. 62. See Support, cable to Skakich, 20 Feb- ruary 1958 and Connell (Support) cable to Lamountain, 19 December 1957. 63. See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Con- tact Division, Office of Operations, 66. See Robert Amory. Jr., DDI, memo- randrun for Assistant Director/ Scientific Intelligence, "Flying Sau- cers," 26 March 1956. Sec also Wallace R. Lamphire, Office of the Director, Planning and Coordination Staff memorandum for Richard M. Bissell, Jr.. ."Unidentified Flying Sau- cers (UFO)," l1 June 1957; Philip Strong, memorandum for the Direc- tor, NPIC, "Reported Photography of Unidentified Flying Objects," 27 October 1958; Scoville, memorandum to Lawrence Houston, Legislative Counsel. "Reply to Honorable Joseph E. (:artli." 12 July 1961; and Hous- ton. letter to Garth, 13 July 1961. 67. See. Iiir example, Davidson, letter to Congressman Joseph Garth, 26 June 1961 and Carl Vinson, Chairman, House Committee on Armed Ser- vices. letter to Rep. Robert A. Everett, 2 Selueniber 1964. 68. See Maxwell W. Hunter, staff mem- ber. National Aeronautics and Space Council. Executive Office of the Presi- dent. memorandum for Robert F. Parkard. Office of International Scien- tific Afflirs, Department of Scacc. "Thoughts on the Space Alien Race Question." 18 July 1963, File SP 16. Records of the Department of State, Record Croup 59. National Archives. 71. See "Congress Reassured on Space Vis- its," The New York Times, 6 April 1966. 72. Weber, letter to Col. Gerald E. Jor- gensen, Chief, Community Relations Division, Office of Information, US Air Force, 15 August 1966. 11 e Durant report was a detailed summary of the Robertson panel proceedings. 73. See John Lear, "The Disputed CIA Document an UFOs," Saturday Review (September 3, 1966), p. 45. The Lear article was otherwise unsym- pathetic to UFO sightings and the possibility that extraterritorials were involved. The Air Force had been eager to provide Lear with the full report. See Walter L. Mackey, Execu- tive Officer, memorandum for DCI, "Air Force Request to Declassify CIA Material on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO)," 1 September 1966. 74. See Klass, UFOs, p. 40, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 214 and Everec Clark, "Physicist Scores 'Saucer Sta- tus,'" The New York Times, 21 October 1966. See also James E. McDonald, "Statement on Unidenti- fied Flying Objects," submitted to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 29 July 1968. 82 C00242525 75. Condon is quoted in Walter Sullivan, "3 Aides Selected in Saucer Inquiry," The New York Times, 8 October 1966. See also "An Outspoken Scien- cisc, Edward Uhler Condon," The New York Times, 8 October 1966. Condon, an outgoing, gruff scientist, had earlier become embroiled in a con- troversy with the House Unamerican Activities Committee that claimed Condon was "one of the weakest links in our atomic security." See also Pee- bles. Watch the Skies, pp. 169-195. 76. See Lundahl, memorandum for DDI, 7.February 1967. 77. See memorandum for the record, "Visit of Dr. Condon to NPIC, 20 February 1967," 23 February 1967. See also the analysis of the photo- graphs in memorandum for Lundahl, "Photo Analysis of UFO Photogra- phy," 17 February 1967. 78. See memorandum for the record, "UFO Briefing for Dr. Edward Con- don, 5 May 1967," 8 May 1967 and attached "Guidelines to UFO Photog- raphers and UFO Photographic Information Sheet." See also Condon Committee, Press Release, I May been withheld from the documents. See Klass, UFOs, p. 6. 81. GSW was a small group of UFO buffs based in Phoenix, Arizona, and headed by William H. Spaulding. 82. Sec Klass, UFO:, p. 8. 83. See Wilson, letter to Spaulding, 26 March 1976 and GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859. 84. GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78- 859, p. 2. 85. Author interview with Launie Zicbell, 23 June 1994 and author interview with OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. See also affidavits of George Owens, CIA Information and Privacy Act Coordi- nator; Karl H. Weber, OSI; Sidney D. Stembridge, Office of Security; and Rutledge P. Hazzard, DS&T; GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859 and Sayre Stevens, Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment, memo- randum for Thomas H. White, Assistant for Information, Informa- tion Review Committee, "FOIA Litigation Ground Saucer Watch," no dace. 90. (S) See John Brennan, memorandum for Richard Warshaw, Executive Assis- tanc, DCI, "Requested Information on UFOs," 30 September 1993; Author interviews with OSWR ana- lyst, 14 June 1994 and OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. This author found almost no documentation on Agency involvement with UFOs in the 1980s. There is a DIA Psychic Center and the NSA studies parapsychology, that branch of psychology that deals with the investigation of such psychic phe- nomena as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and telepathy. The CIA reportedly is also a member of an Inci- dent Response Team to investigate UFO landings, if one should occur. This team has never met. The lack of solid CIA documentation on Agency UFO-related activities in the 1980s leaves the entire issue somewhat murky for this period. Much of the UFO literature presently focuses on concactees and abductees. See John E. Mack, Abduction, Human Encounters with Aliens (New Yo& Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994) and Howard Blum, Out There (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990). 1967 and Klass, UFOr, p. 41. The Zaneville photographs turned out to 86. See "CIA Papers Detail UFO Surveil- 91. See Charles Berlitz and William L. be a hoax. lance." The New York Times, 13 Moore, The Roswell Incident (New January 1979; Patrick Huyghe. "UFO York: Berkeley Books, 1988); Moore, 79. See Edward U. Condon, Scientific Files: The Untold Story," The New "The Roswell Incident: New Evidence Study of Unidentified Flying Objects York Timer Magazine, 14 October in the Search for a Crashed UFO " (New York: Bantam Books, 1969) 1979, p. 106; and Jerome Clark, , (Burbank California: Fair Witness and Klass, UFOs. p. 41. The report "UFO Update," UFO Report, August. , 1982) Publication Number Project contained the Durant report with 1979. , , 1201; and Klass, UFOs, pp. 280-281. only minor deletions. In 1994 Congressman Steven H. 87. Jerome Clark, "Latest UFO News Schiff (R-NM) called for an official 80. See Office of Assistant Secretary of Briefs From Around the World," study of the Roswell incident. The Defense, News Release "Air Force to UFO Update, August 1979 and GSW GAO is conducting a separate investi- , Terminate Project BLUEBOOK," 17 v. CIA Civil Action No. 78-859. gation of the incident. The CIA is December 1969. The Air Force not involved in the investigation. See retired BLUEBOOK records to the 88. See Worcman, memorandum for DCI Klass, UFOs, pp. 279-281; John H. USAF Archives at Maxwell Air Force Turner, "Your Question, 'Are we in Wright, Information and Privacy Base in Alabama. In 1976 the.Air UFOs?' Annotated to The New York Coordinator, letter to Derek Skrcen, Force turned over all BLUEBOOK Times News Release Article," 18 Janu- 20 September 1993; and OSWR ana- files to the National Archives and ary 1979. lyst interview. See also the made-for- Records Administration, which made TV film, Roswell which appeared on them available to the public without 89. See GSW v. CIA Civil Action 78- cable TV on 31 July 1994 and Pce- major restrictions. Some names have 859. See also Klass, UFOr, pp. 10-12. bles, Watch the Skies, pp. 245-25 i. 000242525 1:11 UFOs it 92. See John Diamond, "Air Force Probes 1947 UFO Claim Findings Are Down to Earth," 9 September 1994, Associated Press release; William J. Broad, 'Wreckage of a'Spaceship': Of This Earth (and U.S.)," The New York Times, 18 September 1994, p. 1; and USAF Col. Richard L Weaver and 1st Lc. James McAndrew, The Roswell Report, Fact Versus Fiction in New Mexico Desert (Washington, DC: GPO, 1995). 93. See Good, Above Top Secret, Moore and S. T. Friedman, "Philip Klass and MJ-12: What are the Facts," (Bur- bank California: Fair-Witness Project, 1988), Publication Number 1290; Klass, "New Evidence of MJ-12 Hoax," Skeptical Inquirer, vol. 14 (Winter 1990); and Moore and Jaime H. Shandera, The MI-12 Documents: An Analytical Report (Burbank, Cali- fornia: Fair-Witness Project, 1990), Publication Number 1500. Walter Bedell Smith supposedly replaced For- rescal on 1 August 1950 following Forrestal's death. All members listed were deceased when the MJ- 12 "docu- ments" surfaced in 1984. See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 258-268. Dr. Larry Bland, editor of The George C Marshall Papers, discovered that one of the so-called Majestic- 12 docu- ments was a complete fraud. It contained the exact same language as a letter from Marshall to Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey regarding the "Magic" intercepts in 1944. The dates and names had been altered and "Magic" changed to "Majie." More- over, it was a photocopy, not an original. No original MJ-12 docu- ments have ever surfaced. Telephone conversation between the author and Bland, 29 August 1994. 84