Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 15, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 16, 2003
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
September 6, 1967
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP69B00369R000200240055-8.pdf1.14 MB
Approved For Release 2003/11Q!reIA;PRt1P Editor's note: With this ar- tiste, the Star starts a two- art series on the fascinating uc3,cct of unidentified objects. At the Washington meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors last April, Dr. ,lames.. McDonald of the University of Arizona, spoke at the invi- tation of the editors, taking as his subject UFO's. He was followed by Dr. Donald H. Menzel of Harvard U:niver- sity. The minutes of u;, ASNE meeting now being transcribed and available, the Star, because of the special public interest in the differ- ences of Opinion between Dr. McDonald and Dr. Menzel, presents the remarks of both. Dr. Menzel's side of the case vvill appear Wednesday. Dr. McDonald was introduced by John Quincy Mahaffey, editor of the Texarkana, Tex., Ga- zette. discussed, and wnicir I was q u i t e interested to hear about, is by no means un- representative of the cate- gories of sightings that de- mand immediate serious sci- entific attention in this cotm- try and all over the world. And that is part of what I am here to tell you today. (Editor's note: William C. Powell of Radnor, Pa., and a friend, Miss Muriel McClave, had already reported to the editors on their May 21, 1966, sighting of what they said was a saucer-shaped object with a slightly raised dome on the top. They said the bottom was brilliant red, the top a brilliant white. They said they saw the object while flying near Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania.) This is not a nonsense prob- lem, as it has been made out. A lot of you have had fun, I suppose, writing feature stor- ies about little green men and hoaxers and so on. Be- lieve me, that is the wrong part of this problem to look at. Mr. Mahaffey: And now I should like to present our first scientist, Dr. James E. McDonald, who now holds the position of senior physicist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and professor, De- partment of Meteorology, University of Arizona. Dr. McDonald: Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to have the chance to talk with you and discuss the results of what I have found in approxi- mately a 12-month intensive study of this extremely inter- esting problem of unidentified flying objects. About last April I began to take a close look at the prob- lcm, having been moderately interested in the problem icr some years prior to that. I have been to Wright-Patter- son at Project Blue Book three times and I have exam- illed 150 or so cases in their files and talked to the scien- tific and military staff at Blue Book. I have talked with people in Al: Force, both scientific d milit< _?y, about other as- pects o .ne problem. I have been around the country dis- cussing it with independent groups, such as NICAP (Na- t i on a I Investigations Com- mittee on Aerial Phenomena) here in Washington. NICAP is one of the outstanding inde- pendent groups; it has done an excellent job over the years of digging into this fas? cinating problem. I have, on my own hook, interviewed dozens of key witnesses in important cases around the country and have examined hundreds of cash in a good deal of detail. have gone over Air Force evaluations, Dr. Menzel's analyses of problems and oth- er evaluations. It is against that baci;- ground that I now tell you that the sighting Mr. Powell Briefly, his educational back round includes a B.A. in chemistry from the Uni- versity of Omaha, an M.S, in meteorology four Boston Tech and a Ph.D. in physics from Iowa State University. Ile has been a research physicist at the University of Chicago and has taught physics at Iowa State Univer- sity prior to his current posi- He is a member of the tion . A in e r i c a n Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Royal Meteorology Society and Sig- ma Xi. I am honored to present our distinguished guest, Dr. . McDonald. In the past week I have spent all of my time dis- cussing my serious concern with scientific colleagues and with military people here in Washington. This week I Munk I have given 10 talks and briefings. I am glad to say to you that scientific and official concern is be- ginning to change. I have been at the Naval Research Lab. I've been at the Penta- gon twice this week briefing civilian, military, Air Force and other personnel. This week I have also talked to the National Academy people, the National Science Founda- tion and other persons whose influence on the problem I believe will quickly show up, . but whose affiliation I am not free to discuss with you. I have to say to you that, as a result of a pretty close look at this problem, I think we have all missed the boat. I think we have been misled. I think the problem has been most seriously mishandled of- ficially for 20 years. The problem has been misrepre- sented by many interacting factors including yourselves and scientists such as myself. I have tried to put all of this down in a rather long pa- per that is available to you at the back of the room. It is entitled "UFO's: Greatest Scientific Problem of Our Times?" In 20 minutes I can't possibly go over all of the details. But I will refer to the sections of this 28-page paper as I go along. Since I know you can't read it now and I doubt you'll be able to Approved For Release 2003/11/04: CIA-RDP69B00369R000200240055-8 intelligence channels. . gradually, as near as I can ? Balderdash, Rot .~ 4W0~ rovedc le e ?Q /~tg /04 0,024Adi - _ _ Book tells you C . is just not enough to look at 'j or, a sergeant and a secre- nothing in the uniacntitieu ny- this problem. They ruled that tary. there was no evidence for ex- istence of any "artifacts of a hostile foreign power" and suggested that an educational program be launched. This was never done. It would have been p bin action with the ,w,A repre- sentatives at the final ses- sion. (I am in the peculiar position of being almost the only one outside official Air Force channels who has seen this document. Maj. Quin- tanilla gave it to me and I made extensive notes from ,it. When I asked for a copy on a subsequent visit, things happened, and it has been reclassified by the CIA. I made no comments abo unhis for several months. It was fully clear to all the personnel at Blue Book and in the For- DR. JAMES E. McDONALD read it before you leave, I hope that all of you will take it, either to read on the air- plane or to carry it home to read' and then pass on to your scientific editors or ae- ronautical editors or what have you. The paper goes into considerable detail and explains my point of view. I think the problem has been superficially and in- competently handled by the Air Force. I have said that in many open discussions. I have said it to Air Force gen- erals t h is week. I said it to Air Force generals months ago. And I say it again. _ f 'o The history of the problem, as Maj. Quintanilla (Maj. Hector Quintanilla Jr., chief of Project Blue Book and also a convention speaker) in- dicated, began in 1947. The pivot point in the history of the UFO's was the Robertson Panel of 1953 - five well- known scientists assembled by the Air Force and` I to have a look at the pro em. The security agency's con- cern that led to formation of the group grew out of the heavy wave of reports of 1952, not exceeded even by last year's 1,000 reports. I was startled when I went into Maj. Quintanilla's office and saw five feet of shelving just devoted to the 1952 waves of sightings. There were so many cases that the SEP 6 1967 eign Technology Division that I had all these notes. I have it in full . . . ) The fourth recommendation asked for a systematic' "de- bunking of the flying sau- cers," The stated objective of the "debunking" was to "reduce public interest in fly- ing saucers." 4 No Deception Now Maj. Quintanilla has in- dicated that the Air Force draws on other soifrces of ex- pertise. And when we read the press releases from the Pentagon desk, we do indeed get the impression that Air Force expertise, which is not zero by any means, has been used. My examination of the problem strongly indicates I that the Air Force expertise has had very little to do with Project. Blue Book, and that this is the heart of the trouble. For instance, in the case of radar, I talked not very many days ago to the Air Force's best radar propa- gation man, Dr. David Atlas, who indicated to me he had never been brought into any discussions of propagation anomalies or anything like that in all his years at the Air Force Cambridge Re- search Lab. And I could go on to illustrate examples of that sort. The question of what the UFO's are is crucial when you look at sightings such as Mr. Powell and Miss McClave talked about and when you realize, as I now do but did not 12 months ago - that these are not unrepre- sentative sightings. The close- range sightings of disks and cigar-shaped objects frequently seen at tens of feet in populous areas are on the increase. There are credible observers, multiple witnesses. A case in Beverly, Mass., where five adults - two of them police officers - were within 20 feet of an object that was right over the- middle of the street. In the back of . my paper are 18 cases out of thousands. And this particular case of last spring is cited. That sort of thing and Pow- ell's observation are repre- sentative of the interesting sightings. They' are not con- fined to the United . States. One finds this going on all over the world. I can' vouch only for the American reports that I have checked, and I wish to make it very clear that I do not regard j this as a dark and sinister 1. action of a covert body trying to deceive the citizenry. They wanted to get the "noise" out of the "signals" that were :clogging the intelligence' channels. Hence, viewed nar- rowly from security view points, it made good sense to !'get this "noise" suppressed. But it was a scientific tragedy that at that time this problem was not turned over, in the face of nonhostility, to scien- tific groups. It was not. It ing objects that defies pre- sent-day explanation in terms of science and technology, that's balderdash; it is utter rot, I assure you. How would you explain the kind. of a 'dome-shaped object that Mr. Powell saw? Well, if it was the only one you ever heard of, you would forget about it. But l o o k at the unidentified cases: Exeter, N. H.; Dam- on, Tex.; Port Huron, Mich. Look at the sightings only; a couple of months ago in Davis, Calif. Look at the cases that simply fit no con-i ventional, no scientific, no known explanation. Something is going on here of the greatest scientific in- terest that has been. shoved under a rug, ridiculed and laughed out of court. You and I,, your feature 'writers have) helped ridicule-it. It's easier to write a funny story. And once the Air Force tells you there is nothing to it, what is more logical than to say, "People see things; there are a lot of nuts around the country?" And that has led to the net effect that very few of these are reported. For example, Mr. Powell's report never got.on the wires He told me he. called the Naval Air Station at Willow Grove after a day's deliber- ation, and they weren't very interested; and he didn't go any further with it. The number of embittered citizens who have been hurt by Air Force callous rejec- tion and discrediting, saying they saw twinkling stars and so on, is very large and I have had firsthand contact with many of them. As a citi- zen I m a little disgruntled at this kind of treatment. If there were some, reason for it, if Were were a national security' reason - but it's just incompetence in opera- tion. It `has led to a lot of serious students of the problem to speculate that there might be sortie conspiracy. And I have DonfTnued Approved For Release 2003/11/04 : iC t6P6'4Ei'O~ ,).$9 00240055-8 given that very. careful has said, a combination of comes to mind at the mo- thought for a number of rca- Echo and Venus - an ex- ment because it' contains a l ? sons. The group at APproveaFl 'Miease A40VO f104 : C . F7 - ~$~'9l 0~?20024~Q 5 very best scien- here in Washington has had - surd? And it still stands as cessfu attempts to persuade be- oi be ver ti t t much more contact with this the official explanation. Con- congressmen - they were al- problem than either the Air gressman. Stanton (Rep. John most successful several times G Force or I, and they have W. Stanton, R-Ohio) has been - to launch an investigation. again and again encountered told that a reinvestigation con- And this, as I've said, is cases where it looked to them firms. that. That too is titter needed. We scientists have as -if there must be some rot. been assured for so long r e a 11 y high-level conspira- cy. Pebple have suggested that maybe Blue Book is only a front organization and doesn't know that it's only a front or ganization. Well, I can't begin to tell you the sources that I have checked on this. But I do _ not think it is a grand coverup. It is a grand foulup, a foulup of incredible propor- tions,' unprecedented in my experience. - There have been scientists who have looked at the prob- lem - not very many. Dr. Menzel is one. I cannot agree with the optical-physical-as- tronomical principle's - the arguments that Dr. Menzel uses. 0 Plasma Phenomena Another person who has recently looked at the problem is Philip Klass, who has thought that these, perhaps, are plasma phenomena. That is a reasonable thing to have a look at, and I have had a' look at it. I can't agree with Philip Klass that any sub- stantial portion of the cases can be accounted for in terms of plasma phenomena associated with corona dis- charges on newer lines or I tell you that this sort of thing has to stop. And you editors are in an excellent po- sition to help stop this by pressing for what I am af- raid, at this juncture, may be the only way to escalate serious scientific concern, and that ? is to ask for a full and fair congressional inquiry into the past 20 years of mishandling of this extremely important problem. there is nothing to it. As I have gone around the country and I suppose I have talked to 15 scientific groups, includ- ing Rand, the University of Washington, my colleagues in the American- Meteorological Society - aver and over again I have encountered the i conviction that "there can't he anything to this; the Air Force has investigated it for years and years and shown that there is not a shred of evidence" - the sort of phra- seology you heard a moment The scientist doesn't usual- ly like to pursue these kinds of routes. I don't. You often get not only less than you hoped for but you also lose scientific progress. We must have a hearing that is not like the one last spring which was called by Congressman Ford (Rep. Gerald R. Ford R-Mich.) as a result of con- stituents' concern over Air Force handling of the Mich- igan cases that were ex- plained in terms of swamp gas. No single explanation has brought the Air Force more ridicule. The swamp gas theory is nonsense. And it still stands as the ex- planation. This is the explana- tion that came directly from Dr. Hynek, and Maj. Quintan- illa has assured me that it is balls of lightning. In the best Hynek, not him, with whom labs in the country it is the I must have any discussions. biggest problem in fusion re- And I have, but the explana- search to get plasma life- tion has not been retracted. times of more than seconds. But how did Mr. Powell see this plasma coming along at him from ahead and watch it for tens of seconds? How did two California Highway Pa- trolmen at Red Bluff, Calif., stand about 150-200 feet from a 100-foot-long object that had great big bright blinking. 11 t 't that maneuvered Hynek of Northwestern Uni- versity is the Air Force con- sultant on UFO's.) When Ford got an investi- gation, who conducted it? The Armed S .rvices Cmmittee. W o -testified? T rem Force-related people, period. ago. This even shows up abroad. Jacques Vallee; a French in- vestigator of UFO's, who is now in this country, has writ- ten two fairly good books on the subject. I asked him; "Why doesn't the French gov- ernment, for example, do something? He replied, "When we go to the French government, they say the U.S. Air Force has been spending a lot of money for many years on this and has shown there is nothing to it. Why should we spend French money?" And so this image of expertise. that has been spread abroad --..which has behind it zero - is holding this problem in a limbo that it must be blasted out of. Although I. saw some prog- ress this Week - progress of an entirely different sort - I .don't think :we are really go- ing to get the serious concern among many top-notch scien- tists. What we need are sci- entists who are much better equipped than myself to look at this problem. This has to go to the top-caliber scientists all over the' world, because something is involved here that is of concern to- all of us. It is not a simple problem. 'I mean, obviously, how am I going to explain a 30-, 40-, 50- foot disk that goes by an ex- perienced pilot like Mr. Pow- i l6 1 s on , That we can't have. We must up and down and led them a 'have what NICAP, for ex- ex- How did the about 70 Portage minutes? County, , ample, has been pleading for How /Ohio, sheriff's deputies last for years. a half a plasma or a twinkling ` 0 The Best Source star or, as Maj. Quintanilla S E P 6 1 If you want to get the ell, who, I understand has single best source of informa- . logged 18,000 hours and he tion about the whole UFO sees this object just as he problem, I refer you to a might ' see a Cadillac a few y ng o s s are g wildered when they examine, as 1, for example, have ex- amined, the astounding vol- ume of evidence that exists on this problem that has been generally put under the rug. ? Wire Services The wire service editors know it's.a lot of nonsense. If something happens out in Sauk Center, maybe even the Sauk Center Gazette doesn't report it. But if it does, the wire service editor is sure disinclined to report 1 it. And so the discrepancy between what you as editors suspect is the nature of the problem and what you see in Just looking at clipping service coverage - where you get all the Sauk 'Center Gazette re- ports - is, well, it's almost incredible. I couldn't believe it when last spring I saw the NICAP clipping service coverage. I thought I knew something about the problem, but the n u m be r of incidents in Shamokin, Penn. or Custer, Wash., or what-have-you - you never hear of them, and nobody else hears of them. If you' read the New York Times and -your own- paper, you won't have heard of them, because we have collectively helped the Air Force forget about this somewhat uncom- fortable problem. And you have helped. Yet, the evi- dence is simply astounding. Well, I much prefer to talk about the purely scientific as- pects of some of these ex- planations. I have no start- ling scientific illumination of the problem. It's baffling to me. Nothing in my scientific education prepares me to give you a pat explanation of what is going on here. There are hoaxes; there are misinterpreted pheno- mena; there are all these things, of course. But there are not advanced test ve- hicles, believe me.. No Air Force test vehicle is going to go for five miles behind a loaded gas truck in Oklahoma - this sort of thing - land- ApprovedlFWicikLlehtcN/9aI14.; ' ?b 'ao369R000200240055- "The UFO Evidence." It dle of cities. No :~nuec~ American test vehicle is go- continue to try, as one scien- The whole question of the am to be tested in Brazil or tist, to pursue it in other pre-1947 sightings, which I lr New Zealand and no Ru rov ~ Q b2bOW' 1/04cp 11PRoFPIWBU03 91R100020q;4OP j4ave examined test vehicle is going to be tes- fence-orien e agency, not must be looked at by histori- tl ;A,, nd T have ev ce ted in the United States ar England. There is every rea- son to believe that the phe- nomenon is global. They are not advanced test vehicles; they are not hallucinations. I have had three sessions with psychologists and I have asked them, "Is there any- thing in your clinical ex- perience that would match this?" The answer is, "No, it certainly doesn't sound like anything psychological." Aft- er all, there are cases involv- ing dozens of witnesses and the military. And by their cal scholars as well as stu- ie own statement, with which I dents of the history of tech- drawn slightly different con- agree, there is no clear-cut nology, examine the inter- elusions from those presented evidence of hostility. But estin , question of whether by the previous speaker. let's get it into a scientific sightings that appear to con- agency. stitute a continuum at low Amusingly, all my efforts to interest NASA in this gives me the feeling that they think it's nonsense too. I think they have been hoodwinked and sort of unintentionally brain- washed for years and years. And all this is not as it result of any high-level conspiracy. It's just a foulup. But a fou- ings - although if the Air Force is involved, the sight- i n g s are disclaimed and blamed on weather, elec- tronic malfunctions and so on; at least that's how they have been so attributed since 1953. If you want to get all the Air Force radar sight- ings, you go back before the CI request for a "debunk- ng ' policy and Air Force Regulation 9000-2. o A Beginning portions. We must launch a new level of investigation. There are very specific things. Radar is already depl- oyed. The trouble is it's com- promised by present regula- tions. There are many radar sightings. This would be an immediate objective source of information that could be put into scientific terms and be very useful. There are a number of electromagnetic effects known in the evidence car- .stopping cases, for instance. In Texas, in 1957, the fasci- nating case, nine different ve- hicles stopped. But this is go- ing on all the time. NICAP must have 150 examples of. this. It's going on in Aust- ralia, England and so on. Associated with this are apparently interference cf- fects, radio and TV, magne- tometers, compasses, a lot of electromagnetic effects. Sci- ence knows a lot about elec- tromagnetic sensing devices, and many things could be done quickly if only the prob- lem were taken seriously. Airline Reports There are many airline re- in the old evidence. But ports once the Air Force began to discredit pilots -, and they have, in some cases, un- mercifully discredited them - that source of information pretty much dried up. Well, what is to be done? The Colorado Program (an Air" Force-sponsored study) is a beginning, but I am uneasy about the Colorado Program. There is not nearly enough scientific talent on that pro- gram. I have said that quite openly - without intending to carp - to many people in Washington. It should be beefed up immediately. What we need is much more atten- tion to this problem, and that, unfortunately, requires money. But it also requires people and that is what is short out at Colorado. I'm afraid they have not taken the problem seriously enough to muster the scientific talent to do jus- tice to that. We need an immediate es- calation of the problem. Con- gressional inquiry, if you can press for it, will perhaps" do the trick; it might also send the problem awry. I don't have great confidence in a congressional inquiry being the greatest solution. . I'll SEP 6 igc',, ' That can be changed. bile teams need to be pared to get out into the Mo- pre- field in a hurry with a lot of gear. And this can be done..I dis- cussed this in the Pentagon Approve 6f8h O sff t "?04 : CIA-RDP69B00369R0062'00240055-8 about that sort oft ing than I do. GQ1?t .5~ s w n last week with the people bilities exist levels, running back to the turn of the century at least, are the same phenomena. NI- CAP is coming out with a vol- ume in a few months, one that represents a good compi- lation of evidence. But histori- cal sophistication is needed to assess the evidence. That is a very important thing to do, because the whole na- ture of the problem is quite different, if it is the case - and I lean in this direction - that aside from the marked increase beginning in 1947, there appears to be the same phenomenon of craft - like, machine-like objects oper- ating in our environment for tens of years. The heart of the problem is the "ridicule lid,". and you're sitting on it. You're sitting on it in a way that is very im- portant. Get off that lid! That is, get your wire service people to take it seriously; look at the problem yourself; examine it for yourself and get off that lid, because that is a big part of the problem now. You don't know whether changes in the frequency of sightings is a real change, or whether they occur just be- cause you have given it- serious credence in your area, which makes people come out with reports that they wouldn't otherwise have told a soul about. (The previous speaker was Dr. McDonald, who said that he had concluded, after a 12- month study of "the ex- tremely interesting problem of unidentified flying oh, jects" that a proper ap- proach was not being taken toward them by the Air Force or others, and.,that a closer look should be taken. 'Dr. McDonald said, "Some- thing is going on here of the greatest scientific interest that has been shoved under it rug, ridiculed, and laughed at." Dr. McDonald's vie; is that UFO's very well may be Similar sightings of flying saucers go far back in his- tory, where they have as- sumed different forms for dif- ferent people. Old records re- fer to them as fiery dragons, f i cry chariots, wills-o'-the- wisp, jack-o'-lanterns, fire- drakes, fox fire and even the devil himself. And now we are having ur- ged on us a new legend to explain a rash of mysterious sightings. Certain UFO buffs argue that the peculiar prop- erties and maneuvers of these apparitions, as reported by reliable people of all dif- ferent kinds, are so remark- able that only one ex- planation for them is pos-. sible: they must be vehicles from outer space, manned by beings far more intelligent than we, because the opera- tors have clearly built ve- hicles capable of something far beyond anything we can conceive of. This is the argu- ment that we are asked to accept. On the face of it, it sounds much like the reasoning of Sherlock Holmes, who said on several occasions, "It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impos- sible, whatever remains, how- ever improbable, must be the truth." I am willing to go along with this formula, but only after we have followed Holmes and excluded every possibility but that of manned You are on the lid. Get off it. Ask for congressional in- vestigation. My report lists 18 or 20 edi- torial comments. It shows that some of your colleagues have already pressed for this - too faintly - in the past. Have a look for yourself at the evidence. You will find an astounding picture of enormous interest that has been mishandled and mis- represented for far too long. UFO's. And we must also ho o further possi- that Deceptive Reasoning The b 1' P pprov e dom! To the buffs all sightings are true UFO's unless proved otherwise. often misquote various au- thorities, or they misquote one another, until they be- lieve what they are saying. Having no real logic on their side, they resort to innuendo and ridicule and try to dis- credit those who fail to sup. ,port their view. The UFO magazines all refer to me as the archdemon of saucer- quite simple. They try to find someone whom they can es- tablish as an authority, some- one who will support their views. Then they quote and levers, I fee , are much too eager to reach a i decision. Their method is , scientists headed by H.P. Rob- ertson of Cal Tech met at ,. ,, jQ,, to consider a number of the Air Force's most convinc- ing cases. These cases were supposedly the ones that had convinced the Air Force personnel who had worked on them as the 20 to 30 most outstanding cases, the ones that looked as if there was absolutely no other ex- planation except UFO's from outer space to account for the sightings. The Robertson Committee immediately sol- ved a number of them. The rest they could not solve only because of poor or in- sufficient data. The question- naire again! They concluded that all cases had a natural solution..And the report states that there is no evi- dence to support the idea that UFO's are vehicles from an- other world. I concede that the concept other natural explanations of manned spaceships is not exist - Dr. McDonald to the an absolute impossibility. contrary - for the unex- Neither are the concepts of ' plained sightings. The Air ghosts, spirits, witches, fair- Force has given me full ac- date. We live in the age of space. Isn't it natural that b e i n g s from outer space C should exhibit a similar inter- est in us? But when we con- sider that these beings - if indeed they are beings - have been bugging us for centuries, why should not one have landed on the White House lawn and shown him- Nevertheless, the ' UFO buffs believe, almost as an article of faith, that special observers, such as military or airline pilots, couldn't pos- sibly mistake a meteor or a planet or a star, a sundog or a mirage for a UFO. This viewpoint is absolute non- sense, and the Air Force files bear witness to its falsity! They contain thousand of sol- ved cases - sightings by the same kind of "reliable indi- viduals," like the pilots. But s u c h persons have often made huge errors in the identification: ies, elves, hobgloblins or the cess to their files. I concur devil. The only trouble with ! with Dr. MacDonald that this last list is the fact that there is no vast conspiracy they are somewhat out of by either the Air Force or life history of our solar sys- these ideas, and soon tem. The number of habitable ploited cts n the u various UFO clubs came into yFese~~04:e7'Q~R69369Fdt40020049Qd5Bather, shining have heard a committee of b you have beard, including mine, are just guesses. I . have guessed that our own Milky Way many contain as many as a million such plan- ets. That sounds like a lot, but the chances are that if this figure is right, the near- est inhabited planet would be so far away that if we sent out a message to it today, we should have to wait about 2,- 000 years to get a reply. Alas, the evidence is poor for intelligent life in our solar system, although I would rather expect to find some low forms of life on planet Other Reasons position is simply this: that With respect to UFO's, my th.e A to conceal the facts from e public, as many groups have charged. The Air Force has made its mistakes. They never have had enough scientists in the project. They have failed to follow up certain sightings of special importance. To me their questionnaire is ama- self to the President of the teurish, almost cleverly de- United States, to a member signed in certain cases to get of the National Academy. of the wrong answers and lose Scienhes or at least to some track of the facts. The Air one of you editors? Force is aware of my criti- Now, please don't misun- cfsm. And at Major Quinta- derstand me. I think it is very possible that intelligent life, hopefully more intelligent than we - may exist some- where in the vast reaches of outer space. But it is the very vastness of this space that complicates the problem. The distances are almost in- conceivable. The time re- _______ quired to reach the earth - even at speeds comparable to that of light - range in hun- dreds, if not thousands, of years for some of our nearer neighbors. And it takes light some billions of years to reach us from the most dis- tant galaxies, times compa- rable with that for the entire nilla's invitation I have been making constructive criticisms and trying to help them in a revision of the questionnaire. It is not an easy job. From 1947, until 1954 a be- wildered group of Air Force personnel tried honestly and . sincerely to resolve the UFO problem. i,4any highly re- liable persons had reported seeing objects moving at fan- tastic speeds and apparently taking evasive action in a manner impossible for known terrestrial craft. By 1952 a 'si- zable number of those in the Air Force group had con- cluded that extraterrestrial vehicles were the only expla- p 6 196,7 , Approy%Oeh t ifas w~2 Meteor Mistaken A huge meteor flashes by in the sky! The copilot thinks it is going to strike the plane and takes evasive action. He may even imagine that his plane is hit by the backwash from this UFO. The pilot dis- rightly in the sun, floating a more 20 feet overhead may, to someone on the ground, seem to be a distant object moving at a very high speed. Conversely, a pilot may think the bright object on the horizon, in reality a star or planet, that lies just beyond his wing tip is a UFO. Some- tines a layer of warm air, sandwiched between two lay- ers of cold air, can act as a lens, projecting a pulsing, spinning, vividly colored sau- cer-like image of a planet. (I have' seen this phenomenon myself, despite the fact that the previous speaker in his lengthy manuscript tries to discredit my sighting.) Pilots, thinking they were dealing with a nearby flying object, have often tried to intercept such images which evade, of course all attempts to cut them off. The distance may seem to change rapidly as the star fades or increases in intensity. Because, as the pi- lot flies along, the star may even be completely cut off at times by a mountain or by a forest and it will seem to buzz in and out from the plane, attacking the plane. It's realistic and very fright- ening. The observations of this type fortify the UFO legend that these objects "maneuver -as if under intelligent con- trol." But the pilots fail to realize that the "intelligent control" came from within themselves, and I think that the Air Force personnel of Project Blue Book still do not appreciate this important UFO phenomenon. Mirages aren't the only ap- paritions that appear to maneuver. I think I was the agrees, the pilot is right. The first person to point out that UFO proves to be a bright a special kind of reflection of fireball or meteor ahundred the sun (or moon) from ice miles away! such occur- crystals, sometimes called a rences are frequent, not rare. sundog (or moondog), can Distances, especially in also perform evasive action, space, are hard to estimate. Layers of ice crystals are If you're in the air, a thing necessary like those found in you might think is 100 fet cirrus clouds. An aviator, fly- away from you actually may ing through cirrus, sometimes be a star that is :clear back sees a peculiar metallic-ap- in the firmament, pearing reflection. The reflec- tion often has a reddish tinge on one side, a reflection of flt1/04 : CIA-RDR69B0,369R000 a t c t. The a ari- IUUU 1J11UL 1UVUL0t;0 6UULJC. and the object seems to exe- But there are still a few cute evasive action. As the other phenomena that can pilot runs out of ice cAptp vedV#a6rR?'f 20O't 04 the UFO will seem to put on a burst of speed and dis- appear into the distance. It is the ice-crystal analogue of a rainbow. Material Causes But such behavior does not imply, as the UFO addicts try to imply, the presence of an intelligent pilot to guide it. As we look over the Air Force files, we find that some 90 per cent of the sol- ved cases result from the presence of material objects in the atmosphere, reflections from planes banking in the sun and balloons - child's balloons, weather balloons, lighted or unlighted, especial- ly those enormous plastic bal- loons as large as a 10-story Birds, by day or night, of- ten reflect light from their shiny backs. Windblown kites, hats, paper, plastic sacks, feathers, spider webs, seed pods, dust devils have all contributed their share of UFO sightings. Insects - single insects or insects in s w a r m s saucer-shaped clouds, the reflection of a searchlight on clouds, special space experiments, such as rocket-launched sodium vapor releases or balloons launched from rockets from Wallops Island, have also produced spectacular apparitions, vis- ible all up and down the East Coast. Ball lightning and the aurora borealis occasionally contribute. building, which carry scien- I can see them most clear- tific instruments sometimes , ly in a dark room or on a to 100,000 feet - reflecting moonless night with the sky full sunlight while the earth e v e n darker with heavy below lies in dim twilight. clouds. I find the background Such balloons shine more of stars on a clear night brilliantly than Venus. Ad- somewhat distracting. Just vertising planes or illumi- lie on your back, open your nated blimps frequently be- eyes and see the saucers come UFO's. spin. You will almost surely 0 that when you look at a sud- den flash you will have an T'VE 11t 1 om f a'~Pf 020O W& WHId duces immediate change in the so-called visual purple of the retina. In a sense the ret- inal spot where the light fell on the eye becomes fatigued and, for some minutes after the flash, you will be able to see a bright usually greenish}., floating spot which could be mistaken for a UFO by some- one unfamiliar with the prob- lem. But let me take an actual case which is typical of a large number in the files of Project Blue Book. A child going to the bathroom turns on a bright light and acciden- tally awakens one of this par- ents who is blinded by the s u d d e n illumination. The child turns off the light and' the parent, for some reason, also gets up and just happens , to glance out of the window.' He is startled to see a pecu- liar spot of light floating over the trees and making irregu- 11 Iar jerky motions. He watch- es the UFO for a minute or two until it. finally dis- appears. He can't be blamed for failing to realize that the erratic and often rapid move- ments. of the UFO are due to similar movements of his own eye. The UFO simply ap- pears in the direction in which he happens to be look- ing, and that's all. And yet he may describe it graph- 'ically as a luminous object sky. 7 Many such stimuli are pos- sible by day and night; A few ward the setting sun. , I came to a stoplight and looked out the side the car. I was startled to see a large black 'object shaped something like a dirigible surrounded by dozens of small black balloons. I sud- denly realized that these were after.-images of the sun. The big one was where I had been looking more fixedly. The spots were images where my eye had wandered. A I once had another similar experience. I suddenly glanced up and was surprised to see a whole flotilla of UFO's in formation across the sky. They looked like after-im- ages, but I hadn't been conscious of the visual sti- mulus responsible. I quickly retraced my steps and found it: sunlight reflected from the shiny surface of the fender of a parked car. I am sure that many UFO's, still unknown, belong in this class. Look fixedly at the full moon for at least 30 seconds and then turn away. A greenish balloon will swim over your head and perform maneuvers' startling or im- possible for any real object. I have been able to attain the same effect with the planet Venus when it is near maxi- mum brilliance. Yet most ob- servers will swear that such UFO's are true objects. And the Air Force questionnaire, failing to recognize even the existence of this kind of UFO, contains not a single question that would help them identify it. In fact, the words signify- ing UFO, unidentified flying object, showed the state of mind of the Air Force person- nel who invented this abbre- viation. What I am saying, is that the UFO's are not un- identifiable. They are often not flying and many are not even objects. It is. this point of view, to regard the appar- ition as actual solid objects, that has retarded the solution so long. After-images possess still another complicated charac- teristic. Colored light tends to produce an after-image of complementary color. , A green flash will cause a red after-image and vice ver- sa. Color-blind persons and per- sons with defective vision will often experience effects dif- UFO huff could have sworn that he was seeing a "mother ship" and a swarm of UFO's in rapid flight. ocmflnued, eo b F p e Ia o re ox Ling a UFO. }app bve41Fb'P TdW 2b6'3/f1104 : CIA-RDP69B00369R000200240055-8 ,~~ in the first row, would know as far as I know, the Air Force still does not recognize and I think I am bringing them to the public's attention for the first time today. You will see occasional reference to some of these phenomena but only indirectly. Let me quote from an ar- ticle on "Vision" in Volume 14 of the McGraw-Hill En- cyclopedia of Science and Technology: "...any obser- vant I.erson can detect swirl- ing clouds or spots of `light' in total darkness or wh.'le looking; at a homogeneous field such as a bright blue sky." So, if you want to see flying saucers, just look up. If you don't see them, you probably aren't "obser- vant." see bright irregular patches of light forms. Some of them seem. gray-green but I occa- sionally - see silver or gold and occasionally red. I can even imagine windows in some of them. As you move your eyes,. they will cavort across the sky. To speed up the action, just rub your eyes like a person coming out of a sleep. Occasionally, the whole field will become large and luminous. Now, I ask you, how can you be sure that the UFO reported by an airline pilot is not just one of these spurious images? And even if, an alerted copilot confirms it, he might also be responding to' a similar effect in his own eyes, since we don't know that he is seeing exactly the same thing that the other man is reporting. Eye Errors dows! These too have, in The chemistry and physi- their turn, produced realistic: ology of the human eye are UFO's and I could' go on ad- c e r t a i n l y responsible for cling almost indefinitely to many UFO sightings. The eye this list. responds in a different way to different kinds of stimuli.: But the chief point that I: Taken a sudden burst of vault to make is that a bright light like that coming simple phenomenon like any' from a flashbulb. You news- of the above have tricked in- paper editors, and especially tellifyent 1 ' t Reflections from pow- erlines, insulators, telccvision antennas, radars, radio tele- 0 icrent from those of people "No, it is not," said they; To this moment I haven't ttith normal eyesight. "you will see it turn around mentioned still another meth- non that can produce an illus- ion: you may forget that the eyeball jumps a little every time that you blink. Walking transmits vibrations to the eye at every step. Many indi- viduals think they see stars, planets or satellites oscillat- ing when the movement is actually that of the eye, it self. l L1l1 J~+~yyyJ - 00 optical p creYease`~b~I1117` 4 9 Another ~C{~/e r ?R Hour after hour passed and as the planet continued its regular course, the, other watchers began to get a little nervous. It showed no signs of deviating from its course. We went out from time to time to look at the sky. "There it is," said one of the observers at length point- ing to Capella, which was just rising a little to the East of North; "there is the star setting." No, it isn't," said I. "There is the star we have been looking at, now quite in- conspicuous near the meri- dian, and that star which you think is setting is really ris- ing and will soon be higher up. A very little additional watching showed that no de- viation of the general laws of Nature had occurred, but that the observers of previous nights had jumped at the conclusion that two objects, widely apart in the heavens, were the same. Let me give you this quota- tion from a book: On our return across Min- we had an experience nesota which I have always remem- bered as illustrative of the fallacy of all human testimo- ny about ghosts, rappings and other phenomena of that character. We spent two nights and a day at Fort Snelling. Some of the officers were greatly surprised by a celestial phenomenon of a very extraordinary character which had been observed for several nights past. A star had been seen, night after night, rising in the East as usual, and starting on its course toward the South. But . instead of continuing that course across the meridian, as stars invariably had done. from the oldest antiquity, it took a turn for the North, sank toward the horizon and finally set near the north point of the horizon. Of course, an explanation was wanted. My assurance that there must be some mistake in the observation could not be ac- cepted, because this erratic course of the heavenly body had been seen by all of them so plainly that no doubt could exist on the subject. The men who saw it were not of the ordinary untrained kind, but graduates of West Point, who, if anyone, ought to be free from optical deceptions. I was confidently invited to look out that night and see for myself. We all watched with the greatest of interest. In due time, the planet Mars was seen in the East making its way towards the South. "There it is!" was the exclamation. yc~ no reliable cases i 7 a eous visual and radar sightings. In view of the physical properties of the eye, the surprising fact is that so few cases have been reported. Time won't permit me to elaborate on- still another relevant phenomenon. The Air Force appears to have neglected co'npletely the psy- chological angle of mass hal- lucination. Back in 1919, in Spain, a not unrelated phe- nomenon occurred. Thousands of people - reliable people swore that they had seen im- ages of saints rolling their eyes, moving their hands; dripping drops of blood, even stepping out of their panels. One person would call !out, "Look, there it goes!" and everyone else would look and they would see this pehnome- non. There were many simi- lar events recorded through history. Many Hoaxes Then there are hundreds and thousands, perhaps, of hoaxes, like that at the Uni- versity of Colorado when some enterprising pranksters made hot air balloons from candles and plastic bags and it gave the university officials who were investigating the UFO phenomenon an oppor- tunity to see how poor the evidence can be, a fact well known to the legal profession. This is still another point that the Air Force has sometimes failed to realize. Moreover, their poor questionnaire has only further confused an al- ready confused picture. Several times during this talk I have used the phrase "UFO's cavorting across the sky." I did so deliberately be- cause it seems to be a favor- ite phrase of my good friend, Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Northwestern University, and consultant to the Air Force Project Blue Book. He 'has. sometimes expressed doubts about the UFO because stars don't "cavort" across the sky. 0 Those words came from a book called "Reminiscences of an Astronomer," published in 1903 by Simon Newcomb, who was in . charge of the American Nautical Almanac office from 1877 until 1897. This event actually occurred in 1860. The similarity to modern UFO's is over- powering. A star cavorting across the sky! Military offi- cers as reliable and respon- sible witnesses! Light Reflections For you who wear eye- glasses, there is still another way of seeing a UFO. Look directly at some bright light. There are a lot of them around the room here. Keep your head turned slightly to the left or right and you will the human eye. I mean ra- dar. Radar is a machine. It can't make mistakes. Or at least that is the common ar- gument advanced by the UFO buffs. The previous speaker in his document violently discredits my work and reveals his ig- norance of the phenomenon of radio propagation of these ra- dar waves. It so happens that during that three-year service in the Navy, which has al- ready been referred to, and 22 years since then as-con- sultant to the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory of the National Bureau of Stand- ards, I have had a little ex- perience with this particular phenomenon and the condi- tions. Radar is cursed with all of the potential afflictions that. any complicated elec- trical gadget can suffer. But let me mention only one: mi- rage. Let me explain briefly what a radar does. It sends out a pulse of radio waves. We know the direction, northeast for example. We know the elevation above the horizon. An echo returns. From the interval between the trans- mission and the return of the signal we know how far away the object is that reflected the pulse. We think, there- fore, we detect a plane - or a UFO in flight - because the radar directs its pulse up- ward. But we haven't any way of following the pulse in its path toward the target. A layer of warm, dry air or even a layer containing a few bubbles of warm air will bend the radar beam back to earth. This is what we call partial trapping and this is, for example, what happened in Washington in the famous sighting in 1952. undoubtedly see a faint, , The reflection of the beam roundish, out-of-focus spot. after it has been directed This is light reflected from ' backward comes back from a the front surface of your eye- distant building, a train or a hall, back to the lens and ship. No wonder that planes then back into the pupil of that were sent out' to inter- your eye. A bright source, to cept the radar UFO found one side and slightly behind nothing. In one such case a you, can also reach your eye well-known writer on flying h reflection from the throu " g saucers wrote: The dis- "Yes, there it is," said I. "Now, that planet is going to internal surface of the. spec- covery of visible saucers had h 4 urse to- tacle lens. been serious enough. The dis- co t on s kee rig ward the South." covert' now of invisible flyingsgp1Tluec Approved For Release 2003/11/04: CsWla 9b0'U3f d06L200240055-8 SEP 6 1967 frighten anyone." a ypin ss otaSe 1UU:f/11/04 : LIH-KUF'6yt3UU:f6yK0001UU14UUbb-t$ todayHipRKqtv ,r optical 'stimuli can produce weird effects. With all these kinds of phenomena masque- rading as UFO's, many of them, like those related to the psysiology of the human eye still practically not in- vestigated, I think I can rea- sonably claim, applying the criterion of Sherlock Holmes, that we have not excluded all of the impossibles. I have shown that the arguments ad- vanced in favor of the in- terplanetary nature of UFO's are fallacious. Their alleged high speeds and ability to maneuver, their alleged short distances are completely un- derestimated and they have natural explanations. I think it is time for the Air Force to wrap up Project Blue Book. It has produced lit t I e of scientific value. Keeping it going only fosters the belief of persons that the Air Force must have found something to substantiate be- lief in the UFO's. In making this recorhmendatio: I kin not criticizing the present or recent administration of the project. But it's time that we put an end to chasing ghosts, hobgoblins, visions and hallu- cinations. As for the true believers, bless their little hearts, let them go on believing in U F 0 ' s , fairies or Santa Claus, if they want to. Noth.% ing will change their minds. They will go on forever de- manding more dollars for in-' vestigation and more congres- sional , investigation of the UFO's and the Air Force. Incidentally, I would like to mention that a complete dis eussion of many of these: phenomena appears in' the' book, "The World of Flying) Saucers" by Lyle G. Boyd- and myself. SEp 01967 Approved For Release 2003/11/04: CIA-RDP69B00369R000200240055-8