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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Feb > Feb 3

Re: 25 Rules of Disinformation

From: Gary <galevy@pipeline.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 23:13:55 -0500
Fwd Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 12:54:21 -0500
Subject: Re: 25 Rules of Disinformation

>From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Re: 25 Rules of Disinformation
>Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 00:55:51 -0500

>>From: UFO UpDates - Toronto [mailto:updates@globalserve.net]
>>Sent: Monday, January 18, 1999 11:14 AM
>>To: UFO UpDates Subscribers :;
>>Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: 25 Rules of Disinformation


>As for the rest of Gary's comments, in my "sophomoric" (his
>word) way I actually smoked out a tangible -- hard to believe,
>but there it was! -- reason why he believes poor dead J. Allen
>Hynek was an intelligence agent. Hynek once asked some fellow
>astronomers what they thought about UFOs, and passed the
>information on to the Air Force, for whom he was serving as

The always amusing Greg just can't just let anything pass on Dr.
Hynek, can he?  He has never let the his failure to address any
of the questions I have raised about Hynek discourage him from
raising a lame defense of Dr. Hynek.

But you've got to give the guy credit for honesty.

After repeatedly failing to produce anything that would remotely
persuade any reasonable observer that Hynek was not an agent, he
continues as Hynek's apologist. Unfortunately this apologetic
approach does violence to the facts of the matter.  Greg doesn't
discuss Hynek's "Special Report" because to do so would reveal
the critical facts he has overlooked.

The facts here are:

-- J. Allen Hynek is dead, but this is not really news.

-- And Hynek was hardly "poor," figure of speech or no.   He
collected a salary from his university, the Air Force (publicly
as a consultant) AND another from  a cut-out operation, through
a McGraw Hill subsidiary (this is documented by Jacques Vallee
in Forbidden Science).  Cut-outs are a common but not widely or
publicly known method of paying personnel working for
intelligence agencies.  As for looking for checks documenting
that Hynek was paid by some agency, don't send anyone on that
goose chase, Greg.  Thornton Page is already on record as noting
that the CIA issued garden-variety U.S. Government checks to pay
the Robertson Panel "scientists."  There are no souvenirs to be

-- Hynek didn't just "ask some fellow astronomers what they
thought about UFOs and passed the information on to the Air
Force."   This is a flat misrepresentation, Greg, as we will
soon see.

The reality is Hynek filed a seventeen (17) page (paperback
pages) written, self-described "Special Report" under his name
for the Air Force's intelligence agency, ATIC, which employed

By definition this is what intelligence agents do.

Below are a few Camp Peary definitions of intelligence agents.
Let's see how well Hynek fits:

AGENT -  1) A person tasked with obtaining information  to which
they have access under the rubric of their normal, day-to-day
routine.  Such an agent is said to have "cover" for his
intelligence activities.

AGENT -  2) A person under the full-time or partial control of
an intelligence agency or security service.

AGENT (OF INFLUENCE) -- An agent so well placed within a target
group that he can impact that group's activities in directions
desired by an intelligence service.

Can a good case be made for all three of the above definitions
having application to Dr. Hynek vis-a-vis the UFO?  Well, yes.

Hynek's "Special Report" includes a table in which he rated all
those astronomers he had interviewed for their quality as
observers and as professional astronomers.  His report was born
as a classified document and remained so for many years.

And Hynek didn't just "speak to some astronomers." He
interviewed forty-five astronomers (45) and traveled to eight
(8) observatories and spent three (3) days at a conference
interviewing many of them.  He doesn't specify how long it took
him to visit those eight observatories for this purpose but
let's for argument sake say he took one day at each observatory
and a day and a half in travel time for each of the observatory
visits.  Including the conference that is fifteen (15) days.
Who arranged his leave from his academic obligations, who paid
his expenses, etc.  That's a pretty serious commitment of time
and money for some casual conversation.

In addition, Hynek had to have spent a lot of time after the
conversations (provided he wasn't using a recording device to
capture the conversations) in order to compile his interviews
and write his report.

Some casual conversation!  Right on Greg! We are not all as
gullible as you would like us to be.

As Hynek himself points out in the report, he interviewed most
of the astronomers covertly, so that they "were not aware that
anything more than a personal private talk between astronomers
was going on." In other words Hynek betrayed their trust in him.
They were led to believe it was a personal conversation when it

The fact is that his colleagues were speaking to a man who was
working as an informant, one duly authorized and paid by one of
our military intelligence agencies.

The purpose of historical accuracy is not served by the way you
and others misrepresent Hynek's role as an intelligence agent
for the Air Force.

Did Hynek do any science at all while he worked for the Air
Force?  Who knows?

We DO know that NOTHING of that sort has ever been made public!

When you consider what Dr. McDonald said about the Air Force and
Hynek it is obvious -- everything they were doing was actually
security related and had nothing to do with "science" at all --
just like the "investigation" conducted by Dr. Howard Robertson
for the CIA! That is, it was all, _all_, part of a domestic
security program.

Greg, what do YOU get out of misrepresenting what Hynek did on
the public record?  Whatever that is eludes me.

>The wonderful thing about this incident is that it's very well

This incident is "well known"?  By whom, the average member of
CUFOS who sends in his dues every year and gets the _
International UFO Reporter (IUR) _?  I doubt the hell out of
that!   As for this list, how would any reader here have EVER
found out if I had not brought it up, hmm?

You and others on this list are working overtime to eliminate
any references to certain less fashionable aspects of ufology
past, especially of the kind represented here. By the time you
folks get through with the 1950s your readers will be completely
in the dark about many of the most important considerations
driving the principal players of the time.  Maybe that's the
idea, huh?

Writing a history of the UFO without including detailed
discussion and analysis of the involvement of the intelligence
community, their personnel and activities is "like building a
house without a blueprint: The angles go awry, the foundation

>For years, in other words, the UFO community has known
>about this little deception on Hynek's part, and not drawn
>conclusions from it.

And I say to this, "Wow, can it get any worse!"  It's like the
old John Brunner novel, _The Sheep Look Up_, except the
ufologists, sheep to the last man, never do!

>Silly us, perhaps. Maybe we thought the
>deception didn't amount to much, didn't involve any serious
>breach of confidence, and didn't provide any damaging
>information -- as, let's say, reporting to the Air Force
>and the CIA on the state of CUFOS's finances might have,
>later in Hynek's life.

Great joke, Greg.  Did CUFOS ever have an endowment or full-time
staff that the Air Force would be concerned about?  CUFOS could
well have been a classical filtering operation and right at the
bottom of its funnel was the
chief-agent/collector-of-information: Hynek.  It is rarely
necessary to "infiltrate" an organization that has been founded
and is currently staffed by many of your own people, who are
regularly providing reports.

NICAP, on the other hand, was in the 1950s an organization of
dissent to the policies of what Keyhoe termed the "silence
groups."  And NICAP had a broad base of professional support, a
staff and a political agenda!  Sure, NICAP was collecting
reports, but that was just the beginning for them!  They took in
the reports so they could DO SOMETHING with them, not just pile
them up ad infinitum!

And what happened to NICAP?  Well, it was infiltrated and
subverted from within, a series of events that has never been
the subject of "mainstream" ufological researchers, who prefer
to ignore this particular elephant in the living room.

>Who among us has not, once or twice, gone on a
>similar "mission" for somebody we know? "God, I've got
>such a crush on Marjorie," our friend might tell us.
>"You know lots of her friends. Would you kind of talk
>to them, ask them a few questions, try to find out if
>Margie likes me? Don't say I asked you to!"

That you can trivialize Hynek's "Special Report" by
comparing it to an everyday social situation says more
about you and your approach to ufology than any
"Dark Conspiracist" could dare hope to do.
That is, as long as the deceptions are "little" and don't
amount to much or don't involve a "serious" breach of
confidence or provide "damaging" information (all of
this defined by YOU) then Hynek's spying is A-OK with Greg!
Well, isn't that a fine commentary on someone's values!

With the values you espouse, your academic credentials, work
experience as a journalist, and visibility in the ufo field you
might wish to be more sensitive to the appearance this creates.

CSPAN has an excellent program on the issue of the relationship
of journalists and the intelligence community in which several
former agency directors discuss their interaction with  present
and former journalists.  Pointed out in the program was that
journalists have been one of the most common covers utilized by
the intelligence community.  The program is a kind of folksy
meeting/dialogue that was taped in a Washington, D.C.
restaurant, I believe the meeting was held in 1998, the program
is ocassionally rerun late at night, it's informative.

>Gary has been telling us for quite a while that Hynek was
>involved in dirty intelligence stuff, and that he has evidence
>to show that, although he won't share any of it. Now he opens
>the door just a crack to the secret room where, apparently, he
>stashes his evidence, and....lo! It's something everyone knew
>all along! Something Hynek freely talked about! Gary, of
>course, reads far more into it than anybody else ever
>did....but wait, I forgot: He has all that OTHER evidence.

This is an important issue, the "dirtiness" of domestic security
operations.  As readers of James Bamford's The Puzzle Palace
know, domestic spying by the National Security Agency was THE
deepest secret in the inventory as Watergate broke twenty-five
years ago. Then, in 1974, when that information threatened to
come under Congressional scrutiny, the lid was slammed down,
just as it had been in 1961 when it looked like the UFO might
get serious Congressional attention.  The Congress is simply no
match at all for the backroom boys when the going gets really,
really tough.

The problem was stated by Hynek himself, quoted by Vallee in
Forbidden Science, saying that any secret investigation of the
UFO would have been "against the constitution."  Now, Hynek was
no political scientist but he was onto something, something that
applied to himself, since he WAS, without a doubt, part and
parcel of a secret UFO investigation!  The problem is that a
political republic cannot function if there exists a de-facto
"secret police" with a huge budget and its agents everywhere, a
situation that turned out to be true for the Cold War years!
Why is the U.S. public hooked on "conspiracy theories?"  Could
it be that some of them read the newspapers and simply know some
facts that are conveniently ignored by some on this list?  What
does it mean when Greg and others on this list systematically
rewrite history, leaving out nearly all mentions of the issues
under discussion here?  Are they providing Dr. Hynek with
ex-post-facto cover for his activities?  It could very well be.

Greg, you say that the report was, "Something Hynek freely
talked about!"  Are you saying that Hynek freely talked about
the report when it was still classified?

I doubt that.

What you ARE trying to do is trivialize the fact that Hynek, who
was a loyal, paid agent, kept security all the while it was
necessary and soft-pedaled what he had done WHEN it became
known.  And has a lot of help now, beyond the grave. Gee, I'm so

Before I forget Greg, bravo for unmasking of your local agency
representatives.  Do you think that my local "company" office
would be set up near me, on a main thoroughfare with lots of
cars with government issue licenseplates out in front? Does that
fit your script?  You know when I asked the guys coming out of
that unmarked office they said they were FBI
 -- did they lie to me?

>And, of course, he's always right. Just ask him.

>Greg Sandow

How curious that you should make a claim of infallability on my
behalf.   I am not worthy. It does however say much that you
have put those words in my mouth.

Gary Alevy

Below is Hynek's "Special Report" in its entirety, the table has
been narrowed to fit posting requirements


Special Report on Conferences with Astronomers
on Unidentified Aerial Objects to
Air Technical Intelligence Center
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


        J. Allen Hynek
        August 6, 1952
 This special report was prepared to describe the results of a
series of conferences with astronomers during and following a
meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Victoria, H. C.,
in June, 1952. It recounts personal opinions of a large number
of professionally trained astronomical observers regarding
unidentified aerial objects. In addition, it reports sightings
by five professional astronomers that were not explainable by
them. Representing the opinions of highly trained scientists,
these comments should prove particularly helpful in assessing
the present status of our knowledge of unknown objects in the

Purpose of Interviews

The desirability has been established of inquiring of
professionally trained astronomers of considerable scientific
background as to whether they had ever made sightings of
unidentified aerial objects. At the same time, it is felt that
it would be profitable to obtain the informal opinions and
advice of high-ranking astronomers on the entire subject of
unidentified aerial objects, of the manner in which the
investigation of these objects was being conducted by the Air
Force, and of their own inner feelings about the possibility
that such objects were real and might constitute either a threat
to national security or new natural phenomena worthy of
scientific investigation.

Accordingly it was planned that a tour would be made of several
of the nation's observatories, not in the guise of an official
investigator, but rather as an astronomer traveling about to
discuss scientific problems. It was felt that this mild
deception was necessary, that an artificial barrier to
communication might not be set up which would invalidate the
assumption that truly representative opinions were being
obtained. Therefore, to maintain good faith, the names of the
astronomers interviewed are withheld from this report.

In all, 45 astronomers were interviewed, nearly always
individually except in a few cases where this was impossible.
Eight observatories were visited and the National Meeting of the
American Astronomical Society in Victoria, British Columbia, was
attended on June 25 to June 28.

Because of the confidential and highly personal manner in which
the interviews quoted below were made, and to keep faith with
the many astronomers interviewed, who, generally, were not aware
that anything more than a personal private talk between
astronomers was going on, the names of the astronomers will be
withheld. They will be assigned letters, but the code will not
be included in this report.

Table I gives an informal evaluation of each astronomer as an
observer, and, for some, their rating as a professional
astronomer. These ratings are based on my own personal opinion;
they do not represent any fixed levels of achievement in the
general field of astronomy.


			Rating		Rating as; a
			as an		professional
	Astronomer	observer 	astronomer
	A		3		-
	B		1		-
	C		3		-
	D		2		-
	E		3		-
	F		3		-
	G		1		-
	H		2		-
	I		1		-
	J		1
	K		-		-
	L		1		-
	M		1		-
	N		3		1
	O		2		3
	P		3		3
	Q		1		1
	R		1		-
	S		2		-
	T		-		-
	U		1		-
	V		3		2
	W		3		-
	X		3		1
	Y		1		-
	Z		-		-
	AA		-		-
	BB		-		-
	CC		-		-
	DD		1		1
	EE		1		-
	FF		-		-
	GG		1		1
	HH		2		1
	II		2		2
	JJ		-		-
	KK		1		-
	LL		-		-
	MM		2		-
	NN		-		-
	OO		-		-
	PP		-		-

Key to ratings:
	1. Excellent
 	2. Above average
 	3. Average

Interviews with Astronomers

There follows a simple narrative of the interviews, after which
the opinions and advice of the astronomers will be summarized.

Astronomer A has never made any sightings and knows of none in
his immediate acquaintance who have.

Astronomer B has made sightings of things which people would
call "flying saucers" but hasn't seen anything that he couldn't
explain. He has seen birds at night flying in formation
illuminated by city lights, but probably not bright enough to
have been photographed because they were traveling "pretty
fast." Astronomer B wonders if some of the sightings are not due
to Navy secret weapons, since only the Navy has officially said
nothing about flying saucers. Astronomer B was quite outspoken
and feels that past methods of handling the subject have been
"stupid." He feels pilots should not be bushed up, and that
secrecy only whets the public appetite.

Astronomer C has made no sightings, and is quite reluctant to
discuss the subject. It is evident that he regards it as a
fairly silly proceeding and subject. Difficult to bring the
conversation around to the subject.

Astronomer D has made no such sightings and does not know any
associate who has. He is fairly sympathetic in the matter and
appears open minded on the subject.

Astronomer E has made no sightings, but heard the great Seattle
meteorite of May 11 at 1:30 a.m, Apparently, he is not much
interested in the subject.

Astronomer F, from England, has made no sightings but tells of
the reports of unidentified objects in England.

Astronomer G has made no sightings, nor have his associates.
Reasonably interested in talking about the subject, be clearly
does not consider it a topic of any real importance as compared
with the problems he is interested in at the moment.

Astronomer H has been associated with systematic meteor
observation, but not for any great length of time. He has made
no sightings nor have his associates. His meteor cameras have
not picked up any objects.

Astronomer I has made no sightings and it was rather difficult
to get him to talk about the subject at all. Clearly he does not
regard it as a problem of importance.,

Astronomer J, who has had long experience at a meteor
observatory, has made no sightings but clearly is very
interested in the problem. He has promised cooperation should
any items come to big attention. He is very much interested in
seeing this problem cleared Up. His professional rating is

Astronomer L has made no sightings nor, as far as De knows,
have any of his associates.

Astronomer M has made no sightings. Politely interested, but he
clearly does not regard it as a major problem.

Astronomer N, with an excellent professional rating, has made
no sightings nor does he know of any associates who have. He
said that astronomer Whipple thinks the green fireballs observed
in New Mexico are small asteroids, whereas the ordinary meteors
are cometary fragments. There is a further discussion of this
point later with reference to La Paz.

Astronomer 0, whose professional rating is only moderate, has
seen none.

Astronomer P, whose professional rating also is only moderate,
has seen none and does not consider the problem very important.*

[*The professional ratings given here show that "sightings" and
interest in the problem do not run inversely proportional to
the professional rating of the astronomer.]

Astronomer Q. with an excellent professional rating, has seen
no unidentified objects but says that reports come in
occasionally from the Fraser River Valley northeast of
Vancouver. Apparently these sightings have been concerned with
lights similar to the Lubbock lights.

Astronomer R has personally sighted an unidentified object, a
light which loomed across his range of vision, which was
obstructed by an observatory dome, much faster than a plane and
much slower than a meteor. If it had been a plane, then its
rapid motion could be accounted for only by closeness, but since
no motors were heard, this explanation was essentially ruled
out. Light was steadier than that of a meteor and was observed
for about three seconds. Astronomer R does not ascribe any
particular significance to this sighting, except as it
constitutes one of the many incomplete and unexplained
sightings. Astronomer R was not reluctant to talk about the
subject of flying saucers and pointed out that we must not fall
into the error of believing that we understand all physical
phenomena. As late as the year 1800, it was thought impossible
that meteorites, "stones from heaven," could fall from the sky.
There is no reason to believe that a century and a half later
all the physical phenomena that exist have been discovered.
Astronomer R is, however, violently opposed to the sensational
approach to this problem. He points out that many scientists, or
at least some scientists, have approached these sightings for
the sake of personal glory and publicity but not for the benefit
of the country. He is also opposed to magazines such as Life
setting themselves up as scientific arbiters and passing
scientific judgment on sightings; when not qualified to do so.
In short, Astronomer R believes this subject is serious enough
to be considered as a scientific problem, and that it should be
taken entirely out of the sensational realm. He believes, for
instance, that a group of serious scientists should aim to help
investigators by starting with a thoroughgoing investigation of
the "Lubbock lights." This, investigation would comprise not
only a rehash of previous sightings, but an intelligent
cooperative effort to examine the world of physical phenomena
and to see which of those, and which scientific or physical
principles, might conceivably have led to these observations.
He feels that the Lubbock incident is a particularly propitious
one to start with since the observations were made by reliable
observers in a scientific atmosphere, and that, therefore, these
qualified observers could discuss with other scientists their
sightings in a dispassionate manner. Astronomer R turned over
the record of his sighting made at the instant of the sighting,
for whatever use it may be. He is interested in the problem and
eminently cooperative.

Astronomer S has seen none and is not particularly interested
in the problem.

Astronomer T has personally seen nothing, but recounted the
incident at Selfridge Field which occurred early in June, 1952,
in which a group of fliers from Selfridge Field was sent out to
attack a target over Lake Erie. As they were approaching the
target, the shore observers radioed "Why don't you shoot? You
are already in the target." This apparently is another example
of the fairly frequent radar "sightings."

Astronomer U, Hugh Pruett, who does not mind having his name
used, is Northwest Regional Director of the American Meteor
Society. Although getting on in years, be has bad a great deal
of experience with meteor observation. He evinced considerable
interest and cooperation in the problem, and I took the liberty
of asking him to cooperate with this endeavor in tracking down
meteor sightings which might be associated with reports on
flying saucers. He is well acquainted with all the officers and
members of the American Meteor Society, and he could provide
considerable help hi assembling a panel of consulting
astronomers. Pruett plotted the flight of the great Seattle
meteor from hundreds of reports. He is an avid "tracker-downer"
of such things, and he can be of considerable assistance in
these matters. He himself has not made any unexplained
sightings. I checked my knowledge of meteors with him and
corroborated. the points that there are many meteors that are
green, that some drop vertically, that some wobble, some have
noise associated with them, and some have been seen as long as
25 seconds. There is one record in the literature of a meteor
that lasted 50 seconds, but this seems hardly possible. Pruett,
although he observed no objects, did bear a very loud noise
above the clouds early one morning, which he does not believe
was aircraft. He asked the local radio station to help; his
phone was busy for four hours. There is no question that the
noise existed, but no one saw anything.

Astronomer V has made no sightings. He was so interested in
speaking of his own troubles that it was impossible to bring the
conversation around to scientific problems. His professional
rating is only intermediate.

Astronomer W was difficult to interest in the subject and did
not admit to having seen anything.

Astronomer X, with a high professional rating, has made no
sightings and exhibits an extremely negative attitude toward the
whole problem. He feels that all sightings except the green
fireballs are merely misrepresentations of familiar objects, and
he has no patience with the subject. He believes that La Paz
should have enough data to get the heights of the green
fireballs, and therefore settle the question.  La Paz, when
questioned later, said he did have sufficient observations and
the objects were eight to ten miles high. Astronomer R, who
happened to be present when Astronomer X was "sounding off,"
again reiterated that it would be a good idea for some
astronomer to take a reasonable attitude toward this problem,
and that we will get no place by merely pooh-poohing it.

Astronomer Y has made no sightings but has stated, "If I saw
one, I wouldn't say anything about it." This statement led the
conversation into the question of what conditions would have to
be met before he would report it. The answer from him was the
same as from several other astronomers, that if they were
promised complete anonymity and if they could report their
sightings to a group of serious respected scientists who would
regard the problem as a scientific one, then they would be
willing to cooperate to the very fullest extent. Astronomer Y
suggested that an article be written in some astronomical
journal informing the astronomical world that a reliable
clearing house for such information exists,* Astronomer Y, and
others, were of the strong opinion that the astronomical world
should be informed through reliable channels as to what the Air
Force is doing in tracking down these stories, and what is being
done to put the investigation of such incidents on a scientific

[*The writer does riot agree with this as it would almost
immediately fall into the hands of the press and the ensuing
publicity would be a strong deterrent to the receipt of

Astronomer Z, from Germany, has sighted none himself but tells
that flying saucer reports also exist in Germany, but he
believes that many may have been introduced by the Occupation
Forces. He reports that rumors are frequent that the flying
saucers might be from Mars, but that these reports are taken by
the intelligent simply as American propaganda to cover up the
existence of secret weapons. Or, they say, if not the Americans,
then the Soviets.

Astronomer AA, from England, has made no sight-ings himself. He
tells that such sightings are talked about in England, however.
The only specific case he knows anything about is that of the
falling ice which killed the sheep. These very handy "flying
saucers" served a very good purpose in getting around meat
rationing because when the sheep was killed, obviously for table
use, the blame was put to falling ice. The stories ended when a
chemical examination of the only authentic case of such a fall
showed the ice to have uric acid in it. This led to a change in
the on routines aboard the BOAC planes!

Astronomer BB has made no sightings personally, but informed
the writer that he would talk to a reputable committee of
scientists if he did see anything.

Astronomer CC has made no sightings himself although he has
been in a very good position to do so. He was reluctant to
discuss the matter to any extent

Astronomer DD, with a top professional rating, has seen nothing
personally, nor does he know of any of his associates who have.
Interested in the problem, he feels that a scientific panel
could provide the answer.

Astronomer has never seen any unexplainable objects. He has
seen a phenomenon which most people would have said was a
"flying saucer." This turned out to be a beacon light describing
a cone of light, part of which intercepted a high cirrus cloud.
This led to a series of elliptical lights moving in one
direction and never coining back.

Astronomer FF has seen none himself, but recently received a
report from a ranger who said be was an amateur astronomer; he
reported a bright light but said that it was not a meteor.
Astronomer FF said his recitation of the incident was very
dramatic. Astronomer FF suggested sending up a control "flying
saucer" to see how many reports come back. Apparently he had in
mind an extremely bright rocket or perhaps a spectacular

[*Again, I do not think much of this astronomer's suggestion.
It would serve to ten us how many people will report an unusual
incident, which number can be compared with the number of people
who report a typical sighting; if the numbers agree then this
would be some proof that an actual object had been sighted in
the latter cases. The confusion that would be created by this
maneuver is hardly worth the while. Recently, the balloon
sighting over Columbus gives us, in effect, the same results
that Astronomer FF suggested. Certainly in this case hundreds,
if not thousands or more people saw the balloons which,
incidentally, were not spectacularly bright and could easily
have escaped detection.  It is interesting to note that the
public at large is becoming more aware of things which might
pass for flying saucers and are becoming less gullible and
trigger happy. The quality Of reports should be going up, and it
seems that greater degree of credence can be given to sightings
reported by a group of people in each case. It is becoming less
likely that any large group of people will be fooled by ordinary
or even unusual aircraft, balloons, or meteors. This was not the
case before the turn of the half century,]

Astronomer GG, with an excellent professional standing, and
cooperative and highly respected, has made no sightings
personally. He concurs with others that a committee of
scientists to approach the problem of flying saucers would be a
good idea. Astronomer GG had the suggestion that St. Elmo's fire
should be induced artificially to see if this is one of the
causes of the numerous sightings of lights by pilots.

Astronomer HH, whose professional rating is excellent, has made
no sightings personally. He agreed that the conditions under
which he would talk would be complete anonymity in reporting to
a committee or even to one reputable astronomer in whom he had
fall confidence.

Astronomer II, with an adequate professional rating, has made
two sightings personally. The sightings were two years apart The
first sighting, which was witnessed also by an astronomer not
interviewed on this trip, occurred in this manner: A transport
plane travelling west made quite a bit of noise and Astronomer
II looked up to watch it. He then noticed, above the transport
and going north, a cluster of five ball-bearing-like objects.
They moved rapidly and were not in sight very long. Two years
after this sighting, he sighted a single such object which
disappeared from sight by accelerating, probably by turning but
not by going up quickly. Astronomer II is willing to cooperate
but does not wish to have notoriety. Nevertheless, he would
furnish further details, and Observer's Questionnaires should
be sent to him.

Astronomer JJ has made no sightings himself, but agrees on the
policy of reporting to a duly constituted panel if he should
see any.

Astronomer KK has made no sightings and was not particularly
interested in the problem.

Astronomer LL, Dr. La Paz, has already had so much publicity in
Life magazine that there appears to be no reason for keeping his
name secret. lie is the Director of the Institute of Meteoritics
at the University of New Mexico, and is cooperative in the
extreme. One sighting of his has been described in Life magazine
and also fully in OSI reports. He has made extensive reports
about the green fireball sightings in New Mexico in OSI reports

The discussion of green fireballs with many astronomers
disclosed that most of them were of the opinion that these were
natural objects. However, close questioning revealed that they
knew nothing of the actual sightings of their frequency or
anything much about them, and therefore cannot be taken
seriously. This is characteristic of scientists in general when
speaking about subjects which are not in their own immediate
field of concern. Dr. La Paz has seen only one green fireball
himself, but has been avid in collecting reports on the others.
Because his full reports are in the OSI files, only the salient
points will be discussed here. It appears that the green
fireballs can be characterized by being extremely bright, most
of them lighting up the daytime, estimated magnitude -12, which
is extremely bright. They appear to come in bunches and at one
time 10 were observed in 13 days.  No noise is associated with
them despite their brightness. The light appears to be
homogeneous, and their light curve resembles a square wave, that
is, it comes on abruptly, remains constant while burning, and
goes out exceedingly abruptly, as though it is snapped out by a
push-button. They leave no trails or trains. As to their color,
La Paz is aware of the fact that other meteors have a green
color, but he insists that this is a different green,
corresponding to the green line in the copper spectrum (5218
Angstrom units). These objects generally move in a preferential
north-south, south-north direction.

If these data are correct, that is, if this many objects
actually were seen, all extremely bright, all having this
particular green color, all exhibiting no noise, all showing a
preferential direction, all being homogeneous in light
intensity, all snapping out very quickly, and all leaving no
trails, then we can say with assurance that these were not
astronomical objects. In the first place, any object as bright
as this should have been reported from all over the world. This
does not mean that any one object could have been seen all over
the world, but if the earth in its orbit encountered, for some
strange reason, a group of very large meteors, there is no
reason that they should all show up in New Mexico. Besides,
copper is not a plentiful element in meteors, and the typical
fireball goes from dim to bright to very bright to bright and
then fades out fairly fast, often breaking into many parts. They
frequently leave a trail of smoke in the daytime and of
luminescence at night. It is recommended that the OSI reports be
obtained, and that the sightings of these fireballs be examined
in detail. If the data as reported by La Paz are correct, then
we do have a strange phenomena here indeed.

Astronomer MM has not seen any. He happened to be with me,
however, while I interviewed some laymen who bad seen some
aluminum-colored discs. He was most impressed by the consistency
of their stories.

Astronomer NN is Clyde Tombaugh, who has already been
identified in the Life article. He has made two sightings, the
first of which is the one reported in Life magazine and the
second was reported to me.  The details can be obtained by
sending him a questionnaire, as he is Willing to cooperate.
Briefly, while at Telescope No. 3 at White Sands, be observed an
ob-ject of -6 magnitude (four times brighter than the planet
Venus at its brightest) travelling from the zenith to the
southern horizon in about three seconds.  The object executed
the same maneuvers as the nighttime luminous object which was
reported in Life magazine.  No sound was associated with either
of the sightings.

Mr. Tombaugh is in charge of optics design and rocket tracking
at White Sands Proving Ground. He said that if he is requested
officially, which can be done by a letter to the Commanding
General, Flight Determination Laboratory, White Sands Proving
Ground, Las Cruces, New Mexico he will be able to put his
telescopes at White Sands at the disposal of the Air Force. He
can have observers alerted and ready to take photographs should
some object appear. I strongly recommend that this letter be

 Astronomer OO is a meteor observer at the Harvard meteor
Station in New Mexico. Although relatively new on the job, he
observed two lights while on watch at 1:30 a.m. that moved much
too fast for a plane and much too slow for a meteor. The two
lights were white and moved in a parallel direction. it is
recommended that an Observer's Questionnaire be sent to this
observer, as his sighting bears a resemblance to the sighting
made by Astronomer R.  It was impossible to obtain full details
of those sightings because this would have classed me as an
official investigator. The details of these sightings should be
obtained by official questionnaires.

A meteorologist at the Lowell Observatory is identified here as
observer PP. He was not interviewed, but a clipping was
obtained from a Flagstaff newspaper covering his observations
made on May 27, 1950. The object was observed between 12:15 and
12:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, from the grounds of the Lowell
Observatory. The object presented a bright visible disc to the
naked eye and passed moderately rapidly in front of a
fractocumulus cloud in the northwest. Upon passing in front of
the cloud its appearance changed from that of a bright object
to a dark object, due to the change in contrast. No engine noise
was heard, nor was there any exhaust. It seems that this might
have been a weather balloon but in this case it would be strange
if this meteorologist would become confused by it. He reports
that it was not moving with the wind, but across the wind.

Finally, in this survey of astronomers, my associates and I at
the Perkins Observatory should be included. There are six of us
there, and to the best of my knowledge, none of us has ever seen
any unexplainable object in the sides.

While in Albuquerque, I met, through Dr. la Paz, a Dr. Everton
Conger, Instructor in Journalism at the University of New
Mexico. On July 27, 1948, between 8:35 and 8:45 a.m. he noticed
a disc-shaped object in the sky. It was flat and round like a
flat plate. It appeared to be made of duraluminum and gave off
reflected light very similar to the light reflected from a
highly polished airplane wing. The full details of his sighting
are in my notes. I obtained his cooperation and he would be very
glad to fill out an official questionnaire.

I also interviewed, while in Albuquerque, Mr. Redman and Mr.
Morris, the two gentlemen whose picture appeared in Life
magazine in the now-famous article on flying saucers. I
questioned them separately and found that their stories were
remarkably consistent. Indeed, since they viewed the object from
widely different parts of the city, there is some possibility
that the parallax of the object can be obtained by making
theodolite sightings now on where the object appeared to them.
The position of the object can be identified now because it was
viewed close to a canyon in the mountains. Dr. La Paz has kindly
offered to obtain the parallax of this object for us.

Summary and Discussion

Over 40 astronomers were interviewed of which five had made
sightings of one sort or another. This is a higher percentage
than among the populace at large.

Perhaps this is to be expected, since astronomers do, after
all, watch the skies. On the other hand, they will not likely be
fooled by balloons, aircraft, and similar objects, as may the
general populace.

It is interesting to remark upon the attitude of the
astronomers interviewed. The great majority were neither hostile
nor overly interested; they gave one the general feeling that
all flying saucer reports could be explained as
misrepresentations of well-known objects and that there was
:nothing intrinsic in the situation to cause concern. I took the
time to talk rather seriously with a few of them, and to
acquaint them with the fact that some of the sightings were
truly puzzling and not at all easily explainable. Their
interest was almost immediately aroused, indicating that their
general lethargy is due to lack of information on the subject.
And certainly another contributing factor to their desire not to
talk about these things is their overwhelming fear of publicity.
One headline in the nation's papers to the effect that
"Astronomer Sees Flying Saucer" would be enough to brand the
astronomer as questionable among his colleagues. Since I was
able to talk with the men in confidence, I was able to gather
very much more of their inner thoughts on the subject than a
reporter or in interrogator would have been able to do,
Actually hostility is rare; concern with their own immediate
scientific problems is too great. There seems to be no
convenient method by which to attack this problem, and most
astronomers do not wish to become involved, not only because of
the danger of publicity but because the data seem tenuous and

Therefore, it is my considered recommendation that the
following procedure be adopted by the Air Force.

First, the problem of unidentified aerial objects should be
given the status of a scientific problem. In any scientific
problem, the data are gathered with meticulous care and are
weighed and considered, without rush, by entirely competent men.
Therefore, it is proposed that some reputable group of
scientists be asked to examine recent sightings which have
already gone through one or two screenings. If this group
becomes convinced that the data are worthy of being treated as a
scientific problem, that is, that the sightings are valid and
that unexplained phenomena really do exist, then they should be
asked to vouch that these data are "worthy of being admitted
into court." Armed with this scientific opinion, various
scientific societies should be approached. The American Physical
Society, the American Astronomical Society, and the Optical
Society of America are suggested, in particular. These Societies
should be asked, in view of the validity of the data, to appoint
one or more members to constitute a panel to advise ATIC and
perhaps to direct the necessary researches into the phenomena.
This would serve not only to work toward an ultimate solution Of
the problem, but in the meantime would lend dignity to the

In short, either the phenomena which have been observed are
worthy of scientific attention or they are not. If they are,
then the entire problem should be treated scientifically and
without fanfare. It is presumed that the scientific panel would
work with the full knowledge and cooperation of the
general-contractor, but would not be bound by secrecy, which
would tend to hamper their work. It is possible that this panel
might be a panel in the RDB, similar to those in geodesy,
infrared, or upper atmospheric research.

In the meantime, it is recommended that the Air Force approach
the Joint Chiefs of Staff for endorsement of a considered
statement of philosophy and policy for presentation to the
public press. There is much confusion in the public mind as to
what is being done about the situation, and a great deal of
needless criticism is being directed toward the Air Forces for,
"trying to cover up" or "dismissing the whole thing." The
considered statement to the public press that the problem is
being considered as a scientific one and is being referred to
competent scientists in various fields should do a very great
deal in satisfying the public clamour.

It may be, of course, that this proposal will not get beyond
the first step. The scientist, or scientists, who examine the
carefully screened evidence may decide there still is not enough
evidence to admit the problem into the court of scientific
appeal. Personally, I hardly think that this will be the case,
since the number of truly puzzling incidents is now impressive.

The second stage may be a long one. The first effort should be
to determine with great accuracy what the phenomena to be
explained really are and to establish their reality beyond all

Third stage would be the eventual publication of the findings
of the scientific panel. This might take the form of a progress
report. If, for instance, the scientific chase is led into a
detailed examination of atmospheric optics, one can envision,
perhaps, many years of work. This, however, is the price one
pays for a truly scientific investigation.

One final item is that the flying-saucer sightings have not
died down, as was confidently predicted some years ago when the
first deluge of sightings was regarded as mass hysteria. Unless
the problem is attacked scientifically, we can look forward to
periodic recurrences of flying-saucer reports. It appears,
indeed, that the flying saucer along with the automobile is here
to stay, and if we can't shoo it away, we must try to understand


While in Los Angeles, I was asked to appear in a TV program
with Gerald Herd, the BBC science analyst; with Walter Riddel,
the rocket expert; and with Aldous Huxley. They were to have a
round-table discussion on flying saucers. I declined immediately
but was prevailed upon to be in the studio when the program was
in progress. I am afraid that my presence as an astronomer
"cramped their style" to a great degree, but nonetheless the
program had the general effect of convincing the hearers that
flying saucers did exist. There was very little constructive
about the program. It consisted of a rehash of all the things we
have heard so much about already. It might be profitable, for
instance, to have a TV program, sponsored by the Air Force,
acquainting the public with the problem of flying saucers as a
scientific problem. Though suggested jokingly, there might be
some point to this, if this investigation ever gets to the
scientific panel stage.

End of report and post

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