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'About' Project Grudge

From: Eustaquio Andrea Patounas <socex@terra.com.br>
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 10:48:30 -0200
Fwd Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 10:36:09 -0500
Subject: 'About' Project Grudge

Source: About.com - UFOs/Aliens


Wednesday, 16-Jul-2003

In February, 1949, Project Sign came to an end, and with it the
Air Force's objective attitude toward UFOs. The final report of
Project Sign was decidedly skeptical towards the
extraterrestrial origin hypothesis for the origin of UFOs,
reflecting a shift towards explaining all sightings as
misidentifications of natural phenomena.

Secretly, however, the Air Force had merely changed the name of
the project to Project Grudge. The new name reflected the change
in policy towards UFOs. This change in policy by the Air Force
brought with it a campaign of characterizing those who believed
UFOs were extraterrestrial as "kooks". Sidney Shallet, a writer
for the Saturday Evening Post asked the Air Force for help in
writing an article about "flying saucers". The Air Force had a
policy of refusing such requests, but when they found that
Shallet's article was to be of a debunking nature, they agreed
to help him. Shallet spent two months researching the subject,
and then wrote a two-part article entitled What You Can Believe
About Flying Saucers.

This article and a press release by the Air Force reflected the
new public view of the Air Force that "flying saucers" didn't
exist, that they could all be explained, and that the
"believers" were "kooks". However, insiders knew that the Air
Force was still actively engaged in researching UFOs, and this
contradictory behavior led many to believe that the Air Force
was hiding what it really knew about UFOs.

During this same year, two of the best sightings on record were
made, one by C. B. Moore Jr., who was a balloon expert working
with the Navy on Skyhook balloon launches. (Ironically, he had
been in charge of a balloon project called Project Mogul, and he
would later be used by the Air Force to "prove" that the
"Roswell Incident" had been a Project Mogul balloon train!). The
other important sighting of 1949 was made by the noted
astronomer Professor Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet

Arrey, New Mexico
24 April 1949

Charles B. Moore, Jr. and four enlisted Navy personnel were
making a pilot balloon observation preparatory to release of a
Skyhook balloon at the White Sands Proving Ground in the middle
of the morning. The pilot balloon was in the air and was under
observation by one of the men when Moore became aware that a
white object which he had thought to be the balloon was in a
different part of the sky from where the theodolite operator had
his instrument pointed. As Moore said later, he thought the
operator had lost the balloon. Moore took over the 25-power
scope and focused it on the other "balloon" he had spotted, and
found that it was in fact an ellipsoidal white object moving at
a rapid angular velocity towards the NE. With a stopwatch and
recording forms at hand, the team of five observers was able to
secure some real data on the object. Moore disengaged the
vernier drives so that he could track the object manually, and
followed the object as it sped from the southwest into the
northeast skies. At its closest approach, it was moving at about
5 degrees/sec. Significantly, just before Moore lost it in the
distance to the northeast, its angular elevation began to
increase, as if it were climbing. The object had a length of
about two to three times its vertical thickness. Moore never got
a sufficiently clear view to identify any finer details if any
were present. Another balloon was immediately released to check
the possibility that a high-speed jet flying from SW to NE might
have carried some airborne object across the sky in its wake,
but the winds were blowing weakly and more or less at right
angles to the object's path as high as the 93,000 ft level. The
angular diameter of the object was estimated at about a minute
of arc (which in the 25-power theodolite would appear to Moore
as about three-fourths the apparent size of a full moon).

Las Cruces, New Mexico
20 August 1949

At about 10:00 P.M., the astronomer Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, his
wife, and his mother-in-law were in the yard of his Las Cruces
home, admiring what Tombaugh described as a sky of rare
transparency, when Tombaugh, looking almost directly towards
zenith, spotted an array of pale yellow lights moving rapidly
across the sky towards the southeast. He called them to the
attention of the two others, who saw them just before they
disappeared halfway to the horizon. The entire array subtended
an angle which Tombaugh put at about one degree, and it took
only a few seconds to cross 50 or 60 degrees of sky. The array
comprised six "windowlike" rectangles of light, formed into a
symmetric pattern; they moved too fast for aircraft, too slowly
for a meteor, and made no sound. Tombaugh said:

I have never seen anything like it before or since, and I have
spent a lot of time where the night sky could be seen well.