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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 15

Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -

From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 00:35:40 EDT
Fwd Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 09:45:58 -0400
Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -

>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 18:23:58 +0100
>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 10:10:28 +0100
>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 00:56:55 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>>The "history" does indeed have some odd discrepancies.


>>I didn't spot the "odd discrepancies" which you referred to
>>above, have they now been corrected as well?

>No. My point was simply that by taking only some of the material
>from the Official History article, the picture painted of the
>Ministry of Defence's early involvement with the UFO mystery was
>incomplete. The full Official History article can be accessed at
>the following hyperlink, though it is also widely available on
>various UFO-related websites:


>Although less well known, there is a second part to the Official
>History article. Part 2 addresses various questions raised by
>ufologists and can be accessed at the following hyperlink:


I was the one pointing out "odd discrepancies" in the history.
The way it still reads now is that "publicity campaign" was the
cause of Tizard's request to set up the Working Party (also did
he "request" or did he order it by direct command authority? if
he did not order the Working Party into existence whose
authority was responsible for commanding its creation?).

But the Working Party minutes and final report and the DSI
meeting minutes of Aug. 15, 1950, do not at all refer to any
"publicity" as the cause for setting up the Working Party.
Instead the final report refers to the "notable outbreak" of
sightings in Great Britain. Presumably the RAF sightings and
possible radar-visual of June 7 (and maybe Aug. 14), 1950, led
Tizard to request the Working Party be set up. If I'm missing
some reference to "publicity" somewhere in the official records
as the motivating factor please point it out to me.

Otherwise the way the history reads now it looks like some
sleazy tabloid-type "publicity campaign" in October 1950 led to
creation of the Working Party on Aug. 15, 1950.

The fuller history not on the MOD website goes to some length in
Part 2 to quote the renowned R. V. Jones as "perhaps the best
summary of Jones=E2=80=99 view on the UFO issue, and is worth quoting
in full." In fact, Jones' position in this July 1968 article was
vacillating and perhaps even contradictory and it is unfair and
not accurate to just quote Jones' most skeptical debunking
points and ignore and fail to quote the more pro-UFO concessions
he also made in the same article.

For example in the very same July 1968 article R. V. Jones also
wrote that the "distinguished" scientist McDonald and the
official USAF scientific consultant Hynek both disagreed with
the official conclusions dismissing UFO's. Jones did not dispute
or disagree with McDonald or Hynek after noting their positions.

Jones then noted that there was a residue of about 10%
unexplained UFO sightings after official investigations. Then he
wrote of this 10% unexplained residue:

"A point of dispute is whether, after such errors have been
allowed for, there is enough left that is unexplained to make us
think that there is a gap in our knowledge either of natural
phenomena or of an extraterrestrial invasion of our atmosphere,
perhaps by intelligently controlled spacecraft."

Then Jones hemmed and hawed, skeptical and open again, saying
such pro-UFO things as:

"If Earth proves to be the one planet in the Solar system that
supports intelligent life, it is still possible that intelligent
beings from a more distant system have found the way to cross
intervening space in small craft without ageing on the long
journey; and, although it is unlikely, it is just possible that
the craft are small enough not to have shown up on astronomical
or radar surveys."

After a few more vacillations Jones remarks on the distinct pro-
 UFO possibility of an unknown natural phenomenon (before making
the skeptical end remarks which were the _only_ ones quoted in
the Part 2 history):

"If known natural phenomena are insufficient to explain
everything that has been genuinely seen, the alternative to the
intelligently controlled vehicles is an as yet unrecognized
natural phenomenon. This is distinctly possible -- the case may
be similar to that of ball lightning, the occurrence of which
has long been both asserted and disputed."

Another comment in the history that is not accurate is the

"Another indication of the strong US influence on the Flying
Saucer Working Party is the fact that their June 1951 final
report was entitled _Unidentified Flying Objects_.=C2 This term
had been devised by Ruppelt himself, early in 1951, but was not
at the time in use outside US Government circles."

Ruppelt was not in charge of Project Grudge until October 22,
1951, and thus could not possibly have "devised" the UFO term in
time for the June 1951 Working Party final report. The term
"unidentified flying objects" was in lower-case use in US
documents as early as 1947. Ruppelt did not start using the
abbreviation "UFO" and an upper-cased "Unidentified Flying
Objects" phrase until after Project Grudge changed names to Blue
Book in March 1952. Who actually originated this new usage and
abbreviation is unclear but it is clear that Ruppelt helped
popularize it. The official USAF designation due to Ruppelt's
influence, from 1952 onward for several years was "UFOB" rather
than "UFO".

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