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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 11

Re: Edward Condon

From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 16:08:31 -0500 (EST)
Archived: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:40:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Edward Condon

>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2007 13:26:09 -0400
>Subject: Edward Condon [was: Newly Released CIA Documents On UFOs?]

>>From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2007 00:12:50 -0500 (EST)
>>Subject: Re: Newly Released CIA Documents On UFOs?

>>>From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 20:39:40 EST
>>>Subject: Re: Newly Released CIA Documents On UFOs?

Hello Don and List,

[Oops! Sorry for the delay in my reply. I wrote something, thought I
had sent it, ! but when I checked my "sent box" I had not. Here's
another try.]


>>>Lots more than just this, and released in the 70's, but it would
>>>require an in-depth investigation of CIA organization and >history to

>>understand it, beginning with the fact the CIA is not >a monolithic
>>agency speaking and acting with one voice. Most UFO >researchers
>>cannot even keep up with the polarized 'covert' and >'overt' sides of
>>the CIA, so everything that is 'CIA' is >automatically attributed to
>>spook assassins and James Bond >types.


>>I am talking about human nature, you're talking about The


>What do you both think of Condon's possibly being complient
>after his roughing up by the House Un-American Activities
>Committee? He got off but who stepped up to get him ou! t of that


Condon had worked for the Manhattan Project and had to resign
after six weeks because of a conflict with General Leslie Groves
over security measures and the living conditions. At the end of
the War he became director of the National Bureau of Standards.

In 1948, he had some problems with the House Committee on Un-
American Activities. Condon was a liberal who preached the
internationalism of science and world peace based on mutual

Harry S. Truman himself came to his help and got him out of the

But Condon suffered most of his carreer from his stance on
scientific freedom. That prevented him from getting permanent
status at New York and Pennsylvania universities in 1955. There
is a very interesting article about him at:


It seems that most of his career, Condon had his security
clearance revoked, then restored, the revoked, then...

This link brings! us to the Colorado University in a funny way:


By Lewis M. Branscomb:

"On October 1954, Condon's Navy clearance was again re-
established in connection with government contract research at
Corning. When the clearance was dramatically suspended by
intervention of the Secretary of the Navy, the press reported
that Vice President Nixon, a former member of HUAC, implied in
campaign speeches that he had requested the suspension.

Ten years later, after Condon had taught at Oberlin two years
and at Washington University for seven, he moved to Boulder,
Colorado, as professor of physics and fellow of the Joint
Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics. His security clearance
was quietly restored, clearing his record once again."

Just in time to direct the University of Colorado Project?

Jerome Clark (UFO Book, p. 593) states that in 1966, follo! wing
the 1965 nationwide UFO flap, six scientists urged the Air Fo
rce Scientific Advisory Board to investigate selected sightings
applying scientific methods. Carl Sagan was the only scientist
in the group not to be associated with the AFSAB. A note: Sagan
was a former student of Edward Condon.

Then follow the Congressional Hearings, Hynek's proposal of a
thorough study, and the opportunity for the Air Force to get off
the hook by passing the buck to some University study.

The problem was that nobody wanted to touch the subject with a
ten foot pole:

"Harvard University, the [MIT], the University of North
Carolina, and the University of California all declined the
invitation. None wanted to involve itself with a subject so
controversial - worse, disreputable - as UFOs." [Clark, p. 593].

A little more of this before a reluctant Condon finally accepted
the task.

We all know what happened after that. Condon became one of the
worst debunkers in history. Clark, ! pp597-598:

"... At one point, Hall flew to Boulder and personally handed
Condon a comprehensive report on NICAP's investigation of the
Portage County sightings, an extraordinary multiple-witness case
in Ohio, involving a two-state police-car chase of a large low-
flying UFO. Much later Hall came to realize that Condon had paid
no attention to the document. The case would not even be
mentioned in the committee's final report.

"The only thing that did interest Condon was the crackpot
contingent of the saucer world. On June 20, the (sic) openly
expressed displeasure of all staff members notwithstanding, he
attended the cartoonish 'Congress of Scientific Ufologists'in
New York City. He regaled scientific colleagues and lecture
audiences with tales of contactees and other eccentrics. He even
dispatched field investigators to sites where contactees had
predicted landings."

This is entirely out of character for Condon! . He was a better
person than that:

"What kind of man was h e? Grace Marmor Spruch's profile in
Saturday Review (1 February 1969) says it well:

"The composite Condon is a moral, impassioned man, with a depth
of concern for mankind not common in scientists; a man fiercely
principled and anti diplomatic; a man who believes and feels in
sharp contrasts, and who will let the world know his position
without ambiguity. Fuzzimindedness is an anathema to him and he
insists on saying so at every opportunity. But this rasping
trait is wedded to an extreme generosity and kindness.
Throughout his life he has given freely of his time, his
counsel, his finances, and his home." "


Even Hynek had the highest respect for the man. Clark, p605:

"[Hynek:] It! is unfortunate that, almost certainly, popular
history will henceforth link Dr. Condon's name with UFOs, and
only the arcane history of physics will accord him his true
place and record his brilliant career in contributing to the
understanding . . . of the nature of the physical world. These
contributions UFOs cannot take away from him, even though his
work with this problem is analogous to that of Mozart producing
an uninspired pot-boiler, unworthy of his talents.

Even Hynek saw Condon's attitude as out of character.

Speculations: Condon was coerced(?), manipulated(?) or

Was Condon a 62 year old man tired of being accounted for his
opinions and moral stance? Was he looking for relief?

What about what Bruce Maccabee mentioned lately: as much as we
want the UFO enigma solved, maybe we would regret the answer?
But did the CIA ever have the answer, and, if it did, would it
give it t! o Condon?

Nobody wanted the study on UFOs. Condon was reluctant to take

To answer your question Don, I do not think he owed anybody
anything. Whatever the reason, the real Edward Condon wouldn't
have chosen tabloids over NICAP unless he had a good reason to
do so.

His almost frantic behavior indicates that he was experiencing a
deep conflict between his convictions and his obligations.

This Mozart produced an uninspired pot-boiler because he was
forced to do so and he suffered in the process.

Lewis M. Branscomb summarizes:

"Watergate came as no surprise to Edward Condon, nor did its
aftermath. I imagine he would like to have lived to see the
outcome of the impeachment inquiry. But Condon understood and
paid his share of the price of liberty. Somehow his idealism,
his sense of humor and his inexhaustible energy made his
relentless quest for a better world look like optimism. He was
elected president of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science du! ring the height of his troubles with
HUAC. He was president of the society for Social Responsibility
in Science (1968-69) and was co-chairman of the National
Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (1970). He was appropriately
honored on his retirement from JILA and the University of
Colorado in the summer of 1970 by the volume edited by Brittin
and Odabasi. Brittin relates a comment about Condon by E. Bright
Wilson: 'Sometimes I think he looks for trouble', Wilson said.
Condon's reply: 'It's not hard to find.'"

It seems that, after his Committee on UFOs, Condon had it easy.

I would like to add a last thought.

Whatever Condon did, it only gave an alibi for lots of people to
further ridicule the UFO phenomenon.

Demonizing Condon for his work on UFOs is the easiest - and
cheapest - way to avoid the real issues.

Official Science [whatever that may be] and the governments were
all too happy to join the bandwa! gon and to banish UFOs into
the fringe.

The Condon report serve d only as an excuse for those culprits
to forfeit their duties and obligations. I was going to use the
expression "those shameless cowards."

The aforementioned are still "going at it", as shamelessly and
as cowardly.

Times have changed: Condon was going at saucer parties, now the
boys must be into lap dancing.

Doing the same: denying the evidence, looking away.

On purpose.

Condon had an excuse.

What is theirs?

Vincent Boudreau

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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