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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 10

Re: Friend's Blue Book Viewpoints Question

From: Jan Aldrich <project1947.nul>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 14:10:32 -0400
Archived: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 10:56:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Friend's Blue Book Viewpoints Question

>From: Greg Boone <evolbaby.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 13:44:04 -0700
>Subject: Re: Friend's Blue Book Viewpoints Question

>>From: Jan Aldrich <project1947.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 14:14:49 -0400
>>Subject: Re: Friend's Blue Book Viewpoints Question

>>>From: Greg Boone <Evolbaby.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 12:09:32 EDT
>>>Subject: Mr. Friend's Blue Book Viewpoints Question


>>>Are there any books, papers, videos on his viewpoints regarding
>>>his time at Project Blue Book, it's conclusions, it's history?

>>I interviewed Col. Friend by telephone in 1994 when starting
>>Porject 1947. Tuskegee airman, Friend went on to retire as
>>Colonel. He said he thought that he was appointed as BB head,
>>because Hynek was making noises about quiting at the time.
>>Friend and Hynek got on famously exchanging tapes and letters on
>>UFO matters. I think they realized the limits of their power, a
>>lot of discussion was on historical UFO incidents, pre-BB in
>>which they both could speak frankly.


>>In addition Col. Friend was interviewed on video as part of the
>>Sign Historical Group Oral History Program.

>What a treat to have been able to interview Mr. Friend. I had no
>idea he was a Tuskegee Airman. That alone is kudos enough for a
>lifetime or two. I could go on about the Airmen but that's a
>whole 'nother story.

>Say Jan, please let us know again where your interview can be
>read and the video obtained.


>I think any data provided by Mr. Friend would be of great value
>and a must have data source.

My telephone interview was not recorded, I just made notes. I
tried to ask Friend about possible early UFO records that might
not be in the Project BB files, such as the microfilms of the
the AF 1952 clipping collection and the two reels of letters and
other documents in the "Life magazine" file. No joy.

He did describe for me the end of the 1006th AISS, the successor
organization to 4602d AISS which started investigating UFOs in
1953. Both had detactments all over the US, the 1006th to a
lesser extent than the 4602d. The 1006th was redisignated and
all the detactments were recalled.

We discussed a number of other aspects of the AF program which
he said needed a more scientific approach. He dragged another
red herring across my path, Coleman's Operation UFO produced
with the actor who played Joe Friday on Dragnet. Friend said I
should contact them as they had complete copies of the BB files.
At the time I had only seen a couple of Coleman's episodes which
looked pretty good, however, most of incidents they took from BB
were hocked up with typical Hollywood productions hype....the
UFO incidents were amazing enough in themselves, they didn't
need any gilding.

The Friend video interview was part of the Sign Oral History


Brad Sparks and Tom Tulien interviewed Friend for this
program....Before Tom and I interviewed Fred Durant, Durant
watch several of the SOHP interviews. Durant said he liked the
C. B. Moore interview, but thought that the Friend interview was
rough on Friend. However, before the Friend interview, Sparks
and Tulien said they would not pull any punches. Friend good
naturedly said in effect, bring it on.

Transcribing these interviews is a chore which few have the time
and energy for and frankly most UFO fans are not interested in
the history, only the fake documents, speculation and the UFO

As for Ruppelt, it is unfortunate that so much of our early
information comes from his book. His book was written mainly
from notes and recall, bolstered by summaries and documents
supplied by Airman Max Futch at Wright-Pat before Max left the
Service. Most of the original SIGN personnel had been purged or
those still at Wright Field were reticent about their
involvement when Ruppelt came there. Much of his information
about early history is third and fourth hand. Apparently Ruppelt
did poke around in the some of the early documents concerning
the classic cases.

Also, he and his ghost writer dumbed down the book to make it
less complicated and a smoother read. All of Ruppelt's
lieutenants were negative on UFOs....Ruppelt writing for True
magazine managed to seem to stay somewhere in the middle so that
the article was recommended by both advocates and the Air Force
press desk. Ruppelt's book and his interest with Chop and
Fournet in the movie "U. F. O." meant that he had to maintain at
least a neutral stance on the subject. After all who wants to
read a book which says that there is nothing at all to the UFO
mystery.  In official documents Capt Gregory claimed to see no
difference between Keyhoe and Ruppelt calling them alter egos.
Interviews with BB personnel seem to indicate that Keyhoe was
generally not well thought of there during the Ruppelt tenure.

While Ruppelt's writings are an outline to hang the little we
know about early UFO history, there are a number of errors. One
example, is that Sydney Shallett's Saturday Evening Post
articles, according to Ruppelt were inspried by AF intelligene,
as I pointed up in my article


this was not the case.

My article itself does not completely convey the complicated
situation at the time as someone from Wright Field, probably
Loedding, went to the Dayton newspapers and give a far more
positive interview. The Dayton story and the Project Saucer news
release (the Project Saucer release was far more positive than
the Shallett articles) collided on the wire services and morfed
into something that the AF press official would not recognize.
The Air Force Times also carried a story from Wright Field again
different from both the Shallett and the Project Saucer release.
This isn't the last time the AF would speak with more than one
voice on UFOs, but it would never be so blatant again. The
Project Grudge report new release in August 1949 and the
downgrading of Project Grudge in December had no other AF voices
in the press.

As for AF intel initiating the Shallett article, as I pointed
out, this was not the case. Forrestal, Mr. Leo and General
Vandenberg were the initiators and supporters here, not Cabell.
This view was bolstered by research I recently completed at the
Library of Congress going through Vandenberg's papers. Shallett
and Mr. Leo met with General Van on this issue a number of time
before the article was completed.

Cabell fought giving Shallett access to Project SIGN files. Once
Shallett got access, Cabell said it was only fair that other
journalists like Ken Purdy be given access. Least one think that
Cabell supported Purdy/Keyhoe, when Cabell moved to the CIA,
Commander Bernard Baurch, Jr., purchased and sent copies of
Keyhoe's book to Cabell, Hillenkoetter, and about a dozen other
high ranking AF and Navy officers, Cabell wrote back to Baurch
that he did not accept Keyhoe's interpretation of the UFO

UFO history twists and turns and is poorly documented. Most of
the early major players are no longer with us.  Col. McCoy
interacted with NICAP, but even McDonald and the NICAP personnel
apparent did not make an effort to question him closely on
SIGN/Grudge, etc. Victor Bilek who served at Wright Field and T-
2/TID/ATIC/FTD from WWII to well after the end of Project BB,
was able to give great us great insight into the history of
Technical Intel activities there but little about the UFO
projects even though at one time he shared an office with
Loedding. Others like Col. Seashore refused to be interviewed or
like LTC Rosengarten would only give consent to talk informallly
about the subject, but refused to be recorded and also would not
give any info which might be construted as negative about
personnel at Wright Field.

Historical research continues, but with the end of Loren Gross'
UFO history series and other such activities progress proceeds
only at a snails pace.

Jan Aldrich
Project 1947
P. O. Box 391
Canterbury, CT 06331, USA
(860) 546-9135

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



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