Some ufologists recommend that observations be classified according to the features of the phenomenon or object that are reported or recorded. Typical categories include:
- Saucer, toy-top, or disk-shaped "craft" without visible or audible propulsion. (day and night)
- Large triangular "craft" or triangular light pattern, usually reported at night.Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery
- Cigar-shaped "craft" with lighted windows (Meteor fireballs are sometimes reported this way, but are very different phenomena).
- Other: chevrons, (equilateral) triangles, crescent, boomerangs, spheres (usually reported to be shining, glowing at night), domes, diamonds, shapeless black masses, eggs, pyramids and cylinders, classic "lights".Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery
Popular UFO classification systems include the Hynek system, created by J. Allen Hynek, and the Vallée system, created by Jacques Vallée.
Hynek's system involves dividing the sighted object by appearance, subdivided further into the type of "close encounter" (a term from which the film director Steven Spielberg derived the title of his UFO movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind").Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery
Jacques Vallée's system classifies UFOs into five broad types, each with from three to five subtypes that vary according to type.
A scientifically skeptical group that has for many years offered critical analysis of UFO claims is the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery
Responding to local beliefs that "extraterrestrial beings" in UFOs were responsible for crop circles appearing in Indonesia, the government and the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Lapan) described them as "man-made". Thomas Djamaluddin, research professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Lapan stated:Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
"We have come to agree that this 'thing' cannot be scientifically proven. A professor at the Indonesian National Aeronautics and Space Agency put UFOs in the category of pseudoscience."Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery
UFOs are sometimes an element of conspiracy theories in which governments are allegedly intentionally "covering up" the existence of aliens or sometimes collaborating with them. There are many versions of this story; some are exclusive, while others overlap with various other conspiracy theories.Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery
In the U.S., an opinion poll conducted in 1997 suggested that 80?% of Americans believed the U.S. government was withholding such information. Various notables have also expressed such views. Some examples are astronauts Gordon Cooper and Edgar Mitchell,Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery
Senator Barry Goldwater, Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter (the first CIA director), Lord Hill-Norton (former British Chief of Defense Staff and NATO head), the 1999 high-level French COMETA report by various French generals and aerospace experts,Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery
and Yves Sillard (former director of the French space agency CNES, new director of French UFO research organization GEIPAN).
It has also been suggested by a few paranormal authors that all or most human technology and culture is based on extraterrestrial contact. See also ancient astronauts.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery
Allegations of evidence suppression
There have been allegations of suppression of UFO related evidence for many decades. There are claims that physical evidence might have been removed and/or destroyed/suppressed by some governments.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery
- The Maury Island incident
- The Ummo affair, a decades-long series of detailed letters and documents allegedly from extraterrestrials. The total length of the documents is at least 1000 pages, and some estimate that further undiscovered documents may total nearly 4000 pages.Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery
- A José Luis Jordan Pena came forward in the early nineties claiming responsibility for the phenomenon, and most[who?]consider there to be little reason to challenge his claims.
- George Adamski over the space of two decades made various claims about his meetings with telepathic aliens from nearby planets.Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
- He claimed that photographs of the far side of the moon taken by a Soviet orbital probe in 1959 were fake, and that there were cities, trees and snow-capped mountains on the far side of the moon. Among copycats was a shadowy British figure named Cedric Allingham.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/B Battery
- Ed Walters, a building contractor, in 1987 allegedly perpetrated a hoax in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Walters claimed at first having seen a small UFO flying near his home and took some photographs of the craft. Walters reported and documented a series of UFO sightings over a period of three weeks and took several photographs.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/D Battery
- These sightings became famous and were called Gulf Breeze UFO incident. Three years later, in 1990, after the Walters family had moved, the new residents discovered a model of a UFO poorly hidden in the attic that bore an undeniable resemblance to the craft in Walters' photographs.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/G Battery
- Most investigators like the forensic photo expert William G. Hyzer now consider the sightings to be a hoax.
- Warren William "Billy" Smith is a popular writer and confessed hoaxster.
In popular culture
UFOs constitute a widespread international cultural phenomenon of the last 60 years.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/P Battery
Gallup polls rank UFOs near the top of lists for subjects of widespread recognition. In 1973, a survey found that 95 percent of the public reported having heard of UFOs, whereas only 92 percent had heard of U.S. President Gerald Ford in a 1977 poll taken just nine months after he left the White House.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/W Battery
A 1996Gallup poll reported that 71 percent of the United States population believed that the government was covering up information regarding UFOs. A 2002 Roper poll for the Sci Fi Channel found similar results, but with more people believing that UFOs are extraterrestrial craft.Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/B Battery
In that latest poll, 56 percent thought UFOs were real craft and 48 percent that aliens had visited the Earth. Again, about 70 percent felt the government was not sharing everything it knew about UFOs or extraterrestrial life. Another effect of the flying saucer type of UFO sightings has been Earth-made flying saucer craft in space fiction,Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/D Battery
for example the Earth spacecraft Starship C-57D in Forbidden Planet, the Jupiter Two in Lost in Space, and the saucer section of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, and many others. For an excellent analysis of the interrelationship between popular culture and UFOs consult the research by psychologist Armando Simon,Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/G Battery
especially his contribution in Richard Haines' book,UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist.
- No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security;Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/P Battery
- There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as "unidentified" represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge; and
- There was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as "unidentified" were extraterrestrial vehicles.Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/W Battery
Public USAF UFO studies were first initiated under Project Sign at the end of 1947, following many widely publicized UFO reports (see Kenneth Arnold). Project Sign was initiated specifically at the request of General Nathan Twining, chief of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/B Battery
Wright-Patterson was also to be the home of Project Sign and all subsequent official USAF public investigations.
Sign was officially inconclusive regarding the cause of the sightings. However, according to US Air Force Captain Edward J.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/B Battery
Ruppelt (the first director of Project Blue Book), Sign's initial intelligence estimate (the so-called Estimate of the Situation) written in the late summer of 1948, concluded that the flying saucers were real craft, were not made by either the Russians or US, and were likelyextraterrestrial in origin. (See also extraterrestrial hypothesis.)Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/D Battery
This estimate was forwarded to the Pentagon, but subsequently ordered destroyed by Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, USAF Chief of Staff, citing a lack of physical proof. Vandenberg subsequently dismantled Project Sign.
Project Sign was succeeded at the end of 1948 by Project Grudge, which had a debunking mandate.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/D Battery
Ruppelt referred to the era of Project Grudge as the "dark ages" of early USAF UFO investigation. Grudge concluded that all UFOs were natural phenomena or other misinterpretations, although it also stated that 23 percent of the reports could not be explained.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/G Battery
The Captain Ruppelt era
According to Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, by the end of 1951, several high-ranking, very influential USAF generals were so dissatisfied with the state of Air Force UFO investigations that they dismantled Project Grudge and replaced it with Project Blue Book in early 1952. One of these men was Gen.
Charles P. Cabell. Another important change came when General William Garland joined Cabell's staff; Garland thought the UFO question deserved serious scrutiny because he had witnessed a UFO.
The new name, Project Blue Book, was selected to refer to the blue booklets used for testing at some colleges and universities.
The name was inspired, said Ruppelt, by the close attention that high-ranking officers were giving the new project; it felt as if the study of UFOs was as important as a college final exam. Blue Book was also upgraded in status from Project Grudge, with the creation of theAerial Phenomenon Branch.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/P Battery
Ruppelt was the first head of the project. He was an experienced airman, having been decorated for his efforts with the Army Air Corps during World War II, and having afterwards earned an aeronautics degree. He officially coined the term "Unidentified Flying Object",Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/W Battery
to replace the many terms ("flying saucer" "flying disk" and so on) the military had previously used; Ruppelt thought that "unidentified flying object" was a more neutral and accurate term. Ruppelt resigned from the Air Force some years later, and wrote the book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects,Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/W Battery
which described the study of UFOs by United States Air Force from 1947 to 1955. Swords writes that "Ruppelt would lead the last genuine effort to analyze UFOs".
Ruppelt implemented a number of changes: He streamlined the manner in which UFOs were reported to (and by) military officials,Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/B Battery
partly in hopes of alleviating the stigma and ridicule associated with UFO witnesses. Ruppelt also ordered the development of a standard questionnaire for UFO witnesses, hoping to uncover data which could be subject to statistical analysis. He commissioned theBattelle Memorial Institute to create the questionnaire and computerize the data.Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/D Battery
Using case reports and the computerized data, Battelle then conducted a massive scientific and statistical study of all Air Force UFO cases, completed in 1954 and known as "Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14" (see summary below).Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/G Battery
Knowing that factionalism had harmed the progress of Project Sign, Ruppelt did his best to avoid the kinds of open-ended speculation that had led to Sign’s personnel being split among advocates and critics of the extraterrestrial hypothesis. As Michael Hall writes, "Ruppelt not only took the job seriously but expected his staff to do so as well.Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/P Battery
If anyone under him either became too skeptical or too convinced of one particular theory, they soon found themselves off the project." In his book, Ruppelt reported that he fired three personnel very early in the project because they were either "too pro" or "too con" one hypothesis or another.Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/W Battery
Ruppelt sought the advice of many scientists and experts, and issued regular press releases (along with classified monthly reports for military intelligence).
Each U.S. Air Force Base had a Blue Book officer to collect UFO reports and forward them to Ruppelt.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC Battery
During most of Ruppelt's tenure, he and his team were authorized to interview any and all military personnel who witnessed UFOs, and were not required to follow the chain of command. This unprecedented authority underlined the seriousness of Blue Book's investigation.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/B Battery
Under Ruppelt's direction, Blue Book investigated a number of well-known UFO cases, including the so-called Lubbock Lights, and a widely publicized 1952 radar/visual case over Washington D.C.. According to Jacques Vallee, Ruppelt started the trend, largely followed by later Blue Book investigations,Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/D Battery
of not giving serious consideration to numerous reports of UFO landings and/or interaction with purported UFO occupants.
Astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek was the scientific consultant of the project, as he had been with Projects Sign and Grudge.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/G Battery
He worked for the project up to its termination and initially created the categorization which has been extended and is known today as Close encounters. He was a pronounced skeptic when he started, but said that his feelings changed to a more wavering skepticism during the research, after encountering a minority of UFO reports he thought were unexplainable.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/P Battery
Ruppelt left Blue Book in February 1953 for a temporary reassignment. He returned a few months later to find his staff reduced from more than ten, to two subordinates. Frustrated, Ruppelt suggested that an Air Defense Command unit (the 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron) be charged with UFO investigations.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/W Battery
In July 1952, after a build-up of hundreds of sightings over the previous few months, a series of radar detections coincident with visual sightings were observed near the National Airport in Washington, D.C. (see 1952 Washington D.C. UFO incident).Sony VAIO VPCP115KG Battery
Future Arizona Senator and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain is alleged to be one of these witnesses .
After much publicity, these sightings led the Central Intelligence Agency to establish a panel of scientists headed by Dr. H. P.Sony VAIO VPCP116KG Battery
Robertson, a physicist of the California Institute of Technology, which included various physicists, meteorologists, and engineers, and one astronomer (Hynek). The Robertson Panel first met on January 14, 1953 in order to formulate a response to the overwhelming public interest in UFOs.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/B Battery
Ruppelt, Hynek, and others presented the best evidence, including movie footage, that had been collected by Blue Book. After spending 12 hours reviewing 6 years of data, the Robertson Panel concluded that most UFO reports had prosaic explanations, and that all could be explained with further investigation, which they deemed not worth the effort.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/D Battery
In their final report, they stressed that low-grade, unverifiable UFO reports were overloading intelligence channels, with the risk of missing a genuine conventional threat to the U.S. Therefore, they recommended the Air Force de-emphasize the subject of UFOs and embark on a debunking campaign to lessen public interest.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/G Battery
They suggested debunkery through the mass media, including The Walt Disney Company, and using psychologists, astronomers, and celebrities to ridicule the phenomenon and put forward prosaic explanations. Furthermore, civilian UFO groups "should be watched because of their potentially great influence on mass thinking…Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/P Battery
The apparent irresponsibility and the possible use of such groups for subversive purposes should be kept in mind."
It is the conclusion of many researchers that the Robertson Panel was recommending controlling public opinion through a program of official propaganda and spying.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/W Battery
They also believe these recommendations helped shape Air Force policy regarding UFO study not only immediately afterwards, but also into the present day. There is evidence that the Panel's recommendations were being carried out at least two decades after its conclusions were issued (see the main article for details and citations).Sony VAIO VPCP118JC Battery
In December 1953, Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Regulation number 146 made it a crime for military personnel to discuss classified UFO reports with unauthorized persons. Violators faced up to two years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/B Battery
Aftermath of Robertson panel
In his book (see external links) Ruppelt described the demoralization of the Blue Book staff and the stripping of their investigative duties following the Robertson Panel.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/P Battery
As an immediate consequence of the Robertson Panel recommendations, in February 1953, the Air Force issued Regulation 200-2, ordering air base officers to publicly discuss UFO incidents only if they were judged to have been solved, and to classify all the unsolved cases to keep them out of the public eye.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/W Battery
The same month, investigative duties started to be taken on by the newly formed 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron (AISS) of the Air Defense Command. The 4602nd AISS was tasked with investigating only the most important UFO cases with intelligence or national security implications.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/B Battery
These were deliberately siphoned away from Blue Book, leaving Blue Book to deal with the more trivial reports.
General Nathan Twining, who got Project Sign started back in 1947, was now Air Force Chief of Staff. In August 1954, he was to further codify the responsibilities of the 4602nd AISS by issuing an updated Air Force Regulation 200-2.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/D Battery
In addition, UFOs (called "UFOBs") were defined as "any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object."Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/G Battery
Investigation of UFOs was stated to be for the purposes of national security and to ascertain "technical aspects." AFR 200-2 again stated that Blue Book could discuss UFO cases with the media only if they were regarded as having a conventional explanation. If they were unidentified, the media was to be told only that the situation was being analyzed.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/P Battery
Blue Book was also ordered to reduce the number of unidentified to a minimum.
All this was done secretly. The public face of Blue Book continued to be the official Air Force investigation of UFOs, but the reality was it had essentially been reduced to doing very little serious investigation, and had become almost solely a public relations outfit with a debunking mandate.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/W Battery
To cite one example, by the end of 1956, the number of cases listed as unsolved had dipped to barely 0.4 percent, from the 20 to 30% only a few years earlier.
Eventually, Ruppelt requested reassignment; at his departure in August 1953, his staff had been reduced from more than ten (precise numbers of personnel varied) to just two subordinates and himself.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC/BI Battery
His temporary replacement was a noncommissioned officer. Most who succeeded him as Blue Book director exhibited either apathy or outright hostility to the subject of UFOs, or were hampered by a lack of funding and official support.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/B Battery
UFO investigators often regard Ruppelt's brief tenure at Blue Book as the high-water mark of public Air Force investigations of UFOs, when UFO investigations were treated seriously and had support at high levels. Thereafter, Project Blue Book descended into a new "Dark Ages" from which many UFO investigators argue it never emerged.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/B Battery
However, Ruppelt later came to embrace the Blue Book perspective that there was nothing extraordinary about UFOs; he even labeled the subject a "Space Age Myth."
The Captain Hardin era
In March 1954, Captain Charles Hardin was appointed the head of Blue Book.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/D Battery
However, most UFO investigations were conducted by the 4602nd, and Hardin had no objection. Ruppelt wrote that Hardin "thinks that anyone who is even interested [in UFOs] is crazy. They bore him."Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/D Battery
In 1955, the Air Force decided that the goal of Blue Book should be not to investigate UFO reports, but rather to reduce the number of unidentified UFO reports to a minimum. By late 1956, the number of unidentifed sightings had dropped from the 20-25% of the Ruppelt era, to less than 1%.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/G Battery
The Captain Gregory era
Captain George T. Gregory took over as Blue Book's director in 1956. Clark writes that Gregory led Blue Book "in an even firmer anti-UFO direction than the apathetic Hardin." The 4602nd was dissolved, and the 1066th Air Intelligence Service Squadron was charged with UFO investigations.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/G Battery
In fact, there was actually little or no investigation of UFO reports; a revised AFR 200-2 issued during Gregory's tenure emphasized that unexplained UFO reports must be reduced to a minimum.
One way that Gregory reduced the number of unexplained UFOs was by simple reclassification.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/P Battery
"Possible cases" became "probable", and "probable" cases were upgraded to certainties. By this logic, a possible comet became a probable comet, while a probable comet was flatly declared to have been a misidentified comet. Similarly, if a witness reported an observation of an unusual balloon-likeobject, Blue Book usually classified it as a balloon,Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/W Battery
with no research and qualification. These procedures became standard for most of Blue Book's later investigations; see Hynek's comments below.
The Major Friend era
Major Robert J. Friend was appointed the head of Blue Book in 1958. Friend made some attempts to reverse the direction Blue Book had taken since 1954.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/W Battery
Clark writes that "Friend's efforts to upgrade the files and catalog sightings according to various observed statistics were frustrated by a lack of funding and assistance."
Heartened by Friend's efforts, Hynek organized the first of several meetings between Blue Book staffers and ATIC personnel in 1959.Sony VAIO VPCP11Z9E/B Battery
Hynek suggested that some older UFO reports should be reevaluated, with the ostensible aim of moving them from the "unknown" to the "identified" category. Hynek's plans came to naught.
During Friend's tenure, ATIC contemplated passing oversight Blue Book to another Air Force agency,Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery
but neither the Air Research and Development Center, nor the Office of Information for the Secretary of the Air Force was interested.
In 1960, there were U.S. Congressional hearings regarding UFOs. Civilian UFO research group NICAP had publicly charged Blue Book with covering up UFO evidence, and had also acquired a few allies in the U.S. Congress.Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery
Blue Book was investigated by the Congress and the CIA, with critics—most notably the civilian UFO group NICAP asserting that Blue Book was lacking as a scientific study. In response, ATIC added personnel (increasing the total personnel to three military personnel, plus civilian secretaries) and increased Blue Book's budget.Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery
This seemed to mollify some of Blue Book's critics, that but it was only temporary. A few years later (see below), the criticism would be even louder.
By the time he was transferred from Blue Book in 1963, Friend thought that Blue Book was effectively useless and ought to be dissolved, even if it caused an outcry amongst the public.Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery
The Major Quintanilla era
Major Hector Quintanilla took over as Blue Book's leader in August 1963. He largely continued the debunking efforts, and it was under his direction that Blue Book received some of its sharpest criticism. UFO researcher Jerome Clark goes so far as to write that, by this time, Blue Book had "lost all credibility."
Physicist and UFO researcher Dr. James E. McDonald once flatly declared that Quintanilla was "not competent" from either a scientific or an investigative perspective. However, McDonald also stressed that Quintanilla "shouldn't be held accountable for it", as he was chosen for his position by a superior officer, and was following orders in directing Blue Book.Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery
Blue Book’s explanations of UFO reports were not universally accepted, however, and critics — including some scientists — suggested that Project Blue Book was engaged in questionable research or, worse, perpetrating cover up. This criticism grew especially strong and widespread in the 1960s.Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery
Take for example, the many mostly nighttime UFO reports from the midwestern and southeastern United States in the summer of 1965: Witnesses in Texas reported "multicolored lights" and large aerial objects shaped like eggs or diamonds. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that Tinker Air Force Base (near Oklahoma City) had tracked up to four UFO’s simultaneously,Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
and that several of them had descended very rapidly: from about 22000 feet to about 4000 feet in just a few seconds, an action well beyond the capabilities of conventional aircraft of the era. John Shockley, ameteorologist from Wichita, Kansas, reported that, using the state Weather Bureau radar,Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery
he tracked a number of odd aerial objects flying at altitudes between about 6000 and 9000 feet. These and other reports received wide publicity.
Project Blue Book officially determined the witnesses had mistaken Jupiter or bright stars (such as Rigel or Betelgeuse) for something else.Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery
Blue Book’s explanation was widely criticized as inaccurate. Robert Riser, director of the Oklahoma Science and Art Foundation Planetarium offered a strongly worded rebuke of Project Blue Book that was widely circulated: “That is as far from the truth as you can get.Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery
These stars and planets are on the opposite side of the earth from Oklahoma City at this time of year. The Air Force must have had its star finder upside-down during August."
A newspaper editorial from the Richmond News Leader opined that "Attempts to dismiss the reported sightings under the rationale as exhibited by Project Bluebook (sic) won’t solve the mysterySony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery
… and serve only to heighten the suspicion that there’s something out there that the air force doesn't want us to know about", while a Wichita-based UPI reporter noted that "Ordinary radar does not pick up planets and stars."Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery
Another case that Blue Book's critics seized upon was the so-called Portage County UFO Chase, which began at about 5.00am, near Ravenna, Ohio on April 17, 1966. Police officers Dale Spaur and Wilbur Neff spotted what they described as a disc-shaped, silvery object with a bright light emanating from its underside, at about 1000 feet in altitude.Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery
They began following the object (which they reported sometimes descended as low as 50 feet), and police from several other jurisdictions were involved in the pursuit. The chase ended about 30 minutes later near Freedom, Pennsylvania, some 85 miles away.Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery
The UFO chase made national news, and the police submitted detailed reports to Blue Book. Five days later, following brief interviews with only one of the police officers (but none of the other ground witnesses), Blue Book's director, Major Hector Quintanilla, announced their conclusions:Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery
The police (one of them an Air Force gunner during the Korean War) had first chased a communications satellite, then the planet Venus.
This conclusion was widely derided, and was strenuously rejected by the police officers. In his dissenting conclusion,Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery
Hynek described Blue Book's conclusions as absurd: in their reports, several of the police had unknowingly described the moon, Venus and the UFO, though they unknowingly described Venus as a bright "star" very near the moon. Ohio Congressman William Stanton said thatSony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery
"The Air Force has suffered a great loss of prestige in this community … Once people entrusted with the public welfare no longer think the people can handle the truth, then the people, in return, will no longer trust the government."
In September 1968, Hynek received a letter from Colonel Raymond Sleeper of the Foreign Technology Division.Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery
Sleeper noted that Hynek had publicly accused Blue Book of shoddy science, and further asked Hynek to offer advice on how Blue Book could improve its scientific methodology. Hynek was to later declare that Sleeper's letter was "the first time in my 20 year association with the air force as scientific consultant that I had been officially asked for criticism and advice [regarding] … the UFO problem."Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery
Hynek wrote a detailed response, dated October 7, 1968, suggesting several areas where Blue Book could improve. In part, he wrote:
- ... neither of the two missions of Blue Book [determining if UFOs are a threat to national security and using scientific data gathered by Blue Book] are being adequately executed.Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery
- The staff of Blue Book, both in numbers and in scientific training, is grossly inadequate...
- Blue Book suffers … in that it is a closed system ... there is virtually no scientific dialogue between Blue Book and the outside scientific world...
- The statistical methods employed by Blue Book are nothing less than a travesty.Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery
- There has been a lack of attention to significant UFO cases ... and too much time spent on routine cases ... and on peripheral public relations tasks. Concentration could be on two or three potentially scientific significant cases per month [instead of being] spread thin over 40 to 70 cases per month.Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery
- The information input to Blue Book is grossly inadequate. An impossible load is placed on Blue Book by the almost consistent failure of UFO officers at local air bases to transmit adequate information...
- The basic attitude and approach within Blue Book is illogical and unscientific...Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
- Inadequate use had been made of the Project scientific consultant [Hynek himself]. Only cases that the project monitor deems worthwhile are brought to his attention. His scope of operation ... has been consistently thwarted ... He often learns of interesting cases only a month or two after the receipt of the report at Blue Book.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/P Battery
Despite Sleeper's request for criticism, none of Hynek's commentary resulted in any substantial changes in Blue Book.
Quinatnilla's own perspective on the project is documented in his manuscript, "UFOs, An Air Force Dilemma.” Lt. Col Quintanilla wrote the manuscript in 1975, but it was not published until after his death.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/PC Battery
Quintanilla states in the text that he personally believed it arrogant to think human beings were the only intelligent life in the universe. Yet, while he found it highly likely that intelligent life existed beyond earth, he had no hard evidence of any extra terrestrial visitation.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/T Battery
The Condon Committee
From 1947 to 1969, the Air Force investigated Unidentified Flying Objects under Project Blue Book. The project, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was terminated December 17, 1969. Of a total of 12,618 sightings reported to Project Blue Book, 701 remained "unidentified."Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/W Battery
The decision to discontinue UFO investigations was based on an evaluation of a report prepared by the University of Colorado entitled, "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects;" a review of the University of Colorado's report by the National Academy of Sciences; previous UFO studies and Air Force experience investigating UFO reports during 1940 to 1969.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXP Battery
As a result of these investigations, studies and experience gained from investigating UFO reports since 1948, the conclusions of Project Blue Book were:
- No UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXT Battery
- There has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as "unidentified" represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present day scientific knowledge.
- There has been no evidence indicating the sightings categorized as "unidentified" are extraterrestrial vehicles.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXW Battery
With the termination of Project Blue Book, the Air Force regulation establishing and controlling the program for investigating and analyzing UFOs was rescinded. Documentation regarding the former Blue Book investigation was permanently transferred to the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Service, and is available for public review and analysis.Sony VAIO VPCW115XG Battery
Since the termination of Project Blue Book, nothing has occurred that would support a resumption of UFO investigations by the Air Force.
There are a number of universities and professional scientific organizations that have considered UFO phenomena during periodic meetings and seminars.Sony VAIO VPCW115XGP Battery
A list of private organizations interested in aerial phenomena may be found in "Encyclopaedia of Associations", published by Gale Research. Interest in and timely review of UFO reports by private groups ensures that sound evidence is not overlooked by the scientific community.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/P Battery