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In 1952, ‘Flying Saucers’ Over Washington Sent the Press Into a Frenzy

by Missy Sullivan                     March 10, 2019                      (history.com)

• In July of 1952, as UFO fever spread across Cold War America, the “grandfather of all ‘saucer’ sightings” took place in the skies above the nation’s capital. Over several weeks, up to a dozen unexplained objects repeatedly streaked across the skies over Washington, D.C. – spotted by radar operators, professional pilots and other highly credible witnesses. The ‘saucers’ outran Air Force fighter jets.

• When President Harry Truman called for answers, the Air Force’s Project Blue Book hastily convened a press conference, blaming the whole thing on the weather.

• Nationwide, newspaper headlines blared the fantastic news. Local publications ran stories, many drawn from national wire services, often edited with different details to fit their space. Some added sidebars with local ‘saucer’ news or tidbits like what Albert Einstein thought when asked about UFOs. One reporter got the bright idea to ask the Soviets if they were somehow behind it all.

• Below are some original clippings from around the nation during that extraordinary historical moment. Click on the newspaper title to link to the original article.

Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana), page 1, July 21, 1952 – ‘The Air Force today investigated reports that several “flying saucers” had been spotted by radar virtually in its own backyard on the outskirts of the nation’s capital. Not only were unidentified objects seen on radar—indicating actual substance instead of mere light—but two airline pilots and a newsman saw eerie lights fitting the general description of flying saucers the same night… Capt. S.C. Pierman piloting Capital Airlines Flight 807 said, “They couldn’t have been aircraft. They were moving too fast for that.”

The Cedar Rapids Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), page 1, July 29, 1952 – ‘Radar showed that the air over the nation’s capital was full of flying objects early Tuesday…’

The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana), page 11, July 31, 1952 – “It looked like a sphere, so deeply orange colored that it appeared almost the shade of rust. It was silent as death. It was moving too fast and evenly to be a balloon… Most persistent rumor is that Boeing Airplane Co. in Seattle, Wash., is either making flying saucers or has been in charge of the engineering of the project. In the weirder category of rumors is the one that the saucers are either Russian-built or from another planet and that several of them have crashed and have been picked up by the Air Force. ‘

Daily Independent-Journal (San Rafael, California), page 5, July 29, 1952 – ‘Reports of “saucers” have kept police, air force and weather bureau telephones jangling for several days recently in widely scattered localities… At Key West, Fla., the Navy said it was investigating accounts by several sailors who said they saw a “saucer” while attending an outdoor movie.’

Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio), page 2, July 30, 1952 – ‘Mrs. Floyd Wetzel of 901 Sayder st., said, “I think the government knows what’s back of it all and isn’t revealing it.” “I think they may be coming from another planet…,” asserted Al Rose of 74 Eastgay Dr.’

The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah), page 3, July 23, 1952 – ‘The Soviet embassy Tuesday denied any connection with flying saucers seen in this area…’

Standard-Sentinel (Hazleton, Pennsylvania), page 1, July 30, 1952 – ‘It was the third time in 10 days that radar… picked up signs of something unknown packing through pre-dawn black skies… And the Air Force threw lots of cold water on any chilling speculation about men or missiles from Mars—or enemy nations.’

The Paris News (Paris, Texas), page 1, July 30, 1952 – ‘The Air Force says… it’s certain of one thing: The saucers—whatever they are—don’t seem to be a menace to the United States.’

The Rhinelander Daily News (Rhinelander, Wisconsin), page 1, July 30, 1952 – ‘The bulk of these, after cross-checking, have been reasonably well identified as the product of friendly aircraft, out-and-out hoaxes, or electrical or meteorological phenomena… Two generals added that… a temperature inversion—a layer of warm air over cool air—sometimes may be sufficient to deflect radar waves and cause a false response on a radar set.’

• [Editor’s Note] Why would highly advanced “extraterrestrial” spacecraft target Washington D.C. several times during the summer of 1952?  It would seem to be politically motivated, but what extraterrestrial would know that D.C. is the capitol of the United States?  The explanation given by Corey Goode and William Tompkins makes a lot of sense.  At the end of WWII, the Nazi high command relocated to a base set up in a thermal pocket under the ice of Antarctica through the Nazi German’s alliance with the Draco Reptilians.  The Nazi/Draco coveted American industrial might which had “won” the war.  By the 1950’s, the American military industrial complex was being pressured to enter into a treaty to provide industrial support to the Nazi/Draco.  With the Draco’s assistance, the Nazi’s had built a fleet of spacecraft with electro-magnetic/anti-gravity propulsion technology.  This technology creates a “temporal bubble” around the craft itself basically creating its own self-contained environment, allowing it to accelerate and make sharp turns without being affected by gravitational g-forces.  To the observer on the ground, this temporal bubble appears as a bright light surrounding the craft.  In 1952, the Nazi’s flew their craft over Washington D.C. to demonstrate their tactical superiority over American military technology.  So in order to avoid widespread panic and the public’s revelation that the Nazi’s had actually escaped defeat in WWII, the American military (US Air Force) and its private industrial complex capitulated and entered into a secret treaty with the Nazi/Draco faction, which continues to this day.  And as depicted in the History Channel’s “Project Blue Book” episode 10, the Air Force generals were keen to cover up their alliance with the Nazi/Draco by blaming everything on the Russians, which also continues to this day.  (See 5:04 minute recap of History Channel’s “Project Blue Book” S1-E10 below.)

 

If 1952 marked the year that UFO fever spread across Cold War America, events in late July of that year spiked that mania to critical levels. That’s when the grandfather of all “saucer” sightings took place in the skies above the nation’s capital, causing a coast-to-coast collective jaw drop.

Over several weeks, up to a dozen unexplained objects repeatedly streaked across the skies over Washington, D.C.—spotted not just by crackpots, but by radar operators, professional pilots and other highly credible witnesses. The Air Force scrambled fighter jets, but the ‘saucers’ outran them. Around the U.S., sci-fi-like headlines blared, rumors flew and sightings soared.

When President Harry Truman quietly called for answers, a representative from the Air Force’s secret UFO-investigation team, Project Blue Book, was summoned to D.C. But before anyone could fully probe the incidents, the Air Force hastily convened a press conference to quell the panic, blaming the whole thing on the weather.

The incident didn’t just get covered in big-city papers. In every corner of the country, local publications ran stories, many drawn from national wire services, often edited with different details to fit their space. Some added sidebars with local ‘saucer’ news or tidbits like what Albert Einstein thought when asked about UFOs. One reporter got the bright idea to ask the Soviets if they were somehow behind it all.

5:04 minute recap of History Channel’s “Project Blue Book” S1-E10

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Meet J. Allen Hynek, the Astronomer Who First Classified UFO ‘Close Encounters’

by Greg Daugherty                      November 19, 2018                      (history.com)

• In 1947, a rash of reports of UFOs had the public on edge. The Air Force created Project Sign to investigate these UFO sightings. But they needed outside expertise to sift through the reports and come up with explanations for all of these sightings. Enter J. Allen Hynek.

• In 1948, Hynek was the 37-year-old director at Ohio State University’s McMillin Observatory. He had worked for the government during WWII developing new defense technologies for the war effort with a high security clearance. The Air Force approached him to be a consultant on ‘flying saucers’ for the government. “I had scarcely heard of UFOs in 1948 and, like every other scientist I knew, assumed that they were nonsense,” Hynek recalled.

• Hynek’s UFO investigations under Project Sign resulted in twenty percent of the 237 cases that couldn’t be explained. In February 1949, Project Sign was succeeded by Project Grudge, which said Hynek, “took as its premise that UFOs simply could not be.” The 1949 Grudge report concluded that the phenomena posed no danger to the United States, and warranted no further study.

• But UFO incidents continued, even from the Air Force’s own radar operators. The national media began treating the phenomenon more seriously. The Air Force had little choice but to revive Project Grudge under a new name: Project Blue Book. Hynek joined Project Blue Book in 1952 and would remain with it until its demise in 1969. But he had changed his mind about the existence of UFOs. “The witnesses I interviewed could have been lying, could have been insane or could have been hallucinating collectively—but I do not think so,” he recalled in 1977. Hynek deplored the ridicule that people who reported a UFO sighting often had to endure, causing untold numbers of others to never come forward, not to mention the loss of useful research data.

• “Given the controversial nature of the subject, it’s understandable that both scientists and witnesses are reluctant to come forward,” said Jacques Vallee, co-author with Dr. Hynek of The Edge of Reality: A Progress Report on Unidentified Flying Objects.

• On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union surprised the world by launching Sputnik, a serious blow to Americans’ sense of technological superiority. Hynek was on TV assuring Americans that their scientists were closely monitoring the situation. UFO sightings continued unabated.

• In the 1960s, Hynek was the top expert on UFOs as scientific consultant to Project Blue Book. But he chafed at what he perceived as the project’s mandate to debunk UFO sightings, and the inadequate resources at his disposal. Air Force Major Hector Quintanilla, who headed the project from 1963 to 1969, writes that he considered Hynek a “liability.”

• Hynek frustrated UFO debunkers such as the U.S. Air Force. But in 1966, after suggesting that a UFO sighting in Michigan may have been an optical illusion created by swamp gas, he became a punchline for UFO believers as well.

• In his testimony for a Congressional hearing in 1966, Hynek stated, “[I]t is my opinion that the body of data accumulated since 1948…deserves close scrutiny by a civilian panel of physical and social scientists…”. The Air Force established a civilian committee of scientists to investigate UFOs, chaired by physicist, Dr. Edward U. Condon. In 1968, Hynek assailed the Condon Report’s conclusion that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified.” In 1969, Project Blue Book shut down for good.

• UFO sightings continued around the world. Hynek later quipped, “apparently [they] did not read the Condon Report”. Hynek went on with his research, free from the compromises and bullying of the U.S. Air Force.

• In 1972, Hynek published his first book, The UFO Experience. It introduced Hynek’s classifications of UFO incidents, which he called Close Encounters. Close Encounters of the First Kind meant UFOs seen at a close enough range to make out some details. In a Close Encounter of the Second Kind, the UFO had a physical effect, such as scorching trees, frightening animals or causing car motors to suddenly conk out. In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, witnesses reported seeing occupants in or near a UFO.

• In 1977, Steven Spielberg released the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Hynek was paid $1,000 for the use of the title, another $1,000 for the rights to use stories from the book and $1,500 for three days of technical consulting. He also had a brief cameo in the film, playing an awestruck scientist when the alien spacecraft comes into view.

• In 1978, Hynek retired from teaching. In 1973 he had founded the Center for UFO Studies which continues to this day. Hynek died in 1986, at age 75, from a brain tumor.

 

It’s September 1947, and the U.S. Air Force has a problem. A rash of reports about mysterious objects in the skies has the public on edge and the military baffled. The Air Force needs to figure out what’s going on—and fast. It launches an investigation it calls Project Sign.

By early 1948 the team realizes it needs some outside expertise to sift through the reports it’s receiving—specifically an astronomer who can determine which cases are easily explained by astronomical phenomena, such as planets, stars or meteors.

For J. Allen Hynek, then the 37-year-old director at Ohio State University’s McMillin Observatory, it would be a classic case of being in the right place at the right time—or, as he may have occasionally lamented, the wrong place at the wrong one.

The adventure begins

Hynek had worked for the government during the war, developing new defense technologies like the first radio-controlled fuse, so he already had a high security clearance and was a natural go-to.

“One day I had a visit from several men from the technical center at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, which was only 60 miles away in Dayton,” Hynek later wrote. “With some obvious embarrassment, the men eventually brought up the subject of ‘flying saucers’ and asked me if I would care to serve as consultant to the Air Force on the matter… The job didn’t seem as though it would take too much time, so I agreed.”

Little did Hynek realize that he was about to begin a lifelong odyssey that would make him one of the most famous and, at times, controversial scientists of the 20 century. Nor could he have guessed how much his own thinking about UFOs would change over that period as he persisted in bringing rigorous scientific inquiry to the subject.

“I had scarcely heard of UFOs in 1948 and, like every other scientist I knew, assumed that they were nonsense,” he recalled.

Project Sign ran for a year, during which the team reviewed 237 cases. In Hynek’s final report, he noted that about 32 percent of incidents could be attributed to astronomical phenomena, while another 35 percent had other explanations, such as balloons, rockets, flares or birds. Of the remaining 33 percent, 13 percent didn’t offer enough evidence to yield an explanation. That left 20 percent that provided investigators with some evidence but still couldn’t be explained.

The Air Force was loath to use the term “unidentified flying object,” so the mysterious 20 percent were simply classified as “unidentified.”

In February 1949, Project Sign was succeeded by Project Grudge. While Sign offered at least a pretense of scientific objectivity, Grudge seems to have been dismissive from the start, just as its angry-sounding name suggests. Hynek, who played no role in Project Grudge, said it “took as its premise that UFOs simply could not be.” Perhaps not surprisingly, its report, issued at the end of 1949, concluded that the phenomena posed no danger to the United States, having resulted from mass hysteria, deliberate hoaxes, mental illness or conventional objects that the witnesses had misinterpreted as otherworldly. It also suggested the subject wasn’t worth further study.

Project Blue Book is born

That might’ve been the end of it. But UFO incidents continued, including some puzzling reports from the Air Force’s own radar operators. The national media began treating the phenomenon more seriously; LIFE magazine did a 1952 cover story, and even the widely respected TV journalist Edward R. Murrow devoted a program to the topic, including an interview with Kenneth Arnold, a pilot whose 1947 sighting of mysterious objects over Mount Rainier in Washington state popularized the term “flying saucer.” The Air Force had little choice but to revive Project Grudge, which soon morphed into the more benignly named Project Blue Book.

Hynek joined Project Blue Book in 1952 and would remain with it until its demise in 1969. For him, it was a side gig as he continued to teach and to pursue other, non-UFO research, at Ohio State. In 1960 he moved to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to chair its astronomy department.

As before, Hynek’s role was to review the reports of UFO sightings and determine whether there was a logical astronomical explanation. Typically that involved a lot of unglamorous paperwork; but now and then, for an especially puzzling case, he had a chance to get out into the field.

There he discovered something he might never have learned from simply reading the files: how normal the people who reported seeing UFOs tended to be. “The witnesses I interviewed could have been lying, could have been insane or could have been hallucinating collectively—but I do not think so,” he recalled in his 1977 book, The Hynek UFO Report.

“Their standing in the community, their lack of motive for perpetration of a hoax, their own puzzlement at the turn of events they believe they witnessed, and often their great reluctance to speak of the experience—all lend a subjective reality to their UFO experience.”

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Former Pentagon Official Calls for Big UFO Reveal After Secret Investigation

by Michelle Basch                   July 26, 2018                  (wtop.com)


• Retired Air Force Col. David Shea, 80, was the U.S. Air Force press spokesman from 1967 to 1971. In 1969 he announced the end of Project Blue Book by concluding that there was no threat to national security, no sign of advanced technology and no evidence that UFOs are extraterrestrial. Retiring from the Air Force after 29 years, Shea then spent 20-plus years working for Hughes Aircraft and Raytheon.

• Shea is a staunch skeptic of the existence of UFO’s from other worlds. “I would believe if I saw some evidence that showed we were visited by alien spacecraft, but there hasn’t been evidence to my mind of such,” says Shea.  (see 2:24 minute video of Col. Shea below)

• In 1947, when a veteran pilot reported seeing nine ‘flying saucers’ near Mt. Rainier in Washington, the Army Air Corps began to investigate. By the end of 1949, the Air Force had determined that “… there was no threat, and there was no visitation, there was no advanced technology.” But the Air Force continued to investigate UFOs under projects such as Project Blue Book.

• As a public relations man, Shea thinks that the Air Force inadvertently created a PR nightmare. “What was initially an intelligence matter quickly evolved into a PR problem of the greatest magnitude,” says Shea. “The Air Force, ignoring public opinion on the subject, failed to communicate its conviction that UFOs were no cause for alarm and consequently was unable to convince the American public that what it was saying about UFOs was true.” “During its more-than-20-year history of investigating flying saucers, the Air Force has been accused of almost every conceivable sin, and had been guilty of most,” says Shea.

• Shea is not swayed at all by the NY Times’ revelation of a recent Pentagon program that studied UFOs and the release of several military videos of UFOs. “They saw something, but we don’t know what it is, and we don’t have the evidence to suggest what it may be. So again, it comes back to the word ‘evidence.’” Shea thinks that with the closing of Project Blue Book, the government ‘washed its hands of UFOs’. So he wonders, “Why would the government want to do that again? …We’ve been there, done that.”

• Shea says that the Air Force was placed in the impossible position of trying to prove that aliens are not whizzing around above Earth. According to Shea, despite “exhaustive” investigations and studies of UFOs, the government has come up with nothing. “No eureka moment. No threat. No advanced technology. No alien spacecraft.” “You can’t prove that something doesn’t exist. Why doesn’t the other guy prove that (UFOs do) exist?” he said. Asked if, to his knowledge, the government has covered up evidence of alien visitation in the past, Shea says, “Absolutely not. It would be impossible to do so in our environment of leakers and whistleblowers.”

• Shea thinks the Air Force is misunderstood. “The Air Force has never said that UFOs aren’t spacecraft from another civilization. What the Air Force has said is that there’s no convincing evidence that they present a threat, or they advance scientific knowledge, or that they are alien spacecraft. Convincing evidence is the key, and that’s what we don’t have,” said Shea. Just because a military pilot spots or chases a UFO doesn’t mean the unidentified object should be considered a threat to national security, said Shea. “I would say we would be concerned if they were fired upon. We would be concerned if they started bombing our bases. None of that has happened, so whatever they’re seeing doesn’t seem to be hostile in nature. Not to worry, is what I would say.”

[Editor’s Note] Where is the evidence of UFOs? Take a look at this website. At 80 years old, Shea is clinging to his Air Force pension with both hands. The government hides all evidence of extraterrestrials, and then uses the lack of evidence to prove that extraterrestrials do not exist. Shea’s reasoning is: ‘so long as the government says that UFOs do not pose a threat, then who cares what they are?’ Shea is completely brain washed. He thinks that the whole issue of UFOs and extraterrestrials should remain hidden from the public in black projects and secret space programs. This is the attitude of the ‘old guard’ military and government authority, and this is exactly why our society has been prevented from making any real technological advancement in the past 70 years. So keep spouting your disinformation, Col. Shea, and keep collecting those retirement checks.

 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA — If evidence proving that extraterrestrials visited Earth has been squirreled away behind locked doors in Nevada, a former Pentagon official is calling for a big reveal.

“Show it to the National Academy of Sciences. Don’t hide it. Show it! We’ve been waiting for it! We’ve been waiting for it forever,” retired Air Force Col. David Shea said, raising his voice. “But so far, that hasn’t happened, and I don’t know why.”

Shea, 80, was the Air Force’s press spokesman on UFOs at the Pentagon from 1967 to 1971. He considers himself an “agnostic” when it comes to whether some unidentified flying objects are ships piloted by intelligent beings from faraway worlds.

      Retired Air Force Col. David Shea

“I would believe if I saw some evidence that showed we were visited by alien spacecraft, but there hasn’t been evidence to my mind of such,” he said in an interview at his Northern Virginia home.

In 1969, Shea wrote the news release that announced the end of Project Blue Book, an Air Force investigation of more than 12,000 UFO reports.

It concluded that there was no threat to national security, no sign of advanced technology and no evidence that UFOs are extraterrestrial.

And with that, it appeared to the public that the government had washed its hands of UFOs.

But in December, almost 50 years after Project Blue Book ended, came explosive news.

The New York Times reported that Bigelow Aerospace had been storing material recovered from “unidentified aerial phenomena” in its buildings in Las Vegas as part of a secret Pentagon UFO investigation project called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP).

Shea was not surprised by news of the project’s existence, but he thinks if more people were aware of the government’s history with UFOs, they would better understand why, in his opinion, the government should not get involved again.

“The UFOs never seem to go away,” he said.

 

2:24 minute video of Ret Col. David Shea discussing the lack of evidence of UFOs

 

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