COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS OF UFO PANEL (PUBD IS UNKNOWN)

Created: 1/21/1953

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

COiTJENTS AND SUGGESTIONS OF uTO PANEL

General.

Tha Panel Members were impressed with the lack of sound data in the great majority of case histories. Among tbe case histories of significant sightings discussed in detail were the following:

Bellefontaine, Ohio; Trcmootoa, Utab

; Great Falls,;

Yaak, Montana;.

area (IS; andapan

, Port -Huron,;

aad Presque Isle,.

After review and discussion of these cases (and aboutthers, in lesshe Panel concluded that reasonable explanations could be suggested for mostand "by deduction and scientific nethod it could be induced (given additional data) that other cases might be explainedinilar manner". The panel pointed out that bocause of the brevity of son* sightingseconds) and the inability of the witnesses to express themselves clearly (semantics) that conclusive explanations could not bo oxpocted foe every case reported. Furthermore, it was considered that, normally, it wouldreat waste of effort to try to solve most of tho sightings, unless such

COifUENTS AND SUGGESTIONS OF bTO &ANEC

Central.

The Paael Members were lmpraaatd with tbe lack of sound data in tbe great majority of caae histories. Among the case histories of significant sightings discussed in detail ware the following:

Ballefoataine, Ohio; Treaooton, Utah

; Great Falls,;

Yaak, Montana;.

; andapan

, Port Huron,;

and Presque Isle,.

After review and dlscusalon of these cases (and aboutthers, in less detail), tho Panel concluded that reasonable explanations could be suggested for mostand "'by deduction aad scientific method it could ba Induced (given additional data) that other cases might be explainedimilar manner". The Panel pointed out that because of the brevity of some eightiogseconds) and the inability of the witnesses to express themselves clearly (sonantics) that conctualvo explanations could not bo expected for every case roportcd. Furthermore, It was considered that, normally, it wouldreat waste of effort to try to solve most of the sightings, unless such

action wouldraining and educationalee below). Tbo writings of Charles Fort were referenced to show that "strange tbings in tho sky" had been recorded for hundreds of years. It appeared obvious that there was no single explanationajority of the things seen.

Oa Lack of Danger.

The Panel coocluded uoanlnously that thereirect threat to national security insighted. Instances of "Foo Fighters" werevere unexplained phenocena sighted byduring tforld War II In both European and Farof operation wherein "balls of light" wouldor with tho aircraft and naneuver rapidly. Theyto be electrostatic (siailar to St. Elno'selectromagnetic phenomena or possibly lightice crystals in the air, but their exact causewas never defined. If tho tern "flyingbeen popular, these objects wouldso

Alr Force Reporting Systea.

It was the Panel's opinion that some of the Air Force concern over UFO's (notwithstanding Air Dofcnse Conmand anxiety over fast radar tracks) was probably caused by public pressure. The result today is that the Air Force

hasine channol for receiving reports of nearly anything anyone sees la the shy and fails to This has been particularly encouraged in popular articlos on this and other subjocts, such as space travel and science fiction. Tbe result is the mass receipt of low-grade reports which tend to overload channels of communication with natorlal quite irrelevant to hostile objects that might some day appear. The panel agreed generally that this mass of poor-quality reports containing little, if any, sclenttfio data vas of no value. Quite the opposite, it was possibly dangerous inilitary service fostar public concern in "nocturnal meandering lights". The implication being,-since the interested agency was military, that these objects were or might be potential direct threats to national security. Accordingly, the need for deeaphasization made itself apparent. Commentsossible educational program are enumerated below.

It was the Opinion of one of tbe Panel members, that tho "saucer" problem had been found to be different in nature from the detection and investigation ofuided missiles prior to thoir. operational use In World War II. Inntelligence operationhere was excollent intelligence, and by June

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utt

here was Material evidence of the existence of "hardware" obtainod froa crashed vehicles In Sweden. This, evidence gave tho Investigatingasis upon which to operate. The absence of any "bard-are" resulting froa unexplained WO algbtlngswill-of-thc-wisp" nature to the problem. The results of tho Investigation, to date, strongly lndlcato that no ovldence of hostile act or danger exists. IVrthormore, tbe current reporting system vould have little value lo tbo case of detection of onomy attack by conventional aircraft or guided missiles; under such conditions "hardware" would be available almost at once.

Artifacts of Extraterrestlal Origin.

It was interesting to note that nono of tho tteabera of the Panel vero loath to accept that this earth night bo visited by extraterrestrial intelligence"beings of sono sort,ay. What they did not find waa any evidence that related tha objects sighted to space travelers. One of the Pa nel members, in his presentation, sho-cd how ho had eliminated each of thend probable causes of sightings leaving him "oxtra-torrestlnl" as tho only one .n many cases. His background as anengineer and technical intelligence officer could not be sllghtrd. Hoaever, the Panel could not accept any of

the cases cited by him becauso thoy were raw, unevaluated reports. Terrestrial explanations of the sightings were suggested in some cases, and In others the tiise of sighting was so short as to cause suspicion of visual Impressions. It was noted by others of the panel nensbars thatartifacts; if they did exist, aro no cause for ajara; rsther, they are in. the realm of natural phenomena subject to scientific study, Just as cosmic rays vere at the-tIds of their discoveryoears ago. This vas so attitude in which another of the Panel nombars did not concur, as he felt that such artifacts would be of innediate and great concern not only to. but to all countries. (Nothingommon threat to unite peoples!) It was noted that present astronoaical knowledge of the solar systen nakes tho existence of intelligence" beings (as we know the tora) olsojhoro than on tho oarth extremely unlikely, and

the concentration of their attention by any controllable oeans confined to any one continent of the earth quite preposterous.

tah,htirvg ,

This case was considered significant because of the excellent documentary evidence in the form of Kodachroae notion picture films0 frames). The Panel

Studied these filna, the esse history, ATIC'o lnterpreta-tlon, andriefing by representatives of the USN Photo Interpretation Laboratory on their analysis of the flla. This teaa had expended (at Air Forcean-hours of professional and sub-professional tine in the preparation of graph plots ofaaes of the film, showing apparent and relative notion of objects and variation in their light intensity. It was the opinion of. representatives that the objects sighted wero not birds, balloons or aircraft, were "not reflections because there was no blinking while passing throughof arc" and were, therefore, "salf-^UBiPOus". Plots of notion and variation in light intensity of the objeots wore displayed. While thel leasers were inprcsscd by the evident enthusiasm, industry and extent of effort of. toan, they would not aceopt the conclusions reached. Sone of tbe reasons for this vere as follows:

a. enl-spherlcal object can readilyeflection of sunlight without "blink-log" throughof arc travel.

' b. Although no date was avallablo on the "albedo" of birds or polyethylene balloons

in bright sunlight, the apparent notions, sizes and brightnesses of the objects woro consldared strongly to suggest birds, particularly after the Panelhort fila showing high reflectivity of seagulls in bright sunlight.

description of the objocta"circular, bluish-whlto" in color wouldId cases of specular reflection, offroa convex surfaces where tbetha reflection sould obscure other portionsobject.

io tha Graat Falls caseto have probably bean aircraft, andlights such reflections.

was no valid reasoa for tharelate the objects in tho Trenonton sightingin the Great Falls sighting. This naydue to misunderstanding in theirobjects in tbe Great Falls sightingsuspected of being reflections ofknown to have been in tbe area.

intensity change in thewas too great for acceptance of tbothat the apparent motion and changing

intensity ol the lights indicated extremely highIn small orbital paths.

lack of guidance ofby those familiar with UFO reports

of light Intensity offroa duplicate rather than originaloriginal fila was noted touch(affecting relative brightnessand tha objects appeared much leas bright.

1. Method of obtaining data of light intensity appeared faulty because of unaultablllty of eQulpsant and Questionable assumptions in making averages of readings.

J. No data had been obtained on theof Kodachrone film to light of various intensities using the sa.io camera type at the same lens openings.

k. Hand "Jittor" frequencies (obtalnablo froa early part of Tremonton flla) wore not reaoved froa the plots of tbe "slnglo pass plots" at the end of the fila.

The par.el believed stroogly (hat tbe data available on this alighting vaa sufficient for positive identification If further data is obtained by photographing polyethylene "pillow" balloons released near the alto under slnllarconditions, checking bird flight and reflection characteristics with competent ornithologists and calculating apparent "G" forces acting upon objects froa their apparent tracks. It was concluded that tho results of such tests would probably lead to creditable explanations of value In an educational or training prograa. However, the Panel noted that tho cost in technical manpower effort required to folic? up and explain every one of the thousand or nore reports received through channels each0c=ld not be justlflod. It vas felt that there will always be sightings, for vhlch ceaplete data is lacking, that can only be explained with disproportionate effort andong tine delay, If at all. The loag delay inighting tends to ellminato any Intelligence value. Tae educational or training prograa should haveajor purpose the elimination of popular feeling that every sighting, no natter how poor tho data, must be explained in dotatl. Attention should bo directed to the requlre=eat aaong scientistsew phenoaana, to bo accoptcd, aust be coaplotoly and convincingly documented.

In other words, tho burden of proof Is on ,ttctha*

Potential Related Dangers. -

Tbe Panel Uambers were in agreement that although evidence of any direct threat froa these.sightings vaslacking, related dangers night wall exist resulting fron:

of actual teenyby defense

of emergencyvlth "false"olso to signal

*

ratio").

of public to massgreater vulnerability to possiblewarfare.

Tbe first two of these problems may seriously affect tbe Air Defense intelligence system, and should be studied by experts, possibly under ADC. If UTO'seaction to the "flying saucer" scare, or if reporting channels are saturated vlth false and poorly documented reports, our capability of detecting hostile activity will ba reduced. More competent screening or filtering of reported sightings at or near tha source is

required, and this*can best be accomplished by an

Geographic Locations of Unexplained Sightings.

Ths nap prepared by ATIC shoving geographic locations of officially reported unexplained2as exaained by the Panel. howed clusters In certain strategic areas such as Los Alacos. This night be oxplained on the basishour watchful guard and awareness of security ceasures near such locations. On the other hand, there had been ne sightings in tho vicinity of sensitive rolated AE establishnents while there were occasionally aultlple cases of unexplained sightings in non-strategic sieas. Furtberaore, tbore appeared to be no logical relationship to population centers. Tbe Panel. no ready explanation for theso elustero. It vas noted, hcaever, that if terrestrial artifacts were to be observed, it vould be likely that they would be seen first near foreign aroas rather than.

Instrumentation to Obtain Data.

The Panel was of the opinion that tho present ATIC program tonexpensiven. stereo caceras (Vldcoa Caceras) in the hands of various airport control tower oporatorsbablyta Viable

data related to uTO'e. However, It vis recognized that auch action would tend to allay public concern in tho subject until an educational program had taken effect. It waa bel>ved that procurement of these caateraspartly the result of public pressure In Kith the poor results of the year-long project TWINKLE prograahour instrunantatlon watch (two fraaes of flln showing nothingidespread prograa of skywatchieg would not be expected to yield auch direct data of value.

s considerable dlacussionossible "sky patrol" by aaateur astronomers and by wide-angle cameras. It was pointed out that atonsiderable fraction of tho sky is nowand has been for many yearsnder survelllaace every clear night In several meteor and aurora observing programs as veil as sky mapping prograus at the various locations listed belov. Although the attention of these astronomers is largely directed toward identified rather than unidentified objects, no caso of any striking unidentified object is knowa lo the Panel. Such an object vould oest certainly be reported if found on patrol platos.

A eaeo vas cited whoro an astronomer refused to 'lntorrupt his exposure in order to photograph an alleged sightingart of the sky,hit if

a program of watching could bo an adjunct of planned astronomical programs, little cost would be involved aad that the trained astronomical personnel mightighting of an unidentified object.

It was agreed by tho panel that no government-sponsored program of optical nation-wide sky patrol Is worthwhile at tht present time, and that the encouragement of amateur astronomers to undertakerogram night have the adverse effect of over-aaphasizing "flying saucer" stories in the public nind. Kowever, the issue of radar-scope cameras for recording peculiar radar echoes would serve several purposes, including the bettor understanding of radar interference as well as ideotification of UFO's.

Radar Problem of Mutual Intcrforenco.

This characteristic problem of radar operation wherein tbe pulse signal (of approximately the same frequency) fromay ba picked up on the screen ofnd showigh-speed track or series of dots was recognized to have probablyumber of UTO roports. This problem vas underlined by information recoived indicating ADC concern in solving this problem of sigcal Identification beforo service uso of very high-speed aircraft or guidedG). One

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Panel manner believed that one answer to this problem was the usedoppler filter" in the receiving circuit. Another suggested that the problem might bo better solved by tbe usecontrolled jitter" wbaroin tbo oparator receiving "very fast traces" (on tbo order of, QCO mpb) wouldircuit which would alter slightly his station's pulse frequency rate. If the signal received on the screen bad been caused by mutual interference with, another station, tbe track would now show itselflfforent distance frco tbe center of the screen. If it still appeared at all. echnical solution was thought to bo simpler and ftould cost much lessdoppler filter

Unexplained Cosmic Fay phenomena.

reported cases wero examined: t PalomarCalifornia, inhen cosmic ray counters want "off scaleewpparentlyV" of flylcg aaucers was obsorved visually; onderies of observations by the "los Alamos Bird Watchers Association" from0 tohen coiaic ray coincidence counters behaved queerly. Circuit diagrams and records were ftvatlablo for tho latter,anel member was also quickly to point out that tho recorded diti were undoubtedly due to instrumental effects

that would have been recognized as such by core experienced observers.

Tbe implication that radioactive effects aerowith unidentified flying objects in these two cases was, therefore, rejected by tho panel.

Educational Program.

The panel's conceptroad educational program integrating efforts of all concerned agencies was that It should have two major aims: training and "debuoklog".

Tbe training aim vould result in proper recognition of unusually Illuminated objootsalloons, aircraft reflections) as wall aa natural phenomena (meteors,cirages, noctlluceat clouds). Doth visual and radar recognition are concerned. There would be many levels in such education froa enlisted personnel to command and research personnel. KoUtivo emphasis and degree of explanation of different programs would correspond to tho categories of dutyadar operators; pilots; control tower operators; Ground Observer Corps personnel; and officers and enllstod men in other categories). This training should resultarked reduction in reports caused by misldentification and resultant confusion.

The "debunking" ain would result in reduction in public interest In "flying saucers" vhich today evokes a

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strong psychological reaction. This education could beby mass ncdia auch as television, potion pictures, and popular articles. Basis of suchould be actual case histories vhlch had been puzzling' at first but later explained. As in tho case of conjuring tricks, there is ouch less stimulation if the "secret" is knoon. rogram should tend to raduco the current gullibility of the public and consequently theirto clever hostile propaganda.

k'eabers of tho Panel had various suggestions related to- the planning of such an educational prograa. It vas felt strcngly that psychologists familiar with massshould advise on the nature and oxtcot of the prograa. Also, soneone familiar with mass cotvaunlcatlon techniques, perhaps an advortlslng expert, vould be helpful. Theechniques used for aircraft identlficalloa durlagt war vere cited as an exaaploimilar educational task. The amateur astronomers In. nightotential source of enthusiastic talent "to sproad tbo gospel". It was believed that business clubs, igh schools, colleges, and television stations would all be pleased to coopsrato in the showing of documentary type cotton pictures if prepared in anneer.

Tho use of true cases showing first tho "mystery" and then tho "explications" vould be forcoful.

To plan and executerogram, tho Parol believed vas no mean task. The current investigatory group at ATIC would, of necessity, have to be closely integrated for support with respect to not "only the historical cases but tbo current ones. Poeont cases are' probably much more susceptible to explanation than older ones: first, because of ATIC's experience and, secondly, their knowledge of nost plausible explanations. The Panel believed that soae expansion of ths ATIC offort vould certainly be requiredrogram. It vas bolleved inappropriate to state exactly howable of Organization would be roqulred.

Tho Panel belloved that, with ATIC's support, tho educational program of "training and debunking" outlined above might ba requiredinimum of one and one-half to two years. At the end of this time, the dangers rolated to "flying saucers" should have been greatly reduced if not eliminated. Cooperation from other military services and agencies concernedederal Civil Defense Adaiolstra-tlon) vouldecessity. In inveatlgatlng significant cases (such as tho Treaonton, Utah,ontrolled experiments night be required. An example would be tho

photography in? of* balloons" at dlfforsnt distances under slcllar weather conditions st the site.

The help of one or two psychologists and writersubcontractor to produce training films vould be nocossary ia addition. The panel corsldered that ATIC's efforts, temporarily expandod as necessary, could bo nost useful in iopleaantlng any action takenesult of its recouiendetions. Sxperienco and records lo ATIC would bo of value in both the public educational and service training prograa envisage. At least oaa Panel tenber was of the opinion that after public gullibility lessened and the service organization*,'such as ADC, had been trained to sift out the core readily cxplainod spurious.sightings, thero would stillolnery modest-sized ATIC soctloa to cops with the roslduus of items of possible scientific intelligence value. This section shouldon energetically following up those cases which seeaed to indicate the evidence of uaconvoatlonal eneny artifacts. Reports of such artifacts aould be expected to arise nalnly froa vestern outposts In far closer proxlalty to the Iron Curtain than Lubbock, Texas'.

Unofficial Investigating Croups.

Tbe panel took'cognlzanco of the oxlstenco of such groups as the "Civilian Plyingeali^tors"

ngeles) and tho "Aarial Phenonona Researchzation (Wisconsin)". It ws believed that suchshould bo vatebed boctuse'of their potentially great influence on mass thinking if widespread sightings should occur. The apparent Irresponsibility and the poaalblo use of such groupa for subversive purposes should be kept in bind.

Increase in Kur.ber of Sightings.

The consensus of tha Panel was, based upon tba history of tho subject, that tho nuaber of sightings could be reasonably expaeted to Increase again this suaaer.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY PANEL ON UNIDENTIFIED FLYING3

Evidenco Presented.

Seventy-five oaso histories ofselected by ATIC as those best docuntntod).

ATIC Status and Progross Roports of Projoct GRDUGE and Project BLUB BOOK (code canes for ATIC study of aubject).

Progress Reports of projoct STORK (Institute contract work supporting ATIC).

Suaaary Report of Sightings at Hollcnan Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Report of USAF Research Center, Cambridge,nvestigation of "Green Fireball" Phenomena (Project TWINKLE).

Outline of Investigation of UFO's Proposed by Kirtland Air Force Base (Project POUNCE)l

T. Motion Picture Films of sightings at Treaontoa,2 and Great Falls, Montana,

8. Suoaary Report ofelected cases of sightings

of various categories (Foraatlons, Blinking Lights, Hovering, etc.).

Draft of manual: "HowLYOBRPT",at ATIC.

Chart Showing Plot of Geographic Location of Unexplained Sightings In the United States

Chart Showing Balloon Launching Sites In the United States.

Charts Showing Selected Actual Balloon Flight paths and Relation to Reported Sightings.

Charts Showing Frequency of Reports of.

Charts Showing Categories of Explanations of Sightings.

Kodachrome Transparencies of Polyethylene Flln Balloons in Bright Sunlight Showing High Reflectivity.

Motion Picture of Soagulls in Bright Sunlight Showing High Reflectivity.

intelligence Reports Relating. Interest. Sighting*.

Samples of Official USAF Reporting Fores and Copies of Pertinent Air Force, Army, and Navy Orders Relating to Subject.

W. Saaplo Polyetayleno "Pillow"quare.

"Variations In RadarManuel illustrating unusual operating characteristics of service radar).

Miscellaneous Official Letters and Foreign Intolll genco Reports Dealing with Subject.

32. Copies or Popular Published VorXs Dealing with Subject (articles and periodicals, newspaper clippings).

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