The O'Brien Report and events leading up to it.

Edward U. Condon, 1968

In the years from 1953 to 1965, interest in UFOs or flying saucers continued to fluctuate. APRO had been founded in 1952, and NICAP was incorporated as a non-profit membership organization in 1956. In addition various local organizations flourished for a few years. Newspapers and magazines of large circulation seem not to have had a consistent policy toward the subject: More and more, but not always, they tended to make fun of flying saucer sightings. Not many of the press stories achieved national distribution by the wire services and many of those that did were handled as humorous features rather than as serious science.

As Table 1 shows, the number of UFO reports reaching Project Blue Book was well under a thousand for each of these years except for 1957 when the number was 1,006. Officers at Air Force bases and the small staff of Project Blue Book continued to investigate these reports to determine whether the things seen constituted a defense threat. In no case was a threat to national security discovered, a result consistent with that reached by the Robertson panel in 1953.

At the same time there continued to be published a considerable number of popular books and magazine articles. Most of these continued to insist that some UFOs really indicate the presence on Earth of visitors from superior civilizations elsewhere in the Universe.

Some of the books contain some rather startling assertions for which, however, no proof or corroboration is given. For example in Spacecraft from Beyond Three Dimensions (Allen, 1959) opposite page 98 is a full-page photograph showing two men holding hands with a miniature man about three feet tall, and carries the following caption, "A 'saucer crewman' very much like the moon man (or spirit) described by Swedenborg in his writings about the inhabitants of different planets of the solar system with whom, he stated, he had conversations. This photograph is from Germany (note trench coats and North European types), but the 'saucer crewman' is from a UFO that crashed near Mexico City; the corpses were sent to Germany for study. Was he based on Luna?"

The author of this book is employed by a major aircraft company in the Pacific Northwest. We got in touch with him, seeking more specific information about the alleged crash near Mexico City, and about the circumstances of sending saucer crewman's corpses to Germany. Allen offered to give us additional information but only at what to us seemed to be an exorbitant price, considering that there was no indication of the validity of any of this story.

UFO enthusiasts are not one great happy family. They consist of a number of antagonistic sects marked by strong differences in their belief. Some of the schismatic tendencies seem to be related to personality clashes. One of the greatest points of difference between the groups is their attitude toward "contactee" stories.

Some writers, of whom George Adamski was a pioneer, have published detailed stories giving accounts of their conversations with visitors from Venus and elsewhere. Some have published accounts of trips in flying saucers, either involving high speed travel between points on Earth, or actual visits to other planets (Fry,1966). Other writers heap scorn on those who believe in such contactee stories.

There is a particularly wide spectrum of attitudes to be found among IIPO enthusiasts with respect to the late George Adamski. A periodical called UFO Contact is dedicated to his memory. The editor of UFO Contact is Ronald Caswell, 309 Curbers Mead, Harlow, Essex, England. It is published by IGAP, which is the acronym for "International Get Acquainted Program" at Bavnevolden 27, Maaloev, SJ, Denmark. According to an editorial announcement this organization was founded by Adamski in 1959. Of the periodical the editors say:

His hope was that as many as possible would discover the truth of the present age and turn to face the time to come -- to learn to accept, through conviction, the fact that we are all citizens of the Cosmos and children of the Cosmic Power whose Laws run through the entire cosmos. These Laws we can learn to comprehend through study and understanding of the "Science of Life" brought to our attention by the presence of friendly visitors from other worlds...

We shall try to detect any and every move in the direction of that truth which we have accepted, but which is not yet officially accepted or recognized in broader circles:

  1. People from other worlds in our system are visiting our planet.
  2. People from other worlds are in contact with certain political and scientific circles in East and West.
  3. People from all walks of life, official and unofficial, all over the world, have been contacted by people from other worlds; such contacts have been kept secret so far.
  4. The philosophy brought to the world by Mr. George Adamski is considered an aid in helping to understand the truth of our origin and our future destiny.

The magazine will make no attempt whatsoever to fight anyone, in spite of any action which might be launched against it. Only the truth, whatever its guise, will be brought to bear, to allow each to decide for himself what he can and will accept in this wonderful world on his march forward to new experiences.

In sharp contrast, is the comment about Adamski in the second of the Frank Edwards' books (Edwards, 1967):

The first and foremost among them [the contactees] was a fellow named George Adamski. He was a man of meager scholastic attainments, but he made up for that shortcoming by having an excellent imagination, a pleasing personality and an apparently endless supply of gall.

George established the ground rules for the contactees which they have dutifully followed. He was the first -- and he showed that there was considerable loot to be made by peddling tales of talking with space people. George instinctively realized that everything had to be pretty nebulous; he knew that details would be disastrous.

Prior to becoming associated with a hamburger stand on the road to Mt. Palomar, George had worked in a hamburger stand as grill cook. With this scientific background he wrote, in his spare time, a document which he called An Imaginary Trip to the Moon, Venus and Mars. He voluntarily listed it with the Library of Congress for copyright purposes as a work of fiction.

That was in 1949.

His effort did not attract many customers but it did attract the attention of a lady writer who saw gold in them there space ships. She made a deal with George to rewrite his epic; she was to furnish the skilled writing and he was to furnish the photographs of the space ships.

This lady brought the finished manuscript to me for appraisal and she brought with it a clutch of the crudest UFO photographs I had seen in years. I declined to have anything to do with the mess and she left my office in a bit of a huff.

In its revised form it told a yarn of how George had ventured into the desert of southern California where he met a "scout ship" from which stepped a gorgeous doll in golden coveralls. She spoke to him with a bell-like voice in a language he did not understand, so they had to resort to telepathy, or something similar, to carry on their conversation. And then, as she prepared to leave him, she tapped out a message in the sand with her little boot. George realized that she wanted him to preserve this message (it was terribly important) and, having a pocket full of wet plaster of Paris (which he seemingly always carried with him on desert trips), George quickly made a plaster cast of the footprint with the message, which he eventually reproduced for the educational advancement of his readers, who were legion.

Of the numerous photographs which embellished the book let it be said that some of them could not have been taken as claimed. The others were crudely "simulated," as the Air Force put it charitably.

But for me the payoff was the alleged photograph of Adamski's "scout ship" in which he allegedly took a trip to Venus and returned. The picture as shown in his book was taken either on a day when three suns were shining -- or else it was a small object taken with three floodlights for illumination. After eight years of patient search I finally came to the conclusion that his space ship was in reality the top of a canister-type vacuum cleaner, made in 1937. I doubt that many persons are traveling through space in vacuum cleaner tops.

Adamski communicated with me frequently. When he was questioned about the title of "professor" which he used, he explained that it was just an honorary title given to him by his "students," and that he never used it himself. George was evidently forgetful, for the letters he sent to me were always signed "Professor George Adamski."

But this congenial con man sold a jillion books to those who were eager to believe that somebody from space was crossing millions of miles of the trackless void for the dubious privilege of conversing telepathically with former hamburger cooks. Adamski toured this country on the lecture circuit; then he branched out into Europe, where he even arranged a private confab with the Queen of The Netherlands, a maneuver which stirred up quite a bit of comment for the Queen, very little of which was favorable.

The bogus professor followed his first book with another volume but it did not meet with the ready acceptance which the public had granted his first offering. For one thing, some of his "witnesses" to his alleged meeting with the golden girl from a distant galaxy had changed their minds about both George and his story. And perhaps more importantly, several other contactees had rushed into print with yarns of having ridden in space ships and of having conversed with the operators thereof.

The remainder of Frank Edwards' Chapter 7 deals with other contactee stories in a similar vein.

During this period the UFO literature became very large indeed. It would require too much space to deal with it in detail. An excellent guide to this material is provided by a bibliography published by the Library of Congress.

By the early 1960s the pattern for UFO books and magazine writing had become quite clearly established: the text consisted of a stringing together of many accounts of reported sightings with almost no critical comment or attempts at finding the validity of the material reported, mixed with a strong dash of criticism of the Air Force for not devoting more attention to the subject and for allegedly suppressing the startling truth about visitors from outer space.

On the evening of 3 September 1965 a number of sightings were reported at Exeter, N. H. which were made the basis of a brief article in the Saturday Review for 2 October 1965, and later of a book, Incident at Exeter by John C. Fuller (Fuller, l966a). The following year Fuller wrote another book, The Interrupted Journey (Fuller, 1966b) which dealt with the case of Barney and Betty Hill, who claimed to have been taken aboard a flying saucer while driving through N. H. This story was told in condensed form in Look magazine.

Probably the greatest furor in 1966 was generated by the Michigan sightings early in March. These occurred near Dexter, Mich. on the night of 20 March and near Hillsdale, Mich. on the next night.

These sightings received a great deal of newspaper publicity. They were investigated for the Air Force by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who suggested in a press conference the possibility that they might have resulted from burning swamp gas. This possibility has been known for years although it would be extremely difficult to obtain the kind of definite evidence that would make this possibility a certainty with respect to this particular case.

The swamp gas possibility has become the butt of a great many jokes and cartoons in the popular press. Although it is not established as a certainty, it seems to be quite genuinely a possibility. Here is the exact text of the Air Force press release that was issued as a result of the study of these sightings:

The investigation of these two sightings was conducted by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, scientific consultant to Project Blue Book; personnel from Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich.; and personnel from Project Blue Book office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

In addition to these two specific cases, there has been a flood of reports from this area both before and after March 20 and 21. The investigating personnel have not had the time to investigate all of these. It has been determined, however, that in Hillsdale, over and above the sincere and honest reporting by the young ladies at Hillsdale College, certain young-men have played pranks with flares. It has also been determined that the photograph released yesterday through press was taken on March 17 just before sunrise near Milan, Mich., and have nothing to do with the cases in question. The photograph clearly shows trails made as a result of a time exposure of the rising crescent moon and the planet Venus.

The majority of observers in both the Dexter and Hillsdale cases have reported only silent glowing lights near the ground -- red, yellow, and blue-green. They have not described an object. The only two observers who did describe an object have stated that they were no closer than 500 yards -- better than a quarter of a mile away -- a distance which does not allow details to be determined.

Witnesses have described glowing lights -- lights that seem to move but never far from a definite place or lights which suddenly disappeared and popped up at another place. The locale in both cases was a swamp. In both cases, the location of the glow was pinpointed--in Dexter it was seen between two distant groups of people and at Hillsdale it was seen in a swampy depression between the girls and the distant trees. It was in both cases a very localized phenomena. The swampy location is most significant.

A swamp is a place of rotting vegetation and decomposition. Swamps are not a province of astronomers. Yet, the famous Dutch astronomer, Minnaert, in his book, "Light and Colour in the Open Air," describes lights that have been seen in swamps by the astronomer, Bessel, and other excellent observers.

The lights resemble tiny flames sometimes seen right on the ground and sometimes rising and floating above it. The flames go out in one place and suddenly appear in another, giving the illusion of motion. The colors are sometimes yellow, sometimes red, and sometimes blue-green. No heat is felt, and the lights do not burn or char the ground. They can appear for hours at a stretch and sometimes for a whole night. Generally, there is no smell and no sound except for the popping sound of little explosions such as when a gas burner ignites.

The rotting vegetation produces marsh gas which can be trapped during the winter by ice. When the spring thaw occurs, the gas may be released in some quantity. The flame, Minnaert says, is a form of chemical luminescence, and its low temperature is one of its peculiar features. Exactly how it occurs is not known and could well be the subject of further investigation.

The glowing lights over the swamps near Dexter and Hillsdale were observed for 2 or 3 hours, and they were red, green, and yellow. They appeared to move sideways and to rise a short distance. No sound was heard except a popping sound.

It seems entirely likely that as the present spring thaw came, the trapped gases, CH4, H2S, and PH3, resulting from decomposition of organic material, were released. The chemistry book by Sienko and Plane has this to say: "In air, Phosphine PH3 usually bursts into flame apparently because it is ignited by a spontaneous oxidation of the impure P2H4 The will-of-the-wisp, sometimes observed in marshes, may be due to spontaneous ignition of impure PH3 which might be formed by reduction of naturally occurring phosphorus compound."

It has been pointed out to the investigating personnel by other scientists in this area that in swamps the formation of H2S and CH4 from rotting vegetation is common. These could be ignited by the spontaneous burning of PH3.

The association of the sightings with swamps in this particular instance is more than coincidence. No group of witnesses observed any craft coming to or going away from the swamp. The glow was localized and Deputy Fitzpatrick described the glow from beyond a rise adjacent to the swamp as visible through the trees. He stated that the light brightened and dimmed such as stage lights do -- smoothly and slowly -- and this description exactly fits the Hillsdale sighting also. The brightening and dimming could have been due to the release of variable quantities of marsh gas.

The disappearance of the lights when people got close with flashlights or carlights would indicate that the glow seemed bright to dark-adapted eyes. The night was dark and there was no moon. The Hillsdale girls kept their rooms dark in order to see the swamp lights.

It appears very likely that the combination of the conditions of this particular winter (an unusually mild one in that area) and the particular weather conditions of that night -- it was clear and there was little wind at either location -- were such as to have produced this unusual and puzzling display.

On 28 September 1965, Maj. Gen. E. B. LeBailly, who was then head of the Office of Information of the Secretary of the Air Force, addressed a letter to the Military Director of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board in which he said:

The Air Force has conducted Project Blue Book since 1948. As of 30 June 1965, a total of 9,265 reports had been investigated by the Air Force. Of these 9,265 reports, 663 cannot be explained.

Continuing, he wrote:

To date, the Air Force has found no evidence that any of the UFO reports reflect a threat to our national security. However, many of the reports that cannot be explained have come from intelligent and well qualified individuals whose integrity cannot be doubted. In addition the reports received officially by the Air Force include only a fraction of the spectacular reports which are publicized by many private UFO organizations.

Accordingly, it is requested that a working scientific panel composed of both physical and social scientists be organized to review Project Blue Book -- its resources, methods and findings -- and to advise the Air Force as to any improvements that should be made in the program to carry out the Air Force's assigned responsibility.

As a result of this formal request, a group was set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Brian O'Brien which was known as the "Ad Hoc Committee to Review Project Blue Book." This group met on 3 February 1966 and produced a short report of its findings in March 1966.

Les personnes ayant servi dans ce comit� sont comme suit :

Le Dr. Brian O'Brien, aujourd'hui à la retraite, a reçu son doctorat en physiques à Yale en 1922. Il a servi comme directeur de l'Institut d'Optique à l'Universit� de Rochester de 1946 � 1953, et comme vice-president et directeur de recherche de l'American Optical Company de 1953 à 1958, après quoi il devint physicien consultant. Il servit comme prèsident de la division de sciences physiques du Conseil National de Recherche de 1953 à 1961, comme prèsident de l'Soci�t� Optique d'Amérique en 1951-1953, et re�ut la M�daille du M�rite du President en 1948.

Le Dr. Launor F. Carter, psychologue, a reçu son doctorat à Princeton en 1941. After holding various teaching and research positions he became vice president and director of research of the Systems Development Corporation of Santa Monica in 1955. He has been a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board since 1955.

Le Dr. Jesse Orlansky, psychologist, received his Ph.D. in 1940 from Columbia University. He has been a member of the Institute for Defense Analyses since 1960 specializing on problems of behavioral science research for national security.

Le Dr. Richard Porter, electrical engineer received his Ph.D. at Yale in 1937, after which he joined the staff of the General Electric Company, where he was manager of the guided missiles department from 1950-55. He has been a member of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences since 1958 and chairman of its international relations committee since 1959.

Le Dr. Carl Sagan, astronome et scientifique de l'espace, a reçu son doctorat de l'Universit� de Chicago en 1960. A partir de 1962 he served as a staff astrophysicist of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge Mass., until the summer of 1968 when he joined the faculty of astronomy at Cornell University. He is a specialist in the study of planetary atmospheres, production of organic molecules in astronomical. environments, origin of life, and problems of extra-terrestrial biology.

Le Dr. Willis H. Ware, ing�nieur en �lectrique, received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1951. Since then he has been head of the computing science division of the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica. He is a specialist on problems related to the applications of computers to military and information processing problems.

The report of this committee is brief. It is printed in full below:


As requested in a memorandum from Major General E. B. LeBailly, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information dated 28 September 1965 (Tab A), and SAB Ad Hoc Committee met on 3 February 1966 to review Project "Blue Book". The objectives of the Committee are to review the resources and methods of investigation prescribed by Project "Blue Book" and to advise the Air Force of any improvements that can be made in the program to enhance the Air Force's capability in carrying out its responsibility.

In order to bring themselves up to date, the members of the Committee initially reviewed the findings of previous scientific panels charged with looking into the UFO problem. Particular attention was given to the report of the Robertson panel which was rendered in January 1953. The Committee next heard briefings from the AFSC Foreign Technology Division, which is the cognizant Air Force agency that collates information on UFO sightings and monitors investigations of individual cases. Finally, sightings with particular emphasis on those that have not been identified.


Although about 6% (646) of all sightings (10,147) in the years 1947 through 1965 are listed by the Air Force as "Unidentified", it appears to the Committee that most of the cases so listed are simply those in which the information available does not provide an adequate basis for analysis. In this connection it is important also to note that no unidentified objects other than those of an astronomical nature have ever been observed during routine astronomical studies, in spite of the large number of observing hours which have been devoted to the sky. As examples of this the Palomar Observatory Sky Atlas contains some 5000 plates made with large instruments with wide field of view; the Harvard Meteor Project of 1954-1958 provided some 3300 hours of observation; the Smithsonian Visual Prairie Network provided 2500 observing hours. Not a single unidentified object has been reported as appearing on any of these plates or been sighted visually in all these observations.

The Committee concluded that in the 19 years since the first UFO was sighted there has been no evidence that unidentified flying objects are a threat to our national security. Having arrived at this conclusion the Committee then turned its attention to considering how the Air Force should handle the scientific aspects of the UFO problem. Unavoidably these are also related to Air Force public relations, a subject on which the Committee is not expert. Thus the recommendations which follow are made simply from the scientific point of view.


It is the opinion of the Committee that the present Air Force program dealing with UFO sightings has been well organized, although the resources assigned to it (only one officer, a sergeant, and secretary) have been quite limited. In 19 years and more than 10,000 sightings recorded and classified, there appears to be no verified and fully satisfactory evidence of any case that is clearly outside the framework of presently known science and technology. Nevertheless, there is always the possibility that analysis of new sightings may provide some additions to scientific knowledge of value to the Air Force. Moreover, some of the case records, at which the Committee looked, that were listed as "identified" were sightings where the evidence collected was too meager or too indefinite to permit positive listing in the identified category. Because of this the Committee recommends that the present program be strengthened to provide opportunity for scientific investigation of selected sightings in more detail and depth than has been possible to date.

To accomplish this it is recommended that:

  1. Contracts be negotiated with a few selected universities to provide scientific teams to investigate promptly and in depth certain selected sightings of UFO's. Each team should include at least one psychologist, preferably one interested in clinical psychology, and at least one physical scientist, preferably an astronomer or geophysicist familiar with atmospheric physics. The universities should be chosen to provide good geographical distribution, and should be within convenient distance of a base of the Air Force Systems Command (AFSC).
  2. At each AFSC base an officer skilled in investigation (but not necessarily with scientific training) should be assigned to work with the corresponding university team for that geographical section. The local representative of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) might be a logical choice for this.
  3. One university or one not-for-profit organization should be selected to coordinate the work of the teams mentioned under A above, and also to make certain of very close communication and coordination with the office of Project Blue Book.

It is thought that perhaps 100 sightings a year might be subjected to this close study, and that possibly an average of 10 man days might be required per sighting so studied. The information provided by such a program might bring to light new facts of scientific value, and would almost certainly provide a far better basis than we have today for decision on a long term UFO program.

The scientific reports on these selected sightings, supplementing the present program of the Project Blue Book office, should strengthen the public position of the Air Force on UFO's. It is, therefore, recommended that:

  1. These reports be printed in full and be available on request.
  2. Suitable abstracts or condensed versions be printed and included in, or as supplements to, the published reports of Project Blue Book.
  3. The form of report (as typified by "Project Blue Book" dated 1 February 1966) be expanded, and anything which might suggest that information is being withheld (such as the wording on page 5 of the above cited reference) be deleted. The form of this report can be of great importance in securing public understanding and should be given detailed study by an appropriate Air Force office.
  4. The reports "Project Blue Book" should be given wide unsolicited circulation among prominent members of the Congress and other public persons as a further aid to public understanding of the scientific approach being taken by the Air Force in attacking the UFO problem.

Soon after it was received by the Secretary of the Air Force, the report was referred to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for action.

On 5 April 1966, the House Armed Services Committee held a one-day hearing on the UFO problem under the chairmanship of the Hon. H. Mendel Rivers of S. C. The transcript of the hearing is printed on pp. S991- 6075 of the "Hearings by Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, Eighty-ninth Congress, Second Session."

During this hearing, Air Force Secretary Harold Brown made the first public announcement, of the O'Brien Committee report. Secretary Brown commented: "Recommendations by the Board are presently under study and are expected to lead to even stronger emphasis on the scientific aspects of investigating the sightings that warrant extensive analysis."

He further said:

Although the past 18 years of investigating unidentified flying objects have not identified any threat to our national security, or evidence that the unidentified objects represent developments or principles beyond present-day scientific knowledge, or any evidence of extra-terrestrial vehicles, the Air Force will continue to investigate such phenomena with an open mind and with the finest technical equipment available.

Later in his testimony he commented further on his own views about the O'Brien committee recommendation in these words:

I believe I may act favorably on it, but I want to explore further the nature of such a panel, and the ground rules, before I go ahead with it. I don't want to have a group of people come in for just one day and make a shallow investigation. They have to be prepared to look into a situation thoroughly if they are to do any good.

Concluding his testimony he said, after pointing out that 95% of the reports are being explained:

This does not imply that a large part of the remaining 5%, the unexplained ones, are not also of this character, but we simply have not been able to confirm this because we don't have enough information about these sightings. It may also be that there are phenomena, the details of which we don't understand, which account for some of the sightings we have not identified. In certain instances, I think a further scientific explanation is a possibility. Therefore we will continue to develop this approach.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, consultant sur les ovnis pour l'Air Force depuis 1948, était aussi un témoin principal. Dans sa d�claration d'ouverture, il dit :

During this entire period of nearly 20 years I have attempted to remain as openminded on this subject as circumstances permitted, this despite the fact that the whole subject seemed utterly ridiculous and many of us firmly believed that, like some fad or craze, it would subside in a matter of months. Yet in the last five years, more reports were submitted to the Air Force than in the first five years.

Despite the seeming inanity of the subject, I felt that I would be derelict in my scientific responsibility to the Air Force if I did not point out that the whole UFO phenomenon might have aspects to it worthy of scientific attention ... Specifically, it is my opinion that the body of data accumulated since 1948 through the Air Force investigations deserves close scrutiny by a civilian panel of physical and social scientists, and that this panel should be asked to examine the UFO problem critically for the express purpose of determining whether a major problem really exists.

In the discussion which followed, the Hon. William H. Bates, Congressman from Mass. returned to the question of visitors from outer space asking,

But Secretary Brown, you indicated no one of scientific knowledge in your organization has concluded these phenomena come from extra-terrestrial sources?

To which Secretary Brown replied,

That is correct. We know of no phenomena or vehicles, intelligently guided, which have come from extra-terrestrial sources. I exclude meteors, which do come from extra-terrestrial sources.

Asked the same question, Dr. Hynek replied:

This is also my conclusion. I know of no competent scientist today who would argue the sightings which do puzzle intelligent people. Puzzling cases exist, but I know of no competent scientist who would say that these objects come from outer space.

Asked by Congressman L. N. Nedzi of Mich. about the relation of UFOs to extra-terrestrial visitors, Hynek said:

I have not seen any evidence to confirm this, nor have I known any competent scientist who has, or believes that any kind of extra-terrestrial intelligence is involved. However, the possibility should be kept open as a possible hypothesis. I don't believe we should ever close our minds to it.

Congressman Bates introduced into the record a letter received from Raymond E. Fowler, chairman of the NICAP Massachusetts Subcommittee, which with its numerous attachments occupies pp. 6019-6042 of the hearing record. In addition to his NICAP affiliation, Fowler describes himself as a project administrative engineer in the Minuteman Program Office for Sylvania Electric Products, Waltham, Mass.

Fowler wrote the committee in part as follows:

I do want to put myself on record as supporting the claims and views of NICAP and others which indicate that congressional hearings on the matter of UFOs are long overdue.

I feel that the American people are capable of understanding the problems and implications that will arise if the true facts about UFOs are made known officially. The USAF public information program and policy, as directed by the Pentagon, of underrating the significance of UFOs and not releasing true, pertinent facts about UFOs is not only a disservice to the American people now but in the long run could prove to have been a foolish policy to follow. After years of study, I am certain that there is more than ample high-quality observational evidence from highly trained and reliable witnesses to indicate that there are machinelike solid objects under intelligent control operating in our atmosphere. The aerodynamic performance and characteristics of the true UFO rule out manmade or natural phenomena. Such observational evidence has been well supported in many instances by reliable instruments such as cameras, radar, geiger-counters, variometers, electrical interference, physical indentations in soil and scorched areas at landing sites, etc.

I am reasonably sure that if qualified civilian scientists and investigators are able to come to this conclusion, that the USAF, supported by the tremendous facilities at its disposal, have come to the same conclusion long ago. However, present official policy deliberately attempted to discredit the validity of UFOs and a wealth of data and facts are not being released to the public ... It is high time that the real facts about UFOs are released. A public information program should be inaugurated that presents facts. I am urging you to support a full congressional open inquiry on the UFO problem.

Although Fowler's letter strongly implies that important information is being withheld, it does not affirm a belief that UFOs are extra-terrestrial visitors.

Home > Rapport Condon > Sommaire > Aspects historiques du Phénomène ovni > OVNIs : 1947-1968