A new edition of the blockbuster book that revealed the top-secret findings of the US government about UFOs.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, while publicly dismissing the existence of UFOs, the United States Air Force was engaged in a secret program for evaluating every report of unidentified flying objects. Under the code name, Project Blue Book, the Air Force analyzed over 13,000 incidents. The goal of this enterprise was threefold: To determine the cause for each UFO sighting, to assess the security threat for each incident, and to determine how the United States could obtain or create the technology used by UFOs.
This book, based on secret files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, includes accounts of seven of the most important USAF enquiries-- among them the story of the nights the White House was buzzed by UFOs, the mystery of the Lubbock Lights, the full story of Captain Mantell--Ufology's first martyr, and the startling conversion of the prominent astronomer, J. Alan Hynek from UFO skeptic to believer.
This is startling and fascinating book that uncovers not only the anatomy of a government cover-up, but also provides stark and chilling evidence that we are not alone. It is all here, government documents, the testimony of scientists, the military, pilots and citizens all over the country who have witnessed UFOS.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
KENNETH ARNOLD AND THE SIGHTING THAT STARTED IT ALL
On June 24, 1947, at 2 P.M., Kenneth Arnold took off from the Chehalis, Washington, airport in his personal plane and headed for Yakima, Washington. Arnold's trip had been delayed for an hour by a search for a large Marine Corps transport aircraft that supposedly went down near or around the southwest side of Mount Rainier. After takeoff Arnold flew directly toward Mount Rainier at an altitude of approximately 9,500 feet, which is the approximate elevation of the high plateau from which Mount Rainier rises. He made one westward sweep of this high plateau, searching ridges for the Marine ship, and flew to the west near the ridge side of the canyon, where Ashford is located. Unable to see anything that looked like the lost plane, Arnold turned above the town of Mineral, started again toward Mount Rainier, and climbed to an altitude of 9,200 feet.
Arnold subsequently reported that the air was so smooth that it was a real pleasure flying, and, as most pilots do when the air is smooth and they are at a high altitude, he trimmed out the aircraft and simply sat in his plane, observing the sky and terrain. The sky was as clear as crystal.
Arnold reported that there was a DC-4 to his left and rear at approximately 14,000 feet. He hadn't flown more than two or three minutes of his course when a bright flash reflected on his airplane. He couldn't find where the reflection came from, but to the left and north of Mount Rainier he did observe a chain of nine peculiar-looking objects flying from north to south at approximately 9,500 feet. They were approaching Mount Rainier very rapidly, and he assumed that they were jet aircraft. Every few seconds two or three of the objects would dip or change course slightly, just enough for the sun to reflect brightly off them. The objects being quite far away, he was unable to make out their shape or formation. As they approached Mount Rainier he observed their outline quite clearly. Arnold stated that he found it very peculiar that he couldn't find their tails, but nonetheless assumed they were some type of jet aircraft. The objects were observed to pass the southern edge of Mount Rainier, flying directly south to southeast down the hogback of a mountain range. The elevation of the objects was estimated to have varied approximately a thousand feet one way or another, but they remained very near the horizon, which would indicate that they were near the same elevation as the witness. Arnold stated that the objects flew like geese, in a rather diagonal chainlike line, as if they were linked together. They seemed to hold a definite direction, but swerved in and out of the high mountain peaks. The witness estimated the distance between him and the objects to be approximately 25 miles. Using a Zeus fastener, or cowling tool, he estimated the size of the objects to be approximately two thirds that of a DC-4. He observed the UFOs passing a high snow-covered ridge between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams and reported that as the first object was passing the south crest of this ridge the last one was entering the northern crest. This ridge, measured later, is approximately 5 miles, so it was estimated the chain of objects was 5 miles long. Mr. Arnold timed the objects between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams and determined that they crossed this 47-mile-stretch in 1 minute and 42 seconds. This is equivalent to 1656.71 miles per hour.
In an interview subsequent to the sighting, Arnold described the objects as appearing like saucers skipping on water. This description was shortened to "flying saucers" by newspapermen and resulted in the popular use of that term.
It was the Air Force's conclusion that the objects of this sighting were due to a mirage. Arnold's statement concerning how smooth and crystal clear the air was is an indication of very stable conditions which are associated with inversions and increase the refraction index of the atmosphere.
PENDLETON ORG JULY 12 1233A
WRIGHT FIELD DAYTON OHIO
DEAR SIR: YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO QUOTE GIVE OUT OR REPRINT MY WRITTEN ACCOUNT AND REPORT OF NINE STRANGE AIRCRAFT I OBSERVED ON JUNE 24TH IN THE CASCADE MOUNTAINS IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. THIS REPORT WAS SENT TO YOU AT REQUEST SOME DAYS AGO. IT IS WITH CONSIDERABLE DISAPPOINTMENT YOU CANNOT GIVE THE EXPLANATION OF THESE AIRCRART AS I FELT CERTAIN THEY BELONGED TO OUR GOVERNMENT. THEY HAVE APPARENTLY MEANT NO HARM BUT USED AS AN INSTRUMENT OF DESTRUCTION IN COMBINATION WITH OUR ATOMIC BOMB THE EFFECTS COULD DESTROY LIFE ON OUR PLANET. CAPT. _________ CO–PILOT STEVENS OF UNITED AIR LINES AND MYSELF HAVE COMPARED OUR OBSERVATIONS IN AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE AND AGREED WE HAD OBSERVED THE SAME TYPE OF AIRCRAFT AS TO SIZE SHAPE AND FORM. WE HAVE NOT TAKEN THIS LIGHTLY. IT IS TO US VERY SERIOUS CONCERN AS WE ARE AS INTERESTED IN THE WELFARE OF OUR COUNTRY AS YOU ARE.
BOISE IDAHO PILOTS LICENSE____________ 24 333487.
Some Life Data on Kenneth Arnold
I was born March 29, 1915 in Subeka, Minnesota. I was a resident of Minnesota until I was six years old when my family moved to Scobey, Montana, where they homesteaded. My grandfather also homesteaded in Scobey, Montana, and became quite prominent in political circles along with Burton K. Wheeler, the famous Montana senator.
I went to grade school and high school at Minot, North Dakota. I entered scouting at twelve years of age and achieved the rank of Eagle scout before I was fourteen. My former scout executive was H. H. Prescott, now a regional commissioner for the Boy Scouts in Kansas City, Kansas.
As a boy, I was interested in athletics and was selected as an all- state end in 1932 and 1933 in the state of North Dakota. I entered the U. S. Olympic trials in fancy diving in 1932; I was a Red Cross Life Saving Examiner during the years of 1932, '33 and '34. I taught swimming and diving at scout camp and the municipal pool in Minot, North Dakota. I went to the University of Minnesota, where I swam and did fancy diving under Neils Thorpe, and also played football, under Bernie Bierman, but upon entering college I was unable to continue my football career because of an injured knee. My high school football coach was Glenn L. Jarrett, who is now the head football coach of the University of North Dakota. I had little or no finances, and my ambition in furthering my education in college was through my athletics. As a boy in Minot, North Dakota, I did a good deal of dog sled racing, placed first with my dog in 1930 in the Lions Club Dog Derby.
In 1938 I went to work for Red Comet, Inc. of Littleton, Colorado, a manufacturer of automatic fire fighting apparatus. In 1939 I was made district manager for them over a part of the western states, and in 1940 I established my own fire control supply known as the Great Western Fire Control Supply. I have been working as an independent fire control engineer since, and I handle, distribute, sell and install all types of automatic and manual fire fighting equipment in the rural areas over five western states.
My flying experience started as a boy in Minot, North Dakota, where I took my first flying lesson from Earl T. Vance, who was originally from Great Falls, Montana. Due to the high cost at that time, I was unable to continue my flying and did not fly of any great consequence until 1943. I was given my pilot certificate by Ed Leach, a senior CAA inspector of Portland, Oregon, and for the last three years have owned my own airplane, covering my entire territory with same and flying from forty to one hundred hours per month since. Due to the fact that I use an airplane entirely in my work, in January of this year I purchased a new Callair airplane, which is an airplane designed for high altitude take-offs and short rough field use.
In the type of flying I do, it takes a great deal of practice and judgment to be able to land in most any cow pasture and get out without injuring your airplane; the runways are very limited and the altitude is very high in some of the fields and places I have to go in my work. To date, I have landed in 823 cow pastures in mountain meadows, and in over a thousand hours a flat tire has been my greatest mishap.
The following story of what I observed over the Cascade mountains, as impossible as it may seem, is positively true. I never asked nor wanted any notoriety for just accidently being in the right spot at the right time to observe what I did. I reported something that I know any pilot would have reported. I don't think that in any way my observation was due to any sensitivity of eye sight or judgment than what is considered normal for any pilot.
On June 24th, Tuesday, 1947, I had finished my work for the Central Air Service at Chehalis, Washington, and at about two o'clock I took off from Chehalis, Washington, airport with the intention of going to Yakima, Wash. My trip was delayed for an hour to search for a large marine transport that supposedly went down near or around the southwest side of Mt. Rainier in the State of Washington and to date has never been found.
I flew directly toward Mt. Rainier after reaching an altitude of about 9,500 feet, which is the approximate elevation of the high plateau from which Mt. Rainier rises. I had made one sweep of this high plateau to the westward, searching all of the various ridges for this marine ship and flew to the west down and near the ridge side of the canyon where Ashford, Washington, is located.
Unable to see anything that looked like the lost ship, I made a 300 degree turn to the right and above the little city of Mineral, starting again toward Mt. Rainier. I climbed back up to an altitude of approximately 9,200 feet.
The air was so smooth that day that it was a real pleasure flying and, as most pilots do when the air is smooth and they are flying at a higher altitude, I trimmed out my airplane in the direction of Yakima, Washington, which was almost directly east of my position, and simply sat in my plane observing the sky and the terrain.
There was a DC-4 to the left and to the rear of me approximately fifteen miles distance, and I should judge, at 14,000 foot elevation.
The sky and air was as clear as crystal. I hadn't flown more than two or three minutes on my course when a bright flash reflected on my airplane. It startled me as I thought I was too close to some other aircraft. I looked every place in the sky and couldn't find where the reflection had come from until I looked to the left and the north of Mt. Rainier where I observed a chain of nine peculiar looking aircraft flying from north to south at approximately 9,500 foot elevation and going, seemingly, in a definite direction of about 170 degrees.
They were approaching Mt. Rainier very rapidly, and I merely assumed they were jet planes. Anyhow, I discovered that this was where the reflection had come from, as two or three of them every few seconds would dip or change their course slightly, just enough for the sun to strike them at an angle that reflected brightly on my plane.
These objects being quite far away, I was unable for a few seconds to make out their shape or their formation. Very shortly they approached Mt. Rainier, and I observed their outline against the snow quite plainly.
1 thought it was very peculiar that I couldn't find their tails but assumed they were some type of jet planes. I was determined to clock their speed, as I had two definite points I could clock them by; the air was so clear that it was very easy to see objects and determine their approximate shape and size at almost fifty miles that day.
I remember distinctly that my sweep second hand on my eight day clock, which is located on my instrument panel, read one minute to 3 P.M. as the first object of this formation passed the southern edge of Mt. Rainier. I watched these objects with great interest as I had never before observed airplanes flying so close to the mountain tops, flying directly south to the southeast down the hog's back of a mountain range. I would estimate their elevation could have varied a thousand feet one way or another up or down, but they were pretty much on the horizon to me which would indicate they were near the same elevation as I was.
They flew like many times I have observed geese to fly in a rather diagonal chain-like line as if they were linked together. They seemed to hold a definite direction but rather swerved in and out of the high mountain peaks. Their speed at the time did not impress me particularly, because I knew that our army and air forces had planes that went very fast.
What kept bothering me as I watched them flip and flash in the sun right along their path was the fact I couldn't make out any tail on them, and I am sure that any pilot would justify more than a second look at such a plane.
I observed them quite plainly, and I estimate my distance from them, which was almost at right angles, to be between twenty to twenty-five miles. I knew they must be very large to observe their shape at that distance, even on as clear a day as it was that Tuesday.
In fact I compared a zeus fastener or cowling tool I had in my pocket with them, holding it up on them and holding it up on the DC-4 that I could observe at quite a distance to my left, and they seemed smaller than the DC-4; but, I should judge their span would have been as wide as the furtherest engines on each side of the fuselage of the DC-4.
The more I observed these objects, the more upset I became, as I am accustomed and familiar with most all objects flying whether I am close to the ground or at higher altitudes. I observed the chain of these objects passing another high snow-covered ridge in between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, and as the first one was passing the south crest of this ridge the last object was entering the northern crest of the ridge.
As I was flying in the direction of this particular ridge, I measured it and found it to be approximately five miles so I could safely assume that the chain of these saucer like objects [was] at least five miles long. I could quite accurately determine their pathway due to the fact that there were several high peaks that were a little this side of them as well as higher peaks on the other side of their pathway.
As the last unit of this formation passed the southern most high snow-covered crest of Mt. Adams, I looked at my sweep second hand and it showed that they had travelled the distance in one minute and forty-two seconds. Even at the time this timing did not upset me as I felt confident after I would land there would be some explanation of what I saw.
A number of news men and experts suggested that I might have been seeing reflections or even a mirage. This I know to be absolutely false, as I observed these objects not only through the glass of my airplane but turned my airplane sideways where I could open my window and observe them with a completely unobstructed view. (Without sun glasses)
Even though two minutes seems like a very short time to one on the ground, in the air in two minutes time a pilot can observe a great many things and anything within his sight of vision probably as many as fifty or sixty times.
I continued my search for the marine plane for another fifteen or twenty minutes and while searching for this marine plane, what I had just observed kept going through my mind. I became more disturbed, so after taking a last look at Tieton Reservoir I headed for Yakima.
I might add that my complete observation of these objects, which I could even follow by flashes as they passed Mt. Adams, was around two and one-half or three minutes, although, by the time they reached Mt. Adams, they were out of my range of vision as far as determining shape or form. Of course, when the sun reflected from one or two or three of those units, they appeared to be completely round; but, I am making a drawing to the best of my ability, which I am including, as to the shape I observed these objects to be as they passed the snow covered ridges as well as Mt. Rainier. When these objects were flying approximately straight and level, they were just a black thin line and when they flipped was the only time I could get a judgment as to their size.
These objects were holding an almost constant elevation; they did not seem to be going up or to be coming down, such as would be the case of rockets or artillery shells. I am convinced in my own mind that they were some type of airplane, even though they didn't conform with the many aspects of the conventional type of planes that I know.
Although these objects have been reported by many other observers throughout the United States, there have been six or seven other accounts written by some of these observers that I can truthfully say must have observed the same thing that I did; particularly, the descriptions of the three Western Air Lines (Cedar City, Utah) employees, the gentleman (pilot) from Oklahoma City and the locomotive engineer in Illinois, plus Capt. _____ and Co-Pilot ______ of United Air Lines.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Project Blue Book"
Copyright © 1976 Brad Steiger.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: An Exercise in Charting a Phenomenon 1
The evolution of procedures and attitude in the Air Force's handling of the UFO enigma.
Chapter 1 Kenneth Arnold and the Sighting That Started It All 17
Precisely what did happen that day of June 24, 1947, when the Idaho brush pilot spotted those skipping "saucers" near Mt. Rainier?
Chapter 2 UfOlogy's First Martyr 33
The hill story on Captain Mantell's ill-fated pursuit of a UFO over Godman field.
Chapter 3 Dogfight over Fargo 49
Would Gorman, a trained pilot, really engage an illusion in a loop-the-loop dogfight that was observed by dozens of witnesses?
Chapter 4 The Mystery of the Lubbock Lights 63
The witnesses included several college professors and trained observers as a fleet of UFOs flew over Lubbock, Texas.
Chapter 5 Of Monsters, Little Green Men, and the UFO Insignia at Socorro 81
The Air Force investigators laughed at tales of monsters and UFO occupants until Patrolman Zamora had an amazing sighting at Socorro, New Mexico and provided researchers with a tale of craft, occupants, and an insignia that could not be broken.
Chapter 6 The Nights UFOs Buzzed the White House 107
Interceptor jets scrambled, and even high-ranking Air Force officers filed UFO reports when fleets of UFOs were seen paying their respects to the White House in 1952 and 1965.
Chapter 7 Deriving a Model UFO from Twelve Top Cases of "Unknowns" 121
Accounts and drawings of 12 Unknowns that provide detail of how the "lights in the sky" may really appear.
Chapter 8 The Findings of Project Sign 133
Organization of Data on UFO Incidents Psychological Analysis Charts and Graphs, of UFO Incidents
Some Considerations Affecting the Interpretation of Reports of UFOs, by Dr. G. E. Valley; Possible Places of Origin, by J. E. Lipp; Missiles Division Letter from Lt. General N. F. Twining
Chapter 9 A Summary of Project Grudge 171
Factual Data Mapping, Charting, and Reconnaissance Research Laboratory, by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, assisted by Harriet R. Summerson; Analysis of Project Grudge Reported Incidents by Capt. A. C. Trakowski, Jr.; Psychological Analysis of Reports of UFOs, by Dr. Paul M. Fitts and Shirley G. Connell, Psychology Branch; Information on "Ball Lightning," by Louis Elterman, Atmospheric Physics Laboratory
Chapter 10 The USAF Guide to UFO Identification 203
Criteria which remain valid for all UFO witnesses and investigators to use as a test for their sightings.
Chapter 11 Conferences with Astronomers on UFOs 211
Dr. J. A. Hynek's report of extensive interviews with a number of professional astronomers concerning the UFO enigma.
Chapter 12 The Soviet Effort to Contact Extraterrestrial Life 225
A detailed report on the efforts of Soviet scientists to contact alien life. Reports on Soviet conferences.
Chapter 13 UFO Research Today 255
The current state of UFO research. Who is doing what, where. Summaries of our currently popular theories as to the "why" of UFOs.
Appendix A The Unidentified 273
A complete listing, including date, location, type of observer, of the hundreds of cases (out of 13,000), which the Project Blue Book investigators marked "Unidentified."
Appendix B USAF Technical Information Sheet 297
Appendix C UFO Incident Maps, Charts, and Graphs 307
Appendix D Special Report USAF Ad Hoc Committee 316
Appendix E Excerpts from Blue Book Briefing for Air Defense Command 320
Appendix F Excerpts from Article in Air Intelligence Digest by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt 330
Appendix G Excerpts from Radio Interview with Colonel Lawrence J. Tacker 335