patrol would thus know when to look for the UFO and begin to sight on it. While the radio man was reporting, the instrument man on the team would line up the UFO and
begin to call out the angles of elevation and azimuth. The timer would call out the time; the recorder would write all of this down. The command post, upon hearing the report of the UFO, would call
the next patrol and tell them. They too would try to pick it up.
Here was an excellent opportunity to get some concrete data on at least one type of UFO. It was something that should have been done from the start. Speeds, altitudes,
and sizes that are estimated just by looking at a UFO are miserably inaccurate. But if you could accurately establish that some type of object was traveling 30,000
miles an hour--or even 3,000 miles an hour--through our atmosphere, the UFO story would be the biggest story since the Creation.
The plan seemed foolproof and had the full support of every man who was to participate. For the first time in history every GI wanted to get on the patrols. The plan
was quickly written up as a field order, approved, and mimeographed. Since the Air Force had the prime responsibility for the UFO investigation, it was decided that
the plan should be quickly co-ordinated with the Air Force, so a copy was rushed to them. Time was critical because every group of nightly reports might be the last.
Everything was ready to roll the minute the Air Force said "Go."
The Air Force didn't O.K. the plan. I don't know where the plan was killed, or who killed it, but it was killed. Its death caused two reactions.
Many people thought that the plan was killed so that too many people wouldn't find out the truth about UFO's. Others thought somebody was just plain stupid. Neither
was true. The answer was simply that the official attitude toward UFO's had drastically changed in the past few months. They didn't exist, they couldn't exist. It was
the belief at ATIC that the one last mystery, the green fireballs, had been solved a few days before at Los Alamos. The fireballs were meteors and Project Twinkle
would prove it. Any further investigation by the Army would be a waste of time and effort.
This drastic change in official attitude is as difficult to explain as it was difficult for many people who knew what was going on inside Project Sign to believe. I
use the words "official attitude" because at this time UFO's had become as controversial a subject as they are today. All through intelligence
circles people had chosen sides and the two UFO factions that exist today were born.
On one side was the faction that still believed in flying saucers. These people, come hell or high water, were hanging on to their original ideas.