bodies as planets, meteors, or stars. They also realized that before they could get to the heart of the UFO problems they had to sift out this type of report. To do this they
had called on outside help. Air Weather Service had been asked to screen the reports and check those that sounded like balloons against their records of balloon
flights. Dr. J. Allen Hynek, distinguished astrophysicist and head of Ohio State University's Astronomy Department, had been given a contract to sort out those reports
that could be blamed on stars, planets, meteors, etc. By early March the Air Weather Service and Dr. Hynek had some positive identifications. According to the old
records, with these solutions and those that Sign and Grudge had already found, about 50 per cent of the reported UFO's could now be positively identified as hoaxes,
balloons, planets, sundogs, etc. It was now time to start phase two, the publicity campaign.
For many months reporters and writers had been trying to reach behind the security wall and get the UFO story from the horse's mouth, but no luck. Some of them were
still trying but they were having no success because they were making the mistake of letting it slip that they didn't believe that airline pilots, military pilots,
scientists, and just all around solid citizens were having "hallucinations," perpetrating "hoaxes," or being deceived by the "
misidentification of common objects." The people of Project Grudge weren't looking for this type of writer, they wanted a writer who would listen to them and
write their story. As a public relations officer later told me, "We had a devil of a time. All of the writers who were after saucer stories had made their own
investigations of sightings and we couldn't convince them they were wrong."
Before long, however, the right man came along. He was Sidney Shallet, a writer for The Saturday Evening Post. He seemed to have the prerequisites that were
desired, so his visit to ATIC was cleared through the Pentagon. Harry Haberer, a crack Air Force public relations man, was assigned the job of seeing that Shallet got
his story. I have heard many times, from both military personnel and civilians, that the Air Force told Shallet exactly what to say in his article--play down the
UFO's--don't write anything that even hints that there might be something foreign in our skies. I don't believe that this is the case. I think that he just wrote the
UFO story as it was told to him, told to him by Project Grudge.
Shallet's article, which appeared in two parts in the April 30 and May 7, 1949, issues of The Saturday Evening Post, is important in the history of the UFO and in understanding the UFO problem
because it had considerable effect on public opinion. Many people had, with varying degrees of interest, been wondering about the UFO's for over a year and a half. Very few had any definite