about the meeting. He had a long list of questions about reports that had been
made over the past four years and every time he asked a question, the "expert" would go tearing out of the room to try to find the file that had the answer.
I remember that day people spent a lot of time ripping open bundles of files and pawing through them like a bunch of gophers. Many times, "I'm sorry, that's
classified," got ATIC out of a tight spot.
Ginna, I can assure you, was not at all impressed by the "efficiently operating UFO project." People weren't buying the hoax, hallucination, and
misidentification stories quite as readily as the Air Force believed.
Where it started or who started it I don't know, but about two months after the visit from Life's representative the official interest in UFO's began to pick up.
Lieutenant Jerry Cummings, who had recently been recalled to active duty, took over the project.
Lieutenant Cummings is the type of person who when given a job to do does it. In a few weeks the operation of the UFO project had improved considerably. But the
project was still operating under political, economic, and manpower difficulties. Cummings' desk was right across from mine, so I began to get a UFO indoctrination via
bull sessions. Whenever Jerry found a good report in the pile--and all he had to start with was a pile of papers and files--he'd toss it over for me to read.
Some of the reports were unimpressive, I remember. But a few were just the opposite. Two that I remember Jerry's showing me made me wonder how the UFO's could be
sloughed off so lightly. The two reports involved movies taken by Air Force technicians at White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico.
The guided missile test range at White Sands is fully instrumented to track high, fast-moving objects--the guided missiles. Located over an area of many square miles
there are camera stations equipped with cinetheodolite cameras and linked together by a telephone system.
On April 27, 1950, a guided missile had been fired, and as it roared up into the stratosphere and fell back to earth, the camera crews had recorded its flight. All the
crews had started to unload their cameras when one of them spotted an object streaking across the sky. By April 1950 every person at White Sands was UFO-conscious, so
one member of the camera crew grabbed a telephone headset, alerted the other crews, and told them to get pictures. Unfortunately only one camera had film in it, the
rest had already been unloaded, and before they could reload, the UFO was gone. The photos from the one station showed only a smudgy dark object. About all the film
proved was that something was in the air and whatever it was, it was moving.