increasing number of reports we were receiving. The average had jumped from about ten a month
to twenty a month since December 1951. In March of 1952 the reports slacked off a little, but April was a big month. In April we received ninety-nine reports.
On April 1, Colonel S. H. Kirkland and I went to Los Angeles on business. Before we left ATIC we had made arrangements to attend a meeting of the Civilian Saucer
Investigators, a now defunct organization that was very active in 1952.
They turned out to be a well-meaning but Don Quixote-type group of individuals. As soon as they outlined their plans for attempting to solve the UFO riddle, it was
obvious that they would fail. Project Blue Book had the entire Air Force, money, and enthusiasm behind it and we weren't getting any answers yet. All this group had
was the enthusiasm.
The highlight of the evening wasn't the Civilian Saucer Investigators, however; it was getting a chance to read Ginna's UFO article in an advance copy of Life
magazine that the organization had obtained--the article written from the material Bob Ginna had been researching for over a year. Colonel Kirkwood took one long look
at the article, sidled up to me, and said, "We'd better get back to Dayton quick; you're going to be busy." The next morning at dawn I was sound asleep on a
United Airlines DC-6, Dayton-bound.
The Life article undoubtedly threw a harder punch at the American public than any other UFO article ever written. The title alone, "Have We Visitors from Outer
Space?" was enough. Other very reputable magazines, such as True, had said it before, but coming from Life, it was different. Life didn't say that the UFO's
were from outer space; it just said maybe. But to back up this "maybe," it had quotes from some famous people. Dr. Walther Riedel, who played an important
part in the development of the German V-2 missile and is presently the director of rocket engine research for North American Aviation Corporation, said he believed
that the UFO's were from outer space. Dr. Maurice Biot, one of the world's leading aerodynamicists, backed him up.
But the most important thing about the Life article was the question in the minds of so many readers: "Why was it written?" Life doesn't go blasting off
on flights of space fancy without a good reason. Some of the readers saw a clue in the author's comments that the hierarchy of the Air Force was now taking a serious
look at UFO reports. "Did the Air Force prompt Life to write the article?" was the question that many people asked themselves.
When I arrived at Dayton, newspapermen were beating down the door. The official answer to the Life article was released through the Office of Public