they had undoubtedly seen every kind of target, real or false, that radar can detect. They had told the Bolling AFB intelligence officer
that the targets they saw were caused by the radar waves' bouncing off a hard, solid object. The Air Force radar operator at Andrews backed them up; so did two veteran
airline pilots who saw lights right where the radar showed a UFO to be.
Then on top of all this there were the reports from the Washington area during the previous two weeks -- all good -- all from airline pilots or equally reliable people.
To say the least, the sighting at Washington National was a jolt.
Besides trying to figure out what the Washington National UFO's were, we had the problem of what to tell the press. They were now beginning to put on a squeeze by
threatening to call a congressman -- and nothing chills blood faster in the military. They wanted some kind of an official statement and they wanted it soon. Some
people in intelligence wanted to say just, "We don't know," but others held out for a more thorough investigation. I happened to be in this latter category.
Many times in the past I had seen what first seemed to be a good UFO report completely fall apart under a thorough investigation. I was for stalling the press and
working all night if necessary to go into every aspect of the sighting. But to go along with the theme of the Washington National Sightings -- confusion -- there was a lot
of talk but no action and the afternoon passed with no further investigation.
Finally about 4:00P.M. it was decided that the press, who still wanted an official comment, would get an official "No comment" and that I would stay in
Washington and make a more detailed investigation.
I called Lieutenant Andy Flues, who was in charge of Project Blue Book while I was gone, to tell him that I was staying over and I found out that they were in a de
luxe flap back in Dayton. Reports were pouring out of the teletype machines at the rate of thirty a day and many were as good, if not better, than the Washington
incident. I talked this over with Colonel Bower and we decided that even though things were popping back at ATIC the Washington sighting, from the standpoint of
national interest, was more important.
Feeling like a national martyr because I planned to work all night if necessary, I laid the course of my investigation. I would go to Washington National Airport,
Andrews AFB, airlines offices, the weather bureau, and a half dozen other places scattered all over the capital city. I called the transportation section at the
Pentagon to get a staff car but it took me only seconds to find out that the regulations said no staff cars except for senior colonels or generals. Colonel Bower
tried -- same thing. General Samford and General Garland were gone, so