Smith, about the UFO subject in general. One of the things we talked about was a new approach to the UFO problem--that of trying to prove that the motion of a UFO as it flew through the air was intelligently controlled.
I don't know who would get credit for originating the idea of trying to analyze the motion of the UFO's. It was one of those kinds of ideas that are passed around, with everyone adding a few modifications. We'd been talking about making a study of this idea for a long time, but we hadn't had many reports to work with; but now, with the mass of data that we had accumulated in June and July and August, the prospects of such a study looked promising.
The basic aim of the study would be to learn whether the motion of the reported UFO's was random or ordered. Random motion is an unordered, helter-skelter motion very similar to a swarm of gnats or flies milling around. There is no apparent pattern or purpose to their flight paths. But take, for example, swallows flying around a chimney--they wheel, dart, and dip, but if you watch them closely, they have a definite pattern in their movements--an ordered motion. The definite pattern is intelligently controlled because they are catching bugs or getting in line to go down the chimney.
By the fall of 1952 we had a considerable number of well-documented reports in which the UFO's made a series of maneuvers. If we could prove that these maneuvers were not random, but ordered, it would be proof that the UFO's were things that were intelligently controlled.
During our discussion Major Fournet brought up two reports in which the UFO seemed to know what it was doing and wasn't just aimlessly darting around. One of these was the recent sighting from Haneda AFB, Japan, and the other was the incident that happened on the night of July 29, when an F-94 attempted to intercept a UFO over eastern Michigan. In both cases radar had established the track of the UFO.
In the Haneda Incident, according to the sketch of the UFO's track, each turn the UFO made was constant and the straight "legs" between the turns were about the same length. The sketch of the UFO's flight path as it moved back and forth over Tokyo Bay reminded me very much of the "crisscross" search patterns we used to fly during World War II when we were searching for the crew of a ditched airplane. The only time the UFO seriously deviated from this pattern was when the F- 94 got on its tail.
The Michigan sighting was even better, however. In this case there was a definite reason for every move that the UFO made. It made a 180- degree turn because the F-94 was closing on it head on. It alternately increased and decreased its speed, but every time it did this it was because the F-94 was
closing in and it evidently put on speed to pull out ahead far enough to get out of range of the F-94's radar. To say that this motion was random and that it was just a coincidence that the UFO made the 180-degree turn when the F-94 closed in head on and that it was just a coincidence that the UFO speeded up every time the F-94 began to get within radar range is pushing the chance of coincidence pretty hard.
The idea of the motion analysis study sounded interesting to me, but we were so busy on Project Blue Book we didn't have time to do it. So Major Fournet offered to look into it further and I promised him all the help we could give him.
In the meantime my people in Project Blue Book were contacting various scientists in the U.S., and indirectly in Europe, telling them about our data, and collecting opinions. We did this in two ways. In the United States we briefed various scientific meetings and groups. To get the word to the other countries, we enlisted the gratis aid of scientists who were planning to attend conferences or meetings in Europe. We would brief these European-bound scientists on all of the aspects of the UFO problem so they could informally discuss the problem with their European colleagues.
The one thing about these briefings that never failed to amaze me, although it happened time and time again, was the interest in UFO's within scientific circles. As soon as the word spread that Project Blue Book was giving official briefings to groups with the proper security clearances, we had no trouble in getting scientists to swap free advice for a briefing. I might add that we briefed only groups who were engaged in government work and who had the proper security clearances solely because we could discuss any government project that might be of help to us in pinning down the UFO. Our briefings weren't just squeezed in either; in many instances we would arrive at a place to find that a whole day had been set aside to talk about UFO's. And never once did I meet anyone who laughed off the whole subject of flying saucers even though publicly these same people had jovially sloughed off the press with answers of "hallucinations," "absurd," or "a waste of time and money." They weren't wild-eyed fans but they were certainly interested.
Colonel S. H. Kirkland and I once spent a whole day briefing and talking to the Beacon Hill Group, the code name for a collection of some of the world's leading scientists and industrialists. This group, formed to consider and analyze the toughest of military problems, took a very serious interest in our project and gave much good advice. At Los Alamos and again at Sandia Base our briefings were given in auditoriums to standing room only crowds. In addition I gave my briefings at National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics laboratories, at Air