Not more than fifty years ago Dr. Simon Newcomb, a world-famous astronomer and the first American since Benjamin Franklin to be made an associate of the Institute of
France, the hierarchy of the world science, said, "It can't be." Then he went on to explain that flight without gas bags would require the discovery of some
new material or a new force in nature.
And at the same time Rear Admiral George W. Melville, then Chief Engineer for the U.S. Navy, said that attempts to fly heavier-than- air vehicles was absurd.
Just a little over ten years ago there was another "it can't be." Ex- President Harry S. Truman recalls in the first volume of the Truman Memoirs what
Admiral William D. Leahy, then Chief of Staff to the President, had to say about the atomic bomb. "That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done," he is
quoted as saying. "The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives."
Personally, I don't believe that "it can't be." I wouldn't class myself as a "believer," exactly, because I've seen too many UFO reports that first
appeared to be unexplainable fall to pieces when they were thoroughly investigated. But every time I begin to get skeptical I think of the other reports, the many
reports made by experienced pilots and radar operators, scientists, and other people who know what they're looking at. These reports were thoroughly investigated and
they are still unknowns. Of these reports, the radar- visual sightings are the most convincing. When a ground radar picks up a UFO target and a ground observer sees a
light where the radar target is located, then a jet interceptor is scrambled to intercept the UFO and the pilot also sees the light and gets a radar lock-on only to
have the UFO almost impudently outdistance him, there is no simple answer. We have no aircraft on this earth that can at will so handily outdistance our latest jets.
The Air Force is still actively engaged in investigating UFO reports, although during the past six months there have been definite indications that there is a movement
afoot to get Project Blue Book to swing back to the old Project Grudge philosophy of analyzing UFO reports--write them all off, regardless. But good UFO reports cannot
be written off with such answers as fatigued pilots seeing a balloon or star; "green" radar operators with only fifteen years' experience watching
temperature inversion caused blips on their radarscopes; or "a mild form of mass hysteria or war nerves." Using answers like these, or similar ones, to
explain the UFO reports is an expedient method of getting the percentage of unknowns down to zero, but it is no more valid than turning the hands of a clock ahead to
make time pass faster. Twice before the riddle of the UFO has been "solved," only to have the reports increase in both quantity and