people in the field who had previously been free with opinions now clammed up tight.
The era of confusion was progressing.
Early statements to the press, which shaped the opinion of the public, didn't reduce the confusion factor. While ATIC was grimly expending maximum effort in a serious study, "certain high-placed
officials" were officially chuckling at the mention of UFO's.
In July 1947 an International News Service wire story quoted the public relations officer at Wright Field as saying, "So far we haven't found anything to confirm
that saucers exist. We don't think they are guided missiles." He went on to say, "As things are now, they appear to be either a phenomenon or a figment of
A few weeks later a lieutenant colonel who was Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Fourth Air Force was widely quoted as saying, "There is no basis for belief
in flying saucers in the Tacoma area [referring to a UFO sighting in the area of Tacoma, Washington], or any other area."
The "experts," in their stories of saucer lore, have said that these brush-offs of the UFO sightings were intentional smoke screens to cover the facts by
adding confusion. This is not true; it was merely a lack of coordination. But had the Air Force tried to throw up a screen of confusion, they couldn't have done a
When the lieutenant colonel from the Fourth Air Force made his widely publicized denunciation of saucer believers he specifically mentioned a UFO report from the
Tacoma, Washington, area.
The report of the investigation of this incident, the Maury Island Mystery, was one of the most detailed reports of the early UFO era. The report that we had in our
files had been pieced together by Air Force Intelligence and other agencies because the two intelligence officers who started the investigation couldn't finish it.
They were dead.
For the Air Force the story started on July 31, 1947, when Lieutenant Frank Brown, an intelligence agent at Hamilton AFB, California, received a long-distance phone
call. The caller was a man whom 111 call Simpson, who had met Brown when Brown investigated an earlier UFO sighting, and he had a hot lead on another UFO incident. He
had just talked to two Tacoma Harbor patrolmen. One of them had seen six UFO's hover over his patrol boat and spew out chunks of odd metal. Simpson had some of the
pieces of the metal.
The story sounded good to Lieutenant Brown, so he reported it to his chief.