The Psychology Branch of the Air Force's Aeromedical Laboratory took a pass at the psychological angles. They said, "there are sufficient psychological explanations for the reports of unidentified objects to provide plausible explanations for reports not otherwise explainable." They pointed out that some people have "spots in front of their eyes" due to minute solid particles that float about in the fluids of the eye and cast shadows on the retina. Then they pointed out that some people are just plain nuts. Many people who read the Grudge Report took these two points to mean that all UFO observers either had spots in front of their eyes or were nuts. They broke the reports down statistically. The people who wrote the report found that over 70 per cent of the people making sightings reported a light- colored object. (This I doubt, but that's what the report said.) They said a big point of these reports of light-colored objects was that any high-flying object will appear to be dark against the sky. For this reason the UFO's couldn't be real.
I suggest that the next time you are outdoors and see a bomber go over at high altitude you look at it closely. Unless it's painted a dark color it won't look dark.
The U.S. Weather Bureau wrote an extremely comprehensive and interesting report on all types of lightning. It was included in the Grudge Report but contained a note: "None of the recorded incidents appear to have been lightning."
There was one last appendix. It was entitled "Summary of the Evaluation of Remaining Reports." What the title meant was, We have 23 per cent of the reports that we can't explain but we have to explain them because we don't believe in flying saucers. This appendix contributed greatly to the usage of the analogy to the Dark Ages, the age of "intellectual stagnation."
This appendix was important--it was the meat of the whole report. Every UFO sighting had been carefully checked, and those with answers had been sifted out. Then the ones listed in "Summary of the Evaluation of Remaining Reports" should be the best UFO reports--the ones with no answers.
This was the appendix that the newsmen grabbed at when the Grudge Report was released. It contained the big story. But if you'll check back through old newspaper files you will hardly find a mention of the Grudge Report.
I was told that reporters just didn't believe it when I tried to find out why the Grudge Report hadn't been mentioned in the newspapers. I got the story from a newspaper correspondent in Washington whom I came to know pretty well and who kept me filled in on the latest UFO scuttlebutt being passed around the Washington press circles. He was one of those humans who had a brain like a filing cabinet; he could remember everything about everything. UFO's were a
hobby of his. He remembered when the Grudge Report came out; in fact, he'd managed to get a copy of his own. He said the report had been quite impressive, but only in its ambiguousness, illogical reasoning, and very apparent effort towrite off all UFO reports at any cost. He, personally, thought that it was a poor attempt to put out a "fake" report, full of misleading information, to cover up the real story. Others, he told me, just plainly and simply didn't know what to think -- they were confused. And they had every right to be confused.
As an example of the way that many of the better reports of the 1947-49 period were "evaluated" let's take the report of a pilot who tangled with a UFO near Washington, D.C., on the night of November 18, 1948.
At about 9:45 EST I noticed a light moving generally north to south over Andrews AFB. It appeared to be one continuous, glowing white light. I thought it was an aircraft with only one landing light so I moved in closer to check, as I wanted to get into the landing pattern. I was well above landing traffic altitude at this time. As I neared the light I noticed that it was not another airplane. Just then it began to take violent evasive action so I tried to close on it. I made first contact at 2,700 feet over the field. I switched my navigation lights on and off but got no answer so I went in closer-- but the light quickly flew up and over my airplane. I then tried to close again but the light turned. I tried to turn inside of its turn and, at the same time, get the light between the moon and me, but even with my flaps lowered I couldn't turn inside the light. I never did manage to get into a position where the light was silhouetted against the moon.
I chased the light up and down and around for about 10 minutes, then as a last resort I made a pass and turned on my landing lights. Just before the object made a final tight turn and headed for the coast I saw that it was a dark gray oval-shaped object, smaller than my T-6. I couldn't tell if the light was on the object or if the whole object had been glowing.
Two officers and a crew chief, a master sergeant, completely corroborated the pilot's report. They had been standing on the flight line and had witnessed the entire incident.
The Air Weather Service, who had been called in as experts on weather balloons, read this report. They said, "Definitely not a balloon." Dr. Hynek said, "No astronomical explanation." It wasn't another airplane and it wasn't a hallucination.
But Project Grudge had an answer, it was a weather balloon. There was no explanation as to why they had so glibly reversed the decision of the Air Weather Service.
There was an answer for every report.