some believe they are interplanetary, some think they're a U.S. weapon, and many just don't know. But very few are laughing off the good sightings.
By May 1950 the flying saucer business had hit a new all-time peak.
The Air Force didn't take any side, they just shrugged. There was no attempt to investigate and explain the various sightings. Maybe this was because someone was afraid the answer would be "Unknown." Or maybe it was because a few key officers thought that the eagles or stars on their shoulders made them leaders of all men. If they didn't believe in flying saucers and said so, it would be like calming the stormy Sea of Galilee. "It's all a bunch of damned nonsense," an Air Force colonel who was controlling the UFO investigation said. "There's no such thing as a flying saucer." He went on to say that all people who saw flying saucers were jokers, crackpots, or publicity hounds. Then he gave the airline pilots who'd been reporting UFO's a reprieve. "They were just fatigued," he said. "What they thought were spaceships were windshield reflections."
This was the unbiased processing of UFO reports through normal intelligence channels.
But the U.S. public evidently had more faith in the "crackpot" scientists who were spending millions of the public's dollars at the White Sands Proving Grounds, in the "publicity-mad" military pilots, and the "tired, old" airline pilots, because in a nationwide poll it was found that only 6 per cent of the country's 150,697,361 people agreed with the colonel and said, "There aren't such things."
Ninety-four per cent had different ideas.
The Pentagon Rumbles
On June 25, 1950, the North Korean armies swept down across the 38th parallel and the Korean War was on--the UFO was no longer a news item. But the lady, or gentleman, who first said, "Out of sight is out of mind," had never reckoned with the UFO.
On September 8, 1950, the UFO's were back in the news. On that day it was revealed, via a book entitled Behind the Flying Saucers, that government scientists had recovered and analyzed three different models of flying saucers. And they were fantastic-- just like the book. They were made of an unknown super-duper metal and they were manned by little blue uniformed men who ate concentrated food and drank heavy water. The author of the book, Frank Scully, had gotten the story directly from a millionaire oilman, Silas Newton. Newton had in turn heard the story from an employee of his, a mysterious "Dr. Gee," one of the government scientists who had helped analyze the crashed saucers.
The story made news, Newton and "Dr. Gee" made fame, and Scully made money.
A little over two years later Newton and the man who was reportedly the mysterious "Dr. Gee" again made the news. The Denver district attorney's office had looked into the pair's oil business and found that the pockets they were trying to tap didn't contain oil. According to the December 6, 1952, issue of the Saturday Review, the D.A. had charged the two men with a $50,000 con game. One of their $800,000 electronic devices for their oil explorations turned out to be a $4.00 piece of war surplus junk.
Another book came out in the fall of 1950 when Donald Keyhoe expanded his original UFO story that had first appeared in the January 1950 issue of True magazine. Next to Scully's book Keyhoe's book was tame, but it convinced more people. Keyhoe had based his conjecture on fact, and his facts were correct, even if the conjecture wasn't.
Neither the seesaw advances and retreats of the United Nations troops in Korea nor the two flying saucer books seemed to have any effect on the number of UFO reports logged into ATIC, however. By official count, seventy-seven came in the first half of 1950 and seventy-five during the latter half. The actual