few minutes he handed it to me.
When I finished with the report I tossed it back on my friend's desk, with some comment about the whole world's being nuts. I got a reaction I didn't expect; he wasn't
so sure the whole world was nuts-- maybe the nuts were at ATIC. "What's the deal?" I asked him. "Have they really thoroughly checked out every report
and found that there's nothing to any of them?"
He told me that he didn't think so, he'd been at ATIC a long time. He hadn't ever worked on the UFO project, but he had seen many of their reports and knew what they
were doing. He just plain didn't buy a lot of their explanations. "And I'm not the only one who thinks this," he added.
"Then why all of the big show of power against the UFO reports?" I remember asking him.
"The powers-that-be are anti-flying saucer," he answered about half bitterly, "and to stay in favor it behooves one to follow suit."
As of February 1951 this was the UFO project.
The words "flying saucer" didn't come up again for a month or two. I'd forgotten all about the two words and was deeply engrossed in making an analysis of
the performance of the Mig-15. The Mig had just begun to show up in Korea, and finding out more about it was a hot project.
Then the words "flying saucer" drifted across the room once more. But this time instead of belly laughter there was a note of hysteria.
It seems that a writer from Life magazine was doing some research on UFO's and rumor had it that Life was thinking about doing a feature article. The writer had
gone to the Office of Public Information in the Pentagon and had inquired about the current status of Project Grudge. To accommodate the writer, the OPI had sent a
wire out to ATIC: What is the status of Project Grudge?
Back went a snappy reply: Everything is under control; each new report is being thoroughly analyzed by our experts; our vast files of reports are in tiptop shape; and
in general things are hunky-dunky. All UFO reports are hoaxes, hallucinations, and the misidentification of known objects.
Another wire from Washington: Fine, Mr. Bob Ginna of Life is leaving for Dayton. He wants to check some reports.
Bedlam in the raw.
Other magazines had printed UFO stories, and other reporters had visited ATIC, but they had always stayed in the offices of the top brass. For some reason the name
Life, the prospects of a feature story, and the feeling that this Bob Ginna was going to ask questions caused sweat to flow at ATIC.
Ginna arrived and the ATIC UFO "expert" talked to him. Ginna later told me