leaving the red-faced operator talking to himself. The radar technicians at Fort Monmouth had checked the weather--there wasn't the slightest indication of an inversion layer.
Twenty-five minutes later the pilot of a T-33 jet trainer, carrying an Air Force major as passenger and flying 20,000 feet over Point Pleasant, New Jersey, spotted a dull silver, disklike object far below him. He described it as 30 to 50 feet in diameter and as descending toward Sandy Hook from an altitude of a mile or so. He banked the T-33 over and started down after it. As he shot down, he reported, the object stopped its descent, hovered, then sped south, made a 120-degree turn, and vanished out to sea.
The Fort Monmouth Incident then switched back to the radar group. At 3:15P.M. they got an excited, almost frantic call from headquarters to pick up a target high and to the north--which was where the first "faster-than-a-jet" object had vanished--and to pick it up in a hurry. They got a fix on it and reported that it was traveling slowly at 93,000 feet. They also could see it visually as a silver speck.
What flies 18 miles above the earth?
The next morning two radar sets picked up another target that couldn't be tracked automatically. It would climb, level off, climb again, go into a dive. When it climbed it went almost straight up.
The two-day sensation ended that afternoon when the radar tracked another unidentified slow-moving object and tracked it for several minutes.
A copy of the message had also gone to Washington. Before Jerry could digest the thirty-six inches of facts, ATIC's new chief, Colonel Frank Dunn, got a phone call. It came from the office of the Director of Intelligence of the Air Force, Major General (now Lieutenant General) C. P. Cabell. General Cabell wanted somebody from ATIC to get to New Jersey--fast--and find out what was going on. As soon as the reports had been thoroughly investigated, the general said that he wanted a complete personal report. Nothing expedites like a telephone call from a general officer, so in a matter of hours Lieutenant Cummings and Lieutenant Colonel N. R. Rosengarten were on an airliner, New Jersey-bound.
The two officers worked around the clock interrogating the radar operators, their instructors, and the technicians at Fort Monmouth. The pilot who had chased the UFO in the T-33 trainer and his passenger were flown to New York, and they talked to Cummings and Rosengarten. All other radar stations in the area were checked, but their radars hadn't picked up anything unusual.
At about 4:00A.M. the second morning after they had arrived, the investigation
was completed, Cummings later told. He and Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten couldn't get an airliner out of New York in time to get them to the Pentagon by 10:00A.M., the time that had been set up for their report, so they chartered an airplane and flew to the capital to brief the general.
General Cabell presided over the meeting, and it was attended by his entire staff plus Lieutenant Cummings, Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten, and a special representative from Republic Aircraft Corporation. The man from Republic supposedly represented a group of top U.S. industrialists and scientists who thought that there should be a lot more sensible answers coming from the Air Force regarding the UFO's. The man was at the meeting at the personal request of a general officer.
Every word of the two-hour meeting was recorded on a wire recorder. The recording was so hot that it was later destroyed, but not before I had heard it several times. I can't tell everything that was said but, to be conservative, it didn't exactly follow the tone of the official Air Force releases--many of the people present at the meeting weren't as convinced that the "hoax, hallucination, and misidentification" answer was
The first thing the general wanted to know was, "Who in hell has been giving me these reports that every decent flying saucer sighting is being investigated?"
Then others picked up the questioning.
"What happened to those two reports that General ------ sent in from Saudi Arabia? He saw those two flying saucers himself."
"And who released this big report, anyway?" another person added, picking up a copy of the Grudge Report and slamming it back down on the table.
Lieutenant Cummings and Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten came back to ATIC with orders to set up a new project and report back to General Cabell when it was ready to go. But Cummings didn't get a chance to do much work on the new revitalized Project Grudge--it was to keep the old name--because in a few days he was a civilian. He'd been released from active duty because he was needed back at Cal Tech, where he'd been working on an important government project before his recall to active duty.
The day after Cummings got his separation orders, Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten called me into his office. The colonel was chief of the Aircraft and Missiles branch and one of his many responsibilities was Project Grudge. He said that he knew that I was busy as group leader of my regular group but, if he gave me enough people, could I take Project Grudge? All he wanted me to do was to get it straightened out and operating; then I could go back to trying to outguess the Russians. He threw in a few comments about the good job I'd