degrees, or almost straight west. He was just east of Paris when he'd first seen the UFO, and since he said that he'd looked back and to his left, the spot where he
saw the UFO would be right at a spot where the CAA man had seen his UFO disappear. Both observers had checked their watches with radio time just after the sightings,
so there couldn't be more than a few seconds' discrepancy. All I could conclude was that both had seen the same UFO.
I checked the path of every balloon in the Midwest. I checked the weather--it was a clear, cloudless day; I had the two observers' backgrounds checked and I even
checked for air traffic, although I knew the UFO wasn't an airplane. I researched the University of Dayton library for everything on daylight meteors, but this was no
good. From the description the CAA employee gave, what he'd seen had been a clear-cut, distinct, flattened sphere, with no smoke trail, no sparks and no tail. A
daylight meteor, so low as to be described as "a 50-cent piece held at arm's length," would have had a smoke trail, sparks, and would have made a roar that
would have jolted the Sphinx. This one was quiet. Besides, no daylight meteor stops long enough to let an airplane turn into it.
In a few days the data from the Long Beach Incident came in and I started to put it together. A weather balloon had been launched from the Long Beach Airport, and it
was in the vicinity where the six F- 86's had made their unsuccessful attempt to intercept a UFO. I plotted out the path of the balloon, the reported path of the UFO,
and the flight paths of the F-86's. The paths of the balloon and the F-86's were accurate, I knew, because the balloon was being tracked by radio fixes and the F-86's
had been tracked by radar. At only one point did the paths of the balloon, UFO, and F-86's coincide. When the first two F-86's made their initial visual contact with
the UFO they were looking almost directly at the balloon. But from then on, even by altering the courses of the F-86's, I couldn't prove a thing.
In addition, the weather observers from Long Beach said that during the period that the intercept was taking place they had gone outside and looked at their balloon;
it was an exceptionally clear day and they could see it at unusually high altitudes. They didn't see any F- 86's around it. And one stronger point, the balloon had
burst about ten minutes before the F-86's lost sight of the UFO.
Lieutenant Metscher took over and, riding on his Fort Monmouth victory, tried to show how the pilots had seen the balloon. He got the same thing I did--nothing.
On October 27, 1951, the new Project Grudge was officially established. I'd written the necessary letters and had received the necessary endorsements.