I'd estimated, itemized, and justified direct costs and manpower. I'd conferred, inferred, and referred, and now I had the money to operate. The next step was to pile up all this paper work as an aerial barrier, let the saucers crash into it, and fall just outside the door.
I was given a very flexible operating policy for Project Grudge because no one knew the best way to track down UFO's. I had only one restriction and that was that I wouldn't have my people spending time doing a lot of wild speculating. Our job would be to analyze each and every UFO report and try to find what we believed to be an honest, unbiased answer. If we could not identify the reported object as being a balloon, meteor, planet, or one of half a hundred other common things that are sometimes called UFO's, we would mark the folder "Unknown" and file it in a special file. At some later date, when we built up enough of these "Unknown" reports, we'd study them.
As long as I was chief of the UFO project, this was our basic rule. If anyone became anti-flying saucer and was no longer capable of making an unbiased evaluation of a report, out he went. Conversely anyone who became a believer was through. We were too busy during the initial phases of the project to speculate as to whether the unknowns were spaceships, space monsters, Soviet weapons, or ethereal visions.
I had to let three people go for being too pro or too con.
By the latter part of November 1951 I knew most of what had taken place in prior UFO projects and what I expected to do. The people in Project Sign and the old Project Grudge had made many mistakes. I studied these mistakes and profited by them. I could see that my predecessors had had a rough job. Mine would be a little bit easier because of the pioneering they had done.
Lieutenant Metscher and I had sorted out all of the pre-1951 files, refiled them, studied them, and outlined the future course of the new Project Grudge.
When Lieut. Colonel Rosengarten and Lieutenant Cummings had been at the Pentagon briefing Major General Cabell on the Fort Monmouth incidents, the general had told them to report back when the new project was formed and ready to go. We were ready to go, but before taking my ideas to the Pentagon, I thought it might be wise to try them out on a few other people to get their reaction. Colonel Frank Dunn, then chief of ATIC, liked this idea. We had many well-known scientists and engineers who periodically visited ATIC as consultants, and Colonel Dunn suggested that these people's opinions and comments would be valuable. For the next two weeks every visitor to ATIC who had a reputation as a scientist, engineer, or scholar got a UFO briefing.
Unfortunately the names of these people cannot be revealed because I
promised them complete anonymity. But the list reads like a page from Great Men of Science.
Altogether nine people visited the project during this trial period. Of the nine, two thought the Air Force was wasting its time, one could be called indifferent, and six were very enthusiastic over the project. This was a shock to me. I had expected reactions that ranged from an extremely cold absolute zero to a mild twenty below. Instead I found out that UFO's were being freely and seriously discussed in scientific circles. The majority of the visitors thought that the Air Force had goofed on previous projects and were very happy to find out that the project was being re-established. All of the visitors, even the two who thought we were wasting our time, had good suggestions on what to do. All of them offered their services at any future time when they might be needed. Several of these people became very good friends and valuable consultants later on.
About two weeks before Christmas, in 1951, Colonel Dunn and I went to the Pentagon to give my report. Major General John A. Samford had replaced Major General Cabell as Director of Intelligence, but General Samford must have been told about the UFO situation because he was familiar with the general aspects of the problem. He had appointed his Assistant for Production, Brigadier General W. M. Garland, to ride herd on the project for him.
Colonel Dunn briefly outlined to General Samford what we planned to do. He explained our basic policy, that of setting aside the unknowns and not speculating on them, and he told how the scientists visiting ATIC had liked the plans for the new Project Grudge.
There was some discussion about the Air Force's and ATIC's responsibility for the UFO reports. General Garland stated, and it was later confirmed in writing, that the Air Force was solely responsible for investigating and evaluating all UFO reports. Within the Air Force, ATIC was the responsible agency. This in turn meant that Project Grudge was responsible for all UFO reports made by any branch of the military service. I started my briefing by telling General Samford and his staff about the present UFO situation.
The UFO reports had never stopped coming in since they had first started in June 1947. There was some correlation between publicity and the number of sightings, but it was not an established fact that reports came in only when the press was playing up UFO's. Just within the past few months the number of good reports had increased sharply and there had been no publicity.
UFO's were seen more frequently around areas vital to the defense of the United States. The Los Alamos-Albuquerque area, Oak Ridge, and White Sands Proving Ground rated high. Port areas, Strategic Air Command bases, and