industrial areas ranked next. UFO's had been reported from every state in the Union and from every foreign country. The U.S. did not have a monopoly.
The frequency of the UFO reports was interesting. Every July there was a sudden increase in the number of reports and July was always the peak month of the year. Just before Christmas there was usually a minor peak.
The Grudge Report had not been the solution to the UFO problem. It was true that a large percentage of the reports were due to the "mis- identification of known objects"; people were seeing balloons, airplanes, planets, but this was not the final answer. There were a few hoaxes, hallucinations, publicity-seekers, and fatigued pilots, but reports from these people constituted less than 1 per cent of the total. Left over was a residue of very good and very "unexplainable" UFO sightings that were classified as unknown.
The quality of the reports was getting better, I told the officers; they contained more details that could be used for analysis and the details were more precise and accurate. But still they left much to be desired.
Every one of the nine scientists and engineers who had reviewed the UFO material at ATIC had made one strong point: we should give top priority to getting reasonably accurate measurements of the speed, altitude, and size of reported UFO's. This would serve two purposes. First, it would make it easy to sort out reports of common things, such as balloons, airplanes, etc. Second, and more important, if we could get even one fairly accurate measurement that showed that some object was traveling through the atmosphere at high speed, and that it wasn't a meteor, the UFO riddle would be much easier to solve.
I had worked out a plan to get some measured data, and I presented it to the group for their comments.
I felt sure that before long the press would get wind of the Air Force's renewed effort to identify UFO's. When this happened, instead of being mysterious about the whole thing, we would freely admit the existence of the new project, explain the situation thoroughly and exactly as it was, and say that all UFO reports made to the Air Force would be given careful consideration. In this way we would encourage more people to report what they were seeing and we might get some good data.
To further explain my point, I drew a sketch on a blackboard. Suppose that a UFO is reported over a fair-sized city. Now we may get one or two reports, and these reports may be rather sketchy. This does us no good--all we can conclude is that somebody saw something that he couldn't identify. But suppose fifty people from all over the city report the UFO. Then it would be profitable for us to go out and talk to these people, find out the time they saw the UFO, and
where they saw it (the direction and height above the horizon). Then we might be able to use these data, work out a triangulation problem, and get a fairly accurate measurement of speed, altitude, and size.
Radar, of course, will give an accurate measurement of speed and altitude, I pointed out, but radar is not infallible. There is always the problem of weather. To get accurate radar data on a UFO, it is always necessary to prove that it wasn't weather that was causing the target. Radar is valuable, and we wanted radar reports, I said, but they should be considered only as a parallel effort and shouldn't take the place of visual sightings.
In winding up my briefing, I again stressed the point that, as of the end of 1951--the date of this briefing--there was no positive proof that any craft foreign to our knowledge existed. All recommendations for the reorganization of Project Grudge were based solely upon the fact that there were many incredible reports of UFO's from many very reliable people. But they were still just flying saucer reports and couldn't be considered scientific proof.
Everyone present at the meeting agreed--each had read or had been briefed on these incredible reports. In fact, two of the people present had seen UFO's.
Before the meeting adjourned, Colonel Dunn had one last question. He knew the answer, but he wanted it confirmed. "Does the United States have a secret weapon that is being reported as a UFO?"
The answer was a flat "No."
In a few days I was notified that my plan had been given the green light. I already had the plan written up in the form of a staff study so I sent it through channels for formal approval.
It had been obvious right from the start of the reorganization of Project Grudge that there would be questions that no one on my staff was technically competent to answer. To have a fully staffed project, I'd need an astronomer, a physicist, a chemist, a mathematician, a psychologist, and probably a dozen other specialists. It was, of course, impossible to have all of these people on my staff, so I decided to do the next best thing. I would set up a contract with some research organization who already had such people on their staff; then I would call on them whenever their services were needed.
I soon found a place that was interested in such a contract, and the day after Christmas, Colonel S. H. Kirkland, of Colonel Dunn's staff, and I left Dayton for a two- day conference with these people to outline what we wanted. Their organization cannot be identified by name because they are doing other highly secret work for the government. I'll call them Project Bear.
Project Bear is a large, well-known research organization in the Midwest. The