we organized a preliminary review panel of four people. All of them were competent scientists and we knew their reputations were such that if they recommended that a certain top
scientist sit on a panel to review our material he would do it.
In late November 1952 the preliminary review panel met at ATIC for three days.
When the meeting ended, the group unanimously recommended that a "higher court" be formed to review the case of the UFO. In an hour their recommendation was
accepted by higher Air Force authorities, and the men proceeded to recommend the members for our proposed panel. They picked six men who had reputations as being both
practical and theoretical scientists and who were known to have no biased opinions regarding the UFO's.
The meeting of the panel, which would be held in Washington, was tentatively scheduled for late December or early January--depending upon when all of the scientists
who had been asked to attend would be free. At Project Blue Book activity went into high gear as we made preparations for the meeting. But before we were very far
along our preparations were temporarily sidetracked--I got a lead on the facts behind a rumor. Normally we didn't pay attention to rumors, but this one was in a
Ever since the Air Force had become interested in UFO reports, the comment of those who had been requested to look them over and give a professional opinion was that
we lacked the type of data "you could get your teeth into." In even our best reports we had to rely upon what someone had seen. I'd been told many times that
if we had even one piece of information that was substantiated by some kind of recorded proof--a set of cinetheodolite movies of a UFO, a spectrum photograph, or any
other kind of instrumented data that one could sit down and study--we would have no difficulty getting almost any scientist in the world interested in actively helping
us find the answer to the UFO riddle.
The rumor that caused me to temporarily halt our preparations for the high-level conference involved data that we might be able to get our teeth into.
This is the way it went.
In the fall of 1949, at some unspecified place in the United States, a group of scientists had set up equipment to measure background radiation, the small amount of
harmless radiation that is always present in our atmosphere. This natural radiation varies to a certain degree, but will never increase by any appreciable amount
unless there is a good reason.
According to the rumor, two of the scientists at the unnamed place were watching the equipment one day when, for no apparent reason, a sudden