elliptical and that the most often reported color was white or "metallic." About the same number of UFO's were reported as being seen in daytime as at night, and the direction of travel equally covered the sixteen cardinal headings of the compass.
Seventy per cent of the "Unknowns" had been seen visually from the air; 12 per cent had been seen visually from the ground; 10 per cent had been picked up by ground or airborne radar; and 8 per cent were combination visual-radar sightings.
In the over-all total of 1,593 sightings women made two reports for every one made by a man, but in the "Unknowns" the men beat out women ten to one.
There were two other factors we could never resolve, the frequency of the sightings and their geographical distribution. Since the first flurry of reports in July of 1947, each July brought a definite peak in reports; then a definite secondary peak occurred just before each Christmas. We plotted these peaks in sightings against high tides, world-wide atomic tests, the positions of the moon and planets, the general cloudiness over the United States, and a dozen and one other things, but we could never say what caused more people to see UFO's at certain times of the year.
Then the UFO's were habitually reported from areas around "technically interesting" places like our atomic energy installations, harbors, and critical manufacturing areas. Our studies showed that such vital military areas as Strategic Air Command and Air Defense Command bases, some A-bomb storage areas, and large military depots actually produced fewer reports than could be expected from a given area in the United States. Large population centers devoid of any major " technically interesting" facilities also produced few reports.
According to the laws of normal distribution, if UFO's are not intelligently controlled vehicles, the distribution of reports should have been similar to the distribution of population in the United States -- it wasn't.
Our study of the geographical locations of sightings also covered other countries. The U.S. by no means had a curb on the UFO market.
In all of our "Unknown" reports we never found one measurement of size, speed, or altitude that could be considered to be even fairly accurate. We could say only that some of the UFO's had been traveling pretty fast.
As far as radar was concerned, we had reports of fantastic speeds -- up to 50,000 miles an hour -- but in all of these instances there was some doubt as to exactly what caused the target. The highest speeds reported for our combination radar-visual sightings, which we considered to be the best type of sighting in our files, were 700 to 800 miles an hour.
We had never picked up any "hardware" -- any whole saucers, pieces, or parts -- that couldn't be readily identified as being something very earthly. We had a contract with a materials-testing laboratory, and they would analyze any piece of material that we found or was sent to us. The tar-covered marble, aluminum broom handle, cow manure, slag, pieces of plastic balloon, and the what-have-you that we did receive and analyze only served to give the people in our material lab some practice and added nothing but laughs to the UFO project.
The same went for the reports of "contacts" with spacemen. Since 1952 a dozen or so people have claimed that they have talked to or ridden with the crews of flying saucers. They offer affidavits, pieces of material, photographs, and other bits and pieces of junk as proof. We investigated some of these reports and could find absolutely no fact behind the stories.
We had a hundred or so photos of flying saucers, both stills and movies. Many were fakes -- some so expert that it took careful study by photo interpreters to show how the photos had been faked. Some were the crudest of fakes, automobile hub caps thrown into the air, homemade saucers suspended by threads, and just plain retouched negatives. The rest of the still photos had been sent in by well-meaning citizens who couldn't recognize a light flare of flaw in the negative, or who had chanced to get an excellent photo of a sundog or mirage.
But the movies that were sent in to us were different. In the first place, it takes an expert with elaborate equipment to fake a movie. We had or knew about four strips of movie film that fell into the "Unknown" category. Two were the cinetheodolite movies that had been taken at White Sands Proving Ground in April and May of 1950, one was the Montana Movie and the last was the Tremonton Movie. These latter two had been subjected to thousands of hours of analysis, and since we planned to give the panel of scientists more thorough reports on them on Friday, I skipped over their details and went to the next point I wanted to cover -- theories.
Periodically throughout the history of the UFO people have come up with widely publicized theories to explain all UFO reports. The one that received the most publicity was the one offered by Dr. Donald Menzel of Harvard University. Dr. Menzel, writing in Time, Look, and later in his Flying Saucers, claimed that all UFO reports could be explained as various types of light phenomena. We studied this theory thoroughly because it did seem to have merit. Project Bear's physicists studied it. ATIC's scientific consultants studied it and discussed it with several leading European physicists whose specialty was atmospheric physics. In general the comments that Project Blue Book received