Not more than fifty years ago Dr. Simon Newcomb, a world-famous astronomer and the first American since Benjamin Franklin to be made an associate of the Institute of France, the hierarchy of the world science, said, "It can't be." Then he went on to explain that flight without gas bags would require the discovery of some new material or a new force in nature.
And at the same time Rear Admiral George W. Melville, then Chief Engineer for the U.S. Navy, said that attempts to fly heavier-than- air vehicles was absurd.
Just a little over ten years ago there was another "it can't be." Ex- President Harry S. Truman recalls in the first volume of the Truman Memoirs what Admiral William D. Leahy, then Chief of Staff to the President, had to say about the atomic bomb. "That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done," he is quoted as saying. "The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives."
Personally, I don't believe that "it can't be." I wouldn't class myself as a "believer," exactly, because I've seen too many UFO reports that first appeared to be unexplainable fall to pieces when they were thoroughly investigated. But every time I begin to get skeptical I think of the other reports, the many reports made by experienced pilots and radar operators, scientists, and other people who know what they're looking at. These reports were thoroughly investigated and they are still unknowns. Of these reports, the radar- visual sightings are the most convincing. When a ground radar picks up a UFO target and a ground observer sees a light where the radar target is located, then a jet interceptor is scrambled to intercept the UFO and the pilot also sees the light and gets a radar lock-on only to have the UFO almost impudently outdistance him, there is no simple answer. We have no aircraft on this earth that can at will so handily outdistance our latest jets.
The Air Force is still actively engaged in investigating UFO reports, although during the past six months there have been definite indications that there is a movement afoot to get Project Blue Book to swing back to the old Project Grudge philosophy of analyzing UFO reports--write them all off, regardless. But good UFO reports cannot be written off with such answers as fatigued pilots seeing a balloon or star; "green" radar operators with only fifteen years' experience watching temperature inversion caused blips on their radarscopes; or "a mild form of mass hysteria or war nerves." Using answers like these, or similar ones, to explain the UFO reports is an expedient method of getting the percentage of unknowns down to zero, but it is no more valid than turning the hands of a clock ahead to make time pass faster. Twice before the riddle of the UFO has been "solved," only to have the reports increase in both quantity and
I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to what the final outcome of the UFO investigation will be, but I am sure that within a few years there will be a proven answer. The earth satellite program, which was recently announced, research progress in the fields of electronics, nuclear physics, astronomy, and a dozen other branches of the sciences will furnish data that will be useful to the UFO investigators. Methods of investigating and analyzing UFO reports have improved a hundredfold since 1947 and they are continuing to be improved by the diligent work of Captain Charles Hardin, the present chief of Project Blue Book, his staff, and the 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron. Slowly but surely these people are working closer to the answer--closer to the proof.
Maybe the final proven answer will be that all of the UFO's that have been reported are merely misidentified known objects. Or maybe the many pilots, radar specialists, generals, industrialists, scientists, and the man on the street who have told me, "I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't seen it myself," knew what they were talking about. Maybe the earth is being visited by interplanetary spaceships.
Only time will tell.


This chapter concludes the Complete & Unabridged version. The next three chapters were added in 1960 and have generated some controversy among ufologists. The Introduction by USI to the online version provides some commentary and insight surrounding this controversy.