Do They or Don't They?
During the past four years the most frequent question I've been asked is: "What do you personally think? Do unidentified flying objects exist, or don't they?"
I'm positive they don't.
I was very skeptical when I finished my tour of active duty with the Air Force and left Project Blue Book in 1953, but now I'm convinced.
Since I left the Air Force the Age of the Satellite has arrived and we're in it. Along with this new era came the long range radars, the satellite tracking cameras, and the other instruments that would have picked up any type of "spaceship" coming into our atmosphere.
None of this instrumentation has ever given any indication of any type of unknown vehicle entering the earth's atmosphere.
I checked this with the Department of Defense and I checked this through friends associated with tracking projects. In both cases the results were completely negative.
There's not even a glimmer of hope for the UFO.
Then there's Project MOONWATCH, the Optical Satellite Tracking Program for the International Geophysical Year.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the director of MOONWATCH wrote to me: "I can quite safely say that we have no record of ever having received from our MOONWATCH teams any reports of sightings of unidentified objects which had any characteristics different from those of an orbiting satellite, a slow meteor, or of a suspected plane mistaken for a satellite."
Dr. Hynek should know. He has investigated and analyzed more UFO reports than any other scientist in the world.
And the third convincing point is that twelve years have passed since the first UFO report was made and still there is not one shred of material evidence of anything unknown and no photos of anything other than meaningless blobs of light.
The next question that always arises is: "But people are seeing something. Experienced observers, like pilots, scientists and radar operators have reported UFO's."
To be very frank, we heard the words "experienced observer" so many times these words soon
began to make us ill.
Everyone, except housewives with myopia, were experienced observers.
Pilots, "scientists" (a term used equally as loosely), engineers, radar operators, everyone who reported a UFO was some kind of an "experienced observer." This man had taught aircraft recognition during World War II. He was an experienced observer. That man spent four years in the Air Force. He was an experienced observer. We soon learned that everyone is an experienced observer as long as what he sees is familiar to him. As soon as he sees something unfamiliar it's a UFO.
Pilots probably come as close to falling into this category as anyone since they do spend a lot of time looking around the sky. But even those who can rattle off the names and locations of stars, planets and constellations don't know about a few relatively rare astronomical phenomena.
The bolide, or super meteor, is a good example. Few pilots have ever, or will ever, see a deluxe model bolide but when they do they'll never forget it. It's like someone shooting a flare in front of your face. There are a number of reports of bolides in the Blue Book files and each pilot who made each report called each bolide a UFO. The descriptions are almost identical to the classic descriptions of bolides found in astronomy books.
While on the subject of meteors, if most people realized that meteors can have a flat trajectory, they can go from horizon to horizon, they can travel in " formation" (groups), and they can be seen in daylight (as "large silver discs"), the work of UFO investigators would be lighter.
Enough of meteors and back to our experienced observers.
The example of pilots and bolides holds true in many, many other cases.
Take high flying jets for example. To a person in an area where there isn't much high altitude air traffic, a thin, blood red streak in the sky at sunset, or shortly after, is a UFO. To anyone in an area where there are a lot of high flying jets even our myopic housewife, it's just another vapor trail. They're as common as the sunset.
When the flashing red strobe lights, now used on practically all aircraft, were still in the experimental stage back in 1951 they gave us fits. Every time an airplane with one of these flashing lights made a flight people within miles, including other pilots, called in UFO reports. Now these strobe lights are common and no one even bothers to look up.
The same held true, and still does, for the odd array of lights used on tanker planes during aerial refueling operations.
Some phenomena are so rare and so little is known about them that they are always UFO's. The most common is the disc following the airplane.