Basic ltr fr Hq USAF, 3 Nov 48 to CG, AMC, "Flying Object Incidents in
1st Ind MCIAT/ABD/amb:
TO: Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, Washington 25, D.C., ATTN:
a study of approximately 180 such incidents. Data derived from initial re-
ports have been supplemented by further information obtained from check
lists submitted by mail, from interrogations of other field agencies, and
by personal investigation by personnel of this Command in the case of in-
cidents that seem to indicate the possibility of obtaining particularly
type. A great many of the round or balloon shaped objects indicated in
paragraph 2c above are probably of the same nature, although in most cases,
definite confirmation of that fact has been impossible to obtain.
reported as a round, silvery object at extremely high altitude. Action is
being taken to obtain the services of a prominent astro-physicist as a con-
sultant, to study all of the incidents to determine whether some can be
identified as meteors, planets or other manifestations of astral bodies.
Laboratory at this Headquarters. The possibility that some of the sightings
are hallucinations, optical illusions or even deliberate hoaxes has been con-
ports for which no reasonable everyday explanation is available. So far,
no physical evidence of the existence of the unidentified sightings has
been obtained. Prominent scientists, including Dr. Irving Langmuir of the
General Electric Company, have been interviewed to determine whether they
could advance any reasonable explanation or characteristics exhibited by
the objects sighted. In an early interview, Dr. Langmuir indicated fhat
these incidents could be explained, but insufficient data were available
at that time on which to base definite conclusions. It is planned to have
another interview with Dr. Langmuir in the near future to review all the
data now available, and it is hoped that he will be able to present some
opinion as to the nature of many of the unidentified objects, particularly
those described as "balls of light."
are not of domestic origin. Engineering investigation indicates that disc
or wingless aircraft could support themselves in flight by aerodynamic means.
It is probable that the problems of stability and control could also be
solved for such aircraft. However, according to current aerodynamic theory
in this country, aircraft with such configurations would have relatively
poor climb, altitude and range characteristics with power plants now in use.
clusions about such a possibility are completely lacking. The occurrence
of incidents in relation to the approach to the earth of the planets Mercury,
Venus and Mars have been plotted. A periodic variation in the frequency of
incidents, which appears to have some relation to the planet approach curves
is noted, but it may be purely a coincidence.
It appears that similar phenomena have been noted and reported for the past
century or more.
craft within the limits of their personal experience.
physical evidence, such as that which would result from a crash, has been
sent any reasonable conclusions. In the event that they insist on some
kind of a statement, it is suggested that they be informed that many of
the objects sighted have been identified as weather balloons or astral
bodies, and that investigation is being pursued to determine reasonable
explanations for the others.
described, is nearly complete and a copy will be forwarded to your Head-
quarters in the near future.