PROJECT 1947



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J.I.C.                  

                             

           COPY NO.     5    

REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE, USAF        

to the        

JOINT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE        

on        

UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL OBJECTS        

THE   PROBLEM        

 

            1.  To advise the Joint Intelligence Committee of the findings
    of the Directorate of Intelligence, USAF, regarding the sightings of
    unidentified aerial objects and the Air Force organization estab-
    lished for further investigation and solution of the problem.

    FACTS BEARING ON THE PROBLEM                                      

            2.   Following the great number of reported sightings of flying
    discs during the summer of 1947, Hq, Air Material Command, in a
    letter dated 23 September 1947, requested that the Commanding General,
    Army Air Forces, issue a directive assigning a priority, security
    classification and code name for a detailed study of flying disc
    reports. Hq, Air Material Command explained that their action was
    based on the opinion that phenomena reported appeared to be real and
    that there were objects in existence which would approximate the shape
    of a disc. AMC concluded that some incidents might be caused by
    natural phenomena but that some incidents described characteristics
    which suggested evasive tactics. Awaiting a specific directive,
    Hq, AMC continued to collect information on flying disc incidents in
    order to more clearly define the nature of the phenomena. On the

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    22nd of December 1947, in a memorandum, "Analysis of Flying Disc
    Reports." The Director of Intelligence concurred with Air Material
    Command's recommendation and forwarded their letter to the Direc-
    tor of Research and Development, DCS/M for reply.

            3.   In a letter dated 30 December 1947, the Director of Research
    and Development, DCS/M, advised the Commanding General, AMC, that Air
    Force policy was not to ignore reports of sightings and phenomena in
    the atmosphere but to recognize that part of its mission is to collect,
    evaluate and act on information of this nature.   To implement this
    policy it was directed that Hq, Air Material Command set up a project
    with the purpose of collecting, collating, evaluating, and distri-
    buting to interested government agencies and contractors, all informa-
    tion concerning sightings and phenomena in the atmosphere which could
    be construed to be of concern to the national security.   This directive
    assigned a priority of 2-A to the project, a RESTRICTED classification,
    and a code name of "SIGN".

            4.   At Air Material Command the Technical Intelligence Division
    was assigned the responsibility for accomplishing this mission with
    the full assistance of all divisions and activities within Air Material
    Command to permit successful completion of the project. The cooperation
    of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and F.B.I. was solicited in order to
    facilitate the forwarding and investigation of all reports.   Arrange-
    ments were effected for handling such reports directly with Air Material
    Command.

            5.   In addition to the collection, analysis and investigation
    activities directed by the project personnel at Hq, Air Material Command,
    Air Intelligence Memorandum dated 6 August 1948, subject: "Flying
    Saucers", required that a study be made by the Air Intelligence Division
    to examine the pattern of tactics of reported flying saucers and develop
    conclusions as to their probability. The results of this analysis were
    prepared as Air Intelligence Division (DI/USAF-ONI) Study No. 203,

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    "Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States." The
    Directorate of Intelligence has maintained close liaison with Project
    "SIGN" activities in order that appropriate staff sections of Head-
    quarters, USAF may be adequately advised on the entire subject of
    unidentified aerial phenomena reports.

            6.   The code name of "SIGN" for the project was changed to
    "GRUDGE" by a request on 16 December 1948 by the Director of
    Research and Development, DCS/M, Hq, USAF.   "GRUDGE" under the U.S.
    Joint Services Code Word Index refers to the title "Detailed Study
    of Flying Discs."

    ASSUMPTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS                           

            7.   Hq, Air Material Command will continue its investigations
    under project "GRUDGE" and the Directorate of Intelligence, USAF,
    will maintain close liaison with that Command in order to advise
    Staff sections on the subject of unidentified aerial objects.

            8.   See Appendix "A" for discussion of the problem and con-
    clusions drawn therefrom.

    RECOMMENDATIONS                               

            9.   It is recommended that the Joint Intelligence Committee:

                  a.   Furnish the Director of Intelligence, USAF, with comments
    on this paper.

   

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    APPENDIX "A"                   

    UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL OBJECTS                             

    FACTS AND DISCUSSION                           

            1.   As of 10 March 1949, a total of 256 incidents involving
    unidentified aerial objects had been recorded, under Project "SIGN".
    The majority of these were domestic observations but there were many
    from reports from foreign sources. In each incident the observers
    have been interrogated by investigators and the results have been
    analyzed by technical personnel.

            2.   Condensed summaries have been prepared on each incident to
    provide basic information to individuals and agencies having a
    responsibility or interest in the project.

            3.   The extreme lack of accurate observed details and the unpre-
    dictable occurrence of incidents have made positive identification
    extremely difficult. Data on unidentified aerial objects has grouped
    the incidents as follows:

    23.3%     -     Discs

    43.0%     -     Spherical or elliptical shape
                           (including balls of fire)

      6.0%     -     Cylindrical shape

      2.5%     -     Winged objects

    32.2%     -     Shapes other than those above

            4.   In order to identify ordinary and conventional objects, that
    have probably been included in the list of reported incidents, graphical
    methods have been applied as follows:

            5.   Prepared graphical data includes:

                  a.   Charts concerning unidentified aerial objects, to indicate:

                        (1)   Type of object observed

                        (2)   Vicinity in which particular type of object was
    observed

     

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                        (3)   Direction of flight

                  b.   Locations of guided missiles, research and related centers

                  c.   Locations of airlines, airfields, both military and
    commercial

                  d.   Locations of radio beacon stations

                  e.   Known or projected radar stations from which reports and assistance may be derived.

                  f.   Meteorological stations from which balloon release data,
    radiosonde or theodolite readings may be obtained.

                  g.   Past, current, and projected celestial phenomena.

                  h.   Flight paths of migratory birds

            6.  A psychological analysis of the reported data is being prepar-
    ed by Aero-Medical Laboratory, AMC, for the purpose of determining those
    incidents that are probably based upon errors of the human mind
    and senses. A preliminary verbal report from the professional psychologists
    indicates that a considerable number of incidents can be explained as
    ordinary occurrences that have been misrepresented, as the result of
    human errors.

            7.   Specialist services, supplementary to those of AMC technical
    offices, are being provided by a number of agencies.

            8.   The Air Weather Service has reviewed incident data and has
    provided the information that 24 of the first 172 coincide,
    both with respect to location and time, with the release of weather balloons.

            9.   The Ohio State University has contracted with AMC to supply
    astronomical services in an effort to identify meteors, planetoids and
    associated phenomena. Professor Hynek, Ohio State University Astro-
    physicist and head of the University Observatory has reviewed the incident summary sheets.

            10.   Preliminary report of Dr. Hynek, indicates that 30 per cent
    of the first 200 incidents are positively attributable to astronomical
    phenomena, and 45 per cent could be explained on the basis of such

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    phenomena or the sighting of weather balloons and other objects. This gives a
    total of 75 per cent of all incidents with possible explanation.

            11.   Members of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Chief of
    Staff, USAF, who have provided consultant services to Project "Grudge",
    include Dr. Irving Langmuir, Chief, General Electric Research and Dr. G. E. Valley
    of MIT.

            12.   Dr. G. E. Valley has displayed an active interest in Project
    "Grudge" to the extent of reviewing the reported incidents and writing
    an overall type of analysis in which he groups the various objects and
    then analyses each group from the standpoint of scientific feasibility.

            13.   Inasmuch as various surmises have been advanced that some of
    the reported observations may have represented "space ships" or satellite
    vehicles, a special study has been initiated with the Rand Corporation,
    under the Rand Project, to provide an analysis from this standpoint
    and also to provide fundamental information, pertaining to the basic
    design and performance characteristics that might distinguish a pos-
    sible "space ship." Rand Corporation has also informed AMC that their
    analysis of all incidents leads them to the conclusion that there is
    nothing in any reported incidents which would go against a rational
    explanation.

            14.   The Weather Bureau Library of the Department of Commerce has
    supplied information on "ball lightning." This was requested because
    of the belief by some persons that some of the observations may have
    represented "ball lightning." It appears that the subject of "ball
    lightning" occupies an undetermined status and authorities are not at
    all convinced that such a phenomenon actually exists.

            15.   On 8 April 1949 the repeated occurrence of green fireball
    phenomena in New Mexico was discussed with Dr. Joseph Kaplan, member
    of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board. This phenomenon has caused

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    considerable concern on the part of Hq. Fourth Army and has occupied
    the interests of Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico.
    Dr. LaPaz believes that the phenomena are not meteorites. Because of
    Dr. LaPaz' outstanding ability for accurate observation and his ex-
    periences in identification of meteoritic phenomena, Dr. Kaplan ex-
    pressed the belief that the green fireball phenomena should be further
    investigated. Dr. Kaplan's views and this phenomena were discussed
    on 12 April 1948 with Dr. Theodore von Karman, Chairman, USAF Scientific
    Advisory Board, who feels that the problem is more properly in the
    field of upper atmosphere research than the field of intelligence.

            16.   A summary of the incidents reported would indicate that:

                  a.   All incidents which coincide with explainable aerial
    activities or recorded natural phenomena should be eliminated from
    further consideration.

                  b.   Creditable unexplained incidents involving light phenomena
    should be further investigated and analyzed by highly competent scien-
    tists who can establish the identity either within or without the
    limits of known natural phenomena.

                  c.   Creditable unexplained incidents which might involve
    the use of atomic powered craft of u(nu)sual design should be considered
    jointly by the Atomic Energy Commission and highly competent aero-
    dynamicists to determine the necessity for further consideration of
    such incidents by National Defense Intelligence Agencies.

    CONCLUSIONS                                     

           17.   The majority of reported incidents are reliable to the ext-
    ent that they have involved the sighting of some object or light
    phenomenon.

            18.  In spite of the lack of accurate data provided by witnesses,
    the majority of reported incidents have been caused by misidentifica-

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    tion of weather balloons, high altitude balloons with lights and/or
    electronic equipment, meteors, bolides, and the planet Venus.

            19.   There are numerous reports from reliable and competent ob-
    servers for which a conclusive explanation has not been made. Some
    of these involve descriptions which would place them in the category
    of new manifestations of probable natural phenomena but others involve
    configurations and described performance which might conceivably
    represent an advanced aerodynamical development. A few unexplained
    incidents surpass these limits of credibility.

            20.   It is unlikely that a foreign power would expose a superior
    aerial weapon by a prolonged ineffectual penetration of the United States.

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