PROJECT 1947

FOIA UFO DOCUMENTS - 1948


 
EARLY TOP SECRET UFO DOCUMENT DISCOVERED
by Jan Aldrich,
Project 1947 Coordinator.


[This article has been slightly revised and enlarged since its original
publication in the April, 2000 issue of the MUFON Journal.]
On the 4th of November 1948, U. S. Air Force, Europe (USAFE), Intelligence (A-2) sent a long Telecon (telephone conversation) Transcript (TT) to Headquarters, Air Force Director of Intelligence (DI) at the Pentagon. The cable contained a number of various items on Top Secret subjects. After the TT was delivered to the USAF Directorate of Intelligence, each item in the message was retyped as a separate file.

    Item #14 of the TT #1524 concerned flying saucers in Europe and contained three different aspects of the phenomenon that came to USAFE's attention. The usual formal military language contained in such communications was not present here, in this almost casual report.   [1]   First, USAFE Intelligence stated that they received recurring reports of flying saucers. Newspapers throughout Europe had reported on the Neubiberg Air Base incident referred to in the cable:

    On October 29, 1948, newspapers throughout Europe reported this sighting near Munich:

"Five U. S. Air Force pilots observed a mysterious, silvery object similar in appearance to a so-called flying saucer hanging high over Neubiberg Air Base in Bavaria.   The object disappeared at a terrific speed after having remained over the air base more than 30 minutes.  A similar object had been seen days before by another group of American pilots."

    These reports touched off a chain of speculative comments among astronomers and scientists on the continent, who variously claimed that the objects were from Russia or from outer space. Few seemed to regard them as products of the United States. [2]

    While the Neubiberg object may have been a research balloon, Europe was now talking about flying saucers seen over that continent.

    During this time frame, Project SIGN, the UFO program at the Intelligence Department (TID) of the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, Ohio, had already sent its Top Secret Estimate of the Situation (EOTS) to Air Force headquarters. Also, The Top Secret Air Intelligence Report 203 (AIR 203),"Flying Objects Incidents over the US" produced by the Air Intelligence Division, Directorate of Intelligence (DI) was also in its final form [3].  These two documents were in conflict.

    Project SIGN's EOTS raised the possibility that UFOs were interplanetary in nature while AIR 203 entitled "Flying Objects Incidents over the US" speculated that US or foreign research might account for the UFO reports. Into this mix came the second news item from USAFE's TT informing DI that their counterparts in Swedish air intelligence also considered that UFOs might be interplanetary. We can only imagine what happened next because records of discussion at the Pentagon are not available to us. We do know, however, the outcome of these conflicting ideas: Project SIGN's EOTS was rejected, and while AIR 203 was presented to the Joint Intelligence Committee in April 1949 as the Air Force Intelligence's position, it too was soon scrapped. [4].  Both positions were out of favor. The idea that UFOs were just misidentifications of natural or man-made objects increasingly gained ground in intelligence circles and would, with few notable exceptions, be the Air Force's public stance on UFOs from 1949 onward.

    USAFE saved the block-buster for the last part of the message. An object had crashed into a Swedish lake. "A technical expert near his home on the edge of the lake" was the witness. USAFE informed DI that the Swedes had recovery operations for the crashed object under way. Anyone familiar with the 1946 "Ghost Rockets" knows that a number of the these earlier reports claimed objects had allegedly come down in Scandinavian lakes. A 1946 Secret letter from the Commander US, Naval Forces, Europe, commented on an earlier 1946 recovery attempt from a lake in Norway. The Navy was very much interested in what might be found. While they were willing to render assistance, there were two problems: the lack of Naval equipment and experts for that type of work in Europe at the time, and the lack of an invitation to assist from the Norwegian government. The Commander, US Naval Force Europe, felt that the matter required authorization from US political authority to proceed.  [5].  Nothing further officially is known about the Norwegian lake crash, but the "technical expert" in the USAFE Swedish lake report was identified in another Top Secret DI 1948 document now at Maxwell AFB  [6].:

TOP SECRET

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
WASHINGTON

24 August 1948         

AFOIR-RC

MEMORANDUM FOR EXECUTIVE, AIR INTEL, REQUIREMENTS DIVISION

SUBJECT: SUPPLEMENT to Daily Activity 24 Aug 1948

    1.   It has been noted in cable brief that Sweden Armed Force C in C, General Jung, saw an aerial explosion considered to be some form of guided missile originating from Estonian islands, possible Dago or Osel. A point of interest lies in the fact that recent word has been received from out attache in Stockholm of a reconnaissance sortie accomplished over Osel and the stated intention of further aerial reconnaissance there. The Swedish reports have mentioned civilian evacuation on the western coast of the above islands.

    2.  The Swedish aerial reconnaissance stems from an arrangement which was made with the Directorate of Intelligence for the loan of long focal length cameras to the Swedes.

    3.  General Jung has a keen interest in the products of reconnaissance in a personal as well as an official way. He has as a personal friend the head of the section of the General Staff of Defense which is charged with covert reconnaissance; General Jung's sister-in-law holds a key position in that section.

    4.   It is believed that photographs of the area will be received in the near future. (Lt Col Fuller 2376)

  /s/ J. E. Mallory
/t/ J. E. MALLORY
Colonel, USAF
Chief, Reconnaissance Branch
Air Intelligence Requirements Div.
Directorate of Intelligence

 

TOP SECRET


      General Helge Jung and a number of others were witnesses to the crash, and there are some references to the incident in General Jung's papers. Clas Svahn, of UFO-Sweden is continuing investigations into the matter in Sweden. It should be noted that General Jung thought the missile was of Soviet origin.

      Another Top Secret Air Force Intelligence document, a memorandum for record, concerning cables exchanged between the US Air Attache in Sweden and DI revealed that a number of messages had been exchanged on the subject. [7]. DI asked if current reconnaissance photography could confirm any missile activity in the Baltic area. The Air Attache answered that the Swedes had no positive proof that indicated any missile activity in the area. Also, the Swedes had no radar capable of tracking such missiles. (Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have been submitted to a number of agencies on the Jung incident.)

      Nothing further is known about the Jung object, but the Swedish recovery effort did find a depression on the floor of the lake that was not on previous hydrographic charts of the lake bed.

      Copies of the USAFE cable were sent to the CIA and AMC at Wright Field. This is highly significant. While Ruppelt, Hynek and Fournet all said that the 1948 Top Secret Estimate of the Situation existed, no official confirmation has been found to support this claim. The USAFE cable indicates that Top Secret documents about UFOs did, in fact, exist at Wright Field and are not part of the current Project Blue Book files at the National Archives.

      When Sydney Shallet was writing his two-part article on flying saucers for the Saturday Evening Post, he received permission from the Air Force to visit Wright Field to gather material.   Prior to his arrival, Mr. Stephen Leo, of the Secretary of the Air Force Public Information Office, sent a letter to Wright Field requesting that Shallet be given access only to SECRET information on flying saucers. Shallet was not to be permitted to see any Top Secret material on the subject. [8].  One could say this was just the standard admonishment that security matters require, but now it takes on new meaning in light of the discovery of the Top Secret USAFE cable. There was, indeed, Top Secret information concerning UFOs at Wright Field.

 


[1] Records Group 341, Entry 214, General Files, Top Secret Control # 2-5317, National Archives II, College Park, Maryland

On the Internet see: http://www.project1947.com/fig/usafe14.htm

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[2]   "Flying Saucers Invade Europe, Strange Flying Objects Are Appearing in Large Numbers Over the Continent. Are they Secret Weapons of the USSR or....?"  [This compilation of foreign newspaper stories appeared during the European sighting waves of 1950-54 and was printed at the peak of the sightings in a small English-language magazine published by Charles Harnett at Kaiserslautern, Germany]

On the Internet see: http://www.esper.com/RareBird/eur-ufo.htm

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[3]  USAF Directorate of Intelligence-U. S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence, "Flying Object Incidents over the U. S.," Air Intelligence Report #100-203-79.

On the Internet see: http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

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[4]  "New Top Secret Document Revealed,"

On the Internet see: http://www.project1947.com/fig/49docdex.htm

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[5] Secret letter Subject, Rocket Bombs or Guided Missiles over Norway and Sweden, dated Aug 24, 1946, Records Group 38, Office of Naval Intelligence and Attaches' reports, National Archives II

On the Internet see: http://www.project1947.com/fig/46alusna.htm

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[6]  USAF Directorate of Intelligence Files Daily Activity Files, 1948, Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

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[7]  USAF Directorate of Intelligence, Top Secret files, Top Secret Control # 2-3729

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[8]  Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information UFO files, 1948-1952, microfilm # 33765, AFHRA

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