Sign Historical Group

william b nash 1952

William B. Nash in 1952    

Capital Airlines Logo

211-06 75th Avenue            
Bayside, Long Island, N.Y.
November 2, 1953               

Captain William B. Nash
400 Ridgewood Road
Miami 49, Florida


Dear Captain Nash:

Your interesting letter of October 19 which contained your first draft of a rebuttal to my story on the flying saucers was forwarded to me by Ed Modes, Editor of THE AIR LINE PILOT, for reply.  I returned only yesterday from a vacation in Mexico.  Otherwise your letter would have had my prompt attention.

It is doubtful if any subject which has been so widely discussed and written about is held in so many different lights as the fabulous "flying saucers".  As a man who believes implicitly that he saw several of these elusive objects in flight, your resentment against my article on Dr. Menzel's book is both understandable and pardonable.  I really do respect your feelings on the subject as much as any of the hundreds of people whom I have interviewed on these fascinating but nebulous will-o-the-wisps.  It may interest you to know that you are at least the 30th pilot who has told me personally he saw one or more flying saucers.  At least half a dozen Capital pilots are among this group, men that I know intimately and that I know to be reliable.  And on two occasions – both times at night – I was an unbelieving witness myself to strange manifestations in the sky that were clearly visible from the cockpit.

Your letter indicates that my research which I claimed was untiring for over five years was not as thorough as it might have been.  This is quite possibly true.  It is obvious to me that it has not been as complete as either Donald Keyhoe's or Professor Menzel's.  But it has been practical and I too, have compiled quite a file on purported sightings, both from personal contact and from everything I could find in print on the subject.  Nothing in my entire life has ever captured my imagination more and if anything was published on the subject of flying saucers which I did not immediately purchase and read, it was simply because it was either unavailable to me as a civilian or else it escaped my notice in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  I even read all the fiction that is written about the disks, watch all the TV shows, many of which doted on this theme during the past three years.

You will wonder how a man who claims to have once been a sincere, believing addict of the esoteric saucer cult could turn heretic, especially in the light of the preponderance of evidence that flying saucers do exist.  Six years is a long time to be devoted to a belief and it was not just Dr. Menzel's book which swung me overnight, as it were.  Quite a while ago I began to have misgivings about all the self-styled experts on the subject, and it was Dr. Menzel's book which provided me with the "deliverance" which I sought from something which I did not understand and could not escape.  Perhaps it is as you put it so aptly in your article.  People do unconsciously try to dismiss things which they fear and do not want to exist.  Heaven help us if these things are from outer space as Keyhoe believes!  We shall certainly find ourselves at the mercy of a race of creatures who are vastly superior to us earthbound mortals, both in scientific intellect and in physical capabilities.

I am happy to announce that your article last year in TRUE magazine was not one of those which obviously escaped my attention.  I read it with rapt attention and it held me spellbound until the very last word.  But I must confess that it did give rise to a few questions in my mind which I will take the liberty here of putting to you.

William B. Nash, Miami Florida, November 2, 1953   Page 2

As I remember your article, you were cruising southbound at 8000 feet near Newport News, Virginia when this flight of UFO’s (as ATIC calls them) passed beneath your DC-4.  You state unequivocally that they were "100 feet in diameter, 2000 feet above sea level, and they covered 50 miles in 12 seconds".  If you will pardon my impudence, you sound more like a surveyor than an airline pilot.  Pray tell me, how do you know the diameter, how did you know the altitude?  I will grant you that if given these two statistics it would not be difficult to ascertain the approximate speed.  I realize that Pan American pilots are specially trained in celestial navigation and that most of you have better mathematical educations than is required by domestic airlines, but even so, something more than that is required before you can state with complete impunity that you saw a group of unknown objects after night racing into the heavens at the utterly incredible speed of 15,000 miles per hour.  It is a well known fact that big league ball players strike out because they are unable to follow the flight of a baseball from the hand of a fast ball pitcher thrown at a measly 100 miles per hour.  It is difficult to follow so small an object as a baseball but it is at only 90 feet distance.  Even a man with all his faculties has trouble following the high speed flight of a modern jet only a mile away in the daylight.  To me it is beyond comprehension that you saw what you believe you saw.  And there is not an optician anywhere, even if he is fitting glasses on coal miners in Kentucky, who will believe you.

There were many things about Dr. Menzel’s book which I could not endorse.  His theory of the bumps and dents in the leading edge of an airfoil causing a burble which could refract sunlight through snow crystals in the burble is absurd.  His picture of this alleged occurrence was equally scientifically unfounded and undoubtedly only a straight reflection of sunlight into the camera.  But to his everlasting tribute, it must be pointed out that he and he alone did bring to the attention of his readers just how misleading our senses can be.  My article pointed out that he did not deny the purported sightings; he merely believes and tries to interpret them as something other than flying saucers.  Of course, he could not explain a certain percentage of the sightings.  But to this date neither has any other man on this earth and this includes Donald Keyhoe, Gerald Heard, Frank Scully (a lousy, reprehensible fraud), General Samford and a host of others.  Every one of these men are postulating and in varying degrees.  They are all sincerely and determinedly trying with every resource at their command to get to the bottom of this fantastic mystery which has both entertained and struck fear at the hearts of mankind.  I should not include Scully — he should have been prosecuted for the redolent brand of yellow journalism which his tome represents so well.  All Dr. Menzel did was to join a long list of people striving to solve this enigma which has plagued us for so long.  Everybody else has a theory; he is entitled to his, even though succeeding events may prove him wrong.  But if he does turn out to be mistaken, his error will not be a culpable one, which is more than can be said for some of the hoaxsters which have preyed on the gullible.

I am quite sure that the columns of THE AIR LINE PILOT are open to you to express your views, just as it is to any member in good standing.  Since the reorganization of ALPA it has emerged from a sordid, almost disgraceful past into one of the most dignified and democratic labor unions extant.  I doubt if you can find an equal for it anywhere in the labor world.  I am now proud (for the first time in years) to be a member of this magnificent organization and I have made myself a promise to dedicate my services to it in any way its officers see fit to use them.  My present capacity, as a contributing columnist has been undertaken with a great deal of verve, but for one purpose: To make the magazine a little more readable, a little more enjoyable to the members.  That a columnist will find many who disagree with him is inevitable.  But that is a calculated risk to which I agreed when I accepted ALPA’s invitation to join its staff as a contributing writer.  There is no recompense in the job except personal satisfaction; certainly there is always abundant criticism.  But as long as it comes from sincere readers such as you it will always be welcome.  By all means, do not become discouraged because Keyhoe beat you to the draw.  Ask for a new airing of your views.  I am sure we shall all find it interesting reading.

For me, the flying saucers do not constitute a closed chapter in my life.  While I am not an agnostic I still think I will wait and see. And somehow or other, I must confess to you that there are times when I hope I am wrong.  Chasing these things has been a lot of fun.

Cordially yours,


              Joe Hull


November 6, 1953

Captain W. J. Hull,
211-06 75th. Ave.
Bayslde, New York

Dear Captain Hull:

Many thanks for the reply to my letter, and the further expression of your views on the flying saucers.  It is always interesting to learn about the viewpoint and reasoning of other persons, and I am always susceptible to change if the evidence produced is sufficiently logical.

If my method of expression in this reply sometimes seems too biting, please accept my apologies in advance.  It is merely my old debating team method of expression, and I am an adherent to Bob Taft’s belief that tact is dishonesty in disguise.  The feelings I express here are not intended to be personal, because, in general, I admire your work and intelligence, but are the answers I would give anyone under similar circumstances.

One of my outstanding criticisms of columnists (and I have written to many of them} is that they feel that they must fill up that column whether or not they have sufficient time to get the truth straight, and all of the facts that they employ carefully checked.  They have a big responsibility, and considerable influence upon the thinking of the readers, hence they should be very exacting.

If it happens to be true, even though you do not presently believe it, that the saucers are space craft from another planet, the Air Line Pilots, of all groups of people on this Earth, should be ready with all that is known about these reports to date.  They should not be discouraged from further investigation, but should be encouraged to read and think about every bit of information available.  Now your letter to me, and your article does not express your feelings in the same manner.

The article definitely gives the impression that Doc Menzel changed your mind;  "Dr. Menzel once and for all, explodes all the silly notions I have shared with millions of other people.”  Also, in your letter you admit that; "I must confess to you that there are times when I hope I am wrong.  Chasing these things has been a lot of fun".  Why not admit this in the article?  It is obviously your honest opinion.  Hence why the bum steer to the public?

Also you did not express your true feelings about Menzel's explanations. Your article lead people to think that his scientific explanations were just next to perfect.  Yet to me you have admitted that you did not agree with all of his theories. It is a bit neglectful to leave such statements out of such an article.  Then, of course, you were not very exacting in your research as to who Keyhoe is, and published a false impression there too.  You could have picked up any TRUE, looked in the front and have noted that John DuBarry is the Aviation Editor of TRUE.  This fact is also mentioned in Keyhoe's



first saucer book, "THE FLYING SAUCERS ARE REAL" (all the way thru the book, because the book was a description of Keyhoe's research for DuBarry on contract to write an article of similar title for TRUE)  If you read the saucer books as "voraciously" as you said in your article, you couldn't have missed that fact.  Perhaps your reading is precis style – but you should re-read in detail before writing.  That is your responsibility as a columnist.

You made similar gross errors in reading the article I wrote for TRUE.  Naturally, I have a copy, and you should too, if all is true about your "tireless research".  I also have been a tireless researcher and have kept copies of all material I could get whether pro or con on the subject.

In your letter you state that I said "unequivocally" that the objects were 100 feet in diameter, 2000 ft. above sea level, and they covered 50 miles in 12 seconds".

Frankly, that's another example of rather poor reading on your part.  I quote here directly from the article;  "We judged the objects' diameter to be a little larger than a DC-3 wingspread would appear to be – about 100 feet – at their altitude which we estimated at slightly more than a mile below us, or about 2000 feet above ground level".  Now when I modify our estimates with such words as judged, and estimated, how the hell can you say our statements were "unequivocally" made?  As to your question, "Pray tell me, how did you know the diameter, how did you know the altitude?", you can see by accurate reading that we did not say that we Knew, but we did give the method by which we judged.  I have been flying since 1929.  Before the War I flew with U.A.L. – then quit and joined PAA, spent 2 ½ years in the NATS, then returned to PAA.  Most of my almost 11,000 hours have been flown at either 7000 feet or 8000 feet, until I just recently changed to DC6B's.  Therefore, I and most other PAA pilots are well experienced at estimating the height of objects beneath them – from these altitudes.  If you or any other airline pilot of some experience cannot roughly determine whether or not an object is half-way between you and the ground from that altitude, and be able to split that again into quarters, he should go back to the farm.  How many times have you looked at a plane below you and felt that you knew that he was halfway between you and the ground, or that he was only ¼ up from the ground toward your own craft?  No matter what the planes size – even unfamiliar sizes – I think you could do it pretty accurately.  When we felt that we had the height pretty well tied down, we separately tried to estimate their size – and the nearest comparison was, as described in the article, a DC-3 wingspread.  Both Bill Fortenberry and I have been in the Navy, and are still in the reserve.  Both of us have received in Naval training long identification courses until we could identify a picture flashed on a screen in 1/10th and 1/100th of a second as to number of planes in a squadron, whose they were, and what type.  We learned to do the same thing with ships, and to identify every ship in the German Navy.  Twelve seconds, compared to 1/10th is a considerable time.  Let it run on your stop-watch and see for yourself.

Your example about a baseball being difficult to see does not in the least relate to the sighting we had.  The distance is short and the ball is coming almost at the batter's head.  You also say that a man with all his faculties has difficulty following the speed of a


high speed jet a mile away in the daylight.  Frankly, I do not have difficulty keeping my eye on any jet made today when it is a mile above me at 5000 feet, and if any pilot does, he'd best retire, too.

Regarding our determination of the speed of the things, we were as conservative as we could possibly be.  They appeared first about ten miles beyond Newport News.  We had our position exactly by visual reference, and by being on the leg of the VHF range of Norfolk.  (I don’t have to be a surveyor for that knowledge – just a navigator)  The objects came toward our plane in a straight line, changed direction under us and went away in a straight line across another suburban edge of the same city, then were in sight for perhaps 30 miles more as they climbed steeply after passing the city of Newport News a second time.  Add the estimated mileage.  The city was 25 miles from us.  That's a 50 mile round trip.  Then add the 10 & the 30 miles we estimated beyond the city that they had travelled in each direction.  That's 90 miles.  To be conservative, we only used the 50 miles, because we could only be sure of that much.  We had seen them travel at least that distance.  As to time, that was more difficult.  We didn't want to guess, so we re-enacted seven different times exactly what we had done and said during the experience, even to unfastening the safety belt, and exclaiming "What the hell is that?" at their initial appearance.  Each time, the time period did not exceed 12 seconds but to be on the conservative side again, we decided to use 15 seconds in the computation.  The speed would be 12,000 miles per hour with conservative figures.  Add more time and cut the distance in half if you want to – It's still a few thousand over our achievements.  And as I said in the copy of my article answering yours.  The things were not reflections, marinated ice crystals or hot air over Harvard.

That brings me back to Menzel.  You emphasize in your article and in your letter to me that he did not deny the "purported" sightings.  All I've got to say is that's mighty damned nice of him.  That was the alternative to calling the thousands of responsible observers liars.  What the hell else could he do but admit that people have seen something.  Why does that impress you so much?  It should be obvious by now that things unusual have been seen.  Did you have to hear it from him?  You don't for 10 seoonds think the Air Force would still be operating Project Bluebook if they didn't know that Menzel was full of his own hot air layers, do you?

Right here on Miami Beach, On July 29 of 1952, a U.S. Marine photographer caught 48 frames of a brilliant orange disc on a starlit night with a sixteen mm. movie camera with telescopic lens.  The army brass grabbed that so fast that only by chance did he manage to rescue six or eight frames, which I have seen.  Sixteen witnesses watched him take the pictures, and saw the object too.

Returning to the word "incredible" which you used to describe the speed we computed at Norfolk, what do you think the ancient Egyptians would have thought if a DC6B had flown over their pyramids? – or one of the new jet bombers?  That would have been incredible too, eh? – But we’ve got ’em.

Even the Astronomers are beginning to admit that life could exist on planets belonging to other stars in our own galaxy.  If Einstein is correct, and people do live on these planets, (If Einstein's Unified Field Theory is correct)


then they could get here in much less apparent time to them than it figures in figures as we use them.  Astronomers feel that life would develop along similar lines, because of the constancy of the elements in cosmic matter studied with spectroscopes.  This checks well with the many sightings of People near landed saucers.  In no single case, in any part of the World, has anyone attempted to exaggerate in these descriptions by claiming that they saw "bubbles" or other breathing devices or space suits, etc. on the people they saw.  In each case, they were breathing our atmosphere.  This happened as recently as June 25 or thereabouts near Oroville, Cal. when two miners saw a man of small stature jump into the bottom of a saucer which was resting on a sort of center leg, and the saucer took off.  This was investigated by an Air Force General in civilian clothes, and is not classified as a hoax.  The men have nothing to gain by a hoax.  A friend of mine went to Cal. and lived with them in another tent for two weeks, and after living with them and talking to their friends, and the townspeople he is satisfied that they told the truth.  So is the reporter, Basil Benedict, of the "OROVILLE MURCURY" (sic) who interviewed them.  I suggest that you write to Mr. Benedict to check, if you are really interested.

Of course I agree with you that Gerald Heard's bee theories are off the beam.  He based his stuff on the ability of insects to take the force of the violent turns seen visually and on radar screens (and I hope you've read Keyhoe's new book, FLYING SAUCERS FROM OUTER SPACE).  I do not believe the occupants of these space craft have to take the centrifugal force.  If they have been able to put the Unified Field Theory to work (The part that describes gravity as another manifestation of electromagnetism) then the power which pulls their craft pulls every atom within it's aura with the same force.  Thus there would be no centifugal (sic) force.  In effect, it would be controlling gravity directionally, since gravity is the only force we know that attracts all materials.  The appearance of these objects lighted in a brilliant electronic appearing aura, may also give us a clue to theorize upon regarding how they pass thru our atmosphere at such speeds without heating up or making a sound.  If a powerful static charge were built up and maintained on the surface of the craft, ionizing the air immediately around the craft to the extent to create the brilliance we see, perhaps this air is pushed away from the craft's surface faster than the craft passes thru it, and since a single charge of molecules will repel itself, the collapse behind the craft is relatively slow, preventing the thunder clap a jet makes going thru the "sound barrier".  Pictures I have seen show an alternate collapse and repulsion (or increase of light) in trails behind some of the objects.  Other photos show a smooth light around the leading edge of the object, and a rough ragged light trailing from the rear.

I do not quite understand your meaning when you say, "Heaven help us if these things are from outer space."  With that statement, you too are drawing unfounded conclusions.  You assume that there would be something terribly undesirable about an association with people (and they are humans very much like us, if my long studies have not been in vain) from another planet.  It seems to me that we could leran (sic) much good from them.

Logically they cannot be warlike, because they have such science and are still alive!  They haven't destr(o)yed themselves with it as we seem headed for with our science.  My guess is, heaven help them if they give us knowledge


of their science at our present stage of uncivilization.  We look with horror upon the days of the gladiators, yet do the same thing wholesale.  Murder of other humans may be beyond the capability of understanding of our visitors.  It may be as repulsive to them as stepping upon a puppy or a kitten and grinding it to death is to us.  I don't think we need fear them.  My only fear is that they know us for the dopes we are, and will leave us again to stumble along blindly.  Remember what happened when we opened Japan to trade and gave socially undeveloped humans tools of war?  For these people to give us their knowledge now would be like giving atom bombs to the head-hunters and teaching them how to use them.  My thought is heaven help us if they do not contact us and teach us in some manner the futility of war.

Have you read Charles Fort's three books?  He has his tongue in his cheek in his comments ribbing scientists, but he reports facts.  Of the thousands of facts he reports, I am of the belief that at least the people, especially where groups are concerned, had an unusual experience, not readily explainable.

I have read no fiction about the discs, but have sought every available bit of information on the subject and have written letters to the sighters, met them when I could.  I even have your article in my collection, in spite of how much I disagree with you.  I have found that most cynics have read very little about them.  I was surprised that someone like you, who has been a fan for six years, would come up with an article like yours.  Somewhere though, I once read the statement, "There is an unbelief which grows out of ignorance, as well as a skepticism which is born of intelligence", and I guess that explains it.

I still do not feel as tho I am to be classified as a member of "the esoteric saucer cult", that I have been "agog with excitement over a nonsensical apparition", that I have been "reduced to the emotional level of my aboriginal forefathers", that I have "retrogressed shamefully backward along the path to the dark ages", or that I have been Contributing to a gullibility that has been "an especial disgrace of America".  (America is the most advanced – that should mean that our methods have paid off).  You've also called those of us who are interested enough to search and think and discuss, "fantasists", and "sensation-seeking saucer sectists".  Now, are you merely showing off your command of English, or do you mean all that rubble?  If you mean it, you can't blame people like myself and others who are not exactly in any of the above categories for being irked at such an article.  If you didn't mean it you shouldn't have written it, and you should write an admission in the AIRLINE PILOT.

Frankly, the only reason I can see behind your article is to use the subject as a vehicle to display your fine command of English.  However, such archaic reporting would be rejected in any paying magazine or newspaper.  For instance, they wont stand for "padding".  You took the first third of the article – your first four paragraphs, to say the same thing in different words – flowery ones – that truly, anyone who believes in saucers as space craft is to be pitied and relegated to the first grade.  Again tho, no hard feelings, – just hate to see that stuff spread around.

Good flying and best regards

                Sincerely yours

              William B. Nash


Capital Airlines Logo

211-06 75th Avenue            
Bayside, Long Island, N.Y.
November 22, 1953            

Captain William B. Nash
400 Ridgewood Road
Miami 49, Florida

Dear Captain Nash:

Only the pressure of making a living while tending to a diversified group of pursuits in which I am engaged has kept me from writing you earlier in reply to your interesting and critical letter of November 6, 1953.

It may interest you to know that you were not my lone critic on the article, OBITUARY OF THE FLYING SAUCERS, although your criticism was easily the most harsh I received from any of those many readers who took umbrage at my endorsement of the Menzel theories.  But you explained that to my satisfaction so there can be no resentment on my part from your choice of words.  However, some of your criticism, in an effort to be caustic for emphasis, is unfair.

Your charge that my choice of the flying saucers for an article, was made merely to obtain a vehicle to display my fine command of English is manifestly so ridiculous and in such bad taste that it hardly should be dignified with a denial, although I do wish to thank you here for the back-handed compliment.  Your indictment of the three lead paragraphs as "padding" to fill space could not be farther from the truth because we are constantly beset with the problem of keeping the column from becoming too ponderous for the size of the magazine.  This requires constant attention, occasional deletion of pertinent material that I would like to see in the article, as well as final editing by the editor and president of the AIR LINE PILOT.  It may interest you to know that this particular article was acclaimed as excellent writing by the aviation editor of one of New York's biggest newspapers, even though he did not subscribe to the theories set forth by Dr. Menzel.  I have had an attractive offer from one of the aviation magazines to transfer my column to it with no restrictions on the number of words used in each issue.  I hardly think it necessary to point out to you that I receive no fee whatsoever from our ALPA organization and that this writing, good or bad as you see it, is approached with humility and only the highest of altruism.  Your charge to the contrary constitutes a travesty against noble purpose.

It was culpable of me to refer to Major Keyhoe as editor of aviation for TRUE; I had not bothered to check on this triviality but had merely quoted some other writer on the subject of saucers who had referred mistakenly to him as aviation editor.  I mentioned this grave error to Major Keyhoe this week when I was in Washington; he laughed heartily at my being taken to task so severely for it, so I assume that no irreparable damage has been done, either to his character or to the enviable reputation of TRUE magazine by my almost inexcusable oversight.

I was quoting your first letter to me, verbatim, when I said that you had claimed that you and Mr. Fortenberry "watched eight 100-ft. disks cover 50 miles in 12 seconds at 2000 feet above sea level".  Or rather, this was quoted from your rough draft which you had requested the AIR LINE PILOT to publish in rebuttal.  I am not guilty of the gross errors you charge me with in quoting your story from TRUE.  Read your quotation over once more.  “Unequivocal" is the only word that fits it; there is no hint of approximation of size, speed or distance contained in the statement which you wished to use in the AIR LINE PILOT to answer me.

Captain William B. Nash, Miami Florida, November 22, 1953   Page 2

In reply to your query about what I have read on the subject of flying saucers I wish to state once more that no printed word on the subject has been allowed to go unread once it came to my attention.  I know of no book on the subject which has been published which I have not rushed right out and bought immediately.  This includes both of the books published in England (are there more?), IS ANOTHER WORLD WATCHING? and FLYING SAUCERS HAVE LANDED, both of which I branded as highly speculative and rather fantastic the moment I finished them.  I have also read Charles Fort, and while I enjoyed his unique brands of sarcasm and cynicism, I did not rush right out to join the Fortean Society, founded by his many disciples.

The one charge which you made against me to which I have no other plea than guilty is my unfortunate choice of words in characterizing true saucer believers as "fantasists" and "saucer sectists".  In fact, it is probable that the entire article was the most unfortunate story I have ever written.  So many people have pointed out to me so many things wrong with Dr. Menzel's overall theories that I realize now how right you were when you sought an excuse for my heresy by including me among those people who want to disclaim the existence of something both fearful and misunderstood for the sole purpose of obtaining peace of mind.

Six years is a long time to be utterly devoted to a belief, only to encounter an iconoclast such as Menzel, whose spell I fell under by reading his mesmeric words only once.  My charge that saucer believers are gullible has backfired right in my face and it is with a red countenance and tail between my legs that I accept the haunting recrimination of those I accused and plead guilty to gullibility myself.  It has been weight of incontrovertible evidence and intelligent discussion with intelligent people (I am happy to include you) that has reclaimed me to my original religion and all I can do is ask forgiveness, not only for my back-sliding from grace, but for my unwarranted ridicule of the faithful.  I am truly sorry and intend to make amends.  I am sorry that it cannot be done immediately.

The AIR LINE PILOT is so crowded this month that my regular column could not be included; for December the entire issue will be devoted to the Golden Anniversary of Flight and I will once again be on the sidelines.  My column for January is already set in type and another one which we consider extremely important in the battle against the damage suits facing us for airplane noise follows in February.  I have another column almost completed for March and it is on such a timely subject (Tornadoes) that it almost should be published in early spring.  After that my slate is clean and another column will be done on the saucers.  It will differ so much from my book review on Dr. Menzel that I feel sure it will find more acceptance among our readers than did my ill-advised earlier attempt.

Now that you have my confession and my promise to tell the pilots that I was as wrong as rain on Easter, I wish to offer a bit of gratuitous advice to you, a man who really and truly believes he saw what he thought he saw.  It is this: I have noticed that the majority of people who are privileged to have witnessed a flying saucer immediately become prey to all kinds of other cranks — illegitimate, wild-eyed dreamers — such as those poor, confused folks at Sutton, W.Va. who think they saw a huge, green monster on a hill where a saucer is supposed to have landed.  I suppose you have been beseiged with all kinds of mail and phone calls from every crackpot in the country, as well as competent and qualified observers.  It would behoove you to remain somewhat aloof and to maintain a certain quality of dignified skepticism toward those reports which seem well, to be charitable — implausible.  I refer to the likes of George Adamski, who in my opinion, not only fabricated the most gigantic hoax to date but suborned three other people to perjury.  Winchellizing his name, Adamski is adamskeming liar, and it is a pity that Desmond Leslie, a true intellectual, allowed himself to be taken over by this charlatan to the point where he devastates by his frivolous falsehoods what would have been by itself a notable volume.  It proves you will find thieves right in your own church.

Truthfully and remorsefully yours,


              Joe Hull



November 30, 1953


Captain Joe Hull,
211-06 75th. Ave.,
Bayside, New York.

Dear Captain Hull:

Now back from Caracas, I again have time to answer letters, and am happy to answer yours of November 22nd.

First let me reiterate that I am glad that you are again among those of us who enjoy the study and analysis of the UFOs and that you will soon publish your amended views in your column.  I have always felt it worthwhile to know someone who has the fortitude to admit it when he has gotten up a blind alley.  Everyone has a right to an opinion and a right to be wrong but few have guts enough to say they are wrong.  Congratulations!

As you well know, my first concern in our communication has been what is in my opinion the serious loss of faith in the possibility that saucers are space ships, which was created by your original article.  It seems now that we are in general agreement that the likelihood of the UFO's being space craft is still a feasible theory, so the following clarification of trivia resulting from statements made in our letters is relatively unimportant.  However, since a necessary qualification of a professional pilot is undeniably the desire to pay attention to detail, here we go.

First, perhaps it is true that I was unnecessarily harsh in my criticism of "padding" in your article.  In the light of my small experience as a writer and the opinions of the editors you mentioned, I bow to their decisions and apologize.

Regarding your reference to your mistaken identity of Major Keyhoe - you missed the point. Please re-read the first paragraph on page 2 of my letter to you dated Nov. 6. My point goes as follows, if put in sequence.

     1.  You claim you have read all saucer books voraciously

     2.  THE FLYING SAUCERS ARE REAL by Donald E. Keyhoe is a saucer book.

     3.  You finished the book and were still under the mistaken opinion that Keyhoe was the "Aviation Editor of TRUE"

      4.  Keyhoe's book begins as follows:-

 "It was a strange assignment.

 I picked up the telegram from my desk and read it a third time.

to Joe Hull   Pg   2      

                Ken W. Purdy, Editor, TRUE Magazine. ”

On the same page, Keyhoe writes, "And now an assignment from TRUE Magazine on flying saucers."

On page 50 of THE FLYING SAUCERS ARE REAL, There is this paragraph:-

        "When I left the coast, I flew to New York.  Ken Purdy called in John DuBarry, TRUE's Aviation Editor, to hear the details."

In other words, the whole book, THE FLYING SAUCERS ARE REAL is a report on what Keyhoe went through to write an article for TRUE on assignment, so:-

      4.  It follows that your reading in at least that instance was inaccurate, and leads me to believe that even though you read much, you miss a lot.

      5.  Hence, your mistake and your absence of knowledge as to Keyhoe's identity is not a triviality in the light of your reading claims.

Concerning your "unequivocal" charge, it is almost apparent that you do not even read your own letters very thoroughly.  I would like to refer you to your letter to me dated November 2, 1953, last paragraph, pg. 1, and the beginning of page 2.  In the event that you do not have the copy of the letter available, here is what you said:-

"I am happy to announce that your article last year in TRUE Magazine was not one of those which obviously escaped my attention.  I read it with rapt attention and it held me spellbound until the very last word.  But I must confess that it did give rise to a few questions in my mind which I will take the liberty here of putting to you.

As I remember your article, you were cruising southbound, -etc. etc.-. You state unequivocally that they were etc. etc."

Now the above certainly led me to believe that your charge of unequivocal referred to the TRUE article, and I think it would lead any reader to the same conclusion.

I checked my copy of the article I wrote in answer to yours, and see that in my haste to get an answer off, I did make it sound definite as to size and height.  It was careless of me, but I am on record both to the public and to

3.   Joe Hull      

the Air Technical Intelligence Center in truly conservative terminology.  I have had to repeat the story so often, that I suppose I am sometimes guilty of abbreviation and it sneaked into my writing.  But it was not in my TRUE presentation, and from reading your letter I could only gather that you were guilty of grossly misquoting me.

Thank you for your advice about remaining somewhat aloof and maintaining a quality of dignified skepticism toward reports which seem "implausible".  You are right in your guess that I have received many contacts from persons regarding the UFO's.

Some have claimed that they are "space animals", others have said that they indicate the second coming of Christ, others that they have a headquarters on Mount Shasta, California, and are left-overs from Lemuria.  However, I have attempted to maintain a level head and judge from reports and their sources in a logical fashion.  The word "plausible" in its negative connotation, must be regarded cautiously in one's dealings with the unknown – or with any research, for that matter.  The word "implausible" could be again a general panacea for the unknown, for the neurotics and cynics, and I want to avoid handcuffing myself by my own sudden opinions.  Some of my original opinions about the saucers have changed radically, and the judgements I hold at present are not hidebound.  They are, however, based on looking at everything in the light of its being possible first, then eliminating it if it does not stand up under the record we have to judge by.  I have even received photos which were deceptions, such as the birthday cake candle flames, but try to subject all such material to true tests.  I do not wish to remain so aloof that I miss something important – an item which might be the key to the mystery.

From your letters to me, I can see that you permit yourself to make decisions too suddenly – or at least too definitely, such as Adamski being adamskeming liar, which you do not know.  However you did say a sentence earlier that it was "in your opinion" that he is a liar.  In an earlier letter to me you said unequivocally, that Frank Scully is a "lousy, reprehensible fraud."  Actually you don't know this either.  He might have been taken in by a fraud – or there might be a basic truth to the story itself in spite of TRUE’s article revealing their dubious characters.  (GeBauer, Scully and Newton). Actually there might be a great deal more to the little man stories than at first meets the eye, because of "implausibility".

I think it will behoove us more and more to investigate very completely before committing ourselves.  Very soon it will be revealed that many of our physical "laws" will have to be completely revised, and it was recently found by astronomers, to their chagrin, that they've been wrong by 100% on their measurements of the Universe and the size of galaxies.

With best regards, and good flying,

              William B. Nash


Capital Airlines Logo

211-06 75th Avenue            
Bayside, Long Island, N.Y.  
April 15, 1953                       

Captain William B. Nash
400 Ridgewood Road
Miami 49, Florida

Dear Bill:

I guess we have corresponded back and forth long enough that I may take the liberty of addressing you by your first name; at least it seems as though I should know you by now.  And please call me Joe (my first name's William, too, but it never took like the second) in any future correspondence . Since we have such common interests we should at least be as intimate as golfing partners.

Perhaps you know by now the Civilian Saucer Intelligence had its first public meeting in New York last week and the featured speaker for the evening was one George Adamski from Mt. Palomar, California.  You and I have discussed him by mail in the past and I was very pleased to note by your last letter that you had come around to my original appraisal of the man (formed at the time I read his outrageous insult to the literary world, "FLYING SAUCERS HAVE LANDED").  You formed the opinion of me that I make up my mind in a hurry about something; perhaps too early, according to you, but I'll tell you this, Bill, I was blessed from birth with that especial type of analytical mind which allows me to spot a quisling or a fraud in a moment and I'll base my reputation of the past, present and the future on the unequivocal analysis I made of this guy Adamski at the very outset:  He is an out and out fraud, the glibbest charlatan it has ever been my privilege and disgust to meet.  His "lecture" the other night consisted of 45 minutes of pseudo-scientific double talk, any phase of which could have been pulled apart instantaneously by even an average student of science.

When I heard he was to be the speaker I spent five hours reviewing his portion of the book in which he collaborated with Desmon Leslie, a man of whom I formed the opinion of high intellect but amazing ingenuousness, and I composed 25 questions for him to answer.  I made eight carbon copies of this questionaire and distributed them to some of the skeptics who had expressed a desire to "trip" Adamski up.  We all but turned the meeting into a rout after he finished speaking and began a question-and-answer session.  He was saved from the embarrassment of a complete debacle by the sympathetic intervention of one "Doctor" McDonald, the master of ceremonies, whose everyday occupation is — of all things! — a spirit medium.  McDonald steered the questioning away from our little clique — John DuBarry was in it — and I suppose he did this because he thought it might hurt his business.  Of the 400-odd people present, I was told many of the elderly distaff listeners were regular seance customers of his.  This may or may not be true but I do know that if he had not guided the questioning away from our corner we would have made a monkey of Adamski.  As it was, he was apologetic but very glad to seize upon the excuse that he had to "catch a train", the destination of which he did not divulge.

- 2 -

I want to be on record with you that I spotted this moral leper from nothing more than his written words, the likes of which these busy and omnivorous eyes have never before fallen upon.  He convinced almost nobody, except, possibly, some of "Doctor" McDonald's sycophants and neurotic old dowagers.  Elliott Rockmore, president of C.S.I., remains adamant in his earlier appraisal of Adamski.  He told several members after the meeting he is more convinced than ever the guy has made up a monstrous lie and is trying to cash in on it.  Do you know Rockmore?  Although I have never seen his collection, it is reputed to be the biggest file of flying saucer reports in the world.  One guy who claims to know told me the Pentagon did not even have as much stuff.  He even has photostatic copies of 1870 newspaper reports of strange UFO’s.  I expect to see his collection soon.

After the meeting was over, one prominent member and I deplored the fact that no coverage by the press had been arranged, although the meeting had been mentioned by at least one columnist.  So, after it was over and we had a few days to discuss the aspects of it, I wrote to a staff writer on the World-Telegram & Sun to see what their reactions would be to the suggestion that they start a little sleuth job on Adamski (such as J. P. Cahn employed with such marked success that he aided in sending Silas Newton and Geo. GeBauer to the penitentiary).  The World-Telegram is the one New York newspaper which has never adopted a pooh-pooh attitude toward the saucers and we thought they would give the case a little thought.  They have it under advisement at the moment but so far have made no move.  It will surprise me mightily if J. P. Cahn is not already hard at work on Adamski.  It is a natural story for him.

I had a lot of laughs with a C.S.I. member named Jack Smith from Jackson Heights tonight.  He was talking about you and how you had been corresponding with "some pilot in New York who does not believe in the saucers and even tried to trick me with same under-exposed pictures of a birthday cake".  I told Smith the whole story, that I do believe in the existence of flying saucers, that my few weeks of alienation of affection from the cause was occasioned by the mesmeric words of Dr. Menzel; that since then, and mainly through your logic, I had renounced him and his theories; but I denied trying to "trick” you with my 35 mm shots, in the sense that they were submitted to you as a test of your gullibility to see how you would measure up in my league.  It is painful to report that some PAA pilots refer to you as "that crackpot" and I wanted to see just how you would react to some foolish shots that have fooled other people who have viewed them.  That you passed the test with flying colors I have left no doubt in the minds of people with whom I have conversed about you since.  (What a hell of a sentence that just was!  Never get by an editor's blue pencil).  It may interest you to know that you are the only person who has ever come close to guessing what the 37 lights are.  (Adamski reports the saucers travel in squadrons of 32, you know).

I get a bang out of telling the story around the airline.  So did Smith tonight.  We laughed and laughed.

I don’t believe I ever got around to writing you about the challenge I offered Doctor Menzel for a television debate, all the time and details arranged for by myself and station WDSU-TV in New Orleans, last February?  I was flying New York to New Orleans (I always fly south in the winter; bless this seniority) and I happened to learn that he was going to address some group at Tulane University on the subject of flying saucers.  Feeling that, at long last, an opportunity had presented itself for me to redeem part of my short-sightedness in characterizing serious, reliable, mature colleagues of my profession as "fantasists" and "esoteric saucer cultists" for believing in the saucers, I offered to debate the subject with Dr. Menzel on TV.  But Hubie Weiss, program director of WDSU-TV was unable to get Menzel for the only date that our schedules coincided, although he was in New Orleans and appeared as a guest on another TV show on the same station the day before.

- 3 -

It may be that the subject of fee was the stumbling block which actually came between us.  I offered to appear with no fee, defending the unofficial view of many airline pilots whom I had offended by an article I had done in my column in the AIR LINE PILOT about a year ago.  As you know, saucer authorities, such as Adamski, Keyhoe, Menzel, Samford and Gloria Swanson must get pretty good fees on television these days because their services are much in demand.  Anyway, it did not appeal to the eminent astrophysicist because he made no overtures toward acceptance of my challenge.  But, as I explained to Hubie Weiss and Tom Hicks of WDSU-TV, it was probably just as well, because some of the questions I had ready for Dr. Menzel could hardly have been answered by the standard "cobweb" or "mirage" hodge-podge on which he depends.  I am confident that history will prove Menzel a scientific ostrich and a regret which I shall take to the grave is my inability to meet the man, face to face, and atone, at least in part, for the injustice I dealt many of my honest, sincere colleagues when I momentarily deserted them to listen to the heresies of Menzel and to endorse his book.  Today his book reads like the foolishness it is but when I first read it and reported it to my readers it fulfilled the craving in my heart that only the common sense and indisputable evidence of men such as you dispelled.  My plea?  Insanity.

Jack smith told me you had run into a big barrage of denial from the Air Force about some assertions you made at a Miami aeronautical meeting recently, in which you contended the Air Force had some hardware from flying saucers which they have not admitted.  Your last letter to me states the same thing.  Are you sure, or can it be that an over-enthusiastic member of the "cult" is allowing himself to make statements in public which can only come back to haunt him?  I have never heard anyone else claim the Air Force had any hardware; you are the first.  Where did you get this information?  Harking back to an old letter of mine, I'm sure you will find the admonishment not to listen to all these saucer enthusiasts who are sure to beset you because of your published opinions.  You must use the spirit of a sound mind, as the Scriptures admonish each of us.  It is hard to believe in something so foreign in nature to anything in acceptance on earth today without allowing one's self to go overboard with reports from some of the charlatans and headline hunters that are natural fellow travelers.  But I’m sure by now you hardly need advice from one who claims never to have seen a flying saucer, although he has been a startled witness to two completely unorthodox displays of an uncertain firmament in recent years....Yet, I caution you, do as the C.S.I. does in New York:  Accept nothing at face value.  Prove it.  Then prove it again.  After mixing with other saucer devotees and swapping tales of sightings it is difficult not to arrive at the mental frame of mind in which the ATIC in the Pentagon works: Everything is a fake until proven otherwise.  You should see the pictures a photographer made of a flying saucer over Passaic, N.J. last month. What fakes! ...

The next meeting of C.S.I. is slated for April 23rd in Steinway Hall, 115 W. 57th, and if you have any chance at all of being in Miami for a few days, including this date, we would be happy to have you as our guest.  A Mr. Ivan T. Sanderson, of whom I know little, is going to present a tape recording of the investigations of the "Sutton Monster".  The subject is not new to any Capital Airlines pilot who has ever flown West Virginia.  From May until November they see "Sutton Monsters" — the tallest cumulo-nimbus formations on our entire system.  But this one Mr. Sanderson will discuss is 10 feet tall, with a red face and a green body (discounted by Keyhoe in his last book) and of course, we are looking forward to the meeting with the freshman enthusiasm which characterizes the saucer addict's devotion to his first love.  Hope you can make it.

Kindest personal regards, (earthly)


              W. J. Hull



April 18, 1954


Captain W. J. Hull,
211-06 75th. Ave.,
Bayside, New York.


Dear Joe:

I enjoyed your letter of the 17th, and was pleased to hear from you again.  Jack Smith had written to me, and mentioned your meeting.  I'd like to know more about the Civilian Saucer Intelligence organization.  What is the address of headquarters and do they publish information?  Unfortunately, I shall be in ground school on part of a six months check on April 23rd – but would appreciate hearing your opinion of Ivan Sanderson and his tape recordings on the Sutton case.

Before I go into anything else, I'll cover that AP item from the Air Force regarding my statement about "hardware".

Norman Bean, an electronic engineer, and Technical Director for WTVJ, one of our local TV stations, gives lectures on the saucer subject on the average of 3 times per week, and has done so for two years.  He is greatly in demand, and does a good job gratis.  He had a lecture scheduled for the Greater Miami Aviation Association, a group of intelligent business men who further Miami's Aviation in every way possible.  Norman called me the day before the lecture and asked me to substitute for him.  Having never given a lecture in my life, I hesitated, but he insisted that I could do it, so I agreed to try.

The meeting was a luncheon at the 7-Seas restaurant in Miami.  The lecture was a 30 minute affair during which I mentioned no "hardware" in possession of the Air Force.  Then I left it open for questions, (there were only about 25 men there) One of the questions was, "Why, in your opinion, is the Air Force withholding information from the public?"  I gave an answer which I believe, and which I wrote about in a newspaper article a long time ago.

I said that the Air Force has openly told Newsmen that they fear a panic if they tell the truth about the saucers.  I also said that I do not believe that this is the true reason, The Air Force must be intelligent enough to realize the tremendous weapon they are putting into the hands of an enemy nation by withholding the truth.  If the enemy hit us tomorrow with everything they had, and simultaneously


dropped leaflets and broadcast on all possible radio frequencies that the flying saucers were their own weapons and that they were about to eliminate us with them, then Our Air Force Would have a panic on their hands.

Since our Air Force must be intelligent enough to recognize this danger, they therefore must have such an important reason for not admitting that saucers are interplanetary, that they are willing to risk the Public's safety to protect the secret.

What could such a secret be?  I said this:- That, in my opinion, by the above deductions, there must be some vestige of truth in the oft repeated rumor that the Air Force has a saucer or parts thereof in their possession;  that they feared that if they admitted that they thought saucers were interplanetary that they would be pressed for the evidence and did not want to have to produce their prize and any resulting new discoveries in order to prevent this information from falling into the hands of the enemy.  Thus far the Russians have stolen anything they so desired.  What better way to prevent the loss of information that (sic) to deny the whole business and poo-poo it away to prevent espionage.

The above was my answer to one question at the end of the lecture, and heaven only knows how it got so spread around or why, exactly one month later, the Air Force took the trouble to issue an official denial.  My little old answer to a man's question couldn't have gotton (sic) to many people, but the AF certainly brought it before millions of people!  If they are actually trying to keep saucers out of the news, that's a dumb way to go about it.  Also, if my opinion in the answer above is true, and I can figure it out, then so can an enemy espionage agent, so I felt no qualms about voicing my personal opinion.  If true, it would already be out of the bag to anyone interested.  If ours there is the alternative – that the AF is stupid enough to hand such a propaganda weapon to an enemy – but I hope not!

Note that my answer was based on personal opinion by deductive reasoning, and nothing else.  However there are many things which make me believe that it is true that the AF has something at Wright Field.  I'll tell you a few – but I'd appreciate it if you kept the information confidential for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that PAA Publicity Department here in Miami has asked that I keep PAA's name out of the Saucer business.  This stems from one man, and I'm going to work on him at the first opportunity.  He needs a saucer education.  But I cannot blame him at the moment.  Press people call him as head of Public Relations, on the Saucer stuff.  He can't give an answer and the press thinks he's holding out.  He must stay in good with the press, sooooooo, that's it.

First of all, when Bill Fortenberry and I were interviewed by the AF interrogators the morning after the sighting, they put us in separate rooms.  Before the interview, we had agreed to ask the men if there was any truth behind the


rumor that the AF had one or more saucers at Wright Field.  Bill remembered to ask, in his room.  One of the investigators told him, "Yes, it is true."

I had forgotten to ask.  However, when all of the investigators and Bill and I were in one room, I remembered and did ask the question.  A Major Sharp was the only interrogator in uniform.  They all opened their mouths to answer the question, and quickly, Major Sharp looked at them, not me, and said very quickly, "NO!"  It appeared that he was telling them to shut up rather than addressing the answer to me.

In New York, when I was taking the Interplanetary side against three non-believers on a WJZ half hour TV panel discussion, (my opponents were Professor Lloyd Motz, Dr. of Astronomy, Barnard College, Professor Richard Youte, Dr. of Psychology, Columbia University and Mr. Frank Foster, Chief Meteorologist, Hayden Planetarium), I was thirsty (probably from nervousness) before the program, and stepped out of the studio to find a fountain.  A man who had been peering thru the glass door stopped me and asked what I thought of the Saucers.  I replied immediately that I thought they were interplanetary.  He said "You're right!"  – not, I think you're right or any other qualifying statement.  I asked him about a fountain and he walked with me directing me on a complicated route to the nearest fountain, so obviously he knew the studios.  From his voice, he might have been a commentator.  He would not identify himself, but said he had just returned from Washington, and had been given the whole story.  (this was the beginning of Aug/52)  He said that the "Wright Field Story" was true, and that the AF had recently operated a radio found in a saucer and caused the flurry of sightings over Washington where it was operated.  He said he couldn't tell me more, because he, and a LIFE reporter and another reporter who had been with them had been given the story on the basis that they'd release it only when notified.  Evidently they were never notified.  Robert S. Allen writes me that he's never been able to get at the report again that he was allowed to read, which the AF was, (sic) about the fall of 52, going to release to the public.

An Air Force Major told Norman Bean that it was true that there was a saucer at Wright Field, but that if Norman quoted him, he'd deny it.

Several reports came to Norman quite innocently about GI’s who saw the thing on a flat-car, but this is a vague one.

Here's a beauty.  A wealthy friend of mine in Miami has a salesman whose wife, once a WAC worked under Intelligence at Wright Patterson Field as a radio operator and decoder of all information.  I heard her tell this story in a straightforward manner, which I find difficult to doubt.  In the fall of 1952, she received a signal for a red and white alert, which you probably know is an AIRCRAFT ATTACK warning alert.  They were on this alert for two weeks.  At the end of the two weeks she found out that they had called the alert because


a flying saucer had been found after landing (she believes near Columbus, the biggest supply depot), and the thing had been brought to Wright Field.  They had called the alert because, from what they found in the Saucer (she didn't know what) they thought it had relayed valuable information back to an enemy and an attack was coming up.  Everone (sic) was excited about it there, and she talked to the photographers (Army Photog.) who went in to photograph it, and she saw one picture which a photographer named Joe brought to her.  It was taken from an angle, she said, "As tho you stood on a chair and took a forward downward view of it"  She said it had no wings, was round, silvery, but couldn't guess its size except to say that,  "It didn't look to (sic) big, but I had nothing to compare it with."

This girl has a child, and a fine home, and has cancer so badly that she isn't expected to live more than a year.  I don’t think she is lying.

Then, of course, is the mysterious case of the man who claimed to have seen a saucer in New Mexico, near Mexico City, which had fallen.  He changed his whole story later and said he was just joking — He was not noted as that kind of a person.

Then there is the Maury Island Mystery.  Read Ken Arnold's, THE COMING OF THE SAUCERS.  Clinkers were said to have dropped from a saucer in plain view of men, and the AF took them away.

Personally, I think the AF does have something, but I have not been going about spreading this theory; I merely answered a man's question at a small lecture to a small group of men.  However, there must have been a newsman there.  There was a visitor – a 4 striper Coast Guard – local boss.  All I can guess is that I hit the Air Force in a very soft spot to get such a rise out of them!  My Wife and Father-in-Law were in the audience at the lecture, and are as surprised as I am that such a fuss resulted.

Well – enough of that.  I just Read the TRUE article written by Ruppelt.  Ye God's!  Another insult to the intelligence of anyone who has been following the subject closely.  Admittedly, it will fool the hell out of the average man, but it is a very intelligent attempt at deception, designed to fool even the average saucer fan – in fact, it is aimed at them – or should i say – "us".  He's a shrewd one.  He gives enough unsolved stuff to make one believe he is being honest, but he distorts other cases in the typical A.F. fashion.  He bungled the hell out of his attempt with the Washington Radar sightings; – I'll bet that he'd have avoided that one if he thought he could.  Also he distorted Desvergers' story tremendously.  I happen to have in my collection clippings which make Ruppelt a liar.  He said that Desvergers told the papers the AF wouldn't let him talk.  That's a lie.  I have clippings which say,  "The scoutmaster, D.S. "Sonny" Desvergers, a hardware salesman, conceded he was free, as far as military authorities are concerned, to tell all about his experiences the night of Aug. 9" – unquote.  Also Ruppelt glossed over the testimony of the three Boy Scouts who were with


Desvergers.  The boys have excellent reputations in the City, and ieven(sic) if they didn't, it is next to impossible to get two boys, 11 years old and one, 12 years old to lie consistently under separate interrogation.  In my clippings of the time of the incident are these statements from reporters' interviews of the boys.

"They had gone a half mile again, when 2 of the boys, looking back, saw lights again.  Young Stevens said he saw several white lights in an eliptical (sic) pattern, "which went out and reappeared as red lights".  Young Ruffing described what he saw as "white lights in a straight line eight feet off the ground."

After Desvergers went into the area of the lights young Ruffing gives this description of what followed.

"I could see about the top half of his (Desvergers) body.  (That is all he'd be able to see, due to palmettos.  I was on the spot with Desvergers two weeks ago)  Then the beam of his flashlight pointed up and reflected back on him like it had shined on a mirror.  Then a reddish white ball of fire like a Roman candle came down toward him from the sky.  Then he fell down and disappeared."

Young Bowen said he saw "bright red lights like railroad flares".

Desvergers told me that after several straight days of solid questioning, physical exams and checking pieces of skin from his arm, he told them that he was just a Florida cracker – not accustomed to all of this high pressure stuff, and he was losing money by not working, and that he was going home.  To renew interviews, the officers brought him a bunch of their records of sightings.  (He told me he's convinced the AF doesn't have any hardware – feels he'd have seen it in these records if they did)  He said they asked him to make comparisons with his experience, and were pretty nice to him from then on.  He said they stopped the high pressure stuff after he rebelled.

At present, Desvergers seems to be a successful, intelligent citizen.  He has his own business selling and installing glass showers, owns a home, a 1953 Murcury (sic) station wagon and a hydroplane racing boat.  He tells his story in front of his wife with sincerity.  He said the men on the saucer looked like us with one exception, which he will not reveal.  Also said he was asked not to reveal something he saw around the egdes (sic) of the saucer.

Another thing that makes me feel that Desvergers had his experience, in spite of his past reputation, is the "smell" business.  He was the first person to report the awful odor accompanying some of the saucers.  It was reported in the "Monster" Case in West Va., around Sept 15, and at Belle Glade, Fla. on Sept 16th., both cases after Desverger's experience.  Then, two years later, Leslie, in the book with Adamski, quoted an ancient Egyptian Sighting taken from old writings in the Vatican Library, in which, a "Foul odor" was described coming from fiery discs – or Fire Circles" as they called them.  What would inspire Desvergers to fabricate anything like a "smell like burning flesh or rotton (sic) eggs" right out of thin air if were originating his story?


Also there was another saucer, or UFO, seen at West Palm Beach on Sept 5, 1952.  It was observed by Miss June Zent, a 15 yr. old High school student and Mr And Mrs Wendell Wells, her Uncle and Aunt.  Mr Wells first saw the object.

"It was in front of us way up in the sky.  At first it looked like one big yellow-white light.  It seemed to be drifting-slanting down.  Then it got over into the woods on the left side of the road and dropped straight down.  When it got down closer to the ground it looked like it had more lights.  And right after it landed we saw another light that seemed to hover over the spot."  The light didn't resemble that of an airplane but reminded them of the rim of a coin.

"We turned down military trail to get closer to the place where it landed.  Soon we could see where the bushes were all lit up.  There are no houses around, so it is evident that's where it landed"

The landing place appeared to be a block and a half East of military trail  (The same road that Desvergers was on during his experience).  They couldn't drive back and didn'(t) want to go on foot because of the Wells' small children who were in the car.  Only comment from the Air Force was, "We're investigating".

Mis(s) Zent's address is 512½ Georga Ave, West Palm Beach Fla, and the Wells are residents of Belle Glade.

It looks pretty obvious that the UFO's were interested in something in that general area and that Desvergers was telling the truth.  Why didn't Ruppelt mention Miss Zent's and the Wells' sighting?  If I were Desvergers, I'd look up Ruppelt and punch him in the nose.

The farmer, Fred Brown, at Belle Glade, who had a saucer drift across his pasture at 30mph twice, each time stampeding his cows to t(h)e other end of the pasture, having horses break a fence and a gate, and who smelled the strong odor when the saucer went over, couldn't very well be copying the "smell" from Desvergers, because I talked to men who work with Brown, who came to work several hours after the experience, smelled the lingering odor and asked Brown what the hell he'd been spraying with.  Also the only reason Brown told anybody at all was because he had to short the milk customers (the cows had to be forced back to the barn – then gave only 5 gallons of milk instead of 15 for the next 3 days and didn't return to normal output for 3 weeks) and they wanted to know why.  Brown has a good rep.  I talked to him a long time personally.  He was with Gen. Patton for 4 years and 8 months in the Army.  The Army and Navy both questioned him at the Farm the next day.  When he tried to ask them questions they told him they were there to ask – not answer.  Incidently, it took all day to catch the horses and get them back to the pastu(r)e.  None of the animals wanted to return to that place.

A Marine Jet Captain (Dan C. Holland) was flying with 2 other jets March 22nd/54, heading East over the beach at Ft Lauderdale and starting a turn N. to the West, saw a white object like a falling star but slower dropping


down toward them.  He pulled to one side calling to the others. Suddenly the thing stopped two or 3 thousand feet above them, (they were at 22,000 ft.)  He could see clearly, a gleaming spherical ball of white about twice as big as his jet, with a gold ring around the lower third, like Saturn except the ring was off-center.  It hovered as he tried to get the others to see it.  They didn't, and it suddenly accelerated to the East and disappeared in 15 seconds.  He had been a saucer skeptic, but he said over the phone that now, "I am damned convinced"

Holland was a War II pilot and won six battle stars and 2 distinguished flying service crosses in Korea.  Five civilians also reported the object.  I wonder what they'll call this one?  Perhaps a lost Easter Egg?

There have been a number of sightings here recently by the Ground Observer Corps, and by persons in boats at night.  Either Ruppelt is so accustomed to deception that he can't get it out of his system – or he is still in cahoots with the ATIC and their patronizing attitude toward the public, in which I feel that they take the liberty of deifying themselves.  True, there are crackpots – but when the reports are sifted, an awful lot are not from crackpots.

As far as "being taken in" by frauds and deceivers, I still want to emphasize to you, Joe, that because I write to these people does not mean that I swallow every tale whole.  As I said in a letter to you before, My opinion as to the way to get the most out of this subject and avoid missing somthing (sic) that might be important, is to check everything that comes to your attention.  I believe that this is one subject in which it is profitable in gaining knowledge, to operate on the assumption that everything is possible until proved otherwise by investigation.  (I do not recommend broadcasting it that way though) I definitely do not agree with the principle "Everything is a fake until proved otherwise"  That's a good way to miss something valuable.  In this UFO investigation no one can possibly be an "Expert", nor can reports be judged on comparison with things plausible as we know them.  A new and willing attitude, unchained by past experience comparisons is a valuable asset;  all this without becoming gullible.

I notice again, that the AF made no mention of the best Movies ever taken of a Saucer, the photography and object witnessed by sixteen persons.  That is Ralph Mayher's Film taken in Fall of '52 at Miami Beach.  He was in Marines at the time.  Got out a few months ago and now the story will appear in June "PIC" out May 5th.  Ralph now lives at 3472 W. 136th St., Cleveland Ohio.  Why don't you look him up?  Wonder why brother Ruppelt left this one out when he was talking about movies?  The AF has his film  (Lt. White at Pentagon recently told him he could have it back)

Wish you could have gotten the TV deal with Menzell!  And that you could have continued questioning Adamski.  Nice try in both cases!  You might let Jack Smith read this.

        Best wishes

          Bill Nash

cc : J. DuBarry


Captain Joe Hull's UFO Sighting

Three years after engaging William Nash in a spirited debate about the possible existence of "Unidentified Flying Objects", Captain Joe Hull experienced his own extraordinary "UFO" sighting which once and for all removed all doubt from his mind about the reality of the phenomenon.

On the night of November 14, 1956, Captain Joe Hull and his co-pilot, Peter Macintosh, were in control of Capital Airlines Flight 77, a Viscount passenger flight from New York to Mobile, Alabama.  At approximately 10:10 p.m. while some 60 miles from Mobile, Hull and Macintosh witnessed what they thought was a brilliant meteor flash by their aircraft.  However, unlike a meteor, this light stopped, hovered and for several minutes displayed a range of aerobatics that no earthly aircraft was capable of.

Hull sent a full report of his encounter to John DuBarry, the aviation editor for TRUE magazine, and also president of Civilian Saucer Investigation (CSI) NY.  The report was later reprinted in the "CSI Confidential Bulletin" magazine of July, 1957.

Captain Hull was killed on April 6, 1958, when another Capital Airlines Viscount he was piloting crashed and burned, with no survivors, in Freeland, Michigan.  The cause of the crash was determined to be undetected icing of the horizontal stabilizers during the landing approach.

CSI Confidential Bulletin, July 1957


(The sighting which follows is of particular interest because it was made by an expert observer — a veteran airline pilot — who was formerly extremely skeptical on the subject of flying saucers.  In fact, in 1953 Captain Hull wrote an article for Airline Pilot magazine titled "The Obituary of the Flying Saucers".  We reprint, with his permission, a slightly condensed excerpt from the letter to CSI President John DuBarry in which he described his experience.)

On the night of November 14, 1956 I was flying a Viscount at high altitude from New York to Mobile, Alabama.  We were above a layer of clouds which were occasionally broken, giving us a glimpse of the ground now and then.  At 10:10 p.m. E.S.T., when only about 60 miles from Mobile, my co-pilot Peter Macintosh and I saw what we thought was a brilliant meteor.  We were flying south-southwest and it fell across our path from left to right, first becoming visible at the top of the windshield.  (The Viscount has wonderful visibility upward.) It decelerated rapidly, just as any meteor does when entering the denser layers of the earth's lower atmosphere, and we expected to see it burn out with the customary flash, which pilots often see, but which people on the ground are often denied.

Capital Airlines Vickers Viscount

A Capital Airlines Viscount

Imagine our consternation when this brilliant light did not burn out, but abruptly halted directly in front of us.  It was an intense blue-white light, approximately 7 or 6 times as bright as Venus when this planet is at its brightest magnitude. Pete shouted "What the hell is it, a jet?"  His first thought, of course, was that the object was a diving jet fighter which had turned sharply away from us and in departing, was giving us a view right up its glowing tailpipe.  Instantly I knew this could not possibly be an airplane. I have seen the glow of too many jet pipes at night not to recognize one when I see it.  It was not the right color; it did not diminish in size, as a departing jet fighter's exhaust should have;  and it remained motionless directly ahead of us, how far I cannot say, but it must have been quite a few miles.

I quickly grabbed my microphone and called the Mobile Control Tower.  "Bates Tower, this is Capital 77.  Look out toward the north and east and see if you can see a strange white light hovering in the sky."

"Capital 77, this is Mobile Bates Tower.  We are unable to see much of the sky because of a thick cloud cover.  Do you think the object is in our vicinity?"

"Affirmative.  It looks like a brilliant white light bulb, about one tenth the size of the moon.  It is directly ahead of us and at about our altitude, or slightly higher.  We are right over Jackson, Alabama and have descended to 10,000 feet.  Please initiate a call to Brookley Field Tower (Air Force Field 20 miles southeast of Bates Field) and ask the controller if he can see it on their big radar scope."  (We did not have the military frequency crystals in our transmitter to work Brookley Tower.)

Just after this exchange, the object began to maneuver.  It darted hither and yon, rising and falling in undulating flight, making sharper turns than any known aircraft, sometimes changing direction 90 degrees in an instant.  All the while the color remained constant, a brilliant blue-white, and the object did not grow or lessen in size.  Macintosh and I sat there completely flabbergasted at this unnerving exhibition.  I thought of calling the passengers over the public address system, but the object was dead ahead of us and putting on its performance in an area whose arc was not large enough to enable anybody in the cabin to get a view of it out the side windows.  After a half minute or so of this dancing, unorthodox flight the object suddenly became motionless and hovered dead still.  We were simply confounded by this.

Bates Tower called back, "Capital 77, we are trying to raise the Brookley Tower."

Right at this moment the strange light began another series of crazy gyrations, lazy 8's, square chandelles, all the while weaving through the air with a sort of rythmic (sic), undulating cadence, the likes of which neither Pete nor I had ever seen.  Then, apparently content at the consternation which it had wrought, the object shot out ever the Gulf of Mexico, rising at the most breathtaking angle and at such a fantastic speed that it diminished rapidly to a pinpoint and was swallowed up in the night.  This unearthly exhibition probably went on for at least two minutes, according to our best judgment.  I glanced at the clock and noted it read 10:12. The most puzzling thing about the whole occurrence, aside from the dancing flight, was that the object, whatever it was, had remained at the same distance from us throughout the performance.  How do we know this? It never increased in size, and yet we were bearing down on it at more than 5 miles a minute in the Viscount.  If it was in view two minutes and performing in one area we should have been at least ten miles closer to it.  How, any object that flies certainly looks different when viewed at such a great variance in distance. So this UFO must have managed to remain at the same distance from us throughout the entire display.

If you know southern Alabama you know that it is pretty desolate country, with few inhabitants and only a few small hamlets between Mobile and Montgomery up in the middle of the state.  We were above the clouds, precluding any reflections of searchlights from below.  I have seen hundreds of advertising searchlights playing on clouds, and this was nothing remotely related.  Likewise I am summarily ruling out aircraft (at least the ones we know), balloons, missiles, or any other earth launched device within my ken.  The one thing which I can't get over is the fact that when it came, it came steeply downwards; when it departed after its amazing exhibition, it went steeply upward!  Now I ask you, John, is this machine based on the earth?"

I followed up on this spectacular sighting after landing at Mobile.  The control tower operators had reached Brookley after a slight delay, but the controller had seen nothing, and since no night flights were in progress, the surveillance radar had not been energized at the time.

In case any of your members would like to know my background, you may give it to them.  You will remember me as objectively skeptical and cynically critical of most of the purported saucer sightings.  But I think you have to believe a veteran airline pilot with 17 years of service, 15,000 hours and 3 million miles in his log-book.  I am seeking no publicity.  I didn't report this sighting to the press and not a word has ever been printed about it until this moment.

W. J. Hull        

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