"Getting the factsand getting them straightis all too often an unsung task. Especially is this so in controversial fields of human thought, and certainly unidentified flying objects, the mystery objects that have been reported in the skies of many countries, and on or near the ground, represent such a field. There is scarcely a country in which the concept of UFO is not well known, and "flying saucer" appears in the dictionaries of many languages. Gathering facts should always come before spinning theories....This foreword is primarily a tribute to an outstanding UFO investigator and fact-finder. I know of none who is more dedicated, trustworthy or persevering than Ray Fowler."
J. Allen Hynek, Northwestern University 1974, Foreword to "UFOs, Interplanetary Visitors."
Ray Fowler chaired the Massachusetts Investigative Subcommittee of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).
The subcommittee came into existence at the beginning of increasing numbers of UFO reports from all over the nation. Staffed by volunteer investigators, the NICAP Mass Subcommittee sifted through large numbers of UFO reports, eliminating natural objects found in the New England skies, balloons, aircraft, lighted advertising planes, meteors, astronomical and meteorological phenomena, and even a red-hot truck part that came crashing down near a witness.
"Mass Unit 1" also found many cases that were not easily explainable. Thick case files were compiled and possible explanations rigorously checked and re-checked, as were the witnesses' background and their testimony. Copies of these case summaries were sent to NICAP, Project Blue Book at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and Dr. Hynek. When the Colorado UFO Project was established, Fowler submitted the Mass NICAP Subcommittee reports to the Condon Committee.
After a disagreement concerning the direction of the Colorado UFO Project, NICAP withdrew its support. Mr. Fowler, however, continued to send his reports to the Project's Condon Committee, thereby ensuring it had a large selection of current, well-investigated material at its disposal.
Copies of the subcommittee's investigations may be found in the Project Blue Book files, on microfilm exchanged between between Project Blue Book and the Secretary of the Air Force's Office of Information, and in the files of several UFO organizations.
After the demise of NICAP, Fowler continued to investigate reports with many copies of his research going both to CUFOS and MUFON. He became a MUFON officer and is the author of their original Field Investigations manual.
Mr. Fowler has passed on his case files to Barry Greenwood, with the exception of Fowler's abduction investigations which have been transferred to another individual.
Much of this material remains to be examined and the many potential leads in these cases further researched.
Many of the cases presented here appeared in Ray Fowler's book UFOs, Interplanetary Visitors, first published in 1974. Mr. Fowler has granted the Sign Historical Group permission to use material from his book as part of this online presentation of his case files.
Thanks to Loy Pressley for his assistance in preparing this material.Jan Aldrich, March 2002