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Julian Hennessey Letter to Robert J. Low - March 21, 1968

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March 21, 1968




TELEPHONE: 01-992 1427

Handwritten Notation -- Illegible             

Dr. Robert J. Low,
202 Woodbury Hall,
Department of Physics and Astrophysics,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, Colorado, 80302,
United States of America.

Dear Dr. Low,

Thank you for your informative letter of March 12.

To begin, I should like, briefly, to comment on the contents of your letter.  You made reference that you discussed "a number of the major unsolved cases" with our Ministry of Defence and this surprised me for in letters which I have received from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force, Mr. Merlyn Rees, it was stated that a vast majority of UFO reports had the most mundane explanations.  Of these reports that remain unexplained, the Ministry say none contain any information which indicates that they relate to any incident materially different to those described in reports which had been explained.  Therefore, can you elucidate on what is a "major unsolved case".

In addition to the above, I would further add that the Ministry retains papers on UFO cases for a period of five years after which time they destroy them.  However, should it ever appear that a report was of special significance, then the papers would be retained but, the Ministry has never received a report of such significance.

Although you have stated that you have no evidence that sighting reports are being withheld from public inspection, I would point out that in the U.K., the public is not allowed to inspect sighting reports nor does the Ministry make public details of sightings made by Service personnel.  The Ministry has claimed that the number of sightings made by Service personnel is negligible but this is not so, I have received several reports from R.A.F. pilots in strict confidence and information that such reports are more frequent than the Ministry is willing to admit.

The fact that you reviewed the study techniques employed by the Ministry investigators greatly interests me and I should be glad to learn what your opinions are on this point.  For my own part, I have recently had occassion to investigate a number of cases which the Ministry have already given their findings on, and can only say that if these findings are the results of their investigations, then they fall abominably short of what I would regard as a proper scientific investigation.

Now, to turn to the main object of your letter, I shall set out, very briefly, details of the most puzzling sightings that I know of involving British subjects.  Probably Bryon will have already informed you of some of them, but if not, I shall send you


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Page 2.

[handwritten notations throughout:]

full details of them as I personally investigated them for NICAP.

No Case 1.

The observation on November 15, 1967, over Florence, of a dart-shaped object seen by the crew of a British European Airways Comet Airliner.

No Case 2.

The observation on September 11, 1967, over Barcelona, of a large manoueverable cone-shaped object, which flew at great speed seen by the crew of an Air Ferry DC-6.

No Case 3.

The observation on April 28, 1967, over Devon, England, of a large balloon-like object seen by seven H.M. Coastguards and an Air-Vice Marshall.

Just questionaire filled out by one man

No Case 4.

The observation on October 24, 1967, of a formation of seven very bright lights in the sky over Hampshire, England, by a Wing Commander and his wife.

No Case 5.

The observation on October 31, 1967, over Bournemouth, England, of two manoeuverable, red dull metallic discs seen by a reliable observer.

?     Case 6. * When, Where?

The observation of Mr. Angus Brooks.  (Details sent to Dr. Condon by Mr. Brooks.)

Out of the above cases, the Ministry have investigated Nos. 3, 4, and 6.

I feel that I must point out to you that during the October "flap", I received more than two hundred reports of UFOs many of which I have still to evaluate and check on.  Amongst these reports, are at least a further dozen reports of potentially high import, but, I have deliberately excluded them as I have no knowledge of the background of the witnesses.

The one final point that I would like to cover, is the investigation at Colorado.  It came as a surprise to me to hear that Dr. Saunders and Norman Levine had been fired also, that Mrs. Armstrong had resigned as your Administrative Assistant.  As you are no doubt aware, there has recently been a great deal of speculation that the final Report of the Project was destined, for some time now, to be a white-wash, this, coupled with some statements made by Dr. Condon, and the fact that so many members of the staff have left, is very disturbing to people like myself who had hoped that this was to have been an impartial investigation.  Yet, it very much appears that there is great dissatisfaction amongst the staff of the Project.  Can you say why this is?

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Letter to Dr. R. J. Low                                                                 March 21, 1968
Page 3.

To conclude, whilst appreciating that the Project Report is not due out till 1968/69, can you give me any indication as to whether it will be a totally negative report dismissing the subject as far as the extraterrestrial probes theory is concerned or not.

I look forward to receiving your reply to this letter.

Sincerely yours,


Julian J. A. Hennessey

c.c. File

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