the 1973 Gallup Poll results printed in The New York Times, 29
November 1973, p. 45 and Philip J. Klass, UFOs: The Public Deceived
(New York: Prometheus Books, 1983), p. 3.
Klass, UFOs, p. 3; James S. Gordon, "The UFO Experience," Atlantic
Monthly (August 1991), pp. 82-92; David Michael Jacobs, The UFO
Controversy in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975);
Howard Blum, Out There: The Government's Secret Quest for Extraterrestrials
(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990); Timothy Good, Above Top Secret:
The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up (New York: William Morrow, 1987); and
Whitley Strieber, Communion: The True Story (New York: Morrow,
September 1993 John Peterson, an acquaintance of Woolsey's, first approached
the DCI with a package of heavily sanitized CIA material on UFOs released
to UFOlogist Stanton T. Friedman. Peterson and Friedman wanted to know
the reasons for the redactions. Woolsey agreed to look into the matter.
See Richard J. Warshaw, Executive Assistant, note to author, 1 November
1994; Warshaw, note to John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator,
31 January 1994; and Wright, memorandum to Executive Secretariat, 2
March 1994. (Except where noted, all citations to CIA records in this
article are to the records collected for the 1994 Agency-wide search
that are held by the Executive Assistant to the DCI).
Hector Quintanilla, Jr., "The Investigation of UFOs," Vol. 10, No. 4,
Studies in Intelligence (fall 1966): pp.95-110 and CIA, unsigned
memorandum, "Flying Saucers," 14 August 1952. See also Good, Above
Top Secret, p. 253. During World War II, US pilots reported "foo
fighters" (bright lights trailing US aircraft). Fearing they might be
Japanese or German secret weapons, OSS investigated but could find no
concrete evidence of enemy weapons and often filed such reports in the
"crackpot" category. The OSS also investigated possible sightings of
German V-1 and V-2 rockets before their operational use during the war.
See Jacobs, UFO Controversy, p. 33. The Central Intelligence
Group, the predecessor of the CIA, also monitored reports of "ghost
rockets" in Sweden in 1946. See CIG, Intelligence Report, 9 April 1947.
The UFO Controversy, p. 156 and Quintanilla, "The Investigation
of UFOs," p. 97.
US Air Force, Air Material Command, "Unidentified Aerial Objects: Project
SIGN, no. F-TR 2274, IA, February 1949, Records of the US Air Force
Commands, Activities and Organizations, Record Group 341, National Archives,
US Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUEBOOK Reports 1- 12 (Washington,
DC; National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1968) and
Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 50-54.
Cabell, memorandum to Commanding Generals Major Air Commands, "Reporting
of Information on Unconventional Aircraft," 8 September 1950 and Jacobs,
The UFO Controversy, p. 65.
Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUE BOOK and Jacobs, The UFO
Controversy, p. 67.
See Edward Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI, "Flying
Saucers," 1 August 1952. See also United Kingdom, Report by the "Flying
Saucer" Working Party, "Unidentified Flying Objects," no date (approximately
See Dr. Stone, OSI, memorandum to Dr. Willard Machle, OSI, 15 March
1949 and Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI, memorandum
for DDI, "Recent Sightings of Unexplained Objects," 29 July 1952.
Stone, memorandum to Machle. See also Clark, memorandum for DDI, 29
See Klass, UFOs, p. 15. For a brief review of the Washington sightings
see Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 269-271.
See Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI, memorandum to DDI
Robert Amory, Jr., 29 July 1952. OSI and OCI were in the Directorate
of Intelligence. Established in 1948, OSI served as the CIA's focal
point for the analysis of foreign scientific and technological developments.
In 1980, OSI was merged into the Office of Science and Weapons Research.
The Office of Current Intelligence (OCI), established on 15 January
1951 was to provide all-source current intelligence to the President
and the National Security Council.
Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI (Philip Strong),
1 August 1952.
On 2 January 1952, DCI Walter Bedell Smith created a Deputy Directorate
for Intelligence (DDI) composed of six overt CIA organizations--OSI,
OCI, Office of Collection and Dissemination, Office National Estimates,
Office of Research and Reports, and the Office of Intelligence Coordination--to
produce intelligence analysis for US policymakers.
See Minutes of Branch Chief's Meeting, 11 August 1952.
Smith expressed his opinions at a meeting in the DCI Conference Room
attended by his top officers. See Deputy Chief, Requirements Staff,
FI, memorandum for Deputy Director, Plans, "Flying Saucers," 20 August
1952, Directorate of Operations Records, Information Management Staff,
Job 86-00538R, Box 1.
See CIA memorandum, unsigned, "Flying Saucers," 11 August 1952.
See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, "Flying Saucers," 14 August 1952.
See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, "Flying Saucers," 19 August 1952.
See Chadwell, memorandum for Smith, 17 September 1952 and 24 September
1952, "Flying Saucers." See also Chadwell, memorandum for DCI Smith,
2 October 1952 and Klass, UFOs, pp. 23-26.
Chadwell, memorandum for DCI with attachments, 2 December 1952. See
also Klass, UFOs, pp. 26-27 and Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November
See Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November 1952 and Chadwell, memorandum,
"Approval in Principle - External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified
Flying Objects," no date. See also Philip G. Strong, OSI, memorandum
for the record, "Meeting with Dr. Julius A. Stratton, Executive Vice
President and Provost, MIT and Dr. Max Millikan, Director of CENIS."
Strong believed that in order to undertake such a review they would
need the full backing and support of DCI Smith.
See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, ""Unidentified Flying Objects," 2
December 1952. See also Chadwell, memorandum for Amory, DDI, "Approval
in Principle - External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified
Flying Objects," no date.
The IAC was created in 1947 to serve as a coordinating body in establishing
intelligence requirements. Chaired by the DCI, the IAC included representatives
from the Department of State, the Army, the Air Force, the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, the FBI, and the AEC.
See Klass, UFOs, p. 27.
See Richard D. Drain, Acting Secretary, IAC, "Minutes of Meeting held
in Director's Conference Room, Administration Building, CIA," 4 December
See Chadwell, memorandum for the record, "British Activity in the Field
of UFOs," 18 December 1952.
See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, "Consultants for Advisory Panel on
Unidentified Flying Objects," 9 January 1953; Curtis Peebles, Watch
the Skies! A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth (Washington, DC:
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994). pp. 73-90; and Jacobs, The
UFO Controversy, pp. 91-92.
See Fred C. Durant III, Report on the Robertson Panel Meeting, January
1953. Durant, on contract with OSI and a past president of the American
Rocket Society, attended the Robertson panel meetings and wrote a summary
of the proceedings.
See Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects (the
Robertson Report), 17 January 1953 and the Durant report on the panel
See Robertson Report and Durant Report. See also Good, Above Top
Secret, pp. 337-38, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 95, and
Klass, UFO's, pp. 28-29.
See Reber, memorandum to IAC, 18 February 1953.
See Chadwell, memorandum for DDI, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 10
February 1953; Chadwell, letter to Robertson, 28 January 1953; and Reber,
memorandum for IAC, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 18 February 1953.
On briefing the ONE, see Durant, memorandum for the record, "Briefing
of ONE Board on Unidentified Flying Objects," 30 January 1953 and CIA
Summary disseminated to the field, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 6
See Chadwell, letter to Julius A. Stratton, Provost MIT, 27 January
See Chadwell, memorandum for Chief, Physics and Electronics Division/OSI
(Todos M. Odarenko), "Unidentified Flying Objects," 27 May 1953.
See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, "Unidentified Flying Objects,"
3 July 1953. See also Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, "Current Status
of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOB) Project," 17 December 1953.
See Odarenko, memorandum, "Unidentified Flying Objects," 8 August 1955.
See FBIS, report, "Military Unconventional Aircraft," 18 August 1953
and various reports, "Military-Air, Unconventional Aircraft," 1953,
Developed by the Canadian affiliate of Britain's A. V. Roe, Ltd., Project
Y did produce a small-scale model that hovered a few feet off the ground.
See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, "Flying Saucer Type of Planes"
25 May 1954; Frederic C. E. Oder, memorandum to Odarenko, "USAF Project
Y," 21 May 1954; and Odarenko, T. M. Nordbeck, Ops/SI, and Sidney Graybeal,
ASD/SI, memorandum for the record, "Intelligence Responsibilities for
Non-Conventional Types of Air Vehicles," 14 June 1954.
See Reuben Efron, memorandum, "Observation of Flying Object Near Baku,"
13 October 1955; Scoville, memorandum for the record, "Interview with
Senator Richard B. Russell," 27 October 1955; and Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum
for information, "Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft," 19
See Lexow, memorandum for information, "Reported Sighting of Unconventional
Aircraft," 19 October 1955. See also Frank C. Bolser, memorandum for
George C. Miller, Deputy Chief, SAD/SI, "Possible Soviet Flying Saucers,
Check On;" Lexow, memorandum, "Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Follow
Up On," 17 December 1954; Lexow, memorandum, "Possible Soviet Flying
Saucers," 1 December 1954; and A. H. Sullivan, Jr., memorandum, "Possible
Soviet Flying Saucers," 24 November 1954.
See Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach, The Central Intelligence
Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954-1974
(Washington, DC: CIA History Staff, 1992), pp. 72-73.
See Pedlow and Welzenbach, Overhead Reconnaissance, pp. 72-73.
This also was confirmed in a telephone interview between the author
and John Parongosky, 26 July 1994. Parongosky oversaw the day-to-day
affairs of the OXCART program.
See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 135.
See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 128-146; Ruppelt, The Report
on Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Doubleday, 1956); Keyhoe,
The Flying Saucer Conspiracy (New York: Holt, 1955); and Jacobs,
The UFO Controversy, pp. 347-49.
See Strong, letter to Lloyd W. Berkner; Strong, letter to Thorton Page;
Strong, letter to Robertson; Strong, letter to Samuel Goudsmit; Strong,
letter to Luis Alvarez, 20 December 1957; and Strong, memorandum for
Major James F. Byrne, Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence Department
of the Air Force, "Declassification of the `Report of the Scientific
Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects,'" 20 December 1957. See also Berkner,
letter to Strong, 20 November 1957 and Page, letter to Strong, 4 December
1957. The panel members were also reluctant to have their association
with the Agency released.
See Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for the record, "Comments on Letters
Dealing with Unidentified Flying Objects," 4 April 1958; J. S. Earman,
letter to Major Lawrence J. Tacker, Office of the Secretary of the Air
Force, Information Service, 4 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Berkner,
8 April 1958; Berkner, letter to Davidson, 18 April 1958; Berkner, letter
to Strong, 21 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Tacker, 27 April 1958;
Davidson, letter to Allen Dulles, 27 April 1958; Ruppelt, letter to
Davidson, 7 May 1958; Strong, letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson,
letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Earman, 16 May 1958;
Davidson, letter to Goudsmit, 18 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Page,
18 May 1958; and Tacker, letter to Davidson, 20 May 1958.
See Lexow, memorandum for Chapin, 28 July 1958.
See Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 346-47; Lexow, memorandum for
the record, "Meeting with the Air Force Personnel Concerning Scientific
Advisory Panel Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, dated 17 January
1953 (S)," 16 May 1958. See also La Rae L. Teel, Deputy Division Chief,
ASD, memorandum for the record, "Meeting with Mr. Chapin on Replying
to Leon Davidson's UFO Letter and Subsequent Telephone Conversation
with Major Thacker, [sic]" 22 May 1958.
See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Contact Division (Scientific), memorandum
to Chief, Chicago Office, "Radio Code Recording," 4 March 1955 and Ashcraft,
memorandum to Chief, Support Branch, OSI, 17 March 1955.
The Contact Division was created to collect foreign intelligence information
from sources within the United States. See the Directorate of Intelligence
Historical Series, The Origin and Development of Contact Division,
11 July 19461 July 1965 (Washington, DC; CIA Historical Staff,
See George O. Forrest, Chief, Chicago Office, memorandum to Chief, Contact
Division for Science, 11 March 1955.
See Support Division (Connell), memorandum to Dewelt E. Walker, 25 April
See J. Arnold Shaw, Assistant to the Director, letter to Davidson, 10
See Support (Connell) memorandum to Lt. Col. V. Skakich, 27 August 1957
and Lamountain, memorandum to Support (Connell), 20 December 1957.
See Lamountain, cable to Support (Connell), 31 July 1958.
See Support (Connell) cable to Skakich, 3 October 1957 and Skakich,
cable to Connell, 9 October 1957.
See Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 October 1957.
See R. P. B. Lohmann, memorandum for Chief, Contact Division, DO, 9
See Support, cable to Skakich, 20 February 1958 and Connell (Support)
cable to Lamountain, 19 December 1957.
See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Contact Division, Office of Operations,
memorandum for Austin Bricker, Jr., Assistant to the Director, "Inquiry
by Major Donald E. Keyhoe on John Hazen's Association with the Agency,"
22 January 1959.
See John T. Hazen, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division, 12 December
1957. See also Ashcraft, memorandum to Cleveland Resident Agent, "Ralph
E. Mayher," 20 December 1957. According to this memorandum, the photographs
were viewed at "a high level and returned to us without comment." The
Air Force held the original negatives. The CIA records were probably
The issue would resurface in the 1970s with the GSW FOIA court case.
See Robert Amory, Jr., DDI, memorandum for Assistant Director/Scientific
Intelligence, "Flying Saucers," 26 March 1956. See also Wallace R. Lamphire,
Office of the Director, Planning and Coordination Staff, memorandum
for Richard M. Bissell, Jr., "Unidentified Flying Saucers (UFO)," 11
June 1957; Philip Strong, memorandum for the Director, NPIC, "Reported
Photography of Unidentified Flying Objects," 27 October 1958; Scoville,
memorandum to Lawrence Houston, Legislative Counsel, "Reply to Honorable
Joseph E. Garth," 12 July 1961; and Houston, letter to Garth, 13 July
See, for example, Davidson, letter to Congressman Joseph Garth, 26 June
1961 and Carl Vinson, Chairman, House Committee on Armed Services, letter
to Rep. Robert A. Everett, 2 September 1964.
See Maxwell W. Hunter, staff member, National Aeronautics and Space
Council, Executive Office of the President, memorandum for Robert F.
Parkard, Office of International Scientific Affairs, Department of State,
"Thoughts on the Space Alien Race Question," 18 July 1963, File SP 16,
Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59, National Archives.
See also F. J. Sheridan, Chief, Washington Office, memorandum to Chief,
Contact Division, "National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena
(NICAP)," 25 January 1965.
Chamberlain, memorandum for DCI, "Evaluation of UFOs," 26 January 1965.
See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 199 and US Air Force, Scientific
Advisory Board, Ad Hoc Committee (O'Brien Committee) to Review Project
BLUE BOOK, Special Report (Washington, DC: 1966). See also The
New York Times, 14 August 1966, p. 70.
See "Congress Reassured on Space Visits," The New York Times, 6 April
Weber, letter to Col. Gerald E. Jorgensen, Chief, Community Relations
Division, Office of Information, US Air Force, 15 August 1966. The Durant
report was a detailed summary of the Robertson panel proceedings.
See John Lear, "The Disputed CIA Document on UFOs," Saturday Review
(September 3, 1966), p. 45. The Lear article was otherwise unsympathetic
to UFO sightings and the possibility that extraterritorials were involved.
The Air Force had been eager to provide Lear with the full report. See
Walter L. Mackey, Executive Officer, memorandum for DCI, "Air Force
Request to Declassify CIA Material on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO),"
1 September 1966.
See Klass, UFOs, p. 40, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 214 and
Everet Clark, "Physicist Scores `Saucer Status,'" The New York Times,
21 October 1966. See also James E. McDonald, "Statement on Unidentified
Flying Objects," submitted to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics,
29 July 1968.
Condon is quoted in Walter Sullivan, "3 Aides Selected in Saucer Inquiry,"
The New York Times, 8 October 1966. See also "An Outspoken Scientist,
Edward Uhler Condon," The New York Times, 8 October 1966. Condon,
an outgoing, gruff scientist, had earlier become embroiled in a controversy
with the House Unamerican Activities Committee that claimed Condon was
"one of the weakest links in our atomic security." See also Peebles,
Watch the Skies, pp. 169-195.
See Lundahl, memorandum for DDI, 7 February 1967.
See memorandum for the record, "Visit of Dr. Condon to NPIC, 20 February
1967," 23 February 1967. See also the analysis of the photographs in
memorandum for Lundahl, "Photo Analysis of UFO Photography," 17 February
See memorandum for the record, "UFO Briefing for Dr. Edward Condon,
5 May 1967," 8 May 1967 and attached "Guidelines to UFO Photographers
and UFO Photographic Information Sheet." See also Condon Committee,
Press Release, 1 May 1967 and Klass, UFOs, p. 41. The Zaneville
photographs turned out to be a hoax.
See Edward U. Condon, Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects
(New York: Bantam Books, 1969) and Klass, UFOs, p. 41. The report contained
the Durant report with only minor deletions.
See Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense, News Release, "Air Force
to Terminate Project BLUEBOOK," 17 December 1969. The Air Force retired
BLUEBOOK records to the USAF Archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
In 1976 the Air Force turned over all BLUEBOOK files to the National
Archives and Records Administration, which made them available to the
public without major restrictions. Some names have been withheld from
the documents. See Klass, UFOs, p. 6.
GSW was a small group of UFO buffs based in Phoenix, Arizona, and headed
by William H. Spaulding.
See Klass, UFOs, p. 8.
See Wilson, letter to Spaulding, 26 March 1976 and GSW v. CIA Civil
Action Case 78-859.
GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859, p. 2.
Author interview with Launie Ziebell, 23 June 1994 and author interview
with OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. See also affidavits of George Owens,
CIA Information and Privacy Act Coordinator; Karl H. Weber, OSI; Sidney
D. Stembridge, Office of Security; and Rutledge P. Hazzard, DS&T;
GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859 and Sayre Stevens, Deputy Director
for National Foreign Assessment, memorandum for Thomas H. White, Assistant
for Information, Information Review Committee, "FOIA Litigation Ground
Saucer Watch," no date.
See "CIA Papers Detail UFO Surveillance," The New York Times,
13 January 1979; Patrick Huyghe, "UFO Files: The Untold Story," The
New York Times Magazine, 14 October 1979, p. 106; and Jerome Clark,
"UFO Update," UFO Report, August 1979.
Jerome Clark, "Latest UFO News Briefs From Around the World," UFO
Update, August 1979 and GSW v. CIA Civil Action No. 78-859.
See Wortman, memorandum for DCI Turner, "Your Question, `Are we in UFOs?'
Annotated to The New York Times News Release Article," 18 January
See GSW v. CIA Civil Action 78-859. See also Klass, UFOs, pp.
See John Brennan, memorandum for Richard Warshaw, Executive Assistant,
DCI, "Requested Information on UFOs," 30 September 1993; Author interviews
with OSWR analyst, 14 June 1994 and OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. This
author found almost no documentation on Agency involvement with UFOs
in the 1980s.
a DIA Psychic Center and the NSA studies parapsychology, that branch
of psychology that deals with the investigation of such psychic phenomena
as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and telepathy. The CIA reportedly
is also a member of an Incident Response Team to investigate UFO landings,
if one should occur. This team has never met. The lack of solid CIA
documentation on Agency UFO-related activities in the 1980s leaves the
entire issue somewhat murky for this period.
the UFO literature presently focuses on contactees and abductees. See
John E. Mack, Abduction, Human Encounters with Aliens (New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994) and Howard Blum, Out There (New
York: Simon and Schuster, 1990).
See Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore, The Roswell Incident
(New York: Berkeley Books, 1988); Moore, "The Roswell Incident: New
Evidence in the Search for a Crashed UFO," (Burbank, California: Fair
Witness Project, 1982), Publication Number 1201; and Klass, UFOs,
pp. 280-281. In 1994 Congressman Steven H. Schiff (R-NM) called for
an official study of the Roswell incident. The GAO is conducting a separate
investigation of the incident. The CIA is not involved in the investigation.
See Klass, UFOs, pp. 279-281; John H. Wright, Information and
Privacy Coordinator, letter to Derek Skreen, 20 September 1993; and
OSWR analyst interview. See also the made-for-TV film, Roswell, which
appeared on cable TV on 31 July 1994 and Peebles, Watch the Skies,
See John Diamond, "Air Force Probes 1947 UFO Claim Findings Are Down
to Earth," 9 September 1994, Associated Press release; William J. Broad,
"Wreckage of a `Spaceship': Of This Earth (and U.S.)," The New York
Times, 18 September 1994, p. 1; and USAF Col. Richard L. Weaver
and 1st Lt. James McAndrew, The Roswell Report, Fact Versus Fiction
in New Mexico Desert (Washington, DC: GPO, 1995).
See Good, Above Top Secret; Moore and S. T. Friedman, "Philip
Klass and MJ-12: What are the Facts," (Burbank California: Fair-Witness
Project, 1988), Publication Number 1290; Klass, "New Evidence of MJ-12
Hoax," Skeptical Inquirer, vol. 14 (Winter 1990); and Moore and
Jaime H. Shandera, The MJ-12 Documents: An Analytical Report
(Burbank, California: Fair-Witness Project, 1990), Publication Number
1500. Walter Bedell Smith supposedly replaced Forrestal on 1 August
1950 following Forrestal's death. All members listed were deceased when
the MJ-12 "documents" surfaced in 1984. See Peebles, Watch the Skies,
Bland, editor of The George C. Marshall Papers, discovered that
one of the so-called Majestic-12 documents was a complete fraud. It
contained the exact same language as a letter from Marshall to Presidential
candidate Thomas Dewey regarding the "Magic" intercepts in 1944. The
dates and names had been altered and "Magic" changed to "Majic." Moreover,
it was a photocopy, not an original. No original MJ-12 documents have
ever surfaced. Telephone conversation between the author and Bland,
29 August 1994.